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

Unusual Real Name: Isambard

Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born in 1806 in the south of England. The name “Isambard” came from his father, Marc Isambard Brunel (originally from France), and the name “Kingdom” came from his mother, Sophia Kingdom.

Years later, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s unusual name would become almost synonymous with engineering: he was perhaps the most eminent Victorian engineer.

He built the Great Western Railway, the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamer (SS Great Western), and various important bridges and tunnels.

The name Isambard can be traced back to a old Germanic name Isambert, which is made up of elements meaning “iron” and “bright.” Other spellings include Isembart, Isembert, Isambart, and Isembard.

Do you like the name Isambard? Do you like it more or less than Eisenhower (which is also iron-related)?


Numerology of Baby Names (Series)


If you’re curious about baby names and numerology, I’ve got a fun series of blog posts lined up just for you!

The first weekly post will be up in about an hour. But before that happens, I wanted to write a quick introductory post to explain (1) how to come up with numerological values for names, and (2) where the numerological interpretations I’m using come from.

To find a numerological value for a name (or any other word), assign a number to each letter based on its position in the alphabet (e.g., A=1, T=20, Z=26). Add the numbers up for a total. Then, take the digits in the sum and add those up for a new total. Do this as many times as needed to reduce the number to a single digit.

Let’s use my name, Nancy, as an example. The “N” is the 14th letter, “A” is first, “C” is third, and “Y” is 25th. So the addition looks like this:

14 + 1 + 14 + 3 + 25 = 57

The sum isn’t a single digit, though, so we reduce it:

5 + 7 = 12

Still not a single digit, so we reduce it again:

1 + 2 = 3

We end up with a “3,” the numerological value for Nancy.

(Some people like to find the values for full names as well. I hope to create an online tool for calculating the numerology of full names one day. If you’d like to help me do this, please consider supporting me via Patreon.)

For interpreting the numbers, I chose to draw from two different sources — one ancient, one modern:

  • The Phythagoreans (6th century B.C.), the followers of ancient Greek philosopher Phythagoras (to whom the Pythagorean theorem is attributed). They were as much mystical as they were mathematical.
  • Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), the Kentucky-born “sleeping prophet.” He offered numerological descriptions in several of his thousands of well-documented psychic readings.

I wanted to use two systems to emphasize the fact that there is no single “correct” way to interpret the numbers. Use whatever system you prefer…or, ignore them all and create your own. :)

Hope you enjoy the series!

Baby Name Prediction: Cruella?

The new Cruella

The 2014 film Maleficent gave rise to the unlikely baby name Maleficent. So will the upcoming film Cruella similarly inspire parents to name their kids Cruella?

Cruella de Vil is the well-known Disney villainess from the 1961 animated movie 101 Dalmations. In mid-2021, Disney plans to release the live-action Cruella, which will apparently feature a younger, pre-evil version of Cruella (played by Emma Stone). The story will be set in “the punk rock era of the 1970s.”

On the one hand, the name Cruella is clearly based upon the word “cruel,” and the character’s intent in original movie was to capture, kill and skin a bunch of puppies (!) in order to make a fur coat.

On the other hand, the name Cruella easily shortens to Ella, which has been a trendy top-20 name for over a decade now. And the character in the upcoming movie will no doubt be portrayed in a more sympathetic manner (taking a page out of the Maleficent playbook).

What are your thoughts on this one?

Source: First Look at Emma Stone in Disney’s Live-Action ‘Cruella’ Drops

george waGGner

While grabbing a screenshot of the movie Wolf Call for this week’s post on Towana, I noticed something peculiar in the opening credits:

george waGGner
“george waGGner”

The name of the director, George Waggner, had been styled “george waGGner” — all lowercase letters, except for two uppercase G’s in the surname.

Waggner worked in movies and in television from the 1920s to the 1960s, and this styling was typical for him. Even on his grave marker the G’s in his surname are larger than the other letters.

It’s kinda reminding me of SanDeE* from L.A. Story

Source: George Waggner – IMDb