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:
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?
December 16th, 2008
Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree…), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late. Some may have bigger –or smaller– things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:
Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:
Balthasar, Balthazar- One of the Magi
Casper/Gaspard/Jasper- While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be one of the three wise men
Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy) - Followers of Christ
Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl
Epiphany- For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi
Estelle, Estella, Esther, Seren, Stella- All have meaning related to “star”
Eve- For the night before
Joseph, Josepha, Josephine (also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)
Yeshua- Other versions of the name Jesus
Maria, Mary- The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name
Melchior- The third king to visit Jesus
Natalia, Natalie- Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia
North- After the guiding North Star?
Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy- “Gift of God”
Virginia- There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”
Names connoting light:
Clara- Also the little girl in the Nutcracker, who in some versions is referred to as Mary or Maria; her brother is Fritz
Eleanor, Eleanora, Leonor, Lenora, Nora
Lucia, Lucian, Lucius, Lucy, Lux
Angel, Angela, Angelica, Angelika, Angelina
Gabriel- Angel who broke the news to Mary that she was pregnant; Gabriella, Gabrielle
Hermione- “The messenger”
Malachi- “My messenger” or “my angel” in Hebrew
Michael- Another of the seven archangels, and a good choice if your loved one is away in battle, as he is patron saint of soldiers
Serafina, Seraphine- From the highest order of angels, the seraphim, and with the slightly ironic meaning “fiery”
Names that recall the spirit of the season:
Felicia, Felicity and Felix
Meaning “dove”, the symbol of peace:
Celyn- Welsh for “holly”
(Mistletoe and Poinsettia are other possibilities, though I can’t get behind either one)
Related to the season, as it is in the northern hemisphere:
Bianca, Blanca- “White” in Italian, Spanish
Blanche- French for “white”
Eira- Welsh for “snow”
Lumi- Finnish for “snow”
Neige- “Snow” in French
Nevada- “Snow-capped” in Spanish
Nieves- “Snow” in Spanish
Yuki, Yukiko- Japanese, “happiness + snow”, and “happiness + snow + child”
Yule- Winter festival
Claus, Nicholas, Nicola, Nicole- For jolly old St. Nick
Noel, Noelia, Noelle
I wish you all the best if you are naming your little one this Christmas. A great name is one of the best gifts you can bestow. It’s a start, anyway. Happy Holidays!
For more comments on this article and other name news, please refer to nameberry.com, where we are simultaneously publishing this post today! Nameberry is the brainchild of the mothers of modern baby naming, Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran, authors of Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, The Baby Name Bible, and Cool Names for Babies.
November 26th, 2008
In honor of Thanksgiving, let us remember our Puritan forebears with a nod to their fondness for virtue names. They believed that one’s name could help shape who they become as a human being, and were certainly creative in some of their best efforts to form the perfect appellation for their young one.
Some virtue names are still in widespread use today, particularly in the middle spot– Faith, Hope, and Joy are all perennial favorites. Yet the spectrum offers many intriguing choices that sound very modern. A few could be used on males– Noble, Justice, Prosper, Ardour, Worth? Perhaps Submit and Chastity may be best left to rest in peace.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And many thanks to T.S., who helped inspire this post. ;-)