Five-Name Friday: Girl Name in the Style of Sophia

five name friday, girl names

You started a small home improvement project…only to discover that you don’t have all the tools you’ll need to finish. So you stop everything and head to the hardware store.

As you make your purchase, you notice that the man behind the counter seems a little stressed out. He admits that his girlfriend is due to give birth any day now, but he doesn’t feel ready to be a dad yet. They don’t even have a name picked out. Then he tells you the gist of what they’re looking for:

My brother named his daughter Sophia. For ours we want something of a similar style, but not as popular.

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give him dozens of suggestions on the spot. But you’ve got to get back to your project, so you only have time to give him five helpful suggestions before heading off.

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:

My brother named his daughter Sophia. For ours we want something of a similar style, but not as popular.

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.]


Names in the News: Jedi, Ahmed, Kadri

Here are three Canadian baby name stories leftover from 2016:

  • Jedi: The first baby born in Terrace, British Columbia, in 2016 was a boy named Jedi. His other brothers are Jared and Jade.
  • Ahmed: In August of 2016, a baby boy born to Syrian refugees in Canada was named Ahmed in honor of Ahmed Nasir, “a physics student from Egypt who has been volunteering his time as a translator for the family.” The name was chosen by the baby’s 6-year-old brother, Moa’ath.
  • Kadri: In October of 2016, a baby girl born in Ontario was named Kadri after Maple Leafs hockey player Nazem Kadri, whose family came from Lebanon. Her four older siblings are also named for Maple Leafs players. (The shared names are Tucker, McCabe, Domi, and Colton Orr.)

One source reporting on baby Kadri ended with this interesting fact: “Leaf great Ron Ellis still exchanges Christmas cards with a man who was named Ron Ellis Lucas in his honour for his play during the 1960s.”

Sources: Star Wars baby named Jedi by Terrace parents, In a maple-leaf onesie, baby Ahmed is a ‘proud Canadian’ born to Syrian refugee family, Kingston couple name all 5 of their kids after Maple Leafs players, Family names newborn after Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri

The One-Hit Wonder Baby Name Kitza

kitza kazacos, 1959, baby name
Kitza Kazacos
© 1959 Billboard
Like Gogi, the name Kitza debuted in the U.S. baby name data in the late ’50s but never returned.

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 5 baby girls named Kitza [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Greek singer Kitza Kazacos. During the ’50s she became famous in England, and at the end of the decade she decided to try her luck with American audiences.

As the mononymous “Kitza” she appeared (along with Paul Anka) on the Perry Como Show in February of 1959. The press coverage leading up to the appearance was a bit weird, focusing on how she maintained her figure with the help of a hypnotist (“who hypnotizes her into disliking foods that make her gain weight”).

Ultimately, Kitza didn’t have much luck getting attention in the U.S. Here’s what she said later the same year:

“Since the Perry Como show, I have made just one other appearance and that was on daytime show ‘The Jimmy Dean Show.’ They say they want fresh new talent here, but when fresh, new talent comes to them, they say, “The public doesn’t know you.””

I’m not sure what became of Kitza Kazacos, but I can tell you that her first name is a variant of Kitsa, which is a nickname for Kyriaki. Kyriaki is both the Greek word for Sunday and the feminine form of the name Kyriakos, which means “of the lord.” (The Latin equivalent of Kyriakos is Dominicus, the root names like of Dominic and Dominique.)

What do you think of the name Kitza?

Source: Torre, Marie. “New Face Gets Second Look.” Lawrence Journal-World 15 Jun. 1959: 4.

Metalhead Baby Name: Iron Maiden

iron maiden, logo, rock

A baby boy born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, in early February was named “Iron Maiden” after the British heavy metal band:

iron maiden, baby name

His father was particularly inspired by Iron Maiden’s gruesome, zombie-like mascot Eddie the Head.

Which prompts me to ask the obvious question: Why not just name the baby “Eddie”?

On the other hand, I kinda wish both parents had a “Duran” to contribute to the surname, because then you’d have Iron Maiden Duran Duran.

Some related names and almost-names: Danzig, Metallica, Vedder, Cobain, Reznor, Motor Head.

Sources: Padres llaman a su hijo Iron Maiden, Bolivian Couple Explain Decision To Name Son Iron Maiden

Baby Names from Classic Arcade Games?

baby names, arcade games

Potential baby names may be hiding in the titles of classic arcade games of the ’80s and early ’90s. No, I’m not talking Q*Bert or Pac-Man. But how about Azurian, Zaviga, or Cadash?

Below are a bunch of possibilities, most not even as daring as Dovahkiin, Tali’Zorah, or Sephiroth. Three of them — Kage, Raiden, and Truxton — have already popped up in the SSA data. (And if you’re in the mood to play, click through to check out playable versions of the games hosted by the Internet Archive!)

  • Amidar (1981)
    • “Amidar” is based on Amidakuji (the name of a Japanese game) which is based on Amida (the name of a figure in East Asian Buddhism).
  • Bosconian (1981)
  • Zarzon (1981)
  • Azurian, from Azurian Attack (1982)
  • Zaxxon (1982)
  • Zektor (1982)
  • Cavelon (1983)
  • Ixion (1983)
  • Regulus (1983)
  • Xevious, from Super Xevious (1983)
  • Zaviga (1984)
  • Kage (“kah-gay”), from Legend of Kage (1985)
  • Rygar (1986)
  • Gryzor (1987)
  • Sauro (1987)
  • Ordyne (1988)
  • Syvalion (1988)
  • Truxton (1988)
  • Xenon (1988)
  • Cadash (1989)
  • Dyger (1989)
  • Sagaia (1989)
  • Tonma, from Legend of Hero Tonma (1989)
    • “Tonma” is translated to “Tommy” within the game, interestingly.
  • Xyonix (1989)
  • Aurail (1990)
  • Raiden (1990)
    • “Raiden” was used again a couple of years later in the original Mortal Kombat.
  • Trigon (1990)
  • Solvalou (1991), one of several Xevious sequels
  • Vimana (1991)
    • “Vimana” is a Sanskrit word that refers to a flying palace or chariot in Hindu mythology.

I half-expect to see Zaxxon on the charts soon, now that Jaxon and Jaxxon are trendy and variants like Maxxon and Daxxon have emerged.

Five-Name Friday: Girl Name for Will’s Sister

five name friday, girl name

It’s an unseasonably warm day, so you decide to take a walk around the neighborhood. At one point you encounter a nice lady with a little boy in a stroller. As the two of you chat, the lady mentions that she and her husband are now expecting a baby girl, but they aren’t sure what to name her. Here’s the gist of the situation:

We are naming baby number 2, our son’s name is William “Will” Michael. I like Annabel, Linley & Ava but he likes McKenna, Keira & Campbell.

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give her dozens of suggestions on the spot. But her young son is starting to get cranky, so you decide to stick to five baby name suggestions so the lady can get on with her day.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with, you get to press a magical “pause” button, think for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer him 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:

We are naming baby number 2, our son’s name is William “Will” Michael. I like Annabel, Linley & Ava but he likes McKenna, Keira & Campbell.

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.]

Family of Food Names: Taco, Apple, Chili, Bran…

Florida-born rugby player Taco Pope — who’s in the Jacksonville Axemen Hall of Fame and who made it to the NOTY Final Four last year — comes from a family full of food-names.

He has brothers named Apple-Joe and Pepci. His mother, Chili-Lu, has a brother named Pepar and a sister named Cofi. Pepar has a daughter named Colby (“after the cheese”). Cofi has four children named Sage, Bran, Cinnamon-T and Dentyne (“after the American chewing gum brand”).

The initial food names were thought up by grandparents Rex and Dortha Lou. Dortha Lou’s nickname? “Pork.”

So does Taco Pope like his name? He told one reporter that it had never been a hindrance. On the contrary, it was “a good conversation starter.”

Sources: Taco and Apple take the cake, Obituary of Rex Marion Anspaugh

[For more edible appellations, check out this list of unusual names, which includes Apple Pie, Apple Seed, Lemon Lime, Orange Lemon, and more.]