Category: historic names
Prominent politicians often have an influence on baby names — particularly when there’s an election coming up.
Below are some distinctively-named politicians that didn’t just affect the charts, but propelled their names onto the U.S. baby name data for the very first time. Some of these folks were in the public eye as far back as the early 1900s. Several weren’t even from the U.S., interestingly enough.
It’s sweater weather and scarf season as we welcome in the last month of fall. November gets its name from the Latin word “novem” meaning nine, as it was originally the ninth month in the Roman calendar. Let’s look to past Novembers for notable name inspiration.
This past September, we paid our respects to some of Hollywood’s greatest stars and marveled at a visionary’s dreams of the stars. Let’s have a look back at some of the big names in the news – and a look into what the origins of their names can illuminate about them.
Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a Catholic saint this month. St. Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxihu. Anjezë is the Albanian form of Agnes, anticipated her spiritual calling: It’s Greek for “holy” or “pure.” St. Teresa chose her religious name after the 19th-century French nun Thérèse de Lisieux.
Some think Teresa comes from the Greek for “harvest” or “huntress.” Others think it is from the Greek Thera, the name of some volcanic islands in the Mediterranean. The story goes that the wife of St. Paulinus of Nola (354-431 AD) was born on one of those islands and so took her name from them. The origin is unclear, but Teresa is a well-traveled name – fitting for St. Teresa, who made her impact far and wide.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines by protesting the pre-game National Anthem over racial inequality. Many athletes have followed suit, which some consider a victory for Colin’s cause. Victory indeed: Colin is a French pet name for Nicholas, a Greek name that literally means “victory-people.” The Greek word for – and goddess of – “victory” is nike, which lives on in the athletic brand.
Acting legend Gene Wilder sadly passed away this month. Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder took Gene, a short for Eugene, after Eugene Gant, a character in a Thomas Wolfe novel, and Wilder after writer Thornton Wilder. Eugene is from the Greek Eugenios, “well-born” or “noble.” Jerome, meanwhile, is from the Greek Hieornymos, “holy name.” Gene Wilder came from a humble background, but as many remembrances made clear, he was a class-act as an artist and person. And his name will surely be long “worshiped” by his many fans.
In September we celebrate Labor Day, Grandparents Day, and the transition from summer to fall. Let’s look back to past Septembers and pull names from activists, explorers, and athletes. With names ranging from Hudson to Narcissa, we’ve got a list of notable namesake names to inspire you.