I’ve hesitated to write about this Olympics, for SO many reasons. Practically speaking, I haven’t actually watched any of it yet.
And yet, it’s one of my long-standing obsessions. Nevermind the sports. How ’bout the names?!
When I was 9 or 10, I checked out a library book and promptly “lost” it. The book listed every single medal winner for every competition, winter and summer, since the first modern Olympiad.
It’s probably why I can still call up obscure international variations of Timothy and unexpected forms of Anne.
And so I scrolled through the names of the Team USA athletes a few days ago.
Are names destiny? Clearly no, because there’s a Summer competing in luge. (Doesn’t she sound more like a beach volleyball player?)
Or maybe yes, because Red Gerard is the name you’d invent for a snowboarder.
Some of the more interesting Team USA names – Jincy! Strauss! – are at the bottom of this post. I’ll be name-spotting international ones as the games go on.
Seen any interesting names from the games yet?
Laura solves a name mystery at Namerology. What’s up with a girl Justyn? It’s more surprising than I would’ve ever guessed.
French speakers, are these names making a comeback? I’m here for Constance and Jeanne, but I haven’t got a clue if that’s accurate, or just wishful thinking.
Clare rates the most notorious names of all time. Some are (maybe) ready for rehabilitation, but others are just unthinkable. (In other words: don’t name your baby Adolf. But that doesn’t really need to be said, right?)
The top names in Sweden … Hugo, Elsa + more. Sure, Noah and Ella are big in the US, too. But the Swedish chart-toppers include lots of choices that remain uncommon in the US – but could be perfect, even if you’ve never been to an Ikea.
Serious data analysis meets name trends. I’m not sure I’d understand the nuts and bolts of their analysis, but I agree with their conclusion: we want to stand out and fit in. And that pushes more names to the top of the charts than you might expect.
My old friend lives in France now and has a three year old son Come!
My son, Steele, is an Olympic silver medalist (Rio 2016, 10m synchronized diving). His brother, Race, & sister, Hollyn, also have great names.
Jill, what great names! Thank you for sharing.
I work at a French-American school, and I’ve had both a Jeanne and a Constance among my recent students, along with several others on that list: Adèle, Côme, Marcel, Simone… and one of my favorites, Capucine (which is the French name for the nasturtium flower).