If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
News You Can Use – Baby Names 2023
By David Bachelor, PhD
There will be a sharp decline in the number of graduates with the names “Harry” or “Meghan” in the Class of 2041. Conversely, it is still too early to tell whether these traditional monikers will be eclipsed by the likes of “RZA”,“Riot Rose”, “Yves, Saint & Laurent” and “Bentley.” The names people are selecting for their baby in 2023 are in the headlines this week.
Several journals picked up a story from the British web site, BabyCentre, that revealed baby names trending in the United Kingdom. The September 24th New York Post carried the headline, “‘Harry’ and ‘Meghan’ Baby Names Lose Popularity Amid Royal Drama: Study.” According to BabyCentre, “Harry” dropped from the 13th most popular name to the lowly 23rd position due to the bad press surrounding the Sussexes. “Meghan” did not even make the list of the top 100 names for girls.
Another British study, by luxury childrenswear brand La Coqueta Kids, noted a different trend. Its findings were the subject of the September 23 online newsletter GoodtoKnow headline “Parents Have Started Naming Their Babies After Luxury Brands and this Surprising Choice Makes the Top 10.” Fortunately for today’s kids, many of the luxury brands chosen are actual first names. The article noted, “Stella, influenced by the brand Stella McCartney, took the top spot as the most popular luxury brand-inspired name for baby girls, whilst Alexander took the top spot for baby boys – influenced by the luxury label and designer, Alexander McQueen.” Since most luxury goods carry the name of their founder, the worst thing a baby named for luxury brand will have to endure is a last name as their first name. The same cannot be said for the children of recording artist Rihanna.
The same day as their article on luxury brand baby names, GoodtoKnow also published, “Rihanna’s Children’s Names Explained, and Her Second Son Is Already Living Up to His Namesake.” The article explains Rihanna’s first son, RZA, is named after the lead rapper of the group Wu-Tang Clan who defines his name as “Ruler-Knowledge/Wisdom/Understanding-Allah.” Rihanna’s latest son is named, “Riot Rose”, which is described as a combination of “debate/dispute” and “flower.” The article does not offer any anecdotes to explain how Riot Rose embodies his name. Imagine a teacher who sees this name on their class roster.
All the names given to the patriarchs of the Bible have meaning. However, there were several baby names given in the Bible where the child was expected to live up to their name. The prophet Isaiah was told by God to name his son, Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isa 8:3). The name means “hurry to plunder, quick to loot.” God told Isaiah the child was to bear this name because, “Before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria” (Isa 8:4). Each of the three children of the prophet Hosea were given names that would be lived out in their lives. The most ominous was the name of Hosea’s third child, Lo-Ammi (Hos 1:9). God told Hosea that Lo-Ammi means “Not My People,” because God was saying to the nation, “You are not My people, and I am not your God” (Hos 1:9). This name probably did not get Lo-Ammi many invitations to social functions.
The best Biblical baby names were given to Jesus. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God told the prophet Isaiah that the coming baby would be called, “Immanuel” which means, “God with us” (Isa 7:14, Matt 1:23). In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, angels told Jesus’ birthparents to name their baby “Jesus” (which means, “He saves”). As the angel explained to Joseph, “For he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). In English, “Jesus” is not a popular baby name. Maybe that is because no one else can save people from their sin. Thank God there was a Baby who could do this! And every class since the Class of 33 has benefited from the kid who had this name.