Today we are looking at another Australian blogger; Ebony is still in high school, and has been working on Babynameobsessed for over a year. She covers names from popular culture, names from literature, has birth notices from Western Australia (her home state), puts a spotlight on featured names, recalls names from her childhood, and considers coming name trends.
She also makes baby name predictions that sometimes turn out to be spookily accurate: she wondered back in June if Buttercup would make a great middle name, and Friday’s Birth Announcements did indeed feature a baby girl named Eve Buttercup. So for a glimpse into the future of baby names, visit Babynameobsessed (and be honest, you’re feeling a bit jealous now that you didn’t have a name blog when you were thirteen, aren’t you?)
What is your name?
Ebony Anne Smith.
Have you ever wished you had a different name?
When I found out the meaning [black], aged five, I wanted to become the exotic Yasmine or Zoe-Yasmine. For years I imagined myself with another name, though now I can’t see myself as a Yasmine or a Zoe. I do love my name, just not the racist and stripper tones my name has in America. I actually prefer my nickname that I have been called since I was little – Ebs – to my actual name, but otherwise I am very happy as an Ebony.
How old were you when you first got interested in names?
I was around six or seven. I found a name book that had one page of boys names and one page of girls names, and I made lists of names in a notebook, which sadly I have lost. I remember liking the name Murdoch (!!!) and of course Yasmine. I think it could have been inspired by my hatred of my name as a little girl, and I’ve just stayed in love with names.
What inspired you to begin a name blog?
I was bored one day and decided I might as well make a name blog. I never expected to keep it up for a year, and for it to get as many views as it has. Not a very interesting story but I would be lying if I said something else.
Do your family and friends know that you are interested in names, and that you have a blog?
My mum and dad and my siblings know, as do my friends. I annoy them so much with my name obsessions.
Do you have a web presence in the baby name world?
I’m on Nameberry as ebenezer.scrouge and am thinking of starting a Facebook page, but I’m not too sure yet.
Do you have a favourite blog post on babynameobsessed?
Where do you get ideas for your blog posts from?
What differences, if any, do you see between your naming style and older name nerds? Do you think “teenberries” have their own style/s of naming?
Teenagers seem to be more in touch with name trends, and realise that it is a lot rarer than adults seem to think to share your name with someone in a class – and most the time, if they do, name trends have nothing to do with it. With style, I don’t think so; the names that are popular today seem to be accessible to everyone.
What do you think will be the name trends of the future?
Nicknames as full names, especially in Australia, and I can see hyphenated names crossing over [from the UK] as well.
Do you have any pet naming peeves?
Old lady names (Agnes and Agatha and Beatrice), over the top names (Rosamund and Persephone), and creative spellings, especially those of Georgia.
What are some of your favourite names?
Girls: Isobel, Matilda, Eloise, Alice, Eleanor, and Amelia
Boys: Eamon, Tiago, Cooper, Jack, Jago, Flynn, Archer, Lincoln, and Asher
What names do you dislike?
Lachlan: Overused and it just annoys me.
Jayden: It’s not a very nice name.
Jessica and Sarah: Overused for my generation.
Renesmee: It isn’t a name – its a half-human, half-vampire baby MADE UP for the book [Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn].
Are there any names you love, but could never use?
Alice: My mum finds it an old lady name.
Ottilie: My family will think of it as a trying-too-hard Matilda.
Wilhelmina and Eulalia: Too old lady, and my family hates them.
Guilty pleasures are Artemis for either gender, Jamesina, Illyria nn Lily, and Eilidh.
What are your favourite names in the Australian Top 100?
Girls: Matilda (#21) and Eloise (#86) Boys: Jack (#1) and Cooper (#7)
What are your favourite names that have never charted in Australia?
Eulalia and Tiago.
Do you have names picked out for your future children?
Isobel Jamesie Rose and Eamon James Harold. I also have decided that Anne and Grace need to be in a future child’s name.
What is something we don’t know about you?
I am highly clumsy and manage to fall up stairs, and in Coles [supermarket]. And a random fact is my family is of Scottish and English ancestry, and the Smith side is actually Scottish. I often wish I had a more Scottish last name.
What advice would you give to someone who was choosing a name for their baby?
Imagine the name on a baby and an adult. Sure, Honey or Pixie might be cute now, but I’m fourteen and would hate to be named Pixie.
(Photo of Ebony from her blog; used with permission)