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.
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.
Sources: ‘Namami Gange’ To ‘NDRF Singh’, Floods Rule Bihar Baby Names, In Flooded Bihar, Baby Born On Boat Is Named ‘Namami Gange’, India Ganges floods ‘break previous records’
P.S. One of the sources of the Ganges is Nanda Devi…
Krosuri Veera Raghava Chary of Andhra Pradesh, India, was both a space-lover and a devoted communist highly opposed to India’s caste system.
So he gave all five of his children, born from the 1960s to the 1980s, space-themed names that were so unconventional that they made it impossible to determine the family’s caste.
Here they are, in order:
- Spaceship (boy), named after the USSR’s first Soyuz spacecraft, launched in 1966.
- Viking-II (girl), named after the NASA spacecraft Viking 2, launched in 1975.
- Fusion (boy), whose name may have been inspired by the fact that “stars are powered by nuclear fusion in their cores.”
- Space Shuttle (boy), named after NASA’s Space Shuttle system, which began with test flights in 1981.
- Space Shuttle later named one of his children, a boy, Space Shuttle Bulldozer.
- Space Shuttle Challenger (boy), named after NASA’s ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger, launched in 1986.
Chary also named two of his grandchildren, Quasar and Sagan.
The Chary family reminds me of the Subatomic Particle Siblings. Its also reminds me of the folks named Skylab, Sputnik and Antares.
Related question: What do you think the first space baby should be named?
Source: To beat caste system, Communist leader named his children after spaceships, celestial bodies (via American Name Society)
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:
- Cape Cod
- Celerie (celery)
- Emancipation Proclamation
- Eiffel Tower
- Golden Palace
- Key West
- Legal Tender
- Opera House
- Soccer City
- Union Jack
- Vick Vaporup (Vicks VapoRub)
- Wilmot Proviso
Did I skip any good ones? Let me know in the comments!
- Sputnik, 10/4
- Nintendo, 10/22
- Annexation, 10/25
- Windchime, 11/9
- Oregon Territory, 11/22
- Gold Dust, 11/29
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)
- Ben Hur
- Colapso Cardiaco (Cardiac Collapse)
- Flavio Cavalcanti Rei da Televisao (King of Television)
- Onurb (flip of surname, Bruno)
- Onurd (brother of Onurb, above)
- Saddam Hussein
- Tchaikovsky Johannsen Adler Pryce Jackman Faier Ludwin Zolman Hunter Lins (goes by “Tchai”)
- 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?
After all the UARS excitement last week, I thought this would be a fun topic.
Let’s say that a baby is about to be born aboard the International Space Station. People all over the globe are getting ready to celebrate the birth of mankind’s very first space-baby.
The baby’s astronaut-mom, who happens to be from an English-speaking nation, has generously agreed to let an Earthbound person do the naming. And that lucky Earthbound person is you.
What name do you select if the baby is a boy? How about a girl?
Do the names reflect the unique circumstances/significance of the birth? Why or why not?
Related: What would you name an 11-11-11 baby?
Ah, history repeating itself.
Over 32 years ago, NASA space station Skylab starting hurtling toward Earth. NASA scientists had no idea where it would land. Debris ended up in the Indian Ocean and sparsely populated Western Australia, thankfully.
The day of re-entry, at least one baby was named Skylab.
Currently, NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is hurtling toward Earth. NASA scientists have no idea where it will land. It’s expected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere Friday evening (GMT).
Do you think any kids be named “Uars” tomorrow?
Skylab, the United States’ first space station, was in orbit from 1973 to 1979.
The re-entry on July 11, 1979, made headlines worldwide, thanks to the fact that no one knew exactly where Skylab debris would land. (The Indian Ocean and Western Australia, turns out, though ground control had been aiming for the waters south of Cape Town.)
Just hours before re-entry, a baby boy was born in Patiala, India. He was named Skylab Singh.
Update, 7/2/2011: Just discovered another baby named Skylab, incredibly.
A baby boy born in a Laotian refugee camp in Thailand about 12 hours before Skylab crashed was named Skylab (at the suggestion of an American friend). He was the first child of Buonnhong and Loommany Douangpangna.
The family moved to the U.S. several weeks after Skylab was born. (Or several weeks after Skylab crashed, however you want to look at it.)
- “Baby Named Skylab.” Vancouver Sun 12 Jul. 1979: A7.
- “Laotian Baby Named for Skylab.” Spokesman-Review 11 Sep. 1979: 10.
Image: © TIME