Sometimes it’s awkward to be a name nerd, like when a new mom tells you she chose Ava because it’s so unique.
But sometimes? It makes you feel ever so smart.
I chaperoned my son’s class trip to the National Gallery of Art a few days ago, and when our guided tour stopped at the Leonardo da Vinci portrait of Ginevra de Benici, all of my confetti-like knowledge of the world came in handy.
That shrubby tree behind Ginevera’s head? It’s juniper.
Nod your head if you get it. If not, read this post.
So while it might seem like a weird, isolating little hobby, sometimes it turns out that an obsession with all things onomastic is actually a window into the whole wide world.
And so on to the world:
- Kelli has her outstanding analysis of the 67 names that rank in the US Top 1000 for boys and girls. Oakley, Landry, and Azariah are pretty much even!
- More novelties, including Payzley and Royaltee.
- My favorite name find of the week has to be Briar Evangeline, from this post at Names for Real.
- I so enjoy Laura’s annual round-up of The 100 Club. My favorite new entries? For girls, Bellamy, Emmarie, and Salem. For boys, Huxley, Bear, and … well, Salem. That one is really growing on me. (Though the first time I heard it, maybe a dozen years ago, it seemed too witch trial to ever bestow on a child.)
- Funny how a letter or three can completely change the vibe of a name. I love Isobel and Katharine or Catharine, but any other spelling, like Isabelle or Catherine, well … it’s not for me.
- Speaking of names I love, Coco appears twice in the most recent birth announcements at British Baby Names. Huzzah!
- Kara wrote about Ignatius this week, and so did Anna. The poll at Waltzing More than Matilda gives Ignatius a pretty favorable rating. Could this name be next? It’s been on our shortlist over the years, with the nickname Nate.
- A question for you: I think it is fine, maybe even sort of lovely and old-fashioned, to name your children after US Presidents. And yet, I think it is potentially awkward to name your children after political candidates. So unless this woman who says she’s naming her baby Jeb isn’t due until mid-November 2016, I think I’d find another name. (Or not. I wouldn’t assume that Jeb was automatically a reference to the Bush brother. And actually, it turns out that she wasn’t entirely serious.)
- Love the lists of rustic-country names at Rustic Baby Chic – Huck and Bryndle leapt out at me. Huck because I love it, Bryndle because I’ve never heard it before. (Jeb is on her boy list, too!) But I was a little disappointed to realize there’s not a single rustic mama – it’s more of a magazine site.
- Skye catches up on the names he’s watching. I appreciate his lists, because they’re also filled with up-and-comers, like Aria, Paisley, and Oakley.
- Another week, another advice columnist weighs in on whether it’s okay for two family members to use the same baby name. Again, I agree with the advice columnist – it’s fine for cousins to share a name! – but that’s completely counter to our current baby name environment.
- But it used to be okay. Here’s proof, via NorthJersey.com. His family sounds like my family — nicknames, repeating Anthonys, and all. So let’s end with a question about that.
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!