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Baby Jock Names: and other news of the week

June 12, 2019 Clare Green

By Clare Green

This week’s news includes a huge range of namespiration, with babies named after statues, athletes, country singers, military operations and dinosaurs.

Name stories: D-Day, Debbie and Devon

In the British seaside town of Ilfracombe, Devon, a huge statue by artist Damien Hirst overlooks the harbour. It’s a pregnant woman, holding a sword and the scales of justice, with one side exposed so you can see the baby growing inside. She’s a powerful piece of artwork, and her name is Verity.

Why mention her? A local baby girl who underwent rare surgery before she was even born was named Verity, after the statue. It’s a great story, and a beautiful virtue name that pays tribute to the strength of mother and baby. In the UK, Verity has hovered around the 300’s for twenty years, steady but neither rare nor popular. In the US, parents are just starting to notice it as a lesser-used V name. Given to 110 girls last year, it’s still well below the Top 1000.

Now for a name story from 75 years ago. DeeDay White was born on June 6th 1944 – also known as D-Day – when Allied forces invaded Normandy in World War II. The story goes that his father chose it after stopping at several pubs on the way to register the birth. Like many people with unusual names, he didn’t like it as a child (he could never do anything underage because it was obvious when he was born!) but became proud of it as an adult, and even passed it on to his son.

And in South Africa, a  baby born in a police station was named Dione Debbie. Debbie is the name of the police officer who helped to deliver her.

Baby jock names: Kyrie and Kawhi

In the world of men’s ice hockey, the St Louis Blues are having a great season. As I write, they’re preparing for the deciding game in the Stanley Cup finals. But that’s not all: they’ve also been inspiring several baby jock names.

One pair of fans gave their daughter the middle name Gloria, after the team’s victory song, Laura Branigan’s 1980s disco hit. (Sorry European readers, we can’t read the article.) Bud Light also recently offered free beer to anyone with Gloria as a first or middle name. That’s most likely to be women born between 1922-1960, when Gloria was in the Top 100. Another Blues-loving couple named their son after player Colton Parayko. No, not Colton – the boy is called Parayko.

Meanwhile in basketball, Toronto Raptors player Kawhi Leonard has started a trend. Since his career kicked off in 2013, 163 boys in the USA have been named Kawhi, plus at least this one (and no doubt more) in Canada. If you’re not familiar with the name, it rhymes with reply.

Other boys’ names that owe their rise to sportsmen include Giannis and Kyrie (basketballers Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kyrie Irving), Baker and Leveon (footballers Baker Mayfield and Le’Veon Bell).

Too much patriarchy? If you’re looking for sport-inspired girl name, the women’s soccer/football World Cup is happening now in France, and between the 24 teams there’s lots of international namespiration. Some of my favorites are Aivi Luik (Australia), Ninon Abena (Cameroon) and Solana Pereyra (Argentina).

Celebrity baby names: Ruby, Rex and Ramona

In the world of music and entertainment, there are some new babies with charming first-middle name combinations.

Ruby Kate is a sweet old-yet-new sounding name for TV host Abby Huntsman’s daughter, one of girl-boy twins. Her brother William Jeffrey gets his middle name from Abby’s husband. In similar style, country singer Margo Price named her daughter Ramona Lynn. The middle name pays tribute to country singer Loretta Lynn, who gave Margo her blessing to use her family name.

Can you get any more country than Huckleberry Randolph? That’s the name singer Randy Houser (full name Shawn Randolph Houser) chose for his newborn son. He also has an older son named West. Wouldn’t you love to be a registrar in Nashville? They must see some great names go by.

Here’s a question we haven’t asked in a while: would you let your children choose their younger sibling’s name? British singer Stacey Solomon didn’t *exactly* do that, but her son’s name was inspired by his older brothers Leighton and Zachary. She said Rex Toby Francis is so-called “because our boys think he sounds like a T-Rex. Francis is [husband] Joe’s Nanna’s name and Toby is my Nanna’s name.” Besides the cute dinosaur reference, I’m curious to know whether Stacey and her husband straight-up have grandmothers called Toby and Francis, or if those are variations on their names.

The writing’s on the chalkboard

Have you ever seen the “baby names on a chalkboard” photo, where a mother stands next to her name shortlist? Taylee, Mckarty, Nayvie and Maylee are all crossed out, and finally, with a big circle around it, is Lakynn. I always thought it was a stock image, but nope, it was a real mother announcing her daughter’s name.

Laikynn (they changed the spelling) is now 7 years old. Her parents recreated the photo for her little brother Tatum, and they’ve just done it again for the family’s new dog. Having rejected Pup Tart, Chewbarka, Barkley and Dee Oh Gee, they’ve gone with the baby-dog name crossover Maverick.

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Clare Green


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