Baby Name News: Georgia, Phayson, and the rest of the Nameberry 9

For this week’s baby name news, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel picks the nine newsiest names, but looks at why it’s a plus to pick a popular name ahead of the curve, what the hottest new nickname is, and when some names have run their course.

Let’s say you named your daughter Stella back in 1999.  Your Stella is now in her teens, but somehow every friend-of-a-friend is using your name for their new daughter, and it isn’t just your imagination.  Stella barely registered in the US Top 1000 back in 1999, but today, it is a Top 100 pick – and rising.  You find yourself thinking unkind thoughts about Tori Spelling, and wondering why other parents can’t be just as creative as you were, back in the day.

While parents might find it irritating, I suspect that the kids who grow up with ahead-of-the-curve names probably like it just fine.  I know a 30-something Mackenzie, a 20-something Hannah, and a recent conversation about a teenaged Sophia made me think: is the happiest of occurrences to receive a fashionable name early in its rise?

It is a tricky feat to pull off, but if you’re lucky enough to be the parent of a 6 year-old Harper or a tweenaged Lucy, congratulations.  Your child will probably grow up sharing her name with attractive fictional characters, as well as the kids she babysits.

I don’t mean to suggest that you should strive to give your kiddo the next big name, but if you’ve accidentally managed to do so – and betcha lots of Nameberries do just that – maybe there’s a silver lining.

On to this week’s baby name news:

Bristol – We haven’t heard much from Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter since she exited Dancing with the Stars, but NASCAR returned to Bristol, Tennessee this weekend.  Despite her similar sound to dated 1980s favorite Crystal, and associations with cream sherry, dozens of places from the original Bristol in England to the race track in Tennessee, and, of course, the Palin clan, Bristol seems to be catching on.  Over 500 newborns received the name last year.

Delilah – Hey there, DelilahRod Stewart became a grandpa last week when his daughter Kimberly welcomed her firstborn.  Dad is actor Benicio Del Toro.  One of Rod’s hit singles inspired parents to consider the name Maggie Mae.  It feels fitting that his first grandchild has a name boosted by a pop hit, too.  The Plain White Tee’s 2007 single isn’t the only thing behind Delilah’s rise, but it is does give parents a built-in lullaby.

Georgia – Speaking of dynasties, former president George Herbert Walker Bush is now a great-grandfather, following the arrival of his grandson Jeb Bush, Jr.’s first, a daughter named Georgia Helena Walker Bush.  That’s right – the latest addition is Georgia H.W. Bush.  The family is known for passing down their names, and I do appreciate that they didn’t save the appellation for a future son.  What do you think – too close to her very famous great-grandpa’s name, or a great way to honor a loved one?

Irene – The Greek personification of peace now shares her name with a hurricane wreaking havoc on the Atlantic coast.  It also happens to be my late grandmother’s name – and given Irene’s popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, she can be found on an awful lot of family trees.  Conventional wisdom suggests that a devastating storm would never inspire parents to consider a name, and sometimes that’s true.  But Katrina actually rose modestly in 2005, before falling off sharply in the following years.  If you’re at a loss for a name, and the end of your pregnancy is defined by evacuating or hunkering down with candles and canned goods, maybe the National Hurricane Center isn’t the most unreasonable source of inspiration.  Check out their full list here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml

Lily – She’s the new Maddie – the ubiquitous nickname shared by several popular names for girls.  You never can tell if that grade-school Maddie is short for Madison or Madeline – or Madisyn, or Madeleine, or Madelyn … Now Maddie’s little sister is Lily, and the guessing game continues.  Is Lily short for Lillian, Lilianna, Lilia, or even Lilith?  Or is it just lovely Lily – or Lillie?  Two arrived in my circle this week, and while I do love the name, I’m struggling to keep them straight!

Mavis – She’s the opposite of Lily – absolutely unheard of for decades, unless you’re a Thomas the Tank Engine superfan.  But the new Diablo Cody movie, slated for a December release, stars Charlize Theron as MavisYoung Adult is about Mavis return to her Minnesota hometown following a divorce.  I cannot wait to hear if the movie offers an explanation for her off-beat appellation.

Phayson – The 65th Little League World Series concluded this weekend.  All of the teams included talented kids with intriguing names, but Team Europe really caught my attention.  Their roster included boys called Beau, Bram, Diamond, Kay, Rafael, and Phayson.  Center fielder Phayson Antonia hails from Rotterdam, and easily gets my vote for the most unusual player name.

TealReal Simple tells me that Teal is the color to add to my fall wardrobe, and the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority has announced that their newest line will be identified by the hue  The dark-greenish blue shade is pleasing, and the sound fits right in with modern appellations like Tate and color names like Scarlet.  Having twins?  Real Simple suggests pairing Teal with Gray, Saffron, or Violet.

Tia – Speaking of twins, I always thought Tia got short-changed compared to sister TameraTamera’s name isn’t for me, but it is a full, formal name, compared to the bite-sized Tia.  The Mowry sisters have been in the spotlight since the 90s, and they’re now the subject of a new reality show on the Style network.  Mia, Gia, and Lia all have their fans, and Zia has been spotted in birth announcements, too.  Will Tia’s new show boost her name?  Maybe.  But I suspect it might be her son’s name, Cree, that gains the most from Tia & Tamera.

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29 Responses to “Baby Name News: Georgia, Phayson, and the rest of the Nameberry 9”

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clairels Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 12:27 am

I actually went to high school with a girl named Teal; it’s an intriguing name, but I’ve never met another one since. It’s also a species of duck.

Nook of Names Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 7:58 am

Stella is still languishing over here, so it’s funny that it is become so stellar (pardon the pun) in America.

Totally agree with what you say about ‘getting ahead’ of the name trends; something I say myself. Far nicer (and cooler!) to be a twenty/thirty-something Lily, Isabella or Sophia than a baby one, who’ll just end up being one of the crowd.

Marginamia Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 8:17 am

I love Mavis! May the movie spark a reuse of the name similar to likes of Juno! I think most any variation on Georgia is beautiful, and I like Irene, too, as well as a sort of spin-off name, Rina. If people are inclined to name after storms, I rather like two recent storm names as a set: Rina and Beryl.

But here’s the thing, as I addressed in more length in my Hurricane-Name post on Friday, these names have SUCH a long history prior to being storm names!!! I think it’s just a matter of picking names that other name nerds have pinpointed as stylish to use for their studied storms, because it is very, very clearly a name nerd picking the storm names! I set out to post ONLY the most compelling ones from the entire list (all seaboards, all recorded storms) but there were so, so many compelling ones that the list is a pretty big one! It has to be the work of name lovers; there is just absolutely no doubt about it! In fact, maybe it’s a berry? Anyone?

I’m less fond of Teal, I have to say, than of many more current color names being used, though I do like the color, itself. I’ve made no secret of my love of Saffron as a name–it’s such a nice choice, for both a color and spice option! I also like Farrow as a “gray” option! I went to school with a girl named Gray, so now I just can’t imagine it on anyone else.

Lily– Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 8:56 am

I’m a long time lurker, but had to share my thoughts here! As a 21 year old (well, 20 for one more day) Lily, I agree that being ‘ahead of the curve’ is fun, and I’ve always loved my name. In 1990, Lily wasn’t too uncommon, but she definitely wasn’t at the extraordinary heights she is now, and I’ve only ever met one other Lily around my own age. As a preschool worker and student teacher here in Australia, I’ve met countless Lilys in the under 10s section. I also have an 18 year old sister named Isabella, and a 1 year old brother named Charles 🙂

anniebee Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 11:00 am

I actually kind of like the feel/look of Bristol, but I live in TN and it would either get associated with Nascar or Sarah Palin, which is not my scene in either regard. I think if those associations were out, I’d like it quite a bit.

And again, politics aside, I do really like Georgia Helena… I love the idea of Georgia to honor a George and Helena has that same kind of classical elegance to it. I really wish I didn’t like it! lol

adoptimist Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

The beginning that talked about being named before your name was trendy made me smile. As a 20-year-old Audrey, I’m excited as I watch my name climb up the name chart. I used to be the only one, now I find that I share it with a lot of little girls under five! I joke with my friends that I’m excited because when I’m 50, I’ll have a 30-year-old name 😉

ocross Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 3:30 pm

@ Lily: I just HAD to post. I will be turning 21 tomorrow as well. Happy Birthday!

My name is Olivia and I was born in 1990. In high school, I worked retail and almost everyday someone pointed to my nametag and told me their daughter/neice/granddaugther was named Olivia. Just this spring, a friend named her baby girl Olivia (though not in my honour). Going ahead of the curve can be a little risky but I’m very fond of my name and get many compliments on it.

ocross Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I should probably add, though, that Olivia is not entirely uncommon for my age group. I knew two other Olivia’s growing up and have met a few more since.

NaviZ Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Funny that you call Mavis “unheard of & offbeat”… I know one! …but I also live in Minnesota! Can’t wait to see the movie 🙂

Abby Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

@clairels, Drake bothers me for his duck-associations. But I’m willing to give Teal a pass. I once met a Teale – wonder if it was to distance her from Donald & Daisy?

@Lily – Glad to hear the theory holds!

@Anniebee – I agree completely. Georgia Helena is too lovely not to like!

kashed22 Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I have a 30 year old cousin named Hayley.

crescentmoon Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

As a Mia, my name is “ahead of the curve” too. While its recent popularity hs brought some advantages- people have mostly stopped pronouncing it Maya and saying “Oh, like Mia Hamm?”- I wish my name weren’t quit so popular.
My name was by no means unique when my parents gave it to me fifteen years ago,but they partially chose it because they didn’t know anybody with the name. Now little Mias are running around in the dozens, and my name doesn’t feel quite so special. That being said, I’d rather be ahead of the curve than in the midst of the craze!
The same thing happened to my nineteen-year-old cousin Olivia. My aunt was extremely ahead of the curve- she also considered the name Sawyer, which probably would have seemed crazy on a girl twenty years ago.

giants1990 Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

My grandmother’s name is Irene. I also have an 18 year old first cousin named Lily Marie. Mavis reminds me of the typing program.

Abby Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

@giants1990, would you ever consider using Irene? My sister insists it is one of the few decent family names for a girl, but I’m still not sold. If my parents had followed the Italian naming convention, I’d actually be Irene … not sure how I feel about that.

TeacherMA Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

@Abby But Irene sounds so much better in Italian!
http://www.forvo.com/_ext/ext-prons.js?id=135524

TeacherMA Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Hmm… seems my link doesn’t completely work. It does take you to Forvo’s list for pronunciations for Irene if you click the Irene icon that does load.

Honestly, all of the other languages have nicer pronunciations for Irene than English.

Alto24601 Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I’ve been trying to come up with a name that’s ahead of the curve for a few years now. Still haven’t figured out how to do it. Most names that seem ahead of the curve are actually on the way up. Then your kid would end up as a five year old sharing her name with a bunch of two year olds. Any thoughts on how to come up with something that would be popular 15 years from now-ish?

gabby1 Says:

August 29th, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I was watching the Little Leaque World Series and thought there were some great names:

Trebor – His father’s name (Robert) spelled backwards
Hagen
Danner – a surname but would make a great first name.
Kenet
Talon
Cain
Jet – his grandfather’s initials were J.E.T.
Madden – perfect for the sports fan
Ryo- pronounced Rio

MaryB Says:

August 30th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

The first three cousins born on my mom’s side of the family were named Leila, Leah, and Abigail. They were born in 1974, 1975, and 1977 respectively. I know that especially my cousin Leila and my sister Abigail(Abby)enjoyed having names that stood out from the crowd and recieved a lot of positive attention. When Abigail started becoming super popular for babies (around the early 90’s), my sister(now 33) was in her teens and her name definitely stopped being ‘special’ and people tended to lump her in with all the other ‘Abbys’ they knew (much younger). The name Leila didn’t start to become popular until my cousin Leila was about 30 years old (early/mid 2000’s) so it impacted her less. My cousin Leah (age 36) isn’t really the type of person who notices baby name trends, so I doubt she realizes how many little Leahs there are out there under 10. Actually her parents had chosen the name Leah as a variation of her mother’s middle name ‘Lee’.

A friend this has happened also to is my friend Alana (now 32). Baby, toddler, and preschool age Alana/Elana/Alaiyna’s, etc…are EVERYWHERE and she definetely notices. If anything the unbelievable current popularity of this name (and it’s many many spelling variations)has served to make us say ‘what is so special about this name anyway? It has a very boring look/sound and at this point is very blah, boring and forgettable on a baby.

Regarding the name Bristol, it is also a town in Rhode Island, so I always picture a New England seaport when I hear it. The name also evokes the image of ‘bristle’ like on a hairbrush or bottle brush when I hear it.

I agree that the hurricane name list can be a good source for name inspiration. This is partly because it gives you a chance to hear how a name sounds ‘out loud’ because the media tend to mention ‘Hurricane ______” ad nauseum. Some that I thoght sounded cool were Hugo, Floyd, Wilma, and somewhat Rita. Irene is not that fresh to me as I here it quite frequently especially in the Hispanic population also women between 25-45 years old.

I like the idea of the name Teal and it does look cool on paper but the pronounciation is tough. The child would be doomed to a life of “What? Tia?”. When the color Teal is discussed in conversation people will usually describe something as either ‘teal blue’ or ‘teal green’ and rarely say just ‘teal’. This word pairing resolves the pronounciation ambiguity surrounding the word’teal’.

linzybindi Says:

August 31st, 2011 at 1:16 am

Georgia Helena Walker Bush is adorable! I think it is wonderful that they didn’t wait until they had a boy to pass the name down. Helena is a nice step away from Herbert. Lovely solid name!

Thanks for posting the hurricane list…I am completely bummed to see Ophelia on there! Hopefully she won’t be a hurricane! 🙂

ummokayyeah Says:

September 2nd, 2011 at 12:00 am

Alto24601- I have two girls names picked out that I think are ahead of the curve. In reality they are just uncommon or out of use names that I love, but absolutely never hear mentioned. I don’t know if they will ever become popular, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. When I mention the names people react positively. I think that is all “ahead of the curve” names are. Nobody knows if the uncommon name they’ve picked out is going to become trendy, if they do know, that’s because it probably isn’t common yet, but is rising and will be in a few years. So basically you can’t assure you’ve picked an ahead of the curve name, you just can pick truly uncommon ones that you like.

bostonian girl Says:

September 2nd, 2011 at 4:43 pm

My stepsons’ maternal grandmother is an Irene. They were none too happy about the hurricane; my older stepson parroted his grandmother’s complaint about a name with the meaning “peace” being applied to a vicious storm! I tried to explain that the National Hurricane Center doesn’t pay attention to meanings when they’re choosing names, they just need some way to distinguish one storm from all its fellows. I don’t think it impressed him at all. 🙂

I went to school with a Mia, who as a 1965 baby was waaaaaay ahead of the curve! I think in her case, it was short for Maria, though. I always automatically pronounced it “Mee-ah”, since the “My-ah” pronunciation just doesn’t feel right to me with that spelling.

I think choosing a name ahead of its popularity is no more than a fluke. After all, it’s impossible to predict the future! 😉

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WeeHermione Says:

September 11th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

My parents used “Hayley” (my name) before it got popular — unfortunately, it means that my name is used on a lot of younger girls, and I feel like people tend to treat me like I’m younger than I am (looking younger than I am doesn’t help either!). All the Hayley’s I know are pre-teens! It makes me feel like I’m stuck in perpetual girlish-land, yanno? They were ahead of the curve, but I wish they hadn’t been!

emilymaryjane Says:

December 22nd, 2011 at 3:35 am

My brother in law is 27 and his name is Jaiden and my 26 year sister’s real name is Charmaine but every one calls her Charlie so they are ahead of the times. Jaiden says its funny at my niece Emma’s playgroup there are about five Jaiden’s (with differnet spellings of course), two Aiden’s and three Hayden’s. For my sister there are four Charlie’s, two Charli’s, a Charlee, a Charlotte, a Zarlee, a Harley, a Marleigh and a Charamayne. I am a fourteen year old Emily and Charmaine tells me there are Five Emily’s, three Emma’s (including my neice), an Emilia and an Emmah-Lee. My mum is also ahead of the times her name is Rebecca and she is forty-nine. (Mums real name is Catherine but she hates it so goes by Rebecca). A family of some of my cousins are cousins are a 16 year old Madison, a 19 year old Isabella and twenty one year old twins Archie and Lily-Letitia. They love there names just like I love being the only fourteen year old Emily I know.
P.s the kids at my niece’s playgroup are all three year olds.

emilymaryjane Says:

December 22nd, 2011 at 3:40 am

My brother in law is 27 and his name is Jaiden and my 26 year sister’s real name is Charmaine but every one calls her Charlie so they are ahead of the times. Jaiden says its funny at my niece Emma’s playgroup there are about five Jaiden’s (with differnet spellings of course), two Aiden’s and three Hayden’s. For my sister there are four Charlie’s, two Charli’s, a Charlee, a Charlotte, a Zarlee, a Harley, a Marleigh and a Charamayne. I am a fourteen year old Emily and Charmaine tells me there are Five Emily’s, three Emma’s (including my neice), an Emilia and an Emmah-Lee. My mum is also ahead of the times her name is Rebecca and she is forty-nine. (Mums real name is Catherine but she hates it so goes by Rebecca). A family of some of my cousins are a 16 year old Madison, a 19 year old Isabella and twenty one year old twins Archie and Lily-Letitia (She goes by Lily). They love there names just like I love being the only fourteen year old Emily I know.
P.s the kids at my niece’s playgroup are all three year olds.

emilymaryjane Says:

December 22nd, 2011 at 3:55 am

sorry for accidently posting it twice and the child who is called Charmaine at my niece’s playgroup is acually spelt Charmayne. Sorry

Olive Says:

August 24th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Georgia! I love that name!

Emma_lane Says:

September 22nd, 2012 at 8:28 am

as a twenty something Emma I love my name but I am grateful that I am ahead of the boom of baby Emma’s (I blame Ross and Rachel for that!) I didn’t know any Emma’s growing up but now I know many all under the age of six!

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