How popular is the baby name Skylab in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Skylab and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Skylab.
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In late August, the northern Indian state of Bihar experienced massive flooding. The water reached unprecedented levels in several locations and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
A handful of the babies born amid the floods were given baby names inspired by the Ganges river:
Gangesh, a baby boy born in a relief camp. His mother said, “I named him Gangesh as we have been displaced by the river. The name will always remind me that my first child was born in a relief camp.”
Gangaputra Bhism, a baby boy born aboard a rescue boat. The word putra means “son,” so his full first name means “son of the Ganges.” In Hindu mythology, the character Gangaputra is also known by the name Bhishma.
Namami Gange, another baby boy born aboard a rescue boat. The word namami refers to bowing or prostration. Namami Gange is also the name of government program launched in 2014 to decrease pollution in the Ganges.
One of the babies born during last year’s flood got the particularly unique acronym-name NDRF, which honors India’s National Disaster Response Force. His last name was Singh, so he immediately reminded me of Skylab Singh.
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:
The LA Times published an interesting article on Brazilian baby names several years ago (1999). Here are some highlights:
Brazilian parents who like creative spellings tend to gravitate toward the letters K, W and Y because — at the time the article was written — these letters were not technically part of Brazilian Portuguese.
[In 2009, Brazil enacted spelling reforms that officially added K, W and Y to the alphabet. I’m not sure if this has made them any less desirable for baby names.]
Examples of creative spellings: Tayane (Diana), Kerolyne (Carolina).
Sometimes, parents choose names inspired by Jogo do Bicho (“the animal game” or “the animal lottery”). This is “a kind of urban numbers game based on superstitions that imbue animals and dates with good luck.”
Example of an animal lottery name: Antonio Treze de Junio de Mil Novecentos e Dezesette (June 13, 1917).
There are distinct class differences when it comes to naming:
In Rio’s favelas (slums), “Edson, Robson, Anderson and Washington are favorite first names […] partly because of the percussive “on” sound and partly because American-sounding names are seen as cool and classy.”
Many lower-middle-class parents go for more elaborate names. The Rio registrar explaining these class differences said that, “[b]y seeking status, some cross the line into silliness.” He gave examples like Siddartha, Michael Jackson, Concetta Trombetta Diletta and Marafona (synonym for prostitute).
Many wealthy and upwardly mobile parents stick to simple, classic names.
“Brazilian law forbids names that could expose children to ridicule,” but the law is rarely enforced. For instance, the following made it through…
Antonio Morrendo das Dores (Dying of Pain)
Barrigudinha (Little-Bellied Girl)
Colapso Cardiaco (Cardiac Collapse)
Flavio Cavalcanti Rei da Televisao (King of Television)
Welfare (He said he was named after his father. “My grandfather’s name was Moacir, which in the Tupi Guarani indigenous language means Bad Omen. So he named my father Welfare, because it meant well-being, which was the opposite. And there was a famous English soccer player in Sao Paulo named Harry Welfare.”)
Do you know anyone from Brazil with an interesting name or name story?