Where did the baby name Crissangel come from in 2007?

Title of the TV series "Criss Angel Mindfreak" (2005-2010)
“Criss Angel Mindfreak”

The name Crissangel appeared for the first and only time in the U.S. baby name data in 2007:

  • 2009: unlisted
  • 2008: unlisted
  • 2007: 5 baby boys named Crissangel [debut]
  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: unlisted

The similar names Chrisangel and Crisangel also popped up in the early 2000s.

Where did these names come from?

Magician and illusionist Criss Angel, whose reality series Criss Angel Mindfreak aired on A&E from 2005 to 2010. The show, focused on street magic and stunts, had episodes with titles like “Shark Cage Escape,” “Mass Levitation,” “SUV Nail Bed,” and “Burning Man.”

Criss Angel was born in New York in 1967 as Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos. (He’s of Greek descent.) These days he primarily performs live shows in Las Vegas.

He also has three children with his wife, Shaunyl. Their names are:

  • Johnny Crisstopher, b. 2014
  • Xristos Yanni, b. 2019
  • Illusia Angelina, b. 2021

His sons’ names echo one another in that “Johnny” and “Yanni” are diminutives of John and Yiannis (a Greek equivalent of John), and “Crisstopher” and “Xristos” are both based on the ancient Greek word khristos (“anointed one”).

His daughter’s first name, Illusia, is clearly a reference to dad’s line of work.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Crissangel?

Sources: Criss Angel – Wikipedia, Criss Angel Mindfreak – IMDb, Behind the Name

The Subban siblings

The Subban brothers Jordan, Malcolm, and P. K. (at the 2013 NHL Draft)
Jordan, Malcolm, and P. K. Subban

I’ve only recently started watching hockey, so the first time I heard about Canadian player P. K. Subban was when he announced his retirement a few months ago.

He’s not the only player I know of who goes by his initials. One of the Colorado Avalanche players is called J. T. Compher, for instance. But I’d say P. K. has the most intriguing set of initials. (In contrast, the combo “J.T.” is so common that some parents simply register “JT” as a legal name.)

So, what do Subban’s initials stand for?

Here’s the answer, courtesy of Sports Illustrated:

P.K. stands for Pernell Karl. When he was born, his mother, Maria, thumbing through a movie magazine in her hospital bed, spotted a story about actor Pernell Roberts. The name clicked. Pernell for Adam Cartwright from Bonanza. Karl for his father.

When he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 2007, P. K. was asked what his initials stood for, and he cheekily replied: “Penalty-killer.” (In fact, you do hear hockey announcers say “PK” — an acronym for “penalty kill” — during televised games sometimes.)

P. K. Subban has four siblings: two older sisters and two younger brothers. Both brothers are also professional hockey players with hyphenated names:

  1. Nastassia (pronounced nah-STAH-zee-ah)
  2. Natasha
  3. Pernell-Karl, or “P. K.”
  4. Malcolm-Jamaal, or “Malcolm” (drafted in 2012 by the Boston Bruins)
  5. Jordan-Carmichael, or “Jordan” (drafted in 2013 by the Vancouver Canucks)

I have to imagine that Malcolm’s name was somehow inspired by actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who played Theo on The Cosby Show, though I haven’t found any proof of this yet.

What are your thoughts on these names? And, have you spotted any interesting sets of initials recently?


Image: © 2013 NHL (Screenshot from 2013 NHL Draft telecast)

The 6 siblings of Burl Ives

Singer/actor Burl Ives (1909-1995)
Burl Ives

Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actor Burl Ives was born in rural Illinois in 1909. His birth name? Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives.

I don’t know the story behind his unique given names, but I do know that his parents, Levi Franklin (“Frank”) and Cordellia (“Dellie”), gave several of their six other children interesting names as well:

  1. Audry Jane, b. 1899
  2. Artie Morris, b. 1901
  3. Clarence Estie, b. 1903
  4. Argola Marie, b. 1906
  5. Burl Icle Ivanhoe, b. 1909
  6. Lilburn Verger, b. 1914
  7. Norma, b. 1919

(During that area, the next-door state of Missouri had a community called Argola — I wonder if that’s where Argola Marie’s name came from…?)

Today, Burl Ives may be best remembered as the voice of Sam the Snowman in the 1964 stop-motion TV movie Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer — the longest-running Christmas special in history.

What are your thoughts on the first name Burl?

(And…did you know that Rudolph was almost named Reginald?)


Image: Burl Ives – LOC

The Inskipp family of England

Trafalgar Square, London, 1839

In 1835, Charles Inskipp, a portrait painter who lived in southeast England, married Sarah Anne Baker. The couple went on to welcome at least six children:

  1. Emily, b. 1836
  2. Harold, b. 1837
  3. Napoleon Tristram Shandy, b. 1839
  4. Corregio [sic] Quinton, b. 1841
  5. Rembrandt Claude, b. 1844
  6. Boadicea Mary, b. 1848

Their last four children were evidently named after…

  • French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte & the English novel Tristram Shandy,
  • Italian painter Correggio (in full: Antonio Allegri da Correggio),
  • Dutch painter Rembrandt (in full: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn), and
  • British queen Boadicea (who led a rebellion against the Romans circa 60 A.D.).

I’m not sure why Charles and Sarah switched to conspicuously famous names after their second baby, but, given Charles’ occupation, I’m not surprised that two of those names refer to painters.

What are your thoughts on this sibset?

Sources: Eccentric Inskip Names – Inskip One-Name Study Blog, FamilySearch