(Submitted by reader Thomas Brown)

Way back before our wedding, my wife and I were making a short list of wedding guests and my wife was stumped…  She wanted to invite this friend of a friend that she liked but could not remember her name.

I was going to start brainstorming names for her and started out, “Maria?”  A slight pause and then, “Elena?”  Whereupon my wife’s eyes grew wide as she said, “Maria Elena — that’s it!!”

I had not (yet) met this woman, and my wife had never spoken of her until this occurrence.  Now, granted, I was pretty sure that this woman was Latina which narrowed down my choice of names — but to nail both her names, in order?!?!

[EDITOR: While we can’t delve into the submitter’s mind and pick out names for him, anyone with stats on popularity of Latina names want to take a stab at the stats on this one? It could definitely skew either way, but even with common American names guessing “Robert” and “James” is unlikely to stumble upon someone with that combo. Culturally, could the combination in question be likely enough for this to be expected, or is it as surprising as it sounds at first blush?]

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