Category: International Baby Names
This past September, we paid our respects to some of Hollywood’s greatest stars and marveled at a visionary’s dreams of the stars. Let’s have a look back at some of the big names in the news – and a look into what the origins of their names can illuminate about them.
Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a Catholic saint this month. St. Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxihu. Anjezë is the Albanian form of Agnes, anticipated her spiritual calling: It’s Greek for “holy” or “pure.” St. Teresa chose her religious name after the 19th-century French nun Thérèse de Lisieux.
Some think Teresa comes from the Greek for “harvest” or “huntress.” Others think it is from the Greek Thera, the name of some volcanic islands in the Mediterranean. The story goes that the wife of St. Paulinus of Nola (354-431 AD) was born on one of those islands and so took her name from them. The origin is unclear, but Teresa is a well-traveled name – fitting for St. Teresa, who made her impact far and wide.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines by protesting the pre-game National Anthem over racial inequality. Many athletes have followed suit, which some consider a victory for Colin’s cause. Victory indeed: Colin is a French pet name for Nicholas, a Greek name that literally means “victory-people.” The Greek word for – and goddess of – “victory” is nike, which lives on in the athletic brand.
Acting legend Gene Wilder sadly passed away this month. Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder took Gene, a short for Eugene, after Eugene Gant, a character in a Thomas Wolfe novel, and Wilder after writer Thornton Wilder. Eugene is from the Greek Eugenios, “well-born” or “noble.” Jerome, meanwhile, is from the Greek Hieornymos, “holy name.” Gene Wilder came from a humble background, but as many remembrances made clear, he was a class-act as an artist and person. And his name will surely be long “worshiped” by his many fans.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In the past, most boys were lucky enough to avoid the generic-connector-middle-name syndrome the way girls did, when Ann and Lynn and Beth were pretty ubiquitous. For the most part, boy babies were given double classics, so there were a ton of them dubbed Steven Michael or Michael Steven, David Robert or Robert David.
Now, the middle name landscape for both genders has changed as more attention is being focused on them, to the point where firsts and middles have almost equal weight. Family names play a bigger part, for one thing, as do meaning and individuality–plus many parents are taking this place as a chance to let loose and be inventive .
Yet a strong, single-syllable middle is still often what’s called for, and so we’ve categorized for you some of the most interesting new-style possibilities—of course feel free to use this as a starting point.
Over 50% of names in both the US and England and Wales Top 100 are identical, perfectly showing that were are far more united in our taste in names than we are divided. We share many of the same media and celebrity influences — hello, Mila and Aria — as well being better connected by the global world wide web.
Indeed, many of the highest risers in E&W this year have taken cues from the US: Noah, Jaxon, Carter, Elijah, Harper, Penelope, Evelyn are all recent and rising additions in the UK which are longstanding to American parents. Similarly, the likes of Scarlett, Eleanor, Charlotte, Lydia, Oliver, Henry and Liam — perennial staples in Britain since the 90s — have gained favour in the last decade in the US.
We continue to transport our favourite names back and forth across the pond (after all, one country’s popular favourite is another’s undiscovered gem), looking to each other for fresh-yet-usable inspiration year on year.
However, the differences are equally fascinating as the similarities, demonstrating our unique cultural heritages and differing national viewpoints:
By Abby Sandel
Place names are big for boys and girls alike, from Brooklyn (Beckham) to Caspian (son of Neve Campbell) to Ava Berlin (daughter of Jeremy Renner). But could it be that Italy is a hotbed for wearable place names?
Some of these Italian baby names feel traditional, even vintage. Others could make bold, unexpected picks for a child’s name. Whether Italian baby names honor your heritage, or simply express your love of the country, there is something here here to please every style.