old lady names

Midnight in Paris Names? Share Your Compact, Plosive, Jazz Age Favorites

Midnight in Paris Names? Share Your Compact, Plosive, Jazz Age Favorites

What's an easy way to stand out from the naming pack? Think compact and consonant-dense. As Laura Wattenberg wrote on our sister site Baby Name Wizard, today's most popular girls' names have a silky-smooth feel. They're long (Isabella is the first 4-syllable #1 name in history), with a heavy emphasis on vowels, "l's" and "n's." Out of fashion are the plosives: the sounds of B, P, D, T, G, or K, which break the flow and act like "vocal speed bumps." 

And yet shorter names with plosive sounds have a jazz age feel straight out of Midnight in Paris. Get a load of these 1920s ladies' names, from Woody Allen's latest movie, and share your favorite 1920s names below.

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Mayim Bialik Talks to Name Candy: Our Naming Process Starts With the Initials

Mayim Bialik Talks to Name Candy: Our Naming Process Starts With the Initials

Mayim Bialik won our hearts as the title character of TV's Blossom in the 1990s. Now you can catch her on the Emmy-nominated CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

NameCandy.com caught up with Mayim over e-mail as she was getting ready for the Bellies to Babies Benefit this weekend in support of the Atlanta Birth Center. Read on for the stories behind her children's names, what she calls her kids at home (Floopy?), her take on Natalie Portman's baby name, and what the name Blossom means to her.

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The Top Girl's Names of 1896

The Top Girl's Names of 1896

The world's oldest living person died this week at age 114, only 18 days away from her 115th birthday. Maria Gomes Valentim spent her entire life in Carangola, Brazil, and was the 28th oldest person to ever be documented (in case you're wondering, the oldest person ever died in 1997 at age 122). Maria was born July 9, 1896, which is the year that Utah became a state, the first X-ray was taken, and John Phillip Sousa composed Stars and Stripes Forever. She was born the same year as World War I officers, Titanic passengers, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In short: she was old!

The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager uses census data going back as far as the 1880s, so we took a look back at the names that were popular for girls in the late 1890s when Maria was born. Can you guess the most popular girl's name in the US in 1896?

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Initial Explanation: Mystery of Laila Ali's Baby Name Solved

Initial Explanation: Mystery of Laila Ali's Baby Name Solved

When Laila Ali recently announced the birth of her first daughter, Sydney J Conway, a mini-mystery in the world of celebrity baby names developed. Just what was “J” short for?

Now we can tell you: it's not short for anything!

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'Mildred Pierce' Names: Revival of the Fittest?

'Mildred Pierce' Names: Revival of the Fittest?

HBO's mini-series Mildred Pierce is based on a 1941 novel by powerhouse novelist James M. Cain. It was also made into an Oscar-winning 1945 femme fatale flick. Through the adaptations, the names have stayed the same, but their places on the popularity charts haven't. Are they ready for revival, or do they just sound old?

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A Celebrity Baby Name That Name Enthusiasts Can Love?

A Celebrity Baby Name That Name Enthusiasts Can Love?

We Name Enthusiasts gripe a lot about celebrity baby names that are "NMS," too outrageous or too boring. Is it possible that a celebrity baby name has finally arrived that Name Enthusiasts will love?

We think so. 

Jessica Capshaw, daughter of Kate Capshaw and stepdaughter of Steven Spielberg, who is a popular actress in her own right (she plays Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey's Anatomy), gave birth to a second child on October 20. The baby girl, who joins older brother

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Henrietta and the Age of Ettas Past

Henrietta and the Age of Ettas Past

On this day in 1951: a 31-year-old woman died from cancer. Without her knowledge or consent, her doctor had taken a tissue sample from her tumor. Turns out this theft was lucky for science, because the cells in that sample were the first "immortal" human cells: they could stay alive in labs, and reproduce indefinitely. These immortal cells led directly to the polio vaccine and dozens of other scientific breakthroughs, and are still used, in laboratories across the world, today.

The name of the woman? That remained a mystery for years. As was the custom, the cell line from her tissue sample was called HeLa, the first two letters of her first and the first two letters of her last names. Articles and textbooks that bothered to mention her often got her name wrong, calling her Helen Lane and other names. In fact, she was Henrietta Lacks, and her story is told in the bestselling book by Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

So that's one name mystery solved, but it raises another. Reading this book made us wonder: why is Henrietta a name you don't hear much any more? It seems a natural for the

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New Baby Alert: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Ladylike Exotics of 1925

New Baby Alert: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Ladylike Exotics of 1925

Following fast on news of Jimmie Johnson's Genevieve Marie, a new NASCAR baby: Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife, Connie Freydell, have welcomed Manuela.

Manuela is a feminine form of Manuel, the Spanish cognate of the Hebrew name meaning "god with us." It's the #96 name in Spain. In the US?

It's an old lady name.

Maneula enjoyed a long

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What Will Miranda Cosgrove Fans Name Their Babies?

What Will Miranda Cosgrove Fans Name Their Babies?

By now you know that Despicable Me, the animated film that ruled the box office last weekend, features "three adorable orphans with old-lady names." One of them -- Margo -- is voiced by Miranda Cosgrove, the popular star of Nickelodeon's iCarly. If you've read this blog lately, you know we love old lady names, so we're thrilled by Despicable Me's young Margo, Edith and Agnes. But is Margo really an old lady name? And how does its appeal compare with that of other Miranda Cosgrove character names?

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Oldest Old Lady Names: Next Year's Vintage Favorites?

Oldest Old Lady Names: Next Year's Vintage Favorites?

Old lady names like Leila, Violet and Ella are back among celebrities as well as the rest of us. On the other hand, Delma and Bernice are likely to remain unusual. Between the two extremes lie a bunch of once-popular names that haven't been on the charts in decades, but could be again soon. In this final installment of our oldest old lady names series, we offer five picks for vintage names worth reviving. These names, from living US supercentenarians and the recently deceased, haven't yet broken back into the top 1,000 in the US, but have been tapped by celebrities and the namiscenti. Are they vintage favorites of the future?

Neva

Among name enthusiasts, Nevaeh gets a bad rap. This name -- Heaven backwards -- first appeared on the charts in 2001, and has since risen to #34, which horrifies traditionalists who prefer names with long roots. But is there perhaps a more traditional name at the heart of the Neveah phenomenon?

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