How popular is the baby name Esperanza in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Esperanza.
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The name Chata made a modest debut in the U.S. baby name data in 1953:
1953: 5 baby girls named Chata [debut]
Where did it come from?
Very early television. “The Faith of Chata” was an episode from the first season of the anthology TV series Letter to Loretta, later renamed The Loretta Young Show. The episode aired in December of 1953.
The episode, set in a Mexican village, tells the story of a little girl called Chata who is gravely ill with pneumonia. (Chata’s mother Paula is played by Young.) After receiving an overnight vision of her patron saint, Santa Inés, Chata makes a miraculous recovery.
“Chata” is not a name, but an affectionate nickname. It comes from a Spanish term for “pug nose” or “button nose.” John Wayne’s second wife, Mexican actress Esperanza Baur, went by Chata for instance.
The child actress who played Chata was Nancy Gilbert, who several years later played another TV character (Calamity Jane) that also had an influence on baby names.
On August 7, 1939, a 7-pound baby girl was born in a maternity hospital in the Tondo slum district of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Everything about the baby was normal except for one thing: she was born with her heart outside of her body.
As doctors debated what to do, they protected her tiny heart with a stemless cocktail glass.
She slept and ate normally, though her crib was lined with hot water bottles and she was fed with an eye-dropper. Whenever she cried, her exposed heart would beat faster.
Her mother, Esperanza Rafael, was told about her daughter’s condition several days after the birth. By then, a Catholic priest had already baptized her with the name María Corazón, Spanish for “Mary Heart.” (Typically the name María Corazón refers to the Virgin Mary, but in this case, of course, it also referred to the baby’s dire medical condition.)
Esperanza attributed her daughter’s malformation to her worship of a picture of the Sacred Heart, which features the exposed heart of Jesus Christ.
Visitors flocked to see María Corazón. One of these visitors was Aurora Quezón, wife of Philippine president Manuel Quezón. Another was Manila Mayor Juan Posadas, who “told doctors to spare no efforts to save the child … he would pay all expenses.”
María Corazón’s father, a 31-year-old mining company clerk and law student, turned down various commercial offers, including “a $10,000 offer by a Manila sportsman to take the baby to the New York World’s Fair by clipper plane.”
The doctors refused to risk María’s life by performing an operation, but they did bring in a movie camera to record the baby and her exposed heart.
The resultant film was to be donated to medical science, said Dr. Guillermo del Castillo, who delivered Maria, for study in the hope that some technique could be devised to correct such future abnormalities should it fail to aid its donor.
After living a total of 162 hours and 25 minutes, baby María Corazón died of bronchial pneumonia on August 14.
“Baby Born in Philippines With Heart Outside Body.” Milwaukee Journal 8 Aug. 1939: 6.
“Credits Worship for Baby With Heart Outside Body.” New London Evening Day 9 Aug. 1939: 9.
Earlier today, the wife of one of Chile’s trapped miners gave birth to a baby girl. The baby was named Esperanza, Spanish for “hope.”
The father, Ariel Ticona, has been trapped 2,300 feet underground in a collapsed Chilean mine with 32 other miners since the August 5 cave-in. Ariel and his wife Elizabeth had already chosen the name Carolina, but he requested (either via video or handwritten letter, sources disagree) that the baby be named Esperanza instead.
Elizabeth said that the same thought had also occurred to her.
He thought of it there and I thought of it here in the house: She was going to be named Carolina Elizabeth, but now her name will be Esperanza Elizabeth.
Esperanza is also the name of the camp where many of the miners’ families have been living since the collapse.
I wrote a letter to a friend not long ago, and the act of writing something longhand (which I rarely do anymore) made me wonder: which baby names can be written in cursive without lifting the pen from the page?
Turns out that many names can be written this way–so long as they don’t contain letters that need crossing/dotting (t, i, x, j) and don’t start with a tricky capital (such as W, which doesn’t connect to the letters that follow, or H, which itself requires more than one stroke).
Here are some examples of names that can be written in script with one continuous line of ink.