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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Awesome

Number of Babies Named Awesome

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Awesome

What’s Wrong with U? (7 Usable U-Names)

u names, ursa, upton, upson, umber, ukiah, unity, union

What’s wrong with U?

No, I don’t mean you. I mean the letter U.

If 1 is the loneliest number, then U is definitely the loneliest letter. Because, ever since I started looking at first letter frequency in baby names, U has always been the least-used.

Currently just four U-names are in in the boys’ top 1,000, and exactly zero are in the girls’ top 1,000. And those four boy names — Uriel, Uriah, Ulises, and Urijah — make up a sizable chunk of what little U-usage there happens to be.

Does this anti-U trend signify something about modern society, do you think?

We’re more individualistic than ever before — some say more narcissistic. And we do see this individualism reflected in the rise of unusual names, particularly ones that glorify the self, like Amazing, Awesome, Celebrity, Epic, Famous, Gorgeous, Handsome, King, Messiah, President, and Prodigy.

So is this individualism also being reflected in first the letters/sounds we choose? After all, a handful of I-names (Isabella/Isabelle/Isabel, Isla, Isaac, Isaiah) have become prominent lately. So have a pair of “me” names (Mia, Mila).

Meanwhile, the humble U remains at the bottom of the heap. Is it because no one wants to open a name with a letter that reminds them of “you”?

Hm…

If you’re interested in giving U-names a boost, here are 7 under-the-radar options to consider:

Ursa

We’re all familiar with Ursula. She’s a sea-witch, a Bond girl, and a Catholic saint. In other words, Ursula has some strong associations.

Not so with Ursa, the word upon which Ursula was based. Ursa doesn’t have any strong human/character associations — just a couple of celestial ones: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Ursa is based on the Latin word ursus, meaning “bear.” (Bear is itself a trendy choice among celebs these days.) And even though four-letter, vowel-bounded girl names (like Emma, Ella, Aria, Isla, Ayla, and Elsa) are trendy right now, Ursa remains rare.

Upton & Upson

Many toponymic surnames — from Milton and Clifton 100 years ago to Easton and Ashton today — have gone on to become popular baby names. But not Upton and Upson, which are uncommon despite their optimistic sound (up!).

The surnames stem from any of several similar place names that, in most cases, can be traced back to a pair of Old English words meaning “upper, above” (in terms of either altitude or status) and “farm, settlement.”

The most famous Upton was muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair, whose best-known work, a 1906 exposé of the meatpacking industry called The Jungle, led to the passage of both the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act (which, eventually, gave rise to the FDA).

Umber

We all know an Amber. Maybe even an Ember. But how many of us know an Umber? Probably not many of us, as the name is so rare that it’s only appeared in the SSA data one time (in 1995, when 5 baby girls were named Umber).

You know how ombre hair color is fashionable right now? The words ombre and umber are related — both can be traced back to the Latin word umbra, meaning “shadow.”

Along with Ochre and Sienna, Umber is an “earth pigment” — a naturally occurring mineral used by humans since prehistoric times (i.e., for coloring cave walls, clothing, tools, even skin). The color ranges from brown to reddish-brown. Many famous historical artists, including Caravaggio and Rembrandt, used umber in their paintings.

Ukiah

(yoo-KYE-uh)

Uriah is a Biblical name. So are Josiah, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Obadiah, and many other names with that telltale “-iah” ending. Sounds like Ukiah should be part of this group, right? But it isn’t.

Ukiah is the name of a place in California. It’s based on Yokaya, which comes from Rancho Yokaya — the name of the mid-19th century Mexican land grant that encompassed what is now the Ukiah Valley. The word yokaya means “south valley” in the language of the Pomo people, the original inhabitants of the region.

In 1973, the California-based band The Doobie Brothers released a song about Ukiah.

Though Ukiah has always been rare as a baby name, usage has picked up slightly since the turn of the century.

Unity & Union

Unique is the most self-focused U-name I’m aware of. And now that thousands of people have been named Unique, well, the name just isn’t very unique anymore.

Want to really stand out in the world of baby names today? Choose a name that emphasizes the oneness of the whole as opposed to the oneness of the self.

The names Unity and Union could be seen as opposites of the name Unique. And yet all three are ultimately derived from the same Latin word: unus, meaning “one.”

Unity is given to a couple dozen baby girls per year these days, but Union hasn’t appeared in the SSA data since the 1920s.

*

Do you like any of the U-names above? What other U-names would you recommend?

Sources: Upston – Surname DB, Ukiah, California – Wikipedia


Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2015 (Take 2)

According to finalized data from National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in Scotland in 2015 were Emily and Jack.

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 497 baby girls
2. Sophie, 468
3. Olivia, 452
4. Isla, 419
5. Jessica, 357
6. Ava, 354
7. Amelia, 352
8. Ella, 341
9. Lucy, 317
10. Lily, 279
1. Jack, 565 baby boys
2. Oliver, 448
3. James, 416
4. Lewis, 371
5. Alexander, 349
6. Charlie, 342
7. Lucas, 316
8. Logan, 311
9. Harris, 306
10. Daniel, 282

This finalized 2015 list is a lot like (but not exactly like) the preliminary rankings that came out in December.

It’s also a lot like the 2014 rankings, the main difference being that Harris has replaced Noah in the boys’ top ten.

And now for the fun part! Here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once last year in Scotland. Ladies first:

  • Aara
  • Aerith
  • Albatool
  • Aneu
  • Aragon
  • Aria-Denver
  • Arracah
  • Avana-Solaris
  • Awesome
  • Beatrix-Gwendoline
  • Bebe-Rose
  • Bexlie
  • Caledonia – Caledonia was what the ancient Romans called the region that became Scotland. It’s now used as a poetic name for Scotland.
  • Calypso
  • Christine-Smart – I’ve seen “smart” used as a name before, but all the examples I know of are historical.
  • Ciorstaidh
  • Csenge
  • Debsther
  • Duoduo
  • Dzeiviana
  • Elenaria
  • Ersjola
  • Esme-May
  • Ginijane
  • Glencora
  • Iphigenia
  • Izzy-Mary-Bel
  • Juveria
  • Lithisha
  • Littlest
  • Lohasna
  • Midelle
  • Mirrany
  • Ndack
  • Nettle
  • Peryl
  • Piali
  • Ptarmigan – A bird name I almost never see used as a baby name. Ironically, the word “ptarmigan” happens to be based on a Scottish Gaelic word (tàrmachan).
  • Renae-Esmae
  • Roux-Jane
  • Splendor
  • Styliani
  • Tjitske
  • Twylabelle – Another -belle name to add to the list of -bella and -belle names.
  • Xrysoula
  • Zazilia
  • Zephyra
  • Zerfin
  • Zymal

And now the gents:

  • Albany
  • Aodee
  • Bonus
  • Bowie
  • Brando
  • Bucci
  • Bully
  • Charlieboy
  • Chrisvin
  • Claigh
  • Cobain
  • Coist
  • Corryvreckan – The Gulf of Corryvreckan (from the Gaelic Coire Bhreacain) is a narrow strait off Scotland’s west coast famous for its large whirlpool. Corryvreckan’s father, a whisky expert, also admits that “we may have joked with the name while I was sipping on some of the peat-astic Ardbeg Corryvreckan.” (Source: Why Corryvreckan is a dram fine name for my baby says whisky expert Andy Bell)
  • Csoma
  • Firth
  • Feynman
  • Frankie-Boy
  • Gruffydd
  • Harrison’jai
  • Highlande
  • Innes-Ross
  • Jesuferanmi
  • Jevgenijs
  • Jotvingis
  • Lansana
  • Leonce
  • Oomo – Reminds me of Omoo.
  • Panache
  • Roux
  • Roxus
  • Sonnyboy
  • Stuarttie
  • Taighearnach
  • Turki
  • Tybalt
  • Ythan
  • Zaff
  • Zanemvula
  • Zeteny
  • Zion-Antoine

For more sets of rankings, check out the name rankings category.

Source: Jack and Emily are Scotland’s top baby names

Popular Baby Names in Idaho, 2012

Idaho’s most popular baby names of 2012 were announced a year and a half late, as usual.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state’s top names two years ago were Sophia for girls and Liam for boys.

Here are Idaho’s top 25 girl names and top 25 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Sophia (115 baby girls)
2. Olivia (113)
3. Emma (100)
4. Ava (79)
5. Abigail (76)
6. Elizabeth (71)
7. Chloe (69)
8. Emily (62) – tie
9. Zoey (62) – tie
10. Brooklyn (61)
11. Hannah* (60)
12. Madison (57)
13. Ella (56) – tie
14. Isabella (56) – tie
15. Lily (56) – tie
16. Avery (54)
17. Grace (51)
18. Amelia (50) – tie
19. Evelyn (50) – tie
20. Hailey* (48)
21. Ellie (46) – tie
22. Natalie (46) – tie
23. Charlotte* (45) – tie
24. Paisley* (45) – tie
25. Addison (44)
1. Liam (133 baby boys)
2. William (94)
3. Mason (81)
4. Jacob (79)
5. Michael* (78) – tie
6. Samuel (78) – tie
7. Wyatt (77)
8. Logan (76)
9. Ethan (75)
10. Carter (73)
11. Hunter (72)
12. Aiden (71)
13. Benjamin (69) – tie
14. Jackson (69) – tie
15. Gabriel (68)
16. Andrew (67)
17. Henry* (66) – tie
18. Noah (66) – tie
19. Cooper* (65) – tie
20. Elijah (65) – tie
21. David* (64)
22. Isaac (63)
23. Alexander* (57) – tie
24. Jayden (57) – tie
25. Joseph* (57) – tie
26. Owen (57) – tie

*New to the top 25 since 2011.

Idaho’s annual report also includes a section called “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings,” which is rather awesome.

Here are the handpicked oddballs of 2012:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Alixathymia, Aunastasha, Beloved, Blessing, Britannica, Burdyn, Challyss, Echkoe, Exodus, Harlequinn, Idalyz, Killary, Lulubell, Lyrica, Mercy, Miracle, Mystic, Noble, Oasis, Pearadice, Savvy, Secret, Sunshyne, Theory, Versailles Adamant, Arsin, Awesome, Cactus, Captain, Chipper, Cross, Denym, Dually, Dynamic, Falchion, Glacier, Kasteel, Kazys, Krozlee, Lock, Mehdiullah, Mogley, Natavious, Nyte, Peregrin, Pilot, Torque, Truce, Wild

Thoughts:

  • Alixathymia – Part name, part medical condition.
  • Adamant – Synonym for stubborn. Or an Adam Ant reference. Or both.
  • Burdyn – “Burden”? Really?
  • Cactus – A nature name I’ve never seen before.
  • Dually – Rosamund Pike should pick this for kid #2. (Her firstborn is “Solo.”)
  • Falchion – A type of sword. (Do they talk about falchions on Game of Thrones?)
  • Glacier – There’s a Glacier in Quebec as well.
  • Killary – This would make a great roller derby name! So would Hellga the American Gladiator name.
  • Truce – Nice to see a name that promotes cooperation/peace instead of conflict/anger (like Rebel, Fury, Rage, Rowdy, Savage, and so on). Truce reminds me of Armistice. Speaking of armistice…
  • Versailles – It’s a pretty word, but what percentage of Americans can spell it correctly? Or even pronounce it?

And, since I never wrote about the Idaho baby names of 2011, I’ll throw in the unique names from that year as well:

Unique Girl Names (2011) Unique Boy Names (2011)
Asma, Ajla, Bandana, Birdie, Candelaria, Cinderella, Courage, Disney-Gin, Elphaba, Jerzi, Kaymin, Khryztale, Kyraeveryn, November, Rainbow, Rockee, Rogue, Ropeer, Satchel, Soliscity, Temperenz, Thunder, Trypzee, Winter, Xxoie Adakiss, Aegis Orion, Beauxdarin, Bluesky, Cinch, Coyote, Dagr, Deevo, Diggory, Doc, Eighthin, Flint, Gator, General, Iron, Jayger, John-Wayne, Khryztian, Maverik, Pistol, Pragedis, Rifle, Riot, Slate, Wilderness

Thoughts:

  • Adakiss – Not quite as bad as Addtakizz.
  • Dagr, Pistol, Rifle, Riot – More weaponry & violence. Lovely.
  • Deevo – Inspired by Devo? Perhaps. (Two references to ’80s music in a single post? Yup.) You must whip it

Finally, here are earlier lists of Idaho’s unique baby names (2006 through 2010).

Source: Vital Statistics Annual Report

Is “Awesome” an Awesome Middle Name?

Lisa Flores of Juneau, Alaska, wants to legally change her 2 1/2-year-old daughter’s name from Viviana Contea Flores to Viviana Awesome Flores.

The replacement middle name Awesome was chosen by Lisa’s 11-year-old son Dominic. (He originally wanted Viviana’s first name to be Danger, but this was vetoed.)

Here’s what Brooke of Baby Name Pondering says about the name Awesome:

Personally I think using it as a middle is cool and funky, but it feels a little over inflated as a first name.

What do you think of the name Awesome, either as a first or as a middle?

Source: Looking for awesome baby names? This Alaskan woman wants to name her daughter Awesome

I Found a Chucknorris!

chucknorris the baby name
Stop the presses!

Years ago, I noticed that a handful of U.S. babies had been named MacGyver starting in the late ’80s. When I blogged about MacGyver, I said:

The only name I can think of that might be cooler than MacGyver is Chucknorris. I have yet to come across a baby named Chucknorris, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Later on I spotted both Rambo and Shaft on the name lists. These were even more mind-blowing to me than MacGyver.

Still, they were no Chucknorris.

Only a few days ago did it occur to me to look up Chucknorris at records site FamilySearch.org (which I hadn’t yet discovered back when I was writing about MacGyver).

And you know what? I found one!

A baby boy born in Los Angeles on June 18, 1984, was named Willie Chucknorris Conrod. (I would have preferred to see Chucknorris as a first name, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.)

This is Epic, Awesome, Amazing, and all other overconfident baby names rolled into one.

See? Dreams do come true, you guys. :)

[A question for Willie, should he ever end up here: Dude, what’s it like to have the best middle name of all time? Please comment or email me!]