Monday, January 19, 2015

Great Names - According to Peralta....

Jake Peralta (played by Andy Samberg) in 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'

Last week's episode of comedy 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' shows that you never know who's going to feel that they have "useful" suggestions when it comes to naming your child.

After Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) discovers that Serjeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crewes) and his wife are expecting a child, he suddenly finds name inspiration everywhere, and is very enthusiatic to share them with Terry. So enthusiastic that it causes him to break his promise to keep the pregnancy a secret as he eagerly hits 'reply all' to an email with his latest suggestion.

Peralta's style? Names which - in his words - "Works for a boy or a girl!" All I can say is that they are very Jake Peralta. And that I'm not so sure people should follow his name suggestions. See if you agree:

Verdict - Dubious. Extremely dubious.
Makes me think of a certain video game bandicoot. And I'm not sure I would want to be the one to give a teenaged Crash their driving lessons. Crash has in fact appeared on the U.S charts in 2008, 2012 and 2013 though! It was for boys only, and for less than 10 children in each of those cases. Possibly names such as Dash, Chase and Colt have helped make it an option.

Verdict - Shows some potential....
Of this pick, Peralta says that it is "my favorite.....after the tower in 'Die Hard'." Oh. OK. Umm...
Nakatomi has never charted in the U.S. It is the name of an influential Ancient Japanese clan, and seems to be mainly used as a surname.

Verdict - I'd cruise past this one
Admittedly, I'm not 100% sure that this is what he said, as it was kind of heard to tell. But he was in a parking garage at the time. It does have the kind of sound that could work as a name, and other people have thought so too. Miata charted (just) in the U.S for girls from 1989 to 1999, the years it was first sold. If you want more car name related inspiration, Nancy has a great list here.

Verdict - Keep looking
Not surprisingly, the name Hurricane has never charted. National Geographic tells us that "Violent winds...driving rain...killer waves. These are the hallmarks of a hurricane". Which made it a good nickname for a professional boxer, but not for a child. Just....don't. Please.

He may not love your suggestions,
but Terry still loves you Jake

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Movie Name Quote

I was watching some girly rom-coms today and one of them was 'When in Rome'. It stars Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, but also featured Dax Shepard (pictured above) as one of Beths (Kristen Bell's character) "suitors". Dax plays a narcissistic model named Gale who is magically attracted to Beth when she takes his coin out of a love/wishing fountain. He comes on quite strong when they first meet....

Gale: I'm Gale. Like a gale force wind. I took on that name because it's the most powerful force in the natural world. For shaping and eroding the earth. It's ahhh.....You can feel it
Beth: Actually I think that's water...
Gale: Mmmm....
Beth: ....eroding the earth.....
Gale: I don't think it's water, I think it's wind.
Beth: the Grand Canyon
Gale: I'm gonna look that up

So lesson to us all - always double check if you are choosing a name for it's meaning or symbolism 

Many people deride Gale as a girls name, and a dated one at that. The latter is understandable as Gale and Gail peaked in the 1950's, however both Gale and Gail have been used for both genders for a long time, so is not just a girls name. Gale had recently been flagging in the US but returned to the charts for both boys and girls in 2013. This was likely inspired by the character Gale Hawthorne from 'The Hunger Games' movies, played by Aussie Liam Hemsworth.

There's a few explanations for the meaning of Gale. Possibly it comes from the Middle English 'gaile', meaning jovial. Or it comes from the Gaelic word Gael, meaning 'a Celt' or 'foreigner'. The most popular opinion though is that it comes from Abigail, a Hebrew name meaning 'my father is joyful'. And of course it is also a nature word meaning 'a very strong wind'. All things considered, this makes Gale a positive, strong name.

The other cute thing about this movie scene is that it is between Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, who are now married with two beautifully named daughters - Lincoln Bell and Delta Bell.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Trends and Insights - 2014 Victorian Top 100

Photo by Karen Wiltshire

The Australian state of Victoria has already released it's top 100 results for 2014!

Since it's the state I live in, I'm particularly interested in what is happening in Victoria. So I thought I'd share some of the insights I got from this years results.

For The Girls...

We're falling in love with vintage nicknames - Particularly if they're boyish! Charlie and Billie have returned to our top 100, while Frankie debuted at #95 and Sadie and Elsie also entered the top 100. Sadie is actually the hottest new entry and fastest rising girl name overall, entering at #64! Evie and Ellie also rose, while Millie held her ground.

We think "EL" is a hot sound - Elsie entered the top 100 at position #84, Ella, Ellie and Eloise are all on the rise and Eliza and Elizabeth are also still in the top 100. Other names featuring the "EL" sound that rose in 2014 were Evelyn, Isabel, Annabelle, Isabelle and Madeleine. Hazel and Penelope both entered the top 100. And Isabella, Stella and Bella can also be found in the top 100.

We prefer Sophie over Sophia. And Sofia. - In 2013 in Australia the combined spellings of Sophia and Sofia put the name at number 8, two places ahead of Sophie. She was also the winner in the U.S. But in 2014 in Victoria? Combining Sophia and Sofia would put her at #15, still 8 places behind our 7th favourite name, Sophie.

We made different pop culture choices - All the punters have been tipping Elsa to rise dramatically thanks to Frozen. But it seems our hearts are actually with her sister, Anna. Elsa is noticeably missing from our top 100, whereas Anna was one of our fastest rising names, up 23 places! We also shunned 'Game of Thrones' character Khaleesi/Daenerys but gave the nod to the actress who plays her, with Emilia entering the top 100 at #68.

But we agree with some predictions - Violet, Penelope, Hazel, Ariana and Piper are hot picks to rise in 2015, but we've gotten an early start on that! Violet is up 35 places and Piper 18. Penelope, Hazel and Ariana were all new entries.

For The Boys...

We're heavily debating nicknames vs full names - Over a quarter of the names in the top 100 are nicknames and their full names. In some cases the nickname is tops, in other cases it's the full name. So it seems there are some sounds that we simply love, in any of its' forms. The most popular options are highlighted below:

Full Name Position
Nickname Position

Alexander 11
Alex 83

Archer 40
Archie 34

Charles 92
Charlie 12

Elijah 39
Eli 70

Harrison 22
Harry 23

Jackson 35
Jack 2

Jaxon 42

Jacob 25
Jake 55

Lucas 7
Luke 63

Maxwell 87
Max 17

Nathaniel 97
Nate 53

Nathan 64

William 3
Liam 14

Zachary 51
Zac 95

Isaac 21

But overall, full names are winners - We seem to predominantly like a formal name on the birth certificate. For those names where only the full name or the nickname appears in our top 100, there are three times as many full names as nicknames. For example, we love Benjamin but not Ben, Samuel but not Sam, Nicholas but not Nick. Theodore and Anthony also entered the top 100 in 2014, with no Theo or Tony to be seen. Nicknames that buck the trend? That would be Leo, Toby and surprising new entry, Lenny.

We're pretty conservative when naming boys - We love the old fashioned staples, particularly if they can be found in the Bible or on a Royal family tree. This isn't anything particularly new, but shows few signs of changing. The next hot Biblical pick looks to be Caleb, which rose 20 places in 2014. The fastest rising Royal pick of 2014 was George - thanks to William and Kate's first born. Hot on his heels though is Edward, already placed ahead of George and also rising. If William and Kate's second child - due in April - happens to be a boy and they name him Edward, we could see Edward shoot into the top 10 very soon.

Kai bucks the norm - It seems that the winning formula for a boys name in Victoria is a two syllable name (71% of the top 100) with Biblical or Royal (preferably British) roots. So why is it that one-syllable Kai was super hot in 2014? Kai is a new entry to the top 100 and the fastest rising name for boys or girls in 2014, entering at position #61! We are admittedly a little behind the other states though as Kai has been a top 100 Australian name for the past couple of years already.

For Both...

It's Charlie all the way - Charlie is the only name that appears in both the girls top 100 (at position #91) and boys top 100 (rising 9 places to #12 in 2014). Longer version Charlotte is #2 for girls, while Charles is #92 for boys.

Want to check out the full lists for yourself? Check out Anna's post at Waltzing More Than Matilda.