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Unique Baby Names: Tiger, Mojave and Renoir

and other name News of the Week

By Clare Green

This week’s news includes unique names inspired by the Tiger Woods victory plus what’s happening in places like California, Cornwall, Paris and other parts of the world.

Extra-special baby names

All babies are special, but does a much longed-for baby need an extra-special, unique name?

That’s what happened for one British mother. The original plan was to call her daughter Rosie.  But she thought her miracle baby needed a name that stood out a bit more, and thus Bellatrix Daenerys Leia was born – named, of course, after some of her parents’ favorite characters from books, TV and film.

Here’s an emotional one: twin girls Eloise Maxwell and Isla Camden have special middle names, honoring their brothers who were lost in an accident before the twins were born.

And Hoda Kotb certainly put lots of thought into naming her much-awaited second daughter, Hope Catherine. The news anchor said that she used the word “hope” a lot while waiting to adopt her, and the virtue name nicely matches her sister, Haley Joy. Catherine is the name of Hoda’s best friend’s daughter.

Sporting baby names: Tiger and Lillie Saint

We’ve heard before about baby booms following big sporting events. Now it’s been nine months since the men’s soccer World Cup, and a little wave of nicely-named children has arrived.

Harry Maguire, who plays for England, recently welcomed a daughter named Lillie Saint. If there’s a football reference in there, it’s very subtle. There is a team nicknamed the Saints, but it’s not one Harry has ever played for. Maybe it’s just a sign that Saint, once a too-bold-to-use name, is becoming a go-to middle for some parents.

Another baby conceived after England’s victory against Colombia last summer is Jesse, named after the England player Jesse Lingard. His parents liked the name so much that they planned to use it whether the baby was a boy or a girl. In the same article, there’s also a girl called Harper. Nothing unusual about that in 2019, but I find it refreshing that her parents very openly say that they named her after Harper Beckham. There are so many young Harpers today that it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t on the radar for many parents – especially in the UK – until the youngest Beckham sibling was born in 2011.

Meanwhile in the world of golf, Tiger Woods (born Eldrick) took home the Masters trophy last week. What’s that got to do with baby names? For one set of parents-to-be, everything could rest on it. Dad got his wife to sign a contract saying that if Woods won, he would have the option of naming the baby Tiger. We’re waiting to find out if he follows through.

Do you think Tiger belongs in the ranks of rising wild animal names, like Bear and Fox? Or is it still too connected with the highly publicized Woods?

England and Wales: regional favorites

Here’s one I missed earlier! While we’re waiting for the 2018 baby name data for England and Wales (which isn’t due till autumn), we can stay entertained with the regional statistics for 2017. They tell us which names are disproportionately popular in different areas – like Blossom, Vienna, Colby and Tymon in the east midlands, Remi and Zayaan in the area around Birmingham, and not surprisingly, Demelza and Elowen in the south west, where Cornwall is.

Although these stats are from two years ago, they might still be useful if you’re worried about using a name that’s very popular in your area – especially if you’re under time  pressure. That’s the case for these parents in the news. Mom thought they’d decided to name their daughter Sophia, but now that she’s arrived, dad isn’t so sure anymore. He’s started throwing other names into the mix, to everyone’s confusion!

Travel baby names: Mojave and Louvre

Would you use a name inspired by the place you live, or somewhere you’ve traveled? There’s a whole world of place names for babies out there: here are a few recent finds.

If you love California, check out this interesting list of names inspired by the Golden State. They run the full style spectrum, from the mainstream (Holly, Oscar) to the decidedly rare (Orinda, Casmalia, Mojave).

Poet Lake isn’t a place name, but it certainly sounds like one. It’s the name of Australian actress Tessa Palmer’s newborn daughter, and feels like a perfect bohemian word name match for her older siblings Forest Sage and Bodhi Rain.

This list of Paris-inspired baby names came in an unfortunate week for that celebrated city. Do you prefer well-loved French names like Colette and Victor, or would you be brave enough to use Renoir or Louvre?

New Zealand: definitely not Australia

Finally, it’s off down under to poor old New Zealand. Not only does it repeatedly get left off maps, but it also has to put up with being confused with its neighbor Australia. (Ever That includes in the realm of baby names.

There are lovely names from Australian languages (one in the news this week is Jarrah, said to mean “eucalyptus tree”). And there are lovely names that come from New Zealand’s M?ori language. But don’t mix them up! Kiwis are up in arms about a baby name app that claimed the name Aroha is Australian…nope. It means “love” in M?ori, as in the New Zealand Prime Minister’s daughter, Neve Te Aroha. Glad we cleared that up.

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