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Baby Names of the Week: Nixon and Kinslee

The weekend is just around the corner and as every Friday we are ready to introduce our weekly contest winners. Last week’s Daeshaun and Harmony would seem rather conventional compared to the new victors. Get your ovations ready as we are proud to present this week’s sweethearts: Nixon Russell and Kinslee Nicole!

It has become customary in our blog comments that no name is just a regular given name, and this week’s winners are no exception to the rule. Let’s uncover the meanings of these names and hope that the parents will help us understand why they picked a last name for first and a boy’s name for a girl.

The origin of the name Nixon is a little bit obscure. Some sources suggest the meaning of ‘fearless’ from Old English, but more likely it is derived from Nicholas as Nick’s son or Nicholas’s son. Nicholas itself has been a popular masculine given name for centuries. It originates in Greek and means ‘people’s triumph’. One of the famous bearers was Saint Nicholas, bishop of Lyra, who most likely serves as an inspiration for Santa Claus. Until recently, the name Nixon was only used as a surname, needless to introduce its most famous, or rather infamous bearer Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States and one of the key characters in the Watergate affair. Not long ago you might have spotted Cynthia Nixon, an American actress playing the part of Miranda Hobbes in the Sex in the City series.

The story of Kinslee is much more complicated. It is a spelling modification of the name Kinsley, itself most likely derived from Kingsley, in both cases the usage being masculine. Kingsley was originally used as a surname in Old English, meaning ‘king’s meadow’. The English actor Ben Kingsley from the 1982 film Gandhi would probably be the most recent famous bearer.  It wasn’t until the 20th century when Kingsley broke through as a given name as well, as would be the case of Kingsley Amis, an English novelist and author of Lucky Jim. It looks like both Kinsley and Kingsley are still waiting for their happy chance as feminine names because so far, you could count the girls on the fingers of one hand.

So, dear moms and soon-to-be moms, rather than Nixon, shouldn’t history inspire us to choose names like Kennedy or Reagan, or simply anyone who wasn’t forced to leave the presidential office in the face of impeachment? And as for Kinslee, aren’t all the feminist tendencies in baby naming getting a little too old?

Love us or hate us for taking a stand of tradition and simplicity, but definitely tell us what you think!

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  1. Dana D. says:

    Cute names. That’s all!

  2. Tina says:

    The name Nixon for a girl is strong and different and only there is no reason to only associate it with an ex president. It’s a great name and hopefully more will see that. This generation has little association with Richard Nixon- silly. My Nixon Rose is fearless and unique!!