Here’s a good mystery name to post in September: September.
The name September — just like the name Staria from a couple of weeks ago — debuted in 1955 with 20 baby girls:
1958: 7 baby girls named September
1957: 24 baby girls named September
1956: 15 baby girls named September
1955: 20 baby girls named September [debut]
Where did it come from? I don’t know.
At first I thought the movie September Affair (or the associated song, “September Song”) might have something to do with it, but the timeline is off. Plus, I feel like September would need to be used as a character name (or a stage name?) to recast it as a potential baby name in the eyes of expectant parents.
But, as usual, word-names are particularly hard to figure out. The origins of Memory and Treasure are still obscure, for instance. (They’re not impossible to solve, though! Check out Rise, or Strange.)
Any ideas about what happened in 1955 (or late 1954) to make people see September as more than month name?
In the 1990s, the baby names Strange and Stranje popped up on the SSA’s baby name list:
1994: 5 baby girls named Strange
1993: 12 baby girls named Strange [debut] and 6 more named Stranje [debut]
I’m guessing they’re meant to be pronounced stran-JAY as opposed to straynj, but who knows.
Their likeness to the word “strange” makes it difficult to track down any information online, so I’m hoping someone out there remembers a pop culture event (song, movie, TV show, etc.) from 1993 that could have inspired people to name their baby girls Strange/Stranje.
UPDATE: Rachel figured it out! It’s the character Strangé from the Eddie Murphy movie Boomerang (1992).
Here are some of the baby names that didn’t make the cut: Boomer, Bub, Bubber, Calamity, Cookie, Dainty, Danger, Demon, Fancy, Fester, Jinx, Less, Little, Manly, Notorious, Phuc, Pleasure, Rage, Riot, Savage, Sherlock, Sparky, Tarzan, Tiny.
If you know people who like baby name humor, please share!
In the 1970s, Everett H. Williams–director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville, Florida–compiled lists of the most unusual baby names he saw on Florida birth certificates. Here’s a sampling:
Bigamy and Larceny [twins]
End of the Line
First Time Benjamin
Full Dress Coat
Gospel Lilly Floweryvine Virgin Mary Lord Caroline
January Snow White
Kekoalauliionapalihauulioliokeloolau David Kaapuawaokamehameha
I checked for some of these names in the SSDI and discovered one more Lasagne, two more Cigars, two more Larcenys, eight more Gospels, and 17 more Stranges. I also spotted a Full Price (1912-1990), an Easy Fortune (1922-2009) and a Flowery Tutor (1890-1965).
“Everett: what a name!” Miami News 13 Sept. 1973: 1.
“Speaking Of Names.” St. Joseph News-Press 5 Jul. 1970: 1.
“What’s in a Name?” Gadsden Times 23 May 1974: 3.
“What’s in a Name?” Ocala Star-Banner 16 May 1977: 2B.