Posts Tagged ‘ jennifer lawrence ’

X-Men Baby Names

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Today, X-Men: Days of Future Past opens, with the story once again focusing on Dr. Charles Xavier and his band of merry mutants, who fight not only against some evil humans who are hellbent on erasing them from the planet, but some fellow mutants who don’t share their kinder, gentler, let’s-all-just-get-along outlook. I’m excited to see this one, which requires time travel to stop whatever massive danger the X-Men find themselves in.

If you’ve been living under a rock and know nothing about them, the X-Men generally go by some pretty funky names, based on their special powers—like Iceman, who can freeze things at will, or Magneto, who can control and warp anything metallic. But if you’re looking for a name in homage to your favorite X-Men character, here are a few that are worth considering.

Xavier is the surname of Charles Francis Xavier (AKA Professor X), the leader of the X-Men, who possesses powers of telepathy and can control the minds of others. (He’s played, at least in future time, by the always awesome Patrick Stewart.) Xavier is the 83rd most popular name in the U.S., and it means “bright.”

Wolverine is probably the most iconic X-Men character, with his adamantium-clad claws that spring out from his fingers. The name he goes by, Logan, has been in the top 20 names in the U.S. since 2006. It’s a Scottish name that means “hollow,” and while it’s generally used for the boys, it’s having some success as a girls’ name, too.

Rogue can steal memories and powers from other people through touch. Her name has been revealed as either Anna or Marie (or Anna Marie), depending on if you follow the comics or the movie. But I like Rogue itself as a word name. It may be a little daring in the first spot, but it would make a really cool middle name.

Mystique is one of the cooler dark-side mutants, with blue skin and the ability to shape shift into anyone. The fact that she’s been played recently by Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t hurt, either. Mystique’s real name is Raven, currently on a bit of an upswing toward the top 500 baby names.

Jean Grey possesses telekinetic, telepathic and empathic powers of incredible strength, surpassing even Professor X. While Jean’s a beautiful, old-school name, it’s dropped off the radar since the early 1990s, and last year only 61 girls sported the name. I’m liking Grey a bit more, as a cool and colorful middle name.

Tell me: Who’s your favorite X-Man? And would you name your kiddo in homage to a pop-culture hero?

Check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect baby name. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.


Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret


Image: Mystique courtesy of  Marvel & 20th Century Fox


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Oscar-Worthy Baby Names

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Break out the champagne and the fancy hors d’oeuvres—today’s my version of the Superbowl, the Oscars. While the number of nominated films I get to see (at least in the non-animated categories) has fallen exponentially since I had kids, I’m always excited to check out the fashions and start crafting my own imaginary acceptance speech.

But while I love Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lawrence and all the other nominees, watching the Oscars always makes me nostalgic for my old-school favorite movies, often starring legendary actors who never even scored an Oscar. (Cary Grant only scored an honorary Oscar for all of his years starring in amazing films like His Girl Friday and Philadelphia StoryMarilyn Monroe never scored one either, despite hilarious turns in Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.)

If you’re a big movie buff, there are plenty of wonderful names to consider among past (and current) honorees—here are some of my favorites.

You can’t go wrong with Meryl Streep, nominated yet again this year for her role in August: Osage County. She’s scored the most total nominations, with 18—and three wins among them. Her name is a variant of Muriel, which means “of the sea.”

Bette Davis was the first woman to receive 10 nominations—and had five consecutive, along with fellow actress Greer Garson. Bette is a variant of Elizabeth, which means consecrated to God.

Walt Disney won the most Oscars, with 22 victories. His name is short for Walter, a German name that means ruler, and is currently on an upsurge.

The legendary costume designer Edith Head is known as the most-honored woman in Oscar history, with 7 wins, including two for Roman Holiday and Sabrina, where she outfitted the equally legendary Audrey Hepburn. Edith means prosperous in war, and is currently on a bit of an uptick and in the top 800 names.

Katharine Hepburn is the winningest actress with four acting awards—and an inspiration for my daughter’s name. Katharine means pure. Her true love, Spencer Tracy, was among the first to win twice consecutively. His name, Spencer, means steward, and is currently in the top 250 names for boys.

And last but not least, Marlon Brando was a legendary actor who scored the most consecutive nominations with four in a row. His name’s origin is a bit of a mystery, but the name is currently in the top 700 in the U.S. Some more adventurous namers have chosen Brando instead to honor the Oscar winner.

What’s your favorite Oscar-related name? Share it in the comments! (And see what other Oscar-related name I picked for the Cool Name of the Week.)

Find out the meaning of your favorite baby names with our Baby Name Finder, and keep up with the latest in baby name news.

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

Image: Oscar award by Joe Seer /

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Why Haven’t The Hunger Games Baby Names Caught On?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The Hunger Games series has been a massive hit both as a book series and in film form. And even though it has cool and pretty creative spins on classic names, they’re aren’t a bunch of Katnisses and Peetas at the local day cares. (In fact, there were only 12 girls in the whole country named Katniss last year, and not a single Peeta.)

Sure, there are some names that just don’t seem to lend themselves to use—like Beetee or Glimmer—but here are a few less offbeat names that might be worth considering.

The Hunger Games‘ heroine Katniss sports a name that’s only slightly off from classics like Katherine and Katrina. It’s the name of a real-life edible plant. And who wouldn’t want their daughter named after such a strong and brave character? (Especially one played by the awesome Jennifer Lawrence?)

Gale is Katniss’ BFF and perhaps her true love, has a weather name that means forceful wind, a variant spelling of the short form of Abigail. If you aren’t daring enough to give it to a boy, it might be worthy of a girl.

Effie was once a top 100 baby name, but fell out of the top 1000 before 1960. It’s short for Euphemia, and it’s the name of the always fashionable Effie Trinket.

Perhaps my favorite name from the series is Primrose, Katniss’ younger sister. It’s a beautiful flower and a not well-used name—only 16 girls were given the name last year.

Rue was the girl Katniss tried to save in the first Hunger Games. It’s also a floral name, and makes an adorable middle name.

Johanna is probably the most popular of the names used in the series—it’s a feminization of John, and has been in the top 600 for more than a century.

I love the name Alma, which author Suzanne Collins picked for the future prez of Panem. It means nurturing, and has been in the top 1000 for more than a century.

Are there any Hunger Games names you’d want to use? If you’re still looking for a baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Generator! And if you want to keep up on the latest in baby names, like In Name Only on Facebook!

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

Image: The Hunger Games book cover, courtesy of Scholastic

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Cool Name of the Week: Jennifer

Monday, February 25th, 2013

I broke my wrist this weekend in karate class, which makes it sound cool…but tripping while sparring, which makes it sound a little less cool. (Though Jennifer Lawrence tripping at the Oscars makes tripping seem cooler, right?) So needless to say, I have had some time this weekend to ruminate about potential cool names of the week. And I’ve picked one that seems ubiquitous, but is on its way onto the endangered name list. Is it too late to save Jennifer? And could Oscar winner (and fellow tripper) Jennifer Lawrence help lead the Jen-aissance?

Nameberry actually posted about what they coined the “Jennifer Jauggernaut” last week, and how Jennifer went from obscurity to the top spot in less than 30 years. Jennifer, along with my name, Lisa, were THE names for Generation X girls, to the point where there are Jennifer support groups online….as if the name was some sort of child abuse.  Which explains why few people are currently naming their kids Jennifer (currently #134 on the the baby name list) or especially, Lisa (#703 on the U.S. lists), and they are picking names like Brooklinne instead. (Because the name HAS to be unique…even if it is just a made-up spelling.)

Jennifer is based on the old name Guinevere, and means “white wave.” It comes with a few potential nicknames, including Jen, Jenna and Jenny. Another variant that’s on the rise is Genevieve, which is currently #232 and climbing.

There’s a whole slew of famous Jennifers for name inspiration…Aniston, Lopez, Lawrence, Garner, Hudson, Love Hewitt, Jones and Connelly.

if you’re thinking of Jennifer, consider an offbeat middle name to freshen it up: Lark, Snow or Belle would be my choices. Or put Jen in the middle and use a short-and-sweet first name, like Zoe, Rose or Maeve.

Do you think Jen’s been around the block too often to make it a serious name contender? Would you ever consider a name that was hot when you were a kid, like Lisa, Jessica, Jason, or Mike?

Oh, and congrats to my fellow tripper Jennifer Lawrence on her Oscar win!

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/

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