segunda-feira, 15 de setembro de 2014

Names In Spotlight: The "No Doubt" Family

Pretty much everyone who is at least 15 years old has heard of the band No Doubt. Formed in the late 80s, they've had a remarkable career selling millions of albums and releasing iconic hit songs such as "Don't Speak", "Just A Girl" or "Hey Baby". Not only that, but lead singer Gwen Stefani also went on to have a successful solo career in the mid 2000s, as I'm sure you all remember hearing "Hollaback Girl" on the radio, or at least hear your kids playing the song out loud.

No Doubt is formed by frontwoman Gwen Stefani, drummer Adrian Young, guitarist Tom Dumont, and bassist Tony Kanal. All of them have went on to have families of their own, and I'm here to break it down for you. Most of these names are quite unique, so if this is your scene, I'm sure you're gonna love this post.

Let's start with the lead singer herself, Gwen Renee Stefani. I was surprised to find out her name is just Gwen, and not a nickname for something else, like Gwendolyn. While -lyn names are still ever so popular, there's something about Gwen on its own that just seems more current, spunky, and usable. Gwen married rock artist Gavin Rossdale, and they went on to have three sons:

Kingston James McGregor
Zuma Nesta Rock
Apollo Bowie Flynn

Gwen and Gavin are pretty much the biggest reason why the name Kingston took off. It's the capital city of Jamaica and as we later find out, the couple do like their place names. Their second son Zuma has the quirkiest name of the sibset, his first name is after Zuma Beach in California, and his middle name Nesta pays tribute to Bob Marley. Unlike the name Kingston however, Zuma never really did take off. It's probably too out there for most ordinary parents. Their latest bundle of joy Apollo, born this year, has big shoes to fill. Apollo means "strength", in mythological terms he was the son of Zeus, and the god of music, poetry, light and medicine. The middle names Bowie and Flynn are family names for both Gwen and Gavin, so they made perfect use of one my naming rules: if you must use family names, save them for the middle spot - unless your family has unique names available that deserve some attention. Bowie and Flynn are two names that have started to gain some traction, and we should be hearing a lot more of them in the future. I'm not surprised, since both names are stunning - I personally wish Gwen chose Bowie as the first name, it's fabulous.

Moving on to drummer Adrian Young, he married his longtime girlfriend Nina Kent, and went on to have one boy and one girl. The name Nina recently has gotten a youthful makeover thanks to young actress Nina Dobrev, the protagonist of the hit tv series The Vampire Diaries.

Mason James
Magnolia Renee

Mason was born in 2002, before the Kardashians made the name super trendy, however it was already very popular. Magnolia only arrived in 2010, and this time they picked a much more underused name, but kept the M-name theme going, not sure if it was intentional or not. Magnolia has been getting some major love in recent years, and it is now back in the SSA top 1000 ranking. The moniker, as most of you now, is a flower name, and it is a great alternative to reaching the nickname Maggie without going the obvious route of using Margaret as the formal name. It is definitely one of my favorite flower appellations, along with Dahlia.

Next up we have guitarist Tom Dumont, who is married to his wife Mieke. Let's pause there for a second, because the name Mieke in America is pretty much unheard of. Mieke is a name of dutch origin, and it is a dimunitive of the name Maria. How cool is that? If you need to update the name Maria or some variant of Mary, why not use Mieke? Certainly deserves some consideration. The couple had 3 sons, just like Gwen Stefani herself, and their names are:

Ace Joseph
Rio Atticus
Koa Thomas

Ace is the oldest son, born in 2006. His name is definitely trendy these days, with Jessica Simpson also using that moniker on her son not long ago. Rio was born two years later, and his name has never really taken off, unfortuately. Rio is the portuguese and spanish word for "river", so it's a nature name. It can also be a place name, in reference to the glorious city of Rio De Janeiro. While his first name is still mostly obscure, his middle name is not anymore. Atticus had been a bit of a cult name until recently, when parents looking for underused names started to embrace it. Their last son has probably my favorite name of the bunch, Koa. I just absolutely adore this hawaiian name, that means "warrior". Like the name Rio, its still very much unheard of in America, but I can't see why since its just a letter away from the sound of Noah, the #1 baby name. I also found it curious that only their 3rd son got dad's first name, usually the first one has that honor. I'm glad to see they also followed my rule, and saved it for a middle. How much more exciting is to have Koa as a first name? If Koa had been the middle name with Thomas as the first, it would've been completely forgotten - not to mention dad and son would have the same first name, which is my biggest pet peeve. All 3 boys have one pattern in common - one syllable 3 letter first names, and I think they go great together.

Last, but not least, we have bassist Tony Kamal. Tony used to date Gwen back in the day, in fact the song "Don't Speak" was written about him. That's all in the past though, and Tony eventually married actress Erin Lokitz, and had two daughters with her:

Coco Reese Lakshmi
Saffron Rose Kiran

Both daughters have quirky monikers with 2 middle names, just like ex-beau Gwen Stefani did with her sons. Coco is a french name that was usually a diminutive of Nicolette. Nowadays its mostly associated as a fashion name, thanks to designer Coco Chanel. Youngest daughter Saffron is of course named after the spice which is extracted from a flower. She has the middle name Rose, so two flower names on her. Like her sister, her middle name also begins with an R. Both siblings have a sanskrit moniker as their second middle name: Lakshmi and Kiran. Lakshmi means "good sign" or "good omen", and Kiran means "ray of light" - these names most likely pay tribute to Tony's heritage, as his parents are from India and are hindus. Once again, saving honorary names for the middle spots, kudos!

It seems that overall, the No Doubt family really likes their underused monikers, with the sole exception of Mason. And I'm not surprised, with so many beautiful names around, why limit yourself to the same old ones that hog the top end of the SSA charts year after year after year? It just seems like a wasted opportunity.
I'm really spoilt for choice with these names, its hard to pick a favorite. If I really had to, i'd choose Koa from the boys, and Magnolia from the girls. A lot of these have huge potential, and I really hope parents will embrace some of these more in the future.

What about you guys? What are you favorte No Doubt baby names? Share your thoughts with me.

For more interesting post on "family" names, check out the Phoenix Family

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