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Monday, June 29, 2009

Baby Name to Consider: Brando

You know how sometimes a name will seem to come out of nowhere? The Baby Name Wizard uses the example of the name "Keaton," which a whole bunch of people "made up" all at pretty much the same time. The author Laura Wattenberg writes:
Our tastes, which feel so personal, are communal creations. Keaton? Well, it's a surname ending in "n," a style parents are flocking to for fresh ideas that sound like classic names. K in particular is a hot first letter. And don't forget that almost every parent today grew up watching Alex Keaton on Family Ties. So...thousands of parents across the country have independently "invented" the name for their kids. ...It's frankly unnerving to discover that the quirky name you've always just happened to like is now a chart topper.

OMG, don't you LOVE her? Insights like this one have CHANGED MY LIFE, and completely changed the way I think of names. And it's the same with name revivals: names that have been used before, but not recently. YES, I "thought of" Sam and Max and Joe, and then "suddenly they were everywhere." YES, I thought Isabel was a really pretty and unusual name, and then "suddenly everyone was using it." This is how it WORKS. I felt a lot better once I realized there was no avoiding it except by giving your child a name everybody hates---and even then, you may find you're just a decade ahead of the coming trend.

All of this is an introduction to a name I "thought of." It's a name I FEEL LIKE I came up with all on my own, which means that ALL OVER THE NATION other parents are inventing it too, and in fact I'm sure it has already been used.

Ready? Here it is: Brando.
  1. It's a shortened version of the name Brandon, so it has that "familiar but fresh" feeling.
  2. It brings to mind tough, handsome, manly Marlon Brando.
  3. It has the cool O ending.

Well? Well? What do you think? For me, it falls into the category of a neat name I would recommend but wouldn't use in my own family because it doesn't coordinate with our style. How about you? Do you think the name has potential? Whether you like it or not, does it seem like it could be A Name?

24 comments:

Jess said...

For me, it sounds a bit too much like a cartoon character or Rambo or something to catch on. It feels like it has huge teasing potential for the kids. But maybe I'm wrong? Let's all keep watching for the next ten years to see if this name pops up!

Rachel said...

It just looks misspelled to me. And I agree with Jess about it sounding like a cartoon character or Rambo. Not at all to my taste, but I'm curious to see what other think.

Anonymous said...

In the original 90210 Dylan called Brandon "Brando". While I think that it's a cool nickname, I don't like it as the full name. It seems like a name that the parents were trying too hard to come up with something different.

Nowheymama said...

It makes me think of 90210 where Steve always called Brandon "Brando." And then Brandon went as the godfather (Marlon Brando) to some Halloween party.

Yes, I've seen every episode. Shut up.

Nowheymama said...

HA! Jinx, Anonymous! And maybe it was Dylan. Or both of them. Whatev.

Amy said...

I wouldn't use it myself, but I think it's a good option for people who describe themselves as looking for something "unique."

Clarabella said...

Okay, don't flame me, but this sorta falls into the "things I would name my dog" category, which is qualified (by me) as being a list of interesting names that I would like to use but never name a child. However, some of my "dog names" (that sounds so terrible, but I take naming my dogs VERY seriously) do cross-over, ex: Lucy, Bronte & Nico are all names I would use for children if My Dear would let me. Brando, though, I don't think I could name a baby, although I highly approve of all your pros for it, Swistle.
(Word verification is Trili, another name I would not give a child.)

Jen said...

Actually one of my husband's friend from high school is named Brando and everyone ended up calling him just Do[e] alot. So to me, it doesn't seem made up or unusual. I think the one downfall to it is its closeness to Brandon and people trying to put the n on the end when they see it, thinking it is a typo.

Michelle said...

Yuck, I really dislike it, but I think you're right that we'll be seeing it soon.

Lara Jane said...

LOL! I am with the 90210 girls. It would be a cute nn for Brandon, but I wouldn't use it as a given name. (Not a surname-as-first-name kind of girl, mainly!)

Anonymous said...

Well, Dooce named her new baby Marlo; Milo and Nico are trendy with the hipsters, and I've seen Rocco and Rio thrown around... looks like "-o" is a name ending to watch. Not to mention Brando has the "offbeat celebrity name re-use" angle (Nicole Richie's daughter Harlow, for instance). So I can totally see it. I'd never use it myself, though.

Abby@AppMtn said...

As the mother of a Clio, I can totally see Brando's appeal. Still, figuring out which name is likely to "pop" is a tricky business ... I'll be watching for baby Brandos!

Amy said...

Not lovin' it. Don't even really like it. My 2 cents

Peyton said...

I love it. Mostly because of #2. I think it could just be the old-movie buff in me. I don't know that I would use it myself--not fitting with the family's (intended) style--but I think it would have really fit as one of my siblings or something. My mom would probably die over it.

Fannie said...

And it happens to be the name of a character on the series "My Boys" on TBS.

TweePopACap said...

While I see the name's merit, I unfortunately can't think of anything other than the episode of Family Guy in which Peter goes back to high school with the fake name "Lando." I think that every time I hear the name Brando, I'll think of Lando Griffin!

Frazzled Mom said...

I can see Brando catching on, but I feel Marlon is almost more deserving of a comeback. It has the n ending, but seems smoother than Aidan and Keaton. And Marlon fits the old-fashioned, and Hollywood (think Ava) trend.

Virginia Ruth said...

Whoa. I like it a lot. I don't think it will become Hot Hot Hot like Aiden and its rhyming brothers, but I could see it getting a lot of buzz from the same crowd that uses names like Milo and Felix. I hadn't thought of it myself, but I agree that it might well be the sort of name everybody thinks of at once.

I give a lot of thought to this naming zeitgeist phenomenon. One interesting thing to me is that a lot of the names that are hot now are names I loved loved loved as a girl, and which most of the grownups around me thought were weird or ugly. Olivia is the biggest case: it was my favorite name for years and years, every story character I wrote was named Olivia, and everybody I talked to said, "Olivia? Why?" They all laughed at Christopher Columbus... Anyway, now I'm wondering how many of my peers (I'm roundabout thirty) liked names like Sophia and Emma when they were little, and if the common impulses we seem to have regarding names can be dated back that far.

youcantcallitit said...

I can completely see Brando catching on, but I almost think the window when this likely would have happened has passed? Maybe though, if we see the O phenomenon take off here as it has in Europe.

My name like that is Waverly. I chose it for a fictional character years ago, and have seen it pop up on message boards and real life babies since.

tracynicole22 said...

I think it's pretty cool Swistle!

Caitlyn said...

I really like it! I might even add it to my list!

Anna said...

I don't like it but I do love Cleo & Juno. Hubby and I actually have Keaton on our list & Heaton

erin said...

Hate it, and agree it is best either as a dog name or a nickname. This post also brought back 90210 memories, so thanks for that :)

I do totally agree with the poster who said Marlon was ready for a comeback though - spot on!

wheelmaker said...

Someone I used to work with was named Brando! Guy in his late 30s.