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Popularity of the Baby Name Daniels

Number of Babies Named Daniels

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Daniels

Some Kenyans Eschewing Tribal Baby Names

Ongoing ethnic conflict in Kenya has started to influenced the way Kenyan parents name their babies.

Late last year, several mothers in a maternity hospital in Kisumu, Kenya, talked about choosing non-tribal baby names as a way to evade tribal discrimination.

The mother of baby boy named Santa Roby Aaron Sam said:

“I have been a victim of ethnic profiling and would not wish to have my children face the same. We have decided as an extended family that we want to avoid tribal names.”

The mother of baby boy named Fidel Daniels said:

“It is common these days for people to have all Christian names and for us, it is not a fashion but a way of just avoiding the stereotypes that come with the tribal names.”

The mother of baby girl named Rhiab Emmanuela said:

“People have gone overboard with tribal names and it is time we use neutral names, which do not stir any stereotypes at first sight.”

But other Kenyans worry that abandoning tribal names will contribute to the erosion of tribal culture. Opiyo Otondi, former chair of the Luo Council of Elders, said, “No amount of frustration should make our people abandon their culture.”

And Betty Okero, a Kisumu human rights activist, noted that non-tribal names can only offer a limited amount of protection against discrimination, as people’s home villages are recorded on their national identity cards.

Source: Mothers shun ‘tribal names’ for newborns by Kevine Omollo (found via Appellation Mountain)


Jack Daniels, Father to Jim Beam

Last month, a man in Louisiana named Jack Daniels (after the whiskey) named his newborn son Jim Beam (after the bourbon).

Jack Daniels Leathers and his wife Lydia welcomed baby Jim Beam on November 14. They came up with the name way back on their first date. (The guy who officiated at their wedding was named Judge Johnny Walker, btw.)

Jack Daniels says that, if he and Lydia have another baby, it’ll be named Evan Williams (another brand of bourbon) if a boy and Sherry if a girl.

This reminds me of Matthew McConaughey’s brother “Rooster” — actually Michael — who has kids named Miller Lyte and Margarita. It also reminds me of the Hawkins family: Budweiser, Falstaff, Jose Cuervo, etc.

Source: Named to irritate grandparents, Jack Daniels names son Jim Beam

Baby Name Needed – Libertarian Boy Name for First Baby

Last week, a reader named Julie sent me a fascinating e-mail:

My husband and I are trying to figure out what we want to name our first child. We have a girl’s name (Darby) but a boy would be a real problem.

The name he really really wants is Hayek (after 18th century economist – Friedrich Augustus Hayek – surely you’ve heard of him…no? really?).

He also likes “T”. Just the letter. Perfect because it works for a boy OR a girl.

His third option is Atlas from Atlas Shrugged.

I am not a fan of any of these. I am looking for a name that’s not super-traditional, but also isn’t on the Top 100 names list. I also think it’s unfair to give the child a name they constantly have to spell/pronounce/explain.

Our last name starts with an “M” and ends in a “ee” sound, so names that also end in the “ee” sound sing-songy.

Julie tried giving her husband the following list of names: Archer, Barrett, Campbell, Dexter, Dixon, Duncan, Everett, Felix, Fletcher, Flint, Ford, Gardner, Garrett, Gibson, Grady, Griffin, Holt, Langston, Leo, Lincoln, Marshall, Parker, Powell, Quentin, Tate, Weston, Zane. He didn’t care for any of them.

This is a tricky situation, but I think there’s a bright side. Julie and her husband seem to be looking at baby names from two different angles. Julie’s husband is focusing on significance, while Julie is more concerned about style. This is a good thing; I’m sure there are names out there that could satisfy both of them.

I think best way to tackle this would be to start with the more constrictive angle–significance. I’d say collect as many meaningful names as possible, then look for stylish names among them. That way, both parents get something they like.

I don’t know Julie’s husband, so I can’t say for certain what names he’d find meaningful. But I can make inferences based on his current top three. Here are some ideas:

1. Hayek

  • How about variants of Hayek’s first or middle name? Friedrich could be Frederick, Fred or Fritz. August could be Augustine, Gus or Austin.
  • Hayek chose the name Laurence Joseph Heinrich for his own son. Would any of those work?
  • I think many people will assume that Hayek was inspired by actress Salma Hayek. Is Julie’s husband okay with that association?
  • What other economists does Julie’s husband admire? Would any of their names work as a baby name?

2. T

  • I can’t say much about this one, but I wonder: Does it stand for anything? If there’s a story behind it, what other (more traditional) names could be teased out of that story?

3. Atlas

  • I think several characters in Atlas Shrugged would be good symbols of the book itself. (Even better than “Atlas,” which is more likely to make people think of myths or maps.)
    • John Galt. The name John probably won’t appeal to Julie, but what about Galt? (Galt isn’t far from Holt, which is on Julie’s list.)
    • Hank Rearden. Henry, like John, could be too popular/traditional for Julie’s tastes. But Rearden might work.
    • Dagny Taggart, the female protagonist. Taggart could be a cool name. Nickname could be Tag. (Or even T!)
    • Ellis Wyatt, Quentin Daniels and Hugh Akston are minor characters with good names. In fact, Quentin is already on Julie’s list. (Maybe Julie’s husband would like it more if he were reminded about the Rand reference?)
  • How about an author-inspired name? Randall, Randolph or even Rand itself.
  • What other writers and philosophers does Julie’s husband admire? Would any of their names (or character names) work as a baby name? What about other book titles?

Finally, if Julie and her husband can’t come to an agreement on the first name, I’d suggest a compromise using the middle name. Perhaps one of Julie’s names could come first, then Hayek or T or Atlas could come second.

What other ideas would you offer Julie?