Category: British names
We love combing the birth announcements in the London Telegraph for baby name trends and ideas.
Each time we issue a report, we look for a different focus — unusual names, fascinating middle name combinations — and today it’s sibling names.
Some observations: The newest vintage names being unpacked from mothballs in England are Martha and Herbert. Some of the most charming combinations mix ethnicities (Emiko and Freddie) or match first letters (Orlando and Ophelia). Out-of-the-box middle names include word names, place-names, and surnames such as Spark, Houston, and Allgood.
Oh, and, as usual, these British parents manage to find baby names that are distinctive and adventurous and gorgeous without resorting to (almost ever) strange inventions or kree8tiv spellings.
Our picks from the latest announcements:
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?
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
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.
And then there are those baby names that are evidence of how wide the gulf is between the British and the American cultures.
We found 29 baby names — 20 for girls and nine for boys — that rank in the current British Top 200 (or so) that do not appear at all in the American Top 1000. (Note: We did skip spelling variations such as Hollie and Isobel.)
And another five Top 200 baby names for girls and nine for boys that are down at the bottom of our Top 1000; in other words, vastly less popular in the US than in the UK.
If there’s one British baby names trend that Berries all over the world have embraced full-heartedly, it’s the old upper class practice of giving children two (or even more, ala Uma Thurman) middle names.
Rooted in royalty as a way to honor a raft of vaulted relatives, the multiple-middle-name practice was pegged by one visitor to our pages as being “very posh and a bit snobby.”
But it’s also a way for name lovers to indulge their enthusiasm by using more of their favorites on fewer children. Americans who give their babies two middle names are often simply packing more name power into one extended appellation. They may also (as my husband and I were, when we named our daughter Rory Elizabeth Margaret) be adding extra middle names to honor both sides of the family at the same time.
Judging from the birth announcements in the London Telegraph, the three-barreled British baby name is distinct in a couple of important ways: