Sunday, April 21st, 2013
My daughters have inherited my passion for food and cooking—and there’s nothing they love better than spending an afternoon in the kitchen helping me bake up a few cookies or put together a great dinner. Unless, of course, it’s the opportunity to watch cooking shows on TV—especially the contest type shows, like Cupcake Wars and Chopped. (We even spent an evening playing Chopped, where I bested my husband with a killer lemon-crusted plum tart for the grand finale.) So when ABC ran The Taste, a cooking contest which featured blind taste testing and some of their favorite chefs, that became must-see TV for us.
My girls and I were rooting for Nigella Lawson’s team. We’ve loved watching her other cooking shows, I love her outlook on food (excellent, decadent food—but in moderation) and we loved her all-girl team—especially the super-sweet Lauren.
Ultimately, Nigella’s team wasn’t the big winner, but I think Nigella could be a winning name for a little girl. It’s the feminized version of Nigel. Nigel means “dark-haired,” and Nigella is another name for the bloom called “love in a mist,” a beautiful blossom that has delicate, branched leaves around the bloom. The seeds of the Nigella plant are often roasted and ground and used in curries—and it seems pretty apropos that Nigella the chef was given the name of such an exotic spice.
It’d make a lovely, unique choice for someone who loves the -ella names: Ella, Isabella, Annabel, etc. And it goes beautifully with some of the cool short middle names. I’d pair Nigella with Jade, Pearl, True, Gray or even Clove—adding an extra bit of spice to the baby name.
What do you think of the name Nigella? Do you think it’ll ride along with the other -ella names into the limelight, or will it remain a slightly offbeat option?
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Romantic comedy actress Malin Akerman (you’ve seen her in Rock of Ages, 27 Dresses, Couples Retreat, and The Proposal) must be celebrating a lot these days. In addition to the upcoming premiere of her cool-looking new TV series—the Netflix-only Hemlock Grove—she just welcomed her first son with husband Roberto Zincone. And she gave her baby boy a red-hot moniker, Sebastian.
Sebastian is currently in the top 70 names in the country, and poised to go higher. It was the name of an early Christian saint—paintings of him with numerous arrow wounds were a popular subject for medieval and Renaissance era artists. It was also a favorite of Shakespeare, who placed characters named Sebastian in two of his plays. And of course, there’s the crab from Little Mermaid, too.
Sebastian is usually shortened to Bas or Bast as a nickname, and it’s one of my favorite names.
No word on what Malin and Roberto chose as a middle name, but I’d pair it with something short and sweet: James, George, or West would be my top choices.
What do you think of the name Sebastian? Is it too well associated with that calypso-y crab pal of Ariel? Or is it a name you’d consider for your little guy?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest news in baby names.
Image: Malin Akerman by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Reader Yvonne choose a stellar baby name for her first son—and is looking for something just as fabulous for her second. Here’s her dilemma:
My husband and I are expecting our 2nd baby boy this July. We hit the nail on the head with our first born who was named Cameron Lucas Fein (pronounced ‘fine’). But now we are hitting a brick wall trying to come up with a name for Cameron’s little brother that is just as classic and strong.
The biggest problem is that our family is inundated with boys, so many names are already taken. My father’s name is Kenneth (which is already taken by another boy in the family) and my husband’s father’s name is Eugene (which we don’t really love)…his grandfather’s name is Irving (not loving) and my grandfather’s names are Chinese.
We’ve been toying around with Wyatt, Darren, Jacob, Austin and Dylan, but haven’t really fallen in love with any one combination.
Yvonne, you picked two of my favorite boys’ names for your first son (I even picked Cameron as my cool name of the week last year!), so I can see why it’s a hard act to follow.
With your short-and-sweet surname, you need a longer name, like Cameron. You also seem to favor the “n” sound at the end, which is mirrored nicely in your last name. Donovan is a cool surname name that hasn’t quite taken off as much as Cameron has—it’s just under the top 250, and it means “dark.” Or consider Hudson, which means “Hugh’s son,” and is just under the top 100 names in the country (though it’s certainly poised to head higher). Or consider my favorite “-on” name, Dixon, which I picked as a cool name of the week earlier this year, and is connected with the name Richard.
Since you went with a surname name for your older son, choosing one for your younger son makes sense. I love Sawyer, Everett and Parker, all of which will fit well with Cameron as a sibling set. If you’re looking for a more traditional name, Theodore would flow nicely with Fein, and comes with some cool nicknames—I love the sound of Theo Fein!
To honor your favorite relatives, consider putting something in the middle slot, where even an old-fashioned name like Eugene might work. But you don’t have to stick with Kenneth or Eugene (or even one of the Chinese names, which could be lovely as a middle name). You could consider using a hipper variation of the name. Eugene is Evzen in Czech, a much more stylish choice than its English spelling; Kent is a cooler variation on Kenneth, and has the association with Superman’s alter ego (and who’s cooler than a super hero?).
My suggestions for you: Dixon Kent Fein, Everett Evzen Fein, or Hudson Kenneth Fein.
What suggestions do you have for Yvonne? Do you like any of the names I’ve suggested?
Don’t forget to send me your baby-naming dilemma at firstname.lastname@example.org. And like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest news in baby names.
Photo: Question mark by PZ Designs / Shutterstock.com
Monday, April 15th, 2013
Anne Frank became front-page news once again this week, as douchey teen heartthrob Justin Bieber toured the home where she and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II, and wrote this ridiculous message in the guest book: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.” The internet exploded with people calling the pop star a “shallow doofus”—and worse. (And the criticism was probably well deserved. After all, a girl as deep as Anne Frank would have had better taste than that—Adele at the very least.)
But in all seriousness, the name Anne deserves more respect than it’s getting. It’s currently on the decline, and will likely fall out of the top 600 names for girls when the Social Security Administration releases the current top 1000 names next month. It’s an ancient name that means “grace,” and comes straight from the Bible—it’s the name of Mary’s sainted mother. (In other words, Jesus‘ earthly grandmother.)
Anne’s one of those names that’s truly timeless—it’s been the name of royalty many times over (hence the beautiful Queen Anne’s lace flowers), including two of Henry VIII’s wives. It’s appeared in Shakespeare and in the beloved classic children’s books, Anne of Green Gables. And countless landmark ladies sport the name (besides Anne Frank, of course)—there’s Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Anne Bancroft, and author Anne Rice, just to name a few.
It’s been a middle name staple for a long time—but even there, it’s starting to lose ground. It’s a great choice to pair with a longer middle name or last name, or as a nice, short middle name paired with a more elaborate name. I like it as a middle name with Melanie or Charlotte, or as a first name paired with Scarlett, Rosalind or Juniper in the second spot.
What do you think of the name Anne? Is it worthy of a comeback? Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
The former First Family has a new addition! Jenna Bush Hager and husband Henry Hager welcomed George W. Bush’s first granddaughter, who was given the names of her two grandmothers—Margaret Laura. She’ll be called Mila.
Mila is usually shorthand for Milena, and means “love.” Margaret is one of my favorite names (it’s my youngest daughter’s), and it’s a Greek name meaning pearl. There’s a slew of noteworthy Margarets in the past, including queens, England’s former prime minister, and an array of authors and actors.
Laura is the former First Lady’s name, and another classic. It means “laurel,” and it’s still a top 300 name, though it’s on a bit of a decline from its last peak in the 1980s. Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House on the Prairie series, is perhaps the other lady of fame associated with the name.
In all, Jenna and Henry chose a lovely, classic name that’s full of meaning for the family, and a sweet nickname that pays homage to both grandmothers.
What do you think of Mila—or Margaret Laura? Are any of those names on your short list?
If you’re having trouble coming up with a great baby name, feel free to send me an e-mail at email@example.com. I’d love to help you solve your baby-name dilemmas!
Image: Jenna Bush Hager, a White House photo by Shealah Craighead
Categories: Baby Name News, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read | Tags: baby name news, baby names, celebrities, celebrity baby names, george w. bush, girl baby names, jenna bush hager, laura bush, mill