Category: Boy Baby Names
February 17th is the birthdate of Andrew Barton Paterson, affectionately known as â€śBanjoâ€ť Paterson. Â He was named Andrew after his Scottish-born father, and his middle name Barton was a family name from his motherâ€™s side; he was related to Edmund Barton, who would later become Australiaâ€™s first prime minister. Because he and his dad had the same name, Paterson went by his middle name, and was always known as Barty to his friends and family.
Paterson lived with his grandmother while he was attending the prestigious Sydney Grammar School, and she encouraged in him a love of poetry. He was 21 when he first began submitting poems to The Bulletin, under the pseudonym of â€śThe Banjoâ€ť (sometimes shortened to a simple â€śBâ€ť). Â Full of fierce nationalism and a desire for a fairer society, he had some aspirations to write fiery polemic, and had even written a political pamphlet. Â However, The Bulletin had other ideas.
In the late nineteenthÂ century, there was a movement towards the British colonies of Australia becoming one country, a feeling that Australia should be a united nation, and Australians a united people. In the effort to provide Australia with a unifying mythology that wouldÂ instillÂ nationalistic pride, it seemed that the Australian bush and outback would be the symbol to draw everyone together.
Wentworth Miller, the actor from the former hit show Prison Break, has a very distinctive name. He is a third, after his father and grandfather, and he may share his name with a few others in the world, but his first name is by no means a mainstream one. Jane Austen fans recognize it immediately, and the fact is the three Wentworth Millers were named after the hero of her novel Persuasion, Captain Wentworth.Â According to IMDB, it was his great-grandmother’s idea, and what a great one it was. Such formal names may not be obviously considered as first names, but why not branch out?
Wentworth has a deep history as a surname in England and has a meaning of “pale man’s settlement” or “village of the white people.” In Old English, it can be drawn from the words for “winter” and “enclosure.” Ancestry.comÂ writes that it could have referred to a settlement only inhabited in the winter.Â It is also a place name. We can only guess what drew Miss Austen to the name, but no matter what that was, Wentworth was assigned to a character who became the inspiration for a baby boy’s name.
It seems that just about every few decades since the 1940â€™s, one Old Testament patriarch name has entered the popularity listâ€™s Top 5, some lingering longer than others.Â From the forties through the early eighties it was David, Â joined by Joshua in 1983, Daniel for the single year 1985, Jacob ten years later– and holding first place for the past thirteen years– and Ethan (a more minor biblical figure) in 2002.
And now we have Noah, which entered the golden circle last year at Number 5.
Noah fits right into this groupâ€”like the earlier Joseph, and David, Jacob and Ethan, itâ€™s a simple, modern-sounding Â two-syllable name with a strong first syllable and softer second.Â And like Joseph, David, Daniel, Joshua and Jacob, Noah comes with a dramatic narrative thatâ€™s well known to most children.
As every Sunday school alumnus knows, Noah was deemed the only righteous man of his time, singled out by God to survive the great flood sent to punish an evil world, and instructed to build an ark to save his family and all species of animals from the flood.
A few days ago, my daughter Clio announced that girlsâ€™ names are pretty, but boysâ€™ names are awesome.
She also informed me that her awesome name was Kick, and please refer to her as such from now on.
I think my four year old just voiced the desire of many an expectant parent.Â Clio â€“ I mean Kick â€“ called it awesome.Â Iâ€™ve called the same names cowboy cool or surfer style or a dozen other descriptors.Â
No matter the name, boysâ€™ names have become bolder and more multi-cultural than they were in generations past.
Recent baby name news has been packed with boysâ€™ names begging to be accessorized with a lacrosse stick, a snowboard, or a bucking bronco and a ten-gallon hat.Â Or maybe just a passport and a pint-sized suitcase.
Theyâ€™re fresh and inventive, and yet theyâ€™re definitely masculine at the same time.Â Some of the best picks made it into recent baby name news, like: