It’s another Five-Name Friday! Here is today’s baby name request:
My husband and I are on the hunt for a girl’s name that starts with a vowel (E, O, or U) or a soft, vowel-like consonant (H, W, Y, etc.) and contains a double letter somewhere in the name. To avoid repeating initials in the family, we don’t want names that begin with A or I .
Can you come up with five solid baby name suggestions for this person?
Here are the rules:
Be independent. Choose your five names before looking at anyone else’s comment.
Be sincere. Stick to legit recommendations you would offer a real-life friend.
Five names total in your comment. If you go over, I will delete the extras.
Hedda Hopper was a gossip columnist who came to fame in the early 1940s (when she was in her 50s). But “Hedda Hopper” wasn’t her original name. It was Elda Furry.
She’d been a performer (both on stage and in the movies) as a young woman — long before she wrote for the newspapers. So it’s logical to assume that the name change happened around the time she embarked upon her showbiz career, right?
As it turns out, that wasn’t the case — she made the switch mid-career. Here’s the story:
Elda was working as a chorus girl for DeWolf Hopper’s theater company in the early 1910s…
[DeWolf Hopper] had had four marriages, and was five years older than Elda’s father, but was still a great charmer and anything but jaded. Hopper’s first four wives were named Ella, Ida, Edna and Nella, in that order, and Elda was a natural for the euphonious sequence. So, about a year after their first meeting, Hopper proposed on a train platform in Grand Central and that afternoon they were married in Wading River, N.J.
Elda shortly became aware of some rather piquant marital complications. Any man with five wives is likely to become confused and, when the wives have such similar names as the Hopper ladies, the situations becomes positively grotesque. Elda discovered that as often as not Hopper would whisper affectionately, “Dear Nella” (or Ella, Ida and Edna) instead of “Dear Elda.” The sensation of being continuously mistaken for someone else became irksome in time, and Elda forthwith visited a numerologist who recommended the name “Hedda.” From then on Hopper never got his lines crossed.
Her marriage to Hopper only lasted from 1913 until 1922, but she retained the name “Hedda Hopper” for the rest of her life.
It’s no coincidence that the usage of the baby name Hedda was highest during the 1940s. Records even reveal that one of the 1944 babies named Hedda was born into a Texas family with the surname Hopper.
Which name do you prefer, Elda or Hedda?
Source: Wickware, Francis Sill. “Hedda Hopper.” Life 20 Nov. 1944: 63-70.
The names Jentree and Gentree both debuted in the U.S. baby name data last year. Jentree was given to 14 baby girls, and Gentree to 6 more.
Though the original form of the name, Gentry, has been on the rise recently — and has given rise to spelling variants* — these two particular variants didn’t pop up until a video featuring towheaded 2-year-old Jentree Joles went viral.
A one-minute clip of Jentree getting emotional while watching the movie The Good Dinosaur (2015) — specifically, the part where a young dinosaur became separated from his family — was posted to social media by her aunt in September of 2017.
The video racked up nearly a million views overnight. By the time Jentree and her family were featured on the local news several weeks later (Oct. 6), the video had been viewed 75 million times across several different platforms.
Gentry — both the surname and the vocabulary word — mean the same thing: “nobility of birth or character.” The word can be traced back (via Anglo-Norman French genterie and Old French gentil) to the ancient Roman word gens, which referred to one’s clan or tribe.
The baby name Gentry is particularly popular in a handful of central-ish U.S. states: Oklahoma (where Joles is from), Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah. It’s strongly associated with country music via duo Montgomery Gentry and singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry (whose fame in the late ’60s inspired parents to use “Gentry” as a girl name more often).
What are your thoughts on the baby name Gentry? What spelling do you prefer?
During the colonial period (and probably earlier), Mayan children were given personal names that began with either of two gender prefixes: the masculine prefix “Ah,” or the feminine prefix “Ix” (pronounced eesh).
You can see the “Ix” in the name of the Mayan goddess of midwifery and medicine, Ix Chel. Other examples of feminine Mayan names include Ix Chan, Ix Cahum, Ix Can, Ix Cakuk, Ix Kan, Ix Kauil, Ix Kukul, Ix Nahau, and Ix Titibe.
Out of all of these traditional names, though, only Ixchel and variants (Ixel, Ixcel, and Ixtzel) have been used often enough in the U.S. to appear in the baby name data.
The data also includes two more Ix-names: Ixayana and Ixareli. These might be modern takes on the Mayan Ix-names, and/or they might be variants of Itza-names (like Itzayana, Itzamar and Itzael)…which themselves may have evovled from Ix-names.
What do you think of the name Ixchel (pronounced ee-shel)?