Category: Theory of Names

Our 8th Beautiful Name Award Winner – Brix Smith Start

Yes, we agree – it’s a tongue-twister and a gem.  RSS – a three syllable name like the chorus of a rock anthem.  Or three pounding bass notes at the beginning of a angst-ridden belter.

Her biography came out a few months and it’s our second rock/ pop biography read of the summer (the first was the 818 page, new Philip Norman, “McCartney” biography) –
brix start

To be honest, we are partial to her real name too – Laura Elisse Salenger.  But hey… congratulations Brix Smith Start – 8th winner of our Beautiful Name Award!

Why Apple?

AppleWhy will we use a picture of an apple on the cover of a book about baby-names (launch date 12 October 2016)?

It’s a question we are often asked and the response is always the same. We see creation of a name (child, pet, business, product or service) primarily as a matter of design. We are designers and artists at heart. Our aim is simple we wish to create, and show others how to create beautiful memorable names. It’s not an easy business. In business and personal life it’s an area people struggle with. Choosing the wrong name, can have profound, long-term effects (there are examples of this on the book). At a minimum, creating a plain, boring or awkward name can be demotivating and uninspiring.

The good news is that building a beautiful name has the opposite effect. We feel proud and happy every time we hear it. It reminds us of what we are capable of, creatively and artistically. Creating a beautiful name helps us define who we are and what we value and strive for. Building a beautiful name is worth it.

So when you see the Apple on the front of our book, we hope it inspires the artistic, name-designer you. Apple – think Steve Jobs. Think Beatles.

Think Theory of Names. Let’s start a movement of name artists. Let’s invent names for our children and for our imaginations. Let’s invent names for our businesses and for the products we dream of. Let’s call our pets exotic, beautiful names. Anyone can do it, young or old. It’s not hard. We want help.

Let’s begin. Let’s play. Let’s create.

Roll Up, Roll Up – it’s Kardashian-West Baby No.2!

With the exciting news that Kardashian-West baby number 2 is on the way, speculation will commence as to possible baby names to usurp the amusing (and pretty) name of baby Sister, North.

Dismissing the obvious choice of other compass-based names (which we sincerely hope they avoid), at Theory of Names, we wondered if Kanye-Kim might instead reflect on their Irish honeymoon for inspiration and use an Irish place (or Ireland-related) name as an exotic Christian name alternative. Applying the Theory of Names methodology and principles, some of the options we came up with were-

Kerry West

Galway West

Ulysses (the James Joyce book) West

Buncrana West

Tempo West

Antrim West

Armagh (pronounced arr-maa) West

Malone (after Molly) West

Clear (after Cape Clear) West

Dingle West

Enya (the Singer) West

Maeve (after Queen Maeve) West

Shelbourne (the Dublin hotel) West

Shamrock West

Which is your favourite? What exotic, beautiful name might they pick?

Beautiful, Beautiful Patrick

The 17th March, is of course, the date of our national holiday in Ireland, when we are reminded of the beautiful, memorable name of our patron Saint – Patrick.

We love the name Patrick, not only because it reminds us our artistic, creative (Irish) heart, but also because of its classic, two-syllable simplicity. Not surprisingly, it’s a name that gained in popularity in Ireland and abroad in recent years.

It’s also a name with many beautiful, flamboyant variations – both Irish and international. Names such as-

Irish variations-
Pádraig. Paraic, Pat, Patsy, Pa, Paddy

International variations-

Patrice/Patrique (French),

Patrizio (Italian),

Patricio (Spanish)

Patricius (Dutch)

Patek, Patryk (Polish)

Patricio (Portuguese)

Padrik (Slavic).

So put on your Irish artistic heart, and tell us which is your favourite Patrick-variation name?

David Bowie & Theory of Names

The launch in Ireland on 8 March 2013 of the incredible new David Bowie album, “The Next Day”, prompted us to do some digging around Mr. Bowie’s real name and family names. Like many musicians, he appears to have a penchant for devising beautiful, memorable names.

Here are some of the things we found-

DB, real name – David Robert Haywood Jones

Father’s name – Haywood Stenton Jones (known as John)

Mother’s name – Mary Margaret Jones (nee Burns)

He has two half sisters, Annette and Myra Ann (Annette, by coincidence, through marriage, later became known as Iman) and a half-brother Terence or Terry (full name, Terence Guy Adair Burns)

Wife’s name – Iman, full name Iman Mohamed Abdul Majid

His first Wife’s name – Mary Angela (or Angie) Barnett

Son’s name – Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones (born 30 May 1971, now a successful Movie Director)

Daughter’s name – Alexandra Zahra Jones (born 15 August 2000)

Step Daughter’s name – Zulekha (born 5 July 1978, from Iman’s first marriage to Spencer Haywood)

The reason he changed his surname to Bowie, was primarily because of the upcoming fame of Davy Jones of the Monkees. He is quoted as saying, Bowie “is the ultimate American knife. It is the medium for a conglomerate of statements and illusions.”

So clearly, Bowie understands the power of beautiful, mystical, memorable names and has chosen powerful artistic names for his children too.

We wondered, given the resurgence in Bowie interest globally, are we likely to see an increase in the unusual first name, Haywood? Or maybe the use of name Bowie as a middle name of first name?

What do you think? Do you like/love his choice of names?

“Rose” – always the bridesmaid?

We recently noticed how popular the name “Rose” has become with US Celebrity couples as a baby girl’s middle name.

Is this a case of Rose – “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” or does Rose have all the right ingredients for a perfect middle name?

For example-
Sebella Rose, daughter of Roselyn Sánchez & Eric Winter

Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, daughter of Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck

Poet Sienna Rose, daughter of Soleil Moon Frye & Jason Goldberg

Poppy Honey Rosie, daughter of Jamie Oliver & Juliette Norton

Matilda Rose, daughter of Heath Ledger & Michelle Williams

Madison Rose, daughter of Maxine Bahns & Patrick Watson

(Maybe we should add that that Rose is coincidentally the middle name of the daughter of the Author of this blog!)

Have we missed some Celebrity baby girls called Rose? Would it be a more popular first, first name if it was Rosemary instead of Rose?

Your comments please!

Royal Baby Names (tv programme)

Speculation as to the name of the Royal baby is sure to intensify after Tuesday night’s “Royal Babies” programme on ITV, and the programme’s own baby name prediction as Elizabeth Diana Carole (Kate Middleton’s mother).

Ladbrokes are also giving odds based on a safe stable of grandparent and traditional royal favourites –

Elizabeth 8/1
Frances 10/1
John 10/1
Charles 10/1
Diana 12/1
Anne 12/1
James 12/1
George 14/1
Mary 14/1
Philip 14/1
Richard 16/1
Edward 16/1
Catherine 16/1
Sarah 16/1
Spencer 20/1
Andrew 20/1
David 20/1
Jessica 20/1
Victoria 20/1
Alexander 20/1

So what alternatives are left? What would Theory of Names suggest?

Well – setting aside the important issue of surname, which we will return to later, we would ordinarily suggest a short syllable boys name or multiple syllable girls names. Our favourites from the Ladbrokes list would then be-

For boys – James or George

For girls – Catherine, Jessica or Victoria.

Of course, we really hope that Kate and William take some risks and go for something a little more unorthodox, mix it up, consider creative middle names (possibly a foreign middle name?) – make it truly a beautiful, memorable name.

What do you think?

A Royal Baby for 2013

Hip-Hip Hooray! Hip-Hip Hooray! Hip-Hip Hooray!

Our many, many, many congratulations to Will and Kate on the very happy news of the arrival of their first child next year.

We are thrilled… it’s going to be an exciting baby-naming 2013 and we are already busy working on a series of Royal baby-name blog posts to keep you educated and entertained over Christmas and the New Year.

Stay tuned…it’s gonna be great!

Covadonga O’Shea & “The Man from Zara”

Who is of course… Amancio Ortega, billionaire owner of fashion-chain Zara.

However even Ortega failed to bag our seventh Beautiful Award – which goes to Author of the best selling book about Ortega, Covadonga O’Shea (also one of the most important fashion entrepreneurs and pioneers in Spain).

We like her attitude (and her name). From a recent interview with Dierdre McQuillan, fashion writer for the Irish Times, she says-

“At the time it was a strange thing to call someone Covadonga, but now it has become more popular, though people shorten it to Cova, but I love my name. And Covadonga is such a beautiful place in the mountains. The name means the Cave of our Lady.”

Combine this with an O’Shea surname (an Irish Soldier, Henry O’Shea, who became founder of the Banesto bank) and you have the perfect “Salt and Pepper”, multi-national twist of prose.

Ladies and Gentlemen – our 7th Beautiful Award winner, the name that is, Covadonga O’Shea.

Introduction to Theophory

We feel one of the greatly neglected areas of Onomastics (the formal study of proper names and their origin) is the niche topic of Telephory – the practice of embedding the name of a god or deity in a proper name. In particular, those with a faith-based orientation to naming children may be very interested in the area.

It’s a topic we shall return to in greater detail in our forthcoming e-book on Theory of Names (and plan to run a series of short blog posts on Telephory in the New Year) but for the moment, here are some of the better known examples of Theophoric names in the Christian-Hebrew domain-

Amadeus – lover of God

Christopher – Christ-bearer

Dorothea – gift to God

Elizabeth – my God is abundance

Emmanuel/Immanuel – God is with us

Grace – gift from God

Samuel – name of God

Raphael – Divine healer or God heals

Suriel – Moon of God

Tamiel – Perfection of God

Tarfiel – God Nourishes

Theodora – Gift from God

Uriel – Sun of God or Fire of God.

What examples of Theophoric names do you like?

Suri Cruise

Isn’t Suri Cruise one of those “brandable” names that could be attached to any number of fashion/designer products, putting aside its superstar celebrity parentage?

We believe one of the reasons for this, is a concept we introduce in Theory of Names called “phonic distance” which proposes an ideal phonic spacing of first name to surname, first name to middle names etc. For example, Suri to Cruise utilses a spacing of ten phonic points between Ss and Cc. In comparison, the rumoured change of her name to Scout Cruise Holmes illustrates a gap of fifteen phonic points between first and last names and breaks a number of the other key concepts in Theory of Names (we don’t like Katie!).

Over Christmas and New Year we’ll look at some more examples of good and bad usage of the principle.

In the interim, let us know – what do you think of the “Phonic Distance” concept and how well does it apply to your favourite names?