“I do not think it means what you think it means.” This is a line from The Princess Bride, spoken by a character named Inigo Montoya. I think of it whenever I come across a bad baby name definition. And I’ve been thinking of it a lot lately.
Why? Because I’ve visited BabyNames.com a few times since my LOL post, and their database is riddled with errors. While I was there, I saw name definitions that were inaccurate, outdated, theoretical (but presented as fact), embellished, fabricated, and just poorly written. Here are some examples:
Brody/Brodie is indeed Scottish. And Brodie is indeed the name of a Scottish castle. But “Name of a Scottish Castle” is not a definition. The actual definition of Brodie is uncertain, though a number of possible meanings have been proposed.
Caleb is Hebrew and likely means “dog.” So where the heck did “rage” come from? This made me think of Rage Against the Machine when I first saw it. Maybe the meaning should be “Rage Like a Dog Against the Machine.” I mean, if you’re going to embellish, might as well go all out.
“Short Form of San Diego” is the best they could do? Really? And the cryptic “San Diego is St. James of Santiago” only makes things worse. One theory holds that Diego can be traced back (via Santiago, via Sanctus Iacobus) to St. James, but it’s not a conclusive link.
BabyNames.com has been around since 1996. This means they’ve had 14 years to spiff up their database. So why haven’t they? (Yes, founder/CEO Jennifer Moss, this question is for you.)