Time for the noteworthy baby names March 2016 edition!
When I first started this series, I expected it to be a straightforward list of the most-viewed names at Appellation Mountain for the prior thirty days. Instead, it quickly evolved into a list of the most noteworthy baby names for the prior month, from headline news and pop culture, from what was big on the site and in the baby naming community in general.
It makes for an eclectic list, and one that doesn’t necessarily reflect trends or popular choices. And yet, I’m excited to be able to look back and see the baby names March 2016 – and earlier – to see if they really do catch on over time.
Read on for the noteworthy baby names March 2016 edition!
Julius – Here’s your history lesson, though you’ll need to remember it for around 340 days to impress your friends next year on March 15th. The Ides of March is the anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar, back in the year 44 BC. Here’s what I didn’t know until the most recent go-round: “Ides” originally referred to the rise of a full moon mid-month, and there was an Ides in every month. So … I’m thinking about Julius this March, which makes all the sense in the world, though I’m not sure if naming a March-born son Julius would be a good idea or not.
Saoirse – Speaking of March baby names, I featured Saoirse on St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks to young – and incredibly talented – Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, the name feels much more familiar and accessible than ever before. It was among the most-viewed posts this month.
Wilder – While we’re talking about well-viewed names from March 2016, Wilder came out on top for boys. I’ve written about this preppy hellraiser name quite a bit over the last few years, and I’m convinced that the entire category of names is a definite trend. But it was barely on my radar until Simon Helberg chose it for his son in 2014. (It made my best of list for that year!) I’ve had it on my names to watch list for a while now, and I do think we’ll see it in the US Top 1000 when the new data is released in May.
Eloise – Readers, there is an Eloise suite at The Plaza. And an Eloise store. And an Eloise-themed tea party. Somehow, I’ve spotted the hotel in the news a few times lately, which got me thinking about this classic children’s tale about a spoiled, but kind-hearted six year old living a life of privilege in the heart of New York City. The name has gone from storybook rarity to rising favorite. It was given to over 1,000 girls in 2014 for the first time since 1930.
Lula – Have you heard Pitbull’s “El Taxi”? It’s not exactly new – Google tells me it’s a year old, give or take, and it’s actually a remix anyhow. But lately I’ve heard it on the radio more than once. And I listened – because I’m forever fascinated by the mix of English and Spanish in pop music, and the impact of Spanish on the English language, and, of course, names. The name of the girl who gets into the taxi on the way to the club? That would be Lula. Not only is Lula the girl’s name in the song, it almost made my list of neglected gems from the 1900s, so obviously, it needed to be on the noteworthy baby names March 2016 list, too.
Georgette – I stumbled across an interview with Melissa McCarthy, after an insomnia-fueled viewing of The Identity Thief. (Summary: she’s hilarious, Jason Bateman is sweet, and I’ve definitely watched less redeeming movies at 3 AM. And yes, I chose it because of the whole “unisex name” gag that fueled plot.) But it reminded me that Melissa is mom to daughters Vivian and Georgette. Georgia has been a quietly stylish pick for parents since the 1990s, but Georgette is rare. Still, if Juliet can be an it girl, why not Georgette?
Quest – Q might be the coolest middle initial ever. Sarh Smith is just another name, but Sarah Q. Smith? That’s memorable. Quinn is an obvious way to get there, but how about Quest? Rapper Phife Dawg, one of the visionary artists behind A Tribe Called Quest, passed away earlier in March. Lin Manuel Miranda even worked a tribute into a performance of Hamilton, and while I was reading the story, it hit me – Quest might be the most perfect of middle names. It’s short, edgy, spiritual, musical, unexpected but perfectly wearable. 30 boys were named Quest in 2014, a new high.
Sylvie – Okay, I’ve written about Sylvie as a Noteworthy Name before, and I didn’t plan to repeat. At least not this soon. But … but … the Swistle story, complete with Swistle’s brilliant response to the possibility that the story might be less than true? And Sylvie swept to victory in March Madness Baby Names 2016 just as I wrote this list? Yeah. No wonder this name made the Trendwatch 2016.
Theodore – Speaking of March Madness, classic Theodore is set to take the title in the boys’ final. It’s also the name of Ivanka Trump’s new baby boy, a little brother for Arabella and Joseph. Is Theodore the new Benjamin? Alexander? Sebastian? Or all of the above … It’s definitely enough to make Theodore one of the noteworthy baby names March 2016.
Finnick – Let’s end with a name that I’ve been watching since I first read the second book in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire. He’s from the district known for fishing, so the Fin- part of his name seems fitting. And since the character is ultimately heroic, it feels like a nod to Finn McCool, too. And Finn names are stylish, too.
But Finnick wasn’t a name at all until Suzanne Collins chose it for her character. Nine boys were given the name in 2012, three years after the novel was published, and a year before the 2013 movie version. By 2014, there were 38 boys called Finnick. So why does this name make the noteworthy baby names March 2016 list? Easy. In Zootopia, the name of the fennec fox – Nick Wilde’s partner in crime – is named Finnick. Unlike Katniss or even Primrose, I feel like Finnick is the Hunger Games name that could slip into the mainstream.
Are there any names that caught your eye in March 2016?
I’m not yet convinced that you’re right about Sylvie. It might appeal to people who frequent name forums and blogs (overwhelmingly women) but it is not a familiar name to the majority of Americans, so most of the Sylvie-lovers will have to convince a spouse who probably hasn’t heard of the name to use it. That’s not an easy task. And Sylvia hasn’t been gaining in popularity so Sylvie can’t ride on its momentum. I guess we’ll see in the years ahead – I suppose it could accompany the other French names on the rise like Eloise. I’ve actually been wondering whether we’ll see a jump in the number of Sylvanas, after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used that name for one of her twin girls (along with Marielle).