Earlier this month, voters in the country's smallest state struck down a referendum to change their state's official name from "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to its more common nickname, the shorter and simpler Rhode Island.
This isn't the first time voters have made clear they prefer their real name, long and politically sensitive as it may be. The measure made the ballot twenty years ago but was defeated that time, too.
Then as now, proponents of the name change don't want the association of slavery that the inclusion of "Providence Plantations" brings to mind. However, the majority of Rhode Island residents feel a name change would be an unnecessary rewriting of history, and in the weeks leading up to the vote they were quick to point out that Rhode Island has a long tradition of tolerance.
Today, the word plantation is closely linked with slavery, but that hasn't always been the case. Just as we parse out different meanings and associations of baby names each week, the same can be done here.Read More...
You've probably never heard of Shaffer Chimere Smith, but we bet you've heard of Ne-Yo, Smith's stage name.
Ne-Yo and girlfriend Monyetta Shaw welcomed their first child on Friday, a baby girl named Madilyn Grace. Madilyn is a favorite name among "kre8ive" spellers and is among the top-100 baby girl names in frontier naming states Wyoming and Alaska.
Did Selena Gomez give this baby name legs?
We've gotten reports of an up and coming baby name. The name was bestowed on only a handful of babies last year. (Sixty-four babies in the US, the same number as were named Passion, Soledad, and Cheryl.) Despite this relatively small number, readers report knowing more than one friend who's chosen it. The name is contagious. It hits the right notes.
And 64 US babies with the name born in 2009 represents a steady climb: it was 51 babies the year before, and 40 babies the year before that. The name has charted before -- briefly, in the 1890s -- but it was, at the time, a boy's name. Now, it's all about the girls.
So what is the name?Read More...
Monday night an anchor on SportsCenter made an interesting comment; he said he'd like to see a list of the top ten names in the NFL. If we'd heard about it first, we would have been happy to oblige. Unfortunately, we must sheepishly admit that we missed this week's SportsCenter... and maybe every other previous episode, too. Nothing personal, we just don't typically have much to do with the business of sports.
But Matthew J. Darnell, who writes the sports blog, Shutdown Corner, on Yahoo, caught the show and got right on those names. We thought we'd piggyback on his post and give you a bit of background on some of the names he chose.Read More...
Nope, you didn't miss a pregnancy. You missed a case of celebrity baby namer's remorse, with a scandalous twist.
When we announced the Bella's birth last year, she wasn't called Bella. Instead of the popular Twilight-enhanced It-girl name, the baby bore the celebri-tastic name Bardot Vita. But she's been Bella for months. So why are Name Experts and news outlets just now getting wind of the change?Read More...
John Travolta and Kelly Preston have announced the name of their new baby boy, who is due in just nineteen days. Benjamin, whenever he arrives, will join ten-year-old big sister, Ella Bleu.
The choice of Benjamin is something of a departure for Travolta and Preston, who chose more unusual names for their two older children. In addition to Ella Bleu, the couple also had a sixteen-year-old son, Jett, whose death in January 2009 was widely reported. The name Ella has grown increasingly popular in recent years among celebrities as well as the rest of us. But the same can't be said of either Bleu or Jett.
After the heyday of Susan and Suzanne and before the rise of Summer, a pair of names quietly peaked on the charts: Sunny and Sunshine. Besides the Su- beginning and the era's fondness for the hippy aesthetic, where did these names come from? Daylight Saving Time.
While Sunny and Sunshine are the only Sun- names ever to crack top-1000, other sunny monikers are quietly bestowed on hundreds of US children each year. What are they?Read More...
"For Colored Girls" (opening tomorrow) presented Tyler Perry with a tricky naming task.
In Ntozake Shange's original, award-winning play (full title: "for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf") the women were known only by their colors: "Woman in Yellow" or "Woman in Green." The idea that each character represented a color mattered, because it was the unified arc of their experiences that made up the titular rainbow.
So when the characters needed actual names for the movie version, it made for a ticklish naming scenario.Read More...
Long-time fans of MTV's The Real World know that the current season, The Real World: New Orleans, is not the first time the show has filmed in the great Louisiana city. Ten years ago, season nine also took place there.
Diehard fans may even remember season nine's Matt Smith, a sweet-tempered virgin who did not reciprocate the feelings his roommate Julie Stoffer had for him. Fast forward ten years: Smith is now married and has a two-year-old daughter named Norah Grace. Last week, he and his wife, Candyce, welcomed their second daughter, Stella St. Clare Smith.
Mom and baby are healthy and doing fine, but all was not smooth sailing when Stella arrived during a full moon on October 21st.