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Spring Baby Names: News of the week

Scottish, Jewish and Royal

By Clare Green

Our first spring baby names news report includes the latest stats from Scotland, a royal baby announcement (no, not that one), and babies named after doctors, nurses, soccer players, the Pope, and transformers.

Name your baby like a Scot

…and call them Jack or Olivia. These are Scotland’s most popular names of 2018, which won’t come as a surprise if you’ve been following the trends in past years. Both have held the top spot for several years running.

Look out for more analysis of Scottish baby names coming here very soon! In the meantime, if you’d like to track more names over time, this clever tool lets you compare the changing popularity of baby names in Scotland since 1974.

Girls in Scotland might want to read this letter to girls called Olivia. It’s part-celebration, part-commiseration: your name may be popular, says the writer, but it’s still great. If you want to change it, that’s fine. And if you don’t that’s fine too. She should know: as a teen she changed her own name from one of the most popular girls’ names of the 1980s (Erin) to a soundalike for an even more popular name (Maygen), and still loves it. I couldn’t help noticing that her own children’s names – Petra and Paris – are very “sweet spot,” stylish and recognizable but not overly popular.

Doctor, doctor, I named my baby after you

It’s not unusual for parents to name their parents after medical staff, often out of gratitude, sometimes for want of any other ideas. Here are a few recent cases.

First up, a boy named Desai – an Indian surname meaning the chief of a village – after the ob-gyn who delivered him. The name has been used just a handful of times in the US in the last decade.

This assorted collection of name stories includes a boy called Colby, named after a doctor of the mid-1800s! Or rather, one of his ancestors was named after Dr Colby, who delivered him, and new Colby’s parents were keen to use a name from the family tree. It’s a great mixture of modern style and family meaning. The same article also features a woman named Prudence after a nurse, when her mom was lacking in inspiration for a girl name. Ironically, Prudence doesn’t consider this a very prudent choice…

On a different note, this article in the New York Times is mainly about the impact when families move to America and do – or don’t – Americanize their names. It features the author’s family, George, Jasmine, Shane and Kevin – or should that be Ghevont, Yeran, Shahé and Raffi? But, without meaning to sound like clickbait, it has a lovely ending involving a medical namesake.

Footballers and transformers and popes, oh my!

Besides doctors and nurses, there have been some diverse sources of name inspiration in the news recently.

How does it feel to be named after Optimus Prime? (As in, the robotic hero of the Transformers.) This man from Paraguay knows. His name is Optimosprayn, and life hasn’t always been easy.

You probably wouldn’t get away with that name in France, where courts reserve the right to ban parents from using names that they feel are not in the child’s best interests. The latest name to be rejected is Griezmann Mbappe, after two soccer players on France’s winning men’s world cup squad, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé. The baby’s football fan parents have chosen another name for him instead.

More spring baby names. In showbiz, actor David Henrie has just welcomed a daughter with a delightfully melodic name: Pia Philomena Francesca. Her second middle name is after Pope Francis, who blessed the couple nine months ago. Pia has been on a gradual rise for several years – can you see it catching on as an alternative to little names like Mia and Leah?

The many faces of Jewish names

After a British Member of Parliament named her son Zion Benjamin Manny earlier this month, here’s a lighthearted look at baby name options for Jewish parents.

According to the writer, there are various possible categories. There’s “Jewish in disguise” (David, Sarah), “Very Jewish Indeed” (Shmuel, Rivka), “Jewish but only Jews would realise” (Ilan, Eliana), “Perversely Un-Jewish” (Eoin, Siobhan), and “Beyond Extremely Jewish, but Very Hip” (her son Judah). Add a few more examples, and you’ve got an outline for chapters in a baby name book!

Royal baby names: traditions and name theft

A royal baby has arrived! No, you haven’t missed an announcement from Buckingham Palace – this baby is the newest member of the House of Hanover in Germany. Prince Ernst August (full name Ernst August Andreas Philipp Constantin Maximilian Rolf Stephan Ludwig Rudolph) and his wife Ekaterina Malysheva welcomed a son last week, a little brother for their daughter Elisabeth. His name hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s looking likely that he will be a sixth-generation Ernst August.

Finally, I can’t completely stay away from the other royal baby. If you’re expecting a baby soon, are you wondering if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will steal your baby name? Join the club!

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5 Responses to “Spring Baby Names: News of the week”

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milepo Says:

March 21st, 2019 at 6:16 pm

Terrible names.

IslandMoon Says:

March 21st, 2019 at 6:52 pm

I love looking at the Scottish baby name statistics when they come out, and seeing what obscure Gaelic and Norse names people have used, along with the 440+ Olivias and Jacks. Having said that, I’ve met quite a few newborns this year, and not one has had a top ten name. I also think it’s kind of sweet knowing I’ve met some of the babies who’s name only had one use.

I also thought the article about Jewish names was pretty interesting. There are more pagans than Jewish people in Scotland, so whenever you meet a baby with a Jewish name, it’s probably just a hipster thing. I had no idea some of those names were considered obviously Jewish at all.

tp b Says:

March 23rd, 2019 at 12:31 am

“It’s not unusual for parents to name their parents” [sic] – I believe you mean children. 😉

ClareB Says:

March 23rd, 2019 at 2:03 pm

@tp b Oops, haha well spotted!

dresdendoll Says:

March 23rd, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Spring and Springer!

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