The Nameberry 9: Rose and Tulip and other newsy names

For the Nameberry 9 this week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel walks us  through the flower-name garden and shares some celebrity news.

Earlier this week, Nameberry explored the unexpected middle names of some very famous figures.  Who knew that Hugh Grant wore the middle name Mungo, or that Charlie Sheen had Irwin in the middle spot?

Here in Washington DC, I’m convinced that while we’re quite daring with our children’s given names, every single girl is sharing the same middle: Rose.  I’d rather see Rose in the first spot, like Charlotte’s younger daughter in the Sex in the City series.  But Rose came in at a frosty #337 in the 2010 rankings.  You’re more likely to meet a girl called Esmeralda, Fatima, or Leilani.

What explains the rise of a suddenly-everywhere middle name?  Yes, many of us have grandmothers named Rose.  But we also have grandmothers named Jean, Joan, and Ruth, and those names aren’t nearly as popular.  At a recent baby shower, the guest-of-honor had chosen Rose for a daughter’s middle name.  So had the other expectant mom in the room, and one of the brand new parents had already named her daughter Amelie Rose.

Which brings us to this week’s list of the nine newsiest baby names:

Gemma Rose – Did you see Paula Kashtan’s article about Kristin Davis and her daughter’s name?  Kristin played Charlotte, mom to Lily and Rose, in the Sex and the City series.  When it came time to name her own daughter, Kristin says that she’d forgotten her fictional girl’s given name, but did find herself drawn to Rose.  Perhaps, the actress speculated, it was “lodged unconsciously.”

LilahRose Linda Cardellini’s new daughter will answer to a double-barreled name, LilahRose.  At first glance it makes for an unusual choice, but something tells me that she’ll blend in to a sea of girls called Lillie and Lyla and Lillian, too, at least some of them with the middle name Rose.

Tulip – If you’re set on a botanical name for a daughter, she’s one of the more unusual options.  Along with Acacia, Amaranth, and Cedar, at least one set of parents in Alberta, Canada, chose this for a child’s first name last year, according to the official report the government released last week.  Tulip also has a glimmer of starbaby status, thanks to Charlie Tamara Tulip, daughter of Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.

Truman Tulip has that great u sound, as does Truman, the name of Martha Stewart’s second grandchild.  Martha’s daughter Alexis is also mom to daughter Jude.

West – Country crooner and songwriter Randy Houser welcomed a son named West.  Not Weston or Westley, just straight-from-the-compass West.  Another name that caught my eye is Mrs. Houser’s appellation – she answers to Jessa, a name I’d previously heard only on one of the reality television Duggar daughters.

Bix – Looking for something truly unusual for a son?  Here’s one that no one is using, even though he’d fit right in with Alex and Max.  1920s jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke would have celebrated his 109th birthday this past weekend.  Bix was actually born Leon Bismark, but it is his nickname that has so much 21st century appeal.

Brax – Did you read the latest Australian birth announcements posted at For Real Baby NamesBraxton has caught on, despite the unfortunate association with the contractions.  Could Brax be next?  We’ve already seen more boys named Dax and even Jax.  Me, I’d rather go with birthday boy Bix.

Barbie – Speaking of birthdays, March 9th is officially considered the birthday of the enduring Barbie Doll.  Named after a real-life Barbara, daughter of the doll’s creator, Ruth Handler, Barbie might update her wardrobe, but her name is stuck in another generation.  Still, if you’re after a classic name that your daughter will never have to share, Barbara is a safe bet.

Lilli – In honor of the fashion icon’s anniversary, I did some reading up on Barbie’s history.  Did you know she was based on a German doll called Lilli?  I’m not a huge fan of ends-in-i spellings, but I’m intrigued by this story.  Apparently the doll’s name was inspired by a World War I poem, adapted as a love song during World War II.  Lili Marleen was recorded by many a chanteuse, including Marlene Dietrich, which seems ever so fitting.

Spot any unusual names this week?  How about girls named Rose?

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25 Responses to “The Nameberry 9: Rose and Tulip and other newsy names”

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Poppy528 Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 12:39 am

Bix would be great if it weren’t permanently associated with Bixby, Oklahoma. But then again I could name a whole family based on Oklahoma towns: Guthrie, Henryetta, Adair, Norman … okay I’ll stop now! (:

Cairo32 Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 1:08 am

I love Bix!!! If I ever had a son, my husband would NEVER go for it, but I’d love love LOVE to meet a little boy with that name!!!

As for Rose – I’ve got a niece named Alexis Rose (age 9) but I had that on my short list for my second daughter. In the end it was down to Kiera or Miranda – we went with Miranda Viola.
I still love Rose 🙂

amandaberry Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 2:24 am

I met a baby Aspen about a month ago, and today I met a boy baby named Cloud!

Whit32 Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 2:52 am

I absolutely love the name Cedar for a boy! My husband king konged it (swatted it out of the sky like a tiny air plane), but he might let me use it for a middle name if our next kiddo is a boy. I just think it is a beautiful, strong name that reminds me of the giant cedars of the north west.

Samantha-Bianca Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 5:26 am

Bix = Weet-Bix, an institution in Australian breakfasts almost as much as Vegemite is… I don’t think it will take off here, especially due to the product’s slogan(s) revolving around people being “Weet-Bix kids”…

ejs82 Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 7:59 am

I am so tired of Rose as a middle name, I probably know 5 or 6 girls named Emma Rose! Rose and Grace are the new Ann and Marie.

melissa2 Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 8:00 am

West is more than a compass point; for many it’s a family name. I had a student named West (his middle, which he went by, and his mother’s maiden name) and it was my grandather’s middle (which he didn’t go by) as well.

Lola Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 8:06 am

Aw, I like Bix, mostly because I love his music. I’d use it, if I could. I met a 7 year old Mary the other day at a birthday party. How refreshing!
I have a cousin, Rosemary who goes by Rose. She’s pushing 60 but it’s still a sweet name. I could never usee Rose as a first name, no matter how much I love it. Josie’s middle is a rose variant of sorts and already is in fairly constant use. Josie & Rosie, sisters? Nah, too similar in sound. But I’d love to see Rose used way more than it is!

chapitaism Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 11:37 am

I am pretty happy that Rose is mentioned here 🙂 I like that name very much, because rose is my favorite flower since forever. I also love the S sound 🙂 I like either Rose or Rosa and have Rosalia (Rosa plus Lia) in my list 🙂

Abby Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

@chapitaism – Rosemary is my #1 girl name! I do love Rose and Rosa and Rosalia, too. Oh, and Rosamond and Rosalie and Rosalind. Rosalind is really growing on me.

@melissa2 – VERY good point about West.

@Samantha-Bianca – so no to Bix in Australia … but we don’t have Weet-Bix in the US …

@Poppy – Oklahoma might take an award for best place names!

@Cairo32 – Miranda Viola is fabulous. I know someone who has Miranda as her top girl name, if her baby-on-the-way ends up being a girl!

roselang Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I’m Rose and I have always loved my name. My full name is RoseAnn (yes, with a capital A) but no one ever calls me that. It’s Rose and occasionally Rosie. My cousin just had her fourth baby and named her Rose. Growing up people always said “Rose! That’s my grandma’s name!” But that didn’t bother me. As for it being overused as a middle name, I don’t think it is. It is popular and common, but it’s simple and pretty and easy to use for a middle name.

BritishAmerican Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Abby you’re not supposed to tell people to use my daughter’s name! 😛

Our Rose was born in 2005. There’s another Rose in my daughter’s elementary school – a year or two older than mine. We also ran into another Rose at the library storytime every week when my daughter was a toddler. The ‘other Rose’ was also a year or so older than ours.

When Rose was born, we’d get a lot of “Oh, that’s my daughter’s middle name!” from other new parents that we’d meet. It makes me wonder if parents ‘use up’ Rose on a first daughter’s middle name and so that takes it off the table for future daughters’ names. Or even if they have a niece with the middle name Rose, that might make them not want to ‘copy’ Rose for their first child.

The one problem we had was finding a middle name that didn’t ‘sound backwards’ with Rose. I would have liked to have used Joy, to honor my Mum Joyce (who always wished she was Joy instead of Joyce.) But I didn’t like the two one-syllables of Rose Joy. I kind of wish we’d gone with Rose Edith (Edith is a family name) but at the time I didn’t like the E sound of the middle name, making the name sound like Rosie Dith. So now we just have the ‘lame story’ of how we needed a 3 syllable middle name to balance the one syllable of Rose.

One of the things I do love about Rose’s name is that it’s beautiful and feminine with the image of the flower, but the one syllable and the “zuh” ending sound make it sound strong and no-nonsense to me, in contrast to the usual -ee and -a endings of girls names. I think I kind of got lucky picking a name for our first child that we love so much. My husband talked me away from some of my ‘less desirable’ picks. Plus we unintentionally got started on my English/ British expat theme with her name.

Rin Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Re: Brax

The Home & Away soap must have influenced that one!

TheDivineMrsM Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I thought Barbie got her name from the inventor who had a daughter named Barbara. Barbie was the daughter’s nickname. Maybe I’m wrong but I am pretty sure I saw an interview to that effect.

On another note – I really like the names Truman and West. They are both strong names that stand on their own. I can’t think of any common nicknames that would come to mind for either of them.

moxielove Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Every girl ages 6-10 that I have met wished their middle name was Rose. Is it a Disney thing?

Dax is on my (very) short list for a boy, and I think that I have just now added West! I love it — in mythology and fantasy fiction the West is always the mysterious land that you can never wuite get to, or you can go to but never return. The idea of Go West Young Man makes it rugged but not blatently cowboyish (I hope!).

miloowen Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Okay, I really like flower names, but Tulip is just too much for me. I just hear Tiny Tim singing….

I’m not one for all these “x” names unless there’s a “real” name behind them. Max is great if you’re Maxim or Maximilian (my cousin’s son’s name) but Jax and Brax and Dix and Bix (like Bill Bixby?) just sound like soap opera names, not real ones.

I do love Rose just by itself, as well as loving Rosamund and Rosemary. Other flower names I like are Posy, Tansy, Marigold (I know — that’s a stretch for me), Daisy, Jonquil, Jacinta, Poppy, Lily, and Willow.

peach Says:

March 12th, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I agree that Rose is overused in the middle spot. I have a Great Grandmother Rose and an Aunt so I will skip using the name but I wouldn’t mind seeing it more in the first spot. I like Tulip too.

Kry.Vivi.83 Says:

March 13th, 2012 at 12:30 am

I’m Krystal Rose and I’m 28 years old… People are always saying how lovely it sounds when you say both names together… I think my mom was ahead of her time… Now Rose is everywhere… When I was pregnant with my daughter my husband and I considered Vivienne Rose, but decided against it… Now I’m glad we did… Plus another trend I’ve noticed recently is giving your daughter your middle name… Has anyone else noticed that or am I just crazy??

sarahms Says:

March 13th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I am so disappointed that Rose has become the new Ann, Marie, Lee, or Lynn 🙁 In my family the tradition has been to middle name first born daughters Rose, a tradition I have wanted to continue since I was a little girl. Now that I am expecting, I am second guessing whether to stick to a tradition that I highly value (which has turned mainstream) or buck tradition and go in another direction. Ugh.

babyoneday Says:

March 16th, 2012 at 4:21 am

I cant stand this middle name Rose epidemic! I mean yes roses are pretty and are a nice namesake and I understand Rose can go with pretty much any first name but errrghh, its becoming boring. I know at least five girls under five with the middle name Rose but I would love to see other flower names (like Tulip!) being used.
As for Bix, that name would never take off in Australia where pretty much every child grows up eating Wheat-bix for breakfast.

jessieo Says:

March 16th, 2012 at 9:00 am

Yes I was thinking Wheat-Bix too, I pity future Bixs that take a holiday to Australia one day!

Reeny Says:

March 22nd, 2012 at 11:02 am

We’re thinking about using Rosa as a first name for our baby, if baby is a girl (due in September). It’s my great aunt’s name and I have loved it ever since I was little.

My niece is 2.5 years and her name is Isla Rose, but her middle hasn’t deterred me from using it as a first. I think it is still very fresh (pardon the pun) when it is used as a first name.

Love Viola too but husband not so keen on this one!

BerryBry Says:

January 18th, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I find Rose so fresh in the first spot (as well as Mary)! But I hate how used it is for the middle! As for Bix and stuff I agree that you need a full name to get to them. I was trying to change Bix around with Mac in some Max names:
Bixwell – quite nice actually! Oh no!!! I REALLY like it the more I say it!
Biximus – Ok but a bit odd…
Biximillian – well a lot of made-up name…not for me!
Bixim – I don’t mind this one!

sarahmezz Says:

January 26th, 2013 at 3:51 am

It’s already been mentioned, but, in Australia, Bix only brings to mind the breakfast cereal Weetbix and Brax is a character from a popular TV show!

sarahmezz Says:

January 26th, 2013 at 3:53 am

I also recently taught a Lilli (last year and she was fourteen at the time).

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