We've lost a lot of celebrities tragically young lately, and Philip Seymour Hoffman was the latest—and perhaps the most surprising—in the series. He was a brilliantly talented actor, beloved by those who worked with him, a family man with three children—and his loss to drug addiction, which he apparently struggled with recently after 23 years of sobriety, makes it especially tragic. That's why I'm dedicating this week's column to him.
Philip Seymour Hoffman boasted a set of names that haven't been in vogue for a while. Philip, which means "lover of horses," spent a century in the top 100 names before starting a slow and steady decline in the late 1980s. And it's currently just in the top 500. It's a name that's been associated with royalty (see Prince Philip of England), an Apostle, and a host of luminaries, from novelists to rock musicians.
Seymour is even less popular—it hasn't been in the top 1000 since the 1940s, and its big claims to fame, besides Philip Seymour Hoffman, were the nerdy Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, and Simpsons' principal Seymour Skinner. It means sea marsh. Still, I think it's a name that holds potential for revival, for those who like names like Trevor, Cooper and Tanner.
What do you think? Could Philip or Seymour be right for your son?