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528324_419521648119669_1365182918_nA nurse saved the life of her daughter’s guinea pig Snowflake by giving it mouth-to-mouth. Her little girl is named Fauve, which in French literally means “wild beast”. In the early twentieth century, les Fauves were avant-garde artists whose style was characterised by wild brushstrokes and vibrant colours. Fauve as a name is as bold as the art it is named after, but still seems on trend.

A bittersweet baby story. Nei Nei Anderson, daughter of Pippin, is just about to have her first Christmas, but she never got to meet her father Jahminn, who died from cancer before she was born. Nei Nei is named after her Maori grandmother; neinei is the Maori word for a New Zealand tree whose Latin name is Dracophyllum traversii. These small trees can live up to 500-600 years.

Elvina Robson [pictured] was born very prematurely, and her little life hung in the balance for a while, but she is ready for her first Christmas too. Elvina’s mum and dad are Emma and Brendan, and her siblings are Marguerite, 16, Gilbert, 12, Lucy, 10, Walter, 4, Angelique, 3 and Stella (deceased). A very lovely and original sibset.

A baby who arrived in a great hurry was named Patience Mezzino. Her name was chosen before her birth, and turned out to be rather ironic.

I have been hoping to see a baby Diamond born in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year, and finally I have. Diamond Andre Thomas Thompson arrived very unexpectedly, but that did not stop his mum Regine from attending her graduation ceremony the next day. Regine now has a Masters in Maritime and Logistics Management. Diamond’s dad is named Paul, and his big sister is Herleen, aged 3.

Hermione Quinn Penning was born just outside the local rubbish tip. Not the most glamorous start to life, but what a beautiful name parents Kelly and Travis picked out. Hermione’s older sister is Elena, aged 3.

Kellie-Anne, and her ex-partner Trent Ford, came up with their son’s name when they saw the back of of a Holden Commodore ute with Storm written on the back of it. They couldn’t afford the ute, but they could name their son after it, so they named him Storme Hunter Ford. Storme’s younger brother is Levi Ryder, who was named after a pair of jeans. Name inspiration can be found everywhere!

A gym for babies aged 2 months and over has opened on the Sunshine Coast. One of its first clients was a baby boy named Horizen Earle. The name seems to ask that he reach for the horizon – but in a totally Zen way. It somehow seems very Sunshine Coast!

A couple who each run their own winery have welcomed their first child, and their daughter is named Peggy Mignonne. Mignonne is French for “cute”, and I think this is an adorable name combination. Charles Mignon is a famous brand of French champagne, and Peggy’s Hill is a wine produced in Australia, but I don’t know whether they put two wine names together or not.

A gorgeous sibset I saw in the paper – Sebastian, Raphael and Augustine, sons of Emily and Mark Wolfenden. Emily and Mark have both donated kidneys to save Sebastian and Raphael’s lives; unfortunately Augustine did not survive.

Names of Adults

Peter Drouyn was a champion surfer in the 1960s and 1970s, but always felt different. Today she is Westerly Windina – she chose her new name because she had such happy memories of surfing in westerly winds. Ms Windina is now a lawyer.

Supreme Court Judge, Justice Emilios Kyrou, has a name which came as a shock to his parents. Born in a small Greek village, it was tradition there that the godparent would choose the baby name and have it baptised, and the name would be kept secret from the parents until announced by the local priest. Traditionally, the first-born son would be named after his paternal grandfather. However, Emilios’ godmother had other ideas, and named him after the hero of a best-selling romantic novel. Parents not pleased. His younger brother, now a doctor, was named Theodoros after grand-dad instead.

Names from Television

Did you watch Life at 7 on the ABC? The series has been following a group of children since they were babies, and now in this series they are seven years old, and for the first time, speak for themselves to us as they learn to navigate the world. The boys are Wyatt, Declan, Joshua, Jara’na and Daniel, and the girls are Haleema, Shine, Anastasia, Sofia and Loulou.

On the news, there was a young man who was the unfortunate victim of some white collar crime. He was called Armand d’Armagnac, and he was as romantic and exotic-looking as his name – but his Australian accent made it clear he probably wasn’t a French count after all.

Another news story: it was announced that the new head of Swimming Australia was a businessman named Barclay Nettlefold. His first name is said BARK-lee, like the British bank founder. I feel that just by telling you his name, you automatically know he is from a prominent family and a keen yachtsman.

Names from Real Life

I was persuaded to escort two young ladies to a posh hotel which throws children’s high tea parties each afternoon during the school holidays. I was informed by some mummy blog or other that only the hippest mothers and their progeny would be there (fathers, and most sons, seem to give it a miss). I was interested to see what the cool people are naming their kids; mostly they just seemed to have the same names as everyone else. However, I did manage to overhear a Bee/Bea, an Aspen, and a pair of sisters named Cleo/Clio and Isis. A rare and very small boy was named Roland.

Two brothers I met elsewhere were called Ziggy and Dash, which struck me as pleasingly zippy.

I also encountered a baby boy named Urban; I was too shy to ask his parents if he was named after the popes, or the cityscape, or the musical style, or Keith Urban.

Do some baby names seem controversial to you? I met a little boy named Aryan, which simply means “noble”, and is related to the Sanskrit name Arya. It refers to the Indo-Iranian languages, which together have one billion speakers, stretching from Russia to Sri Lanka. It really shouldn’t be any different from calling your daughter India or Persia. And yet …

I did part of my Christmas shopping with my friend Claire, who is in her 30s. As we joined the queue to pay, we heard someone talking to their baby girl in her stroller – the baby’s name was Claire. The plump grey-haired lady who served us had a name badge that said “Claire”. When I got home, I switched on the news and a pretty young reporter named Claire was covering the story. And the name Claire suited ALL of them perfectly! Go classic names.

On Twitter, Name Sociology mentioned the name Evolet, which is a character from the movie 10, 000 BC, and is “t(h)e love” written backwards. It reminded me of a woman I used to work with whose name was Evol, which is Love backwards. Sounds like a nice idea, except that until I saw her name written down, I thought she was called Evil.

Names of Babies Born to People I Know or Know Of:

Girls: Mary, Phoebe, Roma, Sanna

Boys: Boaz, Castel, Phoenix

If you are able to read this, it means the world probably hasn’t ended, yay! However, something has started – Christmas holidays – and I won’t be around much until January 7. Have a very merry Christmas season, and a happy New Year!

(Photo from The Blue Mountains Gazette Facebook page)