Sunday, 6 November 2016

Uniquely American Names

Much of my writing, these days, is on the Quora website. People post questions there, other people post answers, and still other people post comments on the answers. The advantage of Quora over a blog is that some of the questions are ones I wouldn't have thought of so, in answering them, I learn something.

One such question is "Are there names that are thought of as uniquely American?" Here's my answer.


I think of doubled names as uniquely American, and probably uniquely Southern. You know the ones: Billy Bob, Mary Sue.

Having a line of descendants, all with the same name seems American to me. You know, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurston Howell III.

Similarly, do you remember “John Boy” in the TV show The Waltons? Called that because his father was also a John? I don’t know if that’s a real thing or not, but if so, it’s American.

There were the Biblical names that got adopted in earlier years: Seth, Zeke, Amos and the rest. I don’t think they were that common outside the US.

Finally, there are the odd (to me) names that are adopted in the American Black community pretty much because the parents like the sound of them. There are Aaliya, De-Wanda, Devisha, Imani, Jayla, Kayla, Kiara, Laila, Makayla, Nevaeh, and so on for girls. Check here for more: African-American Baby Girl Names ; . There are Jenell, Jermain, Jeron, Jerrick, Jessan, Jimar, Jimarcus, Keandra, Kaynard and many more for boys. Here is a list: African-American Baby Boy Names

Another dead give-away for an American is the name of an American or Confederate hero being used, such As Robert (Bob) E. Lee Ewell or George Washington Carver.

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