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Quirky British Baby Names

March 20, 2016 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel

Jamie and Jools Oliver are expecting baby #5! The celebrity chef and his model-turned-designer wife are known for choosing quirky, bold, and delightfully British baby names.

The Olivers are the parents of Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice. The kids’ first names are pretty mainstream. Poppy and Daisy have been favorites with English parents over the last two decades; Buddy fits perfectly with the preference for nickname names; and while Petal is unusual, nature names of all kinds are more common than ever.

We can make a few guesses about the name of the littlest Oliver:— The baby’s first name probably won’t be all that out-there. It might even be in the current England & Wales Top 100.

— The baby will almost certainly have two middles.

–At least part of the name will have ties to nature. It may be edible (like Honey), and if it’s a girl, a botanical name is almost a given.

— It will be a nickname, or a name that can’t be easily shortened.If there is a traditional name in the mix, it will be tucked in third spot. And a family name isn’t out of the question – Maurice is the name of Jools’ late father.

— It’s also safe to say that the name will feel British – not Will and Kate, future-king-of-England British. But there’s a touch of whimsy about current Top 100 favorites in England, like Alfie, Archie, Millie, and Elsie. The newest Oliver’s name will certainly fit right in.

Jools and Jamie, if you’re stumped for a name, here are nine of my favorite suggestions for your new addition!

Coco – It’s close to cocoa, and edible names seem right for a chef’s daughter. It also brings to mind Coco Chanel – which works with Jools’ current project, designing a line of children’s clothing. Coco has the same playful feel as Poppy, Daisy, and Petal. Other names so nice you say them twice could work, too, like Lulu, Zuzu, and Mimi.

Saffron – Credit goes to Angela for suggesting the spicy Saffron as an Oliver baby name! It works for many of the same reasons as Coco, and has the same tailored-but-feminine feel as Petal. Saffron Monsoon was the level-headed daughter on long-running Britcom Absolutely Fabulous, though perhaps that rules the name out in the UK.

Bijou Bijou translates to jewel in French. In English, it refers to something small and elegant, and brings to mind actress Bijou Phillips. It’s an unconventional, nickname-proof choice.

Tulip – Chances are that a fourth Oliver daughter will receive another botanical name. Tulip was my son’s idea – and I really can’t top it! Poppy, Daisy, Petal, and Tulip are pretty great together. Some choices – like Posey – are too close to their older girls’ names to consider. Another name that has an outside chance? Bluebell. Jools Oliver penned a children’s book a few years ago, called The Adventures of Dotty and Bluebell. It’s a slightly out-there choice that feels right for their family.

Sonny Sonny is currently in the Top 100 for boys in the UK, and I can easily imagine it as a name for Buddy’s brother. Spelled Sunny, it might be an interesting nature-name choice for a girl, especially since Jools is due this summer. They wouldn’t be the first high profile parents to make the choice. Jason Lee’s youngest is son Sonny, and Adam Sandler has a daughter named Sunny Madeleine.

Bertie – Or maybe the couple will go with an old school nickname name? Harry, Alfie, Archie, Freddie, Teddy, and Bobby are all stylish in England. Bertie is even more retro. It’s a little bit regal, too, the nickname of King Edward VII, as well as King George VI, born Albert Frederick Arthur George.

Woody Woody is the hero of Toy Story and its sequels, a name seldom heard on a real boy since Woodrow Wilson left the White House. But in the UK, it’s slowly catching on. It’s a little bit of a nature name, and it sounds just right as a brother for Buddy.

Ned – While three of their four kids’ names end in y, that’s no guarantee that they’ll stick with the sound for another child. Something as spare and simple as Ned might have a lot of appeal for the Olivers. It sticks with their nicknames-as-names preference, and has a certain vintage appeal.

Huck – Speaking of short names, I can imagine the Olivers choosing something that feels adventurous and carefree, like Jake or Flynn. But let’s go with Huck, for a few reasons. First, even though Huckleberry Finn is American, that hasn’t hurt other literary baby name exports, like Harper. It’s edible, just like Honey. And the couple has become more daring as they’ve named more children. There’s no reason to think they’ll play it safe when naming baby number five.

Do you have any suggestions for Jools and Jamie’s fifth child?

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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