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.”
Speaking of Erik Estrada, here’s another Erik-related pop culture name from the ’80s.
Jon-Erik Hexum was an up-and-coming actor in the early ’80s. His first role was as Phineas Bogg in the TV show Voyagers! (1982-1983), and his final role was as Mac Harper in the TV show Cover Up (1984-1985).
His career was cut short when, on the set of Cover Up in late 1984, he accidentally killed himself with one of the guns used for filming.
The compound name Jonerik debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1983 and saw peak usage in 1985, the year after Hexum died.
A couple of weeks ago, reader Becca sent me a link to a Washington Post graphic showing the 10 most common names of registered voters within each of Washington D.C.’s four main political parties — Statehood Green, Democratic, Republican and Libertarian.
Here’s the info from the graphic:
The graphic didn’t mention the disparity between the sizes of these groups, though, so let’s throw that in too. The lists were based on data from mid-June, 2015, so here are the D.C. voter registration statistics from June 30th:
Statehood Green: 3,820 registered voters (0.82% of all registered voters in D.C.)
Democrats: 350,684 (75.58%)
Republicans: 28,560 (6.16%)
Libertarians: 779 (0.17%)
The Democrats outnumber the Libertarians by more than 450 to 1, in other words.
Here are the lists individually. After each name is the gender it’s most closely associated with and the year of peak usage as a baby name (in terms of percentage of births) since 1900.
The top Libertarian names are 70% male and 30% female, and most saw peak usage during the last few decades of the 20th century, especially the ’90s.
It was interesting to see just how feminine and old-fashioned the top Democrat names are. But the thing that most surprised was that the Green party’s list included zero female names. I would have guessed that, if any list here was going to be 100% male, it’d be the Libertarian party — definitely not the Green party.
Iceland’s restrictive baby naming law is in the news again. Last year the problem was Blær, this year it’s Harriet.
Tristan Cardew (of Britain) and his wife Kristin (of Iceland) live in Iceland and have two children: Duncan, 12, and Harriet, 10. Duncan’s and Harriet’s Icelandic passports have always listed them as Drengur Cardew (Boy Cardew) and Stúlka Cardew (Girl Cardew) because Iceland doesn’t officially recognize their non-Icelandic names.
Not long ago, Tristan and Kristin tried to renew Harriet’s passport ahead of a vacation, but the National Registry in Reykjavik denied their request. They are appealing the decision. (In the meanwhile, they’ve gotten Harriet an emergency UK passport from the British embassy.)
The Cardews could get round Harriet’s problem by giving her an Icelandic middle name.
“But it’s a bit late for that, and way too silly,” said [Tristan] Cardew. “Are they saying they don’t want us here?”
I’m not sure how much support/criticism the name law gets from residents of Iceland, but Jón Gnarr, former mayor of Reykjavik, has called the law “unfair, stupid [and] against creativity.”
Faith Popcorn: The story of my name is… I used to work in an advertising agency, and my boss, Gino Garlanda, could never pronounce my real name, which was Plotkin, and he would always introduce me to clients as Faith Popcorn. So, I changed it! It’s on page 100 of The Popcorn Report.
One possible case of a word changing form to have a phonestheme is the oldest of the “mor” names above, Mordred, the betrayer of King Arthur. His name actually was originally Medraut or Modred, Celtic versions of the Latin Moderatus. How did it get the “mor”? Possibly with some influence of his mother, Morgause, or of Morgan le Fay. But possibly also through some sound associations, with murder (earlier murther) and with the French morte. After all, the best-known account of the Arthurian legend is Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.
I was struck by this, since Murphy and others had first described Athena’s personality to me as “feisty.” “They earn their names,” Murphy had told me. Athena is named for the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, and strategy. She is not usually a laid-back octopus, like George had been. “Athena could pull you into the tank,” Murphy had warned. “She’s curious about what you are.”
“Those of us who have lived all our lives in Castrillo Matajudios don’t give it a second thought. But the moment you go elsewhere it sounds bad,” the mayor told AFP in an interview.
“Nowadays when people hear Castrillo Matajudios they go, ‘What a village. They kill Jews there. You have killed Jews’,” he said.
“There are some villagers, business people who travel to Israel, and they try not to show their identity card. It is a name that we know today is not very correct,” the mayor explained.
From a 2005 interview with comedian Ricky Gervais on The Daily Show:
Ricky: My highlight [of the Emmys] was a guy who won who had the best name in the world. I think he’s a director or producer or something, and his name was Bucky Gunts.
Jon: Bucky Gunts.
Ricky: And, I mean, you know — I’m sorry, this is a very intelligent, erudite show, but — I giggled for about an hour. I, honestly, I couldn’t believe my luck. Every time I thought of it, I giggled again.
(Ricky himself presented Gunts with an Emmy in 2010, and his enthusiasm over the name made “Bucky Gunts” a trending topic on Twitter.)