Newsy Names this week: Kalel, Gwendolyn and Rio

Newsy Names this week: Kalel, Gwendolyn and Rio

This week’s news includes a sibset named after superheroes, a dose of namer’s remorse, and starbaby names from all over the globe.

First of all, happy summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere)!

Superhero siblings

Would you use a comic book name? One mother blithely agreed with her husband when they were 18 that they could name their first son Kalel (as in Superman), not imagining he’d still think it was a good idea years later.

He also managed to get comic book connections into their other five children’s names: Chloe (named after a friend of Superman’s), Catelin (for reporter Cat Grant), Kara (Supergirl), Connor (Superboy) and Quinn (switching comics to Harley Quinn).

What’s great about these sibling names is that they’re pretty regular (Kalel excepted) – you’d have to have comic book characters on the brain to spot the references – and that they sound alliterative but don’t all start with the same letter, so they don’t feel forced.

Their mom says used to feel embarrassed by the superhero connection, but she’s come around to them – especially as the children are all proud of their supernames.

Name regrets, they’ve had a few

Have you ever regretted a name choice? There seems a lot of regret going around at the moment, for as many different reasons as there are parents.

Sometimes parents second-guess a name because it turns out to be very popular – like this mother, who let her older children pressure her into using a top-five girls’ name with more nicknames than she would have liked.

Or it can be for the opposite reason. A parent in this article named their daughter Amara, but wishes they had gone for the more familiar Amelia.

And sometimes better alternatives just spring out of nowhere, like the girl named Sydney who has only ever answered to Lulu. Several years after the nickname stuck, her parents still don’t know whether to make it her official name or not.

When to reveal?

Another perennial issue that many parents face is when to share the baby’s name. There’s been a recent spate of articles weighing in on it. Where do you stand?

This mother is keeping her chosen names a secret, partly to stop the world weighing in on them and partly to stop other expectant parents “stealing” them. Here are more reasons why you might want to keep your favorite name under wraps. And if someone else does use it? Here’s some sound advice.

Starbaby names from around the world

The newest celebrity babies sport names from lots of different languages and cultures.

As predicted, Eva Longoria and José Bastón chose a Spanish name for their son to complement José’s older children (they are Natalia, Mariana, Sebastian and José Antonio). Welcome, Santiago Enrique! Enrique is the name of Eva’s dad.

Stanley Tucci’s kids have a well-matched set of Italian names. His baby daughter Emilia Giovanna joined big brother Matteo and half-siblings Nicolo, Isabel and Camilla in April.

Rapper Ne-Yo chose a  powerful mashup of western and Indian names for his son, Roman Alexander–Raj, while James Van Der Beek (of Dawson’s Creek fame) and his wife turned to Wales for their fifth child’s name, Gwendolyn.

The most unusual – if not unique – starbaby name of the week is Pemau. Australian actress Yael Stone gave her daughter a name of Aboriginal origin, honoring the baby’s great-great-great-grandmother. If you like the look of Pemau but don’t have a heritage connection to it, similar names include Tibetan flower-name Pema, and David Krumholtz’s daughter’s name, Pemma.

Now just for fun: how well do you know your celebrity baby names? Have you been paying attention to who has a Story and who has a Saint? Try this quiz to see how many stars you can match with their child’s name.

Weekly awards

…Aka a few more interesting snippets of name news.

The “best background research on a meme” award goes to the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources. There’s a meme going around to work out your medieval name – and good news, *most* of them have been confirmed bona fide medieval. Unfortunately the one for my birthday, Luanda, is one of the imposters.

The coolest twin names I’ve seen this week are brothers Rio Addison and Raphael Genie (got to rub him the right way), born in Northern Ireland.

And the Dr Seuss award goes to Valentino–Nino–Gino, spotted in an announcement from Germany.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at