How popular is the baby name Firmin in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Firmin and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Firmin.
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The image below, of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, was captured in early 1838 by Louis Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype.
It may be the earliest surviving photograph of a person. Two people, actually. Both are in the lower left:
Here’s a close-up:
The standing man is getting his shoe shined, and the other man (partially obscured) is doing the shoe-shining.
Of all the people on the sidewalk that day, these were the only two to stay still long enough (about 10 minutes) to be captured in the image.
Now for the fun part!
What would you name these two Frenchmen?
Let’s pretend you’re writing a book set in Paris in the 1830s, and these are two of your characters. What names would you give them?
Here’s a long list of traditional French male names, to get you started:
For some real-life inspiration, here are lists of famous 19th century and 20th century French people, courtesy of Wikipedia. Notice that many of the Frenchman have double-barreled, triple-barreled, even quadruple-barreled given names. (Daguerre himself was named Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre.)
The male names below appeared in the Open Domesday database just once, except where noted. (For the record, I overlooked entries in which one person’s name was used to refer to another person, e.g., “Aelfric’s uncle.”)
The most-mentioned name within each letter group is in bold.
If you make it all the way to the bottom, your reward is a top ten list. :)
Which male were mentioned most often in the Domesday book? The #1 name was William, followed by Robert and Ralph:
1. William (166)
2. Robert (127)
3. Ralph (124)
4. Aelfric (88)
5. Alwin (76)
5. Hugh (76)
7. Roger (73)
8. Godwin (72)
9. Walter (64)
10. Godric (59)
Though the names in the book aren’t necessarily representative of name usage in England overall, it does make sense than William took the top spot. The Domesday Book was created a couple of decades after the Norman Invasion, at a time when the name William was very fashionable, thanks to William the Conqueror.
I’ve posted about several babies (like Kia and Mondeo) who were named after the cars in which they were born. Most of these babies were born within the last few years, but the two below weren’t even born within the last few decades. They were born before WWII and both were named Ford.
The first baby Ford was born on December 15, 1929. His arrived while his mother, Ethel Hubbard, was being driven to Holdrege hospital in Nebraska.
The second baby Ford was born in August of 1938. His mother, Mrs. Robert Lignon of St. Louis, Missouri, had gone into labor and asked neighbors to drive her to the hospital.
Through stop lights, ignoring a motorcycle cop who ordered them to halt, the neighbors sped to Firmin Desloge Hospital. But their efforts were in vain, for Mrs. Lignon gave birth to an eight pound boy en route.
Many other babies were born in cars during the first half of the 20th century, but these are the only two I know of to be named after those cars.
“Born in Car, Named Ford.” Kearney Daily Hub 2 Jan. 1930: 7.
“Baby Boy Named For Place Where Born.” Lodi News-Sentinel 1 Sept. 1938: 4.