Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here’s wishing you fair skies for your weekend festivities. But if you do find yourself with a few spare minutes in front of a computer screen, here are a few diversions:
- First, my question of the week: What goes with Henry? I recently met a family with teenage twins, Henry and Lucy. An article in this month’s Better Homes and Gardens profiles a decorator with a son named Henry and a daughter called Hadley. And, of course, celeb sibsets include Julia Roberts’ Phinneaus, Hazel and Henry and Heidi Klum & Seal’s Leni, Henry and Johan plus a baby-to-be. Henry was a contender if Clio had been a boy. Circa 2009, Henry goes with just about everything – that’s one of the hallmarks of a popular name. Given how very unfashionable Henry was in the 70s, he feels like proof that any name can make a comeback;
- Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh and her husband have welcomed a son wearing the classic appellation Joseph Michael;
- From the Department of Staggeringly Bad Compromises: The Toronto Star is reporting that a couple, divided over their son’s name, simply hyphenated their picks. The result? A boy named Jasper-Addison. While I believe Canada handles double names better than the US, this one feels like too much in any country. And it seems like all the parents have done is fail to resolve a dilemma many of us face when naming our children – going from a short list to a single name;
- Green Baby Guide blogger Joy is days away from welcoming #2. Suggestions at their site for included Azalea and Edelweiss, Luna and Sage;
- Over at Nameberry, I loved Linda’s post on Doll Names through the ages. It reminded me that I named my adopted-from-Germany Cabbage Patch Kid Nicholette Charyl. My little sister named hers Mary Lou – as in Retton;
- From the Department of Onomastic Controversies: Nameberry also ran a post on new surnames names for boys. We know a male Marley and a female Tucker. And I’m definitely hearing more and more parents considering unconventional surname picks, from the super-fashionable Beckett to the soap-opera-starbaby Cruz. It’s a hot button issue, but there are definitely more and more kiddos wearing last names first.
- Speaking of fashionable kids – and Henry, and Tucker – head over at You Can’t Call It “It” for Elisabeth’s article on Ohdeedoh Babies. Ohdeedoh is the Apartment Therapy section dedicated to all things for pint-sized style mavens. Her list of names culled from the site includes twin boys Henry and Tucker, as well a boy called Bix and girls named June and Helen Tallulah;
- I loved Laura Wattenberg’s analysis of the popularity of the name Brady, and his ties to Tom Brady’s career. It’s the kind of fact that is often lost to history – I regularly find myself digging to figure out what sparked a name’s rise and fall over the ages and coming up empty-handed. As I remembered with recent Name of the Day Nedra, when you do find the answer, it is quite the thrill;
- Xanthe Linnea did a great post on Girls’ Names not Currently in the Top 1000. Among her list – Cordelia, Amity, Clementine, Petra, Zora, Fern, Imogen, Lucinda, Mabel, Rosalie and Xanthe and Linnea. Amazing how easy it is to find an appealing pick that’s not ranked;
- Speaking of Mabel, nameniks everywhere rejoiced when Chad Lowe and his wife Kim Painter recently welcomed a daughter named Mabel Painter Lowe.
I thought I might throw in a short list of summer names, but looking back I realized that a year ago, I penned a post on just that. So I’ll leave you with one from the AppMtn archives: Summer Names.
Thanks for reading!
thanks Laney 🙂 I adore Anya as well!
Keep pushing your boyfriend!! Maybe it’s just an Eric thing – my brother Erich wasn’t too keen on Oliver when we named him either.
Laney McDonald says
Lol! Eric isn’t too keen on Oliver because of Bart Simpson’s prank call. He says the kid will be teased for it. I told him that by the time our son goes to school, the other kids most likely won’t even remember that joke so now he’s starting to consider it.
I never used to like the name until recently, but since I saw Oliver Warbucks in Annie and that cute kitty from the Disney film, I gained alot of respect for it. Both are very appealing characters and good role models to name a child after.
Laney McDonald says
The hyphens bother me, although I don’t mind them if you’re joining surnames instead of the first names. Emma-Leigh drives me NUTS.
I don’t like Brady at all either. The “braid” sound just doesn’t sound nice.
Sophie, I LOVE your kids’ names. They rank high on my list, but I’m still trying to get my dear boyfriend Eric to consider Oliver. I loved that little kitty in Oliver and Company and that’s what it reminds me of.
NOTD suggestions (my email doesn’t work, so I’ll post them here for now) :
Zora (in honor of my friend’s soon to be born daughter, Zora Aislynn)
Miyoko (my little cousin’s name)
Derek (other little cousin’s name)
Anya (my daughter’s name)
Oh, I do adore Henry! He makes me smile, and, as Bek expressed, despite Henry’s popularity, he somehow avoids the ‘trendy stigma’. My grandfather is a Henry too, so that’s a plus. My best friend has a Henry Alastair, and is due with a girl soon, to be named one of Imogene Adele, Imogene Beatrice, Imogene Marguerite.
I’d adore my next boy to be named Henry, as I feel he sits well with Matilda, Oliver and Iris, but none of my kids have immediate family names, so I’m a tad reluctant. The popularity doesn’t bother me – Matilda and Oliver are both much poular than Henry down here anyway!
Joseph Michael is a respectable choice, but definitely not for me. Being born in 1982 (and I’m sure it’d have been the same in any other decade), I was surrounded by Michaels all throughout my schooling, and I still know and have contact with at least 5 now, so I find him a bit generic and tired, and I’ve never cared for Joesph at all for some inexplicable reason. It is a refreshing change from the Bronx’s and Cruzes though. Mabel Painter is just gorgeous though! I was wary of painter until I became aware of its significance, but Mabel is lovely indeed.
Ugh. I ave a sort of pet dislike of hyphenated names. I agree with Allison – they usually just feel awkward and indecisive. Jasper-Addison is a wee bit awkward in that respect, but I really dislike it when they basically join two names together to make another, a la Emma-Lea or Dani-Elle. It really bugs me!
Surnames are not for me either, largely. There might be a few exceptions, but none that immediately spring to mind. DH, amongst his love of Oliver, Ada, Sylvie Cassius and Violet sometimes surprises me with Harrison and Blake though!
Brady’s fairly popular around my area – I’d hear him more than Brayden, easily! It surprises me that Imogen isn’t in the Top 1000 – here she sits at #30. But then again, Isla, Gemma and Matilda are all top 50 picks here too. From that lot, I do quite like Cordelia, Amity, Clementine, Imogen, Mabel, Rosalie, Xanthe and Linnea!
Maybe this is a chicken & the egg question, but isn’t Henry a surname?
Brady’s popularity in my area [Northern Indiana] is mostly due to Brady Quinn. During the years he was ND’s quarterback, Brady’s frequency rose in the local birth announcements. Now that he’s graduated [and his name isn’t in the news daily], the name has fallen a bit.
Interesting! And even more specific and local than Tom Brady … the kind of fact that will be COMPLETELY lost in just a few years. Thanks, Panya!
Surnames up front is just so weird. I have my mum’s maiden name as my second middle, and I think that’s a good compromise. Like Mabel Painter. Nice name up front, maiden name in middle, what’s not to love? Does sound a bit like Maple Painter though, but regardless, kudos to her parents.
Now, what goes with Henry? Here’s my forte! My own brother is a Henry, so there’s Julia and Henry. Other sibsets I know are Henry, William and Alice, Henry and Charlotte, Henry and Felix, Henry and Tomoko (!), Henry, Joshua and Madeleine. So yeah, it’s a pretty diverse name. The only thing that doesn’t really go with it is made up tryndee names.
Julia, I love a family name in the middle spot. Even a rather cumbersome maiden name often sounds elegant. A friend of ours is about to marry a woman with the mn Fleming; another has the mn Parks. It’s a nice tradition.
I know what you mean about Henry not pairing with, say, Jayci. Except I know a sibset – Martin and Destiny. Martin is a family name that (I think) the mom wasn’t gung-ho to hand down. Destiny was her you-picked-the-first-I-pick-the-second choice. (And her Destiny is older, so it was something of a novel choice back then.) So I wonder if there aren’t kids called Henry Jr. or Henry-after-grandpa with sisters named Jaidyn or Jaylee.
Laney McDonald says
Love Kerri Walsh’s son’s name. Michael was my father’s name and Joseph is one of my uncles, so those names have always been high on my list. Joseph Michael flows perfectly too. Great choice!
Xanthe and Zora are favorites of mine too. My friend just found out she is having a little girl who she’s planning to name Zora Aislynn. She likes Aisling, but dislikes the spelling so she changed it, and she feels that the Y would help it fit in better with Zora’s brother’s name Vynsynt Xavier. Her last name is 3 syllables and begins with S.
Overall, I love the name she picked, but I wish she would have spelled Aisling properly. Zora Aisling is a beautiful sophisticated name, and so is Vincent Xavier, but the spellings are gonna cause trouble.
I like Henry, Clio, Helen (it’s my maternal grandmother’s middle name. Her full name is actually Mary Helen Margaret M—–), and sort of like Rosalie and Linnea, but I have a feeling that Rosalie is gonna start rising soon because of Twilight. I hope not, but ya never know.
I knew a gal about 9 years ago with young children named Henry and Daisy, which I still find completely charming. As far as surnames go, I had no idea they were so polarizing! My brother and I both bear surnames, and now my son and daughter do as well. They may not be for everyone, but at least that’s two less kids named Jayden and Kaylee. And hyphenated names? I can’t support them in general; they sound indecisive at best, awkward and cumbersome at worst.
I will always love Henry. As you know, I am a classically trained actor, so Henry means one thing to me: Henry V (and Henry IV, parts I and II). If I had a Henry, I’d probably call him Hal, just like the young king in Shakespeare’s plays. I prefer him as the cocky youth rather than the valiant leader at Agincourt, actually. It always surprises me that more people don’t think of the name along the lines of those plays.
My husband’s ambivalent about Henry though, so I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to have a Prince Hal of my own.
Love your Sunday Summaries, btw!
Was Henry really that unfashionable in the 70’s? The name has never dipped below #150 on the SSA. It’s numbers have been so steady, I’m a bit confused by it’s perceived nowness.
RockingFetal, you’re right! There’s a difference between the rankings and the trends … and for classic boys’ names, it is sometimes slight. Hmmm … I think there’s a post in that …
Oops, should read:
“Funny, but I admit I
Fun summary, as usual!
Funny, but I admit I’m always a bit surprised when some of my favorites are on the SSA. Maybe it sounds silly, but I always think, “Do more people really like Dixie for their daughter than Petra, Fern, Linnea or Bronwen??” It boggles the mind. It seems to me that it should be easier for people to find truly rare gems rather than “mix and match” to come up with something “unique”. Guess I’m wrong.
Also, interesting you mention Henry. I was just discussing this name recently… To me, I find that since he’s such a perennial classic, he really can fit in anywhere with most any sibset. He’s not now, but he’s not too dusty either. Somehow Henry really familiar without the stigma of being trendy. (I mean, despite hearing Henry a lot from various circles, I never feel suffocated)
Bek, I know what you mean! I think the interesting thing about the SSA stats is that there really aren’t 1000 names on the list. When I crunched the numbers for 2007, I realized that it is more like 600 names, 750 tops. Variant spellings are an interesting phenomenon, and they truly do skew our perception about names’ popularity.
As for Henry? He stays on our shortlist for a boy precisely because of that reason – he’s classic without ever feeling trendy. Even though he’s undeniably fashionable once more.
That generic feel of Henry is what turns me off, you know. Well, that and Harry. I loathe Harry. (and I don’t say Hairy for Harry, either, I just think Harry’s sloppy). His Granddad or not, Henry goes in the middle, where he’s less likely to get nicknamed down.
Joseph Michael makes me want to cheer. I adore Joseph. Think Joe on a guy is devastatingly handsome and warm. But I always want something unusual in the middle next to Joseph. And Michael is a lovely classic but far from unusual. Lovely, but a tad bland. Joseph Micah, Joseph Mikhail, Joseph Miles, Joseph Mitchell or even Joseph Milo would have been a bit more interesting. On the bright side, Joseph Michael leaves nothing to tease about!
I don’t read a lot of Mom blogs, to be completely honest. So I had no idea there were even so many of them out there! Seems a bit overwhelming, and for me, makes Mommying a sport, almost. It’s not supposed to be and if I can, I’ll refuse to play along nicely. I hate playing the “My kid s better than yours” game and would just much rather not. So many Congratulations to Joy and my vote goes for Azalea. Stunningly simple, Azalea is and easy to spell. Just completely Gorgeous.
A pox on surnamey names in general. At least Nameberry had them for boys, which is where they belong, if they’re going to be used. On a girl, they belong in the middle, if anywhere. I find most of the surnames used so totally ugly. I have a little Fisher sdown the street. He gets shortened to “Fish” a lot. So sad, this cute little boy who must respond to “Fish”. Blergh.
Brady to me, is followed by “Bunch” and that’s that. it is a dog name, at best and should never go on a human boy (and please, no girls either). Blah, Brady was disgusting when Miranda on “Sex in the City” named her son that, and it has not improved with age. At least as far as I’m concerned.
I still have to check out Xanthe Linnea’s blog, I’ve been partying this weeked a bit (Huzzah for Memorial Day!) so I sort of missed that. Will be checking it out after this.
And indeed, Hooray for little Mabel! A pretty, soft name up front, a family surname in the middle (in this case, Mom’s maiden) and Pop’s surname at the end. How absolutely stunning! (I still prefer the medieval Amabel to Mabel, but hey, Mabel is pretty and needs some love too)!
Nice round up, as always, Verity, Thanks! 😀