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.
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.
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.
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.
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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