January 20, 2007

New York, Aka City Of Angels

angel_holding_baby.jpgThis may be slicing it a bit thin, newsworthiness-wise, but, after a generation of Anglo names like Kevin and Justin, an ethnic name--Angel--has become the most popular name for Hispanic boys in NYC.

Still, a hundred more people/month naming their kid Angel has to mean something, right? Especially since there aren't any obvious celebrities or TV characters who might be responsible. If the new Angels are Mexican, suggests Guillermina Jasso, an NYU sociology professor, maybe it has something to do with illegal alien parents seeking protection via so-called "anchor babies."

Or maybe it's a religious thing, says Hector R. Cordero-Guzman, who chairs Baruch College's Department of Black and Hispanic Studies. "Angel was suggestive of 'qualities mothers would like their children to have or is somewhat eponymous,'" he said.

And that's when I said, "Huh? Is naming a baby Mom's work in Hispanic culture?"

New Favor for a Name That Straddles Cultures [nyt]

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