Celebrity Names Blog

Winston Churchill Names: Celebrities Love Them

Winston Churchill Names: Celebrities Love Them
Winston Churchill, Age 7

We've seen Winston Churchill's name around lately. First, he appeared as a rotund, bow-tied, bowler-hat wearing, cigar-chomping character on the most recent episode of the BBC's newest iteration of Dr. Who. Next, Christie's of London announced Tuesday (just days before the 65th anniversary of VE-Day on May 8) that it would auction off an enormous collection of Churchill's private papers and effects, expected to fetch more than two-million in U.S. dollars.

Okay: so we're clearly not interested in shelling out $200K for Churchill's appointment book, nor $2300 for an unsmoked Havana cigar he gave to a friend in 1963. But there is something of Churchill's we covet: his family's names.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill -- the man himself.

Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill -- his wife

Their children:

  • Diana
  • Randolph Frederick Edward
  • Sarah Millicent Hermione
  • Marigold Frances (died at age 2)
  • Mary

Their grandchildren:

  • Julian George Winston
  • Edwina
  • Mary
  • Winston
  • Arabella
  • Arthur Nicholas Winston
  • Emma Mary
  • Jeremy Bernard
  • Charlotte Clementine
  • Rupert Christopher

And the aristo-chic doesn't stop there. The names of descendants include Clementine Silvia, Antonia Mary Catherine, Arthur, Daisy, Jack, Gemma Mary, Celia Mary, Flora Caroline, Archie Christopher, Emily Fiona, Arthur Harry David, Duncan John Winston, Jonathan Martin Edwin, and Roderick Julian Frederick. (These people have some serious naming mojo.)

Just as bow-ties are enjoying a small "retrosexual" resurgence, "stuffy" names like Winston have regained appeal. British actress (and Dr. Who alumna) Billie Piper chose Winston for her son born in 2008. And is Leonard so far from Sandra Bullock's Louis?

But will the British aristocracy-vibe catch on in the US? Clementine has already become a big player on the celebrity naming field, chosen by Cybill Shepherd, Claudia Schiffer, Ethan Hawk, and Rachel Griffiths. Of course, for parents in the US, Clementine has a folk-song feel, but international figures like Schiffer and Griffiths verify the name's cosmopolitan appeal.

Any other contenders for popularity? We're in love with Sarah Millicent Hermione, though Harry Potter may have stamped Hermione too firmly with the image of the character for it to gain much ground in the next few years (though we predict a rise for this one in future decades). We also find Edwina, Arabella, Flora, Celia and Gemma to be appealing and in line with the tastes of more cutting age "Old-Lady" namers.

The boy's names continue to be much more popular in Britian than in the US. Rupert was a fairly popular US name in the 1880s, but hasn't been seen on the charts since 1950. Might it offer parents a fresh alternative to played-out Robert? (Bonus: it means fame and bright.) Frederick has had a long decline, but experienced the slightest of uptilts in 2008. Think it will rise again on the about-to-be-released 2009 charts? ("Blossom" actress Mayim Bialik chose Frederick for her son.) Arthur and Archie have also declined steadily from peaks in the late 1800s. Which do you think is most likely to "come back" for US parents? (Do you remember what funny lady recently chose Archibald for her son?)

In our minds, there's one gem on the list that is both unusual and familiar, and likely to appeal to US as well as British parents: Marigold. As we've noted on Name Candy before, botanical names rule. Marigold has a few things going for it: it's a fresh alternative to more familiar flowers like Daisy and Violet. The name has sounds from other names both familiar and offbeat (Mary, Goldie [chosen by Ione Skye and Ben Lee for their baby girl], and Margo), and has figured in songs by Nirvana and Rufus Wainwright. Finally, L.M. Montgomery -- the beloved author of Anne of Green Gables -- featured it in one of her books, Magic for Marigold, giving the name that seal of literary legitimacy some namers crave.  Marigold Frances Churchill had a tragically short life, but her name might be the perfect gift for your new baby.

Best of all: unlike his cigar, we can have Churchill's names for free.

What Churchill names do you like? Will any of these names rise in popularity?

--L.R.

Comments

Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

May 6, 2010 10:45 AM
By Jennie

I'm partial to Winston's mother's name myself -- Jennie. :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Randolph_Churchill

May 6, 2010 10:51 AM
By Lane

That IS a good one!

May 6, 2010 11:07 AM
By Kristina (not verified)

I like them all!! They are exactly my kind of names. :) Magic for Marigold is a really good book. Arabella is a character in Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, and I have been trying to sell it to hubby as an alternative to the uber-popular Isabella. Frederick is very popular among French-Canadians these days...there is one in each of my kids' classes.

May 6, 2010 11:52 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

We just named our son Arthur. I also liked Archie, but my wife wasn't crazy about that one. (Point in Arthur's favor: The nickname "Art.")

A lot of people have said they like the name, and a couple have commented that they haven't heard that name in years.

May 6, 2010 1:22 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It seems like cool "old lady" names are making a comeback, but there are far fewer cool "old man" names.

However, I still love them! George and William top my list.

May 6, 2010 3:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

dude, like every name from my entire name list is mentioned here. wow.

May 6, 2010 5:01 PM
By Hillary (not verified)

I'm really loving Arthur right now too...I think it's due for a little bump, if not a big one, in the near future.

May 6, 2010 11:04 PM
By Alex (not verified)

Rupert, because of its association with Murdoch, will probably go nowhere. Randolph is kind of nice if we associate it with movie star Randolph Scott, instead of with Winston's father who died of syphilis. As to Jenny Jerome (Winston's mother), she was reputed to have had over 200 lovers. A parent might think twice about naming a little girl baby after her. Of course, one doesn't think of everything when naming babies. . . When I named my daughter, I was under the spell of a Rheingold Beer commercial, and I suspect so were many others, which might account for the name's popularity at the time.

May 8, 2010 2:33 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Having a son named Winston, I get comments like, "that's regal"! People think is sounds so cute but yet so dignified for a boy.

May 13, 2010 2:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Clementine is so cute and Marigold too. Of the boys names I like Rupert, Fredrick, and Edwin. I will hope my husband will give in to something this cute.

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