Sophie B. Hawkins’ Baby Girl is Here—Check Out Her Vintage Name!

Sophie B. Hawkins—the “Damn, Wish I Was Your Lover” singer—made headlines when she announced that she was expecting expecting her second baby at the age of 50. And now, her little girl is here! On July 7th, Sophie’s daughter, Esther Ballantine, joined big brother Dashiell.

Esther is a prominent Old Testament baby name, given to a queen who famously risked her life to save her people. It was also associated with synchronized swimming movie icon Esther Williams, a number of characters played by Judy Garland in classic movies (including Meet Me in St. Louis), a witchy character on Vampire Diaries, and as the fill-in lead character in Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar. It’s been on a bit of an uptick since the turn of the 21st century, and currently ranks just outside the top 200. The name itself means “star,” and is following fellow starry names like Stella and Estella up the charts.

Ballantine is the same middle name as Sophie herself sports, and probably is a family name. (I kinda like the ring of Esther B. Hawkins to mirror her mom’s own name, don’t you?) And the name makes a nice sibling set with Dashiell, Sophie’s pick for her son.

Related: The 25 Best Vintage Baby Names for Girls

Tell us: What do you think of Sophie’s choice? Is Esther on your short list of baby names, or is it too old-fashioned for your taste? And would you give your daughter the same middle name that you have?

If you’re still looking for a great baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. 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?

Image of Hawkins via Shutterstock

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Baby Name Advice: A Multicultural Moniker

Picking the perfect baby name can be especially tricky when you’re trying to honor multiple heritages in one shot. That’s the challenge reader Sarah is facing:

I am 4 months pregnant and do not yet know the sex of my child but we are struggling with baby names. I am Caucasian American but my husband is half Japanese and half Iranian, his native language is Farsi but his last name is Japanese. Our children will be raised in the US and we would like a name that is easy to pronounce in all three languages. It would be a bonus if the name means something in all 3 languages. For a girl we were thinking about Hana but we cannot come up with any other girl names and are stumped for boys’ names. —Sarah

That’s definitely a challenge, Sarah! But you’re heading in the right direction with Hana. You need to look for baby names that are short and sweet, with sounds that are already present in each language.

Other options if you’re having a little girl include the following:

Isa is a pretty universal name, appearing as a name of Persian and German origins, meaning strength. (It’s also part of a number of names with worldwide popularity, incluing Isabella and Isaodra.)

Kyra is a Persian name that means crown—it has ties to the popular Celtic name Ciara, and is easily pronounceable and approachable in all three languages.

Anna is easily pronounceable in any language, and means “grace.”

Esta is another Persian baby name, which means starlike.

Suri may forever be associated with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, but if you’re game, it means “rose.”

Nara means happy in Japanese, and while it’s a little less common than some of the other names listed here, it is easily pronounceable.

For boys, it’s an even bigger challenge to find names with meaning and that work in all languages. Here are my attempts:

Kir is about as short and sweet as it gets, and it’s a Farsi name that means “throne.”

Daric is a Persian variation on Derek, and it means ruler.

Jasper is a cool up-and-coming name, associated with a precious stone. It’s of Persian origin, but seems pretty readily pronounceable in all three languages.

Ren is a name I’m loving lately; it’s the name from Footloose and from Japanese culture that means water lily.

Asa is a name that works easily in all three languages, and it means born in the morning.

Personally, I love the names Esta and Ren for your kids, but I think any of these would work great.

It’s your turn, readers: What name options would you suggest for Sarah’s baby? And which of the ones we’ve suggested would you consider?

If you’re still looking for a great baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.


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.com

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Check Out the Baby Name Noah Wyle Picked for His Daughter!

Noah Wyle Sara WellsIt’s a girl for Noah Wyle and his wife, Sara Wells, who welcomed daughter Frances Harper early last week. She joins her big brother and sister, Owen and Auden. (Loving this sibling set of names, aren’t you?)

Frances is the female version of the classic Francis, and it means “free man.” It’s currently on a bit of an uptick, thanks in part to Pope Francis I. It’s currently in the top 700 baby names for girls.

And Harper, the middle name, is a far more popular name—it’s currently #11 for girls. It has a lovely meaning, harp player, and has been popular with celebrities: David and Victoria Beckham picked it for their daughter, as did Neil Patrick Harris, Eddie Vedder and Jenna Fischer. (It’s also associated with the author Harper Lee, who created the classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

In all, Frances Harper is a lovely baby name that’s just a little bit on the unisex side—and a perfect fit with the names of her siblings.

Tell us: What do you think of the baby name Noah Wyle picked for his daughter? Do either Frances or Harper make your baby name short list?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name for your future son or daughter, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com and you could get some expert advice in a future blog post. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby name news and 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

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Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Adorable Baby Name Choice—Get the Details!

Jennifer Love Hewitt seems to have a baby name plan—and it involves giving her kids the same monograms (and the same middle name). She and husband Brian Hallisay just welcomed a son, Atticus James, who joins big sister Autumn James.

Atticus has been an up-and-comer baby name recently. It’s risen more than 600 spots in the past decade, and now sits at #370. The moniker’s biggest claims to fame were a Greek philosopher and the upstanding lawyer father Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s beloved classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. A string of celebrity siblings (Summer Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Daniel Baldwin) all picked it for their kids, and it recently popped up on Downton Abbey as well, which won’t hurt its popularity!

James is, of course, a true classic. It’s a perennial top 20 name for boys that means “supplanter,” and appeared on countless famous folks, from royalty and presidents to Biblical figures and authors. Recently, it’s been popping up as a name for girls as well (Jennifer Love Hewitt was one of the trendsetters in this regard with her daughter Autumn James).

This name is a real winner: A lovely classic with wonderful history behind it, and part of a baby-name theme that’s being utilized without being too matchy-matchy (no Ann and Andy!).

What do you think of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s baby name pick? Is it one you’d consider for your son?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com and your answer could appear here. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

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 of Jennifer Love Hewitt via Shutterstock

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Another Celeb Baby Girl Has a Boy Name! Check Out Jack Osbourne’s Pick

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are grandparents again! And this time, Lisa and Jack Osbourne picked a nickname baby name that’s been far more common for boys for their baby girl. Joining big sister Pearl Clementine is Andy Rose.

Andy can be short for Andrea, certainly, as it was used in the book The Devil Wears Prada. But it’s a far more common nickname for Andrew, a Greek name that means strong and manly. (In fact, Andy ranked at #281 for boys, while Andrew was #22—contrast that with Andrea at #125, and Andy, which didn’t rank for girls.)

Rose is, of course, one of the most popular floral names in the U.S., currently at #124 in the first slot, but likely much more popular in the middle. It lends a nice feminine touch to the more masculine Andy, and fits beautifully with the two word names they picked for their older daughter.

Jack Osbourne’s name choice here is right on trend for celebrity baby names. It’s a boys’ name for a girl, like Maxwell (Jessica Simpson’s daughter), Wyatt (Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s daughter) and James (daughter of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds) and it’s also a nickname name, like Gus (picked by numerous celebrities of late) and Frankie (another boys’ nickname name for Drew Barrymore’s daughter).

Related: The Top Baby Name Trends of the Year

In all, it’s a very sweet baby name choice—just a little offbeat, but still not too wild, especially for the celebrity set. Tell us what you think, though! And would you consider following one of these trends for your son or daughter?

If you’re still in the market for a great baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

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: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com

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