Rear Left


Posted in Personal/Meta by rearleft on January 24, 2009

One week ago today, my first child was born. We decided to name her Ramona.

The primary inspiration for her name was Comandante Ramona of the Zapatistas.

Commandante Ramona

Comandante Ramona

Many people around my age associate the name with the Ramona Quimby character in Beverly Cleary’s children’s books.


The name is neither common nor rare, and seems to be in a popularity trough.


The rise in popularity from the turn of the 20th century on can be attributed to Hellen Hunt Jackson’s novel Ramona (1884).

It seems that the novel was very important in the development of the southern Californian identity. I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds like it has some interesting stuff going on around race. The character of Ramona has one Scottish parent, and one native parent. Jackson is said to have wanted the novel to bring attention to situation of the Indians in the same way that Uncle Tom’s Cabin had for slaves. Hmmm… must read.

The 1928-30 spike in popularity can be attributed to a film adaptation of the book. It had previously been filmed as a 17 minute piece by D.W. Griffith, which was the first film to list locations in its credits. IMDB lists five film versions, and there is also this awesome looking telenovela version from Mexico (2000):

Punks might make this association:

Others may think of:

But for me it’s all about my baby girl:

Ramona Reilly Gaberman-Rowe

Born stacking! I think she’s trying to tell us that she was born on the eastside of Manhattan.