Well yeah—that didn’t take long, did it? Turns out that as original as Beyonce and Jay-Z thought they were being when they named their daughter Blue Ivy Carter, chances are she probably won’t be the only “Blue” out on the soccer field. That’s because everybody and their unoriginal mama is borrowing the name for their own newborn daughters, making it one of the “hottest names of 2012.”
Nameberry.com, the baby naming site run by the experts behind the bestselling book The Baby Name Bible, says Beyonce and Jay-Z’s choice of Blue for their daughter “catapulted this stylish but quietly-used color name to superstardom,” with the numbers of parents viewing the name Blue rising more than 600 percent on Nameberry in the first half of the year.
Blue joins a strange list of most viewed baby names of the year thus far—many of which are tied to characters in popular movies, TV shows and ancient rome, including names from Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Gladiator and even Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming slave action flick, Django. o_O
I mean, I guess there are a bunch of 30-somethings named Kizzy walking around—the TV Epic, Roots, featuring a slave woman by that name, debuted in 1977, 35 years ago. When you’re thinking up a name for your kid, you find your inspiration where you can get it. But you’ll have to forgive me: I’m finding it hard to reconcile that when my Mari is old enough to babysit, she just might be pulling Saturday night shifts watching over children named Django, Decimus (from the Hunger Games), Theon (from the George R.R. Martin fantasy series), Halcyon (the name of actress Beth Littleford’s baby girl), Arya (from Game of Thrones), Gatsby (after the classic novel) and Niall (one of the curiously-styled singers in the boy band One Direction).
Of course, each of these beats the hell out of La-ah (pronounced Luh-DASH-Uh), a name that keeps popping up in yearbooks from Texas to Georgia and Florida. Southerners are some really creative, colorful people to come up with a baby name that substitutes actual dashes for letters. *insert image of Denene making a loooooong blank stare*
I’m not going to front: there was some celebrity name thought that went into my daughters’ names. I adored Mekhi Phifer’s first name so much that it found its way into my first novel, Love Don’t Live Here Anymore—the character’s name is Mekhi and her nickname is Mikki—and eventually got chosen as Mari’s middle name. (It would have been her first name, with the nickname Mikki, but Nick put his foot down on that one—talmbout Mekhi is a “boy” name.) Years later, after I interviewed Mekhi Phifer for Honey magazine and found out what a neanderthal he was to his ex, Malinda Williams, I was grateful my child answers to Mari.
Later, when I got pregnant with my second daughter, I wanted her name to be Schuyler, with Sky as her nickname. The inspiration? An old white guy who ran New York City’s Cultural Affairs department under former mayor Rudolph Giuliani—Schuyler Chapin. I just liked the name. Nick chimed in that it was a “boy” name and that was the end of that. I also considered Selah, a beautiful Bible word that means “Amen” or “forever”; I thought it was such a lovely, feminine name—rich in meaning. Biblical. Later, though, I remembered that it was the name of Lauryn Hill’s first daughter and I didn’t want my daughter to spend the rest of her life explaining that she was NOT named after L-Boogie’s baby, so we went with a name that has much more personal meaning to us: Lila Elisabeth, after my grandmother and mother. It’s sweet, feminine and, a decade ago, was pretty uncommon.
Of course, the name “Lila” made it onto Nameberry’s “Top Boy and Top Girl Baby Names of 2012” after going a decade virtually undetected, debuting at No. 10 among the names parents are most likely to choose for their children. I can’t blame them—it is a lovely name. I’ve heard that it’s Arabic for “Lilac,” means “night” in Persian, “Divine play” in Sanskrit and “Good” in Swahili—all words that accurately describe my baby girl, who is a ball of chocolately, flowery, divine goodness. We chose well.
Here’s to hoping the people who name their babies Blue after Beyonce and Jay-Z’s girl, or, my God, Halcyon or Django, feel the same way years after their kid is out on the soccer field and the fellow parents are all, “Oh. Your kid’s name is Django. Like the movie.” o_O
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Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.