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Baby Name News: Milo, London, and the rest of the Nameberry 9

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This week Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain speculates on the Beyonce-Jay-Z babe name possibilities and reports on other baby name news of the week.

The news that Beyoncé is going to be a mama set gossip blogs afire.  Ever since she and Jay-Z tied the knot, there was talk of a future Bey-Z.  Now speculation turns to the baby’s name.  Will they play it safe and name a son Shawn Carter, Jr.?  If we believe Jay-Z’s lyrics, he’s all about honoring his roots by calling a daughter Brooklyn.  Since Beyoncé is a spin on a family surname, it is possible they’ll look to their ancestors for inspiration.  How about Celestine or Gloria for a girl, or a son named Mathew or Lumis?

I’m rooting for Agnez for a daughter, in honor of Beyoncé’s grandmother.  Something tells me that the couple will surprise all of us.

On to the names in the news this week:

AfricaElea at British Baby Names rounded up the manxiest of the Manx names – appellations that flourished on that lonely island in the Irish Sea.  The native language is Celtic, but there are healthy doses of Norse influence, too.  I’m fascinated by Africa, also written Aufrica, a name that appears amongst the Manx ruling families.  See her full list here.

Bay – The ABC Family original series Switched at Birth debuted earlier this summer.  The show features two teenage girls who were, well, switched at birth.  Now that the mix-up is out, there’s no shortage of drama to fuel the plot.  The girls are Daphne Paloma and Bay Madeleine.  This makes me think two things.  One, which of the ABC Family writers reads Nameberry?  But I am hearing a lot of Bay lately, for both boys and girls, sometimes as a short form of other names that start with the sound.  This one feels right on trend with River and Sage.

CataleyaZoë Saldana stars in Colombiana, an action flick about an assassin bent on revenge for her parents’ murder.  The name sounds invented, a mash-up of Cate and Kayla with some creative respelling for good measure.  Instead, Cataleya appears to be a variant spelling of cattleya, a type of showy orchid native to South America.  The flower was named in 1824 in honor of horticulturist Sir William Cattley.  I want to put Cataleya on the list of names for parents seeking a modern sound with a dash of history, but I’m not certain a vengeful contract killer is good inspiration.

Ferris – Iron Man is going to be a dad – again!  Robert Downey, Jr.’s older child wears the inventive Indio.  Now Robert and wife Susan are expecting their first together.  No, I really can’t imagine we’ll be celebrating the arrival of a little Ferris Downey this winter, but who knows?  With a son named Indio, anything is possible, and I find the link between Dad’s superhero alter ego and the elemental appellation just plain irresistible.

LondonPlenty of names start out gender neutral, only to tip to Team Pink or Team Blue.  Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash named his son London in 2002.  The Disney Channel gave the name to a blonde hotel heiress on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody a few years later.  London ranked #108 in the US last year for girls, but Jay McGraw and wife Erica just chose this name for a son.  Never fear.  London’s grandpa is television’s Dr. Phil.  I’m sure he can offer his grandson sound advice about being a boy named Sue.

MiloAlyssa Milano asked fans for baby name ideas, but it turns out she came up with quite the appellation on her own.  Firstborn Milo Thomas arrived earlier this week.  Milo is many things – current, but not invented, and stylish without being epidemic, plus he pairs well with his long surname, Bugliari.  But he’s also a clever contraction of Milano.  Well done!

Phoebe ­– Actor Jim True-Frost and wife Cora welcomed a daughter named Phoebe Sylvia Rachel.  Big brother is Leo.  Along with Daphne and Penelope, Phoebe seems like a fresh option for parents disappointed that Zoe and Chloe are so popular. 

Thurley – Strictly speaking, Thurley isn’t news this week.  Or even this century.  Back in 1911, Thurley was the top name debut for girls born in the US.  Thanks to sleuthing by Nancy, we now know why

Wendy – Home improvement bloggers John and Sherry Peterisk recently wrote about other possible names they considered for their one year old daughter, Clara KenleyAlice and Jane were no surprises, but how ‘bout Wendy?  Yup, Wendy was a finalist.  She’s been stuck in Neverland for decades.  Is it too soon for a comeback? 

What’s your favorite of this week’s Nameberry 9?

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