Category: Nature, Place and Word Names
This week’s name news includes some of the most eccentric appellations we’ve ever encountered, from siblings named after subatomic particles to some very creative name changes.
Bold is the Word
It’s no secret that word names are big right now — big, bold, and sometimes brazen.
From Rebel and Rocket to Saint and Sir, celebrities have long been leading the charge on statement-making word names, and although this trend has now entered the mainstream, the seemingly endless options never cease to surprise!
This week has seen the announcements of two high-profile new arrivals with sweet and striking word names.
Congratulations to Michael Bublé and his wife Louisa Lopilato, who welcomed daughter Vida Amber Betty last Wednesday. Her lively first name — which means “life” in mom’s native Spanish — feels like a fresh yet fashionable choice, having held steady between 100 and 200 births per year in the US since 2009. And vibrant Vida last enjoyed a modest run of popularity in the 1910s-1930s, making it an unexpected vintage pick, too!
Here at Nameberry, we spend most of our time breaking down the latest baby name trends and serving up some of the freshest selections for your newborn. But what about the business of naming itself? That’s a little discipline called onomastics, or the study of names, a fancy-looking word from the Greek root for, you guessed it, “name.”
On our blogs, we’re usually discussing given or personal names. A technical term for that is anthroponym, or “human name” in Greek. They range from the traditional Michael and Mary to the more modern Kendall or Kulture. The inspiration for our anthroponyms are many and varied. It could be a toponym, or “place name,” such as Memphis or Milan. It could be a hydronym (the name of a body of water) such as Thames, an oronym (the name of a mountain) such as Sierra, or a geonym (the name of a geographical feature) such as Cliff.
By Esmeralda Rocha
The trend has become a torrent with vast numbers of locations from all over the world being chosen for America‘s babies. We now bring you all the globetrotting examples – from hip neighbourhoods to whole continents – all beyond the Top 1000 names in the US in 2017. We’ve broken them up into regions to help us follow the patterns.
This week’s news includes a girl junior, a boy named after a comic-book villain, and international names from France, Denmark and beyond.
In a show where many of the characters’ names are familiar and somewhat dated (Rick, Shane, Lori, Carol), Negan stands out. But not necessarily in a good way. He’s a pretty nasty character with a pretty nasty baseball bat.
The comic’s creator, Robert Kirkman, has said he picked the name Negan because it sounded negative. There’s no denying it also sounds namelike: it’s only one letter away from Megan and Regan, and you’ll find it at the end of Finnegan.
Dad wants to make it clear that little Negan is named after the character in the comic book, not the TV show it inspired. If you’re familiar with the comic, tell us: does that make the association any better?
By Esmeralda Rocha
Nature names are a perennial favorite for American parents, with baby names like Lily, Rose and Poppy long dominating the charts. More recent star performers have come from further afield than the floral section of the natural world, with Willow, Hazel, Ivy, Summer, River, Raven, and Reed all in the Top 500 in 2017.
But parents are increasingly looking to even more obscure inspiration for their baby names. We now bring you all of the nature names that were given to fewer than 200 children in the USA in 2017.