Category: Nature, Place and Word Names
My son once had a classmate with a word name that might have been very pretty except…..it had a terrible meaning.
The poor child’s name was Cliche. That’s right, as in overused and unoriginal. When you just hear the sound — klee-shay — it’s a word that’s undeniably nameworthy. But the meaning knocks it out of contention. Or at least it should.
There’s a fun thread on the forums now of other such words that might make excellent names except for their meanings.
What would you add to the list? Post your coolest, funniest ideas here and/or there?
This week’s news includes celebrity baby names with impact, inspiration from real-life birth announcements, and how sports fans name their kids.
Long-expected starbaby names
The Hills alums Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt dropped hints months in advance about what they wanted to name their baby. Spencer said it had to be a “flashy, flashy name that isn’t even in a Google search” and that wasn’t taken on social media. This week they welcomed their son, Gunner Stone.
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.