Aurora Belle and Lyric Blossom


William and Clara (Leanna)

Alice Ruby
Amelia Rain (Memphis)
Annika Esther Lee (Christian)
Aurora Belle
Brooklyn Rosanne
Charissa (Ziggy)
Elektra Siahna-Marie (Mekhai, Jazmyne)
Eloise Violet (Isaac)
Florence Eden
Frances Domenica (Marcus, Anneka, Juliet)
Grace Dorothy
Hazel Aileen
Imani Grace (Braeden)
Ivy Meg (Mateo, Mia)
Juno Joyce Valerie
Katalina Joy (Beverley-Anne)
Lilah Esme (Samantha)
Lyric Blossom (Memphis)
Maria Rose
Nora Grace (Eva)
Olive Harriet
Phillipa May (John, Lauren, Xavier, Duncan, Lachlan, Josephine, Maxmilian, Emilia)
Sienna Ariel (Quinn)
Sylvia Rae (Evelyn)
Tilanie Jane (Angelina)

Abel Jessie (Blade, Archie)
Alfie George
Archie Richard (Banjo)
Boaz John
Charlie Gus (William, Henry)
Corbin Wyatt (Lachlan)
Duke (Seth, Coen, Fenn)
Emrys Llewyn
Fraser Taylor
Henry Laurence
James Arthur “Jak”
Jozef William (Magdalena, Zofia)
Jude Thomas
Landyn Oliver
Leo Xavier (Arielle Rose)
Max Orlando
Noah Gianni (Ruben, Levi)
Oscar Ronald (Adeline, Elsie)
Otis Michael (Daisy)
Raife Maxwell
Rainan Jediah (Rafael)
Ryder Stirling
Ted David (Thomas, Zoe, twins Henry and Harry)
Theodore Bernard (Alexis, Mackenzie)
Thomas Hedley

(Photo of wattle blossom from the Cootamundra Herald)

Name Update: Lovely Ivy


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Anne and Kenneth were expecting their second child, a baby girl. They had only agreed on two possible names, but they still had to agree on middle names, and possible nicknames.

Anne and Kenneth’s little girl recently celebrated her second birthday, and her name is


sister to Will.

They didn’t choose the name until after Ivy was born. Ivy was Anne’s favourite name for a girl, while Elizabeth honoured the baby’s aunt. Anne and Kenneth are really happy with the name they picked out, and feel that it’s a name which suits their cute and lively daughter very well.

Ivy Elizabeth was a real favourite with readers, so I’m expecting a lot of support for Anne and Kenneth’s choice.

Unique Girls Names from the 2015 Birth Notices


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These are ten names given to girls which I saw only once in the birth announcements of last year. They are not all rare (and some of them are popular in other countries even if uncommon here), but they are at least names you don’t see every day.

Feminine form of the modern Hebrew name Aviv, meaning “spring”. The word aviv refers to that time of year when grain crops are ripening, is a month of the Jewish calendar, and well known from Israel’s capital Tel Aviv, meaning “Spring Hill”. The names Aviv and Aviva have also become commonly used in Russian-speaking countries. The American philosopher Noam Chomsky has a daughter named Aviva, who is a historian and activist, and you might have seen Aviva Dreschel on The Real Housewives of New York City. Another TV Aviva was pretty schoolgirl Aviva “Viv” Newton from Home and Away, played by Mouche Phillips back in 1990. Although Aviva is a rare name in Australia, it fits in perfectly with current name trends for girls, and does not look at all out of place next to popular Ava and fashionable Vivian. Despite the name’s origin, I suspect many people will automatically connect it to the Latin viva, meaning “alive”. However, this dovetails nicely with the true meaning, as spring is a season of new life. Avi, Viv, Eva, Evie, and Viva are obvious nicknames – the last one is also a brand of paper towels. Vivka is a traditional Russian pet form.

Modern Irish name taken from the name of the River Clodiagh, which runs through the counties of Tipperary and Waterford. There’s a small river with the same name in Kilkenny, and you can find variations of the name all over Ireland. There’s a River Clydagh in Mayo, a Clady Water in Antrim, and towns with names such as Claudy in Derry and Bunclody in Wexford, at the foot of the River Clody, which is yet another river with basically the same name. The name is derived from the Gaelic for “wash, clean” – baby name sites often tell us that Clodiagh was a goddess of water in Irish mythology, but nothing is known of such a deity, although it’s not implausible. The name is said to have first been bestowed in 1897 on the youngest daughter of John Beresford, 5th Marquess of Waterford, giving the name aristocratic origins. Lady Clodagh married the son of an English earl and wrote memoirs, gaining a wider audience for her name. Clodagh is a popular name in Ireland and Northern Ireland, being in the Top 50 of both countries. Pronounced KLO-da, this is an Irish heritage choice reminiscent of Chloe and Claudia.

Medieval Scottish name. Despite the rather daunting spelling, it is very easy to pronounce – AY-lee. It is usually said to be the Scottish equivalent of Helen, although seems much more likely to be a form of Elionoir (said AY-lee-nuh), the medieval Scottish form of Eleanor, due to the usual medieval mix-up between Eleanor and Ellen. It has also been linked to the Irish name Eileen, the name Evelyn, and so august a source as the Oxford Press suggests it as a Scottish medieval pet form of Elizabeth. Eilidh was a common name during the Middle Ages, but went out of use and was revived in the 20th century so you can see it as both ancient and modern. It’s a popular name in Scotland, and is currently #22. This is a charming Caledonian choice whose sound fits in with familiar names like Ellie, Ayla, Hayley and Kaylee, and due to the competing theories of origin, could be used to honour multiple women at once.

Norwegian name from the Old Norse hlif, meaning “shelter, protection”. In modern Norwegian, it coincides with the word for “life”. Both these meanings bring to mind the character of Líf from Norse mythology: it is foretold that at the end of the world, she and her male partner Lífþrasir will survive by hiding in the World Tree, and from them will new generations of humans be born (their names can be translated as Life and Life’s Lover). This gives it an irresistible connection to the name Eve. The name Liv became well known in the English-speaking world through the award-winning Norwegian actress Liv Ullman, who starred in several Ingmar Bergman films. The American actress Liv Tyler was named after her – Tyler’s mother saw Liv Ullman on the cover of TV Guide a few months before Liv Tyler was born. The name Liv is popular in Scandinavia, Belgium, and The Netherlands, and doesn’t seem unfamiliar because of popular Olivia. Short and simple with two great meanings, this is a rare but very usable name.

Can be a variant of Nadya, a short form of the Slavic name Nadezhda, meaning “hope” (in some Slavic languages, Nadia actually coincides with the word for “hope”). Nadia has an extensive history of use, being used in English-speaking countries, Latin America, Scandinavia, France, Italy and Spain, as well as in Russia and Eastern Europe. Nadia is also an Arabic name, a transliteration of Nadiyyah, which can be translated as “tender, delicate”, or “the caller”, to suggest one who inspires others to a higher cause. Nadia is a popular name in Spain and Portugal, and most popular in Poland, as well as being widely known in the Arabic world. In Australia, Nadia joined the charts in the 1950s at #348; one of the names introduced by post-war immigration. It peaked in the 1980s at #181 and is currently around the 200s or 300s. This is a multicultural choice with two positive meanings that will be familiar almost everywhere.

In Greek mythology Rhea was one of the Titans, the daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and sky god Uranus. The sister and wife of Cronus, the god of time, Rhea was the mother of the chief Olympian gods and goddesses. It was she who helped save Zeus from being killed by his father, tricking Cronus by presenting him with a stone wrapped in a blanket instead of a baby god. As such, she was venerated as the mother of the gods, and as a mother goddess and guide of destiny; she is often depicted driving a chariot pulled by two lions. The mother of Romulus and Remus, and the mother of Hercules were both named Rhea after the goddess. The meaning of Rhea’s name is uncertain. It’s traditionally derived either from the Greek word for “ground”, or from “flow, discharge”. Another suggestion is that it comes from the word for “pomegranate”, a fertility symbol. It’s quite possible that the name is pre-Greek and the meaning unrecoverable. Pronounced either REE-uh or RAY-uh, Rhea is an uncommon name but is simple to spell and say, and fits in well with current naming trends (not to mention the fashion for mythological names). It’s also a good multicultural choice, as it sounds like European Ria, used as a short form of names like Maria, and also like the Indian names Riya and Reya.

Latin name meaning “serene, tranquil”. There is a legendary Saint Serena, said to be the Christian wife of the Emperor Diocletian; Diocletian’s wife was actually Saint Prisca, sometimes called Saint Alexandra just to confuse things further. There was a famous Christian noblewoman named Serena in ancient Rome, married to a high-ranking general and cousin to the emperor. The story goes that she took a necklace from a statue of Rhea Silvia, the legendary mother of Romulus and Remus, and placed it around her own neck. The last Vestal Virgin cursed her for her impiety, and after this Serena was troubled by nightmares about her own death; these dreams proved prophetic when she was falsely accused of conspiring with the Goths and executed. The name Serena first entered the charts in the 1960s at #515; this was the era when Serena was Samantha’s mischievous brunette cousin on Bewitched (played by Elizabeth Montgomery in a wig). The name mostly rose after that, peaking in 2009 at #190: it’s now around the 200s. A popular name in Italy, this is another multicultural choice with a famous namesake in American tennis champ Serena Williams, and numerous fictional namesakes.

Tauriel is a character in The Hobbit movie series by Peter Jackson, played by Evangeline Lilly. She doesn’t appear in the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien but was created for the films by Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, and Fran Walsh. In the films Tauriel is one of the Woodland Elves of Mirkwood; a warrior and head of the elven guard. She’s a rebellious figure, and rather reckless, but shows her softer side through a romantic plot line. The name Tauriel was created for the character from the Sindarin language invented by Tolkien, and is probably best translated as “forest maiden”; it’s said TAWR-ee-el. There’s a real Katniss vibe to this name, as they are names from popular culture, and both Tauriel and Katniss are bold, brave young women who are brilliant with bow and arrows. It feels like a name with a use-by date, but doesn’t seem that strange, as it has the Tori sound from Victoria and the -elle sound ending shared with names like Estelle and Gabrielle.

Variant spelling of Uʻilani or Uilani, a Polynesian name usually translated as “heavenly beauty” or “royal beauty”, which can also be spelled Ulani. It can be pronounced yoo-LAH-nee. Uilani an be given to either sex (there is a male soccer player from Tuvalu called Uilani), but is generally thought of as a female name, and is sometimes a surname as well. To me, Ulanni feels like a more specifically feminine spelling, and this is a pretty heritage choice which comes with the fashionable nickname Lani.

Mongolian name meaning “fate, destiny”. It is a Top 10 name for girls in Mongolia, although a famous namesake is Zaya Pandita, a 17th century Mongolian prince who became a Tibetan Buddhist scholar – in his case, the name is a variant of the unisex Indian name Jaya, meaning “victory” in Sanskrit. The name has recently been in the spotlight because of the fantasy film Gods of Egypt, which has a slave girl named Zaya as the love interest, played by Australian model and actress Courtney Eaton. In the film the name is said ZAY-uh, but it can also be pronounced ZY-uh. Zaya is a spunky little name that seems like a fresh alternative to Zara, Zahlia, and other Z names.

People’s favourite names were Liv, Aviva and Eilidh, while their least favourites were Clodagh, Tauriel and Ulanni.

(Picture shows a poster for Gods of Egypt, featuring Zaya)

A Sister for a Stylish Sibset


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Alexandra is expecting her fourth child in a few weeks, a sister for her sons Rafferty and Owen and her daughter Sibella.

Alexandra’s main issues are that many of her favourite names for a girl sound quite a bit like Sibella, and she also loves English-style flower names, but to her these are a mis-match with Sibella. She would prefer something with a European/French/Latin feel to go with Sibella.

Alexandra has noticed she tends to like names that start with A, E, or L such as Aveline, Evangeline, and Luella; she loves romantic, feminine names and prefers ones that aren’t on the current popularity lists.

Her current front runner is Estelle. She loves the meaning, the sound of it, and its French origin. She isn’t sure whether it’s too much having sisters both with an ELL in their name, but she thinks Sibella and Estelle sound pretty together. She wonders how Estelle would be shortened – Stel? Elle? She would consider Estee or Essie, but isn’t convinced by either option.

Earlier in the pregnancy she considered the name Primrose, with Posy as the nickname, which she adores. However she started to think the name was too popular, and didn’t really go with the other children’s names. She also considered Evangeline and Clementine, but can’t quite get behind either.

The middle name would probably be Delphine, a French name she loves that seems a bit different from any of her other favourites.

Alexandra would like to know others’ thoughts on the name Estelle, and if there are any other names that go well with her children’s names (especially with Sibella) she may have missed?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Goodness, this is the second enquiry about Estelle I’ve received this week! It’s clearly the name of the moment. There’s already a quick poll on Estelle, and so far around two-thirds of people are in favour of using the name Estelle, with just under one-third loving the name. That seems like a good amount of people liking the name, and not an inconveniently high number loving it and therefore likely to use it.

Estelle seems as if it fits in fine with Rafferty, Owen, and Sibella – they all have their own vibe, yet are enough alike in style to rub together well enough. To me Sibella is Australian more than anything else: Sibella is a name more often used here than in any European country, although ultimately from Greek.

I’d probably use a vintage-style nickname like Etty or Essie for Estelle, but I have seen people use the name Star as a nickname for Estelle. There’s something modern, yet rather charming and storybook about that idea. Ellie also seems perfectly reasonable.

I am very surprised that you consider Primrose too popular to use. Even in the UK Primrose is barely in the Top 500, and it’s probably lower than that here. Sometimes people think when a name is fashionable it must be popular because there’s such a buzz around it, forgetting there can be quite a gap between a name suddenly coming into use again, and becoming popular. Estelle is far more popular a name, and that isn’t popular either.

Of course, Primrose might be quite common in your social circle, so if you already know three little girls named Primrose born in the past year, you’re rightfully going to disagree with mere statistics!

Primrose actually seems like a great fit with Rafferty, Owen, and Sibella, as they are all British names. Rafferty is Irish, Owen is Welsh, and Sibella is English. I rather love Primrose with Posy as the nickname.

Evangeline and Clementine would have been fine too, but the middle name Delphine would probably be a little too much in these cases.

Estelle seems like a good match with your chosen middle name, and as a sister to Rafferty, Owen, and Sibella. It’s a pretty, stylish name back in fashion, yet not overly common.

Other feminine names you might like: Lucinda, Evelina, Vivienne, Liliana, Eleanora, Genevieve, and Isadora.

88% of people generally approved of the name Estelle Delphine as sister to Rafferty, Owen and Sibella. 26% thought it was great, 31% thought it was good, and 28% thought it was okay. 12% were not convinced.

Winslow Mae and Corby James


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Esther and Theo

Annie Pearl
Aria Nina
Blair Susan
Carolyn Mary
Carys Anna
Christiana (Anastasia)
Daisy June
Elizabeth Adelaide
Florence Olivia
Francesca Adele (Sevilla, Lowanna)
Freyja Marie (Kayden, Amber, Ryan, Logan, Piper)
Imogen Luna
London Louise (Campbell)
Lori Jewel (Aria)
Maeve Isabel
Milly Janice (Connor, Riley)
Octavia Grace-Lee
Penelope Victoria
Poppy Gwen
Priya Eve
Quinn Lilian
Roxy Patricia
Sybil Margaret Edie
Willow Glory
Winslow Mae

Anikin Michael (Dimitri)
Archie Wallace (Terri, Loki)
Benjamin Ronald Thomas Horatio
Bodhi Ollie (Marley, Jameson, Makai)
Corby James
Dash (Rya, Ruby)
Dimitri (Kleoniki)
Frederick John (Isobel)
Harry Boston (Xavier)
Heath Darren
Henry Jürgen
Hugh Frederick (Stephanie, Amelia)
James Robin “Jimmy”
Judd Lewis (Coopa, Bridgette)
Julian Robert
Lennox Arthur
Leo Christos
River Jack (Ryder, Remy)
Rocco Edward
Roman Maxx (Vince)
Sacha (Angelica, Saxton)
Sonny Dean
Stirling Ross
Thane David
Zeke Kenneth

(Photo shows the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne)

Requested Names: Estelle and Estella


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Estelle is a French name. It became known because of Saint Estelle, a legendary 3rd century martyr from Gaul whose father was a Roman nobleman, and her mother descended from a long line of powerful Druids. After converting to Christianity, her own father condemned Estelle to death for her faith, making her another of those young girl saints with less than supportive dads.

The saint’s name was actually Eustelle, from the Greek for “beautifully adorned”. Over time, the spelling of the name seems to have been altered so that it looked as if it was derived from estela, the Occitan word for “star”. (Occitan is a dialect from southern France).

Although Estelle was apparently a popular saint in the Charente region of southern France, the name doesn’t seem to have received much use until the 18th century. In 1788 the French poet Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian published a pastoral romance called Estelle and Némorin, and although critics didn’t exactly give it rave reviews, it seemed to kick-start Estelle as a baby name.

An early namesake was Estelle Duboeuf, later Fornier, who was born in 1797. The Romantic composer Hector Berlioz met Estelle on a summer holiday in the French Alps and instantly became infatuated with her. He was already a fan of Estelle and Némorin, and perhaps there was some connect between the fictional and real Estelles. He was 12 and she was 18, so this wasn’t a relationship which was going anywhere, and Estelle married a lawyer and had six children.

For the rest his life Berlioz considered her to be his muse and called her his Stella montis (Latin for “mountain star”). One of Berlioz’s early compositions was based on a song in Florian’s Estelle and Némorin, full of despair at having to leave his “star” behind. Its melody wound itself into the violins in his Symphonie fantastique, and his longing for Estelle helped inspire his symphony Romeo and Juliet.

Much later in life Berlioz again encountered Madame Fornier, now an elderly widow, and asked her to marry him. She turned him down and never understood his obsession with her, but they remained friends and he left her an annuity in his will. She was his first love, his last love, and his sweetest love, and the fact that it was almost entirely in his imagination made it all the more powerful.

The name Estelle became a favourite choice in 19th century romance novels in both Britain and America. One of the most famous examples of the name in literature must be the the beautiful but pitifully frozen-hearted Estella Havisham in Charles Dickens’ 1860 novel Great Expectations.

Dickens may have chosen the name Estella because of its similarity to Stella, the unattainable beauty in Sir Philip Sidney’s poem Astrophel and Stella, so the name already signified painful, hopeless unrequited love to a woman far out of reach, cold and distant as a lovely star.

Estella is the Latinate form of Estelle, and it has also been in use since the 18th century. It was originally more popular in Italian and Spanish-speaking countries, although used in English-speaking ones as well.

Estelle was #228 in the 1900s, and peaked in the 1920s at #222, the era of American silent screen star Estelle Taylor, regarded as one of the most beautiful women of the silent era. The name fell in popularity after Estelle gave up acting to pursue a singing career, and had an unhappy marriage to boxing champ Jack Dempsey. By the time Estelle passed away in the 1950s, the name had left the charts.

It returned in the 1970s at #625, just after American actress Estelle Parsons won an Oscar for her role in Bonnie and Clyde. It went down in the 1980s, perhaps because Estelle Getty on sitcom The Golden Girls made it seem like an old lady name. Estelle began climbing in the 2000s. Its current position is probably around the 200s, but could be higher.

In the US, Estelle was in the 100s from the late 19th century until the end of the 1920s. It left the Top 1000 in 1964 and returned in 2012. This was the same year that the Swedish royal family welcomed Princess Estelle, daughter of Crown Princess Victoria; Estelle is second in line to the throne of Sweden. The name Estelle is currently #822 in the US.

Estelle has been less popular in the UK, and was only in the Top 500 for a few years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It left the Top 1000 in 2011, but perhaps Princess Estelle brought it back, as it returned the following year. It’s currently #891 and seemingly falling again.

Estelle was a Top 100 name in France in the 1990s and early 2000s, but has been gradually falling in favour and is now #187. It’s still popular in Belgium.

Famous Australian Estelles include journalist Estelle Blackburn, naturalist and wildflower painter Estelle Thomson, and model/dancer Estelle Asmodelle, Australia’s first legally recognised transsexual, billed as “Australia’s first transsexual pin-up” in the 1980s.

In the US, Estella was in the 100s from the late 19th century until 1912, and left the charts in 1974. Like Estelle, it returned in 2012 and is now #873. Estella has never been in the Top 1000 in the UK; last year there were 16 baby girls given the name. Estella is a royal name as well, as Prince Edward of Kent’s daughter Lady Helena Taylor had a daughter named Estella in 2004.

Estelle and Estella are pretty vintage names with a fascinating literary and musical history which have recently gained royal glamour, and fit in with popular names like Isabelle and Stella. They also strike me as names which have great potential as multicultural crossovers – apart from the French connection, Estelle has sometimes been chosen by Jewish families as a spin on biblical Esther, while Estella may appeal to those from Romance language backgrounds such Italian and Portuguese.

Could one of these names be right for your little star?

Thank you to Patricia for requesting the names Estelle and Estella be featured on Waltzing More Than Matilda; Patricia is considering using one of these names.


Estelle received an approval rating of 70%. 35% of people loved it, and only one person thought Estelle was a terrible name. Estella did less well, with an approval rating of 51%. 44% of people weren’t keen on it, although only 6% thought Estella was a terrible name.72% of people preferred the name Estelle to Estella for a baby girl.

Celebrity Baby News: Geelong Cats Babies




Two babies welcomed recently from AFL footballers who play for the Geelong Cats:

Tom Lonergan and his wife Kim welcomed their first child on September 2 and have named their son Bobby Thomas [pictured]. Tom has been playing for the Cats since 2005, and he and Kim were married at the start of this year.

Andrew Mackie and his wife Georgia welcomed their daughter Lindy Milla on August 21, a sister for Freddy, age 3, and Louie, age 2. Andrew has been playing for the Cats since 2005.


Celebrity Baby News: Sporting Baby Round Up


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Sports stars Joe and Renae Ingles welcomed twins on July 26 and named them Jacob Antony and Milla Bernadette. Joe has played basketball in Australia, Spain and Israel; he currently plays for Utah Jazz in the NBA and is a member of the national squad, the Boomers, for which he has played at every Olympics since 2008. The winner of two gold medals and a silver at the FIBA Oceania Championships, Joe also won the Gaze medal in 2009 for being the best player in the Boomers. Renae is a netball champion who currently plays for the Adelaide Thunderbirds and for the national team, the Diamonds. She has won gold at the Netball World Championships, gold and silver at the Commonwealth Games, and bronze at the World Netball Series. She has won numerous awards, including Diamonds International Player twice.

Rugby union footballer Christian Lealiifano and his partner Luga Lam-Young welcomed their first child in June and named their son Jeremih. Jeremih is named after Luga’s favourite singer, but also with the biblical character of Jeremiah in mind. Christian was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia as a small boy. He has played for the Brumbies since 2007 and for the national squad, the Wallabies, since 2013. Last month fans were shocked to hear new dad Christian had been diagnosed with leukaemia: we wish Christian all the best with his treatment.

Football player Massimo Luongo, and his wife Shelley, welcomed their first child on June 15 and named their son Maxwell [pictured]. Massimo’s name is the Italian form of Maximus, so this seems like a way to honour dad without using the same name. Massimo has played football in England since 2011, and currently plays for Queens Park Rangers in the Championship League; he also plays for the national team, the Socceroos.

Former AFL footballer Brent Reilly, and his wife Jamie, welcomed their first child on June 22 and named their son Jax Cameron. Brent played for the Adelaide Crows for 13 years, retiring last year.

Former cricketer and national batting coach Greg Blewett, and his wife Katheryn, welcomed their second child on July 26 and named him Rory James, a brother for Samuel, aged 18 months; Samuel’s birth was covered on the blog. Greg has a teenaged daughter named Taylor from his previous marriage to Jodie Blewett, now Oddy, who has been featured on the blog as a celebrity mum.

Former Australian rules player Mathew Seal, and his wife Kate Twigley, welcomed their first child on August 30 and named him Levi Samuel. Mathew played in the WAFL, while Kate is the sister of model Rebecca Judd, who has been featured on the blog as a celebrity mum.

What Name For Olive’s Brother or Sister?


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Josephine and Stephen are expecting their second child later this year, a brother or sister for their daughter Olive. They picked Olive’s name out years in advance of her conception, so didn’t have to think of any other girls’ names. They never managed to agree on a boy’s name during the first pregnancy, so it really does feel as if it’s back-the-drawing-board time!

Josephine and Steve prefer classic-sounding names with an old-fashioned feel, but don’t want anything too popular. Josephine believes that Steve’s tastes in names is more conventional than hers as many of her name suggestions are rejected for being “too weird”.

The family surname is similar to Harley. They don’t mind names that start with H, but aren’t keen on ones that end with an EE sound in case it sounds too rhymey. They aren’t fussed about the meaning of the name, unless it means something completely appalling.

Names that have been discussed:

Cora – Steve’s favourite name, and Josephine likes it more and more as time goes by. This is probably their front runner at the moment.
Nell – it’s the name of an elderly dog owned by one of their parents. Josephine doesn’t think this is a problem, Steve isn’t so sure.
Harriet and Agnes – rejected by Steve

There will be two middle names, which is a family tradition. Possible middle names: Nell, Cora, Harriet, Agnes, Ivy, Maggie, Mabel, Adelaide, Poppy. The middle names just have to be ones they like which flow well together when matched with the first name.

Felix – this is probably their current front-runner.
Henry – they both love this name, but is Henry Harley too much? Also a good friend just had a boy named Henry.
Angus, called Gus – Steve isn’t keen.
Mack – Josephine really liked this name, but feels less and less certain about it. She liked that it was a nod to her surname, which starts with Mac, but wonders if it is too casual and nicknamey? Is it too aggressive, like a Mack truck? Steve is neutral.
Rupert – Josephine’s favourite boy’s name, and her choice for Olive if she had been a boy. Loves the nicknames Ru and Bear. Steve cannot be persuaded.
Joe, Fletcher, Ned, Hugh and Jock – rejected by Steve.

Again, two middle names. Possible middles: Felix, Henry, Angus, Mack, Rupert, Joe, Fletcher, Ned, Hugh, Jock, Chester, August, Winter (a family name).

Josephine wonders what people think of their name list, and if there are any other names in their style they might like.

* * * * * * * * * *

Josephine, I have had a few parents write in when looking for a name for a second child after the first was utterly stress-free. They may have had a favourite name picked out for years, like you did, or both immediately loved the first name either one of them suggested. Then the second baby is due, and there’s a real feeling of “What do we do now?”.

In a way you are almost first-time baby namers again. Everything was already decided before Olive was even thought of, and now you’re stuck doing the hard yards of thinking up names, discussing them, crossing them off, starting again, and so on.

Perhaps this process even feels awkward or unnatural to you, but it’s actually completely normal and you are in fact doing great. I know you are going to pick a name just as good as Olive’s for your second child even if it takes more effort.

I love Steve’s suggestion of Cora! It’s strong yet feminine, and Olive and Cora sound adorable together. I don’t really think Steve’s taste is overly conventional – Cora doesn’t seem more conventional than Harriet, for example. I think some men just say names are “weird” when they mean they don’t like them.

I’m glad you are warming to Cora. I think it would work well with the style of middle names you have picked out, such as Cora Mabel Poppy or Cora Nell Adelaide.

Nell is sweet, and Olive and Nell are lovely. I’m with you – I don’t see much of an issue with the dog, especially as it’s a very old one. However, some people feel as if once a name is given to a pet, that makes it a “dog name” forevermore. If Steve remains hesitant, Nell could always be a middle name.

I think maybe Henry Harley is a little too much for me. It’s not only that the names begin and end with the name sound and have the same number of syllables, which is rather nursery rhyme character in sound, but that Harley is sometimes given as a first name, and Henry is occasionally a surname.

Like Rowan Regan and Libby Lacey, a name like this is perhaps too whimsical for me, although I’m sure some others would really like it. Henry would, however, make a fantastic middle name.

I like the idea of Mack honouring your surname. I notice you have selected several nicknamey names for boys, like Joe and Ned, but Steve rejected them. He also rejected or hasn’t committed to names which you planned to use a nickname for, such as Angus “Gus” and Rupert “Bear”.

Is it possible that Steve just isn’t as keen on nicknames? (Come to think, he hasn’t committed to Nell either). He’s remained neutral on Mack, and I wonder if that’s because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings by rejecting a name honouring your surname.

If both of you are hesitating over it, perhaps Mack could be one of the middle names? Or maybe you could pick a boy’s name that has the letters MAC in it, like Cormac or Malcolm, or the same sound, like Maxwell? (sounds like Mack’s well).

That leaves you with Felix, which fortunately is great! Felix would be a wonderful choice with your surname, and as a brother to Olive. It could also work well with your chosen middle names, such as Felix Henry Mack or Felix Winter August.

I know you’ve really only agreed on one name for each sex so far, but one name is all you need, and Cora and Felix are both brilliant choices.

Other names that seem to be in your style might be Clara, Ada, Nora, Iris, or Hazel for a girl, and Jasper, Leo, Finlay, Griffin or Lewis for boy. But I actually like Cora and Felix better than all these names.

Good luck with your name search Josephine and Steve – I think you’re going to be fine. You already picked out one nice baby name, and I’m sure you’ll be able to do it again.

People’s choice for a sister for Olive was Cora, with 71% of the vote. Their choice for a brother for Olive was Felix, with 59% of the vote.

82% of people were not in favour of using the name Henry Harley, with 61% thinking it was a little too much, and 21% thinking it was completely over the top. 14% of people thought it was fine, and 4% actually loved the idea.

57% of people didn’t see a problem with Mack, with 29% thinking it was fine and 28% thinking it was great. A sizeable minority of 43% were not in favour. 30% thought it was too casual and nicknamey, and 13% that it was too rough and aggressive.

Rua and Rhoa


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Banjo Max and Felix Samuel (Lily, Winter, Beau, Violet)

Ailsa Louise
Annie Gay Hilda (Erika, Claire)
Armani Raine (Tiahna, Harleigh, Oakley)
Blair Ivy
Casey Jane
Catherine Dorothy Elizabeth (Benjamin)
Davy Grace
Ebony Dane (Calvin, Hugo)
Evie Wren (Ruby)
Faith Autumn (Taylor)
Grace Kabisa
Heidi Johanna Estelle (Eliza)
Isabel Charlotte (Oscar, Alistair)
Jindi Ray
Katia Francesca (Gia, Aria)
Lia Margaret (Lachlan, Jamie)
Luca (Wade, Harpur, Talon)
Mirella Sofie
Neve Saylah (Havannah, Caiden)
Pia Charlie
Quinn Heather
Rua Brid
Tallina Mae
Thalia Joan
Zara Eloise

Archibald Robert
Axel Stephen
Bentley Douglas Kenneth (Lachlan, Savannah)
Braith Arlo
Charlie Ned
Clayton Angus (Allaynah, Abbigayl)
Cody Ross
Dane Terrence
Finlay Lewis (Isabelle, Eleanor)
Hamish Ernest
Henry Wallace
Hunter Maxton (Peyton)
Isaiah Cruz (Tahlia, Amethyst)
Jack Larry
Jonathon Nikodemos
Knox Peter (Harlow)
Leonardo Paul
Lewis Arthur (Isabelle, Archer)
Nixon Preston (Billie-Jo, Rory)
Rhoa Lex
Steffan William
Theodore Allan
Thomas Bruno
William Edwin
Winston Daniel George

(Photo shows a Western Grey Kangaroo with a joey in her pouch)