Naming Patterns in Rural South-Central Nebraska

Sharon N. Obasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A common strategy in naming a newborn is “namesaking,” that is, the practice of naming the newborn after a specific family member. Namesaking may be considered a unique form of parental investment, advertising the connection between the newborn and specific kinfolk. Namesaking patterns were assessed in rural, south-central Nebraska by examining 841 birth announcements printed in a local newspaper during the calendar years 1994 and 2014. Results indicated that male newborns were significantly more likely to be namesaked than female newborns; first-born children were more likely to be namesaked than later-born children; and namesaked newborns were more likely to be named after paternal relatives than maternal relatives. These findings suggest that namesaking may be a way of preserving familial connections within rural, south-central Nebraska.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-165
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016


  • Namesaking
  • Nebraska
  • birth
  • family
  • parental investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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