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Red-Hot New Celebrity Baby Name: Gus?

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Could celebrities be channeling The Fault in Our Stars in their choice of baby names? Two actresses in less than a month chose the name Gus (a common nickname for Augustus, the male half of the book’s star-crossed lovers) for their sons. First, actress Ashley Williams (famous for her role in How I Met Your Mother) bestowed it on her son, pairing it with her surname in the middle spot. And this week, actress Poppy Montgomery named her third child Gus. Gus Monroe, actually, which is a pretty fab pair of names.

Gus could be part of the renaissance of some of those old-school vintage names—names like Evelyn, Clara and Adeline for girls, Alfred, Walter and Arthur for boys. Could that mean that we may find some more of those not-so-golden oldies making a move back toward the top? Maybe names like Wilfred, Harry and Stanley for boys, Helen, Winifred, and Mildred for girls will start moving back up the charts.

Tell us: Which old lady and old guy names do you think should be making a comeback? And do you think that these celebs are giving Gus another shot at popularity?

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

Jewish Baby Names
Jewish Baby Names
Jewish Baby Names

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What’s Your Baby Name Pet Peeve?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Are there baby names that grate on your ears like nails on a chalkboard? It seems like everyone has that certain name or name type that really makes them crazy. (And of course, one person’s trashy name is another’s treasured moniker.) But what baby name types seem to draw the most ire? After serving a few years as the resident baby name expert here at Parents, I’ve noted what usually gets people riled up. Check out the most common baby naming pet peeves.

Kreative Spellyngs.  There are enough Jurnees and Addysyns out there to attest to the fact that creative spellings are here to stay. (In fact, Aiden, the alternative spelling of Aidan, is more popular than the original.) But detractors think that parents who pick a creative spelling seem less educated than a proper spelling stickler.

Celeb-Worthy Baby Names. Would you vote for President North West or Apple? Odds are, the children of celebrities who are often get saddled with these offbeat names will never have to work a day in their life. But it’s likely that your kiddo will need to get herself a job one of these days—and people may think twice before they listen to the advice of Dr. Moxie.

Giving a Girl a Boys’ Name—and Vice Versa. The trend of giving girls boys’ names seems to have no end in sight—which is a shame for many boys, as people end to stray away from giving their sons names that have started favoring the pink side of the column. (Did you know that names like Meredith, Carol, and Ashley all started as boys’ names?) And it’s rarer, but some guys have started getting names that are generally for the fairer sex.

Pop Culture Character Baby Names. While your personal family tree is a great way to find a name with meaning, many moms-to-be are hunting their favorite shows for name inspiration. But some character name picks (i.e. Arya from Game of Thrones) may be inspired and wearable, while others—like Khaleesi, the Game of Thrones Dothraki word for queen—may be better left to fiction.

Ultraconservative Baby Name Choices. The other extreme of baby naming is to go with the simplest and safest name. If you pick Sophia or Noah right now, you know your kid won’t have any trouble fitting in namewise—there will probably be at least a few of fellow Noahs and Sophias in class with him or her. But the naysayers shake their heads at this nod to conformity and stick-to-the-basics baby names.

Tell us: What’s your big baby name pet peeve? What names really make you cringe?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at for 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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Celebrity Baby Names: Daughters for Robert Downey Jr. and for Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Two celebrity couples are thinking pink this week. Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan, a film producer, welcomed their second child together, a girl with the given name of Avri Roel. And actors Hayden Christensen (best known, at least in my family, as Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars prequel trilogy) and Rachel Bilson (currently in Hart of Dixie) welcomed their first daughter, and gave her a fairy-tale name. Literally. They named their daughter Briar Rose, as in the nickname for Sleeping Beauty.

Avri is a creative spelling of the popular Avery, and shares its fun meaning—ruler of the elves. The couple announced that Roel was chosen to honor family members: Ro in honor of Robert Downey Jr.’s father, Robert and stepmother, and his wife’s mother, El in honor of his mother Elsie and his wife Susan’s father.

Briar means thorny brambles, and has never been a top 1000 name, while Rose is a classic floral name that’s become a current favorite in the middle spot. While it’s definitely not as weird as something like Moxie Crimefighter, it’s definitely an offbeat celebrity choice.

Tell us: What do you think of these baby name picks? Would you choose either one of them for your own child?

If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder tool for insights and guidance, or send your baby name dilemma to me at for personalized advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

Image: Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey by Jaguar PS /

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Celebrity Baby Names: Kelly Rowland’s New Son

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

It’s a boy for singer and Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland and husband Tim Witherspoon! And they chose a legendarily strong baby name for their son: Titan Jewell.

Titan has moved into the top 1000 over the last few years. It’s the name of a legendary group of immortal giants from Greek mythology. With names like Athena rising on the girls’ list, it’s no surprise that Titan is now on its way up.

Jewell was likely the name Kelly was alluding to when she said that Tim picked a name related to family. It’s generally a surname, but could also be considered an alternative spelling of Jewel.

What do you think? Is this a gem of a name, or too offbeat for your taste?

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

Jaguar PS /

Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name

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Cool TV Character Baby Names

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Pop culture has become a bigger influence on baby names lately—as many people turn to TV shows and movies for their baby name inspiration. So what names might be worth emulating from some current TV favorites? Here are my picks:

Abigail (Sleepy Hollow) Sleepy Hollow cop Abigail has to contend with some pretty spooky occurrences (and a resurrected Ichabod Crane), but sports a classic name that’s back in vogue.

Annalise (How to Get Away With Murder) Annalise Keating, the brilliant, tough-as-nails law professor in Shonda Rimes’ latest drama, scores an old-school German name that means grace.

Arya (Game of Thrones) Arya Stark has been in hiding ever since her father, Ned Stark, was beheaded—but her name is on a hot streak, as one of the most popular names in the U.S.

Arizona (Grey’s Anatomy) The hospital’s resident pediatrician sports one of the less common—but still very cool—place names.

Blaine (Glee) Glee may no longer be red hot, but this Irish name, which means slender, is currently on an uptick.

Cameron (Modern Family) Everyone must love this vibrant member of the Dunphy clan—Cameron’s now a top 60 name in the U.S.

Clara (Doctor Who) The Doctor’s current companion wears a lovely name that means “bright,” and is currently surging in popularity.

Deacon (Nashville) This hunky character sports a church official’s title name that is currently on the up-and-coming list.

Eliza (Selfie) Yes, this new show based on the classic My Fair Lady is currently in danger of being cancelled, but Eliza, a shortened form of the classic Elizabeth, is a classic that never goes out of style.

Fiona (Shameless) The “mom” of the scrappy Gallagher clan is big sister Fiona, who sports this pretty Celtic name that means fair.

Kalinda (Good Wife) The Good Wife’s investigator sports this pretty Hindu name that means “sun.”

Michonne (Walking Dead) We’ve picked Michonne as a stellar name choice ever since her character was introduced on the Walking Dead—and there’s no reason not to consider this offbeat name for your daughter.

Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) This name, which means valley, seems like it could never be back in vogue, but perhaps the nerdy lead in Big Bang Theory could give it a little extra cool.

Temperance (Bones) This cool virtue name just made it back into the top 1000, probably through the influence of the show.

Theon (Game of Thrones) Theon’s been through some pretty rough stuff on Game of Thrones, and is currently going by the name Reek. But I think Theon could be a cool way to get that Theo nickname.

Tell us: What names are you loving from the current TV season? Are there any you’d add to this list?

If you’re looking for a perfect baby name, send your dilemma to me at, or check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.


Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names

Image: Zastolskiy Victor/


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