Baby Name Inspiration: Family, film and food

June 28, 2017 Clare Green

By Clare Bristow

Where do you get naming inspiration from? One of my favorite things in the world of names is learning the stories behind why parents choose the names they do – that’s part of what makes the monthly Babyberry announcements so much fun to read.

The news this week features names from lots of different sources, from family to food to far-flung countries. Whether you’re suffering from namer’s block or just curious about where parents get their ideas from, here are some stories for you.

Family names

First, a straightforward family honor name announcement: actors Lindsay Sloane and Dar Rollins welcomed their second daughter, Pippa Jean, last month. Jean is her great-grandmother’s name. Together with rising star Pippa, it feels like a good match for big sister Maxwell Lue: equally spirited but a little more feminine.

Honoring a loved one without repeating their name can be a challenge, but here’s one solution from a mother in Australia. She used her father’s nickname as a middle name for her son, making a striking combination: Jagger Diz.

Movie characters

Okay, we don’t know that Leia Josephine – the new daughter of ballroom stars Edyta ?liwi?ska and Alec Mazo – was actually named after Princess/General Leia. But her three-year-old brother Michael chose the name, and it’s probably safe to bet that Star Wars is on his radar.

Sporting heroes

Sports broadcaster Samantha Ponder and her husband Christian welcomed a son, Robinson True, earlier this month. He’ll go by his middle name, but the Ponders have announced that his first name honors two athletes: David Robinson, the retired basketball player and philanthropist, and Jackie Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball player.True’s big sister also has a sport-inspired name: Bowden is named after her dad’s football coach.


The British vlogger site Channel Mum has asked its members which names that they like or would consider, and what trends they’re noticing in their neighborhoods.It’s nothing to take too seriously, but one finding was that over half of the parents polled said they’d consider Corbyn for a future boy – as in Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, who did unexpectedly well in the UK general election a few weeks ago. Corbyn ticks a lot of cool boxes: it has two syllables, begins with a C/K sound and ends in N (like four of the 25 hottest boy names of the decade), and it’s a subtle nature name. It will be interesting to see how politics affects this name’s popularity in 2016 and 2017. In the US, two spellings are in the top 1000: Corbin at #239 and Korbin at #610.

Foodie names (or not)

There are lots of great food-related names out there, but Watermelon isn’t one of them. This Australian couple got a shock when a whimsical photo of their baby twins went viral, and the internet mob assumed their names were Summer and Watermelon (they’re actually Billy and Betty).

Speaking of food names, you might have seen that Kim and Kanye’s daughter North West has a puppy called Sushi. This goes against the trend of giving dogs similar names to people, but it make me wonder: is there an outside chance Sushi could ever work on a person? If you ignore the meaning, it sounds like a twist on Susie. Add a syllable and you get the lovely Indian name Sushila. Hmm…then again, maybe not.


Back in the UK, reality TV personality Alexandra “Binky” Felstead has welcomed a daughter, India Elizabeth. Always more popular in the UK (where it’s currently #202), this Gone with the Wind name has hovered on the edge of the US Top 1000 for the last few years: in 2016 it ranked #1001.

Hot names in Spain

Spain’s top baby names of 2016 have been released. Hugo and Lucia take the number one spot, and there are more international favorites, like Daniel and Sofia, near the top. But you don’t have to go far down the list to find under-the-radar names. In the Spanish Top 20 alone, there are four names that aren’t in the US Top 1000: Izan (#17), Martina (#2), Alba (#8), and Marta (#18).

Spain also releases the Top 10 names for each region. There’s quite a bit of variety, from Arabic names like Rayan and Noor in North African territories, to Aimar and Irati in the Basque country.


This list of Irish saints from County Clare has too many good names not to share. It includes familiar names like Brendan and Bridget, and many that deserve more attention, like Lonan, Flannan and Ita.

Inspiring words

Many parents like to name their children with words that inspire them, or that are qualities they hope their children will have. If I asked you for examples, you might think of virtue names like True or Grace, or more boisterous ones like Rowdy and Maverick.

You probably wouldn’t think of “Go To School”.

I leave you with the story of two generations of an Indonesian family with word names that are rather unorthodox, but full of meaning. Andy Go To School has just welcomed a daughter, Alexa Damyesha Heavens Angel. She joins big brother Virgenio Silvero Goes to Paradise.

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles


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