How popular is the baby name Wetona in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Wetona and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Wetona.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Wetona

Number of Babies Named Wetona

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Wetona

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter N

nayda, nameNeed a rare, retro N-name?

Here’s the next installment of uncommon female names associated with very old films (released from the 1910s to the 1940s).

I’ve included links to popularity graphs for names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data.

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Nabby
Nabby Goode was a character played by actress Virginia Weidler in the film Maid of Salem (1937).

Nadina
Nadina was a character name in multiple films, including A Polar Romance (1915) and Runaway Queen (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Nadina.

Nadira
Princess Nadira was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film The Indian Love Lyrics (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Nadira.

Nadje
Nadje was a character played by actress Patricia Palmer in the film The Leopard’s Bride (1916).

Nadji
Nadji was a character name in multiple films, including Chandu the Magician (1932) and The Return of Chandu (1934).

Naela
Sun Priestess Naela was a character played by actress Lil Dagover in the film The Spiders (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Naela.

Nahaku
Nahaku was a character played by actress Helen Lindroth in the short film The Dance of Death (1914).

Naida
Naida Lessing was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1918. Naida was also a character name in multiple films, including The Jungle Lovers (short, 1915) and A Cafe in Cairo (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Naida.

Naidra
Naidra was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film Naidra, the Dream Woman (1914).

Naio
Naio was a character played by actress Adda Gleason in the short film The Red Blood of Courage (1915).

Nairaini
Nairaini was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film The Bronze Bell (1921).

Naja
Naja was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Cobra Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Naja.

Nakula
Nakula was a character played by actress Vivian Reed in the film The Lad and the Lion (1917).

Nalia
Nalia McCabe was a character played by actress Corinne Barker in the film Enchantment (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Nalia.

Nalu
Nalu was a character played by actress Ramsay Ames in the film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944).

Nan
Nan Christy was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in 1894. Nan was also a character name in multiple films, including Nan’s Victory (short, 1914) and Nan of the North (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Nan.

Nance
Nance was a character name in multiple films, including The Clutch of Circumstance (short, 1915) and Nance (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Nance.

Nanci
Nanci Price was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Colorado in 1918.

  • Usage of the baby name Nanci.

Naneta
Naneta was a character played by actress Clara Williams in the film The Criminal (1916).

Nanette
Nanette was a character name in multiple films, including Nanette of the Wilds (1916) and The Cowboy and the Countess (1926).

Nanine
Nanine was a character played by actress Beryl Morhange in the film Camille (1915) and by Jessie Ralph in Camille (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Nanine.

Nannie
Nannie Maitland was a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film The Iron Woman (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Nannie.

Nanon
Nanon was a character name in multiple films, including The Conquering Power (1921) and Lady of the Pavements (1929).

Nara
Nara Alexieff was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the film The Hands of Nara (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Nara.

Narcissa
Narcissa was a character name in multiple films, including The Oregon Trail (1923) and For Alimony Only (1926).

Nargis
Nargis was a character played by actress Marguerite Comont in the film Kismet (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Nargis.

Narita
Narita was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film Cock o’ the Walk (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Narita.

Narjis
Narjis was a character played by actress Blanche Friderici in the film Kismet (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Narjis.

Nasa
Nasa Springer was a character played by actress Clara Bow in the film Call Her Savage (1932).

Nasoni
Nasoni was a character played by actress Doraldina in the film The Woman Untamed (1920).

Natacha
Natacha was a character played by actress Edna Sedgewick in the film Red Barry (1938).

Natcha
Natcha Manyus was a character played by actress Claudia Dell in the film The Lost City (1935).

Natchi
Natchi was a character played by actress Carmen Phillips in the film The Great Circus Mystery (1925).

Natoosa
Natoosa was a character played by actress Mary Charleson in the short film Natoosa (1912).

Natrova
Natrova was a character played by actress Milada Mladova in the film Escape Me Never (1947).

Naturich
Naturich was a character played by actress Red Wing (Lillian St. Cyr) in the film The Squaw Man (1914), by Ann Little in The Squaw Man (1918), and by Lupe Velez in The Squaw Man (1931).

Nauma
Nauma was a character played by actress Princess Uwane Yea in the film The Heart of Wetona (1919).

Navarre
Navarre King was a character played by actress Sally Eilers in the film Broadway Babies (1929).

Nayda
Nayda was a character played by actress Rita Hayworth in the film Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Nayda.

Nazama
Nazama was a character played by actress Binnie Barnes in the film The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938).

Nazimova
Alla Nazimova, often credited simply as Nazimova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1879. Her birth name was Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon. Alla was also a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

Nea
Nea was a character played by actress Dona Drake in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Nea.

Nechia
Nechia was a character played by actress Dolly Larkin in the short film A Daughter of the Redskins (1912).

Necia
Necia was a character played by actress Marceline Day in the film The Barrier (1926) and by Jean Parker in The Barrier (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Necia.

Nedda
Nedda was a character name in multiple films, including The Soul of Luigi (short, 1914) and A Clown Must Laugh (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Nedda.

Nedra
Nedra was a character name in multiple films, including Strength of Family Ties (short, 1914) and The Empress (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Nedra.

Neeka
Neeka Le Mort was a character played by actress Nell Shipman in the film The Girl from God’s Country (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Neeka.

Neely
Neely was a character played by actress Duane Thompson in the film One Hour of Love (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Neely.

Neenah
Neenah was a character played by actress Kathleen Key in the film The Man from Brodney’s (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Neenah.

Neepah
Neepah was a character played by actress Eugenie Besserer in the short film The Last of Her Tribe (1912).

Neeta
Neeta was a character name in multiple films, including Temptation and the Girl (short, 1917) and The Third Alarm (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Neeta.

Neewah
Neewah was a character played by actress Neola May in the serial film Perils of the Yukon (1922).

Neila
Neila was a character name in multiple films, including A Soul for Sale (1918) and East of Borneo (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Neila.

Neleta
Neleta was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Anthony Adverse (1936).

Nelga
Nelga Petrona was a character played by actress Julia Swayne Gordon in the short film The Tigress (1915).

Nell
Nell Craig was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in New Jersey in 1891. Nell Shipman was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Canada in 1892. Her birth name was Helen Foster-Barham. Nell was also a character name in multiple films, including The Reward of Thrift (short, 1914) and Nell Gwyn (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Nell.

Nenette
Nenette Bisson was a character played by actress Carmel Myers in the film A Broadway Scandal (1918).

Nennah
Nennah was a character played by actress Ynez Seabury in the film The Calgary Stampede (1925).

Neola
Neola May was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1891. Neola was also a character played by actress Betty Schade in the short film Olana of the South Seas (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Neola.

Nepeese
Nepeese was a character played by actress Nell Shipman in the film Baree, Son of Kazan (1918).

Nepthys
Nepthys was a character played by actress Jane Urban in the film The Last Egyptian (1914).

Neptuna
Neptuna was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film When His Ship Came In (1914).

Nerada
Nerada was a character played by actress Florence Lawrence in the short film The Slave (1909).

Nerée
Nerée Caron was a character played by actress Alma Rubens in the film A Woman’s Faith (1925).

Nesta
Nesta Pett was a character played by actress Cora Witherspoon in the film Piccadilly Jim (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Nesta.

Netta
Netta Westcott was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in England in 1893. Netta was also a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film Hangover Square (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Netta.

Nettie
Nettie was a character name in multiple films, including Java Head (1923) and On Again-Off Again (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Nettie.

Neyneen
Neyneen Farrell was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in the Netherlands in 1898.

Neysa
Neysa von Igel was a character played by actress Louise Glaum in the film An Alien Enemy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Neysa.

Niagara
Niagara was a character played by actress Louise Beavers in the film Du Barry Was a Lady (1943).

Nichette
Nichette was a character played by actress Patsy Ruth Miller in the film Camille (1921) and by Elizabeth Allan in Camille (1936).

Ninette
Ninette Cavallar was a character played by actress Shirley Mason in the film Don Juan’s 3 Nights (1926).

Nini
Nini Theilade was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s. She was born in Indonesia in 1915. Nini was also a character played by actress Barbara Bedford in the film Gleam O’Dawn (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Nini.

Ninotchka
Ninotchka was a character played by actress Greta Garbo in the film Ninotchka (1939).

Niobe
Niobe was a character played by actress Hazel Dawn in the film Niobe (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Niobe.

Nirvena
Nirvena was a character played by actress Stephanie Bachelor in the film Lady of Burlesque (1943).

Nista
Nista was a character played by actress Caroline Frances Cooke in the film The Devil Bear (1929).

Nita
Nita Naldi was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in New York in 1894. Her birth name was Mary Nonna Dooley. Nita was also a character name in multiple films, including Jane Goes A’ Wooing (1919) and Two Gun Sheriff (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Nita.

Nitra
Nitra was a character played by actress Eve Whitney in the film Radar Patrol vs. Spy King (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Nitra.

Nitta
Nitta Moseby was a character played by actress Jean Rouverol in the film The Law West of Tombstone (1938).

Nokomis
Nokomis was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film Witchcraft (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Nokomis (which debuted in the data the year Witchcraft came out).

Nona
Nona was a character name in multiple films, including If Winter Comes (1923) and Law of the Jungle (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Nona.

Nonette
Nonette was a character played by actress Peggy Parr in the film Sylvia on a Spree (1918).

Nootka
Nootka was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film Justice of the Far North (1925).

Norene
Norene McMann was a character played by actress Loretta Young in the film Three Girls Lost (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Norene.

Noretta
Noretta was a character played by actress Pina Menichelli in the film The Banker (1913).

Norina
Norina was a character played by actress Myrna Dell in the film The Lost Tribe (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Norina.

Normallee
Normallee was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the short film The Spirit of the Orient (1913).

Notanah
Notanah was a character played by actress Kitty Stevens in the film Peer Gynt (1915).

Notawa
Notawa was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film The Girl from God’s Country (1921).

Nourmalle
Nourmalle was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film The Cherry Pickers (1914).

Nuanta
Nuanta was a character played by actress Betty Schade in the short film The Call for Help (1917).

Nuanua
Nuanua was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film Passion Fruit (1921).

Nubi
Nubi was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film The Squall (1929).

Nume
Nume Rogers was a character played by actress Florence Vidor in the film The Bravest Way (1918).

Nupondi
Nupondi was a character played by actress Mamo Clark in the film One Million B.C. (1940).

Nydia
Nydia Westman was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1970s. She was born in New York in 1902

  • Usage of the baby name Nydia.

Nydra
Nydra was a character played by actress Rita La Roy in the film The Delightful Rogue (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Nydra.

Nyoka
Nyoka was a character played by actress Frances Gifford in the film Jungle Girl (serial, 1941) and by Kay Aldridge in Perils of Nyoka (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Nyoka (which debuted in the data the year Jungle Girl came out).

Nyra
Nyra Seaton was a character played by actress Kathleen Vaughan in the film Corinthian Jack (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Nyra.

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…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Transient Tessibel

secret of storm country, 1917, movieTessibel appeared only once in the Social Security Administration’s baby name data, way back in 1917:

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: unlisted
  • 1917: 7 baby girls named Tessibel [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: unlisted

For a better picture of what usage looked like around this time, though, let’s check out data from the Social Security Death Index:

  • 1921: 2 people named Tessibel
  • 1920: 1 people named Tessibel
  • 1919: 2 people named Tessibel
  • 1918: 2 people named Tessibel
  • 1917: 6 people named Tessibel
  • 1916: 3 people named Tessibel
  • 1900-1915: zero people named Tessibel

So where did the name Tessibel come from in the 1910s, and why were there extra Tessibels in 1917?

The inspiration was fictional character Tessibel Skinner, invented by author Grace Miller White and first introduced in the 1909 book Tess of the Storm Country. A second book featuring Tess, The Secret of the Storm Country, came out in 1917.

The first book was made into four different films (in 1914, 1922, 1932, and 1960) and the second was made into a single film the same year it was published.

My guess is that the name got a nudge in 1917 thanks to the release of the new story, which was also serialized in the now-defunct magazine Woman’s World. The marketing for the movie — which featured popular actress Norma Talmadge (who went on to star in The Heart of Wetona and Smilin’ Through) — could have been a factor as well.

Do you like the name Tessibel? Do you think it’s a good alternative to names like Isabel and Annabel?

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: W

willette kershaw
Willette Kershaw (1882-1960)
Time for more unusual female names from old films!

Here’s something I didn’t know until recently: many (most?) of the “Indian maiden” characters in early movies had names starting with W. As a result, about half of the names below refer to Native American characters specifically. I’m not sure how many of these Native American names are legit, though. If you can verify any of them, please leave a comment.

Wah-na-gi
Wah-na-gi was a character played by actress Anita King in the film The Squaw Man’s Son (1917).

Wahnah
Wahnah was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film Kidnapped by Indians (1914).

Wah-tah
Princess Wah-tah was a character played by actress Yvonne De Carlo in the film The Deerslayer (1943).

Wah-ta-wah
Wah-ta-wah was a character played by actress Aline Goodwin in the film serial Leatherstocking (1924).

Wahtonka
Wahtonka was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film Dakota (1945).

Wahtunka
Wahtunka was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film Brought to Justice (1914).

Walmura
Walmura was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film The Fate of a Squaw (1914).

Walpurga
Walpurga was a character played by actress Mrs. A. C. Marston in the short film On the Heights (1914).

Wamba
Wamba was a character name in multiple films, including Wamba, a Child of the Jungle (short, 1913) and Justice of the Far North (1925).

Wambi
Wambi was a character played by actress Lule Warrenton in the short film The Queen of Jungle Land (1915).

Wana
Wana was a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film The Indian Maid’s Sacrifice (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Wana.

Wanama
Wanama was a character played by actress Armida in the film Jungle Goddess (1948).

Wanana
Wanana was a character played by actress Marie Walcamp in the short film A Daughter of the Redskins (1914).

Wanda
Wanda Hawley was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1895. Wanda McKay was an actress who appeared in films mainly in the 1940s. She was born in Oregon in 1915. Wanda was also a character name in multiple films, including The One-Way Trail (1920) and Men Are Such Fools (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Wanda.

Wandi
Wandi was a character played by actress Mary Gale Fisher in the film One Million B.C. (1940).

Wanoka
Wanoka was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the film Grey Eagle’s Last Stand (1914).

Wan-o-mee
Wan-o-mee was a character played by actress Evelyn Axzell in the film The Hell Cat (1918).

Warda
Warda Lamont was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

  • Usage of the baby name Warda.

Watuma
Watuma was a character played by actress Phyllis Gordon in the film The Werewolf (1913) — possibly the first-ever werewolf film.

Wauteka
Wauteka was a character played by actresses May Foster and Lule Warrenton in the short film The Brand of His Tribe (1914).

Wawina
Wawina was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film The War Bonnet (1914).

Wenda
Wenda was a character played by actress Myrtle Tennehill in the short film When the Mind Sleeps (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Wenda.

Wendie
Wendie Holmes was a character played by actress Marjorie Riordan in the film Parachute Nurse (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Wendie.

Werta
Werta was a character played by actress Dorothy Dwan in the film The Devil Bear (1929).

Wetona
Wetona was a character played by actress Norma Talmadge in the film The Heart of Wetona (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Wetona.

Wilda
Wilda Lanning was a character played by actress Frances Robinson in the film Forbidden Valley (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Wilda.

Wildeth
Wildeth Christie was a character played by actress Fay Wray in the film Shanghai Madness (1933).

Wildflower
Wildflower was a character played by Mona Darkfeather in the short film Indian Fate (1914).

Willametta
Willametta was a character played by actress Margaret Hamilton in the film Meet the Stewarts (1942).

Willette
Willette Kershaw was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Missouri in 1882.

Willowbud
Willowbud was a character played by actress Marin Sais in the short film The Big Horn Massacre (1913).

Willowdean
Willowdean French was a character played by actress Leila Hyams in the film Summer Bachelors (1926).

Wilma
Wilma was a character name used in multiple films, including Woman-Proof (1923) and Three Cheers for Love (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Wilma.

Winona
Winona was a character name used in multiple films, including An Indian Ambuscade (short, 1914) and Reckless Courage (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Winona.

Wowkle
Wowkle was a character played by actress Anita King in the film The Girl of the Golden West (1915), by Neola May in The Girl of the Golden West (1930), and by Ynez Seabury in The Girl of the Golden West (1938). The film was based on the play The Girl of the Golden West (1905) by David Belasco, who found the name Wowkle in the writings of ethnographer Stephen Powers, who claimed the name meant “fox” among the Nisenan of California.

Wyllis
Wyllis Hyde was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film The Argument (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Wyllis.

Wynne
Wynne Gibson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in New York in 1898. Wynne was also a character played by actress Anita Louise in the film Lady Tubbs (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Wynne.

Wynona
Wynona was a character name used in multiple films, including Wynona’s Vengeance (1913) and The Woman from Warren’s (short, 1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Wynona.

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Which of the above names do you like best?

The Baby Name Wetona

heart of wetona, norma talmadge, silent film, 1919

Here’s a curious one: Wetona. The name started appearing in the baby name data during the second half of the 1910s:

  • 1922: 10 baby girls named Wetona
  • 1921: 6 baby girls named Wetona
  • 1920: 12 baby girls named Wetona [peak]
  • 1919: 9 baby girls named Wetona
  • 1918: unlisted
  • 1917: unlisted
  • 1916: 5 baby girls named Wetona [debut]
  • 1915: unlisted

The SSA data from that far back isn’t terribly reliable, though, so here’s SSDI data for the same time period:

  • 1922: 6 Wetonas
  • 1921: 4 Wetonas
  • 1920: 9 Wetonas and 1 Wetonah
  • 1919: 10 Wetonas, 1 Wetonah, and 1 person with the middle name Wetona
  • 1918: 1 Wetona
  • 1917: 1 Wetona
  • 1916: 1 Wetona and 1 Wetonah
  • 1915: none

What put Wetona (and Wetonah) on the map in 1916? The play The Heart of Wetona, which was written by George Scarborough and performed on Broadway from February to May, 1916. It starred actress Lenore Ulric as the “Indian princess” Wetona.

How did Scarborough come up with the name Wetona? I’m not sure that he did. “The play was originally called Oklahoma and focused on problems of religious leaders in the new state.” It was then rewritten by theatrical producer/playwright David Belasco, who “changed some of the characters to Indians and the locale to a reservation.”

A few years later, in 1919, two things happened. First, the play was turned into a silent film starring Norma Talmadge. Second, the song “Heart of Wetona” — which was “inspired by and dedicated to Norma Talmadge” — was published. These two things together account for the increased usage of the name Wetona that year.

Do you like the name Wetona? Do you think it’s usable nowadays?

Sources:

Name Quotes #50: Rocket, Lenore, Heloise

clueless, quote, cher, dionne

Clueless character Cher on the similarity between her name and that of her best friend Dionne:

We were both named after great singers of the past who now do infomercials.

(Dionne’s name comes from Dionne Warwick.)

From a 2007 interview in People with film director Robert Rodriguez (whose kids are named Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue, and Rhiannon):

Asked about his children’s unusual names, Robert attributes them to side effects he sustained from his college years when he subjected himself to medical tests to make extra money.

“Rocket is the first one. And once you name your first kid Rocket, you can’t name your next kid Marty. Racer, Rebel, Rogue…I’m just gonna blame this on the medical experiments. But they do have regular middle names in case they don’t want to start their own wrestling team.”

(An Australian celebrity named Lara Bingle has two sons named Rocket and Racer…perhaps in homage to Robert Rodriguez?)

From Incomplete birth certificates create a bureaucratic morass by Andrew Ryan in the Boston Globe:

A generation ago — when more families had six or more children — babies without official first names were surprisingly common. Overwhelmed new parents would leave the hospital without completing birth certificate paperwork.

But what once seemed like a quaint oddity becomes a serious inconvenience in a world of identity theft and terrorism. Today, governments demand birth certificates.

As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, vital statistics offices — including at Boston City Hall — continue to receive a trickle of people whose birth certificates carry no first name. Boston officials estimated that in the 1950s, roughly 1 of every 25 birth certificates lacked a first name.

From the 1970 obituary of actress Lenore Ulric in the New York Times:

Born in the little town of New Ulm, Minn., in 1892, the daughter of Franz Xavier Ulrich, an Army hospital steward, Miss Ulric (she dropped the H from her last name) used to say that she was predestined for the stage. Her father gave her the name of Lenore because of his fondness for Poe’s poem, “The Raven,” and her childhood was devoted to theatrical yearnings.

(She played Wetona on stage in 1916.)

Name expert Kunio Makino, as quoted in What to call baby? by Tomoko Otake in The Japan Times:

“I think people who come up with bizarre names for their children tend to feel that they couldn’t live the life they wanted to, and they feel that they have been hindered by many rules and restrictions. The only freedom they have at their disposal, they think, is the right to name their child.”

From Hi, My Name Is Héloïse by Héloïse Chung (formerly Kathy Bryant):

I leaned toward names made of calm, feminine sounds that never sounded like someone was yelling at you. The harsh K in Kathy conjured up my mother’s words for me: kigibe, keoji, shikkeuro. Korean for girl, beggar, and shut up. But I still wasn’t ready. I switched from Kathy to “Kate,” which felt like a small step, but not one nearly big enough.

[…]

Once the universe gave me the OK, a little space seemed to open up for the name to find me. And so it was that Héloïse fluttered into my head one day, devastatingly perfect. I’m not sure exactly where it came from. Perhaps some derivation of Luisita (a friend) or Elio (a boy I used to babysit). I guess I have a thing for L names. I honed it, trying it with and without the H and with and without the diacritics. I didn’t want them to be an affectation. Is it gauche to use French spelling if you don’t even speak French? Eff it, I went with the French.

From Why and how Ontarians change their names in the 21st century by Eric Andrew-Gee in The Globe and Mail:

Some change their names by truncation, some by hyphenation, others by amalgamation, others by invention. Some changes are banal, done for everyday reasons – a divorce, a marriage, a mistransliteration (an imprecise conversion from one alphabet to another) – while others are poignant, playful, even poetic.

When I asked people about their choice while reporting this story, virtually no one was glib. Many would go on and on, grateful to talk about a decision that cuts to the marrow of who they are. Others became tearful and, in some cases, shuddered audibly at the sound of their birth names. Some even declined to discuss the subject.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.