Celeb Surprises and Other Baby Name News of the Week

Neve, Lena and Crew

By Clare Green

This week’s news includes long-awaited births from politics, TV and royalty, plus Irish spelling mishaps and what happens when children name their younger siblings.

New Zealand’s new First Baby

One of the stars of the baby names show this week is Neve Te Aroha Ardern, born last week to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford have packed a lot of meaning into their daughter’s names. Neve has several origins with meanings including ‘bright’ and ‘snow’, making it fitting for a baby born in New Zealand’s midwinter.

Te Aroha is the name of a mountain and village in the area where Ardern grew up. It means ‘the love’ in Maori. (Oh hi, Evolet.) The PM says that it also reflects the love shown to the baby before she was even born, especially by the Maori communities who gifted her names. Aroha (without the definite article) was among the Top 10 Maori girls names used in 2016.

Special props to blogger Anna of New Zealand Baby Names, who got it very nearly right. She predicted that Ardern and Gayford might use Neva – an impressive guess considering that neither Neve nor Neva are in New Zealand’s Top 100.

If you’re looking for names with a similar meaning, check out some more names meaning ‘love’ and inspired by mountains.

Irish spelling strikes again

Ardern reportedly chose the straightforward spelling Neve, rather than Niamh, because she knows what it’s like to grow up with an unusual name. Anyone who’s spent their life spelling out and explaining their name will sympathise – but would you let that affect your baby name choice?

One person who knows what it’s like to have a hard-to-pronounce name is New Zealander Sinead Corcoran. Growing up, she found that the world divided into two groups of people: those who had heard of singer Sinead O’Connor and got it, and those who hadn’t and didn’t.

And can anyone else relate to this awkward name situation? A date who’d never heard her name spoken introduced her as “Sineed”, and rather than embarrass him, she rolled with it. Then never spoke to the guy again.

Gaines crew gains Crew

The other big announcement of the week is the latest addition to Chip and Joanna Gaines’ family: a son, Crew!

With older children Drake, Ella Rose, Duke and Emmie Kay, most of the world thought the Fixer-Upper couple would follow the pattern of initials. But they proved it’s never too late to break a pattern. They’ve chosen a word name that’s risen from nowhere to the Top 800 in the last 25 years.

As Abby pointed out, Crew isn’t actually a huge change in the Gaines’ style. It’s not like they named him, say, Crispian or Lawrence or Tobias. Crew has a one-syllable word name like his brothers, and one that’s tough and military without being violent. It also has connotations friendship and solidarity, which Chip hinted at on social media before the name was revealed, saying how much he loves his crew. Let’s see if this new starbaby will propel the name further up the charts.

International charm: Lena and Frida

We’ve had love and friendship, so how about some peace?

Actress Brigitte Nielsen chose a name with a peaceful meaning for her new daughter: Frida. (Born on a Friday. Coincidence?) With grown-up sons named Julian, Killian, Douglas and Raoul, there was no knowing where Brigitte’s style might lean this time, but she and her husband have chosen an international name that’s on the rise in the US. Frida has lots of artistic, feminist and Scandinavian appeal, but if you’re looking for something truly rare and vintage, the spelling Freda might appeal more.

In the British royal family, Zara and Mike Tindall (shown) have just chosen an equally international name for their second daughter, Lena Elizabeth. Lena, whose name ranked #138 in England and Wales in 2016, joins big sister Mia Grace – and of course has royal cousins including two-month-old Prince Louis.

Sibling name suggestions: Waterfall and Chocolate

We don’t know if Mia had any say in naming her sister, but some parents ask their children for name ideas – with mixed results. In one family in this article, little Miryana came up with both of her siblings’ names, Max and Margaret (after Chocolate was vetoed). Another girl insisted that her baby sister’s name was Waterfall Dotty Rainbow. (It’s actually Zoe.)

Would you let your children choose their new brother or sister’s name?

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9 Responses to “Celeb Surprises and Other Baby Name News of the Week”

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Ruanne Says:

June 27th, 2018 at 11:00 pm

We got to choose our youngest sibling’s name. But we were teens, not preschoolers. That helps. 🙂 We predictably picked a name that rose quickly in popularity. Which, hey, that’s better than Chocolate.

IslandMoon Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 2:56 am

My name – Iona – in English is pretty easy to spell but I do find that whenever I leave Scotland, it really confuses people, mainly just because people have never heard of it. In my visits to England this year, I got Isla, Lorna and Ayonnah, and in Spain this year I got Ayuma and Ina.

I think it’s very cute that Lena’s middle name is after her great grandmother, and Lens itself is pretty much the perfect sister to Mia.

I made a few suggestions for my brothers name, but I’m glad they didn’t go with them. I do remember being horrified at what they’d chosen for my sister, and telling my parents that, but they stuck with it and now I can’t imagine her being called anything else, though I still don’t actually like her name.

stephaniebrooke Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 9:49 am

I was 5 when my parents told me I’d be expecting a sister. They asked me for a name suggestion, and I gave them “Cherish”, which I had heard on Lambchop. They ended up using it as her middle name. Whenever she complains about not liking it, we always tell her, “Hey, it could have been worse. I could have said ‘Lambchop’!”

bjoy Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 12:47 pm

Gains crew gains Crew. Ha!

Maerad Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 2:02 pm

I know a family where the elder brothers named their sister. Even now I quite like Pebbles as a name! It really worked for her.

BrandiM27 Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 3:29 pm

They are pronouncing Lena as Lay-nah, turns out… not Lee-nah

Snowy79 Says:

June 29th, 2018 at 6:52 am

Our son was 4 when our daughter was born. Even before we even knew what we were having, he kept saying “I’m having a baby sister and her name is Sasha”. We thought it was cute, and then surprised when we actually found out it was a girl! Sasha wasn’t really on our short list for a name, but in the end we couldn’t agree on anything, so Sasha it was! And it suits her perfectly! What a clever big brother!

lucyyy Says:

June 30th, 2018 at 5:01 am

I chose my sister’s name (Sara) when I was three years old because I was obsessed with it (I had literally named all my dolls Sara) and my parents loved it too!

mom3 Says:

June 30th, 2018 at 3:29 pm

My kids were instrumental in naming our youngest. When I was about 20 weeks, we gave them a shortlist of 4 names, all 3 of them unanimously voted for the same one and it stuck. They also helped with middles. They are very proud and thus connected with their baby bro, I think it’s nice to involve older kids in the naming process if you can all agree 🙂

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