Posts Tagged ‘ cool baby names ’

Cool Name of the Week: Willa

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Anyone else watching True Blood? This week’s steamiest scenes (in one of TV’s steamiest shows) were between red-hot vamp Eric Northman and his captive, Willa Burrell, the daughter of the governor who’s declared all-out war on the vampires. While the show is filled with some pretty standard names, like Bill, Pam and Jessica, Willa’s an intriguing up-and-comer. This female variant on the uberpopular William means protector, and it’s a hot one—it rose nearly 300 spaces in the past year alone.

You can see how it’s become so popular—it’s so similar to several baby names that top the charts: Ella, Mila and Willow, to name a few. But Willa has the literary cred, thanks to author Willa Cather. And two celebs, Keri Russell and Philip Seymour Hoffman both chose the name for their daughters.

Personally, I think it’s a pretty perfect name—classic enough for the traditionalists, but offbeat enough (at least for now) to please the creative namers.

I love Willa paired with other baby names that have soft consonants—Willa Snow, Willa Jane or Willa Rose all sound lovely, don’t you think?

If you’re watching True Blood, let me know if any of the other names on the show might make your short list—and if you’re digging this season thus far.

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Cool Name of the Week: Henry

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

My nearly eight-year-old daughter is already engaged. She fell in love with Henry, the son of one of my best friends, the second she laid eyes on him—which was at the tender age of 1, on her very first playdate ever.

And to be honest, who wouldn’t fall in love with Henry? He’s a hilarious boy who loves nothing more than collecting buckets of toy soldiers and doing pratfalls worthy of a stuntman (much to my friend’s chagrin). With his wild shock of dark hair and twinkling hazely-green eyes, he looks like trouble.

Which makes his parents’ choice of moniker even more appropriate. The name Henry, which means “ruler,” has Germanic roots. And it’s been the name of some of the biggest bad boys of English royalty—think Prince Harry (officially named Henry) or King Henry VIII—which makes it perfectly suited for my friend’s mischievous offspring.

When my friend named her son, Henry was hanging down near the bottom of the top 100 names, but it’s rising on the charts, and currently sits just under the top 50 names in the country. Though depending on where you live in the U.S., Henry could be one of the most popular names around, putting your kid at risk of being a “Henry F.” or “Henry G.” throughout his school career. (It’s become especially popular in more urban areas.)

Henry does come with a few nickname possibilities: Harry (as Princess Di’s youngest son is called), Hank (think baseball legend Hank Aaron), and Hal (as the legendary King Henry V was called by his closest associates). And in fact, Hank’s the nickname my friends use for their son.

But personally, I’m just wild about Henry as a boy, and as a name—so much so that if I’d have had a son, I might have considered giving him the moniker myself.

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/

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