Cricket: Baby Name of the Day

Second (?) stage nymph of the Great Green Bush...

Busy Philips made waves when she gave this name to her second daughter in 2013.

Celebrity Baby Names week 2013 continues, with Cricket as our Baby Name of the Day.

Cricket has a great sound.  That crisp ‘Cr’ at the top, the stylish -et girl ending.

Trouble is that she’s a bug.

Cricket comes from the French criquer – to creak, crackle.  It’s an onomatopoeic choice. Like roar, the word comes from the sound.

It’s also a sport, of course.  The word comes from a Middle Dutch word cricke – stick and the French criquet – piece of wood.

Back to the bug.  We tend to lump grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets together as the more approachable of the insects.  True crickets belong to the family Gryllidae, and with their antennae and those big jumping legs, they are insects – even if they’re pretty much harmless to humans, and their night-time chirping is a gentle reminder of summer nights.

In some cultures, the appearance of a cricket is a good omen.  In others, it’s best to escort them out of your house as they can herald illness, even death.  There’s a history of keeping them as pets, and even staging cricket fights.  They are also edible, and you just might find them on the menu.

Disney gave us the enduring Jiminy Cricket, that wise advisor from Pinocchio, plus Cri-kee in Mulan.  The 1961 Newberry Honor Book A Cricket in Times Square was about the adventures of Chester Cricket.  And the children’s literary magazine Cricket launched in 1973.

Cricket is also slang for a harmonica, and Buddy Holly’s back-up band was called The Crickets.  This could put Cricket in the company of Harmony, Aria and Drummer – if the musical meaning were more widely known.

Still, Cricket has more history of use than you might guess:

  • 1950 was the first year at least five girls received the name.
  • By 1962, she’d reached a high of 22 newborns.
  • In 1982, 24 girls received the name.
  • She’s retreated in recent years – to 18 Crickets in 2008 and 5 in 2012.

Credit the small screen for some of those births.

Back in 1959, Connie Stevens played Cricket, a photographer on detective series Hawaiian Eye.  A pair of private investigators untangled all sorts of goings-on in Honolulu, mostly at a local hotel.  Photographer Cricket was also much in demand at the hotel, and often assisted the duo as they caught the bad guys and kept the island safe for visitors.  The show was on ABC through 1963.

I wanted to tie that 1982 high on The Young and the Restless.  Christine Blair was a teenage model when she debuted on the show, nicknamed Cricket.  She eventually became a lawyer and district attorney – and shed her nickname.  Except the soap opera introduced the character in 1983 – a year after she’d peaked – so that’s not it.

And yet, most women who have answered to Cricket seem to have been named Christine.  Christine was a Top 100 choice in the US from the 1940s into the 1990s, ranking in the Top 20 from 1967 to 1974.  Cricket’s rise parallels Christine’s popularity.

Could she make a comeback in 2014?

Busy Philips welcomed Cricket Pearl in 2013, a little sister for Birdie Leigh.  Philips’ latest addition could put Cricket on a list of daring nature names that parents are considering.  And yet I think this one is more Apple than Shiloh, a name not likely to inspire many imitators.

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14 Comments

Too cute I too in 2010 I named my little baby girl Cricket and it was my childhood memory of watching with my mum “Young and The Restless ” and me loving the character Christine nickname Cricket. When I first watched this I thought that was her name and it wasn’t until she became a lawyer on the program that I found out her name was Christine . Funly enough I liked this name also . I too before my girl was born had 3 pages of girls names I liked and Cricket wasn’t on my list as I had forgotten at the time and it wasn’t until I held her in front of me when she was first born that Cricket was the only name in my head and she just suits it . And people so far love it and now shes primary school age she loves it too

We are thinking of naming our fourth baby (a boy) Cricket. Here in Montana, most people pronounce Creek as crick, so we like that his nickname would be water related. And, there’s a small 22 rifle (for kids) called a cricket, so we like the hunting association too. Also, since this boy is due in the summer, we think Cricket is so fitting of those warm summer nights and it brings to mind bonfires, starry nights, sunsets, and well, just happiness.

Nicky, I love the way you described it! It’s more common for girls, but SO very rare that your son would surely be the only Cricket – which means it’s really unisex. And a great nature name, too!

We named my 10-week-old Portuguese Water Dog Cricket on the way home from Dallas to Houston. We were camping overnight and she caught a cricket gently with her paw, sniffed at it, and then let it go. We had already named her Britta but when I said Cricket her ears perked up and she ran right to me. When we called her Britta she just looked at us.

It seems more masculine to me…maybe because it is very much tied to the sport in my mind. I don’t see it as a name, though.

I once knew a Cricket who was a BOY! His given name was Christopher, but he had a little sister who couldn’t quite pronounce it, and, well… Cricket he became. Now, he’s a forty-something with kids of his own, so the name has always sounded masculine to me. What an interesting thought to give it to a girl!

I never thought of it as a nickname for Christopher, that’s actually pretty good. I much prefer it to Chris.

Personally I love Cricket, especially as a nickname for Chrysanthemum.