Posts Tagged ‘
baby names ’
Sunday, November 17th, 2013
You just need to say the words “Bat Kid” to me this week to bring me to tears. Just trying to explain it to my husband left me bawling, and I managed to even get him to tear up just by showing him some awesome images of 5-year-old Miles Scott, AKA “Batkid.” If you didn’t get a chance to see this amazing story, Miles spent a day last week saving San Francisco (AKA Gotham City) from the Penguin and the Riddler, as part of his Make a Wish event after battling leukemia. And he drew not only a crowd of thousands throughout San Francisco, but celebrities and even the President, who all celebrated his big day with him.
Miles really seems apropos for a young boy who has had such a challenging journey so far in his life—and it kind of sounds like a superhero name, doesn’t it? (Think Bruce Wayne, Tony Stark, Clark Kent, Miles Scott). But the name Miles actually has a different meaning than you might imagine—it means generous and giving. It’s the 111th most popular name in the U.S., currently at the highest point in popularity over the past 130 years. In addition to Batkid, there are other famous Miles out there—like jazz great Miles Davis and Myles Standish, a leader of the Plymouth Colony.
Miles pairs beautifully with longer middle names. I like Miles with Theodore, Felix, and Everett.
What do you think of Miles as a baby name—and what did you think of Batkid’s story? If you’re still looking for a name worthy of your future superhero or super heroine, check out our Baby Name Finder.
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Baby Name Help, Celebrity Baby Names, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
The 1930s didn’t go down in history as a stellar decade—what with the Great Depression and Hitler bringing everybody down. But can some cool names be salvaged from this decade? The chart toppers of the 1930s were Robert and Mary—not exactly out-there names even today. But could there be some overlooked gems on the list?
Franklin took a sharp rise after FDR was sworn into office—it peaked at #33 in 1933. It’s dropped below the top 500 now, but still makes a worthy choice. Consider it in lieu of the “den” names like Brayden or Jayden.
While Robert topped the charts in the 1930s, the nickname Bobby wasn’t far behind at #27. Nickname names might not be super popular right now, but could Bobby be charming enough to make a comeback?
Edward may be the “Ed” name of choice, thanks to Twilight, but back in the 1930s, Edwin was topping the charts, too. The name means “wealthy friend”—and isn’t that the best kind to have? I love the idea of Win as a nickname.
I love Clifford, the #86 name of the 1930s—even if this name has become synonymous with the Big Red Dog. But I’d skip Cliff as a nickname in favor of Ford.
Alfred means wise counselor—like the sharp-as-a-tack bearer of the name, Alfred Hitchcock—and it was a top 50 name of the 1930s. If you like the nicknames Freddie or UK fave Alfie, this is the name for you!
Doris peaked at number 13 back in the 1930s—and maybe that’s why it was so unlucky to fall out of fashion. It hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the 1990s, even though it has a cool meaning—gift of the ocean—and a sweet Dorrie nickname.
Strangely enough, the popularity of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe didn’t extend to her name—it peaked at #16 back in the 1930s. The name is a combo of Mary and Lynn—so it’s a nice way to honor two people in your past.
Sweet Irene has a lovely meaning—peace—and still hasn’t come back after a slow and steady decline from its #49 spot in the 1930s. I think it’s a nice alternative to the many vowel-heavy names, like Emma and Olivia, that still top the charts.
Could Bernice be the next Beatrice? This #87 name in the 1930s fell out of favor in the 1980s, and comes with a cute “Bunny” nickname.
Joan topped the charts back in the 1930s, ranking 7th—and it has the cool Joan of Arc namesake with it. It hasn’t been a top 1000 contender since the 1990s, but maybe it’s ready to come back as an offbeat middle name choice?
What do you think? Could Alfred or Bernice be at a playground near you? If you aren’t a big fan of these 1930s names, try looking for a more modern one with our Baby Name Finder. And if you’ve already found your name, check out this video to make sure you’ve picked a winner.
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Image: 1930s woman, from Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name Help, In Name Only, Must Read
Monday, November 11th, 2013
I’m sure you’ve probably figured out that I’m a big fan of the zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead. I’ve picked several names from the series—like Michonne and Dixon—to highlight some of the coolest characters on the show. And this week’s pick highlights the heart of the little band of survivors left—heroic former veterinarian Hershel Greene.
He’s been risking his life tending to those afflicted during a deadly flu outbreak, trying to save lives with his meager supply of elderberry tea and unwavering optimism—even in the face of odds that’d make me just give up and let a zombie bite me already. And then, of course, he vanquished a set of his former patients turned zombies, all with a missing leg and a remarkable lack of weaponry.
In other words, he kinda rocks. But does he rock enough to bring his name back from obscurity? (It hasn’t seen the top 1000 list since the 1960s.)
Hershel is a Hebrew name that means deer. It reached its peak of popularity in the early 1930s, when it broke through into the top 400 names. (That’d be right around the time when The Walking Dead’s Hershel was born.) Its alternate spelling was used for two other notable people, factual and fictional—NFL great Herschel Walker, and The Simpsons’ Krusty the Clown.
I’d probably pair Hershel with something equally traditional—this isn’t a name that goes with Jett. Try it with James, Frederick, or Theodore.
What do you think of the name Hershel? Still too old-fashioned, or ready for a comeback? And don’t forget to find your own perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder.
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Were the 1970s long enough ago that the top names of the era deserve another look? Top girls’ names like Jennifer and Lisa may be a little too overdone to make a comeback now—and top boys’ names like Michael and Christopher never exactly go out of vogue. But the age of disco does have a few names in the top 100 that might be worth a second glance.
Kevin didn’t exactly drop too far from its pinnacle in the 1970s. It was #13 back then, but #67 now. The Irish name means handsome—and is a nice break from the Celtic Aidens and Dylans.
Jeremy, on the other hand, has fallen mightily from its peak in the 1970s—it was often a top 20 name, but now, this name that means “appointed by God,” is well below the top 100.
Gregory means vigilant—this #29 name in the 1970s has fallen to the top 300. I kind of like it in lieu of the equally classic Gabriel. Gregory’s a saint’s name and the name of legendary actor Gregory Peck.
Craig was the #56 baby name in the 1970s. But this name, which means “from the rocks,” has had a rocky time since then—it’s been on a precipitous fall from grace since the early 1990s. I like it in place of Caleb or Carter.
Shane is a real “cowboy” name, thanks to the film. It’s on a long, slow slide currently, after being the #60 name in the 1970s. Perhaps the fact that it’s been in a number of modern hits, including The Walking Dead, may give it a new lease on life.
Angela was red hot in the 1970s—a top 10 baby name all the way. I’m seeing it as an alternative to the uberpopular Amelia. What do you think?
I’m a little sad to see the name Tracy (the 1970s 24th most popular name) fall so far—my sister was given the variant spelling Tracey back in the 1970s. My mom seemed to know how to pick names at their pinnacle of popularity! Tracy’s now fallen completely out of the top 1000, though it could make a lovely name for a boy, too—think Tracy Morgan.
Dawn was the perfect popular name for the post-hippie 1970s—and it’s no wonder it was the 26th most popular name. It fell out of the top 1000 at the dawn of the century, but might make a sweet middle name, if nothing else.
Monica was the perfect name for the Friends character who seemed to run the whole group—it means advisor. It was in the top 45 back in the 1970s, but these days, it’s hanging around in the top 500.
Melanie means dark, and it’s held pretty steady in the bottom of the top 100 ever since it hit #56 in the 1970s. It’s most famous as the name of Scarlett O’Hara’s best friend/rival from the classic Gone With the Wind.
What do you think? Any of these 70 names worth a comeback? If you still haven’t found a baby name you love, email your question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our Baby Name Finder for more help!
Image: Disco chick by Nemanya/Shutterstock.com
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
This week, we’re taking Throwback Thursday way, way back in time, to the 1890s. We may no longer wear our hair up and our hemlines way down, but our current fashionable names bear a striking resemblance to the hot names of the 1890s. The girls’ top 25 lists boasts currently chic names like Clara, Emma, Alice and Lillian; the boys’ list features perennial favorites like Henry, William, and James. But the top names of the 189s, Mary and John, aren’t quite as in vogue right now. Mary dropped out of the top 100 after decades of reigning supreme, while John is less unscathed, but currently resides at #28.
One intriguing trend I’m noting from the last century: Even if the fashion was all buttoned up, the names definitely weren’t so stiff. Many of the top 100 names are shortened nickname names—names like Willie (for girls or boys), Mattie (also for either), Effie, Nettie and Nellie.
So what intriguing names haven’t yet made their resurgence? Here are my picks from the 1890s for your consideration.
Ida was the 21st most popular name back in the 1890s, and it means industrious. It was in its heyday in the 1800s, and dropped out of the top 1000 entirely in 1980. Perhaps, as our friends at Nameberry noted, it’s about time for a comeback, on the heels of red-hot names like Ava?
It took a little longer for Louise to drop out of the top 1000—after reigning in the top 50 names from 1880-1930 (it was the 36th most popular baby name back in the 1890s), it dropped out in the 1990s. It’s a French name that means renowned warrior, and is a nice way to pay homage to a Louis in your family tree.
Esther reached its peak back in the 1890s, but it’s never really gone away. This Persian name that means star is currently #242 here in the U.S.
Lena started a slow but steady decline after the 1890s, when it was in the top 50 baby names. This short form of Helena is the name of legendary singer Lena Horne and now known for Girls actor/creator Lena Dunham. It’s starting an uptick now—but it’s currently in the top 400 names, so it’s still pretty unlikely your daughter would end up with another Lena in her class.
Alma is a Latin name that means soulful. It was most popular back in the 1890s, when it was the 54th most popular girls’ name. It’s a chic alternative to Emma, and one that’s appeared in pop culture, including characters on Desperate Housewives and The Hunger Games.
The 17th most popular name back in 1890 was Clarence—you’ll probably remember it as either the name of George Bailey’s guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, or as the legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. It’s a lovely name that means bright and clear, and could make a cool comeback name.
Roy seems like it should be a short name that means royal, but it actually means red-headed. It was the 19th most popular name back in the 1890s, and it’s currently in the top 600 names.
Archie, a nickname for Archibald, means brave. This casual name was #89 in the 1890s, and fell out of the top 1000 back in the 1980s. It’s more commonly associated with the comic character or the grumpy Archie Bunker from All in the Family, but maybe it’s time for Archie to have a reboot—especially since it’s becoming more popular over in the UK?
Ernest peaked in the 19th century—perhaps the 21st century is ready for it? It’s a name that means serious, and it’s barely charting in the top 1000 these days. Legendary author Hemingway is the most famous bearer of the name, followed by Ernie of Sesame Street.
I think the silly Simpson dad is keeping Homer—which was #72 back in the 1890s—from staging a comeback. This name has a cool vibe and a cool history, as the author of the Odyssey.
What do you think of these 1890s choices? Anything on there you might consider? If you’re still searching for a baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder for some great suggestions!
Image: 19th century woman by Dolgin Alexander Klimentyevich/Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only, Top Baby Names