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celebrity baby names ’
Monday, April 29th, 2013
It’s another daughter for original 90210-er Ian Ziering—he and wife Erin welcomed Penna Mae exactly two years to the day after her big sister, Mia Loren, arrived.
While big sister Mia sports a very popular name, Penna’s more offbeat and less heard of—it’s the Latin word for feather, and an abbreviation for Pennsylvania. And it could also be used as a cool nickname for Penelope, too. But even though it’s rarely heard here in the U.S., it doesn’t sound too outlandish—it has a very classic vibe to it.
Mae is a variant spelling of middle-name staple May, though also it’s often used as a nickname for Margaret. Its most famous association is with legendary screen siren Mae West, who was known for her classic quips, like “When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better.” (She wrote many of her works, in addition to starring in them.)
Even though the siblings have names that vary considerably in popularity (Mia’s currently in the top 10 in name popularity, while poor Penna doesn’t even chart), they pair nicely together—both are feminine and easy to pronounce.
What do you think of the name Penna? Is it too offbeat, or a name unique enough for a very special little girl?
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Image: Erin and Ian Ziering by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Gwyneth Paltrow was just named People’s Most Beautiful Person—but you’ll be hard-pressed to find another Gwyneth in real life. It’s a pretty name, reminiscent of the far more popular Genevieve, and has a lovely meaning—cherished. But I’m thinking the Gwyneth Paltrow backlash against the Marie Antoinette-ish lack of reality in her GOOP newsletter. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a half a million dollars to spring on “wardrobe essentials.”)
Which got me thinking about some other names you should be seeing around the playground, but never took off. Here’s my list of names that should be higher on the radar.
Suri My younger daughter and I actually brushed past Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s intriguingly named offspring recently. (We both attended the same performance of Cinderella on Broadway and both ended up hanging out backstage at the same time.) Tom and Katie claimed the name meant rose or royalty in Persian or Hebrew, but experts say it’s a name that has more negative connotations—like “pickpocket” in Japanese. Whether it’s part of the Tom Cruise backlash or it’s the fact that Suri rhymes with “slurry,” this name hasn’t caught fire.
Pax The names of some of Brangelina’s other offspring have really taken off—we’re looking at you Maddox, Vivienne, and Knox! But Pax has yet to take off—despite the fact that it has that cool “x” ending and a really neat meaning, “peace.”
Seraphina It’s been four years since Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner gave this angelic name to their daughter, and it still hasn’t cracked the top 1000. It’s a nice alternative to the far-more-popular Sabrina.
Harry A handsome British royal and the world’s most famous boy wizard haven’t done anything to bring this variant of Henry back from its slow and steady decline. (Though Henry itself has been on the rise!)
What names do you think should be more popular than they are? (Or are you too afraid to share them, in case you want to use them?)
Image: Gwyneth Paltrow by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Categories: Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read | Tags: baby names, ben affleck, brangelina, celebrities, celebrity baby names, gwyneth paltrow, harry, jennifer garner, katie holmes, suri cruise, tom cruise
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Actress Poppy Montgomery and boyfriend Shawn Sanford welcomed their first daughter earlier this week. Her name has a floral motif, just like Mom—Violet Grace.
Violet’s been an up-and-coming name ever since Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose it for their daughter. It’s just about to hit the top 100 baby names, as part of the rise of floral names like Lily, Poppy, Rose and Daisy. Violet’s been popular for fictional characters—you’ll find it as the gum-chewing contest winner in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the superhero teen with invisibility powers on The Incredibles, and the oldest Baudelaire orphan in the popular Series of Unfortunate Events books.
And the middle name is even hotter—Grace is #16 on the U.S. list for girls’ names. It’s part of the virtue name trend, with names like Hope and Faith. And Grace is a name associated with true Hollywood royalty—Grace Kelly, who became Princess Grace of Monaco.
In all, I think it’s a winner—a name that would be fabulous for any girl.
What do you think of Violet Grace? Is it a name you’d consider for your daughter?
Image: Poppy Montgomery by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Romantic comedy actress Malin Akerman (you’ve seen her in Rock of Ages, 27 Dresses, Couples Retreat, and The Proposal) must be celebrating a lot these days. In addition to the upcoming premiere of her cool-looking new TV series—the Netflix-only Hemlock Grove—she just welcomed her first son with husband Roberto Zincone. And she gave her baby boy a red-hot moniker, Sebastian.
Sebastian is currently in the top 70 names in the country, and poised to go higher. It was the name of an early Christian saint—paintings of him with numerous arrow wounds were a popular subject for medieval and Renaissance era artists. It was also a favorite of Shakespeare, who placed characters named Sebastian in two of his plays. And of course, there’s the crab from Little Mermaid, too.
Sebastian is usually shortened to Bas or Bast as a nickname, and it’s one of my favorite names.
No word on what Malin and Roberto chose as a middle name, but I’d pair it with something short and sweet: James, George, or West would be my top choices.
What do you think of the name Sebastian? Is it too well associated with that calypso-y crab pal of Ariel? Or is it a name you’d consider for your little guy?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest news in baby names.
Image: Malin Akerman by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
The former First Family has a new addition! Jenna Bush Hager and husband Henry Hager welcomed George W. Bush’s first granddaughter, who was given the names of her two grandmothers—Margaret Laura. She’ll be called Mila.
Mila is usually shorthand for Milena, and means “love.” Margaret is one of my favorite names (it’s my youngest daughter’s), and it’s a Greek name meaning pearl. There’s a slew of noteworthy Margarets in the past, including queens, England’s former prime minister, and an array of authors and actors.
Laura is the former First Lady’s name, and another classic. It means “laurel,” and it’s still a top 300 name, though it’s on a bit of a decline from its last peak in the 1980s. Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House on the Prairie series, is perhaps the other lady of fame associated with the name.
In all, Jenna and Henry chose a lovely, classic name that’s full of meaning for the family, and a sweet nickname that pays homage to both grandmothers.
What do you think of Mila—or Margaret Laura? Are any of those names on your short list?
If you’re having trouble coming up with a great baby name, feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to help you solve your baby-name dilemmas!
Image: Jenna Bush Hager, a White House photo by Shealah Craighead
Categories: Baby Name News, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read | Tags: baby name news, baby names, celebrities, celebrity baby names, george w. bush, girl baby names, jenna bush hager, laura bush, mill