Category: Celebrity Names
By Sophie Kihm
I’m not in the business of predicting middle names, but I find them as equally fascinating as the first names I am in charge of prognosticating. Some parents choose middles to honor loved ones, some use it as a place to go bold, while others are most concerned with the how it adds to the flow of the full name.
Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher fall into the first category, giving their son the name Isaiah Michael—his middle being Dad’s full first name. Robin Thicke’s children have the daring middle names of Fuego and Love, and Nev Schulman’s daughter has James in the middle (which I’d argue is a product of her 2016 birthday). Eddie Murphy‘s children have middle names including Mitchell, Ivy, and Oona, and Taylor Hanson‘s kids middles range from the expected to the out-there, with choices like Anne, Ezra, and Moriah.
So even though I’ve only given my predictions for the first names, I’m very excited to see what this group of celebrities decides to go with for their children’s middle names as well. Check out my musings and leave a comment about potential middle name options!
This week’s news includes a lucrative naming opportunity, British starbabies, unplanned nicknames, and the coolest names in Israel, Belgium and Germany.
British baby name reveals
If you love all things British, you’ll enjoy this week’s starbaby names.
TV presenter Declan Donnelly (one half of Ant and Dec) has welcomed his first child, Isla Elizabeth Anne. Anne is Dec’s mother’s name, and if he ever wants to use another family name, he has plenty to choose from. His dad’s name was Alphonsus, and his siblings are Dermott, Patricia, Eamonn, Martin, Moira and Camelia.
Tennis champion Andy Murray has just announced that his second daughter’s name is Edie – a very British modern favorite to go with sister Sophia. Edie sits just outside the Top 100 in England and Wales. It’s in the Top 300 in Murray’s native Scotland, but stateside, this alternative to Evie is still below the Top 1000.
Also in the UK, Cornwall’s County Council provides a list of Cornish names to inspire parents. There are some beautiful names on it, but how much are they really used? This analysis of the top Cornish names in Cornwall reveals all, with parents’ favorites including Jago, Merryn, and name-nerd sweetheart Elowen.
Last-minute name change
Changed your mind about your baby name at the eleventh hour? You’re not alone.
Hilaria Baldwin has revealed that for most of her latest pregnancy, she and Alec planned to call their son Diego. It was only when he was a few days old that they picked Romeo instead, after their first holiday destination together, Rome. The only snag? Her toddler is still asking when this person called Diego is going to arrive!
To celebrate the 128th birthday of “Colonel” Harland Sanders, KFC has promised to make a college fund donation to the first baby born on that day named Harland. Some say this publicity stunt is creepy. But if you were thinking of using the name anyway – maybe after great-grandpa, since the name peaked around 1920 – it could be worth it. After all, 35 boys last year, and 8 girls in 2016, were named Harland for no monetary reward.
Meanwhile in Arizona, here’s a fascinating description of a Hopi naming ceremony. Each guest gave the baby a name, on top of her primary one, which they could use for her in the future. She ended up with over thirty names, including the author’s contribution, Dawn Cloud.
International babies: Eithan, Emma and and Enzokuhle
Costa Rica’s population just hit 5 million! The baby who tipped the balance was reportedly Eithan Jesus Brenes Alvarado, born on 1st September. Although he didn’t get one of Costa Rica’s most popular names, this variation on Ethan is rising fast in the US too – and Jesus is, of course, a Spanish biblical staple.
Another variation, Eitan (sometimes transcribed Eytan) is a long-term favorite for parents in Israel. With the Jewish year coming to a close, Israel has released its annual baby name statistics. Eitan is in the Top 10, but the most popular boys’ names are Mohammad nationally, and Ariel for Jewish families. For girls, Tamar has been the top name for several years running. This culture-crossing nature name is still mostly undiscovered outside of Israel.
Belgium also has a long-reigning favorite girls’ name. In the Belgian 2017 statistics, Emma was the most popular name for Belgian girls for the 15th year. For boys, just like in the US, Liam is no. 1 for the first time. Many of the other top names will be familiar – like Olivia, Noah and Sofia – but there’s more variety in different regions of the country. In Brussels, the capital, parents are using a lot of Arabic names, like Rayan and Nour. In Flanders, Finn and Ella make the Top 10. And parents in French-speaking Wallonia prefer names like Lucie and Gabriel.
Unisex names are a hot topic, but we’re far from a world where the number 1 name is the same for both sexes. Except, that is, in South Africa, where the top name for boys and girls in 2017 was Enzokuhle, a Zulu name said to mean “to do great things”.
Unexpected consequences: pop culture and pet names
We name our children with the best of intentions, but you can never really predict how those names will pan out in their future life – just look at people named Harry Potter and Alexa before, well, Harry Potter and Alexa.
This series of tweets shows that even people with unremarkable names – like Annie and Mike – find reasons to be annoyed with them. (The problem isn’t so much the names themselves as other people who think their jokes are original and hilarious.) Similarly, these tales of mispronunciation show that even straightforward-looking names like Sanjay and Ginny can throw people.
And as for nicknames! No matter how carefully you plan an ingenious nickname, or a nickname-proof name, sometimes children end up getting called all sorts of things you never imagined. Here are over 30 parents’ stories of their kids’ strange pet names, from Bug and Bean to Crabcake and Schmoo.
Do you have a pet name for your child (that you’re willing to share)? Or do you have one yourself?
Calling all German hipsters
Finally, what’s even cooler than a hipster baby name? A German hipster baby name. According to German Cosmopolitan, names that will mark your kinder out as “nicht mainstream” include Bruno, Lotta, Riva, Torin and Uli – and Wanda, which was also the name of one of our readers’ August arrivals. Berries are so on the pulse!
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.
by Linda Rosenkrantz
We recently looked at the nickname names celebs have been giving their daughters and of course there was an equal number of casual, colloquial names bestowed on their brothers. In the case of the boys, we see more mid-20th century monikers, including some that are pretty tough guy, if not badass (looking at you, Buster and Spike)– and not as many Victorian valentines.
This is definitely a trend that is celebrity-sanctioned.
ACE—a nickname once reserved for daredevil pilots, card sharks and the occasional gangster is now a respectable and hot full name for boys. It’s #290 on the US charts, 159 on Nameberry and—sorry–#50 for dogs. Natalie Appleton, Jennie Fitch and Casey Daigle, Tom Dumont, and Jessica Simpson are a few of the celebs holding Aces in their hands.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Nickname names are hot! Who by now hasn’t met, for instance, a girl named Sam or Charlie? And nobody loves a nickname name more than celebrities, and many of them have displayed a lot of originality, discovering and reviving long forgotten relics. Here are some of the most outstanding recent starbaby nickname names. We’re focused on the girls for now, but look for the boys’ list coming soon.
ANDY—Jack and Lisa Osbourne gave two of their three daughters nickname names—perhaps inspired by grandad Ozzie (born John). For their middle child, Andy Rose, born in 2015, they chose one rarely heard for a girl: actress Andie MacDowell (born Rosalie Anderson) uses a different spelling.