Q Is For … Um …


Quinn, Queenie, Quetzal — by now you already know you have somewhat unusual names. And you know that makes you both lucky and unlucky.

I almost skipped directly from P to R for this week’s Name Game, because as those of you with Q names know, they just aren’t that common. Quinn was the most popular one I could think of, and it is on the rise — well nigh unheard-of for girls before the nineties, it came in at #516 in the country in 2008. Still, the most famous bearer of the name is probably the airhead younger sister on Daria, and Baby Name Wizards offers this caveat about being a Quinn: “She has to deal with people thinking her name is Gwen if she says it too softly and everyone thinking that it is a boy’s name.”

Of course, there are other Q names. I did know a human Queenie once, but I think of it as mostly a good name for dachshunds. Joan Didion fans will be familiar with the name of her now-deceased daughter, Quintana Roo. Quetzal is actually a tropical bird, but Dodai thinks it would make a good name. Its bearer would be bound to run into pronunciation and spelling troubles, though, as well as all the various difficulties attendant on those with uncommon names. And really, these apply to everyone marked with the Q.

Whether you’re Quinn, Queenie, Quetzal, or Quenby, you’ve probably had the experience of others doing a double take when you say your name for the first time. Odds are you’ve had to correct the spelling, you may have been put in boys’ gym at some point, and you probably have to answer a lot of questions about where you got that name. On the other hand, you’ll probably never have to go by Queenie N. So while the bearer of a Q name may sometimes feel like an outsider, and may even develop a dim view of humanity due to the constant mangling of her moniker, she also never has to doubt that, in at least one way, she’s special. Even the obnoxious Quinn Morgendorffer eventually comes to see that she has more going on than a cute tank top and the adoration of Lawndale High, and maybe her name helped her get there a little faster. All of which is to say: Q-namers, hold up your heads — you may never find a nameplate necklace, but remember, you can’t spell “unique” without Q.

Image via flickr, Margaret Anne Clarke’s photostream.

Quinn [Baby Name Wizards]

Earlier: P Is For Paula, Who’s A Little Bit Nutty
O Is For Olivia: Precocious, Passionate, & Up For A Lesbian Cruise
N Is For Natasha, A Femme Fatale
M Is For Michelle, An Elegant Mystery
L Is For Lisa, Whose Looks Are Deceiving
K Is For Kate, Who Kicks Ass, Takes Names
J Is For Jennifer, The Vanilla Of Names
I Is For Isabel, Who’s Snooty, But Earns It
H Is For Hillary, A Barrel Of Laughs
G Is For Grace – What’s That Up Her Sleeve?
F Is For Francesca, And I Wish I Were Her
E Is For Emily, Who Seems Sweet (At First)
D Is For Danielle (Or Dani, Who’s Apparently Kinda Judgey)
C Is For Courtney, Who’s Too Cool For School
B is for Beth (And Barack! And Bandana!)
A Is For Anna: What My First Name Says About Me

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