Category: Middle, Last and Nicknames
By Linda Rosenkrantz
When you think of classic boys’ names, chances are that the first three that pop to mind are John, James and William. Of the three, William is, much like female counterparts Elizabeth, Mary and Margaret, probably the richest in its multiplicity of variations, nicknames, girl versions, etc. Here’s a rundown of the main man and his manifestations.
William—For four hundred years, William was second only to John as the most widely used name in the English-speaking world, and even now is the fifth most prevalent boys’ name in the US, given to almost 17,000 baby boys last year. With Germanic roots, William was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, and has long been a royal name in that country; it has belonged to no fewer than four US presidents and countless notables from Shakespeare to the present popular high-profile prince.
Not only is she suffering from serious morning sickness with Baby #2, everyone from late night talk show hosts to gossip columnists worldwide is busy speculating on her due date, whether #2 will be a princess or a prince, and, of course, what they’ll name the newest royal.
Naming any boy – whether he’s coming home to a castle or a condo – can become a battle between tradition and fresh starts.
With speculation already swirling around the possible name(s) of the next royal child and with Victoria surfacing once again as a possibility, we were inspired to take a look at what K. M Sheard of Nook of Names had to say about it the first time around.
It is a little ironic that Victoria would now be considered a very traditional and conventional choice for a royal baby.
That wasn’t true when Victoria was named; Victoria — Latin for “victory” — was a rare name in Britain at the time, although it had been in use since the sixteenth century, one of the names plucked from Classical Antiquity. For to the Romans, Victoria was the personification of victory, and worshipped as a Goddess.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
This month, in addition to a by-now-expected goldmine of gorgeously creative individual names, we have two pairs of twins and one set of triplets:
We also noticed many more consonant-starting names than usual: could be coincidence, could be a trend.
By Elisabeth Waugaman
The practice developed for a variety of reasons. As populations grew, names necessarily became more complex in order to distinguish individuals from each other. Physical descriptions, occupations and locations of specific individuals became last names, as in John by the tower (John Tower), John the short, (John Short), John the Baker (John Baker).