How popular is the baby name Ailsa in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Ailsa.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ailsa


Posts that Mention the Name Ailsa

Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2018

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 444 baby girls
  2. Emily, 423
  3. Isla, 383
  4. Sophie, 331
  5. Amelia, 312
  6. Ella, 295
  7. Ava, 292
  8. Grace, 286
  9. Aria, 272
  10. Jessica, 262

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 422 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 330
  3. James, 323
  4. Logan, 307
  5. Leo, 300
  6. Lewis, 298
  7. Alexander, 294 (tie)
  8. Harris, 294 (tie)
  9. Noah, 284
  10. Rory, 280

In the girls’ top 10, Grace replaces Charlotte (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Rory replaces Harry (now tied for 11th with Charlie).

Names inspired by Scottish islands include Arran (118 boys; ranked 47th), Iona (83 girls; ranked 56th), Ailsa (37 girls), Islay (11 girls), Coll (3 boys), Jura (3 girls), Gigha (1 girl), and Tiree (1 girl).

And here are some more baby names that, like Gigha and Tiree, were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Adora-Belle, Brora, Callumina, Cardi, Delarosa, Embla, Everlyn, Frankie-Nirvana, Gigi, Honey-Bee, Izna, Junu, Kindah, Lhotse, Milliemae, Niska, Omnia, Peculiar, Raffie, Swithy, Tiggy, Uljana, Veia, Winry, Xanthippe, Yvie, ZuzuAvrick, Baroque-Valentyne, Caisson, Camhanaich, Dome, Eck, Fitheach, Gighian, Haxton, Indio, Izzeldin, Jeddie, Kafka, Lucifer, Monder, Neelix, Ouff, Panashe, Reave, Svetozar, Thapish, Ual, Velyo, Wit, Xypher, Yogan, Zostera

Possible explanations for some of the above:

  • Cardi B, American rapper and singer
  • Embla, the first woman (according to Norse mythology)
  • Lhotse, the 4th-highest mountain in the world (means “south peak” in Tibetan)
  • Winry, a manga character from the Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Caisson, an ammunition chest or two-wheeled ammunition wagon (means “box” in French)
  • Camhanaich, the Scottish word for “break of day” or “twilight”
  • Fitheach, the Scottish word for “raven” (and also the title of a children’s adventure game show that premiered on the Scottish-language BBC Alba channel in 2018)
  • Kafka, Czech writer Franz Kafka
  • Neelix, a character from Star Trek: Voyager
  • Zostera, a type of sea grass

(I posted more of Scotland’s unique baby names over on Patreon.)

In 2017, the top two names were the same.

Sources: Most popular names in Scotland, Babies’ First Names, From A to Zidane… unusual names of newborns revealed, 2018 baby names: Scots babies are Awesome and Adora-Belle

Name Quotes #58: Vesper, Ailsa, Kikkan

"Vesper. I do hope you gave your parents hell for that."

From the 2006 movie Casino Royale, James Bond commenting about Vesper Lynd’s first name:

‘Vesper.’ I do hope you gave your parents hell for that.

About the choosing of Ailsa, the first name of the daughter of gold-medal winning Olympic curler Joe Polo:

Both her parents were curlers, members of a tight-knit sport where an intense reverence for the game tends to bleed over into the players’ personal lives. And so it was only natural that Joe and Kristin Polo decided to name their future daughter Ailsa, after the Scottish island where the granite that makes curling rocks is mined.

About the coining of Kikkan, the first name of gold-medal winning Olympic cross-country skier Kikkan Randall:

After Randall’s birth on Dec. 31, 1982, Ronn wanted to name her Kikki, after Kiki Cutter, the first American skier, male or female, to win a rase in a World Cup event, a slalom in 1968. Deborah preferred Meghan. They compromised on Kikkan.

(Kiki Cutter = Christina “Kiki” Cutter.)

From an article about unusual names by Felicity “Flic” Everett:

When I was eight, I changed my name. Until then, I was called Johanna Louise, because my youthful parents, huge Bob Dylan fans, had named me after his mystical 1966 ballad, Visions of Johanna. In mid-70s south Manchester, sadly, the mysticism was somewhat lost. I hated explaining my name […] and thought it sounded clunky and earthy, when I longed to be ethereal and balletic.

From an essay about ethnic names by Australian-born Turkish author Dilvin Yasa

“Have you ever considered changing your name to something more ‘white’?” asked a literary agent the other day. “It’s been my experience that authors with strong, Anglo names tend to do better at the cash registers than those who have ethnic or even Aboriginal names.”

[…]

“Leave your name as it is!” [Jane Palfreyman] wrote. “I can tell you that their names have affected the popularity of Anh Do*, Christos Tsiolkas, Kevin Kwan or Munjed Al Muderis – and indeed may well have contributed to their success.”

*Misspelled “Ahn Do” in the original text.

From an article called “Restore Yamhill!” in the March 30, 1917, issue of The New York Sun:

The City Commission of Portland, Ore., has succumbed to an attack of mock elegance and under its influence has erased from the map the excellent, juicy and meaningful name of Yamhill street, substituting for it the commonplace and sordid Market street.

[…]

Yamhill is ancient, respectable, typical, historic. Alexander Henry, a fur trader of the Northwest Company, traversing the then unknown Willamette country, met at Willamette Falls, January 10, 1814, seven “ugly, ill formed Indians” leading a horse. They were of the Yamhela tribe, as Henry spelled it in his diary, the name being derived from the Yamhela, or yellow river.

From an article about Rose Collom in True West Magazine:

Rose was the perfect name for the Grand Canyon’s first official botanist, because self-taught Rose Collom blossomed when exposed to the state’s flora.

Rose discovered several varieties of plants previously unknown, and each was named after her.

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.

Top Baby Names in Nova Scotia, 1914

Speaking of popular baby names Nova Scotia…did you know that the province’s Open Data site includes birth registration records from the mid-1800s and from the early 1900s? I isolated the records from 1914 — the most recent year in the data — and came up with baby name rankings for about a century ago:

Top Girl Names, 1914
1. Mary (close to 700 girls)
2. Margaret
3. Annie
4. Marie
5. Helen
6. Dorothy
7. Florence
8. Elizabeth
9. Catherine (over 100 girls)
10. Alice

Top Boy Names, 1914
1. John (close to 600 boys)
2. Joseph
3. James
4. William
5. George
6. Charles
7. Robert
8. Arthur
9. Donald
10. Edward (over 100 boys)

The rankings represent about about 6,700 baby girls and about 6,800 baby boys born in Nova Scotia in 1914. I’m not sure how many babies were born that year overall, but it looks like the province’s total population in 1914 was roughly 500,000 people.

Hundreds of the names were used just once. Here are some examples:

Unique Girl names Unique Boy names
Adalta, Adayala, Ailsa, Amilene, Anarina, Aniela, Attavilla, Birdina, Buema, Burance, Caletta, Cattine, Celesta, Claviettee, Deltina, Elta, Erdina, Ethelda, Eudavilla, Evhausine, Fauleen, Genneffa, Gennesta, Heuldia, Hughenia, Iselda, Ivenho, Lanza, Lebina, Lelerta, Loa, Lougreta, Manattie, Meloa, Milnina, Minira, Namoia, Naza, Neitha, Neruda, Olava, Oressa, Prenetta, Ramza, Ruzena, Sophique, Stanislawa, Taudulta, Udorah, Velena, Vola, Vonia, Waldtraut, Willina, Yuddis Albenie, Alpine, Alywin, Alyre, Armenious, Bayzil, Bernthorne, Briercliffe, Carefield, Cicero, Colomba, Craigen, Desire, DeWilton, Docithee, Edly, Enzile, Ethelberth, Ewart, Exivir, Fernwood, Firth, Florincon, Glidden, Gureen, Haliberton, Haslam, Hibberts, Irad, Kertland, Kinsman, Kitchener, Langille, Lemerchan, Lockie, Lubins, Meurland, Murl, Neddy, Nevaus, Niron, Odillon, Olding, Phine, Rexfrid, Roseville, Saber, Sifroi, Sprat, Stannage, Venanties, Waitstill, Wardlo, Wentworth, Wibbert

I also spotted one boy with the first and middle names “Earl Gray” (delicious!) and another with the first and middle names “Kermit Roosevelt” (the name of one of Theodore Roosevelt’s six children).

Sources: Open Data Nova Scotia (specifically, Birth Registrations 1864-1877, 1908-1914), Nova Scotia – Population urban and rural, by province and territory (via Wayback)

Rare Female Names in Glasgow, 1914

In July, Eleanor of British Baby Names shared a 100-year-old newspaper article called What’s in a Name?

It said that a “correspondent of leisure” had kept track of all the female names that appeared in the Marriages and Deaths column of the Glasgow Herald during the second half of 1913. He spotted a total of 208 different names (shared among 3,500 women) during that time. The two most popular? Margaret and Mary. The next-most-popular were Elizabeth, Agnes, Janet and Isabella. The least popular were the 73 that appeared only once, including:

Ailsa
Alys
Anchoria
Carina
Carmen
Cassa
Celia
Clarinda
Clementine
Daphne
Diana
Easter
Elvina
Estella
Helga
Herminia
Honor
Illma
Inez
Iris
Lavinia
Livonia
Lucinda
Sadie
Sybella
Tooze
Una
Veir
Vera
Zoe

If this anonymous name-tracking correspondent were alive today, he would definitely be a baby name blogger. :)

Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: “What’s in a Name?” Western Daily Press 10 Jan. 1914: 7.