Baby Name News: Hurricanes, royals, middles and multiples

Baby Name News: Hurricanes, royals, middles and multiples

By Clare Bristow

This week’s news includes names damaged by hurricanes, baby names fit for a prince or princess, matchy first and middle names, and how to handle reactions to your child’s name.

Hurricane names: The fall of Harvey, Katrina, and Irma

Hurricanes are so destructive on lives and property that it may seem silly to be concerned their negative effect on baby names, but perhaps not to people with the name Katrina, Sandy, and now Harvey and Irma. Use of the name Katrina fell by 85 percent after the terrible hurricane that struck New Orleans in 2005. Now the baby name Harvey, which was just coming back into style in the US after a nearly 70-year downturn, is likely to face the same negative fate. And the name Irma is not even going to get her shot, if she ever had one. Sandy was popular enough for long enough that it may escape over-identification with the storm of that name. But anyone named Katrina, Harvey, and Irma will be plagued by hurricane jokes for many years to come.

Royal baby names: Britain and Sweden

You’ve probably heard that William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their third child. The world is already placing bets on what George and Charlotte’s little brother or sister will be called.

The best analysis I’ve read is Elea’s predictions – the top contenders include Alice and Arthur. From everything we know about the royal couple, we wouldn’t expect anything outrageous, so the odds of them calling their baby Brexit or Daenerys are roughly zero.

Gabriel probably won’t be on Will and Kate’s list either, but it’s the name of the newest royal baby in Sweden. Prince Gabriel Carl Walther, son of Prince Carl Philip, son of King Carl XVI Gustav, was born last week. As you’ll have spotted, Carl is a traditional name for Swedish royal men. Walther is also a family name, but Gabriel isn’t – it seems that his parents just felt it suited him.

It’s not so out of place in European royal nurseries: Monaco has a two-year-old Princess Gabriella. Her twin brother shares their father’s name, Jacques.

The Swedish royal family is having a baby boom at the moment. Gabriel’s big brother Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil was born last year, and their cousins Estelle, Oscar, Leonore and Nicolas are all under 6. Their names strike a good balance for young royals: traditional, fashionable and internationally-recognised. If this is your style, you might like this list of royal baby names. There’s another cousin due in March next year, probably a few weeks before the next British prince or princess.

Rhyming combinations

Another Gabriel caught my eye this week: Gabriel Daniel, the newborn son of former American Idol contestant Danny Gokey. The repeated endings on the first and middle names are pretty striking, particularly when you see that his big siblings are Daniel Emanuel and Victoria Isabella.

In similar style, these French birth announcements include twins Kaleo Destino and Timeo Eterno, and there’s lots of alliteration in these announcements from Germany, like Benno Balthasar and Leni Lexine.

Do you love matching first and middle names like these? If not, would you tolerate them to get your top choices, or would you avoid them at all costs?

Flood babies and eclipse babies

Now for more name stories from recent events in the US. A girl called Anaya Dallas was born as her family escaped the floods caused by Storm Harvey. Her middle name honors the city where they found refuge.

Another family who escaped through flood waters named their son Noah. They already had the name picked out, and with almost one in every hundred boys born last year called Noah, there was a fairly good statistical chance of this happening. Still, that doesn’t stop us appreciating how appropriate it is for his biblical namesake.

In Indiana, Jordyn Eclipse was born on 21 August, the day of the solar eclipse across America. That’s the second baby I’ve heard of with this name – we’ll have to wait until May to find out if there were enough boys or girls called Eclipse for it to make the charts for the first time.

Internet-proofing your baby’s name

A little while ago, Nameberry asked whether you’d claim your baby’s digital footprint, which got some interesting answers. Now another celebrity couple, TV personalities Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, have taken it up a level. They rejected some names for their son on the basis that they’d already been taken as social media handles, and have created accounts in his name on various channels. While it seems a bit much, I’ll be interested to find out what name they’ve chosen to be unique in the world of usernames.

Naming sextuplets

Ok, these parents aren’t asking for our advice. But when you read a story like this, it’s hard not to take up the challenge. They already have three sons called Saylor, Wales and Bridge (those last two are twins). Now they’re expecting sextuplets, 3 boys and 3 girls. Any guesses what they might call them? Since they have a Saylor, perhaps they might like some of these offbeat occupational names.

Advice on Autumn

Fall is here! If you’re expecting a baby this season, you might be considering an autumnal name. There are lots of possibilities, from nature and color names to more outside-the-box choices.

This British mother welcomed a daughter called Autumn last year, but has taken to the internet with her doubts about the name. Sadly, it sounds like the main problem is a relative’s bad attitude. Autumn certainly isn’t an unusual name for children nowadays. In England and Wales, it was the second most popular season name in 2015 – but while Summer was #66 and falling, Autumn was #148 and rising, so they might cross over in the next few years. In the States, it’s doing even better: Autumn is the most popular season name for girls, at #65 in 2016.

Different and proud

It’s the opposite story for these parents who used less traditional names. With daughters called Ripley (after Sigourney Weaver’s character in the Alien movies), Aries (inspired by Ares, the Greek god of war), Storm and Serenity (both from X-Men), they’re used to comments from people who find them odd. But there are no regrets. As one mother says, “You will never win 100 percent of the time, so just make the best decision you can.”

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at