Archive for the ‘
Baby Name Help ’ Category
Sunday, October 27th, 2013
Anyone else watching this season of American Horror Story? I’m loving the witchy New Orleans crew, and I’m intrigued by the fact that they actually based one of the characters on a real-life person. Delphine Lalaurie, played by Kathy Bates, was an actual woman who lived in 19th century New Orleans, and severely abused her slaves (though it’s unlikely she turned any into a minotaur, as is alleged in American Horror Story).
She may not be anything close to a role model, but perhaps Madame Lalaurie, as she was known, will help bring the name Delphine back into the spotlight. Delphine is a French name, and it’s associated with either the flower delphinium or with dolphins, depending on who you ask. It’s pretty popular with authors, and has been used by characters in several novels. It peaked as a top 400 baby name back in the 1930s, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 names since the 1960s. But it’s a beautiful name, and it’s a nice alternative to some chart toppers, including Chloe, Josephine and Lillian.
Delphine can be matched up with lovely middle names—I’d pair it with Rose, Juliet, Eleanor, or Victoria.
What do you think of Delphine? Do you think it makes a fresher addition to the “ine” names currently on the rise? Or is it too fancy-French for your taste? If you’re still looking for a great baby name, don’t forget to check out our baby naming tool to help you find the perfect name.
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Monday, October 21st, 2013
I’m dedicating this column to a lovely family I know, who is mourning the loss of their beautiful Pierre. I was never fortunate enough to know Pierre in real life, but I saw him grow up on Facebook. He had a soft, gentle smile that really lit up his whole face—and from the stories his mother Mary regaled us with, it was clear he was thriving thanks to the loving care of his family, after spending his first years in a Haitian orphanage. And it was also clear, from the numerous posts on Mary’s Facebook page, that Pierre’s life has touched the hearts of hundreds of people from around the world. I know my words won’t mean much in the face of their grief, but his name was in my heart today.
Pierre is the Frenchified version of Peter, and it means rock—a nice, solid classic for a boy. While Peter has largely stayed in the top 200 baby names for the past century, Pierre has zig-zagged all over the map, and has even moved out of the top 1000 altogether. But I think it’s a lovely way to pay homage to a Peter, but with a little French twist.
I’m not sure what middle name Mary and Doug chose for their son—or if they kept the name he was given in the orphanage. Pierre pairs beautifully with other French names like Blaise, Julian, Noel or Warren. Or try something like Valentin, Hudson, Sebastian, James or Leo. They’re all lovely names—just like Pierre.
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Monday, September 16th, 2013
Brooklyn, London, Madison, Jordan, Camden and Austin—the top baby names are all over the map, literally! But if you’re looking for an exotic place name that isn’t quite so high on the popularity list, consider taking your globe for a whirl and finding some name inspiration there.
Here are some of my favorite worldly names:
India I love this baby name—it’d be on my short name for a little girl, with its melodious sound, exotic flavor and its Gone With the Wind ties. It’s pretty darned popular in the UK, but still not-so-common here.
Everest George Lucas just picked the name of the tallest mountain in the world for his daughter, but I’d love to see this on a boy instead!
Hudson The famed New York river has spawned an up-and-coming name for boys.
Cairo Consider the Egyptian capital as an exotic name choice for a boy.
Aspen The Rocky Mountain getaway (named for the elegant tree) works beautifully as a boy’s name.
Eden The Biblical paradise could make a beautiful name for a little girl (I know of an adorable three-year-old bearing the name).
Montana Big Sky country gives us this beautiful name, the Spanish word for “mountain.”
Olympia The mountain that served as the home of the Greek gods and goddesses serves as a majestic name for a little girl. (Plus I love the nickname Pia for a girl.)
Athena The Greek capital—named for the goddess of wisdom—gives us this up-and-coming girls’ name, favored by Tina Fey.
Roman Add the “n” to the end of Italy’s legendary capital for a beautiful name choice for a boy.
Sahara The world’s largest desert gives us this soft and sweet girls’ name.
Rio The Spanish word for “river” is part of the name of Brazil’s famed city, Rio de Janeiro.
Indiana While the “ana” ending might scream girl, Indiana Jones helps bring the name over to the boys’ side.
Calais A fancy French locale makes a beautiful name for a girl.
So—what names did I miss? Share your favorite place name baby names with me in the comments!
Image: Baby with globe by pzAxe/Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, June 20th, 2013
Reader Nicole already has a daughter with a beautiful name, Malin Rose. But she was stuck on a few finalists for her soon-to-be baby, and the clock was ticking:
I’m due in less than 2 weeks and we don’t know if its a boy or girl and are struggling choosing a name this time. Here is our short list of names:
What do you like?
I’m loving Nicole’s taste in names—Malin Rose is super cute (Malin is a unisex name that means either little warrior or tower). While I think any of the names she picked would be great, my favorites were Grayson James and Scarlett Mae.
On the boy front, I felt that Mason is too popular right now, and also too close in sound to Malin—Grayson is a little more unexpected, and while it has the two-syllable, end-in-n thing going, it’s different enough that she won’t always mix the two names up. I do like the multicultural mashup of Kai and Magnus, but for me, Grayson James was the winner.
As for the girls’ names, I’m a big Gone With the Wind fan, so Scarlett as always been on my love-it list. Samara is pretty, but ever since it was used for the ubercreepy little girl in The Ring, I haven’t been able to get behind it as a name for a kid. And to me, Kendall always feels like a name for a kid who’s a little stuck up (maybe because Sarah Michelle Gellar played her on the snotty/whiny side on All My Children?).
What do you think of Nicole’s picks? Do you agree with my picks—or should Nicole go another way?
And if YOU have a baby name dilemma, don’t be shy—send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll be happy to weigh in with a little guidance. And like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names!
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Thursday, June 13th, 2013
That’s the question posed by Lakshmi Reddy over at Saffluence, who laments that her name was often mispronounced, and that her classmates christened her “Lunch Meat” instead. She suggested a list of 100 Indian names that are easily pronounceable by pretty much everyone, and still have Indian origins. Some of the names on her list are definitely on the tops of the overall naming list (hello, Maya and Lily). And Arya, the current top climber baby name made the list as well—though as a boy’s name, not for girls.
The names she picked are lovely, and definitely worth considering, even if you’re not of Indian descent—I love the names Mira, Anisa and Elora for girls, and Ashwin, Ravi and Kiran for boys.
But her post got me to thinking—if you have strong ties to your heritage (as many Indian families do), does it matter more that your non-Indian classmates can pronounce your name, or that you chose a name that reflects your background and your family, pronunciation be damned? I think that question is especially key right now, when so many people are looking for unique names that help their kids stand out. Wouldn’t a more unusual name—like Lakshmi—be a beautiful way to give your child a unique name that also honors your family’s past?
Of course, there’s also the issue that the Freakonomics guys brought up a few years back, where resumes from people with very white-bread (and traditionally Caucasian) names more often merited a callback than someone with similar credentials and a very ethnic name.
What do you think? What kind of name would you pick?
Image: Baby by Olga Bogatyrenko/Shutterstock.com
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