When it comes to picking a name for your baby, there can be a considerable amount of pressure surrounding the decision that you make. Though if you already know that you want something that's down to earth, or DTE, this means you're already half way there!
But what actually is a down to earth name? Well, while many folks have different ideas of what constitutes a DTE name, in general it will be a name that isn't filly, a name that's simple in style and doesn't leave people looking at your child as though they've just dropped in from another planet. Those with DTE names tend to be people who keep the fabric of society stitched together and have a smile while they do it.
A DTE name doesn't scream 'look at me, look at me!' It's humble, warm and tends to fit in pretty much anywhere. DTE names are reliable and timeless. Now, although the name you choose might be down to earth, it doesn't mean it has to sit in the top 10 choices.
Names beginning with the letter E for both boys and girls have been extremely popular over the past several years, including the names Emma, Emily, Ethan and Elijah.
When it comes to finding down to earth names beginning with the letter E, there's an abundance of choice. So here are twenty five names to get you started. While you'll probably be familiar with many of these timeless classics, there will be a few surprises waiting, too.
I grew up in England and always associated the name Edward with royalty. As a child, I was particularly interested in the sad story of the The Princes of The Bloody Tower. The legend goes that back to 1483, where 12 year old Edward V and his 9 year old brother Richard the Duke of York were confined to the Tower of London, and then murdered by their Uncle Richard who was concerned about the boys standing in his way to the throne.
In recent years, whenever you've heard the name Edward, you can be pretty sure that the word Twilight won't be far behind. Vampire Edward Cullen is one of the main characters in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga.
Mayer said that she chose the name Edward because she wanted something that had previously been very romantic but had, in recent years, fallen out of use.
I know, I know, it's all too easy to immediately envisage an old woman when you think of the name Edith. But hang fire, as this name has a fascinating history and actually originates from the Old English name Eadgyð. It was a name that was well used among Anglo-Saxon royalty.
Edith was commonly used following the Norman conquest, though after the 15th century it was rarely heard of, seeing a revival only in the 19th Century.
Some famous holders of the name Edith include the French cabaret singer Edith Piaf, Edith Roosevelt the second wife of president Theodore Roosevelt, and Edith Bowman, the Scottish radio DJ.
Parents in Stockholm and London are giving the name a revival, and it's slowly making its way overseas to the USA. The name is so popular in Sweden that it ranks at number 36 whereas in England, it's actual place of origin, it's at number 122.
The name Ethan has its origins in Hebrew and means strong, solid and enduring. Nowadays it's hard not to think of the name without casting your thoughts to Ethan Chandler, the American sharpshooter from SHOWTIME'S brilliant TV series Penny Dreadful.
Of course the other Ethan we're used to hearing about is Ethan Hawke, the American actor and director who found fame with the film The Dead Poet's Society in 1989. In the US, Ethan is ranked at 6 while in England and Whales it's number 18 in the name charts. It's a name that's also extremely popular in Canada and France.
Every Ethan I've ever met throughout my life has been hardworking, committed and kind-hearted. They've usually been family men too, which makes me think that our names really can work to influence the people we become.
There's something so achingly beautiful about this timeless name. It brings me back to my childhood and the fairy tales my mother used to read. When I think of the name Elizabeth, I think of castle turrets peeking out from dark, tall pines and daring princesses riding bareback on white steads.
I get chills whenever I hear it spoken...and I've heard it in practically every country I've travelled to. Elizabeth is another name that, as an English born woman, I've grown up with, as it's the first name of my country's long reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.
Some of my favourite nicknames associated with Elizabeth include Bess and Tibby, both of which sing of an England long gone. There's something quite special about the nickname Eliza too.
I developed a liking for the name Elliot - pronounced EL-ee-ət - (ET pronounces it perfectly) way back when I was under double figures, and obsessed with the 1977 musical fantasy comedy film Pete's Dragon, which featured a friendly dragon by the name Elliot. The film has since been remade by Disney and was released in 2016.
The name Elliot popped up again in my life a few years later, when it turned out to be the name of the 10 year old hero in Steven Spielberg's cult classic ET. Following the film's release, the name, unsurprisingly, shot up in the charts.
There's actually several different spellings of Elliot, though it all depends on how many l's or t's you want to use. And while it hadn't occurred to me before, Elliot is an especially popular boy's name in Sweden where it's ranked at 18.
Esme - pronounced es-MAY - is one of those names that, while it's a bit different, it's not totally 'out there.' It's such a wonderful name to speak, and feels almost silky when you say it.
While the origins of the name Esme lie in Old French - esmé meant loved or esteemed - the first person reported to be actually named Esme was Esme Stuart, a cousin of King James VII residing in Scotland. The name was then commonly used by many other aristocratic families in the country.
The name Esme has seen a rise in popularity in the UK in recent years. Though I'm wondering if this is because of Esme Cullen, the matriarch of the Olympic coven in the Twilight saga.
There's dozens of nicknames for Esme, but some of my favourites include Mazie, Moo and Ez.
Pronounced EH-vin, this short, mellow, yet simultaneously strong sounding name has something special about it, and I think it sounds absolutely lovely when spoken. I didn't really think about it much before writing this article, but it's really grown on me.
A Welsh version of John, the meaning behind the name is young, though I've also read that in Ireland it means 'young warrior,' and in Hebrew it means 'god is gracious.'
Evan has been a popular choice for boys in Wales since the 19th Century. Nowadays it's riding high on the charts in France. Famous Evans include the actor Evan Peters, famed for his roles in American Horror Story.
Though it's a name that is predominantly used by boys, Evan can also be a girls name, as we've seen with popular American actress Evan Rachel Wood.
The first man and woman, Adam and Eve lived in The Garden of Eden, before they ate from the Tree of Knowledge and were banished. Derived from the Hebrew 'ēdhen which translates to delight, this gorgeous name which is pronounced ED-en while not commonly used, is gaining in popularity, especially after Marica Cross (Bree from Desperate Housewives) used it for one of her twin girls.
In 1989 Eden found a place in the top 1000 and now holds court at 156 in the USA. In Australia it's at 64, though there is a place in Australia located on the south coast of New South Wales called Eden which might have some impact on its levels of popularity. In Belgium, Eden sits at number 19 for boys. France also has a real soft spot for Eden, as does New Zealand.
This simple, sweet-sounding name can, however, be dragged in the dirt sometimes, with people associating Eden - the place of pleasure - as having sexual connotations.
My first encounter with the name Elijah - pronounced Ee-LIE-jah - was in the late 90's when I first watched horror film The Faculty staring a (very young) Elijah Wood. It originates from the Hebrew 'ēlīyāhū (Jehovah is God). Whenever I think of an 'Elijah' I find myself thinking of someone who's smart but shy, funny but humble.
The name Elijah was brought to America in the 1600's by Puritans who settled in New England.
The characteristics which are commonly found to be possessed by people called Elijah include intuitiveness, independence and perfection.
Elijah was most famously the name of an Israelite prophet from the 9th Century BC who featured in the Old Testament. After many years of service - calling the Israelites back to the worship of one god - he was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire.
I have a soft spot for this oldest of names which was gifted to the first woman, 'the mother of all the living.' While this meaning is exquisite, I prefer to think of its other role - the abbreviation for evening.
Pronounced EEV, Eve has its origins from Hebrew Chava (life), which is from hawwah (life). Interestingly, in CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, the female humans were called 'daughter's of Eve.'
Some people, however, are put off the name Eve because it reminds them of Christmas Eve. While it's the most known name in the world and is down to earth, Eve is surprisingly uncommon.
I love all of the nicknames associated with it too, including Evy, Eva and Evyn. Some Eves you may be familiar with include Eve from Pixar's Wall-E, and Amazon Eve in American Horror Story: Freak Show.
Origin: Old Norse
There is something extremely special about the Old Norse name Edda.
Multiple theories exist about its original origins. One theory suggests that the name derives from the Old Norse word óðr, which translates to poetry, though it's also quite probable that it originates from the Old Norse meaning 'great-grandmother.'
Edda was also, most famously, the name of two valuable literary works written by the 13th-century Icelandic author Snorri Sturluson: the Poetic Edda - a collection of Old Norse poems, and the Prose Edda - the most extensive source on Norse mythology ever written.
While some say that it's not all that appealing when removed from Scandinavia - it's a common name in Norway, Sweden and Denmark - I have to disagree. I think this thought provoking yet easily pronounceable, very memorable name is perfect for use worldwide.
It's unavoidable. Unless you've been living on the moon for the past two decades, the first Ewan that will probably come to mind is Ewan McGregor, the Scottish actor famed for his roles in Transporting and the Star Wars films The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens.
Ewan - which is actually pronounced like Owen - is a name that was given to several early Irish kings and saints.
If you're wanting to give your little boy a name with a true Celtic flavour, this Scottish name which is often spelt with two n's is simple yet interesting, without being obscure. It's also not particularly common. In the UK it's listed at number 245. It's actually more commonly used in France where it's ranked at 176.
I can recall someone once saying that the name Emily - pronounced EM-a-lee - reminded them of bells ringing. I thought that was a perfect description. Just speak it out loud. Feel the way it rolls off the tongue, how it sounds so gorgeously melodic.
I can remember as a little girl I always wanted to be called Emily. I'm not sure why exactly, though I have a hunch it was because it always seemed to be associated with beauty and intelligence.
The name is actually believed to be Latin in origin, coming from the name Amelia. While it's most popular in the UK, Emily is also commonly used in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
One Emily we hear a lot about nowadays it Emily Blunt, the dazzling English rose who played Queen Victoria in the film The Young Victoria.
I'm just a little bit infatuated with this quite rare, rather old-fashioned name. While it's the Swedish spelling of Elias, a name I can't help but associate with little Amish boys, Elis is actually considered a unisex name, especially in Brazil where its popularity is thought to have been influenced by Elis Regina, a famous Brazilian singer.
It's currently ranked at 80 in Sweden and has peaked and troughed in popularity since 2005, though it has always remained in the top 100.
Pronounced EH-lis, this name has been given to many sports personalities from Sweden, Finland and Denmark, including Elis Sandin, a Swedish cross country skier, Elis Wiklund, former Swedish cross country skier and Elis Sipilä a Finnish gymnast.
Related names include the Biblical Elijah, the German Elias, the Italian Elia and the Spanish Elías.
Despite the fact that it's rare to go a day without hearing the name Elsa, I can't help but fall in love with it over and over again.
Though it's a name that's predominantly used in Germany, England and Sweden, due to the popularity of Disney's Frozen, the name Elsa made it into the top 500 most popular girls names in the US for the very first time in 100 years.
The name itself is of German origin and is a shortened version of Elizabeth which means 'my god is bountiful,' or 'god of plenty.'
Originally a pet form of Elizabeth, Elsa is now in common use as an independent given name. Before Frozen's Elsa however, the name saw a surge in popularity in 1966 when the film Born Free was released, featuring an affectionate lioness called Elsa.
I've heard the name Elias used a lot, but I haven't, until now, investigated the meaning behind this strong and, I think, quite compelling name. It stands alongside the names Elijah and Eli and is most popular in the US.
It was the English Puritans in the 18th century who popularized the name Elias, and it's also been used by famous novels written by Sir Walter Scott and Thomas Hardey. Interestingly, it was also the middle name of Walt Disney.
I was interested to see that this name is ranked at 2 in Finland, though it shouldn't be all that surprising as Elias Lönnrot was the author of Kalevala, Finland's national epic. The name is actually also enormously popular in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Austria.
There's always a kid at school who leaves a lasting impression over all the others, isn't there? In my case, it was a little girl called Ella. She was a melancholic mystery who rarely smiled. I always wondered what was going on in her head. She grew up to be one of the most beautiful women - both in looks and personality - that I've ever met.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise to me to learn then that the name Ella means earth in Sanskrit. This also may explain why the Ella I knew was gifted with her name by her equally mysterious eco warrior mother.
The name Ella was actually brought to England by the Normans, and it's a short form of Eleanor which means 'light.' I've read that Ella can also translate to 'beautiful fairy woman' in English, and 'all' or 'other' in German.
An Ella you may be familiar with includes the singer Ella Fitzgerald.
Origin: Old Norse
The name Eric - pronounced ER-ik always commands attention. This popular Scandinavian baby name originates from the Old Norse name Eiríkr. Eiríkr is actually a compound word which translates to 'eternal ruler.'
One of the most famous holders of the name Eric was Eric the Red, the Viking explorer who discovered Greenland. Scandinavian legends also say that the Viking Ericson, the son of Eric the Red, actually arrived on the shores of America 500 years before Christopher Columbus did. The name Eric was also given to several early kings of Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Eric Northman, the one thousand year old Viking vampire from dark fantasy horror TV show True Blood provided the name with a surge of popularity when the show first hit our screens, though nowadays its only ranked at 137 in the US. In Catalonia however, Eric is 3 in the baby name charts. It's also hugely popular in Spain.
I've known one Ellen in my lifetime. She was a shy, quiet, extremely timid girl with a heart of gold. It's a name I've always, subconsciously, associated with kindness, gentleness and love.
The name itself can be traced way back to Ancient Greece where it translates to 'sun-ray, lightness.' Though I've also read that it's the medieval form of Helen, and it was the 'usual' spelling until the 17th Century when Helen became more popular.
While it's often used as a nickname for Eleanor, Ellen is actually an especially popular name in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, but ranks quiet lowly in the US where it sits at 705.
One of the most famous Ellens today would have to be Ellen De Generes, the hugely likeable American comedian and television host.
I think the Biblical name Ezra - which translates to help - is intriguing, while still being easy to pronounce. It feels fresh but grounded at the same time. It's growth in popularity could be attributed to parents who are on the lookout for a biblical name which sounds fresh, edgy and cool. In the Bible, Ezra was the leader of fifteen hundred Israelites. He saved them from slavery in Babylon and guided them back to their home, Jerusalem.
There's also the poet Erza Pound, and young and rising actor Erza Miller who played the teenage Kevin in the adaptation of Lionel Shiver's novel We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Ezra currently sits at number 92 which is the highest place its ever been. In 5 years time the name has shot up 150 places.
My first encounter with the name Effie - pronounced EF-ee was though the mysterious character Elizabeth Stonehem portrayed by Kaya Scodelario in the groundbreaking English teenage drama series Skins. Though the spelling in Skins was Effy.
You might also recognise the name from Effie Trinket, a character in The Hunger Games. Effie is not a common name, and is currently ranked at number 343 in England and Wales. The name was given to 53 girls born in the US in 2015.
The name Effie actually has many origins, which is one of the reasons it's so special. Though it's Scottish origins are perhaps the best known and is the anglicized form of OIGHRIG which means "new speckled one" in Scottish Gaelic.
Some people have commented that it's a shame that it sounds like the 'eff' word, and that they wouldn't give it to their child because of this.
I didn't know this until a few hours ago, but Irish singer Enya - unarguably the ruling queen of Celtic new age music - made the name Enya familiar. It's an alternate spelling of her actual name Eithne.
Enya changed the spelling so that people would be able to pronounce it correctly. For the record, it's pronounced EN-ya. I think it's a gorgeous name which rings of fantasy, but it actually has a very grounded meaning, and translates to 'kernel of a nut or seed.' While Enya is a popular name in Ireland, it was ranked at 751 in the US in 2015.
Although the Irish songstress is the best known Enya in the world, there was also at least nine St. Eithnes, including the mother of Saint Columba, an Irish missionary who spread Christianity in Scotland.
The first time I heard the name Evelyn used, that I can remember anyway, was the fictional character Evelyn Carnahan who was portrayed by Rachel Weisz in the 1999 blockbuster The Mummy. The film was set in 1926 a year when the name Evelyn was a hugely popular choice for little girls.
I more or less forgot about the name until I fell upon music from Amanda Palmer's musical project Evelyn Evelyn.
The name Evelyn is French in origin, and comes from a surname that's derived from the Old French 'aveline' which means 'hazelnut.' Though I've also read that it has English, German and Hebrew origins, too. In Germany and England Evelyn means 'uncertain,' whereas in Hebrew it means 'life.'
People who are called Evelyn have a tendency to be imaginative, idealistic and spiritual. If you're thinking about choosing Evelyn for your little girl, be aware that it's actually used as a boy's name in some countries, too.
Whenever I think of the name Erin - pronounced EH-rin - I think of the supermodel Erin O' Connor.
This gorgeous name actually means peace and hails from Ireland. In Ireland it's considered as an especially poetic name, which worked in its favour among American families of Irish heritage. Interestingly though, the name was not used in Ireland itself until the second half of the 20th century.
Though I initially thought of Erin as a serene name, apparently people called Erin are usually leaders instead of followers. They have influential personalities, are creative and highly determined. They also tend to be courageous and can sometimes seem aggressive.
Erin had its peak in popularity in the US in the 1980's when 3,077 babies per one million were given the name.
Origin: Old Norse
If you're looking for a powerful Nordic name which is strongly rooted and hugely memorable, you can't go wrong with Einar. In Norway, it's pronounced EYE-nar, and in Iceland, AY-nar. Reports say that in 2007, Einar was actually the 6th most frequently used name among Icelandic males.
The name uses the Old Norse elements ein which translates to 'warrior.'
If this doesn't give it quite enough ummph, the name Einar also shares the same roots as einherjar. In Norse mythology einherjar were the spirits of warriors that died in battle and were brought to Valhalla by the Valkyries.
One Einar who is making his mark on the world today is Einar Selvik, of prominent Norwegian musical project Wardruna.