Friday, July 24, 2009


While I'm biting my nails waiting to see if this cycle is going to go foward, here's how I'm wasting spending my time. As you may know, I'm kind of a name enthusiast and, back in the day, long before I gave any serious consideration to actual babies of my own, I had a bookshelf of baby name books, which I used to read cover to cover, Aaron to Zoe.

Recently, I found a great online name resource for those who, like me, want to put a finger on pulse of naming in a given (US) area. Click on the link, choose the "by hospital" option, type in a state and city and pick a month and year.

Looking at a list of babies recently born at the the big city hospital near me, I was mildly surprised to find an awful lot of little girls with my own name. Which,as it happens, is not actually Niobe, but, instead, falls squarely into the pretty-yet-so-recently-ubiquitous-as-to-be-completely-out-of-fashion category. But I also found the following examples of very unusual -- at least, to my ears -- names.

See what babies are being named a hospital near you (or somewhere you're curious about). If any names stand out as especially unique or striking, please leave them in the comments.

eta: As a couple of the commenters pointed out, some hospitals don't seem participate and not all that do give baby names. To get a list of the participating hospitals in a given state, just select the "by hospital" option, pick a state (but not a city) and hit "search." You'll get a list of hospitals and you can try clicking on a few different ones to find one that provides baby names.


Lindsay said...

I went to school with an Oranjello and Lemonjello. Twins.
he he

angie said...

Oh, no, Linds. That is fascinating to compare hospitals in the same city, Niobe.

My husband works at a hospital for children and one of the anesthesiologists keeps a list of the interesting names he comes across. Besides I-95 (he was born before he got to the hospital), one he wrote down was pronounced Shateed, but spelled in a most unfortunate way.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay - You might know this already but Oranjello and Lemonjello found fame when they were featured in the book Freakonomics along with siblings charmingly named Winner and Loser (ironically Winner became a felon and Loser grew up to be a judge!)

Meg said...

When I was in elementary school there were brothers named Candle Light and Chandel Leer. Not cool.

niobe said...

Can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but in grade school, a new girl arrived with the unfortunate name of R0bin Segal.

Which looks okay written out, but it didn't take long for her classmates to notice (and find endlessly hilarious) that it sounded like she was named after two! different! kinds! of! birds!

Some kids (not me) used to flap their arms and say "tweet tweet" whenever she walked by.

What were her parents thinking?

Clementine said...

At the hospital where Hester was born, there were several Michaels and Giannas born this month. Three names stood out to me, though: Zaribel, Skyla-Jo, and Darlin.

Tash said...

Linta?? Like the stuff you find under the bed? (Someone please tell me this is Norwegian or something.)

I just checked February '09 for the hospital where Maddy was born and the names are more boring than boring. Yawn. With the possible exception of Chaz. Takes a good man to pull that one off, so good luck, kiddo!

Somewhere there's a "bad baby names" website and my favorites there are Latrina and Alpacino.

Sunny said...

I just checked the hospital where my son was born. Nouelle, Gelila, and Sokea.

But my biggest concern is Jenifer.

With one "n".

The poor girl will no doubt be battling that "n" for the REST of her LIFE.

niobe said...

Sunny: I'm not a big fan of cre8tive spelling myself.

I once knew a ... wait for it....Genuphur. To no one's surprise, she turned to a life of drugs and crime.

Anonymous said...

Tash - Alpacino is pure, goddam genius in the naming stakes! I just cackled loudly, much to my husband's alarm. I'm also enjoying Genuphur.

One of my friends teaches a little girl called Yvonne but it's pronounced Yiv-von-ee.

I wish there was a UK equivalent to this site, although I probably don't need another reason to be on the internet.

Betty M said...

They should hand out copies of the chapter in Freakonomics on names at antenatal classes if you ask me.

I knew a man whose last name was Swallow and whose first was often shortened to Dick.

Anonymous said...

I found Nyisha, Kinga, Nikol, Dadria, and Maydee....

Caro said...

There is an approved names list here in Denmark so, although some Danish names are unusual to English speakers, there is nothing completely weird.

Anonymous said...

for some reason it didn't work for me, but i highly doubt my name made the roster as it was even old-fashioned when i was born 30+ years ago. but i have noticed it used for a middle name, here and there.

Anonymous said...

anyone remember that oprah (not that i watch avidly) where the woman, drugged up after delivery named her kids regina and vagina? (it was an accident and later changed)

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with a girl named Penny Dimes. Her middle name was Nickel.

Poor girl.

DD said...

Happily, no one else has my daughter's name in the year she was born. Score! But some other names:

Hannahnevaeh (see that? the last part is Heaven spelled backwards)
Gang (niiiiice)
Fire (geek parents playing dragon games??)
Curant (a grape spelled wrong)
Jazzman (show me your jazzhands!)
Realm K (geek parents' competitors)
tiJerrion (uh...)
Serphin (surfing dude marries surfing girl - neither can spell)
Heisnowhtoo (He is now what?)
Dayarana (all I saw was Daytrana, a ADHD med)
Miunique (my unique name??)

three minute palaver said...

My cousins daughters are called Signe and Famke which is very unusual for this country but her beau is scandinavian so that explains it.

A close friend of mine has a son called Aripina (which sounds to my ears like "a rip in her". and the son of a friend of the family is called Candom (which I have always felt very unfortunate indeed becuase it's so like Condom).

My 2 girls have very unusual names. One with unusual spelling. They are both very old, traditional names that are just not popular anymore. I'm not writing them here though (sorry).

I do really like Wendaline. My guess is it's a version of Gwendoline. Old welsh and could be shortened to Wendy or Gwen. and I really like Ottoline, which is in a similar vein.

and if I ever had another daughter her middle name be Euphemia. First name would still be up for grabs (from my shortlist of weird, old fashioned, out of circuit names).

I would never choose a name that had been on the top 1000 for the previous decade BUT I would never use a made up name either. and I tend towards old, original, traditional spelling.

painted maypole said...

you always find the craziest things on the internet! i love it!

Jacinta said...

Niobe, to think all this time I thought you were called Niobe! Honestly, I've spent some time trying to guess at your own name.

Emily? Emma?
What are we calling recent here?

Kristin said...

2 Gretchens
a Geetha
an Arrica

Emily said...

Zore, Cardinad, Meldoy (which I hope is actually a misspelling of Melody), and Pei.

I feel kind of badly for Zore, unless his/her parents are super hip and send him/her to a ritzy art school where he/she will be the cream of the crop because he/she is not stuck with the ubiquitous Albatross, "Heather" dangling, defining him/her.

I remember feeling twinges of jealousy last year when you went to Blog 'Er 08 that those ladies were getting to see your face and know your real name. Will you give us no hints?

Monica H said...

My aunt went to school with a guy named Brick. Last name Wall. No joke. And I went to school with twins- one of the names was P.erfecto and the other Isaac. Which one do you think felt inferior?

The name thing didn't work for me. It gave me mother's name but not their childrens. ???

three minute palaver said...

Funniest names of twins I have actually known in real life are women (who are both smart, normal middle-aged Drs now), called Precious and Patience.

and to 2nd Jacinta and Emily, I too am now wondering what once was popular and now not so much name you go by in real-life. Maybe you too are a Clare just like me?

niobe said...

Jacinta, Emily, Three Minute Palaver: My real name? I'll never tell. Never!!!

And, while I might possibly have liked Wendalin.e, the fact that it appeared in the list directly after Widelin.e made it impossible to think for me of anything but: maybe the parents should have gone with Narrowline....

Anonymous said...

I had a student once whose name was Brashit. Pronounced as spelled. Unsurprisingly, he went by Michael.

Melissa said...

What a fun time! Ok here are some from this month at my hospital:

Alyvia (I think this is Olivia with cre8tive spelling)
Lyllee (cre8tive Lily?)
De Airrea
Ivt Kay (I'm hoping this was a typo)
and the best name: Z (yes just the letter Z)

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Niobe, is your real name Caitlynn? :) Emma?
My name is Anne, and you wouldn't believe how many people call me Annie. I don't correct them. It could be much worse! But I hated having a short name, so I named my daughter Alexandra. The overcompensating has begun.

Kymberli said...

As a teacher, I've seen all sorts of crazy names. I once taught a student named Shavodka. Her mom joked during a parent conference that that's how she got pregnant with her: "Too much vodka!" I only wish I was joking.

I've also seen:
Laquananisha (pronounced LA-coo-WAN-na-NEE-sha)


Happy Colon II and Happy Colon III. They were brothers, two years difference in age. Their father was, wait for it -- Happy Colon, Sr. The brothers were nicknamed Deuce and Tre.

For a few years, my mom was a paralegal for a small law firm called Batts and Whitehead. Batts' full name - Bruce Wayne Batts. As in Batman. I believe he's still practicing in Orlando.

Melissia said...

As a labor and delivery nurse in a former life I took it upon myself to make sure that children did not end up with crazy names that were misspelled if I could helped it. My own name has an extra "i" at the end because many years ago in the little bitty West Virgina hick town where I was born the doctor had never heard of the name "Melissa" and so when he filled out my birth certificate, as they did in those days, he misspelled my name. When I started school I was forced to sign my name as it appeared on my on birth certificate. I have signed it that way ever since.
I even carried a baby book so that new moms could look up spellings, and would oh so casually ask them what they planned to name their new babies, if they were uncertain or did not know the spelling I would offer my book, my service to humanity.
This started after my first set of twins named D'montray and D'monray, forever to be known by their classmates and teachers as D'emontray and D'emonray, as this is how mom spelled their names!

Dr. Grumbles said...

hmph... I am not listed for my hospital. It is as if we were never there!

Maggie said...

I am sorry to see that my hospital is not listed. Too bad - we do have some weird ones.

In my years working labor and delivery I have had the following horrifying names:

Heaven Leigh Angel
Female (fa-mall-e)
Thunder, Lightening, and Rain (two boys and a girl, all siblings -- I was present at all three was awful trying to keep a straight face!)

Oh, the things that people do to their children...

Bon said...

a little boy in my town is named Eden Cox. which, said aloud, makes me suspect junior high is going to suck for him.

Bon said...

and tomorrow you'll be on my mind. :)

Jana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jana said...

A quick glance over the recent babies rendered these choice names:

Charlize Angelique Essence Felicity Shawn (that's one whole name)
Billy Joel
Kaytlynn Charlette Jene (creative spelling)

Magpie said...

I couldn't get any names to come up.

But a long time ago, there was a boy named Joeless.

The Nanny said...

On a lot of the hospitals in my area, I couldn't click on the baby's name without a password. But two mothers were called Opah (makes me think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Verba.

Some of the babies born on my birthday I did see were:
Eisley (female, reminds me of "I see")
Bryleigh (hate cre8tive spellings)
Boston (another girl)
Calbe (misspelled Caleb?) -- mom was

Jules said...

When I was browsing our delivering hospital, there were twins "Luke and Leia" (my sister went to school with a guy named Luke Sky Walker) - apparently we live in a big Star Wars Town.

Zues (maybe a misspelling of Zeus)

My sister's name is way popular now - never had heard it in my life until her.

Anonymous said...

*If* I had had heterozygously gendered fraternal twins, I would have called them Luke and Leia. You betcha.