April 16th, 2010
Dear Gabby and Ben,
We don’t know each other but I feel like I know your family from Gabby’s deliciously satisfying blog, Design Mom.
So here’s where I come in and why I am writing.
You’re perfectly capable of naming children, as is evidenced by Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, and Betty. What a seriously great set! Retro yet current, they fall into one of my favorite categories I like to call “Fusty Yet Feisty.” Each one a surprise in its way, with their own individual integrity, yet they all hang together so nicely.
Please don’t take offense that I’ve taken the time to help name the next impending little Blair (I have large family envy.) I hear it’s a girl and that she may possibly be your last. Some lack the humility of your brood, but why not go out with a bang? Selma was on here until I realized until I realized that Selma Blair was a famous actress. Whew, that was a close one. Others that didn’t quite make the cut? Marjorie and Dorothy: while I’d love to see you use them, they stick out in length. Bonnie and Blythe were axed so as not to take away from the specialness that is Betty Blair, the child whose name was so perfect, you didn’t dare sully it with a middle name.
Now you won’t hurt my feelings if you choose something else. My readers will undoubtedly have wonderful suggestions of their own. (Come on guys! Don’t let me down!)
So cheers to a happy family, easy-ish delivery, and healthy baby.
I can’t wait to see what you name her.
You Can’t Call It “It”!
- Rita- Listed first because I’m convinced it’s a stroke of genius! Echoes the vintage charm you favor and Ms. Hayworth 1940s fame. The Beatles dug it too. A diminutive of Margherita, meaning “pearl.” Nobody’s resurrecting this one. You should be among the first.
- Enid- Before you all put me in a straight jacket, don’t discount Enid so soon. It has the long E sounds of the more readily accepted Edie and Evie, while remaining wholly unexpected. Jonathan Franzen chose it for the fruit loop mother in his epic Americana novel, The Corrections. Thora Birch wore this name in Ghost World.
- Zelda- Yiddish roots meaning “blessed” and “happy”; also a diminutive of Griselda. Combines east coast 20′s sprite Zelda FitzGerald and modern middle America lore of Legends of Zelda. Pick your poison. While neither association is fabulous, rest assured the name still is, and would put a zingy exclamation point on your family of six.
- Polly- Simply sweet Polly, baby sister to Maude, Olive, Betty and the boys. A diminutive of Mary.
- Luella- A great name for your first Colorado babe, Luella has gained some favor with the fashion forward set. Rebecca Woolf of Girls Gone Child has a Fable Luella. Della is another of the “Ellas” that meshes stylistically, though I could see you opting the more unassuming original Louise.
- Harriet- No doubt your youngest will be the little “home ruler”, this is one awesome name I would love to see gain some currency. With the best children’s book EVER to recommend it: Harriet the Spy, lest we forget Harriet Beecher Stowe.
- Agnes- Greek origins meaning “chaste” and also associated with the lamb. A seamless transition from Maude and Olive, and Gossip Girl creator Cecily Von Ziegesar has an Oscar and an Agnes. Agatha is another great that broaches three syllables. Having grown up in Texas I have never been able to embrace the pet name Aggie, and Colorado is culturally close to Texas, so I’d probably stick with Agnes in full.
- Nancy- Form of Anne, means “grace.” Likely a big fat “no” because we all know Nancys in their fifties. Still, if you love Betty you might love Nancy. The Brits agree this is terribly chic on a young lady. Then there’s Nancy Drew — for some reason I see this little girl as a prodigal child detective.
- Dinah – The only Biblical name on the list, this comes from the Hebrew for “vindicated.” Firmly in the Hipster Camp, and perhaps the next big thing. Still, the Blair family predicted the moderate rise of Oscar and Olive. Dinah would fit right in, and manage to keep the sibset youthful.
- Helen- One can’t help but hold a “torch” for Helen. Modest, beautiful Helen. Like the rest of your Blair babies, this might throw people for a loop at first, but it is so easy to like. Nell is a short form that could stand on its on. Nell Blair sings.
Above, L to R: Ralph, Olive, Gabrielle, Oscar, Maude, Ben, and Betty Blair. With permission from Mama Blair.