Posts Tagged ‘ baby names ’

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/



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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/

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Baby Name Dilemma: A Perfect Middle Name for a Girl

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Reader Tiffany already has a perfect girls’ name all lined up—except for the middle name.

We were all settled on Lily Patricia, after my husband’s grandmother. But we found out over the holidays that Patsy wasn’t the nickname we assumed it was but her actual given name and she hated the name Patricia! Her name was Patsy Lou but I’m not wild about Lily Lou either. Our last name starts with a G, so we have a hard time with middle names that start with vowels as it occasionally creates awkward initials. We like old-ish sounding names (are toying with Frederick and Theodore on the boy’s side). We’re not finding out the baby’s sex until it is born (due in May)!

Oooh, I love Lily Patricia—it’s too bad that your husband’s grandmother doesn’t! Patsy and Lou don’t strike quite the right chord with Lily, so we definitely do need to move in another direction. What about another name that gives you that “Pat” start in homage to his grandmother? I really love the idea of a Lily Patience or Lily Patia.

You could also choose a name that has the same meaning as Patricia, which means “noble.” There’s Freya, the name of an ancient Scandinavian goddess, or Adeline or Alice. (I know you were concerned about the vowel in the middle, but I don’t think LAG is as bad as LUG or LOG.)

Or you could just go with an old-fashioned name that suits your style. I like Lily paired with Rose or Azalea for a super floral, feminine and old-fashioned name. Or try Delphine, Theodora, Beatrice—all up-and-coming vintage names that flow beautifully with Lily.

What other names do you guys think would suit Lily? Share them in the comments! And don’t forget to get a little help with your own name hunt by checking out our Baby Name Finder, and liking In Name Only on Facebook.


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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Cool Name of the Week: January

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Are you feeling like you’re living in the movie Frozen? Where I am, winter isn’t coming—it’s here and it’s here to stay for a while. Which led me to think of some really cool wintry names. There’s Winter, which has become the fresh new seasonal baby name and is giving Autumn a run for the money. And names like Snow have become a cool middle name du jour.

But for my money, I like January. It’s newer to the game as a month name—April, May and June have been classic girls’ choices, while August and October are intriguing unisex choices. And it’s based on Janus, the Roman god of doorways, who helped usher in the new year. That gives the name a perpetual freshness.

January has two claims to fame (besides the first month of the year, of course). There’s a character in a popular Jacqueline Susann novel, and of course, Mad Men vixen January Jones (whose name was inspired by the Jacqueline Susann novel).

As for middle names, January sounds a little too precious paired with Snow, but I like it with Jane, Maeve or Rose.
What do you think of the name January? Too frosty for your daughter? If you are still looking for a name, check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Plan a baby shower mama-to-be will love with our free Baby Shower Planning tool.

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

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Would You Name Your Baby After Your Favorite Sports Team?

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

That’s what one couple in Alabama did—they gave their son the creatively spelled moniker Krimson Tyde, after the University of Alabama’s legendary sports program. And apparently, they’re not alone—among the few kids named Crimson (or in this case, Krimson), most are residents of the state of Alabama.

I’m not sure how many mascots lend themselves to baby names, though—and while I like the idea of Crimson as an offbeat baby name, putting it with Tide kind of leaves me cold (it feels like blood in the water, a la D-Day, to me). My two alma maters are on opposite ends of the spectrum, baby name wise. St. Bonaventure’s Bonnies are a no-brainer (the lovely Scottish name Bonnie was a top name in the 1940s-1950s). But the Syracuse Orangemen? Well, I don’t see Syracuse or Orange exactly lighting up the baby name charts.

Some people opt to name a child after a sports hero, but with so many pro athletes facing scandals, that’s a bit of a gamble—disgraced bicycling athlete Lance Armstrong, for instance, helped his name spike in popularity after his Tour wins—but Lance is on a sharp decline now that he’s admitted to doping.

What do you think—does Crimson Tide (or Krimson Tyde) make a good baby name? Did you pick an athlete or a sports team to inspire your own child’s baby name?

If your alma mater doesn’t have a good baby name option, consider checking out our Baby Name Finder for some great baby name inspiration. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

Image: Football by RONORMANJR/
Use our Baby Name Finder to discover your child’s perfect moniker.

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

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