England

Baby names: The inspiration behind your choices

Olivia Henderson Image copyright Rebecca Henderson
Image caption Olivia's name was inspired by a pizza her mother craved during pregnancy

A rock song, an opera singer and even a pizza were the inspiration behind some of our readers' babies' names. They explain their choices as the most popular baby names in England and Wales are announced.

Rebecca Henderson named her now 16-year-old daughter Olivia after a restaurant pizza she craved during her pregnancy.

"My second favourite was Sophia, also a pizza," said Ms Henderson, from Brighton. "It was rather apt as pizza is now her favourite food.

"My other craving was spearmint Rennie, so I think she should think herself lucky," she added.

Oliver and Olivia retained the number one spots as the most popular names in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Image copyright Michelle Morgan
Image caption Percie's mother wanted her to be different

Michelle Morgan got in touch to tell us her daughter Natasha Bouwhof, from Croydon, has a little girl called Percie.

"It's unusual for a boy, but more so for a girl," she said. "My daughter's inspiration is to be different and Percie is.

"Now 19 months old, she is very active, curious, funny and extremely happy, my daughter's choice of name will serve her well."

Image copyright Joan Lockhart
Image caption Joan Lockhart said she chose a "masculine" name to give her daughter equality

Joan Lockhart said she named her now 26-year-old daughter Ryan to give her "financial parity".

"In the 1960s I read an article that said females were disadvantaged in terms of getting loans or other forms of credit," said Ms Lockhart, from Scotland.

"I knew then, if I ever had a girl child, she would get a 'masculine' name. I named her Ryan.

"When she was about four, I asked her if she liked her name and she said she would like to be called Robin.

"It never happened and now she's quite happy with her name."

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What can't you call your child?

A spokesman for the General Register Office for England & Wales explained the rules.

"Our rules are much more relaxed than other countries' and new names are created all the time," he said.

"Swear words are banned and so are blasphemous statements.

"Jesus is a common name in South America and Satan means adversary in Hebrew.

"Jihad in Islamic terms simply means struggle. None of these names are considered blasphemous.

"You can't have any punctuation like exclamation marks or question marks.

"We do allow an apostrophe in names like D'Vonn where it is definitely not in the place of a missing letter.

"You can't abbreviate names to their initials. If your child is called Jack John but you intend on calling him JJ you have to register Jack John.

"You can't use trademarks like Pepsi-Cola but if a trademark is derived from a word or name, like Mercedes, then that's fine."

Image copyright Stephen Fadian
Image caption Diana and Stephen called their daughter Edie after a song that was playing on the radio

Stephen Fadian and his wife Diana named their daughter after the song Edie (Ciao Baby) by The Cult.

"Diana got very poorly with pre-eclampsia and as I was driving in to see her in hospital the song was playing on the radio," said Mr Fadian, from Guernsey.

"It really doesn't get played much so I saw it as a sign.

"When I arrived, the consultant told me that my wife was deteriorating and the only way to prevent serious complications was to deliver the baby that day.

"Diana was only 30 weeks pregnant at this point. So, Edie was born later that day weighing 2lb 7oz, and I had a few days where both Diana and Edie were in intensive care.

"Edie is our little miracle and I have an original copy of the 7" single of Edie (Ciao Baby) to give her when she's older."

Image copyright Libor Baros
Image caption Libor Baros named his daughter after a strong female role model

Libor Baros, 43, from East Yorkshire, named his daughter Emma, after the opera singer Ema Destinnova.

"I'm originally from what used to be Czechoslovakia and my wife, although a Spanish citizen, was born in Peru," he said.

"When we were choosing a name for our baby, we looked for one which would be easy to understand and spell in any language, as well as have a strong, inspirational figure behind it.

"Ema Destinnova was not just a fantastic soprano but she was a fearless advocate for Czech independence.

"She was an inspirational, independent feminist - worthy to be remembered and to aspire to be like.

"I feel that we, as a society, are lacking strong female role models for our children to follow. Certainly it's not Kardashians or Beyoncé."

Image copyright Fiona Butler
Image caption Fiona Kinuko Butler took inspiration from the beauty of nature when naming her daughter

Fiona Kinuko Butler, 41, from Caversham in Berkshire, named her daughter Violet Shion after wild flowers.

"I wanted a feminine name that evoked beauty for my daughter," she said.

"I called her Violet, a tiny but beautiful wild flower, and it suits her so perfectly.

"Violet was born in autumn and as I'm half Japanese I wanted to give her a seasonal name based on when you are born, which is a tradition over there.

"So her middle name is Shion, another wild flower that is seen in autumn in Japan. In English the flower is called Aster."

Image copyright Lucy Storrs
Image caption Lucy Storrs named her daughter after her favourite bird

Lucy Storrs, 43, from London, named her daughter Sky Lark, after her favourite bird.

"We kept the Lark as a second name just in case to avoid playground grief. We call her both Sky and Skylark," she said.

"We live on Larkhall Rise, hence the Lark part of the name. But I also grew up on a hill farm on Dartmoor which my dad has turned into a wildlife oasis.

"There used to be masses of skylarks when I was a child and they were my favourite bird.

"But now they are becoming scarce and my father is concerned that soon our little Skylark might be the only skylark left in the sky."

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