According to Statistics Sweden, the most popular baby names in the country last year were Alice and Noah.
Here are Sweden’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:
Alice, 706 baby girls
Noah, 745 baby boys
In the girls’ top 10, Vera and Lilly replaced Olivia and Freja.
In the boys’ top 10, Frans — which jumped to 9th place from 27th the year before — replaced Oscar.
The names in Sweden’s top 100 that rose the fastest from 2020 to 2021 were Alba and Ted. (The previous fastest-rising male name, Björn, was second-fastest this time around.) The names that saw the steepest drops in usage were Ronja and Vincent.
In 2020, the top two names were also Alice and Noah.
On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have (or conceive!) a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that perhaps isn’t as obvious as Eclipse itself).
So what are your options?
Names with “celestial” associations
A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…
The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…
I think Blake and Sullivan are particularly intriguing choices.
The English surname Blake can come from either of two similar Middle English words that happen to have opposite definitions: blac, meaning “black,” or blac, meaning “wan, pale, white, fair.” So it manages to encapsulate the concepts of both darkness and lightness — two key elements of an eclipse.
And the Irish surname Sullivan, “descendant of Súileabhán,” is based on the Gaelic personal name Súileabhán, meaning “little dark eye” — which sounds a lot like a poetic description of an eclipse.
Name combos with both “celestial” and “dark” associations
You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…
Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
Jett Samson: “black” and “sun”
Ciaran Sol: “black” and “sun”
Melanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)
Names (or name combos) featuring the letters “S” and “E”
This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…
Sela Selene (“moon” in Greek) Selma Seraphina Seren (“star” in Welsh) Serenity
Sean Sebastian Sefton Sergio Seth Severino
Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…
Sabrina Eden Sydney Elise Sarah Evangeline Susanna Elizabeth
Simon Elijah Spencer Ellis Shane Everett Samuel Edward
Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?
Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Quick disclaimer: Some of these names were already on the rise. Others were likely influenced by multiple pop culture events/people (not just the one listed). So I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence for yourself.
Pop culture influence: the Confederate flag debate.
Update, 5/12/16: The state-by-state data was just released. Of the 83 baby girls named Rebel, 12 were born in Texas, 9 in California, 8 in Arkansas and 6 in Oklahoma. Of the 45 boys, 7 were born in Texas and 5 in Tennessee.