Baby Name Trends of the Week

Tennis, word and E-names

By Clare Bristow

In the news this week: two new tennis babies, lots of names beginning with E and M, and some memorable word names.

Tennis babies

Serena Williams welcomed a daughter a few weeks ago, and she’s just revealed her name: Alexis Olympia. Alexis’s first name matches her father, Alexis Ohanian, and while we don’t know their reasons for picking Olympia, it feels like a good fit. It’s sporty, it’s mythological (tenuous link alert: like Serena’s sister Venus!), and it sounds almost like the much-more-popular Olivia. I can see Olympia appealing to more parents – can you?

Another new arrival in the tennis world is Tara, Novak Djokovic’s daughter. Novak and his wife already have a son called Stefan, whose name is a nod to the church where they were engaged and married. I’d love to know if there’s a story behind Tara’s name.

Excellent E-names…

We’ve seen a few starbabies with E-names born recently. One is Ember, the daughter of TV personalities Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. This lovely fiery name is just one of the girls’ names ending in -er that parents are falling in love with at the moment.

Eric Trump, the US President’s second son, has passed his name onto his son – though it seems that he’ll be known as Luke.

Then there’s Ennio, the son of Australian model Erin McNaught. This Italian name, given to only 7 boys in the US last year, feels like a great alternative to Enzo if you’re concerned about popularity. E-names clearly run in this family: Ennio’s big brother is Evander, and their father is Elliot (you might know him better as the rapper Example). He has a sister called Elise, and their mother is Elaine.

For more international E-inspiration, you might enjoy the top E-names in Germany in 2016. Some of them will be familiar – Emma and Elias are popular in Germany – but there are also rarities like Emerick, Eren, Elfie and Esma.

Eren…have you heard of this name? It’s a Turkish boys’ name meaning ‘saint’ – which is great if you’re looking for a subtly virtuous meaning. But according to journalist Eren Orbey, it comes with its share of issues in English-speaking countries. His name was originally Erin, then Aaron, before he officially changed it to match his heritage.

…And marvelous M-names

Still on the topic of initial letters, one of America’s most famous alliterative families has welcomed a new member. Josh and Anna Duggar’s new son, Mason Garrett, joins big siblings Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus and Meredith.

Word names: Storm, Life and Referendum

As hurricane season continues, so too do the stories of babies born in dramatic weather conditions. This week you might have heard of Nayiri Storm, who got a police escort through the floods in Florida soon after she was born. Her middle name has obvious meaning, but I’m just as intrigued by her first name. It looks like a variation of Nairi, a historic name for Armenia – but it also calls to mind names from completely different parts of the world, like Nayeli and Nyree.

There are plenty of names that mean ‘life’, like Liv and Zoe, but what about Life itself? This new baby’s parents chose her name years ago, but as it turned out, the circumstances of her birth gave it extra poignant meaning. Life has made the charts occasionally for a handful of boys and girls in the last two decades.

Another baby named for a potentially life-changing event: Referendum. A Kurdish father in Iraq has used it for his son, ahead of the independence referendum for Kurdistan later this month.

Coming soon: England and Wales baby names

Can you feel the excitement building? Next week, after what feels like the longest build-up ever, the 2016 baby name statistics for England and Wales will be released. The name pool may not be as big as America’s, but it’s always interesting to compare what parents are choosing on different sides of the pond.

Do you have any last-minute predictions? Will Oliver and Amelia hold the top spots yet again? Will any of these pop-culture predictions prove popular? To refresh your memory of what’s big with British parents, here are the risers and fallers in the previous year’s top 100.

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