How popular is the baby name Purchase 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 Purchase.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Purchase


Posts that Mention the Name Purchase

Prytania – Possible Baby Name?

My husband and I found ourselves in New Orleans again recently, but only for a matter of hours, so we weren’t able to have as many adventures as last time. While taking a Lyft through an uptown area of the city, though, I did spot an intriguing street name: Prytania.

Had any NOLA residents ever been named Prytania? I did some research, but couldn’t find any. In fact, the only Prytania I managed to track down was a 12-year-old Texas girl named Prytania Chambers on the 1880 U.S. Census:

Prytania isn’t even as common as Atchafalaya!

The street itself has an interesting name-story, though.

Not long after the sale of New Orleans to the United States in 1803 — part of the massive Louisiana Purchase* — some residents of the city devised an ambitious plan to construct a Roman-style collesée (colisseum) that would host public games and assemblies. It was never built, but the name lives in “Coliseum Street” and ” Coliseum Square.”

Similarly, these residents also wanted to establish a prytanée — a sort of people’s university — based on like-named schools in France. The French schools had been named after the ancient Greek prytaneum, or town hall. The university was going to be located on what was originally called the Rue des Prytanées. But, like the coliseum, the school was never built, and the street name eventually evoled to become “Prytania.”

The first syllable of prytaneum is based on the ancient Greek word pur, meaning “fire.” Ancient Greek prytaneums were dedicated to Hestia, goddess of the hearth, and within each one a perpetual fire was kept burning.

Coliseum and Prytania Streets run parallel to one another, and, in the area where the collesée and the prytanée were going to be built, the cross streets are named after the nine Greek muses: Urania, Thalia, Euterpe, Calliope, Clio, Erato, Melpomene, Terpsichore, and Polyhymnia. (Here’s a WGNO video about the pronunciations of several of these muse/road names.)

What are your thoughts on “Prytania” as a potential baby name? Usable?

Sources:

*Also a baby name! Here’s more about Louisiana Purchase O’Leary.

World’s Fair Baby Named “Louisiana Purchase”

Baptism of Louisiana O'Leary
Baptism of Louisiana O’Leary
Did you know that the St. Louis World’s Fair (1904) was actually called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition?

The fair marked the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase, which included all of the land that later became Missouri — which, of course, is where St. Louis is located.

But I didn’t discover this while reading about history. I discovered it through a baby name.

Louisiana Purchase O’Leary was the very first baby born on the fairgrounds. Her father was a construction worker, and she was born in a construction tent on August 20, 1902.

The media dubbed her the “World’s Fair Baby.”

She attended the Immaculate Conception School in St. Louis as a girl. Nuns there tried to shorten her name to Louise, but Louisiana Purchase liked her name.

“When she would say her name, people would say, ‘You’re kidding me,'” her stepson Lee Wampler said. “But she was very proud of it.”

She passed away in 2003 at the age of 100, just a few months shy of the fair’s 100-year anniversary.

Sources:

  • “Woman Named World’s Fair Baby Dies at Age 100.” Nevada Herald 22 Jun. 2003: 2A.
  • Sonderman, Joe and Mike Truax. St. Louis: The 1904 World’s Fair. Portsmouth, NH: Arcadia Publishing, 2008.

Image: “Louisiana O’Leary.” World’s Fair Bulletin. 3.12 (1902): 19.