Category: Historic Names

New Royal Baby Name Contest!

It won’t be long now. Though no precise due date has been announced, we do know that the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is expected to appear sometime this month, so the arrival of the little brother or sister for George and Charlotte is imminent.

What else do we know? The rumors of possible twins have been quashed by Prince William himself. And though the bookies have been favoring a girl, there are also those who’ve noted that Kate has been wearing an awful lot of blue lately, and are making predictions based on the “boy” position of her bump. So here at Nameberry we’re on full alert for royal baby names of either gender.

In January, British name expert Eleanor Nickerson offered on NB a snapshot of the leading possibilities based on her deep knowledge of royal names, which you can check out here.

But now we want to hear what you think!

Guess the full royal baby name, complete with multiple middles in the correct order, FOR ONE GENDER ONLY, and win this year’s totally unique surprise custom gift for either yourself or your child.

For inspiration, remember that Prince William’s full name is William Arthur Philip Louis and brother Harry is officially Henry Charles Albert David. The Duke and Duchess did make things simpler by paring their children’s names down to two middles: George Alexander Louis and Charlotte Elizabeth Diana—which they well might do again. Or not.

What do you think?

Ground rules: ONE GUESS PER PERSON. That means one name only for either a boy or girl. No duplicates please, because only the first correct guess will win.

As we’ve done before, we’ll keep the contest open until the birth—not the actual name– is announced. No fair guessing after we know the baby’s gender!

If no one guesses the royal baby names in the correct order, the runner-up who comes closest in the opinion of the expert judges (aka Linda and Pam) will receive the prize.


BONUS: Here’s Katinka‘s weekly roundup of choice tidbits from the Forums.

 Naming a boy after his mom? Yes, please! Would you ever consider honoring a female relative with your son’s name?
— Exactly what makes a name “trendy” or “classic” can sometimes be hard to put your finger on. Here are three very similar traditional girls’ names, all with a long and illustrious history, and all currently widely used: how would you label them?
— It’s a big Berry bugbear: mispronouncing names. Have you ever encountered anyone who pronounces their own name “wrong”, and would you correct them?
 The trouble with Bellatrix: she’s got a gorgeous sound, a cool meaning, and a celestial namesake… but is she actually usable? And, if you’re not convinced, how about one of these quirky literary choices instead?

— And just for fun: what would you name triplet girls? I love how no two combos here are the same!

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By Clare Bristow

This week’s news includes names from the ancient world, Europe and the 1990s, plus some of the most gloriously unusual names you’ll hear this year.

1990s names: not the next big thing

Do you believe everything you read on the internet? Despite the rumors, 1990s names are not about to make a comeback. Yes, many of the names that were big 20 years ago are still in use. But chances are they’re either absolute classics – hello, Michael and Elizabeth – or they’re on a gentle downswing, like Justin and Alexis, which have just left the US Top 100.

If you’re naming a baby now, you might well have a typical 90s name yourself. You probably know that trends have moved on. But if your significant other’s only suggestions are the names of people they knew in school, you may need to steer them towards today’s popularity charts to show them that there are fresher options.

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A well-known rule of baby naming says that it takes about 100 years for a name to come back into fashion. That’s why we recently wrote a list of century-old names that are ready for a revival.

But not every vintage name deserves to be revived. We don’t predict the return of Hyman, for instance. Or Normal. Or Butler. Or Rube. Or Walburga. All these names were in use in 1918, given to at least five babies born that year, but are not used at all today.

They’re not alone. Nameberry analyzed Social Security data to discover over 5000 names that were given to babies a century ago but have now gone extinct.

Some of these names were obscure ethnic names, like Tsuyako and Mieczyslaw, that have faded from view as immigration patterns have shifted. Others are unusual variant spellings of names that have declined in popularity, like Ulysees and Lauraine. A few are usable, or even elegant.

But a lot of them are just plain funny to us now. We combed through the list to find the most hilarious of these extinct names from 1918 — and couldn’t whittle it down to fewer than 200. Here they are, in all their LOL-worthy glory, along with the number of sad children given each name in 1918:

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Ancient Names for Babies

ancient baby names

By Pamela Redmond Satran 

Can the rise of ancient names for babies be credited to the prominence of Sophia, Amelia, Zoe, and Atticus on international baby name popularity lists?

Or maybe it’s a reaction against all the new names and trends that have mushroomed over the past few decades, from word names to nature names to place names to invented names.

Or maybe it’s the start of a new millennium that makes us consider the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, or a new interest in names from mythology, or TV shows and movies starring hunky gladiators.

All these influences have undoubtedly helped revive ancient Greek and Roman names for modern girl and boy babies, appearing on birth announcements throughout the Western World.

If you’re looking for a really old name for your new baby, here are some that sound stylish today.

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A Middle Name to Grow Into

name Sojourner

by Eva Sojourner Dunsky

On the playground, I remember my friends and I trying to guess each other’s middle names.  It didn’t take long to arrive at the Elizabeths and Maries, the Annes and the Lynns. But no one ever guessed mine.

“It starts with an ‘S’,” I conceded.  My friends scrunched up their faces, thinking hard.


Not quite.

My parents named me ‘Eva Sojourner’, a name which used to embarrass me, as the Sojourner we learned about in school was a famous African-American abolitionist and I am none of those things.  ‘Sojourner’ literally means ‘one who travels,’ and they wanted me to live an adventurous and full life — you know, get out and see the sights. This makes sense to me now.

It didn’t back then. Amongst my friends, it became a running joke that my middle name was something too weird to be uttered out loud.  

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