Baby Name News of the Week

November 14, 2018 Clare Green

by Clare Green

This week’s news includes Pippa Middleton’s baby name, trends from New York to India, and why naming your son Gabriel might help your dog.

Lots of names from Long Island

Any readers from Long Island here? Do you know a lot of kids called Isabella and Michael? According to research by NewsDay, they were the most popular baby names overall there between 2007-2016.

Other highlights from this fascinating data-gathering: the most popular short names on Long Island were Ty, Om and Bo. Local place names used for babies included Bellerose, Sinai and Merrick. And nearly 3% of the children born in that time period got names that were only recorded once – including surprises like Robyn, Poppy, Philippa and Reuben.

If you’re looking for a long list of names off the beaten track, or just love getting stuck into statistics, the full (searchable and sortable!) data tables are a great place to lose a few hours. And remember name data for New York City and New York State is also available.

Royal (and nearly-royal) boys’ names: Arthur, Theodore and Balthazar

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have a new cousin – and now we know his name!

Pippa Matthews (née Middleton) and her husband James had a baby boy in October, and according to reports his name is Arthur Michael William. These classic boys’ names have plenty of namesakes in his extended family – especially Michael, the name of both Pippa’s father and James’ late brother. James’ brother Spencer and his wife, model Vogue Williams (are you following?) used equally classic names for their son Theodore Frederick Michael, born in September.

At the more adventurous end of the spectrum, Charlotte Casiraghi of Monaco’s royal family recently welcomed her son Balthazar. He joins big brother Raphaël and sister Dasha. Do you think having Pomeline as a middle name has encouraged Charlotte to be an original namer?

Trending girls’ names: Bonnie and Genevieve

On the girls’ side, we’ve seen some new arrivals with stylish names that are on the rise.

Model Kate Upton and baseball player Justin Verlander welcomed a daughter, Genevieve Upton (she’s using dad’s surname). Genevieve is right on time for a hundred-year revival: it’s been in the Top 200 since 2015.

British parents Sue and Noel Radford have just welcomed their twenty-first child, Bonnie Raye. As with their other children’s names,* which span almost 30 years, they’re very of the moment. Bonnie is making a comeback in the UK, and entered the Top 100 last year. In the US, after a boom in the 1940s and a gentle fall, it’s just starting to climb again – so name your daughter Bonnie now, and you might be ahead of the curve.

*From oldest to youngest: Christopher, Sophie, Chloe, Jack, Daniel, Luke, Millie, Katie, James, Ellie, Aimee, Josh, Max, Tillie, Oscar, Casper, Hallie, late brother Alfie, Phoebe and Archie (who featured in our name news last year).

East meets west: what’s hot in India

According to the Times of India, many young Indian parents are giving their children “remixed” names that blend east and west, like the half-and-half Cornell Viren Kumar. Tiny names like Myra are popular, as are diminutive boys’ names ending in the diminutive -ansh. One example, Reyansh, is climbing fast in the US too.

Other trends include names that work globally, like Neel and Zen, smooshes combining both parents’ names, and using numerology to find the perfect spelling.

If you need a name that bridges cultures, these international names are a great starting point. Or if you’re specifically looking for something that works in India, try these Hindi baby names.

Names from all over: Lautaro, Fabian and Ford

Parents all over the world are giving their children internationally-inspired names – with mixed success.

Luis Suárez, the Uruguayan soccer player, gave his son a name you might not have heard before: Lautaro. The most famous Lautaro is a South American hero, a sixteenth-century military leader in the indigenous resistance against the Spanish in Chile…and there’s also fellow soccer player Lautaro Martínez. Suárez celebrated the birth by wearing a shirt featuring a picture of the baby with his siblings Delfina and Benjamin, captioned “Bienvenido Lauti” (adorable nickname).

From national hero to chess hero: grandmaster Jennifer Shahade named her son Fabian, after the Italian-American master Fabiano Caruana. It started as a joke, then she and her husband realised they actually loved the name.

A couple in Sweden wanted to call their son Ford, a name from his Canadian father’s family tree. But the name was rejected. The law in Sweden bans surnames used as first names, never mind that Ford is being used for more babies every year in America. The boy still goes by Ford at home, but on official paperwork his name is the more traditional Bengt.

Does your dog know your baby’s name?

If you have both a dog and a baby, you’ll have lots of techniques for helping them to get to know each other safely. But have you tried teaching your dog to recognise the baby’s name? Reportedly, dogs learn words beginning with stop consonants like P and G fastest – great news if your kid is called Piper or Gabriel.

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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