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.
Which name would you pick to honor Nelson Mandela? Do you think Mandela's too exotic for an American audience?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?