All Articles Tagged "baby names"
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”-William Shakespeare
When it comes to matters of the heart, even the most mild-mannered, forward-thinking, calculated planners, and thinking-four-steps-ahead-looking into the future people forgo all logic and live in the moment. It’s science. The parts of our brains that are associated with reason and emotions are literally two different systems. The latter of the two isn’t even a part of the cerebral cortex–the image that is commonly thought of as the brain; it’s inside.
I bring this up because most would lose both parts of their mind if their significant other wanted to name the child they’re expecting after an ex. In an advice column on Slate, a woman sought insight on whether or not she and her husband should name their unborn daughter the same name as his ex-girlfriend.
The mother-to-be explains that before she and her partner met, he was in a long-term relationship. The ex and her beau no longer speak. However, when the inquirer got pregnant, he proposed naming the child his ex’s name. Both parties like the name because it’s nice and it’s not very common, but she’s wary of feeling weirded out by the name because of its origins. The columnist, right off the bat, said that this is unacceptable.
If one were to say the word “dog” repeatedly for a minute straight without any pausing, at first one would probably be thinking about or picturing a dog as they say it. Very shortly into this exercise, you would stop picturing a four-legged animal. Eventually, you wouldn’t be thinking about just word, how silly it sounds, and quit after about 30 seconds because you sound ridiculous saying the word “dog” over and over again. This process is called habituation: the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus. The same thing happens when you’re at a concert and the loudness seems unbearable at first and within minutes you get used to it.
The initial hesitance to name your child after your partner’s ex is understandable, but it’s strictly emotional because of the association with the name. However, think about how many times you say your child’s name. How many times do you have to tell them to stop doing something they shouldn’t be doing or referring to them in conversation? You probably do so hundreds of times within a week.
I’ll use my life as an example. My sister named her son after herself. When she announced this, I hated it because we’re siblings, so I didn’t want to associate this child I’d love dearly with someone who spent a healthy portion of my life getting on my nerves. Shortly after he was born, I don’t think of her at all if I am referring to my nephew. My daughter’s name is Cydney. While I liked the name, I wanted to spell it with an s. Seeing “Sydney” literally looks incorrect to me because I am used to how my daughter’s name is spelled, and it’s so uncommon that spell check puts a red squiggly line under Cydney.
When feelings come into play, people tend to think about the right now. In the moment, no one would be thinking about this and could care less about habituation. Everyone has different motivations for why they want to give their offspring certain names and unless you’re a single parent, all names and reasons for them should be discussed. Usually, the names parents throw out in month one of the pregnancy are long-forgotten anyway.
All that being said, would you name your child after your partner’s ex?
Baby names with African origins have proven to not only be popular but powerful with its rich meanings. Today, the focus in on African baby girl names that begin with the letter ‘M’. Whether you’re upholding the everyone-in-the-family’s-name-begins-with-‘M’ tradition or you’re just on a genuine quest for a meaningful baby name, then this list is for you. Click continue to explore these meaningful African baby girl names listed in the popular go-to-guide for expectant parents The Complete Book of Baby Names.
The name Mutia means an honored woman.
Last week modelpreneur Tyra Banks announced that she and her Norwegian boyfriend welcomed a baby via surrogate. For those of us who caught wind of her fertility issues it was exciting news. And right after wanting to know the baby’s sex – it’s a boy – comes the name. What did they name their celebaby?
York Banks Asla.
York BANKS Asla.
Banks is all I hear. Some names aren’t very tuckable, especially when they represent a woman who is worth an estimated $90 million, who became a supermodel in her teens and a successful entrepreneur not long after. Banks spells money and power, so when you name a baby that all other names disappear.
Welcome to the world Baby Banks!
So it makes you wonder how her man feels about that. Is he cool sharing his son’s last name with Tyra who is so clearly dominating the name game? It’s not very traditional considering a kid usually gets the dad’s last name (alone) if the couple is happily together like Tyra and her man.
I bring it up to one of my male friends to see if I’m making something out of nothing, and he’s convinced that her dude ain’t happy.
“Look, it’s about money and power. Tyra is going to get what she wants because the more money you have in a relationship the more demands you gonna make. It’s her man, her baby, her money, her agenda. You either roll with it or you don’t,” he says.
“Personally, as head of the family my kids will get my name alone. It’s just right because if there’s danger behind that door over there, I’ll be quickly reminded by my wife that I’m the man and I have to go check it out. Call it traditional or old fashioned, I don’t care.”
Okay, so there are still guys out there who care about the baby’s last name. I guess it all comes down to what you’re willing to trade. I think about Stedman who has been with Oprah over 20 years, they were engaged in 1992, but never married. She’s the one who goes around talking about how she doesn’t believe in marriage while Stedman is eerily quiet. I don’t think he’s the reason they aren’t married.
I mean, what man wouldn’t wanna wife Oprah? Even Dave Chappelle put a ring on it in one of his most hilarious Chappelle’s Show sketches. But hey, it’s the price you pay to be with Oprah. You can’t deny that the perks are good. What, are you going to give her an ultimatum?
But it’s not just celebs willing to trade. It’s the regular Joe Schmo, too. How much do you want to please the woman you’re with? I was reading about a case where a Korean woman was married to an American man and when they had kids she gave them her Korean last name to connect them to their roots. Now dad was supposedly happy to oblige, but it’s complicated. Dude has to get a notarized letter whenever he flies alone with his kids because airlines don’t know who the heck he is. The kids look Korean and they have a different last name. Did he kidnap them?
Okay, so getting back to my King Of His Castle friend and Ms. Tyra Banks, I have one last question…
“If given the opportunity to be with Tyra would you share the kid’s last name?
Want to give your baby a head start? You might want to consider a gender-neutral name. Studies show that kids with one are more successful in competitive fields like law. Plus, they’ll have something in common with all the other babies with these gender-neutral names that have been seriously trending over the last few years.
No, the name Saint didn’t make the list, but one of the end-of-year list we look forward to most is the roundup of the top baby names of the year.
The Social Security Administration’s official list won’t be published until May 2016, but BabyCenter has polled its sizable audience (340,000 parents) to find out what the masses named their babies in 2015.
The top names for girls and boys—Sophia and Jackson, respectively—were the very same as last year. Meanwhile, some new naming trends emerged in 2015, including folks naming their tots after Instagram filters, seriously—Lux, Juno, Valencia, Willow, Reyes, Ludwig, and Amaro included.
Names associated with the ruling class—Royalty, Royal, Duchess, Reign, Keiser, and King—are on the rise. And then there are cosmos-inspired monikers (Moon, Luna, Stella, Sunny, Star, Venus), gender-bending names, and those inspired by YouTube stars (Kingsley, Link) and video game heroines (Joule, Meryl, Lulu).
Below, we’ve listed the first 25 of the top baby names 2015 for both girls and boys. You can check out the full list of the top 100 names for girls and boys here.
Back in the day, naming your son after his father was an honored family tradition. You’d have Eddie and lil’ Eddie. No one questioned whether it was a good idea, and when you spent 20 minutes on the phone talking to Bobby Sr. instead of Junior you laughed and kept on going.
Today, however, names are big business and one of the best ways to set a kid up right is by giving him a unique name. People are abandoning those more respectable, oftentimes biblical names, in favor of monikers like Jayden, Bryce and even Sundjata. In fact, people want names that set their kid apart from not only dad, but the world.
Like really, was there a Shemar Moore before there was a Shemar Moore? Probably not, since his name is a combo of his mother and father. Now boys named Shemar are common… forget about the number of boys, and in some cases girls, named Kobe. Who knows?–thinks the parent–maybe he’ll follow in that person’s footsteps?
But really, is everything old not good? There are benefits to keeping up traditions in naming your child that still make sense today.
Are you thinking about what to name your son? You’ll want to read these reasons why you should–or shouldn’t–name your son after his dad.
REASONS TO NAME YOUR SON AFTER HIS FATHER
1. A 1940’s study showed that III’s, IV’s and V’s don’t have as many mental health issues as the general population. So the peace of mind that comes from having a family name can increase your chances of birthing the next Bill Gates III or Tom Cruise IV.
2. A 1980 study showed that sons named after their dad had fewer behavioral problems, which makes sense because a kid is constantly aware that he is carrying that name. It’s like having dad breathing down your neck.
3. It’s the ultimate family bond. Dad’s tend to take a special interest in their namesakes.
4. It gives your son something to live into. George Bush Jr. Definitely followed in the footsteps of George Bush Sr.
5. When dad has a fancy name like Sammy Davis Jr. It’s like automatic PR.
6. When you want to LOCK DOWN YOUR MAN. It’s harder to walk out on a namesake.
7. A family name is handy when you just don’t want to spent countless hours coming up with a name. Just name him after your dad already!
Alicia Keys is to Egypt. Erykah is to Puma. Jill is to Jett. Kelis is to Knight. Ciara is to Future. Lil’ Kim is to Royal Reign. Beyonce is to Blue Ivy, and Kelly Rowland is to Titan Jewell.
With the recent birth of Kelly Rowland’s new addition, Titan Jewell, you can’t deny how unique and unexpected the chosen name is. Admittedly, when I initially learned her son’s name, I was a bit disappointed, and so was everyone else. Being a fan of Kelly’s, I was expecting something more. I don’t know what, just something more. Then after I learned the story behind the name, I decided to give her a pass. Then it dawned on me – I was doing exactly what I’ve known people to do in the past, judge and challenge the chosen name of a child. Kelly and her husband have explained that the name is special to their family. The name, Titan, means powerful, influential being. I should understand significant baby naming, given I too had named my own son an abundantly meaningful name. So who was I to judge?
I had always said when I had children their names would represent great significance and not just “sound good.” I remember as a kid not liking my birth name, self-proclaiming it as “ghetto” with no cool story behind it. “It sounded good,” is what my mother told me. To me, the chosen name was an afterthought since my mother originally had another name in mind, but somewhere between my mother’s pushing and her signing the birth certificate, she changed her mind. Long story short, my aunt proposed a different name and my mother went with it. As a child, I vowed that none of children’s names would be “ethnic,” contrary to my own birth name. As an adult, I learned my birth named meant “born on the 25th day.” Ironically, I was (I doubt my aunt knew this). So I guess I was meant for the name afterall.
Within two months of my own pregnancy I had solidified my son’s name, but chose to keep it a secret until birth, because I wasn’t interested in other people’s thoughts and opinions of the name. My friends hated my silence on the name and couldn’t believe that I was staying mum about something so simple. Even colleagues and strangers pried for the name but I didn’t budge. A month before delivery I told my parents and brother the name. Instantly, they loved the name. My dad was moved by the power of the name. Still, I wasn’t looking for any validation. The name was deemed special to me for personal reasons and that was enough.
The name: Harlem Shiloh
Harlem, because New York will forever hold a special place in my heart. It marked a lot of firsts – my first big girl job, my first big girl apartment. Harlem represented dreams – my dreams, in particular. Living in Harlem was the best time of my life. It represented good times with awesome people. To date, Harlem is my favorite place to be in New York. It’s full of life, and its people move to the beat of their own drum. It has flava like no other (despite what Brooklynites say). And let’s not forget the strength of its history – the Harlem Renaissance. Fittingly, I prayed that my son would be a movement all of his own.
Shiloh, meaning peace; a place of tranquility. I literally prayed this over my unborn son’s life (and my belly) every day of pregnancy. What I want(ed) more than anything was for my son to live in peace (and happiness), stress less, and confident in his own skin.
This was my boy’s unique name. This would be his story. But it’s less about uniqueness, and more about speaking meaning and purpose into your child’s life.
Did you give your child a unique name? Have you constantly had to explain its significance?
I was on the phone the other day with a receptionist at a doctors office. The woman was having me spell my daughter’s name for what had to be the 100th time. I try to be patient when this happens because I know her first name is long–11 letters–and African. It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before. So when I begin to detect this woman’s tone changing, I make sure to chill. We’ll get there eventually.
And when we do, she lets out an exasperated sigh and says, “Why’d you give that child that name?”
“Excuse me?” I say, not sure if I heard her correctly.
“Why’d you give her a name that she’d be lucky if she can pronounce, let alone spell?”
I put the phone down and start taking off my earrings. Had this woman lost her mind? Of all the rude comments! And to think that she was representing someone’s business. I’m a second away from reaching into the phone to grab her neck when I remind myself that I knew this would happen. In fact, I almost didn’t give my daughter this name because of people like that receptionist.
“You can’t name her that!” said just about everyone when I told them the name I had chosen for my unborn child. Others would just start singing, ‘Mama Say Mama Sa Mama Coosa’ from Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” They said it reminded them of that song. At one point, I stopped telling people because I didn’t want to hear it anymore.
What they failed to see was that I loved the name from the moment I first heard it. Ever fall in love with a sound? For some it’s the sweet cackle of a baby’s giggle, for me it was the rhythm of this name. Like music to my ears. The fact that it was African made it even better. Not just because my husband is African, but because I wanted a name that my child could live in to, a name that whenever spoken would create images of gold lit skies, and darkness. Black like the continent itself. And meaning? Yes, it has that too. This name means something.
Yet, it’s funny how I still had doubts.
“Do you have a name?” asked the doctor who delivered my daughter as she placed her on top of me, still wet and slippery like a fish freshly out of the water.
I was tired. Exhausted from a natural birth that had me laboring for 24 hours. Finally, I told her the short version because in that moment, I was no longer sure. Would I dare give her a name with 11 letters and five syllables? Would she be able to get a job? What if she was a gentle soul incapable of handling the teasing and insults that might come her way? Heck, what if she didn’t like it?
“Okay,” said the doctor, letting the name roll off of her tongue. “What’s the long version?” I spit it out. Every. Last. Syllable. There. Say what you want.
“Girl, you betta give that child all that name!”
We both laughed and in that moment I knew that I couldn’t go halfway. Why? To make it easy? To please other people? I’d been doing that my whole life and where had it gotten me? If I couldn’t stand for the name I wanted to give my child when would I ever stand for anything? This name was for both my child and me.
I think about the receptionist on the other end of the phone. Right now she represents all the ignorance and prejudice that will surely be a part of my daughter’s future.
How would I want her or anyone for that matter to respond?
Patience? Tried that.
Maybe I’d meet fire with fire.
I pick up the phone, and this time it is my tone that has changed. “Listen, Ma’am, I’m sorry if this name isn’t convenient for you, but from what I know you’re a receptionist not the name police. Mind your business.”
Check out Erickka Sy Savané’s column, Pop Mom Daily, right here or visit PopMomDaily.com. Before Erickka became a writer/editor, she was a model, actress, and MTV VJ. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Jersey City. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Thinking of a meaningful yet unique name for your new baby can be a difficult task. We love being helpful for the moms-to-be who may need help conjuring up some ideas and ways to get creative for a name. Consider naming your child according to the day of the week they were born? There are a lot of baby names with African origins that you can choose from for each day of the week. Did you know that Kofi is an African name usually used for baby boys which means to be born on a Friday? Click continue to learn more.
African Baby Names for Each Day of the Week
Main image, Shutterstock
For most moms-to-be the baby-naming-journey can be both exciting yet challenging. Most times, it’s important to select a unique name with meaning and family significance, but it’s not always easy to do so. If you’re looking to be inspired by other mommies or curious about popular baby names in New York, click continue!
17 Popular Baby Names in New York for Boys and Girls