Category: Classic Baby Names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Once upon a time, there was a group of names that shared an image of balding, cigar-chomping, middle-aged, Hollywood movie mogul-types—names like Max and Jake and Abe, Nat, Oscar, Leo and Sam–which for generations few parents were considering infant-appropriate.
By Abby Sandel
The new US Top 1000 list is out, and there’s good news for those who love classic baby names! While plenty of newer names caught on, 2014 was all about the return of longtime favorites.
The farther you look down the list, the more vintage gems you’ll find. Some of the names have returned to the rankings after decades of hibernation. Others have never really gone away, but the numbers suggest that these classics might feel stylish and fresh once more.
Here are eighteen great names – nine for girls and nine for boys – that climbed 50 spots or more between 2013 and 2014.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge have named their new daughter Charlotte, the recent favorite with the betting public. The baby’s middle names are Elizabeth, after the queen, the baby’s great-grandmother, and Diana, after William‘s late mother and the baby’s grandmother.
Charlotte is a feminization of Charles, the name of the baby’s grandfather the Prince of Wales, and may also be a nod to her maternal grandmother Carole Middleton, as Carole also relates to the name Charles. And Charlotte is also the middle name of Pippa Middleton, the Duchess’s sister.
A classic girls’ name that’s become increasingly popular in recent years, Charlotte is set to break into the USTop 10. Charlotte is currently Number 20 in England, 21 in Scotland, and also in the Top 50 in Wales, Germany, and the Netherlands.
It takes its meaning “free man” from Charles.
In a version of American royalty, Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former president Bill and presidential candidate Hillary, named her baby daughter Charlotte last year. Princess Caroline of Monaco also has a now-grown daughter named Charlotte.
Elizabeth is a Hebrew name meaning “pledged to God” and one of the most enduring female names in the Western World. A royal favorite, Elizabeth is the name of the reigning queen as well as of the queen’s late mother. Elizabeth I was one of the most famous monarch’s of England.
Elizabeth is also Duchess Catherine‘s middle name, as well as her mother’s middle name. It ranks Number 10 in the US and Number 37 in England, and is also among the Top 100 girls’ names in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
Charlotte had been the recent favorite with the bookmakers for the royal baby girl name, pulling ahead of Alice. Most seemed certain that the reigning monarch’s name, Elizabeth, would be in the mix somewhere.
Diana was a popular choice but there was much speculation around whether William and Catherine would choose a name with mixed associations to the Royal Family. But true to the couple’s talent for sticking with tradition while also asserting their personal taste, they chose Diana as the baby’s second middle name.
Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana has a total of three names, like her brother, Prince George Alexander Louis, a break from the more traditional four names given to royals. William‘s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis, while his brother is Henry Charles Albert David.
@emekct is the winner of our Guess the Royal Baby Name contest! She guessed Charlotte Elizabeth Diana on the nose. Congratulations! The prize is a complete library of our ebooks.
What are the top royal baby girl names in contention for the new princess born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? Will the royal baby girl be named Alice, the favorite with bookmakers? Diana, the crowd-pleasing choice? Or Elizabeth, one of the most royal names of all — or maybe something completely different? Here, the seven top contenders:
Alexandra — Alexander was said to be Duchess Catherine’s first choice for her older son’s name, which ended up in middle place. So her preference may predominate this time with Alexandra as a first name for a daughter. There was a Queen Alexandra, consort of Edward VII, who ruled in the early 20th century. Queen Elizabeth II and several other royals bear Alexandra as a middle name.
Alice — The name of Queen Victoria’s second daughter, the princess who shocked her mother by breastfeeding her baby, is a favorite with Britain’s betting public. Alice is a sweet and pretty classic that is currently considered ultra-stylish in England, where it’s in the Top 50, and is also rising in popularity in the US. Alice is the name of Prince Philip’s mother, Prince William’s great-grandmother.
Charlotte — Charlotte would be a top pick for the name of a little princess. It’s a feminization of Charles, the name of the baby’s grandfather, and is also related to the name of Catherine’s mother Carole, plus it’s the middle name of her sister. Queen Charlotte was the cultivated wife of George III, who also had a daughter named Charlotte. We believe Charlotte is more likely as a girls’ name than Charles is for a new little prince. Runner-up is another Charles feminization: Caroline.
Diana – Diana would be a crowd-pleasing favorite, though it’s unlikely to be a choice that pleases the Royal Family. Diana is the name of the Roman moon goddess, also goddess of the hunt. And of course the name of Prince William’s mother.
Elizabeth – It seems a no-brainer that Elizabeth, the name of the current queen and the baby’s great-grandmother as well as that of her great-GREAT-grandmother, would be in there somewhere. But in first, second, third, or even fourth place? Elizabeth is also the Duchess’s middle name.
Mary – Mary is a so-far-out-it’s-in vintage choice, one of our favorites had the couple’s first child been a girl. We think Mary may suit their taste for traditional-with-a-twist. With George, they’ve shown they’re not afraid to dust off a once-fusty name, and they may similarly polish up the image of Mary. Mary was the name of two reigning queens and of three daughters of reigning monarchs; it’s one of Queen Elizabeth’s middle names.
Victoria – One of the most likely choices for a girl, Victoria is the name of one of the most famous queens in British history, who ruled through most of the 19th century. While embodying history and strength, the name continues to feel contemporary, ala friend of the royals Victoria Beckham. But don’t look for her to be nicknamed Tori, or even Vicki.
Everything you need to know about boys’ baby names, from A to Z.
While A is the second most-popular first initial for boys’ names (and the most popular for girls’), the real news is the rise in both the letter a and the a sound at the end of boys’ names. Think Joshua, Elijah, and Number 1 Noah.
Swedish parents were fined for naming their son Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, which they pronounced Abin. The name runs counter to Swedish naming laws, which rules that names cannot cause offense or discomfort.