Tag Archive: names

Right Name, Right Time

(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?]

A Common Name

We were on the phone recently for almost 45 minutes with our friend Dawn who has moved to Northern California. We’ve been friends with her for ‘way over 20 years, and about half that time she was married  to a man named Jim, Jim Thomas.

Later, I was scrolling through an online bulletin board, and one of the messages was from Jim about Dan Ackroyd.

This past weekend, I happened to see a documentary about comedians who died young, including John Belushi, and included shots of him with Dan Ackroyd in the Blues Brothers… And the name of the man who posted the bulletin board message is Jim Thomas. So — that’s like a pattern seeking triple whammy. Of course, Jim Thomas is a pretty common name, like Wendy Hughes, that lends itself to coincidences.

Addressing a Coincidence

(Submitted by reader Jeffrey Nuttall)

In April 2009, a friend was looking for a roommate, and, since I was planning to move anyway, I ended up moving in with him.  As it turned out, though, there were some odd coincidences involved with my new address.

First of all, I later found out that my parents had both lived only a couple of blocks away from that address before they were married — my mother to the northwest, and my father to the southwest.  I had had no idea that my parents had ever lived anywhere near there until after I moved there.

But the coincidence gets better: the street the address is on is called Willis, and the nearest cross street to the south is Rayen.  My father’s name is Ray, and his last initial N. — Ray N.  And my father’s middle name?  Willis.

[EDITOR: This one’s both one of the craziest stories I’ve heard, and requires the most effort to find. You have to jumble together and separate out some names, and the rules are a little loose and require some searching. And yet, when you put it all together and see it as a whole the end result is wicked cool. Which is one notch above “crazy cool,” and a couple below “slap-my-ass-and-call-me-mathilda” cool. There’s a whole scale. Trust me.]