Searching for “Glen Eden”

Atlas Obscura recently published an article about a man named Glen Eden Einbinder who has been collecting things bearing his first and middle names for more than 25 years.

His collection consists of “Glen Eden” postcards, bottle tops, newspaper clippings, leaflets, photographs, drink coasters, clothing, and more. The items represent various places: the Glen Eden nudist resort in California, the Glen Eden wool company in Georgia, the Glen Eden summer camp in Wisconsin, etc.

Though the two [names] together conjure up some pleasant idyll–Glen as a woodland valley, Eden as a garden–he didn’t realize the connection until he started to come across the huge volume of places that share his name.

Reader Becca pointed me to the article (thank you, Becca!) and asked about other people with this specific first-middle combo.

According to SSA data, at least 125,035 U.S. baby boys (and 1,348 U.S. baby girls) have been named single-N-Glen since 1880. So how many of these American single-N-Glens have the middle name Eden (besides Glen Eden Einbinder)?

A handful do, though I could only find definitive proof of two of them:

  • Glen Eden Hawkes (1907-1979) of Idaho
  • Glen Eden Franklin (b. 1918) of North Carolina

I also found several international Glen Edens, like these two:

  • Glen Eden Davis (1925-2003) of New South Wales, Australia
  • Glen Eden Flintoff (b. 1898) of Ontario, Canada

And there were plenty of near-misses. I found people named double-N-Glenn Eden (example), first-last Glen Eden (example), and first-last double-N-Glenn Eden (example). Plus people with first names like Gleneden, Glenedene, and Glenedena (example).

And how was Glen Eden Einbinder himself named?

Glen…is somehow related to the initials of his ancestors, with the “G” perhaps coming from a Great-Aunt Gussie. And Eden comes from the Jack London book Martin Eden, which his father was reading when Einbinder was born.

Do you have any thoughts on the combo “Glen Eden”?

P.S. This article reminded me of a documentary called The Grace Lee Project, in which an Asian-American filmmaker named Grace Lee interviews a bunch of other Asian-American women also named Grace Lee. (I think I first heard about it via Nancy Friedman.)


What Kicked Off the Name “Caresse”?

dinner at antoines, book, 1940s, caresse, baby nameThe unusual baby name Caresse saw its highest usage in the late ’80s and early ’90s (no doubt thanks to commercials for Caress soap, which was launched by Lever in 1985). But it debuted in the U.S. data way back in the 1940s:

  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: 5 baby girls named Caresse
  • 1949: 7 baby girls named Caresse [debut]
  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The 1949 novel Dinner at Antoine’s by Frances Parkinson Keyes, which became one of the bestselling books in the United States that year. The story was also serialized in several newspapers.

It was murder mystery set in New Orleans; the “Antoine’s” of the title refers to the famous Antoine’s Restaurant. One of the characters, Caresse Lalande, was a radio star (her show was called Fashions of Yesteryear). She was also carrying on an affair with her sister’s husband, Léonce. When the sister (named Odile) ended up murdered, both Caresse and Léonce (and many other people in their circle) became suspects.

The name got even more exposure that year thanks to the Literary Guild Book Club, which ran ads that featured not just Dinner at Antoine’s, but Caresse specifically:

caresse in literary guild advertisement

The French word Caresse (and also the English word Cherish) can be traced back to the Latin word carus, meaning “dear, costly, beloved.”

What do you think of the baby names Caresse and Caress? Would you use them?

Sources: Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States in the 1940s – Wikipedia, Caress – Online Etymology Dictionary
Image: from the October 1949 issue of Radio Mirror

Most Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2017

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2017 were (again) Emma and William.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 614 baby girls
2. Lea, 554
3. Alice, 512
4. Olivia, 483
5. Florence, 482
6. Charlotte, 425
7. Charlie, 420
8. Rosalie, 384
9. Beatrice, 369
10. Zoe, 349

Boy Names
1. William, 710 baby boys
2. Logan, 671
3. Liam, 629
4. Noah, 573
5. Jacob, 571
6. Thomas, 561
7. Raphael, 498
8. Nathan, 496
9. Leo, 494
10. Alexis, 461

The girls’ top 10 contains the same names as in 2016, but in a different order.

In the boys’ top 10, Raphael and Leo replace Felix (now 13th) and Gabriel (now 16th)

Some of the baby names used just once last year include:

  • Girls: Amberina, Benitha, Cassily, Delya, Elpis, Felia, Gwenia, Hajrah, Isalia, Jecolia, Kindia, Lagertha, Mimsy, Nolka, Odaluna, Posie, Rinnah, Sharbella, Tesseract*, Ujarak, Vitalina, Wathahontha, Ysoo, Zanaelle
  • Boys: Arjo, Braveman, Clermont, Daxon, Ebbo, Floyd, Gideon, Holyver, Izai, Joah, Kephry, Lelio, Majorik, Nelligan, Orelsan, Plume, Ricardy, Syphax, Tayze, Uapeshkuss, Valerian, Witghy, Yanrick, Zarrar

This is the first time I’ve seen the geometry term “tesseract” used as a baby name. As Wikipedia puts it, “the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square.” It’s a hypercube, basically. The word was coined in the 1880s from the Greek words tessera, “four,” and aktis, “ray.” Definitely an unusual name…though it does conveniently shorten to Tess.

Source: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Tesseract – Wikipedia

Distinctively Canadian First Names

Here are the most distinctively Canadian first names by decade, according to Canadian website The 10 and 3:

  • 2010s: Zainab and Linden
  • 2000s: Gurleen and Callum
  • 1990s: Simran and Mathieu
  • 1980s: Chantelle and Darcy
  • 1970s: Josee and Stephane
  • 1960s: Giuseppina and Luc
  • 1950s: Heather and Giuseppe
  • 1940s: Heather and Lorne
  • 1930s: Isobel and Lorne
  • 1920s: Gwendoline and Lorne

Did you know that Canada’s love of “Lorne” comes from the Marquess of Lorne, the British nobleman who served as Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883? To see more explanations, and also more names per decade, check out the source article.

The name I’m most curious about is Josée from the 1970s. It had a “Canadian factor” of 634.6 — larger than any other name in the study — but also had no explanation, and I can’t figure out the influence. Does anyone have a guess?

Source: Gord, Sheila, Graham and Beverley? The Most Distinctively Canadian Names Are Not What You’d Expect

Personal Names of the Gosiute Indians

gosiute mother and child

The Gosiutes (or Goshutes) are a Shoshonean-speaking Native American group that traditionally lived in the Great Basin region of Utah.

In the early 1900s, Utah-based academic Ralph V. Chamberlin (1879-1967) collected dozens of Gosiute personal names. According to his research, the names fell into several categories:

  • Names that referred to physical appearance
  • Names that referred to “peculiarity of manner or conduct or to some marked personal habit”
  • Names taken from places, materials, or objects
  • Names taken from animals
  • Names “taken from other Indian tongues and…also from English”

He also noted that the “same person frequently receives several [names] in the course of his life”:

The name borne in childhood perhaps in most cases is changed in later life; while the name of an adult may be suspended or used interchangeably with another given in consequence of some newly acquired characteristic or of some event of importance in his life.

Here are most of the Gosiute names Chamberlin mentioned in a speech he gave in early 1912:

  • Ai’ba-pa – “clay water” (from the name of a local stream)
  • Äñ’ka-bi-pi-dûp – “ghost”
  • An’tsi – “a barren flat”
  • A’pam-pi – “horn head” (for a chief; it referred to the chief’s headdress)
  • An’tsi – “a flat without grass”
  • Dsa’kûp – “broken”
  • Gwa’na-se – “sand”
  • Ham’bu-i – “blind eye”
  • Hoi – “chipmunk”
  • Ǐ’ca-gwaim-no-dsûp – “back apparently broken” (for a boy with a spinal curvature)
  • Kûm’o-rûp – “rabbit ears” (for a boy with conspicuous ears)
  • Kun – “fire”
  • Man’tsi-rǐtc – “to hold the hands in the supine position” (for a woman who often held her hands this way)
  • Ma’ro-pai – “fighter”
  • Mo’ro-wǐntc – from root words meaning “nose” and “to pull or draw up” (for a woman who often turned up her nose)
  • Mu’nai – “moon”
  • Mûts’ěm-ti-a – “mountain sheep”
  • Mû’tsûmp – “mustache” (for a girl with hair on her upper lip)
  • Nam’pa-cu-a – “foot dragger” (for a man with a wooden foot)
  • Nan’nan-tci (male) or Na’na-vi (female) – “to grow up tall”
  • No’wi-ûp – “camp mover”
  • Oi’tcu – “bird”
  • Pai’yä-nuk – “laughing water” (for a woman with a happy disposition)
  • Pa’ri-gwǐ-tsûp – “mud”
  • Pa’so-go – “swampy ground”
  • Pa’wi-noi-tsi – from root words meaning “water” and “to travel or ride” (for “a man spoken of in tradition as having a very long time ago built a vessel and navigated the Great Salt Lake”)
  • Pi’a-waip – “big woman”
  • Pǐ’dji-bu-i – based on bi’dji, “mammae” (for a girl with “precociously developed mammae”)
  • Pǐn’ji-rû – from the name of a bird
  • Po’go-nûp – “black currant”
  • Pu’i-dja – from the English word “pudgy”
  • Ta’bi – “sun”
  • Ta’di-en – from the English word “Italian” (for a boy thought to resemble an Italian)
  • Tai’bo-hûm – based on tai’bo, “white person” (for a boy who was a favorite of the white people)
  • Toip – “pipe” (for a man who always smoked a particular pipe)
  • Tu’gan – “night, darkness”
  • Tu’o-ba – “dark water”
  • Tu’o-bai – from root words meaning “dark” and “abounding in” (for a woman with an unpleasant disposition)
  • Wa-da’tsi – “bitter”
  • Wǐ’ni – from the English name Winnie
  • Wu’dǐ-tci – “black bear”
  • Ya’ki-kǐn – “to cry” (for a woman who often wept over her dead relatives)

He also mentioned boy-girl twins named Sa’gûp and Pi’o-ra — the first name referring to the willow tree, the second referring to the sweet-pea, “which lives among and climbs upon the willows, the two names being selected because of this association.”

Sources: