Central Valley Moms


Nameberry: Names that really work

A few months ago, we asked you wonderful Berries how you would choose to reflect your professional backgrounds in the names you give your children. Your answers were so fresh and inspiring, we decided to transform them into an article. Including a range of occupation from architects to urban planners, dentists to artists, here are your most creative ideas plus a few of our own – from Miro to Gable, Tesla to Deemer and beyond.


Who hasn’t seen an amazing structure and admired the talent that went into its construction? Architecture is a form of art, but beyond the beautiful buildings, an untapped niche of architecturally inspired baby names is ready to be excavated. Beyond Frank or Lloyd or Wright, the names of features of buildings themselves make for fantastic names – try Gable, Temple, Story or Pier. All these names are so unusual that they would work for either gender.


Several names from the art world are newly stylish, including the lush Georgia (Georgia O’Keefe) and Paloma, as in the daughter of Pablo Picasso. Actor Chad Lowe even has a daughter named Mabel Painter. Creative-minded parents wanting to bestow an artistic name on their child might consider Miro, as in Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro, Artemisia, as in the Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, or Monet, as in Frenchman Claude Monet. Other artful artist names include Dali, Renoir, Whistler (for the artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who is known best for “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1,” also known as Whistler’s Mother) and Mona, as in the mysteriously smiling portrait.


Like the food they describe, terms dealing with cooking are often flavorful and evocative, which is why a chef looking to express her background may want to look to the following baby name delicacies: Lemon, Benedict, Sage and Baker.

Computer Programmer

One may think the language of computers wouldn’t translate well into baby name inspiration, but it turns out that some major computer innovators were gifted with great names – try Ada, (Augusta Ada, considered to be the first computer programmer), Brin (Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google), Page (for Lawrence Page, other co-founder of Google), Berry favorite Linus, (as in Linus Torvald, creator and developer of the Linux kernel), or Radia, for Radia Perlman, the inventor of the spanning tree protocol.


Admittedly, the mouth doesn’t seem like the richest mining ground for new names. Well, beyond Molar or Crown, it turns out that parents looking to honor their dental backgrounds have some intriguing choices to consider: How about Apollonia, the patron saint of dentists. For a boy, Campbell or Nash might shine – Campbell is a Scottish surname meaning “crooked mouth,” and Nash is a clever play on the word “gnash” suggested by one creative Berry!

Doctors and Nurses

If you’re looking to pay homage to a career in the health field, there are some truly admirable namesakes to choose from: among them vintage gem Edith, as in nurse Edith Cavell, British war heroine, Florence, for Florence Nightingale, Avicenna, a decidedly feminine appellation which belonged to a prominent medieval male physician who penned the “Book of Healing” and the “Canon of Medicine.” Galen is an ancient physician who studied the relationship between paralysis and severance of the spinal cord. And finally, the intriguingly unisex Ellis, the first name of a female doctor who set quite an example for other women by opening up her own medical practice in 1878.

Gardeners and Florists

If you’ve got a green thumb, maybe you’ve considered the blooming beauties Rose, Lily, or Violet for your little girl, but still want something just a bit more daring. For all the gardeners and florists out there, try: Gardenia, Eden, the name of the Biblical garden paradise, Garth, a surname meaning “garden” in Old Norse, or even sweet Carmel, meaning “garden” in Hebrew.


If you work in defense of the law, perhaps you’d like a name that reflects that dedication to “justice for all.” Some monikers that will ensure that your baby grows up to be a law-abiding citizen include the contemporary update of Justin, virtue name Justice, Deemer (an English and Scottish surname meaning “judge”), Eurydice (“wide justice” in Greek), and Abidan (“my father is judge” in Hebrew).


Few work more closely with melodies and intricacies of sounds than musicians, and musical parents are sure to be in tune with equally lyrical names for their babies: Viola, for the stringed instrument, also shares a Shakespeare reference, Gibson, a nod to the iconic guitar brand, sounds appropriate for a little rocker, Calliope, with its galloping Greek rhythm, sounds suitably musical, and means “beautiful voice” – (it is also the name of an instrument) – and the delicate Aria sings right off the tongue.


Several of the most famous minds in history have been scientists, and, interestingly enough, their names make wonderful and inventive “discoveries.” There’s Tesla (Nikola Tesla, inventer of the radio, among other things), Darwin (for the influential “The Origin of Species” author Charles Darwin), Newton (as in Isaac, of universal gravitation and the laws of motion), and Edison (the famous American christened Thomas Alva, who “discovered” electricity). Coincidentally, Edison was also a gifted namer; among his children were Marion Estelle, Theodore Miller and William Leslie.

Urban Planner

From New York City to New Delhi, urban planners make sure a city’s land and resources are utilized to their utmost potential. Since ancient times, certain titles have been used to designate those who lived near urban settlements – Kirby, meaning “church settlement,” makes a cute choice for a boy or girl, Murray, a Scottish name meaning “seaboard settlement,” is a pleasant vintage pick, Townes, a surname with an obvious correlation, sounds both preppy and modern, and Urban, which boasts a historical and saintly background in addition to its nod to urban planning, is a surprisingly underused pick.


If there’s anyone who understands the importance of naming, it’s a writer – names are ultimately words, and a writer lives and breathes words. The old practice of taking names of characters from favorite literature is a good one, but for some particularly edgy inspiration, try: Sonnet, Quillan, which shortens to the attractive Quill (and even boasts a gorgeous geographical reference to France), Booker, associated with the influential Booker T. Washington, or even Dewey, as in the decimal system.

Nameberry is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of 10 bestselling baby name guides, including the newest, “Beyond Ave and Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby.” See more at http://nameberry.com .

2012, Nameberry.com

See more http://nameberry.com


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