Monday, October 8, 2012

Romero

Legendary zombie filmmaker George A Romero at work on set

Romero is a name synonymous with zombie movies. If you're a fan of zombie movies, you'll know immediately that I am of course referring to George A. Romero. George Romero is a writer, producer and director who came onto the scene  when he wrote and directed the cult movie classic, 'Night of the Living Dead' in 1968. Since then he has continued his "dead" franchise with 'Dawn of the Dead', 'Day of the Dead', 'Land of the Dead''Diary of the Dead' and 'Survival of the Dead'. He has also been responsible for several other movies, such as 'The Crazies' (first made in 1973, recently remade in 2010), 'Creepshow 2' (where he worked with horror icon Stephen King) and the TV series 'Tales from the Darkside'.

Romero has been an inspiration for many other filmmakers venturing into the zombie genre, such as the 2004 "zombedy" (zombie comedy) 'Shaun of the Dead', written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Romero was so impressed with the film that he offered Simon and Edgar cameo roles as zombies in his 2005 'Land of the Dead' movie.

Romero (pronounced row-MEH-row) actually has a history as a first name as well as a surname, both for boys and girls. Traditionally the girls name derives from the Spanish for 'romero plant', which is more commonly known as rosemary. For boys, the name has Latin roots, and like Romeo it means 'pilgrim to Rome'.

Romero has been used in America every year since 1952, but it has always been far from the top 1000. It was given to just 5 boys in 1962, and "peaked" in 2000 when it was given to 44 boys. In 2011 it was given to 37 boys, placing it as the 3080th  most popular boys name in America last year. This is in stark contrast to the well known Romeo, which ranked 360th in 2011.

George A Romero isn't the only famous Romero namesake. There are far too many to list here, but just a few examples are:
  • Cesar Romero, American actor famous for playing Latin lovers and The Joker in the original 'Batman' TV series.
  • The Romero dynasty of 18th and 19th century Spanish bullfighters
  • Los Romeros, a guitar quartet consisting of members of the Romero family, founded by father Celedonio and featuring his sons
  • Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU
  • Oscar Romero, the fourth archbishop of San Salvador who was assassinated in 1980
  • A character in the 'Beyblade' manga series.
Despite it's gory connections to the zombie film genre, the name Romero has a romantic feel to me. This could possibly be due to it's Latin roots, and its similarity to the name Romeo. However unlike Romeo, it doesn't have the same instant associations with tragic love (or a Beckham baby). And it is much rarer, which is a great thing for people who love the feel of Romeo or even Roman, but not their popularity.

I also think it would be most likely that only horror fans would necessarily get the zombie connection, so if your friends aren't likely to be rocking up to the premiere of the next big zombie flick, you're unlikely to get too many people thinking you named your child with Halloween in mind. What do you think - would you use it?


2 comments:

  1. I know nothing of zombie but hold Romero, Oscar and Rosemary (romero means rosemary in Spanish) at the very top of my list in honor of the martyred archbishop.

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  2. Oh, I always wondered about this name! It crosses my mind from time to time. Great profile.

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