Posts Tagged ‘
cool name of the week ’
Sunday, October 27th, 2013
Anyone else watching this season of American Horror Story? I’m loving the witchy New Orleans crew, and I’m intrigued by the fact that they actually based one of the characters on a real-life person. Delphine Lalaurie, played by Kathy Bates, was an actual woman who lived in 19th century New Orleans, and severely abused her slaves (though it’s unlikely she turned any into a minotaur, as is alleged in American Horror Story).
She may not be anything close to a role model, but perhaps Madame Lalaurie, as she was known, will help bring the name Delphine back into the spotlight. Delphine is a French name, and it’s associated with either the flower delphinium or with dolphins, depending on who you ask. It’s pretty popular with authors, and has been used by characters in several novels. It peaked as a top 400 baby name back in the 1930s, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 names since the 1960s. But it’s a beautiful name, and it’s a nice alternative to some chart toppers, including Chloe, Josephine and Lillian.
Delphine can be matched up with lovely middle names—I’d pair it with Rose, Juliet, Eleanor, or Victoria.
What do you think of Delphine? Do you think it makes a fresher addition to the “ine” names currently on the rise? Or is it too fancy-French for your taste? If you’re still looking for a great baby name, don’t forget to check out our baby naming tool to help you find the perfect name.
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Monday, October 21st, 2013
I’m dedicating this column to a lovely family I know, who is mourning the loss of their beautiful Pierre. I was never fortunate enough to know Pierre in real life, but I saw him grow up on Facebook. He had a soft, gentle smile that really lit up his whole face—and from the stories his mother Mary regaled us with, it was clear he was thriving thanks to the loving care of his family, after spending his first years in a Haitian orphanage. And it was also clear, from the numerous posts on Mary’s Facebook page, that Pierre’s life has touched the hearts of hundreds of people from around the world. I know my words won’t mean much in the face of their grief, but his name was in my heart today.
Pierre is the Frenchified version of Peter, and it means rock—a nice, solid classic for a boy. While Peter has largely stayed in the top 200 baby names for the past century, Pierre has zig-zagged all over the map, and has even moved out of the top 1000 altogether. But I think it’s a lovely way to pay homage to a Peter, but with a little French twist.
I’m not sure what middle name Mary and Doug chose for their son—or if they kept the name he was given in the orphanage. Pierre pairs beautifully with other French names like Blaise, Julian, Noel or Warren. Or try something like Valentin, Hudson, Sebastian, James or Leo. They’re all lovely names—just like Pierre.
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Monday, October 14th, 2013
Did anyone else catch the amazing Malala Yousafzai on the Daily Show? (If you haven’t, check it out below.) I was so inspired by her poise and her courage to speak out for women’s rights to education—even after she was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban for speaking out. Her name was on the short list of potential Nobel Peace Prize winners, and became the battle cry for a current campaign to give all children access to education worldwide. Her book, I Am Malala, details her life story so far—and her fight to improve education for women (and for all) in Pakistan. And did I mention that this amazing young woman is only 16?
And so, I’m choosing the Pashtun name Malala as my cool name of the week. Malala means sadness, but I think this young woman may help to give that name a whole new meaning–and a new set of children named after in her honor.
Malala can’t have a plain middle name—no Jane or Leigh or Anne for this one. Try Veda, a Sanskrit name that means knowledge, Luz, a Spanish name that means light, or the cool new virtue name, Truth.
What do you think of Malala? Still too exotic for a Western audience, or a cool new name with a heroic backstory?
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Monday, September 30th, 2013
It seems like everyone in my Facebook feed loved last night’s series finale of Breaking Bad (certainly much more than I enjoyed the series finale of Dexter—which was deeply unsatisfying). My husband and I are still trying to catch up with Breaking Bad, thanks to AMC’s whole-series marathon and a now overfilled DVR. But what we’ve seen so far—and what I’ve surmised—poor Jesse Pinkman seems to have some of the most horrible things happen to him through the course of the series, thanks to Walter White. We’re talking Job level of misery. But does Aaron Paul’s unlucky meth dealer deserve to be name inspiration?
Jesse is a name that means “gift,” and has been a top 200 name for more than a century. It was most famously worn by the Old West outlaw Jesse James, but there’s a slew of young Hollywood actors bearing it, along with former pro-wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. One of my BFFs picked this name for her oldest son—which makes me love it even more. And you can always think of that 80s cheese-pop classic, Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield.
Jesse’s on a bit of a decline, thanks in part to the feminine Jessica with its shortened Jessie nickname (the goofy Disney sitcom named Jessie probably doesn’t help matters, either). But I think it’s still pretty wearable, for boys, as Jessica’s on a much sharper downward spiral (and that show has to go off the air at some point, right?).
For the ultimate in outlaw cool, pairing Jesse with James as a middle name makes a wonderfully harmonious moniker. I also love it with Francis, Rafe, Knox or Tate.
What do you think of the name Jesse? Still wearable for boys, or heading over to the girls’ side?
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Monday, September 23rd, 2013
I’ve written before about J.K. Rowling’s naming prowess. Her names from Harry Potter are legendary—Severus Snape, Remus Lupin and the like are perfect names that say something about the character before they even speak! And even in Casual Vacancy, her first “grownup” book, she had some good ones.
So I found it interesting that she picked a pretty bland name—Robert—for her pen name when she tried to publish her first mystery novel in secret. (It’s called The Cuckoo’s Calling, in case you want to take a look.) But now that the secret’s out, we can analyze her name selections, which once again befit the novel and the characters that populate it. There’s the alleged victim, Lula Landry, a supermodel with a bit of a bad-girl streak, and the trusty assistant Robin (perhaps a nod to Batman’s trusty sidekick?). I’m loving the name she saved for her detective hero best, though—that’s Cormoran Strike, a former military man who’s dealing with a struggling detective agency, a bad breakup with his on-again, off-again girlfriend, an amputated leg, and a high-profile case, all at the same time.
Cormoran is a very uncommon name—it’s popular in Cornish myth, though, as the name of the giant who created the rocky outpost, St. Michael’s Mount, just off of the coast of Cornwall. He was allegedly felled by the legendary Jack the Giant Killer, and the treasure the giant had stolen from the Cornish people was returned to them. It’s the perfect name for Rowling’s hero—a large, stocky man who has a bold and brusque way of dealing with the world.
Cormoran would be an excellent choice for someone looking for an alternative to some of the more popular Celtic/English names—like Connor, Liam, and Cameron. It lends itself to a short-and-sweet middle name pairing—Strike would be an offbeat (and striking) choice, but you could also consider True, Lee or Rex with it.
What do you think of the name Cormoran? Too offbeat, or a cool alternative to some pretty popular names?
Don’t forget: If you have a baby name dilemma and need some advice, feel free to message me on my Facebook page, or email me at email@example.com.
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