Ten-Name Tuesday: Girl Names for Twins

five name friday, girl names, twins

It’s lunchtime, and you’re in line at the McDonalds (don’t judge! they have good salads!) chatting with a woman one line over. She mentions that she’s pregnant with twins, and that she and her husband have different preferences when it comes to baby names:

Looking for twin girls’ names – brother’s name is Finnian, who we call Finn. I like the names Liv & Aria and my husband likes the names Fern & Penelope; our last name is a Scottish name beginning with “Mc” so no M names.

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give her many, many suggestions. But you’re both nearly at the counter, so you only have time to give her ten baby name suggestions — five for each twin.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first ten names you come up with (which is what you’d be forced to do in real life) you get to press a magical “pause” button, brainstorm for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer her the best ten names you can think of.

Some things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  • Be independent. Decide on your ten names before looking at anyone else’s ten names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger at the Mickey D’s?
  • Ten names only! All names beyond the first ten in your comment will be either deleted or replaced with nonsense words.
    • DETAILS: Please comment with no more than 10 female names — either a list of ten, or two groups of five, or five pairings.

Finally, here’s the request again:

Looking for twin girls’ names – brother’s name is Finnian, who we call Finn. I like the names Liv & Aria and my husband likes the names Fern & Penelope; our last name is a Scottish name beginning with “Mc” so no M names.

Which ten baby names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]


Popular Baby Names in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2016

According to preliminary data released on January 6th by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Emma and Jackson (and variants).

Here are the province’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Avary/Avery
3. Charlotte
4. Olivia
5. Addison/Addyson
6. Scarlett
7. Abbigail/Abigail/Abigale
8. Anna
9. Cali/Callie/Kali/Kallee/Kallie
10. Emilee/Emily

Boy Names
1. Jackson/Jaxen/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxxen/Jaxxon
2. Liam
3. Benjamin
4. Jack
5. James
6. Mason
7. Grayson/Greyson
8. Jacob
9. Noah
10. Isaac/Isac/Issac

The #1 names are the same as in 2015. (I forgot to post the 2015 rankings last year, but here are the 2014 rankings.)

In the girls’ top 10, the Addison-group, Scarlett, the Abigail-group, the Callie-group, and the Emily-group replace the Sophia-group, the Lily-group, the Mia-group, the Ava-group, and the Chloe-group.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason, the Greyson-group, and the Isaac-group replace Parker, the Nathan-group, and Carter.

Most of the pronunciation groupings on N.L.’s full top 100 made sense, but here are two I wasn’t so sure about:

  • In 21st place on the girls’ list was “Lea/Leah/Leia/Leiyah/Lia/Leya,” which mixes LEE‑uh and LAY‑uh names.
  • In 63rd place on the girls’ list was “Raya/Rayah/Rhea,” which mixes RAY‑uh and REE‑uh names.

Sources: Top 100 Baby Names – Open Data Newfoundland and Labrador, Jaxxen among most popular N.L. baby names in 2016

Five-Name Friday: Girl Name like Carla and Leona

five name friday, girl names

After working out for three weeks straight (yay!) you decide to reward yourself by going to the pastry shop and buying some French macarons. The nice lady at the register is pregnant, and she’s openly asking each customer for baby name ideas. When it’s your turn, you request a few extra details so you can tailor your suggestions. She says:

I like the names Leona, Amelia, and Lucia, but my spouse likes Carla, Sofia, Josephine, and Juliet. What are girl names we’d both like?

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give her dozens of ideas on the spot. But there’s a line of hungry people behind you, so you only have time to give her five baby name recommendations before stepping out of the way.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with (which is what you’d be forced to do in real life) you get to press a magical “pause” button, brainstorm for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer her the best five names you can think of.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger in public?
  • Five names only! All names beyond the first five in your comment will be either deleted or replaced with nonsense words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

I like the names Leona, Amelia, and Lucia, but my spouse likes Carla, Sofia, Josephine, and Juliet. What are girl names we’d both like?

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]

“Second Chance” Baby Name: Davenia

Davenia, Second Chance, 1977
Davenia on Second Chance, 1977

This was a lucky find. While researching Press Your Luck contestant names for yesterday’s post, I found out that there was a PYL precursor called Second Chance that aired for a few months during 1977 (March to July).

Only a handful of those 95 Second Chance episodes still exist, and there are currently only two on YouTube. But one of those two happens to feature a contestant with the unique name Davenia.

And is Davenia in the SSA data? Yup:

  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 5 baby girls named Davenia [debut]
  • 1976: unlisted

Not surprisingly, it debuted the very same year Second Chance was on the air. :)

What do you think of the name Davenia?

Sources: Press Your Luck Info Page, Second Chance: Bob/Davenia/Marion (Aired May 31, 1977) [vid]

“Press Your Luck” Baby Names: Thawann, Mayuri, Shequita

thawann, press your luck, 1984
Thawann on Press Your Luck, late 1983

The game show Press Your Luck (“Big bucks! No whammies!”) was on the air from mid-1983 to mid-1986. So far, I’ve found five baby names that were influenced by the show.

Thawann

The name Thawann was a one-hit wonder that popped up in 1984:

  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: 5 baby girls named Thawann [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted

Two-time contestant Thawann was on the show in December of 1983. She won the first game she played (PYL episode 54) but not the second (PYL episode 55). At the start of the first show, she told the host her name was Indian.

Geron

The name Geron more than doubled in usage in 1984:

  • 1986: 6 baby boys named Geron
  • 1985: 5 baby boys named Geron
  • 1984: 12 baby boys named Geron
  • 1983: 5 baby boys named Geron
  • 1982: 5 baby boys named Geron

One-time contestant Geron was on the show in May of 1984 (PYL episode 175). A slightly similar soap opera-inspired name, Mergeron, happened to debut the same year.

LaDina

The name LaDina also more than doubled in usage in 1984:

  • 1986: 6 baby girls named LaDina
  • 1985: 8 baby girls named LaDina
  • 1984: 10 baby girls named LaDina
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: 5 baby girls named LaDina

Two-time contestant LaDina was on the show in December of 1984 — the same two dates as Thawann, ironically. She won the first game she played, but not the second. (I can’t find the episodes online anywhere.)

Shequita

The name Shequita saw a significant increase in usage in 1985:

  • 1987: 42 baby girls named Shequita
  • 1986: 51 baby girls named Shequita
  • 1985: 128 baby girls named Shequita
  • 1984: 36 baby girls named Shequita
  • 1983: 27 baby girls named Shequita

Two-time contestant Shequita was on the show in May of 1985. She won the first game she played (PYL episode 422) but not the second (PYL episode 423). At the start of the first show, she told the host her name was Spanish and meant “small.”

Mayuri

The name Mayuri debuted in 1986:

  • 1987: unlisted
  • 1986: 6 baby girls named Mayuri [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted

One-time contestant Mayuri (pronounced mah-yoo-dee) was on the show in January of 1986 (PYL episode 599). At the start of the show she mentioned that she’s from Hawaii, but she didn’t say anything about her name, which I’m assuming is Japanese.

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These were the only unique PYL contestant names I spotted on the U.S. charts, but there were plenty of other PYL contestants with unique names, such as: Adoris, Ayne, Beverlyn, Cookie, Donarae, Feargus, Fredda, Guillermo, Hercules, Hillie, Linnea, Llewellyn, Maari, Maytee, Menard, Menett, Meri Lea, Mordecai, Ondreia, Queta, Ramin, Romey, Sancy, Smittay, Thorne, Tinker, Tissa, and Yogi.

Source: Press Your Luck (fanpage)

“Card Sharks” Baby Names: Dilanjan and Risha

Risha, Card Sharks, 1979
Risha on Card Sharks (1979)

Does anyone remember the NBC game show Card Sharks?

The original version — which involved a pair of contestants guessing survey results (à la Family Feud) and then playing the card game High Low for prize money — ran from 1978 to 1981. During that period, two uniquely named contestants had a small influence on American baby names:

Dilanjan

A contestant named Dilanjan was on the show for five episodes in January of 1979. That year, the baby name Dilanjan debuted on the SSA’s baby name list with 13 baby boys. It was never on the list again, though, making it a one-hit wonder.

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 13 baby boys named Dilanjan [debut]
  • 1978: unlisted

The name is apparently Sinhalese (the Sinhalese people make up 75% of the population of Sri Lanka) but so far I can’t figure out the meaning.

Risha

A contestant named Risha [pronounced REE-sha] was on the show for six episodes in July of 1979. The baby name Risha had already been on the SSA’s list for several decades by then, but in 1979 usage of the name more than tripled:

  • 1981: 17 baby girls named Risha
  • 1980: 24 baby girls named Risha
  • 1979: 56 baby girls named Risha
  • 1978: 17 baby girls named Risha
  • 1977: 17 baby girls named Risha

I have a feeling that repeat contestants on other long-gone game shows have also affected the charts…but it’s hard to do research on this sort of thing, as there isn’t some master-list of game show contestant names I can refer to (I wish!).

For all the game show junkies out there: What memorable contestant names have you spotted over the years?

More “Star Search” Baby Names

symba smith, star search, spokesmodel, 1991
Symba on Star Search, 1991
When I wrote about the name Tareva a couple of years ago, I said it was the only Star Search-inspired debut name I’d ever come across. Well, I’ve since discovered one more!

Symba

The name Symba was a 2-hit wonder that only appeared in the SSA data in 1991 and 1992:

  • 1993: unlisted
  • 1992: 5 baby girls named Symba
  • 1991: 30 baby girls named Symba [debut]
  • 1990: unlisted

The cause? Not Disney’s animated baby lion, which didn’t come along until a few years later, but Star Search spokesmodel competitor Symba Smith, who appeared on multiple episodes of the show during the 1991 season and ultimately won the 1991 championship (which included $100,000 in prize money).

Two years earlier, in 1989, Mississippi-born Symba had won the “Miss Teen All-American” pageant. (Four years before that, the pageant winner had been Halle Berry.)

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But that’s not all. Here are two more names that saw a boost in usage thanks to Star Search:

Durell

The name Durell spiked in popularity in 1985 thanks to singer Durell Coleman, winner of the 1985 season.

  • 1987: 50 baby boys named Durell
  • 1986: 123 baby boys named Durell
  • 1985: 208 baby boys named Durell
  • 1984: 46 baby boys named Durell

Countess

The name Countess jumped back onto the charts in 1988 thanks to Countess Vaughn, who sang on the show as a 9-year-old.

  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: 6 baby girls named Countess
  • 1988: 15 baby girls named Countess
  • 1987: unlisted

Vaughn went on to join the cast of Moesha in 1996 as a teenager.

Two more names that may have been influenced by Star Search — it’s hard to tell — are Garcelle and Jordis. Garcelle Beauvais competed as a spokesmodel in 1986, and Jordis Unga competed as a vocalist in 2004. (Unga’s 2005 appearance on Rock Star: INXS was probably a bigger influence on overall usage.)