Posts Tagged ‘
unisex baby names ’
Sunday, December 8th, 2013
It wasn’t too hard to come up with the perfect name to honor this week. Nelson Mandela was truly one of the world’s greatest men—fighting tirelessly against apartheid in South Africa, becoming its first black president, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and taking on a number of philanthropic causes before illness clouded his final years. When he passed away this week at the age of 95, the world was left a less kind and honorable place.
But I almost wonder which of his names to choose—Nelson, his first name, has a bit of a fuddy-duddy, old-fashioned air. It’s been on a slow trudge toward the bottom of the top 1000 since the 1950s. The surname name means simply “son of Neil,” which makes it a great choice to honor a Neil in your family as well.
Our friends at Nameberry also suggest that Mandela could be a more interesting and unique choice. They’re considering it for boys, but I like it for girls. It’s a name that could lend itself to a number of nicknames, including Della, Dell, Annie, or Manny.
Nelson, as a more classic name, suggests a more classic middle–like James or Alexander. But if you pick Mandela, I like it with virtue names: True or Honor would be my picks.
Which name would you pick to honor Nelson Mandela? Do you think Mandela’s too exotic for an American audience?
If you’re still looking for the perfect name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder—and like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby names!
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
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Baby Name News, In Name Only
Sunday, August 25th, 2013
Odds are, you’ve probably heard the “song of the summer,” Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines,” about a billion times. (Unless, of course, you have kids and don’t think lyrics like “must wanna get nasty” are appropriate for a three-year-old.) I’m old enough that I immediately recognized Robin as looking like his dad, Alan, the affable TV dad on Growing Pains.
I’m wondering if the younger Thicke, red-hot Robin, will help bring back the name, which has fallen out of the top 1000 for both boys and girls. It’s a sweet, cheerful name, associated with that red-breasted harbinger of spring—and it has a ton of pop-culture cache. Think Batman’s sidekick, rob-from-the-rich Robin Hood, and on the girls’ side of the equation, Robin Scherbatsky from How I Met Your Mother. Of course, the big question is whether this unisex favorite is now going to make a comeback for girls or boys.
Personally, I think it sounds fresher for a boy, where it’s a new way to pay homage to a Robert ancestor.
I’d probably pair it with an offbeat, sharp middle name—I like Jet, Jude or Zane for boys, or Margeaux, Belle or Violet for girls.
What do you think: Is Robin better for boys or girls—or don’t you like it at all?
(And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the latest in baby names!)
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Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
I had to stay up extra late tonight, just so I could watch the penultimate episode of this third season of Game of Thrones one more time. And if this tasty little tidbit of TV is still sitting in your DVR, do not read any further.
(I’m totally serious! Stop reading now! SPOILER ALERT!)
In the tradition of the Game of Thrones, they’ve killed off some of the most loved characters in the most shocking way ever—as a bridal party (infamously called the “Red Wedding” in the novels the TV show is based upon) turned into a slaughter, resulting in the deaths of the heroic Robb Stark, his wife, Talisa and his mother, Catelyn. And in honor of the recently departed, I’ve selected their family name, Stark, as the baby name of the week.
Stark is a word name, which means spare and austere—but also can mean sharp and clear. It might make a too-bold choice for a first name, but feels fresh as a middle name—I’d love it paired with Gabriel, Wyatt, Leo, Ari, or, for the true-blue Game of Thrones fan, Robb or Eddard. Stark could also work for a girl—the nation’s hottest name, Arya, obviously goes with it. I also love it with Carolina, Adeline, Lillian and Dahlia.
What do you think of the name Stark? Too weird? Would you use it for your son or daughter? If you’re a big Game of Thrones fan, don’t miss my selection of great baby names from Game of Thrones that you might want to consider for your own future Khaleesi!
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In Name Only, Must Read
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Two celeb couples just welcomed daughters—Ron Livingstone (you’ll remember him most memorably as the hypnotized hero Peter of cult classic Office Space), and wife Rosemarie DeWitt (an actress who starred in Standoff) welcomed daughter Gracie James; baseball player Nick Swisher and Reba star Joanna Garcia Swisher welcomed daughter Emerson Jay. So two ladies with names on the boyish side!
Gracie is a more informal version of the word name Grace, a name that’s just fallen out of the top 20–and James has been popping up more and more for girls as a clever (and slightly less expected) middle name, in lieu Jane or Ann.
Emerson used to be a boys’ only name—but recently, it’s become even more popular for girls, where it’s currently in the top 250. It’s another way to get that popular Emma/Emily/Em sound in your daughter’s name. Jay comes from the bluejay bird (or is short for Jason). Traditionally, this was also boys’ only, but now it’s a girls name, too.
What do you think of these two celebrity “tomboy” names? Are these names you’d want to give your daughter—or would you prefer them for your sons?
And don’t forget to vote for your favorite names with our cool Name Game feature!
Photo: Ron Livingstone and Rosemarie DeWitt by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
Rosie O’Donnell and her wife Michelle Rounds welcomed a daughter, Dakota, earlier this week. This is Rosie’s fifth child, and the couple’s first together—baby Dakota joins siblings Parker, Chelsea, Blake, and Vivienne as part of the big O’Donnell clan.
The baby name Dakota is a Sioux name that means “friendly one,” a sweet choice for a little girl. It’s been in the top 500 baby names in the U.S. since the early 1990s, and is currently hovering around the 300 mark for both girls and boys. While in the past it’s been considered a unisex name, I’m feeling like this one is being taken over a bit by the girls. In addition to being the name of two U.S. states and tribes of Sioux Native Americans, it’s the name of actress Dakota Fanning (lately of the Twilight series), and infamously, the name of the building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived—and where he was shot to death in 1980.
Dakota fits in nicely with her siblings’ names, especially Parker and Blake, with that nice, hard “k” sound in the middle. In fact, I’m liking the whole set of baby names Rosie chose—beautiful names that are just offbeat enough to be interesting.
There’s no word from the O’Donnell-Rounds camp regarding a middle name, but I’d pair a name like Dakota with a nature-themed middle name. I’d try something like Lark, Winter, or Sky with it. (I’m kind of liking the repetition of the hard “k” sound, too.)
What do you think about Rosie’s baby name choices? Would you pick Dakota for either your girl—or your boy? And do you think Dakota’s now officially a girls’ name, or can it work for the guys, too?
Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook—and send me your baby-name dilemmas at email@example.com.
Image: Rosie O’Donnell, Michelle Rounds and baby Dakota, from @rosie/instagram.com
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Baby Name News, Baby Name Stories, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names