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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Aurora

Number of Babies Named Aurora

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Aurora

What Do You Think of Altruria?

sunset-islandThe names Dorcasina, Malaeska, and Trilby were inspired by characters from 19th-century novels. Altruria also comes from a 19th-century novel, but not from a character.

A Traveler from Altruria (1894) by William Dean Howells was first published in installments in Cosmopolitan in 1892-1893. The protagonist is Aristides Homos, a visitor to America from the fictional island of Altruria, “a Utopian world that combined the foundations of Christianity and the U.S. Constitution to produce an “ethical socialism” by which society was guided.”

The fictional place-name Altruria is a play on the word “altruism,” which was coined relatively recently (circa 1830) by French philosopher Auguste Comte.

Though A Traveler from Altruria isn’t well-remembered today, it was influential during the 1890s. Altrurian Clubs started sprouting up across the country. A short-lived commune called Altruria was established in Sonoma County, California, in the mid-1890s. And at least two babies were given the (middle) name Altruria:

  • Carrie Altruria Evans, born in 1900 in Van Wert, Ohio
  • Lester Altruria Eby, born in 1895 in Des Moines, Iowa

The official history book of the Van Wert Altrurian Club even mentions Carrie by name:

Carrie Altruria Evans, born 1900 in Ohio
Carrie Altruria Evans, b. 1900

What do you think of Altruria as a baby name? Do you think it could be an alternative to the fast-rising Aurora (which broke into the top 100 last year)?

Sources: Science fiction The 19th and early 20th centuries – Encyclopedia Britannica, Altrurian Club History – Ohio Memory Collection, Altruism – Online Etymology Dictionary

The Story of Mister Splashy Pants

mister-splashy-pantsIn late 2007, Greenpeace held a competition to name some endangered humpback whales in the South Pacific Ocean.

After gathering over 11,000 suggestions from people across the globe, the organization narrowed it down to just 30 contenders:

Mister Splashy Pants

When the polls opened, the rule was one vote per person. But things didn’t go quite as planned.

An anonymous voter in Arizona disabled cookies on his/her computer and was able to cast thousands of votes for Mister Splashy Pants early on.

This attracted the attention of various websites (Digg, Reddit, BoingBoing, Fark, etc.) which led to even more votes for Mister Splashy Pants.

Mister Splashy Pants ended up winning by a landslide, with over 78% of the vote. In 2nd place was Humphrey, with less than 3%.

…Though I love the name “Mister Splashy Pants” (reminds me of Sparklemuffin!), let’s pretend Greenpeace had disqualified MSP mid-competition. Out of the 29 remaining names, which one would you have voted for?

Source: Mister Splashy Pants – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Switzerland, 2014

According to data from the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics (OFS), the country’s most popular baby names overall in 2014 were Emma and Noah.

But the #1 names within each language group don’t quite match up with these overall #1 names, so here are Switzerland’s top baby names of 2014 broken down by language group:


Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma (163 baby girls)
2. Eva (98)
3. Léa (96)
4. Camille (85)
5. Zoé (84)
6. Alice (83)
7. Chloé (82)
8. Alicia (74)
1. Gabriel (153 baby boys)
2. Liam (128)
3. Lucas (113)
4. Ethan (107)
5. Nathan (104)
6. Noah (102)
7. Louis (97)
8. Luca (94)

Ethan jumped from 12th to 4th, and Camille continues to rise (8th to 4th).


Girl Names Boy Names
1. Mia (312 baby girls)
2. Lara (294)
3. Emma (293)
4. Laura (277)
5. Anna (271)
6. Sara (245)
7. Lea (244)
8. Leonie (234)
1. Noah (338 baby boys)
2. Leon (313)
3. Luca (288)
4. Levin (280)
5. David (265)
6. Elias (259) – tie
6. Julian (259) – tie
8. Tim (246)

Elias jumped from 14th to 6th, and Anna from 12th to 5th.


Girl Names Boy Names
1. Giulia (34 baby girls)
2. Sofia (33)
3. Emma (28)
4. Alice (26)
5. Emily (24) – tie
5. Mia (24) – tie
7. Aurora (23) – tie
7. Noemi (23) – tie
1. Leonardo (40 baby boys)
1. Gabriel (37)
3. Liam (31)
4. Alessandro (24)
5. Lorenzo (23)
6. Enea (20)
7. Matteo (19) – tie
7. Noah (19) – tie

Enea jumped from 19th to 6th, and Aurora from 12th to 7th.


Girl Names Boy Names
1. Luana
2. Léonie
1. Andrin
2. Nino

According to a Behind the Name contributor, Andrin is a “Romansh form of Heinrich (Henry), originally from the Engadine valley in southeast Switzerland.”

Finally, here are Switzerland’s top baby names for 2013, 2012 and 2007.

Sources: The Swiss name that’s popular across all languages – 2014 baby names, Swiss Statistics – The most popular first names

Popular Baby Names in Italy, 2013

Commenter skizzo recently asked me to check on Italy’s 2014 baby name rankings. They aren’t out yet, but the 2013 list is, and since I’ve never posted a popularity list for Italy before, I thought I’d go ahead and post the older list while we wait for the newer one.

According to data from Istituto nazionale di statistica (Istat), the most popular baby names in Italy in 2013 were Sofia and Francesco.

Here are Italy’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sofia
2. Giulia
3. Aurora
4. Emma
5. Giorgia
6. Martina
7. Chiara
8. Sara
9. Alice
10. Gaia
1. Francesco
2. Alessandro
3. Andrea
4. Lorenzo
5. Mattia
6. Matteo
7. Gabriele
8. Leonardo
9. Riccardo
10. Tommaso

Check out Francesco’s rise in usage from 2012 to 2013, no doubt due to the election of Pope Francis in March of 2013:

Baby name Francesco sees rise in usage in Italy, 2013

Funny thing is, Francesco has long been Italy’s most popular boy name, so in 2013 it just become more dominantly popular.

And what’s the difference between Mattia and Matteo? Not much — they’re just the Italian forms of Matthias and Matthew, which are derived from the same Hebrew root name.

For earlier sets of data from Italy, click the link below. Istat currently offers top 50 lists going back to 1999.

Source: Nomi – Istat

Distinctive Baby Names, State by State

Which baby names are the most disproportionately popular in each U.S. state?

Name blog Republic of Names has your answer — a bunch of cool lists of the most distinctive baby names by state. Here are some highlights for about half of the states.

In Alabama:

  • Crimson – Crimson Tide is the University of Alabama football team.
  • Krimson

In Alaska:

  • Aurora
  • Denali – Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska is North America’s highest peak.
  • McKinley

In Arizona:

  • Ariza
  • Helios
  • Nizhoni – Nizhóní is a Navajo word meaning “it/he/she is pretty/beautiful.”
  • Sedona – Sedona is a city in Arizona.

In California:

  • Eztli – Eztli is a Nahuatl (Aztec) word meaning “blood.”
  • Sissi

In Colorado:

  • Matix
  • Story
  • Trindon – Trindon Holliday played pro football in Colorado.
  • Zeppelin

In Florida:

  • Kervens
  • Woodley

In Idaho:

  • Ammon
  • Brigham
  • Hyrum

In Indiana:

  • Jolisa

In Iowa:

  • Kinnick – Kinnick Stadium is where the Iowa Hawkeyes football team plays.

In Kansas:

  • Creighton
  • Ignatius

In Louisiana:

  • Beaux
  • Jacques
  • Marigny – Foubourg Marigny is a New Orleans neighborhood.
  • Montreal

In Maine:

  • Baxter – Baxter is a state park in Maine.
  • Libby

In Mississippi:

  • Swayze

In Missouri:

  • Chancellor
  • Messiah

In Montana:

  • Tuff

In Nevada:

  • Berenice
  • Halo
  • Love

In North Carolina:

  • Chatham

In North Dakota:

  • Briggs
  • McCoy

In Oklahoma:

  • Gentry
  • Jentri
  • Jentry
  • Kutter
  • Tuck
  • Tuff

In Oregon:

  • Alder
  • Autzen – Autzen Stadium is where the Oregon Ducks football team plays.
  • Avenir – Avenir is a French word meaning “future.” It’s also on the Washington state list below. In fact, nearly two-thirds of last year’s Avenirs were born on the west coast: 10 in Washington, 7 in California, 5 in Oregon. Anyone know why?
  • Cedar
  • Forest
  • Maple
  • Opal
  • Pepper
  • Sequoia
  • Sol

In Tennessee:

In Texas:

  • Brazos – Brazos is a Spanish word meaning “arms.” The Brazos River in Texas was originally called Rio de los Brazos de Dios, or “River of the Arms of God.”

In Utah:

  • Korver – Kyle Korver played pro basketball in Utah.
  • Lesieli
  • Navy
  • Parley
  • Viliami

In Vermont:

  • Arlo
  • Juniper

In Washington, D.C.:

  • Egypt
  • Harlem

In Washington (state):

  • Avenir – see Oregon
  • Rio
  • Valkyrie
  • Zephyr

In West Virginia:

  • Remington

In Wisconsin:

  • Charisma
  • Croix
  • Ruthann

In Wyoming:

  • Temperance

See the original post for the rest. You might also be interested in checking out the “most regional” baby names in the US.

Have You Named Your Computer?

Have You Named Your Computer?

Lots of people name their cars, but how many people name their computers?

A good number, turns out.

Granted, any computer on a network already has a name. But that’s not necessarily the name we’re talking about here. (Though some people do change their computer’s network name to match its “given” name.)

What kinds of names have people chosen for their laptops and desktops? Here are some real-life computer names I’ve collected from around the web:

Aurora: “I named her Aurora. Isn’t she beautiful? Like every really wonderful thing, her outward beauty is a reflection of her deeper goodness.” –MrShad of Conflictium

Avery Cates: “How can you resist this series when the first line of the back cover blurb is “Avery Cates is a very bad man”? I love Avery Cates so much I named my computer after him.” –Melanie of Melanie R. Meadors (blog)

Black Stallion: “As my birthday/Christmas present, I was given a brand new LAPTOP! Vane named him “Black Stallion”. It’s very sleek and black.” –Des of Miss DreamyMarie

Don Juan IV: “Don Juan IV is my laptop. What, you don’t name your computer? That is too bad.” –Heather of The Spohrs Are Multiplying

Dorothy Parker: “Interesting aside: I named my computer Dorothy Parker. It’s probably wishful thinking more than anything else.” –cenobyte of centre of the univerce

Frangus: “Frangus is a beautiful name. It sounds like the name of the lost Weasley child. It evokes images of a tall, rangy, somewhat grungy hunk (think Aragorn-esque) with blazing red hair, a legendary sword, and a breathtaking Scottish accent. It was also, as some may recall, from a Sparticle made of pure awesomeness. It just fit perfectly.” –RabidWrackspurt via SparkLife

Henry & Eli: “I finally have a laptop, after two and half years working on a desktop. Trust me, I loved my desktop but he was hard to live with. Not being able to spend valuable time with him while I worked with my friends in the studios. And yes, I called him a ‘he.’ I named him Henry. But now my laptop is named Eli and he is a gem. I can take him anywhere and I love it! I sound like I had no idea they make computers that can move.” –Catie of Catie Witt (blog)

Holophonor: “All of which is an extended introduction to the announcement of the name of my new MacBook. I’ve dubbed it Holophonor. (…) It’s a musical instrument from Futurama, which produces images as well as music. It’s allegedly incredibly hard to play (although the holophonor recital in one episode suggests a little otherwise) but is capable of intoxicatingly immersive effects.” –James Grimmelmann of The Laboratorium

Hubert: “I named my computer Hubert because it reminds me of Hubert Humphrey, the long time U.S. Senator from Minnesota and Lyndon Johnson’s vice president. For those of you too young to remember, Humphrey was a likeable, compulsive talker who was so eager to please he could become annoying. My computer is like that.” –Gwen Gibson of The Lighter Years

Lafayette: “Lafayette – My current iMac is named for my favorite, and the most well-acted character in HBO’s True Blood.” –Courtney Heard of

Lisbeth: “But, before I sign off for tonight, let me introduce you to Lisbeth. (…) Yes, I named my laptop after the hacker survivor extraordinaire from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s a victim who takes her life back, with the power of her intelligence and her trusty computer.” –Erin of Daisies and Bruises

Lucille: “My computer is Lucille; she is a fiery redhead, like Lucille Ball.” –Rachel of Not-so-Plain Jane

Lucy: “I am writing this from my new laptop – a MacBook. Lovely little piece of equipment – I have named her Lucy (as in “Lucy, I’m h-o-m-e”) with the hopes that we will enter into a long-term relationship of mutual respect and understanding.” –mimijk of Waiting for the Karma Truck

Lula: “It was the Romantic me who went to Circuit City and Best Buy, who glazed over as acne-riddled salesboys extolled the virtues of Vaios and Thinkpads, and who eventually fled to do some reading on the subject before spending nearly a month’s salary for a basic, Luddite-friendly model. When I finally got my laptop home, I immediately named her Lula (after my grandmother, who also inspired and terrorized me), then ditched my paper notebook, opened Word, and began writing the new play before even checking out the other programs I had paid for.” –David Valdes Greenwood via The Boston Phoenix

Mandy: “I know you all are wondering why her name is Mandy (ok, maybe you’re not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.) When I first got Mandy, she was a beautiful new white Macbook. I had just started dating my Handsome, and he lent me his book of cd’s so I could put new music on my new laptop. Well, lo and behold, what cd did I find buried in with his? Why yes, the cd pictured at the beginning of this post [Mandy Moore’s “So Real”]. I thought this was hysterical, and because it was a white cd and my laptop was white, I named her Mandy. It seemed to fit.” –Kate of Kindly, Kate

Marcus: “i have named him Marcus after the lead singer of my favorite band Mumford & Sons. i was going to call him Lenny because Lenovo, but ever since the movie The Perfect Man, all i can think of when i hear that name is a chubby guy singing a Styx song.” –Leann Elizabeth of A Glass of Leannade

Milo: “My world is currently in a state of crazed shuffling and god-awful box hoarding. My room is now returned to the cold monastic state I found it in and as soon as this post is over so goes Milo the netbook. (Yes I named my computer Milo, no you cannot make fun of me for it). By this time tomorrow I will have returned to my domicile and summer hi-jinks can begin!” –SugaryCynic of Sugary Cynicism

Nox: “It started (…) with me buying a new computer, and this time I went for brand new hardware, top of the line, as I just had gotten my first paycheck from my first real job. And as this was a proper computer, it needed a proper name. And as the casing was black, I went looking for something that resembled darkness and the absence of light. Can you guess which name I ended up with? Probably not if you aren’t very well versed in old Greek and Roman mythology, as the goddess I named my computer after isn’t that famous. I named my computer “Nox”, the Roman name for the Greek goddess Nyx, the the primordial goddess of the night.” –Sebastian Storholm of Sebastian’s Blog

Sadie: “Sadie came into my life in March of 2008. She was an HP Pavilion, the first new computer I had purchased in over ten years. Sadie was not my first choice when I was doing research in buying a laptop, but she was quite simply prettier and shinier than the one I had originally picked out, so I bought her instead. I named her Sadie because I had had a dream where I bought a laptop and named it Sexy Sadie, after the Beatles song.” –Gena Radcliffe of You Are Not a Winner

Sally: “My computer, Sally (yes, I named my computer), is almost six years old. While I love her to death, it’s about time to put her down. She’s been good to me, despite all the verbal abuse.” –Marian Schembari of

Serena: “I got Serena back in the winter of 2005, and named her, as I named a lot of my machines, [after] a character in the TV show ‘Roswell’ – actually, an enigmatic reference to a person from the future who was never shown on screen.” –Chris K of The Kelworth Files

SparkyBookPro: “My baby is going into the hospital for outpatient surgery. Actually it’s more like a transplant. SparkyBookPro needs his fan replaced. Yes, I named my computer. Yes, I am a nerd. They are also going to do a bypass of the current battery and transplant a new one in its place. As soon as I am done with this post (and a bit more blog reading), SparkyBookPro will be taken to the facility. He will be gone for two days.” –Kim of Emergiblog

Tardis: “Now, I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a big Whovian. (fan of the British show Dr Who) I named my computer the TARDIS, I have a sonic screwdriver on me at all times, and I bought a pair of Converse because the 10th Doctor wears them. Yes, I am obsessed.” –Jenny of The Eternal Puppy Station

Thusnelda: “How did I choose the name Thusnelda? Well, you see, a month or two ago I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to buy a laptop, and I needed a name. And generously, Angela shared the names of some of her relatives. And when I read Thusnelda, I knew that had to be the one. It is solid, original, and not at all trendy. There aren’t going to be 15 other Thusneldas in a 3-block radius. And the name can’t go out of style, because it was never in style.” –Amber Strocel of

Veronica: “She’s cute, she’s skinny, she’s bright-eyed, energetic (great battery life), and she even has a cute pattern on her hood. I’ve named her Veronica.” –Jamie of The Appropriate Opinion

Have you named your computer? If so, what’s the name, and why did you choose it?

Celebrity Baby Name – Rainbow Aurora

Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend Holly Madison welcomed a baby girl last week.

Nope, the dad isn’t Hef — it’s her current boyfriend, Pasquale Rotella,

And the baby’s name? Rainbow Aurora Rotella.

Not long after the name was announced, Holly felt she had to start defending it:

I have always loved the name Rainbow. There was a girl in my school a few years younger than me named Rainbow and I was so envious of her name because it was so pretty and unusual. She was a perfectly normal, well-adjusted, sporty girl, by the way, so I’m not worried about my daughter being “traumatized” by having an unusual name.

There are a lot of smug haters out there who bag on my choice of a name, but I don’t care about what they think. I want my daughter to be proud of who she is and learn to speak up and stand up for herself at a young age. I spent most of my life being a people-pleaser who worried about what other people thought or thought was cool and I don’t want that for her.

This reasoning reminds me of Joel Madden’s reasoning behind the baby name Sparrow: “I wanted to give him a name that he’s going to have to stand up for.”

I do appreciate that these parents wanted to give their kids a challenge to overcome in the interest of building self-esteem, but I’m not sure a silly name was the smartest way to do that.

So: one thumb up for motivation, one thumb down for execution.

What’s your take?

Source: On My Baby’s Name