Independent baby name blog & directory, est. 2006.
How popular is the baby name Alessandro in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Alessandro and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Alessandro.
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Actress Dolores del Rio was the star of not one but two silent films with theme songs that influenced the baby name charts.
In 1926 she played Charmaine in What Price Glory?, and two years later she played the titular character in Ramona, which was based on the book Ramona (1884) by Helen Hunt Jackson.
The book is a tragic romance set in mid-19th century Southern California, and the protagonists are Ramona, a mixed-race Scottish–Native American orphan, and her lover Alessandro.
Like Trilby a decade later, Ramona was a bestseller that inspired many namesakes: schools, streets, freeways, even towns (such as Ramona, California). The number of human namesakes is harder to gauge, though the U.S. Census of 1900 indicates that there was a moderate increase in the number Ramonas in 1884.
Still, the book’s impact on baby names can’t compare to the impact of its most successful film adaptation, Ramona (1928)…thanks in large part to the music.
The song “Ramona” was commissioned for the film in 1927, and released later that year — long before the film came out in May of 1928, interestingly. It was a big hit with more than two million copies sold and two different versions reaching #1 on the Billboard charts in 1928: first the Paul Whiteman version for 3 weeks, then the Gene Austin version for 8 more weeks.
This song, the first to borrow a film’s title, became the most successful movie theme song of the decade, and greatly enhanced the success of the film. Its popularity gave Hollywood producers much food for thought about how to publicize movies.
Usage of the baby name Ramona, already on the rise in the late 1920s, increased so much in 1928 that the name nearly reached the top 100:
1931: 1,130 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 164th]
1930: 1,410 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 149th]
1929: 2,036 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 120th]
1928: 2,237 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 117th]
1927: 567 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 277th]
1926: 467 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 307th]
1925: 450 baby girls named Ramona [rank: 313th]
So where does the name Ramona come from?
Ramona and its masculine form, Ramón, are the Spanish versions of Raymond, which is ultimately based on the Germanic words ragin, meaning “advice, decision, counsel,” and mund, meaning “protection.”
Do you like the name Ramona? Would you use it?
Source: MacDonald, Laurence E. The Invisible Art of Film Music: A Comprehensive History. Lanham, MD: Ardsley House, 1998.
According to data from Malta’s National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups in Malta in 2014 were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2014:
Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 97 baby girls
Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 37 [tie]
Anna/Hannah/Ann, 37 [tie]
Luke/Luca/Lucas, 98 baby boys
Liam/William, 51 [tie]
John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 51 [tie]
Kaiden/Kayden/Kai ,46 [tie]
Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 46 [tie]
Down in 15th place on the boys’ side is “Yannick/Yan” — both are versions of John, and yet they’re not part of the John group, which is tied for 6th.
Speaking of strange things…
The current Maltese birth registration system does not allow for Maltese fonts, which essentially means that names with ċ such as Ċikku or Ċensa; with a ġ such as Ġorġ or Ġanna; and with a ż such as Liża or Ġużi, are out – or at least will be recorded without the essential dots which distinguish the Maltese phonetical sound.
I’ve seen governments (e.g., NWT, California) make excuses about not being able to render minority/ethnic names properly on birth certificates, but I’ve never heard of a country that couldn’t render names from its own national language.
Commenter skizzo recently asked me to check on Italy’s 2014 baby name rankings. They aren’t out yet, but the 2013 list is, and since I’ve never posted a popularity list for Italy before, I thought I’d go ahead and post the older list while we wait for the newer one.
According to data from Istituto nazionale di statistica (Istat), the most popular baby names in Italy in 2013 were Sofia and Francesco.
Here are Italy’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2013:
Check out Francesco’s rise in usage from 2012 to 2013, no doubt due to the election of Pope Francis in March of 2013:
Funny thing is, Francesco has long been Italy’s most popular boy name, so in 2013 it just become more dominantly popular.
And what’s the difference between Mattia and Matteo? Not much — they’re just the Italian forms of Matthias and Matthew, which are derived from the same Hebrew root name.
For earlier sets of data from Italy, click the link below. Istat currently offers top 50 lists going back to 1999.
Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.
According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:
Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
Nina, 17 (0.9%)
Faith, 17 (0.9%)
Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
Adam, 24 (1.1%)
Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
Noah, 23 (1.1%)
James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)
Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.
Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.