Happy New Year, everyone! Some quotes to kick off 2016…
From an article about Taylor Swift in GQ:
Swift mentions that she wrote a non-autobiographical novel when she was 14, titled A Girl Named Girl, and that her parents still have it. I ask her what it was about, assuming she will laugh. But her memory of the plot is remarkably detailed. (It’s about a mother who wants a son but instead has a girl.)
From a biography of North Carolina businessman Edward James Parrish in the book Makers of America: Biographies of Leading Men of Thought and Action, vol. II (1916):
Colonel Parrish was born near Round Hill Post Office, then in Orange County (now Durham County), on October 20, 1846, son of Colonel Doctor Claiborn and Ruthy Anne (Ward) Parrish. His father had the peculiar given name of Doctor because he was a seventh son, in accordance with the old belief that the seventh son has the gift of healing.
From What’s in a name? Everything, if you are a migrant and Muslim by Yusuf Sheikh Omar (found via Anna’s Wintery Name News post at Waltzing More than Matilda):
Many Somali refugees have changed their names. Since 1991 a brutal civil war in our homeland, in the Horn of Africa, has displaced 1.7 million people, roughly one-fifth of the population. The displaced spent years in refugee camps or embarked on long, treacherous journeys to safety; the luckier ones found haven in countries such as Australia and elsewhere in the West. Some of these newly arrived refugees feared that if they kept their real names, the authorities would trace their travel route and return people to their last country of departure. So these Somalis changed their names on arrival at the airport. Many still use these bogus names in official documents, but use their real names in the community.
Some of the generation who changed their names have since passed away leaving their children with unknown family and clan names. These young people are in limbo, both in the Somali community in Australia and in their country of origin. From other Somalis they often hear insults, such as “you have a fake family name.”
From an article about late Mexican American singer Selena Quintanilla:
Selena continues to have influence over other known and up-and-coming performers. Born in 1992 near Dallas, Disney bopper Selena Gomez, now a pop star of her own, was named after the queen of Tejano (during Selena’s 1991-1995 reign, her name skyrocketed from 780 to 91 in the rankings of most popular baby names in America).
From Anthony S. Kline’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 9:
When the pains grew, and her burden pushed its own way into the world, and a girl was born, the mother ordered it to be reared, deceitfully, as a boy, without the father realising. She had all that she needed, and no one but the nurse knew of the fraud. The father made good his vows, and gave it the name of the grandfather: he was Iphis. The mother was delighted with the name, since it was appropriate for either gender, and no one was cheated by it.
From Dear Saint West: I Too Once Had an Unusual Name by Logan Hill:
Baby Saint, maybe you’re thinking: No way am I going to be some middle-aged man with some basic name. Well, I used to think the same thing, back when I was No. 902. Now I’m No. 13 on the list.
You know who was No. 13 in 1975? Fucking Eric.
Now I’m the Eric.
You may not want to hear this, Baby Saint, but, some day — and probably some day soon, thanks to your family’s fame — you’ll be the Eric, too.
From the book The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) by Oliver Goldsmith:
Our second child, a girl, I intended to call after her aunt Grissel; but my wife, who during her pregnancy had been reading romances, insisted upon her being called Olivia. In less than another year we had another daughter, and now I was determined that Grissel should be her name; but a rich relation taking a fancy to stand godmother, the girl was, by her directions, called Sophia; so that we had two romantic names in the family; but I solemnly protest I had no hand in it.
(Elea of British Baby Names also mentioned this passage in one of her ‘Twas Ever Thus posts.)
From an article about unique names in a 1990 issue of the Harvard Crimson:
“When I was growing up, everyone in my community knew my name,” Caraway Seed ’93 says. “Sometimes it’s a little disconcerting because a lot of people at Harvard have never met me, but know my name,” she added.
“I feel like I’m always noticed because of my name…I want people to know me for who I am,” she says.
Seed says her name was chosen by her father, who as a child was often asked “What kind of Seed are you?” In order to save his children from a similar fate, he decided to name three of them after plants: Caraway, Cotton and Huckleberry.
“I guess they just wanted to be interesting,” Seed says.
From Sunday Summary: 48/2015 by Abby of Appellation Mountain:
A few days ago, I picked him up from a [hockey] skills clinic. “Who else was there tonight?” I asked. He rattled off some names, finishing with, “… and Kelly.”
“Is Kelly a boy or a girl?”
“A boy, mom! Who names a girl Kelly?”
Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles lately? Let me know!