Posts Tagged ‘
baby name inspiration ’
Monday, April 29th, 2013
This past weekend was “nerd prom” (AKA the White House Correspondents’ dinner). It’s a fete for all the journalists who cover the executive end of the political spectrum, along with an ever-larger dollop of Hollywood types. (This year, the eclectic group included Sofia Vergara, PSY, and Katy Perry. )
And though his jokes weren’t quite as biting and memorable as my favorite former host of the proceedings, Stephen Colbert (who memorably took George W. Bush down), Conan O’Brien did an admirable job poking fun at the President, various members of the press corps, and other notable names.
Conan has been late-night royalty for two decades now (and that’s after he served as a writer on two comedy staples, Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons)—but his popularity hasn’t led to an increase in popularity for his name. Conan is an Irish name that means “wolf,” and you’d think it’d be rising up the charts right now, close on the heels of Celtic winners like Connor, Aidan and Gavin. But it’s still languishing well below the 1,000 mark.
Conan’s cool factor isn’t limited to the ginger-tressed late-night host—there’s also author Arthur Conan Doyle, the mastermind behind genius detective Sherlock Holmes. Of course, there’s also the pulpy comic book hero Conan the Barbarian, which is probably what’s holding back the popularity of this name.
Conan pairs nicely with some of the longer middle names, like Frederick, Alexander or Zachary. If your surname is longer, consider a short middle name like West or Lee. Just skip anything with an -an ending, to avoid a weird rhyming cadence with the first name. (Conan O’Brien’s parents paired it with Christopher, in case you were wondering.)
So why do you think Conan hasn’t become more popular? Is it the “Barbarian” connotation? Or are fewer people on “Team Coco” than we thought?
Monday, March 18th, 2013
If you’re as big a fan of The Walking Dead as I am, last night’s ending was a big shocker. I won’t give too much away, in case it’s still stored in your DVR, but Andrea, one of the longest running characters on the show, ends up in a bit of a predicament—to put it mildly.
It’s been interesting to watch the metamorphosis of her character. She started out as a relatively weak person, one who nearly decided to simply give up and commit suicide early on. But through all the trials and dangers wrought by living through a zombie apocalypse, Andrea has become one tough chick—a sharpshooter and skilled zombie hunter, who still lives by a strong moral code. She is willing to put herself in harm’s way to save the lives of her friends—as she did in yesterday’s episode. I’m hoping she will live to fight on another season (only two episodes left to find out!).
Her name, Andrea, was originally the Italian take on Andrew, and was a boy’s name. It actually means strong and manly (actually not a bad choice for the bold and a bit tomboyish character), and has been a top 100 baby name for girls in the country for the past 40 years.
It’s still used for boys in Europe (think of amazing opera singer Andrea Bocelli), but here in the U.S., it’s for the girls, despite its manly meaning. (Besides Walking Dead‘s badass Andrea, it was also the name chosen for the adorably geeky original 90210 character, and the heroine of chick-lit classic The Devil Wears Prada.)
As for middle names to pair it with, I’d choose something with some interesting consonants to break up the vowel-heavy first name. I like it with Zoe, Beatrice, Pearl and Jade.
What do you think of the name Andrea? Too manly or too well loved for your taste? Or just the right choice for your daughter…or even your son?
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Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Categories: Baby Name Help, Baby Name Stories, In Name Only, Must Read | Tags: baby name, baby name advice, baby name inspiration, baby names, boys' names, cool name of the week, girl baby names, girls' names, popular baby names, top baby names
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
I’m sure more than a few tears were shed over the weekend as the credits rolled on what appears to be the final installment of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, Part 2—at least for now. (Though based on some news reports I’ve read, Stephenie Meyer is considering adding on to her sparkly vampire series, so if you’re a fan, don’t give up hope yet.)
This final movie/book had so many new characters that you almost needed a diagram to keep track of them all—but among them are some lovely baby names, if you don’t want to follow everyone else on the top-ranked Isabella/Bella and Jacob bandwagon.
Jasper This gem of a name is actually a bright colored opaque stone, that’s often red or green in color. It’s been on a steep rise since the Twilight series first appeared, and seems destined for continued popularity.
Alice The soothsayer vampire has a German name that means noble. It was a top-ranked name through the 1950s, but after a sharp decline, it’s back on its way to the top spot.
Esme You can keep Renesmee, but I love this sweet name, which means “beloved.” It hadn’t even hit the top 1000 names until 2010, and makes a fresh alternative to all those Emmas, Amelias and Mayas.
Edward While Bella may have ended up with Edward, it’s clear that baby name wise, more people were on Team Jacob. This noble name, which means guardian, still hasn’t made it into top 100 baby names here in the U.S.
Caius This member of the baddie faction has an ancient Roman name that means “rejoice,” and follows the current trend of using old-school Greek and Latin names for kids. It’s alsoo a cool way to get to that popular Kai/Cai nickname.
Siobhan Don’t get turned off by the odd spelling—this pretty name, pronounced sheh-vawn, makes a sweet choice for a little girl. It’s the name of the leader of the Irish coven who comes to lend a hand in protecting young Renesmee.
What names do you love from the Twilight Saga? Any gems I missed?
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com
Categories: Baby Name Help, Baby Name Stories, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names | Tags: baby name inspiration, baby names, breaking dawn part 2, kristen stewart, movie names, robert pattinson, twilight saga
Saturday, October 27th, 2012
So I’m in the midst of preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy (AKA Frankenstorm), and I was thinking that Sandy was such an odd name for a storm that seems destined to inflict some serious damage on my area. When I hear the name Sandy, I think of Olivia Newton-John in Grease or the loveable dog in Annie. Sandy’s a friendly, let’s-hang-at-the-beach kind of name—not a name that means “I’m going to shove the beach into your basement.”
It’s most commonly a friendly nickname for Sandra, which means “defending men.” Not exactly what this storm plans to do, given that it’s headed for the most populous area of the country.
Apparently, some people do decide to name their kids after hurricanes and major storms—I guess figuring that might inspire their son or daughter to be a real force of nature. But it isn’t like it’s a big bunch of naming experts picking out the names for these storms—it’s a set of meteorologists at the World Meteorological Organization who put their heads together and choose names. There are a six-year rotation of names, and they are often repeated year after year, until a named storm inflicts some real damage—like Andrew, for instance, and then the name’s retired and a new one takes its place. My name, Lisa, has been on their list for a while, and is due to be recycled in 2016 again. I’d rather that it keeps hitting the rotation, rather than see it cause death and destruction.
But if you’re a big weather geek, maybe you’d want to take a peek at their name list, which features quite a few names I like—Grace and Ophelia for girls, Colin and Isaac for boys. Maybe you’ll find something to love on there?
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Photo: Hurricane by Vladislav Gurfinkel / Shutterstock.com
Friday, October 12th, 2012
According to People, Vanessa and Nick Lachey found their baby’s name on a street sign–Camden was the name of the street where their obstetrician practiced. But they’re not the only ones who found more mundane ways to select their baby’s name. Gwyneth Paltrow famously explained naming her daughter Apple because she thought the name sounded fresh and pure. Jessica Simpson’s daughter was given the traditionally male moniker Maxwell as a nod to fiance Eric Johnson’s middle name and his grandmother’s maiden name. And Nicholas Cage’s inspiration for his son, Kal-el, would be obvious to any comic-book fan–it’s Superman’s Kryptonian name, in case you aren’t quite up on your superhero lore.
The moral of the story? Even celebrities find their names the same way we do, by searching high and low for that one, absolutely perfect name. So keep your eyes and ears peeled as you go through your day. Maybe you’ll find the perfect name when you check out the name tag of your favorite barista at Starbucks, or the name of the park where you like to walk your dog. Maybe (like my parents), you’ll be inspired by a model house you love or a character on a beloved TV show (my brother would have scored the name of one of the Hardy Boys’ girlfriends from the late-70s TV show, had he been a girl). Maybe you’ll find it as you’re pursuing your passions–a favorite fashion designer’s name, the singer in your favorite band, or the name of your yoga studio. Or maybe it’ll just be after someone special who you love–your favorite aunt or your grandfather.
So keep searching for that perfect inspiration! And if you need any help, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a little baby naming guidance.