Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
As the year draws to a close, we have a bumper crop of celebrity birth announcements to celebrate.
The newest arrivals answer to some very on-trend names: fierce, daring, nature-themed, a little bit rock and roll.
Some of them might even seem fanciful, the tiniest bit over-the-top. But we live in an age where imagination and creativity are prized. From Pinterest to Etsy, the rise of DIY and crafting and an emphasis on design has filtered into how we think about our children’s names.
Leo – French actress Melanie Laurent is a new mom. Her son is Leo, a name popular in France, as well as the English-speaking world. It’s a fierce choice, but also one that feels gently vintage. He’s among the most popular of the ends in ‘o’ choices for boys these days, and despite his ties to the king of the beasts, he’s a little gentleman, too. Now that Leo is mainstream, is it any wonder we’re hearing other names from the animal kingdom?
Bear – We finally learned the name of Kate Winslet’s new arrival. She and husband Ned Rocknroll have named their boy Bear. It’s sure to make the lists of wacky celebrity names, but is Bear really so outlandish? From Leo to Wren, some of the most current names for kids are positively zoological.
Kaius – Celeb stylist Rachel Zoe welcomed her second child with husband Rodger Berman. Kaius fits in with ancient names like Atticus, but the K spelling makes him feel more modern. Still, this name has a long and storied past – Julius Caesar’s first name was Gaius, a popular name of his day. The K and C spellings are variants.
Kai – Rachel and Rodger announced that son Kaius will answer to Kai. It’s a popular, portable name, with roots in Northern Europe and Hawaii. The only hitch? Big brother Skyler answers to Sky, making their sons Sky and Kai. That seems cute – but a little bit too close.
Jagger – One more from the Berman clan – the couple went with the middle name Jagger for their new son. Since big brother’s full name is Skyler Morrison, it suggests that they were thinking music when they named their boys – The Doors’ Jim Morrison and the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger. At #557 in 2012, Jagger is at his most popular, and the new celeb kiddo could help push him even higher.
Lucy Diamond – Aussie MP and businessman Clive Palmer and wife Anna have just welcomed a second daughter together. Her full name is Lucy Diamond Stelina Mary Anna Nancy. That’s a lot of names – one more than Uma Thurman’s daughter Luna. Morrison, Jagger, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds … classic rock has made its way into the nursery in a big way.
Stelina – It’s tucked in the middle of little Lucy’s name, and hasn’t attracted much comment. But isn’t Stelina interesting? We’ve heard elaborations of Stella like Stellaluna in recent years, but Stelina is a new one to me. She could work well as a given name for parents after that elusive normal-but-different name.
Marvel – Choices like Bear and Diamond raise a few eyebrows, but noun names are nothing new. Want proof? Once Upon a Time Baby Names covered Marvel – once a Top 1000 choice for baby girls in the US, ages before anyone had ever heard of The Hunger Games.
Geordie – This name has been popping up in year-end stories in the British press as a surprising choice. I was puzzled – after all, Geordie seems to fit with Alfie, Archie, and Charlie, the friendly nickname-names that have dominated the UK rankings in recent years. Plus, Geordie is a diminutive form of George – the royal name on everyone’s radar. It turns out that Geordie Shore is also the name of the British equivalent of American reality series Jersey Shore. Geordie is a term to describe a resident of North East England, specifically Tyneside. So yes, that does make Geordie a surprising choice in the UK – but one that I quite like anyhow.