This week’s news includes bold middle names, spelling disputes, Disney villains, and dreamy French siblings.
Soccer star names: Edson and Keylor
The soccer World Cup kicks off today, so let’s start with some soccer-inspired names.
The name Keylor was virtually unknown until 2014, when Costa Rican player Keylor Navas appeared in the last World Cup and joined Real Madrid. Now it’s big in Spain and Costa Rica, and it was given to 75 boys in the US in 2017. You could think of it as a fresh take on Taylor. Do you think it could catch on beyond sports fans?
In Scotland, the grandson of a top player and manager was named Edson Thunder. Edson is the birth name of legendary Brazilian player Pelé (himself named after Thomas Edison, with a twist). I don’t know the story behind Thunder, but it makes a fantastic bold middle name.
Are you a Megan purist? This essay by Meagan Campbell looks at the boom in spelling variations of this name, including the one that’s been most in the news over the last few months, Meghan. Some commenters wonder if Meghan will go the way of Melania and become the dominant spelling thanks to media exposure (Melania overtook Milania in popularity for the first time in 2017). I suspect Meghan is too tied to the 1980s to make a major comeback yet, but we’ll have to wait and see in next year’s charts.
Irish names aren’t always pronounced the way they look (to non-Irish speakers) – remember the first time you read names like Niamh, Saoirse and Cillian? So you can imagine the fun that ensued when someone put a load of Irish names into a name generator that comes up with alternative spellings. Enter Neyamh, Zaourse and Syllyan.
Stylish startups and sibsets
Brands with personal names are nothing new – just think of Mercedes cars – and they’re still a popular choice for new companies, giving them a friendly, personal feel. This Bloomberg article tells the stories of how these names came to be, with inspiration ranging from a street in Berlin to a roommate who was too tall for his bed.
Going back to real children, we’ve seen several cool sibsets in the news this week. TV star Meghan King Edmonds welcomed twin boys called Hayes and Hart. Their parents dug deep into the family tree to find these co-ordinating names: Hayes has his great-great-grandmother’s maiden name, and Hart has his great-great-great-great-grandfather’s first name. Great.
A fivesome with up-and-coming names: Harper, Owen, Nora, Nell, and their new baby brother, Marshall. Those are the children of Patrick J. Kennedy, the son of Senator Ted and nephew of JFK. Marshall Patrick was born on what would have been his great-uncle’s 101st birthday.
While we’re thinking of French baby names, let’s take a moment to enjoy the names of some new arrivals. The May announcements on the site Neufmois included boys called Léandre and Lisandre, and girls called Eline and Maelan.
Honor names: Humble and Timmarie
Several babies have been named in memory of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Canada in April, including a girl named Logan Humble Strong. Logan honors one of the victims, Humble was chosen because it sounds like Humboldt, and Strong makes for another modern virtue name.
How wicked is too wicked?
Would you use a Disney villain name? Some of the names on this list are eminently usable; others, not so much. Claude feels ripe for a vintage revival. Rourke could be an undiscovered gem. Lots of name lovers are rooting for Ursula to make a comeback. And 164 boys were named after Star Wars bad guy Kylo last year. But the world may never be ready for babies called Cruella, Medusa or Zurg.