What a week this is for baby name lovers! We’ve had some long-awaited announcements in this week’s name news, including a royal baby, and new popularity charts from several countries. And that’s just for starters: tomorrow we’re expecting the main course of the USA 2018 baby name data. (You can still enter our contest to guess the new Top 10 until midnight tonight, Thursday 9 May.) Strap in and enjoy!
The royal baby is here! Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, welcomed their son on Monday and announced his name relatively quickly for royals: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Read our thoughts and analysis of the name here.
As far as I can see (but correct me if I’m wrong!) no one predicted either name, but British YouTuber SJ Strum was in the right ball park with Oscar and Charlie. Funnily enough, this tongue-in-cheek list wasn’t far off with Oliver and Alfie…but further off with Ringo, Severus and Paddington.
Names with meaning: Attell and Andrew
Someone else who used a significant middle name this week was Amy Schumer. The comedian and her husband Chris Fischer welcomed their son Gene Attell over the weekend. Popular through the Hollywood golden age of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, Gene is a friendly vintage boy name that might just be ready for revival, especially now Schumer has set her seal of approval on it. Attell is almost certainly in honor of fellow comedian Dave Attell, whom she has collaborated with.
If you’re in the process of choosing a middle name, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself.
It’s not just the famous who give their children meaningful names, of course. Inspiration can come from anywhere, from the paramedic named Andrew who delivered a baby at the roadside to a character from the show that helped mom through difficult times – baby Khaleesi is now a year old.
One family, however, made the news for not naming their son after their favorite movie character. In Mexico, a registrar persuaded a couple not to name their son Thor Alberto, apparently inspired by Avengers: Endgame. What do you think: was this a lucky escape? A public official taking their role too far? A missed opportunity to use an epic superhero name?
Popular baby names around the world: Germany and Australia
Are you counting down the hours until the US name data is released? While you’re waiting, you can enjoy some name stats from down under, because the new Australian Top 100 has landed.
Now that Western Australia has published its baby name statistics for 2018, the annual McCrindle Report, covering the whole country, is here. Many Australian parents have stuck with familiar favorites: the top spot names are Charlotte for the fourth year running, and Oliver for the sixth year. As is the case in many countries, there wasn’t much movement at the very top of the list, but some interesting names are rising lower down.
Looking at the new entries and re-entries to the Top 100, Americans may feel that Australia is ahead of the trend with some names but very late to the party with others. New to the Top 100 this year were Nathan, Maxwell, Christian, Phoenix, Leonardo and Theo for boys; and Thea, Adeline, Alyssa, Hayley, Pippa and Clara for girls.
If Aussie names inspire you, check our our full list of Australian baby names.
Now for a timely question, given that name fans will soon be up to our eyes in data: can you believe the statistics you read?
The headlines say that the most popular names in Germany are Marie and Paul. But look closely at the lists published by the Association for the German language: those names are only number one when you combine all first names and middle names. For first names only, Emma and Ben take the top spots for another year. (As they do in the alternative rankings from the German name website Beliebte Vornamen.) Marie is in 12th place for girls, which shows how popular it is as a middle name.
If you like a good map infographic, look further down the page for some interesting regional patterns. The vintage name Ida is particularly popular in the north of Germany, while English import Henry is big in the north-west, and Frieda and Emil in the east.
Name talk taboos
If you visit the Nameberry forums, you’ll often see “just collecting, not expecting” in signatures: people who aren’t naming a real baby right now, but still love talking names. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that not everyone feels the same way – like this couple in a problem page column. (Be aware it’s on a site that gives you a limited number of free views.) She likes talking about hypothetical future baby names, he’s asked for a year’s embargo on discussing them. Do you sympathize?