The ‘Hip Hop’ Names Kiyanne & Jaquae

Kiyanne arguing with Jaquae

Of the many Love & Hip Hop stars to influence baby names* over the last decade, here are two of the most recent: Kiyanne and Jaquae.

Jaquáe (born James Harris) and Kiyanne — both rappers — were part of Love & Hip Hop: New York. They were romantically involved during season eight (2017-2018), but broke up during season nine (2018-2019).

As a result of their newfound fame, Kiyanne’s name debuted in the data and Jaquáe’s made an impressive comeback after an absence of several years.

Do you like the names Kiyanne and Jaquáe? Would you use either one?

*Other baby names influenced by various versions of Love & Hip Hop include Somaya, Kimbella, Benzino, Tahiry, Mendeecees, Kalenna, Jhonni, Mariahlynn, Lyrica, Safaree, and Cyn.

Neva, Not Named for Nevada

neva pattersonActress Neva Patterson, mentioned in yesterday’s post about Diana Lynn, was born in 1920 on a farm near Nevada [neh-VAY-duh], Iowa.

So she must have been named for her birthplace, right?

Nope. Neva, called “Nevada’s gift to acting” by the Des Moines register, “spent much of her life explaining that she really wasn’t named for her hometown.” Instead, she was named after one of her mother’s friends. (Her parents were named Marjorie and George, btw, and she also had a brother named Harlon.)

Do you like the name Neva? How would you pronounce it?

Source: Famous Iowans – Neva Patterson – DesMoinesRegister.com

Spanish Baby Given Scottish Names

In November of 1936, during the Siege of Madrid, many people sought refuge in the city’s foreign embassies.

But only the British Embassy saw the arrival of a baby boy.

He was born to British Embassy cook Josefina Ruiz Torrubiano, who named him Mariano Fernandez [sic?] Alexander Duncan Torrubiano Y Ruiz.

Why “Alexander” and “Duncan”?

The third and fourth names commemorate the assistance of members of the Scottish ambulance corps during the delivery.

And I’m assuming his second name was actually Fernando, even though all the newspapers wrote it “Fernandez.”

Which of the four given names do you like best: Mariano, Fernando, Alexander, or Duncan?

Source: “War Baby Born in British Embassy.” Evening Independent [St. Petersburg] 28 Nov. 1936: 1.

Baby Named for Chicago Skyscraper

An item that ran in the Chicago Tribune in 1969:

The newest infant resident of the Hancock building won’t have any trouble remembering where he lives when he gets older. He is Mark Hancock Thorne who was named yesterday by his parents Mark and Cindy Thorne, who moved into the building two months ago. Young Mr. Thorne was born Wednesday in Wesley Memorial Hospital.

The Thornes would have been among the very first residents of the super-tall skyscraper, which had been completed earlier the same year.

Source: “Baby Named for Building.” Chicago Tribune 21 Jun. 1969: N3.

P.S. The name of the building was changed to 875 North Michigan Avenue in 2018.

The Ephemeral Mateel

Kansas newspaper editor Edgar Watson “E. W.” Howe published his first novel, The Story of a Country Town, in his own newspaper, the Atchison Daily Globe, in 1883.

Encyclopedia Britannica said the novel “was the first realistic novel of Midwestern small-town life,” but an early 20th-century review said that the realism wasn’t, in fact, very realistic at all: “[T]he test of veracity fails in the unrelieved gloom of the story, which is bereft of all sunshine and joyousness, and even of all sense of relation to happier things.”

mateel, baby name, book, 1920s
Mateel Howe

One of the characters in the novel was pretty-but-shallow Mateel Shepherd, the daughter of a Methodist minister (named Rev. Goode Shepherd, naturally).

E. W. Howe must have liked the name “Mateel” quite a bit, because he named one of his children Mateel in 1883.

Readers must have like it, too, becase the number of U.S. babies named Mateel rose in the 1880s and was at its highest from the 1890s to the 1910s, judging by the records I’ve seen.

But the rare name Mateel didn’t appear in the U.S. baby name data until 1927, and it only stuck around for a single year:

  • 1929: unlisted
  • 1928: unlisted
  • 1927: 6 baby girls named Mateel [debut]
  • 1926: unlisted
  • 1925: unlisted

Why?

Well, Mateel Howe went on to become a writer like her father. Her career seems to have peaked with her debut novel, Rebellion, which won the Dodd, Mead & Co. and Pictorial Review “First Novel Prize” of $10,000 in 1927.*

What was Rebellion about? Essentially, the book was about “the difficulties of a daughter living with a depressed, authoritative and demanding father.” (Hm…)

Though both Edgar and Mateel publicly denied that the characters and conflict were inspired by real life, Edgar cut Mateel out of his will soon after the book was published. Here’s how Time put it:

Left. By Editor-Author Ed Howe, an estate valued at $200,000; in Atchison, Kans. To Society Editor Nellie Webb of his Globe, he left $1,500. To Niece Adelaide Howe he left $50,000. To Sons Eugene Alexander and James Pomeroy he left the remainder except for $1, which went to Daughter Mateel Howe Farnham who in 1927 won a $10,000 prize for Rebellion, a novel in which she satirized her father.

Old-timey drama aside, I’m still left wondering about the name Mateel. Did E. W. Howe create it for the character, or discover it somewhere? (I do see a couple of early Mateels in Louisiana. “Cloteal” was often used for Clotilde there, so I wonder if “Mateel” arose as a form of Matilde…?)

What are your thoughts on the name Mateel?

Sources:

*The very same year, author Mazo de la Roche also won $10,000 in a novel-writing contest…