Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford introduced their newborn daughter, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, to the world last week.
Sabrina Rogers-Anderson, renowned baby name expert and author of The Little Book of Bogan Baby Names, discusses the several layers of meaning behind her name and how in some cases a baby’s non-traditional name could end up ruining its life.
She told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen the name is a wonderful choice.
“I think they’ve done such a good job of combining a nice short, simple, easy to pronounce first name – which they love and is significant to them.”
Neve is the Anglicised spelling of Niamh, which means “bright” in Irish. In Irish mythology, Niamh was the daughter of the sea god.
“I love how it has that significance of bright, radiant and snow, because it was the winter solstice. It has that significance,” she said.
“Nice and simple, so it’s not confusing for people.”
Te Aroha, Neve’s middle name, means “the love” in Maori. It’s symbolic because it is the region where Jacinda Ardern grew up and calls home.
“A middle name is great place to honour either someone from your family or, in her case, a great nod to the Maori culture,” Ms Rogers-Anderson told RadioLIVE.
“I think it’s a wonderful choice.”
Sabrina Rogers-Anderson told Wendyl Nissen she is “quite critical” of baby names but she admires the choice of Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford.
Ms Rogers-Anderson is renowned for discovering the worst ‘bogan’ baby names, going so far as to writing a book about them.
One of the worst I’ve ever seen is J’zayden.
“The ones that I struggle with the most are the real misspellings that make no sense – just to be original,” she said.
She also noted some other original names like Verjonica – a mash up of Veronica and John, the baby’s grandparents’ names.
Listen to the full interview with Sabrina Rogers-Anderson above.
The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.