This week’s news includes names inspired by birds, androids and an African city, plus some unexpected family names.
Bird names and baby expectations
How much should a child’s name reflect their parents?
Our names always encode some information about our background and the tastes of our parents (or whoever named us). But there’s a difference between giving your baby a name you think is strong enough to set them up for life, and imposing your interests on them.
That’s what bird expert Nicholas Lund found when it came to naming his child. There are plenty of fantastic bird names out there, from Top 1000 choices Wren and Raven to ones you may not even realise are birds, like Sora and Ani. (Plus “use with extreme caution” options like Bobolink and Kittiwake. Although at least they could go by Bobby and Kitty.)
These feelings are echoed in an article by Tricia Springstubb (who was named after a Perry Como song): “Much as we fret over what to call our children, a name only means so much. We choose, freighting our choices with hopes and aspirations, but our children are the ones who decide who they’ll become.” Swistle also recently answered a question on this issue.
You know those baby names that celebrities seem to love more the average parent? Bodhi is one of them, and ex-wrestler Stacy Keibler has just continued the trend with her son’s name, the stylishly alliterative Bodhi Brooks.
Maeve is another name that’s much more popular on Nameberry (#11 in 2018 so far) than in real life (#360 in the US in 2017). The Huffington Post wonders, can Thandie Newton’s character in Westworld take the credit? Probably not: the show first aired in 2016, by which time Maeve had been climbing through the Top 1000 for almost 20 years. But it’s continued to rise since then, so the android association apparently isn’t doing it any harm.
Cairo is another name that’s soared in the last few years. Both this spelling and the variant Kairo are in the Top 1000 for boys, probably as an extension of Kai, and also because place names are cool.
Actress Tia Mowry has claimed it for the girls too: her new daughter is Cairo Tiahna. One of the other interesting things about her name is that her initials continue a family tradition. Like her big brother, Cree Taylor, she has a C name for dad Cory, and a T name for her mother.
Going back a generation, Tia’s parents are Tim and Darlene, so their children are Tia Dashon, Tamera Darvette (the other half of Sister, Sister), Tahj Dayton and Tavior Dante. Do you know any other families – celeb or otherwise – with a pattern like this?
Closer to home, Berries have been using some very original names from their family trees. Last month’s announcements included babies with the names Ayala, Blakley, Gold and Lyon inspired by family members.
Two showbiz couples this week have used more unusual names with Norse connections.
Neve Campbell and JJ Feild announced that they’ve adopted a son named Raynor. They’ve managed to use a name that’s rare yet has a trendy sound. Raiden, Raymond and Ray itself are all up in the charts, but Raynor was only given to 23 boys in the States last year.
The Norse name Asketill would be very challenging to wear. But soften it down and you get Haskell, the name of Carrie Coon and Tracy Letts’ new son. It seems to be a family surname on Tracy‘s side. Never super-popular, it peaked around 1920 and was only given to 6 boys last year – could it be time for a revival? Haskell can also derive from the name Ezekiel.
You know you’re a name nerd when…
A little off the beaten track? Yes: all are in the US Top 1000 but below the Top 200. Shouting out Catholic? Yes. Unintentional hot weather theme? Yes. But weird? Probably not, if you’ve spent a while in the baby name world.
Now if you want truly unusual names, try these ones for starters.