“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?

Names To Die For

We are all enjoying the 2012 anthology of Crime Writing, “Books to Die For”, edited by Irish Crime Authors, John Connolly and Declan Burke.

While trawling through the hundred of essays on favourite books by guest authors, we were struck by the penchant of Crime authors to adopt pen names. Some of our favourites include-

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie (Mary Westmacott)

Donald Edwin Westlake (Richard Stark; Alan Marshall; Alan Marsh; James Blue; Ben Christopher; Andrew Shaw; Edwin West; John B. Allan; Don Holliday; Curt Clark; Tucker Coe; P.N. Castor; Timothy J. Culver; J. Morgan Cunningham; Samuel Holt; Judson Jack Carmichael)

Stephen Edwin King (Richard Bachmann: Jon Swithen) and

Ian Rankin (Jack Harvey).

So tell us – what are your favourite author pen-names?

By the way, for the writer-types out there, we particularly like Dame Christie’s advice – “the best way to plan a book is while your’re doing the dishes.”

Great Minds, Great Names

Regular readers of our blog will be aware that we believe a reasonable case can be made for suggesting a beautiful, memorable name can be the germ for success, fame and fortune to flourish. Not always, admittedly – however, our blog posts on Russian supermodel names, beautiful Bond-girl names, and now, the Great Minds of our time, all suggest a tentative relationships with the name-principles of Theory of Names.

To the case in point, the October 2012 edition of The Red Bulletin Magazine, listed the 20 most marvellous minds on the planet. Top of the heap was James Lovelock, British scientist and futureologist and widely regarded as the person who identified the glocal warming effect of CFC’s.

We admire his powerful, alliterative surname (Love-Lock), his plain single-syllable first name (James), and the rare but evocative symbollism of his part-surname, Love. A worthy winner on various fronts.

To prove a point, the attractive designs of many of the other names are compelling-

Sir Tim Berners-Lee (Inventor of the Internet) – picture above.

Dina Katabi (Data Accelerator Scientist)

Kim Ung-Yong (World’s Highest IQ)

Michael McAlpine (Natural Battery Recharging)

Dickson D. Despommier (Eco-Microbiologist Farmer)

Nathan Wolfe (Human Virus Hunter)

Marissa Mayer (User Interface Designer and CEO Yahoo)

Matt Berg (Children’s Heathcare Monitor)

Ben Rattray (Social Activist and CEO of Change.org)

Sebastian Seung (Human-Computer Mind Mapper)

Donald Sadoway (Renewal Energy Professor)

Eythor Bender (designer of wearable robots)

Elaine Mardis (Cancer Genome Researcher).

Now then – who said that giving your child a beautiful, memorable name wasn’t important…

New Beatles Album (2013) – “The Purple Songs”

Imagine… a re-discovered 30 year old mastertape from an undiscussed Irish island retreat, boasting a dozen previously unheard Beatles songs written at the height of their creative powers.

What song titles might appear? Sweet-sounding place names? Iconic girl first-names? Unforgettable love slogans? Quick-witted double meanings?

Never ones to shy away from a challenge…

1. Head of an Englishman, Irish Heart (Harrison)

2. Happy Anniversary (Lennon-McCartney)

3. Oonagh Ane (Starr-McCartney)

4. You’re wrong, you’re definitely right (Lennon-McCartney)

5. Rishikesh skies (Lennon-MCartney)

6. Love will surprise you (Lennon-McCartney)

7. First love (MCartney)

8. Anger is our drug (Lennon)

9. Letter to Brian (Lennon-MCartney)

10. Thomas Chamney Searight (Lennon-MCartney)

11. 100 times you let me down, 100 times we made up (Harrison)

12. Vote Yes (McCartney).

What do you think? Which ones would you skip to first? What unwritten Beatles’ song titles can you compose?

A President called “Mitt”?

With the 2012 US Presidential race apparently neck and neck with only one day to go, we wondered if the Contender’s first name could a factor in causing the electorate to decide one way or another.

Has anyone heard the name “Mitt” before? Is it short for something?

Wikipedia has this to say-

“Willard Mitt Romney – his parents named him after a family friend, businessman J. Willard Marriott, and his father’s cousin, Milton “Mitt” Romney, a former quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Romney was referred to as “Billy” until kindergarten, when he indicated a preference for “Mitt.””

Apparently then, the Contender could have opted for a variety of other self-selected names; such as-

Will Romney

Milton Romney

Bill/y Romney

Williard Romney.

Utilising the Theory of Names principles, we might have preferred the name “Bill” Romney. There again, “Bill” might remind voters of a Democratic President called “Bill.”

A President called “Mitt”? Are you having a laugh….