Nigerian-born British singer Sade Adu (born Helen Folasade Adu) formed her eponymous smooth jazz band Sade in the early 1980s.
The band went on to see massive success in the mid-1980s with its first two albums: Diamond Life (1984) and Promise (1985). These albums included the popular singles “Smooth Operator” [vid], “Your Love Is King,” “The Sweetest Taboo,” and “Never as Good as the First Time” — each of which reached the U.S. Hot 100 in either 1985 or 1986.
Notably, on the debut album, the band’s record label (Epic) decided to include a suggested pronunciation of the band’s name: shar-day. This pronunciation could be found on all formats of the album, from the vinyl record to the cassette tape to the CD:
The problem? Shar-day is the British-English pronunciation of Sade. Brits often drop their R’s — they speak a non-rhotic version of English — so shar-day to a Brit is essentially shah-day to an American.
But the label forgot to account for this dialectical difference when they released the album overseas, and Americans were forced to conclude that Sade, despite not including the letter R, somehow featured an audible R-sound.
Even the Chicago Tribune emphasized this mispronunciation in a December 1985 article entitled, “The Name is Shar-Day“:
Not ”Sahd,” not ”Sayd,” not ”Say-dy.”
The band’s success had a big impact on American baby names. The name Sade was the top debut name of 1985 (in fact, it was one of the top debut names of all time) and it saw peak popularity in 1986. Even more interesting, though, is the sheer number of variant spellings featuring that letter R.
Here are Sade and all the Sade-variants I could find in the mid-1980s U.S. baby name data, sorted by 1986 levels of usage:
*Debut. (The last 3 names were one-hit wonders.) **Gender-specific debut only.
Finally, as a reward for making it to the end of the post, here’s a clip of young Sade Adu talking about her name. Be sure to listen to the end, where she laughs and says, “American people tend to go sharrr-day.”
Dale Fuller was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1885. Her birth name was Marie Dale Phillipps. Dale was also a character name in multiple films, including Top Hat (1935) and King of Alcatraz (1938).
Derelys Derelys Perdue was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Missouri in 1902. Her birth name was Geraldine Perdue. Derelys was also a character played by actress Lilyan Tashman in the film Take Me Home (1928).
Usage of the baby name Derelys (which debuted in the data in 1924).
Deria was a character played by actress Julia Dean in the film Experiment Perilous (1944).
Despina was the 114-year-old woman featured in the short documentary The Weavers (1905), believed to be the first motion picture shot in the Balkans. (There’s no proof of Despina’s year of birth, but if she really was 114 years old, then she’s the earliest-born person ever filmed.)
Dolly Larkin was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in New York in 1889. Her birth name was Margaret Larkin. Dolly was also a character played by actress Cleo Madison in the short film The Ring of Destiny (1915).
Dolores del Rio was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was born in Mexico in 1904. Dolores Moran was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s. She was born in California in 1926. Dolores was also a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film Tortilla Flat (1942).
Dolorita was a dancer who appeared in films in the 1890s and 1900s. Her first film, The Dolorita Passion Dance (1897), was the first motion picture to be banned in the United States. (It was banned in Atlantic City specifically.)
Domini was a character played by various actresses (such as Helen Ware and Marlene Dietrich) in various movies called The Garden of Allah, all based on the 1904 novel of the same name by Robert Smythe Hichens.
Donia Bussey was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s. She was born in Ohio in 1899. Donia was also a character played by actress Edith Storey in the short film The Chains of an Oath (1913).
Dorinda Clifton was an actress who appeared in films in the 1940s and 1950s. She was born in California in 1928. Dorinda was also a character name in multiple films, including Rosemary, That’s for Remembrance (1914) and The Farmer’s Daughter (1940).
Dorothea Kent was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Missouri in 1916. Dorothea was also a character name in multiple films, including The Heart of a Child (1915) and Broken in the Wars (1919).
The girl name Prosperity adds up to 161, which reduces to eight (1+6+1=8).
8 via 170
The boy name Josephanthony adds up to 170, which reduces to eight (1+7+0=8).
8 via 197
The girl name Moyosoreoluwa adds up to 197, which reduces to eight (1+9+7=17; 1+7=8).
What Does “8” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “8” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “8” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“8” (the octad) according to the Pythagoreans:
“They used to call the ogdoad [group of eight] ’embracer of all harmonies’ because of this marvellous attunement, or because it is the first to have been attuned and multiplied so as to be equal-times-equal-times-equal, which is a most lawful generation. So when they call it ‘Cadmean,’ they should be understood to be referring to the fact that, as all historians tell us, Harmonia was the wife of Cadmus.”
“The number 8 is the source of the musical ratios”
“All the ways in which it is put together are excellent and equilibrated tunings.”
“The ogdoad is called ‘safety’ and ‘foundation,’ since it is a leader, because two is a leader: the seed of the ogdoad is the first even number.”
“They used to call the ogdoad ‘mother, ‘ perhaps [because] even number is female”
“The eighth sphere encompasses the whole ‘ hence the saying ‘All is eight.'”
“8” according to Edgar Cayce:
“Eight – a money number” (reading 261-14).
“Eight indicates the commercial change” (reading 261-15).
“This brings eight as a vibration for the entity that means an awakening within the inner self to the new possibilities, the new opportunities within self that may make for not only carrying with it the abilities but the obligations of same as well. For to whom much is given in any manifested form, of him much is required” (reading 707-1).
Does “8” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 35, 44, 71, 143) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “35” (i.e., 35 mm format) reminds you of photography and film, for example.
Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.
If you have any interesting insights about the number 8, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).
At first glance it may seem like the milchbären (milk bears) are simply traditional German gummy bears with a milky jacket slapped on the back. However, not only are the flavors slightly different — including lemon, orange, cherry, strawberry, apple, and raspberry — but these bears have actual names. This fruity, creamy crew includes Emma, Emil, Anton, Mia, Ben, and Frieda.
From a Life article (Jan. 18, 1943) about actor and comedian Zero Mostel:
Back in 1941 Zero was a struggling New York painter who specialized in portraits of strong-muscled workmen. He went by the name of Sam, which was his own (“Zero” is a press agent’s inspiration). […] On Feb. 16, 1942, the day that news of the fall of Singapore reached the U.S., “Zero” Mostel made his professional debut as a night-club funny man.
Fans of the K-pop group NCT 127 donated money in January to name a baby pudu at the Los Angeles Zoo after one of its members, Haechan (HECH’-ehn). This week, the human Haechan got to meet his namesake, snapping selfies with the little deer at his enclosure.
AI-powered voice assistants with female voices are perpetuating harmful gender biases, according to a UN study.
These female helpers are portrayed as “obliging and eager to please”, reinforcing the idea that women are “subservient”, it finds.
Particularly worrying, it says, is how they often give “deflecting, lacklustre or apologetic responses” to insults.
From a write-up of Demi Moore‘s 2017 Tonight Show appearance:
“[Demi Lovato is] from Texas and I’m from New Mexico, so our families say our names the same but we each individually pronounce it differently,” Moore said, noting she pronounces it “Deh-mee” while Lovato says “Dem-ee.”
So what are the origins of Moore’s name?
“In my case, my mother just found it on a cosmetic carton,” she told Fallon. “It means ‘half,’ and she didn’t know that, but she just liked it.”
So in 2009 Chung’s team designed a new simulator named Taz, after the wild Looney Tunes character. It forms individual coils [of hair] around computer-generated cylinders of varying lengths and diameters. The resulting locks stretch out when Merida runs but snap back into place as soon as she stops.
From the 2013 book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896–2013 by Trina Robbins:
[A] male pseudonym seemed to be required for action strips, starting with Caroline Sexton who, in 1934, signed “C. M. Sexton” to Luke and Duke. From Cecilia Paddock Munson, who often signed her work either “Pad” or “Paddock Munson,” to Ramona “Pat” Patenaude, to Dale Messick and Tarpe Mills, the women of the 1940s seemed to believe at least in part upon having a male name.
On the hunt for a rare girl name with a retro feel?
Here’s a long list of uncommon female F-names associated with early cinema (1900s-1940s). Each of the names below is either a character name or an actress name from that era. For those names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.
Fabienne was a character name in multiple films, including Fazil (1928) and The Doctor and the Girl (1949).
Usage of the baby name Fabienne (which debuted in the data in 1949).
Fadette was a character name in multiple films, including Fanchon, the Cricket (1915) and The Inner Chamber (1915).
Faire Binney was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in New Jersey in 1900. Her birth name was Frederica Gertrude Binney. Faire was also a character played by actress Frances Dade in the film The She-Wolf (1931).
Falfi Tumble was a character played by actress Marjorie Daw in the film Fear-Bound (1925).
Faline Faline was an animated character in the film Bambi (1942).
Usage of the baby name Faline (which debuted in the data in 1943).
Fanchette was a character name in multiple films, including A Million a Minute (1916) and The Daring of Diana (1916).
Fanchon was a character name in multiple films, including Fanchon, the Cricket (1915) and The Clown (1927).
Fanette was a character name in multiple films, including Money Mad (1918) and A Gamble with Hearts (1923).
Fania Marinoff was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1890. Fania was also a character name in multiple films, including When a Girl Loves (1924) and The Yellow Ticket (1931).
Fauvette was a character played by actress Elsie Ferguson in the film His Parisian Wife (1919).
Fay Tincher was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Kansas in 1884. Fay Bainter was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in California in 1893. Fay Wray (of King Kong fame) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Canada in 1907. Her birth name was Vina Fay Wray. Fay was also a character name in multiple films, including The Rainbow Trail (1925) and Stage Kisses (1927).
Fieda Druse was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film The World for Sale (1918).
Fifi D’Orsay was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in Canada in 1904. Her birth name was Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier. Fifi was also a character name in multiple films, including The Blackbird (1926) and While Paris Sleeps (1932).
Fioretta was a character name in multiple films, including The Conspiracy of the Crazy (1941) and Song of Scheherazade (1947).
Flametta was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film The Duke’s Plan (1910).
Flavia Arcaro was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Texas in 1876. Flavia was also a character name in multiple films, including Ponjola (1923) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937).
Florianne was a character played by various actresses (such as Mary Thurman and Genevieve Tobin) in various movies called Zaza, all based on the 1898 play of the same name.
Florida Kingsley was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Florida in 1867. Florida was also a character played by actress Maude George in the film The Frame-Up (1915).
Florine Hanna was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1916. She was born in Kentucky in 1883. Florine was also a character name in multiple films, including The Rose of Paris (1924) and Broadway Babies (1929).
Frieda Inescort was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Scotland in 1901. Frieda was also a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film Spy Train (1943).
Fritzi Massary was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1920s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1882. Her birth name was Friederike Massaryk. Fritzi Brunette was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Georgia in 1890. Her birth name was Florence Brunet. Fritzi Ridgeway was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Montana in 1898. Fritzi was also a character name in multiple films, including Broadway Arizona (1917) and One Heavenly Night (1931).