Potential baby names may be hiding in the titles of classic arcade games of the ’80s and early ’90s. No, I’m not talking Q*Bert or Pac-Man. But how about Azurian, Zaviga, or Cadash?
Below are a bunch of possibilities, most not even as daring as Dovahkiin, Tali’Zorah, or Sephiroth. Three of them — Kage, Raiden, and Truxton — have already popped up in the SSA data. (And if you’re in the mood to play, click through to check out playable versions of the games hosted by the Internet Archive!)
“Amidar” is based on Amidakuji (the name of a Japanese game) which is based on Amida (the name of a figure in East Asian Buddhism).
A couple of months ago, I noticed the name Cortana in a birth announcement round-up over at Waltzing More Than Matilda. After reading that post, I realized we hadn’t talked about the name Cortana over here yet. :)
The baby name Cortana first appeared on the U.S. baby name charts in 2008, thanks to the character Cortana from the video game Halo.
2013: 21 baby girls named Cortana
2012: 10 baby girls named Cortana
2011: 10 baby girls named Cortana
2010: 10 baby girls named Cortana
2009: 7 baby girls named Cortana
2008: 12 baby girls named Cortana [debut]
Wait a minute, you’re thinking. Didn’t the first Halo come out long before 2008?
Yes — the first installment came out in 2001, and Cortana has been a part of the series since the beginning.
But she began playing a larger role in the game starting with Halo 3, which came out in 2007. This is what accounts for the 2008 debut.
Cortana’s name is thought to refer to a type of short, blunt sword more commonly known as a ‘curtana’ (from the Latin word curtus, meaning “shortened”).
UPDATE: Professional namer Nancy Friedman happened to post about the name Cortana today as well: How Cortana Got Its Name (about Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana).
A baby girl born in North Carolina in early January was named Tali’Zorah (full first name) after a character in the video game Mass Effect.
Tali’Zorah’s father, Adam, said the name was his wife’s idea:
“I was playing the first Mass Effect while she enjoyed it as a spectator, and she fell in love with the name ‘Tali’Zorah’ the instant we met the Quarian being hunted by Fist.
“She told me back then, ‘If we ever have a daughter, I’d love to name her Tali’Zorah,'” Adam said. “It just sounds so beautiful.”
Is he worried Tali’Zorah might be teased about her unusual name?
“Kids will pick on other kids, whether it’s for a name, their hair, or their clothes, so the best I can do is to teach her how to treat people with respect and how to handle those who refuse to do the same.”
What do you think of the name Tali’Zorah? (Her middle name is Rose, btw.)
One thing I love about Quebec? Their yearly baby name list includes all baby names.
Not just names given to 5 or more babies, like the U.S. list. Not just names given to 3 or more babies, like the England and Wales list.
Every single name. Regardless of whether the name was given to hundreds of babies or just one.
Privacy: Who needs it! :)
Here are some stats on all those Quebec names:
7,921 boy names total
6,107 (77%) of them were given to 1 baby boy
7121 (90%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby boys*
9,074 girl names total
6,686 (74%) of them were given to 1 baby girl
8058 (89%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby girls*
*So, if the names given to 5+ babies in Quebec account for only about 10% of the names on the full list, and we assume baby name distribution in the U.S. is similar, the “full” U.S. lists should contain over 140,000 boy names and over 190,000 girl names.
Here are some of Quebec’s unique names (used only once):
Independent midwife Leigh O’Neill said parents were influenced by the world around them, especially the media, when choosing names for their babies. One of the most unusual baby names she has come across this year was Ska, named after a genre of music.
“It’s a punk/reggae kind of music and yeah, they’re young parents.
“I guess they chose that after the type of music they like, but that’s certainly one of the more interesting ones,” Mrs O’Neill said.
I’m now on the lookout for kids named Reggae, Dubstep and Crunk.