Meghan was the fastest rising girls’ name, moving 701 spots to number 703 from number 1,404 in 2017. This jump speaks to the popularity of Meghan Markle, an American who joined the royal family when she married Prince Harry in 2018. Tune in next year to see how newborn Archie influences Moms and Dads in 2019. The name Archie actually reappears in the top 1,000 in 2018 for the first time since 1988, and he will likely continue climbing up the list after the latest royal news.
Winter is coming for “Game of Thrones” fans. The name Yara voyaged 314 spots from number 986 in 2017 to number 672 in 2018 on the girls’ side. Followers of the hit HBO show know this probably is due to Yara Greyjoy, a character on the popular series.
For the boys, Genesis is the fastest rising name for 2018, shuffling his way 608 spots to number 984 from number 1,592 in 2017. There has been a resurgence of classic names in the top 10 baby names in recent years, so perhaps Genesis is a harkening back to the classic English rock band led by Phil Collins. Speaking of Genesis, award winning Grammy singer and coach on “The Voice,” Alicia Keys named her son Genesis after his birth.
A few weeks ago we looked at names that start with Snow-, so today let’s check out another name that many of us associate with snow: Bode.
Bode Miller is one of the greatest Alpine skiers in American history. He’s won six Olympic medals and competed in five Winter Olympics: 1998 (Nagano), 2002 (Salt Lake City), 2006 (Turin), 2010 (Vancouver), and 2014 (Sochi).
Notice how the baby name Bode debuted in the SSA data in 1998 and spiked in usage every four years thereafter:
2017: 170 baby boys named Bode
2016: 203 baby boys named Bode
2015: 264 baby boys named Bode
2014: 294 baby boys named Bode
2013: 115 baby boys named Bode
2012: 166 baby boys named Bode
2011: 190 baby boys named Bode
2010: 287 baby boys named Bode
2009: 94 baby boys named Bode
2008: 105 baby boys named Bode
2007: 143 baby boys named Bode
2006: 235 baby boys named Bode
2005: 82 baby boys named Bode
2004: 55 baby boys named Bode
2003: 60 baby boys named Bode
2002: 131 baby boys named Bode
2000: 8 baby boys named Bode
1999: 7 baby boys named Bode
1998: 8 baby boys named Bode [debut]
So how did Samuel Bode Miller — who was born and raised in rural Easton, New Hampshire — get that interesting middle name?
According to his 2005 autobiography, Bode’s name simply came from the English word bode. It “means to indicate by signs, but it was the sound of it that my mother liked.” He pronounces it BOH-dee instead of BOHD because, as he says, the “diminutive form stuck.”
And he’s not the only person in his family with an interesting name. His older sister is Kyla (no middle name, notably), his younger sister is Gennie Wren (in full: Genesis Wren Bungo Windrushing Turtleheart Miller), and his late younger brother was Chelone, nicknamed “Chilly” (in full: Nathaniel Kinsman Ever Chelone Skan).
Wren’s naming “was a family effort” said Bode:
Jo gave her the “Genesis Wren”; I called her “Bungo” after the Bungay Jar, the local wind, because it was so breezy the day she was born. Kyla gave her Windrushing for the same reason, and “Turtleheart” was the ever-present and recurring Woody-inspired turtle meme in our lives up on Turtle Ridge. The turtle may be Woody’s totem. It wouldn’t surprise me.”
(The kids called their parents, Jo and Woody, by their first names.)
And here’s how they chose a name for Chelone (chel-OWN):
My folks hiked Mount Moosilauke when my mother was good and pregnant with him and found a flower on top they liked so much that they brought it home. When they looked it up and found that it was an herbaceous perennial called chelone, also known as turtlehead, they considered it a nice omen and planted it outside the door.
Three days after he was born, my mother was headed into town with the new baby, named Thane at the time. She was going to the laundromat when she came across a turtle in the road. It was big and blocked their way, so she had to stop. As she watched the shell waddle across Easton Road, it occurred to Jo how little she like the name Thane, and how much she liked the name Chelone.
If you’re wondering about the name Skan, it’s “a Lakota term for the great spirit of the universe.” Kinsman is no doubt a reference to location: their childhood home was on the side of Kinsman Mountain. In fact, the mountain was named for early settler Nathaniel Kinsman — Chelone’s first two names.
But getting back to Bode…he has welcomed five children so far: Neesyn Dacey (daughter), Samuel Bode (son), Nash Skan (son, named in honor of Chelone), Emeline Grier (daughter, passed away in mid-2018) and Easton Vaughn Rek (son, named for Easton, NH).
So what are your thoughts on the baby name Bode? If you were going to use it, how would you pronounce it?
In the girls’ top 10, Beatrice replaces Chiara (now 12th). Also notable is the fact that the top 10 again includes a total of four g-names. (In the U.S., on the other hand, there are only four g-names — Grace, Genesis, Gabriella, and Gianna — in the entire top 100.)
On the boys’ side, further down, Kevin is hanging on at #50.
My husband and I recently visited Alaska (which was awesome). Even though we kept busy, I couldn’t help but notice a ton of interesting names — human names, animal names, place names, boat names, etc. Many of these names (like Juneau, Sitka, Klondike, and Denali) were ones that many of us already associate with Alaska, so for this post I chose five Alaska-related names that I encountered unexpectedly during the trip:
Ladd Macaulay (1942-2000) was “a pioneer in establishing private non-profit hatcheries in Alaska,” according to the plaque at the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery in Juneau. I’m not sure how Ladd got his name, but it matches up with the English occupational surname Ladd (denoting a “servant”), so it may have been a surname in his family tree.
The baby name Ladd is not common, but sees enough usage to appear in the SSA data regularly.
Margerie glacier is a tidewater glacier in Glacier Bay National Park. “It is about 1-mile wide, with an ice face that is about 250 feet high above the waterline, but with its base about 100 feet below sea level.” It was named after French geographer and geologist Emmanuel de Margerie (1862-1953).
In the data, the baby name Margerie represents a (rare) respelling of the more common name Marjorie.
English bull terrier Patsy Ann (1929-1942) became famous in Juneau in the ’30s for greeting ships. “Although deaf from birth, she somehow sensed when an incoming ship was about a half-mile away. She also had an uncanny ability to determine the dock where it would moor.” In 1934, the mayor of the city dubbed her “Official Greeter of Juneau, Alaska.”
The combination Patsy Ann has only ever popped up once in the data.
Peniel missionaries from California came to Alaska in the 1890s. “They ministered to both the religious and practical needs of primarily transient people in these communities.” The Hebrew place name Peniel, meaning “face of God,” is mentioned in the Book of Genesis. The NPS website notes that the pronunciation was “pen-aisle.”
The baby name Peniel started appearing in the data in the late ’90s. So far, it’s been given to baby girls and baby boys in equal measure.
Tuliaan is one of the black bears at Fortress of the Bears, a bear sanctuary in Sitka. She was orphaned in Seward, Alaska, in October of 2013. Her name means “calm” in the Tlingit language.
Neither Tuliaan nor “Tuli” (her nickname) has ever appeared in the SSA data.