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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Alexander

Number of Babies Named Alexander

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Alexander

Popular Baby Names in New South Wales, 2016

According to data released in April by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, the most popular baby names in New South Wales, Australia, in 2016 were Olivia and Oliver.

Here are NSW’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 629 baby girls
2. Charlotte, 561
3. Amelia, 471
4. Ava, 451
5. Mia, 430
6. Chloe, 427
7. Emily, 387
8. Grace, 346 (tie)
9. Isla, 346 (tie)
10. Ruby, 341

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 668 baby boys
2. William, 557
3. Jack, 511
4. Noah, 499
5. Lucas, 453
6. James, 439
7. Ethan, 424
8. Thomas, 411
9. Alexander, 372
10. Leo, 359

In 2014, the two top names were the same. In between, in 2015, the #1 girl name was Charlotte instead of Olivia.

In the girls’ top 10, Isla and Ruby replace Zoe (now 12th) and Sophia (now 13th).

In the boys’ top 10, Leo replaces Isaac (now 14th).

Interestingly, the girls’ top 100 includes both Maddison and Madison — and the double-d version ranks considerably higher than the single-d version (45th vs. 68th). In contrast, in the U.S., Madison ranks 15th and Maddison 338th.

Source: Facts & Statistics – BDM – NSW Government


Name Quotes #53: DeVante, Ella, Buffalo

Time for some name quotes!

From a Movie Pilot interview with John Knoll, who came up with the name for Rogue One character Jyn Erso:

“My youngest daughter is Jane, and my wife is Jen, so [Jyn] is sort of mashup of them. And growing up my aunt was Aunt Ginny, [short] for Virginia, so there’s a little bit of that, too. It’s a mix up of a lot of my favorite women in my life.”

[Do you think Jyn will debut in the SSA data in 2017?]

From an A.V. Club review of the Black-ish episode “The Name Game,” in which characters argued about the name DeVante:

Dre’s point that names like Matthew, David, and Kevin don’t mean anything to him is fair. He wants to name his son after the actual culture and people he grew up around, and he hates the fact that when “something is black the world thinks that it’s bad.” Appeasing white culture with a name that has no cultural signifiers creates the type of internalized hatred that causes characters like Ruby and Charlie to respond so negatively to black names.

From a Telegraph essay by Sophia Money-Coutts about how absurd names build character:

But it’s enormously character building, being given an absurd name. It teaches you fortitude and tolerance because you will have to explain it 73 times a day. No use in labelling your children as George and Amal Clooney have just done. They’ve called their twins Ella and Alexander. I mean, they’re all right. Ella will probably grow up to be a florist or a yoga teacher and Alexander sounds like he might sell houses in Fulham. But what is life if you don’t grow up justifying your name to everyone you meet? Being called something silly means you can never take yourself too seriously.

From a Seattle Times article about what it’s like to share the name Alexa with the Amazon device:

Even though she’s never been on the receiving end of any commands or jokes, [Alexa] Wakefield remembers her first reaction to Alexa being, “How are they [Amazon] sort of allowed to use somebody’s name, like a more common name, as something like a robotic command,” she says, “It seems like a little bit of a violation.”

Later, she adds, “It’s placing your name in a subservient manner.”

These days, Wakefield says she’s learned to “look on the bright side.” “It’s sort of a feeling of pride,” she says, “Like a person named Alexa is very helpful!”

From a Cup of Jo post about offbeat middle names:

My friend gave her baby the middle name “Swift” because her labor was so quick.

Our friends chose the middle name “Buffalo” for their son because it was his dad’s nickname growing up. “It took my husband nine months to convince me,” my friend told me. “Then, in the middle of the night after signing the birth certificate, I had a mild panic attack at the hospital. Now I love it.”

From a Science of Us post about why it’s so hard to remember someone’s name:

There is a very simple reason why it’s so easy for the names of new acquaintances to slip right out of your head within moments of being introduced: Names are kind of meaningless. Memory experts say that the more pathways back to a memory you have, the easier it becomes to retrieve that memory, and this just doesn’t often happen naturally with names.

[…]

Sure, there may be family history or a great deal of sentimental meaning behind a person’s first name, but when you meet someone at a party, there’s no readily apparent reason why this guy should be named Mike and that guy should be named Max.

From an interview with CUNY business school student Janeflora Henriques:

When I was born, my oldest sister (who was a difficult child) insisted I be named “Florence” after a movie actress she idolized. My sister threatened consequences if I weren’t. On the other hand, the tradition of my tribe dictated that I be named after my dad’s eldest sister. Fearing whiplash from in-laws, my mother was wary to skip naming me after my aunt. At the same time, my mother was concerned about a daughter who said she would have nothing to do with me if I weren’t named Florence. So my mother shortened my aunt Jennifer’s name to “Jane” and Florence to “Flora” and gave me both.

From a Guardian article about extinct Hyoliths and their “helens”:

We all tend associate certain qualities to people’s names, usually on the basis of people we have known. Helen, for example, is a very sensible name. I associate it with practical, dependable people I have known. You can rely on a Helen. A quick look at the ONS data for girls’ names in England and Wales tells me that it reached a high point of number 8 in the list of baby names in both 1964 and 1974. It’s also the technical term for a hyolith appendage: a hyolithid has a pair of helens. I think this is utterly brilliant. The original paper from 1975 says “We term these … structures helens because the word has no functional connotations, and they were first described under the generic name Helenia by Walcott”. Really? Or did they know a Helen?

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

Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2016

According to data released on June 16th by the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the province in 2016 were (again) Olivia and Liam.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 292 baby girls
2. Emma, 249
3. Sophia, 215
4. Ava, 207
5. Emily, 187
6. Charlotte, 180
7. Amelia, 172
8. Abigail, 171
9. Chloe, 166
10. Aria, 137

Boy Names
1. Liam, 277 baby boys
2. Benjamin, 252
3. Lucas, 247
4. Oliver, 230
5. Noah, 228
6. William, 213
7. Ethan, 205
8. Jack, 197
9. Lincoln, 192
10. Owen, 189

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Ella and Avery (there was a tie for 7th in 2015).

In the boys’ top 10, Jack, Lincoln, and Owen replace Mason, Logan, and Alexander.

And here’s a sampling of names from the other end of the list. Each of these was given to a single baby in Alberta last year:

  • Unique Girl Names: Airadessa, Bitel-Shishai, Caitlove, Deslie, Evadelle, Finity, Griffiella, Huldah, Ibex, Jananya, Kemdirim, Lobna, Mavie, Niniola, Olanna, Petrichor, Qudsia, Riversong, Savindee, Toscana, Ulanah, Valissa, Wesla, Xyryl, Yagana, Zedrina
  • Unique Boy Names: Addrick, Barristan, Cazzwell, Dino, Erasmus, Fifth, Grayer, Hansel, Igzy, Jonesy, Kayvence, Lenroy, Mahalaleel, Noyan, Orson, Penn, Quayde, Redsky, Salumu, Tinotenda, Umber, Vanden, Wally, Xanjoe, Yan, Zeaston

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Petrichor used as a baby name! Petrichor is that pleasant, earthy scent associated with rainfall. The word was coined by Australian scientists in the ’60s by combining the ancient Greek words petra (“stone”) and ichor (the fluid that flowed in the veins of the gods).

I wonder if there’s any chance that Petrichor will become a trendy nature name one day. What do you think?

Sources: Frequency and Ranking of Baby Names by Year and Gender – Open Government (Alberta), Alberta’s top baby names for 2016

Popular Baby Names in Smaller U.S. Territories, 2016

According to the SSA, the most popular baby names in the permanently inhabited U.S. territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa — all four regions combined — in 2016 were were Olivia and Daniel.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names for the four regions, which which have a combined population of roughly 380,000 people.

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 14 baby girls
2. Angela, 12 (2-way tie)
3. Sophia, 12 (2-way tie)
4. Amy, 11 (2-way tie)
5. Faith, 11 (2-way tie)
6. Aria, 10 (2-way tie)
7. Chloe, 10 (2-way tie)
8. Amelia, 9 (3-way tie)
9. Athena, 9 (3-way tie)
10. Grace, 9 (3-way tie)

Boy Names
1. Daniel, 22 baby boys
2. Jason, 19
3. Aiden, 17
4. Liam, 16
5. David, 15 (2-way tie)
6. Jayden, 15 (2-way tie)
7. Ethan, 14 (3-way tie)
8. James, 14 (3-way tie)
9. William, 14 (3-way tie)
10. Aaron, 13 (2-way tie with Lucas, #11)

In 2015, the top names were Ava and David. The year before they were Olivia and Daniel.

Three of the names in the girls’ combined top 10 were not in the U.S. top 100: Angela (214th), Amy (176th), and Athena (142nd).

One intriguing name on the boys’ list is Eason, which ranked 23rd-ish. (A 4-way tie between Alexander, Andy, Eason, and Logan spanned 21st to 24th place.) I wish I could tell which of the four territories is using it. In the U.S., Eason is rising quickly. In fact, it jumped into the top 1,000 for the first time last year (rank: 902nd).

Note: The SSA doesn’t include baby name data from the five permanently inhabited U.S. territories in its annual rankings (e.g., the top 1,000). But it does release two separate lists: one for Puerto Rico (the most populous territory at 3.5 million people), one for the four other territories combined. Click below to see the complete sets of rankings.

Source: Popular Baby Names by Territory (SSA)

Name Quotes #51: Fox, Bear, Sarah, Michael

quote, name, blake lively, stage name, real name

From a 2006 interview with Blake Lively:

Q: I’ve got to say, “Blake Lively” sounds almost too cool to not be a stage name…

A: People are always like, “Blake Lively! Okay, what’s your real name?” It’s kind of embarrassing to tell people, because it sounds like a really cheesy stage name.

Q: Is there a story behind the first part?

A: Actually, my grandma’s brother’s name was Blake, and my sister wrote it down when she was reading a family tree. And they said, “If it’s a boy, we’ll name him Blake, and if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Blakely.” And everybody thought I was going to be a boy, and then I came out and I was a girl. And they had already been calling me Blake for months because they were positive I was going to be a boy. And they had been calling me Blake for so long, they just [kept it].

[The surname “Lively” came from Blake’s mother’s first husband. Blake’s mother kept it after the divorce, and Blake’s father — her mother’s second husband — liked it enough to take as his own when they married.]

[I mentioned Blake Lively in this year’s Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity post. Speaking of the latest batch of baby names…]

From “From Alessia to Zayn, Popular Baby Names on the Rise!” on the Social Security Matters blog:

Some other notable names in the top 10 biggest increase category include Benicio and Fox for boys. […] As for Fox, did anyone ever figure out what the fox said?

[I love that the SSA made a reference to “What Does the Fox Say?” in a baby name post.]

From Baby Kylo: ‘Star Wars’ Names Raced Up the Charts in 2016 at Live Science:

“What dad wants to name his son after a son who kills his dad?” said baby-name expert Laura Wattenberg, who analyzed the latest data on Babynamewizard.com. “It doesn’t seem like the most auspicious choice.”

From an E! News article about Liam Payne:

The One Direction singer-turned-solo artist explained the origin of son Bear Payne’s name during a Total Access radio interview, which he said was decided upon by mom Cheryl Cole.

“It was an internal battle,” Liam reflected. “I wanted a more traditional name and she wanted a name that was more unusual. “The reason she chose Bear was because Bear is a name that when you leave a room, you won’t forget.”

“And I like that,” the U.K. native decided eventually.

From The psychological effects of growing up with an extremely common name by Sarah Todd at Quartz:

If the purpose of a name is to signify an object, a very common first name seems like a pretty ineffective signifier. When people on the street say my name, I often don’t bother to turn around, knowing that there are probably other Sarah’s in close proximity. And so I think of “Sarah” less as a name that’s specific to me and more as a general descriptor—another word for “woman” or “girl,” or something else that applies both to me and to a lot of other people, too.

[Found via Appellation Mountain.]

From Why Coke Is Adding Last Names to ‘Share a Coke’ in Ad Age:

As for first names, Michael is No. 1, according to Coke.

[Found via Name Nerds.]

From Why Your Name May Be Ruining Your Life

Two University of Colorado economists found compelling evidence that the first letter of your last name does matter quite a bit—especially when you’re young.

Professor Jeffrey Zax and graduate student Alexander Cauley analyzed data on the lives of more than 3,000 men who graduated from Wisconsin high schools 2 in 1957. They found that those with surnames further back in the alphabet did worse in high school, in college, and in the job market early in their careers. […] While correlation isn’t necessarily causation, the researchers firmly believe there’s a connection.

[Found via Nameberry.]

[I’m slightly surprised we haven’t seen Zax in the data yet. Zaxton is a regular these days, though.]

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