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popular baby names ’
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
It’s a girl for former Office star John Krasiniski and his wife, actress Emily Blunt. And they picked a pretty old-fashioned name that’s making a comeback: Hazel.
Hazel was a red-hot name back in the early part of the 20th century, then bottomed out from the 1970s to 2000. But as the 21st century started up, it skyrocketed back into prominence again, and is now in the top 200 baby names. (You can also thank Julia Roberts for that, who picked the name for her daughter.)
It’s a type of tree (think hazel nuts), and an eye color that’s not quite brown, not quite green, not quite gray. And we think it’s a pretty lovely name.
No word yet on what middle name they picked for their daughter. I love Hazel with Clementine, Corinne or Josephine, if you’re looking for a longer middle name, or June, Rose or Wren if you like a shorter one.
What do you think of Hazel? Is it on your short list of baby names?
Try our Baby Name Finder to find your perfect baby name, and like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Image: John Krasinski and Emily Blunt by DFree / Shutterstock.com
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Celebrity Baby Names, Must Read
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
How I Met Your Mother is finally wrapping after 9 years of the exploits of Ted, Barney, Robin, Lily and Marshall—all in the pursuit of Ted’s legen-(wait for it)-DARY true love. And we’ve finally met her—but we still don’t even know her name. In fact, the name is apparently being kept as some sort of state secret—even the actress who plays her, Cristin Milioti, still doesn’t know what her character’s name is. (Or she’s a pretty good liar.)
So what kind of name is worth this kind of wait? Odds are, her name isn’t shared by one of Ted’s cavalcade of exes. So that rules out: Robin, Karen, Victoria, Stella, Zoey, Jeanette, Cathy, Stacey, Natalie, Becky, Naomi, Carly, Mary, Vicky, Holli, Amanda, Jen, Amy, Cindy, Natali, Cassie, Trudy, or Rachel. And I don’t think it’s Lily, either.
I’m going to throw a few names out there. According to the How I Met Your Mother wiki, the Mother was born in 1984, the year when Jessica was poised to start dominating the girls’ names chart for the rest of the decade. Jessica would be a very fair assumption. But I’m thinking that they might go with something a little less “80s”—so no Tiffany or Amber, either. They’d want something timeless and classic. Something that sounds right with Ted.
Here are my guesses:
Lauren (#21 back in 1984)
What do you think the Mother’s name is? Share your guesses in the comments.
And if you’re looking for a fabulous name for your baby (or for the Mother or the character in your Great American Novel), check out our Baby Name Finder for great suggestions.
Image: Courtesy of CBS/How I Met Your Mother
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Baby Name News, Baby Name Stories, Must Read
Friday, January 31st, 2014
James Van Der Beek and his wife Kimberly welcomed their third child—a daughter—earlier this week. Joining big sister Olivia and big brother Joshua is brand new baby Annabel.
Annabel is a bit more offbeat than her siblings’ top ten baby names—her name is falling just below the top 500. The name means loving, and its big claim to fame is Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem, Annabel Lee. The name was at its most popular back in the 1880s, when it neared the top 400, but it’s currently on a major upswing. And since it’s in stile close to top names like Isabella and Adeline, it may reach its pinnacle of popularity in the next few years.
No word from the Van Der Beeks about which middle name they chose. My picks would be Lee (I’m a big Poe fan at heart), plus names like Rose, Maeve, Margaret or James (that’s the new hot middle name for girls!).
What do you think of the name Annabel? And what middle name would you pick with it? Get help finding the perfect name for your baby with our Baby Name Finder, or like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Image: Kim and James Van Der Beek by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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Celebrity Baby Names, Must Read
Thursday, January 30th, 2014
The 1940s saw us enter—and win—a world war, then soldiers came home to start the biggest baby boom in U.S. history. The top names of the era are likely the names of your parents or your grandparents. Odds are you have a James (or a Jimmy or Jim) and a Mary in your past.
But while James and Mary still do relatively well, you’ll find other chart toppers that have fallen by the wayside—and may be ready for a comeback. Here are the top 1940s names you might want to consider for your kiddos.
Many of the top 100 baby names in the 1940s don’t feel fresh enough yet for their comeback—perhaps our sons and daughters will help bring stalwarts like Linda and Barbara back into vogue. But there are a few names that may be ready for a second shot at the top spot.
Rosemary was one of the classic nature names, for the herb that symbolizes faithfulness. It hit its peak in the #91 spot back in the 1940s—but after decades of decline, is finally starting to stage a comeback. (Probably because it makes a lovely and less-expected way to get to “Rose.”)
Carol (with or without an “e”) has a special place in my heart—it’s the name of my mother. And given that Carol was the 5th most popular name and Carole the 57th back in the 1940s, odds are you have a relative with the name, too. Both versions have fallen out of the top 1000, but perhaps a little of the popularity of the more traditional Caroline (currently #80 in the U.S.) may rub off on these shorter forms?
Judith has been on a downward spiral since it hit the top 10 in the 1940s—and it’s barely in the top 1000 right now. But the name has an interesting meaning—praised—and a cool new pop-culture association, in the doomed daughter of Walking Dead‘s Rick and Lori. Jude makes a cooler short form than the old-school Judy.
Elaine, a form of Helen, was a top 50 name back in the 1940s—it means “shining one.” One would have thought that Seinfeld’s Elaine could have brought it back into vogue, but it’s still on the decline. (P.S. It’s a cool way to get to the uberpopular nickname Ellie.)
Boys names don’t have the turnover you see in the girls’ side—many of today’s top names, like William, Charles and the like, were top 100 back then, too. But here are a few gems that haven’t been as popular of late.
Keith was just entering its heyday back in the 1940s, when it charted as the 100th most popular name. It’s a Scottish name that means “woods,” and is currently residing at the edge of the top 400.
Lee has become a popular middle name for girls, but I think its meaning, “meadow,” and its simplicity make it a nice contender for today’s boys—either front and center or in the middle spot.
Dennis, a top 20 name back in the 1940s, lost its mojo the second the rough-and-tumble comic book character Dennis the Menace made its debut. But the name, a French take on Dionysus, deserves another look.
Timothy hit its peak not long after ranking as the 63rd most popular name back in the 1940s. It fell out of the top 100 five years ago—but given its Biblical pedigree and its classic-but-not-overused status, it’s worthy of another look.
We’re almost done with our Throwback Thursday series! Check out the previous posts and let me know what your favorite decade was.
And if you’re still on the baby name hunt, check out the Baby Name Finder for some guidance—or send me an email at email@example.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Image: 1940s woman by Everett Collection/Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only, Must Read
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
On paper, Downton Abbey should be a must watch for me—so I don’t know why I’m coming so late to the game. British + Maggie Smith + drama + history = perfect show in my book. Plus, as a name nerd, there’s lots of names to love on the female side of the cast. (Alas, they stuck with some pretty standard and popular fare for the boys, like Thomas and Robert.)
Granted some names, like Violet and Rose, started on the road to popularity before the show aired. But there are still some names that are under the radar—and they’re names that could fit into the current passion for old-fashioned names. Try these on for size:
Cora is the mother of the three Crawley daughters, an American woman who married into British nobility. Her name means “maiden,” and was already launching a comeback before the show aired—it’s currently the 155th most popular baby name for girls.
Mary was the most popular name for girls for centuries, but in recent decades it’s been on the decline. Maybe Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter in the wealthy family who lords over Downton Abbey, can help restore its luster.
Edith is probably my favorite of the sisters’ names—it means prosperous, and after a sharp decline over the past 50 years, it started climbing back up the charts as soon as the show started airing.
Sybil is the youngest and most modern Crawley daughter, who ends up marrying one of her family’s staff members. Her name means prophetess, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 in decades. Perhaps it’s ready for a comeback now?
Daisy and Ivy are a pair of servants, each with a lovely botanical name. They’re both currently top 200 names in the U.S., and top 100 in England.
Isobel is the Scottish variant spelling of the ever popular Isabella, which means pledged to God. And unlike the #3 name Isabella, Isobel hasn’t been in the top 1000 in nearly a century.
Anna has been a top 100 baby name for over a century—and it’s the name for one of the stalwarts of the Downton Abbey staff. It means grace—and is a perfect choice for the kind and honorable lady’s maid Anna.
What’s your favorite Downton Abbey name? Share it in the comments.
If you’re still looking for baby names, try our Baby Name Finder!
Image: Downton Abbey by Dutourdumonde Photography/Shutterstock.com
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Baby Name News, In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names