Category: Nature, Place and Word Names
In the news this week: two new tennis babies, lots of names beginning with E and M, and some memorable word names.
Serena Williams welcomed a daughter a few weeks ago, and she’s just revealed her name: Alexis Olympia. Alexis’s first name matches her father, Alexis Ohanian, and while we don’t know their reasons for picking Olympia, it feels like a good fit. It’s sporty, it’s mythological (tenuous link alert: like Serena’s sister Venus!), and it sounds almost like the much-more-popular Olivia. I can see Olympia appealing to more parents – can you?
Another new arrival in the tennis world is Tara, Novak Djokovic’s daughter. Novak and his wife already have a son called Stefan, whose name is a nod to the church where they were engaged and married. I’d love to know if there’s a story behind Tara’s name.
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:
By Linda Rosenkrantz
It’s become a Nameberry tradition every Labor Day to offer a blog on occupational surname names. This year, we’ve tried to find some examples beyond the usual Coopers and Hunters and Masons and look for less obvious ones. And though many, if not most, of these original occupations no longer exist in the modern world, they are all still good, employable names.
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?
By Sophie Kihm
Jessica Alba and Cash Warren are expecting their third child, and they have a strict set of requirements for this baby’s name. Jessica recently gave Jimmy Fallon the run-down, but I’ll summarize for you here:
First of all, the name has to be a word name that starts with H, to match their two daughters, Honor and Haven. Secondly, the name can only be one or two syllables (which means Holiday, the name I was originally pulling for, is off the list). Finally, and perhaps trickiest of all, the name has to be “unusual, but not too weird.” I took on the challenge and came up with ten names Jessica and Cash should consider for their baby.