Thursday, November 8, 2012

Great Sibsets - The Averys

Mother Nicole Avery with her children Moss, Eamonn, Mable, Stirling and Magnus
Today an article in my local paper - The Herald Sun - caught my eye. Not for the story, but for the enchanting names of the children in the family in the accompanying photo. The family's children are named Moss (13), Eamonn (11), Mable (8), Stirling (6) and Magnus (3). Each is a great name in its own right, so let's have a quick look at each of them.

Moss - One of the great nature names that works for boys and girls. Moss has the same “oss” sound as the very popular Forrest, and the very cool Frost, but without the abrupt “t” ending. It’s that little more cutting edge. You just need to get people to think of it in terms of legendary race car driver Stirling Moss, rather than lichen growing on a tree.

Eamonn – Eamonn and Eamon (Eamonn is the original spelling, but Eamon is more popular) have had a bit of a jump in popularity in Australia since swimmer Eamon Sullivan came to our attention after winning a gold medal, a silver medal and breaking a Commonwealth record at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. Eamonn (or more popular spelling Eamon) is an Irish variation of Edmund. It means ‘rich protector’ and is pronounced AY-mon. Despite it’s similarity to other mega popular favourites Aiden and Ethan, Eamon is yet to appear on the top 100 in Australia or top 1000 in the US, so currently remains a great alternative if you’re looking for a less popular name.

Mable – I have to say that Mable (or Mabel) is a name that is slowly growing on me. As it seems to be with a lot of people, as Mabel has been slowly moving up the US charts in the last few years and should crack the top 1000 in the next year or two if it continues the way it has been. Mabel (pronounced MAY-bel) is an English name derived from the Latin Amabel and means ‘lovable’. And lovable it is. I actually prefer the less popular Mable spelling, maybe because it has the word “able” and looks so similar to Fable, which I also love. As a nature name fan though, I’d probably be more likely to lean towards Maple myself.

Stirling – Is an English name meaning ‘genuine, of high quality’. I personally prefer the original spelling of Sterling for a couple of reasons. 1 - I think it looks nicer. And 2 - Stirling, with Moss, in the same family, is a little much. I wonder if they are fans of the racing driver, or just thought the names sounded good together without realising the connection. At least they are not in order, or even sequential. Apart from that small quibble, I really like the name. It sounds a little bit posh, a little bit tough, and the "ing" ending sets it apart from pretty much all other popular names, male or female.

Magnus – this name is all quiet strength to me. Like his siblings, Magnus is not a hugely popular name now, but is slowly climbing. Magnus is a Latin name meaning ‘greatest’. It’s been a popular name for Scandinavian royalty and is in the top ten in Denmark and Norway. It has appeared in some popular tales such as in Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’, Charles Dickens’s ‘The Pickwick Papers’ and Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’. But it could be said that it is also benefiting from ‘The Hunger Games’ phenomenon. Many of the characters in this series have been given Roman/Latin names such as Cato, Flavius and Darius, so this could have sparked a renewed interest in related names such as Magnus.

All five are great names, and I like that while there isn’t really a pattern they seem to have the same vibe. Possibly a little heavy on the M’s, but the effect is diluted by having the M names interspersed with the others, so it’s not overpowering. The result overall is utterly charming. What do you think – have the Avery’s made great choices? Would you have done the same?


  1. I like four of the names, but not a big fan of Eamonn, but I attribute that to it being a "aussie" thing (I am in USA). As for the set, a bit too many M's for my taste!!

  2. I would keep Moss, Stirling and Magnus, but I'm not a fan of the other two. I agree with you, Sterling does look a lot better.