|Cielo - One of this Years Gorgeous Baby Bonds Winners|
The 2013 Bonds Baby Search competition has ended, and 17 gorgeous babies and children have been picked to be the new faces of Bonds. Winners were chosen for their bright personalities, cheeky smiles or "a touch of spark". And of course, with 17 winners we have 17 gorgeous names to mull over, so here they are (in alphabetical order):
Annabelle - This is one name whose star is currently on the rise. Thought to be either a combination of Ann/Anna (which is a Hebrew name meaning 'He (God) has favoured me' or a variant of French name Amabel meaning 'lovable', either way this is a lovely name. It's understandable why it's currently gaining in popularity.
Ashton - This is a great unisex option, although it has been far more popular for boys in the last 10 years thanks to Ashton Kutcher. An English name meaning 'ash tree place', this English name has a slightly preppy but friendly feel to it.
Austin - One of the more popular place names, Austin reached top 10 status in the US in the late 90's but didn't stay there long. Of French and Latin origin, it means 'great, magnificent, venerated'. If you like a more literary spin, change the "i" for "e" and you have one of the most beloved females writers - Jane Austen - but the Austin spelling for now remains far more popular.
Azriel - A Hebrew name meaning 'God is my help', I love the sound of Azriel. Great for either gender, it has a long history of use. However it is also a commonly recognised name for the Angel of Death (also spelled Azrael), and is often depicted in fiction in this role. If this isn't a problem in your eyes, it's a great sounding name.
Bella - As most know, Bella literally means 'beautiful' in Italian/Latin. A pretty, friendly name, and extremely popular when you take into account girls with -belle or -bella names that go by Bella as a nickname. And of course there's that small franchise known as 'Twilight', which helped put Isabella and Bella at the top of everyone's lists. Whether it was your use or avoid list depends on how much it's popularity bothers you.
Charlize - A nice surprise, as this is not a name you see very often. It first appeared on the US charts in 1998 thanks to the popularity of actress Charlize Theron, but peaked in 2004 at #624 and has slowly been dropping off again. It's a feminisation of the Old German name Charles, meaning 'free man'. A lovely, slightly more exotic sounding name than Charlotte if you're looking to honour a Charles in your family tree.
Cielo - This is perhaps my favourite on this list. In Spanish it's pronounced see-EL-oh and means 'heaven', in Italian it's chee-EL-oh meaning 'sky'. It's usually used on girls, and is a pretty but rare choice if you love the sound of an "o" ending, but aren't keen on other favourites such as Cleo, Arlo or Sparrow.
Cohen - A cool sounding name, this is one that comes with a bit of controversy. It is a royal name in the Jewish faith, meaning 'priest', and is therefore felt to be off limits as a given name. Nonetheless, its sound is what has attracted many who are largely unaware of the association, and Cohen is a name on the rise.
Declan - I love Declan, it's such a strong, warm, and masculine name. Declan is a Gaelic name meaning 'full of goodness' or 'man of prayer'. It's also an Irish Saint name. Declan has been getting a lot of exposure as a character name in recent years, appearing on shows such as 'Revenge' and movies such as 'P.S. I Love You', which may have helped to boost its popularity.
Franklin - A surname and presidential name in America, Franklin is an English name meaning 'free land holder' or 'free man'. It is distinguished sounding, but the "frank" in it also makes it feel honest and down-to-earth.
Isabelle - There's something so pretty about this particular spelling. Yes, it's currently super popular, but that's because so many people love the sound of Isabelle. Derived from the name Elizabeth, Isabelle means 'pledged to God'.
Jaydan - Jaydan (or Jayden) is a name that in unpopular with many name aficionado's, mainly because they feel it is too popular (people say they are "over it"), sounds like several other currently popular names (mainly Aiden and Hayden) and sounds made up. Jadon however is a biblical name, meaning 'thankful', while Jaden (chosen by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith to honour Jada) is a Hebrew name meaning 'God has heard', so technically it's an alternative spelling rather than a made up name. Jaydan has been likened to the Jason of this generation - a familiar, friendly and slightly funky name.
|Jaydan - Another 2013 Bonds Baby Winner|
Lyla - Lyla contains the double "L" sound which is also contained in popular favourite Lily. Lyla however feels a little less delicate than Lily, while retaining a lovely musical, feminine quality. In Persian it means 'dark haired beauty, night' and in Sanskrit it means 'divine play'.
Mia - I'm assuming this one is pronounced ME-ah, as that is the most common in Australia. Mia has been a top 10 name is Australia, Germany, Norway and America in recent years. It's soft but spunky, pretty, and easily understood in many languages, giving it universal appeal. It's often thought to be a pet form of Maria (meaning 'star of the sea'), but is also Italian for 'my' or 'mine'.
Mya - And I'm assuming this is pronounced MY-ah. Mya is a variant of Greek name Maia, meaning 'great, mother'. It's less popular than Mia, which is to say you'll see it at the top end of the top 100, rather than the top end of the top 10. It has a slightly stronger look to it than Mia, and for me feels like it would be right at home in a sci-fi tale.
Ramsey - In Australia, Ramsey Street is synonymous with 'Neighbours', one of our longest running television soaps. Beyond 'Neighbours', Ramsey is an Old English name meaning 'low lying land' or 'wild garlic island', but is better recognised as a Scottish surname. It feels like a happy, warm name, despite any associations you might have with irritable chef Gordon Ramsay. It's quite an adorable, off the beaten track choice.
Zac - It doesn't get much simpler than Zac. Many Zac's may be Zachary, Zachariah or Issac, or even Zack or Zach, but I love the sleeker look of Zac. This particular spelling has recently been made popular by famous Zacs Efron (actor) and Posen (fashion designer). Zac and its' variants continue to be some of the most popular Z names for boys, and means 'the Lord has remembered'.
So that's the round up for this year. I few themes I've noticed are:
- a lot of these names have meanings involving God, which indicates a trend for not just biblical names, but also names with a spiritual meaning
- a few have the letter "z" - which always seems to make a name feel a little spunkier and cutting edge for some reason
- Belle/Bella names make a few appearances, so it's likely we will see a few more of these types of names rise in popularity before the Belle/Bella trend dies down.
A pretty bunch of names for a group of beautiful children - which names are your favourites?