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Cool Name of the Week: Lucy

Monday, July 28th, 2014

This week’s box office was a battle between two potential baby names—and Lucy was the clear winner. The thriller, which stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who can utilize the entire potential of her brain, outpaced the mythological epic strongman Hercules by a considerable margin.

Lucy is one of those names that never falls out of fashion. It hit its low mark back in the late 1970s, when it was a top 600 name, but it’s currently on another uptick, and the 66th most popular baby name. It means “light,” and in addition to this movie’s brilliant heroine, it has an excellent pedigree: Think comedienne Lucille “I Love Lucy” Ball, Charlie Brown’s bossy buddy Lucy Van Pelt, vampire victim Lucy Westenra from Dracula, and the Beatles’ classic, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”

If you love Lucy, look for a middle name that’s either short and sweet or longer to pair with it. I’d pair Lucy with Violet, Grace, Rose, Adeline, Clementine, or Juliet.

Tell me: Is Lucy on your baby name short list? And what middle names would you pair with it? Find your perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder, or search our past cool names of the week for inspiration. You can keep up with the very latest in baby names by liking In Name Only on Facebook.

Vampire Baby Names
Vampire Baby Names
Vampire Baby Names

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Celebrity Baby Names: Kelsey Grammer’s Son

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

It’s a boy for Kelsey Grammer and wife Kayte! Joining Grammer’s four children from previous relationships—Spencer, Greer, Mason, and Jude—and big sister Faith Evangeline Elisa is Kelsey Gabriel Elias, who will go by the name Gabriel.

The elder Kelsey is probably the most famous bearer of the name, but in recent years, this unisex name has gone over to the girl side. (It’s currently about to hit the top 300 names for girls.) I’d love to see more guys bearing it, though!

Gabriel has been a top 25 pick for the past five years, and and has never been out of the top 1000. It’s one of the Biblical archangels—the one given the cool job of announcing Jesus’s birth.

Elias is the Greek version of Elijah, and a whole slew of mathematicians, scientists and inventors have borne the name, including sewing machine inventor Elias Howe. It’s currently just outside the top 100 names here in the U.S.

In all, a lovely name! Tell me: Are there any names here you love? Would you ever give your child a first name you don’t intend for him to use?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, try our Baby Name Finder, or feel free to email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

Image: Kelsey and Kayte Grammer, s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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Celebrity Baby Names: A Boy for Alan Ruck and Mireille Enos

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

It’s a boy for actors Alan Ruck (best known as Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), and Mireille Enos, from AMC’s murder thriller series The Killing and World War Z. Joining big sister Vesper Vivienne is baby brother Larkin Zouey.

Larkin may sound like the song bird, but it’s an Irish name that means fierce. It’s been on the rise for both boys and girls, but it hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1909—when it last hit the charts for boys.

Zouey reads like a variant spelling of Zoe/Zooey, but it’s also the name of an area in Cameroon. While Zoe is clearly a girls’ name, Zooey was originally a boy’s name, a character in J.D. Salinger’s classic Franny & Zooey.

In all, it’s an intriguing name—more out there than some of the more recent celeb baby names (Jimmy Kimmel picked classic Jane for his daughter, after all), but still not completely off the beaten path.

What do you think? Would you pick Larkin for your child—and would you give it to a son or a daughter?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, try our Baby Name Finder, or feel free to email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names

Image: Alan Ruck and Mireille Enos by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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Baby Name Dilemma: A Middle Name Beginning With J

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

We’ve had a TON of great reader questions lately—and so I’m hoping to get through a lot of them this week. We’re kicking it off with reader Mandy, who needs a little help with a middle name:

I’m wondering if you could help me come up with a middle name for Maeve, preferably one that starts with the letter J.

Maeve is one of my favorite go-to middle name choices, and I LOVE the idea of putting it in the starring role. With a short-and-sweet name like Maeve, you need a middle name that’s a little longer—so we have to discount common middles like Jane, June, Jade and James (yes, that works for a girl!). But there are still some really intriguing options out there for you.

I absolutely LOVE the thought of pairing Maeve with Josephine. It’s a feminization of Joseph and means “Jehovah increases.” There are plenty of cool historical/literary figures with the name, including Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, singer/actor Josephine Baker, and of course, Josephine March, the heroine of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

Another name with great literary chops and a nice pairing option with Maeve is Juliet, the female part of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers. It means “youthful.”

A few other options for you: I love the two nature names Juniper (a berry-producing tree that is the source of gin), and Jasper, the precious stone (this name is usually reserved for guys, but I kind of like the sound of Maeve Jasper). And then there’s Jolie, a French name that means pretty.

If you want to move beyond the Js, there are a few other names I’d love paired with Maeve. Try the “J” sounding Gs, like Genevieve, Giada and Georgia, or some hard “C” names, like Clementine, Clara or Caroline.

What other “J” names do you like, readers? Or are there any other names you’d like to see paired with Maeve?

If you’re looking for a little advice for your baby’s name, don’t be shy. You can email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com, or study names on your own with our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names

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Baby Name Dilemma: A Girl’s Name for Baby #4

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

We all have our “dream names” that we use for our first baby (or three), but sometimes coming up with a name that you love for baby #4 can be a challenge. That’s the issue reader Katie has:

I am expecting my 4th child in about 5 weeks. My husband and I can not agree on anything for a name. My other three children are Ethan (13), Presley (girl), and Emett (4 year old twins).

I am leaning towards surnames or even boy names for a girl. My trouble becomes one minute I like something and the next I don’t. I want something different, but not weird. I want people to be able to pronounce it and spell it, but I don’t want there to be five other little girls in her class with the same name.

Names are hard. They are such a big decision. I have no idea how we were able to come up with two names for the twins. However, when we agreed on Presley after they were delivered I didn’t really like it. I do still love the boys’ names we chose, though. I am hoping to find a girl’s name that I feel the same about for this little one.

Looks like you picked some really intriguing names for your first three—nothing too popular, but definitely still on people’s radar as a good name. Clearly, you want something not-so-traditionally girl (so no Amelia or Penelope for you, right?).

Finley is one of my favorites for girls (and boys). It’s a Celtic name that means “fair-haired hero,” and while it’s up and coming, it’s still a bit below the radar (it just broke the top 300 for girls last year). I think it would pair beautifully with the other names you’ve picked.

Another (more popular) unisex name that matches beautifully with the names of your other kids is Peyton, which is just below the top 50 currently. I like that it features similar sounds to her siblings—Presley and Peyton make a good sister pair, don’t you think?

There’s a slew of fun “R” names that are unisex—Rowan, Rory, Regan, Romilly and Remy all could work for your daughter. Of these four, I’d pick Rowan and Remy as the best two options.

And then there’s Marley. Yes, it’s currently associated with the dog in the best selling book and movie—but it also has ties to reggae great Bob Marley, and of course, the ghost of Dickens’ classic, Christmas Carol. With a meaning like “seaside meadow,” it’s a lovely choice. Not into Marley? Try Marlowe, which a few celebs have picked for their daughters (in honor of Britain’s great playwright, perhaps?).

Two other options for you: I love Arden, which is the name of the forest in Shakespeare’s As You Like It and means “valley of the eagle.” It hasn’t hit the top 1000 yet—I think it’s a wonderful choice. And it’s not unisex or a surname, but Imogen, a longtime British favorite that means “maiden,” would sound beautiful with the rest of your choices. It’s on the radar of many naming experts as an up-and-comer, but it still hasn’t cracked the top 1000 yet. You could be a trend setter with that one!

Readers: What other options would you suggest for Katie?

If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com for some advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

British Baby Names
British Baby Names
British Baby Names

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