Where did the baby name Nomar come from in 1998?

Baseball player Nomar Garciaparra
Nomar Garciaparra

The name Nomar first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the late 1990s:

  • 2000: 30 baby boys named Nomar
  • 1999: 17 baby boys named Nomar
  • 1998: 12 baby boys named Nomar [debut]
  • 1997: unlisted
  • 1996: unlisted

It went on to see peak usage in 2004.

Where did it come from?

Professional baseball player Nomar Garciaparra.

Garciaparra spent more than half of his Major League career (1996-2009) with the Boston Red Sox. While in Boston, he was voted AL Rookie of the Year (1997), became the AL batting champion twice in a row (in 1999 and 2000), and played in the All-Star Game five times.

Though he was traded to the Cubs several months before the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, his former teammates voted to give him a World Series ring anyway.

So how did California-born Nomar Garciaparra get his unusual given name?

[It was] the brainchild of his father, Ramon, who decided that his son would not carry his name, merely the letters in it. So just before the boy was born, Ramon experimented by jotting those letters on a napkin. Armon? Romna? Onram? Manro? And finally, Nomar! Ramon’s wife, Sylvia, insisted that their son be named Anthony. Alas, Anthony Nomar Garciaparra chose to go by Nomar, because, as he says, “when somebody yells out ‘Nomar,’ you don’t have to worry about five people answering.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Nomar? Do you like it more or less than Ramon?

(And, if you’d like to see more pairings like Nomar/Ramon, here are lists of palindromic names and 5-letter anagram names.)


Image: Nomar 2002

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