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I know a Spokane woman who named her daughters after cities in Australia.

This was not some random whim. The woman in question has spent time living in the Land Down Under. It is an important place to her.

In my opinion, she chose fine names. In fact, those kids don't know how lucky they are.

I took a look at a map of Australia. And at the risk of sounding like a provincial nitwit Ugly American, I have to say that some of the cities and towns she could have chosen for names might have left the kids asking “Why me?”

It's not mocking another culture's place names to suggest that not everything makes a good moniker for a baby.

Consider.

“Time to get ready for school, Ballarat.”

“Gympie, I asked you to pick that up.”

“Eat your vegetables, Dubbo.”

“Cessnock, come here this instant.”

“Is Cunnamulla downstairs?”

“Please ask Ngukurr to step in here.”

“I can't at 2:30, Wangaratta has soccer.”

“Warrnambool, are you finished with your homework?”

“Wagga Wagga, it's your turn to walk the dogs.”

And so on.

Again, I'm not knocking Australian place names. I'm sure many have honored indigenous meanings. And I would be happy to note that most U.S. place names would not make ideal baby names.

I'm just saying I think the Spokane girls, Sydney and Adelaide, lucked out.

So if you were going to pick baby names from cities in a certain country, state, province or whatever, which would you choose?


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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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