Wednesday, October 8, 2014


My Baltimore Orioles are heading to the American League Championship Series this weekend. For those of you who do not know or care about baseball, this series determines who plays in the World Series for the American League. You can imagine my excitement. :) The last time the Orioles were in the World Series was when they won it all in 1983.

  • I turned 8.
  • M.A.S.H. ended its 11-year stint on television; the finale was the highest rated episode in history.
  • Swatch introduced its first watches.
  • Sally Ride became the first woman in space.
  • Vanessa Williams became the first African-American woman to become Miss America.
  • Martin Luther King Day was created by President Ronald Reagan.
  • McNuggets were first introduced at McDonald's.
  • Hot music included Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and "Billie Jean", Toto's "Africa", Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax", and Police's "Every Breath You Take".
  • The A-Team and Fraggle Rock made their TV debut.
  • Return of the Jedi, Terms of Endearment, Flashdance, Mr. Mom, Risky Business, Scarface, and The Outsiders were all released into theaters.
  • The Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl over the Miami Dolphins.
  • The New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup.
  • John McEnroe and Martina Navrátilová won the men and women singles tournaments at Wimbledon.
  • The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series.

Needless to say, 1983 was a pretty cool year. I'm hoping 2014 is just as cool, but that will have to be determined in a few weeks.

That's nice and all, but isn't this a name blog? Oh. Ok. Let's talk about names.

In 1983, Jennifer and Michael ruled the roost as they had for many years prior. Other top names included: Jessica, Amanda, Ashley, and Sarah; Christopher, Matthew, David, and Joshua. But are there any gems from the bottom? I took a look at the names that were given to only 5 girls or 5 boys in the year 1983 and found the following...


Delphina - Delphina is a Late Roman name and the feminine form of Delphinus. It has hardly been used at all in the United States, which stumps me a bit. I can't help but see Fina as an adorable nickname for this elegant name.

Harper - So, Harper wasn't always ranked #16 for girls? This recent Top 20 hit did not hit its stride until the 2000s and then just skyrocketed. It is interesting to see a time when it was rare to hear.

Landis - This name has been used on more boys than girls, but it jumped out at me as a charming alternative for a girl. If Landry is a growing trend for girls, why not Landis?

Lettie - More girls were named Lettie in the 1910s and 1920s than any other time. While several names from that time are currently hitting it big (Ruby, June, Violet, Vivian), Lettie is not. But if it's not chosen as a given name, it could be a cute nickname for one of those names... Violet.

Micaiah - Micaiah is a Biblical name that has hardly been used to its full potential. Not to be confused with Micah, it has several pronunciations out there, but the one I prefer is mi-KY-ah. There are both male and female Micaiah's in the Bible and means "who is like Yahweh" in Hebrew. It lends itself to cute nicknames such as Mickey and Caia.

Oona - Very popular in Finland, Oona has Irish roots and a certain glamour about it that I can't explain. I love it. Oona has found small success as a given name in the United States in the 2000s, reaching its height at 47 girls in 2011.

Persephone - Persephone is a Greek mythology name that is currently on the rise, perhaps due to the similar tone it has with Penelope. It could also be considered a "seasonal" name, as the mythological Persephone was associated with vegetation and the spring.

Tamsyn - It hurts to spell it this way (I prefer Tamsin), but I love the name so much I had to include it. It is a feminine form of Thomas and more often heard in England than anywhere else. While Tamsin has been used more than Tamsyn, it has still not found very much favor in the United States. This pains me so.

Tempest - Instead of going straight for the anticipated "Storm" your daughter will surely cause in your life, why not go for the refined and Shakespearean Tempest? It just sounds better. :)

Zanna - A diminutive of Suzanna, Zanna is a quirky alternative to the popular Anna and Hannah.


Aiden - Remember when Aiden wasn't a thing? Believe it or not, Aiden wasn't even a glitch on the radar until 1970. Like Harper for the girls, it is just fun to imagine a time when you did not hear of an Aiden (there were only 27 Aidans in 1983 as well).

Atlas - A Greek mythology name, Atlas was the Titan who had to hold up the celestial spheres on his shoulders as punishment. As most other mythological names, Atlas is currently a baby name on the upswing.

Briggs - I'm really not sure why this name jumped out at me, but it did. It seems to have made a statement to other parents as well, as it has been given to more boys in recent years than ever before.

Fitz - I have already written about names that begin with Fitz, so it's no surprise that I am drawn to this name. It has hardly been used at all in the United States and may still be better as a nickname to those fabulous Fitz- names I went over in my post.

Gaius - Ever since the new version of Battlestar Galactica came out in 2004, I have loved this name... not because I loved the character, but because it was the first time I had really heard it. It is a Roman name and the first name of Julius Caesar. Gaius has barely been used in the United States, and if its stately manner scares you off, you could go with the related Kai.

Lachlan - While fairly popular in Australia, New Zealand and England, this Scottish name finally broke into the Top 1000 here in the United States in 2013.

Ronan - Ronan is an Irish name that has recently caught fire in the States. It entered the Top 1000 in 2001 and has kept rising since.

Theon - Before Theon Greyjoy of Game of Thrones existed (1991), there were several Theons from early centuries found in my quick internet search, most notably one who was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. Even with the popular TV show based on the books, Theon is still scarcely used.

Truett - Truett has barely been around since the early 1900s, but started catching on just a bit recently. Maybe the popularity of Chick-fil-A (which was founded by S. Truett Cathy) helped get the name out there. Cathy himself was named after the baptist preacher George W. Truett.

Vander - We have Xander and Zander, so why not Vander? It could be a shortened version of Evander, which is a name from Greek and Roman mythology (he founded the town that was to become Rome). Vander is a heroic name with a modern twist.

Did any of these names catch your eye? If not, I hope you at least enjoyed some 80's trivia. :) You can see more 80's history here.

Let's Go O's!

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