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Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
David Arquette and girlfriend Christina McLarty welcomed a boy yesterday, and gave him a cool, casual name—Charlie West. I think it’s the perfect match for his big sister, who sports the offbeat “nickname” name Coco (David’s daughter with ex-wife Courteney Cox).
Charlie is of course a casual nickname for Charles, a more formal, royal name that means “Free man.” While Charles is the 62nd most popular name in the U.S., Charlie is quickly creeping up, and nearing the top 200. While most of the most famous “Charlies” started life as Charles, Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Brown and Charlie Sheen are all famous namesakes.
West is the most popular of the “directional” baby names (though something tells me when we get the official Social Security list next week, North may have made a very strong showing). West was actually a top 1000 name first back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and hasn’t been seen in the top 1000 since—though I think it makes a stronger showing as a middle name instead.
All in all, Charlie West Arquette is a pretty cool name. What do you think?
If you’re still looking for the perfect name for your son or daughter, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and your dilemma may just be featured here on In Name Only. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
Image: David Arquette and Christina McLarty by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
The Jersey Shore’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi did a pretty great job naming her son—I love the name Lorenzo! But apparently, she’s stumped for names when it comes to her new baby to be. She recently posted on her CeleBuzz blog: “Help us with names! We honestly have no ideas for any names, and I’m looking for something original like Lorenzo. Something Italian, and beautiful.”
Readers of Snooki’s blog have already given her lots of great advice, but here are my picks for a potential daughter:
Allegra I really wish the allergy med hadn’t co-opted this one. It’s a pretty name, has a wonderful meaning (joyful), and is easy to pronounce and understand, yet not exactly popular.
Giada This gem of a name is an actual gem—it means “jade.” Thanks to popular Food Network chef Giada DeLaurentiis, it’s been in the top 1000 since 2007, but it’s still unique enough to set Snooki’s daughter apart. Consider it the girl version of her fab name Lorenzo.
Valentina This top 200 baby name means healthy and strong, and comes with a whole slew of cute nicknames (I’m partial to Lena). I think it would flow beautifully with Snooki’s fiancé Jionni LaValle’s last name.
Francesca A-lister Drew Barrymore just picked the boyish nickname from this Italian favorite for her daughter—could Snooki have her own Frankie, too? Francesca means “free man,” and is currently a top 500 name.
Luciana This sweet Italian variant on Lucy means “light,” and is on a sharp upswing in the U.S.—though it still hasn’t cracked the top 500. This is another one that comes with lots of fun nicknames—which is a very big consideration with the Jersey Shore crew!
Luna Thanks to Harry Potter and Uma Thurman, Luna’s been on a big upswing over the past decade, from near the bottom of the top 1000 to the top 250. (Expect it to go even higher this year, thanks to a character on True Blood and Uma’s daughter. This sweet name means moon.
And for a son:
Aurelio This name means “golden one,” and really flows beautifully with LaValle.
Orlando Don’t think DisneyWorld when you think of this name—think more like Orlando Bloom. The name means “famous,” making perfect for the offspring of a reality show star, don’t you think?
Santino Popularized in The Godfather, this name means “little saint,” even though the character was anything but. The name Santino is just about to break through the top 600 here in the U.S.
So what do you think? Share your favorite Italian-flavored names here for Snooki. If you need help searching, check out our Baby Name Finder. Or check out our Baby Fame Name Generator for a name worthy of the A list.
Image: Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi by Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name Help, Celebrity Baby Names, Must Read
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 email@example.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!)
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Baby Name Help, In Name Only, Must Read
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only, Must Read
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 email@example.com.
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Baby Name Help, Baby Name News, Must Read