On Friday, I found myself talking to a dad who happens to be First Middle Last V. He told me that it never occurred to him to name his child anything other than First Middle Last VI, and that his school-aged son already talks about someday giving the name to a seventh generation.
There’s something to be said for enduring traditions, and it worked with this family’s style. Their other two children also had names that feel traditional, but not expected.
Family names work for plenty of families, but not all. I can advocate for starting fresh, too. And honestly? It’s pretty easy to dismiss a “tradition” when you’re a junior debating whether or not to have a third. But after five or six passes? I think that feels much, much harder to break.
Apparently Adlai Ewing Stevenson IV said something similar when he named his son Adlai V. (I can’t find the original quote online, but Wikipedia references it.) Though of course that name seems a lot more famous – and distinctive – than many a family name.
And then there’s this story of a baby boy sharing his birthday with his dad and his great-grandfather. They’d planned a different middle name, but, “when he was born on the 1st we knew we had to keep with tradition and throw a James in there.”
Would you break a many-times-handed-down name streak? I’d probably keep the custom, but focus on finding a great nickname option.
Elsewhere in naming news:
- Because I’m Disney-obsessed, I’m following the news from D23 closely. D23 is the official Disney fan club, and every other year it holds a massive conference, jam-packed with announcements about their movies and theme parks. Because I’m name-obsessed, I’m also listening for potential baby name inspiration. I’m curious about two upcoming Disney-Pixar sequels. In 2018, we’ll get Incredibles 2. Will Dashiell finally catch on? Or is it just Dash that’s destined to climb? Secondly, Wreck-It Ralph returns later that same year. I’m still surprised at the success of Vanellope, a vanilla-Penelope mash-up name introduced by the 2012 movie. Will we see another bump for the invented name in 2019?
- Beyonce made it official with another record-setting Instagram post. She and Jay Z named their son Sir, and their daughter Rumi. Based on more Instagram posts, it appears Rumi does honor the poet.
- Nancy tackles the list of possible U names. When I shared it to the Appellation Mountain Facebook page, Kelly had some great insights. She noted, “… a short U is a sort of nondescript sound, and one that we are linguistically evolving away from. As vowels shift and gain popularity further away from the throat, there’s popularity rising in names like Isla, Isaac, and almost every A name you could think of.” Emily added, “U is the least-commonly-used vowel in English, and even more relatively rare as a first letter in words. I’d imagine that general lack of familiarity carries over to our naming tenT
- BellyItch has a list of Top 10 Names Millennial Parents will love. Wilder, Remy, and Arrow? Yup, JJ nailed it.
- This Living with Kids family includes daughters named Lu and Ellie. I’m so curious to know if Lu has a longer name! I’m a little obsessed with two-letter baby names. I’d love to meet an Io.
- Did you see this birth announcement at Sancta Nomina for Fisher Gray? Spiritual names continue to appeal to parents, from eastern-leaning ones like Bodhi to the quietly Christian Fisher.
- Fisher always makes me think of Fletcher, so get this: Jill Kargman, of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out fame, has daughters named Sadie and Ivy, and a son called Fletch. Fletch! It’s missing the Christian overtones of Fisher, but has a preppier vibe that I find intriguing. But is it just Fletch, like Dash?
- British Baby Names profiles Gaia. Take the so-popular Maya, mix in a healthy dose of nature name and ancient style, and I think this name really works.
- From the wayback machine: Aglaia was featured as Baby Name of the Day in 2016. Lando took center stage in 2015. In 2014, it was all about Genevieve.
That’s all for now. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!