Hi Duana,

My boyfriend showed me this article this morning and I immediately thought of you. It’s a hilarious name-nerd writeup disguised as sports writing, about the WHL draft and the names of the players, born in the early 2000's for the most part. And his commentary on the types of names that usually come up in the "Dub" - even saying that some of the names have been "Dub-ified". It’s fantastic. And wait till you see the name of the player drafted 46th.

Even sportswriters are name nerds. I love it. And this could probably also be titled "how to name your kid if you want them to be a cowboy or a pro hockey player".

I would love to hear your feedback, on the names but also on the analysis!


Who let me write a name column all these years without ever mentioning the Novogratz family? If you don’t know about them, they’re this designer couple with seven children. And then of course if you have seven children these days, you’re not just going to name them Katie and Will and Owen. They named their children, in birth order (brace yourself):

Wolfgang, Bellamy, Tallulah, Breaker, Five, Holleder, and Major.

I could write piece upon piece about these names, or just skip over the preamble and start outlining the inevitable ‘The Nest’-style novel about them. But today I wanted to bring them up because, as per the above link, these names aren’t really that ‘out there’. At all. I also love that we’re all becoming name experts, as a dude named “Puck Daddy” ably demonstrates. Don’t let anyone tell you names are just for babies, or that they’re the province of women, or that they’re not useful to tell you something about a group as a whole, because they are.

But I take issue with the idea that only these names are “Dub-names” or “Dub-worthy”. First I had to have that term explained to me, and it of course stands for W, as in WHL (Western Hockey League). Idea being that these kinds of names show up more in the WHL than anywhere else. And while parts of that are true, we know not all of it is…

For example, it’s possible there are fewer Kaidens and Braydens where you live than the combined 14 that are on this list, but if I tell you once again that 32 of the 60 names on the list end in “–n”, then I am more than sure that is equally true of the Benjamins and Kierans and Owens in your neighbourhood. Beware the N, and beware the imitative spellings. There are two Aidans on this list who are spelled ‘properly’, or at least traditionally…but nobody’s going to notice.

There’s also this idea that the names on this list are self-selecting - that is, that they fall into a group of people who both i) Live in Western Canada, and ii) Are serious enough about hockey to be competing in Bantam already. But I have seen most of them well outside of this group, and while there aren’t that many Jameses or Williams, true, Anthony and Luke and Stanley still made the list… and I would have been here cheering for the ‘odd’ name to have made the team, and look how a kid with an old-fashioned name can still be cool, but then I realized that…Um. Stanley. I get how that might be the most ‘Dub-name’ of all the dub-names.

I’d love to see the list of the next 60 kids who didn’t make the cut. I bet they would be similarly varied/uniform. All this to say, if you’re worried about people making fun of your kid because he’s called Amos, or think that ‘Rory’ or ‘Tybalt’ are a bit too weird, rest assured, nobody they’re going to school or pre-Bantam hockey with is going to have a leg to stand on, making-fun-of-their-names-wise.

I mean, Krz. Come on! What can you do but celebrate this new age in names, and hope that kid gets his own box of Wheaties someday?