The Hunger Games series has been a massive hit both as a book series and in film form. And even though it has cool and pretty creative spins on classic names, they’re aren’t a bunch of Katnisses and Peetas at the local day cares. (In fact, there were only 12 girls in the whole country named Katniss last year, and not a single Peeta.)
Sure, there are some names that just don’t seem to lend themselves to use—like Beetee or Glimmer—but here are a few less offbeat names that might be worth considering.
The Hunger Games‘ heroine Katniss sports a name that’s only slightly off from classics like Katherine and Katrina. It’s the name of a real-life edible plant. And who wouldn’t want their daughter named after such a strong and brave character? (Especially one played by the awesome Jennifer Lawrence?)
Gale is Katniss’ BFF and perhaps her true love, has a weather name that means forceful wind, a variant spelling of the short form of Abigail. If you aren’t daring enough to give it to a boy, it might be worthy of a girl.
Effie was once a top 100 baby name, but fell out of the top 1000 before 1960. It’s short for Euphemia, and it’s the name of the always fashionable Effie Trinket.
Perhaps my favorite name from the series is Primrose, Katniss’ younger sister. It’s a beautiful flower and a not well-used name—only 16 girls were given the name last year.
Rue was the girl Katniss tried to save in the first Hunger Games. It’s also a floral name, and makes an adorable middle name.
Johanna is probably the most popular of the names used in the series—it’s a feminization of John, and has been in the top 600 for more than a century.
I love the name Alma, which author Suzanne Collins picked for the future prez of Panem. It means nurturing, and has been in the top 1000 for more than a century.
Are there any Hunger Games names you’d want to use? If you’re still looking for a baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Generator! And if you want to keep up on the latest in baby names, like In Name Only on Facebook!
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Image: The Hunger Games book cover, courtesy of Scholastic
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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
The 1930s didn’t go down in history as a stellar decade—what with the Great Depression and Hitler bringing everybody down. But can some cool names be salvaged from this decade? The chart toppers of the 1930s were Robert and Mary—not exactly out-there names even today. But could there be some overlooked gems on the list?
Franklin took a sharp rise after FDR was sworn into office—it peaked at #33 in 1933. It’s dropped below the top 500 now, but still makes a worthy choice. Consider it in lieu of the “den” names like Brayden or Jayden.
While Robert topped the charts in the 1930s, the nickname Bobby wasn’t far behind at #27. Nickname names might not be super popular right now, but could Bobby be charming enough to make a comeback?
Edward may be the “Ed” name of choice, thanks to Twilight, but back in the 1930s, Edwin was topping the charts, too. The name means “wealthy friend”—and isn’t that the best kind to have? I love the idea of Win as a nickname.
I love Clifford, the #86 name of the 1930s—even if this name has become synonymous with the Big Red Dog. But I’d skip Cliff as a nickname in favor of Ford.
Alfred means wise counselor—like the sharp-as-a-tack bearer of the name, Alfred Hitchcock—and it was a top 50 name of the 1930s. If you like the nicknames Freddie or UK fave Alfie, this is the name for you!
Doris peaked at number 13 back in the 1930s—and maybe that’s why it was so unlucky to fall out of fashion. It hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the 1990s, even though it has a cool meaning—gift of the ocean—and a sweet Dorrie nickname.
Strangely enough, the popularity of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe didn’t extend to her name—it peaked at #16 back in the 1930s. The name is a combo of Mary and Lynn—so it’s a nice way to honor two people in your past.
Sweet Irene has a lovely meaning—peace—and still hasn’t come back after a slow and steady decline from its #49 spot in the 1930s. I think it’s a nice alternative to the many vowel-heavy names, like Emma and Olivia, that still top the charts.
Could Bernice be the next Beatrice? This #87 name in the 1930s fell out of favor in the 1980s, and comes with a cute “Bunny” nickname.
Joan topped the charts back in the 1930s, ranking 7th—and it has the cool Joan of Arc namesake with it. It hasn’t been a top 1000 contender since the 1990s, but maybe it’s ready to come back as an offbeat middle name choice?
What do you think? Could Alfred or Bernice be at a playground near you? If you aren’t a big fan of these 1930s names, try looking for a more modern one with our Baby Name Finder. And if you’ve already found your name, check out this video to make sure you’ve picked a winner.
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Image: 1930s woman, from Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com
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It’s often hard to predict which pop culture names will inspire parents to choose them. I would have thought that Barack might have cracked the top 1000 after our 44th president, but no such luck. Only a handful of people have used Katniss or Peeta for their offspring, despite the Hunger Games’ popularity. And there’s really only one Beyonce—that name, created for the singer by her parents, still hasn’t cracked the top 1000.
But another celebrity catapulted her totally made up (and not even official) name into the baby name stratosphere—Miley Cyrus, who was born with the name Destiny Hope. Miley was her nickname because she was so “smiley” as a kid, and it became both her stage name and her alter ego’s name from Hannah Montana, too.
The year after the show Hannah Montana hit the airwaves, the name hit the big time, becoming the 278th most popular name in the country. Its popularity peaked in 2008, and it’s been on a slow and steady decline since then—in 2012, it ranked 335th.
I’m curious to see if it’s going to make a much sharper trajectory into the basement with all of Miley’s latest hijinks—maybe parents don’t want their kids named in honor of someone so controversial. My guess? It probably will take a huge nosedive. For reference, take a look at the trajectory of the name Lindsay (a la Lindsay Lohan), which took a big bump down starting with her first brushes with the law in 2006. And Lindsay is an actual name with a real meaning behind it, so it has that going over Miley’s name.
What do you think? Is Miley destined for a big drop in popularity? Or will parents still like that “smiley” message behind it?
If you’re still looking for a baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder, and be sure to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names!
Image: Miley Cyrus by Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com
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I’m sure you’ve probably figured out that I’m a big fan of the zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead. I’ve picked several names from the series—like Michonne and Dixon—to highlight some of the coolest characters on the show. And this week’s pick highlights the heart of the little band of survivors left—heroic former veterinarian Hershel Greene.
He’s been risking his life tending to those afflicted during a deadly flu outbreak, trying to save lives with his meager supply of elderberry tea and unwavering optimism—even in the face of odds that’d make me just give up and let a zombie bite me already. And then, of course, he vanquished a set of his former patients turned zombies, all with a missing leg and a remarkable lack of weaponry.
In other words, he kinda rocks. But does he rock enough to bring his name back from obscurity? (It hasn’t seen the top 1000 list since the 1960s.)
Hershel is a Hebrew name that means deer. It reached its peak of popularity in the early 1930s, when it broke through into the top 400 names. (That’d be right around the time when The Walking Dead’s Hershel was born.) Its alternate spelling was used for two other notable people, factual and fictional—NFL great Herschel Walker, and The Simpsons’ Krusty the Clown.
I’d probably pair Hershel with something equally traditional—this isn’t a name that goes with Jett. Try it with James, Frederick, or Theodore.
What do you think of the name Hershel? Still too old-fashioned, or ready for a comeback? And don’t forget to find your own perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder.
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