Posted by: rbbadger | January 25, 2010

The Utah Baby Namer

A while ago, I found something on the Internet which made me smile.  I do enjoy funny names.  Sometimes, you get to see funny names here in Korea, such as the former government minister Lee Bum-suk (이범석) or the very popular TV personality Kim Bum (김범).  Granted, these things don’t mean anything like what they mean in English.  Some family names also sound sort of odd to English speakers such as Bishop Andrew Yeom Su-jeong.  Bishop Yeom.  It sorts sounds like Bishop Yum! 

Now to focus my attention back on the USA.  Utah is, to the outsider, a rather strange place.  It has a culture all its own.  There are also naming conventions that you will see nowhere else, except for maybe in Mormon dominated areas of Idaho and Arizona.  My third grade teacher was named Earlene.  Often, a male name, in this case Earl, can be turned into a girl’s name by adding -ene to it.  You might encounter men named LaVerl, LaVell, or even LeGrand.  There is a retired Mormon General Authority named Cree-L Kofford.  Wes and Cari Clark have collected Utah names and posted them on their website.  Granted, it is not only the people who sport unusual names, but quite often the towns themselves.  Panguitch, anyone?  How about Kanab or Tooele (pronounced Too-willa)? 

Of course, to fully grasp some of the humour behind this, you have to have been, as I was, raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah, Arizona, or Idaho!  I lived in two out of the three, so I can vouch for the fact that they aren’t making this stuff up.  The people who put this site together are Mormons, but they live outside of Utah.



  1. Did you post this to help James & Megan pick a good name for their little girl? And for Kimberly & Emmett to come up with a good boy’s name. Why don’t we all narrow it down for them and suggest our favorite names for them! Aren’t you glad that Daddy & I chose more conservative and classic, enduring names? Especially with a last name like Badger? 🙂

  2. my favorite of the day: X Y Zella

  3. I didn’t realize you were raised LDS; I thought you were cradle. I was raised LC-MS (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod), sometimes called more Catholic than the Catholics.

    In recent years, I’ve come to have a great respect for the cultural power of Mormonism.

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