Posts Tagged ‘ baby names ’

Cool Name of the Week: Kurt

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death was rehashed this week, as new photos emerged of the scene where he met his end–and some speculated that the new images meant that the Seattle Police Department was looking into his death again. (There are many who believe his death back in April 1993 wasn’t a suicide.)

While the rumors didn’t prove true—Seattle PD is saying that the case hasn’t been reopened—it did get me thinking about this soon-to-be Rock Hall of Fame inductee. And I think his name deserves another look.

Kurt comes from the German word for courteous and kind—both ideas that you’d want associated with your son, am I right? And there are other pretty awesome namesakes, if you’re interested, including celebrated author of Kurt Vonnegut (of Slaughterhouse Five fame), and the character Kurt Hummel from Glee. 

Kurt was in the top 1000 names for more than a century, from 1894 to 2005, when it fell off the charts. It was at its peak in the 1960s, when it was consistently in the top 150 names. But maybe it’s time for it to make its comeback?

Short and sweet Kurt deserves a cool longer middle name. I’d pair it with Sebastian, Hudson, Theodore or even Augustine.

What do you think of the name Kurt? Cool enough for this generation of boys, or a little too dated for use? And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

Get ready for your little one to make it big–or just have a few laughs–by finding out what your child’s celebrity name would be.

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

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Celebrity Baby Names: James Van Der Beek’s New Daughter

Friday, January 31st, 2014

James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly welcomed their third child—a daughter—earlier this week. Joining big sister Olivia and big brother Joshua is brand new baby Annabel.

Annabel is a bit more offbeat than her siblings’ top ten baby names—her name is falling just below the top 500. The name means loving, and its big claim to fame is Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem, Annabel Lee. The name was at its most popular back in the 1880s, when it neared the top 400, but it’s currently on a major upswing. And since it’s in stile close to top names like Isabella and Adeline, it may reach its pinnacle of popularity in the next few years.

No word from the Van Der Beeks about which middle name they chose. My picks would be Lee (I’m a big Poe fan at heart), plus names like Rose, Maeve, Margaret or James (that’s the new hot middle name for girls!).

What do you think of the name Annabel? And what middle name would you pick with it? Get help finding the perfect name for your baby with our Baby Name Finder, or like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names.

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

Image: Kim and James Van Der Beek by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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Throwback Thursday: 1940s Baby Names

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.

GIRLS

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

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 lamilbrand@gmail.com. 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

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

 

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Downton Abbey Baby Names for Girls

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

On paper, Downton Abbey should be a must watch for me—so I don’t know why I’m coming so late to the game. British + Maggie Smith + drama + history = perfect show in my book. Plus, as a name nerd, there’s lots of names to love on the female side of the cast. (Alas, they stuck with some pretty standard and popular fare for the boys, like Thomas and Robert.)

Granted some names, like Violet and Rose, started on the road to popularity before the show aired. But there are still some names that are under the radar—and they’re names that could fit into the current passion for old-fashioned names. Try these on for size:

Cora is the mother of the three Crawley daughters, an American woman who married into British nobility. Her name means “maiden,” and was already launching a comeback before the show aired—it’s currently the 155th most popular baby name for girls.

Mary was the most popular name for girls for centuries, but in recent decades it’s been on the decline. Maybe Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter in the wealthy family who lords over Downton Abbey, can help restore its luster.

Edith is probably my favorite of the sisters’ names—it means prosperous, and after a sharp decline over the past 50 years, it started climbing back up the charts as soon as the show started airing.

Sybil is the youngest and most modern Crawley daughter, who ends up marrying one of her family’s staff members. Her name means prophetess, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 in decades. Perhaps it’s ready for a comeback now?

Daisy and Ivy are a pair of servants, each with a lovely botanical name. They’re both currently top 200 names in the U.S., and top 100 in England.

Isobel is the Scottish variant spelling of the ever popular Isabella, which means pledged to God. And unlike the #3 name Isabella, Isobel hasn’t been in the top 1000 in nearly a century.

Anna has been a top 100 baby name for over a century—and it’s the name for one of the stalwarts of the Downton Abbey staff. It means grace—and is a perfect choice for the kind and honorable lady’s maid Anna.

What’s your favorite Downton Abbey name? Share it in the comments.

If you’re still looking for baby names, try our Baby Name Finder!

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: Downton Abbey by Dutourdumonde Photography/Shutterstock.com

 

 

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Celebrity Baby Names: Laura Linney’s New Son

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Actress Laura Linney and husband Marc Schauer welcomed their first son earlier this week, and they chose a pretty cool moniker for their boy: Bennett Armistead.

Bennett is a variation on Benedict, and means blessed. It’s been on a slow and steady rise from its low point in 1975 (when it was the 943rd most popular baby name)—it’s currently about to break the top 200 names in the country.

Armistead is an intriguing choice. It’s a surname name that means “hermit’s place,” and hasn’t ever been in the top 1000 in the U.S. Early in her career, Laura Linney starred in a mini-series based on author Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City—which may have been the inspiration behind her name choice.

Overall, it’s a really classic, weighty name—it feels like the name of a classic author or playwright.

What do you think of the name Bennett Armistead? Cool—or a little too stuffy? If you still need baby name inspiration, check out the Baby Name Finder, or like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up  with the latest in baby names.

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: Laura Linney by Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.com

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