Category: baby name Leo
Just as the billows of white smoke emanating from the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City signal the election of a new pope, so does the name he chooses for himself signal his aspirations for his papacy.Â Pope FrancisÂ broke precedent by picking one that had never been used before, but which has deep meaning for him and projects a strong symbolic resonance to the outside world.
The new Pope revealed that the inspiration for his chosen name was St. Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni), the venerated patron saint of animals and the environment, known for his humility. Â He also stated that in the cardinals’ name discussions some of the papal appellations put forth were Adrian, and Clement, while others were hoping for Leo, who had been a beacon of social justice.
In the past few weeks, youâ€™ve seen our predictions for the rising names in the US, and Eleanor Nickersonâ€™s forecast of what will be 2013â€™s most popular in the UK; today we look to Franceâ€™s upcoming stars.
To check out the latest trends inÂ French baby names, we turn once again to our go-to expert,Â StĂ©phanie Rapoport, creator of the popular siteÂ meilleursprĂ©noms.comÂ and author of Lâ€™Officiel des PrĂ©noms .Â For anyone conversant in French, the site is filled with interesting lists, charts and analysis onÂ French baby names. But for those whose high school French is asÂ shaky as mine, we asked StĂ©phanie 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.Â In 2013, I see few names having more than five letters and a profusion of names containing only three, such as LĂ©a and LĂ©o, ZoĂ© and Tom.
Sounds are another major component of French naming style. Girlâ€™s names ending in â€śa,â€ť not surprisingly, dominate the scene, with nine of them holding the top twenty ranks. More interestingly, the â€śĂ©oâ€ť sound is bouncing back for boys, thanks to LĂ©o and the newcomer TimĂ©o.
The Next Olivia
Olivia was the supreme queen of girlsâ€™ names in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, and was only marginally beaten by Amelia to the number 1 spot in 2011. It entered the Top 100 for the first time in the late 1980s, and has been in the Top 10 since 1999. Further down the ranks, Eliza stands at #62. Â Like Olivia before, Eliza has not ranked in the Top 100 for a century, but is now steadily rising.
Has it really become harder to name a child?
It seems to be the theme in recent days.Â Over at Offbeat Mama, Caitlin wrote about her struggles to name â€“ and eventually rename â€“ her youngest child.Â The New Zealand Herald reported the same thing, noting a 12% increase in parents filing to legally change a childâ€™s name prior to his or her second birthday.
My maternal grandparents named their first three children in accordance with family and cultural custom.Â My dadâ€™s mom, undecided, pulled his middle name out of a hat.Â As for my parents, they felt no obligation to honor anyone, and chose short, peppy, upbeat names for their three daughters â€“ until along came a son, and suddenly, family names mattered.Â If any child ever went nameless for months, or if aunts were divided over accusations of name theft, Iâ€™ve never heard the tale.