This week’s news includes stylish celebrity baby names for girls, pronunciation problems, why parents do (and don’t) regret their children’s names, and sisters with a mermaid theme.
She’s not the only singer to pick a girl name that’s bold and unusual (at least for now). Kehlani – whose name has made an enormous impact on the charts in the last five years – has just welcomed a daughter, Adeya Nomi. Now, we don’t use the word “unique” lightly here, but Adeya is pretty close to unique: it’s never appeared on the US name records, so it can’t have been used more than 5 times in any year. And yet, it doesn’t feel too radical. It feels like a happy addition to the group of A-consonant-vowel-consonant-A girls’ names that includes Amara, Anaya and Alora.
Her middle name also makes me wonder if variants of Naomi – a classic in the Top 100 – are a trend to watch. And there’s also Naomie, Noemi (news reporter Rebecca Jarvis just used this in her daughter’s name, Isabel Noemi), Hebrew Naima and Naama (spotted in this list of names for the festival Purim), and Noam for boys.
Going back to celebrity baby name announcements, Porsha Williams has struck a neat balance between traditional and cool with her daughter’s name. In full, it’s Pilar Jhena. And for short: PJ! To round off the bold girl names, a Big Brother couple has welcomed a girl called Maverick.
Name haters back off
Pilar is a Spanish name, which leads us into an adult name story in the news this week. When people criticise politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for saying her own name in a Spanish accent… well, it says more about them than it does about her. The article also features other people with Latinx names who have more trouble than you’d expect with people pronouncing them.
Another name under fire this week? Disney. Instead of choosing a Disney character baby name, one Disney-loving mother in the UK gave her daughter Walt’s surname as a first name. Her family and friends like it, but she found that strangers on the internet can be cruel. Which is a shame, because Disney is a perfectly good laid-back unisex name in the same style as Wrigley, Ramsey and Tenley. If you want to share your baby’s name in a safe space with no judgement, our birth announcements forum is the place to go.
What if people cast shade on your favorite names before your baby has even arrived? Or what if well-meaning relatives have suggestions of their own? Here’s some good advice for dealing with people who are pushy about baby names. It reminds me of this Dear Doula letter from a few weeks back about how to tactfully tell grandma you won’t be using the family name she wants.
Naming with (no) regrets
It’s one thing when other people don’t like your names, but it’s not unusual for parents to regret the names they chose. In fact, more people do than you might think. In a survey by the British website Channel Mum, as many as one in seven respondents felt some regret about their children’s names. The top reasons was discovering that the name was more popular than they realised: here’s a recent example from the mother of an Evelyn.
On the other hand, some parents regret giving their children offbeat names – so you can’t win either way! There’s this dad who gave his son the middle name Flip. Looking back, he wonders if he used it more for his own benefit than for his son’s. Meanwhile, this mother isn’t so sure about her son’s name, Tyrell – both because it feels a bit unusual (despite reaching the Top 400 in the 1990s) and because, rightly or wrongly, it marks him out as Afro-Caribbean. To balance things out, the article also features other parents who don’t regret their children’s names for an instant.
Finally, one parent who’s proud of her children’s names is a Texan mom who aced crazy hair day by braiding a Little Mermaid doll into her daughter’s hair. That’s her daughter Atlantis, who has a sister named Ariel. Mom is a self-confessed mermaid lover… and if you are too, take a look at our favorite mermaid baby names.