Long List of Unusual Real Names

I took a few dozen of my oldest “unusual real names” lists and combined them here:

  1. Abolhassan Bani-Sadr (born in 1933) – First president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  2. Adonijah Strong Welch (born in 1821) – U.S. Senator from Florida.
  3. Aeriwentha Faggs “Mae” Starr (1932-2000) – American athlete.
  4. Anning Smith Prall (1870-1937) – U.S. Representative from New York.
  5. Arphaxed Loomis (1798-1885) – U.S. Representative from New York.
  6. Atoosa Rubenstein (born in Iran in 1972) – Former editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine.
  7. Baskerville Holmes (born in 1964) – American basketball player named for The Hound of the Baskervilles.
  8. Batman bin Suparman (b. 1990) – Singaporean man of Javanese descent whose ID card was posted at Language Log. (Thanks to Nancy F. for this one!)
  9. Bird Segle Mcguire (1865-1930) – U.S. Delegate and representative from Oklahoma.
  10. Bourke Blakemore Hickenlooper (1896-1971) – U.S. Senator from Iowa. (Previously the Governor of Iowa.)
  11. Brazilla Carroll Reece (1889-1961) – U.S. Representative from Tennessee.
  12. Bunnatine “Bunny” Greenhouse (born circa 1944) – Halliburton whistleblower.
  13. Burrhus Frederic “B.F.” Skinner (born in 1904) – American psychologist, author and inventor.
  14. Canvass White (1790-1834) – American civil engineer.
  15. Chamintney Stovall Thomas (born in 1899) – Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame inductee.
  16. Chase Going Woodhouse (1890-1984) – U.S. Representative from Connecticut.
  17. Cherubusco Newton (1848-1910) – U.S. Representative from Louisiana.
  18. Cleanth Brooks (born in 1906) – Literary critic and Yale professor.
  19. Cree Summer Francks (born in 1969) – Actress and musician. (Her brother is Rainbow, below.)
  20. Cydnor Tompkins (1810-1862) – U.S. Representative from Ohio.
  21. Delloreese Patricia Early (b. 1931) – American actress (stage name Della Reese).
  22. Devra Lee Davis (born in 1946) – Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh.
  23. Donelson Caffery (1835-1906) – U.S. Senator from Louisiana.
  24. Dunkinfield Henry Scott (born in 1854) – English paleobotanist who established the class Pteridospermeae.
  25. Elbridge Thomas Gerry (born in 1744) – Fifth Vice President of the United States.
  26. Elgin Gay Baylor (born in 1934) – NBA Hall-of-Famer who was named after the Elgin National Watch Company.
  27. Eliphalet Dyer (1721-1807) – U.S. Delegate from Connecticut.
  28. Epiphanny Prince (born in the 1980s) – Set the U.S. high school girls’ basketball record by scoring 113 points in a single game on February 1, 2006.
  29. Espy Van Horne (1795-1829) – U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania.
  30. Eudald Carbonell i Roura (born in 1953) – Spanish archaeologist, anthropologist and paleontologist.
  31. Falconer Madan (born in 1851) – Librarian of the Bodleian Library of Oxford University. (His granddaughter was Venetia Burney, below.)
  32. Felissa Rose Esposito (born in 1969) – Actress.
  33. Fiorello Henry LaGuardia (1882-1947) – U.S. Representative from New York. (Later the Mayor of New York.)
  34. Foxhall A. Parker (born 1821) – U.S. Navy officer during the American Civil War. (His father was also a Foxhall, and he had a brother named Dangerfield.)
  35. Ginery Twichell (1811-1883) – U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.
  36. Godlove Stein Orth (1817-1882) – U.S. Representative from Indiana.
  37. Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) – U.S. Senator from New York. (Previously a Delegate from Pennsylvania.)
  38. Green Berry Raum (1829-1909) – U.S. Representative from Illinois.
  39. Harlow Shapley (born in 1885) – American astronomer.
  40. Harmanus Peek (1782-1838) – U.S. Representative from New York.
  41. Heartsill Ragon (1885-1940) – U.S. Representative from Arkansas.
  42. Hoagland Howard “Hoagy” Carmichael (1899-1981) – American composer, singer, actor, and band leader.
  43. Holiday Reinhorn (born in 1964) – fiction writer and wife of Rainn Wilson (see below).
  44. Hubbard Hinde Kavanaugh (born in 1802) – Methodist Episcopal bishop.
  45. Huw Wheldon (born in 1916) – Welsh broadcaster and Royal Television Society president. (Huw is the Welsh version of Hugh.)
  46. Idawalley Zorada “Ida” Lewis (1842-1911) – American lighthouse keeper.
  47. Isambard Kingdom Brunel (born in 1806) – English engineer who created the Great Western Railway, along with a number of steamships, bridges and tunnels.
  48. Ithamar Conkey Sloan (1822-1898) – U.S. Representative from Wisconsin.
  49. Itimous Thaddeus Valentine (born in 1926) – U.S. Representative from North Carolina.
  50. Jacquetta Hawkes (born in 1910) – British archaeologist and writer.
  51. Jagadish Chandra Bose (born in 1858) – Bengali physicist and science fiction writer.
  52. Jascha Heifetz (born in 1901 in Lithuania) – Violinist.
  53. Jawaharlal Nehru (born in 1889) – First Prime Minister of India. Served for 4 terms, from 1947 until 1964.
  54. Jeduthun Wilcox (1768-1838) – U.S. Representative from New Hampshire.
  55. Jetur Rose Riggs (1809-1869) – U.S. Representative from New Jersey.
  56. Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813-1878) – Scottish blacksmith who invented the pedal bicycle (circa 1840).
  57. Kirtland Irving Perky (1867-1939) – U.S. Senator from Idaho.
  58. Kittredge Haskins (1836-1916) – U.S. Representative from Vermont.
  59. Le Gage Pratt (1852-1911) – U.S. Representative from New Jersey.
  60. Lilialyce Akers (born in 1927) – first female professor at the University of Louisville.
  61. Loammi Baldwin (born in 1744) – Engineer, politician, and American Revolutionary War soldier.
  62. Loleatta Holloway (born in 1946) – American singer.
  63. Lystra Gretter (born in 1858) – Nurse and public health care innovator.
  64. Magloire Pélage (born in 1769 in Martinique) – Soldier and leader of the resistance movement against the English.
  65. Mamphela Aletta Ramphele (born in 1947) – South African doctor and activist.
  66. Mattiwilda Dobbs (born in 1925) – American opera singer.
  67. Marmaduke Williams (1774-1850) – U.S. Representative from North Carolina.
  68. Melquiades R. Martinez (born in 1946) – U.S. Senator from Florida.
  69. Middleton Barrow (1839-1903) – U.S. Senator from Georgia.
  70. Milward Lee Simpson (1897-1993) – U.S. Senator from Wyoming. (Previously the Governor of Wyoming.)
  71. Miquita Oliver (born in 1984) – British TV presenter and actress.
  72. Nanaline Holt Inman Duke (born in 1871) – Mother of Doris Duke.
  73. Naphtali Daggett (born in 1727) – Pastor, professor, and Yale’s second president.
  74. Narsworthy Hunter (c1802) – U.S. Delegate from Mississippi Territory.
  75. Nelleke Noordervliet (born in 1945) – Dutch novelist.
  76. Nunnally Hunter Johnson (born in 1897) – American filmmaker.
  77. Odalys García (born in 1975) – Cuban actress and singer.
  78. Orrice Abram Murdock, Jr. (1893-1979) – U.S. Senator from Utah. (Previously a U.S. Representative from Utah.)
  79. Ossian Ray (1835-1892) – U.S. Representative from New Hampshire.
  80. Ottorino Respighi (born in 1879) – Italian composer, musicologist and musician.
  81. Outerbridge Horsey (1777-1842) – U.S. Senator from Delaware. (Previously the Attorney General of Delaware.)
  82. Owsley Brown Frazier (born in 1935) – businessman and philanthropist.
  83. Pantazi Ghica (born in 1831) – Wallachian-born Romanian politician, lawyer and writer.
  84. Phanor Breazeale (1858-1934) – U.S. Representative from Louisiana.
  85. Philadelph Van Trump (1810-1874) – U.S. Representative from Ohio.
  86. Phyllida Law (born in 1932) – Scottish actress. Also the mother of actress Emma Thompson.
  87. Pierpont Edwards (1750-1826) – U.S. Delegate from Connecticut.
  88. Pitcairn Morrison (1795-1887) – American army officer.
  89. Porochista Khakpour (born in 1978) – Iranian-American writer.
  90. Powhatan Ellis (1790-1863) – Senator from Mississippi.
  91. Quirinus Kuhlmann (1651-1689) – German Baroque poet and mystic.
  92. Rainn Wilson (born in 1966) – actor and husband of Holiday Reinhorn (see above).
  93. Rainbow Sun Francks (born in 1979) – Canadian actor and songwriter. (His sister is Cree, below.)
  94. Return Jonathan Meigs, Jr. (1764-1825) – U.S. Senator from Ohio. (Later, the Governor of Ohio. Later still, Postmaster General.)
  95. Rienzi Melville Johnston (1849-1926) – U.S. Senator from Texas.
  96. Rousseau Owen Crump (1843-1901) – U.S. Representative from Michigan. (Previously the Mayor of West Bay City.)
  97. Rulon Gardner (b. 1971) – American Greco-Roman wrestler.
  98. Rychacviana Coffie (unknown birth year) – Miss Curaçao 2005.
  99. Sacheverell Sitwell (1897-1988) – English poet and art critic.
  100. Shirin Ebadi (born in 1947) – Iranian lawyer and human rights activist. First Iranian and first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2003).
  101. Smoloff Palace Love (born in 1826) – Soldier, teacher, and lawyer from Kentucky.
  102. Sobieski Ross (1828-1877) – U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania.
  103. Spessard Lindsey Holland (1892-1971) – U.S. Senator from Florida. (Previously the Governor of Florida.)
  104. Spruille Braden (born in 1894) – Diplomat and businessman with an interest in Latin America.
  105. Stanyarne Wilson (1860-1928) – U.S. Representative from South Carolina.
  106. Stevenson Magloire (born in 1963) – Haitian painter named after U.S. politician Adlai Stevenson.
  107. Sunshine Hillygus (born ca. 1976) – associate professor at Harvard.
  108. Tapping Reeve (born in 1744) – law professor, jurist and writer. Opened the first law school in the United States.
  109. Tench Coxe (1755-1824) – U.S. Delegate from Pennsylvania.
  110. Tilghman Mayfield Tucker (1802-1859) – U.S. Representative from Mississippi. (Previously the Governor of Mississippi.)
  111. Trevenen Huxley (born in 1889) – Huxley brother (born after Julian, but before Aldous).
  112. Turbutt Wright (1741-1783) – U.S. Delegate from Maryland.
  113. Tzovfit Grant (born in 1964) – Israeli actress and TV show host. (Her first name is sometimes spelled Tzufit.)
  114. Urhines Kendall Icy Eight Special K (born in 2003) – baby boy from Topeka, Kansas.
  115. Uzodinma Iweala (born 1982) – American novelist with Nigerian roots.
  116. Venetia Phair (née Burney, born in England in 1919) – Suggested the name for the planet Pluto when she was 11 years old. (Her grandfather was Falconer Madan, above.)
  117. Vespasian Warner (1842-1925) – U.S. Representative from Illinois.
  118. Victory Birdseye (1782-1853) – U.S. Representative from New York.
  119. Voltairine de Cleyre (born in 1866) – Anarchist and feminist.
  120. Wallingford Constantine Riegger (born in 1885) – American composer.
  121. Wangari Muta Maathai (born in 1940 in Kenya) – Doctor, environmental and political activist, and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
  122. Wealthy Babcock (born in 1895) – professor at the University of Kansas.
  123. Wentworth Miller (born in 1972) – American actor.
  124. Wigbolt Ripperda (born around 1535) – Governor of Haarlem (in the Netherlands) while the city was under siege by the Spanish army during the Eighty Years’ War.
  125. Wilmot Redd (died 1692) – one of the (female) victims of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
  126. Yellow Light Breen (born in the 1970s) – lawyer and senior VP of Bangor Savings Bank.
  127. Zadock Pratt (1790-1871) – U.S. Representative from New York.

Here are the rest of the original lists:

And here’s a more recent one you might like:

Have you encountered any unusual or rare names lately? (In the phone book? In the paper? On TV?) If so, let me know!


4 thoughts on “Long List of Unusual Real Names

  1. Great list Nancy, these are actually awesome! I’d be intrigued to know where you found these. Real gems, I might have to post these up on my blog!

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