Popular Baby Names: From Nameberry, Italy and Celebrityville

Popular Baby Names: From Nameberry, Italy and Celebrityville

By Clare Bristow

This week’s news includes the names Strummer, Sofia, Sunday… and Santa!

Before we dive in, have you seen our top names of 2017? These are the names that have been the most looked-at this year. A few highlights: Atticus rose to the top spot for boys, and Olivia held the girls’ title for a second year. New to the top 10 are Cora, Maia, Amara, Theodore, Jasper and Henry. Did you help to send any of them up the charts?

Sophia: news from Italy and the world of robots

The Nameberry chart is one of the few in the western world where a form of Sophia isn’t near the top (it’s #78, below names like Allegro, Genevieve and Rumi).

Case in point: There’s a new official list of popular Italian baby names for 2016, and Sofia is the number one girls’ name for the seventh year running. On the boys’ side, Francesco is top for a whopping 16th year. Look further down the list and you’ll find some more international favorites, like Emma and Luca, but also a lot that aren’t widely used outside Italy, like Ginevra and Jacopo.

Sophia is the name of a talking robot created by Hanson Robotics. It’s a good choice of name for international appeal, and I doubt that the link between the name’s meaning (wisdom) and artificial intelligence is a coincidence.

Recently robot Sophia has been talking about having a baby. Her name of choice? Sophia. Either she has a sophisticated feminist Gilmore Girls-style mindset, or she doesn’t have much imagination when it comes to naming. Incidentally, Sophia’s robot siblings include Alice, Han, Jules and Zeno.

Off-the-grid occupational names

Are you looking for occupational names that no one else will have? Julia Stiles just nailed it with her son’s name, Strummer. Calling to mind The Clash frontman Joe Strummer, it’s edgy and rare, but fits in well with the trend for -er surnames. File this one with Boomer and Jagger.

If this is your style, you might like these names with rock-and-roll attitude, or this list of offbeat occupational names. Or how about some that weren’t used at all in 2016, like Rancher, Fifer, Falconer and Drummer. In short, if you think all the good surname names have been taken, think again.

Days and months: Sunday and August(us)

Sunday has been used rarely but steadily as a girls’ name since Nicole Kidman gave it to her daughter in 2008. Mike Myers followed suit in 2014, and 34 girls in the US got the name last year.

Now it’s been brought back to public attention (in the UK at least) by sometime reality star Ferne McCann, who has just named her daughter Sunday. Interestingly, the inspiration  came not directly from the day of the week, but from a makeup brand called Sunday Riley. Somehow, hearing it in a combination like that does make it seem much more like a usable name.

Moving from days to months, the new Nameberry chart shows that
August names aren’t going anywhere. Augustus entered the top 100, and August isn’t too far behind at #163. The new film adaptation of Wonder, with lovable August as the main character, should keep these names fresh in parents’ minds.

If you’re already a fan, you might like them even more after reading this article. It features a baby called Augustus with gravitas to match his name.

Naughty and nice names

Is your name on Santa’s list? The reward chart site School Stickers have released their annual naughty and nice list of the children who have got the most – and least – stickers for good behavior this year. It’s a British company, so you’ll find UK favorites like Mollie and Alfie on the list. If your name is Freya or Ryan you’re probably in Santa’s good books, but if it’s Faye or Noah then you might have a lump of coal heading your way…so be good, for goodness’ sake!

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 clare@nameberry.com