Baby Names & The Beautiful Game: Euro 2012 Edition
It is official: The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship— better known as the Euro—is underway. Around the world, fans like yours truly are tuning in to watch the world’s most beautiful game. And you don’t have to be a soccer fan to appreciate the naming potential packed into this year’s tournament. While America trails the rest of the world in terms of football fandom, world soccer giants have made an impact on our name charts. The boys’ name Iker was the second fastest rising boys’ name in the US last year, likely thanks to this guy:
That, of course, is Spanish #1 Iker Casillas, who helped his team to World Cup glory and helped his name increase in the American consciousness. Names take off not only due to players’ dominance— I don’t expect Zlatan to reach the American Top #10 any time soon—the recipe for a hit baby name includes one part celebrity, two parts in-fashion sounds. With that in mind, here are some other Euro-inspired names that could make nice fits for baby boys:
Sebastian (#68 in Top 1000)- This Swedish midfielder brings this studious, strong name to ESPN audiences, further distancing the name from the crustacean who hung out with Arielle in 1989. German midfielder Bastian Schweinstieger helps make familiar another variant.
Luka (#746 in Top 1000, Luca is #260)- With boys names like Noah and Joshua firmly within the top 20, why not this strong name with a soft ending? The Croatian midfielder’s name could make a nice pick for your mini maestro.
Wesley (#156 in Top 1000)- This Netherlands star enlivens a name that could make a good choice for parents drawn to names like Zachary and Jeremy, but looking fora less-used option.
Hugo (#439 in Top 1000)- The French stopper’s name has remained less-popular despite its prominent use in an award-winning 2011 movie. Hugo blends the vibes of more popular favorites Henry and Leo and would make a great name choice.
Why not a Euro contender’s baby name for your baby? England superstar Wayne Rooney may be banned for the beginning of the tournament, but his son’s name— Kai—is on-trend, ready and available for broader American use.