Category: baby name Victoria
By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
Here’s something I overheard recently:
There’s something to that statement, isn’t there? Olivia feels like a vintage revival, a literary choice thanks to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and a wildly popular name for over a decade. Aria is a newcomer, a noun name that leapt from obscurity to prominence thanks to more than one pop culture reference. They’re very different names.
Yet on sound alone, Aria and Olivia are similar. Reverse the histories – make Aria the Shakespearean choice and Olivia the twenty-first century television darling – and it is easy to imagine the statement reversed, too. After all, five of the current US Top 20 girls’ names end with -ia.
Nouveau or traditional, popular or obscure, our favorite names tend to share sounds.
Not so long ago, globe-trotting was the exception. Immigrants quickly adopted the language of their new homes, and we tended to marry and raise children with partners from similar religious and cultural backgrounds.
Now, in our globally-connected world, many families are faced with naming across cultures. The high-profile parents in this week’s round-up can claim roots in Colombia, Cuba, France, Sweden, as well as the US, UK, and Australia. The baby names they chose reflect this diversity.
Some names seem like an attempt to bridge several cultures, like the Monegasque arrival. Others, like one of Michael Jordan’s new daughters, or Melissa George’s son, seem to celebrate one parent’s roots.
The trend isn’t just limited to celebrities and royals. Plenty of us are trying to solve naming riddles: combining Irish roots with Polynesian heritage, or finding Japanese names that work well in English.
If we’re all the jet-set, is it any wonder that our children’s names are so rich with influences from French and Spanish, from history recent and far past? There’s a healthy splash of creativity and daring, too, which seems fitting in a world filled with so much possibility
On to the nine most newsworthy baby names this week:
Traditionally, members of British royalty have not only been given a whole string of middle names, most have also been given an affectionate nickname. Queen Victoria’s children, for example, answered to Vicky (Victoria), Bertie (Albert), Alee (Alice), Affie (Alfred), Lenchen (Helena), Loosy (Louise), Leo (Leopold) and Baby (Beatrice).
Previously, these names were kept within the family. But more recently, Charles and Diana broke the mold by formally announcing after their sons’ births that they were going to call William “Wills” and that Henry was to be called “Harry”.
This then opens up a variety of options for William and Catherine. Let’s say they choose the name “Elizabeth Diana Catherine Charlotte” for a daughter. They could use a nickname for the first name – Bess, Betsy, Lily, Eliza? – or announce that they will call her by one of her middle names, or even a nickname from the middle name – Lottie, say, or Kitty.