About A Name: Tennessee

September 27, 2012 § 8 Comments

(c) Hidden Springs Resort: Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains in the fall.

One name blog I’ve only recently become acquainted with, Histornamia, drew me in yesterday with a post on unique baby names (given to just five baby boys or girls) in the year 1880 in the US. One of the names on the girl’s list was Tennessee.

I remarked on what a nice name it was for a girl, having never considered it before, without knowing we were only hours away from seeing an A-list celebrity baby born with this very unique name.

And of all the celebs who might use it, why wouldn’t it be proud Tennessee native Reese Witherspoon? She had her first son with husband Jim Toth earlier today, calling him Tennessee James. Reese’s complete name inspiration goes without saying, the inspiration obvious and inspired. The Ava-Deacon-Tennessee sibset looks odd, but Ava-Deacon-Tenny is adorable.

Tennyson, another name that boasts the nickname Tenny, has been a bit of a celeb fave this past decade, too. Both names lean a bit to the obscure (which some parents really look for), and while Tennessee will likely bump up with the birth of Witherspoon’s son, it’s hard to say how far it could go.

These days, most fashionable boys names are one or two syllables, often quite short (6 letters or less), and Tennessee disrupts that pattern. But it is a pretty gorgeous name, boy or girl. And I just might prefer it for a girl (but not the female nickname, Nessie)…

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Canada’s Olympic-Inspired Names

September 25, 2012 § 5 Comments

(c) August 4, 2012 – Jean Lavac / Postmedia Olympic Team: Rosannagh “Rosie” MacLennan smiles with her gold medal, won in women’s trampoline at London 2012.

I may have been in exile, but I have been reading the blogs when I could – I caught these posts over at Waltzing More Than Matilda this summer, and it inspired me to do one of my own. (I believe Anna created three posts, at least, to highlight Aussie success in London, and I won’t need that many, to be honest.)

Canada, of course, didn’t have the success that Australia or Britain did at the London 2012 Summer Games. That narrows the field of focus somewhat in creating a post of names to inspire Canadians as our athletes travel cross-country this week on the government’s official “Olympic Tour.” (And yes, for the record, though I live in a Commonwealth country, I did not fully learn the lyrics to “God Save the Queen” until these Games, considering how often it played for Britain’s gold.)

The first Canadian to inspire from this summer’s Olympic Games is Rosannagh MacLennan (often called Rosie, perhaps in part to mitigate the confusion over how to pronounce Rosannagh – is it row-ZAE-nah or row-ZAN-ah?) Toronto resident MacLennan was Canada’s only gold medalist in London. She claimed a record score in women’s trampoline to top the podium on August 4th, the one and only time that “O Canada” played from the winner’s podium this summer. An old-fashioned choice, it gains some modern cool points for the Celtic spelling, with the ‘silent G.’

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About A Name: Camden – the ‘It’ name in America?

September 23, 2012 § 6 Comments

(c) Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com; Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com via UsMagazine.com: Is Camden America’s hottest new baby name?

Just as his ex-wife, Jessica Simpson, chose a trendy new baby name for her daughter, Maxwell, born in May, singer and TV presenter Nick Lachey has gone the trendy, of-the-moment route for his new son, if nothing else affirming that super-hot Camden is probably here to stay, at least for a while.

Just over a month after reality TV star Kristin Cavallari welcomed Camden Jack with her fiance, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, on August 8th, Lachey welcomed Camden John with model and TV presenter Vanessa Minnillo on September 12th. The birth caused Cavallari to tweet, “Apparently Camden is a popular name! I obviously love the name and I’m glad other people do too.”

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The Rider Named Ryder

May 27, 2012 § 2 Comments

(c) AFP: Ryder Hesjedal celebrates his underdog victory at the Giro d’Italia cycling race on May 27, 2012 in Milan.

Vancouver Island cyclist Ryder Hesjedal has burned up the headlines across Canada this week, making us proud by becoming the first Canadian ever to win a Grand Tour cycling event when he captured the Giro d’Italia trophy this morning. And one of my favourite tweets about the win? A non-Canadian who had been watching the Giro daily, live from Italy, commented regarding the athlete whom no one had pegged as the possible winner:

“I just realized that rider Hesjedal is Ryder Hesjedal. #duh”

He and nearly everybody else, within Canada included (cycling’s popularity is growing here, and Hesjedal could be the new star to elevate it!) Before he won the second most prestigious cycling race in the world, Hesjedal’s best finish was 6th overall at the 2010 Tour de France, and he won the 12th stage of the 2009 Vuelta a Espana.

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Bad Baby Namer: Levi Johnson

May 3, 2012 § 3 Comments

To those of you making your first visit thanks to my first guest post at Nameberry (which I’ve been squeeing about since they asked me!!) – Welcome! Happy to have you here!

Today, though, I feel the need to get a little bit serious for a second (bear with me). The first thing I did when I found out Levi Johnson plans to name his unborn daughter Breeze Beretta was write a long-winded, angry post calling him out for using his kid as a toy in his never-ending quest for attention. There are many rules for baby naming out there, and while I feel most rules are made to be broken, for the right price, the notion that children are not to be named for our amusement feels like the one rule not up for debate.

That doesn’t mean I’ve lost my laid-back attitude to names, or that I think parents should refrain from using Fifi if they have a really good reason for it. I deleted the first post; it didn’t sound like me. It didn’t live up to the goals of my blog. I choose not to be among the madding crowd for names ranging from the truly awful to the mundane to the strange or even questionable. I’ve never believed that “they’ll get made fun of” is a good enough reason not to use a name, because kids will make fun of any name, given the right ammunition.

But my disappointment in Levi Johnson and his paternally-undeveloped mind all comes back around to reason, and my predisposition to dislike violent names. Why did Sarah Palin’s Achilles heel choose to name his daughter after an Italian gunmaker? (The weather-pattern first name is an easy play to call, with a babymama named Sunny.) Was it because he likes to hunt? Well, we know he does. I like to listen to music, but a brand name like Fender or Gibson is still not on my list – though I know they have inspired many.

But back to Beretta. What good is there – really – in using violent themes to name our children? Don’t we want our kids to grow up to be presidents or artists, economists or computer geniuses? Don’t we want our kids to exemplify traits like honour, courage, kindness, hope, and love? Are our violent hobbies or interests really best suited to our children’s birth certificates? Bears may be a dangerous animal, and it’s a name that I’ve defended, but bears are connected to nature. Guns, especially brand names of guns, are connected only to violence. (Colt, a comparable, is also a horse, which can dress this one up a bit.)

Sure, in some circles, guns/hunting equals honour, but my not-so-humble opinion of that theory is that it’s wrong. Hunting equals survival or sport, and guns equal death. Charlton Heston may have once expressed a love of guns so deep we could pry his “from my cold, dead hands,” but Charlton Heston still named his children Fraser Clarke and Holly Ann.

When it comes to Levi Johnson, I can’t help but think that, just like his Playgirl spread and tabloid-friendly memoir, he was well aware that a simple, controversy-free name like Lily Rose wouldn’t cut it, wouldn’t help him live up to the bad boy reputation he has clearly found some easy money in. For the reason that his new daughter feels like his latest press tool, and for the fact I cannot figure out why we honour violence with baby names, Levi Johnson gets a uniquely rare, but altogether ‘entirely official,’ stamp of disapproval from me as a Bad Baby Namer.

Okay, rant’s over. Am I overreacting? Blinded by a distaste for fame-hungry deadbeat dads? I’m not so sure, I’m not used to hating names/namers. Weigh in!

About A Name: Pearl

April 25, 2012 § 9 Comments

The ultra-classy mineral, mined not in the ground but from oyster shells under the sea, has been popping up on birth certificates with a certain vengeance the past few years. An old-fashioned name somewhere between Ruby and Diamond on the trendy scale, a renewed interest in classy vintage fashionistas like Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn seem to have helped bring this name back around. But pearls have always had value.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, protagonist Hester Prynne names her daughter Pearl because she was “of great price, purchased with all she had, her mother’s only treasure.”

The past few weeks, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has announced the adoption of second daughter Emerson Pearl, and Jack Osbourne’s partner Lisa Stelly welcomed Pearl Clementine, Sharon Osbourne’s first grandchild, yesterday in Los Angeles. (Ozzy’s got a few already, kids of his daughter Jessica Starshine, from his first marriage.)

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April 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii

I know, right? ANOTHER vacation. But to know me is to know there is no world without travel, and I’m about to fly away for a sunny, mostly absent week in Hawaii. Though I’m sure it will prove yet another excuse for blogging inspiration, much like my post from last fall on Japanese names (which was lovingly reblogged by the magnificent Lou at Mer de Noms earlier this week!) Just look at FOX News LA reporter Courtney Friel, who welcomed daughter Cameron Kaiulani last week – we continue to love Hawaiian names and I will try to deliver!

In other news, I’ve recently made the decision to return to school. This means a) more time for name blogging, and b) an opportunity for better posts as I’m forced to break out of old habits and write with grades in mind again! I’m feeling really excited about the future, for myself and the blog, so stay tuned.

Aloha, ladies and gents – see you next week!