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We were musing about names the other day (“Why I Rob Banks,” 1-25-16), which got me thinking about character names and I made an interesting discovery. Some people are giving credit in the wrong place and I’m here to reclaim what is potentially my legacy.
I wrote a Christmas story several years ago with a protagonist named Leon, which is the opposite of Noel. The story essentially posits the idea that the character Leon embodies the opposite of Christmas. Saddling him with such a name added a risk factor to make him predisposed him to such a life.
I’m not saying I’ve been a trendsetter again (just cuz I’m not saying it doesn’t mean it’s not true), but look what happened after my story was unleashed upon the public.
Nevaeh suddenly became a ridiculously popular girl’s name. In case you’re not scoring at home, Nevaeh is the opposite of Heaven. According to American Baby Names, there were 8 girls named Nevaeh in 1999, the year before my story featuring Noel as the opposite of Christmas came out. What happened in the wake of my story? Let the numbers speak!
In 2001, Nevaeh became the 266th most popular name. By 2010, it was the 25th most popular given name for girls born in the United States. You wish I was making this stuff up!
So, in effect, parents are naming their kid the opposite of heaven. There’s already a name for that, of course. It’s called hell. If one of these girls named Nevaeh grows up to marry a guy named Lucifer, you can bet some FBI profilers are going to have a devil of a time monitoring any offspring.
So, what are your thoughts: does Nevaeh mean the “opposite” of heaven or does it mean someone is heavenly “inside and out?”