Baby Name News: August, Jones, and Kit

August 30, 2017 Clare Green

By Clare Bristow

This week’s news includes a high-profile starbaby, cool surname names for brothers, and names inspired by the Middle Ages and the night sky.

Welcome, August!

With a daughter called Maxima, the name-loving world was on edge to find out what Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan would pick for their second daughter. This week we got the answer: August.

It’s instinctive to compare the two sisters’ names, so here we go. Both have Latin origins (as Sophie correctly predicted), like their parents’ names. Both have an on-trend sound: in the US top 1000, there are 3 August– names and 9 Max– names. And both are a bit unisex. August is used more for boys than girls – although it’s much more popular than Augusta or any other feminine form – and her sister is Max for short.

Incidentally, the number of girls with just Max on their birth certificate more than doubled the year after Max Zuckerberg was born, from 23 girls in 2015 to 54 in 2016.

On the other hand, August is in a different popularity league from Maxima. With 222 girl Augusts born last year, it’s below the top 1000 but not super-rare. Several other celebs have used it, including Charlize Theron for her daughter adopted in 2015.

Something to ponder: what do you think the Chan-Zuckerbergs would have named their new daughter if she had been born a couple of weeks later, in September?

Preppy sibling names

More stylish sibling names: the Dallas Cowboys footballer Tony Romo has sons called Hawkins, Rivers, and now their latest arrival, Jones. Their parents clearly like preppy names ending in S for their boys.

Jones’s middle name, McCoy, is another cool surname name that’s on the rise. One wonders if it was inspired by Texas footballer Colt McCoy, like actor Scott Porter’s son. Another new baby with this name is Ford Charles McCoy, the son of British pop singer Siobhan Donaghy. If you like this style, here are more Mac– names for boys.

Catchy Kit

From McCoy to McFly: if you’ll forgive me staying in the British pop scene a little longer, singer Harry Judd has just welcomed a son called Kit. This mini vintage nickname has started to rise on both sides of the pond, no doubt helped by Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington, and numerous celebs who have used the name, including Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch (in both cases, short for Christopher).

The soccer player Wayne Rooney also has a son called Kit – and two more called Kai and Klay. Now his wife is expecting a fourth child, bookmakers say the odds of them going for another K-name are 4/7.

Storm babies

Back in the States, amid the devastation Storm Harvey is causing, it’s good to hear the hopeful stories that have come out of it. One of interest to name-lovers was about babies born in Texas as the eye of the storm made landfall. One mother named her son Harvey, after the unforgettable weather conditions at his birth. We’ll have to wait till next May to find out if there’s an overall effect on this name, which climbed to #412 in 2016.

Medieval names

Good news for history lovers: the latest edition of the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources is out now (and yes, it includes Kit, or rather the variant Kyt, which was recorded as early as 1379). It’s always exciting to read the list of new names added to the database. Some of them you’ll recognise, like Jason and Emily. A few are only for the bold – Engelschalk and Ratbald, anyone? In the middle ground, there are some glorious names waiting to be rediscovered, including Faber, Sabin, Eda and Rosamund. And, for fans of Max-names, Maximiliana.

Top names in Belgium

Looking for a name with international appeal? You might consider looking to Belgium for inspiration. The country is a melting-pot of languages and cultures, and its top 100 names of 2016 reflect this. The most popular names in Belgium are worldwide favorites Emma and Lucas. Further down the list, you’ll find a diverse mix including names from French (Camille, Jules), Flemish (Hanne, Emiel), and Arabic (Nour, Rayan).

Starry names

Finally, if you’re looking up to the heavens for name inspiration, you might find it in this list of all the star names approved by the International Astronomical Union. Some of them are already established as people names, like Maia and Atlas. Others are unusual but workable, like Altair, Diadem and Mimosa. Many are even more exotic: when it comes to star names, the sky’s the limit.

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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