Names in the News: Eclipse, Searyl, Luuuke

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

Apollo: A baby boy born in the Canadian town of Kelowna at the start of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017, was named Niall Apollo — Apollo after the Greek god of the sun. (Castanet)

Charles: A baby boy born in Missouri in October of 2016 with the help of St. Charles County ambulance district paramedics was named Charles. (Fox 2)

Chepkura: A baby girl born in Kenya on August 8, 2017, while her mother was at a polling station waiting in line to vote, named Chepkura. In Swahili, kura means “ballot” or “vote.” (BBC)

Eclipse: A baby girl born in South Carolina on the day of the solar eclipse was named Eclipse Alizabeth. (The State)

Garavi, Sanchi, and Taravi: Triplet baby girls born in Gujarat in September of 2017 were named Garavi, Sanchi, and Taravi after India’s Good and Services Tax (GST), introduced by PM Narendra Modi on July 1. (India Times)

GST: A baby born in Rajasthan in the wee hours of July 1, 2017, was named GST. (Indian Express)

Harvey: A baby boy born in Texas in August of 2017 amid the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey was named Harvey. (Washington Post)

Kessel: A baby boy born in Pittsburgh in May of 2017 was named Kessel after Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel. (NHL)

Jetson: A baby boy born on June 18, 2017, aboard a Jet Airways flight from Dammam to Kochi was named Jetson after the Indian airline. (The Asian Age)

Justin-Trudeau: A baby boy born in Calgary on May 4, 2017, to a Syrian refugee family was named Justin-Trudeau in honor of Canada’s prime minister. (CTV News)

Luuuke: A baby boy born in North Carolina in July of 2017 was named Cameron Luuuke after Carolina Panthers players Cameron Newton and Luke Kuechly. “[W]hen Kuechly is performing well on the field, the crowd screams “Luuuuuuuuke,” which is why the family has spelled their son’s middle name using three u’s.” (Fox 46)

Lyric: A baby girl born on March 19, 2017, to A. J. McLean of the vocal group the Backstreet Boys was named Lyric. (People)

Mangala: A baby girl born in India in January of 2017 aboard a Mangala Express train en route from Mangalore to Jhansi was named Mangala. (Indian Express)

Nicole: A baby girl born in late 2015 at just 27 weeks in an emergency C-section was named Hadley Nicole – Nicole after delivery nurse Nicole Kenney. (WIVB Buffalo)

Noah Harvey: A baby boy born on August 29, 2017, “while Tropical Storm Harvey was raging across his hometown of Beaumont, Texas” was named Noah Harvey. (Deseret News)

Pajero Sport: A baby boy born in Indonesia in April of 2017 was named Pajero Sport after the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV because “we just happen to be fans,” said the father. (Coconuts Jakarta)

Pasley: A baby girl born in Minnesota in June of 2017 was named Shirah Pasley Yang — middle name in honor of Jane Pasley, the organ donor whose kidney was received by Kari Yang, Shirah’s mother. (Pioneer Press)

Searyl Atli: A baby born in Canada in November of 2016 “could be the first in the world to not have a gender designation.” The baby’s gender-neutral first and middle names are Searyl and Atli. (BBC)

Starla: A baby girl born in Colorado on August 2, 2017, in a car on the way to the hospital was “named Starla because of her dramatic entrance.” (Denver7)

Storm: A baby girl born in Miami in September of 2017, as Hurricane Irma approached the region, was named Nayiri Storm. (Weather Channel)

Syria: A baby girl born in Moscow in November of 2015 was named Syria “after her father’s military assignment destination.” (Moscow Times)


Our Growing Interest in Baby Names

baby names, new york times
© 2012 Psychology Today
Society is much more interested in baby names these days than in decades past.

One way to visualize the rising interest is the bar graph at right, which shows how the number of New York Times articles mentioning “baby names” has increased drastically from the 1970s to the 2010s.

So what’s fueling the rise? It’s a mix of factors, but I’d say the main answer is the Internet, which gives us both quick access to tons of name-related information (including popularity rankings for many different regions) and a convenient place to talk/gossip/vent about names.

Speaking of the Internet, though, here’s an curious twist. While the general interest in names has risen, the number of people in the U.S. searching for “baby names” via Google has decreased:


This probably reflects an evolution in search practices. I think, more and more, people are searching for specific information (“definition of Emily,” “5-letter girl names”) as opposed to general topic areas like “baby names.” But who knows…do you have a different theory?

Source: Zeitgeist: The Quinn Quagmire (and Other Naming Trends)

Baby Name Battle: Clint vs. Flint vs. Quint vs. Vint

INT names, question, tv names, cowboys

It’s the end of The Week of Int! We’ve looked at the names Clint, Flint, Quint, and Vint — all four of which were associated with TV cowboys during the second half of the 1950s, and all four of which saw increased usage on the baby name charts in the ’50s thanks to these associations.

So now it’s your turn. Which of these -int names is your favorite?

The -INT name I like best is...

View Results

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The Last Living Person of the 1900s: What Will Her Name Be?

baby
Emma Morano in 1900
A couple of weeks ago, Italian supercentenarian Emma Morano (b. November 29, 1899) passed away at the age of 117. She was both the world’s oldest living person and the last living person born in the 1800s.

My question for you today is: What will be the name of the last living person born in the 1900s?

We won’t know the answer to this question until well into the 22nd century, of course, but it’s a fun one to ponder.

This person was probably born in 1999 or 1998 and, based on what we know about longevity, this person is also probably female. But what type of name will she have? It’s much harder to make speculations about location and language.

The current list of the 100 oldest people ever contains folks from the U.S., Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Spain, and a few other places. This mix could change drastically in the future, though.

What name/names would you guess? Feel free to list several, each representing a potential location. Here’s the U.S. top 2,000 for the year 2000, which could be helpful for English-speaking areas.

(Wouldn’t it be funny if this person were another Emma? I don’t know how probable this is, but the name’s usage had already started rebounding in several places in the late ’90s, so it’s not impossible. Emma ranked 17th in the U.S. in 1999, for instance. Now it’s #1.)

Early Recognition of the “Great-Grandparent Rule”

grandmotherA baby name becomes trendy for one generation. For the next two generations, while those initial babies are parent-aged and grandparent-aged, you can expect the name to go out of style. But during the third generation, once the cohort reaches great-grandparent age, the name is free to come back into fashion.

Evelyn is a name with a usage pattern that fits this description well.

I’ve seen it described elsewhere as the 100-Year Rule, but I prefer to call it the Great-Grandparent Rule, as it makes more sense to me to frame it in terms of generations.

Essentially, the pattern has to do with a name’s main generational association shifting from “a name that belongs to real-life old people” to “a name that sounds pleasantly old-fashioned.”

I used to think the pattern was one we’d only recently discovered — something we needed the data to see — but it turns out that at least one observant person noticed this trend and wrote about it in The San Francisco Call more than 100 years ago (boldface mine):

Time was — and that not very long ago — when old fashioned names, as old fashioned furniture, crockery and hand embroideries, were declared out of date. The progress of the ages that replaced the slower work of hand by the speed of machines cast a blight on everything that betokened age.

Spinning wheels were stowed away in attics, grandmothers’ gowns were tucked into cedar chests, old porcelain of plain design was replaced by more gaudy utensils and machine made and embroidered dresses and lingerie lined the closets where formerly only handwork was hung.

So with given names. Mary, Elizabeth, Jane, Sarah, Hannah and Anne, one and all, were declared old fashioned and were relegated to past ages to be succeeded by Gladys, Helen, Delphine, Gwendolyn, Geraldine and Lillian and a host of other more showy appellations.

Two generations of these, and woman exercised her time honored privilege and changed her mind.

She woke suddenly to the value of history, hustled from their hiding places the ancient robes and furnishings that were her insignia of culture, discarded the work of the modern machine for the finer output of her own fair hands, and, as a finishing touch, christened her children after their great-grandparents.

Old fashioned names revived with fervor and those once despised are now termed quaint and pretty and “quite the style, my dear.”

Pretty cool that this every-third-generation pattern was already an observable phenomenon three generations ago.

The article went on to list society babies with names like Barbara, Betsy, Bridget, Dorcas (“decidedly Puritan”), Dorothea, Frances, Henrietta, Jane, Josephine, Lucy, Margaret, Mary, Olivia, and Sarah (“much in vogue a century ago”).

Have you see the 100-Year Rule/Great-Grandparent Rule at play in your own family tree? If so, what was the name and what were the birth years?

Source: “Society” [Editorial]. San Francisco Call 17 Aug. 1913: 19.
Image: Frances Marie via Morguefile