BIOG: NAME: UPD: 19970203 -TEXT-
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.
Some parents, perhaps perplexed by the sheer number of names they had to choose from, chose the simple approach when naming their babies in 1995. These children may breeze through the first half of kindergarten spelling names like DK, J, K (girls) and B, C, E, H, K, L and Zee (boys).
And then there's the little girl named Baby. She'll probably like that one best when she reaches age 40.
Some parents charged with naming their boys need only to look out the window, apparently. River, Canyon, Briar, Lake, Storm, Sky and Flint will be among the boys in the class of 2013.
Both boys and girls in Oklahoma have been given Diamond(s) - as a name, that is. Other gemstone names for girls include Emerald, Ruby, Amethyst, Coral, Opal, Saffire and Jewel.
And while Biblical names remain popular, some parents are straying a bit from traditional favorites like Elizabeth and John. Girls named Dorcas, Genesis, Eden, Heavenly and Paradise entered the world in 1995, as did boys with names like Zacchaeus, Corinthian, Titus, Malachi and Saul.
Oklahomans aren't the only ones picking offbeat names for their offspring, though.
In Utah, it seems, the '90s have brought an onslaught of Mormon names, according to the Utah Baby Namer, an Internet site devoted to these names. The address is http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/3450.
The home page touts itself as "An online help for parents looking for that distinctive name that says, 'I'm a Utah Mormon.' "
Add a La or Ja to any name, and voila, it becomes a Mormon one, say Wes and Cari Clark, who maintain the site.
Among these distinctively Utah names, as they call them, are boys called LaFel, LaGene, LaNeal and LaVerl. Girls' names include JaNeice, LaBerta, LaDreama, LaFawn, LaFrance and LeNova.
"It makes you wonder what some parents were thinking ..." said Cari Clark in a 1996 article about Utah baby names. "Some names seem to defy description - if not pronunciation."
And then there are a few that aren't particularly Mormon, but were included for fun: Delightra, Amulet and Cola were names given to Utah girls in 1995, as were Justa Cowgirl and Rode O. Then there was the boy named Halloween. No kidding.
And believe it or not, there's a connection between our state and Utah. Just ask the toddler named Okla.
In Florida, a recent Associated Press story spotlighted several unusual names given to babies in that state.
Talk about a Dilemma (she's an adult now): These people are Desperate, even End of the Line - at least these boys' families were - for original names.
Twins in Florida are even more at risk. Consider Shadrack and Meschak; Bigamy and Larceny; Early and Curly; Nip and Tuck; A.C. and D.C.; and Pete and Repeat.
Another Internet site compiled by two students at Stanford University - Christian and Scott - highlights "Top Ten Bad Baby Names."
A few of the submissions: A. Mistake, Saggy Sue, Dipthong, Pugsley, Fester Boyle, Demon Seed and Stimpy. All names were forwarded by Web users, according to information at the site, which can be found at http://downtime.stanford/edu/topten/old/95/list6.html.
Even if Honestee and Truth are attributes some parents want their children to think of daily, as was the case with these two babies' names, others seem content with the classics like Elizabeth and John.
In Oklahoma, the top name for girls in 1995 was Taylor, while the first-place finisher for boys was Tyler. Counts for both names included several spelling variations.
After Taylor, the most popular girls' names were Jessica, Ashley, Jordan, Sarah, Hannah, Shelby, Emily, Madison and Samantha. For boys, the second through 10th place finishers were Austin, Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Christopher, Brandon, Matthew, Cody and James.
In the 1990 U.S. Census, the most popular female name was Mary, followed by Patricia, Linda, Barbara, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Maria, Susan, Margaret and Dorothy.
The most popular male names in the census were James, John, Robert, Michael, William, David, Richard, Charles, Joseph and Thomas.
And then there are the boys and girls with popular, trendy names ... for the opposite sex, that is.
Jacob, Bryan, Joshua, George, Jeremy and Justin all may be invited to try out for football - until they hit the field in long braids.
By comparison, Samantha, Lindsay, Crystal, Kelsey, Alicia and Beth someday may be called ma'am on the telephone until they answer with a deep voice.
Shipman said there's a small margin of error - both in her office and at hospitals where birth certificates originate - when the computer may erroneously check the male/female box.
But she's positive several Oklahoma youngsters (like the girl named Douglas and the boy named Emily) are indeed among those who will have to constantly correct teachers, salespeople and coworkers someday.
"When you look at all the unbelievable names we see, I don't think it's totally out of the realm of reason to think there's a few girls named Joshua running around out there."
Data Base Editor Griff Palmer contributed to this report.Archive ID: 676671