A Tale of Two Q(u)adrees

Qadree Ollison was born in New York on September 8, 1996. Quadree Henderson was born in Delaware just four days later, on September 12. Both of their first names are pronounced kwah-dree.

Just to give you an idea of the rarity of these names in the U.S., here’s the popularity graph for Qadree:

And here’s the graph for Quadree:

Both Qadree Ollison and Quadree Henderson ended up becoming talented football players. Both also decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh. So, by a curious twist of fate, they found themselves on the very same college football team.

Here’s how Ollison described the experience:

I don’t know if you’ve ever met somebody with the same name as you, but it was kind of awkward, where you’re like, ‘What’s up bro, I’m Qadree’ and he’s like, ‘What’s up bro, I’m Quadree.’ And it’s like you’re talking to yourself kind of, hearing somebody else say the same name right back to you.

Here’s how Henderson described the confusion:

If me and Qadree are standing next to each other and the coach says, ‘Quadree’ we’ll both turn back and have to make eye contact with the coach and he’s like, ‘Not that Quadree, the other Qadree.’

Another fun quote from Henderson:

I always make fun of him, and tell him he needs a ‘u’ in his name for the ‘qua’ part. I tell him I’m the real Quadree because I have a ‘u’ in my name.

Where did their unique names come from? Ollison’s mom “just wanted something different,” while Henderson’s mom “said [the name] comes from Muslim descent, and it means warrior, strong and not scared of anything.”

(This makes me think their names are based on the Arabic name Qadir, which means “capable, powerful,” and — along with Hakeem, Kareem, etc. — is one of the 99 names of Allah.)

These days, Qadree Ollison is playing for the Atlanta Falcons (NFL) and Quadree Henderson is playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL).


Boy Name for Aurora’s Brother? (Five-Name Friday)

It’s Five-Name Friday! Haven’t done one of these in a while. :) Here’s today’s baby name request:

Brother name for Aurora, Andrea and Joseph. Does not need to be A or J name.

Can you come up with five solid baby name suggestions for this person?

Here are the rules:

  • Be independent. Choose your five names before looking at anyone else’s comment.
  • Be sincere. Stick to legit recommendations you would offer a real-life friend.
  • Five names total in your comment, please. If you go over, the extras will be deleted.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[You can also send me your own 2-sentence baby name request using the contact form.]

How Do You Like Your Name, Fiona?

Ready for another name interview? This one is with Fiona Isabella, a 38-year-old from Germany.

What’s the story behind her names?

I was born to British / Australian parents but both have Scottish ancestry, so they decided to go with Scottish names for all their children. Back in the days without internet, they relied on books and word of mouth for inspiration. In fact, my dad kept several letters from relatives that he and my mum wrote to when expecting me. The letters are full of lists of Scottish names, written in traditional cursive handwriting by some ancient relative – ‘Fiona’ is clearly circled. With regards to my middle name, I was the third generation to receive Isabella, (although my mum got Isobel, which she finds ugly). Therefore I have continued this tradition for my first daughter.

What does she like most about her name?

I have lived in many countries and with many languages yet my name is easy for people to say. I have been pleasantly surprised to meet people with the name, whose parents are not native English speakers (to be precise, French, German and Mandarin speakers). I also like that most people recognise it as Scottish, giving me a heritage link.

What does she like least about her name?

When I lived in Australia I didn’t like the way the Australian accent gave it a very nasal ‘o’ sound, and also people’s tendency to assume I preferred ‘Fi’.

Finally, would Fiona recommend that her name be given to babies today?

Yes, I feel like it is ageless: feminine and elegant, but fresh. For those looking for a less-used name, I think it is a good alternative to Anna. In terms of sibling sets, I think it blends well with male surname names.

Thank you, Fiona!

[Would you like to tell me about your name?]

Thankful & Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the holiday, I present to you a mother and daughter with an appreciative pair of names: Thankful and Grateful.

These two were part of the late-18th century Gould family of Winchester, New Hampshire. The family consisted of husband Thomas Gould (born in 1753), wife Thankful Gould (b. 1751), and their three children: Grateful Gould (b. 1783), Thomas Gould (b. 1785), and Sylvia Gould (b. 1789).

I don’t know why their first daughter was named “Grateful” as opposed to “Thankful,” but I’m grateful she was, because I had fun spotting these names in the records. :)


Ibis, Iris, Isis, or Ivis?

African sacred ibis

After reading something about ibises recently, I wondered: Has “ibis” — which is a lot like both the flower-inspired name Iris and the goddess-inspired name Isis — ever been used as a baby name?

Turns out it has! Not very often, though. The name Ibis has appeared in the SSA data on and off since the 1960s, typically registering as a girl name. I don’t think many of these babies were named with the bird in mind, though; “Ibis” seems to be a variant spelling of “Ivis” in Spanish-speaking families.

So, which of those four (very similar) names names do you like best?

Which baby name do you like best?

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