Posts Tagged ‘
unisex 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Rosie O’Donnell, Michelle Rounds and baby Dakota, from @rosie/instagram.com
Categories: Baby Name News, Baby Name Stories, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names | Tags: celebrities, celebrity baby names, girl baby names, nature baby names, popular baby names, rosie o'donnell, unisex baby names
Monday, January 7th, 2013
Most of the boys in my daughter Katie’s class have entered that brief “girls are icky” phase. Which is kind of a bummer for her, as she loves Star Wars and Legos and Harry Potter, all of which seem to be embraced far more by the boys in her class. But there’s one standout—Charlie. At least as far as he’s concerned, Katie totally rocks, and has ever since he first laid eyes on her in Miss Cerefice’s first grade class. Back then, he proposed marriage to her on the story rug, and has (apparently) hand picked much of her birthday gifts for the past two years, which included humungous blingy rings that my daughter displays proudly in her room, and an array of flavored lip glosses (maybe I should be worried?).
But Charlie’s the kind of boy you hope your daughter ends up with someday (even if third grade is a bit too early to settle down). He’s smart and sweet and kind, and he knows how to cook. He’s adorable with his little sister, and the handmade birthday card he gave Katie last year, about how special she is, is the kind of thing you keep to share with her when she’s going through her first tough breakup. (Unless, of course, Charlie’s the guy who breaks her heart…)
I’m pretty sure the Charlie I know is actually a Charles, but many parents today are opting to skip straight to the nickname (which is #236 on the list of baby names for boys—and also #376 on the baby name list for girls, making it a unisex name that still works for the boys). Charlie, like its root name Charles, means “free man,” and is a name with Germanic roots, though it’s actually a French name. It’s been a name of many European kings (and England’s heir apparent Prince Charles), and famous folks like Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Charles Schulz. Charlie is linked to its own share of famous (and infamous) people, including the character Charlie Brown, Charlie Chaplin, and of course, off-the-deep-end actor Charlie Sheen.
But whether you opt for formal Charles or informal Charlie, it’s a classic name that stands the test of time. It’ll pair nicely with longer middle names like Frederick or Jonathan. But if you’re going for Charlie, you might want to choose something interesting in the middle spot. Maybe something like Duke, Finn or Gray.
No matter what, though, Charlie’s a keeper. (Even if my daughter doesn’t end up thinking so!) So what’s your vote: Charles or Charlie?
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
The stores may think we’re ready to break out the holly and mistletoe before we even trick or treat, but as far as I’m concerned, the holiday season doesn’t officially start until I’ve viewed It’s a Wonderful Life at least once. Jimmy Stewart’s brilliant performance as George Bailey, who needs that extra reminder of what life’s true riches are, helps get me in the Christmas spirit.
While there are quite a few names to love in that movie—including on-the-rise names like Violet and and even the cute Zuzu, George’s adorable daughter—if you’re looking for a great name from the movie, why not go with that Bailey surname? This surname-as-a-name means “law enforcer,” and was originally an über-popular boys’ name—going as high as 151 back in 1997. But it’s now gone almost entirely to the girls, as it’s currently #88 in the U.S. for girls—and it’s even more popular if you count the alternative spellings, Baylee and Bayley.
Bailey needs a sweet, soft middle name, like Rose, Lark or True for girls—or Jude, Reed or Flynn for boys. And for a baby born during the holiday season, it’s a charming choice (though watch out for Bailey’s Irish Cream jokes).
Looking for more baby names that suit the season? You can check out this list of great contenders for a baby that’s due during the holiday season just in case Bailey (or another It’s a Wonderful Life option) isn’t the right one for you.
Have a baby naming dilemma you want to run by me? Please e-mail me at lamilbrand AT gmail.com.
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Reader Jill wants a little guidance on her baby name choice: “I am pregnant with my first child—a boy! My problem is that I love a first name which starts with a J. My husband’s name is Josh and my name is Jill. We are not interested in getting asked every time we introduce our family if we are going to be “just like the Duggars” and have all J-named children. Our top two names are Jeremy and Marlow. I like Marlow because I think it is unique, but not weird. I am afraid to use that name though, because it might be seen as feminine—especially if we use the nickname “Marley.”
Honestly, I think both names are great. Jeremy is a beautiful name that’s in the top 200 names, a variation on the Biblical Jeremiah, and it means uplifted by God. And while less popular, Marlow has a picturesque meaning—driftwood—and has become a hot choice for celebrity babies, with actress Sienna Miller most recently choosing it for her daughter.
But I think neither name is without its problems. You will likely get a few jokes about being the new Duggars if you choose Jeremy—though that should go away with time, as everyone gets used to your name. And as for Marlow, you’ll need to consider the fact that several celebrities have recently chosen Marlowe, Marlo and Harlow for their daughters, so people may assume that your bundle of joy is a girl. Marlow is one of those unisex names, and its unclear whether it’s going to stay unisex, or become one of those names that the girls take over.
Given the choice of those two names, I’d choose Jeremy, just it really seems like Marlow is skewing toward the ladies at this point.
What do you all think of Jill’s dilemma? What name would you choose?
Have a baby name dilemma? Feel free to send it my way at lamilbrand AT gmail.com.
Photo: Question mark by PZ Designs / Shutterstock.com