Baby name story: Powell

Audrey and Kevin DeKam of Oregon welcomed a baby boy on October 3, 2008. They named him Powell in honor of Powell’s Books in Portland.

Audrey DeKam told the staff at Powell’s that she and her husband couldn’t reach an agreement on a name, when she stumbled upon “Powell” in a baby name book and learned that it means “alert.” She instantly liked the name because it reminded her of Powell’s Books.

“It’s the first time in our long history that a baby has been named in our honor,” said store owner Michael Powell. “And it’s a wonderful reason to celebrate.”

Sadly, their baby name book was wrong. Powell doesn’t mean “alert.” The two possible origins are Paul, from the Latin paulus, meaning “small,” or the Welsh patronymic ap-Hywel, “son of Hywel,” with Hywel meaning “eminent, conspicuous.”

Regardless, I think it’s cool to be named with a beloved bookstore in mind.

What’s the name of your favorite bookstore? Would it make a good baby name?

Sources: Oregon Baby Named After Parents’ Favorite Bookstore, Oregon Parents Name Baby After Powell’s Books

5 thoughts on “Baby name story: Powell

  1. In Minneapolis there are two bookstores called Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s, either one would be fun…

    There is also a store in my hometown called Excelsior Books, perhaps that stay in the middle.

  2. There’s a used bookstore near me named Grumpy’s. lol. I think I’d prefer to use the name of favourite characters or authors before the name of the store where I bought the book(s), although both Powell and Parnassas are much better choices than what I would have to work with.

  3. Powells! I love that store. So envious when my husband had a business trip out there.

    My fave local bookstore is called “Left Bank” so not really a name choice.

  4. My favorite book store is Bryn Mawr, lots of great out of print books. I don’t think, even though Bryn is a fine girls name, that I would use it…

  5. two favorite bookstores : A Novel Idea and My Sisters Books. wouldn’t use those as names, but someone may find the idea of using Novel as a name, well, novel!

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