Posts Tagged ‘ baby names ’

Art, Otis and 13 Other Hot Grandpa Names for Boys

Monday, February 9th, 2015

boy and elderly manNames generally skip a generation or two before they come back into vogue—so when it comes to up-and-coming baby name options, try your local retirement community! Grandpa names have become especially popular for boys lately, as celebrities have picked “old man” names for their baby boys. Several recent celeb babies have scored the name Gus; Bridesmaids actor Chris O’Dowd chose Art (likely short for Arthur) for his new son; and Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis picked Otis for their son.

Interested in following this trend? Here are a few other grandpa names that seem ready for resurrection for the new generation of boys—and in some cases, even girls. (We’ve seen a few girls sporting Winston, Walter, and Lionel!)

Hugo There was the kids’ movie a few years back—and of course, Ron and Hermione picked it for their son in the Harry Potter series. Plus it has a great meaning: “intellect.”

Leopold You get the cool “Leo” nickname from this old-school name that means “brave people.” Leopold hasn’t seen the top 1000 since the 1920s, making it a truly vintage name.

Nelson Pay homage to South African civil rights fighter (and former president) Nelson Mandela with this name pick, which is currently trending just outside the top 600 names.

Winston This is a winning name, associated with Britain’s famed WWII era prime minister, Winston Churchill. There’s been a sharp and sudden increase in popularity in this one over the past few years. (Maybe it’s because of its definition: wine’s town!)

Quincy Skip the overpopular (and increasingly girly) Quinn and go for this old-school version, made popular by a 1970s TV show, Quincy, M.E., and of course, an early U.S. President. It literally means “fifth son,” but you don’t have to save it for that particular person.

Wallace Animated characters Wallace and Gromit, and cool Veronica Mars BFF Wallace Fennel haven’t helped this name rejoin the top 1000 yet, but give it time. I like “Ace” as an offbeat nickname from this one.

Walter Walter is starting to see a small uptick in popularity, after being on a slow and steady decline since the 1930s. It means ruler.

Lionel You’ll find another path to Leo through this old-school name, which actually means young lion. Singer Lionel Richie and legendary actor Lionel Barrymore are the most noted bearers of the name.

Wilfred I’m loving this old-school name as a way to pay homage to a William AND a Fred in your past. (And because it was given to one of my favorite Doctor’s companions on Doctor Who.) Plus, you have a choice of cute nicknames: Will or Freddie.

Alfred This close companion to Wilfred is the more commonly used name. It’s been on a steady downtick here, but it’s experiencing a bit of a renaissance in England, where kids are even getting the nickname “Alfie” as their official name. It’s the name of a legendary English king, the founder of the Nobel prize, and famed movie director Hitchcock.

Oscar This top 200 favorite is often associated with the Grouchy green Sesame Street character, but it has a wonderful meaning: champion.

Harry England’s wild about Harry, a top 10 favorite across the pond, thanks to their Prince and the boy wizard. Here, it still dwells near the bottom of the top 1000.

Vernon Vince Vaughn picked this poetic name, which means “place of alders,” for his son—I can see it catching on for non-celeb parents, too.

Tell us: What grandpa names are you loving these days? What other ones would you like to see make a comeback—and are there some that you think won’t ever make it back into vogue (we’re looking at you, Wilbur!)

If you’re looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder for get options. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Image: Shutterstock

Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?

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Nutella and 8 Other Banned Baby Names

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

NutellaWhile here in the U.S., no baby names are off limits (hello, Hashtag!), in many parts of the world, the government gets a say in whether your baby name is up to snuff. For instance, New Zealand kept babies from living under the names Mafia No Fear and Anal, Brazil doesn’t want anyone to name their babies after deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Germany said no to a baby named Osama Bin Laden, and the Mexican state of Sonora said no way to the names Virgin, Scrotum, and Robocop.

Recently, foodie names were given the boot by the French court, based on their law that prohibits baby names that could be the cause of mockery for the child. Parents who wanted to name their baby Nutella were told their pick wouldn’t fly—and that they’d have to choose another name for their little one. And a couple who wanted to name their baby Fraise (which means strawberry in French) were also told to tweak the name—they went with Fraisine, which was a 19th century favorite, and I’m sure their little one is still being called their petit Fraise.

Some countries definitely take the limits a little too far—like the Icelandic laws that only allow families to choose from an approved list of a few thousand names. But let’s face it: We’ve all heard some really bad, cringeworthy baby names around the U.S. (and especially within the list of celebrity baby names). Maybe it’s not such a bad thing if we keep people from giving their babies names like Jermajesty or Moxie Crimefighter.

What do you think? Should the French court have kept Nutella from getting that…ahem…nutty name? Or should we all be free to name our kids Nestlé Crunch or Godiva Chocolate if we see fit? And tell us—what’s the wildest name you’ve heard in real life? (Mine is Hap Hazard. No lie!)

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder!


Image by Jiri Hera/

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

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Celebrity Baby Name: Shakira’s New Baby!

Friday, January 30th, 2015

ShakiraIt’s another boy for international pop star Shakira and her fiancé, FC Barcelona soccer player Gerard Pique. Joining big brother Milan is a baby boy bearing an increasingly unisex baby name: Sasha Piqué Mebarak.

Sasha is a Russian short version of Alexander, and shares its strong meaning, defending men. Lately, it’s been used more commonly for girls (see the First Family), but it’s still A-OK for a boy. (Actor Chris Hemsworth recently picked it for one of his twin sons, and comedian/actor Sacha Baron Cohen bears a variant spelling.)

And the middle name they picked for their new son, Piqué, is fiancé Gerard’s last name—a nice way to honor both sides of the family within the baby name.

Sasha and Milan are a nice baby name pairing for a pair of brothers—both names have international flair and flow well together, without being too matchy-matchy. And they both have a slightly offbeat, but still classic vibe.

Tell us: What do you think of the baby name Shakira and Gerard picked for their new son? Do you like the name Sasha better for a boy or a girl? And would you consider using this name for your own child?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name for your own baby, check out our Baby Name Finder at, or email me your dilemma at with your dilemma, and you could be featured in a future In Name Only column. 

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

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The Hottest Celebrity Baby Names This Week

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

It was all about honoring Daddy for two celebs who welcomed new sons recently—and a cool, offbeat baby name for a girl for a third.

Zombie fighter Sonequa Martin-Green from The Walking Dead and her husband Kenric Green kept it in the family with their baby name pick for their son: Kenric Justin Green II, named after Daddy. Kenric seems to be a variant spelling of Kendrick, an English name that means ruler and is currently in the top 350 baby names in the United States. I’m kind of loving Kenric as an updated way to honor a Kenneth (or a Kenneth and a Richard) in your family tree.

Former Bachelor contestant Renee Oteri Maynard finally found love with husband Bracy Maynard, and together they welcomed Jax Bracy, who was given his middle name in homage to Dad. Jax is a brand new name that’s already making a splash—it’s nearing the top 200. Consider it a postmodern Jack.

Finally, singers Vanessa Carlton and James McCauley welcomed daughter Sidney Aoibheann. Sidney has been on a sharp decline, and falls just inside the top 1000 baby names for both boys and girls—it’s been recently overshadowed by the ultrapopular Sydney spelling. Aoibheann may seem like a tongue twister of a baby name, but it’s actually pronounced “Even.” It’s an Irish name that means beautiful sheen.

Tell us: What do you think of this latest batch of celebrity baby name picks? Is there anything you’d consider amongst the names?

If you’re looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at for advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Image: Helga Esteb /

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What’s the Most Common “Christmasy” Baby Name?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Some baby names seem simply well suited to the holiday season—but which of those is the most popular? According to some data, Carol reigns supreme. There are more than one million Carols in the U.S., thanks in no small part to its reign in the top 10 names in the 1930s and 1940s. Alas, it hasn’t made such a big impact in the current generation, as it fell out of the top 1000 back in 2006. Interestingly, this used to be a boys’ name, and you may find it on the male side of your family tree a few generations back.

But what other monikers are in the top 10 most popular Christmas-themed baby names? Virginia (as in that famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter) has nearly 600,000 people with the name, followed by Holly, which has nearly 300,000 people bearing the name. (It’s also one of the ones in the top 10 that’s still relatively popular for girls.) The first purely boys’ name came in the 4th spot: Jesus (usually pronounced hay-SOOS) has been hovering in and out of the top 100 since the 1970s.

Here’s the full list, if you’re intrigued to see your other holiday-themed options!

1. Carol – 1,148,024
2. Virginia – 577,805
3. Holly – 298,910
4. Jesus – 284,001
5. Joy – 214,192
6. Noel – 71,816
7. Rudolph – 47,598
8. Merry – 14,226
9. Bell – 5,047
10. Claus – 1,614

One last fun fact: There is only one Kris Kringle in the U.S.—and he doesn’t live at the North Pole. (Perhaps Santa finally sprung for a summer house?)

Tell us: Did you keep the season in mind when you picked your child’s name? And would you give your winter baby a name like Snow or January?

If you’re still looking for a great baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder to help hook you up with the perfect one. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Image: Christmas baby by Alexey Losevich/

Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name

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