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Category: British baby names

posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
ancientruin

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

When I was at University, I was lucky enough to study Ancient History as an undergraduate degree. l found the whole subject absolutely fascinating, but I must admit that I could often get sidetracked from my studies whenever a research paper or book contained a map or list of ancient cities. You see, the name-nerd in me couldn’t help revelling in the names of ancient places — I’d frequently roll the lyrical syllables around my tongue and scribbled them down on the corner of my research notes.

A whole heap of ancient place names are not only mellifluous but also aesthetically pleasing. Sadly, many are lost to us today or have long-since been renamed. Wouldn’t it be nice to reclaim a few of them back into nomenclature?

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Unusual British Baby Names

British baby names

The British are known as much for their eccentricity as for their conventionality, two stereotypes evidenced in the names from the recent birth announcements in the London Telegraph.

Yes, there are plenty of boys named the traditional Henry and Oliver and lots of girls called the Number 1 Amelia and the very proper Charlotte.

Sometimes, the two images cross, with the same eccentric (to American ears, at least) names being used so often they begin to feel conventional.  The first three months of 2014, for instance, seem to be rife with girls named Matilda and Ottilie and boys named every variation of Fred: Frederick and Wilfred and Alfred and Freddie.

But what we’re focusing on today are the truly eccentric names, the one-offs and the unusual choices that may prove fashion forward or may just be evidence of the infamous British wackiness.  These eccentric new names fall into several different camps.

The first and largest might be thought of as the mainstream eccentric British names, such as:

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Unique Baby Names: Do you dare?

alice and cat

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Reading the latest birth announcement from England‘s Telegraph newspaper, I can’t help thinking that a lot of the names, while wonderful, might give many sensible parents pause.

Wilfred may be cool, after all, but it’s also undeniably nerdy – by choosing this name, am I condemning my child to playground marginalization?  Is Zephyr too wacky, Ophelia too tragic?

The question isn’t really, Do you dare to give these names to your children, but should you dare?

As many Britberries have pointed out, the names usually found in the Telegraph represent not widespread British naming trends but eccentric aristocratic tastes, so perhaps most of us aren’t debating the merits of Digby and Venetia in any case.

Before we focus on our question, a few trendlets to note: Several girls named Jessica.  Middle names Tom, Sue, and Adventure.  And in a reversal of American style, boys’ names generally more daring than girls’.

Back to the issue at hand: What do you think of these adventurous, intriguing, but perhaps too-challenging names taken from recent Telegraph birth announcements?  Would they work in the U.S….or anywhere else, for that matter?

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posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
britteddy

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

2013 has been an interesting year for British appellations. As it comes to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the most prevalent trends and influences on baby names in Britain this year.

LITTLE BEES

One syllable ‘B’ names have been particularly noticeable this year. Beau/Bo and Bay have proven to be popular unisex choices while vintage Bea is also seeing a revival as both a nickname for rising Beatrice and Beatrix and a stand-alone choice. All three have been particularly popular this year as short and sweet middle names

Similarly, Bear not only made headlines as the name of Kate Winslet’s newborn son recently, it has also seen action as a middle name in the UK this year, much akin to Jamie Oliver’s Buddy Bear Morris. Some intrepid British parents are using Bear as a creative nickname for Arthur; others are braving it as a first name.

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Babies with Three Names

3 sleeping babies

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Maybe if I’d ever gotten into watching one of those shows about the Housewives from any place other than my home state of New Jersey, I’d have something better to do on a weeknight.

But no.  After a long day of working on Nameberry, what do I do for relaxation but turn to the hallowed pages of The London Telegraph, where I peruse the birth announcements in search of….more baby names.

This time, what caught my eye were all the three-named babies.  Maybe the oh-so-British three-name arrangement struck me because of the young prince George Alexander Louis, whose own three names are a departure from the usual royal four.  Was that Will and Kate‘s way of signaling that they were just like us…or at least like other young upper class British parents?

A few things we noticed about the three names of the babies noted here:

– More surnames such as Kynaston and Constable in the middle which are not mothers’ maiden names but may well be family names

– Some staid middle names such as Mary and Charles that are probably honorifics

– A few unconventional middles such as Bear and Coco

In case you’re interested in finding three great names for your own baby, you might find some inspiration in these wonderful recent British choices.

girls

Agnes Lily Jean

Arabella Elizabeth Mary

Ava Flora Kynaston

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