From a 2006 interview with Blake Lively:
Q: I’ve got to say, “Blake Lively” sounds almost too cool to not be a stage name…
A: People are always like, “Blake Lively! Okay, what’s your real name?” It’s kind of embarrassing to tell people, because it sounds like a really cheesy stage name.
Q: Is there a story behind the first part?
A: Actually, my grandma’s brother’s name was Blake, and my sister wrote it down when she was reading a family tree. And they said, “If it’s a boy, we’ll name him Blake, and if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Blakely.” And everybody thought I was going to be a boy, and then I came out and I was a girl. And they had already been calling me Blake for months because they were positive I was going to be a boy. And they had been calling me Blake for so long, they just [kept it].
[The surname “Lively” came from Blake’s mother’s first husband. Blake’s mother kept it after the divorce, and Blake’s father — her mother’s second husband — liked it enough to take as his own when they married.]
[I mentioned Blake Lively in this year’s Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity post. Speaking of the latest batch of baby names…]
From “From Alessia to Zayn, Popular Baby Names on the Rise!” on the Social Security Matters blog:
Some other notable names in the top 10 biggest increase category include Benicio and Fox for boys. […] As for Fox, did anyone ever figure out what the fox said?
[I love that the SSA made a reference to “What Does the Fox Say?” in a baby name post.]
From Baby Kylo: ‘Star Wars’ Names Raced Up the Charts in 2016 at Live Science:
“What dad wants to name his son after a son who kills his dad?” said baby-name expert Laura Wattenberg, who analyzed the latest data on Babynamewizard.com. “It doesn’t seem like the most auspicious choice.”
From an E! News article about Liam Payne:
The One Direction singer-turned-solo artist explained the origin of son Bear Payne’s name during a Total Access radio interview, which he said was decided upon by mom Cheryl Cole.
“It was an internal battle,” Liam reflected. “I wanted a more traditional name and she wanted a name that was more unusual. “The reason she chose Bear was because Bear is a name that when you leave a room, you won’t forget.”
“And I like that,” the U.K. native decided eventually.
From The psychological effects of growing up with an extremely common name by Sarah Todd at Quartz:
If the purpose of a name is to signify an object, a very common first name seems like a pretty ineffective signifier. When people on the street say my name, I often don’t bother to turn around, knowing that there are probably other Sarah’s in close proximity. And so I think of “Sarah” less as a name that’s specific to me and more as a general descriptor—another word for “woman” or “girl,” or something else that applies both to me and to a lot of other people, too.
[Found via Appellation Mountain.]
From Why Coke Is Adding Last Names to ‘Share a Coke’ in Ad Age:
As for first names, Michael is No. 1, according to Coke.
[Found via Name Nerds.]
Two University of Colorado economists found compelling evidence that the first letter of your last name does matter quite a bit—especially when you’re young.
Professor Jeffrey Zax and graduate student Alexander Cauley analyzed data on the lives of more than 3,000 men who graduated from Wisconsin high schools 2 in 1957. They found that those with surnames further back in the alphabet did worse in high school, in college, and in the job market early in their careers. […] While correlation isn’t necessarily causation, the researchers firmly believe there’s a connection.
[Found via Nameberry.]
[I’m slightly surprised we haven’t seen Zax in the data yet. Zaxton is a regular these days, though.]
For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.