All posts by The Name Lady

About The Name Lady

When was the last time you met a pair of kids named John and Mary? The traditional names that ruled America for centuries are vanishing. Parents are obsessing over creative name choices, and celebrities are branding and re-branding themselves like products. Even surnames have burst wide open, as couples rethink the whole concept of family names. Meet The Name Lady, your tour guide for this strange new naming world. The Name Lady is an expert and opinionated name consultant, follow her here for the latest baby name trends, news from the celebrity baby names beat and solutions to real-life naming dilemmas.

Baby in pink, on pink background, sitting among rose petals

American Baby Names Get Sexier

Next Valentine’s Day, you may be sending greetings to your little Amour, your Venus or your Bliss. Romantic, sultry names that have long been favorites for exotic dancers are climbing the girl baby name charts. Today’s parents want names that make an impact and help their kids feel special. That has sent names from Valentina and Delilah to Heaven and Miracle mainstream.

Look beyond the most common names, and you’ll find there’s almost no limit to romantic baby names. See for yourself — all of these names were given to at least five newborn America girls in a recent year.

What do you think of these “hot” names?  Are there any that you think will rise to be mainstream hits like Arianna and Destiny?

baby boy crawling on carpet and smiling

Top Boy Names of 2014

Over the course of a full calendar year, there are baby names that become increasingly popular. After the year is complete, researchers compile names from all areas of the country. With that information comes the ranking of the top baby names for both boys and girls. Lots of parents that are expecting use these lists as inspiration for what names to choose (or avoid) for their own sons and daughters.

Unlike fashion, baby names don’t go out of style. Regardless of what year it is, you have the freedom to choose whatever name you’d like for your newborn baby. If your family is expecting a little one, here are some of the top boy names of 2014 and some naming techniques you can consider:

The top three

In the U.S., the top three names for boys were Noah, Liam and Mason. This was the second year in a row for the name Noah to take the No. 1 slot, after breaking a 54-year string of Jacob and Mark on top, according to NPR. Research has shown that pop culture plays a big role in parents’ decisions when it comes to naming their newborn.

The name Noah is quite well-known in both biblical scripture and entertainment. For instance, it was the lead character of the popular novel by Nicholas Sparks “The Notebook,” which was eventually made into a movie. The film came out in 2004 and quickly became a classic that the people who grew up watching it are now starting families, and as a result, adopted this name. If you and your partner are expecting a baby, look to characters in various forms of entertainment from over the years for inspiration.

A Southern spin

In 2015, many boy names on the list roundup had a Southern influence to them. For instance, names like Jackson, Vernon and Jefferson all made high percentage leaps from 2013, according to BabyCenter. These baby names are timeless and have quite the ring to them. If you want to name your baby boy with a similar influence, you can try the name Atticus from the American novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Hey, even Harper and Lee are great choices for your little man!

Tradition never gets old

Even though more parents have been experimenting with innovative names for their newborns, there’s still something to be said for tradition. In 2014, names like Matthew, James, Daniel and Joseph still made the top 20 for baby boys. There’s a reason why these names are consistent; they undeniably age well. If you want to name your baby something classic but don’t want to snatch a name from the popular list, there are other ways to find something great. Try looking through old yearbooks from your high school days. That way, you can come across some names you loved but slipped from your memory over time. Who knows, you may even run into a person whose name you choose at a reunion down the road. It’ll make for a great anecdote.

Last names

In 2014, lots of popular boy names were used as surnames, too, like Harvey, Harrison or Blake – three that made Bounty’s top 50 list. Many modern couples are deviating from the custom of the woman taking the man’s last name and coming up with alternative solutions. For instance, some parents use the woman’s last name for their baby’s first name. You’d be surprised how many surnames are applicable, from Smith to Brady to Anderson. Consider this technique when naming your baby boy.

Halle Berry attends a movie premiere

Halle Berry’s Baby’s Name Has Deep Meaning

Ten short months ago, Halle Berry thought a second baby wasn’t in the cards, but now she’s mama times two! Halle Berry and her husband, French actor Olivier Martinez, both 47 years old, welcomed their new son on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Although the couple’s publicist stayed mum on any other details surrounding the birth, the most important detail has been leaked—the baby’s name! Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez chose Maceo-Robert Martinez, a name with deep meaning for the couple.

What’s in a name? The moniker Maceo-Robert has ties to family roots, and according to the source, was a perfect pick for a child who will spend time in U.S. and France (the transatlantic couple have homes in both countries.) The name Maceo has origins in Hebrew, Italian and Spanish, and means “gift of God” – especially appropriate considering the bundle of joy was a complete surprise for the couple. Heard mostly in Spanish- and Italian-speaking countries, Maceo is a form of Matthew. TMZ.com, who first reported the baby’s name, said the name was popular in the 9th through 14th centuries. Robert was chosen in homage to Olivier’s father, Robert Martinez, of a professional boxer who lives in Spain.

Although Maceo is an unusual boy’s name, I love that it has a powerful meaning to the family. Halle Berry’s first child, 5-year-old daughter Nahla, also has a name of Hebrew origin; her middle name, Ariela, means “lion for God.” At least we know Halle’s kids won’t have a classroom full of Maceos and Nahlas!

claire danes

Claire Danes’ Baby Name: A Rising Star?

Fresh off the shocking season 2 finale of Homeland, its Emmy award-winning star Claire Danes has even more exciting news. She and her husband, actor Hugh Dancy, welcomed their first child earlier this week–a son named Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy.

We’re particularly excited about this naming news because a couple of years ago we predicted a rise in babies named Cyrus and so far we’ve seen it in the charts, but not in the celebrity naming world, until now. In addition to the movie Cyrus that came out in 2010, as well as popstar Miley Cyrus’s quick rise to fame, for a while it seemed like Cyrus was everywhere.

It may not be as ubiquitous in 2012, but a celebrity baby name is just what the name needs to help kick its already rising status in to high gear. Most popular in the late 19th century, Cyrus is currently ranked at No. 514 and is believed to be derived from the Greek word for “lord.” It also has connections in Persia, where it is a name for the sun and the name of several kings.

Cyrus Michael Christopher joins the increasing ranks of celebrity babies with two middle names. Michael is Dancy’s middle name and Christopher is Danes’s father’s first name.

What do you think of Cyrus? Might it continue to rise? 

Adele walking in New York

Adele’s Baby Name Blunder

It’s said that new moms can sometimes have trouble remembering things, and now new mom Adele is in a little bit of trouble for forgetting to do something fairly important: name her baby (legally, at least).

Adele, whose full name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, gave birth to a baby boy on October 19. The singer and her boyfriend, Simon Konecki, have not released their son’s name or registered the baby with the government, according to The Sun. The UK government website says that new parents in England have 42 days from the birth to register a new addition.

A source told The Sun:

“Cops are hardly going to be banging on their door tomorrow and it’s probably just an oversight on their part. Most parents register their baby within a couple of weeks because it’s a nice thing to do … There’s loads of reasons why parents are late and millions of couples don’t bother for ages.”

The consequence? A potential 1000-pound fine (about $1600). While that’s probably nothing that would cause Adele to break a sweat, it seems like a steep fine for new parents who forget some paperwork.

How long do you think it will be before we finally learn the name of Adele’s son? Do you have any predictions?

The Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Liverpool

Kate Middleton is Pregnant. What will be the Name?

You think YOUR in-laws are opinionated about baby names? Try pleasing the whole House of Windsor.

The palace has confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child. That means it’s time to start guessing what names might make the royal short list. No matter what names a young Kate Middleton might once have dreamed of, it’s a safe bet that the heir to the throne will bear a name (or four) plucked straight from the royal lineage.

The past 1,000 years have seen 66 British monarchs and only 30 names.  Despite all the modernization the monarchy has dealt with lately, we think they’ll stick with the tried and true. Tradition is the lifeblood of the monarchy. That doesn’t mean the new parents necessarily have to buck fashion, though. The England and Wales name popularity charts boast some formal and throwback names that would sound pretty sweet with a HRH in front of them. Their current top 10:

1HARRYAMELIA
2OLIVEROLIVIA
3JACKLILY
4ALFIEJESSICA
5CHARLIEEMILY
6THOMASSOPHIE
7JACOBRUBY
8JAMESGRACE
9JOSHUAAVA
10WILLIAMISABELLA

If you’re looking for pure numerical pedigree, the most common names of past Kings are Edward, Henry, James, and George. All but George are currently borne by other members of the royal family. For a twist, a girl — and remember, males no longer get precedence in the order of succession — could receive a feminized version of one of those kingly classics, like Georgia or Henrietta. But the expectant parents’ options are wider for girls. Attractive royal names not used in the current generations include Alexandra, Alice, Charlotte, Helena, and Victoria.

Of course, a royal baby can expect a long name, filled with family tributes. With their many middle names, the royal grandmother, great grandmother, and great aunts and great-great uncles offer a plethora of name choices that get royal approval: The Queen Mother Elizabeth Angela Marguerite or Princess Margaret Rosemary inspire, and the Queen herself has the middle names Alexandra and Mary. Mary has been twice used as a monarch’s name. Alexandra would be a brand new entry to the throne. Despite being currently in use, Elizabeth may be on the list since it is also Princess Kate’s middle name. And in terms of a girl’s tribute name, there’s no more obvious choice than Diana. We’d be surprised to see that choice for a girl’s first name, but definitely look for Diana among the middle names.

What do you think Will and Kate will name their firstborn? And why don’t you share your best picks of classic or trendy names you like for them.

a link of hashtag blocks

A Baby Named Hashtag – Not Amused

It has become increasingly trendy, despite the occasional backlash, to choose interesting, exotic, and even bizarre names for new babies. From food to cities to comics, everything seems to be inspiring the next popular baby name. So should it be a surprise that social media has been coining new names?

Apparently the answer is yes, as the internet is abuzz this week with the news of a mother who allegedly posted a picture on Facebook of her newborn daughter named Hashtag Jameson.

This time, the Jamesons have skipped over the choice of Twitter and instead have chosen a noun that the social network has made into a trend in and of itself. ‘Hashtag’ has moved beyond use just on the Twitter platform. Who hasn’t heard ‘hashtag’ used in daily speech or seen it used in emails, blog posts, and articles?

We can’t help but think this is only the beginning. What other social network inspired names will be joining baby Hashtag in the future? Retweet? Blog? Newsfeed?

We might be joking around a little, but why not? Changes and trends in everyday life has been inspiring names for centuries. Look at how many babies there are with names Lexus and Nautica.

Why should social media, which has become a significant part of our world, be any different? Besides, we think Pinterest would make a lovely name.

What do you think of Hashtag as a baby name? What other names could be inspired by the Internet or social media? 

Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Baby’s Name is a Knockout

Actors Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. have unveiled the name of their son, born in late September. The pair kept mum about the baby’s birth and name but a source has revealed to People that the newest member of the Prinze family is named Rocky James. The trend-bucking choice of Rocky stands in contrast to other recent celeb arrivals—MagnusMillerLion, who despite being on the rare side, exemplified current trends.  Despite the fact that it may fit in sonically with other macho names like RoccoSpikeRudy, and Sonny, Rocky is a name in a (weight) class of its own.

Rocky is one of those baby names that has never been very popular, but has a major cultural association we don’t think it can shake.  We speak, of course of Rocky, as in Rocky (Robert) Balboa, subject of six films, three video games, and a million runs up the steps of the Museum of Arts in Philly. Though the first movie came out over thirty years ago, the half-billion dollar franchise is an iconic touchstone for athletes and couch potatoes of all ages. And there are other pop-culture Rockys that may give parents pause like the beloved cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle, Beatles 1968 hit Rocky Raccoon, or even camp classic Rocky Horror.  While a Rock, Morocco, or Rockwell can slip under the radar and easily invite the nickname Rocky, using Rocky as a legal name takes a champion-level of gumption.

While middle name James is a perennial favorite (and a classic middle name to follow an uncommon first) the outré Rocky is miles away from old-school and feminine Charlotte Grace, the name they gave to their daughter, now 3.  The year she was born Charlotte was a top 100 girl’s name and Grace was #17.

Could it be that the Prinze family likes their boy’s names manly and the girl’s names frilly? Could be, as we doubt that Rocky will ever make the switch to the girl’s column.

What do you think of Rocky James? How do Rocky and Charlotte sound as a sibling set? Do you like the idea of a classic middle name to “fall back on”?

a lion cub lying down

Alex O’Loughlin Welcomes Baby Boy Lion

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! In Alex O’Loughlin’s household, it’s more like Lion, Saxon, and Spike, as he and partner Malia Jones welcomed their new son Lion to the family late last month. Baby Lion joins half-brothers Spike (three years old) and Saxon (fifteen years old). No lyin’, the name has got us thinking–what inspired Alex and Malia to make this unusual naming choice?

Alex, who stars in CBS’s Hawaii Five-0, and Malia, who is a competitive surfer, have picked bold names for their children that reflect their fierce interests. Oldest brother Saxon, Alex’s son, carries a name that means “swordsman.” It’s derived from the Germanic Saxon tribes that invaded and settled England. Middle brother Spike, Malia’s son, has a more contemporary aggressive name. Lion fits in well in this family of unforgettable boy names.

Lion shares characteristics with many more common names. Only a letter away, popular French surname Lyon is often given as a first name; John Tyler, the tenth president of the United States, named his son Lyon. Another similarly-written name is Lionel, an old-fashioned name that peaked in the beginning on the twentieth century and has jumped back onto the charts in the past couple years. Lionel was No. 786 in 2011. Other two-syllable “ay-in” names, like RyanBryan/Brian, and even Zion, have topped the charts for decades. And we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that either Alex or Malia has known a significant Leo or Lev: both those names share the meaning “lion”.

What do you think of the name Lion? Any guesses for the baby’s middle name?

three beautiful young girls watching a saop opera depressed

True Soap Opera Baby Name Drama

Actress Heather Tom, known for her roles in soap operas One Life to Live and The Bold and the Beautiful as Katie Logan, gave birth to a little boy earlier this week. She and husband James Achor named their first child together Zane Alexander Achor.

In a twist that one would think could only happen in a soap opera, Tom gave her real life child the same name as one of her character’s babies. Her character, Kelly Cramer, gave birth to a son Zane toward the end of Tom’s run on the show.

It is possible to argue that this could be a coincidence… but the name isn’t Michael or John, but the less popular Zane. Not rare and actually rising in popularity while other Z names have been falling in the charts, Zane was ranked #243 when the One Life to Live writers wrote the character in to the show in 2006 and has now risen to #220.

Soap opera charcters have inspired many baby names, but this might be one of the few times a soap has inspired one of its actors. Inspiration for baby names can strike at any moment it seems, even on set! We hope to find out more on why Tom chose Zane.

In the meantime: What do you think of the name Zane? Can you think of any other examples where a celebrity has named their baby after a character they once played or a similar character?