Babies Named for Sailing Ships (A)

Back when sea voyages were the only way to reach distant lands, many babies ended up being born aboard ships. And many of these ship-born babies were given names that reflected the circumstances of their birth. A good portion of them, for instance, were named after the ships upon which they were born.

I’ve gathered hundreds of these ship-inspired baby names over the years, and I think it’s finally time to post what I’ve found. So here’s the first installment…

  • Abergeldie:
    • Emma Abergeldie Walsh, born in 1884
  • Abernyte:
    • Eva Abernyte Congdon, born in 1875
  • Abington:
    • Herbert Bealie Abington Tait, born in 1884
  • Abyssinia:
    • Abyssinia Louise Juhansen, born in 1870
    • Abyssinia Elfkin, born in 1872
    • Louise Abyssinia Bellanger, born in 1874
  • Achilles:
    • John Achilles Denchey, born in 1871
  • Actoea:
    • U. Actoea Jones, born in 1868
  • Adriatic:
    • John Adriatic Gateley Collins, born in 1879
    • Adriatic O’Loghlin Gould, born in 1880
    • Agnes Adriatic Cook, born in 1880
  • Agamemnon:
    • Frederick Agamemnon Dingly, born in 1876
  • Alaska:
    • Mary Alaska Magee, born in 1884
  • Alcester:
    • Gertrude Alcester Dart, born in 1884
  • Alcinous:
    • Mary Duncan Alcinosa Greenwood, born in 1887
  • Aldergrove:
    • Aldergrove Andrew Fullarton Feathers, born in 1875
    • Ethel Aldergrove Winning, born in 1883
  • Aleppo:
    • Rosalia Aleppo Rosenthal, born in 1866
    • Aleppo Atalanta Boardsen, born in 1883
  • Alexandrina:
    • Caroline Alexandrina Phillips, born in 1873
    • Mary Alexandrina Hedges, born in 1874
    • Alexandrina Horsnell, born in 1874
  • Algeria:
    • Louis Algeria Noizet, born in 1872
  • Aliquin:
    • Edward Aliquin Poley, born in 1860
  • Allanshaw:
    • Joseph Allanshaw Moss, born in 1883
    • Frederick Allanshaw Shields, born in 1883
  • Almora:
    • Almora May Leech, born in 1856
    • Emily Almora Hamper, born in 1883
    • Joseph Henry Almora Alford, born in 1883
    • Mary Almora Clothier, born in 1887
    • Almora Merten, born in 1887
  • Alnwick Castle:
    • William Alnwick Bull, born in 1861
  • Alpheta:
    • Mary Alpheta Stone, born in 1877
  • Alsatia:
    • Alsatia Campbell Carnalian, born in 1877
  • Altmore:
    • Eliza Altmore Harris, born in 1883
  • Alumbagh:
    • Alumbagh Eleanor Bright, born in 1868
    • Sarah Louise Alumbagh Hancock, born in 1868
  • Alvington:
    • Alvington Oak Silvester, born in 1879
  • Amoor:
    • William Amoor Walker, born in 1864
  • Anchoria:
    • Anchoria Adelaide Williams, born in 1890
  • Angerona:
    • Mary Angerona Harwood, born in 1875
  • Anglesey:
    • Clara Anglesey Oakley, born in 1859
    • Emma Jane Anglesey Conbrough, born in 1874
  • Anglia:
    • James Craig Anglia Watt, born in 1871
    • Emma Anglia Hewitt, born in 1873
    • Margaret Anglia Smith Mulholland, born in 1874
  • Anglo Saxon:
    • Mary Saxon Copeland, born in 1860
  • Antiope:
    • Lilias Antiope Carrick, born in 1884
  • Aorangi:
    • Arthur Aorangi Burrow, born in 1884
    • Aorangi Millar, born in 1885
    • Ellen Corbet Aorangi Browne, born in 1891
  • Arabic:
    • Isabella Arabic East, born in 1887
  • Arcadia:
    • Arcadia Herbert, born in 1877
  • Archer:
    • Archer Grainger Bryans, born in 1883
    • Beatrice Archer Shambers, born in 1885
  • Argo:
    • Sigri Argo Larsen, born in 1877
  • Arica:
    • Aricania Pereg, born in 1883
  • Arizona:
    • Helen Arizona Erickson, born in 1881
    • Sarah Arizona Duggan, born in 1881
    • Ole Arizona Melting, born in 1881
    • Agnes Arizona Kane, born in 1884
    • Elenor Arizona Poulteny, born in 1884
    • Elizabeth Arizona Harvey, born in 1887
    • Marie Arizona Malm, born in 1887
  • Arundel Castle:
    • Arundal Sheal Davis, born in 1870
    • Leopold Arundel Hofmeyer, born in 1876
    • George Arundel Baylis, born in 1876
    • Charles Arundel Holden, born in 1876
  • Arvonia:
    • Herbert John Arvon Hughes, born in 1881
  • Ashmore:
    • James Alfred George Henry Ashmore Curtis, born in 1882
  • Astria:
    • Jessie Astria Santon, born in 1875
  • Atalanta:
    • Anne Atalanta McCormack, born in 1861
  • Atlanta:
    • Elizabeth Atlanta Harrington, born in 1871
    • Elizabeth Atlanta Earp, born in 1871
  • Auckland:
    • Jane Auckland Peacock, born in 1872
  • Australia:
    • Australia Dominica Scioli, born in 1880
  • Avalanche:
    • Avalanche Isaac Hughes, born in 1874
    • Gabrielle Stella Avalanche Newson, born in 1876
  • Avoca:
    • Margaret Avoca Randall, born in 1878
  • Avonmore:
    • Gwendoline Avonmore Corfield, born in 1876

Do any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names? Wdyt?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2020

Happy birthday, Elvis!

It’s hard to put into words just how bizarre 2020 was.

Despite this…people still had babies in 2020, and people still paid attention to pop culture in 2020. (In fact, thanks to quarantine, many people probably paid a lot more attention to pop culture than usual last year.) So, let’s put the seriousness of 2020 aside for a second and kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Of course, “pop culture” includes not just things like movies and music and social media, but also anything that was in the news — including COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the U.S. presidential election.

Which baby names will see higher usage — or appear for the very first time — in the 2020 SSA baby name data thanks to pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas (plus some context):

  • Aalam, DJ Khaled’s baby
  • Ahmaud, shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
  • Amala, Doja Cat album
  • Azula, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (made available on Netflix in mid-2020)
  • Breonna, shooting of Breonna Taylor
  • Bryant, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Casme, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Catori, Chris Brown’s baby (suggested by alex)
  • Chadwick, death of Chadwick Boseman
  • Charli, singer Charli XCX
  • Corona, coronavirus
    • Not to mention the brand new Daddy Yankee song “Corona” [vid]…
  • Crozier, naval captain Brett Crozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Daisy, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s baby
  • Desz, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Doja, singer Doja Cat
  • Domhnall, Irish actor on (canceled) HBO series Run
  • Dua, singer Dua Lipa
  • Esty, character on the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox
  • George, killing of George Floyd
  • Gianna, death of Gianna Bryant
  • Greta, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg
  • Isaias, hurricane
  • Jack, death of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s unborn baby
  • Kamala, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
  • Kamiyah, character in the Lifetime movie Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story*
  • Kaori, Kevin Hart’s baby
  • Katara, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Kobe, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Kraken, NHL expansion team (Seattle)
  • Larriah, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Laura, hurricane
  • Lenin, Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez (suggested by elbowin)
  • Liberty, Meghan McCain’s baby
  • Lovella, singer Matt Bellamy’s baby
  • Lynika, death of Lynika Strozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Lyra, Ed Sheeran’s baby
  • McGivney, beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney
  • Neowise, comet (suggested by elbowin)
  • Onyx, Iggy Azalea’s baby
  • Raddix, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s baby
  • Rayshard, shooting of Rayshard Brooks
  • River, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara’s baby
  • Robinette, President-elect Joseph Robinette Biden (suggested by elbowin)
  • Rona, coronavirus
  • Rue, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert’s baby
  • Rumble, model Lucky Blue Smith’s baby
  • Ruth, death of RBG
  • Sovereign, Usher’s baby
  • Tchalla, death of Chadwick Boseman (who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther)
  • Wenliang, Chinese doctor Li Wenliang (suggested by elbowin)
  • Willa, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s baby
  • Win, Ciara and Russell Wilson’s baby
  • Yara, actress Yara Shahidi
  • Zuko, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (here’s one Zuko from 2020)

Some of the names from the 2019 game could be applicable to the 2020 data as well.

Also, feel free to zoom out and consider name trends this year. Here are a few ways in which baby-naming may have been influenced by our collective experience of COVID-19, for instance:

  • “In my opinion this unprecedented situation will affect naming towards something “bolder” or “more badass” baby names and so you’ll probably see a spike of certain names like King, Major or Royal.” (Gheba)
  • “I’d bet on the rise of virtue names, or at least modern version of virtue names, like Brave/Bravery, Courage, Honor, etc. And I’d say names like Legend, Messiah, Legacy, Major, King, will probably rise some more too.” (Skizzo)
  • “I think it will also affect which media influence names this year. Eg we’ll miss out on names inspired by Olympic athletes, but might see even more from Netflix and YouTube.” (Clare)

What other names (or name trends) should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Just remember to make a note of the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the results as soon as I can after the SSA releases the 2020 data (in May of 2021, hopefully).

*Did you know that the actress who played Kamiyah in that Lifetime movie is named Rayven Symone Ferrell? Certainly a nod to Raven-Symoné

Laurifer? Mellifer? Conifer?

The emerging baby names Lucifer (“light-bearing,” i.e., the morning star) and Calcifer (“heat-bearing”) made me wonder: what other Latin-derived -fer words might make nice human names?

Here are a few possibilities…

  • Aurifer, “gold-bearing”
  • Conifer, “cone-bearing” — as in conifer trees
  • Dulcifer, “sweet-bearing”
  • Gemmifer, “gem-bearing”
  • Laurifer, “laurel-bearing,” i.e., triumphant
  • Mellifer, “honey-bearing”
  • Noctifer, “night-bearing,” i.e., the evening star
  • Pacifer, “peace-bearing”
  • Pomifer, “fruit-bearing”
  • Stellifer, “star-bearing”
  • Vinifer, “wine-bearing”

(The -fer element in words like these can also be interpreted in other ways, such as “-bringing,” “-carrying,” or even “-producing.”)

So I’ve found real-world usage of most of the above (Aurifer, Conifer, Dulcifer, Laurifer, Pacifer, Stellifer, and Vinifer). For example, here’s a record for Henry Pacifer Gidley (1801-1801) of Devon, England:

Would you consider using any of these words as baby names?

Sea-Themed Names Given to Sea-Born Babies

Earlier this year, singer Ed Sheeran welcomed a baby girl named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. She wasn’t actually born at sea — “Seaborn” is her mother’s surname — but did you know that many of the babies named “Seaborn” throughout history were in fact born at sea?

And it doesn’t stop at “Seaborn.” These sea-born babies got all sorts of interesting names hinting at the circumstances of their birth. Here’s a round-up of what I’ve spotted in the records…

Sea-inspired names:

  • Sea
  • Seaborn (The earliest American example I know of is Seaborn Cotton, born in August of 1633 while as his parents were traveling from England to New England. Notably, he was the uncle of Cotton Mather.)
  • Seabourn
  • Seaborne
  • Seabourne
  • Seafield
  • Seaford
  • Seaforth
  • Sealine
  • Seaman
  • Sea-Mercy (This one comes from Sea-Mercy Adams, a man who got married in Philadelphia in 1686.)

Ocean-inspired names:

Marine-inspired names:

  • Marina
  • Marine
  • Mariner
  • Marino

Atlantic-inspired names:

  • Atlanta
  • Atlante
  • Atlantia
  • Atlantic (One was Atlantic Seaborn Ford, born in 1863. Another was Atlantic Missouri Linne, born in 1889.)
  • Atlantica
  • Atlantika

Pacific-inspired names:

  • Pacific
  • Pacifica
  • Pacifico

And, finally, all of the other sea-birth-inspired baby names I’ve seen:

If you had a baby on the open ocean, what would you name that baby?

Image: Salem Harbor (1853) by Fitz Henry Lane

Baby Names from Egyptian Gods

Recent posts have mentioned both Isis and Anubis, and these names made me wonder — which other ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses are hiding in the U.S. baby name data?

After some searching, here’s what I came up with:

  • Aker, a god of the earth and underworld.
  • Amun or Amon, king of the gods; later combined with the sun god Ra to become…
  • Amunra (Amun-Ra), chief deity of the Egyptian Empire.
  • Amunet, a primordial goddess.
  • Anat, originally a Semitic war goddess.
  • Ash, the god of oases and vineyards.
  • Aten, a solar deity represented by “the solar disk emitting rays terminating in human hands.”
  • Atum, a god of creation.
  • Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky; symbol of kingship.
  • Imhotep, a priest of Heliopolis who was later deified.
  • Khepri, the scarab-headed god of the morning sun.
  • Maat (Ma’at), the goddess of truth, justice, and cosmic order.
  • Meret (meaning “beloved”), a goddess associated with rejoicing.
  • Osiris, the (often green-skinned) god of fertility; ruler of the underworld.
  • Ra, sun god.
  • Set or Seth, god of storms, disorder, warfare — “in general, a trickster.”
  • Shai, a god of fate.
  • Tayt, goddess of weaving.

Which Egyptian god/goddess name makes the best baby name, do you think?

Sources: List of Egyptian Deities, Egyptian Gods – The Complete List, Aton – Egyptian god – Britannica, Seth – Egyptian God – Britannica