Category: Middle, Last and Nicknames

By Clare Green

This week’s international baby names news includes the boldest and Britishest celebrity boy names, and what’s hot in Poland, Hungary and Japan, plus the benefits of multi-nickname names.

Baby boy names: vintage and vivacious

International baby names news this week has seen boy name announcements from both sides of the Atlantic that are polar opposites: on the one side sweet vintage revivals, and on the other side playful modern spellings.

When we found out chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana were expecting a fifth child, Sophie predicted they’d choose something “familiar, well-liked, and vaguely British” like their older children Matilda, Holly, Jack and Megan. Well, Oscar James was born last week, and his name perfectly fits the bill. Another British chef, Gregg Wallace, has announced that his baby boy, who’s due soon, will be named Sid Massimo after Gregg’s grandfather and his wife’s father. Sounds like a lovely pairing of an old-man nickname and an unexpected Italian middle.

To the US,  land of edgy spellings – at least, it is this week. Another expectant dad, Bray Wyatt, has announced that his son-to-be will be called Knash. The bearded wrestler, whose own birth name is the fabulous Windham Rotunda, says that the silent K matches the C and K in his older children’s names. Meanwhile, soul singer Allen Stone has gone alliterative with his son’s name, Roody Rocket: an unusual twist on Top 1000 name Rudy meets a modern word name. To take us full circle, it’s very similar to River Rocket, the son of yet another British chef, Jamie Oliver.

Spelling scenarios

Speaking of spellings: it’s 2019. It shouldn’t have to be a news story that electoral candidates’ names are going to be spelled correctly.

I also thought of spelling when I saw that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen got tattoos of their children’s names. It’s sweet, but it reminds me of when things go wrong. Remember the Swedish mother who changed her son’s name after a tattoo artist misspelled it? And even if it’s right, there’s always a chance that your kid won’t appreciate the tribute.

International names: Tops in Poland and Hungary

Want to know how Polish parents are naming their children? Good news, the latest stats are here, and Antoni and Zuzanna come out on top. (If you follow that link, you’ll see a long list of links in Polish – the first one under each heading is the national rankings for girls and boys, and the other ones are regional popularity.) There are some familiar names on the list, but also many that frankly aren’t used enough by English speakers, like Marcelina, Kornelia, Nikodem and Kajetan. Scrolling down the list of girls’ names, I was surprised to see that 58 girls in Poland were called Raspberry last year…until I realized I had Google Translate switched on. The name is actually Malina: a lovely sound with a sweet meaning!

Meanwhile in Hungary, four-letter names are in style right now. In the Hungarian Top 10 alone you’ll find Máté, Noel and Ádám for boys, and Anna, Emma, Luca, Léna and Lili for girls – although the top spots go to Hanna and Bence, the Hungarian form of Benedict. The Top 100 list is pleasingly interactive: click on a name to see its popularity graph.

Thanks for finding these stats go to international name data extraordinaire Maks, aka @maybeitsdaijiro on Twitter.

Japanese baby names: the best of the era

Now for some name inspiration from Japan. As the era of the current emperor draws to a close, here’s a look back at the most popular baby names of the last 30 years, the time he’s been reigning. The most popular names included Misaki and Hina for girls, and Hiroto and Daiki for boys, but the article goes into much more depth about trends in each year.

The characters of the era name seem to be popular in baby names, so it will be interesting to see if Japanese parents this year choose elements of the new era’s name, Reiwa, for their children. Taken from an eighth-century poem about plum blossoms, the exact meaning of Reiwa is a matter for debate, but the Japanese Foreign Ministry has provided an English interpretation of “beautiful harmony”.

For even more namespiration, take a look at our list of some of the best Japanese baby names.

Nickname-rich names

You might have seen a name change in the news this week. Nothing major like Prince or Ye, but football quarterback Johnny Manziel announced that from now on he’d like to be known as John. His full name is Johnathan, so he’s switching nicknames – and the new one sounds more serious, more grown up, and just…different.

Does this sound familiar? Some people go for a full-on name change to show a new stage in their life, and many more pick up a new nickname, or drop an old one, as their lives change. That’s why there’s a lot to be said for choosing a baby name with several possible short forms options to give your children maximum choice – whether that’s an unusual full name with a popular nickname, or a classic nickname-rich name. How about you: do you prefer lots of nickname choice, or as little as possible?

And finally…

Cat Names

Do cats know their names? Yes, according to researchers…but they usually choose to ignore them. Because cats.

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by Linda Rosenkrantz

It’s that time of the year when we celebrate April as National Poetry Month.  I’m always pleasantly surprised by how many of the great poets’ surnames happen to make perfect, poetic baby names.

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by Linda Rosenkrantz

March proved to be one of the most fantastic months yet for brilliant berrybaby birth announcement name choices.  From twins Callista Io and Orion Rigel and two boys named Atticus, to first names Keturah and Ciaran and middles Waterlily, Zinnia and Guinevere. And with many intriguing back stories!

Dig in!

Birth Announcements — GIRLS

Augusta Ursula Geraldine, sister of Benedikte Eva Nichola, Konrad Rupert Leopold, and Theodosia Cecilie Josephine

August is a family name in both paternal streams. It has significant family history and as we did for both her sisters, we used the female version instead of the male. Ursula and Geraldine are her grandmothers.  We have used only family names for all 12 given names we have used for our children.”

Callista Io, twin of Orion Rigel and sister of Serenity Faith and Eva Genevieve

Dahlia Alina, sister of Elliott Steven, Silas Reuben and Miles Lincoln

Eliza Waterlily, sister of Peter Nightingale, Sabina Mayflower, Dorothy Wildrose and Bruno Hummingbird

I particularly struggled to finalize and come to terms with this choice, since she’s our last baby. Eliza has been one of my husband’s favorite names for years and it never really ‘spoke to me and it did to him.  I had the upper hand in naming all of our kids and so I figured I owed him Eliza, just because he loved it more than I loved any of the names on my list.  Now that baby is here and we’ve met, I have a feeling that her name couldn’t be anything but Eliza. Out of all the whimsical, compound middle names on my list Waterlily became the most meaningful after my father died at the end of last year.  My dad was a big fan of Monet, and his home calendar, cards and a lot of his puzzles and posters were representations of Monet’s art.  Waterlily brought him to the forefront of my mind, especially as I remembered the special father-daughter trip we took when I was 23 to France and we spent an entire day in Monet’s gardens in Giverny, which includes the lake with the water lilies…”

Flora Evelina Lucie, sister of Lukas Benedict, Ivo William, Isabel Marjorie Anna and Odile Catherine Colette

“This time around it was challenging to find names we liked that worked both in English and Czech as we have moved…I think we landed on a perfect one though, and Flora seems to suit her very well. We came across Evelina as we scoured the lists for names and it really intrigued me for how it looked and sounded.  A short search on NB informed me that it meant “wished for child” and it felt just right…Lucie is a family name and is very, very common where we live, it is also a sweet nod to St. Lucy and the legend surrounding her.”

KeiraFaye Florence, sister of Helena Diane

“12 days before our baby was here I had a dream that her name was not what we had already told family and friends but instead KeiraFaye Florence (Florence for my husband’s grandmother, whom we adore)…We decided to look up what it means, which was “dark haired one’. In that moment we decided if our daughter was born with dark hair, it was her way of naming herself. Since her older sister was born with strawberry blonde hair, we figured she would probably have the same…On March 20 our little girl came into the world with brown hair and named herself!”

Keturah “Tutu” Mallardee

“We wanted a unique name from the Bible and Keturah fit the bill.  Mallardee (rhymes with Mallory) was the name of a quaint bed and breakfast where we stayed on our honeymoon.  Needless to say, her name has a lot of special meaning to us.”

Lola Muriel, sister of Kay Riley

Lola is a name I always found super girly and cute, and Muriel is the name of my grandmother.”

Louisa Bea, sister of Jacob, Colin, Maxwell and Henry.

The name Louisa was not only a favorite of ours, but it is also the name of my great-great-grandmother, whose story is near and dear to my heart.  Bea was chosen because of the meaning “she who brings happiness” as well as a nod to my husband’s and my names, which both start with B, as well as a grandmother (name is Debi—which means “queen bee”) and a great grandfather just had a middle initial “B”. I love how connected her name makes all of us.”

Mabel Zinnia

“We had agreed on Mabel early on, and I had posted in the forum for middle name suggestions—thanks to all those who gave their feedback but whenever I discussed potential options with my husband he always came back to preferring Zinnia…and this name for our ‘lovable flower’ fits her perfectly!”

Pearl Guinevere, sister of Walter Leo, Josephine Lily and Max Benjamin

“We are in love with her name, which is a bit outside of our comfort zone, especially Guinevere, and have been receiving many compliments.”

Phoebe Iris

“We chose the name Phoebe because we love the mix of sweetness and gravity it has.  Phoebe has so much history (goddess/titan of the moon in Greek mythology, a Shakespeare name, a bird name) and we could picture the name suiting a little girl as well as a grown woman. I really love the moon connection, and before we settled on Phoebe as a first name I was really considering moon as a middle, so finding Phoebe ended up being perfect. Iris was the very first middle name we thought of, but over the months of brainstorming, we came up with so many that we loved…For a few days leading up to her birth, we had settled on Winter, but then she was born on the first spring-like day, and it just felt wrong….What I love about Iris is that it’s also a Greek name and in Greek mythology Iris was a messenger goddess who delivered messages via rainbow. I also love that it’s a nature name…With an I as her middle initial, her initials spell Pip which we think is so sweet as a nickname.  Lastly…she was born on 3.14, which is “pi” day. It seemed meant to be that she was born on Pi day and serendipitously has the initials P.I.  I’d been looking for the perfect name for so long, and it really seems that it found us in the end.”

Serafina Luna, sister of Adelina Chiara

Birth Announcements – BOYS

Asher Daniel, brother of Magnolia Eleanor

Asher has been my favorite name since I read The Giver as a child and (thankfully!) my husband loved the name too.  The meaning is beautiful, and we love the nickname AshDaniel is to honor my father, who also passed his name on to me (Danielle).”

Atticus Jon, brother of Rosalie Lyra

“In the weeks leading up to the due date we decided we would go with Theodore, despite my daughter’s insistence that his name was Atticus.  He was Theodore on the way to the hospital and he was Theodore when I was in labor, but when he came out he just didn’t look like a Theodore! My husband turned to me and said, ‘That’s Atticus.’…We have gotten lots of compliments on his name and a few raised eyebrows from the older generations but their voices have been lost in the crowd.”

Atticus Jude Llewellyn, brother of Madeleine Rose, Gabriel James, Nathaniel Ray, Primrose Sadie Frances and Marigold Louisa Claire

I have always loved the name Atticus, and the book To Kill a Mockingbird was my favourite as a teenager.  His middle names are in honour of my mother-in-law and a close family friend.  It’s a big name for a baby, so he’s mostly known as Atti for now.”

Ciaran Tadhg

“It took us the entire 9 months (plus a day after he arrived) to decide on a name, but it suits him perfectly and honors our Irish heritage!”

Evan Robert, brother of Wesley Adam

“Our final three names were Benjamin, Evan, and Jack, all with the middle name Robert in honor of my father.  We chose Jack a couple days before my water broke, but he just didn’t look like a Jack when he was born.  He is definitely an Evan! Thank you all so much for helping us find the perfect name for our little one.”

Gideon Fox

Gideon has been his name since the moment we found out we were having a little boy. I’ve always had an affinity for foxes and Fox as a middle name seemed so perfect for our handsome little guy.”

Hunter Jack

Hunter was a first name that my husband and I decided we loved before I was even pregnant. We are nature people and Hunter green is my favorite color so we thought it was cute.  Jack is an honor name for my father-in-law.”

Orion Rigel, twin of Callista Io and brother of Serenity Faith and Eve Genevieve

“…they came very early and I wasn’t completely set on Orion’s middle but my sister brought it up and it fits with the astronomical theme and I loved the way it sounds.”

Pax Homer Leodis, brother of Bodhi

“While his middle names are the names of our paternal grandfathers, men who have made great impressions on our lives, his first name is my true love.  Our oldest son is Bodhi, which means ‘awakening, enlightenment’ and Pax is literally the Latin word for peace.  I simply can’t think of two names that complement each other more! I am beyond pleased to have my ‘peace’ and ‘enlightenment’.”

Please let us know in the comments which are your favorite names, combos and sibsets!

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by Linda Rosenkrantz

For us here at Nameberry, one of our February birth announcements stood out above all others. Why? Because it was made by one of our own, NB’s brilliant Senior Writer and Super Moderator Katinka, aka Emma Waterhouse,  who surpassed all expectations with her choice of the lovely Anouk Helena for her third child.

As you’ll see below, that pick was matched by other wonderful birth announcement combos last month, from Scout Valentine and Susannah Beatrix to Aurelian Jude and Royal Callahan.

Here is the full list:

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Wild Animal Names: and other name news

animal names

By Clare Green

This week’s baby name news includes cool animal middle names (we called it first), popular names in Canada, and what Prince Harry and Meghan probably won’t be naming their baby.

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