Bold Girl Names in this Week’s Name News

October 31, 2018 Clare Green

The news this week includes all kinds of bold girl names, cross-cultural name controversy, and babies named after trees, tropical storms and fast food.

Bold girl names: Banks, Myrtle, Annelil

There have been lots of bold baby names for girls in the news, both from celebs and the rest of the world.

For many parents, Banks is still rather an edgy choice for a boy: a preppy surname in the style of Brooks and Wells, but less popular. For showbiz couple Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma, it’s a girl’s name: their newborn daughter is Banks Violet.

Actors Jeremy Allen White and Addison Timlin chose an even rarer name for their daughter, Ezer Billie. How many of us would love to know the meaning behind that? YouTuber Carlie “CarlieStylez” Butler used a gender-neutral vintage nickname for her daughter, Lenny Jane. And Aussie soap star went vintage with her twins girls’ names: Emerald, inspired by a beach and The Wizard of Oz, and Myrtle, after her aunt’s nickname and a favorite tree.

This season’s stormy weather inspired some parents. In Georgia, a girl born during Storm Michael was named Storm – although her mother briefly fought for Stormi. In India, the dramatic damage caused by Cyclone Titli didn’t put some parents off using the name for baby girls born during the storm. Titli is the Hindi word for “butterfly” – it could be another addition to the list of butterfly names.

Remember KFC’s offer of $11,000 to the first parents to name their baby Harland on The Colonel’s birthday? They made good: the winner is Harland Rose. As for whether she’ll usher in a wave of girls with this name – it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Harlow and Harley (in three different spellings) are in the Top 1000, and variations like Harlyn are on the rise.

So what is it really like to grow up with one of these bold girl names? Whether you have a unique name yourself or are considering using one, you may enjoy these stories of the highs and the lows from young women named George, Annelil, Tempanny, Starr, and more.

Royal baby names: first predictions

One couple who probably won’t be using a way-out name are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle. Or will they? The bookmakers’ first predictions for their baby, due in spring, are traditional royal favorites, but others have made not-so-serious guesses that they’ll go for a crayzee spelling. Or a name from Meghan’s acting career. Really, they’ve got a lot of choice.

You can find out our expert choices in tomorrow’s blog post! Meanwhile, let’s enjoy them naming  a pair of kiwi chicks on their trip to New Zealand. The names are Koha (meaning “gift”) and Tihei (“sneeze”). Adorable.

Racist baby name advice?

There’s been controversy after a newspaper “Dear Abby” advised an expectant father not to use an Indian first name from his wife’s culture for the baby because it could be problematic in the English-speaking world.

It got shared on Twitter. The world reacted, with some calling the advice downright racist. Others pointed out that some people do indeed choose to Anglicize their names, or their children’s names, to help them fit into their community.

The problem, as this Quartz article nails, is that the topic of heritage names is too complicated to cover in a short advice column. It’s about identity, diversity, the values we want to pass on to our children. There’s also the issue that the husband doesn’t seem to be fully embracing his wife’s culture, which goes way beyond a baby name dilemma. And the fact that when it comes to name-teasing, it’s often not other children we have to worry about, but adults.

It’s brought out some interesting stories, like these Asian-American parents’ decision to give their son a Korean name to go with his European surname.

One thing we can take away from this? If you’re looking for solid, sensitive baby name advice, don’t rely on a sydicated-advice-columnist-of-all-trades. Ask an expert, like our Name Sage or the collective wisdom of the Nameberry forums.

International names

Returning to India, here’s an interesting description of a Hindu naming ceremony for baby Cieonna. Her name was inspired by Siona, said to be a Sanskrit word for “starlight”, with the spelling changed for better numerology.

I’m all about language revitalization – so isn’t it cool that this Alaskan man was named Te K?hanga Reo (“the language nest”) after the Maori language revival movement?

You’ll know that each generation has its characteristic names…like those classic middle-aged women, Desley and Narelle? Wait, that’s only in Australia.

1980s names rebooted

Finally, speaking of dated names, what do you think of these updated versions of popular 80s names? Is Caoimhe the new Courtney, Morgana the new Megan, or Javelin the new Jonathan?

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles


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