Archive for the ‘ Top Baby Names ’ Category

Super Bowl Baby Names

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The Super Bowl has descended upon my area—and so I won’t be leaving my neighborhood for the entire weekend, thanks to the massive traffic jams and road closures promised by the mammoth Super Bowl crowds. (But no, I’m not bitter about being held hostage. Not at all!)

If you missed it in all the coverage of the Big Game, there’s a pair of super-Seahawks fans by the surname of Mann, who gave their daughter the middle name 12th—as in 12th Man, the way most teams refer to their MVP fans, who help support their team to victory. I guess it’s not any more out there than Harper Seven, the progeny of sporty David Beckham and his posh wife Victoria.

On Sunday, Peyton Manning is hoping to lead his Denver Broncos to victory. Perhaps he can help bring his name, Peyton, back from being squarely for the girls more into unisex territory. It’s a name that means fighting-man’s estate.

On the Seattle Seahawks, QB Russell Wilson sports a comeback name for boys—Russell means red-headed, and is currently #426. It comes with the delightful Russ or offbeat Rust (as we talked about in this week’s cool name of the week) as nicknames.

And of course, there are plenty of other players on both teams whose names might be worth borrowing, as our friends over at Nameberry noted. I’m liking Von and Britton.

Are you all geared up for the game? And would you turn to your favorite athlete for baby name inspiration? Or will you be watching Puppy Bowl or the Walking Dead marathon instead?

If you’re still looking for a name for your baby, check out our Baby Name Finder—and don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret


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Downton Abbey Baby Names for Girls

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

On paper, Downton Abbey should be a must watch for me—so I don’t know why I’m coming so late to the game. British + Maggie Smith + drama + history = perfect show in my book. Plus, as a name nerd, there’s lots of names to love on the female side of the cast. (Alas, they stuck with some pretty standard and popular fare for the boys, like Thomas and Robert.)

Granted some names, like Violet and Rose, started on the road to popularity before the show aired. But there are still some names that are under the radar—and they’re names that could fit into the current passion for old-fashioned names. Try these on for size:

Cora is the mother of the three Crawley daughters, an American woman who married into British nobility. Her name means “maiden,” and was already launching a comeback before the show aired—it’s currently the 155th most popular baby name for girls.

Mary was the most popular name for girls for centuries, but in recent decades it’s been on the decline. Maybe Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter in the wealthy family who lords over Downton Abbey, can help restore its luster.

Edith is probably my favorite of the sisters’ names—it means prosperous, and after a sharp decline over the past 50 years, it started climbing back up the charts as soon as the show started airing.

Sybil is the youngest and most modern Crawley daughter, who ends up marrying one of her family’s staff members. Her name means prophetess, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 in decades. Perhaps it’s ready for a comeback now?

Daisy and Ivy are a pair of servants, each with a lovely botanical name. They’re both currently top 200 names in the U.S., and top 100 in England.

Isobel is the Scottish variant spelling of the ever popular Isabella, which means pledged to God. And unlike the #3 name Isabella, Isobel hasn’t been in the top 1000 in nearly a century.

Anna has been a top 100 baby name for over a century—and it’s the name for one of the stalwarts of the Downton Abbey staff. It means grace—and is a perfect choice for the kind and honorable lady’s maid Anna.

What’s your favorite Downton Abbey name? Share it in the comments.

If you’re still looking for baby names, try our Baby Name Finder!

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: Downton Abbey by Dutourdumonde Photography/



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Throwback Thursday: 1900s Baby Names

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Today’s Throwback Thursday heads back to the turn of the 20th century, when many of the old-fashioned names that we’re loving now were in vogue. For girls, that meant names like Lillian, Grace, Rose and Clara, while William, Jack, James and Charles were stylish for boys.

But there are some unique names from the top of the list that haven’t made it back into fashion. Could one of these vintage baby names make it on your short list?


Inez is the Portuguese version of Agnes, and means pure. It hit its peak in the 1900s, when it fell just a bit outside the top 100. It hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the 1970s, but I think it’s ready for a fresh run for the top.

With names like Ruby, Jade and Pearl becoming popular, could other gem names be far behind? I love Opal, which was the #98 name in the 1900s. Consider it especially for a daughter born in October, when opal is the birthstone.

I’m pretty partial to the name Margaret (it’s my youngest daughter’s name), but Marguerite is pretty darned stylish, too. It’s the French version of Margaret, which means pearl—and it’s also the name of a flower.

Lucille was nearing its peak in the 1900s, when it was the 51st most popular name. It’s a fun way to get to Lucy, and pays homage to the legendary comedienne. If you don’t want people to think of the wacky redhead, try the variant Lucilla.

Edith has a lovely meaning—prosperity—and the perfect way to follow the E-name trend without going for the overused Ella or Emma. (And I love the nickname Edie!)

Gladys was the 14th most popular name back in the 1900s, a Welsh gem that actually means “lame.” I think it’s a lovely name, though.


Roosevelt reached its pinnacle of popularity for boys back in the 1900s, thanks to the indomitable prez Teddy. It’s a Dutch surname that means rose field, and fell out of favor back in the 1990s.

Willard has the Today Show’s longtime weatherman/100th-birthday wisher Willard Scott to recommend it, and a cool meaning—brave. It’s a nice way to get to Will without the uberpopular William.

Virgil was Rome’s finest poet—a Latin name that means staff bearer. It was at its peak of popularity back in the 1900s, and comes with the cute “Gil” nickname

Luther is a German name that means army people, and  stayed in the top 100 until 1910. Consider it a cool way to pay homage to Martin Luther King—or Superman baddie Lex Luthor.

Howard means brave heart, and was a top 50 name through the late 19th and early 20th century, before a steep nosedive starting in the 1980s (could the infamous 80s-era flop Howard the Duck be to blame?). Skip Howie and go with the cool Ward for a nickname.

Albert was one of my front runners for a royal baby name—it means “noble,” and was the name of Queen Victoria’s beloved husband. I love the nickname “Bertie” for a little boy. Too cool!

What do you think of these turn-of-the-century names? Could you imagine a little Willard or Edith? Look for the perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder, and check out my advice for the biggest baby name trends of next year.


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: 1900s couple by velora /

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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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