Did you see this story about a Gabrielle who found out that, thanks to a typo, her legal name was actually … Babrielle?
It’s not the first story about a birth certificate mistake. In fact, comments on the original post are packed with tales of a Bethany/Bethang, Cameron/Carmon and so on.
Typos are easy – devilishly so!
And until recently, birth certificate applications were still filled out by hand, then data-entered somewhere. That’s two easy opportunities – at least! – for a typo.
They must be wildly common. In fact, there was a mistake with my name on my daughter’s birth certificate. When I called, the person on the other end of the line didn’t blink. She sent me the official forms to request a change, and in a matter of weeks, all was correct.
But does a mistake ever lead to a name that’s better than the original?
The most famous example, of course, is Oprah. Her name is legally Orpah, from the Bible. But it was confused early days, and she quickly became Oprah instead. Can you imagine her as anything else?
In fiction, Phryne Fisher of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries was meant to be Psyche, but her father fumbled the name during her christening.
Did a typo or other mistake inspire any names that you know of?
Oh, hey check out this edition of Nancy’s Name Quotes! There’s another name misspelling mentioned.
The Night Court reboot introduced Abby Stone, daughter of Harry, the judge from the original series. She learns that her given name isn’t Abigail, but … Abracadabra. Harry’s interest in magic was a staple of the original series, so this is fitting … and funny. (And not quite a typo, but a lot like the Babrielle story anyway …)
And continuing the theme, there’s this classic Tweet …
imagine naming ur daughter Lizard & she'll be called Liz & 1 day someone will ask "is your name Elizabeth" & she'll be like nah it's Lizard
— teen (@tina_sanfilippo) January 12, 2015
SJ Strum’s videos are addictive. If you haven’t watched her predictions for the best girl names of 2023, go now. (And yes, she’s in England, so some of these names don’t apply in the US.) Not only is my daughter’s name on the list, but so is my favorite name for a second girl.
Do you have a tattoo of your child’s name? These celebrities do. It’s definitely something I see again and again in the real world, too, and I kind of love it …
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My favorite novelist, E.M. Forster, was named Henry Morgan Forster upon his birth. However, at his christening two months later, his father accidentally gave his own name when asked what the baby would be called. So he became Edward Morgan Forster from then on.
They say Imogen was originally a typo of Innogen!
My great-grandmother was supposed to be Olive, but it was misprinted as Oliue. The family just ran with it and called her that (pronounced Ol-yuh, basically). I think it could become a fun family name!