Famous Name: Roxanne

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tumblr_mdn8en8PGI1qa13pro1_1280Ebony at Babynameobsessed has a series called Names From My Childhood, and Abby recently had a post on girls names from 1980s television at Appellation Mountain. So I thought I would cover a 1980s name from my TV-watching childhood.

I was slightly hampered as a young television viewer, because I grew up in a rural area which only had one channel, and my family’s home was in some kind of TV black spot which meant we couldn’t get any television reception at all. However, I had friends and relatives within walking and cycling distance, so rather than get home from school and slump in front of the box, I got home from school, jumped on my bike, pedalled furiously, then slumped in front of the box.

Of course, I had to pretty much watch whatever other people had on, and my young cousins used to tune in to the long-running puppet show Mr Squiggle, where a cheery pencil-nosed man from the moon turned children’s squiggles into recognisable pictures. Mr Squiggle had a human assistant, and as it was on air for fifty years, you can tell someone’s age from the assistant they watched. Baby Boomers loved Miss Pat, Gen Xers were Miss Jane fans, while for my cousins it was Roxanne all the way.

Slightly embarrassing to admit, but while Abby was (apparently) watching Dallas and Dynasty, I was enjoying kiddie puppet shows!

Roxanne is a variant of Roxane, a French form of Roxana. Roxana is the Latinised form of the name Roshanak; a Bactrian name derived from the Avestan language of East Iran, meaning “bright, shining, radiant”. It can be understood as “luminous beauty”, “lovely flame”, or “shining star”, and this is one of the many names which have the meaning of “light” behind them. Roshanak is still a common girl’s name in Iran.

The name has become well known to us due to one woman – a Bactrian princess who became the wife of Alexander the Great. Roxana was from the ancient city of Balkh, now a small town in northern Afghanistan, and she met Alexander when he conquered the fort she was hiding in.

It is said that Alexander fell for Roxana on sight, and according to the Macedonians she was the one of the loveliest women they had seen in Asia. Despite strong opposition from his generals, Alexander married Roxana.

Instead of marrying purely for political ends, Alexander married for love, because he is said to have been infatuated with the beautiful Roxana. For her part, Roxana was pleased that her new husband didn’t force himself upon her at once, but actually made an effort to get to know her as a person (which tells you what marriage in the ancient world was generally like).

After Alexander died, Roxana bore him a posthumous son, also Alexander. To protect her position and that of her son, she murdered Alexander’s second wife Stateira, married for reasons of diplomacy, and probably his third wife as well, who was Stateira’s cousin. Roxana and her son were assassinated themselves in the power struggles following Alexander’s death.

Roxana’s romantic story was told in Nathaniel Lee’s 17th century tragedy, The Rival Queens, or the Death of Alexander the Great. The play was a huge hit right into the 19th century, and actresses who were jealous of each other were often cast in the lead roles, to add extra spice to the performance.

The name received a further boost from Daniel Defoe’s 18th century novel, Roxana, about a woman who falls into prostitution but gains freedom by marrying for money. Although a murderer and a prostitute/gold digger may not seem like appealing namesakes, they were strong, independent female characters, and Roxana became established as an English name in the 18th century.

The French form became well known through Edmond Rostand’s 19th century play Cyrano de Bergerac, where Roxane is the beautiful woman Cyrano longs for and woos for another, falsely believing she could never love an “ugly” man like himself.

Roxanne first ranked in the charts in the 1950s, after the 1950 film version of Cyrano de Bergerac, with Mala Powers in the role of Roxane; Roxanne debuted at #364 that decade. Roxanne was #282 in the 1960s, sank to #424 in the 1970s, and peaked in the 1980s at #272.

The 1980s put the focus on the name Roxanne for a few reasons. The hit song Roxanne was recorded by The Police in 1978 and re-released in 1979; Sting was inspired to write the song by the prostitutes around the band’s hotel in Paris. An old poster for Cyrano de Bergerac was hanging in the hotel’s foyer, which is where the name Roxanne came from. Not only popular in the charts of 1979-80, the pop classic Roxanne has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and was remixed into El Tango de Roxanne in Moulin Rouge.

In the mid-1980s, the world of hip-hop went through The Roxanne Wars, where a series of “answer records” were released, inspired by UTFO’s Roxanne, Roxanne. Because of UTFO’s non-appearance at a show, teenager (Lolita) Roxanne Shante brought out Roxanne’s Revenge in answer. There were perhaps as many 100 answer records during the Roxanne Wars, and even a dance, as referenced in Do the Roxanne. So chances are you know at least one 1980s song with Roxanne in the title!

You might not think that a prostitute and a (rather silly and contrived) musical rivalry would be of much help to a name’s popularity, but as we’ve seen, a prostitute and a rather silly and contrived stage rivalry is exactly how Roxana became established in the 18th century. History repeats.

And keeps repeating. Towards the end of the 1980s, the movie Roxanne came out with Daryl Hannah in the title role: a clever rom-com remake of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, which gave the tragedy an upbeat ending. In the movie, Roxanne is a brainy astronomer.

After the 1980s, the name Roxanne plummeted, and left the charts completely in the early 2000s. You might say this name is dated, and could claim it as a trendy name, but as Roxanne never became popular, it still seems usable – in fact celebrity parents Toby Allen and Darren Weller chose it as their daughter’s name.

Roxanne has a fashionable X in it, while the -anne at the end makes it seem like one of the many Anne names. I have seen a couple of babies named Roxy, maybe influenced by celebrity mum Roxy Jacenko, and Rocky would make a cool tough-girl nickname.

 

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Girls Names from Australian Children’s Literature

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This week it is Children’s Book Week, which is run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Librarians and teachers everywhere will be thinking up exciting new ways to encourage children to read, while the CBC has awarded prizes to the best new Australian children’s books. I thought it would be fun to join in the celebrations, and many of the books chosen are classics and award winners.

Amaryllis

I know two characters with this name. One is Amaryllis “Ryl” Mereweather, from H.F. Brinsmead’s Pastures of the Blue Crane (1964), about a teenage girl who inherits an old shack in northern New South Wales. (Name nerd bonus info: H.F. Brinsmead stands for Hesba Fay – Hesba is derived from the Greek hesperus, meaning “western”). The other is in Sally Odger’s fantasy Amy Amaryllis (1992), about an ordinary Australian girl named Amy Day who switches identities with a girl named Amaryllis Loveday, from a magical world named Ankoor. Amaryllis is a Greek name meaning “to sparkle”, perhaps to suggest sparkling eyes. In Virgil’s pastoral poems, The Eclogues, Amaryllis is a beautiful shepherdess, and the poet makes a play on words to suggest that her name comes from Latin amor, “love”. The amaryllis flower is often known as “Easter lily” in Australia; it is named after the literary character, so this is not just a simple flower name. Unusual and lovely, Amaryllis comes with a host of possible nicknames, including Amy, Ryl, Rylla, Lily, Lissy, and Mary.

Beatrice

In Playing Beatie Bow (1980) by Ruth Park, Beatie Bow is a local legend, a game that children play to frighten each other. But when teenage loner Abigail watches the game, she is brought to the Sydney of one hundred years earlier by a strange girl named Beatrice “Beatie” Bow. This classic is a YA time-travel historical mystery adventure with a dash of romance, and so firmly grounded in The Rocks area of Sydney that you can follow every step of Abigail’s journey. (Name nerd bonus info: Abigail’s parents named her Lynette, but when her parents separate, she chooses Abigail for herself, because it’s an “old witch” name). Beatrice is the Italian form of Beatrix, very famous because of the beautiful muse in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The name has been used in England since the Middle Ages, including by royalty; Princess Beatrice of York was named after a daughter of Queen Victoria, but itwas used in the royal family long before. It’s also a Shakespearean name, because in the comedy Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice is the witty heroine. Beatrice was #50 in the 1900s, and left the Top 100 in the 1930s; by the 1960s it had left the charts. It made a modest comeback in the 1990s, after the birth of Princess Beatrice, and has remained around the 500-600 level. This is an elegant retro name which has long remained underused. Bea is the usual nickname, although Beatrice Prior from the Divergent series goes by Tris.

Blossom

Little Ragged Blossom is one of the main characters in May GibbsSnugglepot and Cuddlepie series (1918-40), featuring her plump “gum nut babies”. Blossom is a poor little gum-blossom girl, alone in the world until she gains the friendship and protection of gum-nut boys Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. From then on, she is part and parcel of their adventures, and not infrequently plays the role of damsel in distress, such as when she needs rescuing from the wicked Banskia Men. Even now, I cannot see a gum tree in bloom without imagining the flowers as little blossom girls … The word blossom is used for flowers that grow in masses and clusters, especially on trees, and evokes spring and freshness. Blossom has been used as a girl’s name since the 18th century, and is probably more common as a nickname, such as aviation engineer Maxine “Blossom” Miles, or a middle name, such as jazz singer (Margrethe) Blossom Dearie. On television, Blossom was one of the Powerpuff Girls, and Blossom Rosso the floppy-hatted heroine of sitcom Blossom. Ultra-feminine, quirky and cool, could Blossom be the ultimate flower name?

Celia

Feeling Sorry for Celia (2000) is Jaclyn Moriarty’s side-splittingly comic début epistolary YA novel. Private school girl Elizabeth spends most of her time fretting over her best friend Celia, whose life is one self-caused drama after another. However, a pen-pal programme with the local public school teaches Elizabeth how real friendship works. Celia is the feminine form of Caelius, a Roman family name traditionally derived from caelum, Latin for “heaven”. However, the Caelii traced their ancestry to the Etruscan hero Caeles Vibenna, so the name probably isn’t Latin in origin. It may come from Cel, the Etruscan earth goddess who is the equivalent of Gaia; her name means “honoured”, and the Etruscans named the month of Celi (September) after her. I like the idea of an earthy goddess becoming connected with heaven. Shakespeare used the name for an attractive, serious character in As You Like It, and Ben Jonson wrote the poem Song to Celia, which became Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes. These writers sparked interest in Celia as an English name in the 17th century. This literary name is both rare and traditional, and doesn’t seem out of place next to popular names like Olivia and Sienna.

Dot

Ethel C. Pedley’s posthumous novel Dot and the Kangaroo (1899) is about a five-year-old girl named Dot who wanders off into the bush and gets lost. She is befriended by a kangaroo who has lost her joey, and gives Dot some magic berries that allow her to understand the speech of animals. It has a strong conservationist message in regard to our native flora and fauna, which is still very much needed. The book was the first to show Australian animals in a genuine Australian setting, and became an immediate favourite. Dot is a short form of Dorothy which dates to medieval times, and has been used as an independent name at least since the 17th century. This adorably pert little name could honour a Dorothy, and also works well in the middle.

Esther

Ethel Turner’s Seven Little Australians (1894) is the only Australian book to be continuously in print for more than a century. Featuring a family of mischievous, lovable army brats who live in Sydney’s outer suburbs, it is surprising how little it has dated. Blended families, teen rebellion, obsession with body image, schoolgirl crushes, and discipline problems … all topics of interest more than a hundred years ago too. The seven little Australians are Meg, Pip, Judy, Nell, Bunty, Baby, and The General; their father is stern Captain Woolcot and stepmother (The General’s mother) is Esther. Esther is beautiful and sweet, but barely older than her eldest step-children, and incapable of really mothering them. Hilarious, heart-warming, and tragic, this is one of Australia’s best-loved children’s books. In the Bible, Esther was a Jewish queen of a Persian king; her story is the basis for the Jewish holiday of Purim. The meaning of Esther is much debated. It may be from a Semitic word meaning “star, morning star”, or a Median word meaning “myrtle” (the translation of her Hebrew name, Hadassah). Another theory is that it comes from the Babylonian fertility goddess Ishtar (Ishtar also represents the morning star, Venus). Esther was #73 in the 1900s, and left the charts in the 1920s. It reached its lowest point in the 1950s and ’60s at #379, but has climbed since then, and isn’t far outside the Top 100 in Victoria. This underused classic is very much on trend at present.

Harriet

Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild (2000) is a picture book written by kidlit doyenne Mem Fox, illustrated by Marla Frazee. Harriet Harris is a toddler who doesn’t mean to be naughty, but trouble follows in her wake without her even trying. Harriet’s mother is a calm woman who doesn’t like to yell, but Harriet pushes her to breaking point. The book helps explain to littlies why parents lose their cool. (Name nerd bonus info: Mem Fox’s full name is Merrion, but she has always gone by Mem). Harriet is the English form of Henriette, the feminine form of French Henri, and thus a feminine form of Harry. Harriet was #122 in the 1900s, and left the charts in the 1930s. It returned in the 1970s, and has been climbing ever since. Last year it was one of the fastest rising names of 2013, and joined the Top 100 at #89. Cute and spunky, it can be shortened to Hallie or Hattie – Hattie is a hen in Mem Fox’s Hattie and the Fox (1986).

Josie

Josephine Alibrandi, known as Josie to her friends, features in Melina Marchetta’s breakthrough YA novel, Looking for Alibrandi (1992). A coming of age story, its smart-mouth heroine is in her last year of school, dealing with boys, family, exams, mean girls, and her father, who left when she was a baby and has suddenly reappeared in her life. Looking for Alibrandi was an instant success upon publication, and has been called “the most stolen library book”. Josie is a short form of Josephine, used as an independent name since the 16th century. It has sometimes been given to boys, as a short form of Joseph or Josiah. Josie first ranked in the 1920s at #291, and left the charts in the 1940s. It returned in the 1970s, and climbed before peaking in 2009 at #175. This is an underused retro name which doesn’t sound old-fashioned, but sassy and stylish.

Liesel

Liesel Meminger is the young girl in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief (2005), set in Nazi Germany during World War II, and narrated by Death himself. Liesel is illiterate at the start of the story, but through learning to read, discovers a lifelong love of words, and finds solace in stealing books to share with others. Against a backdrop of fear and horror, the story shows that books can feed the soul even in our darkest hours. The story does end up having an Australian connection, and a specific Australian setting is used in a very unexpected way. Liesel is a German pet form of Elisabeth, pronounced LEE-zel. Although it’s never charted in Australia, this charming name is very familiar because of Liesl from The Sound of Music, and swimmer Leisel Jones.

Norah

Norah Linton is the heroine of Mary Grant Bruce’s Billabong series (1910-42). Making her début in A Little Bush Maid at the age of twelve, Norah lives at Billabong Station in northern Victoria. She’s a hardy, spirited tomboy who loves horse-riding, camping, and fishing, and is a total daddy’s girl. The books haven’t aged too well, but Norah is an ancestor of other feisty, independent Australian heroines, such as Ryl Merewether and Josie Alibrandi. Norah is a variant of Nora, a pet form of names such as Honoria and Eleanor. It’s often thought of as particularly Irish, and records show many Norahs of the 18th century were born in Ireland. Hip and arty, Norah is fast growing in popularity in both the UK and US, and already popular in Europe, but almost unknown in Australia. It deserves serious consideration by those keen to get ahead of the trends.

Thank you to Manday for suggesting the name Liesel be featured on Waltzing More Than Matilda, and for recommending The Book Thief be added to this list.

(Picture shows cover of Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild, from Mem Fox’s website)

Joby Atlas and Tanner Whiskey

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Twins
Audrey Kate and June Stevie (Louis)

Girls
Addison Seymour
Arlie Nita
Aurora Gem
Bede Maureen
Bronte Ann-Rae (Travis, Jay)
Cora Zoe (Henry)
Ebony Kathleen (Nicholas)
Edith Sheila “Eadie” (Ollie)
Ellery Yuet Li On
Elsie Tilda
Felicity Eve (Aurelia, Cordelia)
Florence Josephine
Grace Hazell Rose
Harriet Audrey (Jack, Freddy)
Imogen Julia (Sophie)
Jaya Hadley (Della)
Kendall Jayne
Lilah Bessie
Lucinda Frances
Miranda Claire (Penelope, Jude)
Montana Chianne
Quinn Isobel
Sasha Mackenzie
Scarlet Caron
Senna Rosalia

Boys
Aeson Carter
Alexander Matteo
Archer Joe
Buddy Eugene Jalaru
Clinton-Tahj Allan (Jarrah, Georgie, Amaiyah, Koah)
Dustin Thomas
Frank Nathan (Stanley)
Frederick William “Freddy” (Mary)
Grant Carlton
Jack Solomon (Lucy)
Joby Atlas (Mitchell, Hayley, Indya, Grady)
Judd TJay (Lachlan, Max)
Kellan Chris
Ledger
Maxwell Lennox Brooklyn
Memphis James
Milo Oscar
Nash Rees
Nydin Tyge Samuel (Phoenix, Xavyian, Zarian)
Owen Clifford (Jorja, Alexis)
Roger Joseph
Tai Timothy [mother is Tia]
Tanner Whiskey (Jarrah, Dash)
Tycho Masahiro
Vincent John

(Photo is of the Nant Distillery near Bothwell in the Central Highlands of Tasmania; Tasmania makes more whisky than anywhere else in Australia, and Tasmanian whisky wins international awards)

Celebrity Baby News: Celebrity Round Up

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Radio host Matt Acton from SeaFM, and his wife Esther, welcomed their first child together on February 20, and have named their son Zander Jeremiah. Zander Acton was born at Pindara Private Hospital on the Gold Coast at 9.23 pm, weighing 3.57 kg (just under 8 lb), and measuring 51 cm. Zander joins big brother Ethan, aged 11. Matt and Esther chose the name Zander early in the pregnancy, but kept it a secret. If anyone asked what the baby’s name would be, they told them Felix – a name they liked, but which had become too common in their area for them to use.

Artist David Bromley, and his wife Yuge, welcomed their daughter Wen last year. Wen is a Chinese name meaning “culture, literacy”. David has had more than 30 solo exhibitions, and is considered one of Australia’s most collectible artists. Yuge is a former criminal lawyer who has become a fashion designer. The Bromleys own a store called In This Street in Byron Bay.

Sydney businesswoman and former reality TV contestant Yasmin Dale welcomed her daughter Millie last year. Yasmin took part in the 2006 Channel Ten reality show, Yasmin’s Getting Married, which was supposed to find Yasmin a husband, and arrange and pay for her wedding. The show was axed after just one week, so Yasmin never did get married. She separated from Millie’s father, and is currently dating: she has no plans to marry in the future, and if it happens, it won’t be on television.

(Photo shows Matt, Esther, and Ethan with baby Zander)

Congratulations to Kara at The Art of Naming!

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tumblr_na6oi2G0391se940oo1_500Fellow blogger Kara, from The Art of Naming, welcomed her daughter yesterday at 12.35 am, weighing 6lb 1oz (6.24 kg).

Kara was interviewed on Waltzing More Than Matilda yesterday, where clues to her daughter’s name were given, so if you followed all of them, you will know her name is

AUDREY JULIET SOPHIA,

sister to Maximus Alexander.

Audrey and Juliet were names chosen because Kara and her husband love them, while Sophia is in honour of the baby’s aunt. Kara once thought she would never give her baby a Top 100 name, but has found that once you find the right name, popularity just isn’t that important.

Congratulations to Kara and her family! I think you’ll agree they have chosen a beautiful name for their daughter.

 

Famous Name: Hope

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Last week there were commemorations around the world for the centenary of the start of World War I. I chose the name Hope to mark this solemn occasion, because even during those dark days, when the “lamps went out all over Europe”, there still remained a glimmer of hope for eventual peace.

Britain declared war on Germany on August 4 1914, to take effect at 11 pm. Less than four hours later, the first shot was fired by the British Empire – not in Europe, but thousands of miles away at Point Nepean, near Melbourne.

On August 5 1914, at 12.45 pm, the German cargo ship SS Pfalz was in Port Phillip, desperately trying to leave Australian waters, for they were now in enemy territory. Just minutes after learning that war had been declared, Fort Queenscliff gave the order to Fort Nepean: “Stop her or sink her”.

The first shot was sent across the bow, fired by Sergeant John Purdue. The Australian pilot Captain Montgomery Robinson, who was guiding the Pfalz through the heads, tussled with the German captain for a little while, because Robinson was adamant the Pfalz must stop, or the next shot would go into the ship.

The Pfalz, which was carrying consular officials and contraband, surrendered and was requisitioned by the Australian navy. Her crew were captured and interned, so nobody was killed or even injured. So quietly began the war which would claim 16 million lives and change the world forever.

I also chose to feature Hope because it feels as if the world has become a darker place in the last twelve months. Every day I hear of war and strife, of fear and cruelty, of genocide and bloodshed, of my countrymen and women lying in foreign fields, or at the bottom of the sea.

At such times, all one can do is light a little candle against the darkness, and its flickering flame, which sometimes wavers, and sometimes leaps up tall and strong, is hope.

Hope is a familiar vocabulary word which suggests confident optimism and positivity, a belief that things will improve, or an expectation that a good outcome will be achieved.

Hope is one of the three theological virtues in Christianity, along with faith and love. It refers to the hope of attaining heaven, and means much more than a vague optimism – it’s a complete trust in God’s guidance, and a firm assurance of a reward in the next life.

Saint Hope is one of a trio of legendary martyred saints named Faith, Hope, and Charity, the daughters of Saint Sophia (Wisdom). Their story is very old, and they are clearly personifications of theological virtues. There is also a male Saint Hope, a 6th century Italian abbot.

Modern psychology also views hope in a very favourable light, with many seeing it as harnessing the power of positive thinking to overcome difficult circumstances. Like religion, it also sees hope as more than just optimism, being stronger, and more goal-oriented. While an optimistic person has a passive “something will turn up” attitude, a hopeful person actively works towards the attainment of their desires.

Hope makes an appearance in Greek mythology, in the story of Pandora, who curiously opened a jar which released all the evils of the world. When everything had gone, only Hope remained in the jar. The Greeks generally depicted Hope as a young woman carrying flowers in her hands, and the Romans worshipped her as a goddess, and a power which came from the gods.

Hope has been used as a girl’s name since the late 16th century, and although name sites often say it was first bestowed as a virtue name by the Puritans, there isn’t much evidence of that. In fact, early births suggest that it may have orignally been inspired by places, such as the Hope Valley in Derbyshire, or Hope Cove in Devon.

These place names don’t have anything to do with being hopeful, but are from an Old English word meaning “a small enclosed valley”; it’s one of the sources of the Hope surname. However, later on a Christian meaning does seem more obvious. The name Hope has sometimes been given to boys as well, and you may remember that war hero Hugo Throssell had Hope as one of his middle names.

The name Hope was #247 in the 1900s, and has been on the charts almost constantly, only dropping out for brief periods. It began rising in the 1970s, and seems to have peaked in 2010 at #177; currently it’s in the 200s.

Interestingly, the name seems to have gone down a little in popularity since the sitcom Raising Hope has been on the air; the baby who gives her name to the show’s title is called Hope Chance, and her father changed her name from Princess Beyonce, given to her by her serial killer mother. The eccentric Chance family may have dampened enthusiasm for the name.

I often see the name Hope in birth notices and newspaper stories, most often in the middle, and I think in almost every case, the name was given because the baby was conceived against the odds, or born in difficult circumstances. It adds an extra layer of meaning to the name Hope.

Hope isn’t as popular as Grace, or climbing in popularity like Faith, but that may make this underused classic virtue name all the more desirable. Simple, clean, sweet, and wholesome, it’s a pretty name evoking a state of mind almost magical in its power. May your little Hope glow like a candle in the darkness, may she shine like a star in the night sky.

(Photo shows candlelit vigil for World War I centenary service)

Celebrity Baby News: Babies of Reality TV Authors

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Joanna Fincham and Rob Hodges, who found love together on rural dating show The Farmer Wants a Wife, welcomed their daughter Maggie at the end of last year. Maggie’s big sister is named Darcy, aged 3; Darcy’s birth was announced on the blog. Joanna has written an inspirational memoir called Out of the Blue, about her experiences of finding love and moving to the country, overcoming severe depression and bulimia in the process.

Masterchef 2013 contestant Lucy Wallrock, and her husband Sam, welcomed their son Oscar last month. Lucy is originally from Britain, and has just published her first cookery book, called Simply Sweet. It’s a collection of simple baking recipes.

(Photo shows Lucy holding Oscar)

Celebrity Baby News: Jeni and Ray Bonnell

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Jeni and Ray Bonnell, the parents of Australia’s largest nuclear family, welcomed their sixteenth child recently, and have named their daughter Katelyn Vera, who was born at St Vincent’s Hospital in Toowoomba.

Katelyn joins siblings Jesse, aged 24, Brooke, aged 23, Claire, aged 21, Natalie, aged 19, Karl, aged 17, Samuel, aged 16, Cameron, aged 14, Sabrina, aged 13, Timothy, aged 11, Brandon, aged 9, Eve, aged 8, Nate, aged 7, Rachel, aged 5, Eric, aged 4, and Damian, aged 3.

The Bonnells have been featured on the blog earlier, and Jeni and Ray are still open to having more children.

Celebrity Baby News: Sporting Babies

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Surfer Kai Otton, and his partner Sarah Herbert, welcomed their first child on May 3, and have named their son Oscar. Kai won the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal last year, and will be competing in the Billabong Pro in Tahiti this month.

Geoff Huegill, and his wife Sara, welcomed their second daughter on Australia Day, and have reportedly named her Gigi. The name doesn’t seem to have been publicly announced by the Huegills, but they got into a spot of legal bother, and during the reporting of it, it was mentioned that their youngest daughter is named Gigi. The Huegills eldest daughter is named Mila; Mila’s birth was announced on the blog.

Jockey Kristy Banks, and her husband Dale Groves, welcomed their first child on September 6 last year, and named their son Nash. Before Nash was even born, Kristy bought him his own miniature pony named Gordie. Kristy was paralysed in a horse riding accident in 2011, but still races horses, and hopes to regain the use of her legs one day. During Kristy’s pregnancy, Dale raised $3000 for Spinal Cure Australia by growing a beard for the entire nine months.

Celebrity Baby News: Caroline Craig and Callum Finlayson

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Actress Caroline Craig, and her husband Callum Finlayson, welcomed their first child in April, and have named their daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth Finlayson was born in the United States, arriving just days after her mother’s birthday, and is named after Caroline’s favourite aunt.

Caroline graduated from NIDA in 1999, and has worked solidly in theatre, and on the small screen. She became well known as Sergeant Tess Gallagher in Blue Heelers, and police detective Jacqui James on Underbelly. Last night she appeared in the first episode of drama series Anzac Girls, based on true stories of Australian nurses who served in World War I.

Callum and Caroline were married in February this year. Callum works in IT, and recently took a job as a software specialist in the United States. He and Caroline now live in Brooklyn, in New York City.

 

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