Finding time to read isn’t always easy with kids—and so I’m just now getting around to reading The Fault in Our Stars, John Green’s masterful story about the romance between two kids who just happen to have cancer. (I’m not yet done, so no spoilers, please!) If you haven’t read it, do—it’s the kind of book I love, where writer’s skill is so deft that he could write several chapters about assembling IKEA furniture, and you’d be willing to go along for the ride. And the movie, which opens in theaters on Friday, looks like a winner as well.
And if you’ve read the book, you know it only takes a few paragraphs before you fall in love with Hazel Grace, the “miracle” girl who survived a cancer that wrecked her lungs, forcing her to walk around trailing an oxygen tank that pipes better air through a cannula under her nose. And it seems that people have fallen back in love with the name Hazel as well.
Hazel is a nature name, for the tree that gives us hazelnuts, and it’s also a color—a green-flecked brown eye hue. It reached its first peak in popularity back in the early 1900s, then bottomed out from the 1970s to the early 2000s. But like many other turn-of-the-20th-century faves (think Adeline and Clara), this is making a big comeback. It’s a favorite of celebrities—Julia Roberts picked it first, followed recently by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. And it’s currently the 157th most popular name for girls here in the U.S. My guess is that with the movie release and the passionate fan base surrounding The Fault in Our Stars, this name is definitely on a popularity trajectory that should bring it into the top 100 within the next year or two.
John Green chose well pairing Hazel with the sweet middle name Grace. If you don’t want to seem like you’re copying, consider pairing Hazel with June, James (yes, it works for girls!), Claire, Plum or May/Mae.
What do you think of the name Hazel? Would you consider a nature-based name for your baby?
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only
Lately, people have become very territorial about their baby names—leading to lots of drama when a friend or family member picks your secret dream name first. That’s the issue reader Vanessa’s up against:
We’ve always had our hearts set on Sebastian as a name for our unborn son (before we had children), who already has a sister Clementine. However, a close friend has also chosen this name for his son (born a year ago). We live in different countries and I have asked if they would mind us using this name to which they said, they would be “funny” about.
What to do? Things are we considering:
– We don’t live in the same country
– We don’t like any other names as much
– We have many mutual friends and will come across as arrogant to everyone considering he has voiced his opinion
Other names we like:
– Charlie although we don’t like Charles and are hesitant to use a “nickname” as official name. Goes with Clementine as starts with C and ends with E.
– Archer – grandparents hate this name.
Unfortunately, you’re in a tough spot. Since your friend has said they wouldn’t like you to use Sebastian, you’ll need to decide if it’s more important to use your favorite name or to keep their friendship (and possibly, the friendships of some other people in your circle, who might be offended that you “stole” the baby name). Because it’s likely that they may not take your decision to use the name despite their protests well.
Charlie and Archer are two of my favorite boys’ names as well, but since there are issues with both of them, let’s work on coming up with something that’s in the same wheelhouse as Sebastian, Charlie and Archer. I like the name Jasper, which has the “er” sound like Archer and a similar cadence of hard and soft consonants as Sebastian. It’s the name of a precious stone, and I think it’s a lovely pairing with Clementine (another gem of a name, I might add!).
Tristan, Sullivan, Harrison and Simon all follow the lines of Sebastian—I especially love Sullivan paired with Clementine. If Archer gets some bad press from the relatives, try similar classic names Arthur, Alistair or Sawyer. Four classic names I happen to love that I think would work for your situation: Holden, Roman, Henry and Finnegan.
Tell us: Would you name your child the same thing as your friend’s child? And what other name suggestions do you have for Vanessa?
If you’re still looking for a baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
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Party of Five star Scott Wolf added a daughter to his family’s party of five! He and wife Kelley welcomed their first daughter, Lucy Marie, who joins big brothers Miller William and Jackson Kayse.
Lucy is an English variation on Lucius, and it means “light.” It’s been on a slow but steady climb toward the top since the early 1990s, and is currently the 66th most popular name in the U.S. The most popular namesakes are, of course, Lucy Van Pelt, Charlie Brown’s bossy neighbor, and Lucille Ball’s wacky I Love Lucy character.
Marie is the French version of Mary, which means “bitter.” It’s currently just inside the top 600 as a first name, though it’s often used in the middle spot instead. French queen Marie Antoinette is one of the most famous namesakes, along with scientist Marie Curie.
Lucy Marie fits well with her sibling’s names—like Miller and Jackson, it’s popular and timeless. In all, they’ve picked a lovely name that you’d definitely hear on your local playground—no crazy celebrity name here! (If you want to celebrify Lucy Marie—or your own kid’s name—check out our Celebrity Fame Name Generator for inspiration. That turned Lucy Marie to the more offbeat Lala Maliboo!)
What do you think of the name Lucy Marie? Would Lucy be on your baby name short list? If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or send me your dilemma at email@example.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby name news.
Image: Scott Wolf by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only
Whether you name your baby Addison or Adysyn, it all adds up to the same name. But unfortunately, baby name statistics don’t combine all those spellings when they determine the top 20 names—and so you could end up picking a name that’s much more popular than its current standing suggests. Several blogs have sussed the numbers on the current lists, and while it doesn’t change the top 5 girls’ names, it does change the top 5 for the boys—which now become Aiden, Jackson, Jayden, Jacob—and the official top name, Noah, moves to number 5.
But what’s even more interesting is to see which names move way up in the standings, thanks to the addition of all those creative spellings. Names like Layla, Madeline, Adeline, and Arianna soar on the list for girls—and each has nearly a half-dozen different ways they’re spelled. And for boys, don’t think you’re in the clear if you pick a variant of a name like Jace or Caden—Caden looks like a top 100 name, but the variant spellings—Kaiden, Caiden, Kaden, just to name a few—moved it into the top 10.
And based on the vast number of creatively spelled names on this year’s movers and shakers list, I think this problem is only going to continue. My advice? If you don’t want your son known as Aidan W. for his entire school career, think of all the different ways that people could spell a potential name, and make sure that none of those rank higher than you desire. And maybe think twice about picking one of those creative spellings, which don’t really make your child’s name different enough to avoid the Aidan W. syndrome.
Tell me: How worried are you about the popularity of a name when you picked it? Were you surprised at how popular your baby’s name actually was?
If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
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Today, X-Men: Days of Future Past opens, with the story once again focusing on Dr. Charles Xavier and his band of merry mutants, who fight not only against some evil humans who are hellbent on erasing them from the planet, but some fellow mutants who don’t share their kinder, gentler, let’s-all-just-get-along outlook. I’m excited to see this one, which requires time travel to stop whatever massive danger the X-Men find themselves in.
If you’ve been living under a rock and know nothing about them, the X-Men generally go by some pretty funky names, based on their special powers—like Iceman, who can freeze things at will, or Magneto, who can control and warp anything metallic. But if you’re looking for a name in homage to your favorite X-Men character, here are a few that are worth considering.
Xavier is the surname of Charles Francis Xavier (AKA Professor X), the leader of the X-Men, who possesses powers of telepathy and can control the minds of others. (He’s played, at least in future time, by the always awesome Patrick Stewart.) Xavier is the 83rd most popular name in the U.S., and it means “bright.”
Wolverine is probably the most iconic X-Men character, with his adamantium-clad claws that spring out from his fingers. The name he goes by, Logan, has been in the top 20 names in the U.S. since 2006. It’s a Scottish name that means “hollow,” and while it’s generally used for the boys, it’s having some success as a girls’ name, too.
Rogue can steal memories and powers from other people through touch. Her name has been revealed as either Anna or Marie (or Anna Marie), depending on if you follow the comics or the movie. But I like Rogue itself as a word name. It may be a little daring in the first spot, but it would make a really cool middle name.
Mystique is one of the cooler dark-side mutants, with blue skin and the ability to shape shift into anyone. The fact that she’s been played recently by Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t hurt, either. Mystique’s real name is Raven, currently on a bit of an upswing toward the top 500 baby names.
Jean Grey possesses telekinetic, telepathic and empathic powers of incredible strength, surpassing even Professor X. While Jean’s a beautiful, old-school name, it’s dropped off the radar since the early 1990s, and last year only 61 girls sported the name. I’m liking Grey a bit more, as a cool and colorful middle name.
Tell me: Who’s your favorite X-Man? And would you name your kiddo in homage to a pop-culture hero?
Check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect baby name. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
Image: Mystique courtesy of Marvel & 20th Century Fox
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Baby Name News, In Name Only, Must Read