|The Lambert Family at the heart of the 'Insidious' movies|
I found it so much fun finding "Halloween inspired" names that wouldn't necessarily stand out as Halloween names last October that I've decided to do it again this October. This year's first name is Lambert, inspired by the family in the movie 'Insidious' and it's current sequel 'Insidious: Chapter 2'. It's already been released in America (on the suitable spooky Friday 13th September), but is due for a Halloween release here in Australia and so far reviews have been quite positive. If you like horror movies ☺
I love a good surname name, and Lambert fits the bill quite well. Most sources have this as a German name, although I have also seen it attributed as Scandinavian and French. All seem to agree though that Lambert means 'bright land', 'brilliant land', 'famous land' or some variant of these themes, as it comes from the words 'lant' meaning 'land, territory or homeland' and 'berht' meaning 'bright, famous or great'. It seems it was quite popular as a first name in England during the middle ages thanks to a combination of the arrival of Saint Lambert (otherwise known as the Bishop of Maastricht) in England with the Norman conquest, and the number of Dutch immigrants arriving in England during that time.
In the U.S. it has been in almost constant use, appearing on the SSA charts for boys almost every year since 1880. However it has never been very popular at all. The highest number of boys to ever receive this name in a single year was 98 boys in 1919, which in that year positioned it as the 623rd most popular boys name. By contrast, in 2012 only 6 boys were named Lambert, putting it way, way outside the top 1000 at #11,554. It's highly unlikely that a modern day Lambert would meet another one.
What I find interesting is that before I knew of it's origin, I would have mistakenly thought it could be a Scottish name, as it reminds me a lot of names such as Campbell or Coburn. To find out that it's not makes it seem more intriguing, more chameleon like to me. The most often used pronunciation is lam-BERT, although the French pronunciation drops the T so it sounds more like lam-BERR, which also brings quite a different flair to the name.
One potential downside to the name Lambert is a 1952 Disney short cartoon titled 'Lambert the Sheepish Lion'. The cartoon is actually super cute, and Lambert ends up saving the day, but once seen it's really, really hard to get the the song where the little lambs tease him out of your head. I'm sure a young Lambert would hear this song a few times in the schoolyard. Then again, he may like being compared to a lion, especially one who grows up to become a hero. Another cool reference could be singer Adam Lambert. Or if you need more convincing of Lambert's Halloween cred, there's also the 'Highlander' himself, Christopher Lambert; or a female character named Lambert in the original 'Alien' movie.
Lambert could be a great choice, with multi-national roots, a current surname feel and a rarity that is hard to beat - especially if you chose to use it on a girl. Fingers crossed that a child with this name would have an easier childhood than the family in the 'Insidious' movies though!