On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have — or conceive! — a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that isn’t as audacious as Eclipse itself). So what are your options?
Names with “celestial” associations
A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…
The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…
Autzen – Autzen Stadium is where the Oregon Ducks football team plays.
Avenir – Avenir is a French word meaning “future.” It’s also on the Washington state list below. In fact, nearly two-thirds of last year’s Avenirs were born on the west coast: 10 in Washington, 7 in California, 5 in Oregon. Anyone know why?
On February 10, the Civil Registration Act went into effect in the Mexican state of Sonora (which is right across the border from Arizona).
Article 46 of the act allows local authorities to reject baby names they deem derogatory, discriminatory, defamatory, libelous and meaningless, among other things.
The state also banned 61 specific baby names, and will likely ban more names in the future. All of the banned names came directly from Sonora’s birth registries (meaning that each has been used at least once already).
After doing some digging, I finally found the full list of banned names on a Mexican news site. Here it is:
Beneficia (meaning “benefits”)
Calzón (meaning “panties”)
Circuncisión (meaning “circumcision”)
Delgadina (meaning “the skinny girl.” It’s from the Mexican folk song “La Delgadina.”)
Escroto (meaning “scrotum”)
Espinaca (meaning “spinach”)
Fulanita (meaning “so-and-so” or “what’s-her-name”)
Marciana (meaning “martian”)
Masiosare (meaning “if one should dare,” roughly. It’s from the phrase mas si osare, which is part of the Mexican National Anthem.)
Patrocinio (meaning “patronage” or “sponsorship”)
Privado (meaning “private”)
Sol de Sonora
Tránsito (meaning “transit”)
Tremebundo (meaning “terrifying” or “terrible”)
Virgen (meaning “virgin”)
Facebook is the legal first name of at least 2 human beings at this point. Amazing.
Robocop, I must admit, has been on my “baby names I am dying to find in the wild” list for many years. At last, proof that it exists! Exciting stuff. (Haven’t yet come across any babies named Chucknorris, however. Fingers still crossed on that one.)
Hermione? I can see why Sonora would object to “Harry Potter” and “James Bond,” but Hermione by itself (as opposed to “Hermione Granger”) makes no sense. Hermione is a legitimate (and lovely) name that existed long before the Potter books.
What are your thoughts? And, which name on the list above shocked you the most?
The male names below appeared in the Open Domesday database just once, except where noted. (For the record, I overlooked entries in which one person’s name was used to refer to another person, e.g., “Aelfric’s uncle.”)
The most-mentioned name within each letter group is in bold.
If you make it all the way to the bottom, your reward is a top ten list. :)
Which male were mentioned most often in the Domesday book? The #1 name was William, followed by Robert and Ralph:
1. William (166)
2. Robert (127)
3. Ralph (124)
4. Aelfric (88)
5. Alwin (76)
5. Hugh (76)
7. Roger (73)
8. Godwin (72)
9. Walter (64)
10. Godric (59)
Though the names in the book aren’t necessarily representative of name usage in England overall, it does make sense than William took the top spot. The Domesday Book was created a couple of decades after the Norman Invasion, at a time when the name William was very fashionable, thanks to William the Conqueror.