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baby name meaning ’
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Today we’re finishing up our Throwback Thursday series with a visit back to the 1910s—exactly 100 years ago. And the intriguing thing is that so many of the top names are coming back into vogue from then—names like Alice, Lillian and Rose for girls, Charles, Henry and James for boys.
But there definitely are names that haven’t been mined quite yet, and are worthy of a look. Check out these choices:
BABY GIRL NAMES
Helen was the number two name of the decade—it has a lovely background, the name of a mythical queen whose legendary beauty set off the Trojan War. The name means shining one, and is currently near the top 400 baby names.
Irene was a top 20 name a century ago, but it’s currently down in the top 700. It’s a beautiful name with an equally beautiful meaning: peace.
Mabel now has a celebrity baby in her corner—unique baby namer Bruce Willis picked it for his daughter. It’s a short version of Amabel (also lovely) and it means lovable. It might be a nice ancillary to the up-and-coming Mavis.
Thanks to red-hot Girls star Lena Dunham and Game of Thrones star Lena Headey, Lena, a shortened version of Helena and Elena, is likely to make a big comeback.
Genevieve peaked at 82 a century ago, and it’s definitely on its way back into prominence (it’s about to break the top 200). It’s a French name that means tribeswoman.
Maxine means the greatest—and it hit its peak as the 100th most popular name back in the 1910s. With celebrities like Jessica Simpson picking Maxwell, this might be a more traditional way to get to that cute “Max” nickname for a girl.
BABY BOY NAMES
Carl is a Germanic take on Charles, and was in the top 25 a century ago. It bottomed out at the top 600 two years ago, but seems to be on an uptick since it was used for the son of lead Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.
Bernard means “brave as a bear,” and was a top 50 name in the 1910s. It fell out of the top 1000 a few years back, but I think it makes a nice, classic alternative to some of the popular “B” names, like Bentley and Brayden.
Woodrow was the 67th most popular name in 1910, thanks to the popularity of President Woodrow Wilson. Modern bearers of the name go by Woody (we’re talking Woody Guthrie and Woody Harrelson). I also think you could make the case for Drew as a nickname.
Edwin peaked way back in the 1910s, and could be a cooler way to honor an Edward. If you don’t like Eddie as a nickname, Win could be a winning choice.
Similar name Edgar, meaning wealthy spearman, has been on a slight uptick lately, after a period of slow and steady decline. With cool literary icon Edgar Allan Poe and Impressionist artist Edgar Degas as the most famous bearers, it could be a cool choice for academically oriented parents.
Want to take a tour through the entire Throwback Thursday series? Here are my picks:
1880s Baby Names
1890s Baby Names
1900s Baby Names
1920s Baby Names
1930s Baby Names
1940s Baby Names
1950s Baby Names
1960s Baby Names
1970s Baby Names
1980s Baby Names
1990s Baby Names
Still searching for a fab name? Try our Baby Name Finder! And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names!
Image: 1910 Woman by LiliGraphie / Shutterstock.com
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1910 baby names, baby name, baby name ideas, baby name meaning, boy baby names, girl baby names, old-fashioned names, throwback thursday, top baby names | Categories:
In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Monday, February 17th, 2014
The Sochi Olympics have been a little quiet. Sure, there’s the dramas over the unfinished hotel rooms, and Bob Costas’s eye infection. And on Saturday, there was some drama about a post-win interview with multi-medaler Bode Miller, one of the most decorated Alpine skiers of all time—and the oldest medalist ever in alpine skiing. Interviewer Christin Cooper decided to focus her interview on the recent death of Bode’s younger brother, Chelone (nicknamed Chilly), a professional snowboarder who passed away from a seizure. The questions brought Bode to tears—and he broke down mid-interview. Not sure her interview tactic was the best one, but it definitely brought more attention to this top notch skier—and his unique first name.
Bode is based on a German surname, and means “messenger.” It’s actually pronounced like “Bow-dee”—not too far from the Sanskrit name Bodhi.
Bode only hit the top 1000 baby names from 2008-2010—likely thanks to Bode Miller’s prominence in the sport, but hasn’t been in the limelight since then. But it bears resemblance to popular names like Brody and Brady, so it might make a nice choice if you like any of those names but want something a little more unique.
With Bode, I’d consider an equally cool middle name, like Snow, Jet or Cruz—though if you’re worried Bode’s going to sound too out-there for a more conservative child, you could pick something a bit more conservative, like Miles, Theodore, or Julian.
What do you think of the name Bode? Is it something you’d consider?
Find your dream name with our Baby Name Finder, and don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up up with the latest in baby names!
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In Name Only, Must Read
Sunday, February 2nd, 2014
We’ve lost a lot of celebrities tragically young lately, and Philip Seymour Hoffman was the latest—and perhaps the most surprising—in the series. He was a brilliantly talented actor, beloved by those who worked with him, a family man with three children—and his loss to drug addiction, which he apparently struggled with recently after 23 years of sobriety, makes it especially tragic. That’s why I’m dedicating this week’s column to him.
Philip Seymour Hoffman boasted a set of names that haven’t been in vogue for a while. Philip, which means “lover of horses,” spent a century in the top 100 names before starting a slow and steady decline in the late 1980s. And it’s currently just in the top 500. It’s a name that’s been associated with royalty (see Prince Philip of England), an Apostle, and a host of luminaries, from novelists to rock musicians.
Seymour is even less popular—it hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the 1940s, and its big claims to fame, besides Philip Seymour Hoffman, were the nerdy Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, and Simpsons’ principal Seymour Skinner. It means sea marsh. Still, I think it’s a name that holds potential for revival, for those who like names like Trevor, Cooper and Tanner.
What do you think? Could Philip or Seymour be right for your son?
Our Baby Name Finder can help you find the perfect baby name—or email me at email@example.com for advice about your particular situation. And don’t forget to like In Name Only for the latest in baby names.
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Thursday, January 30th, 2014
The 1940s saw us enter—and win—a world war, then soldiers came home to start the biggest baby boom in U.S. history. The top names of the era are likely the names of your parents or your grandparents. Odds are you have a James (or a Jimmy or Jim) and a Mary in your past.
But while James and Mary still do relatively well, you’ll find other chart toppers that have fallen by the wayside—and may be ready for a comeback. Here are the top 1940s names you might want to consider for your kiddos.
Many of the top 100 baby names in the 1940s don’t feel fresh enough yet for their comeback—perhaps our sons and daughters will help bring stalwarts like Linda and Barbara back into vogue. But there are a few names that may be ready for a second shot at the top spot.
Rosemary was one of the classic nature names, for the herb that symbolizes faithfulness. It hit its peak in the #91 spot back in the 1940s—but after decades of decline, is finally starting to stage a comeback. (Probably because it makes a lovely and less-expected way to get to “Rose.”)
Carol (with or without an “e”) has a special place in my heart—it’s the name of my mother. And given that Carol was the 5th most popular name and Carole the 57th back in the 1940s, odds are you have a relative with the name, too. Both versions have fallen out of the top 1000, but perhaps a little of the popularity of the more traditional Caroline (currently #80 in the U.S.) may rub off on these shorter forms?
Judith has been on a downward spiral since it hit the top 10 in the 1940s—and it’s barely in the top 1000 right now. But the name has an interesting meaning—praised—and a cool new pop-culture association, in the doomed daughter of Walking Dead‘s Rick and Lori. Jude makes a cooler short form than the old-school Judy.
Elaine, a form of Helen, was a top 50 name back in the 1940s—it means “shining one.” One would have thought that Seinfeld’s Elaine could have brought it back into vogue, but it’s still on the decline. (P.S. It’s a cool way to get to the uberpopular nickname Ellie.)
Boys names don’t have the turnover you see in the girls’ side—many of today’s top names, like William, Charles and the like, were top 100 back then, too. But here are a few gems that haven’t been as popular of late.
Keith was just entering its heyday back in the 1940s, when it charted as the 100th most popular name. It’s a Scottish name that means “woods,” and is currently residing at the edge of the top 400.
Lee has become a popular middle name for girls, but I think its meaning, “meadow,” and its simplicity make it a nice contender for today’s boys—either front and center or in the middle spot.
Dennis, a top 20 name back in the 1940s, lost its mojo the second the rough-and-tumble comic book character Dennis the Menace made its debut. But the name, a French take on Dionysus, deserves another look.
Timothy hit its peak not long after ranking as the 63rd most popular name back in the 1940s. It fell out of the top 100 five years ago—but given its Biblical pedigree and its classic-but-not-overused status, it’s worthy of another look.
We’re almost done with our Throwback Thursday series! Check out the previous posts and let me know what your favorite decade was.
And if you’re still on the baby name hunt, check out the Baby Name Finder for some guidance—or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Image: 1940s woman by Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only, Must Read
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
Reader Jennifer knows what name she wants for her daughter—but the middle name stumps her. Here’s her dilemma:
I am having a baby girl and her name will be Sunshine. It’s a heartwarming story on how we got her name, but we are stumped on a middle name. Last name initial is M. Would love to hear some suggestions!
Sunshine is a cheerful, yet still offbeat name—it had a brief spell in the top 1000 in the 1970s-early 1980s. But you’re right—it’s definitely a challenge to come up with a middle name that works. I’d probably skew toward something a little more conservative and traditional, in case your daughter feels Sunshine doesn’t work for her, but you don’t want to go too conservative, either—I think Sunshine Jane would be odd, for instance.
Another word name would be lovely—perhaps a floral name, like Rose, Dahlia, Laurel, or Lily. Or a gem name, like Jade or Pearl.
Some other options I think could work with Sunshine: Fae, Rowena, Athena, and Isadora.
So readers, what do you think? What names would you pair with Sunshine? If you have a burning baby name question, don’t be shy: Share it with me at email@example.com, or in the comments here. And our Baby Name Finder can help you find your perfect name, if you’re still searching. (To keep up with the latest in baby names, you should like In Name Only on Facebook!)
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baby name dilemma, baby name help, baby name ideas, baby name meaning, girl baby names, girls' names, middle names, nicknames, unique baby names | Categories:
Baby Name Help, In Name Only, Must Read