Category: names in the news
If last week’s baby name news was all about modern classic picks for boys, this week goes to the girls.
When I look at the list, I think this: we talk about names. We discuss their history and associations, their meanings and use.
But do we really fall in love with sounds? I’m drawn to the lilting l and the vibrant long a, the sharp v and the cool oo.
Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
A few months ago, the most controversial name in all of name-dom was Blaer. Because Iceland assigns genders to names, a girl given the name Blaer was unable to use her given name, even though her mom had rafts of evidence suggesting that Blaer should really be considered gender neutral.
Now we’re all focused on Messiah.
If you missed the headlines, Messiah’s parents went to court when they couldn’t agree on a surname for their son – his or hers. The judge made that decision. Plus she went one step further, and changed his first name. Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew declared that Messiah was a title, a title that had only been earned by Jesus Christ.
Martin is mom’s surname.
The Blaer case ended happily, and I’m guessing that Ms. Martin will appeal and have her son’s birth name restored to much fanfare.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, most of us would agree that Messiah is a lot to live up to. But the little guy isn’t alone in his challenge. We’re big on big names these days.
The world is awaiting a royal birth announcement, and I’ll admit I’m unreasonably excited.
But it is different this time, isn’t it?
Some are prime for imitation, and catch on with non-Hollywood types. Others are unlikely to be used by anyone other than celebrity parents, and while unusual names are more accepted than ever, Suri has yet to crack the US Top 1000.
This time we know one thing for certain: the prince or princess won’t have a wacky name. I suppose Kate and William could slip in a quirky Anglo-Saxon royal as an extra middle – Elswith or Athelstan or Godwin. But the couple doesn’t seem likely to go that route.
Instead, we’ll be celebrating an evergreen classic of a name, the kind that we too often ignore.
Don’t you love a good baby name controversy?
If you’re in the UK, ITV’s This Morning provided a delicious one last week. The show is exactly what the name implies – a morning talk program with chatter and discussion about current topics, something like The View.
Co-host Holly Willoughby recently introduced the topic of baby names. Guest Katie Hopkins – a reality show villain turned media personality – went on a rant about the names that she dislikes, adding that her children aren’t allowed to play with kids with certain kinds of names.
Hopkins was dismissive of lots of choices, including geographic ones – despite the fact that her daughter is called India. (“It’s not related to a location,” she protested.) Her other children are Poppy and Maximillian.
Another panelist characterized Hopkins as cruel and snooty. I’m inclined to agree. And yet one thing she said struck a chord. She characterized names as shortcuts.
I’m afraid that might be uncomfortably close to the truth.
Congrats to Kim and Kanye on the arrival of their daughter! There’s been no name announcement as of Sunday night. Is the couple still deciding, or have they realized that delaying the name announcement can generate twice the headlines?
Let’s give the famous duo the benefit of the doubt and assume that they’re still deliberating. If Kimye is stumped, they’re not the first parents to find themselves uncertain about The Name.
Could they be stuck because they’ve limited themselves to K names? Or have they fallen for a choice that doesn’t start with K and fret that breaking with the family tradition might cause problems?
While we wait to learn the name of the newest member of the Kardashian family, let’s check out the other baby names in the news this week:
Poppy – Speaking of delayed baby name announcements, Stephen Moyer finally revealed the names of his twins with Anna Paquin. Daughter Poppy’s name is popular throughout much of the English-speaking world, but rare in English. It’s also a nice connection to Lilac, Stephen’s daughter from a previous relationship.