Quirky Quebecois (and French) names
It’s the Canadian announcement we’ve been waiting for! (Well, some of us.) Quebec has released its most popular baby names of 2018, and the favorites are…not so different from the rest of Canada and the US. Emma and William stay at numéro un for another year: they’ve both been there since 2014, and William even longer.
There are many familiar names on the list – Olivia and Noah aren’t far from the top – but look further down and you’ll soon see a strong French presence. The Top 100 includes such delights as Rosalie, Flavie, Raphaëlle, Océane, Delphine, Magalie and Clémence for girls; and Émile, Olivier, Mathis, Damien and Maxence for boys. It gets better! The list goes all the way down to the names used for only one baby in 2018, from Aaden to Zylah-Lou.
While we’re on French baby names, the biggest French name in the news this week is Amazonie, the daughter of Black Swan actor Vincent Cassel and his wife Tina Kunakey. It’s a place name – we know it as Amazonia, or just the Amazon rainforest – no doubt inspired by Brazil, where the couple live for part of the year. Vincent also has two older daughters, Deva and Léonie, whose names are worth a pause for admiration.
Sunny starbaby names
Did you watch Shahs of Sunset, the reality show about Iranian-Americans living in LA? I’m not familiar with it, but I couldn’t ignore the baby name Shams Francis that one of the show’s stars, Mercedes Javid, just chose for her son.
It’s interesting not just for the unusual first name – Shams is the Arabic word for “sun”, so it’s related to Samson – but also for the way it plays with gender. Shams was the name of Mercedes’ father, but it’s also associated with an ancient sun goddess, and used slightly more for girls in the US. And it’s a feminine noun in Arabic. Francis, the spelling more common on boys, was the name of the baby’s paternal grandmother. The couple said they wanted a name that balanced both sides of Shams’ Persian-Irish heritage, so full marks for that and for gender neutrality!
If you’re inspired by the sun too, you might like this list of sunny baby names just in time for summer.
The Easter baby names that weren’t
Would you (or did you) change your baby’s name if they were born on a special day? Or would you stick with Plan A? A couple of Easter Day babies made the news, but neither one got a particularly eastery baby name.
“Ava is a great name, but I was kind of hoping they’d name her Easter,” said a police officer who delivered a baby girl in a car on Easter morning. Tough luck! Acting couple Jeremy Jordan and Ashley Spencer also welcomed their daughter Clara Eloise on Easter Sunday. It’s a real name-lover’s name – both are in the Top 50 on the Nameberry charts – and not seasonal, but good all year round.
Country cool names: Wake and Mustang
Do country musicians give their children the best cool names? Unless you’re an avid country follower, you may not have heard of all the names on this list, but it has some fantastic combinations, like Tennessee Hawkins, Love Lily and Rigney Cooper. Color names seem to be a big part of country cool: other country kids’ names include Raquel Blue, Willa Gray and Wake Silver. Any favorites here?
Brothers called Mustang and Bronco would fit right in with those country names! Tough and outdoorsy, they have connections to both horses and cars: both are Ford models. Unfortunately the article that mentions the brothers (the author’s grandsons) isn’t available in Europe, but those names in the preview text were too good not to mention, and surely they’re the highlight for name fans.
According to a report of the most hacked passwords, Ashley was the highest name on the list, followed by other 1970s and 80s favorites Michael, Daniel and Jessica… and also the currently-trendy Charlie. It was even more popular as a password than Pokemon and Batman!
Finally, because this is 2019, of course you can find baby names inspired by emojis. I was a bit dubious about what names would be there when I clicked the link. “Tears of Laughter” and “See-no-evil Monkey” are undoubtedly useful for communication purposes, but they’re not high on many people’s name lists. But Rose, Clover, Ferris, Leo and the others are pretty good, and only tenuously linked to emojis.