Monday, August 15th, 2011
Tina Fey welcomed daughter Penelope Athena last week. To learn more about this celebrity baby name we asked the founders of baby name site Nameberry to weigh in. Here, Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond give us the run down on Fey’s Greek baby naming style and how Penelope Athena may affect baby name trends.
For the second time, Tina Fey has looked back to her Greek roots in naming her daughter, and this time has used two names, Penelope and Athena, which reflect her Hellenic heritage. Tina herself was born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey; her mother’s name, Zenobia (maiden name Xenakes), became the middle name of Tina and Jeff Richmond’s first daughter Alice.
Penelope is one of those formerly fusty, elderly-British-lady names that have recently been rediscovered by baby namers, probably revitalized by the far more dramatic image of Penélope Cruz. Definitely on the rise, Penelope jumped into the Top 200 this year, rising more than 700 places since it returned to the popularity lists in 2001, and is now more popular than it has ever been in this country. Penelope has been associated since ancient times with the faithful, long-suffering wife of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey.
It remains to be seen whether Penelope Athena Richmond will be known by her full name or by the traditional nickname Penny, which hasn’t been heard much since the 80s, but was a Top 100 nickname name in the mid-60’s, along with such perky pigtailed playmates as Patty, Peggy and Polly. Penny, too, has made something of a comeback, appearing as characters on Lost and The Big Bang Theory, but still is not in the Top 1,000 of the Social Security list.
Athena, on the other hand, stands at Number 360 on the list, part of the current trend of girls’ names beginning and ending with the letter ‘a’, including Ava, Alyssa, Anna, Adriana, Amelia, Alexa, Arianna, et al. A classic ancient Greek name, Athena was the daughter of Zeus who was the goddess of wisdom and patron of the city of Athens, and it works beautifully with the equally classic Penelope.
Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.
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Thursday, July 21st, 2011
New Zealand has joined a handful of other countries in banning baby names that are overly strange or unusual, CNN.com reports. The move follows similar rules in Sweden, where Superman, Metallica and Elvis, and the name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, pronounced Albin, were not approved, and the Dominican Republic, where gender-non-specific names such as Qeurida Pina (Dear Pineapple) and Tonton Ruiz (Dummy Ruiz) were banned. At the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in New Zealand, according to CNN:
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The list of weird names for kids that are banned by New Zealand’s names registrar has grown to include Lucifer, Duke, Messiah and 89.
Also not approved: Bishop, Baron, General, Judge, King, Knight and Mr., names that were all said to be too similar to titles.
The letters, C, D, I and T were also rejected as first names, the Herald Sun says.
As well, the agency has refused to allow names involving asterisks, commas, periods and other punctuation marks.
And three different sets of Kiwi parents wanted to name their children Lucifer, only to have the name choice nixed.
Monday, July 11th, 2011
The soccer star David Beckham said through a spokesman Sunday that his wife Victoria has given birth to a healthy baby girl, the fourth child for the couple. According to The Associated Press:
The Beckhams, who married in 1999 and whose celebrity is entrenched on both sides of the Atlantic, already have three boys: Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, 8, and Cruz, 5.
On his Facebook page, David Beckham said the girl had been named Harper Seven Beckham….
The 36-year-old Beckham captained England’s national team from 2000 to 2006. He played for Manchester United and Spain’s Real Madrid before moving to L.A. to join the Galaxy in 2007.
Thirty-seven-year-old Victoria Beckham found fame as a singer for 1990s girl band the Spice Girls and has since become a fixture of the fashion circuit.
(image via: http://thejerseychaser.com)
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Thursday, July 7th, 2011
Natalie Portman, who had a baby boy last month with her fiance Benjamin Millepied, has revealed the baby’s name: Aleph. From People.com, where the news was first reported:
So what’s in a name? Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, much like alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Aleph is the number 1 in Hebrew and can also be spelled “alef.”
Its esoteric meaning in Judaic Kabbalah, as denoted in the theological treaty Sefer-ha-Bahir, relates to the origin of the universe, the “primordial one that contains all numbers.”
(image via: http://dailypostal.com)
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