About A Name: Raffi

September 29, 2012 § 3 Comments

(c) Raffi via Twitter

I’m sure that many of you are scoffing at this post. To some, the name Raffi is too weird, and to others, it’s just a nickname, not a real name. Truthfully, it’s both and neither all at the same time, but it might have some legs of late as trends go.

This August, upon the internationally-reported death of Kavna, a beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium, I discovered through Twitter that the whale, who lived in my backyard and whom I’d seen at the aquarium dozens of times, was the inspiration behind my all-time favourite children’s song, “Baby Beluga.” The classic known worldwide was written by Raffi Cavoukian, a Cairo-born Canadian folk singer-songwriter turned child activist of Armenian descent who has been regarded as the most well-known children’s performer in the English-speaking world. In my youth, the name Raffi was synonymous with him. His mother named him for the poet Raffi (born Hakob Melik Hakobian, Raffi was his pen name), one of the most important contributors to Armenian culture and identity in the 19th Century. A well-known phrase in Armenia states, “There are no Feddayines (Armenian freedom fighters) who have not read Raffi.”

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About A Name: Tennessee

September 27, 2012 § 8 Comments

(c) Hidden Springs Resort: Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains in the fall.

One name blog I’ve only recently become acquainted with, Histornamia, drew me in yesterday with a post on unique baby names (given to just five baby boys or girls) in the year 1880 in the US. One of the names on the girl’s list was Tennessee.

I remarked on what a nice name it was for a girl, having never considered it before, without knowing we were only hours away from seeing an A-list celebrity baby born with this very unique name.

And of all the celebs who might use it, why wouldn’t it be proud Tennessee native Reese Witherspoon? She had her first son with husband Jim Toth earlier today, calling him Tennessee James. Reese’s complete name inspiration goes without saying, the inspiration obvious and inspired. The Ava-Deacon-Tennessee sibset looks odd, but Ava-Deacon-Tenny is adorable.

Tennyson, another name that boasts the nickname Tenny, has been a bit of a celeb fave this past decade, too. Both names lean a bit to the obscure (which some parents really look for), and while Tennessee will likely bump up with the birth of Witherspoon’s son, it’s hard to say how far it could go.

These days, most fashionable boys names are one or two syllables, often quite short (6 letters or less), and Tennessee disrupts that pattern. But it is a pretty gorgeous name, boy or girl. And I just might prefer it for a girl (but not the female nickname, Nessie)…

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Canada’s Olympic-Inspired Names

September 25, 2012 § 5 Comments

(c) August 4, 2012 – Jean Lavac / Postmedia Olympic Team: Rosannagh “Rosie” MacLennan smiles with her gold medal, won in women’s trampoline at London 2012.

I may have been in exile, but I have been reading the blogs when I could – I caught these posts over at Waltzing More Than Matilda this summer, and it inspired me to do one of my own. (I believe Anna created three posts, at least, to highlight Aussie success in London, and I won’t need that many, to be honest.)

Canada, of course, didn’t have the success that Australia or Britain did at the London 2012 Summer Games. That narrows the field of focus somewhat in creating a post of names to inspire Canadians as our athletes travel cross-country this week on the government’s official “Olympic Tour.” (And yes, for the record, though I live in a Commonwealth country, I did not fully learn the lyrics to “God Save the Queen” until these Games, considering how often it played for Britain’s gold.)

The first Canadian to inspire from this summer’s Olympic Games is Rosannagh MacLennan (often called Rosie, perhaps in part to mitigate the confusion over how to pronounce Rosannagh – is it row-ZAE-nah or row-ZAN-ah?) Toronto resident MacLennan was Canada’s only gold medalist in London. She claimed a record score in women’s trampoline to top the podium on August 4th, the one and only time that “O Canada” played from the winner’s podium this summer. An old-fashioned choice, it gains some modern cool points for the Celtic spelling, with the ‘silent G.’

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About A Name: Camden – the ‘It’ name in America?

September 23, 2012 § 6 Comments

(c) Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com; Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com via UsMagazine.com: Is Camden America’s hottest new baby name?

Just as his ex-wife, Jessica Simpson, chose a trendy new baby name for her daughter, Maxwell, born in May, singer and TV presenter Nick Lachey has gone the trendy, of-the-moment route for his new son, if nothing else affirming that super-hot Camden is probably here to stay, at least for a while.

Just over a month after reality TV star Kristin Cavallari welcomed Camden Jack with her fiance, Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, on August 8th, Lachey welcomed Camden John with model and TV presenter Vanessa Minnillo on September 12th. The birth caused Cavallari to tweet, “Apparently Camden is a popular name! I obviously love the name and I’m glad other people do too.”

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