Unusual Real Names – Catulle, Dusolina, Meridel, Persifor

I haven’t posted a batch of unusual-but-real names in quite a while:

  • Adoniram Judson (born in 1788) – the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to Myanmar.
  • Catulle Mendès (born in 1841) – French writer.
  • Dusolina Giannini (born in 1902) – Italian-American soprano.
  • Hiester Clymer (born in 1827) – politician from Pennsylvania.
  • Isagani R. Cruz (born in 1945) – Filipino writer.
  • Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa (born in 1947) – the first Mongolian and the second Asian in space.
  • Meridel Le Sueur (born in 1900) – American feminist/socialist writer.
  • Nomaindia Mfeketo (born in 1952) – the fourth woman and the first black woman to become mayor of Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Ovington Eugene Weller (born in 1862) – U.S. Representative from Maryland.
  • Persifor Frazer (born in 1736) – soldier and industrialist from Pennsylvania.

3 thoughts on “Unusual Real Names – Catulle, Dusolina, Meridel, Persifor

  1. According to a French uncle, Meridel is an anglicisation of the old French name Marie-Adele which occurred when French people emigrated to Canada and, in the process began speaking English. The ‘a’ of Marie became ‘e’, the ‘A’ of Adele was lost, and the final ‘e’ of both names was dropped. He therefore calls me by my ‘proper name’ in French, but the one I was christened with when talking to me English.

    There was a story about French-Canadians published in a magazine called ‘Chatelaine’ during WW2, which was sent to my great-aunt and then passed round the family, which was where my mother found the name.

    I think my uncle’s theory about the origins of the name are more plausible than other explanations I’ve seen over the years.

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