According to an article published in late January by Moldovan news site Publika TV, the most popular baby names in Moldova in 2016 were Sofia and David.
The article was hard to interpret, but here’s my guess at Moldova’s top girl names and top boy names of 2016:
4. Artiom (…which is based on the name of Greek goddess Artemis)
5. Ion (…looks molecular, but it’s actually a form of John)
Notorious Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu (1918-1989) was one of nine surviving siblings:
Did you catch it? Nicolae is listed twice. The first one is the dictator, the second one is his younger brother, born when the first Nicolae was about 6.
Ceaușescu biographer John Sweeney writes off the repetition: “His parents had more children than they knew names.”
But here’s how Alice Miller, psychologist and child abuse expert, explains it:
To my question as to how a brother could also be christened Nicolae, I repeatedly received the reply that the father was drunk “as usual” at the time the child was named. By all accounts, he had simply forgotten that he already had a son named Nicolae–though no one could explain to me how Ceausescu’s mother could also forget that fact. This information seemed to arouse little surprise in Bucharest.
She also says the situation “throws light on the dictator’s obsessive desire for revenge,” which must have come from his “insatiable determination to gain at last the recognition completely denied him as a child.”
I haven’t found anything to verify Alice’s version of the story but, if true, it’s rather depressing. Naming and drinking do not mix. (Robert could have told you that.)
Miller, Alice. Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth. New York: Dutton, 1991.
Sweeney, John. The Life and Evil Times of Nicolae Ceausescu. London: Hutchinson, 1991.
In November, 2008, Colorado father Roger Sealy told the Boulder Daily Camera that his newborn son was named Carter Barack Obama Sealy. He added that his older children were named Brooke Trout Sealy and Cooper John Elway Sealy. The children’s grandmother ratted him out — the kids were actually Brooke Emma, Cooper Jacob and Carter Thomas. Roger’s wife told the paper: “My husband’s an idiot.” (Source: Museum of Hoaxes, Denver News)
2. Lucian Yahoo Dragoman
In January, 2005, reporter Ion Garnod of the Romanian tabloid Libertatea fabricated a story about a Romanian baby that had been given the middle name Yahoo because his parents had met one another online. The story was picked up by Reuters and broadcast internationally. The reporter was later fired. (Sources: Snopes, The Register)
3. Yasir Arafat Colbert
In February, 1975, Philadelphia father Robert Colbert admitted that his baby boy was not named Yasir Arafat Colbert. In fact, he didn’t even have a baby boy. The baby picture he had sent to the Palestinian guerrilla leader — part of a ploy to get Arafat’s autograph — was an old photo of Colbert’s 12-year-old son. U.S. newspapers picked up the story after Lebanese newspapers printed both the letter and the photo, along with Arafat’s response. (Source: “Naming of Philly Boy for Arafat a Ruse.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11 Feb. 1975: 5)