Baby Name News: Stormy and Sweet

Lazlo, Xanto, Coco

By Clare Bristow

There are lots of sweet, friendly names in the news this week, plus inspiration from French pet-owners and a whole alphabet of storm names.

Winter storm names from A-Z

Have you seen The Weather Channel’s list of winter storm names for this year? It’s not an official list like the tropical cyclone names decided by the World Meteorological Organization, but The Weather Channel says that naming a storm helps to communicate information about it. And it’s always fun to look at a list of names.

At a glance, it could almost be a nursery register. There’s Noah, Liam, Riley, Chloe (not Colbert)… in fact, 16 letters of the alphabet have names in the US Top 100. Of the others, 3 are in the Top 1000: Frankie, Toby, and high climber Kalani. The rest are outliers below the Top 1000, some of them way below: Benji, Inga, Polly, Uma, Wilbur, Xanto and Yvonne.

All those popular names and diminutives give the list of storms a rather cuddly feel, which I’m not sure is the desired effect – but maybe using well-loved favorites will help the public engage more with messages about the storms?

If you’re looking for a more obviously weather-related name, there are lots of ideas on this list.

Diminutives for boys: Cobi and Albee

Seeing Toby on the winter storm list reminded me that it’s one of those names that’s much more popular in England and Wales (where it’s #46) than the US (where it’s #765).

Another similar-sounding name that’s much hotter with British parents is Coby. It left the US top 1000 in 2009, but in the UK it’s going strong just outside the top 300 – and variant spellings like Kobi are also well-used.

Case in point: Kian Egan, formerly of the boyband Westlife, has just welcomed a son called Cobi. He and his wife must really like the Co- sound and the -i ending, as their two older sons are Koa and Zekey.

Albie is another diminutive name that’s wildly more popular in the UK – but the actress Katie Lowes has just used a variant spelling for her son, Albee. Can you see more American parents following suit?

A couple of Cocos

If you love that Co- sound too, you might have considered Coco for a girl. If so, you’re not alone: a few dozen parents put it on the birth certificate each year (60 in 2016). It’s been on my name radar recently as a couple of celebs have used it as a middle name for their children. Aussie soap star-turned-singer Holly Valance’s daughter Nova Skye Coco was born in September, and the actor Jason Thompson welcomed his daughter Rome Coco soon after. It’s a rather sweet rhyming match for her brother, Bowie Banjo.

Of course, Coco could be a nickname for any name containing a “Co”, from Cordelia to CollinsAbby Sandel wrote a great post about this on her blog, and here are more ideas from the forums. Or indeed, it could be used for any name at all, like the woman who started parents’ love affair with the name, GabrielleCocoChanel.

Sweet girls’ names: Wren, Ramona and Mayte

While we’re on the subject of sweet girl names, Wren Ivy, the name of “Call the Midwife” actress Helen George, has gone down well with the public at large. That probably won’t surprise you: both Wren and Ivy have been favorites with name-lovers for several years. They rank #524 and #112 in the US now, but they’re higher on the Nameberry chart (#116 and #34 respectively), so they may well keep rising.

Did you see the story about a journalist who accidentally posted updates about his daughter on the NPR Facebook page? Many of us already have fond feelings about the name Ramona, thanks to Beverly Cleary’s books… and now this cat-loving toddler is a reason to like it even more.

Here’s one more short, sweet, saintly girl’s name that’s just hit the headlines: Mayte Amor, Perez Hilton‘s new daughter. She shares her initials with her siblings Mario Armando III and Mia Alma, and her first name is a contraction of Maria and Teresa. While it’s not pronounced exactly the same, it could also be a way to get to May as a nickname.

That O sound again: Lazlo

We’ve seen a lot of names with an O sound in this post…and here are a few more!

You’ll probably know that boys’ names ending in -o are enjoying a moment: Arlo, Enzo and Otto are among those that are on the up. If you’re looking for something almost no one else has used, Lazlo could be one to consider. Acting couple Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen have just used this simplified spelling of the Hungarian name Laszlo (or László) for their son – quite a style departure from their older son’s name, Sid.

Top cat and dog names in France

Nino is another -o boys’ name that’s little-used in the US now – but apparently it’s one of the top names for pets in France. These aren’t official statistics by any means, but the names are worth a look. N seems to be the letter à la mode this year. Some of the more human-friendly choices include Nash, Nikita, Nova, Newton and Nox

By George

Love a good naming coincidence? Here’s one from the local press in England: at the George Eliot Hospital (named after the author), parents recently welcomed a boy called George Elliot (not named after the author, or the hospital).

Alright, with both names in the England and Wales Top 100 it was bound to happen sooner or later, but it’ll be a fun story to tell him when he’s older. Have you heard of any coincidences like this recently?

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3 Responses to “Baby Name News: Stormy and Sweet”

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mill1020 Says:

October 12th, 2017 at 12:26 am

I like Inga.

mother_dragons Says:

October 12th, 2017 at 4:06 am

Mayte (the original spelling being Maite, prn MY-teh) is actually a Basque named meaning beloved. It started being used as a nickname for Maria Teresa during Francisco Franco’s government, when it was forbidden to speak languages that weren’t Spanish

ClareB Says:

October 12th, 2017 at 7:55 am

Thanks, @mother_dragons – that’s so interesting that it was a stealthy way to keep using Basque.

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