March 6 – Namesake Day

Posted on March 6, 2016

Today is the start of an entire week of special days focusing on names.

Today's special name-oriented theme is namesakes. Sometimes we use the word namesake simply to mean something or someone that has the same name as another. For example, someone could say to a child named Benjamin that he should play the part of his namesake, Benjamin Franklin, in the school play.

But usually we use the word namesake to mean someone who shares a name when one was named for another, intentionally chosen to honor the other person. This often happens when parents give their children their own name. 

At least twelve presidents share their name with their father, including our current president, who was named Barack Hussein Obama II, after his father Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. 

The United States has had two sets of father-and-son presidents who shared names: John Adams (2nd president) and his son John Quincy Adams (6th president), and George Herbert Walker Bush (# 41) and his son George Walker Bush (# 43).

Sometimes people are named, not after their parents, but after someone famous. Right now there are about 2,000 girls and women named Beyoncé in the United States, and most of them are between the ages 10 and 15. 

I did a little digging, and it looks as though Beyoncé Knowles was the only Beyoncé in the nation until 1998, the year she first became famous with Destiny's Child. Her name became more and more popular as she became more and more famous – but even though she is now a superstar, apparently her name is falling out of fashion. I think there are two reasons for this decrease: 
(1) People are less likely to name their baby after a celebrity if they know a bunch of other little kids running around with that name, and 
(2) People are less likely to name their kids after a superstar like Elvis or Madonna – or, now, Beyoncé – than they are to choose a namesake that is only moderately known and popular.

Do you have a namesake? Better check with your parents – you might have one and not even realize!

Also on this date:

Alamo Day in Texas

Plan ahead:
And here are my Pinterest boards for:

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