Because of socially conscious hip-hop artist Queen Latifah.
She rose to fame with the release of her debut album, All Hail the Queen, released in November of 1989. It spawned five singles, including “Ladies First” and “Come Into My House.” Her follow-up album, released in mid-1991, wasn’t as commercially successful but does account for the second spike in usage in 1992.
After her initial success as a rapper, Queen Latifah branched out into acting. One of her most memorable early roles was that of Khadijah James on the TV series Living Single (1993-1998).
Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens in New Jersey in 1970. The “Latifah” part of her stage name — which she pronounces with a somewhat extended first syllable, “laa–tifah” — began as a childhood nickname:
Q: Did you choose it for yourself?
A: No, actually it was my cousin — well, sort of, I sort of chose it. We were going through the Muslim book of names when I was eight. My cousin Sharonda is Muslim, and so we came across Latifah, and I was like, “Oh, I like that.” She was like, “Yeah, I’m gonna give you that name. That name should be yours.” So, I kept it, ever since I was eight, through high school and whatever.
Queen Latifah was drawn specifically to the meaning of the Arabic name Latifah, which she has defined in various interviews using words like “delicate,” “sensitive,” “kind,” and “nice.” (The site Behind the Name defines the masculine version, Latif, as “gentle, kind.”)
What are your thoughts on name Latifah? (Do you like it more or less than the name Dana?)
Marcus Rutherford realised The Wheel Of Time was going to be a big deal when he heard about the baby names. It was his birthday, not long after he’d been cast as the young blacksmith Perrin Aybara in Amazon’s new big-budget adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy book series, and he decided […] to check out some of the birthday wishes on Twitter from a handful of die-hard Wheel Of Time fan accounts. […] “A lot of it came in, then there was a picture of a newborn baby. And this guy was like, ‘This is Perrin, who’s just been born. I’ve named him after your character. He says happy birthday.'”
Q: But, after all, is your name, Oleúde, inspired by Hollywood or not?
A: No, no, it was just a brilliant idea from my parents (laughs). Like it or not, this story always helped me, it drew the attention of reporters… the late Luciano do Valle always asked listeners to guess my name, saying that it was the capital of cinema, it had a lot of impact at the time. This Hollywood thing has become a legend, but it has nothing to do with it.
Dana was born on October 19, 1995, in Astoria, Oregon. She was named after the Dana Glacier — located deep in the wilds of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, because her father thought it was the most beautiful place on heaven or earth.
So the man named after Derek Jeter by his baseball-crazed mother — even though his father is a Red Sox fan — had never actually met Derek Jeter?
It finally happened last week in a random encounter on a road in South Florida — sort of.
“This last week, I was driving, me and my brother were driving to go to [the] train,” said Downs. “We’re in traffic. My brother sees this Range Rover pulling up. He was like, ‘Oh my God, is that Jeter?’ He honks and I wave at him.
“I’m doing training with Raul Ibanez, [Jeter’s former teammate]. I called Raul and said, ‘Tell [Derek] Jeter that the kid he was waving at was Jeter [Downs].’ So then he told him that and it was pretty cool that I met him that way.”
[W]e found two sets of twins and siblings named Ronnie and Reggie, as well as some Ronnies on their own.
Among them are the adorable twins pictured above (main image). Their mum said: “I thought it was only me capable of calling mine Ronnie and Reggie.”
But she’s far from alone. As well as finding another pair of twins with the same names, Moston mum Kellie Smart shared a picture of her sons, five-year-old Reggie Urch and Ronnie Urch, who turns four next week.
“People stop me all the time and ask are they twins and laugh when I tell them their names,” said Kellie, also mum to teenagers Mollie and Thomas.
Sociologists like Mr. Besnard observed that first names [in France] were often quick markers of social and educational status. As another Libération reader, an elementary school teacher, pointed out: “I can often guess the ‘profile’ of a child thanks to the first name. A ‘Maxime,’ a ‘Louise,’ a ‘Kevin,’ a ‘Lolita.’ It’s sad, but that’s how it often works.” That is, Maxime and Louise probably have wealthy parents, while Kevin and Lolita are more likely to have a working- or lower-middle-class background.
Indeed, bourgeois French parents are unlikely to give their children “Anglo-Saxon” names; Jennifer was the most popular name for girls from 1984 to 1986, but it’s a safe bet few Jennifers came from well-educated families. (The craze is commonly explained by the success of the TV series “Hart to Hart” in France at that time — Jennifer Hart was one of the title characters — while “Beverly Hills, 90210,” featuring a popular character named Dylan McKay, is sometimes blamed for the explosion of Dylans a few years later.)
And finally, a bevy of B-names from basketball player Bradley Beal’s “About Brad” page:
Born on June 28, 1993, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, by Bobby and Besta Beal, there was little doubt that Brad would eventually be an athlete. Both parents played sports for Kentucky State — Bobby was a football player, Besta a basketball player.
There were four other people in Brad’s family who were instrumental in his development as an athlete, and ultimately, as a young man. His two older brothers, Bruce and Brandon, and his younger brothers, the twins Byron and Bryon.
Which baby names were the most popular in each U.S. state in 2020? And which names only popped up in the data for a single state in 2020? Here are the answers! (Any unique name that also appeared in last year’s post is in boldface.)
Missouri’s 5 unique boy names: Travon, Bryton, Darrion, Sutter, Whitley
Montana’s top girl name: Charlotte & Olivia (tie)
Montana’s top boy name: Oliver
No unique girl names.
No unique boy names.
Nebraska’s top girl name: Olivia
Nebraska’s top boy name: Oliver
Nebraska’s 1 unique girl name: Breckyn
Nebraska’s 1 unique boy name: Eh
Nevada’s top girl name: Olivia
Nevada’s top boy name: Liam
Nevada’s 1 unique girl name: Unity
No unique boy names.
New Hampshire’s top girl name: Charlotte
New Hampshire’s top boy name: Lucas
No unique girl names.
No unique boy names.
New Jersey’s top girl name: Olivia
New Jersey’s top boy name: Liam
New Jersey’s top 10 unique girl names: Bluma, Ruchama, Leba, Avigayil, Jadelyn, Alianny, Arna, Bina, Ita, Maahi (total of 13)
New Jersey’s top 10 unique boy names: Boruch, Shraga, Gershon, Shaul, Avigdor, Naksh, Abeer, Nesanel, Refoel, Yerachmiel (total of 19)
New Mexico’s top girl name: Olivia
New Mexico’s top boy name: Liam
No unique girl names.
No unique boy names.
New York’s top girl name: Olivia
New York’s top boy name: Liam
New York’s top 10 unique girl names: Gitty, Yitty, Raizy, Sury, Esty, Goldy, Idy, Henny, Yides, Hinda (total of 174)
Esty came up in the 2020 Pop Culture Baby Name Game because of the Netflix mini-series Unorthodox, which features an ultra-Orthodox Jewish main character named Esty from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. Of the 67 baby girls named Esty last year, 59 were born in New York specifically.
New York’s top 10 unique boy names: Lipa, Yechiel, Hershel, Pinchas, Avrum, Lazer, Md, Nachman, Berl, Muhammadyusuf (total of 157)
In the early 1880s, Laura was a top-20 name in the United States. From the mid-1880s onward, though, the name slowly sank in popularity. It even slipped out of the top 100 for a decade.
But then, in 1945, Laura suddenly changed directions and started rising:
1947: 5,051 baby girls named Laura [rank: 74th]
1946: 4,478 baby girls named Laura [rank: 75th]
1945: 3,589 baby girls named Laura [rank: 77th]
1944: 2,243 baby girls named Laura [rank: 119th]
1943: 2,391 baby girls named Laura [rank: 117th]
What happened in the mid-1940s to change the fate of Laura?
The one-two punch of the 1944 film noir Laura and — probably more importantly — the 1945 hit song “Laura,” which was created from the film’s theme song.
The movie starred Gene Tierney as the title character, Laura Hunt, who was believed to have been murdered for most of the film. The police detective looking into the murder, Mark McPherson (played by Dana Andrews), slowly became obsessed with Laura over the course of the investigation.
The film’s theme song, composed by David Raksin, lent “a haunted, nostalgic, regretful cast to everything it play[ed] under,” according to Roger Ebert. Here’s what it sounds like:
After the film was released, lyricist Johnny Mercer was asked to add words to the tune. His lyrics described Laura “through a series of elusive attributes: a face in the misty light, footsteps down the hall, a floating laugh, and as a woman on a passing train.”
Once there were words, various singers began recording and releasing their own versions of “Laura.” Five of these renditions reached top-10 status on the pop charts during 1945; the one sung by Woodrow “Woody” Herman (below) ended up selling more than a million copies.
The song has since become a jazz standard.
Fifteen years later, in the summer of 1960, the teenage tragedy song “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson reached #7 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. This second Laura-song gave the name an extra boost from 1959 to 1960.
And did you notice that intriguing dip in usage from 1965 to 1967? There’s a reason for that, too, but I’ll save the explanation for tomorrow’s post…
The following baby names add up to 155, which reduces to two (1+5+5=11; 1+1=2).
“155” boy names: Krystopher, Chrystopher, Muhammadmustafa
What Does “2” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “2” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “2” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“2” (the dyad) according to the Pythagoreans:
“The dyad is the first to have separated itself from the monad, whence also it is called ‘daring. ‘ For when the monad manifests unification, the dyad steals in and manifests separation.”
“Among the virtues, they liken it to courage: for it has already advanced into action. Hence too they used to call it ‘daring’ and ‘impulse.'”
“They also gave it the title of ‘opinion,’ because truth and falsity lie in opinion. And they called it ‘movement,’ ‘generation,’ ‘change,’ ‘division,’ ‘length,’ ‘multiplication,’ ‘addition,’ ‘kinship,’ ‘relativity,’ ‘the ratio in proportionality.’ For the relation of two numbers is of every conceivable form.”
“Apart from recklessness itself, they think that, because it is the very first to have endured separation, it deserves to be called ‘anguish,’ ‘endurance’ and ‘hardship.'”
“From division into two, they call it ‘justice’ (as it were ‘dichotomy’)”
“And they call it ‘Nature,’ since it is movement towards being and, as it were, a sort of coming-to-be and extension from a seed principle”
“Equality lies in this number alone…the product of its multiplication will be equal to the sum of its addition: for 2+2=2×2. Hence they used to call it ‘equal.'”
“It also turns out to be ‘infinity,’ since it is difference, and difference starts from its being set against 1 and extends to infinity.”
“The dyad, they say, is also called ‘Erato’; for having attracted through love the advance of the monad as form, it generates the rest of the results, starting with the triad and tetrad.”
“2” according to Edgar Cayce:
“Two – divided” (reading 261-14).
“Two – the combination, and begins a division of the whole, or the one. While two makes for strength, it also makes for weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Does “2” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 38, 47, 83, 101) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “101” reminds you of education and learning new things, for example.
Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.
If you have any interesting insights about the number 2, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).