Thandie and Ol Picked Jomba as Their Baby Boy Booker’s Middle Name

How strange it is to read a birth-announcement article (about a baby boy named Booker Jombe) illustrated with gorgeous 4-color photos featuring beautiful Thandie (“Crash”) Newton and handsome hubby Ol Parker, and think: I need to look up four of those names: Booker, Jombe, Thandie, and Ol. Where do those names come from? What do they mean?

I picked up my handy-dandy name book: 100,000+ Baby Names. Here’s what I found:

Thandie is a beautiful Zulu name that means “beloved.”

Ol is a short form of Oliver; a (Latin) name  that means “olive tree.”

Booker is an (English) name that means “bookmaker,” “book lover,” or”Bible lover.”

Jomba is still a puzzle to me and to all seven of the  websites I visited. However, I suspect it’s an African name that may or may not be related to Jambalaya—a tasty creole dish.

What I’m getting at is: Thandie and Ol have unusual names that are not familiar to Most North Americans. They gave their daughters unusual names: Nico and Ripley, both of which are more commonly used for boys than girls. But they gave their son a first name that might suggest a bookie, a book nerd or a Bible hugger and a middle name that will be a conundrum to most people and most name experts.

It’s reasonable to suspect that  Booker may not like being called Bookie (a slang term for bookmaker).  In that case he’s pretty much left with a middle name that’s “a puzzle wrapped in an enigma.” I got the impression from what I read that Newton and Parker were overjoyed to have a baby boy to join their two daughters. But naming him Booker Jomba is not the warmest welcome they could have arranged.

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