In 1992, Leeds United superfans Jeanne and Andrew Cazaux welcomed a baby boy. They named him “Dominic Andrew Lukic Newsome Fairclough Whyte Dorigo McAllister Batty Strachan Speed Chapman Cantona Cazaux” after the following Leeds players:
So which team does Dominic root for these days? Arsenal. “I think I chose Arsenal mainly to rebel,” he said. “I was only about eight years old and it was just one of those things you do to go against your parents. They were disappointed but said that it was my choice.”
My name is Jennifer. My siblings: Heather, Michael, Lauren, Kimberly. None of them are stereotypical names you’d hear on the Top 60 Ghetto Black Names list. They are, however, found in the most popular names of the year list. I didn’t want my daughter’s name on either. My mother’s reasoning for her decision was different than mine. She would say “do you want to get a job?” Which sounds harsh but some research shows “black-sounding” names on resumes don’t do as well next to the same resume holding a “white-sounding” names.
If a name isn’t used much any more, no great calamity will result. Brangien and Althalos have been rarely used since the Middle Ages, but nobody has suffered as a result of Brangien deficiency, and no awful disaster has ensued from the loss of Althalos.
Furthermore, if we decided we’d like to see more of a particular name which has gone out of use, it costs no money or effort to bring it back. You simply slap the name onto your child’s birth certificate, and hey presto – you’ve got yourself a rare and beautiful specimen of an Althalos.
As long as we still know of a name’s existence from books and records, it is a potential baby name, no matter how many centuries or even millennia since it was last used.
There is hardly an account of Greenwich Village in the ’20s in which she does not prominently figure. Yet her roots in the neighborhood preceded even her fame. The poet’s unusual middle name came from St. Vincent’s Hospital on 12th St. Millay’s uncle was nursed back to health there after a sailing accident, and her mother wished to show her gratitude by naming her first-born child after the place.
This belief [in baby-name stealing] is ridiculous–after all, liking a name doesn’t give you ownership over it, and sharing a name with a friend or relative is, at worst, a mild nuisance. But the idea that names shouldn’t be stolen is not surprising. Over the past hundred years, naming has increasingly become an act of self-expression for parents, a way to assert their individuality rather than a sense of belonging in their community. With our names and selves so thoroughly intertwined, it stands to reason that parents would become increasingly protective of their children’s names.
As with so much of contemporary parenting, the drama surrounding name-stealing is ultimately more about the threat it poses to parent’s identities than their children’s. In practical terms, no child will be harmed by having the same name as a classmate or cousin. … Far more punishing than having the same name as another child is growing up in an environment where names are considered personal property and friendships end when someone “steals” one.
Naming your child was once simple: you picked from the same handful of options everyone else used. But modern parents want exclusivity. And so boys are called Rollo, Emilio, Rafferty and Grey. Their sisters answer to Aurelia, Bartolomea, Ptarmigan or Plum. Throw in a few middle names and the average birth certificate looks like an earthquake under a Scrabble board.
They’ve forgotten about ‘eccentric sheep’ syndrome.
This is the process, identified by social anthropologist Kate Fox in her book Watching the English, whereby something meant as ‘evidence of our eccentricity and originality’ ends up as ‘conformist, conservative rule-following’. Fox applied it to clothes, but the same thing is happening with names. In an attempt to make their children stand out, parents are only helping them to blend in. When everyone’s a Marni or an Autumn or a Sky, the rebellion has nothing to register against.
In England we find dogs that were named Sturdy, Whitefoot, Hardy, Jakke, Bo and Terri. Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of King Henry VIII, had a dog named Purkoy, who got its name from the French ‘pourquoi’ because it was very inquisitive.
Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles/blog posts lately? Let me know!
Most of us have heard of J. Paul Getty, who was one of the wealthiest people in America during his lifetime. But most of us have probably not heard that one of his grandchildren was named “Gramophone.”
This particular grandchild was the son of Eugene Paul Getty, who later went by John Paul Getty II, and his second wife, Dutch model Talitha Pol.
The couple were the toast of Europe’s glamour-hippie set, jetting to exotic spots with the likes of Mick Jagger. “J. P. II’s whole young-adult life,” says Evey, “was Marrakech and the Rolling Stones.”
Here’s how French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent described the scene:
Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, I love a dying frenzy. […] In my own life, I’ve seen the last afterglow of the sumptuous Paris of before the war. The balls of the fifties and the splendor of the vigorous haute couture. And then I knew the youthfulness of the sixties: Talitha and Paul Getty lying on a starlit terrace in Marrakesh, beautiful and damned, and a whole generation assembled as if for eternity where the curtain of the past seemed to life before an extraordinary future.
In 1968, Paul and Talitha couple welcomed their only child, a son.
They named him Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy Getty.
In 1971, Talitha died of a heroin overdose. Her death occurred “in the 12-month period that also saw the deaths of Edie Sedgwick, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin.”
(Tragedy struck John Paul II’s family again in 1973 when his eldest son, John Paul III, was kidnapped by the Calabrian mafia.)
Tara Gabriel Galaxy Gramophone Getty has long since dropped both “Gramophone” and “Galaxy” from his full name.
Today, he and his wife Jessica live in South Africa on the Phinda Game Reserve. They have three kids named Orlando, Caspar, and Talitha.
In case you’re curious, here are the (first) names of all the kids and grand-kids of J. Paul Getty:
With first wife Jeannette Dumont (m. 1923) he had one son, George. George went on to have three daughters: Ann, Claire and Caroline.
With third wife Adolphine Helme (m. 1928) he had one son, Jean. Jean went on to have four kids: Christopher, Stephanie, Cecile and Christina.
With fourth wife Ann Rork (m. 1932) he had two sons, Eugene (JPII) and Gordon. Eugene/JP went on to have five kids: Jean, Aileen, Mark, Ariadne and Tara. Gordon went on to have seven kids: Gordon, Andrew, John, William, Nicolette, Kendalle and Alexandra.
With fifth wife Louise “Teddy” Lynch (m. 1930) he had one son, Timothy.
Exactly 85 years ago today, 25-year-old Air Mail pilot Charles Lindbergh was in the middle of his non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
His successful journey from New York City to Paris, which lasted from about 8 am on May 20 until about 10:30 pm on May 21, 1927, earned Lindbergh the $25,000 Orteig Prize and made him world-famous virtually overnight.
According to SSA data, hundreds of babies were named Lindbergh and Lindy that year:
Babies named Lindbergh
Babies named Lindy
64 boys, 6 girls
84 boys, 14 girls
176 boys, 16 girls
234 boys, 27 girls
11 boys, 8 girls
6 boys, 6 girls
Though the data makes it look like dozens of babies were named “Lindbergh” and “Lindy” prior to May of 1927, that’s probably not the case. It’s much more likely that these babies simply remained nameless until the event occurred. (At that time it wasn’t uncommon for American parents to wait months, sometimes years, to settle on a name. Emancipation Proclamation Coggeshall wasn’t named until she was two and a half, for instance.)
Here’s similar data from the SSDI (Social Security Death Index):
1930: 15 babies with the first name Lindbergh
1929: 21 babies with the first name Lindbergh
1928: 51 babies with the first name Lindbergh
1927: 70 babies with the first name Lindbergh
1926: 5 babies with the first name Lindbergh
1925: 1 babies with the first name Lindbergh
1924: 0 babies with the first name Lindbergh
I spotted a Lindbergh (right) in a mid-1932 issue of North Carolina Christian Advocate. His age wasn’t mentioned, but he was probably born circa 1927.
The variant spellings Lindberg, Lindburgh and Lindburg also got a boost in 1927. The latter two debuted in the data that year, in fact.
And, of course, many babies were given the first-middle combo “Charles Lindbergh.” The following Charles Lindbergh babies made the news:
Charles Lindbergh, son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace E. Lindbergh of Cambridge, MA
Charles Lindbergh Bohannon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bohannon of La Jolla, San Diego, CA
Charles Lindbergh Erickson, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Carl W. Erickson of Worcester, MA
Charles Lindbergh Hurley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hurley of Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY
A few years later, in 1931, a Canadian baby who made headlines for being born in an airplane was also named after Lindbergh.
“3 Babies Are Given Name of Air Ace.” Painesville Telegraph 23 May 1927: 1.
“New Born Baby Gets Lindbergh’s Name.” Border Cities Star [Windsor, Ontario, Canada] 23 May 1927: 14.
“San Diego Baby Is Named for Aviator.” Prescott Evening Courier 8 Jun. 1927: 1.