Cue all the cooing.
We have finally, after two unusually long days, been put out of our misery and know what name the Duke and Duchess of Sussex–our very own Harry and Meghan–have bestowed upon their wee noble laddie baby (yes, “laddie baby.” Don’t read this blog if you can’t handle baby talk. In the fact, the whole blog should be read in sing-song).
I was in a work meeting when my baby name pal Twila texted me: “Archie !!!!!” was all she wrote. I gasped, again! (I had gasped on Monday when she texted me during another work meeting, alerting me to the baby’s birth and gender, to which my colleagues asked me what was wrong, to which I said “The royal baby was born…it’s a boy!”, to which they did not care.) I care! Those Sussexes–they keep making me gasp!
Those of you who swing by here often know I am obsessed with baby names, and the royal family. So when the twain shall meet–and they shall–I am here for all of it!
Henceforth, I present my thoughts, tidbits, and musings about Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the name:
- I love it. I have a special spot in my baby naming heart for what I call “cozy, Grandpa cardigan names.” These are old fashioned names such as Ezra, Monroe, Amos, Roscoe–“porch sitters” as Baby Name Wizard Laura Wattenberg calls them. In other words, Archie is so far behind he’s ahead.
2. Karla Adam and William Booth, English writers weighing in for The Washington Post, characterized Archie like this: “There’s something old public school, gentleman’s clubby and polo pony about an Archie — an echo of a P.G. Wodehouse character in the fictional Drones Club.”
3. “Or a soccer hooligan,” they added. I’m going with soccer hooligan. Prince Harry is a bit of a hooligan, is he not?
4. The Brits just take more chances than us, name-wise, and I adore their cheeky, tickety boo selves for it! In 2017, Archie was the 18th most popular boy name in England and Wales; compare that to our 18th most popular name, trendy Aiden. On these Yankee shores, Archie peaked in 1907 at number 98 and dropped off the Top 1,000 in the 1980’s (thank you notes to that crusty old Archie Bunker?).
5. Archie is joined on the British Top 20 by some cuddly fellow “porch sitters,” including Leo, Alfie, Oscar, Harry, and George (Archie’s big cousin’s name is #3!). Clearly, the Brits know how to blow the dust off a seemingly archaic name and make it new and fresh again.
6. Let us defer, as I always do, to the name gurus at Nameberry for their take on Archie: “Archie has now officially transcended Archie Bunker and Riverdale’s Archie to take the, um, throne as the quintessential retro nickname name.”
7. AMY POEHLER has a son named Archie, though she and then-husband Will Arnett went whole hog and gave their baby the name Archibald on his birth certificate.
8. In my 2008 baby name book, A is for Atticus: Baby Names from Great Books, here’s what I had to say about Archie: “Let’s get past Archie Bunker and his issues and take a fresh look at a Grandpa name with plenty of newfangled zip.” Yup, still feel the same way on this most auspicious of Archie days. “Old-timey cool,” I added. “The British never had to deal with Archie Bunker so they have always liked this amiable gent.” 3/4 baby name bloggers actually call Archie “amiable,” so it must be amiable indeed. Such a Jane Austen word, “amiable.”
9. All the armchair baby namers predicted a name tie-in to the baby’s late gran, Princess Diana. People called for Spencer as a likely tribute. However, if Archie is a tribute, it’s a whole lot more subtle. Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll of Scotland, was also an ancestor of Princess Diana’s. Coincidence?
10. Finally, let’s chat a bit about Harrison, the itty bitty sugar bear’s middle name. Harrison is a patronymic, meaning son of Harry or son of Henry, so kinda perfect for that middle slot. Unrelated but related: Amy Grant’s son Matthew has the middle name Garrison, after his dad, Gary. (So glad Harry and Meghan did not name their child Gary, even though that’s what Uncle Prince William used to call his gran, the Queen. Yes, Gary!)
What do you think of Archie? Love it? Leave it? Is it growing on you? whatever your feelings about the name, I am sure you will be joining me in wishing the happy family a wonderful life together. Bravo, Sussex royals!