How popular is the baby name Alexa 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 Alexa.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Alexa


Posts that Mention the Name Alexa

Name Quotes #73: Kamilah, Alexa, Bob

Actress Jameela Jamil called "Kamilah Al-Jamil"
Actress Jameela Jamil labeled “Kamilah Al-Jamil” by E! News

The red carpet prank pulled on actress Jameela Jamil at the Golden Globes back in January:

Jameela Jamil’s name was spelled wrong on E! News during the red carpet show before the 76th annual Golden Globes.

In place of The Good Place star’s name, the network referenced a plot point from the show — that Jamil’s character, Tahani, is always outshined by her sister, Kamilah Al-Jamil.

Jamil herself was more than a good sport about the misnaming at the Globes. “This is legit the funniest thing I have ever seen,” the actress tweeted. “Tahani would DIE!”

From a New York Times article about parents allowing children to choose their own names:

Tiffany Towers, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, said she understands why parents may be agreeable to allowing their children to choose or change their names so readily.

It can be either an attempt to empower their children or to avoid the pressure of assigning a name to their offspring, Dr. Towers said. Perhaps the parents don’t want to feel responsible for their child being bullied for having a weird or old-fashioned name. Or maybe they believe that their child’s future will be shaped by this initial identity of a name (a name that the child didn’t request), and they fear that their child will resent them or feel oppressed by their name.

From an article that asks, “Where did all the Bobs in baseball go?

By the turn of the century, the Bob-to-Rob transition had been essentially complete. No Major Leaguer has gone by Bob since journeyman reliever Bob Howry retired in 2010. There are dozens of Robs, Robbys and Bobbys currently in the Minors working their way up the ladder, but no Bobs to be found.

Should social media influence your choice in baby names?

[E]xperts say consulting social media when naming your child — be it asking others about a name on Facebook, or using social media handles to inform a name — can be smart. “With the goal of not having your child get lost in the social shuffle and losing opportunities, it may be best to take a proactive social branding strategy or ‘self insurance’ from the very start of their life,” says Robb Hecht, an adjunct professor of marketing at Baruch College in New York City.

[…]

Others disagree: Lots of people have a social media handle that’s different from their name, so that shouldn’t be a factor in naming your child, says Kim Randall, the owner of KiMedia Strategies. Adds Kent Lewis, the president and founder of marketing firm Anvil: “A [social media] handle can be changed or modified over time, and typically isn’t as important as the content and visibility of the profile.”

From an article that attempts to calculate the ROI of Starbucks baristas spelling your name wrong:

How much free advertising has Starbucks got from the incorrect (and correct) spelling of their baristas? […] If we are to accept that people sharing images (especially with a brand name or @ mention) is the most valuable form of “free advertising” for Starbucks on social, the whole name spelling trend is working harder than the general conversation to generate it. […] If this is all a scheme by Starbucks to get free advertising on social media, it’s a very good one indeed.

A sentence from “A tale of two Trump sisters” (Ivanka and Tiffany) in the Telegraph:

One had her own jewellery line, the other was named after a jewellery brand.

From an article about the Cook Islands, which is considering a name change “to reflect its Polynesian heritage”:

The nation was named after British explorer James Cook who landed on the islands in the 1700s.

A committee is considering 60 options in Cook Islands Maori including Rangiaroa, meaning Love from the Heavens and Raroatua which translates as We Stand Under God.

Finally, two more quotes about people named Alexa. (The first was in Name Quotes 53.) One is about a woman in Saskatchewan named Alexa:

“(It’s) kind of weird sometimes when people come right up to me and say ‘Alexa, what’s the best restaurant in …’ or ‘Alexa, how do I get to …’ and they’re joking of course, but initially you’re kind of taken aback a bit that people are using it in that way,” [Alexa] Gorenko said.

[…]

As for Gorenko, she said the newfound prominence of her name has actually helped her embrace it.

“It kind of brought the name out to me, because there aren’t very many people named Alexa and now you hear it all the time,” she said.

The other is about a Maryland couple whose toddler is named Alexa:

The couple is so concerned that they wrote to Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, and proposed a different name to the popular device. Lew Klein said they did hear back.

Amazon explained to them that the product was named after the famous Library of Alexandria that “stored the knowledge of the ancient world.” While the message said the suggestion would be passed along, Amazon has no plans on changing the name anytime soon.

(This reminds me of the time when people named Zoe in France got angry about the name of the Renault Zoe.)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Baby Names Falling in 2018: Girl Names

Which girl names decreased the most in popularity from 2017 to 2018?

In this post we’ll answer the question two different ways: first by looking at the top absolute (raw number) drops, second by looking at the top relative drops.

Fastest Falling Girl Names: Absolute

  1. Emily, -1,125 baby girls
  2. Emma, -1,112
  3. Ava, -1,034
  4. Sophia, -955
  5. Madison, -839
  6. Alexa, -838
  7. Mia, -828
  8. Abigail, -811
  9. Olivia, -782
  10. Aubrey, -721

Fastest Falling Girl Names: Relative

  1. Yuleimy, -85% (from 54 to 8 baby girls)
  2. Darleth, -84%
  3. Brennley, -75%
  4. Anastazja, -74%
  5. Danelly, -73%
  6. Kenly, -71%
  7. Lita, -71%
  8. Alaena, -71%
  9. Elnora, -69%
  10. Jacquelin, -69%

(This second list only accounts for names that stayed in the data; I didn’t account for names that fell off the list in 2018.)

If you have any explanations for the name movement above, let us know in the comments!

P.S. Here’s the SSA’s table of baby names that decreased in rank from 2017 to 2018. The top girl names on their list are Audrina, Courtney, and Angelique.

More Top Baby Name Rises

Having déjà vu?

A couple of months ago, we looked at a long, year-by-year list of the top baby name rises. A month after that, we saw the corresponding list of top drops.

On that second post, Frank B. left a comment in which he asked about absolute rises and drops — because the lists only covered relative movement within the data. So I thought two more posts were in order: top raw-number rises, and top raw-number drops.

We’ll start with the rises again. Just keep in mind that the SSA numbers don’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t quite reflect reality.

Here’s the format: Girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the numbers represent single-year rises in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, the usage of the girl name Ethel increased by 155 babies and the usage of the boy name Chester increased by 106 babies.

  • 1881: Ethel, +155; Chester, +106
  • 1882: Mary, +1,229; John, +788
  • 1883: Bertha, +173; Grover, +71
  • 1884: Mary, +1,205; Grover, +675
  • 1885: Helen, +148; Willie, +36
  • 1886: Mary, +762; John, +270
  • 1887: Ethel, +208; Harold, +55
  • 1888: Mary, +1,866; William, +1,235
  • 1889: Ruth, +223; Russell, +52
  • 1890: Mary, +430; Charlie, +112
  • 1891: Ruth, +662; Theodore & Herbert, +34 (tie)
  • 1892: Mary, +1,471; John, +1,358
  • 1893: Esther, +558; Claude, +41
  • 1894: Marie, +437; John, +189
  • 1895: Anna, +385; James, +225
  • 1896: Helen, +369; William, +470
  • 1897: Thelma, +159; Dewey, +95
  • 1898: Mary, +994; Dewey, +957
  • 1899: Mildred, +188; Kenneth, +24
  • 1900: Mary, +3536; John, +2,840
  • 1901: Retha, +25; Theodore, +21
  • 1902: Mary, +1,350; John, +1,009
  • 1903: Dorothy, +371; Jack, +88
  • 1904: Mary, +687; John, +499
  • 1905: Mary, +1,105; Charles, +201
  • 1906: Alice, +581; Robert, +225
  • 1907: Mary, +1,211; James, +799
  • 1908: Mary, +1,085; William, +622
  • 1909: Helen, +813; James, +582
  • 1910: Mary, +3,589; John, +1,860
  • 1911: Dorothy, +1,551; John, +1,995
  • 1912: Mary, +7,910; John, +11,140
  • 1913: Mary, +4,342; John, +4,738
  • 1914: Mary, +8,705; John, +8,621
  • 1915: Mary, +12,842; John, +9,634
  • 1916: Mary, +3,246; Robert, +3,004
  • 1917: Mary, +2,847; Robert, +3,474
  • 1918: Dorothy, +3,179; Robert, +5,409
  • 1919: Betty, +1,304; Willie, +409
  • 1920: Mary, +5,141; Robert, +7,656
  • 1921: Betty, +3,618; Robert, +4,096
  • 1922: Betty, +3,259; Richard, +1,165
  • 1923: Betty, +5,097; Robert, +2,300
  • 1924: Betty, +4,605; Robert, +4,685
  • 1925: Gloria, +2,835; Richard, +2,034
  • 1926: Barbara, +1,917; Richard, +1,864
  • 1927: Mary, +2,787; Donald, +2,935
  • 1928: Dolores, +2,843; Herbert, +3,049
  • 1929: Joan, +3,806; Donald, +1,456
  • 1930: Joan, +3,812; Richard, +2,602
  • 1931: Joan, +3,633; Ronald, +1,086
  • 1932: Barbara, +4,514; Ronald, +4,411
  • 1933: Carol, +1,650; Franklin, +2,603
  • 1934: Shirley, +8,523; James, +3,124
  • 1935: Shirley, +19,514; David, +1,664
  • 1936: Carol, +2,785; Robert, +1,968

(From the SSA: “Note that many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.”)

  • 1937: Barbara, +3,230; David, +3,493
  • 1938: Judith, +4,729; James, +2,526
  • 1939: Judith, +5,748; David, +2,366
  • 1940: Linda, +7,657; John, +3,739
  • 1941: Linda, +5,355; James, +4,262
  • 1942: Linda, +7,882; James, +10,450
  • 1943: Linda, +6,831; James, +3,072
  • 1944: Cheryl, +5,092; Gary, +2,192
  • 1945: Linda, +3,065; Michael, +3,179
  • 1946: Linda, +11,239; Robert, +14,194
  • 1947: Linda, +46,978; David, +11,381
  • 1948: Deborah, +5,409; Mark, +2,503
  • 1949: Deborah, +7,953; Michael, +7,417
  • 1950: Deborah, +9,877; Michael, +5,220
  • 1951: Deborah, +12,954; Michael, +7,531
  • 1952: Debra, +9,782; David, +7,043
  • 1953: Debra, +10,015; Michael, +5,172
  • 1954: Debra, +9,029; Mark, +6,899
  • 1955: Debra, +4,653; David, +6,653
  • 1956: Karen, +6,843; Mark, +6,596
  • 1957: Cindy, +10,268; Mark, +4,020
  • 1958: Tammy, +5,618; Timothy, +4,011
  • 1959: Donna, +9,517; Mark, +4,260
  • 1960: Lisa, +8,013; Jeffrey, +2,564
  • 1961: Lisa, +8,983; Todd, +4,005
  • 1962: Lisa, +3,394; Scott, +6,790
  • 1963: Lisa, +9,951; Paul, +2,884
  • 1964: Dawn, +4,196; John, +3,900
  • 1965: Lisa, +5,990; Rodney, +5,013
  • 1966: Michelle, +10,937; Christopher, +3,228
  • 1967: Melissa, +4,114; Matthew, +2,778
  • 1968: Jennifer, +8,612; Matthew, +2,253
  • 1969: Jennifer, +6,858; Jason, +9,346
  • 1970: Jennifer, +12,455; Jason, +10,788
  • 1971: Jennifer, +10,626; Jason, +6,897
  • 1972: Jennifer, +6,820; Christopher, +3,954
  • 1973: Heather, +3,032; Jason, +9,236
  • 1974: Heather, +3,836; Jason, +8,082
  • 1975: Amanda, +5,177; Joshua, +2,968
  • 1976: Jamie, +8,306; Jeremy, +4,940
  • 1977: Jessica, +6,467; Joshua, +5,205
  • 1978: Crystal, +2,865; Nicholas, +10,274
  • 1979: Amanda, +11,406; Joshua, +5,921
  • 1980: Tiffany, +6,614; Justin, +9,355
  • 1981: Jessica, +8,602; Brandon, +6,048
  • 1982: Ashley, +5,971; Christopher, +8,995
  • 1983: Ashley, +18,435; Kyle, +4,161
  • 1984: Ashley, +5,478; Joshua, +3,551
  • 1985: Ashley, +8,242; Andrew, +4,252
  • 1986: Whitney, +5,699; Andrew, +3,682
  • 1987: Kayla, +5,917; Justin, +4,874
  • 1988: Brittany, +4,594; Justin, +3,545
  • 1989: Brittany, +10,969; Ethan, +3,162
  • 1990: Taylor, +3,188; Jordan, +5,257
  • 1991: Shelby, +6,703; Dylan, +5,349
  • 1992: Taylor, +4,696; Dylan, +5,298
  • 1993: Taylor, +6,318; Austin, +6,125
  • 1994: Alexis, +2,208; Austin, +5,616
  • 1995: Madison, +3,516; Austin, +2,714
  • 1996: Madison, +3,632; Noah, +3,360
  • 1997: Hannah, +1,993; Jacob, +2,237
  • 1998: Emma, +2,700; Noah, +4,137
  • 1999: Grace, +3,460; Seth, +1,718
  • 2000: Trinity, +2,803; Ethan, +3,783
  • 2001: Isabella, +2,587; Logan, +2,973
  • 2002: Isabella, +3,334; Ethan, +4,143
  • 2003: Emma, +6,170; Aidan, +3,108
  • 2004: Ava, +2,364; Aiden, +1,472
  • 2005: Ava, +4,959; Landon, +2,070
  • 2006: Addison, +4,595; Aiden, +2,492
  • 2007: Addison, +4,328; Jayden, +5,596
  • 2008: Peyton, +1,954; Aiden, +2,472
  • 2009: Isabella, +3,667; Liam, +2,582
  • 2010: Sophia, +3,680; Mason, +4,139
  • 2011: Harper, +2,032; Mason, +4,650
  • 2012: Harper, +2,496; Liam, +3,286
  • 2013: Sadie, +2,031; Jase, +3,410
  • 2014: Olivia, +1,308; Oliver, +2,116
  • 2015: Alexa, +1,786; Oliver, +2,181
  • 2016: Adeline, +1,700; Mateo, +1,516
  • 2017: Luna, +1,657; Logan, +2,748
  • 2018: Mila, +2,162; Theodore, +1,070

Some of these names I’ve written about already, and others I plan to write about in the future. If you can give explanations for any of those others right now, though, feel free! Just leave a comment…

Will Alexa and Siri Become ‘Servant’ Names?

amazon echo, alexaLast month, Marion Times columnist Dan Brawner wrote an essay about the Alexa in which he asked: “Are we training a new generation to give orders to servants?”

It’s a good question. Lots of us make demands of AI assistants as if they’re servants. No need to be polite to technology, right?

But I’m curious how this might affect the names of the assistants. Looking at history, we can point to many female names that fell out of favor as soon as they became linked to lower class activities (e.g., servitude, prostitution). Examples include Abigail, Joan, Nan/Nanny, Jill, and Parnel.

Will society come to see AI assistant names like Alexa and Siri as “servant” names over time? If so, will this stigma influence baby names — maybe even long after the original devices/technology are gone?

Sources:

Biggest Changes, Baby Girl Names, 2017

Which girl names increased the most in popularity from 2016 to 2017? And which ones decreased the most?

There are a few different ways to answer this question. The SSA, for instance, likes to look at ranking differences within the top 1,000. And I like to augment their list by looking at raw number differences across all the data.

So let’s look at increases first…

Girl Names: Biggest Increases, 2016 to 2017

Rankings

1. Ensley, +1,461 spots
2. Oaklynn, +1,072
3. Dream, +840
4. Oaklyn, +749
5. Melania, +720
6. Emberly, +616
7. Octavia, +435
8. Paisleigh, +364
9. Yara, +352
10. Kehlani, +347

Melania was influenced by the First Lady. Dream was influenced by the latest Kardashian baby.

Raw Numbers

1. Luna, +1,657 babies
2. Mila, +1,123
3. Amelia, +1,047
4. Bella, +957
5. Nova, +748
6. Camila, +704
7. Elena, +685
8. Kinsley, +669
9. Everly, +616
10. Aurora, +590

Camila might have been influenced by Camila Cabello (“Havana ooh na-na…”).

Other names that saw raw number increases in the 300+ range included Raelynn, Willow, Amara, Isla, Samara, and Leilani.

And now let’s check out decreases…

Girl Names: Biggest Decreases, 2016 to 2017

Rankings

1. Julianne, -263 spots
2. Wendy, -243
3. Milania, -241
4. Montserrat, -225
5. Nathaly, -225
6. Jayden, -204
7. Jessa, -201
8. Tenley, -198
9. Aryana, -184
10. Ciara, -183

Looks like Melania stole a lot of attention away from Milania in 2017.

Raw Numbers

1. Sophia, -1,281 babies
2. Emily, -1,211
3. Abigail, -1,196
4. Madison, -1,167
5. Sofia, -1,027
6. Mia, -978
7. Alexa, -883
8. Riley, -788
9. Brooklyn, -774
10. Lily, -769

Alexa was no doubt adversely affected by the prevalence of Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa.

Other names that saw raw number drops in the (negative) 300+ range included Kylie, Natalie, Taylor, Morgan, Piper, Trinity, and Harper.

Do you have any explanations for the name movement above? If so, please comment!

Sources: Change in Popularity, SSA, Emma and Liam Top Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2017