Monday, July 16th, 2012
I’m calling this my Mayan summer. We had asked Maggie‘s summer camp to ensure that she was grouped with her pal Maya, a gorgeous, curly-haired girl with an impish personality. So imagine my surprise when she ended up in a group with not one, not two, but three Mayas—out of just 16 kids in the group.
That seems especially interesting, considering the name was only ranked number 62 in the year that my daughter (and the Mayas 3) were born—though it was ranked a bit higher that year, at number 41 in our state.
Today, Maya’s still in the 60s—and it makes a nice alternative to the (even more popular) Mia. It’s a pancultural name—the name of the vibrant Central American culture (you know, the one with the calendar everyone’s buzzing about), which is also the Sanskrit word for “illusion,” another name for the Hindu goddess Durga, and the name of the mother of Buddha. It’s a name in a song by late Beatle George Harrison—and the name of Pablo Picasso’s daughter, who appeared in his painting, Maya With Doll.
Both author Maya Angelou and actor/comedian Maya Rudolph have the name, and it’s been popular with celebrity parents. Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke gave the name to their daughter, as did actors Josie Bissett and Rob Estes, and actor Justin Chambers.
As for what to pair this beautiful name with, I’m liking it with Blue. That combination is a nod to history—Maya Blue is actually the name of a bright blue pigment that was developed in the Mayan culture centuries ago, that was used in Mayan art. I also think it pairs beautifully with longer middle names. I like the idea of a Maya Caroline, a Maya Beatrix, or even a Maya Clementine.
What do you think of Maya? Does it work for you, or is it too popular for your taste?
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Most parents think their kids are absolutely priceless, so it’s no wonder that the rich and famous often opt for names that reflect precious stones. But I don’t think they actually sacked their jewelry boxes for name inspiration. Gemstones are often linked with certain unique qualities—people believe certain stones can help protect their wearers or bring them better luck—and those meanings give each of these baby names a little extra richness. Consider one of these options for your precious baby.
Pearl symbolizes purity and innocence, and it’s currently riding the old-names-made-new wave back toward the top of the name list. Actress Maya Rudolph and director Paul Thomas Anderson chose it for their daughter back in 2005, and Jack Osbourne recently paired it with the middle name Clementine (another up-and-comer) for his new daughter.
Ruby is often associated with love and healing—and this bold red stone has inspired one of the hottest names for babies. It currently ranks just beneath the top 100 in the U.S., and in second place in England. Singer Rod Stewart and actor Tobey Maguire are two stars who picked Ruby for their daughters.
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Jade is a beautiful, gleaming green stone that can bring you wealth and good luck. It’s a name that could work well for both boys and girls, but often it’s used for just the ladies. Jade was the choice of Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger for his daughter. Celebrity chef Giada DeLaurentiis picked it for her daughter as well—an interesting choice, given that her name, Giada, is actually the Italian word for jade.
Jasper is a type of quartz, and it symbolizes courage and strength, making it a gem of a name for a boy. Its appearance in the Twilight series helped it rise into the top 300 names—and it was the choice of actress Kimberly Paisley and singer Brad Paisley for their little boy.
What are your favorite gem names?
Photo: Giada De Laurentiis and daughter by s_bukley/Shutterstock
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