Baby name story: MacKinnon

Avalanche player Nate MacKinnon (#29) hoisting the Stanley Cup during the victory parade in Denver (Jun. 30, 2022).
Nathan MacKinnon hoisting the Stanley Cup

I took a few hours off yesterday to check out the Stanley Cup victory parade in downtown Denver. (The photo above was taken by my brother-in-law; the one below was taken by me.)

Later on that day, while reading a recap of the event, I happened to learn about a baby boy named for Colorado Avalanche player Nate MacKinnon:

Nikki Lyons brought her baby — aptly named MacKinnon for the star Avalanche center.

“We love Nathan MacKinnon and everything he stands for because he took less for the team,” Lyons said.

Taking “less for the team” refers to the fact that NHL teams have salary caps, and that MacKinnon has been willing to settle for less than he’s worth in order to help the Avs attain/retain other talented players (and thereby have a better shot at winning).

Here’s a photo of the Lyons family.

Further reading led me to a second baby boy — born just a few days ago in Centennial to parents Christy and Will Lowry — named Gabriel after Avalanche team captain Gabriel Landeskog (from Sweden).

Avalanche players Nate MacKinnon (#29) and Erik Johnson (#6) with the Stanley Cup during the victory parade in Denver (Jun. 30, 2022).
Nathan MacKinnon & Erik Johnson with the Stanley Cup

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Where did the baby name Miosotis come from in 1969?

Title of the telenovela "La Mujer de Aquella Noche" (1968), from the Universidad de Puerto Rico audiovisual archive.
“La Mujer de Aquella Noche”

The unusual name Miosotis first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1969, thanks to heavy usage in New York state:

  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: 8 baby girls name Miosotis
    • 8 born in New York
  • 1969: 10 baby girls name Miosotis [debut]
    • 8 born in New York
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: unlisted

The inspiration?

A Puerto Rican telenovela called La Mujer de Aquella Noche (translation: “The Woman of That Night”), which aired during 1968.

Advertisement for the telenovela "La Mujer de Aquella Noche" (1968).
“La Mujer” ad

It was a 3-episode historical drama that told the love story of aristocrat Countess Adriana de Astolfi (played by Gladys Rodríguez) and itinerant gypsy Renzo (played by Braulio Castillo). Renzo’s pet name for Adriana was “Miosotis.”

The story was also turned into radio soap opera at some point, though I’m not sure when.

The Spanish word miosotis is a form of myosotis, another name for the forget-me-not flower (Myosotis palustris). The Greek word myosotis means “mouse ear” and describes the shape of the leaf.

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P.S. The name Quetcy, which we talked about a couple of days ago, was also popular among New York City’s Puerto Ricans (a.k.a., Nuyoricans) in the late 1960s…

Popular baby names in Norway, 2021

Norway

According to Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in the country last year were Nora and Noah — both of which happen to be quite similar to the name of the country itself (Norge, pronounced nor-geh).

Here are Norway’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Nora/Norah, 409 baby girls
  2. Emma, 369
  3. Sofie/Sophie, 327
  4. Olivia, 311
  5. Ella, 302
  6. Sofia/Sophia, 295
  7. Maja/Maia/Maya, 282
  8. Leah/Lea, 279
  9. Frida, 276
  10. Ingrid, 273

Boy Names

  1. Noah/Noa, 402 baby boys
  2. Oskar/Oscar, 370
  3. Oliver, 367
  4. Lucas/Lukas, 364
  5. Isak/Isac/Isaac, 361
  6. Aksel/Axel, 346 (3-way tie)
  7. Emil, 346 (3-way tie)
  8. Filip/Philip/Fillip/Phillip, 346 (3-way tie)
  9. Jakob/Jacob, 325
  10. William, 313

In the girls’ top 10, Frida replaced Emilie.

In the boys’ top 10, Isak and Aksel replaced Liam and Henrik.

Names that saw notable increases in usage include…

  • Girl names: Ada (9th), Alma (12th), Iben (19th), Ellie (32nd), Hedvig (38th), Mie (42nd), Mille (46th), Hermine (48th), Klara, and Noelle
  • Boy names: Oskar (2nd), Isak (5th), Aksel (6th), Ludvig (19th), Gustav (25th), Falk, Harald, Joel, and Luca

In the capital city, Oslo, the top names last year were Sofia and Oskar.

And the year before, in 2020, the top names in Norway were Nora and Jakob.

Sources: Navn – Statistics Norway, Dette var de mest populære navnene i 2021 – Statistics Norway

Where did the baby name Quetcy come from in 1968?

Quetcy Alma's album "Ahora Te Toca A Ti" (1967).
Quetcy Alma album

The curious name Quetcy suddenly appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the late 1960s. It was particularly popular in the state of New York.

  • 1970: 5 baby girls named Quetcy (and 5 more named Quetzy)
  • 1969: 8 baby girls named Quetcy
    • 5 born in New York
  • 1968: 21 baby girls named Quetcy [debut]
    • 17 born in New York
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Young Puerto Rican singer Quetcy Alma Martínez De Jesús, who was based in New York City and was known as La Lloroncita (translation: “crybaby”) because she was able to cry on cue while singing emotional songs.

Her first recordings were released in 1967. She became popular in Puerto Rico, New York City, and several other U.S. cities with Latin American communities.

Quetcy Alma — whose first name may have been based on the Nahuatl word quetzalli, meaning “feather (from the quetzal bird)” — put out music until the mid-1970s. Accordingly, her name’s final appearance in the data was in 1974.

What are your thoughts on the name Quetcy?

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What made the name Napoleon popular in the Faroe Islands?

Nólsoyar Páll (1766-1808/9) on a Faroese 50 krónur banknote
Nólsoyar Páll (on a Faroese banknote)

Did you know that “Napoleon has been a common given name in the Faroe Islands since the 1800s”?

Neither did I, until I began researching Napoleon’s influence on names.

Apparently, it all has to do with Faroese national hero Nólsoyar Páll (“Paul from Nólsoy”).

Nólsoyar Páll — born as Poul Poulsen on the island of Nólsoy in 1766 — was a seaman/trader/farmer/poet who helped improve his country in various ways:

One of his most impressive achievements was his attempt to develop direct trade between the Faroe islands and the rest of Europe. To develop this trade, he bought and rebuilt a wrecked schooner. The ship was named Royndin Fríða (The Free Enterprise), and was the first seagoing ship built in the Faroe Islands and the first Faroese-owned vessel since the early Middle Ages.

Nólsoyar Páll had a strong admiration for Napoleon — who, at that time, was in the middle of trying to conquer Europe — and he wanted to name a son after the French leader.

His second child turned out to be a girl (his first child was also a girl), but that did not deter Nólsoyar Páll. He asked to name his daughter Napolonia, but the priest disapproved. Instead, she was named Apolonia after the Greek god Apollo.

Soon after, Nólsoyar Páll convinced his brother, Jákup Nolsøe, to name his son Napoleon. His brother agreed, calling him Napoleon Nolsøe. This is most probably the first Faroe Islander to be named Napoleon. Napoleon Nolsøe went on to become the first native certified doctor in the Faroe Islands.

Nólsoyar Páll’s nephew was born in 1809 — around the time Nólsoyar Páll himself was lost at sea.

I’m not sure how many Faroese Napoleons have been born since then, but my source noted that the Faroe Islands had 29 Napoleons and several Apolonias as of early 2018.

“Napoleon” didn’t pop up in the Faroe Islands baby name rankings for 2020, but if I look through the Faroese baby name data (2001-2020) for Napoleon and Apolonia specifically, I find…

  • Napoleon, b. 2002
  • Bárður Napoleon, b. 2004
  • Hanus Napoleon, b. 2006
  • William Napoleon, b. 2006
  • Sofus Napoleon, b. 2007
  • Ella Apollonia, b. 2008
  • Apolonia Ró, b. 2012
  • Napolion, b. 2013
  • Reimar Napoleon, b. 2019
  • Andrew Napoleon, b. 2020

It’s a short list, but the Faroe Islands only welcomes about 600-700 babies per year, so — proportionally speaking — these numbers are actually pretty impressive.

Sources: National hero inspired to name son after Napoleon Bonaparte, Nólsoyar Páll – Wikipedia, Statistics Faroe Islands, Births – Hagstove Foroya, FamilySearch.org