March, Tuesday & Autumn: Calendar Baby Names

by appellationmountain on November 16, 2012

Calendar Calendar by tanakawho via Flickr

Let’s imagine that naming your baby-on-the-way has you stuck.  Stumped.  There are no names you’d like to pass down, and nothing feels like “the one.”  Could the calendar provide some inspiration?

Plenty of traditions dictate a child’s name based on his or her date of birth.  Many African names refer to a day of the week.  From Europe to Asia, there are given names that reference a season, like Suvi (Finnish for summer) or Haruko (Japanese for spring child).  Saints’ days often inspired parents.  November 16 honors Saint Margaret, so if you welcomed a daughter today, that might have been her name.

There are subtle ties, too – a Christmas-born daughter named Holly or Natalie, the son given an Irish appellation in honor of his March 17th birth.

But what about the most obvious choices?  There’s a growing list of name possibilities borrowed straight from the calendar.

Days of the Week Calendar Baby Names

Tuesday – Made famous for girls by actress Tuesday Weld, she shares the stylish vowel sound also heard in Lucy and Ruby.

Wednesday – Maybe television’s Addams Family isn’t really meant to inspire namesakes.  Fester, Moriticia, and Pugsley are clearly unthinkable.  But could Wednesday be the exception?  Her name is a reference to the nursery rhyme - Wednesday’s child is full of woe – but she’s not so far from the friendly Wendy.

Thursday – I’ve yet to hear of a real child called Thursday, but Jasper Fforde’s series of Thursday Next novels have put this one on the maybe list.

Sunday - Trend-setting baby namer Nicole Kidman caused waves when she welcomed daughter Sunday Rose with her new husband, Keith Urban.  Kidman’s choice was inspired by an Australian patron of the arts.  Sunday’s sunny sound and spiritual associations make her among the most appealing of the days of the week, and by far the most common.  42 girls were given the name in 2011.

Months of the Calendar Baby Names

January – January Jones got her name from a character in a Jacqueline Susann novel.  Susann’s glamorous character inspired a handful of parents in the 1970s.  As Jones’ star has risen, it seems surprising that this one hasn’t caught on … yet.

March – It’s an active verb and the name of the third month of the year, related to the Roman God of War, Mars.  Mars makes the name feel masculine, but March is also the surname of the beloved family in Little Women and sequels.  Louisa May Alcott’s stories make March seem like an equal opportunity appellation.

April, Avril - April is a gentle choice, popular in the 1970s and 80s.  That puts her firmly in mom name territory nowadays.  The French version substitutes a v for the p, and picks up an edge, as in Avril Lavigne.

May, Mae - May is just as sweet as April, but she’s also quite versatile.  A possible nickname for evergreen choices like Mary and Margaret, a sometimes-surname related to Matthew, and, of course, the merry month.  She might be linked to the Roman earth goddess, Maia.  Hollywood screen legend Mae West comes to mind, lending a touch of glam to this slim, trim and pretty choice.

JuneJune was once a granny pick, the mom on Leave it to Beaver, as outdated as Joan or Jane.  In recent years, Jane is back with June right behind her.  She’s a ballet-dancing member of The Little Einsteins.  The heroine of the Junie B. Jones series of books actually answers to another stylish appellation: Juniper.

July – There’s Julia and Julian and plain old Julie, too.  Why not July?

August - Along with May, one of the few choices with roots at least as old as his place on the calendar.  Both the given and the month come from Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.  It’s traditionally masculine, while Augusta is a feminine form.  But in recent years, August could be borrowed by the girls.  Garth Brooks has a daughter called August Anna.

September, October, November, December – The least likely of the twelve calendar months, each of these has a few fans.

Seasons of the Calendar Baby Names

Winter - First came trendsetting starbaby Harlow Winter Kate.  Then came Gretchen Moll’s daughter, Winter Morgan.  Winter ranked in the US Top 1000 briefly, appearing in both 1978 and 1979.  She seems poised to re-enter the rankings next year.

Spring – The rarest of the season names, I’ve included her on the list thanks to Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actress Spring Byington.

Summer - A Top 200 pick since 1993, Summer makes for a solidly established choice for a daughter.  Not wildly popular, but not outlandish, either.

Autumn – The most successful of all four season names, Autumn has climbed steadily from the 1970s to today.  She stood at #69 in 2011.  Plus, hey, Canada-born Autumn Kelly married Queen Elizabeth‘s oldest grandson, Peter Phillips, meaning there’s an Autumn in the royal family.

Season - How about Season itself?  It has an ambiguous feel, referring both to the seasons of the year and the idea of being seasoned – tested, experienced, storied.  It’s been on my mind ever since Girls Gone Child shortlisted it for her twins.

Would you use a name borrowed straight from the calendar?  What other ideas should be included on this list?

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaeli November 24, 2012 at 3:53 AM

I’m a big, big fan of November! I love the month (who doesn’t, with Thanskgiving and everything!) and think the name would be beautiful for a baby girl. I also love Sunday for a girl.

I’ve been intrigued by the name July for a boy ever since I watched “Lonesome Dove”, where Chris Cooper played July Johnson. Imagine the name pronounced with a Southern Drawl, with the emphasis on JU-ly instead of ju-LY. Yes, it does stem from Julius for Julius Caesar, just as August stood for Caesar Augustus.

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BW November 19, 2012 at 1:08 AM

I LOVE August for a boy, Winter, June, and January for a girl. Season is also growing on me as well. And although it isn’t a “calendar” season, I think Holiday with the nickname Holly would be adorable!

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Julie November 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM

In the YA fantasy novel “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” there are characters named September and Saturday. I wouldn’t expect to see either name on next years SSA, but if we wait for it’s middle-school readers to reach parenthood… I imagine September won’t be so rare.

I know an older gentleman named Vernal, and while it’s far from my favorite name, to my ear it has more “naminess” than Spring.

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appellationmountain November 19, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Vernal is a great addition to the list. And, wow, that book title makes me want to read it immediately!

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EK November 18, 2012 at 12:24 AM

I like Season too. Anyone remember the actress Season Hubley?

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SkyeRhyly November 17, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I love love love July for a boy. I think it derived from Julius, did it not?

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British American November 17, 2012 at 12:29 AM

I think I like Season.

I also quite like Sunday. My 3rd baby was born on a Sunday and I really liked how quiet it was at the hospital that morning, with it being the weekend. Felt like a great day to have a baby.

Also warming to July and the -ber months too.

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annamaria November 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM

I knew a Season in school growing up. She would be in her late 20s now. She’s the only person I’ve met with the name.

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tarabyte November 16, 2012 at 6:32 PM

We used Mae as a second middle for my daughter. I like Tuesday, January, and March, and I LOVE June, August, and Winter!

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Nicole November 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Calendar names are my favorite word name group. October and Wednesday are on my long list for girls. I am overly in love with December and Winter for a holiday baby girl. I feel like April, May and June are too normal for me… but January is lovely. I love Autumn as well, but is too popular for me.

I also like the idea of Wednesday that goes by Winnie for short, I really have loved the name Winnie since Wonder Years.

I knew a Tuesday growing up and I loved her name!

Great post!

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appellationmountain November 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Winnie for Wednesday is clever!

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C in DC November 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

May and Mae are family names. I think actress Summer Glau will inspire a few more baby Summers.

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Megalady November 16, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The best contenders to be added to my list are Summer and Mae, though I also think June, November, and Autumn are lovely for girls and August and October suitably handsome for boys.

I might also suggest Friday. I’ve been intrigued with this option for a while.

“Autumn – The most successful of all four season names, Autumn has climbed steadily from the 1970s to today. She stood at #69 in 2011. Plus, hey,” – Was there intended to be more?

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appellationmountain November 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Yes, yes, there was …

Plus, hey, Canada-born Autumn Kelly married Queen Elizabeth‘s oldest grandson, Peter Phillips, meaning there’s an Autumn in the royal family.

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