Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: Greg Vaughan and Touriya Haoud welcome Cavan Thomas

New Baby Alert: Greg Vaughan and Touriya Haoud welcome Cavan Thomas
Axelle/Bauergriffin.com

General Hospital's Greg Vaughan and wife Touriya Haoud welcomed Cavan Thomas this week, Vaughan reported on Twitter. Cavan joins big brother, Jathan James.

Jathan is a name that makes people crazy. (A quick trawl of The Internets reveals this most common reaction: "Sounds like Jason with a lisp!") We suspect that Cavan will also annoy traditional namers, who dislike kreative spellings of perfectly acceptable names like Kevin.

Both names fit perfectly within contemporary name trends. Jathan (James + Nathan?) is quite at home in the mashup style of naming we've had so much occasion to mention in recent posts. The name utilizes a popular strategy employed by contemporary parents seeking to carve out a niche of individuality within the popular names of the day: choose a name with a hit sound and pop off its initial consonant; replace if desired with a different consonant.

Cavan, too, fits within the trend of parents playing with spelling to bring freshness to popular names. A relatively recent hit in the English-speaking world (as the Name Voyager graph reveals), Kevin is, in the words of Baby Name Wizard Laura Wattenberg, malleable. From this perspective, Greg and Touriya appear the very trendiest of namers.

But let's dig deeper. What else do these names have in common? Historical cred. Take another look at the Namipedia entry on Kevin. The spelling Cavan is actually closer to the original Irish name. (See the Name Lady's column on Caitlin/Katelyn for more on anglicized Irish names.) But how can we possibly claim that Jathan is historical? To answer that question, we have to take a detour through the intricacies of biblical translation. Jathan, it turns out, is a variant of the name we know as Jonathan or Nathan used in at least one version of the Bible.

Coincidentally, this is the subject of this week's post from the Baby Name Wizard blog. And we quote:

It's widely accepted that the distinctions were deliberate choices on the part of translators, with the purpose of clarifying the text. The translators took advantage of linguistic variations to carve out little arenas of name individuality.

Thus, just like contemporary parents, ancient biblical scholars used spelling variations to set people apart. Intentionally or not, Greg and Touriya turn out to be classicists.

What do you think of Jathan and Cavan?

--L.R.

Comments

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January 21, 2010 1:05 PM
By Sabrina (not verified)

I like Cavan. It reminds me of Gavin. I actually didn't think of Kevin. My first son is Cade and Cavin might be a good match for our second(if its a boy).

January 21, 2010 3:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Jathan and Cavan both fall into that category of names that I don't personally like, but that DO sound like names, albeit ones I've never heard before.

January 21, 2010 5:01 PM
By hillary (not verified)

A childhood friend of mine just named his son Cavin. It is really not my style but it's a step up from Jaden.

January 21, 2010 5:07 PM
By Eeyore (not verified)

Cavan is actually a county in Ireland, perhaps that was their inspiration as opposed to a different spelling of the name Kevin.

January 21, 2010 7:19 PM
By Lane

Eeyore, thanks for pointing that out.

Hillary and Sabrina: of course! Gavin and Calvin are obvious references for Cavan. We just had a celebrity Gavin born last week... it's a mini-trend, like when we had Lyla Rose and Leila Ray announced in the same week.

January 21, 2010 7:24 PM
By Lane

Oh, I see that I mis-read the name Cavin. That's even more of a similarity.

January 25, 2010 11:18 AM
By Zoe (not verified)

Yeah, I'm definitely one of those traditional namers who can't stand either of those names. They both sound so...I don't know, I guess a bit unpolished.

January 26, 2010 7:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'd like Cavan more if the pronunciation was clear from the spelling. My first thought was Cave- un. Jathan I always just thought of Nathan with a J, rather than the meaner Jason with a lisp (probably came from GH'ers obsessed with that character haha). Cavan sounds like the way some people with accents would mispronounce Calvin. So not really a fan of the spelling or name I guess.

January 27, 2010 11:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I prefer Calvin over Cavan. It is a strong, classic, and timeless name. Goes well with Emma, Isabella. Kevin was strongly given in the 70's. I went to high school with many.

February 27, 2010 5:48 AM
By Kayla (not verified)

Jathan is not a name I personally would consider for my own child, but Cavan, definitely. I love the spelling, the sound of it, everything. I think they both sound good and would make great names, but I prefer Nathan over Jathan anyday. Love the creativity though. I am 100% one of those people who love creative names and spellings.

July 8, 2011 12:05 PM
By hunnyleo4 (not verified)

Yeah, I'm definitely one of those traditional namers who can't stand either of those names. They both sound so...I don't know, I guess a bit unpolished.

July 8, 2011 12:06 PM
By love quotes (not verified)

I prefer Calvin over Cavan. It is a strong, classic, and timeless name. Goes well with Emma, Isabella. Kevin was strongly given in the 70's. I went to high school with many.

March 7, 2013 3:00 PM
By Candy (not verified)

Best of luck for the baby!!!

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