Years ago, I wrote a post with some naming tips for minimalists. But — as Abby of Appellation Mountain astutely pointed this out in her comment to that post — “minimalism” as applied to baby names could be about capturing a namestyle just as much as it could be about reflecting a lifestyle.
So today I’m giving minimalism another go. This time around, though, it’ll be a list of baby names that fall somewhere between short/simple and modern/stylish.
All of these names have made gains recently (Hank and Linus included!). For more details on usage, click through to see the popularity graphs.
Nature is waking up again! Let’s celebrate by checking out which nature names are the most popular for baby girls right now. Ironically the top 50 list below includes all the seasons except for “Spring,” but it does feature lots of springtime things: flowers, birds, trees…
For this list I stuck to names that are also correctly spelled English words. This means that I skipped names that are non-English words (like Stella and Luna) and alternative spellings of words (like Brooke and Briar). I should also mention that several of the above (including Rowan, Robin, and Clementine) do have more than one etymology to choose from.
Autzen – Autzen Stadium is where the Oregon Ducks football team plays.
Avenir – Avenir is a French word meaning “future.” It’s also on the Washington state list below. In fact, nearly two-thirds of last year’s Avenirs were born on the west coast: 10 in Washington, 7 in California, 5 in Oregon. Anyone know why?
A reader named Heath is expecting his third child, a boy, and would like some name suggestions. Here’s what he says:
I’m Heath, wife is Aspen, daughter is Channing and son is Deacon so we’re looking for a name that most kids won’t have but also want something that isn’t feminine, will get him picked on or doesn’t sound like we are trying too hard.
Here are some of the names they’ve been considering:
My favorite is Justice but that has no chance with my wife. She likes Ridge but I quickly vetoed that. Her favorite is Easton but I was looking for something more. Some others that we have thought about is Beckett, Kingston or Tate but again I’m not overly thrilled.
Many of the names above come from surnames, so that’s what I focused on as I brainstormed:
They are rooted in the physical (as Aspen is), but they won’t lock Kendra into noun-names (as names like Sage or Willow would). Most are also theoretically gender-neutral — again, like Aspen — though in real life they tend to be used for either one gender or the other.
These names also came to mind:
Bryce, Cody, Cole, Max, Rory, Royce, Ryker, and Ulysses for boys,
Carley, Chloe, Daphne, and Heidi for girls, and
Cassidy and Emery for either boys or girls.
(Daphne does refer to another kind of tree, but the connection is subtle, so I think it would be all right with Aspen.)
It’s tricky to suggest middle names without a definitive first name in place. I do really like Johnmichael and Jane, though. I also thought Kendra might find Jonah, Jett or Jude appealing, as they became fashionable (as first names) right around the same time Aspen did.
Do you like any of the above names? What others would you suggest?
Update – The baby is here! Scroll down to see what name Kendra chose.