More bizarre baby names from Cuba! These come from a recent BBC article by Sarah Rainsford.
- Dansisy – based on the English word dance
- Daneisys – combination of Daniel and Deisy
- Dayesi – “yes” in three languages: Russian (da), English (yes) and Spanish (si)
- Meylin – from “the canned meat we Cubans used to get on our ration card”
- Noslenis – Nelson backwards
- Oldanier – Reinaldo backwards
- Yaniel – based on Daniel
- Zulkary – from “a long-forgotten foreign soap opera”
The explanation for Dayesi also solves the mystery of Widayesi, which we saw in the last batch of Cuban names. Widayesi must be “yes” in four languages: French (oui), Russian (da), English (yes) and Spanish (si).
Rainsford’s theory is that creative names were a way for Cubans “to be different in a country where the state controlled everything from education to diet.”
Perhaps it was a small assertion of autonomy, or an attempt to cling to some Caribbean colour in an increasingly uniform, communist world.
Sounds plausible to me, though it doesn’t explain why invented names became trendy in so many other Latin American countries (e.g., Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Honduras, Puerto Rico) during the same period.
This makes me very curious to know which Latin American country was the first to have a reputation for crazy baby names. I wonder if it’s possible to pinpoint where/when the inventiveness began…?