N Is For Natasha, A Femme FataleS

Not all Natashas are Pottsylvanian spies — but just to be safe, you might not want to turn your back on them.

Like Kate, it's hard to imagine Natasha in high school. In my image of her, she's wearing high heels and a pencil skirt, sitting at an outdoor café, drinking and espresso and smoking a cigarette while she waits to give you sensitive information. Or to get such information from you, while making you think she's giving it. If Natasha hands you a briefcase, I can pretty much guarantee that it contains not the documents you paid a million Swiss francs for, but a single rose and a handwritten note that says, "Better luck next time." That's just how she rolls.

Even if she's not actually a spy, Natasha has a cool beauty and natural reserve that would make her a natural for spy movies. You've never been to her apartment; you don't even know where it is. Her boyfriend is some kind of financier, but you rarely see them out together. Her friends are other enviably cool women, possibly of international extraction. Some of them may be named Isabel. Natasha doesn't often show anger — or any emotion, except maybe mild amusement — but people who get on her bad side have a way of getting audited, or worse.

Of course, the quintessential Natasha is Natasha Fatale of Rocky & Bullwinkle fame. This villainess from the nation of Pottsylvania may have been a little silly, but with her stilettos and strapless dress, she definitely looks the part. So, in their own way, do actresses Natasha Henstridge and Natascha McElhone, and model Natasha Poly. Sasha Obama's name is also short for Natasha, and she seems too adorable to be a femme fatale. But she's only eight, so maybe it's too early to tell.

From a peak of #72 in the eighties, Natasha has tumbled all the way down to #413 in US popularity. Far more popular — at #13 in 2008 — is its less threatening cousin, Natalie. Both names derive from the Latin dies natalis, or birth day, referring to the birth of Christ. But watch out — if you cross Natasha, it might just be your death day.

Natasha [Wikipedia]
Natasha [The Baby Name Wizard]

Earlier: M Is For Michelle, An Elegant Mystery
L Is For Lisa, Whose Looks Are Deceiving
K Is For Kate, Who Kicks Ass, Takes Names
J Is For Jennifer, The Vanilla Of Names
I Is For Isabel, Who's Snooty, But Earns It
H Is For Hillary, A Barrel Of Laughs
G Is For Grace - What's That Up Her Sleeve?
F Is For Francesca, And I Wish I Were Her
E Is For Emily, Who Seems Sweet (At First)
D Is For Danielle (Or Dani, Who's Apparently Kinda Judgey)
C Is For Courtney, Who's Too Cool For School
B is for Beth (And Barack! And Bandana!)
A Is For Anna: What My First Name Says About Me