A Benedict Cumberbatch quote from a recent episode [vid] of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:
I think England is the only place that makes people named Benedict Cumberbatch.
From an article about a Swedish woman who changed her son’s name because of a botched tattoo:
Local newspaper, Blekinge Läns Tidning, reported that 30-year-old Johanna Giselhäll Sandström had requested a tattoo of her children’s names, Nova and Kevin.
The tattoo artist didn’t ask the woman to check the spelling, which resulted in a tattoo that read: ‘Nova and Kelvin’.
After discovering the process of removing tattoos isn’t an easy one, Sandström began to realise the name was growing on her, so she opted for a less painful solution to the problem.
“We decided to rename the boy,” she said.
From a Slate essay about unusual Mormon names by Haley Swenson:
By now, I’ve heard all the jokes about Utah names, but what I haven’t heard is a unified theory of just why the Mormon people of Utah are so inclined to create them. I humbly offer two hypotheses.
The first is my historical-cultural theory—that the penchant for invented names among Mormons lies in its very foundation: It goes all the way back to its founder, Joseph Smith, who had to come up with the names of hundreds of figures to populate the faith’s foundational text that he wrote, the Book of Mormon.
My second theory is more sociological. […] [I]f you’re a Mormon kid in Utah, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. A differently spelled name or a new name altogether might be a reasonable way to firm up a sense of individuality from the first day. Why bring yet another Erin into the world when you can introduce an Aeryn, or better yet, an Aroarin?
From an article about the pregnancy of Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand:
Ardern told More FM she and partner Clarke Gayford had a list of baby names that wasn’t getting any shorter and had no favourites.
Picking a name wasn’t going well, she said.
“It’s one of those things where Clarke is absolutely convinced it will come to us as soon as it arrives.
“I think we’ll be sleep deprived and probably angry at each other so I don’t think that’s the best time to choose.”
From an article about a girl named after Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:
When Renee Cupp became pregnant with her daughter, she toyed around with a few names. For a while, Lily was the front runner, until she and her husband had the idea to name their second child after their favorite chocolate and peanut butter candy. So, eight years ago, the couple printed the name Reese Eve Cupp on their daughter’s birth certificate.
Although the correct pronunciation of the candy is “Rees-IS,” Cupp tells PEOPLE that she has always pronounced it “Rees-EES,” which is a common inflection of the popular chocolate brand, thus the addition of her daughter’s middle initial.
[Little Reese E. Cupp won the company’s $10,000 fan contest a few weeks after this post went up. Not only that, but, “as a tribute to the most outrageous fan’s family, Reese’s will proclaim today [June 14, 2018] ‘Reese E. Cupp Day,’ and even pronounce the product Reese-EE for one day only.”]
[Dr. Pascaline Faure] said that a clear trend was for names ending in “a” associated with femininity, as in “Maria”, or an “o”, which is masculine, as in “Mario”. “This is turning a drug into a sort of mate. It can be a girlfriend, with women’s attributes, or a boyfriend, with male ones,” she said.
From the essay “Why We Didn’t Name Our Son After His Grandfather, a Holocaust Survivor” by Jasmine Smith in Kveller:
I want my son, who is almost 2, to feel the history of his ancestors as something joyful and not heavy. I want him to recognize all the improbable elements that had to align; all the miracles that kept his grandfathers alive through their difficult lives long enough to create the families that would lead to his birth. I hope that, by giving him the gift of an unburdened name, he will be able to create a life that is equally as incredible as his grandfathers’ — a life that is already miraculous just by existing.
From an interview with fashion model Nyadak “Duckie” Thot:
In Melbourne, Australia, where she was born and raised in a culturally traditional Sudanese household with her mom, dad and six siblings, her peers at school couldn’t pronounce her real name, and it got to an unbearable point. […] Of course, neither name was something commonly found amongst Australian citizens. As she explains, both the words “Nyadak” and “Thot” are, in fact, Nuer, a South Sudanese language that’s native to the Nuer tribe. “Oh yeah,” she says wryly after noticing my surprised facial expression. “Many people don’t know I come from a tribe.”