Today is Leif Erikson Day! To celebrate, here is a photograph of “Brünnhilde” — a cat dressed up like a Viking, complete with a tiny Viking helmet. The photo was taken in 1936 and is now part of the Library of Congress photo archive.
Her Viking name — a version of the valkyrie name Brunhild — is derived from a pair of Germanic elements meaning “coat of mail, armor, protection” and “battle, fight.”
Something tells me that Brünnhilde wasn’t this kitty’s real name, though. What do you think this cat was called on a day-to-day basis?
“140” boy names: Dontavious, Markanthony, Fitzwilliam, Prometheus
5 via 149
The boy name Montavious adds up to 149, which reduces to five (1+4+9=14; 1+4=5).
What Does “5” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “5” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “5” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“5” (the pentad) according to the Pythagoreans:
“They called the pentad ‘lack of strife,’ not only because aether, the fifth element, which is set apart on its own, remains unchanging, while there is strife and change among the things under it, from the moon to the Earth, but also because the primary two different and dissimilar kinds of number, even and odd, are as it were reconciled and knitted together by the pentad”
“The pentad is the first number to encompass the specific identity of all number[s], since it encompasses 2, the first even number, and 3, the first odd number. Hence it is called ‘marriage,’ since it is formed of male and female.”
“The pentad is highly expressive of justice, and justice comprehends all the other virtues […] it is a kind of justice, on the analogy of a weighing instrument.” (i.e., It is the central number in the row of numbers from 1 to 9.)
“Because it levels out inequality, they call it ‘Providence’ and ‘justice’ (division, as it were) […] Likewise, it is called ‘nuptial’ and ‘androgyny’ and ‘demigod’ – the latter not only because it is half of ten, which is divine, but also because in its special diagram it is assigned the central place. And it is called ‘twin’ because it divides in two the decad, which is otherwise indivisible […] and ‘heart-like’ because of the analogy of the heart being assigned the center in living creatures.”
“Nature separated each of the extremities of our bodily part (I mean, the extremities of our feet and hands) in a five-fold way, into fingers and toes.”
“5” according to Edgar Cayce:
“Five – a change imminent, ever, in the activities of whatever influence with which it may be associated” (reading 261-14).
“Five – as seen, a change” (reading 5751-1).
“Five always active – and double the two, and one – or three and two, which it is the sum of. Hence, as is questioned here, no factor is more active than would be that of a five…in any activity. Five being the active number” (reading 137-119).
Does “5” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 23, 50, 77, 131) — 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 “23” reminds you of chromosomes and genetics, 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 5, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).
Last week, Becca commented with some interesting Jeopardy! contestant names (e.g., Hobie, Dorcas) and mentioned J! Archive, which lists tens of thousands of Jeopardy! contestants going back to 1984, when the show premiered.
I skimmed through all the contestants from 1984 to 2015 (as we don’t have baby name data for 2016 yet) and spotted hundreds of unusual names. And it looks like at least two of them got a boost thanks to the show:
One-time player Alancia Wynn, a family practice physician from Virginia, was on Jeopardy! in October of 1999.
The name Brannon saw an increase in usage in 1998:
2000: 116 baby boys named Brannon
1999: 118 baby boys named Brannon
1998: 158 baby boys named Brannon [peak]
1997: 113 baby boys named Brannon
1996: 114 baby boys named Brannon
One-time player Brannon Denning, a graduate student from Connecticut, was on Jeopardy! in September of 1998. (Looks like Brannon Denning is now a law professor at Samford University.)
Alaric & Ezgi …?
These two names may have gotten a slight boost as well, though it’s hard to tell.
Alaric, in 2005. One-time player Alaric Smith was on the show in October of 2005.
Ezgi, in 2015. One-time player Ezgi Ustundag was on the show in October of 2015.
Ezgi is a female name that means “melody” in Turkish.
Anjali (false positive)
“Kids Week” contestant Anjali Tripathi was on the show in September of 1999. The same year, the baby name Anjali more than doubled in usage:
2001: 222 baby girls named Anjali
2000: 230 baby girls named Anjali
1999: 202 baby girls named Anjali
1998: 93 baby girls named Anjali
1997: 80 baby girls named Anjali
But this was a suspiciously steep rise. And it was accompanied by the debut of an alternate spelling (Anjalie). And usage didn’t drop back to normal levels the next year, as one would expect. These facts pointed me to something more high-profile than a Jeopardy! contestant.
Turns out the very successful Hindi coming-of-age romantic comedy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had been released in 1998. The movie featured not one but two main characters named Anjali.
Here are the rest of the names that caught my eye, sorted by year:
Please note that I did include names in the gray area between one syllable and two syllables. The deciding factor on these particular names (such as Charles, Miles, and Noel) will be your own interpretation/accent, so be sure to test the names out loud before making any final decisions.
People tend to like the letters in their names more than the letters that are not in their names. This tendency, called the “name-letter effect,” may even influence some of the major life decisions people make. Studies have shown that people are disproportionately likely to…
Live in states or cities that resemble their names (i.e. Philip living in Philadelphia)
Have careers that resemble their names (i.e. Laura becoming a lawyer)
Choose brands that resemble their names (i.e. Peggy buying Pepsi)
Marry people whose surnames–or, less often, first names–begin with the same letter as their own (i.e. Jack marrying Jill)
The downside to this phenomenon is that if your initials match a negative outcome, you’re less likely to see that outcome as averse. This could make it harder for you to succeed. For instance, studies have found that:
Students whose first or last names start with A or B tend to get better grades and go to better law schools than those whose first or last names start with C or D.
Baseball players whose first or last names start with K (e.g. Kevin Kouzmanoff) are more likely to strike out than other players.
None of the above correlations are extremely strong, but they’re statistically significant. So if you want your daughter to reach the Supreme Court, you might want to name her Lauren instead of Cecilia or Deirdre. If your dream is to see your son play in the majors, you might want to play it safe and give him something other than a k-name.
(The researchers who conducted the aforementioned studies include Jozef Nuttin, Brett Pelham, Mauricio Carvallo, Matthew Mirenberg, John Jones, Tom DeHart, John Hetts, C. Miguel Brendl, Amitava Chattopadhyay, Leif Nelson and Joseph Simmons.)