Skip to comments.Utah Baby Names (That distinctive name that says, "I'm Mormon.")
Posted on 01/24/2003 4:41:20 PM PST by A.J.Armitage
When my husband and I moved from Utah to the Washington, D.C. area seventeen years ago, we knew nothing of the inadvertent legacy we carried from our four years in Utah. Shortly after we arrived in our new home, we saw a television commercial for a local grocery store chain. The spokeswoman's name was the unusual "Odonna." "She's gotta be from Utah," I said to my husband. "That's a Utah name if I ever heard one."
We eventually learned that Odonna was, indeed, Utah born and bred.
It dawned on us that many names we'd heard during our college careers, and found only mildly remarkable, were indeed unique to the Utah Mormon culture. Thus began our quest to define what makes some names singularly Utahn, and what sets them apart from ethnic names with roots in other cultures, such as Juanita or Shoshanna; or African-American names such as Tawanda and Shaquille; or the newly common, soap-operaesque handles such as Skylar, Tiffany, Raven, and Adrienne. There's a difference, and it's not just the obviously Mormon scriptural names like Mahonri or Nephi or Moroni. Often identifying a Utah name is a gut feeling akin to Justice Potter Stewart's definition of pornography: you know it when you see it.
The quintessential Utah name often has a French-sounding prefix such as Le-, La-, Ne-, or Va-. Often names appear to have genesis in the combined names of the parents--Veradeane or GlenDora, for example. Related is the practice of feminizing the father's name--as in Vonda (dad is Vaughan) or Danetta. Others, such as Snell or Houser, appear to be surnames called into service as first names.
Related is the curious tendency, more common in Utah than elsewhere, for men (women do not seem to do this) to use the first initial, then the full middle name as the given name, such as L. Flake Roberts, who ran for office in Utah County when we lived there. (Come on, you've noticed this habit among the general authorities of the LDS church!) Besides puzzling over why someone would want to be known as "Flake," it makes one wonder just what the "L" stands for.
[Hmmmm. Where have we heard about that before? --A.J.]
So my husband and I entertained ourselves by collecting the often bizarre names we found in Utah publications (including the obituaries, which indicates that this is not a recent fad) and of Utah natives we met. We compiled a list and shared it with our friends, who often as not had a few more to add. We really hit a bonanza when one woman shared our observations with her mother, who worked at a Utah bank and had access to lots of names. She started her own list and began sending the names to us. (My personal favorite, LaNondus, came from this source.) Another friend told us of a set of sisters, all of whose names began with "Ja."
Once my husband had Internet access, he collected more names and corresponded with another couple who amused themselves the same way. They made cleverly categorized lists: "The ward choir director's daughters: LaVoice, Choral, Audia."
It makes you wonder what some parents were thinking when, for instance, they named their baby girl Lanae (la-nay)--and she unfortunately ended up with a big nose (le nez [la-nay] in French means "the nose"). Or the girl named M'Lu--are clever wags endlessly asking her to skip to it? And how the heck do people with apostrophes in their names fill out computerized forms? There's no apostrophe space. The guy I really pity, though, is the one saddled with the unfortunate moniker, Rube.
Of course, parents cannot predict what new interpretations the marketplace will bring to the names they lovingly bestow on their offspring. I once worked at a company which had dealings with a woman named LaPriel (pronounced la-prell). When I told my former roommate about this inexplicable first name, she sardonically replied, "What's her sister's name--LaTegrin?"
With the generally larger-than-average family, often saddled with the very ordinary surnames Smith, Johnson, or Young, it's not surprising that many Utah parents look for unique given names for their children. When you throw in the reverence for family and ancestors forwarded by the LDS Church, it seems inevitable that someone would end up with LaEarl, KDell, Arnolene or Hariella.
Some names, though, seem to defy description--if not pronunciation. While pride of place may have spawned Utahna, how did somebody come up with Wealtha? And while Lloydine's genesis seems plausible, how on earth were Printha or Noy coined? And I have no idea what constitutes the correct pronunciation for Kairle or Tawhnye. (I suspect they may be wildly creative spellings of Carol and Tonya.)
Perhaps the following list (by no means comprehensive) will amuse you. Perhaps it will offend you. Perhaps you will find your name, or the name of a relative, on it. Or perhaps you will be so enchanted by a particular name that you'll want to bestow it upon one of your own offspring. If that is your plan, first do this: go to the back door, fling it open and yell the name at the top of your lungs six or eight times, because that's how it's going to be heard for the next eighteen years. And remember, when little Wynante (boy or girl, you choose) grows up, you'll have to live with the consequences.
The new parents couldn't be happier: Gladell & Delightra (sisters), Luvit, Delecta, Delite, Joyette, Joi, Joyia, Joyellen, Joycell, Hallah Lujah [How about Hallah Back Y'all? --A.J.], Bliss, Joyanne
Cleanliness is next to Godliness: Zestpoole, Sparkle
The Ward Choir Director's Daughters: Aria, Audia, Aurel, Choral, LaVoice, Tonilee, Capella, Chime, Rocksan Violin
Jewels every one: Amulet, Pearlette, Pearlene, Emerald, JewlyAnn, Ahmre Jade, Treasure Tonya, Turquoise Nova, Sequin, Amethist.
Girls you just know have big, floofy hair: Blondeen, Rayette, Faundaree, Shazette, Shasheena, Honilynn, Najestica, Teasa, Shazzanna, Pluma, Bobbette, Blonda, Breezy, Wenderella, Aquanetta, Brinderella, Dazzlyn
Maybe they're in the Klingon Ward: Tchae, Xko, Corx, G'ni, Vvhs, Garn, Ka, Deauxti, Xymoya, Sha'Kira [Her older sister is called Macare'na.], Zy, Xela, Tscharna, Nivek, Zon'tl, Zagg, Xan, Judziah Datz (a female, named after a character in Star Trek), K'lar (ditto), Jarna Nazhalena, Chod, Xarek, Grik, Stod, T'Shara, Tral, Sherik, Curg
[I am Krang the Merciless!! And I'm a Mormon!]
The Worth of a Soul: Cashley
Astronomical: LeVoid, Sunan, Moonyene, Starlene, Sunelly, Luna, Lunia, Solinda, Sunirae, Staryl, Marandastarr, Season, Aries, Starlyn, Cressent, Celestial Starr, Summerlyn, Astrolena
Could only be LDS: Cumorah Hill, Liahonna, Ensign, Nauvoo, Kirtland, Templa, Templer, Tempella, Tempalia, Ziona, Deseret (and Desereta), Tabernacle, Woodruff, Pratt, Tithing, Quorum, Helamans Warrior, Iron Rod, Morona, Manti, Stripling, Nephi Courage, Celestial Glory, Celestian, Brighaminie, Zion, Xione (pronounced "zion")
Parents were BYU math majors: Alpha Mae, Seven, Seavenly, Twenty, Prime, Omega Lee, Jennyfivetina, Tenna [Mormon porn star: Tenna Tameson.], Elevena, Ninea, Eighta
[How would you like to be named after your birth order?]
You can name a kid this, but you shouldn't ingest it: Cola, Vinyl, Orlon, Chlorine, Clorene, Florene, Florine, Lexann, Dow, Tide, Downy, Codiene, Daquari, DeCon, Starbuck, Crayon, Treasure Cocaine
[Classy. Real classy.]
Names inspired by the family car: Audi, Fairlene, Celecta, Pontiac, Vonda, Vonza, Auto, Cherokee, Lexus, Porsche, Skylark, Truckston, Avis, Chevrollette, Chevonne, Caprice, Dodge
["Honey, nothing says class like Lexus. Now go make some jello."]
Wishful thinking: Darlin', Courage, Winsome, Justan Tru, Pictorianna, Paradise Sunrise, Sage, Angelic, Breed, Godlove, Myrth, LaVirgin, DeFonda Virtue, Chastice, Normalene, Lovie Angel, Precious Blessing, Heavenly Melanie, Glee, Mormon Beauty, Pledger, Jentill, Devota, Coy, Fondd, Bridella, Verna Noall, Vervine, Viva, Golden Noble, MarVel, MemRee, Brunette, Merrily, Merry Ann, Celestial, Cherrish, Kash, Cashelle, Teton, Forever, Luvit, Mystiq, Worthy, Truly, Pleasant, Speedy, Hereditary, Shrudilee, Halo, Gentry, Truthanne, Finita, Mavryck, Amen, Merrijane, Marvelous Man.
Dad's hobby is obvious: Justa Cowgirl, Rode O, Hazer, Durango, Rifle, Laker, Jazz, Truck. Granite, Garnet, Gneiss (and other sisters with rock names beginning with “G.”)
Conversational: Whisper, Chat
Indications of possible birthplace: Arizonia, Floria, Montania, Utah, Utahna, Idahana, Idaho, Mauntana [Flunk spelling, name you kid Mauntana. Study hard!], Michigan, Nevadna, Okla, Vermont, Wyoming, Wyoma, Cache, Jordana, Payson, Vernal, Boise, Brookelynn, Lexington, Demoyn, Fredonia, Leremy, Platte, Salina, Seattle, Takoma, Tulsa, Tustin, Vail, Lundyn, Londyn, Irelynd, Irelan, Madrid, Manila, Cairo, Damascus, Tyre, Desert, Shahara, Trinidad, Houston, Cachelyn, D'Asia, Edon, Takoda, Orem, Shannon doah, Davenport Shore
No man (or woman) is an island - exceptions: Oahu, Irlanda, Tonga, SeaBreaze, Tiki Lou
Possible conception placenames: Hilton, Nafeteria, Bridges, Castle
Indications of possible birthdates: Juneth, Junola, LaJune, Julyn, Halloween, Novella, Summerisa, Winnter, Christmas Holiday, Merrienoel, Kris Miss, Tuesdee, Aprella
The day dawn is breaking: Dawnae, Dawnia, Dawnel, Dawnelle, Dawnene, Dawnalyn, Dawnette, Karadawn, RaDawn, Keturah Dawn, SheriDawn, LuDawn, LaDawn, Le Dawn, El Dawn, Dawnetta, Dawnese, Mistidawn, Berva Dawn, Celestial Dawn, Bodawn, Honey Dawn, Sunrise, Dawny, Yodawn, Dawnika, Dawnray, Denverly Dawn, Sunni Dawn, Dusty Dawn, Taradawn, Twyla Dawn, Georgia Dawn, Iva Dawn, Marva Dawn
Dad was a plumber: Valva, BeDae, Latrina, La Jonne, Digger
Dad worked for the postal service: Mailene
Dad's a lawyer: Justicia
Dad had a hernia: Truss
Less is more: La, Oa, NB, T, M, Q, JJ
I hope the computer will accept apostrophes in the name fields: D'Ann, D'Aun, D'Bora, D'Dee, D'Elise, D'Loaf, D'Shara, E'all, L'Deane, L'orL, Ja'mon, J'Costa, J'dean, J'Leen, J'net, J'Shara, J'Vonna, La'Donis, Me'shell, M'Jean, M'Kaaylie, M'Kenna, Mi'Lara, M'Lisa, M'Liss, M'Lu, M'Recia, O'lea, R'dell, R'lene, Shan'l, Young'n, B'andra, De'lys, D'Dree
["And the called her... O'Lestra. She had the runs a lot."]
Future names of prescriptions: Lyravin, Monalaine, Nyleen, Merlaine, Monease, Naquel, Ronalene, Nylan, Rolayne, Tyron, Lexine, Lyrin, Mikatin, Artax, Xtrin, Tylene, Qedrin, Tamrin, Denilyn, Kevrin, Nicolin, Xylan, Tolex, Zylan, Daycal, Falycid, Zerin, Davon, Sydal
Wow! What a Babe!: Wavie, Zhalore, LaTanna, Tressa, LaDreama, Amourette
Fluid-related: Thermos, Soda, Logan River, Jordan River, Susquehannah, Canteen
When simple alphabetic characters aren't enough: K-8 (pronounced "Kate," I guess)
[Kids: that's happens when you're illiterate. Stay in school!]
Politically incorrect: Sambo, Aryion
[Maybe they weren't thinking "Aryan", but "Arian". Heretics gotta stick together!]
Heard chanted in the Salt Lake airport: Ara-Om
Has food connotations: Dianarea, Dicey, Vindalu, Blenda, Strawberry, Sugarlee, Beena, Pork Chop, Sesami, Jar, Karmel, Kresent, TaffiLyn, Chipo
Had breathing problems in the hospital nursery: Azure, Syrullean
You might find in a forest: Wrendie, Jilbear, Timber, Oaks, Pixie, LaFawnduh, Fawn-Dew, Ember, Bird, Magpie, Serenity Fawn, Paradi, L'Aire, Brookelle, Sylvan, Fawna, Lawn, Rain, Gazelle, El Fawn ["El" makes it masculine, "Fawn" makes it girly-poofy. El Fawn: expressing pride from Salt Lake City to San Francisco.], Aspen, Acacia, Panda, Briar, Rhodendra, Fernnola, Birdene, Hummingbird, Disney, Chinchilla Zest, Haven, Glade
No doubt about it, this kid's in charge: Rexina, Rexine, Queenola, Dominee, Ruger, Messiah Angel, Oden, RexDee, Navy, Jentry, Czar, LeeMaster, Quintessa, Marquessa, Leviathan, Captain.
Smells: Cachet, Reaka, Violeet, Avon, Budla
Faux ethnic: Laddie, Walkasheaqua, Bsjonet, Hishla, Chilnecha, Forthilda, Kaltighanna, Alainka, Chip-wa, Pawnece America, Zem Saxon, O'Ann, WaThene, Sheighlagh, Valliere
Commemorating something or another: Welcome Exile, Confederate American, Southern Justice, Liberty Lulu, Young Elizabeth, Genesis, MistiNoele, Imagine, Thankful Flood, Friends Forsaken, Joyous Noel, Tennyson, Knight Train, Miracles Precious One, Sunday's Hoseana, Disney, Blessing Ream, Stormy Shepherd, Denim Levi, Vernal Independence, Sincere Devotion, Mothers, Elvoid, Noah-Lot, Mormon Miracles, MyLae, Nightrain Lane, Zion Anakin, Jeopardee, Statehood, Denim Levi
Let's hope not: Rube, Sleeza, Nymphus, Golden P., Burns, Hydra, Non, Malis, Talon, Beefea, Patches, Storm, Slayer, Sterile, Slaughter, Jynx, Hyde, Prynne, StormiAnn, Sham, Apathy, DeRail, Dull, Gamble
In a class of their own (In fact, I'm not sure I believe these but we asked for details and a confirmation and got convincing replies, so here they are): NaLa'DeLuhRay, Phakelikaydenicia, Zaragrunudgeyon ("Zarg," for short), Jennyfivetina, Tiarrhea, Nudity, VulvaMae, DaLinda LaDale, Tugdick, Saunsceneyouray, and, yes... Clitoris.
["Well, it sounded pretty when the doctor said it, and my wife Placenta likes it."]
Guaranteed to get last place on our list (or anyone else's): ZZkora
I can't think of anything clever to write but these must be mentioned: Barbeli, Revo Cram, Feramorz, Glint, LaNondus, Wynante, Camera, Lecoya, AureJudd, NaNon, Bimberly, DavidO, Leumas ("Samuel" backwards), Ralphene, Shimber, T-vive, Synthi, CoJane, Nona-rene, Gaylawn, Txanton, LaZello, Daycal, Sancie D'Wan, RaVoe, Zenus, Gatobon, LaEarl, Trystal, AndiOdette, Serenity-Tabitha-Ann, Alexavier, X Y Zella, Bonquisha, Musser Cenia, Jubeltine, Oryeon, Shlori, Danlonaga, Zedwain, Casualeen, Young'n, Shambertine Crille, Canon, Malique, LeeWitt, Jazzeri, DeRaunz, Teru, Aaro, Divid, Cimemthymia, LaDonnaJosephrania, LaDeeDee, deRalph, MaddLynAlain, Vyquetoriya, Falycid, Rophis, Mick BonScott, Kaysional Tempest, Darianlelo, DeLaVerne, BoChe', Minnet, Kandle, Seena Tawnya, Dwodger, J Thoral, Xanderrick, Abcde, KNikkol, Demeatrice, LLean Shanalyn, Scytha Solena, HiDee
Encyclopedia of Mormonism
"Because the Church has no professional clergy, it is administered at every level through LAY PARTICIPATION AND LEADERSHIP, and officials other than the General Authorities contribute their time and talents without remuneration. ...Because the General Authorities are obliged to leave their regular employment for full-time Church service, they receive a modest living allowance provided from income on Church investments."
Since the Mormon Church concedes the right to pay those who serve in a full-time capacity we are left to wonder why they have such strong objections to ministers receiving a "modest living allowance." The claim is made that these funds do not come from tithing but from business investments. Why this should make a difference is not explained. Any money given to or earned by the church should be considered as equally sacred.
The president is also supplied with a home. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 27, 1994, p. E1, the president of the LDS Church lives in a "downtown condominium, the official residence of church presidents." In the Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 8, 1988, we read "The $1.2 million condominium at 40 N. State that is home to the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be exempt from property taxes, Salt Lake County commissioners ruled Tuesday."
Also, the LDS Church maintains a general missionary fund. Many missionaries come from either poor countries or their families are not able to contribute to their mission.
"Missionary support is primarily a family responsibility... However, members are also encouraged to contribute to assist those missionaries who have insufficient finances." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism,)
Since some LDS missionaries receive support from a general fund why object to missionaries in other churches receiving funds from their church?
Even though Mission Presidents (men who oversee the missionaries in various geographical locations) resign from their secular jobs during their three years of church service, they still receive financial help. In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism we read:
"The calling [to be a Mission President] is not a regular remunerative position,...The family involved gives of its time and energies without salary, though there is a modest allowance for living expenses." (p. 914)
Again we are left to wonder at the Mormon distinction between "living expenses" and "salary."
Another puzzling aspect of Mormonism is that there is no accounting to the membership of church funds. They are never informed as to the amount of the "modest living allowance" given to their top leaders. In the Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 1983, the salary given to a Seventy (second tier of LDS General Authorities, lower than an Apostle) was reported to be $40,000. Obviously, with inflation this salary would be much higher today. If housing is factored in (as in the case of the president of the church) the salary would be quite substantial. When George P. Lee, former Seventy, was terminated in 1989, the LDS Church immediately confiscated his church credit card (Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 10, 1989). We are left to wonder about what other benefits go with "full-time Church service." For more information on LDS wealth see Mormon America: The Power and the Promise, by Richard and Joan Ostling.
In Christian churches the financial statement is a matter of public record. There is no guesswork as to the amount a church pays its minister.
One personal note. When my father was called as a mission president, he had just retired. He was given a certain amount of money for his duties, and there was a home provided for he and my mother to live in (known as the mission president's home.) My dad had a budget for gasoline when he went on the mission's business to visit the missionaries he was in charge of to see how they were doing. When we went down to visit my parents in Chile, any family or sightseeing trips he and my mom took were paid for out of their own pockets. Oh, and a car was provided for the mission president. My father was very aware of the money angle, as were the other mission presidents, and are very careful to spend the money appropriately that is provided by the church.
And believe you me, most of us LDS people do not aspire to become an apostle or whatever. There might be a few, but there isn't a system where one works his way up the hierarchy of the church. We are called of the Lord to serve him and to serve others in our wards, stakes, etc.
And you are comparing apples to oranges. A pastor in your church is comparable to a bishop in my ward (oversees about 400 people, depending on the location.) The bishop is not paid in our church. You are comparing your pastor who has one congregation to a prophet, or apostles, or an area president who are over many wards and stakes.
I know that President Hinckley came from very humble circumstances. President Monson was raised by a widowed mother. Elder Russell Nelson was a heart surgeon. Elder Dallin H Oaks was a lawyer. Elder Boyd K Packer worked for the Church Educational System (like my dad did,the salary was nothing to shout about at all.) Men and women are called from all walks of life, it is their worthiness and willingness to serve the Lord with all their hearts, might, mind, and souls that determines their callings in the LDS church. Not their social status or how much money they are worth.
I'm "clergy." I'm not paid.
That we have expenses reimbursed in money or (as is mostly the case) in kind is far, far, far different from Chri$tianity Incorporated's lucrative financial empire.
But you'll not find that type spending all their time "bashing" the precepts and tenets of another's religion.
Look it up. That's the name.
Those who try to portray Joseph Smith in that light HAVE no light to see by in the first place. Might as well be the blind men and the elephant. Or duck.
You know NOTHING about the prophet you so disdain, NOTHING. You have read and swallowed lies and calumny, and you eagerly do so just like all the godless in the last two centuries have done.
You have not a shred of the holy spirit in you, not even a smidgen.
There are many outside our faith that do, but they are fellow-travelers, not liars-in-wait-to-deceive such as yourself, you pussilanimous half-parody of a Pharisee.
Had you lived in the days of the Savior's walk on this earth, you WOULD have eagerly cast the first stone.
Latter-day Saints, unlike many other Christian traditions, do not accept the definitions of God as created by the Greek philosophers. Our beliefs about the Godhead "are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]." (The Holy Bible, Ephesians 2:20)
Using the apostolic and prophetic teachings as our base, Latter-day Saints believe in the Jesus who was the preexistent Word of the Father; that was the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; that was the God of Abraham , Isaac, and Jacob; that was the Only Begotten Son of God who was born to the virgin Mary in the town of Bethlehem; that was baptized by John; that healed the sick and raised the dead, that walked on water, multiplied loaves and fishes, and performed many other miracles; that set a perfect example for mankind to emulate and that all men and women are commanded to follow his teachings and example in all things.
We believe that Jesus suffered in the garden and on the cross, until he finally died as a willing sacrifice for mankind in order to bring about an infinite atonement through the shedding of his blood. After his death, we believe that he was physically resurrected and that he ascended into the heavens, from which he will come at the end of this world to establish his kingdom upon the earth and eventually to judge both the living and the dead. We believe Jesus is and was the Holy Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer of the world and all those who will follow him. Finally, we believe in the Jesus who is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.
Now that we have established the identity of the Jesus Christ in whom Latter-day Saints believe, may I ask who is the Jesus in whom you believe?
Taken from Do Mormons believe in a different Jesus?
Not surprising, given the shallowness of your intellect and the callowness of your soul.
What YOU need answers for is HOW to begin the repentence process. Your Lying-In-Wait-To-Deceive game is taking you farther and farther down the road to hellfire, and were I you, I'd turn about quick.
Worry less about the great work of Christ's ONLY true Church on the face of the earth, and more about your own dark, dirty, filthy works.
The former has no effect on you at all. The latter will damn you for eternity if you do not repent.
CA what did you hear during Sunday School, Gospel Doctrine, and Relief Society even Sacrament?
Were you able to honor fast Sunday?
Were you consistence in prayer and reading your scriptures daily?
Really CA how many years did you endur?
I think these are reasonable questions?
Wow, what an interesting and ORIGINAL claim!
How convenient for you anti-Christ "nitwits". When you run out of ideas, you just start and the beginning and go all over again!
The fact that you appear to be "going all over yourself" to the casual observer, of course, is inconvenient, but don't let that stop you (especially when you have other religious-incontinents standing by to tell you that your Urine makes the best lemonade they ever tasted).
NO OTHER RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION ON EARTH, expecting only the Roman Catholic Church, does more charitable work, gives more in terms of money, goods and services, than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Your ignorance does you great service; it reveals you for the smarmy antiChrist you are.