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

Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2016

Which girl names increased the most in popularity from 2015 to 2016? Which ones decreased the most?

The SSA likes to answer this question by analyzing ranking differences within the top 1,000. I like to answer it by looking at raw number differences that take the full list into account. So let’s check out the results using both methods…

Girl Names: Biggest Increases, 2015 to 2016

baby names, girl names, more popular

Rankings

1. Kehlani, +2,487 spots — up from 3,359th to 872nd
2. Royalty, +618 spots — up from 1,150th to 532nd
3. Saoirse, +465 spots — up from 1,448th to 983rd
4. Ophelia, +396 spots — up from 976th to 580th
5. Aitana, +368 spots — up from 917th to 549th
6. Itzayana, +356 spots — up from 1,125th to 769th
7. Alessia, +348 spots — up from 1,175th to 827th
8. Kaylani, +301 spots — up from 1,056th to 755th
9. Avianna, +298 spots — up from 751st to 453rd
10. Nalani, +294 spots — up from 1,280th to 986th

Kehlani and Kaylani were influenced by singer/songwriter Kehlani Parrish. (Kehlani was the top debut name of 2015, and variant Khelani debuted impressively in 2016.)

Royalty was influenced by the R&B singer Chris Brown, whose daughter (b. 2014) and 7th album (2015) were both called Royalty.

Saoirse was influenced by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan — perhaps specifically by those American talk show appearances in which she talked to the hosts (Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert, etc.) about how to pronounce her name. Plus there was that widely circulated Ryan Gosling quote on the same topic (“It’s Ser-sha, like inertia”).

Alessia was influenced by singer/songwriter Alessia Cara.

Raw Numbers

1. Adeline, +1,700 baby girls — up from 2,403 to 4,103
2. Charlotte, +1,649 baby girls — up from 11,381 to 13,030
3. Riley, +1,390 baby girls — up from 5,720 to 7,110
4. Adaline, +971 baby girls — up from 902 to 1,873
5. Amelia, +864 baby girls — up from 9,838 to 10,702
6. Luna, +849 baby girls — up from 2,796 to 3,645
7. Emilia, +804 baby girls — up from 2,215 to 3,019
8. Camila, +765 baby girls — up from 5,271 to 6,036
9. Nova, +754 baby girls — up from 1,518 to 2,272
10. Evelyn, +708 baby girls — up from 9,352 to 10,060

Adeline and Adaline were influenced, at least initially, by the movie The Age of Adaline (2015).

Other names that saw raw number increases in the 200+ range included Eleanor, Teagan, Kinsley, Scarlett, Everly, Quinn, Aria, Remi, Harper, Penelope, Thea, Claire, Rowan, Hazel, Ruby, Blake, Aurora, Ivy, Harley, Eloise, Willow, Elena, Josephine, Alice, Blakely, Saylor, Nora, Leia, Iris, Margot, Isla, Freya, Samara, Joy, Zara, Eliana, Joanna, and Malia.

Girl Names: Biggest Decreases, 2015 to 2016

baby names, girl names, less popular

Rankings

1. Caitlin, -542 spots — down from 609th to 1,151st
2. Caitlyn, -462 spots — down from 598th to 1,060th
3. Katelynn, -402 spots — down from 652nd to 1,054th
4. Kaitlynn, -381 spots — down from 994th to 1,375th
5. Neriah, -344 spots — down from 943rd to 1,287th
6. Bryanna, -276 spots — down from 783rd to 1,059th
7. Kiley, -275 spots — down from 898th to 1,173rd
8. Yaritza, -271 spots — down from 935th to 1,206th
9. Denise, -210 spots — down from 993rd to 1,203rd
10. Kaelyn, -203 spots — down from 521st to 724th

caitlyn jenner, magazine coverCaitlin, Caitlyn, Katelynn, and Kaitlynn, were negatively influenced by Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner), who appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in mid-2015 with the headline “Call me Caitlyn.”

This reminds me of what happened a few decades ago to Hillary — another name that was strongly associated for a time with a female who wasn’t conforming to gender norms. Perhaps tellingly, the name Bruce wasn’t hit nearly as hard. Jenner did fall of the charts, though.

Raw Numbers

1. Sophia, -1,311 baby girls — down from 17,381 to 16,070
2. Alexa, -1,289 baby girls — down from 6,049 to 4,760
3. Madison, -1,090 baby girls — down from 10,072 to 8,982
4. Emma, -1,001 baby girls — down from 20,415 to 19,414 (…but still the #1 name overall)
5. Aubrey, -869 baby girls — down from 7,376 to 6,507
6. Isabella, -852 baby girls — down from 15,574 to 14,722
7. Emily, -840 baby girls — down from 11,766 to 10,926
8. Kylie, -753 baby girls — down from 4,149 to 3,396
9. Alexis, -744 baby girls — down from 3,406 to 2,662
10. Abigail, -672 baby girls — down from 12,371 to 11,699

Other names that saw raw number drops in the 200+ range included Kaitlyn, Avery, Allison, Alyssa, London, Kaylee, Sofia, Katelyn, Kimberly, Zoey, Mia, Chloe, Kendall, Taylor, Sadie, Khloe, Mackenzie, Hannah, Peyton, Addison, Samantha, Ashley, Olivia, Gabriella, Brianna, Lauren, Anna, Brooklyn, Morgan, Jocelyn, Sydney, Natalie, Victoria, Makayla, Zoe, Hailey, Payton, Brooke, Annabelle, Trinity, Keira, Adalyn, Jordyn, Kayla, Molly, Audrey, Faith, Madelyn, Lillian, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Makenzie, Paige, Aaliyah, Paisley, Nevaeh, Elizabeth, Amy, and Jessica.

Interesting how certain like-names went in opposite directions last year. Leia, Alessia, and Adaline rose; Leah, Alyssa, and Adalyn fell.

Do you have any other explanations/guesses about any of the names above? If so, please comment!

(In 2015, the big winners were Alexa and Alaia, and the big losers were Isabella and Isis.)

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2015 to 2016, Emma and Noah Remain Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2016


Popular Baby Names in Italy, 2015

A few weeks ago, Italy finally released baby name rankings for 2015. According to the data from Istat (Istituto nazionale di statistica), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Sofia and Francesco.

Here are Italy’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sofia, 7,191 baby girls
2. Aurora, 6,687
3. Giulia, 6,222
4. Giorgia, 4,099
5. Alice, 3,845
6. Martina, 3,743
7. Emma, 3,690
8. Greta, 3,676
9. Chiara, 3,516
10. Anna, 3,322
1. Francesco, 8,763 baby boys
2. Alessandro, 6,708
3. Mattia, 6,402
4. Lorenzo, 6,389
5. Leonardo, 6,144
6. Andrea, 6,047
7. Gabriele, 5,469
8. Matteo, 4,941
9. Tommaso, 4,386
10. Riccardo, 4,351

In the girls’ top 10, Anna replaces Sara, and Alice jumps from 10th to 5th.

The boys’ top 10 is essentially the same, the biggest move being Mattia rising from 6th to 3rd.

Francesco has been on top since 2001, but it became even more popular in 2013 after Pope Francis was elected.

Here are a few more names from within the top 50:

  • Girl names: Ginevra (12th), Gaia (13th), Ludovica (32nd), Ilaria (46th)
  • Boy names: Nicolò (22nd), Simone (24th), Gioele (37th), Nicola (46th)

Nicolò is pronounced nee-ko-LO, whereas Nicola is pronounced nee-KO-lah. The feminine versions of the name are Nicoletta and Nicolina.

Finally, here are the top baby names among foreigners (mainly from Romania, Morocco, Albania and China) living in Italy:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sara
2. Sofia
3. Aurora
1. Adam
2. Youssef
3. Rayan

Intriguingly, Kevin was ranked 8th for boys and 1st (!) among both the Albanians and the Chinese. I mentioned Kevinismus in last week’s Senga post and already it’s coming to mind again…

Sources: How many babies are named…? – Istat, These are the most popular Italian baby names, Births and fertility among the resident population (pdf)

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:

Aiko
Amal
Anahi
Atticus
Aurora
Babu
Bumi
Cian
Echo
Gana
Humphrey
Jacques
Kaimana
Kigai
Libertad
Madiba
Malaya
Manami
Mira
Mister Splashy Pants
Moya
Nurani
Paikea
Paz
Sedna
Shanti
Suzuki
Talei
Veikko
Yarrindi

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:

French

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).

German

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.

Italian

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.

Romansh

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