Friday, November 25, 2011


Technically, it's after Thanksgiving. However, I have to participate in making two more dinners for this particular holiday. So if I'm stretching it out in real life, I'm stretching it out here.

Tallulah (pronounced "tah-LOO-lah") is a Choctaw name meaning "leaping water." The Choctaws lived in what is now Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. This particular tribe is notable for becoming the first major non-European ethnic group to become official American citizens. And yes, there is a waterfall named Tallulah. Across the pond, it is also a Gaelic name meaning "fruitful woman."

Tallulah was thrust into the naming world when Tallulah Bankhead became famous. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was a classic film and stage actress well known for her outrageous personality. She had a deep voice, romances with both men and women, and supported liberal causes. Very unusual for a Southern woman. She was named after her paternal grandmother, who in turn was named after the Georgia town Tallulah Falls (yes, that's where the waterfall is).

Unlike other well known woman of the day like Greta Garbo and Billie Holiday, Tallulah Bankhead seems to have faded into history. Most people would not associate this unusual name with her. But there are namesakes, mostly celebrity children. It is the name that belongs to one of the "9 by Design" children and is also a daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. The actress that plays Mary Bennet in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is named Talulah Riley. As for fictional namesakes, a young Jodie Foster plays a Tallulah in the film Bugsy Malone.

This name has never appeared in the American top 1,000. But for some reason I expected it to have appeared at some point. The name's got a lot going for it. It's lyrical and happy. Nicknames include Lulu, Lucy, Lula, Tulla, and Tilly. It even has some famous people attached to it. I'm not sure why it's never charted.

So if you want a bi-cultural name that is beautiful and lovely for some one born during the Thanksgiving season, Tallulah would be interesting to consider.


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  1. I LOVE Tallulah, nickname Tali!

  2. I fist ran across this name at a Pagan church. A woman there had a 7 month old little girl named Tallulah. She's very cute and I thought it a super unique name. :)

  3. Talullah is one of those names you hear quite a bit - I do anyway, maybe because it's very similar to the Australian name Talia.

    I always like hearing it though.

  4. Our 2 year old Dauhter is named Tallulah Faith, and everyone we meet compliments on how beautiful it sounds, her 1 year old Sister is Blossom Hope and their new Sister, due any day now will be Juniper, although we haven´t yet decided on her middle Virtue name.


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