The Baby Names Podcast – Episode #70
Virtue & Expectation Names

DJ Ric: You’re listening to the International hit show, The Baby Names Podcast. And here are your hosts: The Moss Sisters!

J: I’m Jennifer Moss

M: And I’m Mallory Moss

J: And we’re the founders of

M: And we’re sisters, too!

J: Our first segment is interesting names we found since the last episode. And I saw a nickname that I had NEVER seen EVER before for the name Elizabeth. I spotted it in TV credits somewhere. Mal, can you guess it?

M: Hmm… Betsy?

J: No, I would have seen Besty! (laughs)

M: Betty, Beth, Eliza, Liz, Lizzy…? Maybe Eli?

J: That’s a good guess! It was Zabeth!

M: Zabeth!?

J: Isn’t that interesting? And speaking of Elizabeth, our sympathy does go out to the British Royal Family who just lost their patriarch this week, Prince Phillip.

M: Yes, we are very sorry for your loss. My names this week for girls are Lena. Lena is female and is Hebrew for woman of Magdala. Didn’t we just discuss something with that same meaning? I think it was on our live cast.

J: Well, it’s short for Magdalena. That’s why, it’s Hebrew for Woman of Magdala.

M: I also want to shout out the name Corbin, which I think is a great name and could compete with names, like Theo. Corbin means raven. Lastly, I want to talk about Saturday’s name of the day: Scoop. It is a Native American name of the Sioux tribe. I love it!

J: It reminds me of a junior reporter! “Hey Scoop!” And before we start our Names topic, I wanted to report on the American Name Society’s NAME of the YEAR competition.

Each year the members vote on a Personal Name of the Year, Place Name of the Year, Trade Name of the Year (company or product), Artistic or Literary Name of the Year, E-name of the year (things that exist in the virtual world, that’s a new category), and Miscellaneous Name of the year. So for 2020 the 14th annual winners were:

For Personal Name: George Floyd, I like that one.
For Place Name: Wuhan, China– won by a narrow majority over Four Seasons Total Landscaping (laughs)
The Trade Name of the year: ZOOM! (Of course) Which won over pfizer, moderna, and N95 mask
The Artistic/Literary Name of the year was Schitt’s Creek! Great show… if you haven’t seen it, go back and watch it, it’s so funny.
The E-Name of the year was, unfortunately, QANON, and FBI warns that Qanon poses a serious potential domestic terrorist threat.
The Miscellaneous Name of the year was COVID-19, which won with 80% of the vote.

M: Wow, that’s a lot! Well, it will be interesting to see what names are nominated for 2021!

J: As we put everything behind us, right! The American Name Society name nominations are open to everyone, and they usually open in December. So stay tuned and we’ll let you know when that happens.

J: So the topic of the week is EXPECTATION NAMES!

M: We’ve mentioned this in several of our previous episodes and also when we report on celebrity names. I know one particular episode we did a short segment on Expectation Names– “The Very Worst” baby names EVER!”

J: Yes, but I felt, since they’re becoming SO popular again, that they warranted their own show.

M: Jenn, why don’t we begin by defining what we mean by Expectation Names!

J: Okay. I define an expectation name as a name that is either a dictionary word or a brand name that has a specific connotation or meaning that instills an expectation into your child. Usually an expectation on their character, behavior, or success in life. So what’s so bad about that, you ask?

M: Although expectation names can be beautiful and uplifting, one of the biggest problems is that they could become a joke name indirectly, such as if someone is the opposite of the meaning of their name. I am overweight and it would be like someone calling me “Slim.”

J: What we have dubbed “expectation” names are definitely not new. Names of people on the Mayflower include Remember Allerton, Humility Cooper, and Resolved White– now that just sounds like a laundry detergent! The puritans believed that a name should remind its bearer of their duties to God or of blessings received from God.

M: The most popular puritanical names for girls were those of the three Christian virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity. In fact, Faith and Hope were also used for boys back then. Other gender-neutral names included Abstinence (scoffs), Prudence, Perseverance, Temperance, Repentance, and Humility.

J: But, and this is really gross, girls were given subservient names like Silence, Obedience, and tace.

M: Tace? That’s kind of pretty.

J: Yeah, but in Latin it means “Shut up!”

M: Alright, that’s not so pretty.

J: No. And there were many names that were to remind the child to basically “Keep the faith.” Babies were named Kill Sin, More Fruit, and Be Faithful. According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor, which we’ll link in the show notes, there were many children named Hate-Evil, Fear-Not, and Sin-Deny. A preacher who was a pal of Oliver Cromwell actually named his son If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barebone. Where Barebone was his last name. But, the boy went by Nicholas.

M: This wasn’t the norm, though – 80% of Puritans gave their children Biblical names. Names we’d use today like John, Mary, Sarah, or Jacob.

J: So those who gave them the expectation names, or puritanical names, were the real fundamentalists. But were they really doing it to instill that characteristic into their child? Or to faith-signal, I just coined that term, showing their social circle how religious and faithful they were?

M: Good point! I bet that could also apply to parents in current times who give their children expectation names. Is it about the child or themselves?

J: Right – like is it a form of virtue signaling? Which is a buzzword right now, but a new definition of something that’s been happening for millennia. Virtue signaling is when you publicly announce you’re doing something virtuous for the accolades or the praise. “I’m so pious and religious that I name my baby Keep-the-Faith.”

M: Or, it might signal something else. Remember old Christmas Abbott from our Names from Big Brother episode? Her boyfriend cheated on her when she was pregnant with their child. She was arrested in 2019 for attacking the other woman, ramming into her car repeatedly. So then she has the baby– a boy– and names him Loyal.

J: Pretty obvious that it was about her and the baby daddy. Interesting thought though, I wonder if she would have named it Loyal if the baby had been a girl? Was she just projecting because she had a boy and knew the name would piss off the father?

M: Yeah, I think that is a perfect example of a name giving false expectations that you are going to be superhuman. I don’t mean that only with the name Loyal. Obviously, being loyal is a great virtue, but it also can stop you from being, well, just human. Humans are not fallible.

J: Correct, and back to the Puritans: they, by the way, got their name from wanting to “purify” the Church of England when it was going through Reformation. So some additional Puritanical names include Faint Not, Make Peace, God Reward, Return, Fight the Good Fight, Meek– I bet Meek was a girl– and God Reward.

M: I’m glad we’ve moved past that. I would not have wanted to be named More Fruit Moss. I just started a diet, though, and fruit is “free” when counting points. Therefore, I want more fruit!

J: (laughs) Okay, I’m gonna call you More Fruit Moss from now on! So, this pattern of expectation names has actually become popular again. It’s 2021, and there are expectation names popping up on the name charts– both our charts, and the U.S. Birth Charts. Modern expectation names aren’t necessarily about religion anymore. Some are about character, like Honor and Loyal, some are about social issues like Justice, and some are what I call “exalted”– title names like Queen, Majesty, and Royal.

M: Jenn, do you see a cultural difference between people who name their babies expectation names? I think it’s important that we address this.

J: Thanks for bringing that up. We are discussing these names from a cross-cultural perspective. However, with cultures and races that have been historically oppressed, giving your child an exalted name or one like Justice has a whole different meaning, and many many layers to it. It can be a way to instill power and self-confidence in the child, in a world where you have been historically powerless.

M: Therefore, we want everyone to know that we are not making fun of these names, just talking about the potential effect that it could have on the child growing up with that name. Okay, back to the names. I’m actually okay with the word Justice, especially nowadays. I think that could be used by someone nodding to the justice reforms so needed right now. I also want to talk about the hyper-tough names that have been appearing on the charts in the past couple of years, like Axel, Remington, Dagger, Ruger, Blade – and certainly anything else that has to do with weapons.

J: Yes, and of course those are given mainly to boys. And then there are other names with negative connotations, like I just found out about a child who had Chaos as their middle name. That’s horrible, but at least the parents put it in the middle?

M: So here are some expectation names that have made the top 1000 names for actual babies in the U.S. according to the Social Security office of the actuary.

Oh, here’s one that has become SUPER popular: MAVERICK. Currently at #58 on the boys’ chart, the official definition of Maverick is a person of independent or unorthodox views. But it has come to mean a person with a stubborn streak of independence – a high-risk personality who doesn’t play by the rules.

J: Yeah, and a maverick makes for a great protagonist in any fictional story – and often does. In the 1986 film Top Gun, a hyper-tough movie about an elite military flight school, the main character’s name is Maverick, and he is one. Well, that’s his nickname – the character’s real name is Pete Mitchell – not so tough. But Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, is an iconic character!


J: Alright Goose, continue with the boys.

M: Okay, #66 is Hunter – self explanatory, #73 is Roman and although that literally means “person from Rome” it does give off the impression of a Roman Gladiator. #77 is Jameson – an alcohol name?

J: Okay, so liquor names… possibly expectation… depends on how you identify with liquor, I guess. Good time? Sophisticated? And alcohol names can feel so completely different on a boy than a girl – as gender expectations are so different. Like a boy named Jameson is not so bad, but a girl named Tanqueray or Tequila? She’d be judged.

M: Many girls were named Bailey.

J: Yeah, but not after the liquor – that trend started from the late 70s tv show WKRP in Cincinnati.

This is a good place to take a break – we’ll be back with more on expectation names in a hop-skip.


J: Welcome back!

M: We’re talking about expectation names and going through the boys list on the US birth charts. You know, Axel has become ubiquitous all of a sudden, and I’m seeing a lot of Ryders, and Rykers.

J: I’m REALLY surprised at RYKER, since it’s the name of an infamous prison complex in New York – Ryker’s Island. To me, it’s like naming a kid Alcatraz.

M: Well… Alcatraz is a cool name. Al for short.

J: Yeah, after it’s most infamous resident, Al Capone!

M: Ryker is also the brand name of a 4-wheeled motorcycle. And speaking of motorcycles, there’s Harley – one of the most famous motorcycle manufacturers and motorcycle brands – it is #809 on the boys list but #273 for girls!

J: I think I would attribute Harley on the girl’s side to the comic character Harley Quinn from the DC universe, not the motorcycle. Harley Quinn – played by Margot Robbie – has been featured in the recent movies Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn. In fact Actor/Filmmaker Kevin Smith named his daughter Harley Quinn Smith.

M: Ok, I completely disagree. I am pretty sure it’s because of the motorcycle at least with babies born over the last 20 years.

J: You can disagree, but you’re wrong.

M: No, I think you’re wrong! Okay back to the boys’ chart in the 200s we have Colt AND Remington – two firearm brand names, and then there’s Ronan – an imposing comic character from the Marvel Universe who is “a radical Kree warlord.” Ronan was also the name of 12 saints. And then we can’t forget the names Jett and Gunnar.

I’m looking at #310 and this is a name we mentioned in the last episode, “How to pronounce Irish names with Dusty Rhodes,” and that is Killian. I know it’s a traditional Irish name – spelled with a C in Ireland, but on the US charts it’s spelled with a K. I feel that could be considered a violent name because of the word kill in it, but as many of us know, it is also the name of a beer.

J: Yes, considering the other tough and violent names on the charts though, Killian could be on the charts because of its more violent meaning. There is an actor named Cillian Murphy, with a C, but they’re more a character actor and not quite on the A-list yet. They usually play a villain.

Further down on the boy’s chart there’s Major at 351 – what I call an “unearned title” name, Gage, Wilder, Cannon (which is a weapon) Axton, Titan, Talon at #702 which is the claw of a bird, Bear at 896, Blaze at 910, and then another firearm manufacturer – Wesson at 915.

M: But there are other types of expectation names on the Boys’ charts, some that are not so tough. For example, speaking of Puritanical names, Sincere was ranked 607, with 448 boys named Sincere in the U.S. in 2019! There’s Angel (or an-HEHL) at 72, popular with LatinX boys. Let’s not forget Legend at 150.

J: Yeah, I don’t think Legend is so bad, but it does instill kind of an expectation that they have to be great or legendary. Now, we see King at 158, and then one that I just can’t with… that’s Messiah at 193. I cannot believe that over 2000 baby boys were named Messiah in the United States.

M: I mean, people name their sons Jesus or Jesús…

J: Yeah, but Messiah means savior. Jesus is a name, Messiah is a title, and the ultimate savior of a religious group. So, that’s a lot to hang on a child.

M: Hmmm, that’s an interesting one for me. I wonder if there are any babies named God out there. I don’t think Messiah is a great name for a child, especially because of the nickname… which would be what, Mess? Now, onto my favorite artist, who changed his own name to a symbol and then back again: Prince! The name is at 298 but we’re going to let that slide because we love Prince Rogers Nelson. (sings) I just want your extra name and your–

J: Okay.

M: Oh. Romeo at 346 – that is a Shakespeare name, of course, but also has become a term meaning someone – a man usually – who is a romancer. Sterling is 409– on the cusp.

J: Sterling does mean excellence and brilliant, but I think it’s also been a surname for so long that it’s acceptable as a non-expectation name. Sage is another one – it could mean a very wise person/teacher, or just a spice.

M: Who is the actor named Sterling?

J: Oh, Sterling K. Brown from This is Us. K for Kelby! And there’s the adult cartoon character ARCHER STERLING.

M: Reign is at 769, and it’s one of those royal names. And then there’s Legacy at 830.

J: What’s with Banks at 917? I know that Hilary Duff used it for her daughter, but do you think that implies an expectation of wealth?

M: You know… not at all. To me, that’s associated with the family from Mary Poppins. I think it’s just a surname that’s become popular for babies.

J: Okay on the girl’s side we have Grace at 28, always a popular name, Serenity at 79, and Faith at 125. Now, I feel Eden is an expectation name – conjuring up the story of Adam and Eve and the garden.

M: I don’t consider Eden an expectation name. I think it’s a place name. We’re disagreeing a lot this episode!

J: I know!

M: OK, let’s see, there’s Harmony at 169, Trinity at 179 (if referring to the Holy Trinity), Hope at 230… amazing how those three virtue names are STILL on the charts!

J: I know, it is! Destiny at 309. Again, kind of on the cusp, it could mean that you have a great destiny, or it could just be people like the sound of it. Haven at 312, Royalty at 340 which I think is an “ugh”, Joy at 346, Felicity 361. And Felicity, I feel like that and Sunny, is like an expectation for a girl to be happy all the time. Like women saying, “Don’t tell me to smile.” Remington is 375 on the girls charts, Angel 395, Heaven 423 – no backwards spelling necessary.

M: Speaking of Heaven backwards, Neveah, it just made the top 1000 on the Social Security List, at 998.

J: (blows raspberry)

M: I know you hate the name, but I think it’s kind of pretty. What don’t you like about it?

J: Well first, all I can think about is one of my favorite Youtubers, Kitboga, who has a character named Neveah and she’s kind of a VALLEY girl… “I’m Neveahhhh,” but I just think the whole concept is strange. Do we name babies dog because it’s god backwards? I just don’t like Neveah, I think it’s weird. Anyway, what about DREAM at 527? Is that an expectation name or just a dictionary name?

M: You know, if it was Dreamy, then it would be an expectation name. But I think as it is now, it’s a dictionary name. There’s Justice at 578 for girls, 598 for boys, Legacy at 614, Treasure 717, Princess 769, and you mentioned Royalty, Royal isat 793.

J: What do you think about Navy at 811? Does that pertain to the military, or the color?

M: Well, I think it’s probably more like the military. It’s kind of a cool name, but what if the baby wants to join the Army?

J: True! Now, we’ve got a super-puritanical name: PROMISE at 848, Hunter at 865 on the girl’s chart, Dulce at 877 which means SWEET in Spanish, Heavenly at 907, and Queen at 984. So talking about PROMISE, the Social Security list only goes back to 1900, but it only appeared on the top 1000 in 2018. I think that’s interesting.

M: It shows you the puritanical names ARE coming back!

J: Now we could also include CELEBRITY or BRAND names that definitely instill a connotation or expectation, like naming someone Jagger, Marley, Beckham, Armani, Chanel or Bentley – we have a whole episode on Brand Names so go back and listen to that one if you haven’t already.

M: You know, though, naming a child after a celebrity could also mean that you just love their music and want to honor the artist.

J: I guess that’s true.

M: Which is why we’re giving a pass to the name PRINCE! (laughs)

J: Ya ya ya, okay, that’s a good point.

M: Now we all know that celebrities have a huge influence on baby naming trends, so let’s go over the celebrity babies that have been given expectation names!

J: OK, there are many! The first one I remember in my life was Chastity Bono. I remember Mom just BALKING at the name, saying how horrible it was that Sonny and Cher IMPOSED that name on their child. She even explained to me what it meant. Now, Chas was born in 1969, so I would have been six.

M: Chastity is defined as “the state or practice of refraining from sexual intercourse.”

J: Yeah, and what’s so surprising looking back as an adult, is that Sonny and Cher were so “with it” – they were portrayed as like the hippest, coolest, couple – very hippy-liberal. So it completely went against type to give their child a virtue name. I guess we really don’t know what they were like in private, though.

M: Good point! So looking at recent celebrity births, there’s Sunny Cinco, daughter of Cassie Ventura and Alex Fine.

J: Hey, and you know like we said, Sunny is kind of on the edge of whether it’s an expectation name or not. I think it’s an expectation to be happy.

M: I think Sunny is an expectation name but that it’s so mainstream right now, I think it’s okay as a baby name.

J: I also put Chapel Grace Brolin on the list, daughter of Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd. I know people have been naming their kids Christian/Christina/Christopher for centuries, and you know Chapel Grace is very religious-adjacent, but I wonder if the child grows up and decides they don’t want to be in the same faith as the parents, what happens then? I had a female friend named Christian, it was spelled Cristaine but pronounced Christian, and when she became an adult she just ditched that and became Michelle.

M: I completely disagree about Chapel. I think you can name a child something related to your religion. I’m not even sure if that name counts as an expectation name. If there’s a difference in religion, then so be it. Alright, what do you think about the name of the daughter of Nick Cannon and Brittany Bell, that is Powerful Queen Cannon?

J: Well you have to remember that people go by first and last names. So although they meant it to be POwerful QUEEN, this baby will be known as Powerful Cannon! So, to me, that’s very weapony and tough. Brittney Taylor and Martin Louis Feezy Jr. named their daughter something similar: Legacy A’Queen.

M: Kel Mitchell has a family of expectation names, the newest being Honor Johari-Rice. The other kids are Lyric, Allure, and Wisdom.

J: We talked about that, I remember.

M: I think Lyric is a beautiful name. Now I think my favorite celebrity expectation name recently is Olympia Lightning Bolt! I don’t care if she becomes a runner, an Olympian, a construction worker, or a ballerina. That name is the best even if it mixes up dictionary names. Olympia Bolt sounds great. So guys, if you are going to do a joke name, at least have it be part of the middle name.

J: Right! Now actress Jessica Alba named her daughter Honor, and she has a Haven. And her brand of baby goods is called HONEST. So, that makes me WONDER if she’s had trauma in her life centering around faithfulness or DIShonesty. What do you think?

M: Yeah, could be, but I kinda think not! And we can’t finish the episode without another family of expectation names… the KARDASHIANS!

J: For Sure!

M: There’s Saint, Reign, True, Psalm, Dream. I think they’re trying to outdo each other.

J: As we said, Dream isn’t so bad. Not really an expectation but Saint is so unfair to impart on a child. And ONE LAST THING that I want to add, and we’ve discussed this briefly in a past episode, but naming a child after YOURSELF is also considered an expectation.

M: Naming sons after a father has been a naming convention going back to – well – the beginning of time.

J: And initially it was done so people could identify you. John the Rock Splitter – son of John the Rock Splitter. But in the 20th and 21st centuries, naming a child after a parent has faded as a naming convention for several reasons. I think first and foremost, we are embracing individuality as a virtue, now, and there’s less of a need to conform – or identify with whom you belong to or what family you’re from. Now two, it also implies that the child has to “live up to the parent” they’re named after.

M: Yeah, and 3, what if you don’t like the parent? That happens and you may not want to be the namesake. Also, 4, it’s confusing within the household. Our sister Kate named one of her children after his father and we’re like do we call him Dwight? Ike? Which is which?

J: Yes, and in that case the child is given a diminutive nickname to differentiate – like Little Ike, or Junior, Jimmy, John the Rock Splitter the Younger. And that FURTHER instills the idea that he/she is LESS THAN or just a part of the original parent. I’ll tell you right now – I didn’t have a good relationship with our father – and I would NOT have wanted to be named after him.

M: Well, you kept his surname.

J: Yeah, I did, but that really wasn’t his surname it was a madeup family name.

M: Yah, that’s true. SO THAT dear listeners, is EXPECTATION NAMES. What do YOU think of them? Do you think they help or hurt a child? We want to know YOUR opinion, so write us at

J: Or join our Facebook group – The Baby Names Podcast – to interact with us and other name enthusiasts.


DJ RIC: And now it’s time for…CELEBRITY BABY NEWS!

M: We first want to congratulate Henry Golding and wife Liv Lo. Their baby was born on March 31st. They have not released the name or gender yet. We will update you as soon as we know.

J: Welcome Baby Golding! Singer Aaron Carter and fiancee Melanie Martin have announced she is pregnant. This follows a miscarriage in June of 2020. We send our very best wishes to them for a safe and healthy pregnancy.

M: Pro tennis player Taylor Townsend had a daughter on March 14. She named her Adyn Aubrey Johnson. She has not released any further details, but it seems like we can assume that the baby’s father’s last name is Johnson.

J: I can’t believe Aiden is still so popular, and now we’re re-spelling it for girls! So crazy! Anyway, singer/songwriter Jason Derulo and model Jena Frumes have announced they are expecting a boy! I wonder if he’ll be able to sing like BUTTAH, just like his dad.

M: Well Leslie Odom Jr, also known as Aaron Burr from the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, has announced the birth of his son with wife Nicolette Robinson. They named him Able Phineas. Able is a Hebrew name meaning a breath. Phineas is Hebrew for Nubian. They also have a daughter Lucille Ruby. I love that name!

J: Able – spelled that way – is also considered an expectation name. And another one is Sunny Cinco Fine, daughter born to Rapper Cassie Ventura and husband Alex Fine. Their older daughter is named Frankie Stone.

M: Oh, Franke Fine is such a cute name! What do you think? Is Sunny Fine as cute as Frankie Fine?

J: I think it sounds very Shirley Temple (imitates Shirley Temple). Hilary Duff had her third child on March 24th, the second with husband Matthew Koma. They named the baby girl Mae James Bair.

M: James is becoming more and more popular for a girl lately!

J: Yes, and I like it. Actor Frankie Muniz had his first child with wife Paige. They named the baby boy Mauz (pronounced like PAUSE) Mosley Muniz. The baby was born on March 22nd.

M: I don’t know this name at all. My first instinct is that it looks too much like Maus, a book about the Holocaust.

J: That’s exactly what I thought, too!

M: I’m not sure many people will have that association, though.

J: I don’t know… I mean, wasn’t it a cartoon? Maus?

M: Yeah, I mean it was a graphic novel.

J: Yeah. I hate it. Maus Muniz, Maus Muniz, bleh! Sounds mush-mouthy!

M: You’re mush-mouthy!

J: I am! Shawn Johnson has announced that baby #2 is a boy, with husband Andrew East. Their first child was daughter Drew Hazel.

M: Surfer Bethany Hamilton has given birth to a boy with the help of husband Adam Dirks. That doesn’t make sense.

J: Well maybe he helped, you don’t know!

M: Well, he helped in one way at least! They announced the birth of their son: Micah Ward Dirks. Micah is a Hebrew name that means “Who is like God?” Ward means guardian. The baby, who was born on Valentine’s Day, follows big brothers Tobias and Wesley.

J: I like that, Micah Dirks. Short and sweet. Katharine McPhee and David Foster have welcomed their new baby boy: Rennie David Foster. Rennie is a Medieval diminutive form of Reynold or Reginald and means brave ruler. David, named after the father, means beloved.

M: Hm… okay so beloved ruler I guess? Bindi Irwin gave birth on March 25, which is her wedding anniversary to husband Chandler Powell! That’s so cute! They named their baby girl Grace Warrior Irwin Powell. She said that Grace was a family name on both sides and that Warrior Irwin is in honor of her father, Steve Irwin, whom she called the greatest wildlife warrior.

J: Aww, that’s so sweet. Royal news!!! Zara Tindall, daughter of Princess Anne, has had her third child with retired rugby player and current podcaster, husband Mike Tindall. They named him Lucas Phillip… that’s kind of boring. Philip is a timely middle name given the recent passing of Prince Phillip, but it’s also the name of Mike’s father. Lucas’ older sisters are named Mia Grace and Lena Elizabeth. Listen to this, when Zara went into labor, they realized that she would not make it to the hospital on time, so the baby was born on the bathroom floor! Luckily, the midwife was not far away.

M: Ooh, ow! Other sorta royal news is that Pippa Middleton and James Matthews named their baby girl Grace Elizabeth Jane. I’m definitely seeing a trend of Elizabeth and Phillip as middle names for the British family, which certainly makes sense.

J: I wonder what’s going to happen with Harry and Meg’s baby…

M: I have a feeling it’s gonna break that tradition.
J: Well she says she has a good relationship with Elizabeth…

M: Maybe they’ll name her Phillipa?

J: Which is Pippa’s real name!

M: Oh it is?

J: Yeah. That’s what Pippa’s short for. Anyway, some short snippets to wrap it all up: Kirsten Dunst has announced that she is expecting her second child with partner Jesse Plemons. Emma Stone and her husband Dave McCary have had their baby, no details released as of yet. And an update on Wilmer Valderamma and Amanda Pacheco: they named their baby girl Nakano Oceana Valderrama. They said they chose Nakano after the city in Japan where they had a very meaningful visit.

M: I wonder if that’s where the baby was conceived!

J: That would be pretty meaningful! (laughs)

M: Anyway, that was a lot of baby names!


J: And now for our last segment, where we answer letters from you, our listeners! Wanna take the first one?

M: Sure! (reads message)

Hi guys,
I am looking for information about the name Éala. I believe it’s pronounced Ay-la, but without the fada Ah-la? Has this name ever came up in previous podcast?


J: Thanks Aaron! I don’t think it has come up in any of our previous podcasts about Irish names. It’s actually spelled (E-fada-A-L-A). It is pronounced Ayla. And I looked on the Irish charts, and they just released the charts for 2020, and Éila was ranked 628 for baby girls, with only 5 baby girls named Eila in the country. And I’ve seen some sources say it means “swan” but I really cannot find any authoritative source for its meaning, so we’ll keep looking.
M: Alright, well the white princess in Swan Lake was Odette.
J: So??

M: That’s a pretty name but has nothing to do with his question. I just wondered if that’s where it came from, so I looked it up. Doesn’t the name Ayla come from Clan of the Cave Bear?

J: I don’t think it comes from there, but it’s the protagonist of the series.
Alright, here’s the second one– a beautiful letter!

Dear Jennifer & Mallory:
I wanted to say thank you so much for being the #1 resource for baby names.
I emailed you at least a year ago about the name Lochlyn for a girl, asking if a gender neutral name would be beneficial should we ever have a girl. You both recommended we go with a name we both loved regardless of gender neutrality or not, and raise her to be strong. I loved that. I wasn’t even pregnant at the time.

Between then and now, I had 2 miscarriages before I finally got pregnant with our rainbow baby, a girl. Through everything, I kept listening to the podcast. It gave me comfort to know someday I WOULD name another baby.
Baby girl arrived this past November. We did not name her Lochlyn, but Cassidy Blair. Cassidy was a name I had for a long time on my Baby Names list. I found it because I loved the nickname Cassie, but wanted a longer, more formal name. As for Blair, my husband and I spent an evening going back and forth on your site with 1 syllable names. Blair just stuck, and it fits her perfectly.

Ironically, her name story is similar to my 4 year old son’s. My husband loved the nickname Brody, but I wanted something more “adult” as an option. We landed on Broderic and then worked his middle name from there. His full name is Broderic Zane.
Again, thank you. For being a comfort in my darkest days and for helping us name my favorite people.


M: Wow, okay great letter, thank you so much!

J: That makes it all worth it, doesn’t it, Mal?

M: Yeah, exactly. I like both children’s names. And I like the three beat, one beat, two beat cadence to both names. Cassidy Blair, Broderick Zane. I can tell they put a lot of thought into the names and how they would sound and go together. I like this kind of matching more than I like siblings with alliterative names.

J: Or rhyming names.

M: Oof, that’s worse.

J: I agree, I think both names are just perfect. Broderick Zane is beautiful, and Cassidy Blair is beautiful as well. And you can give them Brody and Cassie as nicknames, but they also have the choice of using their formal names. Good job Alyssa and husband, and congratulations on your Rainbow Baby,


J: Do you have a name question for me and Mallory? Write us at and we might answer it on the show!

Thanks for tuning in, our next episode should be the top baby names of 2020 in the United States, as reported by the US Social Security office, that list usually comes out Mother’s Day week so stay tuned!

M: Thanks for joining us and make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. Love you Jenn.

J: Love you!

M: Love to our family and to all of our listeners.


Headshot of Jennifer Moss

Jennifer Moss (she/her) is the founder of, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.