Where did the baby name Devara come from in 1967?

The name Devara was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data back in 1967:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: 7 baby girls named Devara [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Celebrity gossip…plus a typo. :)

In early 1967, newspapers reported that TV actor Vince Edwards was going to take his ex-wife, actress Kathy Kersh, to court because she “[made] it inconvenient for him to visit their 14-month-old daughter, Devara.”

This relatively minor item landed on the front page of certain (smaller) newspapers.

As we saw the other day, though, their daughter’s first name was actually Devera — making “Devara” yet another baby name inspired by a typo. (Others include Aleeta, Bedar, Clintonia, Glenalee, Kior, Mattlock, Rainelle, Reeshemah, and Terria.)

What are your thoughts on the name Devara? Do you like it more or less than Devera?

Source: “Wants His Ex-Wife Punished.” Salina Journal 15 Mar. 1967: 1.

Popular and unique baby names in Iowa, 2020

Iowa

I’m a little late on this one, considering that we looked at the 2021 state-by-state baby name data last week, but better late than never. :)

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the most popular baby names in the state in 2020 were Olivia and Oliver.

Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 171 baby girls
  2. Charlotte, 141
  3. Evelyn, 137
  4. Emma, 119
  5. Ava, 116
  6. Amelia, 115
  7. Harper, 113
  8. Sophia, 106
  9. Hazel, 101
  10. Eleanor, 96

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 208 baby boys
  2. Liam, 183
  3. Theodore, 169
  4. Henry, 163
  5. William, 156
  6. Noah, 127
  7. Owen, 126
  8. Wyatt, 119
  9. Jack, 117
  10. Maverick, 112

In the girls’ top 10, Sophia, Hazel, and Eleanor replaced Avery, Nora, and Violet.

In the boys’ top 10, Theodore and Wyatt replaced Lincoln and Jackson. (Notably, Theodore jumped from 12th in 2019 up to 3rd in 2020.)

Over 2,800 boy names and over 3,600 girl names were bestowed just once in Iowa in 2020. The state says that unique names are trendy — in fact, “some Iowa counties…regularly reach 100% uniqueness, meaning there are no babies given the same name in a single year.”

Here’s a selection Iowa’s unique baby names from 2020:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Alula, Brindle, Clorrenty, Dilnaaz, Ellaydrea, Fidelity, Glariel, Hepperli, Imariana, Jacklington, Kissimee, Lalotai, Malofo, Nellatreen, Offranel, Peninnah, Qianna, Rufusline, Sunrae, Tenebris, Ugbaad, Vatsana, Winji, Xyphora, Yliemani, ZenleyAeio, Bazzi, Colique, Drummer, Ezzeldeen, Faltaous, Groseille, Htoo, Invictus, J-Heart, Kalikimaka, Luxender, Mlondani, Noakley, Owendan, Prexy, Qorvyn, Ramazani, Smoltz, Tuxley, Unison, Vaxston, Wirachai, Yolotli, Zantoro

Thoughts on some of the above…

  • Kissimee – close to Kissimmee, the name of both a city and a river in Florida.
  • Tenebris – a form of the Latin word tenebra, meaning “darkness, shadow, gloom.”
  • Groseille – French for “redcurrant.”
  • Htoo – Burmese for “gold.” (Almost 10,000 refugees from Myanmar live in Iowa.)
  • Kalikimaka – Hawaiian for “Christmas.”
  • Vaxston – given the fact that Covid-19 dominated the headlines in 2020, I can’t help but wonder if this one wasn’t influenced by the word vaccine. (A baby in the Philippines was named “Vaccine” in 2020, incidentally.)
  • Yolotli – Nahuatl for “heart.”

Finally, in 2019, the top two names in Iowa were Charlotte and Oliver.

Sources: Top Baby Names – Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal, Baby Names Uniqueness – Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal

What gave the baby name Devera a boost in 1966?

Actors Vince Edwards and Kathy Kersh
Vince Edwards and Kathy Kersh

The baby name Devera saw peak usage in the middle of the 1960s:

  • 1968: 12 baby girls named Devera
  • 1967: 22 baby girls named Devera
  • 1966: 35 baby girls named Devera [peak]
  • 1965: 6 baby girls named Devera
  • 1964: 15 baby girls named Devera

Why?

Because of a celebrity baby.

In late December, 1965, TV actor Vince Edwards (star of the medical drama Ben Casey) and his estranged wife, actress Kathy Kersh, welcomed a baby girl. They named her Devera.

The couple had gotten married (in secret) in June of 1965, but Kathy filed for divorce just four months later.

I’m not sure how they came up with the name, but it does remind me of the Hebrew name Devorah, meaning “bee.”

Do you like the name Devera?

Sources:

Baby name story: Ljubljana

Ljubljana

In 2002, Alexander Roland and Laurence Heuschen of Belgium took a vacation to the city of Ljubljana (pronounced loo-blee-AH-nuh), the capital of Slovenia.

Years later, in October of 2007, the couple welcomed their first child, a baby girl.

Remembering their vacation, and “the legend saying that the Slovenian capital got its name because of its reputation as a romantic city” — the etymology of Ljubljana is unknown, but it may be related to the Slovenian word ljubljeni, meaning “beloved” — they decided to name their daughter Ljubljana.

Two years after that, in August of 2009, the City of Ljubljana and the Slovenian Tourist Association invited the family back for a visit. They even met the mayor, Zoran Jankovic.

Sources: Belgian girl named Ljubljana in Ljubljana (via Archive.org), Ljubljana visiting Ljubljana – City of Ljubljana, STA: Mayor Receives Belgian Girl Named Ljubljana

Image by GreenvalleyPictures from Pixabay

Baby born on a Delta flight, named Delta

A Delta stewardess with mom Janice Liogghio and baby Natalino Delta.
Natalino Delta

During the wee hours of March 10, 1970, Delta’s Flight 86 was flying from Miami to Detroit with 35 passengers and 7 crew on board.

Somewhere over Georgia, pregnant passenger Janice Liogghio of Livonia, Michigan, gave birth to a baby boy.

What did she name him?

“I want to wait and talk to my husband about the first name,” the 22-year-old mother said. “The baby probably will have three first names. Delta will be one of them.”

They ended up naming him Natalino Delta.

“Natalino” is related to names like Natalia and Natalie, which derive from the Latin phrase natale domini, meaning “birth of the Lord” (in reference to Christmas Day). Traditionally, these names were bestowed upon Christmas babies. In this baby’s case, though, the pairing of Natalino (“birth”) with Delta was likely meant to commemorate his unusual birthplace.

Sources:

P.S. Speaking of Livonia…here’s a baby named after the Pullman car Livonia.