Time for the latest batch of name-related quotations!
From a 1997 article in Jet magazine about how Jamie Foxx (born Eric Bishop) found success in comedy after changing his name:
Foxx, who was determined to make it as a stand-up comedian, went to Santa Monica “where nobody really knew who I was,” he reveals, “and changed my name to Jamie Foxx.” He remembers, “Three girls would show up and 22 guys would show up [at Amateur Night]. They had to put all the girls on who were on the list to break up the monotony. So when they look up and they see Tracey Green, Tracey Brown, and these unisex names I had written on the list, they picked Jamie Foxx. ‘Is she here?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, Brother, right over here man,'” Foxx said in a deep, macho voice. “I’d go up and do my thing with the Cosby and Tyson (impersonations), and they were like ‘Who is this Jamie Foxx kid?'”
From an opinion piece asking scientists to stop naming species after awful people:
There’s even a beetle named after Adolf Hitler, and specimens have become a collectible item among neo-Nazis to the point that it’s actually affecting wild populations of the species.
From an Eater article about the delicious pork product Spam:
Although lore behind the name Spam varies, [George A.] Hormel himself claimed the product was named for a combination of the words “spice” and “ham,” despite the fact that neither ingredient appears in Spam. The confusion has led some to speculate that Spam is an acronym for “Shoulder of Pork And Ham,” but company line gives Kenneth Daigneau, the brother of a Hormel VP, credit for naming the product. As Hormel tells it, he launched a naming contest for the new product during a New Year’s Eve party, when Daigneau spit out “Spam” as if “it were nothing at all,” Hormel told Gill. “I knew then and there that the name was perfect.”
From an article about Amazon Alexa’s influence on the baby name Alexa:
About 4,250 Alexas are turning five in the U.S. this year. One of them is Amazon’s.
The voice-computing technology that can now control more than 85,000 different devices debuted Nov. 6, 2014.
In 2015, the year after Amazon Alexa debuted, Alexa was the 32nd most popular female baby name in the U.S., bestowed upon 6,052 newborns that year, according to Social Security Administration data.
Alexa as a baby name has since declined in popularity.
From a DMNES blog post announcing the publication of “Names Shakespeare Didn’t Invent“:
In this article, we revisit three names which are often listed as coinages of Shakespeare’s and show that this received wisdom, though oft-repeated, is in fact incorrect. The three names are Imogen, the heroine of Cymbeline; and Olivia and Viola, the heroines of Twelfth Night. All three of these names pre-date Shakespeare’s use. Further, we show in two of the three cases that it is plausible that Shakespeare was familiar with this earlier usage.
From an article about a surname mash-up in Australia:
Sydney couple Courtney Cassar, 31, and Laura Sheldon, 29, welcomed daughter Lyla Jill last month, but rather than using a hyphen between their family names, they bestowed the ‘mashed-up’ moniker ‘Casseldon’ on their baby girl instead.
From a Fader article about musician/rapper (and snappy dresser) Fonzworth Bentley:
That man was Derek Watkins, but he’d become known to millions as Fonzworth Bentley. His moniker was inspired in part by Bootney Lee Farnsworth, the underdog boxer from the 1975 Sidney Poitier-directed movie Let’s Do It Again.
From an article about the most common names among students at Michigan’s conservative Hillsdale College, which has about 1,500 undergraduates:
The most popular names at Hillsdale are John, with 22 carrying the name; Hannah, appearing 20 times; and Andrew, Emma, and Jacob, which all appear 19 times. Other popular names include Jacob [sic], Michael, Joseph, Matthew, Nicholas, Sarah, and Emily.
Several of these names are popular nationwide, but Hillsdale bucks certain national trends. Many of these students are namesakes to biblical or family figures.
The majority of Hillsdale students are between the ages of 18 and 22, with a large portion born in the early 2000s.