A reader named Leigh will be having a baby boy within the next few weeks. She writes:
I am a teacher and have heard so many names that I don’t want to name our child. My husband and I really like the name Miles, however, there are many new baby boys in my friend circle, named Miles. I really like Emmett, but my husband is afraid he’ll be mocked because people might only know of his name from the Twilight series. We’re interested in two or three syllable strong, unique (not necessarily unusual) names. A current front runner is Anders, possibly Anders Gray Hollyard*. We also like the name Lars. I guess I’m finding we like names that end in s!
First name and possible middle name suggestions to go with Anders would be greatly appreciated.
*Their surname isn’t Hollyard, but a like-sounding two-syllable h-name.
A few thoughts on the current favorites:
Miles: The popularity of this one has been on the rise for years, so it makes sense that you’re hearing it more often. I’m sure this has already come up, but just in case: Have you considered Milo or Niles as alternatives? They both sound a lot like Miles, but they’re not nearly as popular (i.e. only 29 babies were named Niles in 2010).
Emmett: Personally, I associate this name with Emmitt Smith, not the fictional vampire. And I’m not even a sports fan. This Twilight craze will blow over one day (thankfully!) and, when it does, these vampire/werewolf associations will fade. Possible exception: Renesmee.
Anders: I really like this one. I especially like that it shortens to the nickname Andy, allowing anyone with this name to flip back and forth between formal/unusual and informal/familiar, depending on the occasion. Versatility is always a good thing.
Lars: I have a strong association with this one as well, though I’m not sure how many others have it — Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. So this one may prompt people to ask about the possible Metallica connection. Much cooler than a Twilight question, anyway.
Here are some other names, many with s-endings:
As far as middle names for Anders go, I think Gray is great. I think a one-syllable name with a hard sound (that g) sounds good in that spot. Other names that fit this description are Brett, Craig, Drake, Frank, Grant, Jack, Kent, Mark and Paul.
Which of the above names do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Leigh?
Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down for the name (or just click here).
In 1950, the United States Weather Bureau started naming Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms.
The initial names came from a radio alphabet that began Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox and George. Because the alphabet happened to include several human names, you could say the first Atlantic storms that were “named” were the Charlies and Georges of 1950-1952.
It wasn’t until three years later that the USWB starting using human names exclusively. In 1953, it replaced the phonetic alphabet with a list of female names. (Male names weren’t thrown into the mix until 1979.)
The first storm with a female name was Tropical Storm Alice, the first storm of the 1953 storm season. I couldn’t find any babies named after Alice, but I did find one named after the second storm, Hurricane Barbara.
Hurricane Barbara traveled up the Eastern seaboard in mid-August. It struck the Outer Banks (islands off the North Carolina coast) on August 13. That night, a baby girl born in New Bern, N.C., to Mr. and Mrs. N. E. Ward was named Barbara Gale.
There were six other named storms (Carol, Dolly, Edna, Florence, Gail and Hazel) that season, but I could only find a namesake for one of them — Florence.
Hurricane Florence struck the Florida panhandle on September 26. Earlier that day, a baby born in Crestview, Florida, to Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Holt was named Sandra Florence.
Since 1953, many more babies — hundreds, probably — have been named for Atlantic hurricanes. Hurricane-inspired baby names I’ve blogged about here include Hazel (1954), Alicia (1983), Elena (1985), Gloria (1985), Andrew (1992) and Isabel (2003).
“Child Aptly Named.” Los Angeles Times 16 Aug. 1953: 23.