Not only does Thanksgiving date back to colonial times, but the tradition of virtue names does, too.
Many of the virtue names that were popular among the Puritans and pilgrims back in the 17th century have faded into history, although names like Grace, Hope, and Faith (ring any Friday night sitcom bells?) have withstood the test of time. Perhaps it's fortunate that others like Fearnot, Mindwell, Hate-Evil, and Waitstill have gone out of style...
Although biblical names were quite popular at the time as well, many colonial New England families favored names associated with moral qualities like Patience, Piety, Prudence, Hopestill, Fear, Sindeny, and Submit, perhaps in the hope that children's names would lead them in the proper moral direction.
These days, it goes without saying that virtue names are far more popular for girls than for boys. Did you know that Grace, Destiny, Trinity, and Faith were all in the top 55 names for girls in 2004, while not a single virtue name for boys hit the top 100?
Virtue names aren't just popular with us regular folk either -- celeb moms and dads seem to be drawn to them, too! Take the name Grace, for example. Country singer Wynonna Judd and now ex-husband Arch Kelley named their daughter Grace in June 1996. Actor Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame and his wife Kelly Phleger dubbed their daughter Atherton Grace in April 1999. Elisabeth Hasselbeck (cohost of The View) and husband Tim (Washington Redskins quarterback) named their daughter Grace Elisabeth in April 2005, while just two months later, actress Angie Harmon and husband Jason Sehorn (former NFL player) welcomed their second daughter, Avery Grace, into the world. (Their first daughter was also blessed with a virtue name: Finley Faith.)
Although there aren't many virtue names that are solely popular for boys, there are a few that can work for girls and boys. Sage has proven to be a popular name for both boys and girls, as actress Tracey Gold and her husband, Roby Marshall, chose it for their son, born in February 1997. The Bellissimos must really like virtue names as they chose a second one, Sage, for their fourth daughter, Marlie Sage, born in March 2005.
August, a traditionally male name, has also proven to be a unisex hit. Swedish actress Lena Olin bestowed this revered name on her son August in 1986, while country crooner Garth Brooks and his now ex-wife Sandy Mahl Brooks named their second daughter August Anna in May 1994. Actors Casey Affleck (Ben's little bro) and Summer Phoenix (River and Joaquin's little sis), gave the name Indiana August to their Amsterdam-born son in May of 2004.
Larry King and his wife Shawn Southwick named their son Chance Armstrong in March 1999.
Michael Hutchence (former lead singer of INXS) and girlfriend Paula Yates named their daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily in August 1996. Rapper DMX and wife Tashera Simmons welcomed daughter Praise Mary Ella into the world in April 2005.
Actor Forest Whitaker and wife Keisha Nash named their daughter True Isabella Summer in July 1998. Soap opera star Finola Hughes and photographer husband Russell Young adopted twin boys in December 2004, one of whom was named Cash Justice (the other is Dylan Joseph). And soap actors Lindsay Korman Hartley and Justin Hartley welcomed daughter Isabella Justice in July 2004.
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