I walked into a Tribeca nail salon last weekend, killing time before a lunch date, and there getting a manicure was Gwyneth Paltrow. And the adorable little girl quietly rearranging the nail polish colors? None other than the infamous Apple.
Call me starstruck, but watching the tall (yes, very tall), gorgeous Gwyneth – who was wearing what seems to be the New York Yummy Mummy uniform du jour of black riding pants, black riding boots, and a baggy tee shirt — talk to her daughter, I thought: Apple is a really cute name. A little quirky, maybe, but not deserving of all the ridicule that’s been heaped on it. Cute.
So that got me thinking (I had a lot of time to think, while pretending not to be staring at Gwynnie) about other cute celebrity baby names. Not bizarre celebrity baby names, not trendy celebrity baby names. Just the cutest choices of recent years.
Here, my nominees:
Agree? Disagree? What would you add?
For more, see our list of cute baby names for girls.
Because of its relatively small population, Wales has sent fewer immigrants to the US than Ireland and Scotland have–a mere 100,000 between 1820 and 1976–so that Welsh names are not as well known here as the other Celts. Which is a shame, because it’s a lilting, rhythmic language, offering lots of fresh and beguiling choices.
Like the Irish, the Welsh have only rediscovered some of the rich resources of their own language and culture in the past century. Ater the Welsh language was suppressed for hundreds of years, baby namers are now digging back into their native history and myth, traditional literature and legends for inspirational namesakes of ancient heroes, princes and other royalty, for example increasing the popularity of names like the mythological Rhiannon.
Unlike the Irish names, Welsh choices present far fewer pronunciation challenges–their spelling is much closer to phonetic. Also note that the yn ending is usually masculine (even though, for example, Gwyn might sound feminine to us), and the en ending, as in Gwen, is for the most part feminine.
Here, a selection of some rich Welsh possibilities:
FFLUR (FLEER)–Welsh word for flower)
GWENNO (a nickname-name for Gwen names)
SIAM (SHAM)–Welsh form of James
SIARL (SHARL)–Welsh form of Charles
SIOR (SHOR)–Welsh form of George