I want to draw your attention to two of these contestants, Safira Afzaal and Yarden Levinson, because the rare names Safira and Yarden both debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1984 specifically:
18 baby girls
6 baby girls
(Safira may be based on the Islamic name Safeerah, meaning “messenger”; Yarden, the Hebrew name of the Jordan River, is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “descend” or “flow down.”)
Here’s how these two contestants looked during the introductions…
Over the course of the two-hour program, the field of contestants was reduced three times: from 21 to 10 (by a panel of judges), from 10 to 3 (again by the judges), and finally from 3 to 1 (by popular vote).
Both Safira and Yarden survived the first cut. The second portion of the show featured the ten remaining women modeling in swimsuits, modeling in evening gowns, and, rather unusually, doing aerobic exercise. (How ’80s is that?)
Here’s Safira doing aerobics:
And here’s Yarden:
Before the three finalists were announced, David Hasselhoff explained that each of the three would be assigned a specific “1-900” phone number.
To cast a vote for your favorite girl, you simply dial her phone number. It’s that easy. Your vote will automatically be registered in the phone company’s computer in Kansas City, Missouri, and there’ll be a telephone charge of 50 cents. The total number of calls received at the end of the ten-minute period by the phone company’s computer in Kansas City will be transmitted to us, five thousand miles away, in Hawaii, and we will know our winner.
The three finalists? Debi, Jaqueline, and Yarden. (Not Safira, sadly.)
Here’s Yarden, right after being named a finalist:
During the next ten minutes, viewers saw (among other things) clips of the finalists talking about themselves. Yarden mentioned that, in Israel, every girl goes into the military and “learns how to fight,” and that she “served in a rescue unit in the Air Force.” She also said:
I come to the competition and they look at me and they say, ‘You’re Israeli? You’re blonde, I mean, how can that be?’
Alas, Yarden finished in third place with just 17.48% of the vote.
The winner was Debi Brett, the Brit, with 53.46% of the vote. (She received over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a 30-day round-the-world trip, a full-length mink coat, a grand piano, a diamond ring, a Dodge 600 convertible, and a Ricoh 35mm camera.)
So, neither Safira nor Yarden won the pageant. But their names live on the U.S. baby name data, which is arguably far cooler. :)
I’m not sure what became of Yarden after the pageant, but I can tell you a bit about Safira (whose last name is actually spelled Afzal). She was born in Pakistan, raised in England, and went on to earn a law degree and become a barrister.
(Other post-pageant careers: Debi became photographer; Antonia became a model/TV personality; Deborah won Miss Universe 1985 and became an actress/TV personality; “Jaqueline” (actually spelled Jacqueline) became a model/TV personality; and “Julie” (Julia) became an actress — in fact, she played the female lead in the second Rambo movie.)
So what are your thoughts on the names Safira and Yarden? Which one would you be more likely to use for a baby girl?
Ro’nikonhrowa nen (or Ro’nikonhrowa:nen), which comes from a figure in Iroquois folklore, means “he who has ideas.”
Sardonyx is a type of banded gemstone.
Sikuliaq (pronounced see-KOO-lee-auk) means “young sea ice” in Inupiaq.
Soho, Manhattan, New-York — in this order, they form an address :)
Taliittuq may mean “no arm” in Inuit.
Tikwaachin means “autumn” in Cree.
Tuukak…I don’t know the definition, but a character named Tuukak appeared in a mid-2020 episode of the animated kids’ show Molly of Denali.
Uapikun means “flower” in Innu-aimun.
Uppialuk means “snowy owl” in Inuktitut.
Uyghur…the Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group in China.
Wapan means “dawn” in Cree.
Waseskon may mean “blue” or “sky blue” in Cree. (The very similar Cree word Waseskun has been defined as: “the time just after a storm, when the dark clouds begin to part, the blue sky appears, and the first rays of sunlight shine through.”)
John Tyler became the unexpected 10th president of the United States upon the sudden death of William Henry Harrison.
He wasn’t a particularly impressive commander-in-chief, but he was notable for at least one thing: having more legitimate children than any other U.S. president.
He married this first wife, Letitia Christian, in 1813. They had eight children:
Mary (b. 1815)
Robert (b. 1816)
John (b. 1819)
Letitia (b. 1821)
Elizabeth (b. 1823)
Anne Contesse (1825-1825) – John Tyler’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Contesse.
Alice (b. 1827)
Tazewell, called “Taz” (b. 1830) – He “was named by the older children after the Tyler family’s close friend, Littleton W. Tazewell.”
Letitia had a stroke in 1839, and died in 1842.
John married his second wife, Julia Gardiner, in 1844. They had seven more children:
David (b. 1846)
John (b. 1848)
Julia (b. 1849)
Lachlan (b. 1851) – Julia’s mother’s maiden name was McLachlan.
Lyon (b. 1853) – Probably named in honor of Julia’s ancestor Lion Gardiner.
Robert Fitzwalter, called “Fitz” (b. 1856) – He was “[n]amed Robert Fitzwalter in honor of Julia Tyler’s ancestor of thirteenth-century England.” (I found several contenders, but my guess is this guy.)
Pearl (b. 1860) – She “was originally to be named Margaret, but she was christened Pearl instead.”