literary names

New Baby Alert: Jodie Sweetin, Wild Child Star, Chooses Genteel Name

New Baby Alert: Jodie Sweetin, Wild Child Star, Chooses Genteel Name

Jodie Sweetin, AKA Stephanie Tanner on Full House, may have gone through a wild child period, but for baby number two she's picked a name that evokes the most prim and dimpled of childhoods. Sweetin and her boyfriend, DJ Morty Coyle, gave their new daughter the name of a Dutch queen, a children's author and scientist, and a female kung fu master. Surprisingly, it hasn't been much used by celebrities.

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The Baby Name of Choice in Jennifer Aniston's New Movie

The Switch, the new romantic comedy about a 40-year-old woman who decides to have a baby on her own terms, stars Jennifer Aniston and adorable newcomer, Thomas Robinson. Robinson's character is a bit prissy and something of a wee hypochondriac, but he steals the movie and pulls off his character's sophisticated name. We decided to take a closer look at the history and popularity of this ancient name.

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Bloomsday Names

Bloomsday Names

Happy Bloomsday! June 16, 1904 is the date on which Leopold Bloom wandered around Dublin in what Modern Library has hailed as the very best of all novels, Ulysses. Since the book's publication in 1922, how have the names of James Joyce's characters fared? Which celebrities have chosen Ulysses names? Which Ulysses names would we offer for contemporary babies born on Bloomsday?

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Marcel Proust: Hot Celebrity Name Guru

Marcel Proust: Hot Celebrity Name Guru

The name of Monica Bellucci's new daughter, Léonie, is straight out of Proust. Aunt Léonie it is, in fact, with whom the young Marcel dips cookies in lime tea, the memory of which dipping elicits the 4,333 pages of In Search of Lost Time.

In that book's first volume -- Swann's Way, published in 1912 -- the names hit a sweet spot between undiscovered and just plain weird. We've seen more than a few of these names named as favorites by namer cognoscenti around the web. Is it because they're from Proust? We doubt it. But Proust's book certainly gathers a great bouquet of names, and we'd be surprised not to see some of them on babies in the future. Names from Swann's Way include:

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Naming the Last Wife: Norris Church

Norris Church Mailer, the last wife (as she refers to herself) of famed playwright-novelist-journalist-man-about-town Norman Mailer, is now out with a book of her own.  A Ticket to the Circus is a memoir that chronicles her transition from provincial school teacher and single mom in Arkansas to jet-setting sixth wife of one of the 20th century's most famous American writers. 
Ms. Mailer has clearly lived a full life. (For the full-color version pick up the book or read this lively review in the New York Times)

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