In his book The American Language, H. L. Mencken mentioned a “woman professor in the Middle West [with] the given name of Eldarema, coined from those of her grandparents, Elkanah, Daniel, Rebecca and Mary.”
The woman he’s talking about did exist, but Mencken didn’t get her name quite right.
Elda Rema Walker was botany professor at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. And so was her sister — here they are, listed one after the other, in the University of Nebraska General Catalog for 1916-1917:
(Leva Belle’s names were also inspired by family — parents Levi and Isabel.)
So here’s the Elda Rema baby name formula:
First name =
First 2 letters of one grandfather’s name +
First 2 letters of the other grandfather’s name
Middle name =
First 2 letters of one grandmother’s name +
First 2 letters of the other grandmother’s name
Using the names of your parents and your partner’s parents, can you come up with any usable first + middle combos?
The best I can do is “Aujo Elhe.” Hopefully you can do better…
Boston’s Central Burying Ground was established in 1756, so it’s newer than the other Boston cemeteries I’ve blogged about (King’s Chapel, Granary, and Copp’s Hill). Nevertheless, it still contains some pretty interesting names: