Little Prince Louis Special Report
Royal baby name: read all about it!
The biggest name story of the week is, of course, the British royal baby.
A week ago, we were on the edge of our seats waiting to find out the new prince’s name. On Friday, it was announced as Louis Arthur Charles, much to everyone’s surprise. Not that the names themselves are surprising: it’s more the repetition of one of his brother George’s middle names, Louis, and another Charl– name like his sister Charlotte.
There’s been lots of comment about why the Cambridges chose Louis, from the obvious family connections to more tenuous links – like that Catherine wrote her university dissertation on Lewis Carroll’s photography, and used some of his pictures for an art exhibition in February. (Aside: if you had to name a child after something you studied for an assignment or thesis, what would you choose?)
The internet was quick to find Louis-related trivia and remind us of other famous men (and apes) called Louis, and it has not escaped the notice of Harry Potter fans that Louis, Arthur and Charles are all the names of Weasley family members. While I love the image of William and Catherine poring through the Harry Potter series to find the perfect name, in reality it says more about the Weasley clan’s name style – traditional and classic with more than a hint of royalty – than it does about the Cambridges’ fandom.
We now know that there’s at least one other family in Britain with children called George, Charlotte and Louis in that order – what are the odds? Their parents chose the names because they worked in both French and English, and we should also take a moment to appreciate the name of the family dog: Monsieur Serge.
The American public has learned that Brits pronounce Louis “Loo-ee”, not “Loo-iss”. (If you were in any doubt, Wills and Kate said it in their wedding vows.) But even in the UK, it’s not without its issues – one Louis wrote in to the Guardian newspaper hoping that people would finally stop calling him Louise now.
Louis: facts, figures and future
There is already speculation about whether the name Louis will rise or fall in popularity now that the royals have used it again. George and Charlotte have gone up in popularity in the UK since they were born – but as British name expert Eleanor Nickerson points out, they dipped immediately after their birth before recovering, so it might be a while before we see a Louis boom.
In the States, it will be interesting to see whether there’s a rise in soundalike Louie as well as or instead of Louis. Louie re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2015 and is still in the 900s, but watch this space in the 2018 charts, when they’re released this time next year.
Alternative royal names
Good news if you were holding off giving your child one of the top contenders for the royal baby name, like Albert, Frederick or Alice – you can go ahead and use it! I wonder if those names will see an extra boost in popularity thanks to the press coverage they’ve had in the last few months. (Speaking of Albert, I enjoyed reading the name story of a boy called Albert Pascal, including input from the wives of two members of Hanson – you couldn’t make it up!)
Or maybe you love the name Louis (or Arthur or Charles) and are using it no matter what. These parents in Scotland made the news because their son Louis – named after his great-grandfather – was born on the same day as the prince. They announced it first, so they get bragging rights.
But what if you like Louis but don’t want to copy William and Catherine? You could use a name with a similar style – and no, they don’t all belong to royalty! If you love the Lou– sound, here are some alternative Lou and Lu names for boys. Or if it’s the Frenchness of the name that appeals to you, how about another French name?
Grit by name, grit by nature
The prize for most unusual word name in the news this week goes to Grit. The father of this baby boy from Kansas picked it before he was born, and it’s appropriate given that he’s had a lot of medical treatment in his life so far.
The names not chosen
You may also have almost names for your children. If so, that’s something you have in common with the Kardashian-Wests. We’ve come to accept their youngest kid as Chicago, but according to Kim, other names in the running included Jo (after Kim’s grandmother), Grace and Donda (Kanye’s mom). In a way, coming after North and Saint, a name as mainstream as Jo or Grace might have been just as edgy as Chicago.
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on May 2nd, 2018 at 11:20 pm
I think Louis is great with George and Charlotte! The name repetition doesn’t really surprise me. Nor does the fact that Grit has never charted; it may be a virtue name in some contexts, but in others is synonymous with dirt/filth.
I was almost Bailey, my son was almost a Simon!
on May 2nd, 2018 at 11:43 pm
I like Louis! It had been on my list for months if we were to be blessed with a fourth boy, but my husband vetoed it because we have a Leo and it’s too similar.
I was almost Mary Colleen (as a first name)
Our girl name choices for our three boys:
– Alice Mae
– Mary Alice Grace (MA as a first name)
on May 3rd, 2018 at 12:08 am
I recently found out I was almost Geneva- and my first thought was how cool I would have been if I was named Geneva, but I have a lovely, timeless, classic name with the one issue of being insanely popular the whole decade of my birth (my parents had no idea when they named me – things were so different before the internet). It is weird though to think about how life may have been different as a Geneva.
on May 3rd, 2018 at 1:22 am
A LOT of us British people also pronounce “Louis” and “Lewis” the same way – Lew Iss – and use Louie / Louey as a completely different name.
I spent a few hours on the day trying to find out which pronunciation they were going with Louie being the posh French way of saying it, Lewis being the everyday working class one (at least here in the North).
on May 3rd, 2018 at 2:27 am
I was initially disappointed with the name Louis Arthur Charles– it’s still not my favorite, but it has started to grow on me! It has a lot of charm.
I was always a Sadie. My parents didn’t even have a boy name for me, but I’m assuming that if I was a boy, they would have gone with one of the names they chose for my brothers two years later, Luke or Jake.
on May 3rd, 2018 at 5:42 am
Based on my thesis currently I think I’d use Meriadec, Hyacinth, Forbes, or Clark.
I was a bit eh on the Royal name just because I had a bet on it and didn’t win anything (again! I bet on Caroline for George and Charlotte…)
I would have been Lewis, had I been a boy. They were thoroughly convinced that I was going to be a boy (I kicked a lot more than my elder sister) so they hadn’t even considered girls names. My name was a spur of the moment pick of a name my mum loved when she was pregnant with my sister, but my dad hadn’t liked. Three years later he had changed his mind! My middle name is Louise as a nod to Lewis.
on May 3rd, 2018 at 9:17 am
Louis is not a name from the Weasley family.
on May 3rd, 2018 at 9:55 am
I love the connection with Catherine’s dissertation! I wrote mine on Oscar Wilde, and I’ve been toying with the idea of using Wilde as a middle name 🙂
on May 3rd, 2018 at 10:53 am
Louis Weasley is the son of Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley so it in fact is a Weasley family name 🙂
Bertha Bernard Said
on May 3rd, 2018 at 10:56 am
It’s not clarified in the article, but Louis was apparently the name of Bill and Fleur Weasley’s son in the Harry Potter books.
on May 3rd, 2018 at 11:35 am
Aside: if you had to name a child after something you studied for an assignment or thesis, what would you choose?
I studied literature in college, primarily 20th century literature. My absolute favorite author (and heck, even person) is Ernest Hemingway! I was randomly assigned him as a subject of a presentation in my Freshman year of college and since then, “Hemingway” has stuck with me. Don’t love it a first name, but it will be the middle name of my first son!
on May 3rd, 2018 at 12:28 pm
My favorite author in high school was Thomas Hardy (a great namer by the way) and I didn’t realize till long after her birth that my daughter Clare’s name is the surname of the unlikable Angel. We did better with our son Gabriel as Gabriel Oak is a much better character. This baby will be named Thomas not after Hardy per se but maybe unconsciously. I’ve longed like Theresa nn Tess but didn’t have enough daughters to use it.
on May 4th, 2018 at 11:07 pm
My parents considered Serena and Rachel for me before deciding on Victoria Elizabeth (again with the royal names!). If I was a boy I would have been Joseph Rives or William Keaton.
on May 6th, 2018 at 3:42 pm
Grit is not unheard of in Germany … every single Grit is a middle aged woman, though, which makes this name an unfortunate choice for a baby boy; over here at least.
I get what they are going for and as long he never goes to a German speaking or Scandinavian country he’ll be fine.
on May 6th, 2018 at 7:50 pm
My husband could’ve been an Otto, if my father-in-law had his way. 🙂
Instead he’s Edward.
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