Posts Tagged ‘ nicknames ’

Baby Name Dilemma: What Middle Name Goes With Sunshine?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Reader Jennifer knows what name she wants for her daughter—but the middle name stumps her. Here’s her dilemma:
I am having a baby girl and her name will be Sunshine. It’s a heartwarming story on how we got her name, but we are stumped on a middle name. Last name initial is M. Would love to hear some suggestions!

Sunshine is a cheerful, yet still offbeat name—it had a brief spell in the top 1000 in the 1970s-early 1980s. But you’re right—it’s definitely a challenge to come up with a middle name that works. I’d probably skew toward something a little more conservative and traditional, in case your daughter feels Sunshine doesn’t work for her, but you don’t want to go too conservative, either—I think Sunshine Jane would be odd, for instance.

Another word name would be lovely—perhaps a floral name, like Rose, Dahlia, Laurel, or Lily. Or a gem name, like Jade or Pearl.

Some other options I think could work with Sunshine: Fae, Rowena, Athena, and Isadora.

So readers, what do you think? What names would you pair with Sunshine? If you have a burning baby name question, don’t be shy: Share it with me at lamilbrand@gmail.com, or in the comments here. And our Baby Name Finder can help you find your perfect name, if you’re still searching.  (To keep up with the latest in baby names, you should like In Name Only on Facebook!)

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

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Cool Name of the Week: Rust

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Anyone else watching HBO’s newest series, True Detective? It’s not for the faint of heart—it’s a dark story about two cops chasing a pretty wicked serial killer. But the acting, by stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, is pretty darned incredible. And I’m kind of intrigued by Matthew’s character, a cop with a dark past, named Rust Cohle. Rust is dealing with a failed marriage, the death of his daughter—and clearly, as the story is told in flashbacks, something about this case really damaged him for life. He plays both flashback and current-time Rust amazingly well.

Rust feels like a name that should intrigue people looking for something offbeat, but not too out there—along the lines of names like Jet, Ace and the like. It’s actually considered a variant or nickname of the classic name Russell, and it means red-haired. It could be a cool first name—or I like it even better in the middle. It’d be great with Harrison, Elijah, or Benedict—you can place it whichever way suits you. Or you can choose Russell, and use this as a more avant garde nickname for it.

What do you think of the name Rust? Is it worthy of your consideration, or a little too out there?

If you’re still looking for your perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or send your dilemma to me at lamilbrand@gmail.com for a little expert advice for your dilemma. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.

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

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Baby Name Dilemma: Honoring Your Mom

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

A reader is trying to help a friend with a not-so-easy baby name challenge:

My friend would like to name her baby girl after her deceased mother, but her mom hated her name. She is looking for a variation but we have had no luck helping her brainstorm. Her mother’s name was Ernestine, no middle name. Any suggestions?

I can understand not wanting to pick Ernestine itself—it’s still plagued with a bit of a clunky vibe, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 in nearly 50 years. Its international variations and common nicknames, like Erna and Ernesia, don’t exactly sound as “wow” as your friend would probably like. Plus, since her mom hated her own name, it may not be the best way to honor her mother’s memory.

So here are my suggestions:

1. I could make a case for Nessa or Tessa being nicknames for Ernestine. Nessa is a Scandinavian name that means “headlands,” and Tessa means “to reap.” I think both names seem fresh and modern, and worth a look. Other variants on the name include Tina (which just fell out of vogue earlier this century) and Nettie.

2. Pick a name with a similar meaning to Ernestine. Ernestine is the feminine version of Ernest, which means serious or resolute. Along those same lines are Severine, Wilhelmina and Willa. Willa is a red-hot name, and Wilhelmina may follow suit, too—especially as it’s been picked by a few celebrities recently.

3. Honor her by choosing a name with the same initial, and even the same number of syllables. There are so many wonderful E names—I love Eleanor, Edina, Elena, Ellery, Emmeline, Eveline,  and Everly.

4. Consider making Ernestine the middle name, and picking another name for the first name. That way, her mother is still honored, but her daughter isn’t stuck with a clunky name.

5. Is there a name that her mother wished she had? If your friend knows what her mom’s dream name would have been, that could also be a valid way to honor her mother.

What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions for names that honor Ernestine without actually using it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

And don’t forget to use our Baby Name Finder on your own baby name hunt, or share your baby name dilemmas with me at lamilbrand@gmail.com.

Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year

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Cool Name of the Week: Walker

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Our friends over at Nameberry discussed what boys’  names are cool and current—and which ones are verboten. The debate started because there’s a new French movie, What’s in a Name? about the drama associated with that very personal choice—especially if you choose a powder keg name like Adolph.

While Adolph may still be controversial pretty much anywhere on the planet, thanks to Germany’s former leader, I found pick on their list of “daring” boys’ names that I’m kind of loving: Walker.

Walker is an occupational name—like Mason and Tanner—and has a pretty cool pedigree. It’s a middle name for both the Presidents Bush, and a common surname, for everyone from football great Herschel Walker to author Alice Walker to late actor Paul Walker, of The Fast and the Furious franchise. And of course, it was Chuck Norris’s character on Walker, Texas Ranger, and is currently the nickname given to the zombies on the uberpopular Walking Dead series—both of which give the name a little extra dose of cool.

Walker’s currently just outside the top 400 names for boys, making it a name that’s common enough not to provoke a “huh?” response, but will probably ensure that your kiddo’s the only one sporting it in his class. And I can kind of make the case that it’d be a way to pay homage to a Walter in your past, with a fresher and more current name.

Walker seems suited for a one-syllable middle name pairing. Something simple like James, Jett or True works in my book.

What do you think of the name Walker? Are there any other occupational names you like? You can hunt for your own perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder, or get a little guidance on your particular baby name dilemma by emailing me at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

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

 

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Throwback Thursday: 1930s Baby Names

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?

BOYS’ NAMES

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!

GIRLS NAMES

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
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name

Image: 1930s woman, from Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com

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