Archive for the ‘ Must Read ’ Category

8 Oscar-Worthy Baby Names

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Benedict CumberbatchThis year’s batch of Oscar nominees may have touched off some controversy due to the lack of diversity, but if you’re looking for great baby names, there are more than a few in the pool. Check out my picks for some winning baby name options.

Selma – There’s been a bit of controversy over the fact that Selma, the story of Martin Luther King, Jr., didn’t score any acting or directing nods for its cast and crew—though the film itself was nominated for best picture. It’s a place name with historic significance—and has connections to Selma Blair and Salma Hayek to recommend it.

Felicity – Playing Jane Wilde, wife of brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, in The Theory of Everything earned Felicity Jones her first nomination. If you love names like Faith and Hope and are looking for something that’s a little more off the beaten path, consider this baby name, which means happiness.

Rosamund - Nominated for her wicked turn in Gone Girl, actress Rosamund Pike sports a Rose alternative that’s worth a second look.

Benedict - British star Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be everywhere these days—including in the Oscar nomination pool. Given his current white-hot status, expect a big batch of little Benedicts in the next few years.

KeatonMichael Keaton scores a nomination—and a hit with his surname. It’s become a popular baby name for both boys and girls.

Alejandro – Alejandro G. Iñárritu earned his first Oscar nod for directing The Birdman, and offers baby namers this stellar variant on the classic Alexander.

Morten – Morten Tyldum directed The Imitation Game—but is his name worthy of imitation? I’m kind of digging this alternate spelling that livens up the old-man classic Morton.

Meryl – Perpetual nominee (and multiple winner) Meryl Streep sports a lovely name that means “by the sea.”

Tell us: Are there any names in the mix you might consider for your child? And which movies are you rooting for at the Oscars this year?

If you’re 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!

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

Photo of Benedict Cumberbatch via Featureflash /

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Nutella and 8 Other Banned Baby Names

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

NutellaWhile here in the U.S., no baby names are off limits (hello, Hashtag!), in many parts of the world, the government gets a say in whether your baby name is up to snuff. For instance, New Zealand kept babies from living under the names Mafia No Fear and Anal, Brazil doesn’t want anyone to name their babies after deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Germany said no to a baby named Osama Bin Laden, and the Mexican state of Sonora said no way to the names Virgin, Scrotum, and Robocop.

Recently, foodie names were given the boot by the French court, based on their law that prohibits baby names that could be the cause of mockery for the child. Parents who wanted to name their baby Nutella were told their pick wouldn’t fly—and that they’d have to choose another name for their little one. And a couple who wanted to name their baby Fraise (which means strawberry in French) were also told to tweak the name—they went with Fraisine, which was a 19th century favorite, and I’m sure their little one is still being called their petit Fraise.

Some countries definitely take the limits a little too far—like the Icelandic laws that only allow families to choose from an approved list of a few thousand names. But let’s face it: We’ve all heard some really bad, cringeworthy baby names around the U.S. (and especially within the list of celebrity baby names). Maybe it’s not such a bad thing if we keep people from giving their babies names like Jermajesty or Moxie Crimefighter.

What do you think? Should the French court have kept Nutella from getting that…ahem…nutty name? Or should we all be free to name our kids Nestlé Crunch or Godiva Chocolate if we see fit? And tell us—what’s the wildest name you’ve heard in real life? (Mine is Hap Hazard. No lie!)

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder!


Image by Jiri Hera/

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

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Celebrity Baby Name: Shakira’s New Baby!

Friday, January 30th, 2015

ShakiraIt’s another boy for international pop star Shakira and her fiancé, FC Barcelona soccer player Gerard Pique. Joining big brother Milan is a baby boy bearing an increasingly unisex baby name: Sasha Piqué Mebarak.

Sasha is a Russian short version of Alexander, and shares its strong meaning, defending men. Lately, it’s been used more commonly for girls (see the First Family), but it’s still A-OK for a boy. (Actor Chris Hemsworth recently picked it for one of his twin sons, and comedian/actor Sacha Baron Cohen bears a variant spelling.)

And the middle name they picked for their new son, Piqué, is fiancé Gerard’s last name—a nice way to honor both sides of the family within the baby name.

Sasha and Milan are a nice baby name pairing for a pair of brothers—both names have international flair and flow well together, without being too matchy-matchy. And they both have a slightly offbeat, but still classic vibe.

Tell us: What do you think of the baby name Shakira and Gerard picked for their new son? Do you like the name Sasha better for a boy or a girl? And would you consider using this name for your own child?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name for your own baby, check out our Baby Name Finder at, or email me your dilemma at with your dilemma, and you could be featured in a future In Name Only column. 

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

Image: Shutterstock

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The Hottest Celebrity Baby Names This Week

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

It was all about honoring Daddy for two celebs who welcomed new sons recently—and a cool, offbeat baby name for a girl for a third.

Zombie fighter Sonequa Martin-Green from The Walking Dead and her husband Kenric Green kept it in the family with their baby name pick for their son: Kenric Justin Green II, named after Daddy. Kenric seems to be a variant spelling of Kendrick, an English name that means ruler and is currently in the top 350 baby names in the United States. I’m kind of loving Kenric as an updated way to honor a Kenneth (or a Kenneth and a Richard) in your family tree.

Former Bachelor contestant Renee Oteri Maynard finally found love with husband Bracy Maynard, and together they welcomed Jax Bracy, who was given his middle name in homage to Dad. Jax is a brand new name that’s already making a splash—it’s nearing the top 200. Consider it a postmodern Jack.

Finally, singers Vanessa Carlton and James McCauley welcomed daughter Sidney Aoibheann. Sidney has been on a sharp decline, and falls just inside the top 1000 baby names for both boys and girls—it’s been recently overshadowed by the ultrapopular Sydney spelling. Aoibheann may seem like a tongue twister of a baby name, but it’s actually pronounced “Even.” It’s an Irish name that means beautiful sheen.

Tell us: What do you think of this latest batch of celebrity baby name picks? Is there anything you’d consider amongst the names?

If you’re 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!

Image: Helga Esteb /

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2015 Baby Name Trends: What Will Be Hot?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Happy 2015! As always, we like to ring in the New Year on In Name Only with our predictions of what’s going to be hot in baby names for the coming year. So consider these thoughts when you’re picking names for your little one.

The “-lyns” and “-lines” Move over -ellas and -bellas. The hot new ending for girls’ names is -line or -lyn. Some of the biggest movers and shakers of last year fell into this category, and I can see them rising even further in 2015. Names like Adeline, Coraline, Evelyn, and Evangeline should be on the rise as part of this trend.

The “s” ending Boys’ names like Silas, Jonas, Matthias, Magnus, Atlas, Cassius and Otis may be on your radar—the “s” ending is very hot.

Short and sweet Forget those 13+ letter names—you’ll hear a lot more babies with charming, short names. Considering following this trend? Try Gus, Ezra, Beau, or Grey for boys, or Eve, Wren, Mae, or Pearl for girls.

The new florals Top names like Lily and Violet are old hat—you’ll see more exotic blooms amongst this year’s names—Azalea, Dahlia, Magnolia, and Iris are all on our radar.

Pop culture picks Pop culture brought us red hot names like Gus and Hazel (The Fault in Our Stars), Arya (Game of Thrones), Elsa (Frozen) and Bruno (as in singer Bruno Mars). Expect Elsa to continue its meteoric rise, and expect that many parents will find new names to consider amongst the hottest shows, performers, and books. Our pop-culture picks: Cormoran (from J.K. Rowling’s detective series), Dixon (as in Daryl Dixon of the Walking Dead), Anastasia (50 Shades of Grey), Ophelia (Hamlet), and Brienne (Game of Thrones).

Wild words Word names are becoming ever more popular, and celebrities have taken the trend in an even more extreme direction, replacing stalwarts like Deacon and Faith with picks like Reign and Saint. Look for these to make a splash this year, along with Winter, Major, Serenity, Legend, Haven, and Mercy.

Tell us: What names do you think will be popular this year? Are any of these names on your short list? If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook for the very latest in baby names!

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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