Invented (and Inventive!) Baby Names
Some baby names have a long history and originate from ancient languages, while others were simply made up and swept suddenly into popularity. How much do you know about the playful origins of invented names? Test your knowledge of the coined, the fused, and the creatively spelled.
Question 1 of 11
Which flower is named after a person?
We'd love to say that Dahlia was in tribute to Roald Dahl, but it was another Dahl-ing who made the name blossom: Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, who died in 1789.
Question 2 of 11
Which of the following has been used as a name?
All of the above
Ily (short for "I love you") and Abcde (pronounced "ab-si-dee") both have entered the name lists. ESPN, an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is pronounced "Espen" and was used for a handful of boys whose parents were avid sports fans.
Question 3 of 11
This name became popular after making its literary debut in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan stories, novel, and play:
J. M. Barrie didn't so much as invent the name Wendy as overhear it. Margaret Emma Henley, the six-year-old daughter of a friend, used to call the novelist and dramatist her "friendy-wendy," memorably mispronouncing it "fwendy-wendy."
Question 4 of 11
Shakespeare created this name for the role of a rich heiress in his romantic comedy, Twelfth Night:
Shakespeare created the character of a countess wooed by a duke and called her Olivia. The name is thought to be derived from the Latin, oliva, meaning "olive."
Question 5 of 11
This boy's name first reached the popularity charts in 2001:
Semaj is James spelled backwards.
Question 6 of 11
This name was invented by the 16th century poet, Sir Philip Sidney and first appeared in his poem, Arcadia:
Pamela was also the title character in Samuel Richardson's best-selling 18th century novel, Pamela.
Question 7 of 11
Paul Leicester Ford gave this name to one of his title characters in a 19th century novel:
A variation of Jane and Jeanette, Janice first appeared in Ford's 19th century novel, Janice Meredith.
Question 8 of 11
He was known as a virtuous knight of King Arthur's Round Table, according to a medieval poet in the twelfth century:
Percival, known as Perceval in the Old French, first appeared in an Arthurian romance by Chretien de Troyes. The name means "pierce the vale or valley" in French.
Question 9 of 11
The invention of this girl's name has been credited to satirist Jonathan Swift:
Jonathan Swift dubbed his longtime love and correspondent, Esther Vanhomrigh, "Vanessa," by fusing together "Van" from her last name and combining it with "Esse" from her first. A character named Vanessa also appears in one of Swift's poems, Cadenus and Vanessa.
Question 10 of 11
This invented name was imported from Mexico and first hit the Top 1000 in the United States from 2005 to 2007 with the rise of this Latina star:
The name Yuridia was popularized by Mexican pop singer, Yuridia Francisca Gaxiola Flores, who came in second place during the fourth season of the international reality TV show, La Academia. She follows in the footsteps of popular Mexican performer, Yuri, born Yuridia Valenzuela Canseco.
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