From the novel I Shall Wear Midnight (2010) by Terry Pratchett:
[T]he coach door opened again and one dainty good touched the flint. It was her: Angelica or Letitia or something else out of the garden; in fact Tiffany knew full well it was Letitia, but surely she could be excused just a tiny touch of nasty in the privacy of her own head? Letitia! What a name. Halfway between a salad and a sneeze.
Names do matter, and sometimes they say something whether we want them to or not. Just the other day, a caller from Arizona, after a long conversation about a column, commented that my name, Bob Ray, “must be a redneck Texas name.” He obviously didn’t know my race.
Even a mistake in a name can stick with you for a lifetime, as my late friend Ossie Davis discovered. Ossie, a great actor and director who died in 2005 at 87, was born in Georgia. When the nurse asked his parents for a name, his mother said, “R.C.” The nurse wrote “Ossie” on the birth certificate, he said.
Until recently, most sportswriting has omitted diacritical marks. The reason for that isn’t out of disrespect or wanton cruelty. Rather, it is because of educational chauvinism and ignorance. […] Many schools don’t teach the use of diacritical marks — mine didn’t — so it is implicitly chauvinist. Names without diacritical marks are normal, according to these institutions. We graduate from these schools having learned this. Then some of us become sportswriters who retrofit people’s names to fit what we were taught. Sportswriting by and large omitted those accents from players’ names until very recently, including here. Sportswriters rarely asked players how to properly write and pronounce their names. Unsurprising, given the past and current demographics of sportswriters.
I say all of that to point out that our failure to use diacritical marks isn’t necessarily malicious, just ignorant.
Non-Jewish parents in Germany are picking names straight out of the Hebrew Bible for their newborns, and they might not even know it.
But few non-Jewish parents actually know the meaning of such names — they just like how they sound, according to Frauke Rüdebusch, a linguist with the Society for the German Language, which has put out an annual list since 1977.
According to Rüdebusch, a survey done several years ago showed that most people chose names based on how they sounded rather than their origin.
With a name like Ryder, practicing golf at a young is no accident. Ryan Carlson says, yes, his son’s name is inspired by the Ryder Cup, but he didn’t expect he’d be such a natural. Shortly after he began to walk, Ryder began swinging a plastic golf club, quickly learning how to hit balls.
From an article about baby names by a writer named Josanne:
In my case it can be mildly tiring because I am constantly having to explain that there is no “i” in Josanne, (simply because the most common spelling and pronunciation is Josianne) – one person had even asked me if I was sure I was spelling it right and asked me to check my own ID card. True story.
Intuitively, most Indians recognise that names like “Shubham” and “Rishabh” are younger and more modern, while those like “Om” and “Shashi” are older.
A quote about jazz musician Red Norvo from the book American Musicians II: Seventy-One Portraits in Jazz (1986) by Whitney Balliett:
Norvo isn’t my real name. I was born Kenneth Norville, in Beardstown, Illinois, in three thirty-one oh-eight. […] I got the name Norvo from Paul Ash, in vaudeville. He could never remember my name when he announced me. It would come out Norvin or Norvox or Norvick, and one night it was Norvo. Variety picked it up and it stuck, so I kept it.
(Red also had a strong opinion about the name of his instrument: “Please don’t call it a vibraphone. I play the vibraharp, a name coined by the Deagan Company, which invented the instrument in 1927 and still supplies me with mine.”)
Q: I would guess that [the parents who] named [their daughters] Khaleesi in the spirit of empowerment. And yet the character has taken this rather dark turn.
A: I know! It doesn’t take away from her strength, though — it doesn’t take away from her being an empowered woman.
I think that, when you see the final episode, they’ll see there is a beginning and a middle and an end to her as a character. I think that there are people that will agree with her, because she’s a human being.
And Khaleesi is a beautiful name. [Laughs] It’ll all be forgotten in a minute! You know, and people will just go, “Oh, what an unusual name, how fabulous,” and the child will say, “Yes, yes. My parents just really liked the name.”
The cover art of the single “My Sharona” actually features Alperin posing in a revealing tank top and tight jeans. For some time, she was famous in her own right. […] “I remember going on tour, and seeing sometimes people dress up. And I’d say, ‘What are you dressed up as?’ And they would say, ‘Sharonas.’
From the book Edgar Cayce on Vibrations: Spirits in Motion (2007) by Kevin J. Todeschi:
[T]he readings suggest that the soul often has an impact upon the consciousness of the parents as they are in the process of naming their offspring. In addition to that, the readings contend that an individual’s name may carry some similarity from one incarnation to the next, as the name often embodies the overall vibration and consciousness of the individual.
Boh means little boy or son, Kamaji means old boiler man, Yubaba means bathhouse witch, and Zeniba means money witch. The heroine Chihiro means a thousand fathoms or searches, while her worker name, Sen, just means thousand.
The pretty name Amoreena debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1971 and was used most often during the 1970s:
1974: 10 baby girls named Amoreena
1973: 17 baby girls named Amoreena
1972: 15 baby girls named Amoreena
1971: 14 baby girls named Amoreena
Where did it come from?
The Elton John song “Amoreena.” It was never released as a single, but was featured on the album Tumbleweed Connection, “a loose concept record about the Old West written by two people [composer Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin] who had never even been to America.” The record came out in October of 1970.
According to one source, the song was a nod to Joe Cocker’s “Delta Lady” (1969). “Both songs paint lyrical images of a lusty country girl in a pastoral setting.”
So how did Bernie Taupin come up with the name?
No one knows. One theory is that it’s based on amor, which means “love” in several Latin-based languages (including Spanish).
But we do know that the wife of Ray Williams (Elton John’s first manager) was pregnant at the time, and that Taupin suggested “Amoreena” as a potential baby name. Amoreena Joanne Williams was born during the first half of 1970, months before the album was released.
What are your thoughts on the baby name Amoreena?
Bernardin, Claude and Tom Stanton. Rocket Man: Elton John from A-Z. CT, Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1996.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reader looking for lists of old-fashioned double names. She was aiming for names like Thelma Dean, Eula Mae, and Gaynell — names that would have sounded trendy in the early 1900s. She also mentioned that she’d started a list of her own.
So I began scouring the interwebs. I tracked down lists of old-fashioned names, and lists of double names…but I couldn’t find a decent list of double names that were also old-fashioned.
I loved the idea of such a list, though, so I suggested that we work together to create one. She generously sent me the pairings she’d collected so far, and I used several different records databases to find many more.
I restricted my search to names given to girls born in the U.S. from 1890 to 1930. I also stuck to double names that I found written as single names, because it’s very likely that these pairings were used together in real life (i.e., that they were true double names and not merely first-middle pairings).
Pairings that seemed too timeless, like Maria Mae and Julia Rose, were omitted. I also took out many of the pairings that feature now-trendy names — think Ella, Emma, and Lucy — because they just don’t sound old-fashioned anymore (though they would have a few decades ago).
The result isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a decent sampling of real-life, old-fashioned double names. I’ve organized them by second name, and I also added links to popularity graphs for names that were in the SSA data during the correct time period (early 1900s).
Elvis has left the building! The one Elvis song in this tournament — “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” — didn’t not survive the Sweet 16 round. But a couple of lesser known songs have made it to the Elite 8: “Eddie My Love” by one-hit wonders The Teen Queens and “Ride on Josephine” by Bo Diddley. Will they be able to hang on?
Over the next three days, we’ll narrow it down to the 4 top contenders. Here are the match-ups: