Here’s an interesting coincidence: A few years ago, I added the above image (a portion of a painting by Englishman Thomas M. M. Hemy) to a blog post about a baby named after the ship she was born on. Recently, I discovered that the artist’s full name is Thomas Maria Madawaska Hemy, and that “Madawaska” refers to the name of the ship he was born on!
His parents, Henri and Margaret Hemy, moved the family to Australia temporarily in the 1850s. On their way south aboard the Madawaska in 1852, they welcomed their sixth son, Thomas. Curiously, he was born “near the Brazilian coast.” (During the age of sail, routes weren’t as direct as they are today because sailors needed to utilize the prevailing winds.)
The Madawaska was a barque built in Quebec in 1847. “Madawaska” is the original name of the upper St. John River Valley, on the Canada-U.S. border. Several places in that region retain the name, including a county in New Brunswick and a town in northern Maine.
The etymology of Madawaska is unknown, but one theory holds that it derives from an Algonquin word meaning “place of the porcupine.”
Thomas M. M. Hemy — whose older brothers Charles Napier Hemy and Bernard Benedict Hemy were also marine artists — passed his unique middle name down to at least one of his children, daughter Eve Madawaska Hemy (b. 1880).
Rían (which was already on the rise) and Croía have both given a boost recently by Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who welcomed a daughter named Croía Mairéad at the start of 2019 and a son named Rían in May of 2021.
Here’s what writer and Irish language activist Darach Ó Séaghdha’s had to say about the rise of Rían (and Éabha):
Given that the first name Ryan started to decline in popularity in the 2010s around the time Rian and Rían began to ascend it is reasonable to see Rían as an update or replacement to Ryan, much as Éabha has climbed in popularity as Eve, Ava and Aoibhe have wavered.
He also noted that “Rían and Rian would be the [most popular] Gaeilge-origin boy name if counted together, edging ahead of Conor.”
P.S. To follow up on Friday’s post about the free lighthouse tour…the name Patrick is currently ranked 19th in Ireland, but none of the other three names (Paddy, Pat, or Patricia) rank anywhere near the top 100. That said, one of the names new to the boys’ top 100 last year was Páidí (pronounced paw-dee) — a pet form of Pádraig, which is an Irish form of Patrick.
Below are hundreds of baby names with a numerological value of 5.
What do I mean by that?
Well, in numerology, you substitute each letter in a word with that letter’s ordinal value in the alphabet. (The letter B has a value of 2, for instance, because it’s the second letter.) Then you add those ordinal values together to come up with a total. Lastly, you add the digits of that total together to obtain a numerological value.
Here’s an example: The letters in the name Mia have the values 13, 9, and 1. Added together, these values equal 23. And the digits of 23 added together equal 5.
All of the “5” names below are sub-categorized by totals — just in case any of those larger numbers are significant to anyone. Within each group you’ll find some of the most popular “5” names per gender (according to the most recent set of U.S. baby name rankings).
5 via 14
The letters in the following baby names add up to 14, which reduces to five (1+4=5).
Girl names (5 via 14)
Boy names (5 via 14)
Ida, Adah, Caia, Dia, Becca
Ahad, Adi, Dj, Kc, Jac
5 via 23
The letters in the following baby names add up to 23, which reduces to five (2+3=5).
Girl names (5 via 23)
Boy names (5 via 23)
Mia, Alia, Aila, Adela, Cara, Addie, Laia, Edie, Jaci, Ami
Caleb, Coda, Acen, Iam, Adem
5 via 32
The letters in the following baby names add up to 32, which reduces to five (3+2=5).
In 1947, the baby name Ginna popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data:
1949: 5 baby girls named Ginna
1947: 5 baby girls named Ginna [debut]
Where did it come from?
The 1946 movie My Reputation, which included a secondary character named Ginna (played by actress Eve Arden). Her name was pronounced with a short i, like the “gin” in Virginia.
The movie’s protagonist, Jessica (played by Barbara Stanwyck), was a widow trying to find love again despite various pressures: her gossipy friends, her domineering mother, her teenage sons (named Kim and Keith, btw). Ginna was Jessica’s nice, non-gossipy friend.
Do you like the name Ginna? Do you like it more or less than the more popular name Gina?
(A few years before, Stanwyck played a character named Fiona who also influenced baby names…)