Celebrity Baby News: Screen Babies



Actors Guy Pearce and Carice van Houten welcomed their first child on August 29 and named their son Monte. Guy is a British-born Australian actor who got his start in theatre, then transitioned to TV in Neighbours and Home and Away. He was critically-acclaimed in the miniseries Mildred Pierce, and stars in the Jack Irish telemovies and miniseries. He has had major roles in numerous films, such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Flynn, L.A. Confidential, The Time Machine, The Proposition, The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech, and Animal Kingdom. Carice is a Dutch actress and singer best known for playing Melisandre in Game of Thrones; she and Guy have been dating since last year.

Actress Emilie de Ravin, and her boyfriend (now fiance) Eric Bilitch [pictured], welcomed their first child on March 12 and named their daughter Vera Audrey. Emilie’s first major role was in the TV series Beastmaster, and was a regular in Roswell before being cast as Claire Littleton in the hit drama series Lost. She currently plays Belle in the fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films. Eric is a film director.

Actor Dan Wyllie and his wife Shannon Murphy welcomed a daughter named Dylan about a year ago. Primarily a stage actor, Dan has also had roles in films such as Romper Stomper, Muriel’s Wedding, Chopper, and The Water Diviner. On TV he has been B2 on Bananas in Pyjamas, and last year was in the miniseries The Beautiful Lie. Shannon is an actress, director, and writer who directed two episodes of Offspring.


A Selection of Candidate Names in the 2016 Federal Election



There were 1625 candidates in this year’s Federal Election, held on July 2. Here are one hundred names from the election ballots that I found especially pleasant, interesting, or amusing. The Green Party (social justice environmentalists) and Rise Up Australia (far-right fringe) seemed to be over-represented among the interesting names

1. Kristin Bacon (Animal Justice Party) – can an animal really trust someone whose name sounds suspiciously like crisping bacon?
2. Alice Barnes (Green Party)
3. Sandy Caddy (Rise Up Australia)
4. Shea Caplice (Arts Party)
5. Marylou Carter (Family First Party)
6. Aoife Champion-Fashoyin (Labor Party)
7. Lalitha Chelliah (Socialist Alliance)
8. Bridget Clinch (Veterans Party)
9. Rosalie Crestani (Rise Up Australia)
10. Ioanna Culleton (One Nation)
11. Sylvie Ellsmore (Green Party)
12. Kamala Emanuel (Socialist Alliance)
13. Amanda Excell (Christian Democratic Party)
14. Ula Falanga (Christian Democratic Party)
15. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Liberal Party) – elected to the Senate in NSW
16. Emma Flowerdew (Liberal Party)
17. Yvonne Gentle (Rise Up Australia)
18. Viv Glance (Green Party)
19. Rose Godde (Arts Party)
20. Zarina Greenberg (Animal Justice Party)
21. Jananie Janarthana (Green Party)
22. Pierrette Kelly (Liberal Party)
23. Kirsten Lovejoy (Green Party)
24. Emma McBride (Labor Party) – my huband’s choice of “most electable name”; elected as MP for Dobell, NSW
25. Malarndirri McCarthy (Labor Party) – elected to the Senate in NT
26. Tasma Minifie (Green Party)
27. Neroli Mooney (Rise Up Australia)
28. Silvana Nero-Nile (Christian Democratic Party)
29. Jane Oakley (Green Party)
30. Freya Ostapovich (Liberal National Party)
31. Patchouli Paterson (Green Party)
32. Elena Quirk (Green Party)
33. Rose Read (Green Party)
34. Bibe Roadley (Liberal National Party)
35. Jenalie Salt (Christian Democratic Party)
36. Taffy Samuriwo-Vuntarde (Rise Up Australia)
37. Myfanwy Schenk (Family First Party)
38. Shelley Shay (Australian Recreational Fishers Party)
39. Delanie Skye (Green Party)
40. Marnie Southward (Marriage Equality Party)
41. Sally Spain (Green Party)
42. Santa Spruce-Peet-Boyd (Independent)
43. Fern Summer (Independent)
44. Camille Sydow (Animal Justice Party)
45. Catriona Cecilia Thoolen (Palmer United Party)
46. Cordelia Troy (Independent)
47. Tula Tzoras (Online Direct Democracy – Empowering the People!)
48. Suzan Virago (Green Party)
49. Dawn Walker (Green Party)
50. Gabriela Zabala (Socialist Equality Party)

1. Zane Alcorn (Socialist Alliance)
2. Fraser Anning (One Nation)
3. John Peter August (Pirate Party)
4. Marc Aussie-Stone (Independent)
5. Avtar Singh Billu (Independent)
6. Sundance Bilson-Thompson (Cyclists Party) – in everyday life, a distinguished physicist
7. Ash Blackwell (Drug Law Reform)
8. Arthur Chesterfield-Evans (Green Party)
9. Marty Corboy (National Party)
10. Berge Anthony Der Sarkissian (Online Direct Democracy – Empowering the People!)
11. Damian Drum (National Party) – elected as MP for Murray, Vic
12. Wes Fang (National Party)
13. Mike Freelander (Labor Party) – elected as MP for Macarthur, NSW
14. Ned Kelly Gebadi (Family First Party)
15. Jimmy Gimini (Rise Up Australia)
16. Mercurius Goldstein (Green Party)
17. Ian Goodenough (Liberal Party) – elected as MP for Moore, WA (so he was good enough)
18. Ray Goodlass (Green Party)
19. Gary Gray (Labor Party) – his first and last names are anagrams of each other
20. Oscar Grenfell (Socialist Equality Party)
21. Stirling Griff (Nick Xenophon Party) – elected to the Senate in SA
22. Florian Heise (Family First)
23. Thor Kerr (Green Party)
24. Phil Larkin (Country Party) – not the poet
25. Glenn Lazarus (Glenn Lazarus Team)
26. David Littleproud (National Party) – elected as MP for Maranoa, Qld
27. Richard Love (Katter’s Australian Party)
28. Milan Maksimovic (Christian Democratic Party)
29. Hovig Melkonian (Labor Party)
30. Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow (Science Party) – Political Name of the Year, hands down
31. Methuen Morgan (Countryminded)
32. Kado Muir (National Party)
33. Sang Ok (Liberal Party)
34. Bruce Poon (Animal Justice Party)
35. Thor Prohaska (Independent)
36. Isaac Pursehouse (Pirate Party) – actually sounds like an 18th century pirate
37. Rowan Ramsey (Liberal Party) – elected as MP for Grey, SA
38. Ash Rose (Australian Progressives)
39. Warnar Spyker (Australian Christians)
40. Nick Steel (Rise Up Australia)
41. Sonny Susilo (Christian Democratic Party)
42. Ludy Charles Sweeris-Sigrist (Christian Democratic Party)
43. Beresford Thomas (Christian Democratic Party)
44. Francesco Timpano (Independent)
45. Rasmus Torkel (Independent)
46. Tran Tran (Rise Up Australia)
47. Phil Twiss (Australian Christians)
48. Quentin Van Stieglitz (Palmer United Party)
49. Zhenya Dio Wang (Palmer United Party)
50. Nick Xenophon (Nick Xenophon Party) – elected to the Senate in SA

Most people would prefer to vote for a name that was solid and corporate rather than one which was ordinary and everyman, with more than two thirds choosing this option.
Most people would prefer to vote for a name that was down to earth and unpretentious rather than one which was flamboyant and aristocratic, with more than two thirds choosing this option.
More than half liked the idea of a candidate with a friendly, cheerful name, but many preferred one who sounded serious and no-nonsense, so this ballot was fairly even.
A clear majority (86%) were in favour of a name which sounded pretty and poetic rather than one which sounded tough and cool.
70% preferred a very short name to a very long name.
And finally, most people would prefer to vote for a name that was highly patriotic rather than one which was interesting and eccentric, with more than two thirds choosing this option.

(Photo shows Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow from the Science Party)

Celebrity Baby News: Celebrity Baby Round Up


, , ,


Comedian and radio host Anthony “Lehmo” Lehmann and his wife Kelly welcomed their first child on July 26 and named their son Laddie Buster [pictured]. Lehmo has been a stand up comedian since the 1990s, and appeared in TV sketch shows in both Australia and the UK. He currently does breakfast radio on Gold 104.3, stars in comedy series Utopia, and makes appearances on The Project and Have You Been Paying Attention? Kelly (nee Kearney) is a television producer.

News presenter Talitha Cummins and her husband Ben Lucas welcomed their first child on August 1 and named their son Oliver Paul. Talitha is the news presenter on Weekend Sunrise and also reads the news on Triple M radio. Ben is a personal trainer.

Actor Gyton Grantley and his wife Alexandra Ortuso welcomed their first child on August 10 and named their son Rocco James, to be known as “Rocky“. Well known from television, Gyton shot to fame in crime drama series Underbelly and is currently one of the stars of popular comedy series House Husbands; he has also been in several film, including Beneath Hill 60, Balibo, and Danny Deckchair. Alex is a schoolteacher.

Connie Mitchell and her husband Angus McDonald, otherwise known as dance music duo Sneaky Sound System, welcomed their first child on August 23 and named their son Iggy Ajax. Iggy’s middle name is in honour of the couple’s friend DJ Ajax (Adrian Thomas) who was killed in an accident in 2013. Sneaky Sound System formed in the 2000s, and Connie has been a mentor on The Voice. They are currently on tour in Europe, but came home to have Iggy.

Fashion writer Kate Waterhouse and her husband, former NRL star Luke Ricketson, welcomed their second child on August 8 and named their daughter Grace Gabriel, sister to Sophia, aged 2; Sophia’s birth was featured on the blog. Grace’s middle name is in honour of her grandmother, race horse trainer and businesswoman Gai Waterhouse, whose full name is Gabriel.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy welcomed their third grandchild on August 26 when their daughter Daisy Turnbull-Brown and her husband Captain Andrew Brown had a daughter named Alice Lucinda, a sister for Jack, aged 3; Jack’s birth was featured on the blog. Alice’s middle name is in honour of her grandmother, whose full name is Lucinda.

Nash Cokie and Tex Frost




Alfred John (Lila, Joseph, Patrick)
André Lukas
Angus Jock (Freddie, Lulu)
Arden Luc Normandie
Ari Caddy (Sebastian, Brayden, Deakon)
Arian James (Rivah)
Athrine Ahkeem Darius (Zayne)
Axle Vivian
Brennan Pagapulan
Chimdinu Samuel
Christian Wilfredo
Cian Dart (Bennett)
Clancy Jim
Declan Kelly James (Zahrlaae)
Diesel Cohan (Blair, Axel)
Dimitri (Panayioti)
Dion Peter
Douglas Nelson Edward (Charlie)
Easton Kayne
Eliot Conrad
Ephrem Tom
Felix Fox (Ella)
Finnigan Joseph “Finn”
Gus Bernard (Pippa, Elkie)
Hamish Andreas
Harvey Miles
Henry Arthur (Lucy)
Hugo Warwick (Elsie)
Isaac Edison
Isaiah Johncel – Johncel is a combination of the parents’ names
Jagger Ace
Jason Wayne
Jhett Emil Shane (Aerith, Ashlynn)
Jimmy James (Flynn, Cleo, Jett)
Joseph Alexander Owen (Jacob, Jeremy, Juliette)
Leto Challis (Morgan)
Lonnie Xander
Lyell Henry
Macsen Neville Lewis
Marley Ross (Harper)
Maston Vinoy (Vana, Dana, Livia)
Mohammad Kiyan
Monty Charles (Molly, Hugh)
Nash Cokie
Obi Nuttall (Megan, Hannah, Keira)
Onyx Tinei (Jerome, Imani, Zion)
Oscar Donal (Charlotte)
Rafael Fabian
Raferty Arlo (Fergus, Jenson)
Rhett Robert Darcy (Phoenix, Dexter)
Sam Yofu
Scott Jang
Tangaroa Te
Tex Frost
Van Lennox
Velo (Lucian)
Vincent Leslie (Abel)
Wilbur Henry (Archie, Ruby)
William Clinton
Zeb Alby (Ruby, Gus)

(Photo of a frosty morning near Michelago, NSW from ABC)

Minna Pearl and Polly Marigold


, ,


Adaline Vayda
Adelaide James
Anika Rose Maria (Indira, Maja, Sebastian)
Blake Annette
Bridget Mary (Annie, Tom, Max, Jack)
Camellia Maree
Charlotte Astrid (Fletcher)
Claudia Joan
Clementine Anne
Dylan Luna (Ethan, Carter)
Edie Blue
Elizabeth Gretel
Eloise Quinn (Louella)
Evelyn Rosalie “Evie” (Austin)
Florence Stella
Francesca Maria
Freya Maddison
Gloria Scarlett
Grace Winter
Hadley Kathleen (Kensi, Nate)
Harlow Lorraine
Harper Valerie
Harriet Gwen (Lara)
Indie Adele (Charlotte, Sophie)
Indigo Ruth “Indi” (Ava)
Inez Louisa (Ollie, Fletcher)
Isabella Bridie Mari Barbara (Archer, Hudson)
Ivanna Ormi (Luella)
Jeanie Kate (Henry, Paddy)
Kendall Shian
Kovi (Wolfe, Reon)
Lottie Lee (Jack, Ruby)
Maddison Ida
Maple Marie (Amelia)
Minna Pearl
Mionette Rhonda
Naya (Kalidah, Maliyan, Tarni, Saul, Jili)
Noah Jane Joelle (Carter)
Odette Therese
Paige Evolette
Paisley Maureen
Peggy May
Polly Marigold (Mathilda)
Posy Eva
Quinn Sophia Emerald
Raven Rose
Rory Donna
Saffron Ciara
Sailor Hazel
Saskia Poppy
Sienna Lou
Sofia Anastasia
Spencer Lee
Sylvia Victoria
Sylvie Isla
Temarra Navtej
Tiarni Jade Leilani (Yutika, Riyala)
Varli Kate
Vivien Leigh (Estelle)
Winona Elkie

(Photo of beds of marigolds in a park in Toowoomba, Qld from ABC)


Famous Name: Forbes


, , , , , , , , , , , ,


Famous Namesake
Just before the Summer Olympics started this year, we lost our oldest Olympian – Forbes Carlile, who was 95. Forbes was a scientifically-trained pioneer in elite swimming coaching, using many of the training methods we take for granted today in sports physiology and psychology, and writing the first book on modern competitive swimming.

Forbes was Australia’s first Olympian post-war swimming coach, and the youngest Olympic coach when he began at the age of 27. He was the Australian swimming coach at the 1948 and 1956 Olympic Games, and Scientific Adviser at the 1960 Olympic Games; he coached the Dutch team at the 1964 Olympics.

Swimmers coached by Forbes won 12 Olympic medals including 5 gold, and set 31 world records. His greatest success was at the 1973 Swimming World Championships, which produced nine Australian champions, and his most successful student was Shane Gould, who held six world records simultaneously when she was 15.

Forbes is the only person so far to have coached at the Olympic Games, and then gone on to compete at Olympic level. He was the first Australian to compete in the modern pentathlon at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, where he came 25th overall and 10th in the swimming phase.

Forbes went on to receive many awards for his work as a coach and is in three sporting Halls of Fame, both in Australia and internationally. He and his wife Ursula were the first in Australia to open a commercial swimming school, still in operation.

A quote from Forbes Carlile demonstrates the thinking behind his success: Our aim is not to produce champions, but to create an environment where champions are inevitable.

Name Information
Forbes is a Scottish surname which comes from a place name in Aberdeenshire derived from forba, Gaelic for “field”. Clan Forbes claims to have owned land in this area since the 12th century, but the first Forbes on record is Duncan Forbes, in the late 13th century. The Forbes were raised to the Scottish Peerage in the 15th century, so the name has an aristocratic feel.

The name is well known in the United States, as members of the Scottish clan emigrated to America and became one of the wealthiest and most prominent in Boston. Politically influential, one of their best known members today is US Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry. Another Forbes from Aberdeenshire, of more modest origins, emigrated to the US later and is known for founding Forbes business magazine, famous for its rich lists, so either way this name signals money.

In Ireland, the surname Forbes can either be directly related to the Scottish name, as one of the aristocratic Forbes settled here in the 17th century, or can be an Anglicisation of the Gaelic name MacFearbhisigh, with the personal name Firbhsigh from the Celtic for “man of prosperity”. Whatever the origin, Forbes is a wealthy name.

The name is known in Australia from the New South Wales town of Forbes, named after the state’s first Chief Justice, Sir Francis Forbes. Sir Francis was related to the Scottish clan, and because of his family’s business links, had been educated in America and travelled there, which is said to be the source of his politically liberal views.

Forbes the town got bad reviews at first, with explorer John Oxley opining that it was impossible to imagine a worse country, due to the clay soil, poor timber, and swamps. Perhaps these weren’t mentioned on the brochure, as people did settle in the area. Everything changed when gold was discovered in 1861 and the population swelled by more than 30 000. A historic town, the bushranger Ben Hall met his end in Forbes, and Ned Kelly‘s sister Kate died a heroine here.

Forbes has been used as a personal name since the 18th century, where it was originally strongly associated with Scotland, but soon became much more generally used. In America, it was most commonly found in Boston. Although at first girls with the names Forbes weren’t particularly unusual, overall the name is overwhelmingly male.

Forbes is a very uncommon name. In the US, just 5 baby boys were named Forbes in 2015, while in the UK no baby boys are listed as having been given the name since 2008. I have occasionally seen Forbes used as a boy’s first name in Australia, but perhaps more often as a middle name. (This reminds me that a well known person with Forbes as his middle name is mathematician John Forbes Nash, of A Beautiful Mind fame).

Forbes is a rare surname name for boys redolent of success, wealth, power, nobility, and even long life. Although most of us like the idea of names which have positive meanings, namesakes and associations, some parents might feel that this one is almost too much. However, for a name with history and class behind it, Forbes is worth considering for your own future champion – at least in the middle.

The name Forbes received an approval rating of 39%. 28% were reminded too strongly of Forbes magazine, and 15% found the name pretentious. However 11% thought the name sounded strong and powerful.

(Photo from Carlile Swimming)

Name Update: The Name Sharing Sisters


, , ,

Hand holding a heart

Jenny and Sam were expecting a brother or sister for their son and daughter, and not only considering different names, but also thinking of how to co-ordinate two middle names if it was a girl.

Jenny and Sam recently welcomed their second daughter and have named her


baby sister to Tillie and Texas.

Saffy was their front-runner for a girl, while Lynda honours the memory of a beloved family member. In the end, Jenny and Sam chose Isabel as the first middle name because it is also one of Tillie’s middle names. Not only does Isabel sound good, but it provides a link with Saffy’s big sister.

Congratulations to Jenny and Sam on the birth of their third child! They have chosen a very sweet and pretty name with a meaningful name story.

Waltzing With … Rio


, , , , , , , , , , ,


Famous City
Today is the final day of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio – can you believe that London was already four years ago? This is the first time the Olympics have been held in South America, the first time the Summer Olympics took place in winter, and only the third time they have been hosted in the Southern Hemisphere. This was the first Olympics that a Refugee Olympic Team took part.

It’s been a rather controversial Olympics (although not as disastrous as the gloomy doomsayers predicted). However Rio has looked beautiful with its views of mountains and beaches, and the famous landmark of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city and its surrounds. No wonder Rio is one of the most popular cities to visit in the Southern Hemisphere, and why Australian entertainer Peter Allen had to write a song about it!

Congratulations to all the Olympic athletes, and see you all in Tokyo in 2020!

Name Information
The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro means “River of January” in Portuguese, and received its name because Portuguese explorers first sailed into its bay on January 1 1502, mistakenly believing the harbour was the mouth of a river.

The city itself was founded in 1565, and first called São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro in honour of Saint Sebastian, the patron of the Portuguese monarch. Just as the São Sebastião got dropped, the city is now often known as simply Rio (“River”).

Rio has been used as an English name since the 19th century, although it is not always possible to tell from records whether Rio was the person’s nickname. It was given to both sexes, but mostly to males, and in the US may have been influenced by the great south-western river the Rio Grande, or various places named Rio.

In fiction, guys called Rio tend to be tough and gritty, rebellious and sexy, or even butch and bullying. Female fictional characters named Rio include the heroine of the YA undersea novel Atlantia: in the book, the characters all have names connected with water, so a name meaning “river” makes sense.

Rio is also a popular Japanese girl’s name. It can be translated in a variety of ways, including “white jasmine and cherry blossom”, and “village centre of cherry blossom”. An example of someone with the name is Japanese child star Rio Suzuki. You will find the name used fairly often in anime and manga, and confusingly, sometimes for male characters too – an apparent Anglicisation of the Japanese boy’s name Ryu, meaning “dragon”.

If you tend to think of Rio as a masculine name, it’s probably because in Romance languages an O at the end of a name usually signals it’s male – Rio even looks as if it could be short for Mario. Also, the English name River is more popular for boys, so it makes some kind of sense for Rio to be as well.

If you think of Rio as a feminine name, it might be because you’re an older parent or young grandparent, and you’re thinking of the song Rio by Duran Duran where her name is Rio and she dances on the sand. In the song, the girl’s name is linked to the Rio Grande; the band have said that Rio is a symbol of their love for the United States (originally the girl in the song was called Amy, short for America, but Rio sounded more exotic so Rule of Cool won out).

Rio isn’t an unusual name in the UK. It has charted for boys since the late 1990s, around the time English football star Rio Ferdinand began playing for the national team; he went on to captain his side. The name peaked in 2008 at #155, the year after Rio Ferdinand’s autobiography was published. The name Rio is now #213 for boys, and its popularity has almost certainly been influenced by Mr Ferdinand.

Rio also charts for girls in the UK, and before Rio Ferdinand became well known, was actually more common as a female name. This is a good example of how just one high-profile person can cause a less-common name to do a gender switch. Rio has only been in the Top 500 for girls once, in 1997 – ironically the same year Rio Ferdinand joined the English national side. In 2014, 11 baby girls were given the name Rio in the UK.

Rio is less popular in the US, but more common for boys there as well. In 2015, there were 103 boys named Rio, and 38 girls. Numbers are fairly stable for both genders, but it does seem to be gradually falling for girls, and very slightly rising for boys. I have seen Rio on both sexes in Australia, but more boys than girls.

Whether you think of it as inspired by the city, or the Rio Grande, or simply an exotic nature name, Rio is a cool and spunky name for both boys and girls. It will be interesting to see if this year’s Summer Olympics will help bring about an increase in babies named Rio.

As a boy’s name, Rio received an approval rating of 74%. 38% thought it was okay, and only 9% hated it. It was far less successful as a girl’s name, with an approval rating of 47%. 34% disliked it, and only 9% loved it.

(Picture shows a view of Rio’s harbour from Mount Corcovado)

Name Update: The Birthstone Baby


, , , ,


Brooke and Ryan were expecting their third child in June. They had a few ideas in mind for a boy, and quite a few possibilities for girls – enough that it was hard to choose. Brooke wanted a traditional vintage-style that wasn’t too popular.

Brooke and Ryan welcomed their daughter late last month, and named her


a sister for big brothers Alexander and Charlie.

Pearl is the birth stone for June, while Florence is a family name. Brooke is very happy with the name they have chosen for their daughter, and absolutely loves it.

Congratulations to Brooke and Ryan on the birth of their daughter! What a beautiful meaningful name, and everything they hoped for.