Lily, Amelia and Abigail replace Ella, Avery and Hannah in the girls’ top 10, and Jacob replaces Alexander in the boys’ top 10.
Other girl names used 5-or-more times in 2014, in order of popularity, include: Mannat, Juniper, Yuna, Avleen, Bria, Acacia, Ember, Isis, Juno, Japji, Jovie, Neve, Saskia, Asees, Harveen, Khaleesi, Queena, Ria, Sehaj, Winnie.
And other boy names used 5-or-more times in 2014, in order of popularity, include: Arlo, Bodhi, Angus, Atlas, Sage, Enoch, Huxley, Nikola, Daya, Kesler, Kyan, Jairus, Jujhar, Kaito, Koa, Rocky, Seamus, Terry, Tejas, Thorin.
I don’t normally watch television, but I’m visiting my Dad right now and he’s got his TV on all the time, so I haven’t been able to help it lately. :)
The other day I was walking past the TV set and heard the word ‘Alaska’ — a place I’ve long wanted to visit. So I stopped to see what was on. Soon I was hearing names like Atz, Atz Lee and Otto.
Who were these people? Where did they get such interesting names?
Turns out it was a reality show called Alaska: The Last Frontier, and the cast members were part of the locally famous Kilcher family.
Atz and Otto are the sons of homesteaders Yule Farenorth Kilcher (b. 1913) and Ruth Kilcher (b. 1920). Yule and Ruth left Switzerland for Alaska in the early 1940s. Yule went on to serve in the Alaska State Senate during the 1960s.
Yule wasn’t born “Yule Farenorth.” He was originally Julius Jakob [YOO-lee-us YAH-kob] but he changed his first and middle names after immigrating.
Yule and Ruth had a total of eight children — two boys and six girls. Here are the names:
Wurtila Dora (Wurzy)
Attila Kuno (Atz)
Sunrise Diana Irene
Stella Vera Septina (Bonnie)
Many of the above also gave their own children distinctive names, such as Cornelius, Davin, Ecaterina, Gawan, Olga and Saskia.
One of Atz’s children is pop singer Jewel Kilcher, a.k.a. Jewel. Her popularity in the mid-1990s helped push the baby name Jewel back into the U.S. top 1,000 in 1997:
1999: 453 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 557th]
1998: 490 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 516th]
1997: 330 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 665th]
1996: 168 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 1,098th]
1995: 154 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 1,141st]
And, moving forward another generation, one of Wurzy’s grandchildren is actress Q’orianka Kilcher, whose appearance in the movie The New World (2005) made Qorianka a one-hit wonder on the baby name charts in 2006.
(Q’orianka told the press that her name means “golden eagle” in Quechua, and it does seem to be based on the Quechua words for “gold,” quri, and “eagle,” anca, but I’m not sure whether it’s a legit Quechua name or a modern invention.)
So do any of you guys watch Alaska: The Last Frontier regularly? Have I missed any other good Kilcher names?
Reader Leanne is looking for a name for her baby girl. She says:
Names that have been shortlisted to date are Eliana Heidi and Melanie Jacinta. However, my nieces are Ariana and Stephanie so I would like [a name] that doesn’t sound too similar.
She liked the combination Hayley Melissa at one time as well, but the “-ley” ending doesn’t work with her married name, and she’d like to stay away from an alliterative pairing.
Other favourite names such as “Anneliesa” and “Shay-Lisa” seem to blend awkwardly with [my] surname and almost make it sound like the surname is “Sleazeman”.
That’s not good. Finally, she loves the name Heidi, though she’s “more inclined to use it as a middle name.”
There is German heritage in my husband’s family and whilst it would be nice to reflect that, it isn’t essential.
My first thought was to look for a few feminine-sounding German names. Nadya, Ottilie, Saskia and Tatiana fit the bill, but none of these are as modern-sounding as the names Leanne mentioned, so they may not be of interest.
Other possibilities include:
If you like the idea of anagrams but want to avoid sound-alike sets, I recommend anagrams with different numbers of syllables. Pairs like “Etta and Tate” and “Clay and Lacy” are a far more subtle than pairs like “Enzo and Zeno” and “Mary and Myra.”