Archive for the ‘
Top Baby Names ’ Category
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Actress Keira Knightley tied the knot over the weekend, with musician James Righton—and wore the most divine short little wedding dress (take a look!). While I liked her in Pirates of the Caribbean, her short vignette in Love Actually, as the newlywed who is the object of affection for the best friend of her husband. (The best friend was played by Andrew Lincoln, who’s now more famous for his role as Rick Grimes, the leader of the Walking Dead survivors.)
Keira’s a lovely Gaelic name, a variant on Ciara, and the name of a 7th century saint. It means “dark-haired,” and it’s held relatively steady in the top 200 for the past seven years.
It goes beautifully with Claire, Belle, Jane and Maeve—though Keira Knightley has the longer Christina as a middle name. And it’d work wonderfully with a sibling set that includes some of the other Celtic classics, including brothers with names like Liam, Aidan or Gavin.
What do you think of the name Keira? Is it a name you’d consider for your daughter?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest news in baby names.
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
I’ve been thinking about the latest spate of celebrity baby names, and I’ve noticed a trend—the celebs who have more unique names themselves gave their kids very traditional names (i.e. actress Shiri Appleby and her daughter, Natalie), while ones who have more common names themselves went offbeat for their babies (see Holly Madison and her daughter, Rainbow Aurora, and Kristen Bell and her daughter, Lincoln Bell Shepard).
So are we all looking to give our kids the names we wish we had? I know I didn’t like that my name was super popular and had no nickname possibilities, and so I gave my girls names that weren’t super common (Katharine and Margaret), and came with a slew of nickname possibilities. And I’ve seen that with some of my friends—one who loathed the fact that her name, Katherine, was always shortened to a nickname, gave her sons names that can’t really be shortened. Another who disliked the offbeat spelling of her name gave her kids names with classic spellings.
I think it’s only natural that we’d want to give our kids names in the style we wish we’d been named. But does that mean that my daughters are going to pick short and sweet names for their kids? Or that all the Olivias and Jacobs from this generation are going to rebel and give their kids offbeat names like Wheat and Amaryllis?
Let me know if my theory’s totally bunk! In the comments, let me know what you would have changed about your own name—and if you picked names for your kids don’t have that particular issue.
Image: Babies by Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
We still haven’t even gotten the official numbers on what names were popular here in the U.S. for 2012, but thanks to the power of the internet, we’re getting a sense of what might be hot for 2013. Our buddies over at Nameberry parsed their baby-name numbers, and came up with some surprising picks for 2013′s hot names—including old-school monikers like Mavis and Bruce, Nordic names like Thor and Linnea, and pop-culture picks like Christian (as in 50 Shades of Grey Christian) and Marnie (from the show Girls).
I’m intrigued that Nelly made their hot name list. I picked Penelope as a hot up-and-comer for this year, but it appears that a few people are skipping right to the nickname on this one (Nelly is also considered a nickname for Helen or Eleanor, along with Penelope). Maybe we’re finally ready to skip the formal name and go right for the nickname?
The other surprise from their list? The dramatic rise in interest in the name Wilder. According to the Nameberry folks, views of Wilder have leaped 200 percent in the first part of this year. It’s a surname name, associated with both Our Town playwright Thornton Wilder and beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder. Its associations give the name an all-American, wild-hearted vibe.
Of course, looking isn’t the same as choosing—and those parents looking at Linnea and Mavis may end up following the status quo and picking Olivia or Jacob. And there’s more than one baby-naming site out there—our numbers at Parents.com show different hot names—Irish names like Connor and Liam for boys, and sweet Lucia and Mia for girls.
What do you think of Nameberry’s top 13? Have you heard of anyone giving their kids one of their picks? Or do you have your very own little Marnie or Bruce?
Image: Baby Names by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
We all have big dreams for our children – success at work, wonderful friendships, a loving relationship and family. But could our name choices impact our children’s futures negatively, even if we don’t pick an out-there name like Facebook or Moon Unit? Especially if our dreams for our children involve a fancy degree from an Ivy League school?
Well, if you believe Gawker, having the most popular name from the year you were born may make it more likely that you don’t get that slot at Harvard. They compared the list of most popular names from 1994 with the current roster of Yale undergrads, and discovered that there wasn’t a whole lot of overlap. Many of the top baby names, including Ashley, Amber, and Morgan for girls, and Anthony, Brandon, and Kyle, didn’t appear on Yale’s list. But Yale’s list included a bunch of names that are on the current popularity list. We see Sophia, Abigail, and Emma for girls – and Samuel, Benjamin and Charles for boys. (I have to say, I was heartened by the fact that my daughters names, Katharine and Margaret, were both on the Ivy League list.)
Which falls in line with the research showcased in Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. they showed that there is a definite baby naming trend – the upper classes (those more likely to be able to foot the bill for a Yale education) choose the up-and-coming names. Those names soon start to catch on, and as they reach the peak of popularity, the upper classes move on to a new name.
So if you want to know what could be the next new and up-and-coming names, simply start checking out the rosters of swanky preschools in your area – then place your bets as to what’s on the baby-name horizon.
Image: Graduation cap by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com
Monday, February 25th, 2013
I broke my wrist this weekend in karate class, which makes it sound cool…but tripping while sparring, which makes it sound a little less cool. (Though Jennifer Lawrence tripping at the Oscars makes tripping seem cooler, right?) So needless to say, I have had some time this weekend to ruminate about potential cool names of the week. And I’ve picked one that seems ubiquitous, but is on its way onto the endangered name list. Is it too late to save Jennifer? And could Oscar winner (and fellow tripper) Jennifer Lawrence help lead the Jen-aissance?
Nameberry actually posted about what they coined the “Jennifer Jauggernaut” last week, and how Jennifer went from obscurity to the top spot in less than 30 years. Jennifer, along with my name, Lisa, were THE names for Generation X girls, to the point where there are Jennifer support groups online….as if the name was some sort of child abuse. Which explains why few people are currently naming their kids Jennifer (currently #134 on the the baby name list) or especially, Lisa (#703 on the U.S. lists), and they are picking names like Brooklinne instead. (Because the name HAS to be unique…even if it is just a made-up spelling.)
Jennifer is based on the old name Guinevere, and means “white wave.” It comes with a few potential nicknames, including Jen, Jenna and Jenny. Another variant that’s on the rise is Genevieve, which is currently #232 and climbing.
There’s a whole slew of famous Jennifers for name inspiration…Aniston, Lopez, Lawrence, Garner, Hudson, Love Hewitt, Jones and Connelly.
if you’re thinking of Jennifer, consider an offbeat middle name to freshen it up: Lark, Snow or Belle would be my choices. Or put Jen in the middle and use a short-and-sweet first name, like Zoe, Rose or Maeve.
Do you think Jen’s been around the block too often to make it a serious name contender? Would you ever consider a name that was hot when you were a kid, like Lisa, Jessica, Jason, or Mike?
Oh, and congrats to my fellow tripper Jennifer Lawrence on her Oscar win!
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com