About A Name: Pearl

April 25, 2012 § 9 Comments

The ultra-classy mineral, mined not in the ground but from oyster shells under the sea, has been popping up on birth certificates with a certain vengeance the past few years. An old-fashioned name somewhere between Ruby and Diamond on the trendy scale, a renewed interest in classy vintage fashionistas like Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn seem to have helped bring this name back around. But pearls have always had value.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, protagonist Hester Prynne names her daughter Pearl because she was “of great price, purchased with all she had, her mother’s only treasure.”

The past few weeks, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has announced the adoption of second daughter Emerson Pearl, and Jack Osbourne’s partner Lisa Stelly welcomed Pearl Clementine, Sharon Osbourne’s first grandchild, yesterday in Los Angeles. (Ozzy’s got a few already, kids of his daughter Jessica Starshine, from his first marriage.)

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April 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

Hanauma Bay, Hawaii

I know, right? ANOTHER vacation. But to know me is to know there is no world without travel, and I’m about to fly away for a sunny, mostly absent week in Hawaii. Though I’m sure it will prove yet another excuse for blogging inspiration, much like my post from last fall on Japanese names (which was lovingly reblogged by the magnificent Lou at Mer de Noms earlier this week!) Just look at FOX News LA reporter Courtney Friel, who welcomed daughter Cameron Kaiulani last week – we continue to love Hawaiian names and I will try to deliver!

In other news, I’ve recently made the decision to return to school. This means a) more time for name blogging, and b) an opportunity for better posts as I’m forced to break out of old habits and write with grades in mind again! I’m feeling really excited about the future, for myself and the blog, so stay tuned.

Aloha, ladies and gents – see you next week!

Baby, You’re a Star!

April 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

In celebration of the birth of Sweden’s future Queen – Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary, Duchess of Ostergotland on February 23rd in Stockholm, I was inspired to write a post in tribute to another theme we can’t get enough of in the naming world – the stars. And in case you’re wondering if you read my blog semi-regularly, yes, I love outer space.

The stars provide countless naming inspirations for us. First, there’s Estelle, which means “star” in Old French (a variation on Latin Estella that is nowhere near as overexposed these days as Stella). We love the word ‘star’ so much, we’ve gotten a little creative with it over the years – like Starlit, as chosen in captivity by California abduction victim Jaycee Dugard for her second daughter. Then there’s a multitude of names, like Orion, in honour of the ancient, storied constellations in our night sky.

The Swedish princess, the first future queen born to a future queen in Sweden’s history, and what she might be named, had been the source of speculation for months. And her birth may have been met with more fanfare stateside than it was, if William and Kate’s new puppy didn’t also get a name around the time of her birth! Nonetheless, Princess Estelle looks set to join a group of young females who are expected to one day be queen – Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, and Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands. The laws of primogeniture stand in the way for some, like Infantas Leonor and Sofia, daughters of Prince Felipe of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne, but the laws continue to fall away, country by country – even William and Kate’s firstborn, no matter the sex, will become Britain’s future king or queen following a unanimous decision by Commonwealth leaders at a summit last fall.

Estelle is reputedly in honour of Estelle (nee Manville) Bernadotte, wife of Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden’s ancestor Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg, a cousin to Victoria’s great-great-greandfather, King Gustaf V. Estelle Manville was the first American-born individual to marry a member of any European royal house on American soil, and she used her status as a countess to provide leadership and spread the work of the International Red Cross and, so very Kate Middleton of her, the Girl Scouts. (Or perhaps instead, it’s so very Estelle Bernadotte of the Duchess of Cambridge!) Estelle’s charitable endeavours continued long after Count Folke was assassinated in Israel in 1948 as a mediator for the United Nations following World War II, and Estelle Bernadotte was a beloved member of the Swedish Royal Family until her death in Uppsala in 1984.

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Is Maxwell the next Elliott?

April 8, 2012 § 2 Comments

Jessica Simpson may have let the speculation carry for weeks before she officially announced her first pregnancy last Halloween, but from that moment on, the singer and reality TV star has held nothing back discussing pregnancy or her baby-to-be. In her recent nude cover shoot for Elle, she told the magazine that the name she and fiance Eric Johnson had selected for their daughter, to be born later this month, was “non-traditional,” but not “out there.” She also ensured the name was set in stone, admitting that she was already having the baby’s name “embroidered on things.” (Done deal, then!)

So in that the name seems like a foregone conclusion, a source reportedly leaked their choice: Maxwell Johnson, to be called Maxi. Maxwell is Eric’s middle name and his grandmother’s maiden name, and Jessica’s been wearing an “M” necklace lately, so this rumour could prove true. But it’s not exactly a new trend, and I’m not the kind of blogger who balks anymore at the sight of a typically male name on a little girl – what got me was that actress Lindsay Sloane, once of Sabrina The Teenage Witch fame, beat Simpson to it in January when she welcomed daughter Maxwell Lue. Two girls named Maxwell in less than four months?

Maxi is fairly feminine (though it’s the name of reggae star Maxi Priest, a male who had a chart hit with rapper Shaggy, “That Girl,” and Argentinean footballer Maxi Lopez), and was the name of one of Barbie’s closest friends in the ’80s line-up of the dolls – Maxie was my personal favourite, in all her crimped-hair glory! Maxi also brings to mind a “maxi pad,” but I see this baby being colloquially referred to as just ‘Max’ quite often. After all, Simpson is often referred to simply as ‘Jess.’

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