The Baby Name Buff: Places I’ve Lived – Scranton

After I came home from Miami, I lived for a short time with my Mom in Factoryville, PA. But that little old town is in Wyoming County, a location I’ve already covered in my previous blog post about Tunkhannock, PA. I then moved from Factoryville to Scranton. (Yes, Scranton like on The Office.) More specifically, I resided in South Side and roomed in a nice, big house with many of my guy friends from high school. At some point, I moved to California for a year (blog to follow about names based on that location), and when I returned, I became roommates with my sister in a couple of different locations in Scranton as well. So, today’s blog features baby names inspired by Scranton and other locations in Lackawanna County and other nearby counties in PA.  

Blakely is one of many rural-ish towns to the northeast of Scranton. And while the name Blakely (Blake-lee) might seem uncommon to those not in the naming game, it is actually a very trendy girls’ name that was at #250 in 2018. Blake, Lake, Kell, or Kelly are some nickname options.

I love the boys’ name Cortez (Cor-tez)! I was surprised to find this Spanish-named town in rural PA, just east of Blakely. I was even more shocked to find that Cortez has been in the U.S. boys’ top 1,000 fairly consistently from 1972 to 2013. If you like more unique nicknames, I think Taz would be a really cute option. If you prefer more traditional nicknames for unique first names, Corey would work well.  

I’ve driven past Dalton millions of times on my many treks from Tunkhannock to Scranton. Locals know that the most notable Dalton landmark when driving this route is the Dalton Do-It Center, a home-improvement store whose name not only welcomes but basically requires bawdy parody.  The boys’ name Dalton (Doll-tin) has always been in the U.S. top 1,000, having peaked in 1999 at #85. I like this name a lot, not only because it sounds cool, but because my friend Paula has a sweet and adorable son who bears this name. Also, my Mom is moving very soon to a lovely, rural area of Dalton, so I’ll soon be spending lots of time over the next many years visiting my Mom in this town.

Right next to Scranton, Dickson City is your typical commercial area with a mall, tons of restaurants, lots of big box stores, and many strip malls to boot. While I really like the boys’ name Dickson (Dick-sin), I prefer the Dixon spelling.

Dunmore is a suburb right next to Scranton, and this town is very close to the part of Scranton where I went to undergrad at Marywood University. I also almost lived in Dunmore in 2015, but then my husband got a job in Illinois, so we moved there instead. (So, look out for an Illinois “Places I’ve Lived” blog post in the future!) I really like Dunn as a nickname for the boys’ name Dunmore (Dunn-more), though Maury would be another obvious option.  

I was a little torn about including the boys’ name Forge (pronounced as it is spelled) on this list. On the one hand, no one can deny that Forge is a really badass and completely uncommon name. On the other hand, I find the one thing Old Forge is known for—it’s unique brand of “pizza,”—to be a gross abomination. But, just as not everyone loves the same type of names, I suppose not everyone loves the same kind of pizza…if Old Forge pizza even qualifies as actual pizza (which it does not).

Apparently there’s a town called Harmony Hills just outside Moscow, PA. I have never heard of nor been to this place, but since Harmony (Har-muh-nee)is one of my top-ten favorite girls’ names, I was psyched to see this town on the list of places in the Scranton area.


When my sister and I were roommates, we lived in two different places in Scranton. One was in an amazing apartment in the Hills Section of Scranton, on Clay Avenue. The other was in a somewhat dilapidated, stand-alone house on Keiser Ave. (No one local to Scranton ever seems to say Keiser Avenue; they always shorten it to just Keiser Ave.—not sure why.) Though I’ve seen the boys’ name Keiser (Ky-zer) cropping up more and more on the baby name boards I frequent, this name has never been in the U.S. top 1,000. Kai is a short-and-sweet nickname option for Keiser.  

Like Harmony Hills (above), I’m actually not personally familiar with Maple Lake, located just southeast of Scranton. But I adore the girls’ name Maple (pronounced like the leaf)! It is a sweet and unique alternative to the mainstream girls’ name Mabel, a name I also like. And while Maple is often discussed on baby name groups, it has not been in the U.S. top 1,000 since 1902 (#957). Though Maple is already a short name, May / Mae is a cute, succinct nickname possibility.

When my Mom used to rent a lovely house in Falls, PA, I would often drive through Newton Township on my way to visit her. Though the name Newton is slightly tainted by Fig Newtons (gross!) and Newt Gingrich (gross!), it has been somewhat redeemed by the adorkable character of Newt Scamander from the Harry Potter universe. And I personally have a special place in my heart for the name Newton (with the nickname Newt) because I had a series of dreams when I was younger where my beloved nephew, Nate, was in the form of a Newt; thus, my nickname for him was Baby Newt.   

And Some Bonus Names:

Photo credit: Fransisco Antunes

Author: thebabynamebuff

Hi, I'm Vickie. I'm a baby name enthusiast, and I'm excited to share and discuss with others the unique baby names I find. Besides talking and writing about baby names all day long, I also enjoy spending time with family, hiking, astronomy, reading (mostly science fiction and dystopias), and all things Star Trek. (Are you noticing a theme?) I currently live in Champaign, IL with my husband, Kyle, and my son, Felix.

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