How popular is the baby name Vladimir in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Vladimir.
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The recent weeks-long blackout in Crimea finally ended when power lines connecting Crimea to mainland Russia were switched on.
Toward the end of the ordeal, one regional politician suggested that Crimeans commemorate the occasion with electricity-inspired baby names.
Russian news agencies…quoted local parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov suggesting that parents name their newborn girls Sveta, or “light” in Russian, and boys “Generator” to highlight the government’s efforts to overcome the crisis.
I’m not sure if anyone in Crimea took Konstantinov’s suggestion seriously, but I can tell you that a specific type of electric generator, the Dynamo, gave rise to the baby name Dinamo in the USSR around the time of the Russian Revolution.
Happy Friday! Here’s another batch of random, name-related quotes to end the week…
From the description of the December 15, 1947, cover of LIFE magazine:
Among the prettiest showgirls in New York’s nightclubs are (from left) brunette Dawn McInerney, red-haired Thana Barclay and blond Joy Skylar who all work in the Latin Quarter. […] Thana, also 22, was named after her mother’s favorite poem Thanatopsis. She is married to a song plugger named Duke Niles and owns a dachshund named Bagel.
The poem “Thanatopsis” was written by William Cullen Bryant. The word itself means “a view or contemplation of death.” In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the god of death.
From the All Music Guide to Hip-hop by Vladimir Bogdanov:
Ginuwine was born in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1975, with the unlikely name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (after D.C.-born Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor).
Fellow immigrants…Here is proof that we need that national “conversation about race” urged by President Clinton: Last week in a whimsical moment I argued that official hurricane names are too “white bread” (like Greg) and don’t reflect America’s ethnic stew. To make my point I looked at the births page of the Sentinel for names that you never see attached to a hurricane — names such as Attaliah, Desjambra, Ofori. A reader called to complain about the “white bread” line and added, “A lot of those names aren’t even American.”
“Excuse me,” I said, “but they were born in this country. They’re just as American as you and me.”
“You know what I mean,” he said.
Yes, unfortunately, I think I do.
From The Making of Cabaret by Keith Garebian, regarding the name of English actress Valerie Jill Haworth, who was born on Victory over Japan Day (Aug. 15, 1945):
The initials of her baptismal names (Valerie Jill) were in honor of her birth on VJ Day.
There are some Japanese family names that are so ridiculous that I’m forced to believe that someone was playing some kind of horrible family prank when they named themselves. Cow Poop (Ushikuso), Horse-Butt (Umajiri), and Boar-Crotch (Inomata/Imata) are actual people in Japan. If they wanted a memorable name, they’ve certainly achieved it, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up with a name like that as a child.
Fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman stresses the importance of a good name in describing the genesis of his American Gods protagonist. “There’s a magic to names, after all,” he says. “I knew his name [needed to be] descriptive. I tried calling him Lazy, but he didn’t seem to like that, and I called him Jack, and he didn’t like that any better. I took to trying every name I ran into on him for size, and he looked back at me from somewhere in my head unimpressed every time. It was like trying to name Rumpelstiltskin.”
He finally discovered the name, Shadow, in an Elvis Costello song. (American Gods will be on TV soon…will we soon be seeing more babies named Shadow?)
According to Moscow’s civil registration office, the most popular baby names in Moscow in 2014 were Alexander (for the 10th year in a row) and Sofia.
Among the names registered for the first time last year were Byzantium, Jazz, and Sevastopol. (“Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol in March reinvigorated national pride among many Russians.”) Two other unusual names that made headlines last year were Lucifer and Olimpiyada (a baby girl born several weeks before the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi).
I don’t believe Russia releases country-wide baby name rankings, but the Mercator media agency has gathered a some data (“the first names of 21 million residents of Moscow and the Moscow region”) and created a cool interactive baby name popularity graph covering the 20th century.
Some observations about the Mercator data:
Lada “became somewhat popular in 1968 when the Soviet Union began production of a car by the same name. The name debuted on the top-100 list at No. 70, then declined to No. 76 a year later before falling off the chart.” Lada was originally the name of a Slavic goddess.
Vladimir “was the second most popular name in 1952 when current President Vladimir Putin was born.”
Ninel “debuted on the chart at No. 66 in 1924, the year that Soviet state-founder Vladimir Lenin died. Ninel slid off the list in the mid-1930s.” (See more Revolutionary Russian Baby Names.)