Name Facts from Finland

Some factoids about Finnish baby names, gathered from a pair of articles published late last year:

  • The pool of names in Finland has more than doubled since the 1980s. In the ’80s, about 50,000 names were in use; currently, about 120,000 names are in use.
  • Gender-neutral names that became gender-specific over time include Rauha (“peace”), Sulo (“grace”), and Lenny.
  • Gender-specific names that switched from one gender to the other over time include Tuisku (“flurry”) and Lumi (“snow”).
  • Speaking of Lumi, more than 450 baby girls have been named Lumikki (“snow white”) since the 1800s.
  • “[N]ames with the letter ‘r’ in them are out of fashion because a Finnish ‘r’ is hard to pronounce internationally. With the exception of the boy’s name Väinö, names with umlauts are also dwindling in popularity.” Quote from Minna Saarelma-Paukkala, Director of the University of Helsinki’s Almanac Office, which owns the rights to all of Finland’s name day lists.
    • The Almanac Office’s Name Day Search form covers not only various cultures, but also pets: dogs, cats, and horses!
  • Recently rejected baby names include Alcapone, Ammu (“shoot”), Enikko, Fafnir, Fosforos, Marj-Linn, Monck, Paulii, Poon, Topelius, Tuhka (“ash”), Weicca, and Wolf.
  • A law that went into effect earlier this year allows Finnish parents to give their children a maximum of four first names. (Previously the max was three.)

Sources: Diversity of children’s names expanding in Finland, Finland loosens name law, but most still prefer classics

A Baby Named “Atom Bomb”?

The baby boy born on January 1st to Jessica Killian and Randy “Earl” Sain of Gaston County, North Carolina, was unique in several ways:

  • He was the first baby born in the county in 2019,
  • He was born in the passenger seat of a Chevrolet Cruze (that was cruising toward the hospital at the time), and
  • His name is Atom Bomb Sain.

Why “Atom Bomb”? Because the baby’s nickname in utero was “A Bomb,” and the couple ended up “decid[ing] that if the child was a boy, he would be named Atom Bomb.” The mother later confirmed that the baby “really did come out like a bomb.”

That fact aside…Atom Bomb?

I can understand why a modern parent might prefer Atom to Adam. But the middle name “Bomb”? That takes the combo to a whole new level. (But the pairing is weirdly on-trend, given the rise of weaponry baby names like Cannon, Gunner, Pistol, Shooter, Trigger, Rocket, Arrow, etc.)

What are your thoughts on this one?

Source: North Carolina county’s first 2019 baby named ‘Atom Bomb’, born on interstate

P.S. This isn’t the first baby name I know of that started as a jokey bump-name. Check out Cole Sellar, for instance.

Names in the News: Alie, Italo, Khongolose

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Alie: A baby girl born in New York in December of 2018 was named Alie in honor of the Long Island Expressway (called the “L-I-E”), where she was born in a minivan on the side of the road. (Queens Daily Eagle)

Bale: A baby boy born in Wales in November of 2016 was named Bale in honor of Welsh soccer player Gareth Bale. Another boy born in Wales a month later was also named Bale for the same reason. (Wales Online; Wales Online)

Griezmann Mbappe: A baby boy born in France in November of 2018 was named Griezmann Mbappe in honor of French soccer players Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe. (Deadspin)

Italo: The first baby born in Rome in 2019 was named Italo, in honor of Italy. (His parents are Sri Lankan.) (Daily Mirror)

James Daniel: A baby boy born in Essex, England, in December of 2018 was named James Daniel after police officers James Ireland and Dan Bellingham, who’d helped the parents reach the hospital in time for the birth. (ITV)

Kongolose: A baby boy born in South Africa on January 8, 2018 (the 107th anniversary of the founding of the African National Congress political party) was named Siko Luka Khongolose — the second middle name being a “colloquial Zulu term for the African National Congress.” (TimesLIVE)

Liberty: A baby girl born in Texas in October of 2018 was named Liberty in honor of Texas Congressman Ron Paul. (The Gazette)

Mickey: A baby girl born in California in December of 2018 was named Zoele Mickey — middle name in honor of paramedic Mickey Huber, who’d helped her mother escape a wildfire and reach a medical center to give birth. (KRCR)

Mikkael: A baby boy born in Ohio in November of 2018 was named Henry Mikkael — middle name in honor of Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, who’d helped his mother overcome leukemia in 2012. (Fox)

Sierra: A baby girl born in Tennessee in November of 2018 was named Isabella Sierra-Marie — middle name in honor of Sierra Reprogal, the police officer who’d helped deliver her in a car on the side of the road. (Yahoo! News)

Skrot (rejected): A baby boy born in Sweden in September of 2018 was almost named Bjørn Skrot, but the Swedish government rejected the middle name (which means “scrap”) because it might “cause discomfort for the bearer.” (The Local)

Snow: The first baby born in Baltimore in 2019 was named Snow Violet Taylor. (WBAL)

Swedish Baby Named Q

I’ve posted about several Swedish names (*, Estelle, Engla) recently, so let’s throw in one more.

About a decade ago in central Sweden, the parents of a baby boy named “Q Anbjörn Jackrapat Rehnberg” had to go to three different courts to make the first name “Q” legal.

The first court (the county administrative court) ruled against the name.

The parents appealed, but the next court (the administrative court of appeal) also ruled against the name.

The parents appealed again, and, finally, the third court (the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court) ruled in favor of the name, stating that “it has not been proven that the name Q may cause offence [sic], or that it may lead to discomfort for the bearer of the name […] there is also no reason why Q is obviously inappropriate as a first name.”

What are your thoughts on the first name Q?

How do you feel about single-letter first names in general?

Sources: Swedish couple denied right to name their son Q, Swedish parents emerge victorious in bid to name son ‘Q’

Names in the News: Aneurin, Onyx, Suharsi

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Ambre (rejected): A baby boy born in France in January of 2018 was almost named Ambre (French for “amber”) but the French government rejected the name, claiming it could cause gender confusion. (The Local)

Aneurin: A baby boy born in Wales on June 26, 2018 — days before the 70th anniversary of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), founded by Aneurin “Nye” Bevan — was named Aneurin. (South Wales Echo)

Carson*: A baby boy born in Pennsylvania in July of 2018 was named after Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. (CBS)

  • “Pennsylvania Hospital has also had several babies named Carson lately. And one girl named Kelce, spelled like Jason Kelce.” (ABC, Oct. 2018)

Casey: A baby boy born in Kentucky in August of 2018 was named Jaxon Casey, middle name in honor of Kentucky’s “Casey’s law,” which the parents credit for saving each of their lives. (Courier Journal)

Foles*: A baby born in Philadelphia in October of 2018 was named Layla Grace Foles, second middle name in honor of Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. (ABC)

Lily: A baby girl born in England in June of 2018 was named Lily after her 96-year-old great-great-grandmother Lily. (Leigh Journal)

Murren: A baby girl born in North Carolina in April of 2017 was named Tessa Murren, middle name in honor of the Swiss mountain village in which she was likely conceived. (The Local)

Onyx: A baby boy born in Idaho in April of 2018 — to a couple walking across the U.S. from Georgia to Oregon — was named Onyx “after the healing stone, which represents overcoming fear.” (Idaho Press)

Rachel: A baby girl born in Scotland in July of 2018 was named Ashley Rachel, middle in honor of Rachel Mackie, the ambulance technician who delivered her en route to the hospital. (BBC)

Suharsi: A baby girl born aboard the Indonesian hospital ship KRI Dr. Soeharso in October of 2018 was named Suharsi, “a feminine adaptation of Soeharso.” (Daily Mail)

Zeppelin: A baby boy born in the U.S. in December of 2016 was named Zeppelin after the zeppelin bend, inspired by the fact that his umbilical chord was knotted at birth. (USA Today)

  • Zeppelin is the son of actors Jensen Ackles and Danneel Harris. He has a twin sister named Arrow. (Danneel’s name was inspired by Danneel Street in New Orleans, btw.)

*Philadelphia hospitals are now preparing for a Super Bowl baby boom