Sunday, May 19th, 2013
I tried hard to get into Dr. Who when I was younger—but even though I was digging the extra long scarf sported by the Doctor back when I was a kid, I could never manage to care enough about the Tardis and the Daleks. But I just finished watching the big 50th anniversary episode of the good Doctor’s show, and I have to say I might be interested in watching more. And I especially loved his current companion, Clara Oswin Oswald—the impossible girl who seems to have saved Doctor Who a whole lot. (Reminding me a whole lot of my other favorite girl who saved the world a lot…Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But with a much cooler name.)
Clara’s experienced a resurgence outside of the Doctor’s fans—after a dip through the 198s0 and 1990s, it’s now climbing and currently at #136. It’s a name of Latin descent, and means clear and bright. It also has some lovely historical meaning, thanks to Civil War nurse Clara Barton, silent screen star Clara Bow, and Clara, the lead character in the Christmas classic, Nutcracker. And it’s a nice alternative to the more popular Claire.
It’s a delicate name that works beautifully with some elegant middle names. I love it with Emily, Violet, Josephine, Margaret or even Scarlett. If you like the short-and-sweet middle names, there’s always Jane, Blue or even Bette.
What do you think of Clara? Is it a name you’d consider for your daughter? (Check out our Name Game to tell us what other names you love—or love to hate!)
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
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Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
When you’re hunting for the perfect baby name, you’re probably checking for awful pop culture references and weird nicknames. But it’d probably help if you could find out, for instance, that your chosen baby name is peaking in popularity, is more popular amongst liberals or conservatives—or even what kind of careers previous Ambers and Alans had, so you can assess whether you’ve chosen your baby’s name wisely.
Enter the newly updated baby naming app called Nametrix, an app developed by a new dad during his paternity leave. He crunched the numbers from U.S. government data and Wikipedia biographies to build out his app, which can give you not only the current and past popularity of a particular name, but which region of the U.S. it’s most popular in, which party someone given that name is more likely to join, when the name’s popularity peaked, and the top profession for people with that name. (Turns out, I probably should have been a set designer—and my political affiliations and locale seem right in line with the rest of the Lisas referenced in the app.) Maybe you won’t want to pick Mason, after all, when you discover that men with that name are most often found working as X-rated performers.
But the coolest thing about the app is that you can also look at names in the other direction, and find out which names are more common among Democrats or doctors, if you’re hoping to raise yourself one of those. (Who knew that Elliot and Helene were such popular names among psychologists?)
It’d be great to get the baby name meaning into the app as well (though of course, Parents.com offers an app for that), but if nothing else, this adds a whole new level to your baby naming research. (As if you don’t already have a billion other things to research right now, right?) And of course, you can get a little more insight into the thousands of other folks in our country who bear the same name as you.
Image: Baby Names by Amir Ridhwan / Shutterstock.com
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