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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Arthur

Number of Babies Named Arthur

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Arthur

Real-Life “Snow-” Names: Snowman, Snowball, Snowflake…

snow names, snowflake, snowman, snowdrift, snowstorm, snowball

How about something whimsical for Christmas day?

I searched historical records for personal names including the word “snow,” and here’s some of what I spotted…

Snowball

I found dozens of people named Snowball, including Snowball Craddock (female), born in 1915 in North Carolina. Here she is on the 1930 U.S. Census:

snowball, 1930 census

Snowdrift

I found several people named Snowdrift, including Arthur Snowdrift Thornton (male), born in 1883 in Virginia.

Snowflake

I found dozens people named Snowflake, including Snowflake Reinke (female), born in 1907 in North Dakota. Here she is on the 1910 U.S. Census:

snowflake, 1910 census

Notice how her older siblings have traditional names like Maria and Ludwig (their parents were immigrants from Germany) whereas she and her younger brother, “Theo. Roosevelt,” have much more creative/American names.

(By the way, did you that there’s a town in Arizona with the unlikely name Snowflake? The founders were a pair of Mormon pioneers named Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake.)

Snowman

I found dozens people named Snowman, including Snowman W. Doe (male), born in 1924 in Massachusetts. Here he is on the 1930 U.S. Census:

snowman, 1930 census

Snowstorm

I found several people named Snowstorm, including Snow Storm Stokes (male), born in 1906 in Arkansas.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Popular Baby Names in Belgium, 2017

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names in 2017 were Emma and Liam.

Here are Belgium’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 634 baby girls
2. Olivia, 613
3. Louise, 595
4. Mila, 522
5. Alice, 423
6. Elise, 386
7. Lina, 375
8. Juliette, 364 (tie)
9. Sofia, 364 (tie)
10. Lucie, 350

Boy Names
1. Liam, 570 baby boys
2. Adam, 559
3. Arthur, 546
4. Noah, 545
5. Louis, 536
6. Lucas, 497
7. Jules, 462
8. Gabriel, 427
9. Victor, 422
10. Mohamed, 392

The #1 names within each of Belgium’s three regions were:

  • Brussels: Lina and Adam
  • Flanders: Louise and Liam
  • Wallonia: Emma and Gabriel

I forgot to post Belgium’s 2016 rankings, but in 2015 the top names overall were Emma and Louis.

Source: Prénoms filles et garçons

Name Spotting: Malancthon

sign, colorado, names
Sign inside Garden of the Gods

My dad came out to visit us in Colorado recently. He loves geology, so we made sure to take him to several different places with impressive rocks/terrain.

One place we visited was Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. In this park we spotted the above sign, which described how the park got its name back in the 1850s:

As they looked over this area of cathedral-like rock spires, one man, Malancthon Beach, commented that the spot would be a great place for a beer garden someday. His friend, a poetic young man named Rufous Cable, replied that it was a place “fit for the Gods.”

It’s a cool story, but, to me, that first name “Malancthon” is way more interesting than the origin of the park name. Where did it come from?

My best guess is that Malancthon is a tribute to 16th-century German theologian Philipp Melanchthon, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname at birth was Schwartzerd (“black earth” in German), but as a young man he Latinized his name to the classical equivalent Melanchthon (“black earth” in Greek).

Civilian Conservation Corps, new deal
CCC Company 1848

We also saw some names at Red Rocks, which is both a park and a famous amphitheater.

The amphitheater was constructed from 1936 to 1941 by men in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program that existed during the Great Depression. One display included a photo of 124 of the men in the local CCC. Here are their first names, sorted by frequency:

  • 5: Joe, Raymond
  • 4: Charles
  • 3: Arthur, Clarence, Edward
  • 2: Bill, Byron, Carl, David, Earnest, Edwin, Everett, Jack, James, Leo, Maurice, William
  • 1: Aaron, Albert, Aldine, Alfonso, Allen, Alva, Amos, Ancelmo, Arleigh, Aubrey, Audrey, Barnett, Blaine, Calvin, Celestino, Charley, Claud, Claude, Clayton, Cleston, Dale, Damas, Dan, Darold, Dick, Don, Donald, Ed, Elden, Elias, Elipio, Emerson, Emilio, Eric, Ernest, Eston, Fares, Frank, Fred, Glenn, Grant, Gust, Guy, Horace, Hubert, Irvin, Jake, Jasper, Jesse, Jim, John, Jose, Kenneth, Lawrence, Leland, Leonard, Lester, Louis, Lyman, Manual, Marvin, Max, Merce, Noah, Norman, Orval, Pasqual, Paul, Pete, Richard, Rowland, Rudolfo, Russel, Russell, Sandeford, Trenton, Willard

…What interesting names have you spotted while out and about recently?

Name Quotes #61: Madeleine, Tim, Clara

It’s the first Monday of the month, so it’s time for some name quotes!

From a Vice interview with Jeff Goldblum:

Vice: Amazing. That’s Charlie Ocean right?

Jeff: Yeah that’s Charlie Ocean! And then our other son [with wife Emilie Livingston, a Canadian aerialist, actress, and former Olympian] who’s now 11 months old is River Joe.

Vice: Any musical streaks in either of them yet?

Jeff: I’ve always sat at the piano these last couple years with Charlie Ocean and he kinda bangs around. But I must say, River Joe, when I play or we put on music, boy he’s just standing up at this point, but he rocks to the music and bounces up and down. He seems to really like it so maybe he’s musical. I’d like to play with them.

(I am fascinated by the fact that the boys aren’t simply Charlie and Joe. Clearly the water aspect of each name requires emphasis every time.)

From the essay Forgetting the Madeleine, written by pastry chef Frances Leech:

In reality, I was named for two grandmothers: Jenny Frances and Lucy Madeleine. However, when I introduce myself at baking classes, I lie.

“My parents named me after the most famous pastry in French literature.”

It is a good name for a pâtissier, a pastry chef, and a good story to tell. The mnemonic sticks in my students’ minds, and after three hours and four cakes made together, they remember me as Madeleine and not Frances. Stories make for powerful anchors, even when the truth is twisted for dramatic effect.

From an article about chef Auguste Escoffier, who named his dishes after the rich and famous:

Escoffier came up with thousands of new recipes, many of which he served at London’s Savoy Hotel and the Paris Ritz. Some were genuine leaps of ingenuity, others a twist on a classic French dish. Many carry someone else’s name. In early dishes, these are often historical greats: Oeufs Rossini, for the composer; Consommé Zola, for the writer; Omelette Agnès Sorel, for the mistress of Charles VII. Later on, however, Escoffier made a habit of giving dishes the handles of people who, in their day, were virtual household names: An entire choir of opera singers’ names are to be found in Escoffier’s cookery books. The most famous examples are likely Melba toast and Peach Melba, for the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba, though there are hundreds of others.

An essay about the plight of people named Tim, by Tim Dowling:

A lot of baggage comes with the name Tim. I have not forgotten Martin Amis’s 20-year-old description of Tim Henman as “the first human being called Tim to achieve anything at all”. More recently Will Self wrote: “There’s little doubt that your life chances will be constrained should your otherwise risk-averse parents have had the temerity to Tim you.” This was in a review of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, the many faults of which Self put down to founder Tim Martin never being able “to escape the fact of his Timness”.

[…]

Amis and Self believe the poor showing of Tims is the result of nominative determinism: the name Tim carries expectations of inconsequentiality that anyone so christened will eventually come to embody. Gallingly, research suggests they may be right.

From an article about Spanish babies being named after soccer players’ babies:

This was clearly shown when Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s first son Thiago was born to partner Antonella Roccuzzo in November 2012. That year the name Thiago did not appear in the Top 100 boys names given to babies in Spain, according to Spain’s National Statistics Agency [INE].

[…]

Something similar happened when Mateo Messi was born in Sep 2015. In just 12 months Mateo climbed from 14th to 9th most popular name among Spanish parents. Ciro Messi, born in March this year, will surely see the originally Persian name break into the top 100.

From an article about UC Berkeley student (and mom) Natalie Ruiz:

Doe Library’s North Reading Room became Ruiz’s haven. “It was one of the few quiet places where I felt I could focus,” she says. “That season of my life was extremely dark; I didn’t know if I’d make it to graduation, or how I could possibly raise a baby at this time.”

One day at the library, she noticed light shining down on her growing belly, right over the university seal on her T-shirt and the words “fiat lux.” She and Blanchard had considered Lillian or Clara as baby names, but now the choice was made.

“I felt my daughter kick, and it occurred to me that clara in Spanish means ‘bright,’ and I imagined the way that this baby could and would be the bright light at the end of this dark season,” says Ruiz, who gave birth to Clara on May 15, 2014.

From an interview with entrepreneur Eden Blackman:

For many entrepreneurs, starting a business often feels like bringing new life into the world. It’s not every day though, that your endeavours result in a baby named in your honour.

“That’s the pinnacle for me, it’s simply mind-blowing,” says Eden Blackman, founder of online dating business Would Like to Meet and namesake of young Eden, whose parents met on the site several years ago. “That is amazing and quite a lot to take on but it’s a beautiful thing.”

From the article Do You Like Your Name? by Arthur C. Brooks (found via Nameberry):

I cringe a little whenever I hear someone say my name, and have ever since I was a child. One of my earliest memories is of a lady in a department store asking me my name and bursting out laughing when I said, “Arthur.”

Before you judge that lady, let’s acknowledge that it is actually pretty amusing to meet a little kid with an old man’s name. According to the Social Security Administration, “Arthur” maxed out in popularity back in the ’90s. That is, the 1890s. It has fallen like a rock in popularity since then. I was named after my grandfather, and even he complained that his name made him sound old. Currently, “Arthur” doesn’t even crack the top 200 boys’ names. Since 2013, it has been beaten in popularity by “Maximus” (No. 200 last year) and “Maverick” (No. 85).

One thing I constantly hear from people I meet for the first time is, “I imagined you as being much older.” I don’t take this as flattery, because at 54, I’m really not that young. What they are saying is that they imagined someone about 100 years old.

To see more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in Oxfordshire, 2017

According to the Oxfordshire County Council, the most popular baby names in Oxfordshire, England, in 2017 were Lily and Oliver.

Here are Oxfordshire’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Lily
2. Olivia
3. Amelia
4. Poppy
5. Isla
6. Ava
7. Emily
8. Evie
9. Florence
10. Isabella

Boy Names
1. Oliver
2. George
3. Harry
4. Jack
5. Arthur
6. Alfie
7. Oscar
8. Jacob
9. Muhammed
10. Benjamin

In the girls’ top 10, Poppy and Florence replace Sophia and Sophie.

In the boys’ top 10, most of the names are new: Arthur, Alfie, Oscar, Jacob, Muhammed, and Benjamin replace Henry, Joshua, Thomas, William, Samuel, and James.

Alicja Gilroy, Superintendent Registrar, also made note of two recent trends: using hyphenated first names, and using “names that would once have been nick names from a longer name: Charlie, Albie, Archie, Ollie, Bobby, Reggie, Teddy, Vinnie, Ronnie, Freddie, Pippa, Maggie, Rosie, Ellie, Tilly are a few of the more popular ones.”

In 2016, the top two names in Oxfordshire were Lily and Jack.

Sources: Oliver and Lily top the list of Oxfordshire most popular baby names in 2017, Most popular baby names for Oxfordshire in 2017