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I have to agree with the above poster who mentioned Malala. Her name was virtually unknown in western cultures... but in 2013 she received worldwide support in a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize.
For a completely pop culture reference I want to nominate Ichabod. Before 2013 this name was forever tied to the Washington Irving short story... but thanks to the actor Tom Mison and the new TV show Sleepy Hollow, I could honestly see this Old Testament name take off (at least as a pet's name.)
I just stumbled acrossed a 20's big band singer named Helvetia Boswell, which I first read as Helvetica...
My maiden name meant "Some immigration official couldn't spell" derived from a farm name in Norway. At least that farm is owned by a distant cousin and I feel attached to the place. My married name means "Swiss" which I'm not and neither is anyone in my husband's family for 300+ years.
It doesn't describe our lives, but it's better than Jiminy Salesadministator or Jiminy Tanhousesouthofhighway136.
We have a little Mae (or Mamie), her full name is Maria.
Other ideas Marjorie, Mollie, Megan, Marika, Amabel, Marin, Mathilda.
I'm 3/4 Norwegian and grew up in an small midwestern town where Scandinavian names are not unusual... Leif is pronounced like LEYF.
These internet name stories are just like the "Celebrities name their Kids KRAYZEE name!!!!1!!" stories where they mention the same 12 celebrities, always ending with Frank Zappa's (adult) children... And never mentioning the the HUGE number of celebrites who have used "normal" names like Ava or Jack.
Slightly off-topic, but my SIL's maiden name is Hashtag, plus another consonant. When you type the name on an iphone, autocorrect turns it into a #. Her brothers haved joked that it might be easiest to just change their surname to #.
I have to agree with the others about Sandy, Mitt and Trayvon, but I also thought of a few others:
London -- Both the Olympics and Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee.
Kony -- it seems like it was eons ago, but the Kony 2012 video.
PSY -- Gangnam is probably the "word" of the year, but the performer's name is pretty influential as well.
Akin-- I don't want to legitimize his name, but his comments and so-called "War on Women" might be why the Democrats won so many seats this election.
My son's middle name, Seeley, is a variant of a family surname... but it's the meaning ("happy, blessed') that really sold me on his name.
Sometimes it works, but sometimes it feels pushed.
There's a family at my church with an Aaron, Arlo and Aric. Besides the way they forced the spelling of the youngest one's name to fit the pattern... I really struggle to keep it straight which name fits which child.
With Michael, Matthew and Max, each name feels separate from its sibling. While Duke, Derrick and Drake are too close and sound completely cutesy.
I don't know about other -ard names, but the Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was a major commander of the British Army during WWII (the German forces surrended to him in 1945.)
I've always thought it was fitting somehow that Romney shared his name with the 1971 horror movie about the social misfit who loved rats...
We went with short 5/6 letter names, mostly because of our overly long surname. Athough, 3 out of the 4 have names that easily lend themselves to even shorter nicknames: Kat, Mae, Pete. I love the idea of Georgiana called Gigi or Theophilus called Theo... but then I think, I'm not the one that has to live with that "Benedict Cumberbatchy" name.
Recent local births have included Zacharias, Augustus and Dominico, but those are still outliers and most of the boys still have 2 syllable names.
Tana- I'm also having problems with the site in firefox.
I didn't peek at the other comments...
I didn't look at the others, until I finished
A. Shih Tzu
B. Golden Retriever
D. Saint Bernard
I was going to comment about Elliotte too. (I want to pronounce Elliotte all drawn out like E.T. did in the movie... ell-eeee-OTTTT.)
My cousin's son is named Eliot and they pronounces it EL-yot. Meanwhile, at my daughter's daycare there's a female Eliot. Her parents want the name pronounced EL-ee-ette, because they call her Ellie. Which leaves me dumbstruck.. why didn't they just spell it Elliette or name her Elisabet instead of forcing an atypical pronunciation.
The only one I got right was Lucy. ;)
As for Alistair:
Hamish, Angus, Callum, Logan, Cameron
Fiona, Una, Isobel, Lilias, Maisie
There's also the Scottish name Senga, which is believed to be derived from an anagram of "Agnes". I've never actually heard of anyone with this name, but I remember this name from my mother's baby name books in the 70's.
1. The over-hyped media circus that was the Casey Anthony trial.
2. Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal "Weinergate".
3. Marc Anthony's and Jennifer Lopez's split.
4. Anthony "Tony" La Russa announcing his retirement after the Cardinals won the World series.
Ok, the last one is pushing it and I'm not sure how "essential the name is to the story"... but the name Anthony has spent much of the year in the news.
Apparently there's also a Indian TV series with a lead character named Nakusha. Nakusha is played by Mahi Vij, a popular model turned actress, so I wonder if some of the girls were named after her character?
In the long run it doesn't matter -- the show has only aired since 2009, so the character's name is most likely a response to the phenomenon and not the source.
Can you imagine the uproar if the US government lead a campaign to change the names of 285 American children? Ron Paul's head would literally explode!