Posts Tagged ‘ nature names ’

Cool Name of the Week: Hazel

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Finding time to read isn’t always easy with kids—and so I’m just now getting around to reading The Fault in Our Stars, John Green’s masterful story about the romance between two kids who just happen to have cancer. (I’m not yet done, so no spoilers, please!) If you haven’t read it, do—it’s the kind of book I love, where writer’s skill is so deft that he could write several chapters about assembling IKEA furniture, and you’d be willing to go along for the ride. And the movie, which opens in theaters on Friday, looks like a winner as well.

And if you’ve read the book, you know it only takes a few paragraphs before you fall in love with Hazel Grace, the “miracle” girl who survived a cancer that wrecked her lungs, forcing her to walk around trailing an oxygen tank that pipes better air through a cannula under her nose. And it seems that people have fallen back in love with the name Hazel as well.

Hazel is a nature name, for the tree that gives us hazelnuts, and it’s also a color—a green-flecked brown eye hue. It reached its first peak in popularity back in the early 1900s, then bottomed out from the 1970s to the early 2000s. But like many other turn-of-the-20th-century faves (think Adeline and Clara), this is making a big comeback. It’s a favorite of celebrities—Julia Roberts picked it first, followed recently by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. And it’s currently the 157th most popular name for girls here in the U.S. My guess is that with the movie release and the passionate fan base surrounding The Fault in Our Stars, this name is definitely on a popularity trajectory that should bring it into the top 100 within the next year or two.

John Green chose well pairing Hazel with the sweet middle name Grace. If you don’t want to seem like you’re copying, consider pairing Hazel with June, James (yes, it works for girls!), Claire, Plum or May/Mae.

What do you think of the name Hazel? Would you consider a nature-based name for your baby?

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

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Jason Bateman and Wife Amanda Anka Name Daughter Maple Sylvie

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Yet another Hollywood baby has been graced with a unique name: Maple Sylvie, born to  Jason Bateman and wife Amanda Anka on February 10. The baby girl’s unusual name is a dramatic departure from the more conventional name the couple gave to Maple’s older sister, Francesca Nora.

Maple is on trend with a new category of nature names that we’ve seen emerge. Now that just about every flower in the garden has been adopted as a baby name—from old favorites like Lily, Rose, and Daisy, to fresher blooms like Camellia, Azalea, and Zinnia–some adventurous parents are looking to the forest (specifically trees) for inspiration.

We’ve heard of babies named Oak, Pine–and now there’s a Maple. But while most tree names are strong and masculine, Maple, with its ties to sugar and syrup, has a much sweeter, more feminine image. Middle name Sylvie, the French version of Sylvia that is gradually gaining favor in the U.S., ties in very well with Maple; its sylvan meaning also relates to the forest.

Mom Amanda Anka, daughter of singer Paul, obviously opted not to follow her parents’ pattern of same-initialed names. Amanda’s sisters are Amelia, Anthea, Alicia, and Alexandra.

Maple is the third nontraditional name that we’ve heard in Hollywood in recent weeks. Last month, there was Beyonce’s Blue Ivy, followed by Robert Downey Jr.’s Exton Elias.

What do you think of baby Maple’s name?

Photo: Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka at The Change Up World Premiere, Village Theater, Westwood, CA, via s_bukley/

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

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