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Amapola & Poppy

poppy amapola


For being such a pretty flower, Amapola, which is Spanish and Filipino for "poppy," has seen no statistical usage in the U.S. It has never made the Spanish popularity charts either. To my knowledge there is only one namesake - Maria Amapola Cabase, a Filipino singer/actress, but there is a song titled "Amapola" by Joseph Lacalle, a 2014 flim titled "Amapola" from Argentina, cargo airline Amapola Flyg, and La Amapola was the ring name of Mexican pro-wrestler Guadalupe Ramona Olvera.

The name Poppy is a bit more popular and has a bit of a cult following (or it might be more accurate to say it is a hipster name or some other trendy label) as it is currently lurking just beyond the top 1000 with 257 girls given the name in 2015. That's a dramatic rise from a decade before, when only 57 girls were given the name in 2005. It's also increasing in popularity overseas, ranking pretty well in Australia (#73), New Zealand (#45), Northern Ireland (#32), England &Wales (#10) and Scotland (#28). What caused such a bump up, considering it's been used since at least 1919? There was also a slight spike in the early 1970's.

Poppy comes from papaver, an older name for the flower. It is Latin, likely meaning "to swell." One species of poppy are what opium, codeine, morphine and heroin are made from, but long before its modern drug usage the same properties were used for other natural purposes, such as cooking oil, seeds for baking, paint and makeup, and its qualities were revered like any other flower or herb. We also know the poppy as the flower of remembrance, thanks to the poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae. The California poppy is the state flower of California.

Celebrites that chose this name for their kids include Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin, Jamie Oliver, Anthony Edwards, and Jessica Capshaw. Celebrities wearing the name include Poppy Montgomery, Poppy Delevigne and Poppy Drayton, though there are several namesakes in other professions. In fiction we see quite a bit more, including children's TV show and book characters as well as some books for grown-ups. Most recently Poppy was the main character in the animated Trolls movie.

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Allifair

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The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…