Meet three-year-old Casper Alice.  

That’s what Jason Lee and Ceren Alkac called their baby girl.  They never officially released the name, but since they renewed their wedding vows on 11/11/11, Casper’s been allowed to fly free.  If those old internet rumors [see last comment] are indeed true, as they turned out to be with Casper, then Alice is indeed the middle name.  I love how these initials mirror mom’s, à la Constance Zimmer and daughter Colette Zoe.

While boys’ names on girls may be all the rage, this friendly ghost of a name is still an unexpected choice.  It is a bit odd that the dark one of the siblings would be called Casper, and the girl no less, but I find the whole combo somewhat sweet.  Not nearly as objectionable as Inspektor-with-a-K.  We thought for sure they’d go with something like Umbrella Time Machine.  Glad to be wrong.

I imagine their decision not to release the name rested on the fact that poor big brother took such heat in the press, and they also probably knew it would drive us nuts guessing.

My advice for any future mysteries?  Google.  That’s how I found out Casper’s name three years ago, but my how I wish now that I had posted on that unfounded internet rumor oh so long ago!  It’s a slippery slope.

Think they’ll call her Cassie?

 Image: Jeffrey Mayer/JTM

Green Day

March 17th, 2009



The going thing might be to focus on hot Irish names for St. Patrick’s Day, right?  Hopefully by now you’ve had your Celtic fill– no Irish monikers here today.  Instead let’s do GREEN names.  This is for my daughter, who when surrounded by a room full of colorful toys, always opts for the brightest of greens.  Whether it’s the only green egg shaker, somebody else’s green stick, or a green cardboard brick, my little Hoolie will find it and hold on tight.  So this is for you my lucky charm.  Just don’t name my grandchild Pthalo, please?  

Happy St. Paddy’s day everyone!


Apple- They come in reds, greens, golds, and Paltrows

Basil- Are we ready in the States?

Beryl- Green semiprecious stone

Chartreuse- A little bartender trivia for ya:  the only color named after a liquor, this drink is made by Benedictine monks, only three of whom know the recipe, and each exactly one third at that. 

Chloris- Greek, “green.”  No wonder it sounds like chlorine.  At the moment associated almost exclusively with Ms. Leachman.

Clover- Three leaf or four, it’s always green!  A pretty darling, fashion forward botanical choice.

Emerald- Green stone, perhaps best left as a stage name

Esmeralda- The Spanish form of Emerald, with even more dramatic flair, plus the user-friendly Esme as a nickname

Fern- A lovely cascading green plant

Grass- Maybe too much association with weed to use as a first name

Hunter- Adopted now for girls and boys alike, Hunter will always be an aggressive name for a newborn

Ireland- Just please don’t change the ending to -lyn?

Ivy- Darling choice with the hot letters “I” and “V” packing a punch in the shortest of names. 

Jade- Another one I’m not particularly wishing on a grandchild, but Jade IS known in China to bring good fortune

Kelly- A bit outmoded perhaps, this is one that could stand to be taken back by the boys

Leaf, Leif- So the first is the green thing, the second just sounds like one.  Leif is Old Norse for “descendant.”

Primavera- Italian for spring

Pthalo- A vivid synthetic blue-green, this could follow on the coattails of Philo and Phoenix?

Rosemary- It’s easy to forget this compound name is also a favorite in the kitchen

Sage- A wise choice

Shamrock- Perhaps over the top on the birth certificate, but with tastes getting wilder every day, why not?

Sorrel- A lovely cooking herb and sinuous name

Spring- Word names like Ever, Story, and True help Spring spring to the fore

Teal- A surname that might work nicely in the middle for either a girl or a boy

Verde- Spanish for “green”

Verna, Vernon- From the Latin vernus for “spring”

Viridian, Viridiana- From the Latin root for “green”

Yara- Brazilian goddess with green hair

Purple Mountain Majesty

February 27th, 2009



As February comes to a close, I’m reminded of the things the month means to me:  Valentine’s day, finding out that I was going to become a mother for the first time, and my own mother.  This is Mama’s birth month, and I’ve spent many hours trying to figure out how I might honor her in some way.  Her birthstone is Amethyst, her flower the violet (and sometimes Iris).  All of these things come in a purple hue.  So in remembrance of the color of passion, royalty, and my mom, I present purple names.  


Amaranth- Both a medicine and a poison

Amethyst- One of the funniest meanings I’ve yet to come across: in Greek this translates to “not drunk”; February’s birth stone

Aster- Rita’s daughter on Dexter may inspire a few?

Berry- Makes for darling middle if you have this in your family tree

Crocus- Crocodile meets locust?  Well, they come in purple anyway.

Dahlia- A name I like to champion; underused in my opinion

Daphne- means “laurel” in Greek

Freesia- Frigid or freeing?  You decide.

Fuchsia- Pleasing to the ear, but a devil to spell!

Glory- For morning glories

Hibiscus- This one would really need a workable nickname.  Try Ibby on for size.

Hyacinth- Anyone remember “Keeping Up Appearances”?  Hyacinth’s character may not be the best namesake, but she sure made us laugh.  Her sisters are the upper class Violet, the cartoonish down-and-out Daisy, and the sex-addicted Rose.

Indigo- So this leans a little bluish;  it’s making inroads on both sexes

Iolanthe- Greek for “violet”

Iris- Top of the pop amongst those in the know, also has the lovely meaning “rainbow” in Greek

Jacinda, Jacinta- From the Latin for “hyacinth”

Laurel- Who brings with her Laura, Laurence, Lawrence, Lauren

Lavandula- The genus for lavender

Lavender- I heard this on a real life girl and found it charming

Lilac- One with real potential, but few seem to consider it

Lydia- Said to be a “seller of purple”, which may mean that she sold cloth and other goods to royalty and the wealthy

Magenta- My favorite Rocky Horror Picture Show gal, and Blue’s cousin from Blue’s Clues

Mauve- A cross between Maeve and Maude

Myrtille- “Blueberry” in French

Orchid- Though this is one of the loveliest of flowers, take caution that its meaning derives from orchis, or ”testicle” in Latin

Periwinkle- My favorite Crayola, Perry makes this *almost* usable (but not quite)

Pansy- Due to connotations, this may be better left in the middle or on your kitten

Plum- Plum Sykes is the best known bearer, but this has real potential

Primrose- Too prim for most, it sets just the right sweet British-inflected tone for others

Primula- The primrose genus

Prune- Evidently quite chic in Paris, this is actually the French word for the ripe plum

Rose- Roses come in nearly every shade, my favorite perhaps being lavender 

Thistle- Reservations with this one as it rhymes with bristle

Uva- While Uva could be just a step away from Ava, know that it means “grape”

Verbena- The sweetest little flower

Violet, Violetta, Violette, Viola- Let’s not forget about Violet’s equally sweet and underappreciated companions

Wisteria- I once met child sisters Primrose, Wisteria, and Violet

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast.

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold.
- William Carlos Williams