Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott have had baby #3!  Born yesterday, 10/10, on my first daughter’s due date, welcome

Hattie Margaret McDermott

She joins siblings Liam, Stella, and half brother Jack.   I’m pleasantly surprised to say the least.  While yes, I adore Harriet and Henrietta and any of the variable ways to get to Hattie, this one is still refreshingly quaint.  She’ll fit with the Maddies and Addies, yet hold her own next to Agnes and Ramona.  It’s one of the sweeter, nicknamey old lady names and has a hint of Brit.  Margaret adds something to the name’s elegance.

I’d pegged her for Vivian or Finn, or possibly Esme.  Happy to have been wrong, though I must say she seems to have a knack for picking of the next big thing (hence my guesses).  My most recent associations with the name?  Newborn Hattie in the movie Babies, where the film’s real-life star hailed from San Francisco, and teenager Haddie (sic) in Parenthood.  Sadly, sitcoms can be the deathknell of the undiscovered treasure.

What do you think?  Are you surprised by the choice?  Will this cement Hattie’s escalation and open the door to Haddie, Hedy, and Henriette?

Ana Ortiz Welcomes Son Rafael

September 25th, 2011

Ana Ortiz is my kind of namer. Perhaps it’s the inherent exoticism that comes with choosing a foreign name.  Perhaps it’s that her choices remain familiar, yet relatively unusual in the United States.

Not long ago, she reached out for suggestions.  She needed something for a boy that would work well in English and Spanish, something that paired well with big sister Paloma Louise.  Something that wouldn’t get totally butchered.

We did our best to answer her call.  Reader suggestions were amazing: Abram, Bruno, Gabriel, Leon, Omar, Tomas.  Any of these would have worked beautifully, and I’d love to run into a little Bruno.

Maybe she looked to You Can’t Call It “It”! after all, because her new baby boy’s name was on our original list.

Joining the Ortiz-Lebenzon household?


I think it’s the perfect mesh for their family.

Did you have similar cross-cultural goals when naming your child?  What was your solution? 

January Jones Welcomes A Son

September 15th, 2011

Meet January Jones.  The stylish, charismatic Mad Men beauty is behind one of the most highly anticipated celebrity names of this year.

We have an answer.  Welcome to the world…

Xander Dane Jones. 

It’s an on-trend choice.  Safe enough not to ruffle any feathers, and xingy enough to attend class with Bear and Bing.  Originally a form of Alexander, many parents opt for “just” Xander these days, with its attractive X initial and lack of obvious nickname Alex.  And let’s not forget about the influential Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Dane makes me wonder if they’re originally from Denmark.  I knew a baby Dane once who wasn’t, and of course it irked the daylights out of me.

The “er” ending is a pleasant alternative to the popular N endings for boys these days.  Jasper, Dexter, and Oliver are all ascending, while Xavier is just starting to slide from a triumphant reign.  Come to think of it, Xander sounds like something you would name Xavier’s little brother in an effort to match.

I’m a little “meh” on the choice overall, but thumbs up for relative normalcy.  Of course I would have preferred to see Alexander on the birth certificate.  What say you, by name-lovin’ readers?  

With my girls.

The mystery is solved.  After months of plotting, scheming, guessing, canoodling, and even attempts at bribing the mother in question, Rebecca Woolf has given birth today to twin girls. (We’ve talked about this before here AND here).

Their names, as previously indicated, begin with R and B.  Rhythm and Blues they are not.

Last chance.  Anyone want to venture a guess?

They are so her.  Perfectly lovely in every way, and word names of French extraction.

Let it be known that the twins’ names are

Reverie Lux, 5lbs 3oz, 18 inches and

Boheme Shalom, 5lbs 12oz, 18.5 inches

They join siblings Archer Sage and Fable Luella.  As per her tweets, one is raven haired and the other is flaxen. Yin and yang.

I feared my hopes for a little Reverie had been dashed when they revealed that Revere Blaze had been on of their picks for a boy (Vox Shepherd was the other).  Reverie was my favorite R!  Yea!  And Boheme?  SO them, so right for this child, and just delightful to say aloud.

Their names are a gift from Bec and Hal, as if to say, “Dare to dream!  Be an individual!  Peace and Light!”

They done good.

Pic from Twitter.

Sexy Names

August 26th, 2011

Delilah.  Haven.  Penelope.

At first glance, these recent celebrity births may appear to have little to do with one another than timing.

Look again.  Notice anything?  Perhaps the title of the post gives it away.

Delilah is the most obvious example, chosen by Kimberly Stewart and Benicio Del Toro for their newborn.  I’m talking about sexy names people.  It’s an uncomfortable topic when applied to babies, yet nonetheless it’s one we must address.

By some accounts she was a Biblical whore, by others, just a traitor.  Once considered unusable, Delilah was picked up by the Pilgrims and in recent years has altered its cultural associations.  Lily and Lila have been on the uptick for a while, and Delilah manages to be an extension of that.  It was also popularized by the Plain White T’s song “Hey There, Delilah” in 2007 when the song reached #1 in the U.S.

What’s with Haven on this list?  In part, it’s a comparison.  Jessica Alba and Cash Warren have two daughters.  The first bears the name Honor.  It’s not quite Chastity, but it’s getting there.  Honor is about as buttoned up as one can get, and has the historical pedigree to back it up.  Haven, on the other hand, is a modern coinage.  Many attributes can be applied to Haven, but I contend that this modernization is an amped up sexy version of her sister’s name.  I see Honor dressed in white, and Haven in black — or red.   It’s the Nevaeh for those who prefer to read forwards.

Then there’s Penelope, Tina Fey’s new baby girl.  You’re probably looking at me sideways on this one.  Penelope has a mythological reputation of steadfast loyalty, but the other side of the coin here is the contemporary cultural association, Penelope Cruz.  Penelope is cloaked in mystery.  She wears two distinct personalities, that of the studious librarian, and the Latin bombshell with long locks and swaying hips.  When these images combine to one, we get a picture of the sexy librarian, not unlike Fey herself.  It’s also a matter of comparison.  Say you’re an 18-year-old male going on a blind date.  Would you rather go out with Alice, or Penelope?

Here’s a little list I rounded up of some of the hotter names I see my readers considering.  They all have varying degrees of spice, and I don’t suggest that Scarlett is in the same league with Jezebel.  I’m curious to know what you would put on this list, and what you would have left out.  Is there a consensus on what are considered sexy names, or is it in the eye of the beholder?





























When naming your child, do you take the “sexiness” into account?  Do you worry about this aspect on a child, and do you think it will serve to make your child more attractive when seeking a mate?  

What boys’ names qualify as sexy for you? 

Paul Stanley Talks Baby Names

August 23rd, 2011


Kiss front man Paul Stanley has a thing or two to say about baby names.   His wife Erin just gave birth to baby girl Emily Grace, little sister to Sarah Brianna,  Colin Michael, and Evan Shane.

A stark contrast from the rhinestone-studded glam rock image he portrays on stage.  His taste in names may have more in common with the bubble gum rock that Kiss actually plays.  My three-year-old could jam to “I’m Gonna Rock and Roll All Night.”

“I guess we’re not cool enough for names like Peach or Astro Girl”, says Stanley.  Take that, Bob Geldof.

“We were a little more traditional and stick with names our children hopefully won’t regret when they grow up,” he goes on. “Your kids aren’t objects for amusement, so why would you give them a name that would subject them to possible ridicule at school?  Kids can be pretty tough on each other, and who wants to put a child named Spaghetti through school?”  Stanley seems to share a baby name philosophy with fellow Kiss founder and entrepreneurial genius Gene Simmons, whose names on reality television have always struck me as startlingly sensible: Nick and Sophie.  Easier for the child of a rocker to divorce herself from her parents with a name like Sophie, erm– should she ever want to.

If I can do one thing at You Can’t Call It “It”!, it would be to echo this sentiment that YOUR KIDS AREN’T OBJECTS FOR AMUSEMENT.  Laura Wattenberg just posted a depressing collection of names given to real babies.  Rotunda?  Fashionette?  Is this really necessary?  Seriously people, do you even love your children?

It’s not for me to question the love between parent and child.  I take that back.  But I do question the wisdom in giving over to the impulse for self-aggrandizement or, in many cases, self-abasement.  These days, it almost takes a special kind of courage and confidence to use a “boring” name.  Even Ava and Ethan are often attempts, however misbegotten, to give a child an unusual name.  But Emily has always been an English classic and reigned number 1 for over a decade straight.

There may be a lot of them, but I’ll take an Emily Grace in my family over Ephemeral Gadfly any day.

Haven Garner Warren

August 15th, 2011

Yes, you read that right!  In a surprise announcement that was not predicted for another month or so, Jessica Alba and Cash Warren have welcomed a baby sister for Honor Marie:

Haven Garner.

Cash’s alma mater is Yale.  Yep, that’s right.  He’s no dummy.  Know where Yale is?  In New Haven, Connecticut (incidentally, if you ever go there, it’s not pronounced NEW Haven like we say NEW York, but they put the emphasis on Haven, as in New HAVEN — I digress).  Cash’s middle name is Garner too, so it seems dad got a double does in there.  It’s appropriate for them.  She’s always struck me as very private, and I imagine her family is her safe haven.

At first glance, the name is also rife with religious meaning, especially when negotiated around Honor.  But I can’t help but see a rebellious future for little Haven.  Honor was so old world, but at one letter off from Heaven, this, the new “New Haven”, just misses the mark.  It perfectly mirrors Honor… almost.

What do my readers think?

Tina Fey Names Baby #2

August 13th, 2011

Before it was only a mild flirtation, but this has done me in.  I officially want to marry this woman.

As if Alice Zenobia weren’t absolutely fabulous enough, Bossypants author Tina Fey and her husband Jeffrey Richmond now have a second daughter.  Please, join me in a round of quiet applause for the birth of:

Penelope Athena.

Swoon.  I love it.  Can’t say that enough.  The quiet beauty of Alice paired with the zany Zenobia was genius, and Penelope exists in the same echelon as Alice while bumping up the quirk.  Athena serves to amp up its Greekiness.  It’s not an uncommon choice among fashion conoscienti. Ranked at #200 in 2010 it’s poised to break into the precarious top 199 next year and continue to climb.  Still, Penelope the Weaver is a symbol of creativity and steadfast loyalty, and I shall be forever loyal to her.

In case you were wondering, yes, Tina Fey is of Greek descent.  She was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey.  Stamatina derives from the Greek stamato, which according to Behind the Name means “stop.” Her mother (Zenobia), was a Xenakes who went by the simple Americanized Jeanne.  I love that Tina went full throttle with her heritage this time, though I’m told Penelope is very old fashioned, even laughable, in Greece.  Can anyone confirm?  Maybe she’ll spearhead the old lady chic movement there.


Title Names

August 3rd, 2011

New Zealand has long been a bastion of creativity when it comes to baby names.  Number 16 Bus Shelter, Talula Does The Hula In Hawaii, and twins Benson and Hedges can attest to this.  Talula disliked her name so much she hid it from her friends and had it legally changed at age 9.

So when parents are willing to go to such extremes, I have some sympathy for name laws.

Except that they are so arbitrary.

Recently the country added to its list of 89 banned baby names.  It’s up to a single judge to decide whether or not a name gets the green lit.  Among the outlawed monikers?  Baron, Bishop, Duke, King, Messiah, and Judge itself, all shot down for the possibility of being mistaken for titles.  But I imagine for some, that’s the point?

Under such a law, Reese Witherspoon’s Deacon might be a Dylan, Donald Trump’s Barron (sic), a Brandon.

In the United States, a country that was founded on the abolishment of the monarchy, we are so removed from nobility that these names (which are also surnames I might add), seem perfectly serviceable.  I’ve met a Duke, a Lord, two Nobles and a Chaplain, none of them any worse for wear.

What do you think of banning baby names?

Are there any title names you like?

Baby Names + Facebook.

August 1st, 2011

I may have been one of the last three people to join Facebook, but even in the relatively short time I’ve been on there have been updates and changes on a weekly basis.  It’s kind of annoying.

This most recent version allows pregnant mamas (like you? not you?) to update your profile with the name and due date of the child you’re expecting.

To me, finding out the gender — and telling — demystifies birth enough.  To announce the name and gender electronically via a stream of updates wherein one also finds out that Esther got a new air conditioner and little Donnie ate avocado for the first time?  Hopelessly unceremonious.  This risks that your neighbor will break the news to aunt Myrtle at the grocery store, and that your pregnant second cousin twice removed (*gasp*) uses the name first.

What do you think?  Would you, or did you, announce the name of your unborn child on Facebook?  What do you think about electronic birth announcements in general?


Somewhat peripherally related, while we’re on the topic of Facebook, does anyone else like to scout for names? It’s weirdly stalkerish, but such is the nature of the beast.  Here are a few friends of friends with intriguing names:















Image: Cargo Collective