Category: Cate Blanchett
Question of the Week:
Would you use an unusual name that, though legitimate, is one that most people wouldn’t have heard before?
For example, Matt Lauer and his Dutch-born wife named their second son Thijs, a name rarely heard outside The Netherlands, with a bewildering-to-most pronunciation (it’s TICE). Would you use a name of another ethnicity that’s unfamiliar here?
Would you shy away from a name that required a lot of explanation or embrace its individuality?
Even though Australian baby names are a lot like British names, they do also have their own distinctive flavor. The blend of cultures Down Under and the strong presence of several enduring indigenous languages and groups have a powerful influence on Australian baby names (the complex Aboriginal naming traditions definitely deserve a future blog of their own). Last year, for example, though Australia’s most popular list included Jack and Ella, Joshua, Ethan, Emily, Chloe and Mia, also high up on their list were Matilda, Isla, Lachlan (the name of Oz newspaper mogol Rupert Murdoch’s high-profile son), the Scottish-influenced Angus, and the nickname-name Archie.
Here are some from the world of sports:
And nameworthy names from the show biz arena:
PORTIA De Rossi
And what names do these Aussie celebs choose for their own their kids? Austarbabies include:
ADELAIDE — Rachel Griffiths
ALEXANDER — Naomi Watts
ANGELICA — Geoffrey Rush
AVA — Hugh Jackman
BANJO — Rachel Griffiths
BINDI — Steve Irwin
CHARLOTTE — Judy Davis
CHLOE — Olivia Newton-John
CHRISTIAN — Mel Gibson
DASHIELL — Cate Blanchett
FLYNN — Elle Macpherson
IGNATIUS — Cate Blanchett
KLAUS — Eric Bana
LILLIAN — Baz Luhrmann
LOUIS — Mel Gibson
MATILDA — Bryan Brown, Heath Ledger
MILO — Mel Gibson
OLIVE — Isla Fisher
OSCAR — Hugh Jackman
ROMAN — Cate Blanchett
ROSIE — Bryan Brown
SAGE — Toni Collette
SAMUEL — Naomi Watts
SATINE — Jacinda Barrett
SOPHIA — Eric Bana
SUNDAY — Nicole Kidman
TENNYSON — Russell Crowe
And there’s a whole lot more to Australian place names than South Australia capital city Adelaide. Here’s a selection:
We’d like to thank and acknowledge the imput of our Australian correspondent Alicia Polman, who alerted us to some interesting names and their backstories, and to the fact that “there’s more to Australian-esque baby names than Matilda and Jack.”
Which baby name trends do we see coming in for 2009 and which do we see heading out? Here, our predictions for the year ahead.
BIGGEST BIG-PICTURE TREND: DEPRESSION ERA NAMES
The hit TV show Mad Men, set in the early 60s, reintroduced names that were all the rage when the characters were born in the 1930s: Don , Betty, Joan, Peggy. They’re plain names fit for hard times, and we predict the hardscrabble months ahead will inspire more babies with these names: Dorothy, Helen, Ruth, and Frances for girls; Thomas, Edward, Frank, Raymond, and even Harold for boys. Plus the stylish new occupational names–Gardener, Ranger, Miller–are likely to gain in appeal for both boys and girls as actual jobs become more scarce.
MOST SURPRISING COMEBACK NAME
Leon, middle name choice for Brangelina twin Knox, had become a joke in the U.S. but was on the rise in Europe, where all lion-related names–Leo, Leonora, Lionel–are tres chic. Leon and Leonie are the number one names in Germany and for the first time in decades, have style potential here.
BEST NEW TREND INSPIRED BY A CELEBRITY BABY NAME
Jessica Alba’s infant Honor has ushered in a new appreciation for virtue names, on the rise through the name ranks–and hopefully also in spirit–with Faith, Hope, Patience, Mercy, Justice, True, and Pax.
HOTTEST GENDER-BENDING TREND
Boys names that end in a vowel sound and girls’ names that end in a consonant. Examples: Ezra, Eli, Milo, Noah, Hugo for boys, and for girls, Annabel instead of Annabella, for instance, or Eden instead of Emma.
TRENDIEST TREND-RELATED TREND
Names that are considered too trendy by stylish parents by virtue of their association with other, trendier names or with high-visibility celebrities. Examples: Ada, fresh yet too close to the megapopular Ava. Pearl, too much like groovy Ruby. Roman, son of Cate Blanchett and Debra Messing. And Matilda, toddler of Michelle Wiliams and Heath Ledger.
GIRL TREND READY TO JUMP THE SHARK
BOY TREND READY TO JUMP THE SHARK
COOLEST MIDDLE NAME TREND
Names that carry powerful meaning, launched when people adopted the middle name Hussein in solidarity with Obama. Less name than symbol, the new middle name may carry political meaning, convey ethnic background, stand in for a place, animal, character, or thing that has meaning for the parents.
NEW “IT” VOWEL
MOST FASHIONABLE CONSONANT
NAME TREND THAT’S BEST FOR THE EARTH
MOST SURPRISING CELEBRITY NAME INSPIRATION
Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post was the media star of the 2008 election, is an attractive and influential person but hardly the kind of tabloid hottie who usually inspires thousands of baby namesakes. But joining Ashton and Angelina, the name Arianna has ascended with Huffington’s renown, reaching number 70 in the last year counted and certain to zoom much higher.
TREND WE’D MOST LIKE TO SEE DIE