She’s called Finch because we call all of our dogs after characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. So we have had a Scout, a Radley, and a Harper. And let me tell you, they are not happy about Finch’s arrival.
From a 1995 interview with R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe, whose paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister:
Well, Methodism was started by John Wesley, who was, in his way, a really radical guy who believed in a lot of individual responsibility. It’s not the kind of religion that’s right around your throat. Actually, I was named after him, John Michael Stipe.
From an article about Lara Prescott, author of the new book The Secrets We Kept, a fictional account of the dangers of publishing Doctor Zhivago in the 1950s:
You could say she was born to write this historical novel: Prescott’s mother named her after the doomed heroine from her favorite movie, the 1965 adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s epic.
Fun fact :Always wanted a daughter and I always used to say imma name her HennyLynn. It’s a cute mix of my sisters name but then I started calling my sister HennyLynn then it became one of the nicknames I gave my sister so it woulda been weird naming my daughter that .
From an article about a Georgia man whose name, Neal, came from a POW bracelet:
His father, the late John Carpenter, was an aircraft mechanic in the Navy and was deployed overseas at the time. He arrived home in time for his son’s birth. When it became necessary to scramble and find a boy’s name, John Carpenter looked down at the POW/MIA bracelet he was wearing.
The engraved name was Neal Clinton Ward Jr. He had been listed as Missing in Action since June 13, 1969. An airman, his plane had been shot down over Laos in the jungles of Southeast Asia, nine days before his 24th birthday.
The Carpenters named their son Neal Ward Carpenter.
(Neal’s mom had been convinced the baby would be a girl. Neal said: “I was going to be April Michelle, and that’s all there was to it.”)
Research professor and author Brené Brown on her unique name:
Growing up, every time we drove from San Antonio to Houston, going to Stuckey’s — all these places where you buy monogrammed shirts and glasses — I was so put out because there was never a “Brené.” So I think I made up in my head that it was French. And then I hitchhiked across Europe after high school and I got to France and I was like, “Je suis Brené!” And they were like, “What kind of name is that?” They’d never heard of it. My parents just made it up. I had a whole narrative in high school — “When I bust out of this suburban Spring, Texas, high school I’m going to go back to France where my people are!” But, no, it’s not French — it’s south side San Antonio.
When your middle name is ‘The’, it means you’re it. The only one. The one that defines the category. I think that focus is a choice, and that the result of appropriate focus is you earn the middle name.
My guess is female jockey and trick rider Ardoth Schneider.
She’d been winning races since the late 1920s, so her name — often misspelled “Ardath” — had been mentioned in the newspapers before.
But 1933 was the year she was declared Sweetheart of California Rodeo:
While thousands cheered themselves hoarse at the western arena [in Salinas] this afternoon as the spectacular 22nd annual rodeo got under way, the 1933 Sweetheart crown was placed over the lustrous, black locks of winsome Ardoth Schneider, 23, of Long Beach.
Following the win, various photos of Ardoth — typically astride or beside a horse — began popping up in the newspapers. And I think the photos (as opposed to the mere mentions) are what made the difference.
As the new “Sweetheart,” she went on a tour of Panama, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador with a letter of introduction from President Roosevelt that described her as California’s “finest outdoor girl.”
What are your thoughts on the name Ardoth? Would you use it for a modern-day baby?
“The Fair Sex in a New Field.” Cincinnati Enquirer 1 Apr. 1928: 110.
“Favorite of Rodeos.” Oakland Tribune 24 Sept. 1933: 57.
“Girl Student Rise to Tijuana Triumph.” New York Times 12 Mar. 1928: 25.
“Long Beach Girl Wins Sweetheart of Rodeo Honors.” Santa Cruz Sentinel 22 Jul. 1933: 3.
P.S. For several months in the winter of 1928, Ardoth was in Japan performing for the coronation of Emperor Hirohito. Twice a day, she jumped her Shetland pony Betty off a 40-foot platform into a pool of water “to entertain the enthusiastic Japanese crowds.”
P.P.S. Tuesdee is another female jockey-inspired baby name I discovered in the data.
In the late ’50s, the name Ryne debuted impressively on the charts:
1962: 7 baby boys named Ryne
1961: 13 baby boys named Ryne
1960: 10 baby boys named Ryne
1959: 31 baby boys named Ryne
1958: 21 baby boys named Ryne [debut]
Where did it come from?
It was inspired by professional baseball pitcher Rinold “Ryne” Duren, known for “[staring] down batters through thick-lensed eyeglasses and then [delivering] fastballs that might go just about anywhere.”
In fact, Duren was the inspiration for the character Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (played by Charlie Sheen, clearly #winning at the time) in the 1989 movie Major League.
Duren was in the Major Leagues from 1954 to 1965, but in 1958 was a member of the World Series-winning New York Yankees. It was also the first year he was selected for the All-Star Game.
He inherited the name Rinold from his father, whose family came from Germany. Rinold, like Renault, is related to the more familiar name Reynold.
…But that’s not the end of the story!
Because one of the 1959 babies named Ryne was Ryne Dee “Ryno” Sandberg, who also became a professional baseball player (second baseman). He started with Chicago Cubs in 1981 and went on to become a Hall of Famer.
He boosted the name Ryne not just back into the data, but into the top 1000 for the first time:
Ryne Sandberg had a son in the mid-1980s, but didn’t give him a baseball-inspired name. Instead, Justin Ross got a theater-inspired name. Ryne had seen “A Chorus Line” in New York around that time and been impressed with the name of performer Justin Ross.
Do you like the name Ryne? Would you use it for a baby boy?