I finally settled down long enough to read the third installment in the Bridget Jones trilogy. I hesitated – spoiler alert – because I really didn’t want a Bridget without a Mark. But it turned out to be my favorite installment, a quick read that answered lots of questions about what happens when Bridget + company grow up.
I mention it here, naturally, because of the names. They’re a delicious assortment. Bridget’s kiddos are William, called Billy, and Mabel. And the kids’ friends! A galaxy of wacky and wild choices: Thelonius, Cosmata, Bikram.
It was almost worth reading for the names alone.
Elsewhere in the baby-name-o-verse:
- Did you see this birth announcement for Elsbeth Mattea in the Nameberry forums? What great sibling names!
- Along the same lines – a video featuring international variations of Elizabeth.
- Is Jerome an underused classic, or a hopelessly dated name? I might have dismissed him as the latter, but Bree has convinced me he’s almost certainly the former.
- Isabella, Alexandra … and Henrietta? I can never decide if I love this name or find it just too much, but Anna’s post on the marvelous Henrietta Dugdale makes it clear that Henrietta is a hero name.
- Oh, another Cosette in this round-up from Names for Real. Also some nicely unexpected middles: Stella West, Marie Sunday, Wyatt Ransom.
- An interesting question from Nancy.
- Japanese names – I do like Ren for a boy. Shades of Footloose.
- Azerbaijan has name rules, complete with a green/yellow/red coding system. I couldn’t find the list itself, but I did find this discussion of Azeri naming traditions. The goal of the rules is, naturally, to uphold the culture. The trouble with this goal, of course, is that it assumes culture is fixed and unchanging. Maybe it is different in Baku, but here’s guessing that plenty of parents are not content to stick with the traditional green names and prefer to wade into the yellow.
- Along the same lines: I liked this defense of Lakeisha and company, found via Clare at Scoop.it. Except that if you go too far into the Azeri yellow, do you end up with a name that is more burden than heritage celebration?
- Which leads me to this Slate article about brand names with unusual spellings and/or incongruous punctuation. It’s interesting, because it tracks with what I tend to think about given names. A little bit different is fine – it can even be great. But go too far, and it’s unnecessarily confusing. Trouble is that the line is fuzzy, and shifts from person to person.
- Another drama: Philomena’s mom is ticked that grandpa wants to call her daughter Philly. This fascinates me. I know lots (and lots) of parents who prefer using their children’s longer names in full. But I do think that if you’re of this mind, better to choose a shorter name, the equivalent of Emma or Jane, names less likely to inspire short forms. Because even if you can successfully insist that she’s Philomena, thanks, for the first few years of her life, at some point your kiddo goes to school and things change.
- Surname names: love ’em or hate ’em?
- Let’s end with a sneak preview of my Nameberry post for Monday. I’m writing about B names – there have been a bunch lately, and I don’t think it is a blip. Now there’s another one on the horizon. The new J.J. Abrams series, Believe, debuts Monday night, March 10. And the central character is a girl called Bo. Bo reminds me of Drew Barrymore’s character in Firestarter, only with powers times a kabillion. Could Bo be big for girls? What are the formal name possibilities? And is B the new A?
If you haven’t voted in March Madness yet, please do so! The boys’ quarter finals are posted here, and the girls’ quarter finals are here. Lots of close matches, and I can attest from the opening round that some of the matches that seemed like a lock in the beginning changed dramatically over the week.
Thank you for reading – and have a great week!