Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Sez Mojo Nixon: Cedra is alive in all of us

My friend JuJu's baby is due on the 31st, and they're at the desperate stage of baby naming. They've spent 8 months searching for an Italian boys' name that doesn't sound too feminine in English and, having admitted defeat (and scoffed repeatedly at my perfectly sound suggestion, "Italo,") must now scurry to decide on a regular English name.

Don't know if you've noticed, but the "new" batch of boys' names reads a lot like the mailing list for your great-grandpa's Masons coven circa 1908: Oscar, Ezra, Otis, Henry, Felix, Jasper. This is how she explains her arrival at the Social Security Administration's 1000 most popular names list for the 1880s.

Well, we were both excited when she found "Cedra" at #961 on the girls' list. There were 44 born nationwide over the decade, resulting in a 9-way tie with Junie, Jemima, Karen, Glenn, Euphemia, Dosha, Ula and Audie. Now that group sounds like a party of piperettes.

A couple of people have commented here on Cedra's name. We also get this often IRL. So, as a public service announcement, here's the explanation: My husband and I each had a childhood friend named with the name. Neither of these individuals was necessarily a friend after whom we would naturally name our child, but we did like the name and it ended up on our original list along with about 30 others. It was still there, along with Lucia, Cecile, Noemie and Mirabel, when we showed up at the hospital at 3:00 a.m. on May 19, 2004. It was on the birth certificate when we left 8 days later. Yes, eight days. Long stay, long story.

We knew that her (real) name is the term used in Israel for a native Israeli, and that no one in Israel would actually give this name their child, and that the name is politically charged given the xxxxx-Shatila massacre in the 1980s. But we loved the name and we chose it. Nay-sayers, mind your own!

Her name hasn't appeared on the top 1000 list since 1889, but a SSA insider did tip me off that the name was number 1,931 in 2003. This piece of info was tucked away for the baby book, should it ever be assembled. Also saved for posterity was a list of googlisms on Cedra's name that was emailed to us shortly after her birth. Here's an abridged (believe it or not) version:

Cedra is one strange and beautiful cat
Cedra is equipped with an automatic fire and explosion suppression system
Cedra is a poet with strong ties to the west of ireland
Cedra is just acting out because her callous, rich-bitch mother (Fay Baker) doesn't love her
Cedra is only a place to run through
Cedra is a loyal member of Professor Xavier`s mutant underground
Cedra is available in two sizes
Cedra is the only interventional radiologist in Mckinley County
Cedra is a professor of theology on the faculty of the Near East School of Theology in Beirut
Cedra is speechless with horror as she notes that her husband files a sixth notch in his revolver handle
Cedra is simply the best personal chef in the world
Cedra is the only kosher restaurant in San Francisco with a mashgiach on the premises
Cedra is fearless to the point of recklessness
Cedra is designed as a transitional experience for the middle school aged camper
Cedra is a metaphor and a nickname for the strength
Cedra is alive in all of us ( paraphrase Mojo Nixon)
Cedra is a noted highland dancer and bodhran player, and is also a choreographer who teaches and performs her own dances
Cedra is able to lift 50 tons and possesses super human speed
Cedra is going to be wed to Charlemagne Bolivar of Pride Jagaur to form a strong alliance between the two prides to end a 200 year old blood feud
Cedra is eight months pregnant with Ronnie's baby
Cedra is in the clear to stay drunk for the entire summer


At 3:21 PM, Blogger Mother of Ruth said...

super human speed! When we told my very funny parents the name we had chosen for Ruth, my father commented, "well, we'll just call her Katherine."

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Alisyn said...

sweet jesus, i love the SSA website. is there a better way to spend your free time if you're expecting? i think not.

sabra is a rad name.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger llamaschool said...

Too bad the online SSA list only goes to 1000. You know it's the really bizarre names that I want to see.

Mother of Ruth, the first time my mom brought up the subject of names when I was pregnant she blurted out "Well, I DON'T like "Evelyn" in this ironic joking tone, as if she thought no one in her right mind would consider naming a child Evelyn these days. Of course, Evelyn was already on our list. When I told her this it took some convincing before she believed we were seriously considering it. BTW, Ruth would have been our middle name if we'd gone with Noemie or Mirabel.


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