The song “Carrie Anne” by the British band The Hollies came out in May of 1967. It had been written by band member Graham Nash about singer Marianne Faithfull, but Graham was too shy to use Marianne’s real name in the lyrics, so “Carrie Anne” was substituted. The song peaked at #9 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart a few months later, in August.
The same year, various versions of the name debuted in the U.S. baby name data. It wasn’t until the next year, though, that the spelling Carrie Anne finally showed up:
Here’s the band performing the song in 1969. (Graham Nash had moved on to Crosby, Stills & Nash by this point, so he’s not part of the performance.)
Similar names featuring “Kerry,” like Kerrianne, also saw higher usage in the late ’60s. Three of these Kerry-variants (Kerryanne, Kerianne, & Keriann) debuted in ’68.
One non-U.S baby who was named Carrie Anne in 1967 was Canadian actress Carrie-Anne Moss, who went on to star in The Matrix as Trinity — the character that popularized the baby name Trinity impressively during the early 2000s.
The song was also one of the factors behind the swift rise of the name Carrie during the 1970s:
1972: 5422 baby girls named Carrie
1971: 5976 baby girls named Carrie
1970: 4976 baby girls named Carrie
1969: 3887 baby girls named Carrie
1968: 3978 baby girls named Carrie
1967: 3196 baby girls named Carrie
1966: 2475 baby girls named Carrie
“Carrie Anne” kicked things off, but the rise was later fueled by actress Caroline “Carrie” Snodgress of the film Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970), the Stephen King book Carrie (1974), and the book-based movie Carrie (1976) — which featured Piper Laurie and a young John Travolta.
The baby name Carrie saw peak usage in 1976 and 1977, reaching 28th place in the rankings both years.
Do you like the name Carrie? How about the combo Carrie Anne?
Welsh painter Augustus John and his second wife, Dorothy (called “Dorelia”), welcomed a daughter in 1912.
They’d planned to name the baby Elizabeth Anne, but they ended up calling her Poppet. (The British English term poppet is used to refer to “a person, especially a child, that you like or love.”)
Here’s how Poppet’s older bother Romilly (b. 1906) recalled the naming process:
I remember a grand discussion in the walled-in summer-house about what she should be called — a discussion which has been going on ever since. Elizabeth Anne was the provisional choice on that occasion, but it satisfied nobody, and the baby was finally registered as ‘one female child’, pending the discovery of the ideal name. Meanwhile [half-brother] Caspar, contemplating her one day, chanced to remark: ‘What a little poppet it is!’ — and Poppet she was called from that day forward. A real name was still intended to be found for her, but we had not reckoned with the force of habit, and, in spite of intermittent consultation, and at least one attempt to revert to the original suggestion, Anne, she has continued [to be called] Poppet to this day.
I can’t find Poppet’s birth registration online, but “Poppet” is indeed the name used legally in the Marriage Registration Index (three times: 1931, 1940, and 1952) and the the Death Registration Index (1997).
Poppet’s third and final marriage was to dutch artist Willem Pol, making fashion model Talitha Pol her step-daughter. After Talitha’s death in 1971, Poppet and Willem raised Talita’s son Tara at their home in the south of France.
French military leader Napoléon Bonaparte may have spent his life trying to conquer a continent, but that life began and ended on islands.
He was born (as “Napoleone Buonaparte”) on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in 1769 — the same year that France took Corsica from the Republic of Genoa (now part of Italy). He died while in exile on the remote South Atlantic island of Saint Helena in 1821.
In between, Napoléon: attended military school on the mainland, began serving in the French Army, rose to prominence during the French Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars, became the de facto leader of France in 1799, declared himself Emperor in 1804, and proceeded to build a vast empire via the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).
Needless to say, a large number of babies all over the world have been named “Napoleon” since that time.
I don’t want this post to get too crazy, though, so I’ve decided to collect namesakes from just two locations — France and the U.S. — and to stick to the years during which Napoléon was active.
Napoléon’s namesakes in France
Thousands of French babies were named in honor of Napoléon from the mid-1790s to the mid-1810s.
In contrast with namesakes in other countries (like the U.S. and England), most of his French namesakes were given only his first name — not both names — and it was typically combined with one or more traditional French names (e.g., “Louis Napoléon,” “Jean Baptiste Napoléon”).
With that in mind, I went out of my way to find combinations that were a bit more varied…
Napoléon Baillot, b. 1793 in France
Jacques Napoléon Desiré Campa, b. 1795 in France
Napoléon Stéphanie Joseph Therin, b. 1797 in France
Napoléon Joseph Buttin, b. 1799 in France
Napoléon-Jean Demeester, b. 1800 in France
Napoléon Nicolas Senelar, b. 1801 in France
Guillaume Napoléon Pelletier, b. 1802 in France
Willebrod Napoléon Désiré Degrave, b. 1803 in France
Charlemagne Napoléon Lambert, b. 1804 in France
Napoléon Louis François Richounne, b. 1805 in France
Napoléon Parfait Furpille, b. 1806 in France
parfait means “perfect” in French
Bienaimé Napoléon Le Cagneux, b. 1807 in France
bienaimé means “beloved” in French
François Desiré Prosper Napoléon Loiseau, b. 1808 in France
Napoléon La Paix Lemasson, b. 1809 in France
la paix means “peace” in French
Gustave Napoléon Fichet, b. 1810 in France
Esprit Napoléon Houdry, b. 1811 in France
esprit means “spirit” in French
Napoléon Bonaventure Dusautier, b. 1812 in France
Auguste César Napoléon Decoene, b. 1813 in France
Napoléon-Etienne Vernoni, b. 1814 in France
Fructueux Napoléon Artigue, b. 1815 in France
fructueux means “successful” in French
Almost all of the namesakes in this group were boys, but a handful were girls with feminized forms of the name (like Napoléonne, Napoléonide, and Napoléontine).
Several dozen more boys — most of them born early on — were given only the surname:
Jacques Dominique Bonaparte Venkirch, b. 1796 in France
Augustin Bonaparte Joseph Galle, b. 1797 in France
Jean Baptiste Bonaparte Mollard, b. 1798 in France
Séraphin Adolphe Bonaparte Decorne, b. 1799 in France
Alexis Sébastien Bonaparte Poirée, b. 1801 in France
Napoléon had usually been called “General Bonaparte” or “citizen Bonaparte” before mid-1802, when the people of France went to the polls to decide: “Should Napoléon Bonaparte be consul for life?” Millions voted yes, and, after that, “he was generally known as Napoléon rather than Bonaparte.”
Napoléon’s namesakes in the U.S.
Napoléon didn’t wage any wars on North American soil (though he did sell a lot of that soil in 1803, when he let go of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million). Nonetheless, U.S. newspapers paid close attention to him:
Americans were clearly impressed by Napoléon’s achievements, judging by the hundreds of U.S. namesakes born in the late 1790s and first decades of the 1800s. Many of these babies received both his first name and his surname:
A few of the people named Bonaparte (but not Napoléon) did have other given names — like Lucien, and Jerome — that could have been inspired by other members of the Bonaparte family. I found a Josephine Bonaparte Evans (b. 1815), for instance, who was probably named after Napoléon’s first wife.
Other famous men named Napoléon Bonaparte (including Napoleon III) also had namesakes, but it was the original Napoléon Bonaparte who put these two unusual names on the map.
So…what do they mean?
The Italian forename Napoleone has obscure origins, so the meaning isn’t known for certain. One popular theory is that it’s made up of the elements Neapolis, the original name of Naples, and leone, meaning “lion.” When Bonaparte was born in 1769, the name was “relatively common around Genoa and Tuscany,” though it was spelled a variety of ways (e.g., Nabulio, Nabulione, Napulione, Napolionne, Lapulion). The name had been used in his family before; his father’s uncle, for instance, was also named Napoleone.
The Italian surname Buonaparte, on the other hand, is much more straightforward: it’s made up of the elements buona, meaning “good,” and parte, meaning “part, share, portion.”
Was anyone in your family tree named after Napoléon?
Happy Father’s Day to my father-in-law, whom I love, my own dad, whom I adore, and my husband Ladd, pictured here with our first child (who was conceived on our honeymoon, btw…sorry if that’s TMI, we almost named her Sydney but changed our mind because we didn’t want her to have to explain it her whole life).
From the 2008 essay “What’s in a name?” by Arvid Huisman in the Daily Freeman-Journal:
As a first grader I wanted to be named Johnnie or Bobbie or Billie or Tommie — just about anything except Arvid.
By the time I was a young adult I realized that a unique name can be an asset and I continue to believe that. Once people commit an uncommon name to memory they don’t soon forget and that’s a good thing in business.
After Amy Johnson (Mrs. J. A. Mollison) made her wonderful flight to Australia it seemed that every baby girl was being named “Amy.” They were comparatively lucky. “Amy” is rather a nice name, but what about the unfortunate boys who were called “Lindbergh” or “Lindy” in 1927 to commemorate the young American’s lone Atlantic flight?
(I don’t have any Australian baby name data that goes back to the late 1920s — Amy Johnson‘s solo flight from England to Australia was in 1930 — but, anecdotally, most of the Australian Amys I’m seeing in the records were born decades before the flight.)
He was so popular and tied to teen culture that Rydell High School in the stage and screen musical “Grease” was named for him.
“It was so nice to know that the high school was named after me,” he told the Allentown Morning Call in 2014. “And I said, ‘Why me?’ It could have been Anka High, Presley High, Everly High, Fabian High, Avalon High. And they came up with Rydell High, and, once again, total honor.”
Using a woman’s name in public is frowned upon and can be considered an insult. Many Afghan men are reluctant to say the names of their sisters, wives or mothers in public. Women are generally only referred to as the mother, daughter or sister of the eldest male in their family, and Afghan law dictates that only the father’s name should be recorded on a birth certificate.
The problem starts early, when a girl is born. It takes a long time for her to be given a name. Then when a woman is married her name does not appear on her wedding invitations. When she is ill her name does not appear on her prescription, and when she dies her name does not appear on her death certificate or even her headstone.
I also liked the last two paragraphs:
Sahar, an Afghan refugee in Sweden who used to be a freelance journalist but now works in a nursing home, told the BBC she had been a distant but staunch supporter of the campaign since it began. When Sahar first heard about the idea, she decided to post a message on social media.
“I am proud to write that my name is Sahar,” she wrote. “My mother’s name is Nasimeh, my maternal grandmother’s name is Shahzadu, and my paternal grandmother’s name is Fukhraj.”
Russian-American silent film actress Alla Nazimova (pronounced nah-ZEE-moh-vah) was most popular in the U.S. in the late 1910s and early 1920s.
After becoming a theater star in Russia in the early 1900s, she moved to New York and made her Broadway debut in 1906. Then she successfully transitioned from stage to screen:
In the 1910s Nazimova became one of the first Broadway actresses to match and even surpass her stage success when she became a screen star, reportedly drawing the highest salary in Hollywood from Metro, and creating the type of European exotic with which Pola Negri and, in a different way, Garbo and Deitrich would later become identified.
She was often credited simply as “Nazimova.” Her film company, founded in 1917, was also named Nazimova:
The name Nazimova has never surfaced in the U.S. baby name data, but I’ve found several dozen U.S. females named Nazimova. Most were born around the time the actress was at the height of her fame. Some examples…
Nazimova Ratleff (née Bordenave), b. 1917 in Louisiana
Alla Nazimova was born in Yalta in the late 1870s. Her birth name was Mariam Edez Adelaida “Alla” Leventon. Her stage surname, Nazimova, is said to have been inspired by the character Nadezhda Nazimova from a Russian novel called Children of the Streets.
What are your thoughts on Nazimova as a given name?
P.S. Nazimova’s goddaughter, Anne Frances “Nancy” Robbins, also became an actress — under the name Nancy Davis. Nancy married fellow actor Ronald Reagan in 1952, and went on to serve as First Lady of the United States during most of the 1980s.
White, Patricia. “Nazimova’s Veils: ‘Salome’ At The Intersection Of Film Histories.” A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema, edited by Jennifer M. Bean and Diane Negra, Duke University Press, 2002, pp. 60-87.