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Category: names from sports

Bradley Wiggins

Guest blogger Paula Thomas finds lots of  inspiration in the roster of the 99th Tour de France names.

Almost two hundred riders from 31 nations, 22 teams and two managers for each team. It’s the Tour de France, having begun once again its manic three-week-long dash through fields, up and down mountains and, of course, the grandstand finish that is the final stage in Paris.

But what has that to do with names? you may ask. Well, with so many different nationalities competing, cycling fans are bound to find a name to suit. Whether it’s Mark for top sprinter Mark Cavendish, Bradley for this year’s favorite Bradley Wiggins, Fabian for the winner of Saturday’s opening prologue, Swiss ace Fabian Cancellara, or Cadel Evans, last year’s champion, your son (or daughter, if you’re daring) can bear the name of a competitor in Le Tour 2012.

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nascar3

This week, AppellationMountain‘s Abby Sandel finds baby-name inspiration racing around the Daytona International Speedway.

Did you see newcomer Trevor Bayne win the Daytona 500 last week? 

Me neither. 

NASCAR might seem like an unlikely place to look for baby name inspiration.  But if moms suggest ideas while dads exercise veto power, maybe choices with a tie to the racetrack are more likely to pass muster than those from Jane Austen novels.

Here are some choices culled from the current season, which kicked off earlier this month, as well as some from NASCAR’s history.  They’re more wearable than you might think.

CURRENT SEASON

ColemanColman is a saintly Irish heritage choice.  Coleman Pressley is part of a family of NASCAR drivers.

Elliott – A gentle name ultimately derived from the Biblical Elijah, Elliott picks up his racing stripes thanks to veteran driver Elliott Sadler.  The Elliot spelling is slightly more popular today, but both versions are rising quickly.

Kelly – Could Kelly make a comeback for boys?  Pro surfing gave us Kelly Slater, while NASCAR includes Wisconsin-born rookie Kelly Bires.

Kurt – Sure, Kurt sings with Finn and Quinn on TV’s Glee.  But he’s also part of the Busch family.  Both Kurt and younger brother Kyle have followed in their father’s footsteps.

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worldcup3

The World Cup means many things to many people–mostly rooting for their country’s team–but to name nerds it also means a chance to sample a smorgasbord of international names. They’re all here–Slavic names, Norse names, Hispanic names, African, Asian and Anglo names…

Here’s a selection of some that we found particularly intriguing and possibly exportable, together with the team they play for  (understanding that it doesn’t necessarily represent their own ethnnicity).  In some soccer cultures–especially Portugal and Brazil–there’s a tradition of using only one name (one Brazilian superstar moniker I’m NOT including is Kaka, even if the accent is on the second syllable), and some of the choices below are the nicknames the players are known by.

ABOU Diaby (France)

ACHILLE Emana (Cameroon)

ALOU Diarra (France)

ARJEN Robben (Netherlands)

AURELIEN Chedjou (Cameroon)

BECARY Sagna (France)

BOJAN Jokec (Slovenia)

BROU Angoua (Ivory Coast)

BROWN Ideye (Nigeria)

CACAU (Germany)

CLEMENTE Rodriguez (Argentina)

CRISTIANO Ronaldo (Portugal)

DANILO Turcios (Honduras)

DANKO Lazovic (Serbia)

DECO (Portugal)

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Athlete Names: Tennis, anyone??

tennis1

We’ve talked about the names of great poets and painters and musicians and worthy political and social namesakes, but one area we’ve somewhat neglected is athlete names.

The names of tennis champs are interesting because they include both genders and are international in scope.  And since the US Open (then called the US Men’s Singles Championship) dates back to 1881and the Women’s to 1887, with Wimbledon starting in 1877 and the Davis Cup to 1900, there’s plenty of opportunity to look back and include some cool  vintage names as well.

These are the names of tennis champs (and a few high-ranked contenders who didn’t quite make it to the very top) with possess distinctive names—so sorry John, Bill and Billie-Jean.

GIRLS

ALICE Marble

ALINE Terry

ALTHEA Gibson

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Olympic Names: Gold Medal Choices

Vancouver-winter-olympics-2010-Whistler-ice-sculpture-Tim-in-Sydney

Guest blogger JILL BARNETT gives out Olympic medals.  No, not for the sports, silly; for the names.  But before we begin, an Olympic name trivia note: Roughly 20 percent of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team is named Ryan.  Why?  We’re guessing the inspiration might have been the hockey-playing heartthrob played by Ryan O’Neal in Love Story.

When I was in second grade, I had figured out two things: that the Rubik’s Cube could be easily solved by simply peeling off the colored stickers and reaffixing them onto the correct squares, and that I was destined to roller skate in the Olympics. Granted, there was no artistic roller skating event, but I was confident that if just one member of the International Olympic Committee could see me doing my best Xanadu routine while wearing my new unicorn-embossed roller skates with fuzzy pink pom-poms, he or she would recognize the need to include it in future Olympiads.

Being firmly grounded in reality, however, I soon realized that my gold medal dreams would more likely be realized by transferring my exemplary roller skating skills (I could skate backwards and forwards, and when I needed to stop, I’d gracefully dive into the grass) onto the ice. I would become a figure skater–the next Dorothy Hamill–and after a brief stop at the Olympics, I’d join her in the Ice Capades, or better yet, become a cast member of Disney on Ice!

With my new ice skating obsession, I was naturally fixated on the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, rooting for Rosalynn Sumners as she skated her way to the women’s silver medal, and cheering on Scott Hamilton as he won the men’s figure skating gold. I even stayed glued to the TV long enough to watch other events such as skiing, speed skating, curling (which I affectionately call “shuffleboard on ice”) and bobsledding, which of course inspired me to ride a greased cookie sheet down the hill in front our house and into oncoming traffic.

And even though my ice skating dreams quickly melted after I crashed into a wall at my friend Monica’s fourth grade skating party (I never quite grasped the concept of braking), I’ve continued to faithfully view the Winter Olympics on television every four years. But it’s not only the sporting events that I enjoy; I also love to hear the athletes’ names!

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