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November 18, 2017 11:11 AM

Serena also mentioned that her daughter has the initials "AO", a link to the Australian Open that Serena won while pregnant with her.

November 17, 2017 05:51 PM

Didn't Stranger Things come out in 2016?

January 5, 2017 04:48 PM

I fell for Rosalie in the movie "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!"

December 10, 2016 10:58 AM

David S. Pumpkins


(Haha! Just kidding.)

December 9, 2016 08:49 PM

I nominated "Bernie" in 2015, due in part to the "feel the Bern" slogan. I think 2015 was the place for it over 2016, personally. I also don't feel that any other changes in name meaning or usage in 2016 can be linked to political candidates. The meanings/usage of Hillary, Donald, Trump, all seemed established prior to this year.

Being a professional theatre actor, Hamilton also seems like a 2015 thing to me, but I'm probably not a great sample to look at there in terms of common usage.

I still don't understand how Harambe became as big a thing as it did. 

I really wish I could say "Holtzmann" and believe it. The new Ghostbusters movie was SO GOOD, and that name really clicked for me with that character... but apparently the audience for the film wasn't as large as it deserved.



January 5, 2016 10:36 AM

I'm Catholic, and I've had conversations on the subject of Saint name baby names with some stringent Catholic friends of mine.

Here's what I always come back to:

If all of the Saints had been named after other Saints, we'd have, like, 5 Saint names.

The Saints were generally NOT named after Saints. Their parents did their own thing. And they all turned out great. Great enough to be Sainted.

(And despite not naming their daughter after a pre-existing Saint, the parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux were just Sainted themselves in October. So obviously naming your kids after Saints is not something that the Vatican finds important.)

Just food for thought. Good luck. 

November 27, 2015 08:50 AM

A few more ideas, to get your thoughts rolling:

  • Watermelondrea
  • Deflategate
  • American Pharoah
  • Boko Haram
  • Lincoln Chafee


November 27, 2015 08:34 AM

Yeah, I agree with Scorpia. I don't think Caitlyn Jenner's story would have been different if she had been Amanda Jenner. I don't think the name is the story there. It doesn't dramatically change the name's usage. It doesn't have influence on broader style trends. And the name is not essential to the story. It doesn't pass ANY of Laura's tests.

I still think "Feel the Bern" is a much more name-y story than "I Am Cait" is. And brought back a name that hasn't been in pop culture since, like, Weekend At Bernie's, about 30 years ago, whereas Caitlin has never fallen out of consistent usage.

(And I disagree that we should hold off a year on Bernie because A) this is the year that the name AS A NAME made a big splash, even if the person goes on to make a bigger one in the future, and B) the odds of Bernie getting the nomination over Hillary aren't great.)

November 25, 2015 10:04 AM

(Tangent: Want to make sure that you all have seen the Name Nerds post on spellings of Caitlin. It's called "You say Caitlin, I say Katelynne..."

November 24, 2015 10:42 AM

How about Bernie?

Not only is it a diminuitive name that seems strange for a presidential candidate, but also his campaign is using a name-based slogan: Feel the Bern. Definitely changed the way that I look at the name.

April 24, 2015 12:33 PM

On "Arrested Development". The character George Oscar Bluth II goes by Gob (pronounced like Job with a soft g, rhymes with lobe).

April 24, 2015 12:32 PM

I know an Ivy whose name is Isabelle Verity (initials I.V.)

March 29, 2015 09:50 AM

Lille - Lisa Hannigan

Lilly - Pink Martini

Lola - The Kinks

Louie, Louie - The Kingsmen

Louisa - The Pierces

Lovely Rita - The Beatles

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles

Luka - Suzanne Vega

Lukas - Natalie Imbruglia

Mandy - Barry Manilow

Maria Maria - Carlos Santana

Mary Jane - Alanis Morissette

Mary Jane Shoes - Fergie

Mary the Inventor - Ash Koley

Mary Without Sound - Motion City Soundtrack

Mary, Mary - The Monkees

Maxine - John Legend

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard - Simon & Garfunkel

Meet Virginia - Train

Meghan's Song - Matthew Perryman Jones

Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim - Fountains of Wayne

Michelle - The Beatles

Miranda - Fleetwood Mac

Molly - Sponge

Mona Lisa - Nat King Cole

Mona Lisa - Guster

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters - Elton John

Mother Mary - Foxboro Hot Tubs

Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) - Billy Joel

My Sharona - The Knack

Nickel Romeo - The Bangles

Nina Pretty Ballerina - ABBA

Oh Angela! - Blair Crimmins and the Hookers

Oh, Emily - Jukebox the Ghost

Penny & Me - Hanson

Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Ramona - Guster

Revolving Dora - Fountains of Wayne

Richie and Ruben - Fountains of Wayne

Rocky Raccoon - The Beatles

Roll with Me, Henry - Etta James

Romeo - Basement Jaxx

Romeo - The Planet Smashers

Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

Romeo and Juliet - The Indigo Girls

Romeo and Juliette - Sade

Rosey and Mick - Jewel

Run Bobby Run - Lesley Gore

Runaround Sue - Dion and the Belmonts

Sad Lisa - Cat Stevens

Sally's Advice - The Chenille Sisters

Sara - Chad Vangaalen

Sebastian - Reptar

Sherry Baby - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Shikaiya (For Billy) - Natalie Imbruglia

Simon Says - The Pipettes

Smackwater Jack - Carole King

So Sweet (Amelia) - Maria Mena ft. Thomas Dybdah

Song of Bernadette - Jennifer Warnes and Leonard Cohen

St. Jimmy - Green Day

Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne

Stan - Eminem ft. Dido

Stealing Rosemary - The Bangles

Sunny Came Home - Shawn Colvin

Suzy - The Chenille Sisters

Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond

Sweet Gypsy Rose - Tony Orlando and Dawn

Sweet Louise - The Belle Brigade

Taylor the Latte Boy - Kristin Chenoweth

There Goes Lucy - The Rembrandts

Tom's Diner - Suzanne Vega

Turn on Billie - The Pierces

Valerie - Amy Winehouse

Valerie  - James Morrison

Valleri - The Monkees 

Venus - The Shocking Blue

Victoria - The Kinks

Victoria (Tori) - John Mayer

Vince the Loveable Stoner - The Fratellis

Wake up, Little Susie - The Everly Brothers

Wendy - The Beach Boys

The Wind Cries Mary - John Mayer

Windy - The Association

Yolanda Hayes - Fountains of Wayne

You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon

March 28, 2015 04:54 PM

Adia by Sarah McLachlan
Adrienne by The Calling
Amelia by Natalie Imbruglia
Amie by Damien Rice

Andy, You're a Star by The Killers
Angela by The Bee Gees

Angie by The Rolling Stones

Anna Sun by Walk the Moon

Antonia by Motion City Soundtrack

April Come She Will by Simon & Garfunkel

Barbie Girl by Aqua

Believe Me Natalie by The Killers

Bella Linda by The Grass Roots

Bennie and the Jets by Elton John

Bernadette by The Four Tops

Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes

Billy Brown by Mika

Black Betty by Ram Jam

Bloody Mary by Lady Gaga

Bobby's Girl by Lesley Gore

Bonnie & Clyde '03 by Jay-Z ft. Beyonce Knowles

Brandy Alexander by Feist

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something

Brian Wilson by Barenaked Ladies

Call Tyrone by Erykah Badu

Candy Says by The Velvent Underground

Celia Inside by The Cardigans

Charlie, The Methadone Man by Fastball

Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis

Clementine by Pink Martini

Daniel by Bat for Lashes

Danny's Song by Anne Murray

Daria by Cake

David by Nellie McKay

Dear Prudence by The Beatles

Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson

Dr. John by Mika

Edie by The Cult

Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

Emmylou by First Aid Kit

Eva by Nightwish

Fernando by Abba

Gloria by Van Morrison

Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard

Grace Kelly by Mika

Hannah by Freelance Whales

Heather by Zambri

Helena by My Chemical Romance

Help Me Rhonda by The Beach Boys

Henrietta by The Fratellis

Hey Eugene by Pink Martini

Hey Jude by The Beatles

Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne

Hey Paula by Paul & Paula

Hey There Delilah by Plain White Ts

Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles

I'm Henry the VIII I Am by Herman's Hermits

If U Seek Amy by Britney Spears

If You C Jordan by Something Corporate

Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

Isobel by Dido

Jackie Wilson Said by Van Morrison

Jane by Barenaked Ladies

Jeffrey by The Pierces

Jennifer Juniper by Donovan

Jenny (867-5309) by Tommy Tutone

Jenny Was a Friend of Mine by The Killers

Jerry by The Clientele

Jessica by The Allman Brothers Band

Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield

Jimmy Mack by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Joey by Nick Drake

John the Fisherman by Primus

Johnny Angel by Lesley Gore

Johnn Cash by Fefe Dobson

Jolene by Dolly Parton

Judas by Lady Gaga

Judy's Turn to Cry by Lesley Gore

Julia by The Beatles

Julia by Fefe Dobson

Juliet by LMNT

Kathy's Song by Simon & Garfunkel

Konstantine by Something Corporate

Lady Jane by Mika

Lady Madonna by The Beatles

Lalena by Donovan

Layla by Eric Clapton

Letters to Noelle by Something Corporate.


To Be Continued... 

September 26, 2013 04:12 PM

I just met a guy named Topaz earlier this week.

April 30, 2013 04:19 PM

Other things worth noting:

- Archer, Harper, Charlotte, and Aria all share the "ar" sound. 

- I think part of what is attractive about Archer (to me, anyway), is that Archie is a cute nickname, and this is a more modern way to achieve that than with the traditional Archibald (I imagine the "bald" ending turns some parents off).

- Evelyn and Violet have the lovely "v" sound.

- Many of these names have formal and diminutive options (Penelope/Penny, Archer/Archie, Charlotte/Charlie/Lottie, Evelyn/Evie), and Henry crosses both fields (formal, but ends in the diminutive "ee" vowel that makes you smile).

January 4, 2013 01:51 AM

I think I read that Beyonce's name is actually her mother's maiden name. So her parents didn't invent it, so much as repurpose it.

July 5, 2012 02:52 PM

I thought of Trudie Styler (Sting's wife... although not spelled with a Y).

Also thought of Leah Remini. 


Very impressive. Well done, ladies! - Aiea, The champ of year 2. ;)

January 22, 2011 11:13 PM

My boyfriend and I have tossed around the idea of naming a son Henry... And I would very much like to nickname him "Helo" (which is the call-sign of a character on Battlestar Galactica). He doesn't seem thrilled with the idea.