Category: Celebrity Names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
The crisp, colorful month of October has arrived, and in your search for a meaning name for your baby born this month, how about choosing that of another October-born child. Any of these noteworthy figures drawn from the worlds of religion, politics, medicine, the arts and entertainment, and activism would make exceptionally worthy namesakes for your own October babe.
This week’s news includes the top names in the UK and France, names from past generations that need more love, and some of the reasons people don’t like their name.
The big excitement of the week, for anyone who loves British baby names, was the release of the top names for England and Wales in 2017. Here’s the the full Top 100 list and the main highlights you should know. To name but a few: Oliver and Olivia remain on top, Leo and Poppy entered the Top 10, and entrants to the Top 100 included Hunter, Ralph, Aurora and Hallie.
Beyond the usual headlines about parents naming their babies after characters from Game of Thrones, Star Wars and other pop-culture hits (including the unexpected Binky, a reality TV star’s nickname), there’s serious analysis to be done. For example, just like in the US, the pool of names is getting more diverse across all social classes. As the blog British Baby Names points out, 10% of girls got a name in the Top 10, while 7% of girls got a name that was only used once – so there are almost as many girls with unique names as there are with the most popular ones.
This week’s news includes family dynamics – from involving the in-laws to picking a surname – plus a baby named after a fancy dress costume, and what’s hot in Austria.
In-law involvement: yea or nay?
Announcing a baby’s name before it’s born can be a tricky decision – especially if family members react badly. Here’s a particularly painful account from a mother whose in-laws really didn’t approve of the name choice.
What makes it strange (even bearing in mind we don’t know the whole story) is that the name in question really isn’t very out-there. It’s sort-of predicable that a truly unusual grandma-shocker of a name might get a few raised eyebrows, but here we’re talking a Top 300 name that’s been described as “one of the friendliest names on the planet”.
If it’s any consolation, even Kim Kardashian gets naming advice from her in-laws. She’s said that when choosing a name for her daughter Chicago, she got a few suggestions of spiritual word names from Kanye West’s family. Other options on the table included names from the atlas like Rome, Milan and Italy (ok, that’s one page of the atlas) and from the bible, like Aaron and Abel. Either would have been rare, but not completely unheard of, on a girl.
And on that gender note: here’s a detailed look from The Atlantic about why, traditionally, more boy names are given to girls than girl names given to boys.
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!