Nova Scotia

'What are the chances?': Meet the N.S. family whose kids are named Fiona and Dorian

A Dartmouth, N.S., woman says it's a 'really, really funny coincidence' that her two children's names, Fiona and Dorian, happen to be the names of two destructive storms that have hit the province.

Two hurricanes with the same names have caused significant damage in the province

Leah White, left, is the mother of Fiona White, centre, and Dorian White. (Submitted by Leah White)

A Dartmouth, N.S., woman is calling it "a really, really funny coincidence."

About 21 years ago, when Leah White was expecting her first child, she settled on the name Fiona. 

"My father is Irish, born in County Cork, and we wanted something that sort of reflected that Irish heritage. Fiona seemed to be uncommon, but not unusual, so that kind of fit the bill for us."

The name Fiona made headlines around the world this week as a powerful hurricane with the same name wreaked havoc in the Atlantic Ocean, making landfall in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm early Saturday morning. The storm knocked out power to most of the province, ripped apart homes and businesses and is suspected to have taken the life of one man.

But here's where White's connection to destructive storms in the province gets a little eerie.

A year or so after Fiona was born, White had a son, whom she named Dorian.

"His is I guess less about family heritage and more about just trying to find a name that we could agree on. That was really the only name. He was very close to being a Dominic."

In 2019, post-tropical storm Dorian slammed into Nova Scotia, toppling a construction crane, uprooting trees and, once again, knocking out electricity to hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotia Power customers.

'A really, really funny coincidence'

"I mean, what are the chances? They're two uncommon names, and they're the two hurricanes that happened to hit us, one after another. So I think we just sort of found it a really, really funny coincidence."

White says both of her kids received comments from friends about their names as each of the storms approached the province, and she sent articles with contextually humorous headlines to her daughter as Fiona approached. 

"Because if you can't laugh about something, then you'll cry. So she found those funny too," White said.

Post-tropical storm Dorian knocked down a tree on their property. White says her daughter was not to be outdone.

"She's very competitive, so she definitely didn't want to, you know, be a weaker storm than he was."

To even the score, post-tropical storm Fiona knocked down the other tree on their property.

Concern about climate change

Fiona White, 20, said she saw a news article that said Fiona would be a much more powerful hurricane than Dorian.

"And I was like, yeah, that sounds about right."

Fiona White said while the coincidence is "just a strange little thing," she was more concerned about climate change and the potential for damage.

In the interest of public safety, the CBC asked White if, perchance, Fiona and Dorian might expect a sibling someday.

"No, no, no. That is it. That's all. We're all safe now," she said, laughing.

White says she's not aware of any Juans in her ancestry.

But the family does have a cat named Daisy.

The Whites also have a cat named Daisy. Leah White says some have suggested to her that a future storm could share the name. (Submitted by Leah White)


Frances Willick is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. Please contact her with feedback, story ideas or tips at


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?