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:
P.S. In the 2006-2009 reports, the heading of the unique names section was “Selected Unique Names, Yewneek Spellings.” For 2010, it was lengthened to “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings.” I happen to love these headings, but aren’t they a bit snarky for an official state document…?
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which occurred in late December, triggered a deadly tsunami that reached a number of countries.
A couple named Kutten and Priyanka from Alappuzha district, Kerala, India, managed to escape the waves with their newborn baby girl. They named their daughter Tsunami to commemorate the event and their survival.
Parents in the U.S. started naming their babies Tsunami that year as well. The name debuted in the SSA’s data in 2004 and showed up again in 2005:
2005: 7 baby girls named Tsunami
2004: 5 baby girls named Tsunami [debut]
The Japanese word tsunami means “harbor wave.”
Interesting contrast: Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of New Orleans eight months later, caused the popularity of the baby name Katrina to plummet in the U.S.