Names of the Week: Ace and Elise

Emma and Matt Willis, from mirror.co.uk

We’re going topical with this weeks post by talking about two names given to celeb-babies this week. for me, they were both surprising choices given the existing siblings, since Piers Morgan already has sons named Stanley, Albert ‘Bertie’ and Spencer when he became a father for the fourth time to Elise earlier on this week. That said, this is his first child with his new wife, who may have had an influence on the name choice. Then we get to Matt Willis, formerly of Busted, who already had a daughter named Isabelle Catherine when he welcomed his son and second child Ace Billy this weekend with his presenter wife Emma.

On Thursday, Abby asked whether there are any virtue names which could work for boys, citing names such as Prosper and Merit as examples. Ace is a name she didn’t mention, but I think could be applicable in this category, given that Ace is slang for excellent. He also qualifies as part of the trend Nameberry pointed out that would be big in 2012: A Names.

I’ve certainly been seeing the slightly similar name Asa being considered more and more of late, from which one could get Ace as a nickname if they truly wanted. The Macedonians use Ace as a short form for Alexander as well, which the rest of the world could follow suit with if they so choose. Since we’re on a theme, other names one could derive Ace from could be:

  • Ambrose
  • Atticus
  • Caspian/Cassian/Cassius
  • Charles
  • Horace/Horatio
  • Isaac
  • Jasper
  • Matthias
  • Oscar
  • Sebastian
  • Silas
  • Tobias
  • Wallace

…to name just a few ideas flitting through my mind. But there’s no reason why you can’t just simply use the name Ace as it stands, as the Willis family have done so. Christina of A Baby Name Per Day recently published a post asking why we can’t go for an unusual first name paired with a more common middle name instead of vice versa. This appears to be the tactics of Matt and Emma, since after announcing that his son was named Ace via Twitter, he confirmed his newborn son’s middle name was Billy – just incase his son becomes a banker and wants to use Billy instead of Ace.

The name Ace isn’t as uncommon as you may think, though, he’s just sitting inside of the Top 1000 in England&Wales for 2010 at #970, whilst Billy sits at #101, thus poised to enter the Top 100. Earlier on in the year, we had a post on ‘ace’ names for girls whereby female names with the letters a, c and e seem to be emerging as dominants players in popular names, if you consider that  we’ve embraced names such as Grace and Alice, and all the various spellings of Darcey of late. Clearly, I’m getting good at these trend predictions if only a few weeks later a little Ace comes along 😉

Speaking of Alice, I can’t help but think that Elise, to me, isn’t that far removed from the name Alice in sound, but they don’t share the same Germanic roots of Alice since Elise is simply another offshoot of Elizabeth.

Thinking about it, Elise is a name to watch, as both Elsie and Eloise are currently flirting with the Top 100 – Eloise has entered and fallen out twice in recent years, whilst Elsie sits tantalisingly close at #108 (Eloise at #109); Elise is a little further behind at #156. The Germans pronounce the name Elise with three-syllables – e-LEE-za – and Eliza sits just inside the Top 100 at #93 and Elizabeth is at #49.

Nevermind Elizabeth, I’m thinking that all these offshoots of hers are starting to really come into their own of late. Consider this timeline of celeb-babies, which I’ll admit right off is unlikely to be a complete list:

  • November 2005: Betty welcomed by Pearl Lowe&Danny Goffey
  • March 2006: Cyd Betty welcomed by Julie Graham&Joseph Bennett
  • November 2006: Bessie welcomed by Lucy Benjamin&Richard Taggart
  • March 2007: Elise welcomed by Ricky Carmichael
  • July 2007: Ellie Jane welcomed by Scott Linebrink
  • August 2007: Elise welcomed by Thomas Chatelle
  • February 2008: Jada Ellie welcomed by Kim Clijsters&Brian Lynch
  • June 2008: Florence Elsie welcomed by Tamzin Outhwaite&Tom Ellis
  • September 2008: Elsie welcomed by James Morrison
  • February 2009: Elisa Marie welcomed by Gabriel Soto&Geraldine Bazan
  • May 2010: Betsy welcomed by Denise van Outen&Lee Mead
  • September 2010: Eliza Beatrice welcomed by Natalie Cassidy
  • December 2010: Eliza Jo welcomed by Sam and Crystal Hornish
  • January 2011: Arabella Betsy welcomed by Neil McDermott&Michelle Edwards

But, remember this, in 1914 the name Elsie ranked at #7, two places above Elizabeth at #9. That year Betty was at #65 and Bessie was at #74. In terms of the historical data, Elise has never been in the Top 100 whilst Lisa came in 1964 at #54 and was gone by 1996 at #105.

Elizabeth is one of the most common middle names out there, and I know I’ve mentioned before of the Victoria/Elizabeth sibset occurence, where a couple have one daughter, Grace Elizabeth, and then welcome Lily Victoria. Two little girls with the two most high profile British royal names. I see these two names used all the time as middle names for two sisters, whether they be twins or not. I guess it’s not as noticeable for male siblings, since there have been many more Kings than Queens. That said, Edward and Henry have the most prolific use, with 8 Kings apiece at the moment.

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Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Ace and Elise

  1. I love Caspian!

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  2. Ace was a nickname for one of Dr Who’s female assistants too and I think worked for her, although she was more tomboyish. I agree, it’s kinda cool for a boys name.

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  3. I didn’t even know Matt and Emma were expecting! I love their name choices, although I don’t think Isabelle fits in well with the whole rock ‘n’ roll/ indie thing they have going on. Ace, on the other hand, seems perfect for them.

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  4. Pingback: Sibset of the Week: The Fayers « Mer de Noms

  5. I think it’s not that unusual for people to have different naming styles for boys and girls (although I admit a different spouse can have a big effect).

    Elise seems very 1980s to me, since that’s when it peaked, but if it ever got into the Top 100, it would have only been at the bottom, so still has some room to grow.

    I keep seeing Elyse actually, and also Elyse tacked onto names.

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  6. namemuststay

    It’s so ironic that Liam Howlett and Natalie Appleton’s son born in 2004 is also named Ace Billy. When I heard it I was instantly a bit bummed because I knew I’d heard it before, but it IS a pretty cool name!

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