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Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
The 1930s didn’t go down in history as a stellar decade—what with the Great Depression and Hitler bringing everybody down. But can some cool names be salvaged from this decade? The chart toppers of the 1930s were Robert and Mary—not exactly out-there names even today. But could there be some overlooked gems on the list?
Franklin took a sharp rise after FDR was sworn into office—it peaked at #33 in 1933. It’s dropped below the top 500 now, but still makes a worthy choice. Consider it in lieu of the “den” names like Brayden or Jayden.
While Robert topped the charts in the 1930s, the nickname Bobby wasn’t far behind at #27. Nickname names might not be super popular right now, but could Bobby be charming enough to make a comeback?
Edward may be the “Ed” name of choice, thanks to Twilight, but back in the 1930s, Edwin was topping the charts, too. The name means “wealthy friend”—and isn’t that the best kind to have? I love the idea of Win as a nickname.
I love Clifford, the #86 name of the 1930s—even if this name has become synonymous with the Big Red Dog. But I’d skip Cliff as a nickname in favor of Ford.
Alfred means wise counselor—like the sharp-as-a-tack bearer of the name, Alfred Hitchcock—and it was a top 50 name of the 1930s. If you like the nicknames Freddie or UK fave Alfie, this is the name for you!
Doris peaked at number 13 back in the 1930s—and maybe that’s why it was so unlucky to fall out of fashion. It hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the 1990s, even though it has a cool meaning—gift of the ocean—and a sweet Dorrie nickname.
Strangely enough, the popularity of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe didn’t extend to her name—it peaked at #16 back in the 1930s. The name is a combo of Mary and Lynn—so it’s a nice way to honor two people in your past.
Sweet Irene has a lovely meaning—peace—and still hasn’t come back after a slow and steady decline from its #49 spot in the 1930s. I think it’s a nice alternative to the many vowel-heavy names, like Emma and Olivia, that still top the charts.
Could Bernice be the next Beatrice? This #87 name in the 1930s fell out of favor in the 1980s, and comes with a cute “Bunny” nickname.
Joan topped the charts back in the 1930s, ranking 7th—and it has the cool Joan of Arc namesake with it. It hasn’t been a top 1000 contender since the 1990s, but maybe it’s ready to come back as an offbeat middle name choice?
What do you think? Could Alfred or Bernice be at a playground near you? If you aren’t a big fan of these 1930s names, try looking for a more modern one with our Baby Name Finder. And if you’ve already found your name, check out this video to make sure you’ve picked a winner.
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Image: 1930s woman, from Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com
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Monday, August 12th, 2013
Britain and the U.S. may have a lot in common, but the top baby names aren’t one of them! In the UK, the top baby names are Harry and Amelia, yet again—names that aren’t anywhere near the top of the charts here in the U.S. (Harry’s at #718, while Amelia does rank higher, at #23.)
Some other interesting notes:
1. Nicknames are more popular than the formal names in the UK. Their top 20 includes Sophie, Charlie, Alfie, Evie, Max and Harry (which is actually a nickname for Henry).
2. Some of our most popular names don’t rank high in the UK. U.S. #2 Mason is #31 in the UK, and #2 Emma is #50 in the UK.
3. The British big climbers are Hugo (up 51 spots), and Ivy (up 80 spots). Ivy’s pretty big here, too, thanks to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter.
4. I’m loving that most of the top 10 British baby names would make stellar sib sets—Jack and Jessica, for instance, or Thomas and Ava.
5. They have some lovely name choices that I’d suggest we steal: I’m loving Alfie, Archie, Arthur, Rory and George for boys; Isla, Poppy, Freya, Maisie and Tillie for girls.
Here’s the top 10 British names, for those keeping score at home.
1. Harry and Amelia
2. Oliver and Olivia
3. Jack and Jessica
4. Charlie and Emily
5. Jacob and Lily
6. Thomas and Ava
7. Alfie and Mia
8. Riley and Isla
9. William and Sophie
10. James and Isabella
You can check out the full top 100 here. What names do you love from it?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names!
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Could your baby’s name impact his future success? High-end recruiter The Ladders crunched some numbers around its members, and came up with some interesting insights into first names and future income or success. Their overarching theory, based on their 6 million members? The shorter the name, the better! People who went by three-letter monikers (like Bob, Tom and Rob) made the most money—and every additional letter in your name cost you $3,600 in annual salary. And that held true for both men and women—as most of the top earning names in the ladies’ category were short and sweet, like Lynn, Dana and Cathy. One notable exception for the ladies was Christine, which ranked as the top C-level executive name for women, and was also on the top 5 high earners. (Maybe those ladies went informally by Chris when actually addressed at work?)
Another interesting insight was that informal nicknames trumped their more formal roots—so going by Bill instead of William, or Debbie instead of Deborah could help you earn more cash. My thought? Short, one-syllable names like Rob, Marc and Lynn are easy to pronounce, simple and straightforward. And who wouldn’t want a colleague (or leader), who was straightforward?
Admittedly, some of the names among the top earners, especially on the ladies’ list, felt a little less-than-fresh. Denise, for instance, is on a steep trajectory out of the top 1,000 names, and Cindy is following on Denise’s heels. On the boys’ side, Wayne recently had a sharp spike in popularity, but it’s still near the bottom of the top 1,000 names for boys.
Though of course, you’ll have to take all of this number crunching with a grain of salt. The pool of people in their sample is skewed toward high-level business folks (I’m sure there are plenty of Denises and Robs who have less than 6-figure salaries), and I can say with authority that despite our short-and-sweet names, my husband and I aren’t C-level executives.
But maybe this is food for thought as you pick your baby’s name. Look for names that are short and sweet, or that can be lopped off to a simple nickname.
What do you think? Could your name (or your baby’s name) be holding you back?
(Want to keep up with the latest in baby names? Follow In Name Only on Facebook for the latest!)
Image: Baby names by Amir Ridhwan/Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
I’ve been thinking about the latest spate of celebrity baby names, and I’ve noticed a trend—the celebs who have more unique names themselves gave their kids very traditional names (i.e. actress Shiri Appleby and her daughter, Natalie), while ones who have more common names themselves went offbeat for their babies (see Holly Madison and her daughter, Rainbow Aurora, and Kristen Bell and her daughter, Lincoln Bell Shepard).
So are we all looking to give our kids the names we wish we had? I know I didn’t like that my name was super popular and had no nickname possibilities, and so I gave my girls names that weren’t super common (Katharine and Margaret), and came with a slew of nickname possibilities. And I’ve seen that with some of my friends—one who loathed the fact that her name, Katherine, was always shortened to a nickname, gave her sons names that can’t really be shortened. Another who disliked the offbeat spelling of her name gave her kids names with classic spellings.
I think it’s only natural that we’d want to give our kids names in the style we wish we’d been named. But does that mean that my daughters are going to pick short and sweet names for their kids? Or that all the Olivias and Jacobs from this generation are going to rebel and give their kids offbeat names like Wheat and Amaryllis?
Let me know if my theory’s totally bunk! In the comments, let me know what you would have changed about your own name—and if you picked names for your kids don’t have that particular issue.
Image: Babies by Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com
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Thursday, March 28th, 2013
It’s a girl for Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard—and with an offbeat name that tends more toward dad Dax (a French place name that’s near the bottom of the top 1000 for boys) than mom’s conventional Kristen (currently number 661, after a long run in the top 10 baby names for girls). Their new daughter? Welcome Lincoln Bell Shepard.
Lincoln has Presidential links, thanks to the Great Emancipator himself (perhaps the couple loved the recent flick). But it’s a name that’s almost always been used for boys—and I’ve never seen it mentioned for a girl. It’s currently on an upswing for boys, in the top 200 baby names, and given the recent movie, I don’t expect to see it take a downturn any time soon. Which means that this girly Lincoln may just have a boyfriend with the same name one day.
Lincoln is usually shortened to “Linc,” but for a girl, I’d go with Lin or Callie as a nickname. Or perhaps even Libby—Kristen appears to go by “KB” with her friends, as evidenced by the recent Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign. Maybe they planned the name so little Lincoln can go by her initials as well.
Bell is obviously her mom’s surname, but it’s also been relatively popular for girls—especially in that middle spot.
I love the name if they’d have a son, but I’m not so convinced that Lincoln works for a girl. (Of course, that all depends on what kind of girl she is—and if she’s as funny and sassy as her mom, perhaps it really will work for her.) Still I expected something offbeat and cool from this duo, and they definitely delivered.
What do you think? Does Lincoln work for the ladies? Or is it a boys’ only name? Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Image: Kristen Bell by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
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