Posts Tagged ‘
British baby names ’
Sunday, April 21st, 2013
My daughters have inherited my passion for food and cooking—and there’s nothing they love better than spending an afternoon in the kitchen helping me bake up a few cookies or put together a great dinner. Unless, of course, it’s the opportunity to watch cooking shows on TV—especially the contest type shows, like Cupcake Wars and Chopped. (We even spent an evening playing Chopped, where I bested my husband with a killer lemon-crusted plum tart for the grand finale.) So when ABC ran The Taste, a cooking contest which featured blind taste testing and some of their favorite chefs, that became must-see TV for us.
My girls and I were rooting for Nigella Lawson’s team. We’ve loved watching her other cooking shows, I love her outlook on food (excellent, decadent food—but in moderation) and we loved her all-girl team—especially the super-sweet Lauren.
Ultimately, Nigella’s team wasn’t the big winner, but I think Nigella could be a winning name for a little girl. It’s the feminized version of Nigel. Nigel means “dark-haired,” and Nigella is another name for the bloom called “love in a mist,” a beautiful blossom that has delicate, branched leaves around the bloom. The seeds of the Nigella plant are often roasted and ground and used in curries—and it seems pretty apropos that Nigella the chef was given the name of such an exotic spice.
It’d make a lovely, unique choice for someone who loves the -ella names: Ella, Isabella, Annabel, etc. And it goes beautifully with some of the cool short middle names. I’d pair Nigella with Jade, Pearl, True, Gray or even Clove—adding an extra bit of spice to the baby name.
What do you think of the name Nigella? Do you think it’ll ride along with the other -ella names into the limelight, or will it remain a slightly offbeat option?
Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/Shutterstock.com
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
In case you haven’t heard, Prince William and Kate are expecting a future king or queen of England–thanks to recent changes in English law, male heirs are no longer given preference in taking over the throne. But while everyone’s abuzz over whether it’s a prince or princess on the way, I’m already skipping ahead to the baby names.
You can already expect that this couple won’t be going for some of the more unusual names of late–so we can forget about Prince Pilot or Princess Hashtag. They may be modern monarchs, but they still have a very healthy respect for tradition. So I’d expect some good, traditional British names. And that means we’re also into Uma Thurman baby-naming territory, as royals tend to give their babies four or five names. (Prince William was christened William Arthur Philip Louis.)
You can probably get a sense of what names will appear in the collection if you get a good look at the British royal lineage–there’s no doubt that most (if not all) of the names will have some historical background.
For boys, we’re talking names like Henry, James, George, Charles and Thomas. Here’s my best guess: The first name will either be James (a common royal name) or Alfred (the nickname Alfie is #4 on Britain’s name popularity list, so this isn’t as out-there as it sounds to American ears). Philip will be one of the middle names (it’s the name of William’s grandfather, and both he and his father have it as one of their middle names). In fact, here’s my best guess: Alfred Charles Philip James. (Alternate name possibilities: Edward or Edmund, George, Albert and John.)
And what name would befit a future queen? I’d like to see an Eleanor (after one of the most powerful women in medieval Europe, Eleanor of Aquitaine) or Victoria (after the vaunted 19th century monarch). I expect to see Diana pop up as one of the middle names, in homage to William’s mother. And don’t entirely discount a slight veer from British royal lineage. A name like Grace, which is currently in the top 10 in the U.K., would be a beautiful choice. Here’s my bet for the princess’s moniker: Eleanor Diana Victoria Elizabeth. (Alternate name possibilities could include Alice, Beatrice, Anne and Margaret.)
What do you think Wills and Kate should name their first born? Share your ideas in the comments.
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Categories: Baby Name Help, Baby Name News, Baby Name Stories, Celebrity Baby Names, In Name Only, Must Read | Tags: British baby names, british royals, duchess of cambridge, kate middleton, prince william, royal baby names
Thursday, August 30th, 2012
We may share a language, but the British and American choices for baby names couldn’t be much farther apart. In fact, our top 10 baby names bear little resemblance to their top 10—unless you count that Twilight-inspired Jacob and Isabella duo.
For instance, Harry and Amelia top the British charts, but they rank much lower here in the U.S.—number 709 and 30, respectively. And two of the most popular names in the UK are Alfie and Jessica—neither of which charts highly in the U.S. (Jessica’s at 120, and Alfie’s even lower—it hasn’t even broken the top 1000.)
And some of those UK chart toppers may be worth importing, especially if you’re looking for something semi-traditional but not so popular here. My picks for girls include Isla, a name which comes from a river in Scotland (it’s pronounced Eye-la); Harriet, an old-fashioned name along the lines of more popular American choices like Charlotte and Scarlett; and Zara, the name of one of the Queen’s grandchildren, a nice alternative if you like Zoe. For boys, try Finley, a name that means hero; Oliver, one of the top 10 in the UK, but much less popular here (it currently ranks number 56); or Callum, a fresh alternative to the -den names like Brayden, Jaden and Aidan.
One of the interesting trends in the UK is the use of nicknames as the “official” name, instead of the full name—like Alfie instead of Alfred or Millie instead of Millicent. I think it’s especially interesting, given the UK’s traditionally more formal mindset. Maybe they’re starting to loosen up a little?
Here’s a glimpse at the top 10 in England and Wales:
1. Harry 2. Oliver 3. Jack 4. Alfie 5. Charlie 6. Thomas 7. Jacob 8. James 9. Joshua 10. William
1. Amelia 2. Olivia 3. Lily 4. Jessica 5. Emily 6. Sophie 7. Ruby 8. Grace 9. Ava 10. Isabella
You can see the full top 100 baby names on the British Office for National Statistics website.
What do you think of the British taste in baby names? Do you see anything on the list you might love for your baby?
Photo: British baby by MartiniDry / Shutterstock.com
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Mike and I spent our honeymoon in England, where we dreamed of opening a charming little bed and breakfast out in the English countryside. (Alas, the closest we’ve come to that is an overgrown garden and a guest room for my parents in our kinda charming suburban colonial.)
If we’d lived out our dreams, maybe we would have picked our daughters’ names from the UK top 20 list: Katie would have been a Poppy, and our Maggie a Maisie. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the most popular baby names in the U.K. for your naming inspiration.
Top British Boys’ Names
There isn’t a lot of crossover between our top 5 and the British top 5. In fact, James was the only one that showed up in the U.S. top 20. But all of these names are classics that would be just as perfect for an American boy.
1. Oliver may be king in England, but it only ranks number 78 here.
2. Jack has been stuck in the 40 range in the U.S. for a while now, though Jackson has broken the top 30.
3. Harry—as in Prince Harry and Harry Potter—has a wonderful British vibe. It’s not very popular here, currently at 709 after spending some time in the 500 range during the early 2000s.
4. Charlie ranks at 236 in the U.S., but the more formal version, Charles, comes in 62nd. Who would have thought Americans would be more prim and proper?
5. James ranks 17th in the U.S.
Top British Girls’ Names
When it comes to naming girls, the U.S. and U.K. have very similar tastes—all of the names except Isabelle appear in the U.S. top 20 names, and two of the names also appear in the U.S. top 5.
1. Lily, a beautiful flower name, ranks in the top 20 in the U.S. Maybe its popularity across the pond will help propel it to the top 10 here.
2. Emily currently ranks number 6 on the U.S. charts.
3. Isabella is second on the U.S. charts—and obviously even more popular in the U.K. than here, since the variant Isabelle also ranks at the top of their charts.
4. Sophia tops the U.S. charts, but comes in number 4 here.
5. Isabelle Apparently, we really like having that “a” at the end—Isabelle ranked at #114 last year in the U.S. If you like Isabella but don’t like how popular it is, consider switching out that ending “a” for an “e.”
What do you think of Britain’s lists? Would you go for an Oliver or a Lily?
Photo: British baby by MartiniDry / Shutterstock.com