What’s in a Name? Choosing a Name for a Baby

Posted on July 29th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’

Inspired by the brief air of mystery that surrounded the naming of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby, George Alexander Louis, we thought we’d share some articles from the Archive that explore all the various naming conventions that exist for babies.
newspaper photo of prince charles as a baby

The first article included below was published in 14 December 1948, just three weeks after Prince Charles was born, and one day before the then nameless baby was christened. The writer of the article muses on what the baby might be called, and also considers the etymology and meaning of various suitable names.

In the second article (published in 1926), the writer of the piece shows that the diplomatic and delicate process of choosing of suitable names for babies is not a dilemma solely confined to royal households. The writer says that naming a baby is like giving a lifelong gift to a child, which the child will proudly carry ‘all the days of its life’ – that perfect theory is not always achieved in practice, the writer freely admits.

Our curiosity now fully aroused, we did a Phrase Search in The Archive using the search term, ‘named after’, and found some wonderful stories about names for babies. We loved the two stories about the babies who were named after an Aberdeen trawler and a magistrate in London, and also enjoyed reading the report about the steelworker who named his triplets with royal names.

Lastly, we’ve also included a terrific photo of Prince Charles as a baby, along with his mother, grandmother and grandfather.

historical newspaper report about Choosing a Name for a Baby

Essex Newsman – Tuesday 14 December 1948

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000530/19481214/018/0003

historical newspaper report about Choosing a Name for a Baby

Western Daily Press – Saturday 13 March 1926

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000264/19260313/084/0009

historical newspaper report about Choosing a Name for a Baby

Hull Daily Mail – Thursday 19 May 1910

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000324/19100519/013/0003

historical newspaper report about Choosing a Name for a Baby

Aberdeen Journal – Friday 25 January 1935

Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000577/19350125/049/0006

historical newspaper report about Choosing a Name for a Baby

Aberdeen Journal – Tuesday 04 September 1928

Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000577/19280904/194/0011

historical newspaper report about Choosing a Name for a Baby

Evening Telegraph – Thursday 16 December 1948

Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000563/19481216/007/0001

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