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Baby Names with Meaning: Rumi, Sir and Luuuke

July 5, 2017 Clare Green

By Clare Bristow

Many names in the news this week have more to them than meets the eye.

Some names are so unusual that you just know there’s a story behind them, even if you don’t know what it is. Others can seem perfectly ordinary, but turn out to have special significance.

Here’s my pick of names with meaning – as well as some that are just plain lovely.

What’s the story?

The biggest names of the moment are Rumi and Sir, which Beyoncé and Jay-Z are rumored to have chosen for their twins. (If so, props to Sophie for predicting Lumi – only one letter away!)

If the reports are true, both names are rich with possible meanings. Is Rumi inspired by the Persian poet, or the Japanese girls’ name? Sir could be a straightforward title name (it’s really quite humble compared to Emperor), or, as Abby suggested, it could nod to hip-hop artist Sir the Baptist or the film To Sir, with Love.

Could Bey and Jay even be playing a subtle numbers game, choosing two names that were given to exactly 50 babies in the US last year?

Add in the fact that we don’t know the twins’ genders, and it gets even more interesting. Rumi is used roughly equally for both sexes, but Sir (understandably) has never charted for girls. But if the Carters have a daughter called Sir, who knows? We might just see that change.

As with big sister Blue Ivy, we may never know the full significance of these names, but we can be sure there is one.

Searyl Atli is another gender-neutral name that feels like there’s a story behind it. Searyl’s parent, from British Columbia, is calling for a birth certificate that doesn’t specify their gender. They pronounce Searyl almost like Cyril, so it may just be an updated spelling of that vintage name.

Atli has multiple roots: it’s a Hebrew boys’ name, it’s the Scandinavian version of Attila (as in the Hun), or you could consider it a variant of the surname Atlee. Altogether, it’s an interesting unisex choice.

More than just a popular name

A name doesn’t have to be out-of-the-ordinary to have a special meaning to parents, and here’s one that proves it.

Milo has skyrocketed in the last few years, and it hasn’t run out of steam yet – it’s in 6th place in the new Nameberry top 100. Alyssa Milano is one of several celebrities with a son called Milo. She recently revealed his name honors actor Milo Ventimiglia, of Heroes and Gilmore Girls fame, who helped to bring her and her husband together.

Of course, it probably helped that the name Milo was already becoming cool. It might have been a different story if Ventimiglia’s name had been something more dusty or dated.

Stars and more stars

Stella Star is the new daughter of reality TV personality Briana DeJesus. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find she shares a middle name with her big sister, Nova. Clearly Briana loves celestial names – and if you do too, here’s a list for you.

Spelling stories

If you see a misspelled name with no context, you might think that the parents made a mistake – but that’s not always the case.

Take Cameron Luuuke, for example. That middle name isn’t an admin error: his parents are football fans and named him after two Carolina Panthers players. “Luuuke” represents the cheering of the crowd when Luke Kuechly is in good form.

National names

Some country names are more loaded with meaning than others. If you have a child called Georgia, chances are you’re not overly attached to the country in the Caucasus or the state in the Deep South. Use a name like Scotland, India or Kenya, and you’re pinning your colors to the mast a bit more. Naming your child Qatar or Saudia right now, like these fathers did, sends out a serious political message.

If you love Arabic names but don’t want to court controversy, there are plenty of other beautiful Arabic names out there.

No story needed

Finally, a name that may or may not have a story behind it, but is still worth a mention!

Actors Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley and Jason Statham have made a solid British-feeling choice for their son, Jack Oscar. Both names are in the top 10 in England and Wales. They’re also hot on Nameberry right now: in the top names of 2017 so far, Jack is #3 and Oscar is #15. That’s above their national rank in 2016, so helped by this new arrival, we might see even more American parents use these names in the next year.

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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