All Articles Tagged "baby names"
Soon-to-be parents everywhere are furiously searching the web for the coolest baby names—some predictable favorites, and some newer picks growing in popularity. Looking for more baby names options? Check out our list of top New York baby names, names that are inspired by spring and summer and the top names of 2015.
2016’s top baby name picks for girls are:
2016’s top baby name picks for boys are:
Whether you watched the original 1977 miniseries, Roots, or the 2016 remake, you remember when the beaten and bloody Kunta Kinte, a strong Mandinka warrior, finally succumbed to his American slave name, “Toby.” For African Americans, the pressure to assimilate to European culture and to subjugate African American culture is a struggle as old as “The Middle Passage.” What some call “Black Pride” has had sporadic mainstream relevance via Africana movements and organizations like The Black Panther Party, The Move People, and The Nation of Islam.
Now we have The Obama Effect!
A Texas A&M University study published in the Ethnics and Racial Studies journal discovered that post the 2008 election of President Barack Obama, culturally relevant names have been trending amongst African Americans parents.
According to Anderson-Clark and Green, the election of the first African American President was ‘likely to have positively affected the self-perceptions of African Americans regarding personal and collective feelings about being African American’. It would only follow, then, that African American parents might choose to reinforce their pride in their group identity through the names they chose for their children — a process called “basking in reflected glory.”
An article by Science Daily reports:
To find out if this was indeed the case, Anderson-Clark and Green analyzed the names of hundreds of African American babies born both before and after Obama’s election. They also measured their mothers’ personal and collective self-esteem with the help of questionnaires.
While naming a child according to one’s own racial or ethnic pride is a great thing, the Texas A&M researchers remind parents to be wary of the “unintended consequences” of giving their child such unique names.
“The ethnic sound of a child’s name may affect how the child is treated by others, such as teachers,” Anderson-Clark and Green wrote. “In reality then, the issue becomes a balancing act of choosing to affirm one’s racial identity through the expression of names while attempting to avoid the prejudice and discrimination that might be elicited through those names.”
There is a famous quote by Shakespeare that poetically reflects on the power of a name.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Is a Black man named Barack more proud of his ethnicity than a Black man named Michael? In the realm of credibility, is the boy named Joseph a better student than the boy named Nasir? Is there any way to actually prevent discrimination against ethnic names?
The study, “Basking In Reflected Glory: The Election of President Obama and Naming Behaviour,” was able to track a trend in what names parents chose for their children before and after The Obama Effect. It implies that a Black man with an ethnic name in position as the President of The United States of America boosts the confidence of other Black persons to take pride in their heritage. It also refers to the names of the newborns as means of identification and celebration of the African American culture.
What’s in your name? Does it give you pride? How much does your name matter in the scope of your cultural identity? We want to know!
Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience, a multi-media inspirational platform. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace.
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.
As an expectant mommy-to-be searching for the perfect baby name could be tricky. But no worries, there are many creative ways to get unique ideas for a baby name. If you’re like us and you love the spring and summer seasons, perhaps this time of the year could be your number one source for inspiration. We looked to the Baby Names Treasury for spring and summer inspired baby names and we love what we found.
Maia is a popular baby name for girls which means the great one. In mythology; the goddess of spring/a brave warrior.
Season is a unique baby name which means a fertile woman; one who embraces change.
June means one who is youthful and born during the month of June.
Kelby is such a cute name for a baby boy which means from the farm near the spring.
Leland is a unique name for a baby boy which means from the meadowland.
Mayer is a name usually used for baby boys which means a large man/ farmer / one who is shining bright.
Eartha is a name used for baby girls which means woman of the earth.
Lily is a name for a baby girl which means, resembling the flower; one who is innocent and beautiful.
Rose is a popular baby name which means resembling the beautiful and meaningful flower.
Meadow is a name used for girls which means from the beautiful field.
While you’re on the journey to find a meaningful name for your baby, finding inspiration can be extremely hard. Especially when you have little time to quiet your mind and summon a muse. As always we are big on resources and books—one of the books that we’ve been perusing is a popular 2011 baby-name guide by Emily Larson, The Best Baby Names Treasury: Your Ultimate Naming Resource. We highly recommend it! In this gem, you’ll discover many helpful tips for your journey. The book suggests several creative ways to get ideas for a unique baby name. We did the flipping for you—when you click continue, you’ll see some of the tips that Larson suggests that will inspire your imagination (plus we included a few of our own.)
Have you tried blending your name with your husband’s or putting an interesting spin on it? Maybe if you play around with both your names, you may surprise yourself with something interesting.
Find a theme
Choose a theme and look within it. Larson suggests the theme ‘American cities’ which has great names such as Brooklyn, Austin, Lexington. Brainstorm themes with your friends and family.
Oftentimes parents look to the arts and name their children after an artist that inspired them growing up. For instance, the singer Mya was named after the great Maya Angelou. Who inspired you growing up?
While you’re on this quest talk to as many people as you can. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll discover from these daily conversations.
That includes co-workers too
If you’re still going to work, talk to the office, ask them their thoughts on a baby name.
Get to the Library
If you can, go to your local library, make use of their research databases and other resources! Start researching everything, you’ll be very surprised at what a trip to the library can inspire.
Your family tree
Get inspiration from your ancestors. Trace your family tree as far as you can and you just might find the inspiration you’ve been looking for.
Now you can put the globes and maps that have been in your home for years to good use.
There are few things more engaging, informative and entertaining than a gathering of intelligent Black people. This past weekend, I trekked from Harlem to Brooklyn to attend such a gathering. And as usual, I was not disappointed. We talked about racial tensions at our alma mater that had finally come to a head, bad dates, HBCUs vs. PWIs, and most interestingly, the intersection of social media and our past lives.
What started off as talk of 10-year-high school reunions turned into a discussion about how social media has granted us access to information we never would have known in the past and arguably, might not need to know today. We talked about the fact that you know not only the relationship status but even the inner workings of said relationships because of Facebook or Twitter. We know how many children someone has had since we graduated high school. And the odd couple from college who got married suddenly.
And perhaps most interestingly, we know, for better or worse, what our exes have been doing since we parted ways.
It was then that my friend from college shared a very interesting story.
Like so many of us, after the breakup she decided to remain Facebook friends with her ex. The two dated two-three years ago and recently, he just so happened to pop up on her newsfeed. She learned that since the last time she’d checked; not only had he gotten married, his wife had recently given birth to a baby girl. Babies are always blessings, so she liked the picture of the little girl and then kept scrolling to find out more information.
After a few scrolls, she found that the little girl had a very interesting name, her name.
Now, for clarification purposes, let me just not that my friend’s name is not Ashley, Kate or Sarah. It’s quite unique and quite Afrocentric. For the sake of anonymity, I won’t use her real name but think along the lines of Fatima.
Most of us, American born Black folk, don’t meet too many Fatimas in our life times. And interestingly enough, her boyfriend wasn’t even American Black. He was Latino and White. So, I would assume that he too hadn’t run into too many Fatimas during his day either.
But after dating a Fatima, for just about a year, he decided that it would be a suitable name for his daughter, something he and his wife would call her for the rest of her life. My friend “Fatima” who had liked the picture of the girl, quickly scrolled back up to remove her like, not wanting to cause any strife in her ex’s household. Imagine what his wife would think to see Fatima liking a picture of her daughter Fatima on her husband’s page. Obviously, since she’s his Facebook friend she would know the two had some type of connection. And Fatima reasoned that if he hadn’t told his wife about the inspiration behind their daughter’s name, she didn’t want to be the one to expose it and cause any tension in their household.
While my friend said a part of her was a bit flattered by the name choice, she also found it exceptionally weird and inappropriate. (I leaned more toward the latter sentiment.) Maybe he just really liked the meaning of Fatima. And maybe we’re all just a little too self centered to see that some people are big enough to disassociate the name from the memories they have with and of a particular person. Still, there’s something strange about calling your daughter by the name of your former romantic partner.
What do you think about naming a child after an ex? Does it mean that they’re not over you and want to honor you in some way? Or does it just meant that they happened to like the name? Also, if you were to discover that your husband named your child after one of his exes, what would you do?
by Sujeiry Gonzalez
Over 35 and considered “high risk” in my pregnancy, I opted for the Panorama screening, where they check for Down Syndrome via the baby’s chromosomes. This meant I could also discover my baby’s gender early on in my pregnancy. At 12 weeks, my fiancé, Dave, and I sat in our living room with gender envelope in hand. Secretly, I wanted a girl and had already picked out a first and middle name. The night before the reveal I even doodled her name hoping it would influence the outcome. Dave, on the other hand, made it clear that a note in blue ink stating, “It’s a boy!” would make him get up and dance. Not like he needs incentive to salsa the night away…
So, there we were about to find out who would get their wish. “We’ll do it together,” he said, before unsealing the envelope and handing it back to me. I pulled out the sheet of paper and there it was: “It’s a boy!” And there went Dave, salsa dancing on the living room carpet.
I was disappointed.
“We need a name!” I exclaimed to Dave. I knew that naming him would help me connect with him and embrace the idea that, yes, I have a penis growing inside of me.
I performed a Google search and read lists upon lists of baby boy names. After an hour, I selected my top five and discussed the options with Dave. We settled on two names. At about 4:00 a.m., after tossing and turning for hours, I was certain what his name would be, wrote it down on a Post-it and stuck it on the bathroom mirror for Dave to see in the morning.
What is it? I rather not say. I don’t want any of you pregos stealing my baby name, much like what happened with Charlotte in “Sex and the City.” Sure, she wasn’t pregnant when she chose the name, but how dare Lainey steal it before she had a chance to get knocked up?!
It might seem silly, but choosing a baby name that is original enough and that you adore is important to moms-to-be. We guard the name with our lives, fearing a pregnant woman would love it as much as we do – and then steal it! What’s a mom-to-be to do? Call dibs? Shot gun? Nope and nope. You keep your baby name under lock and key, as if it held the secret to world domination.
Oh, it’s that serious. Recently, I went to lunch with Dave and his co-worker and her spouse, who are also expecting. She is having a baby girl and I asked her, “Do you have a name?” She nodded but didn’t reveal it.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what is it?” I pried. I figured she’d tell me, I’m having a boy.
“I rather not.”
“Superstition?” I kept prying. Some Latinos believe you shouldn’t share an unborn baby’s name for fear of the evil eye. Then I remembered she’s Jewish.
“No…I just rather not.” Shut down.
I let it go because I get it. I might tell a friend her baby girl’s name and said friend might take ownership of her baby name. Then it becomes (gasp!) common. But, aren’t all names recycled? While growing up I was the only Sujeiry in class and pretty much everywhere else. Now, there are about a thousand Dominican Sujeiry’s running around New York City. I’m still original. I’m still me. No one can take that away.
So, I’m going to break the cycle: my baby boy’s name is…Evan.
Do with it what you wish.
“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?