Free-Floating Hostility

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Post by any Other Name

Most of you know of my ongoing fascination with names--chosen names really, though I suppose I'm mildly interested in surnames, place names etc. I do think more homes ought to have names, but let's focus. As a child I kept a list of all the names I'd heard, which came to over 800 by the time I was around eight years old--no small accomplishment for a child in the days before the internet. And then I would try out combinations. My mother was for years perplexed by the endless lists lying around the house reading, say, 1. Leontine Jacinta Jones 2. Moselle Angelica Murphy, etc. etc. Then my mother put aside her perplexment since she actually enjoys poking fun at me more than finding out why I'm so weird.

Anyway, Form introduced me to the Baby Name Voyager, a cute little site that is useful to the small subset of the non-pregnant population that occasionally wonders how many names start with the letters "pa" and how popular they were in the 1880's. It turns out there's also a baby name blog, upon which I read an interesting little post about traditional Chinese names and why they don't tend to turn up in the record books in America despite a substantial Chinese-American population. Enjoy, if you choose to.

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