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Cool Name of the Week: Brienne

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Anyone who has watched this blog for a while knows that the offbeat names of Game of Thrones have started to climb the charts—including names you’d never expect, like Khaleesi, and ones you would, like Arya.

[NOTE: If you haven't watched this week's season finale, read no further! Spoilers ahead!]

I’m thinking that after this week’s season finale, Brienne might get a lot more play. (At least, more than the eight girls who were given the name last year.) George R.R. Martin picked this variant of Brianna for his character Brienne of Tarth, a warrior woman who has served as a protector of the Starks, and now seeks to help reunite the Stark sisters with the rest of the family. And that’s what led to this week’s epic and brutal battle between Brienne and the Hound, a fight where no matter who won, the viewers would be bummed. (And while I think the right person won, I’ll miss seeing the other one around!)

Let’s call Brienne a variant of Brian, which means “strong and honorable,” both traits of this noble lady. And let’s call this name pretty offbeat—but still not so far off the beaten path that it seems like a big mistake.

I’d pair Brienne with an equally strong middle name. Let’s try it with Rose, Pearl, True or Leigh.

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder to help you search. And keep up with the latest in baby names by liking In Name Only on Facebook.

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

 

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Celebrity Baby Names: Jenna Fischer’s New Daughter

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Office star Jenna Fischer welcomed her second child with husband Lee Kirk. Joining big brother Weston Lee is little sister Harper Marie. (I’m sensing that Jenna and Lee love surname names—don’t you?)

Harper has been a huge favorite lately for ladies—it’s currently the 16th most popular name for girls. It means, naturally, “harp player.”

Marie is a French variant of Mary, and means bitter. It’s been a top middle name choice for decades, and it’s currently in the top 600 baby names for the U.S.

In all, a lovely name, and one that it’s likely that some of you may have picked. (No oddball names here!)

Tell us: Do you love Jenna’s choice? And if you are one of the moms who picked Harper for your daughter, what did you pick as the middle name?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com for some 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 Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?

Image: Jenna Fischer and Lee Kirk by DFree / Shutterstock.com

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Celebrity Baby Names: Kelly Clarkson’s New Daughter

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

It’s a girl for first-time mom Kelly Clarkson and husband Brandon Blackstock. And they gave her daughter a very nature-themed baby name: River Rose.

River used to be considered a more male baby name, thanks to actor River Phoenix. But now, the girls are starting to catch up—River is still in the top 400 baby names for boys, but it’s currently the 588th most popular name for girls. (Perhaps the biggest claim to fame in the girls’ column is the character River Song from the recent Doctor Who series.)

Rose is one of the most popular and timeless floral names for girls, and regularly used in the middle spot. Rose is currently the 224th most popular name for girls in the U.S.

River Rose definitely has a nice melody to it, and gives off a country singer vibe. (You can picture a River Rose out on stage somewhere in Nashville.)

Tell us: What do you think of Kelly and Brandon’s choice? Do you think boy or girl when you hear the name River?

Want to come up with your own celebrity-perfect baby name? Try our Baby Fame Name Generator. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in celebrity baby name news.

Image: Kelly Clarkson by Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

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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Baby Name Dilemma: A Wild Middle Name Request!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

We all know fanboys and fangirls who picked a baby name based on a favorite character (heck, that explains a lot of the Isabellas and Bellas out there, am I right?). But reader Meghan’s husband is taking his superhero love a little too far with his baby name pick:

My husband and I are expecting our first son after three girls. He is very excited, and I agreed to allow him to name the boy, but now I have some serious concerns for my son’s future, because the middle name he has chosen could lead to him getting picked on. My husband (named Steven Rogers) would like to name his son Steven Rogers as well, because he likes that he shares a name with a superhero (Captain America). That I was fine with, but he would like his middle name to be “The Great.” At first I thought he was kidding, but he is not. I was hoping you might have some alternative suggestions I could offer him that he might enjoy as much, but that would not neccessary lead to my son being picked on, or me having to listen to negative feedback from my relatives. He wants a strong/fun name. Any recommendations?

You kind of have to respect your husband’s dedication to his favorite comic book hero—but I think adding in “The Great” as a middle name may take it a little bit too far. (Okay, a LOT too far.)

Maybe he’d be happy with a name that actually means great? Some options: Magnus, Maximilian and Tai. Or maybe he could pick a virtue name? Consider Valor, Brave, Hero, Honor, or Justice. Or what about a name that means brave? Some ones to consider: Everett (love it with Steven), Hardy, or Wyatt.

Maybe he’d be keen to pick another member of S.H.I.E.L.D. to pay homage to—like Nick Fury or Tony Stark? (It’s still a little out there, but Steven Fury Rogers is cooler than Steven The Great Rogers.) Or is there another superhero he could honor? Some cool options that work with Steven Rogers: Kent (a la Superman’s alter ego), Bruce (Batman), Xavier (X-Men’s Professor X), or heck, even Lex to showcase your son’s dark side.

Since Steven Rogers is a family name, consider looking for a middle within your families. Maybe your father’s or grandfather’s name could stand in the middle spot.

If you lose the battle, at least it’s just the middle name, which you and your child can choose to ignore on all but the most official documents. Good luck!

Tell us: Did you pick a pop culture name for your kiddo? And would you let your husband give your son a middle name like “The Great”?

If you’re still looking for a great name, try our Baby Name Finder—or send your dilemma to me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

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

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Under the Radar Boys’ Names: Beyond the Top 1000 Baby Names

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The top 1000 baby names is always intriguing. But what’s even more interesting is seeing what’s below that level—the names that only 5 or 25 people picked for their kids. While there’s always an array of creative spellings, possible mistakes (did 6 people really name their boys Adeline?) and assorted other oddball picks that probably won’t suit most guys out there, you can find a few gems hidden among the more…ahem…unique choices.

You can check out my girls’ name picks from last week, or see what I’ve picked for the boys here.

Rigby This proper British surname name means farm along the ridge, and is perfect for a baby of Beatles fans (think Eleanor Rigby). It’s a nice alternative to other surname names like Reilly and Sullivan.

Hero This old-school name was traditionally for the girls (think of the character Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing). But this is one girls’ name that could easily cross the aisle for the boys.

Bruin I’m guessing most of the baby boy Bruins live in the Boston area, and the name was picked to honor the hockey team. But Bruin makes another offbeat color name (it means brown or bear).

Indy I’m assuming this was picked as a casual nickname for Indiana (a la Indiana Jones), but could also be considered short for independent. I’m not sure I totally love it, but it’s intriguing to me.

Sylvan This name evokes the woods and forest, perfect for a nature-loving family. (And you can either go with Syl or Van for short.)

Aristotle Someone’s parents were philosophy majors (or Greek). The name of the great Greek philosopher could be considered one of those cool and clunky old-school names, especially when you start talking nicknames, like Ari.

Wilfred You get two great nicknames—Will and the adorable Freddie—with this old English name, that means “desires peace.” Actor David Tennant chose it for his son, and it was also the name of a character on his show, Doctor Who. For the more literary minded, it was a hero in Sir Walter Scott’s classic Ivanhoe.

Sven Scandinavian names were already starting their climb in popularity before Frozen hit the big time, and now Elsa, Kristoff and Anna stand to become seriously red hot. Sven was the brave reindeer sidekick, and it means “youth.”

Tell us: What off-the-beaten path names do you like for your son? If you’re looking for something unique, try our Baby Name Finder, or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com for some baby name advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby name news.

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

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