I learned this fact in an article about the New York City’s first babies of 2014.
One of the babies was Tenzin Choetso, a baby girl born to Tibetan Buddhist couple Metok Dolma (mom) and Dorjee Choetso (dad). She was born one second after midnight at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.
Tibetan Buddhists often ask lamas to suggest personal names, both for babies and for older people who simply want a name change. So the couple called the 14th Dalai Lama and put in a request (via one of his secretaries).
He chose Tenzin, which happens to be his own name. (Not his original name, though. He was born Lhamo Thondup in 1935, but renamed Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso upon being formally recognized as the reincarnated Dalai Lama in 1950.)
Tenzin was also the name he chose for he couple’s first daughter, 2-year-old Tenzin Choezey.
Turns out the Dalai Lama really likes to suggest the first name Tenzin (along with various second names). Tenzin is a unisex Tibetan name that has been variously defined as “upholder of teachings,” “holder of Buddhist doctrine,” and “to conquer the wisdom of Buddha.”
So if you want the Dalai Lama to name your baby, here’s how to contact him. Expectant parents of any faith can call. Just don’t be surprised if he picks the name Tenzin for you.
The maps were put together by OpenFile journalist Patrick Cain:
At OpenFile’s request, Ontario’s Registrar General crunched five years of birth registration data, covering 823,000 children born between 2005 and mid-December 2009. The data provided shows the top five baby names for boys and girls by postal forward sortation area—or FSA, the first three characters of a postal code—so long as the total number of babies with that name was ten or more.
Looks like many of the neighborhoods have similar name preferences, though a handful are wildly different from the norm. (An example would be FSA M6K in Toronto, where the Tibetan name Tenzin is the top baby name for both boys and girls.)
And don’t forget to scroll down to the user-submitted name stories below the maps. I spotted several interesting pop culture references (even a Superbad one!) but this was the story I liked best:
My husband and I met at Victoria College, U of T, in a Victorian literature class, and married on Victoria Day. Naturally, our daughter’s name is…Victoria.
For those who live in one of the featured neighborhoods/postal codes: Are the top baby names in your area what you expected them to be, or did they surprise you?
We finished up our Hawaiian vacation with a stop on Maui, and — between the blowhole, the black sand and the banyan tree — I was able to scan (most of) the 201-page Maui phone book for unusual names. Here’s what I found:
The top baby names in New York City in 2006 were Ashley and Michael, according to a list (pdf) released yesterday by New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Rounding out the top ten for each gender were…
Many rare and unusual names ranked as well. Examples include: