Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla was born in Italy in 1895 and emigrated to America in 1913.
He began getting bit parts in silent films in the mid-1910s. As he progressed to larger parts in the later 1910s, he started being credited as “Rudolph Valentino” or some variant thereof.
He finally achieved fame in 1921 with his breakthrough role as Julio in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the top-grossing film of the year.
He went on to make more than a dozen other films — including The Sheik (1921), which turned Valentino into America’s first sex symbol.
But his superstardom was cut short when, at the age of 31, he died suddenly (of peritonitis, after suffering from a perforated peptic ulcer) soon after the premiere of his final film, The Son of the Sheik (1926).
The death of Valentino not only “caused worldwide hysteria, several suicides, and riots at his lying in state, which attracted a crowd that stretched for 11 blocks,” but also influenced U.S. baby names.
The name Rudolph, which had been on the rise during the early 1920s, saw peak usage in 1927. (So did the spelling Rudolf.)
1929: 1,220 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 140th]
1928: 1,308 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 134th]
1927: 1687 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 110th]
1926: 1636 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 111th]
1925: 1243 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 136th]
Similarly, the name Valentino saw a spike in usage in 1927, reaching a level that wasn’t surpassed until the late 1990s.
1929: 30 baby boys named Valentino
1928: 49 baby boys named Valentino [rank: 991st]
1927: 90 baby boys named Valentino [rank: 682nd]
1926: 49 baby boys named Valentino [rank: 990th]
1925: 43 baby boys named Valentino
What are your thoughts on the names Rudolph and Valentino? Would you use either one? (If so, which?)
P.S. One factor — beyond style — that could have contributed to the decreasing usage of the name Rudolph from the mid-20th century onward is the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It was the top song in the nation at the end of 1949 — a year before “Frosty the Snowman” hit big — and went on to become a holiday classic, cementing the association between the name Rudolph and not just reindeer, but Christmastime in general.
The boy name Marquavious adds up to 157, which reduces to four (1+5+7=13; 1+3=4).
4 via 166
The boy name Muhammadyusuf adds up to 166, which reduces to four (1+6+6=13; 1+3=4).
4 via 175
The unisex names Kosisochukwu adds up to 175, which reduces to four (1+7+5=13; 1+3=4).
What Does “4” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “4” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “4” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“4” (the tetrad) according to the Pythagoreans:
“Anatolius reports that it is called ‘justice,’ since the square (i.e., the area) […] is equal to the perimeter”
“It is the prerequisite of the general orderliness of the universe, so they everywhere called it a ‘custodian of Nature.'”
“Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad”
“The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body).”
Examples of things that are divided into four parts:
“four traditional seasons of the year — spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
“four elements (fire, air, water and earth)”
“four cardinal points”
“four distinguishing points – ascendant, descendant, mid-heaven and nadir”
“Some say that all things are organized by four aspects – substance, shape, form and principle.”
“4” according to Edgar Cayce:
“In four, it makes for the greater weaknesses in the divisions…four being more of a division and weakness” (reading 261-15).
“In four, we find that of a division – and while a beauty in strength, in the divisions also makes for the greater weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Does “4” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 22, 49, 76, 103) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, 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 4, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).
Years ago, I came up with a list of one-handed baby names — that is, names that are typed with either the left hand or the right hand on a QWERTY keyboard.
Turns out there may be a slight advantage to right-hand names.
According to a study published recently in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, “the QWERTY keyboard may gradually attach more positive meanings to words with more letters located on the right side of the layout (everything to the right of T, G and B).”
It has to do with fluency.
We tend to like simplicity over complexity, and the harder-to-type letter pairs are on a QWERTY keyboard’s left side — these two facts together may lead people to prefer words (and names) that are typed on the right.
Which names are typed by the right hand only? My original list:
While researching the name Tiare on Monday, I discovered another Tahitian name in the U.S. baby name data: Vaitiare, which means “water flower” in Tahitian. It was a one-hit wonder on the list in 1991:
1991: 5 baby girls named Vaitiare [debut]
The influence here might have been Tahitian model/actress Vaitiare Hirshon, who dated Julio Iglesias for much of the 1980s.
Yesterday I read an article about this year’s college football prospects. Three of the top ten have first and last names that start with the same letter: Bryce Brown (#1), Rueben Randle (#2) and Jelani Jenkins (#10).
That seemed like a rather high concentration…so I checked out the entire top 100 for similar names. I found six more: Janzen Jackson (#17), Garrett Gilbert (#18), Shayne Skov (#45), Morgan Moses (#49), Patrick Patterson (#50) and Jarvis Jones (#72).
Nine out of 100…nearly 10%. (Could this be representative of the entire population?) At this point I was curious enough to scan all of the archived rankings:
8 in ’08: Julio Jones, Armond Armstead, Janoris Jenkins, Garrett Goebel, Joshua Jarboe, Brendan Beal, Brice Butler, Brandon Beachum
6 in ’07: Terrance Toliver, Chris Culliver, Tyrod Taylor, Armando Allen, Bryan Bulaga, Gary Gray
6 in ’06: Mitch Mustain, Robert Rose, Tim Tebow, Stephen Schilling, Michael Morgan, Dorin Dickerson
7 in ’05: Ryan Reynolds, Dan Doering, Mohamed Massaquoi, Mario Manningham, Curtis Crouch, Avery Atkins, Terrance Taylor
9 in ’04: Willie Williams, Cameron Colvin, Lance Leggett, Brandon Barrett, Brandon Braxton, Josh Johnson, Brian Brohm, Tony Temple (maybe), Doug Dutch
6 in ’03: Steve Smith, Dennis Dixon, Mike Mason, Donovan Davis, Jason Jack, Craig Chambers
2 in ’02: Julian Jenkins, Doug Datish
So it seems there are more of these names than normal this year. Still, though, I’m curious to know just how many people in the U.S. have first names that start with the same letters as their surnames. (I also wonder whether the Name-Letter Effect has skewed the number upward at all.)