Alex Massie

Name of the Year

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Tamara Lush is a pretty groovy name, you'll agree. But, sadly, not groovy enough to merit entry into the draw for the annual Name of the Year contest, a perennial celebration of the extraodinary variety, vivacity and eccentricity of American names.

Controversy abounded in 2009 as, for the second year in succession, the voting public (all 10,000 of them!) disagreed with the Panel of Experts responsible for organising the competition. While the High Committee selected Sacramento's Juvyline Cubangbang as the year's Best in Name, the public voted for a championship show-down between Michigan's Iris Macadangdang and Barkevious Mingo, a football player at Louisiana State University.

The winner? Barkevious Mingo of course who took 54% of the popular vote and carried 24 states plus the District of Columbia. Salutations to Emperor Mingo!

Sadly, I doubt this country can compete with the splendour of American names but perhaps in the future there'll be a World Series of Name in which the American champion takes on the best name from the international field...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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