Archive for the ‘ Top Baby Names ’ Category

Cool Name of the Week: Walker

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Our friends over at Nameberry discussed what boys’  names are cool and current—and which ones are verboten. The debate started because there’s a new French movie, What’s in a Name? about the drama associated with that very personal choice—especially if you choose a powder keg name like Adolph.

While Adolph may still be controversial pretty much anywhere on the planet, thanks to Germany’s former leader, I found pick on their list of “daring” boys’ names that I’m kind of loving: Walker.

Walker is an occupational name—like Mason and Tanner—and has a pretty cool pedigree. It’s a middle name for both the Presidents Bush, and a common surname, for everyone from football great Herschel Walker to author Alice Walker to late actor Paul Walker, of The Fast and the Furious franchise. And of course, it was Chuck Norris’s character on Walker, Texas Ranger, and is currently the nickname given to the zombies on the uberpopular Walking Dead series—both of which give the name a little extra dose of cool.

Walker’s currently just outside the top 400 names for boys, making it a name that’s common enough not to provoke a “huh?” response, but will probably ensure that your kiddo’s the only one sporting it in his class. And I can kind of make the case that it’d be a way to pay homage to a Walter in your past, with a fresher and more current name.

Walker seems suited for a one-syllable middle name pairing. Something simple like James, Jett or True works in my book.

What do you think of the name Walker? Are there any other occupational names you like? You can hunt for your own perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder, or get a little guidance on your particular baby name dilemma by emailing me at 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?


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Celebrity Baby Names: Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Baby Girl

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 for a little expert advice.

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

Image: Jennifer Love Hewitt by s_bukley /

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Cool Name of the Week: Miles

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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Throwback Thursday: 1970s 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, or check out our Baby Name Finder for more help!

Image: Disco chick by Nemanya/

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Baby Name Dilemma: A Little Brother for Myles and Claire

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, or log on to our Baby Name Finder to help find the right name for you.



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