How popular is the baby name Pele 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 Pele.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Pele


Posts that Mention the Name Pele

Name Quotes 82: Rosebud, Pirate, Habakkuk

From an article about the Mad About You reboot:

On the original show, Theresa was portrayed by Burnett as a bit overbearing. But, she always brought extra love…and helped them name their daughter Mabel. When Jamie and Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) couldn’t decide on a name for their baby, Theresa proclaimed that “Mothers Always Bring Extra Love,” an homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura explain Ritchie’s middle name. The Buchman’s decide to call their daughter Mabel.

The conversation between Rob Petrie (dad) and Ritchie Rosebud Petrie (son) referenced above, from the 1962 Dick Van Dyke episode “What’s in a Middle Name?” [vid]:

Rob: …and there’s no reason to look so sad, your middle name isn’t really Rosebud.

Ritchie: Yes it is, my birth certificate says it’s Rosebud.

Rob: Yes it does, but do you know why?

Ritchie: No, but I wish it was ‘Jim.’

[…]

Rob: So you see, Ritch, actually, your middle name is Robert, Oscar, Sam, Edward, Benjamin, Ulysses, David. And, the initials to all of your middle names spells…

Ritchie: Rosebud!

(The seven names were suggestions from various family members. To see the scene and hear the full explanation, click the link to the video.)

From the 2018 children’s book Who Is Pele? by James Buckley, Jr.:

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940, in the tiny village of Três Corações (say: TRACE kor-ah-SOYS), Brazil. Even in 1940, there were many parts of the world that did not have electricity. Most of southeastern Brazil was one of those areas. In honor of their village finally getting electricity, Edson’s parents named their first son after the American inventor Thomas Edison.

From a BBC interview with Billie Eilish:

Q: Hello Billie Eilish… Have I pronounced that right?

A: Yes! It’s eye-lish, like eyelash with a lish.

Q: Your family name is O’Connell, though, so is that a stage name?

It is my middle name. So I’m Bille Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell.

Q: Pirate! That’s an amazing name.

Pretty weird, right? Pirate was going to be my middle name but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad. Then Baird is my mother’s name.

From an NPR interview with Leonardo DiCaprio:

My father tells me that they were on their honeymoon at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I believe. They were looking at a da Vinci painting, and allegedly I started kicking furiously while my mother was pregnant. And my father took that as a sign, and I suppose DiCaprio wasn’t that far from da Vinci. And so, my dad, being the artist that he is, said, “That’s our boy’s name.”

From a Christianity Today article called “Sorry, James and David: Silas and Obadiah Are Today’s Trending Baby Names“:

Looking forward, there’s plenty more space for creativity with highly unique but still highly religious names. Of the 2,606 biblical names I track in my ongoing research, only 811 ever had a year with more than 4 baby boys or girls given that name. We haven’t yet seen kids named Abijam or Paltiel, nor have we seen name fads for Philetus or Berechiah. Even notably faithful biblical figures like Ehud, Elkanah, Habakkuk, Hilkiah, and Jehonadab have been passed over.

If you ever come across an interesting name-related quote (or article), please let me know!

Hawaiian Nature Name: Lehua

lehua, hawaii, name, plant, nature, flower

The Hawaiian name Lehua (pronounced leh-HOO-ah) refers to the showy flower of the ‘?hi’a lehua plant, Metrosideros polymorpha. The flower’s petals are very small, but its stamens are long and typically bright red.

The plant is endemic to the Hawaiian islands and has great cultural significance among Hawaiians. The word lehua refers not just to the flower, for instance, but also (figuratively) to various types of people: “warrior, beloved friend or relative, sweetheart, expert.” The plant even has its own creation myth: the goddess Pele created the plant by transforming human lovers Ohia and Lehua into the tree and the blossom, respectively.

This cultural importance no doubt stems from the plant’s ecological importance. The ‘?hi’a lehua is a keystone species in Hawaii that’s often the first to colonize barren lava. The adaptations that allow for this include: year-round flowering, lightweight seeds, roots adept at growing vertically (i.e., in cracks and fissures), and the plant’s ability to close its stomata when volcanic gases are around — to hold its breath when the air turns toxic, in other words.

So Lehua, like other flower names, refers to an object of beauty…but this particular object of beauty is also a genuine symbol of concepts like resilience and adaptation. Which makes Lehua rather unique among flower names, I think.

What are your thoughts on the name Lehua?

(The photo is of a young ‘?hi’a lehua inside the K?lauea Iki pit crater, which my husband and I visited a few years ago on a trip to Hawaii. That particular lava flow happened in 1959.)

Sources:

100+ Baby Names for 100 Years of the NPS

national park service 100th birthday (zion poster, 1938)

The U.S. National Park Service has a birthday coming up!

When the NPS was created on August 25, 1916, there were only 35 national parks and monuments. (The world’s first, Yellowstone, had been established in 1872.)

Nowadays the agency oversees 411 units. These units are located in the 50 states and beyond, and include national monuments (82), national historic sites (78), national parks (59), national historical parks (50), national memorials (30), national battlefields (11), national seashores (10), national lakeshores (4), national scenic trails (3), and more.

Let’s celebrate the upcoming centenary with over 100 baby names that pay tribute to the national parks specifically:

  • Acadia for Acadia National Park.
  • Angel or Angela for Grand Canyon National Park’s Angel’s Window.
  • Arrow for the NPS emblem, the arrowhead.
  • Archer for Arches National Park.
  • Barbara for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Barbara Island.
  • Bathsheba for Hot Springs National Park’s Bathhouse Row.
  • Bay for any of the parks featuring a bay, such as Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Biscayne National Park, etc.
  • Benda or Bendrick for Big Bend National Park.
  • Bona for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Bona.
  • Bristol for Great Basin National Park’s bristlecone pines.
  • Bryce or Brycen for Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Cadden or Caddie for Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain.
  • Cade for Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cades Cove.
  • Canyon for any of the parks featuring a canyon, such as Grand Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, etc.
  • Capitola for Capitol Reef National Park or for Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan.
  • Carl or Carla for Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
  • Caven for Mammoth Cave National Park.
  • Cedar for Congaree National Park’s Cedar Creek.
  • Cinder for Lassen Volcanic National Park’s Cinder Cone.
  • Clark for Lake Clark National Park & Preserve.
  • Clifford or Clifton for Mesa Verde National Park’s Cliff Palace.
  • Cruz for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Cruz Island.
  • Delica for Arches National Park’s Delicate Arch.
  • Denali for Denali National Park & Preserve.
  • Denison for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Denison.
  • Domenica or Domenico for Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome.
  • Douglas for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Douglas.
  • Elias for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.
  • Elliott for Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key.
  • Ever or Everly for Everglades National Park.
  • Faith for Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser.
  • Forest for Petrified Forest National Park.
  • Garland for Garland County, Arkansas, where Hot Springs National Park is located.
  • Gates for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve.
  • Guadalupe for Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
  • Gunnison for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
    • The park was established in 1999, and Gunnison debuted on the baby name charts the very same year. Did one event cause the other?
  • Harding for Kenai Fjords National Park’s Harding Icefield.
  • Hassel for Virgin Islands National Park’s Hassel Island.
  • Jackson for Jackson Hole, where much of Grand Teton National Park is located.
  • Jarvis for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Jarvis.
  • Jefferson for Dry Tortugas National Park’s Fort Jefferson.
  • John for Virgin Islands National Park’s St. John Island.
  • Joshua for Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Kenai for Kenai Fjords National Park.
    • The derivation of Kenai is unknown, but it could come from either Dena’ina Athabascan (“big flat” or “two big flats and river cut-back” or “trees and brush in a swampy marsh”), Russian (“flat barren land”), or Iniut (“black bear”).
  • Kingston or Kingsley for Kings Canyon National Park.
  • Lake for any of the parks featuring lakes, such as Crater Lake National Park, Voyageurs National Park, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, etc.
  • Lamar for Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch.
  • Lata for the National Park of American Samoa’s Lata Mountain.
  • Lehman for Great Basin National Park’s Lehman Caves.
  • Lewis for Glacier National Park’s Lewis Range.
  • Livingston for Glacier National Park’s Livingston Range.
  • Manning for Saguaro National Park’s Manning Cabin.
  • Mara for Joshua Tree National Park’s Oasis of Mara.
    • In the Serrano language, Mara means “the place of little springs and much grass.”
  • Martin for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Martin.
  • Maui, where Haleakal? National Park is located.
  • Mauna for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s Mauna Loa.
  • Miguel for Channel Islands National Park’s San Miguel Island.
  • Norris for Yellowstone National Park’s Norris Geyser Basin.
  • North for North Cascades National Park.
  • Olympia for Olympic National Park.
  • Parker, Parkyr, Parks, Park, or Parke as a tribute to all national parks.
  • Pele as a symbol of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
  • Prairie for any of the parks featuring a prairie, such as Badlands National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, etc.
  • Pratt for Guadalupe Mountains National Park’s Pratt Cabin.
  • Rainier for Mount Rainier National Park.
  • Ranger as a tribute to all national parks and park rangers.
  • Reef for Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Rhodes for Biscayne National Park’s Old Rhodes Key.
  • Rocky for Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Roosevelt for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
  • Rosa for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Rosa Island.
  • Royale or Royal for Isle Royale National Park.
  • Sandy for Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.
  • Sanford for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Sanford.
  • Sequoia for Sequoia National Park.
  • Shenandoah for Shenandoah National Park.
  • Sherman for Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman Tree.
  • Sky or Skye for any of the parks featuring a night sky program, such as Big Bend National Park, Great Basin National Park, etc.
  • Talus for Pinnacles National Park’s talus caves.
  • Theodore for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
  • Valley for any of the parks featuring a valley, such as Cuyahoga Valley, Death Valley, Kobuk Valley, etc.
  • Verda or Verdell for Mesa Verde National Park.
  • Virginia for Virgin Islands National Park.
  • Windy for Wind Cave National Park.
  • Wolfe for Arches National Park’s Wolfe Ranch.
  • Woodrow or Wilson for Woodrow Wilson, who signed the act that created the NPS.
  • Woodson or Woody for Redwood National and State Parks.
  • Yosemite for Yosemite National Park.
  • Zion for Zion National Park.

For all you national park lovers out there: What other park-inspired names can you come up with?

Sources: List of national parks of the United States – Wikipedia, History (U.S. National Park Service), NPS Site Designations (pdf), Kenai Fjords National Park Profile 2015 (pdf)

Image: Adapted from Zion National Park, Ranger Naturalist Service – LOC

Update, 2/2017: Here’s a related name: Lolo, inspired by the Lolo National Forest. “Lolo” was probably derived from Lawrence (3rd quote).

Names Collected on Hawaii’s Big Island

Earlier this month, my husband and I spent a week camping on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kilauea Iki pit crater, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Kilauea Iki pit crater, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

It’s not easy to find names to blog about while you’re traversing the still-steaming surface of a pit crater, but I did manage to spot a few names here and there. :)

We spent the first half of the trip in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Our campsite was located off Hilina Pali Road. Here’s the view:

Hilina Pali Lookout, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
Hilina Pali Lookout, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Hilina, which immediately reminded me of Helena, seemed like it might be a name…but turns out it’s just a vocabulary word. In Hawaiian it means “struck (as by wind)” — which is appropriate, as the campsite was extremely windy. But hilina did help me discover Hilina’i on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • 2013: unlisted
  • 2012: 6 baby girls named Hilina’i (all born in Hawaii)
  • 2011: 11 baby girls named Hilina’i (9 born in Hawaii)
  • 2010: unlisted
  • 2009: 5 baby girls named Hilina’i (all born in Hawaii)
  • 2008: 7 baby girls named Hilina’i (all born in Hawaii) [debut]
  • 2007: unlisted

Hilina’i means “to believe, trust; to lean on, rely on; trust, confidence” in Hawaiian.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is also where the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum is located. It’s named after geologist Thomas Augustus Jaggar (1871-1953), founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).

One of the museum’s exhibits included three posters that were blown-up copies of pages taken from the old Volcano House hotel register. Each included at least one Hawaiian name. The longest list of names on display came from May, 1891:

Volcano House register, 1891
Volcano House register page from 1891

These are the Hawaiian forenames I think I can make out:

  • Liliuokalani (Queen Lili’uokalani, perhaps?)
  • Kaniu
  • Kahae
  • Wakeki
  • Kaonowai
  • Kawahalama
  • Kele (the Hawaiian form of Jerry)

The Hawaiian names on the other two posters were Mihana, I Kaia, and Pele-liilii. (Liilii isn’t part of the name, but means “small; little; diminutive; young.”)

Another exhibit included a short bio of Thomas Jaggar, and it mentioned that he’d invented an amphibious vehicle in the 1920s “for offshore lava flow observations.”

Ohiki amphibious vehicle
‘Ohiki, the amphibious vehicle invented by Dr. Jaggar

The vehicle’s name? ‘Ohiki, Hawaiian for “sand crab.”

We also did a lot of sightseeing outside the park. One of the places we visited was Rainbow Falls in Hilo, on the east side of the island. One of the plants there had graffiti all over the leaves. We weren’t able to see every name, but here are shots of “Silas + Sarah F.” and “Rachel + Jackson.”

leaf names - leaves

The plant seemed healthy despite the vandalism, thankfully.

leaf names - plant

Something even cooler growing by the falls was this fantastic banyan tree. (That’s me hanging off the tree. Behind me is someone’s bicycle.)

Banyan tree at Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii
Banyan tree at Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii

Did you know that Banyan has been on the national baby name list for more than a decade now?

  • 2013: 22 baby boys named Banyan [6 in Hawaii]
  • 2012: 19 baby boys named Banyan [6 in California, 5 in Florida]
  • 2011: 26 baby boys named Banyan [5 in California]
  • 2010: 18 baby boys named Banyan [6 in California]
  • 2009: 21 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2008: 14 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2007: 13 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2006: 15 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2005: 7 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2004: 16 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2003: 7 baby boys named Banyan
  • 2002: 8 baby boys named Banyan
  • 1996: 5 baby boys named Banyan [debut]

Banyan trees grow best in warm climates, so it doesn’t surprise me that usage of the name is highest in warmer states.

…And that’s it! So I’ll wrap up with this gratuitous shot of the black sand beach in Pololu Valley:

Beach at Pololu Valley, Kohala, Hawaii
Pololu Valley, Kohala, Hawaii

Have you ever been to the Big Island? Do you remember seeing/hearing any interesting names while there?

Sources: