The Top Names of 2007 with commentary follow.

1. Al Gore – Conveniently, doesn’t need the presidency to top the list.

2. The Decider — George W. Bush, still president after all these years.

3. Bono – U2’s front man out in front on Third World debt relief.

4. Obama & Hillary — Barack’s name now qualifies as a buzzword; quite unusual, though Hil comes close.

5. Hugo Chavez – The Gadfly of Latin America.

6. Vladimir Putin — The supreme leader (President, Prime Minister, whatever) of the Russian Federation.

7. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — Iranian President suggests moving Israel to Europe.

8. Pope Benedict XVI — continues to engage Muslim leadership in thoughtful discussions.

9. David Beckham and Posh Spice – Yet another ‘new’ type of Hollywood power couple.

10. Fidel Castro – The head one of the few remaining Communist states lives yet another year.

The Top Ten Names for 2006 with commentary follow.

1. Darfur – First time a country or region heads the list.
2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Unfettered President of Iran.

3. Bono – Quintessential rock star, front man for the band U2, turned humanitarian.

4. George Bush – Received an old fashioned ‘whuppin’ in the mid-Term elections; still attempting to turn the tide in his last 24 months in office.

5. Kofi Annan – Departing head of the UN, both revered and reviled.

6. Joseph Ratzinger – Pope Benedict XVI turned Muslim heads by quoting a Renaissance scholar with a less than favorable opinion of Islam.

7. Brangelina – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a new type of Hollywood power couple.

8. Saddam Hussein – Hanging marks the end of one of the most brutal dictatorships in recent memory.

9. Fidel Castro – Still lives on as the head of one of the few remaining Communist states, some fifty years after the Cuban Revolution.

10. Hugo Chávez – Expressed less than favorable opinion of President Bush at the UN.

The Top Names for 2005

1. (Acts of) God: The world watches helplessly as a superpower is humbled as one of its great cities (New Orleans) is laid asunder (Hurricane Katrina).

2. Tsunami snuffs out nearly 300,000 lives, and an earthquake takes another 200,000 (Kashmir). A Higher Power, indeed.

3. Katrina: Greek (katharos) for ‘pure’. Before the hurricane, the name was most famously borne by two saints, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, and three of Henry VIII’s wives.

Read More About the Top Words of 2006

The Real Meaning of the Name of the TomKitten

Washington Post: Cruise baby name has many meanings, expert says

Friday, April 21, 2006

LOS ANGELES — It’s a Nubian tribe, the word for “rose” in Persian, the “sun” in Sanskrit and, oh yes, it’s also an obscure variation on the Hebrew name Sarah and refers to form of an Alpaca’s wool.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes may have gotten more than they bargained for naming their daughter Suri when she was born on Tuesday, according to language expert Paul JJ Payack, head of the Global Language Monitor, a group that studies word use.
Payack said he found at least five meanings for Suri, including the name of a Nubian tribe on the Sudanese-Ethopian border. The tribe is known for the ceremonial clay plate inserted into the lower lip of Suri girls after their lower teeth have been extracted.

Suri also refers to the sun in Sanskrit, an ancient Indo-European language in which the word’s meaning sometimes is translated as “lord” or “ruler.”

Moreover, Suri is the name for the wool of the Andean Alpaca.

In Persian, it means rose, though not necessarily a red rose, as Cruise and Holmes said through their spokesman when the birth was announced.

Payack said Suri was also a relatively rare variation of the biblical name Sarah, which means “lady” or “princess.”

Combined with the child’s last name, which in English means to move or go along, especially in an unhurried or unconcerned fashion, Payack added that Suri Cruise could translate to: “The ruling Nubian sun princess unhurriedly moving along wearing a rose-colored blanket.” (Reuters)

Top Baby Names in the US by Year

Celebrity Children’s Names:

  • Apple (daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin)
  • Audio Science (son of Shannyn Sossaman)
  • Fifi Trixabelle (daughter of Bob Geldof)
  • Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (daughter of Michael Hutchence)
  • Jermajesty (son of Jermaine Jackson)
  • Moon Unit (daughter of Frank Zappa)
  • Phinnaeus (son of Julia Roberts)
  • Pilot Inspektor (son of Jason Lee)
  • Prince Michael (son of Michael Jackson)
  • Puma (daughter of Erykah Badu)
  • Rumer Glenn (daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis)
  • Sage Moonblood (son of Sylvester Stallone)
  • Speck Wildhorse (son of John Mellencamp)
  • Tu (daughter of Rob Morrow)

What Does Your Name Mean? Click Here for the Etymology and History of First Names

What’s in a name? On Mars, most anything (How Geographic Features on Red Planet are named)

What to find a Geographic Name Anywhere on the Globe?

Click for The National Geospatial Intelligence Database

What to Name a Gene: Here Are the Guidelines!

The Best, Worst and Weirdest Car Names

Automotive News Europe:

What Was Volkswagon Thinking? Touareg name misgivings

Is Touareg a bad name for Volkswagen’s new sport-utility?
The language experts associated with US-based website certainly seem to think so. VW probably believed the Touareg name would conjure up visions of a harsh breed of people with the ability to survive in an inhospitable environment. The perfect image for a rough-and-tumble off-roader. But in fact, “Touareg implies political rebellion by a stateless, Kurd-like tribe whose name literally means ‘abandoned by God,’ ” said Paul Payack, President of (and The Global Language Monitor).

Twenty-six leading global linguists with input from 700,000 web visitors (per month) help put together the website.

Accenture: One of the Worst Corporate Names

CORPORATE NAME GAMES A TRICKY ISSUE by Ron Carter, Columbus Dispatch

When the area’s dominant department-store chain became Lazarus-Macy’s last month, it didn’t seem to matter that the Lazarus name had done fine on its own for more than 150 years.

For perspective, that dates the chain’s launch in central Ohio to the days of Millard Fillmore, a president from upstate New York who grew up in a log cabin. By comparison, Fillmore bios run pretty short; Lazarus fared much better. Still, the extra moniker was hitched on with the stroke of a corporate wish. Most believe this is just a small step until parent Federated Department Stores makes the switch to Macy’s entirely. So it goes during a time when corporate names vanish as quickly as Andersen Consulting can become Accenture.

The trend is surprising, given that experts talk endlessly about “brand equity,” which is a fancy way of saying there is a lot of value in a name such as Coca-Cola. It makes you wonder: What has happened to the value of a name? “I think a lot of companies don’t consider the ramifications of walking away from an established brand,” said Shel Horowitz, author of Principled Profit, Marketing that Puts People First. “In general, it’s not a smart move in a lot of cases.”

Federated’s situation is a little different, considering that if the Lazarus name is dropped it means the company will be switching to one of the best-known names in retailing. Even so, Horowitz said such a change could send an unexpected signal.

National brands work differently than regional brands,” he said. “A national brand represents power, but also sameness. Local brands are built more on knowing your customer.” Maybe so. But it’s a new world for anyone selling goods to the public.

Competition is more fierce than ever. This means companies are squeezing everything possible from branding decisions, said Paul JJ Payack, president of and The Global Language Monitor, online companies that follows the corporate landscape from a linguistic point of view, including the publishing an annual list of the worst name changes.

“This has a real financial component,” Payack said. “If after doing quantitative analysis a company finds that people are willing to spend 8 percent more when shopping at Macy’s than at Lazarus because of perception, that’s very important. “When people turn on the Thanksgiving Day Parade, it’s not the Lazarus Parade.”

A recent letter writer to The Dispatch said she is starting to grieve already for the day when the Lazarus names disappears from the central Ohio landscape. At least there is no worry that the stores will have to bear the kind of contrived name, such as Qwest or Verizon, that has become fashionable in today’s corporate scramble.

Some believe this trend stems from having too many consultants and focus groups running around. “I think some of these companies,” Horowitz said, “hired some highly paid marketing consultant and they don’t think they are getting their money’s worth unless they follow their advice.”

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