The War-Inspired Name Wainwright

baby name, war, wainwright

The baby name Wainwright was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data back in 1942:

  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: 6 baby boys named Wainwright
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, who was in command of the Filipino and U.S. Army forces (under Gen. Douglas MacArthur) when the Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines in December of 1941. He surrendered to the Japanese in May of 1942, and was held in prisoner by the Japanese until 1945.

An original bearer of the surname Wainwright would have been a person who either made or repaired wagons and carts. (The name Wayne has a similar derivation.)

Source: Jonathan M. Wainwright (general) – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in the Faroe Islands, 2019

According to Statistics Faroe Islands, the most popular baby names last year in the Faroe Islands — the North Atlantic archipelago that belongs to Denmark — were Anna and Jónas.

Here are the Faroe Islands’ top 10+ girl names and top 10+ boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Anna, 9 baby girls
  2. Eva, 7 (two-way tie)
  3. Lea, 7 (two-way tie)
  4. Maria, 6 (three-way tie)
  5. Mia, 6 (three-way tie)
  6. Vón, 6 (three-way tie)
    • Based on an Old Norse word meaning “hope.”
  7. Alda, 5 (three-way tie)
  8. Elsa, 5 (three-way tie)
  9. Olivia, 5 (three-way tie)
  10. Emma, 4 (three-way tie)
  11. Liva, 4 (three-way tie)
  12. Rósa, 4 (three-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Jónas, 9 baby boys
  2. Óðin, 8
  3. Benjamin, 6 (three-way tie)
  4. Magnus, 6 (three-way tie)
  5. Rókur, 6 (three-way tie)
    • Based on an Old Norse name meaning “crow, rook.”
  6. Adrian, 5 (four-way tie)
  7. Baldur, 5 (four-way tie)
  8. Boas, 5 (four-way tie)
  9. Jósef, 5 (four-way tie)
  10. Ari, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  11. Bragi, 4 (eleven-way tie)
    • Based on an Old Norse word meaning “the best, foremost” or “poetry.” Also the Norse god of poetry.
  12. Dávid, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  13. Hugin, 4 (eleven-way tie)
    • Based on an Old Norse word meaning “mind, spirit, thought.”
  14. Jákup, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  15. Jóhan, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  16. Jón, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  17. Markus, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  18. Milan, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  19. Nóa, 4 (eleven-way tie)
  20. Villiam, 4 (eleven-way tie)

Some of the other baby names bestowed in the Faroe Islands in 2019 include…

  • Brima (f) “surf, surge” in Old Norse
  • Døgg (f) “dew”
  • Glóa (f) “to glow, to shine, to glitter”
  • Gylta (f) “young sow”
  • Gylvi (m) “roaring sea, heavy sea”
  • Hjalti (m) “man from Hjaltland
  • Tjálvi (m) “one who encompasses, keeps together”
  • Treysti (m) “trusty”
  • Ýr (f) “yew tree, bow”

Sources: Statistics Faroe Islands (via Reddit), Faroe Islands – Wikipedia, Nordic Names

P.S. Denmark has a total of two overseas territories: the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Names in the News: Twifia, Víðir, Kent

Some recent baby names from the news…

Kent: A baby boy born in Michigan in September while his parents were on their way to the hospital was named Nolan Kent — middle name after the road on which he was born. (Fox 2, via Clare’s Name News)

Mahoba Depot: A baby boy born aboard a moving bus in Mahoba district (Uttar Pradesh, India) in September was named Mahoba Depot. (National Herald)

River: The baby boy born to actors Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara in mid-2020 was named River, after Joaquin’s late brother River Phoenix. (Harper’s Bazaar)

  • More on River Phoenix’s name here and here.

Twifia: A baby girl born in Graubünden, Switzerland, in October was given the second middle name Twifia — based on the name of Swiss internet provider Twifi — in exchange for 18 years of free internet. (Kidspot)

Víðir Þór Almarsson: A baby boy born in Iceland in May to quarantining parents Almar Þór Jónsson and Kristín Vigdís was named Víðir Þór Almarsson after Iceland’s COVID-19 trifecta: “Chief of Police Víðir Reynisson, Chief Epidemiologist Þórolfur Guðnason, and Director of Health Alma Möller.” (Reykjavik Grapevine)

Zuko: A baby boy born in California two weeks after the state’s stay-at-home order was issued (Mar. 19) was named Zuko after a character from the animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender. (CBS8)

Baby Names from Egyptian Gods

Recent posts have mentioned both Isis and Anubis, and these names made me wonder — which other ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses are hiding in the U.S. baby name data?

After some searching, here’s what I came up with:

  • Aker, a god of the earth and underworld.
  • Amun or Amon, king of the gods; later combined with the sun god Ra to become…
  • Amunra (Amun-Ra), chief deity of the Egyptian Empire.
  • Amunet, a primordial goddess.
  • Anat, originally a Semitic war goddess.
  • Ash, the god of oases and vineyards.
  • Aten, a solar deity represented by “the solar disk emitting rays terminating in human hands.”
  • Atum, a god of creation.
  • Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky; symbol of kingship.
  • Imhotep, a priest of Heliopolis who was later deified.
  • Khepri, the scarab-headed god of the morning sun.
  • Maat (Ma’at), the goddess of truth, justice, and cosmic order.
  • Meret (meaning “beloved”), a goddess associated with rejoicing.
  • Osiris, the (often green-skinned) god of fertility; ruler of the underworld.
  • Ra, sun god.
  • Set or Seth, god of storms, disorder, warfare — “in general, a trickster.”
  • Shai, a god of fate.
  • Tayt, goddess of weaving.

Which Egyptian god/goddess name makes the best baby name, do you think?

Sources: List of Egyptian Deities, Egyptian Gods – The Complete List, Aton – Egyptian god – Britannica, Seth – Egyptian God – Britannica

Thankful & Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the holiday, I present to you a mother and daughter with an appreciative pair of names: Thankful and Grateful.

These two were part of the late-18th century Gould family of Winchester, New Hampshire. The family consisted of husband Thomas Gould (born in 1753), wife Thankful Gould (b. 1751), and their three children: Grateful Gould (b. 1783), Thomas Gould (b. 1785), and Sylvia Gould (b. 1789).

I don’t know why their first daughter was named “Grateful” as opposed to “Thankful,” but I’m grateful she was, because I had fun spotting these names in the records. :)

Sources: