From a 1991 Vanity Fair interview with Madonna Ciccone:
I sometimes think I was born to live up to my name. How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna? I would either have ended up a nun or this.
(Madonna, who was named after her mother, went by the nickname Nonni as a child.)
From “Quick Tip: Naming Your Children” by Sharon Beesley:
So, here’s my advice I tell everyone: One of the best ways to avoid having your kid share a name with a classmate is to browse through these personalized towels/bedsheets/backpacks in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Despite how much you might love the name, if you see it in the catalog, your kid will have a higher risk of name repeat. Sadly, if I could go back to the PBKids catalogs in 2005, I would see Ella monogramed on every pillow. Same with my boys in 2007. Look! There’s some left over Owen baskets they are still using. Do you see your kids name in some of the items in the current catalog? Prepare yourselves.
From “Why I Gave My Daughter a Black Name – Despite the Perceived Consequences” by Dara Tafakari Mathis:
Racism doesn’t play by the rules. Black parents cannot win the respectable name game in America.
Black people are discriminated against primarily because we are Black; our names are just a scapegoat. For example, “Tyrone” has come to stand for a “stereotypical” Black man. But did you know that the name Tyrone is Irish in origin? A name doesn’t have to be “creative” or “ghetto” to be Black; it just has to be Black long enough. And as soon as we make something “Black,” the cycle of discrimination begins afresh.
From “An Open Letter to the Hipster Babies of Hipster Parents” by Nicole Leigh Shaw:
You’ll look cool sporting a binkie with a handlebar mustache though, because you’ll have a name to match your level of sardonic suckling. Yes, hipster babies, your names will be either gender neutral or plucked from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Nothing goes better with your ‘stachifier than an alpaca-hair blankie and the name Myrtle or Gatsby. Have fun at the independent coffee house where you’ll meet up with Zelda and Jasper in your vintage pram that makes even Mary Poppins say, “Practically perfect in every way.”
If your folks take the gender-neutral name route, then on paper some of your names will prompt people to wonder, “Is that a boy or a girl?” It’s all fine and good to choose Jane or Bob, but today’s babies are sporting the sweetest little genderless names, like Harper and Riley. If you’re lucky, you’ll be born to real envelope pushers. Maybe you’ll be named Person or Human!
From “11 Colors You’ve Probably Never Heard Of” at Mental Floss:
Originally another word for poppy, coquelicot is the flower’s orange-tinted red color. (It also sounds like a celebrity baby name.)
(Here’s what coquelicot looks like.)
From an article about the nuns of St. John the Divine, the inspiration behind the BBC show Call the Midwife:
Between 80 and 100 babies were born each month in the eight-mile square district of Poplar. “If there’s one thing I’ll say about East End mums, it’s that they love their kids,” adds [Sister] Christine. “In the 100 years we were there, just one baby was abandoned on our doorstep. We cared for him before the police came. They named him John Divine.”
(Speaking of Call the Midwife…the convent in the show, Nonnatus House, is named for St. Raymond Nonnatus. His nickname Nonnatus, Latin for “not born,” refers to the fact that he was born by Caesarean section because his mother died while giving birth to him.)
From “Week 35: Never share your baby names” by Nicole Dubé of CTV News Winnipeg:
My husband and I have kept our boy and girl name choices on the DL because we want the special privilege of introducing our first joint venture (a.k.a. child) to the world with as much pomp and circumstance as we can muster. Plus, we love surprises.
Well the other day while chatting with friends about what people are calling their kids these days, our boy name came up and got slammed!
I couldn’t hide my horrified reaction, thinking “Great, back to the drawing board!”
But my husband surprised me by saying he liked hearing the negative reaction because it didn’t change his emotional connection to our choice.
Name crisis averted, but lesson learned: Keep mum on baby name talk!
From an article about the best names from the 2014 MLB Draft by Dakota Gardner of MLB.com’s Cut4:
If you name your child “Blaze,” he’s destined for one of only two career paths: baseball pitcher or American Gladiator.
(In case you’re wondering, Blaze is indeed an American Gladiator name.)