From a handwritten letter sent to Rocky Mountain National Park from “Shawn in Texas”:
My wife and I got to take our baby boy named Kenai (named after Kenai Fjords National Park) on his first National Park trip to Rocky Mountain National Park just right before the fires. This was a special trip for us seeing that this would make his first adventure before the many to come.
(The baby name Kenai has become increasingly popular recently. I don’t know what year this particular baby was born, but over 10% of the Kenais born in 2019 were also from Texas.)
Republican senator David Perdue intentionally mispronouncing the name of Democratic senator Kamala Harris at a Trump rally in October of 2020:
KAH-mah-lah? Kah-MAH-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever.
(Since then, Kamala has become vice president, and David has been voted out of office.)
From an article in the New York Post about the “Via Getty” confusion on social media:
Lefties fired up over protesters storming the US Capitol Building mistakenly believed one caught-on-camera rioter was named “Via Getty” — because of a photo credit for the media firm Getty Images.
Politico reporter Ryan Lizza had posted a photo on Twitter with the message “Via Getty, one of the rioters steals a podium from the Capitol.”
But online critics embarrassingly assumed “Via Getty” was the guy’s name — instead of attribution for one of the world’s largest visual media companies.
(Usage of the baby name Via is rising pretty swiftly right now — anyone know why? I’m stumped.)
From an article in The Athletic about babies being named after St. Louis Blues players:
When St. Louisans Alyssa and Dan Hoven call out the name of their 3-year-old son in public, the heads around them instinctively turn.
“Oh my God yeah, so many times,” Alyssa said. “If we’re out to eat, we’ll be like, ‘Vladi’ or ‘Vlad,’ and people are like, ‘Did you name him after Vladimir Tarasenko?’ It starts a ton of conversations, and when we tell them ‘Yes, we did,’ they get all excited and scream, ‘Let’s go Blues!'”
From a New York Times article about parents looking for “positive” baby names:
Some parents-to-be have been so distracted by the pandemic that they’ve skipped the deliberation and quickly picked a name. Amanda Austin of Erie, Pa., owner of an e-commerce store specializing in dollhouse miniatures, came up with her daughter’s name on a whim. “It was in March, when the whole world was shutting down,” she said. “Covid terrified me. My husband and his dad own a construction company and Pennsylvania had banned construction work.”
The name “Annette” popped suddenly into her mind. “I shared it with my husband and he loved it,” Austin said. “His reaction is a far cry from my other daughter’s naming process, where we went back and forth for months. I think we had so much going on with the pandemic that we didn’t have the mental bandwidth to dig deeper.” The name also reminded the couple of the 1950s, a “less complicated” time.
From a Sydney Morning Herald article by Dilvin Yasa about popular baby names in Australia in 2020:
While old-fashioned names carry a certain weight and history to them…it could also be that many of us are merely influenced by COVID-19 and life under lockdown.
“Our research showed that 52 per cent of Australians spent more time with their household members and listed this as a positive of social isolation,” says [Ashley Fell of McCrindle Research] who adds we’re more likely to be naming our children after our grandparents or asking for their input before making it official.
(I also appreciated the author’s opening line: “When you have a name like Dilvin, you spend an awful amount of time thinking about baby names and the role our monikers play in our lives.”)