During the wee hours of March 10, 1970, Delta’s Flight 86 was flying from Miami to Detroit with 35 passengers and 7 crew on board.
Somewhere over Georgia, pregnant passenger Janice Liogghio of Livonia, Michigan, gave birth to a baby boy.
What did she name him?
“I want to wait and talk to my husband about the first name,” the 22-year-old mother said. “The baby probably will have three first names. Delta will be one of them.”
They ended up naming him Natalino Delta.
“Natalino” is related to names like Natalia and Natalie, which derive from the Latin phrase natale domini, meaning “birth of the Lord” (in reference to Christmas Day). Traditionally, these names were bestowed upon Christmas babies. In this baby’s case, though, the pairing of Natalino (“birth”) with Delta was likely meant to commemorate his unusual birthplace.
I’ve posted about sextuplets and octuplets before, but never septuplets!
A set of seven — four boys and three girls — was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey on November 19, 1997. The McCaughey septuplets are the world’s first surviving set of septuplets.
What are the names of all seven? Here are their firsts and middles:
The McCaugheys also have an older daughter named Mikayla Marie (b. 1996).
What are your thoughts on the names? If you were having a set of seven (same mix of genders), which names would you choose?
The name Novalee saw an uptick in usage following the release of the 2000 movie Where the Heart Is, in which Natalie Portman played teenager Novalee Nation. (Novalee’s daughter Americus also influenced U.S. baby names.)
But the very first time Novalee appeared in the data was way back in 1962:
1965: 5 baby girls named Novalee
1963: 6 baby girls named Novalee
1962: 7 baby girls named Novalee [debut]
Where did it come from?
Country music. Specifically, “(Son) Don’t Go Near The Indians,” which was Rex Allen’s most successful song.
It’s about a man who falls for the Indian maiden Nova Lee only to discover that, not only was he adopted, but Nova Lee is actually his biological sister. (Seems like a weirdly incestuous twist for ’60s country music, doesn’t it?)
Here’s Rex singing the song live:
According to Billboard, the song reached #17 on the Hot 100 chart in October of 1962, and #4 on the Hot Country Singles chart the next month.
The name Nova (without the “lee”) also saw higher usage in the early ’60s thanks to “(Son) Don’t Go Near The Indians,” but that temporary increase was eclipsed fifty years later when Nova suddenly became very trendy. (It entered the top 1,000 in 2011, the top 100 in 2017, and the top 50 just last year.)
Wondering which first letters were the most popular in 2020?
For baby girls, the most-used first letter was A, followed by E and M. The least-used first letter was U. More than 272,000 baby girls got an A-name last year, whereas fewer than 700 got a U-name.
The three most-used girl names per letter last year were…
A: Ava, Amelia, Abigail
B: Brooklyn, Bella, Brielle
C: Charlotte, Camila, Chloe
D: Delilah, Daisy, Daniela
E: Emma, Evelyn, Ella
F: Faith, Freya, Finley
G: Gianna, Grace, Genesis
H: Harper, Hazel, Hannah
I: Isabella, Isla, Ivy
J: Josephine, Jade, Julia
K: Kinsley, Kennedy, Kaylee
L: Luna, Layla, Lily
M: Mia, Mila, Madison
N: Nora, Nova, Natalie
O: Olivia, Olive, Oakley
P: Penelope, Paisley, Piper
Q: Quinn, Queen, Quincy
R: Riley, Ruby, Rylee
S: Sophia, Sofia, Scarlett
T: Taylor, Teagan, Trinity
U: Unique, Uma, Una
V: Victoria, Violet, Valentina
W: Willow, Winter, Willa
X: Ximena, Xiomara, Xena
Y: Yaretzi, Yara, Yareli
Z: Zoey, Zoe, Zara
For baby boys, the most-used first letter was J, followed by A and L. The least-used first letter was, again, U. More than 205,000 baby boys got a J-name last year, whereas fewer than 2,500 got a U-name.
The three most-used boy names per letter last year were…
A: Alexander, Aiden, Asher
B: Benjamin, Brooks, Bennett
C: Carter, Charles, Christopher
D: Daniel, David, Dylan
E: Elijah, Ethan, Ezra
F: Finn, Felix, Francisco
G: Grayson, Gabriel, Greyson
H: Henry, Hudson, Hunter
I: Isaac, Isaiah, Ian
J: James, Jacob, Jackson
K: Kai, Kayden, Kingston
L: Liam, Lucas, Logan
M: Mason, Michael, Mateo
N: Noah, Nathan, Nolan
O: Oliver, Owen, Oscar
P: Parker, Patrick, Peter
Q: Quinn, Quentin, Quincy
R: Ryan, Roman, Robert
S: Sebastian, Samuel, Santiago
T: Theodore, Thomas, Tyler
U: Uriel, Uriah, Ulises
V: Vincent, Victor, Valentino
W: William, Wyatt, Wesley
X: Xavier, Xander, Xzavier
Y: Yusuf, Yosef, Yehuda
Z: Zachary, Zion, Zayden
Finally, here are the totals for girls and boys side-by-side on the same chart:
Overall, the top first letter was A and the least popular first letter was (of course!) U.