How popular is the baby name Opera in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Opera.
I’m fascinated by personal names that, out of context, don’t appear to be names at all. Especially when said names are created from everyday nouns and proper nouns — places, foods, animals, objects, brands, ideas, events, institutions, organizations, qualities, phenomena, and so forth.
My fascination kicked into high gear after I wrote about noun-names earlier this year. Ever since, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for noun-names.
So far, I’ve collected hundreds. But it’s going to take me a while to blog about all of them. In the meanwhile, I thought I’d list some of the strangest ones I’ve already talked about:
- Cape Cod
- Celerie (celery)
- Emancipation Proclamation
- Eiffel Tower
- Golden Palace
- Key West
- Legal Tender
- Opera House
- Soccer City
- Union Jack
- Vick Vaporup (Vicks VapoRub)
- Wilmot Proviso
Did I skip any good ones? Let me know in the comments!
- Sputnik, 10/4
- Nintendo, 10/22
- Annexation, 10/25
- Windchime, 11/9
- Oregon Territory, 11/22
- Gold Dust, 11/29
John Hodge Opera House Centennial Gargling Oil Samuel J. Tilden Ten Brook was born in Olcott, New York, in the early 1870s.
His father initially named him “John Hodge” after family friend John Hodge of Lockport, New York. But at the christening in 1876, when the boy was four years old, Hodge himself suggested that they add the following middle names:
- Opera House – Hodge owned the Lockport Opera House
- Centennial – for the Philadelphia Centennial that year
- Gargling Oil – Hodge was the proprietor of Merchant’s Gargling Oil Company
- Samuel J. Tilden – Hodge was a “staunch supporter of Samuel J. Tilden and his presidential campaign”
The boy didn’t end up going by any of these names as an adult, though. He was known simply as “Buck.”
The Dutch surname Ten Brook, btw, means “near the marsh.”
- “Autograph Fans Irk Man of Many Names.” Montreal Gazette 22 Jan. 1938: 9.
- “Miscellany, Mar. 22, 1948.” TIME Magazine 22 Mar. 1948.
- “Ten Names, But Call Him ‘Buck’.” Ellensburg Daily Record. 25 Jan. 1938: 2.