Actress Melanie Vallejo, and her husband Matt Kingston, welcomed their first child a few days ago and have named their son Sonny. As well as her work in theatre, Melanie has been on several television shows, including playing Madison (the Blue Ranger) on Power Rangers Mystic Force. She is best known for her role of Sophie Wong on the popular drama series Winners & Losers. Matt is an advertising executive.
Journalists Ben Fordham and Jodie Speers welcomed their second child on October 1 (their wedding anniversary) and named their daughter Pearl Nellie [pictured]. Pearl is a little sister for Freddy, nearly 2; Freddy’s birth was covered on the blog.
News presenter Alison Ariotti, and her husband Gerry, welcomed their second child early this year and named their daughter Louisa; Louisa joins big sister Mila, aged 3. Alison is the weekend news presenter on Nine News Queensland. Gerry is an anaesthetist.
Two new babies for football players from the Adelaide Crows in the AFL:
David Mackay and his wife Sarah welcomed their first child on September 26 and named their son William Alexander. David has been playing for the Crows since 2008.
Nathan van Berlo and his wife Jess welcomed their first child on September 19 and named their daughter Zara May [pictured]. Nathan began playing for the Crows in 2005, was captain from 2011-2014, and retired at the end of this year’s season.
AFL footballer Mitch Robinson, and his fiancee Emma McNeil, welcomed their daughter Charlie on March 10, a sister for Chance, age 2. Mitch plays for the Brisbane Lions.
A-League footballer Roy O’Donovan, and his wife Ellen, welcomed a son named Alfie on March 17 this year. Roy is an Irish footballer who has played in Ireland, the UK, Brunei, and Indonesia, and is currently signed with the Central Coast Mariners.
Former cricket champion Brett Lee, and his wife Lana, welcomed their daughter Helena in December 2015. Brett also has a son named Preston from his previous marriage to Elizabeth Kemp. During his international career, Brett was recognised as one of the fastest spin bowlers in the world, and won numerous awards. As well as working as a cricket commentator and coach, Brett has also had some success as an actor and singer in India, where he is a popular figure.
Former rugby league footballer Jason King, and his wife Jackie, welcomed a son named Cruz in 2014, a brother for William, aged 2. Jason began playing for the Manly Sea Eagles in 2003, and retired in 2014. He also played for New South Wales and Country Origin.
Athletics champion Tamsyn Lewis, and her husband, former cricketer Graham Manou, welcomed a daughter named Izabella Indie on August 9 2014 [pictured]. The couple have a dog named Indie, and Izabella’s middle name is after their pet. Tamsyn began competing nationally in 1994, and has won 17 Australian Championships, and has won gold at three Commonwealth Games. She works in the media, and covered the most recent Olympic Games in Rio: she now competes under her married name. Graham played for South Australia and the Melbourne Renegades, retiring in 2012.
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The Spring Equinox has just passed, and I’m planning on doing lots of gardening in the school holidays. So here’s a name suited to the season of new life and growth.
Eve is derived from the Hebrew name Hawwah (in modern Hebrew, Chavah) which comes from both the word for “breath” and for “life”. It can be translated as “she who lives” or “source of life”.
The goddess Asherah, who was the wife of God in early Semitic tradition, held the title Chawat, which is the source of the name. Interestingly the word is from the same root as the word for “snake”, as these creatures are symbols of wisdom, and serpents were sacred to Asherah.
As the first pages of the Old Testament tell us, Eve was the first woman, created by God as a wife for the first man, Adam. God fashioned Eve from Adam’s rib while he slept. The story is quite similar to a Sumerian myth: in this case, the word for “rib” was a pun on the word for “life”, which explains why Eve was made from this body part.
Eve and Adam began in complete harmony with nature, living in the Garden of Eden as caretakers to the plants and animals, and eating only fruit and other plants. The couple were in a state of blissful innocence, and wore no clothes, for the Bible tells us that they were “naked and not ashamed”.
Apart from the simple requirements of daily gardening and animal husbandry, a raw food diet, strict veganism, and total nudity, God really only had one major rule and that was not to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is an impressive way of saying The Tree of Knowledge of All Things, or even just The Tree of Knowledge. He decreed that the punishment for this crime would be an immediate death sentence.
The Tree of Knowledge was right in the middle of the Garden of Eden so you couldn’t avoid seeing it, and it was an especially beautiful tree, laden with the most delicious-looking fruit. This was the start of the original “trouble in paradise”.
The snake was said to be the craftiest and most cunning of all the animals God had created, and in those days it walked upon legs. It was also able to talk, or perhaps Eve and Adam had the innate ability to understand the speech of all creatures.
This crafty, leggy, chatty snake schmoozed up to Eve and, without ever actually suggesting this would be a good idea, or that she should do it, the snake cleverly planted the idea in Eve’s mind that eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge would open her mind to untold wisdom. It would make her the intellectual equal of God, and the experience wouldn’t lead to death after all.
So what with these cunning arguments, and the tree being so delectable and accessible, Eve ate the fruit. She handed it over to Adam, and he ate it as well. It’s worth pointing out that the Bible says that Adam was right next to Eve the whole time, and had presumably heard all the same crafty snake talk without butting in with any counter-arguments, or insisting they’d better leave right now. Nope, he just hoed right in on a forbidden fruit binge.
Their minds now open to all knowledge, the first bit of information they received was they were walking around in the nude, and that made them feel suddenly ashamed. Hastily they sewed themselves loincloths out of fig leaves, and then hid from God, because another vital bit of info they’d gotten was that they’d done something incredibly bad, and now had this horrible gnawing feeling, which was guilt.
Part the knowledge they had imbibed was the ability to pass the buck, because once God started asking them a few probing questions Adam was quick to pin it all on Eve, and Eve was just as fast shifting all the blame on the snake.
Of course when God learned the truth, the proverbial hit the fan and there were major penalties handed out. The snake became legless so he had to crawl in the dust, and from now on humans would hate and fear him. Eve would suffer horrible pain during childbirth so that sexual desire would be its own punishment, and she would be subservient to her husband. The earth itself would turn against Adam, so that he would have to work and suffer for every mouthful he ate.
Finally God banished Eve and Adam from the Garden of Eden, because he was afraid that now they knew everything their next step would be to eat from the Tree of Life, which was right next to the Tree of Knowledge, and gave immortality to those who ate from it. Mysteriously, this tree wasn’t mentioned before and God never warned them off it. But he was worried now, and set some fiery cherubim to guard it.
It was only after all these events that Adam gave Eve her name, to show that she would become the mother of all humanity. Before this, Adam just called her Woman. It’s food for thought that Eve’s name came only after she had lost her innocence, and that Adam only knew her name when he had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge. Eve is a name born out of hard-won wisdom.
According to Christian tradition, Adam and Eve repented of their sin and were forgiven by God. They ascended into Heaven upon the Resurrection of Christ, and have been canonised as saints, with their feast day being Christmas Eve, aptly enough.
There has been a tendency to see Eve as responsible for the Fall of Man. She is often cast in the role of temptress, and the phrase “the wisdom of Eve” refers to feminine wiles. It is further extrapolated that all women are somehow more sinful by nature, and the Bible is sometimes used to justify women being kept in submission, even though hardly anybody seems to think that men as a sex should have to struggle and suffer for every bite of food.
Eve is a fascinating character. Unlike Pandora, she was not given to man to plague him, but made to be his companion, “flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone”. She is the first mother yet she isn’t primarily a fertility figure, but one who is hungry for wisdom and brings knowledge to the world. In a sense, her act made the world as we know it – not the natural world created by God, but the human world of thoughts and ideas, of good and evil, of choices and consequences.
Eve has been used as an English name since the Middle Ages, and was introduced by the Normans; there is a French saint named Eve who is the patron of the city of Dreux. The Latin form Eva was more common, but in everyday life the person might have been called Eve. The name has remained in use ever since, and in Ireland was sometimes used to Anglicise the name Aoife.
Eve first joined the charts in the 1950s at #409. The award-winning drama All About Eve came out in 1950, starring Anne Baxter as the scheming Eve Harrington. In the film, the name Eve is deliberately chosen to evoke a sense of deception. Another film of this decade was the 1957 The Three Faces of Eve, with Joanne Woodward winning the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a woman with multiple personality disorder.
The name Eve stayed around the 400 mark for decades, but began climbing steeply in the 2000s. It joined the national Top 100 last year. Currently it is #87 nationally, #95 in New South Wales, #65 in Victoria, and #46 in the Australian Capital Territory Territory. Last year it was one of the fastest-rising names for girls, going up 14 places, and was a fast-rising name in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
In the US the name Eve was almost continuously on the Top 1000 from the late 19th century until the mid 1980s, peaking in the early 20th century around the 400s. The name went off the charts in 1985, but reappeared in 1998 – the same year that rapper Eve Jeffers-Cooper, who performs under her first name only, began her career. Since then it has risen, and is now #475 and fairly stable.
In the UK, Eve joined the Top 100 in 1999, the same year British actor Clive Owen welcomed a daughter named Eve, and peaked in 2001 at #50. It left the Top 100 in 2010, the same year American rapper Eve began dating British entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper, now her husband. It is currently #161. Eve is still popular in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, and is in common use in France.
Eve is an ancient name, but one that has gained a very modern image, as it’s a favourite in sci fi to give to a “first woman” of some kind (the first gynoid or clone, for example), and also works well as an acronym, such as the robot EVE – Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator – in Wall-E.
This is a slim and trim modern classic underused for centuries due to the association with the biblical character, who is both our mother to revere, and blamed for our fall from grace. It is interesting that both Adam and Eve joined the charts in the 1950s, but Adam became popular almost immediately while Eve languished.
It’s never been able to match classic Eva (its Latin form) or popular Zoe (the Greek version), but it feels as if Eve’s day might be arriving. It fits in so perfectly with current trends for names such as Ava and Evelyn, and is a possible formal name for the popular nickname Evie.
Based on overseas trends, you wouldn’t expect Eve to go very much higher than it is already, but as every country has its own profile for Eve, we’ll have to wait and see what happens here.
The name Eve received an overwhelming 99% approval rating, making it the highest-rated name of 2016. 46% of people loved the name Eve, and only one person disliked it. Nobody hated the name Eve.
(Painting is Adam et Eve au jardin d’Eden by Gustave-Claude-Etienne Courtois, 1853-1923)
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, and his wife Laura Blythe, welcomed their fourth child on September 21 and have named their daughter Luna Ivy. Luna joins big sisters Edie, age 8, and Cleo, aged 6, and big brother Sidney, age 4.
Gillon comes from a sporting famiily as his father Angus was a first class cricketer, and his uncle Ian McLachlan, the former Minister for Defence, also played cricket and was President of the South Australian Cricket Association. Gillon is the brother of sports commentator Hamish McLachlan, who has been featured on the blog as a celebrity dad. Gillon himself has played amateur Australian rules football and represented Victoria in polo.
Gillon has been employed by the AFL since 2000, and was appointed CEO in 2014. Gillon and Laura met while they were both residents of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne.
(Photo shows Gillon and Laura with their three eldest children)
Thank you to Brooke from Baby Name Pondering for sending in this story, which was published in the “Herald Sun”. All celebrity baby name tips gratefully received!
Country music singer Mollie McClymont, and her husband Aaron Blackburn, welcomed a son named Ned some time this year. Mollie is a member of the country music trio The McClymonts, along with her sisters Brooke and Samantha.
Country singer-songwriter Sara Storer, and her husband David O’Hare, welcomed a son named Joe in 2015; he joined older brothers Tom, Bill, and Harry, all under the age of 8. Sara has won 18 Golden Guitars at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, seven of them in 2004, which is the most number of Golden Guitars won by a performer in a single year.
(Photo shows Sara and David with sons Tom and Harry, and baby Joe on Sara’s lap: Bill was the photographer)
Talkback radio host Chris Smith, and his partner Susie Burrell, welcomed twin boys on January 24 and named their sons Aengus and Henry [pictured]. Chris presents the afternoon show on 2GB, and, like all shock jocks, is considered a controversial figure. He has two other children from his previous marriage to Ali Smith. Susie is a nutritionist.
Weather presenter Sarah Cumming, and her husband, AFL coach Stuart Dew, welcomed their second child in October 2015 and named their son Jack Harry. Jack joined big sister Frankie, age 3; Frankie’s birth was featured on the blog.
AFL footballer Jake Stringer, and his partner Abby Gilmore, welcomed their second child on June 2 and named their daughter Arlo Lauren. Arlo joins big sister Milla, age 2, whose birth was featured on the blog. Jake plays for the Western Bulldogs.
Thank you to Ebony from babynameobsessed for contributing this story. All celebrity baby name tips gratefully received!