About A Name: Romy

October 5, 2012 § 13 Comments

Romy Schneider

Aside from Rafael, there’s another R name I’ve been seeing a lot of lately – this one for the girls and much more notable in the English-speaking world. Romy has been bestowed on four celebrity babies so far in 2012, a spike in use after languishing in the wings for decades – always well-liked, but never exceptionally popular. Are Romy’s fortunes changing?

The name Romy is of Latin origin, a diminutive of Rosemary, which means “dew of the sea.” The lovely picture brings nature to mind, and retains a refined quality despite it’s nickname origins. Romy is also considered a cousin name to Roma, an Italian name which first found use in the late 19th Century, perhaps en vogue to the ancient city of Rome, named Roma by Evander in his daughter’s honour. Romy has been particularly popular in Germany in the second half of the 20th Century.

Romy be helped by the fact that the name has proven cross-cultural. British artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood and actor Aaron Johnson got things started in January when they welcomed daughter Romy Hero. French model Julia Restoin Roitfeld, daughter of longtime French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, welcomed Romy Nicole in New York this May. This summer, Dutch singer and Australian cricketer Ed Cowan both welcomed daughters called Romy, while German-British TV presenter Karen Webb had daughter Romy in October last year.

The recent spike tops another prominent year in 2006, when Italian-American filmmaker Sofia Coppola, French singer Calogero, and British novelist (and Bridget Jones Diaries creator) Helen Fielding all welcomed daughters named Romy, while Matt Lauer’s daughter Romy is almost nine. Filmmaker Rob Reiner and comedian and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David both have teenage daughters named Romy, while Ellen Barkin and Gabriel Byrne, American and Irish actors, have a 20-year-old daughter named Romy Marion.

This celebrity affection for Romy, including three filmmakers, might be down to the allure of German-Austrian French film star Romy Schneider (born Rosemarie Albach). She starred in films including What’s New Pussycat? in the US and Les choses de la vie and Une histoire simple in France. She twice won the Cesar Award, France’s equivalent of the Oscar. But her son David died tragically in 1981 at 14, and she essentially drank herself to death in her grief, suffering fatal cardiac arrest in 1982. Despite the tragedy of Romy Schneider, like Sophia, Ava, or Audrey, the name Romy carries an automatic, favourable sort of affection on behalf of it’s beautiful movie star ambassador. Granted, Schneider is less known in North America than in Europe, but it the name still resonates with numerous nationalities. Americans may liken the name to the late ’90s cult comedy film starring Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, with Oscar winner Sorvino playing Romy.

But despite all the love Romy seems to have going for it, actual use hasn’t translated in large quantities. The name has never been in the US Top 1000 (but parent Rosemary was a roaring favourite in the Jazz Age), and Schneider, whose film career lasted through the 1970s, is regarded as the name’s first notable wearer.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves – loves – the name Romy, though I’ve never seriously considered it for a future daughter. What about you? How high (or low) on your list is Romy?

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§ 13 Responses to About A Name: Romy

  • It’s definitely nowhere on my list and has been made impossible by other name choices.

    But I do see interest in the name spiking – even though Ed Cowan’s baby Romy was just a small announcement on the blog, two people have already left comments saying they are seriously considering this name for their soon-to-to-born daughters.

    Other names which have received this kind of attention are Cadel and Hazel – both names I now see regularly in birth notices. It makes me think it’s only a matter of time before I start seeing Romys.

  • Jim says:

    My daughter is 21 and is named Romy. She is very special and it is a very special name. I think it is a beautiful name.

  • Catherine says:

    An elegant, chic and simply beautiful name. Ed Cowan and Virginia Lette’s daughter Romy is just divine.

  • Francesco says:

    Because the name Romy is quite uncommon, I tend to like the name when I would meet a woman wearing that name. It’s more interesting than meeting a Mary or Sarah. And, after all, it is nice to hear another name than the usuals…
    Right?

  • Kirsten Berlie says:

    I just wanted to add that there’s also a girl on the reality show The Real L Word named Romi, though I don’t know how much impact she might have on future naming trends. At any rate, I really love the name!

  • Kirsten Berlie says:

    I just wanted to add that there’s also a girl on the reality show The Real L Word named Romi, though I don’t know how much impact she might have on future naming trends. At any rate, I really love the name!

  • elpnl020 says:

    I live in Amsterdam and just had a girl in June and named her Romy… My partner has an aunt Romy who is in her 50s and it seemed like a name that will allow her to be all sorts of girls: sweet, cool, boyish. No idea there were so many celebrity daughters out there.

  • Tracey Hyman says:

    My husband and I still couldn’t agree on a name and I was due to give birth any day. On a visit to a local Pizza Hut, my husband spotted our waitress’s name tag ‘Romy’ and that was it we fell in love instantly. He had heard of Romy Sneider, however I had never heard the name before. Romy now turns 18 this year (2014). At the time we named her, we knew of no other girls called Romy, however in the last 10 years we now know of at least 5 others (that live locally) and so the name is gaining popularity all the time. Even today when I say my daughters name to someone for the first time they always comment on what a beautiful name it is. Unfortunately, if you ask my daughter she will tell you that she doesn’t like it so much – but we still love it!

  • Emily says:

    My four day old daughter is named Romy-Niamh, her dad and I wanted something unusual but not ridiculous, and Romy fits that bill like a charm.

  • Sylvia says:

    There is a sweet little girl that comes into our shop regularly, Romy (she tells me her name rhymes with pony). She is the most delightful little person I have ever known which makes me love the name.

  • Jenny Miller says:

    28 years ago we named our daughter Romy and it is a name that suits her down to the ground. She absolutely loves it and so do most people who hear it for the first time.

  • Romy Perry says:

    I was named Rosemary at birth but my mother immediately nicknamed me Romy. I think my mom was a fan of Romy Schneider. Hate to say my age but I was born in 65 and I’m still only known as Romy.

  • romskiwrites says:

    I am 45, from the UK, and my name is Romy. I was named after Romy Schneider. I hated my name when I was younger as it was such a strange name and all I wanted to do then was fit in a bit. However, I love my name now as it’s so different, and still I haven’t met another Romy (and I don’t want to!).
    P.S. My name is pronounced as rhyming with Tommy not like the film Romy and Michelles High School Reunion (pronounced as rhyming with Foamy).

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