Check out my interview on Good Day Orlando in which I discuss the 5 worst celebrity baby names in 2013 and baby-naming trends for 2014.
Here are two baby-naming trends I think are high odds for 2014 (and beyond) because an increasing number of parents are looking for names that will have “personal meaning” for the parents and the child.
1. Baby Boomer Names Are Making a Comeback
Like Jenna Bush Hager, who named her baby daughter Margaret Laura (after the two grandmothers), millions of parents want to pick “meaningful” names for their babies which honor family members who are more than likely to be baby boomers (a term that describes babies born between 1945 and 1964). Here’s a quick list of the most popular names for girls and boys born in the 40s and 50s and 60s:
-The most popular names for girls born in the 40s were Mary, Linda, Barbara, Patricia, Carol, Sandra, Nancy, Sharon, Judith, Susan; with Deborah/Debra, Karen and Donna added in the 50s; and Lisa, Kimberly, Michelle and Cynthia added in the 60s.
Comment: Notice that the most popular baby boomer girls’ names come across as much less glamorous and elegant than current top-10 names like Olivia, Sophia, Ava, and Isabella. That may call for a little creativity when you honor family members with the more prosaic boomer names.
-The most popular names for boys born in the 40s were James, Robert, John, William, Richard, David, Charles, Thomas, Michael and Ronald; with Mark added in the 50s; and Jeffrey added in the 60s.
Comment: Two of these names, Michael and William, are still extremely popular. The rest of the names are reasonable options for current use with the possible exception of Richard, due to negative connotations of the nickname, Dick–which is often used with unflattering words like “tricky” or “dirty” or “head.”
Executional Tips: Keep in mind when honoring a relative that there’s no reason you can’t do what Jenna Bush Hager did: name your child after a grandparent and pick another name you plan to use every day. (Jenna Bush Hager wasn’t shy about letting everyone know that Mila was the name she would call Margaret Laura.) And, you don’t have to use the exact version of the name used by a relative. You can use Liam instead of William or Annika instead of Ann. Or, you can just use the first initial–like the “L” from Linda and name your baby Lola.
2.The Use of Inspiring Historical or Fictional Namesakes Is on the Rise.
Another way to pick a “meaningful” name for your baby is to find a name likely to inspire your child. An effective way to do that is to find a favorite historical or fictional namesake you think would be a good influence or role model for your child. Baby Center documented the fact that names like Lincoln, Jackson, and Jack recently gained in popularity. (Those names are associated with presidents Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, and Jack Kennedy.) They also noticed gains made by names of literary characters like Scarlett (O’Hara).
“Trainwreck Alert”: Baby Center’s report went on to document the effect of TV shows, like “Duck Dynasty” on naming trends. But not long after Baby Center published their “2013” trend report, “Duck Dynasty” started receiving negative national media attention due to highly unpalatable comments verbalized by lead actor, Phil Robertson. This illustrates why it is so risky to pick names associated with current TV shows and current celebrities–as opposed to historical or literary namesakes. Here’s a brief list of celebrities whose image has recently changed for the worse as a result of “bad news ” that has come out about them: Paula Deen, Lance Armstrong, Amanda Bynes, Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cyrus and Phil Robertson (which also casts a dark shadow over “Duck Dynasty” character names). Why risk burdening your child with a name connected with a current celebrity or TV show whose image could easily go from “cute,” “all-American,” or “squeaky clean” to “DUI,” “doper,” or or just plain “out to lunch”?
People who named their babies Lance a couple of years ago (when Lance Armstrong was perceived to be an “all-American” athlete who struggled against cancer to become one of the greatest bikers of all time and was viewed as one of the few uncorrupted bikers on earth) seemed to have picked a terrific name for their baby boys. Now, Lance is not just like all other bikers; he’s much worse. How can Lance possibly be an inspiration for your son?
Which is why Jesse (Owens), Lincoln (aka Honest Abe) or (the biblical) David are better choices than Lance by far. You know what you’re getting when you pick an inspiring historical (or literary) name (rather than the name of a current celebrity or TV show character).
This is my second reference to an excellent article about charming celebrity girls’ names from an article in She Knows Parenting by Kim Grundy. I’ve already shared some of the most charming “cute and quirky” girls’ names picked by celebrity parents. Now I’d like to share some of the most charming “romantic” names picked by celebrity parents featured in Grundy’s article. Here they are:
•Cecelia: David Walton
•Delilah: Kimberly Stewart and Benicio Del Toro
•Harper: Victoria Beckham and David Beckham
•Lilah-Rose: Linda Cardellini
•Seraphina: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
Kim Grundy’s lists prove not all names celebrities give their children are awful. Grundy’s “romantic” and “cute and quirky” lists demonstrate the creativity and pizazz many celebrities bring to baby naming. However, To read Grundy’s whole article click on the link.
Not quite five years ago (on February 5, 2009) actress Constance Marie and her boyfriend Kent Katich announced the birth of Luna Marie. Luna means “moon” and has the flavor of “moon madness” which might refer to the love and passion it takes to bring a new baby into the world. It was a poignant story and a significant celebrity birth announcement, because it called the name Luna to the attention of people (celebrities) who are well known for being well known.
On July 15, actress Uma Thurman and her boyfriend Arpad Busson announced what Entertainment Weekly called “the greatest celebrity baby name of all time”: Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. Then on January 14, Thurman appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” to explain why she gave the baby 5 names and why she decided to call the baby Luna, instead of any of those 5 names. She said, “We couldn’t agree about the name, so I decided to call her Luna.”
Luna Encinas Cruz was born on the same day (July 22, 23013) that William and Kate announced the birth of (yawn) Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. Parents Penelope Cruz and boyfriend Javier Bardem kept the birth of their daughter as private as the birth of Prince George had been public. I almost forgot to mention that Luna Encinas was voted one of the five best-loved celebrity baby names of 2013 (in Great Britain).
In my humble opinion, Luna is the most noteworthy celebrity baby name of the year–and not just in the U.S. Cruz, del Toro, and Thurman, are known throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe.
Florida fans can catch me on Good Day Orlando on Fox 35 WOFL on Monday, December 23 at 9am. I’ll be naming the 5 worst celebrity baby names of the year and discussing baby name trends for 2014.
Celebrity baby names aren’t all awful. Here’s a list of “cute and quirky” celebrity girls’ names selected by Kim Grundy of She Knows Parenting. A number of the names in Grundy’s list are well worth considering. You’ll see the bright side of celebrity creativity and pizazz when you compare Grundy’s list with Nameberry’s list of “cool, unusual” names, which features weird names like these: Eulalie, Sula, Tulsi, Aliz, Hebe, Maelys, Carola and Domino. (I kid you not!)
Below are some of my favorite girls’ names on Grundy’s list:
•Everly: Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan
•Avery Grace: Angie Harmon
•Olive: Drew Barrymore
•Bryn: Bethenny Frankel
•Coco Riley: Courteney Cox and David Arquette
•Luna: Constance Marie
•Marlowe: Sienna Miller
It’s amazing that Nameberry thinks their list of rarely-used names (used on 10 or less babies) could possibly compete with Grundy’s “cute and quirky” list or my list of “cool names for girls” that were ranked (on Ranker.com’s interactive website) by smart people who care about names–like you.
P.S. I agreed with Grundy that parents should avoid Blue Ivy and North (West), but not because those two notorious names are “too well known.” The reason to avoid those names is that they call attention to Beyoncé and to Kim and Kanye–and will be an embarrassment their daughters and yours.
Some couples have trouble deciding on a name. They let the decision go until the baby is born. When they “meet” their beautiful baby for the very first time and fall in love–that’s a great time to pick a descriptive color name, that calls attention to one of your child’s most striking physical attributes). Suddenly there’s a consensus of opinion and making up your minds seems delightfully easy.
Here’s a quick list of “color names” to consider when you’re holding your baby and are struck by his amber, raven or flaming red hair or her pink, ginger or ebony complexion (to cite just a few examples):
Amber (orange-brown hair)
Blanche (fair hair or light complexion)
Cinnamon (reddish-brown hair or complexion)
Cocoa (brown hair or complexion)
Ebony (brown/black hair or complexion)
Ginger (yellow/tan hair or complexion)
Ivory (fair complexion)
Jennifer (fair hair or light complexion)
Latté* (café latté complexion)
Pink (pink cheeks)
Raven (black hair or dark complexion)
Red (flaming red hair)
Rose, Rosie (rosy complexion)
Russell (rust-colored hair)
Rusty (rust-colored hair)
Notice I am not promoting color names as a “trend” for 2014. I’m just trying to provide you with a useful option if you’re having trouble deciding on a name. Color names can help you reach agreement on an appropriate and positive name that gives you one more reason to celebrate your child’s birth day: you’ve finally picked a name you can both agree on for the baby you both love.
*I’ve never seen this name before, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else has used it.