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Baby Names From Ordinary to Out-There

popular or unusual?

By Abby Sandel

Everybody loves Eackma. It’s tops in the US, huge in France, big in Italy and Ireland, loved by the Dutch, and a favorite in Spain and Scandinavia, too. This week, we learned that Emma is Number 1 in Switzerland, favored by parents who speak Italian, French, and German.

At the same time, plenty of parents are working to choose a name that’s less popular. Some avoid the Top Ten, but stick with Top 100 choices like Piper or Stella. Others worry that Esme and Magnolia are too popular now that they’ve cracked the Top 1000.

Many of the baby names in the news this week are rare – in some cases, nearly one-of-one choices.

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The New International Names

international baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

There was a time when the top baby name lists of different countries reflected their own distinctive native cultures. When John and Mary headed those of most English-speaking countries, just as Giovanni and Maria and Juan and Maria and Jean and Marie et al were in first place elsewhere.

But that has changed. With the homogenization of culture in general, with an increase in international travel, the spread of the internet and global audiences watching the same TV shows, we are no longer surprised to find the Irish appellation Liam ranking high on the list in Switzerland or the Old Testament Ethan suddenly Number 3 in Monaco. This is a moment when certain names, often in a variety of indigenous forms, are spreading epidemically across the world.

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posted by: waltzingmorethanmatilda View all posts by this author
international baby names

By Anna Otto, Waltzing More Than Matilda

There’s a lot to be said for having a name that is familiar in many countries. It makes travel and working overseas just that little bit easier, and if you have a particular cultural background, it’s nice to know that relatives in your country of origin will easily be able to spell and pronounce your child’s name. Even if your child never leaves their native shores, we live in a global village, and they will most likely meet, study, and work with people from other countries.

To me, a name with high international recognition needed to be popular in as many regions as possible, so that as a mimimum, it needed to be Top 100 in the English-speaking countries of Australia, New Zealand, England/Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Canada, and the USA. It also needed to be popular in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia.

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posted by: Abby View all posts by this author
abby-pop

by Abby Sandel of  Appellation Mountain

I love unusual names.  I can defend the wackiest of celebrity appellations, from North to Pilot to Blue.

And yet some parents feel pressure to avoid a popular name – or even a name that might become popular.

If you grew up answering to Jennie S. or Mike T., you might worry that Logan and Mia will have to sign every piece of schoolwork with their last initial, too.  But it might be a mistake to discard your long-time favorite name just because others have discovered how great it is, too.

Here are Ten Good Reasons to call your baby Ethan or Emma, Ava or Jake.

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French Baby Names: What’s next in Nice

frenchbebe-1158175dd6

In the past few weeks, you’ve seen our predictions for the rising names in the US, and Eleanor Nickerson’s forecast of what will be 2013’s most popular in the UK; today we look to France’s upcoming stars.

To check out the latest trends in French baby names, we turn once again to our go-to expert, Stéphanie Rapoport, creator of the popular site meilleursprénoms.com and author of L’Officiel des Prénoms .  For anyone conversant in French, the site is filled with interesting lists, charts and analysis on French baby names. But for those whose high school French is as shaky as mine, we asked Stéphanie to give us a recap en anglais.

When it comes to trends, one outstanding factor is that French baby names have never been shorter in length than they are today.  In 2013, I see few names having more than five letters and a profusion of names containing only three, such as Léa and Léo, Zoé and Tom.

Sounds are another major component of French naming style. Girl’s names ending in “a,” not surprisingly, dominate the scene, with nine of them holding the top twenty ranks. More interestingly, the “éo” sound is bouncing back for boys, thanks to Léo and the newcomer Timéo.

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