Apr 25, 2011
6:14 PM | Posted by Elana | Edit Post
"In a world where too many babies are named Ashley and Jayden and too many baby name books are saccharine pink and blue, here comes something singular: a book that brings meaning, taste, character, a little bit of attitude, and a refreshing lack of trendiness to the art of naming a baby. Bring Back Beatrice! is a clarion call for parents who know they are naming not just a cuddly newborn, but a human being — a person who will be proud to carry a name like Iris, meaning rainbow (after the Greek messenger goddess who connected the heavens to the earth); Bennett, the medieval form of the name Benedict, meaning 'blessing;' Henry, good enough for eight English kings — after all, it means 'home ruler;' Diana, the Roman goddess of hunting, the allegorical antecedent of the virgin Queen Elizabeth, and alter-ego of Wonder Woman; or Beatrice, an old-fashioned beauty with roots in both Dante and Shakespeare.
Bring Back Beatrice! winnows down the universe of names to 1,546 mostly classic examples, and it makes a strong case for each, featuring the name’s definition, its use in history, its connotations and subtleties, its 'meaning' in the fuller sense. Included are variations, nicknames, and, especially useful for readers, alternatives — names that have the same flavor, but may sound better with a particular last name or family background. There’s a guide to the basic rules of baby naming: scansion — the sounds, syllables, and rhythm of a name, and how it goes with a last name — ethnic traditions, recent trends, effective use of a middle name, plus an invaluable 'flaky test.' Still considering a quirky name? Just imagine yourself buckling in for a flight when a voice comes on, saying, 'I’m your captain, (insert quirky name here).' What do you think now?"
About the Author:
"Jennifer Griffin is the author of Humpty Who? She is a writer, literary agent, and mother who lives with her family in New York City."
What a great book of names! My only gripe is that they don't have my name in there anywhere. *sigh* My name is never in baby books, except the Jewish ones! The way the names are presented is especially helpful, and even before you get to the names the author writes about different things that need to be thought of before you make that final decision. Things like length of the name, nicknames, monograms and naming trends.
Then, each name is presented with its meaning in detail, potential nicknames and alternative names you might like even better. Throughout each section are also lists of names in categories. For example, maybe you want to name your daughter after a famous female political figure. Well, there's a list of several female political figures. Maybe you want her name to be traditional. Well, there's a list of some traditional names along with short meanings. Also, there are many names that have a special baby pin marking to signify that the author thinks these names are underused and should come back into style. Names like Penelope, Gwendolyn, Ralph and Albert...and, of course, Beatrice.
This book can be so helpful to expectant parents who want to name their children but are having a very difficult time deciding. So the next time you're thinking of naming your child something bizarre, take a moment to think about how that might affect your child and what perfectly wonderful alternatives there are out there.
Cost: You can buy Bring Back Beatrice! for $8.05 from Amazon.com. ($$$)
Overall: We give Bring Back Beatrice! a 9/10!
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We received a copy of "Bring Back Beatrice!" free of charge for the sole purpose of this review; no other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.