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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Antoinette

Number of Babies Named Antoinette

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Antoinette

Poll: Pick a Pair of Toni Twin Names

joan and jean mcmillan, twins, 1949While looking at multiples from 1944 last month, I found sources claiming that both Mary & Marjorie Vaughan and Lois & Lucille Barnes were the “original” twins in the ads for Toni Home Permanents (tagline: “Which twin has the Toni?”).

Many sets of twins were involved in the Toni ad campaigns of the ’40s, though, so I’m not sure if any single set of twins can be called the “original” twins. For example, a November 1949 issue of LIFE included a full-page Toni ad with six sets of twins:

  • Eleanor and Jeanne Fulstone of Nevada
  • Betty and Barbara Land of Virginia
  • Barbara and Beverly Lounsbury of New Jersey
  • Joan and Jean McMillan of Texas (pictured)
  • Marjorie and Mary Vaughan of Indiana
  • Charlotte and Antoinette Winkelmann of New York

Let’s pretend you’re about to have twin girls, and you have to give them one of the name-pairs above. Which pair do you choose?

Pick a pair...

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Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1867

providence baby names 1867The registrar of Providence, Rhode Island, published a series of documents listing all “of the names of persons deceased, born and married in the city of Providence” during years 1866, 1867 and 1868. The series may have been longer, but these are the only documents I could find online.

I’ve finally finished creating a set of rankings using one of the documents — 1867. But before we get to the rankings, here are some stats:

  • 1,547 babies were born in Providence in 1867, going by the number of babies listed in the document itself. According to the document’s introduction, though, the number is 1,625. Not sure what to make of this discrepancy.
  • 1,431 of these babies (713 girls and 718 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 116 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps they died young and never received a name.
  • 254 unique names (141 girl names and 113 boy names) were shared among these 1,431 babies.

And now, on to the names…

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:

Top Baby Girl Names Top Baby Boy Names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

Girl Names

Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.

  1. Mary, 138 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 46
  3. Ellen, 37
  4. Margaret, 34
  5. Sarah, 31
  6. Annie, 19
  7. Elizabeth, 16
  8. Alice, 15
  9. Florence, 14
  10. Ann, Emma & Ida, 12 each (3-way tie)
  11. Minnie, 11
  12. Harriet & Julia, 9 each (2-way tie)
  13. Anna, Caroline, Carrie, Jennie, Joanna & Louisa, 8 each (6-way tie)
  14. Cora & Eliza, 7 each (2-way tie)
  15. Agnes, Clara, Edith, Rosanna & Theresa, 6 each (5-way tie)
  16. Bertha, Grace, Hannah, Hattie, Jane, Lillian, Maria, Martha, Nellie & Susan, 5 each (10-way tie)
  17. Eleanor, Fannie, Gertrude, Helen, Isabella, Lucy & Rosa, 4 each (7-way tie)
  18. Anne, Bridget, Ella, Emily, Esther, Eva, Lizzie, Mabel, Matilda & Ruth, 3 each (10-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amelia, Charlotte, Dora, Eleanora, Elvira, Henrietta, Jessie, Josephine, Kate, Louise, Lydia, Maggie & Rosella, 2 each (14-way tie)
  20. Abby, Addie, Adelaide, Adelia, Almina, Almira, Amanda, Amey, Amy, Anastasia, Angelie, Annis, Antoinette, Augusta, Aurelia, Bethiah, Cecelia, Celia, Clarissa, Clementina, Corielynn, Cornelia, Drusilla, Effie, Emeline, Estella, Ethelin, Fanny, Florentina, Frances, Gelie, Genevieve, Georgiana, Georgianna, Helena, Honora, Irene, Isabel, Issie, Juliann, Julietta, Katie, Laura, Leah, Leonora, Lillie, Lillis, Lily, Lottie, Luella, Margaretta, Margery, Margret, Marietta, Maude, May, Millie, Myra, Nelly, Phebe, Robie, Rosalthe, Rose, Selina, Sophia, Susanna, Susannah, Vienna, Viola, Vira, Virginia & Winifred, 1 each (72-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. John, 87 baby boys
  2. William, 75
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 50
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 40
  7. Joseph, 30
  8. Walter, 21
  9. Edward, 16
  10. Francis & Michael, 14 each (2-way tie)
  11. Patrick, 13
  12. Arthur & Robert, 12 each (2-way tie)
  13. Frank, Frederick & Henry, 11 each (3-way tie)
  14. Albert, 9
  15. Daniel & Peter, 8 each (2-way tie)
  16. David, Eugene, Howard & Samuel, 6 each (4-way tie)
  17. Alexander, Louis & Stephen, 5 each (3-way tie)
  18. Harry, Herbert, Hugh & Martin, 4 each (4-way tie)
  19. Carl, Edgar, Everett, Jeremiah & Willie, 3 each (5-way tie)
  20. Abraham, Alfred, Clarence, Cornelius, Dennis, Ernest, Ezra, Franklin, Freddie, Jacob, Jesse, Lewis, Luke, Nicholas, Philip, Sylvester, Theodore, Timothy, 2 each (18-way tie)
  21. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Amos, Andrew, Appleton, Archibald, Ashel, August, Benjamin, Benno, Bernard, Bertram, Burt, Byron, Clifford, Davis, Dexter, Dunlap, Edmund, Edwin, Elmer*, Embert, Forrest, Freddy, Gustav, Herman, Isaac, Jeffrey, Jerome, Josiah, Lucian, Malcolm, Matthew, Maurice, Milton, Nathan, Nehemiah, Nelson, Oren, Oscar, Otto, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Reginald, Richard, Sanford, Seth, Shirley, Sullivan, Terence, Theobald, Victor, Wanton, Warren, Weston, Wheelan, Wilford, 1 each (59-way tie)

*Elmer, who had the middle initial “E.,” was likely named after Civil War casualty Elmer E. Ellsworth.

Twins & Triplets

Twenty-one sets of twins and two sets of triplets were born in Providence in 1867. (All of these names were accounted for above — I just thought it’d be fun to check out the sibsets.)

Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g) Triplets
Abraham & George
Charles & George
Charles & John
Daniel & David
Dunlap & Frank
Eugene & Timothy
George & John
George & William
James & John
John & Martin
Albert & Harriet
Ashel & Ida
George & Grace
James & Mary
Maurice & Ann
Annie & Fannie
Annie & Mary
Ann & Ellen
Jennie & Minnie
Margaret & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Carl, (blank) & (blank)
James, Alexander & Sarah

I’ll post Providence’s 1866 and 1868 rankings as soon I get them done. Until then, here are two older posts featuring uniquely named Rhode Islanders: Aldaberontophoscophornia (b. 1812) and Idawalley (b. 1842).


Couple Divorces Over Baby Girl’s Name [Poll]

Over the last few days, a number of new people have surfed in from HuffPo to read about a married couple that nearly divorced over a baby name. (Hello, new people!)

So today let’s talk about a married couple that actually did get a divorce because of a baby name.

Audrey Payne wed Arthur Simms of Atlanta, Georgia, in 1950. About a year later, they had a baby girl. Six weeks after that, Audrey petitioned for divorce.

Audrey had originally named the baby Antoinette, after her mother.

Thereupon, she charged, her husband, Arthur Benjamin Simms III, “flew into a rage.” He’s an aircraft engineer.

Simms, she charged, changed the name to “Annette.” She changed it back.

Then, Mrs. Simms claimed, her husband hit her and tore up all the birth announcements reading “Antoinette.”


I’m not sure what name the baby ended up with, but an obituary for Arthur Simms mentions a daughter named Anne, and this could be his daughter with Audrey. If so, perhaps the name on the birth certificate is Annette.

Which of the two names would you have chosen for baby Simms?

I would have chosen...

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Source: “Feud Over Baby’s Name Results in Divorce.” Reading Eagle 13 Jul. 1951: 4.
HuffPo article: Divorce Cause: Study Suggests Parents Of First-Born Girls Are More Likely To Split

Chinese Baby Names Created from Location Names

Last week, I read about a Chinese woman named Lyu Yuanfang who gave birth on January 30 in Beijing. (The birth was newsworthy because Lyu, who has the neurodegenerative disease ALS, is believed to be the first ALS sufferer to give birth in China.)

Lyu and her husband, Luo Zhongmu, named the baby boy Guilong. Here’s how Luo explained the name:

‘Gui’ is another name for my hometown in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and ‘long’ represents my wife’s home province of Gansu.

I really like this formula — a combination of two locations (each of which, in this case, represents a parent).

And I’ve come across other Chinese names that follow the same formula.

One is Yinhua, the name of the baby born in 1942 to Indian physician Dwarkanath Kotnis and his wife, Chinese nurse Guo Qinglan. Guo talks about naming Yinhua in her memoir:

Kotnis asked me excitedly: Qinglan, tell me, what should we name him? I answered laughingly: Commander Nie is very considerate to us; it’s better if we request him to give the child a name.

When Commander Nie Rongzhen got to know about this happy news, he happily named the child Yinhua who had the blood of both the Indian and Chinese nations in his veins, symbolizing the friendship of the two nations. Yin stands for India, and Hua for China or flower [if pronounced in first or the parallel tone], therefore, when joined together it means either India and China or the Flower of India.

Two more I know of both happen to be Zhongde, which is written with the Chinese characters for “China” and “Germany.”

One was born after the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake, in a field hospital set up jointly by the Chinese Red Cross and the German Red Cross in the city of Dujiangyan. His mom, Liu Dongmei, named him Xie Zhongde, which means “Thank you, China and Germany.”

The other I found in an essay about a a Baltic-German physician named Roger Baron Budberg (1867-1926) who moved to Manchuria as an adult. In 1907, at the age of 40, Budberg married a 14-year-old Chinese orphan named Li Yuzhen.

In March 1910, Li Yuzhen gave birth to a daughter, who received the name Zhong-De Hua, meaning “Chinese-German flower”. Despite the radical choices he had made, Baron Budberg’s identity as a German aristocrat had always remained central to him; his daughter’s Chinese name defined her as the fruit (the “flower”) of the union of what he clearly regarded as the two great traditions that together gave meaning to his life.

As an adult, Zhong-De Hua moved to Belgium and went by the name Antoinette Cecile.

Do you know of any other Chinese baby names made up of a combination of locations?


  • ALS Patient Gives Birth to Baby Boy
  • China quake babies bring joy
  • Gamsa, Mark. “China as Seen and Imagined by Roger Baron Budberg, a Baltic Physician in Manchuria.” Eastwards: Western Views on East Asian Culture. Ed. Frank Kraushaar. Bern: Peter Lang, 2010. 23-35.
  • Guo, Qinglan, Baojun Xu and B. R. Deepak. My Life with Kotnis. New Delhi: Manak Publications, 2006.

P.S. Wondering how to pronounce Chinese names?

Baby Names Needed – Girl Names for Fourth Baby

A reader named Klaudia is expecting her fourth child, a baby girl, and she’d like some help brainstorming for a first and a middle name. Here’s what Klaudia says:

We like…unusual names. I mean, not names that sound “made-up” but real names. At least, not trendy, popular names.

Juniper was at the top of their list, but then a friend used it, so now they’re back to the drawing board.

A few more details:

  • The first name should have 3 syllables.
  • The middle name should have 2 syllables and start with an n.
  • The surname will be a one-syllable s-name.
  • The older siblings are named Kendra Darlene, Carmen Nellie and Matteo Kendell.

I think Juniper paired with an n-name would have sounded nice, so I tried to come up with a lot of name suggestions that also include the letter n:


None of the above are currently in the top 100.

Now middles. It’s tricky to pick a middle if the first isn’t already in place, but here are some possibilities. Names on the left have a stress on the first syllable, names on the right have a stress on the second syllable.


What first names would you suggest for the sibling of Kendra, Carmen and Matteo? What middle names would you pair with those first names?

Baby Names (No Longer) Needed – Nathan, Eileanór, Reid, Gemma

We helped ten readers brainstorm for baby names in June of 2009. So far, I’ve heard back from six of those ten. Amy chose Nathan, Kelley selected Eileanór, Tina picked Gemma, Melanie opted for Eliza and Adeline, Carol went with Reid, and Bonny ended up having a baby boy (named Seth).

I have yet to hear from Antoinette, Andy, Rose Ann and Lauren.