One letter’s worth of MPs with rare first names (and a geography lesson on top of it all!)

I’m quite interested in names and have like ten baby name books, though as I’ve said before it’s unlikely I’ll ever have a child of my own. This week’s list is for MPs whose first name did not appear in the Social Security list of top 1000 names given to babies the year they were born. Some of these people were born out of the country and have foreign names, which explains why their names don’t appear on the Social Security list; I include them anyway though.

I include names where it’s on the list for the opposite gender, but not for the MP’s gender. Like, for example, I’ve got a couple of missing men on Charley named Lynn. I also include variant spellings of more common names. (I had a coworker once whose name in official documents was “Mcalla.” She had it spelled “M’Calla” on her nametag. It wasn’t pronounced Mc-Alla or Im-Calla, but like the quite common name Mikayla/Makayla, which is itself a “creative” spelling of the original name Michaela. Zounds.)

Some of these names SOUND common, because indeed they were at one time, but weren’t at the time the MP was born. Like, the name “Carol” was ubiquitous in the forties and fifties. It isn’t on the top 1000 list today and probably hasn’t been in a decade at least.

Because this list would be extremely long if I did the whole site, I’m breaking it up, like I’ve done with the state capitals: I’ve only done MPs listed under the letter A. (The number of Charley Project MPs with B surnames is twice as large.) I may do more lists from other letters in the future.

There are some assumptions here — I didn’t check every name. I assume that a name like “Andrew” or “Maria” was popular every year, and I assume a name like “Ganignunt” wasn’t on the list at any year. but there might have been a few times where I was wrong. This list also only has people whose year of birth I am certain of, so a lot of cases that might have qualified are excluded.

(I have said before that I really wish NamUs would include DOBs. Besides the LostNMissing site, and the Nebraska State Patrol database, they’re the only major database I can think of that does not do this. It’s not just an annoyance, either, it is an actual deficiency. Cause a number of times I’ve put up a NamUs case, and then later on I find out the DOB, and it turns out the listed age on NamUs was off, sometimes by several years. I’ve noticed Nebraska has the same problem with occasionally inaccurate ages. Oh well. Can’t do anything about that.)

Fawn M. Abell
Rozlinn Rochelle Abell
Breiton S. Ackerman
Kellisue M. Ackernecht
Dervish Adili
Amparo Aguilar
Essaidy Ahmed
Saif Sayed Mohammed Ahmed
Ganignunt Aiemsakul
Deion Tremayne Akemon
Vyacheslav Arjkadyevich Akopov
Zabullah Alam
Babette Nadine Alberti
Estefania Alegre
Raed Nayef Al-Farah
Amina Ashraf Al-Jailani
El-Jahid Forever Allah
LaMoine Jordan Allen
Runnon Sedick Allen
Nickan Almasi
Iman Almetnawy
Yousef Almetnawy
Hanan A. Al-Nahardy
Zemleh Al-Nahardy
Patrece Lashelle Alston
Zeynel Altintas
Laning Snow Andrews
Bettina Minnie Antone
Giannina Maria Colonna Aponte
Yeritza Aponte-Soto
Trudy Leann Appleby
Lucely Aramburo
Betsy Araque
Anastacia Marie Argentova-Stevens
Aqueda Elizabeth Arias
Iputuadrian Ruiz Arta
Rhea Immaculate Arul
Romaldo Astran
Kali Soleil Athukorala
Issam Ibrahim Atieh
Sarkis Avetisian
Lizbet Avalos Angeles

For myself, I would like to say that one totally unheard of, possibly never used by anyone everywhere ever, name I like is Nauru. Nauru (pronounced na-u-ru) is a tiny island nation in the South Pacific. I heard of the country and thought it would make a great name, and babies are named “London” and “Paris” and “Brooklyn” and “India” all the time; why not?

Nauru is only 8.21 miles in size and has a population of less than 10,000. Due to global warming and rising sea levels, it might not be around too much longer, and it has a pathetic history and is a terrible place in which to live. (See my Cary N. McDaniel and John M. Gowdy’s book Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature, the book I read for Nauru for my around-the-world challenge. It’s a very sad story.)

But I think the name sounds so unique and beautiful, for both a boy or a girl, but probably a boy would be better. It’s relatively easy to spell, and he/she won’t have to deal with three other kids in the same classroom with that name, unlike the poor kids named Michael in my sixth grade class. The only problem is probably most people, without meeting my little Nauru, would assume he/she was black. Also they might think it’s pronounced “Nor-u” which is what I thought until I found out otherwise. Anyway, I don’t know I’d name my kid Nauru if I had one (certainly I wouldn’t if Michael had any say in it), but I really like the name.

26 thoughts on “One letter’s worth of MPs with rare first names (and a geography lesson on top of it all!)

  1. Princess Shantae July 8, 2013 / 8:41 am

    I think your weirdest name on your site is a man named Gladys. If I remember he was born in the forties when Gladys was actually still popular for girls. He went by Larry and I don’t blame him. In fact if I was a man named Gladys I’d disappear and get a whole new identity and try to forget I was ever Gladys. lol I wouldn’t be too happy being a woman named Gladys either, but Gladys isn’t even a unisex name like Robin or Jamie. What were his parents thinking?
    Not crazy about Nauru as a name. Saying it out loud it sounds kind of like a dog howling. When I was little I thought Polynesia would be a pretty name for a girl, like the parrot in the Dr. Doolittle stories, but I got over it.
    There’s a little girl in my Jillian’s class named Shirley. You sure don’t see that much. She’s from Jamaica. Very nice little girl too.

    • Meaghan July 8, 2013 / 8:44 am

      Yeah, I remember Gladys. Poor dude. Total “boy named Sue” story there.

    • Sara July 8, 2013 / 8:21 pm

      I’ve always found it rather depressing that it’s so much more acceptable to use boys’ names on girls than the reverse case. Names like Jordan, Alexis, Parker, Mackenzie, Morgan, Hayden, Dylan, Reese, etc., were traditionally masculine but are now seen as ambiguous or overtly feminine in gender. Most people would not blink an eye at a little girl named Jordan Quinn, but if someone named their son Kathleen Joy, it would be considered a monstrous cruelty. It’s always seemed misogynistic to me.

    • Meaghan July 9, 2013 / 9:38 am

      Jordan, Parker, Hayden, Dylan and Reese are still pretty comfortably unisex. In fact, all of those names are still more popular for boys than girls. (Jordan for example ranked 48 for boys last year, 222 for girls.) But I agree, it is a shame that girls have appropriated so many boy names. A girl having a frankly masculine name is seen as sexy and cute but if a boy has a feminine name it’s just seen as kind of gross.

  2. Abra July 8, 2013 / 8:54 am

    On the subject of names, my name is Abra from the book East of Eden. I have three boys, Chanden, Britton, and Callen and I do not know any other kids with these names. I do a fourth son, Aden (like a gazillion other kids), but I didn’t choose it.

    Gladys for a boy is just cruel.

    • Meaghan July 8, 2013 / 9:01 am

      Another name I really like that sounds kind of like yours is Arza. It’s Biblical and means “panels of cedar.” Easy to spell and pronounce, and I’ve never heard it in real life.

      I like Abra except I’m sure you’ve heard “Abra cadabra” a zillion times in your life.

      • Abra July 9, 2013 / 11:34 am

        Abracadbra is constantly said. It doesn’t help that I was born right before the song came out so people think it has something to do with that. My favorite, though, is in elementary school and the little boys realized my name was spelled a-bra so being that that age group if boys is the epitome of maturity, they thought it was hilarious.

  3. Princess Shantae July 8, 2013 / 9:16 pm

    Apples and oranges, Sara. Jordan and Quinn are unisex. Kathleen and Joy aren’t. It would be bad if a person named a boy Kathleen Joy, and it would also be bad to name a girl David Anthony. David and Anthony aren’t unisex.

    • Meaghan July 9, 2013 / 9:45 am

      The famous author Toni Morrison’s original name was Chloe Anthony Wofford. I don’t know where the Anthony came in; maybe it was a family name. Having a name like that in your middle name isn’t so bad because how many people know other people’s middle names? I have to think to even remember my boyfriend of eleven years’s middle names (he has two).

      But speaking of famous authors, Anne Rice (who is female and always has been) was named Howard Allen Frances O’Brien at birth. THAT’S cruel. She started calling herself Anne from the first day of kindergarten forward and got it legally changed to Anne when she was six.

  4. Jaclyn July 8, 2013 / 10:09 pm

    My grandchildren have very rare names, as do their friend’s children; Casimir and Miette, a boy and a girl. Their friend’s children are named; Atlas, Oliver, Hero, Clementine….
    I like Nauru, by the way.

    • Meaghan July 10, 2013 / 12:42 am

      Have you ever read/heard of Neal Stephenson’s book “Snow Crash”? The main character’s name was Hiro Protagonist. He was half Japanese, half black, and his name was short for Hiroaki. The author was clearly a master of subtlety! But pronounced with a Japanese accent the name sounds like it could be real.

      • Katrice August 20, 2013 / 12:08 am

        My Fiance is named Hiroaki. 🙂

  5. forthelost July 9, 2013 / 12:31 am

    I have a rare name; I’ve never met a single person with the same one. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

  6. Princess Shantae July 9, 2013 / 7:21 am

    My name isn’t exactly rare, and I don’t realy dislike it, but I would rather it was something else. Shantae was kind of in style when I was born but its also one of those names that tends to identify itself as a “black name” as soon as ppl hear it. I am black and I don’t mind it being known but I’d rather not have it just assumed by my name before anybody’s even met me in person. My brother and sister have avoided this issue, their names are David and Janelle. My husband too, his name is James. So we gave our own kids names that don’t ID them by race so easily: Ben, Jillian and Courtney.

    • Meaghan July 9, 2013 / 9:41 am

      MIT conducted a study where they sent out fake resumes that were pretty much identical in terms of the fake applicants’ education, experience, etc. The only difference was the names, which were either race-neutral or traditionally “white” names like Michael, or “black” names like Jamal or something. Predictably the “black” names got many fewer call-backs. 😦

      • Abra July 9, 2013 / 11:40 am

        My boys are biracial (black/white) and I’ve heard numerous times that they are “white names” even though I’ve never seen Chanden or Callen anywhere else. The only Britton that I have met was named after a friend of mine went with it four years later.

  7. Lori Spier July 9, 2013 / 12:53 pm

    I have a co-worker (female) who is named Keith. Her father wanted a boy and refused to use a girl’s name when she was born.

  8. Kat July 9, 2013 / 10:49 pm

    I watch America’s Next Top Model and there have been at last count two females named Kyle. Haven’t checked to see if those are the real names or not, but there is a real push to have a unique stand out name in industries such as modeling or acting, and one way to do that is a guy’s name for a girl. On a more personal note, we’ve had these discussions on here before, about name uniqueness and all and I’ve got a story for ya……..this past weekend I went to the lake with my son and husband, and when we pulled into the lot there was a car in front of us with the kids’ names airbrushed onto the front plate. One was Zayle. Zayle’s to, me, was a store that became Ames later, that got run over and out of the market by Walmart. Another was Brayleigh. The third, we looked at and couldn’t figure out how to pronounce. Well, we got lucky and after 40 minutes of mom yelling “Tyr-anne-ee”, I had had it. TYERANEIGH. Pronounced “tyranny”. Swear to God. I was just thinking, do you KNOW what that MEANS?????? At some point “unique” really defeats unique, if anyone knows what I mean.
    Can you imagine the computer files later down the line? Miss one vowel and you are a whole new person. Rant done.

    • Meaghan July 10, 2013 / 12:38 am

      My sister is a physical therapist who works with children. She told me about a client of hers, a little black boy named Shihade. His mom had this accent and whenever she said his name it sounded like Shithead.

    • Meaghan July 10, 2013 / 12:30 am

      Pacific Islanders lean towards obesity, genetically speaking. Because historically, the Pacific Islands have been a “feast or famine” kind of place, their people put on fat more quickly than people from other places. Eskimos are the same way.

  9. Kat July 10, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    My sister LOVES those stupid “real” Housewives, and I cannot be the only person in the world that listens to that lady Kim’s son Kash Kade and immediately thinks Cascade.

  10. HennaIrene July 10, 2013 / 12:41 pm

    In Finish language “Nauru”means “laughter”or”joy”.So it´s sound quite funny to my ear.My first name is “Henna”-spelled”Hen-na”,and it´s also an Indian plant..

    • Meaghan July 10, 2013 / 12:53 pm

      Well, certainly “laughter” or “joy” is a positive meaning anyway.

  11. Julie July 11, 2013 / 3:46 am

    Have you ever blogged about your Around The World reading challenge? I’d love to know about it if you have a link.

    • Meaghan July 11, 2013 / 9:18 am

      No. Just wrote book reviews on websites like Goodreads and Librarything.

      Only one book left to go: Suriname. I have the book, but it’s an E-book and I’m always slow to read those. I much prefer paper books. But this book doesn’t come in dead tree edition.

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