Names in the News: Sunshine, Saga, and…Marty?

Names in the News: Sunshine, Saga, and…Marty?

By Katinka

This week’s news includes some stellar sibsets, a treasure trove of little-known Celtic names, and what might just be the holy grail for hipster baby namers: a way to predict future popularity.

Super Sibsets

May turned out to be this year’s most bountiful month yet for Babyberry births, with 26 beautifully named new arrivals born to our members. Congratulations to all!

As well as some standout singletons (here’s looking at you, Cecilia Lilac and Sullivan Mac), we’re swooning over some of the stunning sibsets in this month’s cohort. From the impeccably literary trio of Gabriel Christian, Emrys Atticus and Godric Nickleby, to mighty mythological brothers Apollo and Atlas, you all really know how to pull off a “matching but not matchy” set.

Elsewhere, Elea at British Baby Names featured some nicely coordinated sibsets in her roundup of UK birth announcements from the past week: from word names Saga and Chance, to international beauties Laila and Maya, to double-trouble twin names Freddie and Finley. (Side note: check out some of those elaborate three-middle combos!)

And Real Housewives of Dallas star Brandi Redmond and her husband Bryan (spotted the pattern yet?) have announced that they’ve welcomed a baby boy via adoption, a brother for daughters Brooklyn and Brinkley. His name is a nice surprise, and feels like a great fit for this family: welcome, Bruin Charles!

For more musings on superb starbaby sibsets, check out Sophie’s latest predictions for the celebrity babies due this month.

Marvelous Manx Names

The Isle of Man has released its annual baby name statistics for 2017!

For those who don’t know, the Isle of Man is a small, self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea, with a population of around 80,000. Its national language (along with English) is Manx, a Celtic language closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

The top names on the Isle of Man come as little surprise: Oliver and Olivia. Oliver has held the top spot in England & Wales six times over the past decade, and Olivia four times — most recently in 2016. With only about 900 births registered on the island each year, the naming pool is small, so it’s interesting to see that among the names singled out by the statisticians as “less well-known” is US and UK Top 50 pick Jaxon. A timely reminder that popularity is all relative!

Unfortunately, the Manx data release only features the top few names for each gender, so we don’t get to see if any of these incredible indigenous Manx baby names made the list. From Finlo to Quinney, there’s so much potential here for lovers of truly undiscovered Celtic names.

From Popular to (Almost) Unique

On the theme of relative popularity, Nancy has the lowdown on the 2500 odd baby names which appeared on only one or two state-specific lists last year — fascinating! It’s easy to see why Sunshine might be particularly popular with Californian parents, or Ariza in Arizona, but how about Marty in Ohio, or Barbie in Pennsylvania? Any ideas?

From Oliver and Olivia to Osian and Olenna, this breakdown of the 1100 novel baby names brand new to the extended US list in 2017 contains some very pleasant surprises. The highest new entries (Camreigh and Asahd) may be the usual modern respellings, but many of these novel names are real rarities from all over the world: Dvorah and Draxler, Noctis and Naomika, Yeziel and Yordani

And some food for thought if you’re looking for a similarly unique baby name for your new arrival: could the ratio of vowels to consonants be the key to predicting a name’s future popularity? If only the parents of this adult Alexa had done the maths!

Cute Critter Alert!

It’s been an excellent week for extravagantly named new arrivals in the animal kingdom, from Capri the baby chimpanzee (born at Rockhampton Zoo in Capricorn, Australia) to UC Berkeley’s three peregrine falcon chicks, who have been named after — what else?! — radioactive elements discovered at the college, in honour of the 150th anniversary of its founding. Science nerds among you, any guesses?

And if you fancy having a hand in naming an adorable baby animal (or two!) yourself, Dubai aquarium is taking name suggestions for its two Asian small-clawed otter pups: one male and one female. They’re looking for something meaningful for Ginger’s babies, so get your thinking caps on!

Our thanks to Katinka for filling in for Clare, who will be back on this beat next week!

About the Author

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse

Emma Waterhouse joined the team in 2017, writing about everything from the top baby name trends 2023 to how not to choose the next big baby name. As Nameberry's head moderator, she also helps to keep our active forums community ticking.

Emma's articles on names and naming trends have been featured in publications including the Huffington Post, People, Today's Parent, Fatherly, and Good Housekeeping.

A linguist by background, Emma speaks several languages and lives in England's smallest county with her husband and four young children. You can reach her at