Category: International Baby Names
What, exactly, are English names? Names most often found in England? (Short answer: No.) Names commonly used in English-speaking countries? (Kind of.) Or names rooted in the English language? (Definitely).
Many of the names most popular in countries where the official language is English — usually defined as the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, along with Ireland and New Zealand — are in fact rooted in other languages and cultures. Emma‘s origins are German, for instance, while Sophia is Greek. Noah is Hebrew, and Liam is Irish.
Many of these names are used widely around the world, far beyond English-speaking cultures. Emma, for example, is a Top 10 girls’ name in Norway, Italy, Finland, and Hungary, while Noah is in the Top 10 in Germany, Sweden, and Belgium.
Some names commonly considered English names are in fact English versions of names from other cultures. William is an English version of an originally-German name, for example, while Jane is the English feminization of John, itself originating in Hebrew.
Still there are many names that can be considered authentic English names. These include classics such as, along with English surnames used as first names, English word names, and place names from English-speaking countries.
Our roundup of the most well-known and best English names:
This week’s news includes names damaged by hurricanes, baby names fit for a prince or princess, matchy first and middle names, and how to handle reactions to your child’s name.
Hurricane names: The fall of Harvey, Katrina, and Irma
Hurricanes are so destructive on lives and property that it may seem silly to be concerned their negative effect on baby names, but perhaps not to people with the name Katrina, Sandy, and now Harvey and Irma. Use of the name Katrina fell by 85 percent after the terrible hurricane that struck New Orleans in 2005. Now the baby name Harvey, which was just coming back into style in the US after a nearly 70-year downturn, is likely to face the same negative fate. And the name Irma is not even going to get her shot, if she ever had one. Sandy was popular enough for long enough that it may escape over-identification with the storm of that name. But anyone named Katrina, Harvey, and Irma will be plagued by hurricane jokes for many years to come.
You’ve probably heard that William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their third child. The world is already placing bets on what George and Charlotte’s little brother or sister will be called.
The best analysis I’ve read is Elea’s predictions – the top contenders include Alice and Arthur. From everything we know about the royal couple, we wouldn’t expect anything outrageous, so the odds of them calling their baby Brexit or Daenerys are roughly zero.
By Eleanor Nickerson
After much murmuring and supposition over the last few months, it is now official that the third royal Cambridge baby is on the way.
This week’s news includes a high-profile starbaby, cool surname names for brothers, and names inspired by the Middle Ages and the night sky.
The names in the news this week include word names, bird names, and the top names in two European countries.
A girl called Eclipse
Did you watch the solar eclipse on Tuesday? I live on the wrong continent, but it was interesting to follow America’s reaction to it. The best news of all (for name-lovers) was that at least one baby was named Eclipse in honor of the occasion. Eclipse Alizabeth Eubanks was born in South Carolina a few hours before the eclipse. Her mother (who also has a word name, Freedom) said that the family might call her Clipsey for short.
She’s not the first baby to be called Eclipse. It’s never been used enough to make the charts, but we know of a few out there. A Harmony Eclipse was born in Oregon a few years back, and Nancy has found boys and girls named Eclipse as far back as the 1820s.
Other appropriately-named babies born eclipse day include Isabella Solei and Lena Ray. There was also Delilah Ray, born the previous day to The Hills star Jason Wahler – no news on whether her middle name is deliberately sun-themed.
Would you use any of these names to mark the event? If you prefer a subtle approach, there are lots of names relating to the sun, the moon and light – they’re pretty universal sources of inspiration. How about these sun and moon names for starters?