Saturday, February 11, 2006

Chasity

One of the most puzzling names I have run across is Chasity, a given name for girls. According to The Baby Name Wizard, it is unknown before the '60s, peaked in popularity in the early '80s at 344th, and has fallen off quite a bit lately.

Still, it was quite popular, ranking 872 out of 4275 for females of all ages in the 1990 U.S. Census. Since girls' names are much more diverse than boys' names, being in the top 1000 is pretty good.

My problem is – how to put this delicately – that the name seems to be based on a typographical error, compounded by ignorance. A Google search for the word yields hundreds of entries in which the writer clearly meant to write "chastity."

One baby name site politely described the name as a "simplified form of Chastity."

My wife has told me that fads in girls' names are often driven by soap opera characters. I have not been able to find a soap character, or other pop culture source, which might have made this name take off in the early '80s. The most famous real person that I can find with this name is Chasity Melvin, a player in the Women's National Basketball Association.

There was a notorious case in Kentucky involving a high-schooler who was not admitted to the National Honor Society because she had just had a kid without benefit of husband. Just to make the case perfect, her name was Chasity.

Does anyone have any insight into this name?

44 comments:

No Spring Chicken said...

Sonny and Cher had a daughter named Chastity --which was the starting point. I prepare the new arrival announcements for our paper every week and see lots of variations from standard spelling. I've seen Chasity more oftenthan the correct spelling of the virtue. Also Shawn for Sean and Antwan for Antoine. These are parents, I think, who are more likely to have "heard" names than to have read Caitlin, which has become very popular, is frquently spelled Katelyn. The name Sierra, which came from a soap opera, is turing into Ciera. Another soap opera name that turns up a lot is Dakota.
And I see a lot of parent-created names like Da'Lexia or Rontavious.
I was immunized to it a long time ago. Parents are, I believe, truly trying to give their babies very special names.
For the traditional names, it would probably be a service if the hospitals offered some standard spelling tips when they take the information for the birth certificate. I haven't forgotten the nurse with the book atthe South Orange hospital who checked for me to make sure I was spelling Jonathan right. I'm also seeing a great many little girls named Hannah and Grace, and quite a few named Emily right now. Boys, among the more traditional names, are running toward Ethan, Nathan and Jacob.

No Spring Chicken said...

(Early morning cut-and-pasting)

Correcting a sentence from the comment I just made.

"These are parents, I think, who are more likely to have HEARD names than To HAVE READ THEM. Caitlin, which has become very popular, is frequently spelled Katelyn."

Anonymous said...

I once knew a woman who was very proud of herself, because she had come up with a unique spelling of the word "crystal" when she named her daughter.

ancho and lefty said...

I can't offer any insight into this mystery, although I went to high school with a Chasity.

Rontavious sounds like a lost Roman ruler. Rontavious the Rotund, for example.

I am glad you protested U.S. actions in Latin America during the Cold War- I was too young to know what the heck was going on. I would have been mad as heck though, I can tell you that. Of course, those were your slightly leftier days were they not?

Ancho and I were guests of honor at an intimate gathering celebrating our engagement last night. You can see pics if you go to the blog of one of the hostesses- http://dreamlifestudio.blogspot.com
So, we made the official public proclomation of our intent to marry. How fun to have an engagement party close to Valentine's Day (Hallmark Holiday though it is).

When we have children I vow we will name them neither Chasity nor Rontavious. Ancho and Lefty are out as candidates also.

Gruntled said...

Are the more formal Anchovy and Sinister still possibilities?
(That is wonderful about your engagement).

No Spring Chicken said...

Don Boles said that he believed that children should be given Biblical names - like Serpent.

Gruntled said...

I work in the Social Studies Division. We don't really have academic departments, so the division is a unit that we some attention to. A few years ago we had a division chair who signed himself "Blue Heron," which was a personal totem. The most recent one, though, an economist, styled himself "Invisible Hand." He was succeeded by a political scientist, who calls himself "Leviathan" -- which led to an erudite back and forth about the biblical vs. Hobbesian meaning of that term and monster.

I decided that if I were ever division chair, I would have to be Protestant Ethic.

No Spring Chicken said...

The use of blog names, and the honoring of blog names while blogging (even among those who know each other quite well) is interesting to me. I've observed on my blog that those who choose "anonymous" rather than choosing a name don't stay around. Is the resistance to playing the game on the blogger's terms. Is it that people feel silly choosing a blog name? Or is it just a form of communication that some find quite agreeable and some aren't comfortable with?

Gruntled said...

I think people choose to be anonymous when they are ambivalent about staying in that conversation to begin with. If they become regulars, then they are likely to adopt a name.

Jonathan B. Horen said...

My sister-in-law, now head of the CT unit at a major hospital, once told me of the time, years ago, when she walked through the X-ray unit's waiting room, searching for a person listed as "Morgan, Female". My sister-in-law repeatedly called out the name, and finally a woman spoke-up, saying "It's 'fe-MAH-ley'!"

Turns out that her parents saw the plastic band around their newly-born daughter's wrist -- "Morgan, Female", and decided to go with it.

SQ said...

I understand that in Irish "Caitlin" is pronounced "koyt-hleen," you know: Kathleen.
I'm sure Chasity is uniquification of Chastity.
There is a fabulous message board for funny names on Salon's Table Talk, Families Who Think section called "Blambi, Latrina, Dwayno: Bad Names and the People who Mock Them." This is the link http://tabletalk.salon.com/webx?50@386.4SMZaet4IQe.1@.773a06ad

Gruntled said...

"Uniquification" is just the word.
And thanks for the link.

Teather said...

Since I've lived with an uncommon name my whole life, I figured that I may be an expert in this conversation. My mom wanted to name me Heather, but my dad was emphatic that I be named after my mom. Her name is Terri (not Teresa, just Terri...) so she gave me her T, changing Heather into Teather.
Growing up, uncommon names were not as common as they are today. Multiple times I have been assumed to be a typo in the school's registry system and and my name has been conveniently changed to what they thought it should be: Heather. In middle school it took two weeks to straighten the problem and regain my identity as my parents named me: Teather.
Although I support my parent's decision now, I wasn't a fan growing up. You might be surprised how many words that pre-pubescent boys can make to rhyme with Teather. Even my US History teacher in high school giggled in my direction everytime the verb "tether" came up in class discussion.
I'm not looking for pity, I actually support unique names because I think that they can help aid in development of independence. I have become accustomed to always spelling my name (especially in phone conversations) or saying "like Heather but with a T." I also think that there is an immediate bond with anybody with the same name. I didn't know that any existed until the invention of Facebook, and since I have been united with a couple others who have experienced the same life of spelling Teather multiple times.

I just thank my lucky stars that I was not born a boy and given my dad's version of a unique name...the combination of Dennis and Terri = Dente, with a silent "t" in the middle.

Gruntled said...

Addendum: our paper carried a letter to the editor from a Chasidity.

chasitystar said...

Um, well yes. I do have insight. That is my name.
My mom named me Chasity star when she went through a babybook, saw the name "chastity" but was so dizzy from exhaustion she only saw one "hince" the name chasity...
so yeah, dont hate on my name. I like it, altho i have had to deal with the many jokes saying chastity or where is ur chastity belt... it sucks

Gruntled said...

I kind of like the idea of "chastity star." A Christian version of American Idol, perhaps?

juli, without the "e" said...

My youngest daughter, who is now 18, is named Chasity LeAnn. Her father chose the name. He saw a picture of a little girl in a magazine and her name was Chasity. He thought the name was pretty and decided that is what he would like to name his 2nd daughter. His first being, Lyndsi. Which I must admit, I came up with. Her father's middle name is Lynn. I liked the name Lindsey so I adapted it to reflect her father's middle name and my name which is Juli, without the "e." My mother did that to all of her girls, Jami, Teri, Juli, and Lori. I think the altered spelling of names is hereditary. As a small child I hated that my name was spelt different than all the other Julie's. As I have grown older I do appreciate the fact that I have a name that differentiates me from the masses, but is not so different as to causes teasing.
I hope that my children appreciate that also.

Anonymous said...

The president of my church's Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) was named Chasity (this was in my teens, about 16 years ago). She was a bit defensive about the spelling...insisting it was "Chasity" (not spelled like the virtue) and that her parents had intended it to be so. The irony is (and I'm sure you've all seen this coming) that at 15 or 16 she got pregnant and being a "good" Catholic girl, decided to keep it. Needless to say, she resigned her office in CYO and drew away. Hope things didn't go too badly for her.

Anonymous said...

I too bare the name chasity. I was born chasity dawn. I have to carry an affidavit with my birth certificate because the hospital thought my mom meant to spell my name "chastity" so they sent in my paper work with this spelling. My mom and dad were Sonnie and char fans and liked the name they chose for their daughter but didn't like the spelling. So they actually did want my name to be spelled "chasity" hence the need for the correction on my birth certificate.I did have a hard time growing up with this name. I spent my childhood and teenage years being called "chas". My family still calls me that but I mostly go by my given name "chasity". I use to have a hard time even saying my own name so that's why I chose to be "chas" most of my life. I have become very proud of my name though, God chose this name for me and I rather enjoy it now. I say along with her chasitystar "Don't hate on our name" Thank you.

Gruntled said...

How, exactly, did God choose your name? And why didn't your parents like the spelling of Chastity Bono?

ChasityMarie said...

Wow. This thread is a long time dead, but I thought it was interesting. My name is Chasity Marie. I have no idea how my parents came up with my name, but I like it. (=
I've been called "Chas" most of the time, by relatives and close friends, some call my "Chassie", and my grandma, God Bless her soul..Calls me Marie. I think she has a hard time saying my name, honestly.
The younger cousins[2-3 years ish..] Call me "Cachie"..Or my 6-year-old cousin, "Chachaly".
It was interesting growing up with, seeing everyone could pronounce anyone else's name.
You grow used to it, though.
I love my name. As odd as it may be. And yes, there have always been that one guy who would go.."ChasTITY". So very annoying, but you learn to ignore people.

chasity le'shay said...

OH YESSS!MY NAME IS CHASITY LE'SHAY.I LOVE MY NAME.I ALSO HAVE FRIENDS THAT CALL ME CHAS!!MY MOM AND SISTERS CALL ME CHASSIE THOUGH,I GUESS BECAUSE THEY JUST GOT TIRED OF SAYING THE "T" IN MY NAME I DONT KNOW.AND YESSS!THERE ARE THOSE THAT SAY CHASTITY!UGH!I DO HAVE LARGE BREAST THOUGH BUT THATS NOT THE MEANING OF MY NAME GUYS!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am so very surprised to see so many "Chasity's" on here. My name as well is Chasity Lynn. I LOVE my name, did'nt like it so much growing up though. I always wanted to be a "Jessica" or a "Melissa". In time though I have grown to love my name and how it is so diffrent than other people. I get called "Chas" alot too, but only from my family and closest friends, and loved ones. I think its kinda of neat to see my name for other people, as I was used to being the only one around for so long! I personally feel as though your name is one of the greatest gifts your parents can give you, and I wear mine proudly. :)

chasityn said...

My name is also Chasity. My mother is a big Sonny and Cher fan and actually named me Chasity Cheralyn. My close friends call me Chas. I have grown to love my name, however it does get frustrating being called Chastity, Charity and even Chrisy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there are a lot of Chasity's here! My name is Chasity too. A lot of my family and friends call me Chas... my other nicknames are Chassy, Chat, and Chatty. I have been called Chastity many times or have seen my name spelled this way when written. It used to annoy me, but I can see where everyone who does it is coming from; it does look like it is a mispelled form of chastity. My mom tells me that she gave me my name because she thought it was pretty; I don't think she had any other reason. I guess the first Chasity was named because the mother wanted her daughter to possess the quality of chastity, but didn't want to spell it the same way so it could be unique? I have no idea. I like my name, anyway. It's who I am! :)

Chas said...

Chasity Michele is my name. I am called Chas...i like my name...not many people around here have the name Chasity. i just know of one other person and i like being different from other people. I also like how my parents put on L in Michelle. it adds uniqueness to my name!

chas said...

Correction...

I like how my parents put ONE L in Michelle

Anonymous said...

I LOVE MY NAME CHASITY! I DONT CARE WHAT NO ONE SAYS!!! ps my nickname i go by is cha cha or chasi.

Chas said...

My name is Chasity Lynn too. I hated my name growing up. but I grew into it. I can't give any insight into the name other than it is a variation of Chastity, much like Jonathan and Johnathon. It is interesting to hear from the perspective of others who have the same name I do.

papawscat said...

well,...guess what?!....my name is Chasity Nicole and I think it's beautiful and I receive many complements about my name...my name fits me perfect I wouldn't be happy with any other name and yes I've dealt with being called Charity,Chrissy,Crystal,Charlie,Cathy,Cassidy...and more but it's okay...my papaw calls me cat...my family calls me chas...my name was picked bc it was pretty and unique and it was spelled the way they wanted it to be spelled and I prefer it that way it looks pretty.

Chasity said...

My name is also Chasity and I love my name. My name was brought up also from Sonny and Cher, my mother was a big Cher fan and since her daughters name was Chastity she decided to use it. Only she didnt like the two t's since the ending is slang term for a breast so she just took it off. I dont see why it is such a big deal. I like the idea of people changing the names or spellings of names because it makes it so that not everybody has the same name. It creates a better varity.

Anonymous said...

Hello from South Philadelphia. My name is Chasity Sheila im 32 and I love my name. My friends and family call me Chas,Chasity, CC or Chassie. I was named after Sonny and Cher Daughter Chastity but during 1976 my parents thought her name was spent with one t so this is how i spell mine. Chasity instead of Chastity. Ive heard all the lines are you wearing your Chastity belt. Abstinency is best to Chastity. Be safe be Chase. I love my name and Im never changing it. I never knew so many people spelled their name Chasity like mine. Power to the Chasity Clan we Rock!

PureInHeart said...

My name is also Chasity....Chasity Lorraine and I love my name. It's unique. I only know of one other Chasity but she spelled it with two t's. I'm not sure as to why many people don't know the meaning of Chasity because upon looking in the dictionary I found out the meaning of Chasity is Purity.

Gruntled said...

Chastity means purity. Chasity has no meaning except as a name. This is why I was puzzled that parents would name their children with a word that was like a traditional virtue - but not quite.

Anonymous said...

Chasity Lea is my name. I love it. It's great to see all of you with the same first name. enjoy life what ever your name is.

Anonymous said...

Hi! My parents named me Chasity Channelle. My mom said she got the name Chasity from a Soap Opera, don't know which one :( .I really like my name and my family calls me Chasie!

Gruntled said...

Does anyone else know which soap opera featured a character named Chasity?

MommasBack3 said...

WOW... I've run across a few Chasity's in my life. I even work in a town where one was hired at my job. Then I happened to meet 2 more in the same town. Crazy.. By the way I'm ALSO Chasity.. It's Chasity Elizabeth! I've gone pretty much my whole life with people callin me Chas and it doesn't bother me. What bothers me is when people say Chaz.. I'm pretty sure I don't see a Z anywhere in my name...

Anonymous said...

The only thing I can find about a Soap star with the name of Chasity is this: Samantha Winward
Born on the 12th of October 1985 in Bolton, Lancashire, England, UK


In 1998 she was offered a £2000 pound record deal for her singing but turned it down. A keen actress, singer and model Sammy got picked from her agency to attend the "Emmerdale Farm" (1972) auditions in Leeds, West Yorkshire for the part of Katie Addyman in May 2001 and, of course, she got the part. She also passed all of her nine GCSEs in May - June 2002. Her sister Amy is studing Media at Manchester University.

Gave birth to her first child, a girl. Mia weighed 5lbs. 14oz, and was born at home in Bolton

She and her co-star Lucy Pargeter (who plays Chastity Dingle) were pregnant at the same time.

Anonymous said...

All of you girls named "Chasity" count your blessings! It's a pretty name and doesn't end in "TITY"~ my name is Chastity- with both T's and let me tell you, even at 37 years old I STILL to this day get comments and strange looks when I introduce myself. I've had enough tity & Sonny and Cher jokes to last me a lifetime!! I wish my name was missing that extra T! My friends and family also call me "Chas" for short...pronounced "Chaz".

echeck casino said...
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Chasity Lea said...

My Name is Chasity Lea born in'76my grandfather was a very big fan of Cher in the 70's. But also wanted it to be unique so instead of the traditional Chastity he told my mom to leave out the extra t.I too have had to deal with all the UN-original Chastity belt jokes but still happen to love the name!!I was also born the same day as basketball player Chasity Melvin May 3 1976

Flash Poker said...
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Anonymous said...

My name is Chasity and it was suppose to be Chastity but the people at the hospital spelled it wrong on my birth certificate so my parents stuck with Chasity!