Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dog Names for Babies?

Brent Schoepf via Dribbble
I've been thinking non-stop about dog names since we just got a puppy a week ago. When coming up with a name for the little guy, I was adament about giving him a name that didn't sound too "dog like," (aka, not Fido or Rover). I wanted him to have a real name. A person name. We ended up calling him Fisher, and it's really the perfect name for him. It's not too dog like, and it's not too common among animals or people (it ranked #799 last year). However, this whole situation got me wondering: if we like people names for pets, what about pet names for people? Are they off-limits or fair game?

Beau- Beau was the quintessential dog name for a while, but ever since the early 2000s, he's been climbing up the charts for baby boys. Alternate spelling Bo is also on the rise (and is the name of the Obama's dog). Beau definitely works for both dogs and babies.

Boomer- I was hesitant to include Boomer on this list, because--much like Fido and Rover--I thought he had absolutely no potential as a baby name. But Michael Phelps gave the name to his son a couple weeks ago, which changes things. My brother has been telling me forever to expect a nephew named Boomer in a dozen years or so (Beau also makes his list). I've always thought it was to annoy me with its non-nameness, but who knows, maybe he sees the future of baby names. Do you think Boomer could be a hit in 2028?

Coco- Coco is a name I have my eye on. I've seen a couple of bloggers and other tastemakers use the name recently, and I think it wears really well. They are often ahead of the curve by many years though, so I suspect we'll see a big Coco rise in around 3-5 years.

Duke- Duke still feels decidedly doggish to me, but I'm curious to hear what you all think. He came back into the top 1000 in 2013, and is on the rise, along with many other royal names. Giuliana and Bill Rancic have a son named Duke, which may be inspriring many parents to go for it with their baby as opposed to their dog.

Huck- Huck is a sweet nickname-y name whose most obvious full form is Huckleberry. It makes sense that parents would want to skip over that, and just give the name to their pet instead. However, I'm more of a fan when it's used on a baby. There are plenty of full name options besides Huckleberry, as illustrated here.

Murphy- Fun loving, Irish surname Murphy has always been common among pets, but dropped out of the top 1000 for baby boys in 1956. These days I can see Murphy working for a baby boy or girl, especially in this era of last-names-first.

Rex- Rex may seem like the classic dog name, but he's actually not too popular among pooches or people. I am a big champion of using Rex on babies--he's the perfect alternative to Max! Plus, he's actually fallen lately in popularity. Rex is currently at #682, down from a peak of #617 in 2011.

Roscoe- Hipster favorite Roscoe is currently a hit for dogs, and I suspect the number of children and pets with the name will only go up. He really is a fun and sweet name--I wouldn't be surprised to see him break the top 1000 in the next few years.

Roxy- Roxy (or Roxie, if you're a Broadway fan) is not used as often on babies as she is on pets, most likely because her most obvious full name is the outdated Roxanne. However, she'd work just as well as a nickname for any of the Rose names, or even names like Aurora and Veronica.

Scout- All the buzz about To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman led to increased interest in the name Scout, but I can't tell if it's going to stick or not. For a long time, Scout sounded too wordy to bestow on a child (i.e.: perfect for the dog), but I think she's a totally viable choice nowadays.

Thor- People love to give their dogs slightly comical names, which is why you meet many a small dog named Thor. This is one of the few that I would not give to child--I think it's best for the family pet. Try the variation Tor instead.


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As you may have noticed, I'm taking a lighter summer schedule. Regular posting should resume in October, when I go back to school.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Celebrity Baby Name Suggestions: Volume 4

The cycle of celebrity pregnancies never slows down. 2016 has been an especially fruitful year so far, with superstars like John Legend, Chelsea Clinton, Adam Levine, Blake Lively, and Ryan Gosling all growing their families. And we can't forget the celebrities who might not be as well-known for their talent, but are certainly famous for their baby names--Jamie Oliver, Holly Madison, and Soleil Moon Frye. Now we have even more to add to the list! Kerry Washington is pregant with her second, as is Olivia Wilde. And don't get me started on the latest Kardashian pregnancy--I cannot wait to hear what that child is named. I've placed my bets in the meantime.

Cassandra Jenner Marino and Michael Marino
Gender: boy
Siblings: Francesca and Isabella
I think the Marinos will go in one of two directions for naming their first son. Either they'll use the same style as the girls--long Italian names--or choose something equally grand, but less Italian. I have a feeling it might be the former, but we'll have to wait and see!
Boy: Alexander, Benjamin, Jackson, Julian, Leonardo, Luca, Marco, Maximus, Nathaniel
*Update* Not Luca, but Luke!

Alicia Etheredge and Bobby Brown
Gender: unknown
Siblings: Cassius and Bodhi Jameson Rein (g)
Cassius and Bodhi are both very "of the moment" names. Such contemporary choices would never have been considered even ten years ago. I definitely see them picking an equally on trend name for this next boy or girl.
Girl: Bijou, Cleo, Coco, Eden, Gaia, Jade, Juno, Luna, Moxie, Sawyer
Boy: Bear, Cato, Clay, Creed, Jude, Lucian, Rex, Rogue, Roman, Theon
*Update* Alicia and Bobby have welcomed a daughter--Hendrix Estelle Sheba!

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudekis
Gender: unknown
Siblings: Otis Alexander
Otis is one of those clunky old man names that is now beginning to feel stylish again. I hope baby Sudekis gets another name on the cusp of cool--celebrities can be just what a name needs to be considered fashionable after a long hiatus from the top 1000.
Girl: Fern, Hattie, Ida, Louella, Maisie, Maxine, Minnie, Pearl, Ruth, Sadie, Tabitha, Tess
Boy: Alder, Bruno, Casper, Felix, Frank, Grover, Hugo, Leland, Ralph, Rex, Roscoe, Roy, Toby
*Update* Hello Daisy Josephine!

Danielle and Kevin Jonas
Gender: unknown
Siblings: Alena Rose
For their first baby, Kevin and Danielle Jonas chose the uncommon yet familar Alena, and paired it with the classic middle name, Rose. It's a classy combo that can be appreciated by people with all sorts of tastes--an essence I suspect they will emulate with their second child.
Girl: Allegra, Camila, Chiara, Eliana, Emilia, Esme, Lelia, Livia, Lydia, Natalia, Stella
Boy: Anton, Benjamin, Dominic, Gabriel, Julian, Luca, Michael, Noah, Tristan, Weston
*Update* Another little Jonas lady--Valentina Angelina!

Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha
Gender: unknown
Siblings: Isabelle Amarachi
Kerry Washington and Nnamdi Asomugha picked a stunning name for their daughter. I especially love the nod to Asomugha's African heritage with the middle name. Isabelle Amarachi is romantic and classy. Keeping that in mind, these are some possibilities for baby number two.
Girl: Amelie, Beatrice, Camille, Clementine, Emmeline, Juliet, Lilia, Lucille, Salome, Sylvie
Boy: Adrian, Charles, Isaac, Jasper, Jonathan, Julian, Matthias, Olivier, Romain, Sebastian
*Update* Welcome, Caleb Kelechi!

Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian
Gender: unknown
Siblings: King Cairo
Here comes another Kardashian baby! The famous family is known for over-the-top names, and the past few (Reign Aston and Saint West) have a particularly regal vibe. And considering Blac Chyna's son King Cairo, I think it's pretty likely this child will have a majestic, noble name. I'm not ruling out the possibility of a Robert Kardashian III though, after Rob and his late father.
Girl: Armani, Coco, Fantasia, Future, Harmoni, Ivory, Kleo, Queen, Roxy, Treasure
Boy: Ace, Knight, Legend, Major, Maverick, Messiah, Moses, Noble, Robert, Royal
*Update* It's a girl! Dream Renee Kardashian

Tana and Gordon Ramsay
Gender: girl
Siblings: Megan, Holly, Jack, Matilda
Typically, I look to older siblings' names to help make these predictions. However, when the current youngest child is going to be fourteen years older than the baby, it's hard to say whether or not the parents will chose a cohesive name. Such is the case with the Ramsays. As a whole, the sibset reads vaguely British (the couple is from the UK, after all). I don't think they'll chose anything wild and crazy, but perhaps something a little more modern.
Girl: Annie, Cecilia, Eleanor, Evie, Grace, Ivy, Josephine, Kate, Lena, Lucy, Piper, Victoria

Laura Gallacher and Russell Brand
Gender: unknown
Siblings: none
Russell Brand's girlfriend is pregnant with their first child. She's Scottish, and he's British, so I doubt they'll chose anything too "American." If I had to guess, I would say this baby's name is going to be tasteful and European, but a bit unexpected.
Girl: Ailsa, Bryony, Dorothy, Eulalie, Henrietta, Imogen, Lileas, Maisie, Poppy, Zara
Boy: Alistair, Angus, Archie, Benedict, Callum, Duncan, Finlay, Rhys, Ronan, Teague
*Update* Russell and Laura's daughter is Mabel!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

10 Native American Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

Julia Kuo via Dribbble
Did you all catch the girls list a couple weeks back? I know you've been eagerly awaiting the boys installment, and now I finally have it for you. Like I said before, one of the best parts about Native American names are their meanings, which are oftentimes related to nature. Those of you who like subtle nature names, one from a Native American tribe could be perfect for your little one.

Alo- Alo comes from the Hopi tribe, which are native to Southwestern America. He means "spirit guide" in the Hopi language. Alo is also an Estonian nickname for Alexander, if you prefer a longer name.

Ashkii- With the easy-access nickname Ash, Ashkii would be a great name for a 2016 baby. He's a Navajo name that means simply "boy." Ashkii is upbeat and very stylish--I'd love to see more people embrace him.

Ciye- Ciye is an Apache name, which, like the Hopi, come from the Southwest. He's pronounced like Cy, and means "my son."

Dzemi- Are silent D names the latest sub-trend? While not everyone is doing it, I have been seeing more and more of them pop up. Dzemi might be my new favorite. He's got a modern sound and an enticing look.

Kenai- Striking Kenai is a unisex name from the Dena'ina language. I think it could work well on either gender, but the strong sound (it's pronounced KEY-nai) and nickname option Kai makes it lean slightly masculine in my opinion. Kenai also has a nature connection: the Kenai Fjords are located in Alaska.

Lautaro- Lautaro is from the Mapuche tribe, which originated in southern Chile and Argentina. It was the name of a famous Mapuche military leader who died honorably defending his tribe against Spanish colonizers. Lautaro is an incredibly handsome name, and one I can picture on a man of any age.

Manteo- Does Matteo's ever increasing popularity have you reconsidering? Why not use Manteo instead? He's virtually unused, but is very similar in terms of looks and sound. The only potential downside is that he would indeed get confused for Matteo at times.

Miko- Most people know Miko as a Japanese unisex name, but it also has roots in the Chickasaw language. In this southeastern tribe, Miko is a strictly male name, and means "cheif."

Nahuel- Like Lautaro, Nahuel is a Mapuche name with an animal meaning. Lautaro means "swift hawk" and Nahuel means "jaguar." How's that for a cohesive sibset?

Zolin- Zolin may sound like a modern invention, but he's actually an Aztec name from the Nahuatl language. Like many Native American names, he has an animal meaning--"quail."