Birth Order Baby Names

It’s rare in the U.S., but in some cultures, naming children by their birth order is a common practice. Romans were famous for it and introduced us to names like Quintus and Septimus. Designers Cortney and Robert Novogratz, who you may recognize from the short-lived reality show Nine By Design, named their fifth son Five. For parents who want a similar sentiment that may not be so obvious, there are plenty of options:

Clover- Clover’s meaning isn’t technically related to numbers, but four-leaf clovers are so frequently discussed that I can’t help but think it’s the perfect name for a fourth child.

Quinn- With the double N, it’s a surname, but names related to the Latin Quintus mean “Fifth.” Quinn could make a great name for a fifth child or the fifth member of a family.

Ivy- Beyonce and Jay-Z pioneered the use of Ivy as an homage to the Roman numeral IV (four).

Primrose- The “prim” part of “Primrose” means first, and the Primrose is among the first flowers to bloom in spring-perfect for a first child.

Katherine- Most sources claim Katherine means “pure,” but the name is so old that we can’t be absolutely certain. Another possibility is that the name comes from the Greek hekateros, meaning “each of the two.” That meaning fits well for a second child or a twin.

Arlo- Arlo is actually an invented name created by Edmund Spenser. It’s believed that he based it on the place name Aherlow, meaning “between two highlands.” That sounds to me like an interesting choice for the middle child of three, though of course you can’t always plan a middle child with absolute certainty.

Unity- It’s a virtue name with the oh-so-exotic initial U, but I think Unity could make a great name for a first child- the union of her parents.

Trey, Tripp- Both names started as a nickname for a third (as in John Smith III), but they could work well as a name for a third child.

Thomas/Tamsin/Thomasina- This family of names mean “twin.” Thomas for a boy is classic and traditional, while the feminine variants have a more quirky-vintage style.

Delta- Greek letters are occasionally used as names, and Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell put this one on the map when they chose it for their daughter in 2014. Delta is the fourth letter of the alphabet and Delta Shepard has an older sister, making her the fourth member of the Bell-Shepard family. I don’t know if that fact had any bearing on the choice, but it’s certainly a happy coincidence!

Twain- This name become famous as the surname of Mark Twain, though it was a pseudonym- Twain was born Samuel Clemens. Twain  is an archaic word for “two,” making it an interesting surname choice for a second child or twin.

Malachy- Although it’s very similar, Malachy is not actually related to the Hebrew Malachi. Malachy is believed to have derived from an Irish form of the Latin secundinus, meaning “second.”

Nova- Another Latin choice, Nova means “new,” and could be the perfect name for an eldest child as her parents start their new family.

Coda- Koda is used occasionally for boys, but the C- spelling is quite rare. A coda is a conclusion to a ballet or musical piece, so Coda as a name seems fitting for a youngest child.

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