Celebrity Names Blog

Lily Allen Baby Name Rumor

Lily Allen Baby Name Rumor
Lily Allen with husband Sam Cooper. Photo Credit: ANG/Fame Pictures

Thanks to Elisabeth at You Can't Call It It and a friend who tipped her off, we present here the third-hand hearsay Internet rumor of the day. (And trust us, it's a shocker.)

Lily Allen's baby, born November 25 (and included in our Celebrity Baby Name Secrets round-up last week), is named... wait for it...

Ethel Mary Cooper

If the rumor is true, we're betting little Ethel won't be known as Ethel C. in her kindergarten classroom.  After all, there were only 3 baby girls named Ethel in the UK last year.  (By way of comparison, there were 18 Bethels, and and nearly 5300 Olivias, the #1 name in the UK)

When people say they love old lady names, they usually mean antique-style charmers like Olivia and well, Lily, or faux antiques like Ava. 

But Ethel really is an old lady name. It peaked in the 1890s at #8 on the popularity charts in the U.S. By comparison, Agnes, the lightning rod of old lady names, peaked at #39 in the 1890s and is currently ranked at 758 in the UK, with 48 baby girls named Agnes last year; Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their daughter Agnes earlier this year.

And while names ending in -el like Isabel, Rachel and even Hazel have enjoyed a resurgence, two-syllable names with a strong "th" sound like Ethel, Thelma and Bertha remain decidedly off the fashion radar. Famous namesakes Ethel Merman and Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy, don't lend the name any air of style. 

We're not saying this latest name rumor's true, but if it is, we're kind of surprised.  Are you?  Do you think the stylish Lily Allen could lead Ethel to a fashion resurgence?



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December 12, 2011 1:00 PM
By Stephanie (Not Steffy) (not verified)

I think that Ethel is a little old fashioned, but maybe they will cute it up and nickname her Elle. I wonder if the name has family significance. I don't see anything wrong with the name Ethel (maybe not as uber-feminine as I traditionally enjoy) but Ethel Mary rolls off the tongue nicely and with Agnes making a little bit of a comeback, why not Ethel? Both can be cuted up. Aggie and Ellie/Elle. Don't see any major issues.

December 12, 2011 2:11 PM
By Erinne (not verified)

I think Ethel is really cute! My dd's name also peaked in the late 19th century, although it wasn't ever that popular, so Ethel would fit well with it.

December 12, 2011 2:50 PM
By Alicia (not verified)

I never even considered Ethel before this moment, but now that I'm looking at it, I really like it! I think it looks fresh and stylish. I would definitely consider it!

December 12, 2011 3:11 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think Ethel works better than Thelma or Bertha because a) Thelma and Louise and b) Bertha I think makes people think immediately of big Bertha, and lots of girth

Ethel I think is very pretty, and makes me think of 'Ethereal' I like it.

December 12, 2011 3:44 PM
By Lisa (not verified)

Ethel is at least a "real" name. It's not my style, but I can see the appeal and I definitely prefer it to a long list of other names. For example, they've not mashed 2 names together, or used the name of an object, or 'eweneekly' spelled another existing name. As long as they've actually used Ethel and not Ethyl which makes it look like some kind of compound LOL

December 12, 2011 3:48 PM
By hillary (not verified)

I think the "th" sound might come back due to the popularity of Bethany and lighter-sounding names like Thea. Ethel seems like a prime candidate for the comeback since it also has the "el" sound which is so appealing to modern namers.

December 12, 2011 9:34 PM
By mk (not verified)

I never liked Ethel. Don't think it is pretty or cute and I generally like old-fashioned names. I have an aunt named Ethel and she is a cool person, but even she couldn't get me to like the name.

December 12, 2011 11:01 PM
By Julie (not verified)

nn Ettie is cute!

December 13, 2011 12:12 PM
By Sarah (not verified)

I love it!

December 13, 2011 12:17 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Some names should stay in the past. This is one of them.

December 13, 2011 12:55 PM
By Ashocia School (not verified)

Wonder if she was named for Dame Ethel Mary Smyth (1858-1944), an English composer and suffrage leader? That would be a very cool choice for an English musician's daughter.

December 13, 2011 1:21 PM
By Miriam (not verified)

When I was growing up, the next-door neighbor lady (who looked and dressed like a brunette Daisy Mae) was named Ethel Marie. However, she always went by Sue, and her daughter was named Susan Marie. Even then (back in the 50s) Ethel was considered too unfashionable to use even if it was the legal given name.

December 14, 2011 7:15 AM
By Corhea (not verified)

I really want to like Ethel but I just don't. Not even a little.

December 14, 2011 10:44 PM
By Ethel (not verified)

aww.. i kinda actually like my name now.. but i still cant stand it and i think ettie is a cute nn (: i wonder it there if there are any more nn for ethel.. cuz i would really like one. a lot of people pronounce my name wrong so yeah.. a freah nn will make things so much easier

June 5, 2015 1:50 AM
By Cara Terampuh Menyembuhkan Penyakit Thalasemia Dengan Herbal (not verified)


June 6, 2015 12:34 AM
By cara terampuh menyembuhkan benjolan ditangan dengan herbal (not verified)


June 6, 2015 12:34 AM
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