Independent baby name blog & directory, est. 2006.
How popular is the baby name Alan in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Alan and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Alan.
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The baby name Alan is of uncertain derivation, but there are several theories about where it might come from. One theory is that it’s based on a Gaelic word meaning “rock.” Another is that it’s based on an Old Welsh word meaning “deer.”
Here are a dozen impressive people named Alan:
Alan D. Blumlein (1903-1942), English electronics engineer. Invented stereophonic sound (“stereo”) in 1931.
Alan Cooper (1952-), American software designer and programmer. Developed the visual programming language used to create Visual Basic.
Alan H. Cottrell (1919-2012), British metallurgist.
Alan Emtage (1964-), Barbadian computer scientist. Created the first search engine, Archie (short for “archive”), in 1989.
Alan J. Heeger (1936-) American chemist. Co-discovered conductive polymers (plastics that conduct electricity) in 1977. [See Alan MacDiarmid]
Alan L. Hodgkin (1914-1998), British biophysicist and physiologist.
Alan Kay (1940-), American computer scientist.
Alan J. Perlis (1922-1990), American computer scientist.
Alan G. MacDiarmid (1927-2007) New Zealand-born American chemist. Co-discovered conductive polymers in 1977. [See Alan Heeger]
Alan B. Shepard (1923-1998), American astronaut. First American astronaut, and second human being, to travel into space (1961).
Alan Shugart (1930-2006), American engineer and entrepreneur.
Alan M. Turing (1912-1954), British mathematician and logician. Invented the hypothetical Turing machine, the basis for today’s digital computers, in 1936.
Do you know of any other equally cool people named Alan?
Leimomi, a Hawaiian name that means “pearl lei” or “pearl necklace,” debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1959:
1961: 6 baby girls named Leimomi
1959: 8 baby girls named Leimomi [debut]
5 born in Hawaii specifically
The debut was likely inspired by the song “Leimomi,” written by Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs and recorded by Hawaiian foursome The Surfers (Alan Naluai, Clayton Naluai, Patrick Kalani Sylva and Bernie Ching) for their debut album On the Rocks (1958).
The Surfers — like [Don] Ho, Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman — were in the first wave of musicians to bring the Islands’ music to the post-statehood Mainland audience.
The name Leimomi has been on and off the SSA’s list since then, last appearing in 1990. What do you think of it?
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Victorian Era Female Names
Victorian Era Male Names
Abigale / Abby
Almira / Almyra
Ann / Annie
Dorothy / Dot
Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a few days ago.
According to data from the Central Statistics Office, the most popular baby names are Emily and Jack.
Here are Ireland’s top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2013:
47. Charlotte [tie]
47. Millie [tie]
52. Alice [tie]
52. Eabha [tie]
59. Eve [tie]
59. Zara [tie]
63. Maria [tie]
63. Megan [tie]
84. Aimee [tie]
84. Tara [tie]
86. Hanna [tie]
86. Katelyn [tie]
86. Lilly [tie]
86. Ruth [tie]
90. Alexandra [tie]
90. Poppy [tie]
92. Amber [tie]
92. Mollie [tie]
92. Victoria [tie]
98. Aoibhe [tie]
98. Laoise [tie]
18. Liam [tie]
18. Darragh [tie]
51. Sam [tie]
51. Tadhg [tie]
60. Ronan [tie]
60. Andrew [tie]
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
76. Shay [tie]
76. Alan [tie]
79. Logan [tie]
79. Anthony [tie]
92. Martin [tie]
92. Ruairi [tie]
92. Brian [tie]
96. Danny [tie]
96. Edward [tie]
98. Oran [tie]
98. Sebastian [tie]
98. Hugh [tie]
New to the top 100 are Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy for girls and Kai and Kayden for boys.
(Names that were new on the 2012 list but that have since dropped out of the top 100 are Amelie, Evie and Maisie.)
Of all the girl names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:
Fiadh, +64 (146th to 82nd)
Sadie, +62 (139th to 77th)
Poppy, +46 (136th to 90th)
Lexi, +33 (89th to 56th)
Sienna, +32 (112th to 80th)
And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:
Anna, +56 (296 babies to 352 babies)
Lexi, +54 (127 babies to 73 babies)
Sofia, +50 (155 babies to 105 babies)
Sadie, +42 (84 babies to 42 babies)
Fiadh, +39 (78 babies to 39 babies)
Of all the boy names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:
Kayden, +44 (135th to 91st)
Shay, +27 (103rd to 76th)
Kai, +24 (109th to 85th)
Leo, +21 (84th to 63rd)
Anthony, +20 (99th to 79th)
And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:
The Vietnam War ended with the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.
After the South Vietnamese government surrendered, a handful of U.S. Navy ships went back to Vietnam to rescue the remaining members of the South Vietnamese Navy and their families. One of these boats was the USS Kirk, which rescued between 20,000 and 30,000 South Vietnamese refugees, most of whom ended up emigrating to the United States.
Among the refugees were several pregnant women, including 17-year-old Lan Tran. The USS Kirk brought Lan to a refugee camp in Guam where she gave birth to a baby girl in mid-May. Here’s what Lan had to say about chooing her daughter’s name:
I remembered that Capt. Jacobs had said he wanted to put the name of the ship for the baby. But because I have a baby girl I cannot put first name Kirk for the baby girl. So her middle name is Kirk. My husband’s last name is Tran and my maiden name is Nguyen. And then her middle name is Kirk, and her first name is Giang Tien, which means “angel from the sky,” So my child’s name is Tran-Nguyen Kirk Giang-Tien.
Lan’s husband, a pilot in the South Vietnemese Air Force, was left behind but eventually made it to the U.S. as well. The couple decided to settle in California with their baby girl.
After a search for the “Kirk baby,” Capt. Paul Jacobs and other sailors and officers from the USS Kirk were finally reunited with Lan Tran and Tien Kirk in 2005.
We all know that usage of the baby name Madison rose sharply in the years after 1984, thanks to the movie Splash, which starred Daryl Hannah as mermaid Madison (named after Madison Avenue).
Interestingly, I’ve found an article in New York Magazine, published only about two and a half months after the movie was released, that seems to predict this rise.
The article mostly focuses on Alan Ladd Jr.’s unlucky decision not to produce Splash, but it includes the following quotes, allegedly spoken by an anonymous Hollywood movie producer:
“Do you suppose this is happening all over the country?” the Hollywood producer asked nervously.
“Two weeks ago, I walk into a party, and there is this woman I’ve known for fifteen years, always wears her blonde hair properly tied back from her face. She’s gone to see Splash, this movie about a mermaid named Madison, and now she’s trying to be Daryl Hannah. She’s got blonde bangs hat practically cover her eyes. Then last night, my wife tells me the couple down the street had a baby girl that morning. They named the baby Madison.”
That was how the article began, and here’s how it ends:
The producer’s shoulders shuddered almost imperceptibly. “It could happen to any of us,” he said. “I tell you, I can’t get that baby named Madison out of my mind.”
…Just like a lot of expectant parents couldn’t get the name Madison out of their minds in the years to come. The popularity of the name snowballed over the next couple of decades. It peaked at #2 in the nation in 2001 and 2002, behind #1 Emily both times.
Source: Kasindorf, Jeanie. “How not to make a “Splash.”” New York Magazine 21 May 1984: 34.