The Name of the Year, 2010

Dec 7th 2010

Before I announce the Baby Name Wizard Name of the Year, let me remind you that the NOTY designation isn't an endorsement. It's not a claim that the name will soon be heard in nurseries across the land. It's a recognition that this name captures our moment in time, both reflecting and shaping the naming culture around us.

With that in mind, the 2010 Name of the Year is....

The Situation.

For those of you who haven't looked at a TV this year, yes, that's a name. Read on.

This year's reader nominations had a clear theme. 2010 was, in one reader's apt summation, "the year of the un-name."

It was a year that saw people pushing the boundaries of what a personal name is. Parents were ravenous for fresh baby name ideas, digging deep into their reference books for untapped words (Legend, Malaysia) and jazzing up spellings the same way marketers do (Juelz, Maxx). The swelling ranks of Bloggers and Twitter users were referred to by handle rather than name. Performers, meanwhile, were upping the artifice (Prince Poppycock) and launching lawsuits when other people encroached on their name space (Lindsay Lohan). All together, it created what another reader described as a "name-as-brand vibe" to 2010.

Nowhere was this more apparent than on MTV's reality show Jersey Shore. The series, a kind of Real World populated entirely by buff young New Jersey Italians on vacation, premiered in December 2009. Soon, it was everwhere. Its heavily nicknamed cast dominated Name of the Year nominations, especially breakouts Snooki (Nicole Polizzi) and The Situation (Michael Sorrentino).

Those nicknames, as readers attested, were more than incidental to the show's success. "I don't have cable and have never seen the show, yet I still know who they are," one reader wrote. "I admit, I did tune in for a few episodes," wrote another, "and I also have to admit, I partly did because of the names. They made me curious--who were these characters?"

Of all the Jersey Shore nicknames, it's The Situation that epitomizes the year of the un-name. Snooki's nickname was conferred, in time-honored style, as an in-joke among her middle school friends. The Situation is a less natural, more calculated choice. It's a statement which translates roughly to "all eyes on me!"

Think of The Situation as a stage name without an act. What better emblem could there be for an age of empty celebrity, when you become famous because you're on camera, rather than being on camera because you're famous?

But more than a traditional stage name, The Situation is also a brand. By the time the first episodes of Jersey Shore aired a year ago, Mr. Sorrentino was already attempting to trademark "The Situation" for product licensing. He understood that his adopted name was his platform to fame.

You could think of this name-first celebrity as the ultimate step in a long evolution. Entertainers have always been aware of their "name brands" as they sell themselves to their audiences. In past generations, they routinely checked their names at the door when they entered Hollywood. Stage names were selected to project an image: usually glossy, like Cary Grant or Judy Garland, and occasionally goofy a la Groucho Marx. By and large, though, they all stuck to the form and style of names. To do otherwise, like ukulele-playing singer Tiny Tim, was to mark yourself as a novelty act.

Hip-hop did away with those rules. From KRS-One to Curren$y, performers blurred the line between name and act. A rapper name could be made up of anything: nouns, adjectives, articles, numbers, punctuation. It wasn't just style, it was statement. It was a brand identity.

Previously an entertainer might have created personas, like David Bowie's Thin White Duke, but these were separable from the individuals behind them. Not so with 50 Cent or T-Pain. When rap empresario Sean Combs decided to shift his image away from Puff Daddy, he had to re-name himself in a formal public relations blitz.

It took a while, but the hip-hop approach to names has finally spread. World-conquering Lady Gaga is leading the charge, with a crowd behind her. White pop singer Ke$ha, for instance, adopted a rap-style brand name as well as incorporating bits of rap into her music.

In the past, I've compared the way parents today name babies to the way companies name products. We're all trying to launch our children into life's competitive landscape with the best chance to succeed and achieve their dreams. That, I think, remains a heartfelt and loving (if obsessive) impulse. The Situation represents a different kind of name-as-brand. It's a more calculated attempt to make yourself a product, with your name as your marketing campaign. And for better or worse, it's working.


December 7, 2010 11:12 AM

Oh wow. I think your analysis is spot on, but it depresses the hell out of me. I feel like getting out the smelling salts. Beth the original, can you mail me some?!

By Alex L. (not verified)
December 7, 2010 11:39 AM

The situation being so dire this year, couldn't we just skip a NOTY this year? Possibly (and hopefully) next year will be better. . .

December 7, 2010 11:51 AM

Based on the nominations and well-argued cases for the name, this felt inevitable. But man, I so wish a strong case could be made for something, anything, else. It just says so much about who we are now. And I don’t like what it says. But I cannot deny it’s stingy accuracy. Awesome analysis as always, Laura.

By Amy3
December 7, 2010 12:08 PM

You nailed it, Laura. Well done! This totally sums it up: "What better emblem could there be for an age of empty celebrity, when you become famous because you're on camera, rather than being on camera because you're famous?"

I think I need the smelling salts, too!

December 7, 2010 12:11 PM

oh dear. It's scary and sad because it's true. No wonder I retreat from pop culture, too many rewards for bad behavior. I don't understand why anyone watches these shows at all, but I do agree that yes, it's a pretty accurate reflection of American mainstream culture right now. Sigh.

I'm going to go reread Pride and Prejudice.

December 7, 2010 12:13 PM

Wow - a very convincing argument! I can't help but agree. Probably most of those who visit this blog are parents, overwhelmingly concerned with naming our babies. But we shouldn't forget there's a whole generation coming up who are choosing their own identities, and re-naming and re-branding themselves online. 'The Situation' is a great, in-your-face example of the post-modern self-chosen brand/handle/name.

In a way, I think it's a sort of counterpoint to Laura's post about The Names You Choose Mean More Today Than Ever Before. Kids these days are pigeonholed by their parents' choice of names, which are unlikely to represent their own tastes, personalities or aspirations. Fortunately, young Oliver and Addisyn and Nevaeh and Mary-Faith and Daquarious can all start to publicly re-brand themselves as soon as they're old enough to use social media...

December 7, 2010 12:23 PM

It's enough to make me long for the days of Kaydence.

By Joni
December 7, 2010 12:45 PM

I feel sad that this turned out to be the name of the year. I think I knew it was inevitable when I read all the posts on here nominating the name - so much so that I couldn't come back and read the comments or nominate more than 1 name. I was hoping that The Situation wouldn't win since it's not really a "name" but I guess our understanding of what a name is or isn't has really changed - as this post says.

Laura, you predicted on Twitter that there were going to be a lot of unhappy people when you announced the NOTY... You were right.

December 7, 2010 12:57 PM

Honestly, The Situation as NotY doesn't depress me nearly as much as the fact that there aren't any runners-up to talk about that wouldn't be in the same vein as this post. It'd be hard to stretch this into three posts that also took in Snooki and Ke$ha. The fact that you'd have to, if you wanted a rounded NOTY like in years past, is what's getting me.

December 7, 2010 1:26 PM

"Honestly, The Situation as NotY doesn't depress me nearly as much as the fact that there aren't any runners-up to talk about that wouldn't be in the same vein as this post."

That was what floored me, too. There was one big story and nothing else came close. I briefly considered tossing in "Kate" as a little lifeline, but the year of the un-name just trampled all resistance.

By George Washington (not verified)
December 7, 2010 1:46 PM

So, in this postmodern world, even the solidly objective (the name on your social security card) is dependant upon one's point of view. Style continues to make encroachments upon substance. Heritage, family, education, God-given talents are now in the back seat...the seat WAAAAAYYYY in the back; "now," "fresh," and "a-historical" are now diving the pop-culture bus.

This is more bewildering than sad.

Melchizedek suddenly appeared on the scene, having no parents, clan, tribe, history, accomplishments or any markings of an important human being, yet this anonymous man is so influential, that he is held in esteem by Moses, King David, and even the author of Hebrews (himself being anonymous)...thousands of years of fame. Are The Situation, Ice Cube, and Awesome Kong the new Melchizedeks of American culture? Bewildering, indeed.

In the short course of American history, from the founding of Jamestown in 1609, the popular value of a human being has shifted from heritage (royalty versus commoners) to personally held beliefs (ie religious views) to the content of one's character (ie thoughtfully held principles) to utilitarianism (e.g. Rugged Individualism, efficiency) to success (wealth, position, "greed is good") and finally to image.

Here's hoping that "the situation" in American culture begins to become more reactionary with regard to what is valued and with regard to critical thinking.

A most depressing NOTY.

By kasey (not verified)
December 7, 2010 2:27 PM


I am so far out of popular culture that this nothing to me--I can honestly say I have never heard of The Situation.

I am struggling with... wow... Am I really THAT out of the loop? It's sort of disconcerting. Please tell me I'm not the only one.

December 7, 2010 2:49 PM

kasey - You're not the only one. I've never heard of The Situation either. :P So this does make for a disappointing NOTY for me. We don't have cable and only really watch kids shows & cooking shows on PBS when it comes to regular TV. Ah well.

By Chrispy (not verified)
December 7, 2010 3:45 PM

I'm not happy with the NOTY "situation" either - ah well.

But hopefully this will cheer everyone up a bit. I'm looking for some opinions. We are expecting our 6th child in early July & of course, we started talking names before I even called the doctor. My grandmother's name was Pearl, as is my middle name so for this babe, should it be a girl, I rather wanted to use Pearl. DH is not feeling Pearl as a first name (experience tells me his mind won't change) but he told me out of the blue the other night he was willing to compromise with Margaret (which most sources say means Pearl.) I like Margaret and am very fond of all the nickname possibilities (esp Meg, May or Greta) but I'm just not sure how I feel about choosing a name more for meaning and nicknames.

Child #5 is named Theodore but we usually call him Theo since Theodore is a bit formal for everyday but none of our other kids have often-used nicknames.

By Scarlettb (not verified)
December 7, 2010 3:54 PM

As a person who is GENUINELY from New Jersey, I feel I need to mention something - The Situation? Is not from New Jersey. The only member of the cast, in fact, who IS from New Jersey is Samantha "Sammi" Giancola. The Situation is from Staten Island, NY. The cast of Jersey Shore VACATIONS down the shore, but that doesn't make them Jersey kids. That makes them Bennies. We hate Bennies.

So please just bear that in mind when you think of my state. We don't produce these trainwrecks - we just take their money.

By JM and AT (not verified)
December 7, 2010 4:02 PM

The name of the year is 2010! That was simple!
(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

"The Situation" is also the term used in Israel for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

December 7, 2010 4:42 PM

"As a person who is GENUINELY from New Jersey, I feel I need to mention something - The Situation? Is not from New Jersey. The only member of the cast, in fact, who IS from New Jersey is Samantha "Sammi" Giancola. The Situation is from Staten Island, NY."

FWIW, as somebody who has never watched the show but did have to learn way too much about it for this column...

He was born in Staten Island but grew up and spent most of his life in New Jersey.

December 7, 2010 5:14 PM

I too have never heard of the Situation, and the liberal passing about of the smelling salts is making me loath to look it up. I do however, know who Ke$ha and Lady Gaga are, and several of their songs are in the rotation of songs I like to do housework to. But the reality TV thing is just totally outside of my world and I'm happy about that, I think.

I think there were a couple of unrelated actual names nominated and seconded a few times, but they might be very distant runners up, alas.

December 7, 2010 5:46 PM

I have HEARD of The Situation because I watch way too much TV. I have HEARD of the others as well. I don't watch Jersey Shore though. However, this show did not start the trend but I believe it solidified it. Think of people like Elvis, Prince, Obama, etc. There is only ONE of them also. I agree with Laura's assessment of the NOTY.

Chrispy-I like Margaret for you. I think Pearl is a nice choice to carry on a family tradition but if you or DH is going to hate it for the rest of her life then you should go with Margaret. However, if you are going to hate to call her that as well then I think it's back to the drawing board.

Sharalyn-Responding briefly to your post from the last thread..You are in a tough spot. As I said before, many of the names on your list are ones that were actually on mine for a time. Seeing as we picked Natalie, I will throw out my DS's name Eric to you for a choice. Some others we had on the list for DD were Noelle, Nicole, and Kimberly. I'll post some more if I can think of any others.

By guesty (not verified)
December 7, 2010 6:15 PM

Well, I've obviously been living in a cave since I had NO IDEA where "The Situation" came from until I'd read 1/3 of the blog post.

December 7, 2010 6:23 PM

Okay, I couldn't resist-
Sharalyn-I didn't see your comments on these names I listed before.

Other ideas based on your restrictions with help from Nymbler :

December 7, 2010 6:55 PM

Great post Laura! It makes me sad that this is such a good choice for NOTY, but it is. As a teenager who hates reality TV (for the most part, I enjoy Project Runway) and has only seen "Jersey Shore" at friends' houses I think it really has permeated our culture (even some of my teachers have been known to make "Jersey Shore" references.) Those of you who don't know who he is, I applaud you.

By Jillc (not verified)
December 7, 2010 7:00 PM

Wow. Sad but true. We were on vacation for a week with access to tv, and my husband was finally introduced to The Situation. Via a safe sex PSA with Bristol Palin. Now if THAT doesn't sum up 2010...

By Jillc (not verified)
December 7, 2010 7:08 PM

Chrispy, I love Pearl. Would you rather use it as a middle name than choose Margaret as FN for the meaning? If not, might I suggest Mamie as a nn for Margaret ;)? (Of course, I'm biased since this is my DD's name.) What are your other children's names?

By Lorien (not verified)
December 7, 2010 8:18 PM

I'm with those who only heard of "The Situation" via this blog, but I might look it (him?) up.

It is a bit of a sad commentary on the shift in how/why people choose names...

I'm still looking for some more feedback on "Gerard" as a name! Thoughts?

December 7, 2010 10:41 PM

Damn, Laura, you are good. I can see how some of this stuff came up in the discussion earlier, but you take it so much farther. I bow down in awe!

Chrispy: I like Margaret--for the nicknames. I guess as long as you like the name itself enough, I would say go for it. Or, you know, keep Pearl in your back pocket in case your husband does come around. I'm trying to think also if there are other variations on Pearl, but drawing blanks...

December 7, 2010 10:52 PM

I'm with Jillc's hubby in only learing of "The Situation" b/c of the psa. I only saw the psa b/c it received attention on the cable news outlets. But I didn't really realize it was his name until this blog.

Congrats Chrispy! I'm also due in early July (with my 5th). Margaret has occasionally been on my list b/c of the great nns as well. I'm partial to May and Meg dh likes Maggie. It does feel a little backward to pick the traditional names based on the nns but I have a feeling if you used it the formal name would quickly grow on you.

By Beth the original (not verified)
December 7, 2010 11:52 PM

Smelling salts are coming to you all; check your inboxes. Meanwhile, I am lying on my fainting couch with the vapors.

I stopped watching reality TV after the second season of "The Amazing Race" and had not, myself, heard of The Situation. I thought nothing could be worse than kreative spellings like Juelz and Maxx, or "close your eyes, open the dictionary, and point" names like Legend, Malaysia, or the pseudo-exotic name of the small child I heard about the other night, T1gerL1ly (put the letter "i" in where the ones are). But I stand corrected.

Also, it seems I have neglected to develop my personal brand, and will remain proudly on the generic aisle till I expire.

December 8, 2010 12:09 AM

I only heard of Jersey Shore and The Situation when they were mentioned in the nominations post. So, I had to go look it up! Like others I am more familiar with Lady Gaga and Ke$a. I agree with the 'un-name' concept being a big one for the year though.

@chrispy, congratulations! What are the names of your first 4 kids if you don't mind sharing? I love Theodore and I'm partial to both Margaret and Pearl. I have a grandmother Margaret who I want to honour so am considering:

as well as good old Margaret.

I actually quite like Pearl as a middle name.

By Mara (not signed in) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 12:26 AM


In Greek, the word for "pearl" is "μαργαριτάρι" which translated to us is essentially Margarita/Margaret. I believe the word for "daisy" in Greek is "μαργαριτά"- even closer. So naming your child the same name but in a different language is a great compromise. Plus, like you said, there are so any great nickname opportunities (Greta is my favorite) but Margaret stands well on its own too.

December 8, 2010 1:55 AM

I would like meeting a little Gerard, Lorien! It's one of those names that isn't precisely my style, and I haven't ever considered it before, but on further reflection I do like it. To me it's so-fusty-it's-fresh-again in feel (you're talking to someone who will name her third son Wilfred if applicable, so I do go in for that sort of thing). I met it Gerard on a child I know I would be very swiftly won over and it would easily obliterate the older feel of the name. To most new parents I'm guessing it's would seem like a grandfather-y name based on its 1950s spike, but kids wouldn't have that association. With the general "diner cool" revival I think Gerard doesn't jar, while still being fresh and unexpected.

I would prepare for a lot of "oh, is that a family name?" and some questions about how you chose it, since names of that popularity track vintage are not quite being revived yet en masse. It definitely would pique my interest in a good way.

I went to school with a Gerard (would probably be 30 now). We didn't precisely get along, so if I can still like the name in spite of the association, it really is a keeper. :)

Edited to add: I think the only thing that I can think as a potential downfall is related to whether "retard" is still being used as a common insult on playgrounds these days: if so, the rhyme might be picked up on? But then, no name is teasing proof, and if you look at it seems like none of the surveyed Gerards have that particular complaint.

December 8, 2010 3:30 AM

Re Margaret/Pearl, would it perhaps be time to consider reviving Margery/Marjorie? Among my contemporaries born in the mid-40s, Marjorie was a common middle name and an occasional first name. The phrase margery pearl occurs in Middle English (see the exquisite 14th-century alliterative poem Pearl), and in past generations it was not uncommon to name a daughter Margery Pearl. Margery/Marjorie have a number of traditional nicknames, including Marge, Margie, Midge, and Madge. I personally prefer the spelling Margery, since that is the elder.

By Bue
December 8, 2010 8:34 AM

I've absolutely no clue who The Situation is, but the analysis is certainly spot on. Another example I can think of is the British 'glamour model' and no-talent ninny Katie Price, whose 'brand name' is Jordan.

It wasn't a very good year for names, was it?

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 10:21 AM

Hey Everyone! I hope that you are all well

I was wondering what you guys & gals thought of these first & middle name combos :

Eden Ariadne ( ee-din are-ree-ahd-nee)
Eden Talulah (ee-din tah-loo-luh)

By the way, for those of you who don't know me - I'm not pregnant , just an utter name nerd.

P.S. You guys can rip the combo into name shreds. Not sensitive ;)

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 11:04 AM

From a purely international perspective, it actually fits in with the reputation of MAIN mainstream impression of current American Youth & Youth Liberals . So, it kind of makes sense to me.Especially when you take into account how many people are viral today & how much of a necessity social media is (for the users of it). Entertainment seems to be divided into the mainstream, what's on tv & then the Net has it's whole own category .It's interesting

The actual names themselves aren't THAT bad for me (because of what I'm used to in RSA). However, the names are definitely not traditional, mainstream America. It seems representative that this is a part of the crossroads or change in history that is currently occurring . Things are dynamic & always have to be, or else there is no evolution.Sometimes the evolution sucks, but it might just be a momentary change in culture.Who knows, maybe in 5 years it's Dorothy & Hugo or Pamela & Steve? Things might change. It's probably just a brief , major trend

Regarding 'The Situation'. The only Situation I've heard of is The Situation Room on CNN (or is it on one of the others?) . I have unfortunately heard of Jersey Shore.''Shivers in me timbers' (no offense meant to fans)



RE: Choosing a name for nicknames. Well, every family is different. If you're not really a ''nicknamey'' family, then I can understand your hesitation . However, do you think it's more in the same light as Theo? E.g. she'd be known more by her nickname or her first name?
If you know any Maragarets, are they usually known as Margaret or a nickname?Maybe that will help work out the actual ''use'' of the name. Also, when it comes to ''meaning'', meaning is subjective. The name's definition isn't always the same ''meaning'' for everyone. It could be a story or an association for some couples that actually gives the name its ''meaning'' . Maybe if you explained the formula that you & your spouse used in picking the other names four your kids. If you aren't sold on Margaret, then maybe you can look for similar names based on sound,association or even meaning or close to the nicknames that you like

SOrry if my answer sucks


I might have missed the original post, but I'm assuming you're asking opinions about the name Gerard.

I don't know where you live, so I don't know its popularity. If it's not popular, it could be striking & a bit of a stand-out or viewed as exotic (depending on your region) . It's a strong name that feels like it has a lot of history & tradition behind it. The negatives are that not necessarily everyone ''might'' say it right (this is SLIGHT & I generally find spelling/pronunciation arguments incredible overrated).The other con is that it does strike me as a name that not everyone is going to like - which isn't a bad thing.

Personally, it's not really a name that I'd go for because 1) where I live, Gerard is REALLY popular (& I'm used to hearing it said either a French,English or Afrikaans way). So, it's actually boring & is bleeped away in terms of popularity 2) the cultural associations I have of it 3) it's not the type of aesthetic I'd go for

So, it's not really my style, but it might be awesome for you & your family where you live .

@another Laura

if I've never congratulated you before, congrats on the new arrival!


Awesome response ! (was scrolling down & typing this )

December 8, 2010 12:25 PM

Larksong-*waving a welcome back* and wishing you and all others a happy holiday season too!
I prefer Eden Ariadne for the flow better. Tallulah still seems like a down-home country name to me. No offense to any out there intended.
How about Penelope, Felicity, or Magdalena for some other 4 syl mn's?

By Lorien (not verified)
December 8, 2010 12:47 PM

Thanks for the comments on Gerard! I like it and DH likes it, but I'm still a bit worried that it is just too "old man" yet. It's a twist on the family name Gerald. On the other hand, I have a family name that places me as a 60ish lady when I haven't hit 30 yet (though it's a fairly rare name even for back then, so not anywhere as stereotyped as Linda, for example). That's never bothered me one bit, but I'm not sure if boys like to stand out that way...

I always over-think my kids' names. Some of you regulars (hyz especially) may remember me from last year as the one who absolutely obsessed over a name that was ok in both cultures for my Korean-born son who is home now and doing great! This name is for his little brother--or sister, but then it DEFINITELY won't be Gerard. :-)

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 12:53 PM


Thanks for the welcome back

Penelope -- is one of my ALL TIME loves ( think big flashing heart) & I've thought of it as a pairing with Eden, but I'd consider for a daughter. That said, I don't want kids till most A LOOONG time, so I can day dream & really appreciate Eden Penelope for it's whimsical & quirky charm

Felicity -- for some reason I really loved this name when I was a little kid, but have grown out of it. That said, it does sound really nice with Eden. It's not really my type of thing anymore

Magdalena -- not my style at all , though it's great for someone else. You really don't want to hear how that name can be butchered with an Afrikaansification .

Ironically, Talulah always seems more British to me .Whimsical as well lol I LOVE to see how differently we perceive names!

Other longer-syllable pairings I've thought of are (basically over the top pairings):

Eden Calliope Cuh-lye-oh-pee
Eden Cassiopea cass-ee-oh-pee-uh
Eden Alessia uh-leh-see-uh
Eden Anastasia ah-na-stay-see-uh or ann-ah-stay-shuh

P.S. I add in how I say it due to accent so it's easier

Question for everyone

Oh , and a name question I've been wondering about for awhile now.... for those of you who have an ''image'' with the name or an association of it's vibe or a mental picture of what that person is like with the name (any name).... are there some names that ''meantally'' -- for you, just seem wrong on someone who doesn't fit your mental idea of what the name fits? That probably makes no sense E.G. I couldn't for the life of me picture Tristan with anything other than brown hair. Blond makes him look ''I'm a snob,preppy boy with a daddy who has too much money'' & black seems too '' I'm actually deep & intense & am classically good looking, but I'm rebelling for the pirate meets emo look''..... my mind is a scary place. I know . No offense meant to any blond/raven-haired Tristans or their parents! I have a weird naming mind

Oh, and the other thing I've been wondering about is ..... are you attacked to names with a 'vibe'? E.g., most of the girl names that I like, have vibes - for me, that are very spunky,whimsical, sounds like a confident woman who knows who she is , boho or more arty than academia .... that said, other people might think the names I like sound like strippers who moonlight as an estate agents in the bad area of town. For me, there are certain vibes (the vibes the name has ) that are put -offs. Obviously, I'm only talking about a name & not any people I know with the name etc

By Essy01 (not verified)
December 8, 2010 3:16 PM

this article is so true and so sad at the same time to me any way. in my very first journalism class at university the first thing my news reporting prof said was 'you are now a brand. make it. sell it. use it. be it.' which made me feel incredibly uncomfortable I mean of course your 'brand' could be objectivity and honesty but what it boiled down to was selling yourself, not your work or the quality of your work, but yourself, selling who you are - but that's the way the world is today, it's how people get noticed but it's sad because it boils down to stereotypes and archetypes - a person becomes a thing not a person anymore. i think it's really sad and depressing.

the sad reality for the jersey shore kids is they will never be able to get away from their reputation as stupid superficial party kids - that's their brand and they've been 'branded' with that forever now.

but NOTY nailed on the head for sure. plus released today was Top Reality Star Makers - The Situation made $2 million, Snooki "only" brought in 750,000

December 8, 2010 3:19 PM

Off topic now, (this would probably fit in more with the post a few weeks ago, "The Mysterious Persistence of Little Johnny") but I met a 5 year old boy last week who went by Rick. I was surprised, never having met a little one going by that nickname, but I actually really liked it on him. :)

December 8, 2010 3:45 PM

I agree, a little boy named Rick or Ricky sounds adorable!

re: Eden Ariadne and Eden Tallulah: I think I prefer the second. The first makes the Ds jump out at me. I think Eden and Ariadne also seem to have a similar quality to me (I guess, myth/origin stories?), whereas Eden and Tallulah seem more different. I think I like names to bring in different possibilities like that. I guess others may feel Eden and Ariadne have very different qualities...

re: Tristan and hair color: I never thought of it that way, but I see what you mean. Maybe I do feel this way and just never realized it! Do you think your blond Tristan comes from Gilmore Girls?

re: Gerard: It's not my style, but I can definitely see it as a fresher version of Gerald.

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 5:32 PM

@Robyn T

Gilmore Girls : Actually, I never thought of that! The closest theory I have, is that I remember it being commented on here & at appellation mountain that there is a bit of a ''dashing hero in a romance novel'' quality about Tristan . Now, I'm Black Irish (black hair blue eyes) fan myself, but since that reference, I cannot picture him as anything else, but a classically handsome lad who could be perfect on a contemporary historical romance novel look with tawny brown hair & oak coloured eyes. (ironically, I can't for the life of me read historical romances. Tend to want to tell them that they can stuff their shirttails into their breeches) If he is modernised, a Tristan is a guy who plays the guitar , writes music, laid back & not half bad at sports. He also wears a little beach necklace around his neck, but isn't so laid-back that he likes the happy cookies .

It's obviously not realistic, but that's a Tristan to me. Bizarre, isn't it?

December 8, 2010 5:59 PM

Lorien-I think you should use Gerard if you and DH like it. It's just not my style so I can't really comment on it and I don't know anyone with that name.

Larksong-LOL I actually thought of listing Eden Cassiopeia to the list! So thoughts on the others are this:
Eden Calliope-very nice
Eden Cassiopea-a bit long and trying too hard
Eden Alessia-different kind of nice
Eden Anastasia-not for me

I would also add Eden Callista.

Regarding the image of a name: I do have images of names I've never met on "real people". The book images are a little more fluid but I think of Rafe as the rogue book hero. What you describe in the above post about Tristan is actually for me labeled Troy as I knew one that fit that description perfectly!

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 6:32 PM


You've got to admit, it's fun making pairings (even the over-the top ones) for fake children. Ironically, I did actually through Eden Callista around a couple of months ago.Eden Anastasia, yep, it's not-working-over-the-to for me

Oh, I remember another pairing that I liked was Eden Isabella. There was a whole reasoning behind it that I liked, but for my hypothetic off-spring it prob wouldn't happen, as there's a really high likelihood I'd have a kid called Sage (going on my preferences) who would be Sage Isobel .

Actually, I don't know if you remember me asking my name taste a couple of months ago & seriously whittled it down & it was interesting to see the results

Goody for Troy ! He's another die-hard fan name for me.

Anyways, you're always as helpful as ever, Zoerhenne

By Larksong NLI (Merry Xmas season) (not verified)
December 8, 2010 6:33 PM

Sorry, not thinking straight or apparently speaking English correctly. I really whittled down the favourites list since then

By Amy3
December 8, 2010 9:51 PM

@Lorien, I know a Gerard who is in his mid-40s. He goes by Jerry. I think Gerard on its own is quite nice, though, and is a breath of fresh air in the ends-in-n world of baby boy names today!

By justpupsfornow (not verified)
December 8, 2010 10:18 PM

@ Larksong (and agreeing with zoerhenne) you hit it first with Eden Ariadne - none of the other pairings come close to the flow and alliteration. That's a keeper:)

December 8, 2010 11:46 PM

My primary association for Tristan is the Wagner opera. When we recently saw it the Tristan was a brunet. Given that opera usually features wigs galore, I doubt that this has anything to do with the singer's own hair color.

The real life Tristan I know has brown hair, and his twin brother is blond... I have no idea whether that entered into the parents assigning names. (His twin is Ju5tu5, replacing 5 with S, since I can't come up with a good vowel substitution for U.)

But, I don't see Tristan as a name that would require a particular haircolor. To me, it just requires maleness. ;)

December 8, 2010 11:21 PM

I'm surprised so many people have not heard of The Situation nor have heard of the Jersey Shore..but I'm also rather glad :-)

I have to admit I watched a few episodes of the first season because I just couldn't resist when flipping through the channels. And I'm embedded enough in pop culture that there is no way I could have not known. My favorite show is the Soup, which makes fun of reality TV, so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

By Rhodolady (not verified)
December 9, 2010 12:52 AM

Remember Tristan Farnon (brother Siegried) - the young vet on All Creatures (PBS). He was fair, at least light brown haired.

On a different note, on the subject of Margaret - I am a Marjorie (also meaning Pearl).

I have never really liked the name and have been nn'd Marj which I felt it was rather truncated. I think I would have liked it spelled as Marjory better, or Margery (Marge). More recently, on this blog someone suggested Jory as a nickname. Wish I'd thought of it long ago but too old to change now!

Just wandering thoughts......