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Top Baby Names ’ Category
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
It’s a girl for Jennifer Love Hewitt and her new husband, Brian Hallisay. And the pair gave their brand new daughter a perfectly apropos name for the season—Autumn James.
Autumn is the most popular of the season names, currently at #68 in the U.S. (It’s followed by Summer, Winter, and then finally, Spring, which hasn’t been in the top 1000 for decades.)
And James has become the hot middle name du jour for celebrity daughters—Autumn is the third celebrity daughter who has James in the middle. James was actually a reasonably popular name for girls through much of the last century—it dropped out of the top 1000 back in the 1980s, and it’s been a top 20 name for boys for the past century and a half.
I like the flow of the names together, with the soft ms and ns. What do you think of the name they picked? Do any of the seasonal baby names appeal to you? (I’m digging Winter myself.)
If you’re still looking for the perfect name for your kids, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder—or email me at email@example.com for a little expert advice.
Image: Jennifer Love Hewitt by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name News, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Sunday, November 17th, 2013
You just need to say the words “Bat Kid” to me this week to bring me to tears. Just trying to explain it to my husband left me bawling, and I managed to even get him to tear up just by showing him some awesome images of 5-year-old Miles Scott, AKA “Batkid.” If you didn’t get a chance to see this amazing story, Miles spent a day last week saving San Francisco (AKA Gotham City) from the Penguin and the Riddler, as part of his Make a Wish event after battling leukemia. And he drew not only a crowd of thousands throughout San Francisco, but celebrities and even the President, who all celebrated his big day with him.
Miles really seems apropos for a young boy who has had such a challenging journey so far in his life—and it kind of sounds like a superhero name, doesn’t it? (Think Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Clark Kent, Miles Scott). But the name Miles actually has a different meaning than you might imagine—it means generous and giving. It’s the 111th most popular name in the U.S., currently at the highest point in popularity over the past 130 years. In addition to Batkid, there are other famous Miles out there—like jazz great Miles Davis and Myles Standish, a leader of the Plymouth Colony.
Miles pairs beautifully with longer middle names. I like Miles with Theodore, Felix, and Everett.
What do you think of Miles as a baby name—and what did you think of Batkid’s story? If you’re still looking for a name worthy of your future superhero or super heroine, check out our Baby Name Finder.
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Baby Name Help, Celebrity Baby Names, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Were the 1970s long enough ago that the top names of the era deserve another look? Top girls’ names like Jennifer and Lisa may be a little too overdone to make a comeback now—and top boys’ names like Michael and Christopher never exactly go out of vogue. But the age of disco does have a few names in the top 100 that might be worth a second glance.
Kevin didn’t exactly drop too far from its pinnacle in the 1970s. It was #13 back then, but #67 now. The Irish name means handsome—and is a nice break from the Celtic Aidens and Dylans.
Jeremy, on the other hand, has fallen mightily from its peak in the 1970s—it was often a top 20 name, but now, this name that means “appointed by God,” is well below the top 100.
Gregory means vigilant—this #29 name in the 1970s has fallen to the top 300. I kind of like it in lieu of the equally classic Gabriel. Gregory’s a saint’s name and the name of legendary actor Gregory Peck.
Craig was the #56 baby name in the 1970s. But this name, which means “from the rocks,” has had a rocky time since then—it’s been on a precipitous fall from grace since the early 1990s. I like it in place of Caleb or Carter.
Shane is a real “cowboy” name, thanks to the film. It’s on a long, slow slide currently, after being the #60 name in the 1970s. Perhaps the fact that it’s been in a number of modern hits, including The Walking Dead, may give it a new lease on life.
Angela was red hot in the 1970s—a top 10 baby name all the way. I’m seeing it as an alternative to the uberpopular Amelia. What do you think?
I’m a little sad to see the name Tracy (the 1970s 24th most popular name) fall so far—my sister was given the variant spelling Tracey back in the 1970s. My mom seemed to know how to pick names at their pinnacle of popularity! Tracy’s now fallen completely out of the top 1000, though it could make a lovely name for a boy, too—think Tracy Morgan.
Dawn was the perfect popular name for the post-hippie 1970s—and it’s no wonder it was the 26th most popular name. It fell out of the top 1000 at the dawn of the century, but might make a sweet middle name, if nothing else.
Monica was the perfect name for the Friends character who seemed to run the whole group—it means advisor. It was in the top 45 back in the 1970s, but these days, it’s hanging around in the top 500.
Melanie means dark, and it’s held pretty steady in the bottom of the top 100 ever since it hit #56 in the 1970s. It’s most famous as the name of Scarlett O’Hara’s best friend/rival from the classic Gone With the Wind.
What do you think? Any of these 70 names worth a comeback? If you still haven’t found a baby name you love, email your question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our Baby Name Finder for more help!
Image: Disco chick by Nemanya/Shutterstock.com
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Monday, November 4th, 2013
It seems like finding a good name for the third child is a challenge for some readers—last month we helped Lindsay come up with a name for her third baby, and now Melissa’s having a hard time finding the perfect moniker for her baby.
I wanted to get your advice on a name for our 3rd baby due in only 4 weeks. We’re at a loss!! We have a son, Myles, age 3- and a daughter, Claire, age 1 (almost 2). We want something a little off the beaten path, but not something strange or hard to say/spell. No “trendy” names for sure! Our last name is Upton, and nothing that we’ve come up with seems to flow quite right. My hubby is from England so he’s kind of hoping to incorporate that maybe by using his grandad’s name, William, as a middle name. I like Isaiah but don’t feel it goes well with the names of our other 2. We also like Emerson but I’m not sure it’s something that we would love forever. Asher is cute but kind of “in” right now. And Kyler we like but are concerned people will always mistake his name as Tyler. Help! What unusual but not odd boy names could work for us?
I think you’re right about Isaiah not really matching his sister and brother—and because it ends with a vowel sound, it doesn’t flow nicely with Upton, either. Of the three possible contenders, I like Emerson best—it flows nicely with his siblings’ names, and is classic without being boring. But I’m worried that all those ending ns and ms in Emerson William Upton could be a little bit much.
I really love the name Arthur—it’s a classic Celtic name that means “bear,” and is important in English history (think King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table), making it a lovely choice that pays homage to your son’s English heritage. It has that “r” ending you like in Kyler and Asher, but since the name is only #355 on the U.S. list right now, it’s offbeat enough that you won’t run into another child with the name in his school.
Along the same lines is Alastair, the British version of Alexander, which is unique but not odd—and yet it isn’t in the top 1000 baby names, either. It means “defender,” which is a pretty great name meaning.
Maxwell sounds wonderful with this sibling set—and I especially love the idea of Max and Myles as brothers. Maxwell is a little more popular than either of the two names I’ve suggested, but it still hasn’t broken into the top 100.
Scandinavian favorite Magnus is an up-and-coming name, chosen by two celebs for their sons. It means “great,” but still hasn’t cracked the top 1000.
A few other options:
What do you all think? Did I miss any boys’ name gems that pair well with Upton? If you’re still in search of a great name, feel free to send me your dilemma at email@example.com, or log on to our Baby Name Finder to help find the right name for you.
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
This week, we’re taking Throwback Thursday way, way back in time, to the 1890s. We may no longer wear our hair up and our hemlines way down, but our current fashionable names bear a striking resemblance to the hot names of the 1890s. The girls’ top 25 lists boasts currently chic names like Clara, Emma, Alice and Lillian; the boys’ list features perennial favorites like Henry, William, and James. But the top names of the 189s, Mary and John, aren’t quite as in vogue right now. Mary dropped out of the top 100 after decades of reigning supreme, while John is less unscathed, but currently resides at #28.
One intriguing trend I’m noting from the last century: Even if the fashion was all buttoned up, the names definitely weren’t so stiff. Many of the top 100 names are shortened nickname names—names like Willie (for girls or boys), Mattie (also for either), Effie, Nettie and Nellie.
So what intriguing names haven’t yet made their resurgence? Here are my picks from the 1890s for your consideration.
Ida was the 21st most popular name back in the 1890s, and it means industrious. It was in its heyday in the 1800s, and dropped out of the top 1000 entirely in 1980. Perhaps, as our friends at Nameberry noted, it’s about time for a comeback, on the heels of red-hot names like Ava?
It took a little longer for Louise to drop out of the top 1000—after reigning in the top 50 names from 1880-1930 (it was the 36th most popular baby name back in the 1890s), it dropped out in the 1990s. It’s a French name that means renowned warrior, and is a nice way to pay homage to a Louis in your family tree.
Esther reached its peak back in the 1890s, but it’s never really gone away. This Persian name that means star is currently #242 here in the U.S.
Lena started a slow but steady decline after the 1890s, when it was in the top 50 baby names. This short form of Helena is the name of legendary singer Lena Horne and now known for Girls actor/creator Lena Dunham. It’s starting an uptick now—but it’s currently in the top 400 names, so it’s still pretty unlikely your daughter would end up with another Lena in her class.
Alma is a Latin name that means soulful. It was most popular back in the 1890s, when it was the 54th most popular girls’ name. It’s a chic alternative to Emma, and one that’s appeared in pop culture, including characters on Desperate Housewives and The Hunger Games.
The 17th most popular name back in 1890 was Clarence—you’ll probably remember it as either the name of George Bailey’s guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, or as the legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. It’s a lovely name that means bright and clear, and could make a cool comeback name.
Roy seems like it should be a short name that means royal, but it actually means red-headed. It was the 19th most popular name back in the 1890s, and it’s currently in the top 600 names.
Archie, a nickname for Archibald, means brave. This casual name was #89 in the 1890s, and fell out of the top 1000 back in the 1980s. It’s more commonly associated with the comic character or the grumpy Archie Bunker from All in the Family, but maybe it’s time for Archie to have a reboot—especially since it’s becoming more popular over in the UK?
Ernest peaked in the 19th century—perhaps the 21st century is ready for it? It’s a name that means serious, and it’s barely charting in the top 1000 these days. Legendary author Hemingway is the most famous bearer of the name, followed by Ernie of Sesame Street.
I think the silly Simpson dad is keeping Homer—which was #72 back in the 1890s—from staging a comeback. This name has a cool vibe and a cool history, as the author of the Odyssey.
What do you think of these 1890s choices? Anything on there you might consider? If you’re still searching for a baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder for some great suggestions!
Image: 19th century woman by Dolgin Alexander Klimentyevich/Shutterstock.com
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