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The State of Baby Naming, Fall 2015 Edition

Retro Revivals, Modern Inventions, and Everything in Between!

By Abby Sandel

It was a week chock full of birth announcements. Some weeks it feels like classic baby names carry the day. Other times, creativity reigns.

But sometimes – maybe most of the time – it’s a mix.

This week’s baby names in the news were definitely an eclectic bunch. From vintage choices to new-to-me names, many of this week’s high profile birth announcements made for surprising choices.

The big news? Two boys with names that we’re used to seeing on girls, a surname name that I think could catch on, and our continued affection for noun names and informal names written directly on the birth certificate.

The nine baby names in the headlines are:

Sparrow Rose Nicole Richie and Joel Madden chose this name for a son. Now Alaska: The Last Frontier couple Eivin and Eve Kilcher have welcomed a daughter named Sparrow. Sparrow Rose joins son Findlay. The Kilcher clan is packed with great names, from Stellavera to Sunrise to Farenorth. Sparrow fits right in.

Skyler Eva – Italian model Elisabetta Canalis is a new mom! She and husband Brian Perri welcomed a daughter named Skyler Eva. With a hint of nature name and a lot of surname style, Skyler has gone from rarity to well-established baby name since the 1990s.

Aaliyah Reign – Speaking of names that were once unusual and now feel mainstream, Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins has named her new daughter Aaliyah Reign. Dad is Katherine’s husband, the actor-artist-producer Andrew Levitas. Aaliyah ranked Number 45 for girls in the US last year, boosted by another singer – the late R&B sensation simply known as Aaliyah.

Ruby Jane – What would you name your first daughter after six sons? The Lair family of North Carolina (shown in illustration) went with Ruby, a little sister for Jackson, Campbell, Sawyer, Houston, Shepherd, and Knox. The proud parents said that they’ve had the name “in the vault for 13 years.” The adorable video of the brothers welcoming the family’s newest addition has gone viral. Watch it here if you haven’t already seen it!

Pearl Ruby is a gemstone name that’s very much in favor today. British actress Kellie Shirley, best known as Carly Wicks on EastEnders, chose another precious gem name for her new arrival – Pearl. The name is catching on in the US and the UK. It’s a frills-free, feminine choice.

Louie Pearl’s twin brother is Louie! My first thought is the comedian known as Louie C.K., but doubtless Kellie and husband Phil Davies were just following on the British affection for nickname names. Louie is in the English Top 100, along with Charlie, Alfie, Archie, Frankie, Freddie, Ollie, Ronnie, and Jamie.

Calder – Canadian ice hockey player and two-time Olympic gold medalist Meaghan Mikkelson turned to the Canadian people and the Twitterverse to help name her son with husband Scott Reid, also a hockey player. The couple settled on Calder. It’s a great name that brings to mind the artist Alexander Calder, as well as the first president of the National Hockey League, Frank Calder.

Josey Hollis – When I first saw the birth announcement for Naya Rivera and Ryan Dorsey, I paused. Was Josey Hollis a boy or a girl? And wasn’t Josey Dorsey sort of sing-songy? Thanks to reader Rui for pointing out that dad’s surname is pronounced D’Orsay, like the art museum in Paris. And Josey Hollis is a boy – the first of two names on this list that prove gender-neutral names work for our sons as well as our daughters.

Raeven – We started with a bird name, so let’s end with one, too. Eve Torres made her name as a professional wrestler. She’s since added acting to her resume. Her newest role? Mother to son Raeven, with husband Rener Gracie, a Jiu-Jitsu instructor. Rener’s dad is Rorion, and he has two R-named brothers, too, so Raeven continues the family custom. I do think Raven is one of the avian names that works beautifully for a girl or a boy, so it’s great to see this bold choice in the baby name news.

What’s your favorite name from this week’s baby name news?

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14 Responses to “The State of Baby Naming, Fall 2015 Edition”

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lesliemarion Says:

October 4th, 2015 at 11:36 pm

Sparrow Rose for a boy. Perhaps parents should only be allowed to name their children such things if they change their ordinary names to, say, Timepiece Acrylic and Raptor Lucy.

Poppylove Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 1:06 am

lesliemarion the way I read it Sparrow Rose is a girl. The Sparrow boy mentioned is Sparrow James Midnight Madden.

Cordelia16 Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 6:13 am

lesliemarion — I think you misread the entry. It says that Nicole Richie named her son Sparrow, but in this case it’s Eivin and Eve Kilcher who have named their daughter Sparrow (Sparrow Rose).

Abby Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 7:45 am

Sparrow Rose is actually a pretty tame name for the Kilcher family! The family has a tradition of choosing bold baby names: http://nameberry.com/blog/tag/kilcher-family-names

helenlouise Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 8:23 am

If you have to say this proves “gender neutral names can work on boys as well as girls” then I think you need to rethink how you brand boys names used on girls. Because “gender neutral” does not work if you are surprised when they are used on one of the genders.

ashbee Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 10:02 am

Not a big fan of a lot of these, :/
but Pearl and Louie are very sweet on twins.

4erbear Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 10:45 am

I don’t care how you pronounce D’orsay or Dorsey. Those two names don’t work!

peach25 Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 10:57 am

Yes, I don’t get Josey for a boy, if it’s pronounced like Josie. If it’s like Jose, it still doesn’t work with last name. Odd.

leighmiller Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 10:59 am

Absolutely love Pearl and Louie as twins!

Madelyn Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 11:50 am

I’m definitely not an expert on Brazilian Portuguese, but I have noticed that often when a name starts with an R, it is pronounced as an H. Rener Gracie is Hener, Rorion is Horion, Rodrigo is Hodrigo, so I’m wondering if Raeven will actually be called Haeven by his grandparents and other family members.

EthelBeavers Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 5:06 pm

I’m not a huge fan of any of the names except the twins.
Maybe the “Josey Hollis” parents are big fans of “The Outlaw Josey Wales”??

indiefendi2 Says:

October 5th, 2015 at 11:24 pm

I love Sparrow but for the love of God ANY MIDDLE NAME BESIDES ROSE! For heaven’s sake they sound awful together. Sparrow Rose? It runs together so ugly. It sounds like barking. I’m sorry but it’s true.

I didn’t expect Skyler Eva from Elisabetta Canalis! It’s pretty. I thought it would be a lilting Italian name like her own! I love Skyler though.

claracooks Says:

October 7th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Josey on a boy is kind of appealing. Kelley and Henry are boys names, why can’t Josey? Ruby Jane is cute too.

Hello, Baby! O-Ending Surname Names for Girls – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

October 11th, 2015 at 10:44 pm

[…] significant trend. Many of the possibilities are nature names like Willow and Sparrow (included in last week’s news) or vintage picks like Margot and […]

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