How popular is the baby name Anna 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 Anna.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Anna


Posts that Mention the Name Anna

How do you like your name, Emilia?

Time for another name interview! Today’s interview is with a 23-year-old from northern Poland named Emilia. Notably, her name at birth wasn’t Emilia, but one of the Polish forms of the name Margaret. Her middle name is Anna.

What’s the story behind her name?

As for my birth name, my Mum’s high school best friend was called my birth name, and they both promised each other that if any of them will have a daughter, she will call her the other’s name. At the same time, it was also my maternal aunt’s name. The friendship was pretty much gone by the time my Mum had me, but she kept the promise anyway.

My middle name Anna is my Mum’s first name – my Dad is Kashub and there is a tradition Kashubs have that a parent’s first name is the child’s middle name.

As for my current, legal name, I chose it mostly just because I’ve always loved Emilia, always felt like an Emilia, this name has strangely always resonated with me very much and I wanted to be an Emilia. Later on, as a teen, I read Emily of New Moon (whose name is Emilia/Emilka in the Polish translation) by L. M. Montgomery, and I found the character of Emily very relatable, felt a strong bond with her. I also learned that, coincidentally, when I was born, my gran had apparently suggested the name Emilia to my parents, which was a huge surprise to me, because – based on her offspring’s names – I would have never thought she could like Emilia. I was called Emilia by people I was close with since childhood, and I hated my birth name (perhaps not in general as a name but I hated it on myself) so it felt like the only natural thing to do – to change my name to Emilia.

What does she like most about her name?

I love the sound of Emilia. I like its softness, how girly it is, the general feel of it. I just feel a strong connection with it. I don’t know closely any other Emilia so that’s a plus too. I like the Emily of New Moon association, as well as that it travels well between different languages and is pronounced pretty much the same in each of them. I like how people always say it fits me, it confirms my great naming skills, lol. And there’s such a wide array of nicknames. Most of which I really do like. I am called Emi, Emilka, Emisia, Emis*, Emisha, Emiszon, Mila, Milka, Emilianna by Poles. Anglophone people usually just call me Emilia but sometimes I am also Emi or Emmie for them, and one person calls me Milzie which is so funny and adorable. A Finnish family I once knew called me Milla.

I like the classicness and classiness of my middle name and the connection to my Mum, and its huge feminine potential.

As a Catholic, the only thing I truly like about my birth name is my patron saint – Bl. Margherita of Castello.

[*The name “Emis” should have an acute accent over the s.]

What does she like least about her name?

I despise the nickname Emila. It’s just one letter’s difference but somehow it’s huge, and I don’t seem to be the only one for whom it makes a difference. Emila conveys a completely different feel to me than Emilia and has much less character, feels kind of shallow and superficial. But not too many people call me Emila and somehow it’s less embarrassing for me to ask people not to call me Emila than it was with my birth name to ask people not to call me my most despised nickname, perhaps because I chose Emilia, so I get to decide what I want to go by. It can get a little annoying when anglo-folks spell my name Amelia over and over (though I can’t blame people as they’re pronounced so similarly in English), but it’s not a huge deal as Amelia is a beautiful name as well. It bugs me a little that it’s very trendy currently for babies over here, but I can well understand why.

About Anna I dislike how popular it is both as a first and middle name, but since it’s only my middle name it’s not a big problem. I also have kind of mixed feelings about that both my sister and me have the same middle, don’t think it was particularly creative of our parents, and my sister isn’t impressed by it either, but on the other hand it’s a nice family connection, especially that, just as I said, Anna is so beautiful and after all neither of us can seriously imagine being named any other middle name.

As for my birth name, what I most disliked about it is that it just never felt like me. It’s not a bad name itself, it’s just not me. Can’t explain it better. Also, being blind, I had trouble during family gatherings when I felt confused whether people were talking to me or my namesake aunt. I cringed at all the nicknames. Another source of confusion was that my and my sister’s casual nicknames rhymed, so when someone called us from a distance, no one knew for sure, which one of us was being called. And, while it’s a pretty classic name, it generally has a bit of a dated feel, so the vast majority of namesakes I encountered were ladies born in the 60’s.

Finally, would Emilia recommend that her name be given to babies today?

Yep. As much as I don’t like the huge popularity of Emilia among baby girls, as I said I can understand it well. I think it has a lot of traits that a lot of parents are after in a baby name these days, at least here, but I guess in the English-speaking world too. It’s elegant, feminine, sophisticated, but sweet and with a lot of nicknames, and is international. And in the English-speaking world – a nice and still not that overwhelmingly popular alternative to trendy Amelia and Emma, and SO very common Emily.

Thank you so much, Emilia, for being so thorough!

[Would you like to tell me about your name?]

P.S. A week ago, the SSA released the latest U.S. baby name data, and we learned that Emilia was in fact one of the fastest-rising girl names of 2019!

Popular Baby Names in Switzerland, 2019

According to data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the most popular baby names in Switzerland in 2019 were Mia and Liam.

Here are the country’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Mia, 434 baby girls
  2. Emma, 401
  3. Sofia, 341
  4. Lara, 312
  5. Emilia, 310
  6. Mila, 298
  7. Lina, 294
  8. Lia, 292
  9. Lena, 280
  10. Anna, 276

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 443 baby boys
  2. Noah, 437
  3. Matteo, 360
  4. Gabriel, 340
  5. Luca, 336
  6. Leon, 318
  7. Elias, 314
  8. Louis, 312
  9. David, 264
  10. Samuel, 252

In the girls’ top 10, Lara, Lina and Lia replace Lea, Elena and Laura.

In the boys’ top 10, Samuel replaces Ben.

Here are the top baby names within each of Switzerland’s main language groups:

  • German speakers (63% of the population): Mia and Noah
  • French speakers (23%): Emma and Liam
  • Italian speakers (8%): Sofia and Leonardo
  • Romansh speakers (under 1%): Lina and Elia/Finn/Luca (3-way tie)

In 2018, the top names in the country overall were Emma and Liam.

Sources: Vornamen der Neugeborenen, Revealed: Switzerland’s most popular baby names, Mia, Emma, Liam, Noah: the most popular baby names of 2019

Popular Baby Names in Denmark, 2019

According to Statistics Denmark, the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Emma and William.

Here are Denmark’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 486 baby girls
  2. Alma, 453
  3. Clara, 438 (tie)
  4. Freja, 438 (tie)
  5. Sofia, 434
  6. Karla, 403
  7. Agnes, 399
  8. Ella, 386
  9. Olivia, 378
  10. Anna, 373

Boy Names

  1. William, 568 baby boys
  2. Alfred, 523
  3. Oscar, 514
  4. Noah, 484
  5. Karl, 477
  6. Lucas, 455
  7. Oliver, 454
  8. Arthur, 448
  9. August, 433
  10. Malthe, 426

In the girls’ top 10, Agnes and Olivia replace Josefine and Ida. Notably, Ida dropped from first place in 2018 all the way down to thirteenth place in 2019. The last time Ida was outside the top 10 was in 2001.

In the boys’ top 10, Karl, Arthur and August replace Carl, Victor, and Valdemar. (Yes, I double checked: “Carl,” which appeared in the rankings from 1998 to 2018, was replaced by “Karl” in the 2019 rankings. I don’t know why.)

In the girls’ top 50, Molly, Leonora, Merle and Mynte replace Caroline, Johanne, Naja and Vigga.

In the boys’ top 50, Matheo, Erik and Walter replace Laurits, Sebastian and Philip.

Sources: Names of Newborn Children – Statistics Denmark, Emma and William most popular baby names in 2019

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: A (part 1)

Looking for an under-the-radar girl name with a retro feel?

Check out this post and the rest of the “early cinema” series, featuring thousands of uncommon female names collected from old movies (1910s-1940s).

Many of these names have never appeared in the SSA data before. For those that have, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

Enjoy!

*

Abbasah
Abbasah was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film The Miracle (1912).

Acquanetta
Burnu Acquanetta, often credited simply as Acquanetta, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1990s. She was born in Wyoming in 1921. Her birth name was Mildred Davenport.

Adamae
Adamae Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1905.

  • Usage of the baby name Adamae.

Adda
Adda Gleason was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Illinois in 1888.

  • Usage of the baby name Adda.

Adorée
Adorée was a character name in multiple films, including A Maid of Belgium (1917) and The Auction Block (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Adoree.

Adraste
Adraste was a character played by actress Alice White in the film The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1928).

Adrea
Adrea Spedding was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the Sherlock Holmes film The Spider Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrea.

Adrean
Adrean Wainwright was a character played by actress Ruth Clifford in the film The Thrill Seekers (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrean.

Aelita
Aelita was a character played by actress Yuliya Solntseva in the film Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Aelita.

Afy
Aphrodite “Afy” Hallijohn was a character played by various actresses (such as Madge Kirby and Belle Bennett) in various movies called East Lynne, all based on the novel of the same name by Ellen Wood.

Aggie
Aggie was a character name in multiple films, including Her Better Self (1917) and Women Won’t Tell (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aggie.

Agia
Agia was a character played by actress Eugenie Forde in the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

Agostina
Agostina was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Children of Chance (1949).

Aho
Aho was a character played by actress Maude George in the film The Marriage Ring (1918).

Ailea
Ailea Lorne was a character played by actress Gertrude McCoy in the film series The Chronicles of Cleek (1913-1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Ailea.

Airleen
Airleen MacGregor was a character played by actress Adrienne Kroell in the short film The Laird’s Daughter (1912).

Aisla
Aisla Crane was a character played by actress Belle Chrystall in the film The Frightened Lady (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aisla.

Aissa
Aissa was a character played by actress Laura Winston in the film The Demon (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aissa.

Akanesi
Akanesi was a character played by actress Lily Phillips in the film The Adorable Savage (1920).

Alabam
Alabam Lee was a character played by actress Carole Lombard in the film Lady by Choice (1934).

Alaire
Alaire Austin was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Heart of the Sunset (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Alaire.

Alathea
Alathea Bulteel was a character played by actress Harriet Hammond in the film Man and Maid (1925).

Alatia
Alatia Marton was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Texas in 1894.

Alayne
Alayne Archer was a character played by actress Kay Johnson in the film Jalna (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Alayne.

Albany
Albany Yates was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Chad Hanna (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Albany.

Alberta
Alberta Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1904. Alberta was also a character played by actress Helene Chadwich in the film The Challenge (1916).

Albertine
Albertine was a character played by actress Sarah Padden in the film Assignment in Brittany (1943).

Albina
Albina was a character played by actress Kate Toncray in the film The Narrow Street (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Albina.

Albine
Albine was a character played by actress Polly Moran in the film The Passionate Plumber (1932).

Alcolma
Alcolma was a character played by actress Eva Moore in the film Chu-Chin-Chow (1923).

Alda
Alda was a character played by actress Katharine Alexander in the film Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alda.

Aldyth
Aldyth was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the short film The Last of the Saxons (1910).

  • Usage of the baby name Aldyth.

Alene
Princess Alene was a character played by actress Mary Charleson in the film serial The Road o’ Strife (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Alene.

Aleska
Aleska was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film Betta the Gypsy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleska.

Aleta
Aleta Doré was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1925. Aleta was also a character played by actress Lois Collier in the film Slave Girl (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleta.

Alexandrine
Alexandrine Zola was a character played by actress Gloria Holden in the film The Life of Emile Zola (1937).

Algeria
Algeria was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film The Walls of Jericho (1948).

Alida
Alida Valli, often credited simply as Valli, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 2000s. She was born in Italy in 1921. Her birth name was Alida Maria Laura Altenburger von Marckenstein-Frauenberg. Alida was also a character name in multiple films, including The Lure of Jade (1921) and Crimson Romance (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alida.

Aliette
Aliette Brunton was a character played by actress Isobel Elsom in the film The Love Story of Aliette Brunton (1924).

Aline
Aline MacMahon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1899. Aline was also a character name in multiple films, including Seeds of Wealth (short, 1913) and A Fool and His Money (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Aline.

Alis
Alis Porter was a character played by actress Vera Reynolds in the film The Million Dollar Handicap (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alis.

Alisande
Alisande La Carteloise was a character played by actress Rhonda Fleming in the film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949).

Alisia
Alisia Stafford was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Tide of Battle (1912).

  • Usage of the baby name Alisia.

Alita
Alita Allen was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Daring Youth (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Alita.

Alix
Alix was a character name in multiple films, including The Call of Home (1922) and The Little French Girl (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alix.

Alixe
Alixe was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Alixe; or, The Test of Friendship (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Alixe.

Alla
Alla Nazimova, often credited simply as Nazimova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1879. Her birth name was Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon. Alla was also a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Alla.

Allaine
Allaine Grandet was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Tyrant Fear (1918).

Allana
Allana was a character played by actress Constance Bennett in the film Son of the Gods (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Allana (which debuted in the data in 1930).

Allane
Allane Houston was a character played by actress Beverly Bayne in the film The Voice of Conscience (1917).

Allayne
Allayne was a character name in multiple films, including The Poison Pen (1919) and The Net (1923).

Allegheny
Allegheny Briskow was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Flowing Gold (1924).

Allene
Allene was a character name in multiple films, including Flattery (1925) and The Love Route (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Allene.

Allida
Allida Bederaux was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film Experiment Perilous (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Allida (which debuted in the data in 1945).

Allifair
Allifair McCoy was a character played by actress Gigi Perreau in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

Allisa
Allisa Randall was a character played by actress Mildred Harris in the film The Inferior Sex (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Allisa.

Allouma
Allouma was a character played by actress Violet MacMillan in the film The Dragoman (1916).

Alluna
Alluna was a character played by various actresses (such as Neola May and Sara Haden) in various movies called The Barrier, all based on the novel of the same name by Rex Beach.

Aloha
Aloha was a character played by actress Nina Campana in the film Honolulu Lu (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloha.

Alois
Alois was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film A Dog of Flanders (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Alois (which debuted in the data in 1915).

Aloisa
Aloisa Weber Lange was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Eternal Melodies (1940).

Aloma
Aloma was a character played by actresses Gilda Gray in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1926) and by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloma.

Alouette
Alouette DeLarme was a character played by actress Louise Glaum in the film A Law Unto Herself (1918).

Alta
Alta Wilton was a character played by actress Mona Barrie in the film A Tragedy at Midnight (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Alta.

Alva
Alva was a character name in multiple films, including Revenge (1918) and Friends of Lovers (1931)

  • Usage of the baby name Alva.

Alvah
Alvah Morley was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film If You Believe Me, It’s So (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvah.

Alvarez
Alvarez Guerra was a character played by actress Carmelita Geraghty in the film This Thing Called Love (1929).

Alvern
Alvern Adams was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Louisiana (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvern.

Alverna
Alverna was a character name in multiple films, including Mantrap (1926) and Untamed (1940).

Alvira
Alvira was a character name in multiple films, including The Scarlet Shadow (1919) and Along Came Auntie (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvira.

Alys
Alys was a character name in multiple films, including Cutie Plays Detective (short, 1913) and Ermine and Rhinestones (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alys.

Alysia
Alysia Potter was a character played by actress Billie Dove in the film Polly of the Follies (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alysia.

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Name Story: Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong photo

Chinese-American movie star Anna May Wong was born “Wong Liu Tsong” in Los Angeles in 1905.

Here’s what she had to say about her birth name in 1926:

I was named Wong Lew Song, which means Frosted Yellow Willows. A rather unusual name, isn’t it. Most Chinese children have names, which, interpreted into English, sound rather attractive, though they wouldn’t do for everyday use. They are all right in poetry, but I wouldn’t want to be called Frosted Yellow Willows by my acquaintances. It sounds altogether too quaint for a modern Chinese girl.

Here’s what she had to say about her American name and her stage name in 1928:

I was educated in Los Angeles. […] Our family did not live in the Chinese quarter but on Figueroa Street, where our neighbors were Americans and we were called by our English names. The doctor who brought me into the world named me ‘Anna’; my Chinese name is Tsong. When I was old enough to begin to think about a career, I added ‘May’ to ‘Anna,’ partly because we [daughters] all had four-letter names and I wanted to be different, and partly because it made a prettier signature.

(Her siblings’ American names were Lulu, James, Mary, Frank, Roger, and Richard.)

And, finally, here’s something funny I spotted in a newspaper about the 1924 movie Thief of Bagdad, which featured Wong:

The Mongol slave, a part that required emotional subtlety and balance, was played by Anna May Wong, a Chinese girl, educated in America. Her Chinese name is Lew Wong Song [sic], and means two yellow willows. When the picture was being filmed Miss Wong almost walked out on her job because an enthusiastic press agent misunderstood the translation of her name and published it as “two yelling widows.”

I saw several versions of this “two yelling widows” story, but never managed to track down the press agent’s original mis-translation.

Sources: