Ella, Alexander, and Other Baby Names in the News
The Clooney twins are here!
Amal and George Clooney have ticked all the stylish boxes with their twins’ names. Ella and Alexander are classic but modern-feeling, popular on both sides of the Atlantic but not trendy, complementary but not matchy.
If you like the Clooneys’ style but don’t want to copy their names, this list of fashionable classic names has lots of alternatives.
There’s no news yet on whether the twins have middle names. Perhaps the Clooneys will use Nicholas or Nina to honor George’s parents, or names reflecting Amal’s Lebanese heritage…or maybe they’ll surprise us all with something wild to balance out the un-crazy first names.
In other celebrity news, girls’ names with an “et” sound have been a theme of the week.
Bennet Alejandra is the daughter of actors Briga Heelan and Rene Gube, born in March. Both this spelling and the more popular Bennett are used much more for boys than girls, but Bennet was given to 7 girls in 2016. It has a literary vibe, thanks to the Bennet family in Pride and Prejudice.
Trulee Nanette, country singer Lee Brice’s daughter, has a name that blends modern and dated. Trulee sounds like it would appeal to parents today, combining a virtue word with a cool “lee” ending (also a nod to her dad’s name). The more popular spelling Truly is rare but has risen in the last decade. Will this announcement give either spelling a boost this year?
Trulee shares her middle name with her mother, reminding me of another family middle name, Bessette, which featured in this month’s babyberry announcements.
Nanette is in style limbo right now. Along with similar names like Jeanette and Babette, it last peaked around 1960 and probably won’t make a comeback any time soon. But there are three “ette” names in the US Top 1000 (Juliette, Colette and Scarlette) and parents are embracing other girls’ names with French endings, like Isabelle and Vivienne, so why not more alternative “ette” names too? Bonus: they’re a way to get Etta as a nickname.
What’s hot in Ireland and Latvia
Last week, Ireland released its Top 100 names of 2016. The main headlines? James replaced long-term favourite Jack as the top boys’ name, while Emily remained in the top spot for the 6th year running. The highest-climbing names in the Top 100 were Muhammad, Willow and Zoey.
But you don’t have to go far down the list to find distinctively Irish choices. Oisin, Cian, Cillian, Saoirse, Aoife and Fiadh are all in the Top 25. A few years ago, they might have seemed too out-there to use outside of Ireland, but now that Saoirse is in the US top 1000, it feels like the rules are changing.
Moving further east, Latvia has released its most popular names since 1918 (when the country became independent). One interesting discovery is that the “hundred-year rule” for vintage revivals works in Latvia just as it does elsewhere. Sofija, Emilija, Marta, Alise, Katrina and Elza were all popular for girls 100 years ago, fell out of fashion for a few decades, and are now back among the leading baby names.
When to announce the name?
Would you tell the world your child’s name before they were born, or leave everyone waiting for days or weeks afterwards? This week we’ve seen examples of both.
Reality TV star Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derick have announced that their son, who’s due in July, will be called Samuel Scott. He’ll join big brother Israel David, continuing the biblical first name theme.
At the other end of the scale, an Australian couple changed their daughter’s name from Betty to Rosie after 11 days. It was no big deal legally because she hadn’t been registered yet – in most parts of Australia, parents have 60 days to register a birth. It’s a sign of the times that the main hassle was correcting the announcement on social media.
Unusual names galore
Finally, the fun of the US name data continues! Now that there’s time to peruse the bottom of the list at leisure, there are lots of treasures to be found. Here’s Nameberry’s pick of the craziest names of 2016, and a list of 60 more unusual choices.
Photo is courtesy of website women.com.
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