Sunday, April 21, 2013


Rugby Player Braith Anasta

When I was having a look at the entrants in the Bonds Baby Search competition recently, there was one boys name in particular that I noticed - Braith. This was mainly because I hadn't heard it before, and also because there seemed to be quite a few of them, particularly in the 0-9 month and the 10-25 month categories.

A quick Google search made it pretty clear that the inspiration behind the name must be Australian Rugby League player Braith Anasta. If you're a fan, please excuse me now for not really being aware of who he is. In my defense, I live in Victoria, where Aussie Rules - not rugby - is the ruling sport. And I'm admittedly not a huge sports fan, so don't tend to familiar with players unless they're constantly in the news. More often than not, if a player is making headlines it's not necessarily for positive reasons.

As far as players go, Braith seems to have stayed away from a lot of the issues and controversy that often surrounds high profile players. He started with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2000, moved to the Sydney Roosters in 2005, and started playing with the Wests Tigers this year. In October 2012 he married actress Jodi Gordon, a former star of popular Australian soap 'Home and Away'. This probably helped a lot to boost his profile with females, especially when pictures of their Balinese wedding were published in leading Australian women's magazines.

Braith is reportedly a unisex name meaning 'freckled' or 'speckled', often interpreted as 'black and white' or 'red and white'. It is said to be a Welsh name, although I have seen a Welsh person say they've never heard it in use in Wales. There is however a history of Braith as a surname in England (near Edinburgh), where it may have been a precursor for town names such as Braithwell and Braithwaite. It's also thought that the name Brad possibly evolved as an alternate spelling of this name.

Braith is quite a rarity, with other bearers being 19th century German painter Anton Braith and a young female character in the video game 'Skyrim'. Variations I've seen used for boys are Braithe and Braithen, and I've also seen the suggestion that Braithwen could be an option for a girl. If you're looking for a more substantial name for your boy though I suggest that the town names Braithwell and Brathwaite would be the most attractive options. Braithwaite in particular is a relatively well known surname, and would likely transfer to use as a first name easily.

As far as "modern" sounding names go, Braith is a reasonably attractive one. It fits in well alongside other one syllable "AY" names, such as James, Blake or Zane, but manages to stand out from these too. It's also a good blend of masculine and soft. This may sound strange, but I could see Braith working well as a werewolf name in a book or movie (which I mean as a positive thing).

Braith may turn out to be a quick fading trend. But if Braith Anastas star continues on its current trajectory, we could be seeing more of this name in the future.


  1. I think the Welsh name Braith is pronounced to rhyme with "blithe", so not quite the same name.

    I also wrestled over this one, and it seems most likely to be from the Old Norse for "broad", or from the Gaelic for "British".

    I think in the US they might find this one quite "preppy".

  2. I still believe that it is related to the Welsh word brith which means speckled. But started to occur during the radical mutation of the language after the defeat of the Scots perhaps as recent as Bonnie Prince Charlie.

    I know of one family in tracing their Genealogy started in the US, to Cornwall, to Wales, to Scotland. Where they were a family that was a supt of the Stewart clan (Bonnie Prince Charlie was a Stewart). Each time the jump occurred names often changed to make it sound local to the area.