At the Build a Bear workshop in the Mall at Annapolis, making a new BFF for my daughter.
Towards the end of the process – after the fluff has been pumped into the skin (I called it a carcass and was gently corrected by the nice BaB attendant), after the creature has been bathed and outfitted, there’s the best part: The Name Me Station.
I could’ve spent hours generating names, toggling between English and Spanish, debating middles, and pulling the lever to generate more possibilities.
My daughter managed to name her stuffed cat Meowy Kitty in about three minutes, so I had to move on.
I love what Jennie and Rebecca said on Facebook about researching and carefully considering the names they gave to their dolls and stuffed animals. I agree – a lot of us were That Kid, and grew up to be parents intensely interested in what to name our children.
In France, a judge required two separate families to rename their daughters. Nutella is now legally known as Ella; Fraise as Fraisine. I’m particularly charmed by the second case. Fraise is the French word for strawberry, but Fraisine is “an elegant nineteenth century first name.”
Fraisine is not in the database at Meilleurs Prenoms, but if you haven’t dropped by lately, you should. They’ve got a whole new upgraded look – it’s simply grand.
Meanwhile in Germany, 400 new names were added to the list of approved appellations. According to the article, about 85% of requests to use names not previously on the official list are approved. That’s a pretty high rate. There’s also a mention that names invented by the parents were usually approved, if “the name could be recognized by its structure as a first name,” like Suma, Nelvana, and Rionella.
I’m fascinated by the comments on this question at Swistle: are Double-Mary names like Mary Agnes, Mary Eliza, etc. too Catholic for general use? I love double Mary names – Mary Claire, nicknamed Macy, once topped my shortlist when I was a teenager.
Speaking of double names, did you see the birth announcement for Maria Antonia, daughter of Brazilian actors, at Nomes e mais Nomes? Double-Maria and double-Marie names can be great, too.
Let’s end with my favorite list of the week: baby names, mostly from San Francisco, from a friend who was kind enough to send along a collection of the kids in her super-stylish neighborhood! I’ve left off the classics and the Top Tens. Interesting choices for boys: Earl, Sam, Walker, Whittaker, Winslow. Girls: Annie-Cate, Ann Chason, Blake, Bianca, Dylan, Elise, Evie, June, Lyla, Ryland, Sloan. Both Parker and Spencer were on the boys’ list AND the girls’ list.
That’s all for this week! As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!
I went with names that could be reasonably used today – Oriana for Olivia, Hilde for Hailey. Choosing only names that might appeal to modern parents sacrificed a degree of authenticity, but it also made it more fun – and more challenging!
A few readers have prompted me to do the same for boys, and I’ve meant to – honest!
But here’s the thing: there’s a decent chance that your son’s name would’ve been right at home in the England of a millennia past. While we’ve become more creative and daring when naming a son, it is surprising to see how many names remain in use over centuries.
But no more excuses! If you’re looking for an alternative to a very popular boys’ name, or if you’re just looking for something different, please step into the Wayback Machine: Top 25 Boys’ Names edition.
Parents revive ancient names all the time. With choices like Penelope and Levi in the US Top 100, it’s clear we’re not afraid to reach into the distant past. But how ’bout those overlooked Anglo-Saxons? When is it their chance for a comeback?
Thanks to Anonymous for suggesting one they’ve considered for a son. Our Baby Name of the Day is Cynewulf.