September 3, 2006

Thumbing Through The New Age Baby Name Book

naked_hippies.gifThe New Age Baby Name Book was published in 1974. It was [one of?] the first name books to include non-traditional, non-Anglo, non-Western European names. Which were handily called "Ethnic Names." Before the list started, though, there was a brief section on making up your own name. One technique is "telescoping"

Telescoping from Contemporary Newsmakers
Basically telescoping simply involves dropping letters from a word until you arrive at a suitable name. If you wish to telescope from the name of a person you admire, Martin Luther King for example, you might shorten the name to Marin or Marnin. Or Kahlil Gibran can be changed to Kabran. You might also telescope and then juggle the letters to create a name. Hence, Golda Meir might be shortened to (Go)lda Me(ir), which can be come Melda.

Telescoping from Trends
This process simply involves using the first letters of words to create a name. You might create a "brotherhood telescope" from the words peace, independence, equality, and truth, producing the name Piet. Or you might create the "ecological telescope" Tesa from the wrods trees, earth, streams, and air. Another possibility is to use the first letters froma favorite saying, book, or song title, and so forth.

Let's see. Borat could become... Bora, Ora, Taro, Tora... or Brat! or Rat.

What the hey, here is a page of girls' names, picked at random to give you a flavor. Or more like a waft of incense or peyote, but you get my drift:

Kotha Occult name meaning "thou hollow one," used in incantations to invoke the spirits.

Koto Japanese for "harp."

Krishna Usu. used in India as a boy's name. See Devaki.

Kristin "Christian." Widely used in Scandinavia.

Krysta Polish nickname for Krystyna.

Kuai Hua Chinese for "mallow blossom," the flower of September and symbolic of the power of magic against evil spirits. The English equivalent in meaning is "Melba."

Kulya Miwok Indian name which means "sugar pine nuts burned black." The name may indicate that at birth there was so much excitement, the pine nuts on the coals were ignored and thus burned.

The pine was important to the Miwoks and frequently appears in their names. Other examples are Liptuye ["getting pine nuts from cones which have dropped to the ground"]; Tukeye ["pine cones dropping and making dust"]; Istu ["sugar-pine sugar"]; and Uskeye ["cracking sugar pine nuts"].

Kumi Japanese name meaning "braid."

Holy Moley*, The New Age Baby Name Book is still in print.

* an alternate spelling of Mulya which is a Miwok Indian name meaning "knocking acorns off a tree with a long stick."

3 Comments

Wow, Kristin! That one's really wacky.

"Telescoping" is also used by some couples these days. We know one couple who both changed their last names into a combination of their previous last names.

my wife and I were just flipping through the most recent incarnation of that book at some store. We're not looking for a new-age name -- we've already named our son Samson.

What I found pretty funny was that my mother-in-law's name means "bitter."

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