Baby Names in the News: Agnes and Angus

Baby Names in the  News: Agnes and Angus

By Clare Green

This week’s baby name news includes inspiration from places, people, cars and Star Wars – plus why it’s not the best year to be called Tom.

Old-fashioned names: Colette and Kermit

If you love vintage revivals, check out the old-fashioned names that the website Aleteia thinks should come back. Many are saintly, but they’re not just for Catholics. Names like Agnes, Colette, Zita, Linus and Roland are lovely for anyone.

Does your car have a name? The most popular car names in New Zealand, according to this survey, vintage nicknames Betty and Betsy. It wouldn’t be surprising if these made a comeback for girls, either on their own or short for Elizabeth – they feel so old they’re new again. The third most popular car name may need a bit more selling, but the time could be right for Kermit to come back.

Now for a dilemma: what do you do if your teenager thinks her name is too old-fashioned? Let her change it, or hope it’s a passing phase? Mumsnet users have been weighing in.

Hometown names: Easton

Would you name a child after your home town? Olympic skier Bode Miller grew up in Easton, New Hampshire, which is also a Top 100 boys’ name – so it’s neat that he named his son Easton Vaughn Rek. In an interview, he said that he likes the connection between Vaughn and footballer Von Miller, and that his wife isn’t keen on the second middle name, Rek. He didn’t explain this one, so we can only guess if he’s using a rare Danish name, or thinking of the word “wreck”. Either way, it’s one to add to the list of badass baby names.

Von Miller isn’t the only football player inspiring names. It looks like several babies, both boys and girls, have been named Baker after Clevedon Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Aussie baby names: Shane is out, Angus is in

Back down under, Prince Charles joked this week that Harry and Meghan could use an Australian name for their baby…like Kylie or Shane. You can tell it’s been a while since he named any children! Those names were big in the 1980s and 90s, but neither is in the Aussie Top 100 now. If the Duke and Duchess and Sussex want a name that’s currently more popular in Australia than elsewhere, they could try Lachlan, Angus, Indiana or Billie. I wouldn’t put bets on any of those, though.

Queensland has published the most popular baby names for each of its regions. There’s a lot of variety. In the Outback, two girl names in the Top 10 – Makayla and Paige – aren’t even in the national Top 100. Elsewhere, the same is true of Wyatt for boys.

Banned baby names: Yoda and Skrot

Want to call your kid Yoda? You might need to fight for it. Star Wars-loving parents in Poland have just won the right to give their son, who’s now four, Yoda as a middle name. The problem wasn’t the Jedi Master, but the spelling: Polish words usually don’t begin with Y. The authorities have made an exception, so may the force be with little Igor Yoda.

Conversely in Sweden, parents are not allowed to use the word Skrot (meaning “scrap”) as their son’s middle. It’s a cute pet name that they’ve been using since he was born…but do you think, like many pre-natal nicknames, it’s better left off the birth certificate?

International inspiration

More names from other languages? But of course.

Jessica Chastain (of Molly’s Game fame) and her husband Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo have named their daughter Giulietta. No prizes for guessing which side of the family that came from! Jessica may be ahead of the curve with Giulietta: barely used until the 2000s, in the last few years it’s suddenly started to rise, along with its sister name Giulia.

Mikkael isn’t just a creative spelling of Michael, but a Scandinavian version of the name. It was in the news week when a mother used as a middle name for her son, Henry – after the doctor who saved her life.

Santa‘s name lists

Are you or anyone you know on Santa’s naughty or nice list this year? School Stickers has released its annual list of the names with the most and least reward stickers this year. So it’s presents for Emily, Chloe, Joshua and Jack, and a lump of coal for Louise, Faye, Alexander and Jake.

If your name is Thomas, better not tell Santa your nickname: Thomas is on the nice list, but Tom is the naughtiest boy name!

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