Posts Tagged ‘
boys’ names ’
Monday, June 17th, 2013
Have you gone to see the new Superman movie? It’s definitely on my husband’s to-do list, and since it stars the yummy Henry Cavill (who I absolutely adored as Henry VIII right-hand man on The Tudors), I wouldn’t mind tagging along. It looks like plenty of you have seen it, since it scored a record-breaking, $125 million debut at the box office.
While Superman may be into weird-celebrity-name territory—and Kal-el, his Kryptonian name, definitely is (Nicholas Cage chose it for his son)—his Clark Kent alter ego provides us with two cool, under-the-radar choices.
Clark definitely has some measure of old-Hollywood cool, thanks both to the Man of Steel and Gone With the Wind romantic lead Clark Gable, I think Kent is a fresher choice. It’s an English name that means “edge,” and it’s been out of the top 1,000 baby names for nearly a decade now. (It hit its prime in the 1940s-1960s.)
Kent is also the name of a county in southeastern England, making it a cool place name. It has the cowboy cool of names like Clint and Colt, but with just a touch of British panache. It’s also a nice way to honor a Kenneth in your family’s history, while still picking something fresher.
Kent works well with longer middle names, like Alexander, Jonathan and Weston. And since I have seen it used a few times for girls, I’d pair it with Adeline, Clementine or Martina.
What do you think of the baby name Kent? Would you take it or leave it—and does it seem like it’s a girls’ name or a boys’?
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Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
I now have a full year of baby-name experience under my belt—doing everything from analyzing celebrity baby name choices to helping readers like you with their baby name dilemmas (if you have one, feel free to write me at email@example.com with the scoop). And a few months ago, I tried to put some of my baby naming skills to work, picking 10 hot names to watch in the coming year. So how did I fare? Check out the results below:
Atticus This red-hot Romanesque name (most famous for the upstanding lawyer/dad in To Kill a Mockingbird) is still on the rise, climbing nearly 50 places in 2012—where it’s about to break into the top 400.
Brantley This surname-name jumped around 175 places, and is now angling for the top 100 names in the country. (Looks like -ley names are falling out of favor for girls, but gaining favor for boys!)
Briella A mashup of Brian and Ella leaped 125 spots on the latest list. I expect it and sister name Brielle to make big strides this year, thanks to the fierce warrior Brielle on Game of Thrones.
Camden I think I went a little too early on this one—it only rose four spots last year. But the celeb push this name received came all in the latter part of the year, with a pair of fall babies. Expect the name to make a bigger leap this year.
Carter was another modest mover—only up four slots. But it’s still squarely in the top 50 names in the country. I’ll be intrigued to see where it lands in some parts of the Midwest/Mountain areas, where the name was making big headway last year (it was tops in Iowa).
Declan moved up another 30 spots, after moving nearly 100 places between 2011 and 2012. I think as the -den names start to lose favor, this will move in to take the spot.
Olive got a big boost up about 50 spots on the charts, likely thanks to the influence of Drew Barrymore—and the fact that it’s a less-popular variation on the uberpopular Olivia.
Penelope moved nearly 50 points itself—I still credit Tina Fey’s baby naming prowess for this classic’s resurgence!
Angelique looked like it was poised for a continued rise, but it actually dipped nine points over the course of 2012.
Merida I guess it isn’t a Brave new world for baby names—the feisty princess’s moniker didn’t crack the top 1000, as I had predicted. There’s always next year, though, right?
What names are you predicting to rise this year?
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Friday, May 10th, 2013
Some names have seen their day in the sun—and it’s clear by their precipitous fall, that they’re on their way out. While most monikers fall slowly into obscurity (hello, my sad, overused name Lisa, down yet another 8 places this year!), here are the names that took the biggest drop in popularity:
For girls, the name Dulce means “sweet,” but apparently, American parents aren’t that sweet on it anymore—it was the biggest loser, dropping 160 places on the chart. (I’m thinking it might make a pretty middle name, though!)
Estrella, a Spanish name that means star and has that hot -ella ending, and Danna, a mashup of Donna and Dana, both fell more than 120 places as well. Mikaela, a feminization of Michael, fell 140 spots, and Mikayla, its creative spelling cousin, also fell 45 points. The more traditional spelling, Michaela, fared much better. Maybe the creative spellings are starting a slow decline?
Adding fuel to that theory—Jakob was among the big decliners for the year, while Jacob continued to reign supreme. For boys overall, some of the -den names started to head . Leading the charge to the bottom was Braeden, which fell 105 points—and alternative spelling Braden also fell 45 points. (Zaiden and Zayden, however, are on the rise—combining that cool “Z” initial with the mega-popular “aden” sound.) Apparently, parents aren’t on Team Cullen anymore (is the Twilight effect finally over?)—the baby name Cullen dropped almost 80 spots.
A few other interesting tidbits: Some sports stars’ names are on a big decline (we’re looking at you, Lance, Jacoby, and Kobe!). For girls, “ey” names didn’t fare so well—Lindsey, Courtney, Tenley and Kiley were among the big droppers.
What do you think of this list? Are some of these names unfairly maligned—and are any of them on your baby name list? And would you rather pick a name that’s rising quickly, or fading fast?
Keep up with the latest posts by liking In Name Only on Facebook! (And check out our Name Game to tell us what other names you love—or love to hate!)
Photo: Cute baby by postolit /Shutterstock.com
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Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Don’t tell my husband, but I have a slight case of baby fever. My kiddos are becoming big way too fast. My youngest just lost her first tooth, and my oldest is rolling her eyes and campaigning for a cell phone. Couple that with a teary post I read about how one mom suddenly realized she’d carried her kids for the last time without ever noting that milestone, and a chance to hold my friend’s delicious, chubby baby boy, and I’m thinking it might be nice to have one last baby around the house. I know it’s not going to happen (there’s no such thing as a “surprise adoption”), and I know that realistically, two girls are more than enough for us to manage at this point. And it’s nice to have kids who are old enough to fix themselves breakfast, tie their own shoes and brush their own hair. But babies are just heavenly, aren’t they?
Plus, I have so many baby names I love, that I won’t ever get to use—unless it’s for a future kitten or puppy. If I had another daughter, she’d be Adeline Mary, after two of my great-grandmothers. (After our daughters each got family names, we can’t just go with something we happened to see in a baby naming book, can we?) Boys are a little trickier. We’d probably give a son the middle name Kenneth, after my dad. But I’m not sure about the family name options. I never met my great-grandfathers, so I don’t have much attachment to their names. There’s a Walter, and I think a Louis and a Charles—both names that were given to my grandfathers. I still love Alexander and Nicholas, which were the two names my husband and I were hashing out before we found out our second child was a girl. And of course, now that I’m deeply immersed in baby names on a daily basis, I’ve found new ones to love: names like Dixon, James and Nolan. And I can’t forget Luke.
Do you have a baby name you love that you’ll never get to use? Share it here!
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Monday, April 29th, 2013
This past weekend was “nerd prom” (AKA the White House Correspondents’ dinner). It’s a fete for all the journalists who cover the executive end of the political spectrum, along with an ever-larger dollop of Hollywood types. (This year, the eclectic group included Sofia Vergara, PSY, and Katy Perry. )
And though his jokes weren’t quite as biting and memorable as my favorite former host of the proceedings, Stephen Colbert (who memorably took George W. Bush down), Conan O’Brien did an admirable job poking fun at the President, various members of the press corps, and other notable names.
Conan has been late-night royalty for two decades now (and that’s after he served as a writer on two comedy staples, Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons)—but his popularity hasn’t led to an increase in popularity for his name. Conan is an Irish name that means “wolf,” and you’d think it’d be rising up the charts right now, close on the heels of Celtic winners like Connor, Aidan and Gavin. But it’s still languishing well below the 1,000 mark.
Conan’s cool factor isn’t limited to the ginger-tressed late-night host—there’s also author Arthur Conan Doyle, the mastermind behind genius detective Sherlock Holmes. Of course, there’s also the pulpy comic book hero Conan the Barbarian, which is probably what’s holding back the popularity of this name.
Conan pairs nicely with some of the longer middle names, like Frederick, Alexander or Zachary. If your surname is longer, consider a short middle name like West or Lee. Just skip anything with an -an ending, to avoid a weird rhyming cadence with the first name. (Conan O’Brien’s parents paired it with Christopher, in case you were wondering.)
So why do you think Conan hasn’t become more popular? Is it the “Barbarian” connotation? Or are fewer people on “Team Coco” than we thought?
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