May 18, 2006

Climbing The Stairway To Nevaeh

I guess Strawberry Saroyan was busy. The NY Times' other resident expert on naming oddities, Jennifer 8. Lee, took a front page [?!] look at the miraculous ascendance of Nevaeh into the firmament of the Social Security Administration's top 100 baby names for 2005. [It landed at #70.]

When DT last saw Nevaeh, it was in a post about the ever-awesome Baby Name Wizard, it had "only" broken into the Top 1000 after just a couple of years on the naming scene.

Well, Evangelical pop music fans know what they like, because Nevaeh went from 8 babies total in the US in 1999 to a whopping 4,457 in 2005. Still, I'm guessing that, what with the homeschooling and all, they won't make a dent on the preschool class rolls. If you're keeping score at home, though, Jesus has been in the top 100 since at least 1991.

And if It's a Boy, Will It Be Lleh?
[nyt via dt reader jj daddy, sorry, jj]
Not at all related, apparently: Backmasking and "Stairway to Heaven"


Our neice nearly named her daughter Nevaeh 19 months ago...citing the same "heaven spelled backwards" explanation. She watches a lot of MTV, but more R&B than Contemporary Christian. Thankfully she and her husband decided on Amaya instead. (Ayama spelled backwards)

I think some of the buzz for it probably came after Neleh on Survivor, too. The timing is right, and having a woman weekly on national TV whose name is similar to Nevaeh . . . even though they're different, I think she must have given the name a bump. Especially among the oh-my-heck crowd.

[you mean someone who's name is spelled backwards? -ed.]

Hey, Greg - while I love the spotlight (and it loves me), I don't want to steal anyone else's... therefore, I must point out that I believe the Times story has been mis-attributed to me...

What I particularly liked about that article was the headline...the bit about using LLEH for a boy's name...clearly a slow news day at the Times.

When I worked in a NICU years ago there was a set of twins - Heaven and Naveah... Mom and Dad wanted Naveah because it was "Heaven" spelled backwards... we tried to tell them that they had mispelled Twin B's name, but they wouldn't listen, despite the fact that Heaven's name was already written out on paper. Whatever, it was better than Taqueela, Passion, Champange, and Kaos (the other unfortunate babies in the the unit).

I don't like the name Nevaeh, i rather prefer Heaven, but anyway... I think there are some pretty uncommon names, so I don't understand why people keep calling their daughters in this way. But in my opinion likes shouldn't be very discussed, as it changes from person to person. I like some uncommom names myself, not so uncommon, but anyway!!

It's really interesting to see a whole lot of baby names out there, however bizarre some of them may sound :) Here's another great baby name search tool on the web: It lists a lot of popular and unique baby names plus their meanings and origins.

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