How popular is the baby name Lavinia in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Lavinia and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Lavinia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Lavinia

Number of Babies Named Lavinia

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Lavinia

Baby Named Etruria for Ocean Liner

Ocean liner Etruria, Cunard

That recent post about Altruria reminded me of a similar-sounding name: Etruria.

In early January, 1907, the Cunard ocean liner RMS Etruria encountered rough seas while crossing the Atlantic. Two of the crewmembers were killed, several others were injured, and passengers were forced to wait out the storm below deck.

During that time, a baby girl was born in steerage to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Goldstein. Her name? Etruria Rachel Goldstein.

And records reveal that the ship had at least one other namesake: Thomas Etruria Walter, born at sea aboard the Etruria in November of 1887.

The ship was in service from 1885 to 1908. It was named after the ancient civilization that lived in what is today central Italy. The earliest inhabitants of Etruria (that we know of) spoke Etruscan — the presumed origin of a handful of modern baby names including Anthony/Antonio, Camille/Camilla, Horatio, Ignatius, Lavinia, Minerva, and Sergey/Sergio.

Source: “Seaman Killed as Waves Swept Decks of Ocean Liner.” Daily True American [Trenton, NJ] 7 Jan. 1907: 1.


Rare Female Names in Glasgow, 1914

In July, Eleanor of British Baby Names shared a 100-year-old newspaper article called What’s in a Name?

It said that a “correspondent of leisure” had kept track of all the female names that appeared in the Marriages and Deaths column of the Glasgow Herald during the second half of 1913. He spotted a total of 208 different names (shared among 3,500 women) during that time. The two most popular? Margaret and Mary. The next-most-popular were Elizabeth, Agnes, Janet and Isabella. The least popular were the 73 that appeared only once, including:

Ailsa
Alys
Anchoria
Carina
Carmen
Cassa
Celia
Clarinda
Clementine
Daphne
Diana
Easter
Elvina
Estella
Helga
Herminia
Honor
Illma
Inez
Iris
Lavinia
Livonia
Lucinda
Sadie
Sybella
Tooze
Una
Veir
Vera
Zoe

If this anonymous name-tracking correspondent were alive today, he would definitely be a baby name blogger. :)

Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: “What’s in a Name?” Western Daily Press 10 Jan. 1914: 7.

Some Unusual Names – Saba, Mareli, Marella, Marmary

While putting together Monday’s post on Louvima, I found a few other interesting names in Notes & Queries, so I thought I’d do a follow-up post.

Mr. Cuthbert Bede, the person who started the N&Q conversation on Louvima, actually had more to say about unusual names. Here’s the rest of his letter:

It may be remembered that Sydney Smith invented a new name, Saba, for his daughter (‘Memoirs,’ vol. i p. 22). I once invented a name, Mareli, which was intended as an amalgam of the names Mary Elizabeth. I did this for the purposes of a little story, in which the father of the baby girl has asked two wealthy maiden aunts to be the two godmothers; and he proposes to call the baby Mary Elizabeth; after the respective Christian names of the two aunts. Miss Mary Ricketts consents to this, and promises to give her godchild a handsome present. Miss Elizabeth Meagrim will do the same, provided that the baby is named Elizabeth Mary instead of Mary Elizabeth. Miss Ricketts will no yield; and at the last the father finds a way out of the difficulty by inventing the amalgam Mareli, with which combination the two aunts are satisfied. This little tale was published in a six-shilling volume, ‘The Curate of Cranston, with other Prose and Verse,’ by Cuthbert Bede (Saunders, Otley & Co., 1862). In the obituary of the Times, April 2, 1870, appeared the following;–

“On the 30th ult. at Eastbourne Priory, near Midhurst, Mary Elizabeth (Mareli), third daughter of Francis and Martha Tallant, in her ninth year.”

I conclude that the parents had read my story, and called their child Mareli as a pet name.

The next month, two responses were printed. One was from J. M. Cowper:

Cuthbert Bede’s note on this name reminds me of similar Christian names I have met with while preparing the registers of St. Alphage, Canterbury, for the press. In 1706 Louina Backer was baptized, where probably u=v. If so the name is Lovina. In 1730 Lovevina Cooper was christened, and in 1769 I find a Levina Cramp. Possibly the whole of these may be variants of Lavinia. If not, the first and second go far to prove that Sir Francis Knollys has narrowly escaped “appropriating” an invention of the last century.

The other was from E. Venables:

“Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.” If Cuthbert Bede coined the name Mareli for one of his fictitious heroines, a very similar name was coined for a real person long before his facile and amusing pen began to be exercised. A lady well known to visitors of Ventnor thirty or forty years ago, the wife of Rev. J. Noble Coleman, incumbent of St. Catherine’s Church, bore the name “Marella,” which was evidently formed in the same way by the combination of portions of two Christian names. I can mention another example. When dining, five-and-thirty years back, wich that excellent archaeologist and accurate editor the late H. T. Riley, I met a young lady who, to my surprise, answered to the name “Marmary.” Asking my host whether I had heard the name aright, he told me that the young lady had been so called after two godmothers, one of whom was named Martha, and the other Mary, her own name combining the two.

Here’s a little more information on Saba: She was born in 1802 and her father, Sydney Smith, was a well-known clergyman and writer. According to a biography of Sydney Smith, Saba was a place-name picked out of the Bible (Psalm 72:10). The name “was bestowed on her in obedience to her father’s conviction that, where parents were constrained to give their child so indistinctive a surname as Smith, they ought to counterbalance it with a Christian name more original and vivacious.”

Sources:

  • Bede, Cuthbert. “Louvima, a New Christian Name.” Notes & Queries 7 Jul. 1888: 6.
  • Cowper, J. M. “Louvima, a New Christian Name.” Notes & Queries 4 Aug. 1888: 97.
  • Russell, George W. E. Sydney Smith. London: Macmillan, 1905.
  • Venables, E. “Louvima, a New Christian Name.” 4 Aug. 1888: 97-98.

Another Unnecessarily Long Baby Name

This baby didn’t get 139 names, but 49 is still excessive, don’t you think?

Diana and Arthur Martello of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, had a baby girl in May of 1989 and gave her 49 names. (Initially it was just 43, but they added 6 more a few weeks later.)

Here are all 49 names:

Princess India Rosa Kathleen Pearla Meshelle Suzanne Luchianna Irena Iris Veronica Donna Holly Robin Concha Kristian Tonya Elizabeth Joana Magali Lavinia Ruth Sandy Lori Appolonia Concepteone Stephenie Victoria Ira Maria Jane Claudia Pamela Shirley Mellissa Leah Rebecca Simone Alana Loren Joy Angie Pheonix Cynthia Christine Eleanor Meg Sophia Eunice

Diana was the one who came up with them. She said her inspiration included TV shows like Matt Houston, T.J. Hooker, Santa Barbara, and The Young and the Restless.

If you could go back in time and rename this baby girl, which two names (out of the 49) would you choose as her first and middle names?

Sources:

  • Musala, Jane C. “A Nickname Makes it 45.” Allegheny Times 30 May 1989: A3.
  • Musala, Jane C. “The Good News is Short-Lived.” Allegheny Times 28 Jun. 1989: A3.

Name Spotting in Toronto, Canada

Toward the end of July I spent a week in Toronto. I spotted a few interesting names while there.

In the Royal Ontario Museum I found these:

Hannah Jarvis painting Marie-Zoe Persillier painting

On the left are Hannah Jarvis and her daughters Maria Lavinia and Augusta Honoria. They were painted by American artist James Earl around 1791.

On the right is Marie-Zoé Persillier dite Lachapelle. She was likely painted by Canadian artist Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy around 1845.

Both were in the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada.

*

Also in the ROM I saw an installation of 32 drawings called “Beethoven 1-32” by German artist Jorinde Voigt.

the name Jorinde

I don’t know the etymology of her first name — perhaps it’s related to George? — but I do know that “Jorinde and Joringel” is a German fairy tale.

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Lining the walls of local landmark Honest Ed’s were hundreds of old posters and photographs, including these two:

Urylee Leonardos photo Sonyke Cortidou photo

Urylee Leonardos (1910-1986) was a singer/actress on Broadway. I have no idea who Sonyke Cortidou was.

*

While walking Queen Street East just before the Beaches Jazz Festival StreetFest started, I found a billboard full of kids’ names.

kids names

Here are all the names I managed to get photos of:

Juliette, Chris, Jaya, Eric, Rain, Vishal, Dylan, Chantelle, Isabelle, Ashana, Julia, Arooba, Mien, Anamol, Iksa, Selena, Kyle, Sarah, Xuanji, Neha, Lasya, Elisha, Daneille, Danny, Ukasa, Huzaifa, Suchana, Manasa, Anuja, Mehul, Matteo, Wyatt, Ashanae, Emma, Tony, Helena, Lindsay, Chloe, Elizabeth, Erica, Matthew, Jarvis, Stephanie, Emi, Arujala, Lisa, Judy, Mateo, Zaccai, Bronwyny, Ervie, Mckayla, Taylor, Griffin, Callam, Mattas, Michelle, Dain, Aileen, Apurva, Aayush, Gloria, Josh, Deborah, Akshata

Which of the above do you like best?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Twin Sister

A reader named Ayelet is expecting twins. She and her husband won’t be finding out the babies’ genders ahead of time, so they’d like to be prepared with two boy names and two girl names.

So far they’ve got August and Dominic for the boy names and Celia for one of the girl names. Once they select a second girl name they’ll be all set.

They’d like something that isn’t common (i.e. outside of the top 500). They’re considering Aliyah, Angelie, Aurelia, Eva, Isla, Juliet and Valentina, but Aliena is the current favorite:

The name we love is Aliena. She is a character in Ken Follett’s novel “The Pillars of the Earth,” which is set in twelfth-century England. But we can’t get past the “alien” in the name. I have an Alienor in my family tree, so I thought about going the Eleanor route, but I don’t like that spelling; I think I’m in love with that “Ali” sequence.

The baby’s surname will start and end with the letter n, like Nelson.

First, about Aliena. It’s a pretty name, but I’d also be worried about that “alien” association. I don’t know if I’d risk it as a first name, but it might work well as a middle.

The only alternative I can come up with is Eliana, which is an (unrelated) anagram of Aliena. But it’s ranked 193rd and climbing, so it might be a bit too popular.

Here are some other possibilities. None of these are currently in the top 500, and the ones with asterisks have a-l-i sequences.

Adina
Antonia
Amity
Adele/Adeline
Anneliese
Beatrice
Catalina*
Callista
Coralie*
Corinna
Davina
Estella
Elsa
Eloise
Esme
Flavia
Ginevra
Gwendolyn
Helena
Irina
Isadora
Judith/Judy
Leona
Lavinia
Marina
Martina
Mara
Olive
Oriana
Odette
Paulina
Regina
Rosalie*
Rosaline*
Theresa
Vera
Viola
Verity
Venetia
Zinnia

Finally, there’s the option of simply feminizing one of the boy names. August could become Augusta or Augustina; Dominic could become Dominique or Dominica.

Which of the above girl names do you like best with August, Dominic and/or Celia? What other girl names would you suggest to Ayelet?

Baby Name Needed – Traditional Name for Baby Girl

A reader named Liz is expecting a baby girl and she’d like some help coming up with a name. Here are some details:

  • Liz likes “traditional names that are not the type of name the person wearing it will be teased for,” such as Amalia, Charlotte, Sofia and Louisa/Louise.
  • Liz’s husband like “names that sound cute for a little kid but good for an adult,” such as Grace, Beatrice and Nathalie. (Liz doesn’t care for Beatrice/Beatrix, though.)

So far, Louise/Louisa is the only name both Liz and her husband can agree on.

Here are some other names that I thought might work:

Adele
Alice
Althea
Caroline
Celia
Claire
Clarice
Coralie
Emmeline
Genevieve
Felice
Gillian
Greta
Helena
Irene
Isabelle
Johanna
Josephine
Lavinia
Leona
Lucy
Lydia
Madeleine
Margaret
Mary
Naomi
Nicole
Pauline
Patrice
Philippa
Rosalie
Sabina
Susannah
Sylvia
Thea
Theresa

No name is immune to teasing, but I did bump Harriet, which is dangerously close to “hairy.”

What other names would you suggest to Liz?