Baby Names in the News: Max Mario and Onyx Wolfric
This week’s news includes a boy named after a gemstone and a fairytale character, Italian heritage names, and the decline (or not) of Alan.
British pop culture power couple Tom and Giovanna Fletcher are legends of the baby name world for naming their sons Buddy Bob and Buzz Michelangelo. Now they have a third boy, the equally snappy Max Mario. Max is a good fit with his brothers’ nickname names, and Mario honors Giovanna’s brother and father.
Immigrant names: the give and take
If your family comes from another country or culture, like Giovanna Fletcher, you might have considered whether to reflect that in your baby’s name. Two recent stories show different sides of the debate.
One mother gave her daughter a name from her Italian heritage, Giuliana, only to find that teachers and doctors sometimes run into trouble with the pronunciation. The piece is called “I regret giving my daughter a unique name”, but actually it’s not as simple as that: it’s still the name mom loves, and she hopes that her daughter will grow to love it too.
Would you consider naming your child after someone born on the same day?
One chef from London did just that. After helping his wife to give birth at home – even tying the cord with his apron strings – he sat back and had a quick look at Facebook. Seeing it was the birthday of one of his favorite soccer players, Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur, he suggested to the name Harry to his wife. It stuck!
If you had to have the same name as someone who shares your birthday, what would you choose? I’m imagining myself as a Rihanna…
The call of the wild is strong for Detroit Lions footballer Matthew Stafford, who chose the name Hunter for his new daughter. Stafford and his wife get full marks for consistent sibling names: Hunter’s twin big sisters are Sawyer and Chandler. So if you think occupational surnames are just for boys, think again: Hunter is currently #740 for girls, and besides, women can be hunters too.
Another nature name in the news is Onyx Wolfric, a boy born in April to a couple on an epic walk across America; the three of them completed it this summer. Onyx is a gemstone said to help its wearer overcome fear, appropriate for a baby born far from home. Alanis Morissette used it for her daughter in 2016. Wolfric I’d like to think is a nod to his parents’ fancy dress outfits: along the walk, they sometimes dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf, to raise funds for charity.
Name pockets: Brenton
You know when a name is rare nationwide, but really popular in your area? Well, that happened with the name Brenton in South Australia, where it was in the Top 100 for most years from the 1940s through the 1980s. It’s as bit of a mystery why, but it could be because it’s a distinctively Cornish surname, and a lot of Cornish migrants settled in South Australia.
The rest of the world didn’t catch up with Brenton until the 1980s, when a TV character brought the name to public attention. It peaked at #261 in the US in 1984. It no doubt helped that names like Brandon and Brendan were on the rise at the same time. Today, there’s a new generation of Br- names on the block, like Brayden, Bryson, Braxton and Brantley.
Is Alan going extinct?
Rumors of Alan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. In this article, an Australian Alan laments that his name has migrated firmly into dad and grandpa territory, and that babies named Alan are becoming an endangered species.
But that’s not so, at least in the US and UK. In Britain, it looked like Alan was on the way out, until 2004 when the numbers started to rise again. One reason for this may be that Alan has been popular in Poland recently (it ranked #36 in 2017), so Polish parents in Britain might have contributed to its rise.
In the US, although it’s not as popular is it has been, Alan has been sitting steadily in the 100’s for decades, making it a classic, dependable choice that’s not going to sound trend-chasing. So fear not, ye Alans: your name is safe for at least another generation.
The (name) writing’s on the wall
Finally, let’s hear it for unique names! A Reddit user shared a picture of a hospital’s banner that features all the different names of the 30,000 babies they’ve delivered. They have it reprinted every 5000 babies – that’s true dedication.
Not only is it a name-lover’s paradise, but I bet it inspires new parents who are stuck for ideas. It also shows that names really do come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Some of the many you can see in the photo include Judge and Jolene, Livia and Lemuel, Meera and Musa. If you take a look, be prepared to lose a few hours!
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