As promised, here is our first Week in Review by Abby Sandel–creator of the wonderful AppellationMountain blog– bringing you a roundup of the latest baby name news of the week every Monday from hereon in.
Early January brought round-ups of The Most Popular Names of 2010, at least according to a host of informal polls and results from individual hospitals. It makes for a quirky assortment of headlines. Lauren is still holding on in Caledonia, Minnesota, despite falling for decades elsewhere. The gems, of course, are the articles that mention the truly unusual choices, like Ged Spartacus and Hunni Princess, British babies born in 2010 according to an article by Hertfordshire’s The Watford Observer.
Just as we’d exhausted regional Top Tens, Pope VXI conveniently made a comment praising the names of the 21 infants – all of children of Vatican employees – he baptized in the Sistine Chapel on January 9. It wasn’t much of a comment – he encouraged parents to choose Christian names, but his remarks were about religious faith, not Hollywood trends. It was enough to result in a flurry of headlines, like this one from Canada’s National Post: Despite the Pope’s disapproval, designer baby names flourish. BBC News Magazine responded with a list of 10 Christian names you don’t really hear these days. Gomer and Wilgefortis, anyone? Jezebel also appeared on the BBC list, with an expert insisting that no one would give the name to a child. Name junkies will have heard Jezebel mentioned on more than one message board. Nancy’s exhaustive list of J names given to girls in 2009 reveals 24 girls named Jezebel – plus plenty of spelling variants, like:Benedict
There’s even Jessabella, which feels like it might be different enough to qualify as a mash-up of Jessica and Isabella, rather than a long-avoided Biblical name. Sure enough, there’s Jezebel on the Nameberry message boards, too: Facebook Babies 2010. With the equally Biblical, and once just as maligned Delilah at the heights of fashion, maybe we shouldn’t count Gomer out, either.
There weren’t any crazy celeb baby names in the news last week. Sasha Alexander, currently co-starring with Angie Harmon in TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, and director husband Edoardo Ponti welcomed a little brother for Lucia Sofia, a son named Leonardo Fortunato. I can’t imagine the Pope would object to the couple’s choices.
2011 promises to bring many more noteworthy names, some of which will surely be on the outrageous side. For a round-up of expectant parents of the famous variety, check out Elisabeth’s post at You Can’t Call It “It,” complete with speculation about the names everyone from Natalie Portman to Jennie Finch might choose.