Rare Baby Name: Liati

Liati, name, "love is all there is," acronym

I stumbled upon the quote “love is all there is” in an article I was reading recently. The author of the article said it came from a Beatles song.

I believe the author was actually thinking of the lyric “love is all you need” from the 1967 song All You Need Is Love. So, in this case, “love is all there is” is likely a mondegreen. Regardless, my first thought upon seeing “love is all there is” in quotes was that the acronym Liati — just like Ily, Ilys, and other love-based acronyms — would make a cute baby name.

“Liati” has never popped up in the U.S. baby name data before, but I managed to find one real-life Liati in an article about unusual personal names that ran in the Toledo Blade in 2003. Liati Huff, who was 23 years old at the time, had this to say about her unique name:

Most people think my name is either Italian or Hawaiian. The most unique guess was Russian. When I tell them it’s an acronym for ‘love is all there is,’ they usually think it’s so sweet, or a lot of people will respond by, ‘Oh, your parents loved the Beatles, right?’

What are your thoughts on Liati as a baby name? Would you consider using it?

Source: People share the stories behind their unusual monikers by Rhonda B. Sewell

Another Gun-Inspired Baby Name: Citori

Baby names associated with gun brands — like Barrett, Benelli, Beretta, Browning, Colt, Kimber, Remington, Ruger, Savage, Wesson, and Winchester — are seeing higher usage in the U.S. these days.

And here’s another to add to the list: Citori. It’s a one-hit wonder from 2013 that I spotted in the data recently. “Citori” sounds almost too exotic to be linked to a gun, but here’s a photo of a Browning Citori shotgun:

So how did this shotgun get such a cute name?

It’s “a made-up name, doodled by a company executive on a notepad in a marketing meeting” decades ago. “The name is supposed to sound vaguely Japanese, befitting a gun that has been made since 1973 at the Miroku plant in Japan.”

What do you think of Citori as a baby name? Do you like it more or less than the similar-sounding Satori?

Source: Bourjaily, Phil. “Success Citori.” Field & Stream Jul. 2008: 24.

Polly Peabody to Caresse Crosby

Caress & Clytoris

Here’s an interesting name-evolution story.

Mary “Polly” Phelps Jacob was born in 1891 in New York to a blue-blooded family that could be traced back, on both sides, to colonial America.

She was an enterprising person, and in her early 20s — fed up with the corset-like undergarments of the era — she invented and patented a “backless brassiere.” (She constructed the first one out of handkerchiefs and pink ribbon.) Today, she’s credited with the invention the modern bra.

With her first marriage in 1915 to Richard Peabody, her name changed to the almost cartoonish Polly Peabody. (One of their two kids, legally named Polleen, also went by Polly.)

But that marriage didn’t last and, following the divorce in 1922, Polly married bon vivant Harry Crosby, with whom she’d been having an open affair. At first she went by Polly Crosby, but Harry declared that Polly needed a better name:

Clytoris, an early suggestion, was sensibly saved for the family’s second whippet (the first was named Narcisse Noir). They told Caresse’s daughter Polleen that she was named after a Greek goddess.

After deciding upon “Caresse,” the wealthy couple moved to Paris and “lived a theatrically mad, bad and Bohemian existence.” With the help of their small publishing house, Black Sun Press, they became close to many Lost Generation artists and writers, including Ernest Hemingway.

Harry committed suicide two months after the stock market crash of 1929 (which kicked off the Great Depression). Caresse’s life post-Harry was slightly less colorful, and she used name “Mary Caresse Crosby” slightly more often, but was still primarily known as Caresse.

Sources: Polly Peabody, The Bohemian Blueblood Who Invented the Bra, Mary Phelps Jacob (Caresse Crosby), The Crosbys: literature’s most scandalous couple

P.S. Did you know that the name Caresse started appearing in the U.S. baby name data back in 1949?

Unusual Baby Name: Vice President

I put together a long list of unusual name combinations a few years back, and one of my favorite names from that list was “Vice President.” It’s just so curious. (Why add the “Vice”? Why not just “President“?)

Turns out, though, that “Vice President” may not have been the boy’s legal name after all.

According to the 1920 U.S. Census, Vice President Evans was born circa 1918 in South Carolina to parents Joseph and Pearla. But I found a similar family on the 1930 Census, and the equivalent child in that family was named “Thomas.”

So my best guess at this point is that “Vice President” was a fake name the parents gave the enumerator — maybe to imply that the toddler was 2nd-in-command after his father? Who knows. Regardless, the name still makes me smile.

The Baby Name Zia

In 1925, New Mexico officially adopted its distinctive state flag: the red sun symbol of the Zia people on a field of yellow.

The Zia sun symbol has since become symbolic of the state itself. It’s on New Mexico license plates, New Mexico highway markers, and New Mexico quarters. Even the New Mexico State Capitol building, which is round and has four entrance wings, was constructed to resemble it.

New Mexico’s love for the Zia sun symbol is also apparent in the baby name data. The baby name Zia — which has various possible origins, including Arabic and Hebrew — sees higher-than-expected usage in New Mexico:

  • 2018: 140 U.S. baby girls named Zia
    • 14 (10%) born in New Mexico
  • 2017: 119 U.S. baby girls named Zia
    • 5 (4%) born in New Mexico
  • 2016: 142 U.S. baby girls named Zia
    • 10 (7%) born in New Mexico
  • 2015: 130 U.S. baby girls named Zia
    • 5 (4%) born in New Mexico
  • 2014: 122 U.S. baby girls named Zia
    • 7 (6%) born in New Mexico

These may not seem like impressive numbers, but remember that New Mexico, despite being the fifth-largest U.S. state in terms of area, is home to far less than 1% of the total U.S. population.

Do you like the name Zia? Would you consider using it?

Sources: SSA, Zia sun sign, New Mexico State Capitol, Zia people – Wikipedia. U.S. States by Population – Wikipedia