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The Name Game

Tamie Ross Published: February 2, 1997

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One girl is Strange, another's a Secret. There's a little boy Blue and a Denim girl, a baby Margarita and an infant Coyote. And you'll definitely want to watch out for that Dragon.

They say babies don't come with Manual(s), but two in Oklahoma did. That's the name their parents gave them.

Sound Unique? So did that baby girl's name, probably, to friends and family. But a computer-assisted search of state Health Department records suggests some parents in 1995 thought well beyond Jennifer and Jason when selecting their children's names.

"Some of these names are hilarious," said Kerri Shipman, an informational representative at the division of public health statistics. "We just wonder how in the world did they come up with these names?"

Consider these doozies:

Shiny, Sparkles and Jazz - These baby girls must have arrived after a big night out on the town.

Dodger, Bookie and Seven - Big sports fans, these boys' fathers.

Jelousey, Memory and Ravish - Maybe these girls' mothers tuned in to Montel and Ricki Lake daily.

Major, Contra and Fidel - Three boys who someday may be players in military conflicts.

Rickeysha, Tomorrow, Enfinity, Kalamity, Mirage and Pachience - Maybe these girls' mothers endured long labors without medication.

Retsyn - Main ingredient in Certs. This boy definitely will have fresh breath.

Paisley, Chambray and Moire - Three girls destined to be decorators.

Random, Larcen, Tire and Restitution - These boys should not hang out together.

Oklahoma families obviously like Freadom and take Liberty when selecting names for their children, which happen to be names given to two baby girls.

Of the 45,365 babies born in 1995, about one-third had names or spellings that were given to five or fewer children.

Shipman's office helps code information gleaned from babies' birth certificates to track infant mortality rates, teen pregnancies and many other statistics.

But one of the best parts of her job is seeing the names of Oklahoma's littlest residents flash across computer screens, she said.

Her favorites: The boy named Tiffany and another boy named Tex.

"And Maxie Millian," Shipman said, laughing. "We all got a kick out of that one."

But there are others that are part of a larger trend, Shipman said, as parents pore through books trying to pick just the right name for their child.

For instance, a few girls might ride to preschool in the family car that shares their name: Infinity, Camry, Chevelle and Lexus. Among their classmates may be Mercedes, Nova, Sable, Sabre and Talon.

And don't forget the cars that will carry their male namesakes: Shadow, Chevy, Dakota, Kamareo, Kutlass, Maxime, Stealth and Sundance.

Oklahoma native Garth Brooks may have set the Sooner standard when he said he and his wife, Sandy, chose parts of their first two daughters' names - Taylor Mayne Pearl and August Anna - based on the place or month of their conception.

Girls were given names like Decembre, January and July in 1995, and both boys and girls were named August.

Some boys' names just shout Oklahoma - consider Stetson, Halston, Brooks, Garth, Maverick, Kountry and Tyaustin.

And it seems some parents may pick names for their children based on their hometowns: Bethany, Asher, Checotah, Cheyenne, Tulsa and Shawnee were a few girls' names. Boys' names include Gage, Spencer, Chandler, Edmond, Checotah, Commanche, Cordell, Shawnee, Tulsa, Noble, Guthrie, Langston and Sayre.

Then there are those who travel and whose children probably will, too. Boys' names like Orlando, Francisco, Montreal, Phoenix, Arlington, Kentucky, Manhattan, Salem, Tennessee, Yale, Denver, Dayton, Laramie, Wichita and Daytona popped up several times on Oklahoma's registry.

Popular girls' out-of-state names include Brooklyn, Aspen, Georgia, Salina, Alabama, Albany, Atlanta and Augusta.

And both sexes were given names like Dallas, Dakota, Montana, Austin, Boston, Houston and Nevada.

For the world travelers, Jordan, Israel, Salvador, Cairo, Caymen, Cypress, Israel, London, Paris, Rome and Tyland were a few boy names. Girls names derived from some faraway locations include Sidney, Kenya, Aysia, Holland, Jamaica, Catalina, Sahara and Britain.

Large doses of television late in pregnancy could be blamed for a few name choices. Commercials for Loreal, Avon, Braun, Breck, Shasta, Tyson and Waverly products may have inspired those girls' monikers. For boys, Adidas, Lennox and Orion advertisements might have sold their parents on those names.

Speaking of television, several Oklahoma babies will remind us of the widely broadcast O.J. Simpson trial long after 1995. Boys named O.J., Darden, Kato and Kaelin all made their first appearances that year, although probably not to as much fanfare as their Los Angeles counterparts.

Other parents may be leaving their television sets on for longer periods of time. Michaela ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman") was very popular among girls, as was Leno for boys. For the Hollywood set, Kiefer, Denzel, Keanu, Quaid and Charlton were top picks for boys.

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