Just Beyond Julia: Lulia, Sulia, Tulia, Zulia…

julia variants, baby names

Remember that “Julia Guglia” punchline from The Wedding Singer? It came up in conversation the other day, and it made me wonder: what other -ulia names are out there?

I don’t mean familiar Julia-variants like Giulia, Yulia, and Iulia. We already know that these exist. I mean new names coined by adding a different first letter to the tail -ulia — the same way all those different -ayden names cropped up during the -ayden craze.

So have there been -ulia names that aren’t related to Julia? Sure have. Here are the ones I found in the SSA data:

  • Eulia. Eulia pops up most often in the 1920s, which is when Eu- names like Eunice, Eugenia, Eula and Eulalia were relatively popular.
  • Kulia. This one is a borderline case. Kulia is technically a Julia-variant, being a Hawaiian form of Julia, but the initial sound is totally different. (There’s no J-sound in Hawaiian.)
  • Lulia. Like Eulia, Lulia saw usage in the early 1900s when similar names like Lula and Lulu were common. Unlike Eulia, Lulia has since returned to the charts, no doubt thanks to the current trendiness of Lily and the like. This name is also a Hawaiian form of Lydia.
  • Sulia. Sulia, which reminds me of Sula, short for Ursula, popped up once in 1991.
  • Tulia. Tulia, which reminds me of Tulip, has been on the charts several times since turn of the century.
  • Zulia. Like Sulia, Zulia has only appeared in the data once so far.

Ulia by itself has also been used as a name before, though it’s never been in the data. Going back to Hawai’i one last time, Ulia is both a Hawaiian form of Uriah and a Hawaiian word meaning “accident.”

Which of the above -ulia names above do you like best?

P.S. If you want more -ulia names to choose from, here’s a video with dozens of obscure-but-real variants collected from the census:


Five-Name Friday: Boy Name Between Vaughn and Oliver

five name friday, boy name

Welcome to Five Name Friday! Here’s today’s baby name request:

Me and my partner are expecting our first baby, a boy, and want to find names we can agree on. My top 3 are Tucker, Flynn and Vaughn, and my partner’s are Theodore, Benjamin and Oliver.

Can you come up with five great baby name suggestions for this person?

Here are the rules:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anybody else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest your five names to somebody in real life?
  • Five names only please! All names beyond the first five in your comment will be deleted.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[You can also comment on previous Five-Name Friday posts, or send me your own 2-sentence baby name request using the contact form.]

Celebrity Baby Name – Emet Kuli

After her son Emet Kuli Loeb Hershkovitz was born in 2012, singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb wrote a blog post about his birth and included a few details about his name:

We chose the name Emet because it’s a Hebrew word meaning “truth” that also sounds like a Southern name […] That way my husband’s family from Israel, my family from Texas, and other folks we see on a regular basis can pronounce the name in their own way, but correctly!

Kuli is Roey’s grandfather’s name — actually a nickname — the name he was known by for most of his life. Since he was a very fast soccer player, everyone called him “Kuli” a shortened version of the Hungarian word “kulimász” meaning cart grease, used to make wheels on carts faster.

I love the unique story behind Kuli. Though I am curious to how the Israeli (?) grandfather came to have a nickname that was based on a Hungarian word.

Lisa and husband Roey Hershkovitz also have a daughter named Lyla Rose, born in 2009.

Source: Lisa Loeb’s Blog: Meet My Son Emet

The Baby Name Ketti

ketti frings, look homeward angel

The name Ketti appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1959:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 8 baby girls named Ketti [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted

This was the year after writer Ketti Frings won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Look Homeward, Angel, which ran on Broadway from 1957 to 1959.

The play, set in North Carolina in the mid-1910s, is an adaptation of the 1929 Thomas Wolfe novel of the same name:

Concentrating on the last third of Wolfe’s story, the play vividly portrays Eugene Gant, his mother, who is obsessed by her material holdings and who maintains barriers against the love of her family, his father, a stonecutter imprisoned by his failures, and the brother who never breaks away.

The author was born Katherine Hartley in Ohio in 1909. In 1938 she married German lightweight boxer Kurt Frings, who who gave her the nickname “Ketti.” (Kurt went on to become a Hollywood agent representing stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz.)

Do you like Ketti as a nickname for Katherine?

Sources: Ketti Frings, Stage and Film Writer – NYTimes.com, Look Homeward, Angel – Samuel French, Inc.

P.S. In 1962, a singer named Ketty Lester (born Revoyda Frierson) had a hit on the charts called “Love Letters,” but it doesn’t look like the song influenced the usage of the baby name Ketty.

Popular Baby Names in Norway, 2016

According to data released back in January by Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in Norway in 2016 were Nora/Norah and Lucas/Lukas.

Here are Norway’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

norway, girl names, 2016Girl Names
1. Nora/Norah/Noora, 551 baby girls
2. Emma, 410
3. Sara/Sarah/Zara, 379
4. Sofie/Sophie, 367
5. Sofia/Sophia, 340
6. Maja/Maia/Maya, 324
7. Olivia, 323
8. Ella, 313
9. Ingrid/Ingerid/Ingri, 310
10. Emilie, 309

Boy Names
1. William, 498 baby boys
2. Oskar/Oscar, 420
3. Lucas/Lukas, 408
4. Mathias/Matias, 397
5. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip, 396
6. Oliver, 385
7. Jakob/Jacob, 378
8. Emil, 369
9. Noah/Noa, 362
10. Aksel/Axel, 359

That image is a piece of a larger infographic showing the most popular baby names in each Norwegian county. In two counties, Oppland and Aust-Agder, the top girl name last year was the intriguing Tiril. Tiril seems to have no specific meaning; it may have been derived from the (nonsense?) word tirilil from the 19th century poem “Lokkende Toner” by Johan Sebastian Welhaven.

(A similar name we talked about recently was Tirrell.)

I forgot to post Norway’s 2015 rankings, but in 2014 the top names were Nora/Norah and Lucas/Lukas.

Sources: Navn – SSB, Tiril – Nordic Names