Name quotes #116: Troy, Rowdy, Kendrick

Troy Aikman quote

From a recent Anaheim Ducks video-tweet in which former football player Troy Aikman addressed his namesake, hockey player Troy Terry (b. 1997):

How cool are we to have the name Troy, first of all. Now I know why your parents named you Troy, so it makes me feel really proud. But what makes me feel even prouder is the fact that the Ducks organization has given me the honor to let you know that, for the second consecutive year, you my friend are an NHL All-Star.

From a mid-2013 episode of the TV show This Morning [vid] in which British reality TV star Katie Hopkins argued in favor of judging children by their names:

  • “A name for me is a shortcut, it’s an efficient way of working out what class that child comes from. Do I want my children to play with them?”
  • “I tend to think children that have intelligent names tend to have fairly intelligent parents and they make much better play dates, therefore, for my children.”
  • “I don’t judge people on their surnames but certainly I do make a very quick decision based on their first names and there’s a whole bunch of first names that I don’t like. I don’t like footballers’ names, I don’t like names after seasons of the year, I don’t like geographical location names, celebrity names, things like Apple.”

(Ironically, one of Katie’s three children is named India.)

From a recent Palladium-Time article about 19th-century medical doctor Algernon Sidney Coe:

Born on a farm on Sept. 18, 1828, in Norway, New York, Algernon Sidney Coe defied all expectations to become a respected and admired physician in Oswego City.

Coe, the son of Ira Coe, a War of 1812 veteran, and Elizabeth Norton, was named after Algernon Sidney who was executed in 1683 in England for his outspoken views on freedom of speech. Sidney was considered a martyr by American thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

From a recent Miami Herald article about high school football player Rowdy Beers:

There’s buzz about Beers at FIU [Florida International University].

The buzz started when Panthers coach Mike MacIntyre announced on Dec. 21 that FIU had signed the player with “the best name in college football.”

That would be 6-5, 225-pound tight end and Colorado native Rowdy Beers, who is from Littleton, which is nine miles south. of downtown Denver.

[…]

“As a kid,” Beers said, “any time I told my name to a new authority figure, they thought I was being disrespectful.”

[…]

Beers, who was named after three-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines, had right shoulder surgery on Dec. 29 but is expected to be ready by mid-May.

(Rowdy Beers also has three R-named siblings: Rocky, Raegan, and Rylie. Rowdy Gaines, however, is only nicknamed “Rowdy.” He was born Ambrose Gaines IV in 1959 — the year the baby name Rowdy debuted in the U.S. baby name data thanks to Rawhide.)

From a recent Marshall Tucker Band IG post regarding the death of the band’s namesake, Marshall Tucker:

Our band’s namesake, Mr. Marshall Tucker, passed away peacefully yesterday morning at the age of 99. Though he was never a member of our band, we wouldn’t be here today without his historic name. In the early days when we were rehearsing in an old warehouse in Spartanburg, we found a keychain inscribed with his name. We needed a name asap… and the rest is history! Marshall was blind since birth but amazingly could play the heck out of the piano. He always said his talent was simply God-given. He tuned pianos in South Carolina for decades.

(The story behind Super Mario’s name, in Name Quotes #111, also happens to involve a warehouse.)

From a 2013 article about Kendrick Lamar in hip hop magazine XXL:

Amongst the many topics discussed when Kendrick Lamar strolled through Arsenio Hall’s reinvented television series, the Compton rapper revealed that he’s named after one of the members of the iconic Motown group, the Temptations. While gushing over old school music, K Dot unveiled that his mother named him after Eddie Kendricks, the group’s distinctive falsetto singer.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Name quotes #115: Keyden, Yizhar, Herbert

double quotation mark

To kick off the new year, let’s check out a new batch of name quotes!

First, the story behind Edson — the birth name of late soccer legend Pelé — from the book Why Soccer Matters (2015):

When Dondinho met my mother, Celeste, he was still performing his mandatory military service. She was in school at the time. They married when she was just fifteen; by sixteen she was pregnant with me. They gave me the name “Edson” — after Thomas Edison, because when I was born in 1940, the electric lightbulb had only recently come to their town. They were so impressed that they wanted to pay homage to its inventor. It turned out they missed a letter — but I’ve always loved the name anyway.

(“Dondinho” was the nickname of Pelé’s father, João Ramos do Nascimento.)

…and, regarding the nickname Pelé:

Growing up, I hated that damn nickname. After all, it was a garbage word that meant nothing. Plus, I was really proud of the name Edson, believing it was an honor to be named after such an important inventor.

(The nickname did come in handy, though. He “started thinking of “Pelé” almost as a separate identity” in order to cope with his sudden celebrity. “Having Pelé around helped keep Edson sane,” he said.)

From an article in The Catholic Standard about students at a Maryland high school (found via Abby):

Keyvar Smith-Herold of the class of 2022 at DeMatha Catholic High School smiled as he explained the inspiration for his name, noting that his father Vincent Smith works as a locksmith.

“That’s why ‘Key’ is in our names,” he said, shedding light on the origin of his first name and that of his twin sister, Keydra, and also their older brother Keyden, a 2018 DeMatha graduate.

From the book The Gender Challenge of Hebrew (2015) by Malka Muchnik:

Most Hebrew proper names, especially those used in recent decades, consist of existing words and therefore have specific meanings. This fact helps us see the ideas associated with male or female names, and serves as evidence of what is expected of them.

(The author listed several female names associated with flowers and gemstones — such as Rekefet, meaning “cyclamen,” and Bareket, meaning “agate” — then continued…)

Even more suggestive are female names denoting personal qualities, such as Yaffa (‘pretty’), Tova (‘good’), Aliza (‘joyful’), Adina (‘delicate’), Ahuva (‘beloved’), Metuka (‘sweet’) and Tmima (‘innocent’).

[…]

As opposed to them, we find male names which have the form of a future verb, and from this we can infer the expectations from them: Yakim (‘he will establish’), Yarim (‘he will raise’), Yaniv (‘he will produce’), Yariv (‘he will fight’), Yiftax (‘he will open’), Yig’al (‘he will redeem’), Yisgav (‘he will be great’) and Yizhar (‘he will shine’).

A name story from the recent Washington Post article “Playing the name game” by John Kelly:

Aleta Embrey’s older brother loves to say that her name came from the funny papers. And it did, specifically “Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur,” which still runs in The Washington Post.

“Queen Aleta of the Misty Isles is a major figure in the comic strip,” Aleta wrote. “My dad liked the name.”

It is a lovely name, much better than being named, say, “Olive Oyl.”

From Kenneth Whyte’s book Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (2017), which describes the naming of Herbert Hoover (who was born in 1874 to Quaker parents Jesse and Hulda Hoover):

Hulda had shown [her sister] Agnes a bureau drawer full of handmade clothes prepared for the baby, all of them suited for a girl, to be named Laura. Several decades later Agnes recalled that the newborn, a boy, was “round and plump and looked about very cordial at every body.”

Naming the child was a problem as Laura, obviously, would not do, and the mother had no alternative in mind. Another sister reminded Hulda of a favorite book, Pierre and His Family, a Sunday school martyrology set among the Protestant Waldenses of Piedmont. The hero of the story is a spirited boy named Hubert who is dedicated to his Bible and longs to become a pastor. Hulda’s sister remembered Hubert as Herbert, and the baby was called Herbert Clark Hoover. He shared his father’s middle name.

(Discovered via a Midwest National Parks Instagram post.)

And, finally, a line from a New York Post story about a baby born during an overseas flight in December:

Tamara ended up naming the baby Maximiliano, after one of the helpful passengers who was by her side to make sure she had a safe delivery.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Name quotes #114: Aubrey, Stamford, Kyuss

double quotation mark

Here’s a batch of quotes for the final month of 2022!

From an article about Dutch soccer player Denzel Dumfries, who helped the Netherlands knock the U.S. out of the World Cup tournament over the weekend:

[Denzel Dumfries] was named after none other than no-nonsense movie icon Denzel Washington, star of films such as “Remember The Titans,” “Training Day” and “Courage Under Fire.”

“I don’t have [any] connection with the United States, but, yes, I was named after Denzel Washington,” Dumfries said. “My parents gave me that name. I am incredibly proud of it, because Denzel Washington is a really strong personality who voices his views on certain issues, and I am incredibly proud to be named after someone like that.”

From an interview with Australian surfer Kyuss King in Stab Magazine:

Yeah, music is definitely a massive part of my life, from listening to it to playing it! And metal is 100% at the top of my genre — there’s nothing like headbanging to some chunky riffs. Yeah, I was named after the band Kyuss. It was my dad’s favorite band through the ’90s. Funny story, my dad actually had the song Green Machine blasting in the hospital while my mum was in labor with me haha. I guess I kinda came into the world to that kind of music.

From an article about political candidate Krystal Ball, who was asked about her name while campaigning in 2010:

The answer: Her father has a doctorate in physics and did his dissertation on crystals.

So after her mother named older sisters Heidi and Holly, it was dad’s turn.

Ball said she doesn’t mind the questions, though, or the jokes.

And she’ll certainly be hoping a lot of people remember that name now that she’s running for Congress.

A name-change story (contributed by a Missouri woman named Nancy) from a Washington Post article about changing babies’ names:

We named our daughter Joan because we imagined that she would be serious and studious, and this name seemed to encapsulate the proverbial bookworm. Both my husband and I are academicians, so a bookworm daughter didn’t seem a stretch.

[…]

Within the first six weeks, Joan proved not only to be a lusty eater but a very social and cuddly baby who loved long warm baths, in other words, a hedonist in the making.

One night, the credits for Masterpiece Theater were playing and the name of Aubrey rolled across the screen, which happened to be the title of one of our favorite songs from high school. My husband and I looked at each other and simultaneously said, “She’s an Aubrey.” We submitted the paperwork for her name change the next day.

[This source also made an appearance in quotes #112.]

From an article about the trendiness of giving human names to pets in The Atlantic:

Long, long ago — five years, to be precise — Jeff Owens accepted that his calls to the vet would tax his fortitude. When the person on the other end asks his name, Owens, a test scorer in Albuquerque, says, “Jeff.” When they ask for his cat’s name, he has to tell them, “Baby Jeff.” The black exotic shorthair, a wheezy female with a squashed face and soulful orange eyes, is named for Owens, says his partner, Brittany Means, whose tweet about Jeff and Baby Jeff went viral this past spring. The whole thing started as a joke several years ago, when Means started calling every newcomer to their home — the car, the couch — “Baby Jeff.” Faced with blank adoption paperwork in 2017, the couple realized that only one name would do.

Two highlights from a recent study of American Jewish names by Sarah Bunin Benor and Alicia B. Chandler. The first:

Over the decades, American Jews became more and more likely to give their children names of Jewish origin (English or Hebrew Biblical, Modern Hebrew, etc.), with a major uptick after the 1960s. 14% of Jews in the oldest age group have names of Jewish origin, compared to 63% in the youngest group. The top 10 names for Jewish girls and boys in each decade reflect these changes, such as Ellen and Robert in the 1950s, Rebecca and Joshua in the 1970s, and Noa and Ari in the 2010s.

…and the second:

Jews with distinctively Jewish names are much more likely to sometimes use a “Starbucks name” than Jews with names that are not distinctively Jewish. But some Jews with common American names take on a more Jewish name as their Starbucks name, and some have an “Aroma name” for service encounters in Israel.

From a Yahoo News UK article about a mother and son named Chelsea and Stamford after the football club and the club’s stadium, respectively:

Football fanatic Chelsea Bottomley, 32, an administrator from Paddington, London, said she hopes more blind football games will be made available for her son Stamford.

[…]

Named after the London club’s Stamford Bridge stadium, Stamford has cerebral palsy which, according to the NHS, affects movement and coordination — and impaired vision is common for children with the lifelong condition.

[…]

She added: “My mum had named me Chelsea after the club and, when my boy was born, my mum was such a strong support for me that I named him Stamford for her.”

And, finally, a line from a New York Post story about a baby born aboard an airplane in September:

Skylen Kavon-Air Francis, who was named after his airborne arrival, was carried off the plane as everyone clapped and welcomed the new passenger.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Name quotes #113: Oscar, Mackenzie, Bailey

double quotation mark

It’s time for another batch of name quotes!

From a recent Daily Mirror article about schoolteachers Lainey Clarke and Ben Hubbard, who live in Buckinghamshire with their newborn…plus two spirits named Dave and Andy:

Dave even helped them when it came to deciding baby names.

“Every name we liked we’d then remember a naughty school kid we’d taught — it was a nightmare,” laughs Ben.

“We did a spirit box session [one person asks questions and another sits blindfolded with headphones on and relays messages from the spirit world] and the word Apollo was spoken. We listened back after he was born and were stunned to find that Dave had named our baby.”

From a Today.com article published earlier this year about like-named twins who married like-named twins:

Identical twins Briana and Brittany, 35, married identical twins Josh [Joshua] and Jeremy Salyers, 37, and now they’re introducing the world to their babies, who are so genetically similar that the cousins are more like brothers.

[…]

The Salyers are parents to Jett, who turned 1 in January, and Jax, who will turn 1 in April, and the cousins share more than the same first initial. Their unique situation makes them genetic brothers.

(Many U.S twins born in the early 2000s were also given similar names.)

From an article about British politician Penelope “Penny” Mordaunt (b. 1973):

It was a position she was well cut out for, given her strong military background — her father was a parachuter and she was a member of the Royal Navy from 2010 to 2019, making her the only woman MP currently who is a navy reservist. … (Fun fact: Penny was named after the Royal Navy frigate HMS Penelope.)

American actress Amandla Stenberg on the pronunciation of her name [vid], via TikTok:

Most of the time I introduce myself as ah-man-dluh … which, a lot of Westerners, Europeans, they think, “Oh, you’re parents took Amanda and slipped an l in there.”

[…]

No, it’s ah-maan-dluh as in Amandla! Awethu!, which means “power to the people” in Zulu and Xhosa. And this was an understanding that I grew up with that this had significant weight in history, that Amandla! Awethu! was a rallying cry that was utilized during the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, that amandla means “power,” and that my mom gave me this name because she wanted me to aspire towards embodying this concept, right? Which I’m so grateful for.

The thing is, she Westernized my name because she didn’t want me to struggle in school. So, she named me ah-man-dluh not ah-maan-dluh because she thought people would be able to say it more easily, and I would have to struggle less. So she kinda like, in this diasporic way, was trying to help me assimilate.

(As we learned in Name quotes #67, though, Amandla wasn’t named for the rallying cry directly. Instead, she was named for the 1989 Miles Davis album Amandla.)

From a recent Morley Kert woodworking video, part of a discussion between Morley and a male client named Mackenzie who he’d just met in-person:

Morley: “So I have something I need to tell you.”

Mackenzie: “Oh?”

Morley: “I fully assumed from your name that you were female.”

Mackenzie: “I think a lot of people do. Technically, technically, 52% of Mackenzies are female now. Which is — we’re losing the battle.”

(I’m curious where Mackenzie found that number, because the balance between male and female babies named Mackenzie hasn’t been close to 50% since the mid-1970s.)

Graph of the usage of the baby name Mackenzie in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Mackenzie

From a mid-October episode of the Merloni, Fauria & Mego podcast, Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (born in 1999) answering a question about whether or not his mom had a crush on Bailey Salinger from Party of Five when she chose to name him after the character:

Her and my dad I guess were together, so I can’t — I don’t think she’ll publicly say she had a crush on him. … I think she said that she liked that he was the main character, I guess she was pregnant with me at the time, so … I guess that’s how I got the name.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.