A couple of months ago, I noticed the name Cortana in a birth announcement round-up over at Waltzing More Than Matilda. After reading that post, I realized we hadn’t talked about the name Cortana over here yet. :)
The baby name Cortana first appeared on the U.S. baby name charts in 2008, thanks to the character Cortana from the video game Halo.
2013: 21 baby girls named Cortana
2012: 10 baby girls named Cortana
2011: 10 baby girls named Cortana
2010: 10 baby girls named Cortana
2009: 7 baby girls named Cortana
2008: 12 baby girls named Cortana [debut]
Wait a minute, you’re thinking. Didn’t the first Halo come out long before 2008?
Yes — the first installment came out in 2001, and Cortana has been a part of the series since the beginning.
But she began playing a larger role in the game starting with Halo 3, which came out in 2007. This is what accounts for the 2008 debut.
Cortana’s name is thought to refer to a type of short, blunt sword more commonly known as a ‘curtana’ (from the Latin word curtus, meaning “shortened”).
UPDATE: Professional namer Nancy Friedman happened to post about the name Cortana today as well: How Cortana Got Its Name (about Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana).
A baby girl born in North Carolina in early January was named Tali’Zorah (full first name) after a character in the video game Mass Effect.
Tali’Zorah’s father, Adam, said the name was his wife’s idea:
“I was playing the first Mass Effect while she enjoyed it as a spectator, and she fell in love with the name ‘Tali’Zorah’ the instant we met the Quarian being hunted by Fist.
“She told me back then, ‘If we ever have a daughter, I’d love to name her Tali’Zorah,'” Adam said. “It just sounds so beautiful.”
Is he worried Tali’Zorah might be teased about her unusual name?
“Kids will pick on other kids, whether it’s for a name, their hair, or their clothes, so the best I can do is to teach her how to treat people with respect and how to handle those who refuse to do the same.”
What do you think of the name Tali’Zorah? (Her middle name is Rose, btw.)
I was going to publish all of the 2009 names here in a single post, but WordPress couldn’t handle it. So instead I’ll start where the top 1,000 left off and give you all the names that were given to 100+ babies last year.
Let’s start with boy names. The 1,000th most popular boy name last year was Mustafa, given to 194 babies. After Mustafa comes…