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girl baby names ’
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
It’s time to take the baby name time machine back to the era of poodle skirts and young Elvis. And while the baby name Elvis reached its peak back in 1957 (it was #312 then), the most popular names were kind of what you’d expect—as they’re likely the names of your parents or grandparents. James and Mary topped the list, with Michael and Linda in second. James and Michael are still in the tops for boys, but Mary and Linda have fallen off considerably from their peaks.
Some of the names are probably too freshly popular to expect a comeback—names like Gary and Cheryl. But there might be a few gems worth resurrecting. Here are my picks from the top 100 1950s names:
I’ve been trying to resurrect the name Kenneth for a while now. It was #16 back in the 1950s, and has a really cool meaning—who wouldn’t want to call their kid handsome? It’s now in the top 200, but falling slowly.
Bruce, which means from the brushwood thicket, reached its pinnacle of popularity in the 1950s—#32 on the charts back then. With legends like Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Lee and Bruce Willis sporting the name, is it any wonder that it’s back on the map? (It’s risen over 100 places in the last two years alone!)
Dale was the 50th most popular name back in the 1950s, and it officially fell of the map for boys back in 2009. It means valley, and I like it in place of names like Cale and Caleb.
Leonard means brave lion, and it was the 88th most popular name back in the 1950s—today it’s just outside the top 700. It’s a nice way to get that trendy “Leo” nickname, but give your kid a classic name to go with it.
Kathleen is a variant of Caitlin and Katherine, and it has the same meaning—pure. It was #15 back in the 1950s, but today it’s fallen down to #667. It might be a fresh alternative to the now overplayed Caitlin.
Valerie ranked 84th back in the 1950s. It means strong, and it’s leveled off in the top 200 baby names for a while now. Maybe it’s time for a resurgence?
Pamela peaked in the 1950s, at #13—but it dropped out of the top 1000 last year. It’s a name that means “honey,” and maybe deserves another chance? I’m not loving Pam as a nickname, but could a case be made for the fresher “Millie” nickname from it?
Nancy peaked in the 1950s, but has been been taking a nosedive of late. It has a lovely meaning—grace—and that can-do detective Nancy Drew to recommend her. (Plus that spunky Fancy Nancy character is super cute!)
What do you think? Do any of the names suit you, or is there another retro classic you’re considering? If you’re still looking for baby names, try our Baby Name Finder, or keep up with the latest in baby names by liking In Name Only on Facebook!
Plus: See what’s written in the stars for you and Baby with our Mom and Baby Horoscope Finder. Also, be sure to check these must-dos off your Pregnancy To-Do List.
Image: 1950s woman by Yarygin/Shutterstock.com
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
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, October 7th, 2013
If you’ve been following the whole Miley Cyrus grows up/goes bad controversy, you know that a blast from the past came in to offer some advice to this latest wild child. Sinead O’Connor, who was name checked by Miley Cyrus as the inspiration behind her “naked-girl-on-a-wrecking ball” video, wrote a letter telling Miley she deserves better than being pimped out by the record company executives. But Miley didn’t take too kindly to the suggestions—even though Sinead went on and on about her talent. And that’s led to a whole big battle, played out on Twitter and the internet, between Sinead and Miley.
Personally, I’m on team Sinead. And it’s not just because her name is awesome. Sinead is the Irish version of Jane or Janet, and it means “God’s gracious gift.” And thanks to the singer, more people know how to pronounce it (if you aren’t sure, it’s Shin-aid) than in the past. The name has never been in the top 1000 in the U.S., but it does rank in the top 100 in Ireland. I think it’s a cool way to pay homage to a Grandma Janet, without choosing that more dated name.
Sinead needs a beautiful middle name accompaniment. I like it paired with Maeve, Rose, Ivy or Margaret.
What do you think of the name Sinead? Totally cool, or still too foreign for an American girl?
Want to catch up with my Cool Name of the Week series? I’d love to see what you think of my past choices!
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Saturday, September 7th, 2013
It’s all girls this week in celebrity baby names. Singer Monica and her husband, Phoenix Suns’ b-ball player Shannon Brown welcomed their first daughter, Laiyah Shannon, while it’s a second girl for NASCAR great Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra, who welcomed Lydia Norriss, who joined big sister Genevieve Marie.
Laiyah was the name the baby’s godmother picked for her. It isn’t a common name—and seems to be a variant of either the Hebrew Leah, which means weary, or the Catalan nickname-name Laia, which means sweet speaking. It’s also similar to the name Aaliyah, worn most famously by the late pop singer, which is an Arabic name that means “high born.” Her middle name is Shannon, in homage to her daddy—this unisex Irish name is now slightly more common for girls.
Lydia is a classic Greek baby name, currently in the top 100. A Lydia plays a small part in the New Testament, and it rose in popularity in the 18th century—it was featured as one of the Bennett sisters in Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. Norriss appears to be a family name.
What do you think? Would you prefer the more offbeat Laiyah, or the classic Lydia?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in celebrity baby names!
Photo: Monica and Shannon Brown by Allen Berezovsky / Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name News, Celebrity Baby Names
Sunday, August 25th, 2013
Odds are, you’ve probably heard the “song of the summer,” Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines,” about a billion times. (Unless, of course, you have kids and don’t think lyrics like “must wanna get nasty” are appropriate for a three-year-old.) I’m old enough that I immediately recognized Robin as looking like his dad, Alan, the affable TV dad on Growing Pains.
I’m wondering if the younger Thicke, red-hot Robin, will help bring back the name, which has fallen out of the top 1000 for both boys and girls. It’s a sweet, cheerful name, associated with that red-breasted harbinger of spring—and it has a ton of pop-culture cache. Think Batman’s sidekick, rob-from-the-rich Robin Hood, and on the girls’ side of the equation, Robin Scherbatsky from How I Met Your Mother. Of course, the big question is whether this unisex favorite is now going to make a comeback for girls or boys.
Personally, I think it sounds fresher for a boy, where it’s a new way to pay homage to a Robert ancestor.
I’d probably pair it with an offbeat, sharp middle name—I like Jet, Jude or Zane for boys, or Margeaux, Belle or Violet for girls.
What do you think: Is Robin better for boys or girls—or don’t you like it at all?
(And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names!)
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