Will Alberta's two Uniques ever meet?

Brent Wittmeier of the Edmonton Journal reports that two newborns were named "Unique" last year in Alberta, Canada.


  1. Let’s get this out of the way. Your mom’s cousin’s friend is a teacher who totally had one of the following kids in her class: Lemonjello & Oranjello (twins), La-a pronounced Ladasha, Vagina, Chlamydia, Latrine, Clitoris, Eczema, Urine pronounced you-RIN-ee, or Female pronounced fuh-MALL-ee.  It’s totally real and not an urban legend with racist undertones at all.

    1. Preemptive concern trolling? Or just cleverly dragging out the “yeah, funny names like these, but it’s racist and I’m not racist,” line. Point is it’s hard to prove a negative. Have you (or anybody for that matter) gone through all of the census data from every country? Can you be for certain that all of these ‘names’ are just urban legends. I have an utterly strange name and I’m still not certain to this day if my parents were just idiots or jerks. Doesn’t really matter anyway.

      Also, from your linked article on snopes.com:

      Mark Lemongello: a pitcher for the Houston Astros in the 70’s

      Sure it’s not his first name but it still casts doubt on the whole this is just an urban legend spiel.

      Having said all that. I do see the racist undertones and understand that people need to know things like this. But your comment seems strangely out of place, sort of like a cart before a horse.

      1.  It’s just that every time I’ve read a post anywhere about funny or unusual baby names, the comments turn into 3843849750 repetitions of those stories. It’s annoying and tiresome. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten pre-emptively snarky about it, but I’ve seen it happen so many times.

        Someone somewhere might have actually named their child one of those things. It’s not impossible. But when a bunch of people from widely varying locations all claim that a friend of a friend really saw this happen, but there’s never any actual evidence presented, and the story functions mainly to confirm some social fears or prejudices? That’s usually a sign that you’re in urban legend territory. More discussion on the definition and function of urban legends here.

    2. Your mom’s cousin’s friend is a teacher who totally had one of the following kids in her class

      NO, but she did make $8637 every three hours working from home.

  2. Clearly Alberta is way behind the times. According to Freakonomics California has at least 220 different spellings for the name “Unique.”

  3. This reminds me of Spinal Tap, which was originally called The Originals, but they had to change their name because there was already a band called The Originals…I have no idea whether the original The Originals had equally bad luck with drummers.

  4. I don’t necessarily want a unique name, but sometimes I do wish my parents had given me a less common name. I had a high school friend, also named Chris, who once said that walking down the halls of our school and yelling, “Hey Chris!” was like going to a Cure concert and yelling, “Hey, you in the black!” 

    1. There are 23,000 people in the US with my first AND last name. But I still wouldn’t want to be named Youneak.

        1. I’m pretty sure that if my name were called at a caber toss, several dozen guys would stand up.

    2. I knew a few other Chris’ in grade school, but haven’t met one (IRL) in quite a while.  It’s common, but not too much so (not like John, say); just the right amount I think.

      I know a Vietnamese girl with one of the most common Vietnamese last names, and a first name that’s not that popular right now but unusually popular among Vietnamese people. She’s essentially impossible to find via any kind of search, even if you know where she lives (because she lives in Little Saigon) – even on Facebook. A town politician has the same name too, which helps. I think that’s a great combination – relatively unique (heh) name, but still easy to be anonymous.

      In my case, if you add my last name you’ll find me immediately because it’s uncommon and the others out there don’t have any significant internet presence like I do. This despite my last name being “Hacker”, which you’d think would offer some camouflage on the internet but doesn’t.

  5. “Listen up, [Unique]s. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”


    Reppin’ 780!

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