Tag Archives: Baby Names

Name of the Day: Perrine

I can’t use this name as it’s the feminine form of Pierre, which is the French form of Peter. (I’m also a big fan of Pierre.) My husband (Peter) and I agreed we don’t want to name our kids after ourselves. (Also can’t use it because I’m pregnant with our 3rd and last, and it’s a boy! So, no more girl names for me!) But I think it’s GORGEOUS! So I thought if I wrote about my love for it, maybe someday it’ll be stumbled upon and used by another!

Perrine is the name of 2 Olympic skiers, both from France: Perrine Pelen and Perrine Laffont. Nobody’s Girl is a novel by Hector Malet who’s main character is a 13 year old named Perrine. This book has been adapted into an anime series. That would be a really fun read (and watch) to enjoy with your daughter when she’s old enough.

I’m a total nickname person and I think the Perry or Reeney are beyond adorable! In 2014 5 girls were given this name, but it has not made the social security list since.


Name of the Day: Orwell

Orwell was our most likely boy name for baby #3 until about 22 weeks. It’s a name we still love and honestly he may still end up with, as I’m having trouble letting it go completely. But as of right now, it’s our runner up option.

Orwell is a surname of English and Scottish origin. The Scottish definition is boring (in my opinion), new village. But the English definition I LOVE. The branch of the river.

Orwell is not a common first name. In fact it has never appeared on the social security list. That means there has never been a year where 5 boys or 5 girls across the country were named Orwell. However, with sounds similar to Orson and Maxwell, and with so many other surnames commonly used as first names, I don’t think it feels out of place.

Orwell is most associated with George Orwell, author most notably known for Animal Farm and 1984. If you have never read anything by George Orwell, I highly recommend him. Especially in our current time of political uncertainty. George Orwell is a phenomenal namesake. Not only was he extremely smart and talented, he was also brave and never hesitated to stand up for his beliefs.

Orwell has great nickname options (not that it needs them, it’s so handsome on it’s own). O, Ori, Oreo, Wells, Olly. Paired with a J middle name I think OJ is adorable, though you may get the side eye at the playground from people who only associate the name with OJ Simpson.

As we were set on using this name for some time, and did share it with those that asked, I can speak to the downside of it. Though I consider George Orwell a very worthy  namesake, I thought it’s downside would be that it’s overly associated with George and I worried that’s super corny with a brother named Lennon, who already has a name very associated with an artist from the past. As an individual name, I don’t see it as a huge deal, and since he won’t spend his life being compared to his brother, I decided it was okay.

When sharing the name with others we found (in our social circle, at least) that people didn’t automatically associate it with George Orwell. Which would be great considering my above concern, except, with nothing to associate it with, people struggled to remember it. A lot of people would say “I remember it was like Orville, but it wasn’t.” Or if we said “you know, like George Orwell, the author” next time we saw them they’d say, “What are you naming him again? I remember you said it was after an author….” I decided that instead of trying to get people to remember via the George Orwell association I’d probably say “like if you’re at a restaurant and the waiter asks if you want your steak medium or well…. it’s the last 2 words, or well!”

I noticed my generation didn’t seem to have trouble remembering the name, I think we’re more used to uncommon names. Our children’s generation will be even more used to uncommon names so I doubt he’d have this problem with his peers. It’s just our parents generation. Therefore, I don’t think it should allow the name to be ruined as only his grandparent’s generation will refer to him as “that kid with the weird O name.” But I thought I should mention it as it did genuinely surprise me, we had “easy to remember” as a pro on our pro/con list!!

Moving “easy to remember” off our pro list isn’t what bumped this name to our runner up name. Rather, one day I thought of a name that was on our list of 15 names that we agreed on as possibilities pre pregnancy. I thought back to when it was eliminated as a possibility during my first trimester. Peter said it didn’t feel natural. I had been very sick for a long time so when he said “don’t you agree?” I said “I don’t know, nothing feels natural. I feel like death. If you don’t think it feels right, it’s off the list.” But one Friday, months later, I thought, but I have literally a dozen reasons this name is great for us! I should have fought for it. So I stated my case that night, Peter agreed we should use it for a couple days and see if it feels better now. After just a couple hours he said he liked it more and didn’t want to go back to Orwell. So we haven’t. 

So what’s the new name that fits our family even better? It’ll be announced when we meet him in May!! (I promise. Even if we meet him and go back to our original plan of naming him Orwell.)

Name of the Day: Darwin

Meaning “dear friend” I find Darwin to be such a sweet and warm name. I love the nicknames D, Dar and Winnie. And it ranks in the 800s for popularity, so a Darwin is unlikely to have classmates with the same name.

Most commonly associated with the naturalist Charles Darwin, this name is perfect for a family with a passion for science. Or a family without it, as he’s still an amazing namesake.

Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859. As this theory is still very controversial for those with certain religious beliefs, my biggest fear using the name was that it would be seen as an anti religious statement. However, I don’t think most would see it that way and frankly, those who do would be showing their ignorance as Darwin himself was very religious.

As I see it you can believe one thing with your head and another with your heart. Darwin’s theory was scientific, based on evidence and logic. You can agree with his findings and admire his determination in putting everything together in a logical sense without disregarding the creation story you believe in your heart and soul. I don’t think you need to understand why there may he a disconnect between the two. There’s often a disconnect between facts and feelings, how you logically see a situation and how you can’t help but feel about it. The world isn’t black and white. There’s a lot of grey. And a lot that can’t be understood. But that doesn’t mean you dismiss it. I don’t think Darwin meant to insult any religious beliefs by connecting logical evidence to provide a different theory of origins.

Charles Darwin was obviously very smart, motivated and hard working. The biggest reason I consider Charles Darwin to be a worthy namesake though is his sense of justice. The reason Charles Darwin set out to prove evolution was to prove once and for all that all human beings have the same origin. This was for the purpose of racial equality. He thought proving that regardless of skin color we all have the same ancestors, would help us to live in harmony.

An uncommon name that symbolizes intelligence and social justice… what more can you ask for?

Name of the Day: Booker

Occupational surnames as first names are hot right now. I’m constantly meeting little boys named Mason, Carter, Cooper… But I’ve yet to meet one with my favorite occupational surname: Booker!

Meaning “maker of books”, it’d be such an appropriate name for a baby born into a literary crazy family, like ours. B and Boo are adorable nicknames. And in my family, where we affectionately tease each other with the least attractive versions of our names, I’m sure we’d call him Booger.

Booker T. Washington was an extremely influential and inspiring African American leader. Born into slavery, Booker and his family were freed under the Emancipation Proclamation when he was 9 years old. He believed highly that education and entrepreneurship could help his people to become equals with the whites. He was one of the founders of the National Negro Business League and is well known for his speech “Atlanta Compromise”.

Everything I’ve read about Booker T. Washington has led me to believe he was very hard-working and very eager to help others. He was one of the most notable black men of his time, and the last generation born into slavery who could speak from experience about that time in American history. I very much want to read his autobiography Up from Slavery.

In 2016 (numbers are not yet out for 2017) 58 boys were named Booker, making it the 2,269th most popular boy name. An uncommon choice that everyone will recognize and know how to spell and pronounce!

Name of the Day: Coretta

About this time last year I started a game with my husband I called “Name of the Day”. Each day I pitched him a new name, with details about why it’s worthy of consideration for our future child. The first name I did was Coretta. He agreed it was a worthy name. And I decided that going forward I should put my name notes in sentence form and make them into blog posts. But poor Coretta never got her post. Which is funny because had #3 been a girl, she was most likely going to be Coretta!

Coretta is an elaboration of the name Cora and therefore means little maiden. Cora could be a sweet nickname as could Cory, Etta, Retta, Coco, Cetta or even Coy.

Cora is Peter’s grandmother, so we liked that connection. But the strongest force pulling us towards the name is obviously Coretta Scott King. The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., I find her to have been even more influential than her husband. This is not a criticism of Mr. King at all, but Coretta had many more years in which to make a difference.

What Martin did in his lifetime was obviously ground breaking, and she helped him accomplish all he did. But I believe much of what he worked towards would be forgotten if after his death Coretta hadn’t spent years working to make “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” a national holiday. Now that it’s a holiday Martin’s beliefs, speeches, protests, etc are taught in school. Would he be mentioned in a chapter of a history book if it weren’t for his holiday? Of course. But I don’t believe it would be focused on nearly to the same extent. By giving him a national holiday, our country has to acknowledge all that he did, and what our society was like before him.

Besides being Martin’s backbone during his lifetime and continuing to work towards racial equality after his death, Coretta was also very influential in terms of women’s rights and LBGTQ rights. And she raised 4 kids by herself. And started the Martin Luther King Jr. center for nonviolent social change.

Honestly, I can’t think of a more inspiring namesake than Coretta Scott King. If you want to know more about her I highly recommend My Life, My Love My Legacy, written by her and Barbara Reynolds.

Name of the Day: Anina

A German diminutive of Anna, which itself comes from the name Hannah, this name means “grace”. It is also an Aramaic name meaning “let my prayer be answered”.

I can’t find any historical namesakes with this name. Real or fictional. Which kind of blows my mind. It’s so beautiful but simple. It’d be a perfect way to honor someone named Ann or Anna or Nina while still giving them their own name.

Annie, Anna, Annie, Nina are also all great nicknames.

Come on people, why is nobody using this name??


Name of the Day: Kipling

According to behind the name, Kipling (which originated as an English surname) means Cybell’s cottage… I can’t figure out who Cybell is though!  If I were to use the name I’d want to so further research on that. (Please comment if you have any knowledge.) But on the bright side, I love cottages. My grandparents had a cottage on a lake and many of my happiest childhood memories took place there.

This name is most associated with Rudyard Kipling, writer of The Jungle Book, as well as many other works. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature, the first person who wrote in English to receive the honor, and also the youngest to receive it. He was 42.

I adore the nickname Kip and think Kipling sounds rather sophisticated as well! Win-win.

Name of the Day: Marla

The name Marla, like Marlene, refers to the biblical character Mary Magdalene. One of Jesus’s followers, many believe she was the first to see him resurrected. I was always under the impression she was a reformed prostitute, but that is up for debate. I personally like that theory about her because it makes her story one of overcoming personal situations. A symbol that you can change no matter what’s in your past.

My husband likes the suggestion of Marla because of Marla Hooch in  A League of Their Own. That movie is a favorite in his family, my father-in-law particularly loves it. So the name makes him think of childhood and family memories.

Fight Club also has a Marla. Fight Club is a book and movie I studied in college, and discussed in depth with my brother. So this association is actually more nostalgic for me.

Marla Olmsted is a painter who’s abstract work gained attention around the world when she was 4 year’s old. Of course, once she received a lot of fame people began questioning whether it was really her work or if her father was helping her. She is now 17.

Marla Maples is one of Donald Trump’s ex-wives and an actress. She may be a lovely and talented person, but I haven’t seen her in anything so I can’t really judge that. The Donald Trump association isn’t a great one for me. So, for our family, this is a strike against the name. But I’m sure for some it’d be one more reason to love the name.

Name of the Day: Roscoe

Derived from a place name, Roscoe is used as both a first and last name and means “doe wood”. I believe there are 15 Roscoe towns and villages in the US.  It was only given to 63 boys last year, which I find incredible! It’s so handsome, why are people not using it?

With the name Otis I just linked to a bunch of youtube videos of artists with the name… it seemed to resonate with my husband, so let’s try that approach again!

Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbucke, a silent film star who mentored Charlie Chaplin and discovered Bob Hope. Other actors include: Roscoe Karns who comically starred in 150 films, Roscoe Orman (Gordon on Sesame Street), Roscoe Born, Roscoe Lee Browne and Alan Roscoe.

Outside the arts, there have been many influential politicians and accomplished athletes bearing Roscoe as a first or last name.  Several professor and scientist Roscoes have contributed research advancing the scientific world. It’s also the name of several war heroes and the first ever direcor of the CIA. Roscoe Pound is one of history’s most influential legal scholars. Roscoe Nicholson is one of the earliest advocates for conservation of forest life in the US.  Will Roscoe is an author and activist who’s works largely involve rights of the LGBT community.

Name of the Day: Florence

I adore the name Flora!! For years I’ve been pushing it on Peter, constantly insisting it’s perfect because it’s my great grandmother’s name (Florence) and his great grandmother’s name (Cora) combined. I’ve had no luck. But this week I found out, he does like Florence! And that’s even better in my book. Because Flora is still a nickname option, as is Flo. But it ads other great options Ren and Flossy! And Florence is beautiful, sophisticated, historical and exotic. And (like Flora) I love it’s nature inspired definition, flowering/blooming. (As a side note, I also like Florentia, the original version of the name.)

If you didn’t know my great grandmother, you likely associate the name with Florence Nightingale. She’s well enough know that I don’t think I need to write about her accomplishments. The founder of modern nursing, she was selfless, strong and would make the perfect namesake for any child!

In the arts: Florence Ballard was a founding member of Motown and the Supremes! Florence Lawrence is often referred to as the “First Movie Star”. She appeared in over 300 films.  Florence La Badie and Florence Turner were silent film actresses. Florence Mills “The Queen of Happiness” was a cabaret singer, dancer and comedian! Florence Price is the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. Florence Welch is the front-woman in Indie rock band Florence and the Machine. And of course Florence Henderson was the Mom on the Brady Bunch.

In other areas: Florence Kelley is a political reformer who worked for childen’s and worker’s right. Florence Newton is the most known “witch” of the Irish witch trials. Other Florences include A first lady, a Vietnam war protester who set herself on fire, several writes, athletes and some politicians.