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Terms of Endearment Baby Names

February 27, 2019 Clare Green

By Clare Green

This week’s baby name news includes Robin Thicke’s latest inventive combination, thoughts on children naming their siblings, terms of endearment names, and one-of-a-kind names from Malta and Australia.

Change one letter: Alain and Vaeda

Change one letter” is a popular name game in the Nameberry forums, which can lead to some lovely novel names. A few announcements this week look like they’d fit into it!

We had high expectations from Robin Thicke and April Love Geary, and they didn’t disappoint. Robin’s older children are Julian Fuego and Mia Love, so it looked likely that their new baby would also get a popular first name and an unexpected middle. Enter Lola Alain! Our name oracle Sophie got it spot on predicting Lola. It’s thought that Alain pays tribute to Robin’s father Alan – if so, it’s an interesting alternative to names like Alanna and Alani.

Rose Adura caught my eye as another common first name-unexpected middle combo. That’s the name of British dancer Ashley Banjo’s new daughter. Adura looks like it could be a variation on Adora – a name that’s started to take off in the last few years – but it’s actually a Yoruba word meaning “prayer”. It’s very rare in the UK – and the US – but feels graceful and straightforward.

Catelynn Baltierra, formerly of 16 and Pregnant, also chose “change one letter” names for her daughter, Vaeda Luma. Both names are much less popular than Vada/Veda and Luna, but are easy to understand as part of the same style.

Love and affection: Baby, Cupid and Romeu

Are there any terms of endearment you’d use as a baby name? Honey, Precious and Boo are some examples, and you’ll find more in this post.

One mother in Australia is in the news this week for her daughter’s name, which seems to be in this style: Baby. She’s not alone: in the US there was a wave of both boys and girls named Baby for a few years after 1987, when Dirty Dancing came out – too many to be an administrative error.

The next name is more romantic than endearing, but I’m really liking Romeu, the name Portuguese rapper Capicua’s new son. Do you think it would work where you live, though? Or would people always call him Romeo? (Also, I’m not familiar with Capicua but she sounds pretty cool – there can’t be many rappers around with a PhD in Human Geography.)

While we’re thinking of romance, I misread this headline and thought it was about a baby named Cupid born on Valentine’s Day…turns out it was a lamb. Cupid has charted once (6 boys in 1981), but the little love-god’s Greek counterpart Eros is doing a bit better. It’s been used more and more in the last two decades, and was given to 17 boys in 2017.

Sibling solidarity

A running theme in the name world this week has been what siblings think of each other’s names.

This baby naming advice suggests enlisting the help of older siblings in choosing a name (with boundaries!). That’s how it worked for Hanson baby number 6, whose big sister suggested and campaigned for one of his names.

Our Name Sage Abby touched on this topic in her latest newsletter, noting that children keenly feel any perceived injustice with their siblings, including the names they get. And Portuguese name blogger Filipa proved this with the story that her own sister always thought Filipa should have been called Lucia instead.

So…do you think children should be involved in naming their younger siblings? Or see any discrepancies in your own siblings’/children’s names?

The next big Irish names?

With St Patrick’s Day coming up, your thoughts might be turning to Irish baby names. From an Irish parenting website come some ideas you might not have heard before. Could the next big thing be Mealla for girls, Segan for boys, or Cadhla for both?

Of course, Irish parents don’t have to use Irish-language names. Fashion blogger Rosie Connolly has just named her daughter the bright and breezy Remi Jo.

One-of-a-kind baby names: Ginkgo and…Marie?

Now for some more names from the news that are more unique…in some senses of the word.

A list of potential baby names from Malta did the rounds on the internet. Many have a modern feel, like Zeylin, but it was Dnegel that got the most attention. Read it backwards: that’s right, it’s Legend reversed. I don’t think it will be the next Nevaeh, but you never know. On a more educational note, did you know that three quarters of Maltese people share the same 100 surnames, which reflect the island’s multicultural history?

Over in South Australia, the state has released full lists of all the baby names registered in 2018, even those only used once – which is over half the names recorded. News articles have focused on the most striking names of the year, which include Ginkgo, OceanStanley and both Love and Luv (terms of endearment again). But in a population of 1.7 million, a name doesn’t have to be way-out to be unique for the year. Other names used only once in South Australia in 2018 include Cormac, Rafferty, Zack, Caroline, Marie and Rosamund, putting them very much in the sweet spot of being familiar but not overly popular.

About the author

Clare Green

Clare Green writes Nameberry's weekly round-up of the latest baby name news, including celebrity announcements, unusual naming stories, and new statistics from around the world . Clare, who has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, lives in England, where she has worked in libraries and studies linguistics. You can follow her personally on Instagram and Twitter.

View all of Clare Green's articles

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