The Baby Name Buff: Places I’ve Lived–Maryland / D.C. Area

After I got my B.A. in English from Marywood, I went to graduate school at University of Maryland in College Park, MD (just outside of Washington, D.C). Getting my M.A. opened many doors for me and helped me get experience teaching college students, a job role I loved. And, on a personal level, my time at UMD led me to many of the dearest friends that I know I’ll have for a lifetime, including my wonderful husband, Kyle.

Even though I was only a student at UMD for two years, I spent six years in the MD / D.C. while Kyle completed his PhD. As such, I got to know this area really well and have so many great memories from a variety of locations in this region.

Here are some of my favorite names inspired by my time in Maryland.

For the majority of my time in MD, I lived in the city of Greenbelt. One of my favorite places to go there was Lake Artemesia, a park with a lovely lakeside walking trail. The girls’ name Artemesia (Art-uh-mee-shuh) is a long, beautiful name with lots of cute nickname options, like Artie, Emma, Mia, or Sia.

As one of the world’s biggest David Bowie fans, I was so excited the first time I drove past a sign for the town of Bowie. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that the town is actually pronounced Boo-ee! But, for the purposes of using Bowie as a (boys’ or girls’) name, I’m going to pronounce it like the singer (Bow-ee).

Dupont (Do-pont) Circle is one of the most hipster areas of D.C., as I already covered in my previous blog post about baby names inspired by beer.

As noted above, I lived in Greenbelt for the majority of my time in MD. And while Green might seem like a stretch for a baby name, Blue has become pretty popular as a name, so why not Green? Green is also my favorite color, so perhaps I’m a little biased.

Hyattsville was one of the places I went often, particularly because it had a decent movie theater and several good restaurants. Hyatt (Hi-it) is kind of a fun alternative to the wildly-popular boys’ name Wyatt.

During my first year in Maryland, I rented a room in a house in a town called Lanham. Stories of “the Lanham House” are notorious among me and my friends Matt (former roomie at Lanham House) and Erin, in large part because the landlords were kind of weird, lurky, racist and sexist old people who loved getting up in our business. As a baby name, Lanham (Lan-um) has a posh feel and could work well for a boy or girl.

In addition to teaching at UMD, I also got to teach at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC), located in Largo, MD. Another thing I loved that was also in Largo was my favorite grocery store of all time, Wegmans! I actually really love the name Largo (Lar-go), for a boy or a girl.

There were several libraries on the huge, sprawling UMD campus. But the main library was McKeldin Library (shown in the featured picture for this blog), a place I spent A LOT of time in during my time as a student and teacher at UMD. As a (gender-neutral) name, McKeldin (Muh-kell-din) joins a long line of Mc names. And I love so many of the nickname options, though Mickey and Kell are probably my favs.

I have many ties to Silver Spring, MD. First, I drove through it every day on my way to work for the three years I worked in D.C. Second, Kyle’s Buddhist temple in MD was in Silver Spring. And third, my friend Lauren and her family still reside there. Another great, gender-neutral name, Silver has both a peaceful / hippy feel and a tough, badass feel all at the same time.

Tawes Hall was the really nice, brand-new building that the English Department moved to while I was a student at UMD. This new location was a major upgrade from the English Department’s previous home in Susquehanna Hall, where 70s-style decor was thriving and where all grad students who were teaching had their “offices” in a single, open space called “the bullpen.” Tawes (Toz) could work well for a boy or girl, though I tend to think of it as a boys’ name for some reason.

And here are many more fantastic MD / DC-inspired names:

Photo credit: carmichaellibrary 

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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