Posts Tagged ‘ baby names ’

16 Unpopular Baby Names That Deserve a Second Chance

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Do you know a baby named Claudine, Barbra, Seymour, or Elmo? Probably not. Fewer than five kids in the U.S. were given the names Claudine and Elmo last year, so they didn’t even make the Social Security list at all—and Barbra and Seymour each had just five kids sporting the name. While many of the names on the endangered list are bizarre spellings, very exotic foreign names, or baby names that are a little questionable (like Riot or Pistol), there are some old-school names that may deserve another chance.

Check out my favorites from the endangered list, that might deserve a second shot at stardom.

For Girls

There’s a whole slew of fun French names that are near extinction here in the U.S., but might make lovely options for girls here. Clemence, Cerise, Claudine, Victoire, and Agathe all fit that category. Not into French? Among the other nearly extinct names, there’s Romilly (a nice alternative to the popular Amelia/Emily), Nigella (as in the famous TV chef and cookbook author), Finola (a charming Irish alternative to the popular Fiona), and Nazarene.

Related: The Top 20 Baby Names of the Year

Many of the names that are in danger of disappearing have a lot of pop-culture baggage to them. We’re talking Madonna, Moesha, Sigourney, Cher, and Kesha—and I think they’re too closely aligned to their legendary bearers to be viable for many brand new baby girls.

For Boys

Yeah, Elmo’s a hard sell, with that furry red Muppet making it seem a little childish. But there are some gems that are disappearing. From the bottom of the boys’ list, consider Algernon (as in the classic book, Flowers for Algernon), Riordan (a lovely Irish name that a nice, not-so-popular alternative to the overpopulation of Aidan), Raoul, Ewen, Anselm, Delaney, and Oberon.

But besides Elmo, there’s another whole crop of tainted classics that may be on their way out. Waldo was doomed by the popularity of the Where’s Waldo series, while Adolphus and Adolph are too similar to Adolf Hitler’s moniker. Iago has the baggage of being a Shakespearean baddie, Dudley’s a dud (and Harry Potter’s bully of a cousin), and Cletus is synonymous with the idea of rednecks, thanks to the character on The Simpsons.

Tell us: Are you surprised that any of these names are on the endangered list? And would you consider giving your child one of these options?

Keep watching here and on our Baby Names page for more articles and analysis of the 2014 top baby names, as we mine the list for hidden gems and other baby name inspiration. And don’t forget to like In Name Only 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: Shutterstock.com

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Baby Name Fun: What Would Yours Be Today—Or Way Back in 1890?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The Social Security Administration has been keeping track of baby name trends and statistics since 1890—but now the Internet is providing us with fun ways to entertain ourselves with the data. Take, for example, Time.com’s brand new “Find Out What Your Name Would Be Today” interactive/time suck, where you can type in your name and see what other choices were at exactly the same popularity level for each decade over the past 110 years. For instance, Lisa was the third most popular in the year I was born, so I’d be a Sophia today, a Brittany back in the 1990s, and a Margaret way back in the 1910s.

It’s a fun mid-day diversion, to be sure, but I’m thinking this might be a good way to explore the baby name lists and look for some winners for your own baby, especially if you look at the vintage monikers. For example, If you love Madison but aren’t loving the fact that it’s currently in the top 10, you could be inspired by what was equally popular decades before. Madison’s 1920s equivalent is up-and-comer Evelyn, and in the 1940s, it’s Dorothy. Also on the same popularity level: Florence (1910s), Grace (1890s), Virginia (1930s), and yes, Tiffany (so 1980s!).

Or plug in the grandpa-to-be’s name (we tested a Kenneth born in the 1940s), and you could get a fun way to pay homage, if the moniker in question isn’t one you’d want to utilize. Ken brings up Austin, Jayden, Tyler, George, Albert, and Kenneth again (way back in the 1970s, when all those Ken Juniors were born).

Tell us: Are there any hidden gems at your popularity level? Which one would you pick for your son or daughter?

Check out the latest on the top baby names of the year, and if you’re still hunting for the perfect name, try our Baby Name Finder or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook!

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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‘Mad Men’ Baby Names: What’s in Vogue, What’s Not?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Mad Men‘s final season started last night. But even if the show brought ’60s cocktails and fashions back into vogue, it hasn’t exactly done the same for baby names. (When’s the last time you met a new baby named Don?) Here’s the scoop on what hit (and what didn’t) from the show:

Don Don Draper rises from a dark and troubled past to become a partner in his own advertising agency, but left behind a broken marriage, three kids and lots of other trouble in his wake. (FYI—the current Don actually took his name from a Korean War buddy who died near him. His real name was Richard.) Donald is a Scottish name that means chief, and has been on a slow decline in popularity since the 1950s.

Betty This short form of Elizabeth was ubercommon in this era—and was given to Don Draper’s first wife and mother of his children. While Betty itself is rarely heard on the playground, Elizabeth is still a top 20 favorite. You may want to consider a more stylish nickname, like Eliza, Lizzy, or Beth.

Peggy Copywriter Peggy Olson also rose through the ranks from the secretarial pool—and engaged in some Don Draperesque behavior in her personal life. Her name is a vintage nickname for the classic Margaret. Peggy hasn’t yet made a comeback, but there’s a slew of nicknames for Margaret that are popular, including Maggie, Maisie, May, Greta, and Daisy.

Pete Pete Campbell probably has one of the most timeless names on the show, thanks to its association with the popular saint. Peter means “rock,” and is currently hovering near the top 200.

Joan Joan started out in the secretarial pool, before being elevated to partner at Don Draper’s new agency. Joan is a female variant on John and shares its meaning (“God is gracious”) but not its popularity—it dropped out of the top 1000 in the early 1990s.

Sally Don and Betty’s daughter scores this nickname for Sarah that shares its meaning, princess. Sally fell out of the top 1000 in the 1990s, after a long reign near the top.

Roger Roger Sterling was head of Sterling Cooper and the later agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. His name, currently in the top 600, means warrior.

Megan This Welsh variant of Margaret shares its meaning, pearl. It’s the name of Don’s second wife, a former junior copywriter at the firm and aspiring actress. Megan was actually up and coming during the 1950s and 1960s, and hit its peak in the 1990s. It’s currently still in the top 200.

Tell us: Which of these baby names do you think have a shot of coming back into style? And would you name your baby any of them?

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

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

Image via AMC/Facebook

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All About the Boy’s Baby Name Milla Jovovich Picked—for Her Girl!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

It’s a girl for model/actress Milla Jovovich and husband Paul W.S. Anderson—and for their second daughter, they chose to follow the latest celeb trend of giving their daughter a baby name that’s been traditionally used for boys. Joining big sister Ever Gabo is baby sister Dashiel Edon. (And that’s a much better baby name than the one Ever suggested for her little sister—Toilet Bowl!)

Dashiel is a unique spelling for Dashiell, a British take on the French surname de Chiel. It’s been picked by a slew of celebrities for their sons—actors Cate Blanchett and Jason Priestley, and rocker Alice Cooper. It comes with a couple of nicknames, including the stylish Dash and the more staid Shelly. It hasn’t been a top 1000 choice for either boys or girls.

The middle name they chose, Edon, appears to be an alternative spelling of Aidan, though it could also be a variant of the more girly Eden. Depending on which name it originated from, Edon either means little fire or paradise.

It’s definitely not a common choice for a girl—though Dashiel feels a little bit more feminine than some of the other baby names celebs have co-opted (hello, James!). What do you think of it?

And what do you think of the trend of using boys’ names for girls? Are there any boys’ names you think should be “off-limits” to girls? And would you consider following this trend with your own child?

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

Image: Shutterstock.com

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

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Cate Blanchett Gave Her Daughter THREE Vintage Baby Names!

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Cate BlanchettOscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett just adopted a baby girl—and in keeping with her vintage chic baby name style, joining big brothers Ignatius, Roman, and Dashiell is little sister Edith Vivian Patricia.

Edith is one of those turn-of-the-20th century favorites that’s making a comeback in this century, now in the 719th spot on the baby name charts. It means “prosperous in war,” and the most current and cool bearer of the name is Lady Edith Crawley from Downton Abbey. With the popularity of “E” names like Evie, Ever, and Evelyn, Edith makes a wonderful vintage alternative that’s likely going to be making a nice jump in popularity in the coming years. (It’s definitely on my “names to watch” list!)

Vivian was rumored to be in the first spot (but with the fancier Vivienne spelling). It’s a French baby name that means life, and it’s been in the top 200 names since 2008.

Patricia is the second middle name, and it means noble. After a long run in the very top of the charts from the 1930s to the 1980s, it’s been on a sharp decline since the turn of the 21th century.

In all, Cate made a lovely pick that fits in well with her choices for her sons.

Tell us: What do you think of Cate’s baby name choices? Would you dust off a vintage name like Edith (or even her other picks, like Ignatius)?

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

British Baby Names
British Baby Names
British Baby Names

Image: Shutterstock

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