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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Axl

Number of Babies Named Axl

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Axl

Name Quotes for the Weekend #39

Quote from Uzo Aduba's mother on the name Uzoamaka

From “The Eyes Have It,” an interview with Orange Is the New Black actress Uzoamaka “Uzo” Aduba, who was asked whether she ever considered changing her name:

When I started as an actor? No, and I’ll tell you why. I had already gone through that. My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means “The road is good.” Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”

(There’s a Tchaikovsky in Brazil.)

From an article about a woman named Cinderella in the Irish Independent:

“I’d been living as Eva my whole life until I found out my name was Evangeline Cinderella. Of course this was the most amazing news as a seven year old girl and unfortunately I told everybody. I’ve paid for it ever since. People have always remembered,” she said.

From the essay “The name shame of Axl, Anakin, Arya…” by Gene Weingarten (via Name News):

To consult this list [the SSA’s Change in Popularity list] is to dip your toe into the fetid waters of cheesy celebrity worship. Consider this: One of the skyrocketing names is … “Anakin.” Yes, people are giving their baby boys a name invented specifically to sound non-human, for a character in another galaxy far, far away, one who grows up to become Darth Vader, an evil overlord who wants to enslave the universe. (There have been plenty of Darths, too.)

(Here’s more on Darth.)

From the video “Instrument: Celeste” featuring keyboardist Elizabeth Burley of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London:

I’ve got a celeste here today to show you how that works. As you’ll see it looks a little bit like an upright piano, but it’s actually a lot different. Although it’s operated by a keyboard, inside, instead of strings, it’s a set of…metal chime bars. They’re suspended over wooden resonating boxes, and when I press a key, a hammer hits the chime bar to make the sound, like on a piano the hammer would hit the string. The name celeste…it’s a French name meaning “heavenly,” and it does make a very heavenly sound, as you’ll hear.

From a blog post about electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire at Open Culture:

With her buttoned-up style, work with the UN, and name like a plucky character in a certain English wizard series, Delia Derbyshire may not seem a likely pioneer of experimental electronic music.

From the blog post “What’s in a Name?” by theology professor/social activist Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre:

Today, no one calls me Brother Mike. Nonetheless, if the first act of liberation is self naming, why do I still insist on spelling my surname the way those who had power over me taught me? I have no doubt the reader is probably wondering what’s the big deal? Just spell my name correctly. What they fail to recognize is the power of the colonizing process, and the difficulty to reclaim identity. So as I tag my name to my liberationist works I am reminded with each upper case letter how far I still need to go to claim my own liberation. The struggle, la lucha, continues, even in the letters of my name.

From the article “What Your Conference Room Names Say About Your Company Culture” by Ekaterina Walter:

At Sprinklr, our conference rooms are named after the company’s values. Honesty, Passion, Perseverance, Humility, Character, Courage, and Integrity are just some of the names you will encounter. My personal favorites are Awesomeness and 1+1=3. When I asked our founder, Ragy Thomas, why the leadership team chose to name conference rooms in this way, he said: “It would be kind of hard to be arrogant in a room named Humility, wouldn’t it? Or give up in a room named Perseverance, don’t you think?”

From the New York Times article “Jens and Vita, but Molli? Danes Favor Common Names” (2004) about Denmark’s Law on Personal Names, which was “initially designed to bring order to surnames”:

Then in the 1960’s, a furor erupted over the first name Tessa, which resembled tisse, which means to urinate in Danish. Distressed over the lack of direction in the law, the Danish government expanded the statute to grapple with first names. Now the law is as long as an average-size book.

Among the baby names rejected in Denmark: Anus, Pluto, and Monkey. Among those accepted: Leica, Benji, Jiminico, and Fee.

Want more quotes? Here’s the name quotes category.


Another Celebrity Baby Name from a Dream

Actress Elisabeth Rohm dreamed up the name Easton for her daughter in 2008. Singer Fergie dreamed up the name Axl for her son in 2013. Between 2008 and 2013, though, there was a third dreamed‑of celebrity baby name that I missed.

Actress Marley Shelton and film producer Beau Flynn welcomed a baby girl in 2009 and named her West, thanks to a dream:

“My husband actually dreamed seven years ago that we had a daughter, and he was calling her West,” Marley recalls. “I immediately said, ‘If we ever have a daughter, we’re definitely naming her that.'”

Their second daughter, Ruby, was born in 2012.

Do you know of any other dreamed‑of celebrity baby names?

Source: Marley Shelton: Being a mom is the best role I’ve ever had!

Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2014

Which boy names increased and decreased the most in popularity from 2013 to 2014?

Below are two versions of each list. My version looks at raw number differences and takes all 13,977 boy names on the 2014 list into account. The SSA’s version looks at ranking differences and covers the top 1,000 boy names (roughly).

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Oliver, +2,116 babies (7,249 to 9,365)
  2. Sebastian, +1,707 (7,530 to 9,237)
  3. Logan, +1,256 (12,323 to 13,579)
  4. Carter, +1,044 (9,555 to 10,599)
  5. Grayson, +996 (5,536 to 6,532)
  6. Noah, +965 (18,179 to 19,144)
  7. Karter, +929 (1,174 to 2,103)
  8. Luke, +885 (9,546 to 10,431)
  9. James, +799 (13,502 to 14,301)
  10. Theodore, +778 (2,413 to 3,191)
  1. Bode, +645 spots (1,428th to 783rd)
  2. Axl, +624 (1,474th to 850th)
  3. Gannon, +426 (839th to 413th)
  4. Bodie, +333 (1,314th to 981st)
  5. Royal, +327 (900th to 573rd)
  6. Coen, +290 (1,188th to 898th)
  7. Anakin, +281 (1,238th to 957th)
  8. Killian, +250 (766th to 516th)
  9. Reyansh, +226 (1,221st to 995th)
  10. Ronin, +219 (773rd to 554th)

Here’s what the SSA says about the rise of Bode: “[It] might have had something to do with the Winter Olympics in early 2014, where Bode Miller continued his outstanding alpine skiing career by collecting his sixth Olympic medal.”

And on the rise of Axl: “[It’s] a nod to both rock legend Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses and Axl Jack Duhamel, son of Stacy Ann “Fergie” Ferguson and Josh Duhamel.”

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Jayden, -1,834 babies (14,712 to 12,878)
  2. Jacob, -1,360 (18,072 to 16,712)
  3. Joshua, -997 (11,761 to 10,764)
  4. Christian, -905 (9,293 to 8,388)
  5. Brayden, -873 (7,412 to 6,539)
  6. Justin, -858 (4,849 to 3,991)
  7. Tyler, -833 (6,618 to 5,785)
  8. Jase, -826 (4,545 to 3,719)
  9. Ryan, -824 (9,850 to 9,026)
  10. Gavin, -820 (7,402 to 6,582)
  1. Bently, -289 spots (902nd to 1,191st)
  2. Damion, -262 (856th to 1,118th)
  3. Amare, -239 (601st to 840th)
  4. Isiah, -234 (824th to 1,058th)
  5. Xavi, -198 (930th to 1,128th)
  6. Sidney, -187 (958th to 1,145th)
  7. Deegan, -180 (961st to 1,141st)
  8. Jair, -174 (820th to 994th)
  9. Juelz, -165 (908th to 1,073rd)
  10. Corban, -156 (979th to 1,135th)

Jase, last year’s biggest raw number increase, is now 8th on the list of decreases. Mason, which topped the list of raw number increases two years in a row (2010 and 2011), is now 18th on the list of decreases. (It was 3rd in 2013.) And Jayden, the trendy name that shot up the charts to become the 4th most popular baby name in the nation in 2010 and 2011, has since fallen to 15th.

Finally, here are the big winners and losers from the last few years:

  • 2013: Jase/Jayceon (biggest increases) and Ethan/Austyn (biggest decreases)
  • 2012: Liam/Major (biggest increases) and Jacob/Braeden (biggest decreases)
  • 2011: Mason (biggest increase) and Jacob (biggest decrease)
  • 2010: Mason (biggest increase) and Joshua (biggest decrease)

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2013 to 2014, Noah and Emma Top Social Security’s List of Most Popular Baby Names for 2014

U.S. Baby Names 2014: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths

Celebrity Baby Name – Axl Jack

Singer Fergie and her husband, actor Josh Duhamel, recently welcomed a baby boy. They named him Axl Jack.

How did Fergie come up with the name Axl? Here’s what she told Ellen DeGeneres:

“I had this dream, and I was in the audience at the festival. It was outdoors and it was all grimy and nobody knew who I was,” the 38-year-old Black-Eyed Pea said. “On stage singing was Jim Morrison and then came Bob Marley and then Axl Rose. I was in heaven in this dream, and I’m dancing and just getting into the music.”

It was then that Fergie awoke, roused from her dream by the kick of her unborn son. (She and Duhamel welcomed Axl Jack into the world on Aug. 29.)

This immediately made me think of Easton August, daughter of actress Elisabeth Rohm. Easton’s name also came from a dream.

Here are the popularity graphs for Axl and Jack, if you want to see how these names are doing on the charts right now.

And, while we’re checking out graphs, here’s how Fergie — a Kids Incorporated alum, just like Martika — has influenced the name Fergie over the last few years.

Source: Fergie reveals son’s name Axl Jack came to her in a dream: ‘It just had this ring to it’

Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2013

pop culture baby name game 2013

Every year on Britney Spears’s birthday (December 2) we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.

What is the Pop Culture Baby Name Game, you ask? Good question! It’s not a “game” really, but more of a group brainstorm. We try to guess which baby names became more popular during the year thanks to pop culture — music, movies, television, sports, politics, current events, products, etc.

I’ve searched for all the 2013 predictions we’ve made so far (in posts & comments) and listed them below. I also threw in a few more possibilities — mostly celebrity baby names. So here’s what we’re starting with:

  • Ace – Jessica Simpson’s baby boy, born in June
  • Armand or ArmieLone Ranger actor Armand “Armie” Hammer
  • Axl – Fergie’s baby boy, born in August
  • Bailey (per skizzo) – Grey’s Anatomy baby
  • Benedict (per Rita) – Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Bilbo (per elbowin) – The Hobbit character
  • Cressida or Cressie – Prince Harry’s girlfriend Cressida “Cressie” Bonas
  • Cricket – Busy Philipps’s baby girl, born in July
  • CypherAfter Earth character
  • D’Ussé – Jay Z-endorsed cognac
  • Elon – Tesla founder Elon Musk
  • Evanora (per skizzo) – Oz the Great and Powerful character
  • Everly – Channing Tatum’s baby girl, born in May
  • Evo (per elbowin) – Bolivian president Evo Morales
  • FantineLes Mis character (especially since the Oscars)
  • Finley (per skizzo) – Oz the Great and Powerful character
  • Francesco, Francis, Francisco – Pope Francis, elected in March
  • Gatsby (per skizzo) – movie The Great Gatsby
  • George – Kate and William’s royal baby boy, born in July
  • Harley (per skizzo) – Iron Man character
  • KitaiAfter Earth character
  • Ladar (per elbowin) – Lavabit owner Ladar Levison
  • Lincoln – movie Lincoln
  • Lula – Bryan Adams’s baby girl, born in February
  • Luna – Penelope Cruz’s baby girl, born in July
  • Macklemore – rapper Macklemore
  • Malala – young Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai
  • Marnie – Lily Allen’s baby girl, born in January
  • Milan – Shakira’s baby boy, born in January
  • Minaj – singer Nicki Minaj
  • Neymar (per Rita) – Brazillian football player Neymar
  • North or Nori – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby girl, born in June
  • Philomena – movie Philomena
  • Quvenzhané (per Rita) – child actress Quvenzhané Wallis
  • Rainbow – Holly Madison’s baby girl, born in March
  • Robin (per Rita) – singer Robin Thicke
  • Snowden – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
  • Tesla – Tesla cars
  • TessanneThe Voice contestant winner Tessanne Chin
  • Thatcher (per Rita) – Margaret Thatcher, died in April
  • Theodora (per skizzo) – Oz the Great and Powerful character
  • Turbo – movie Turbo
  • Wendy – Texas politician Wendy Davis
  • Winnie – Jimmy Fallon’s baby girl, born in July
  • Yeezus or Yeezy – Kanye West album Yeezus
  • Zoella – beauty blogger Zoella

Wanna play? Tell me in the comments which baby names you think got a boost from pop culture in 2013. Don’t forget to mention the reason.

I’ll post the results of the game after the SSA updates the national baby name data in May. If you don’t want to miss the results post, subscribe to the blog!

Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2012, 2011 #1, 2011 #2, 2010

My 10 Favorite Uniquely ’80s Baby Names

80s baby names

Love baby names? Love the ’80s? Then you’ll love this list!

Out of the nearly 12,000 baby names that debuted on the charts from 1980 to 1989 (inclusive), here are 10 that are particularly symbolic of the ’80s.

All 10 are legit baby names straight from the SSA’s lists!

  1. MacGyver. The baby name MacGyver, inspired by TV character Angus MacGyver, debuted on the baby name charts in 1989.
  2. Rambo. The baby name Rambo, inspired by movie character John Rambo, debuted on the baby name charts in 1984.
  3. Cheetara. The baby name Cheetara, inspired by ThunderCats character Cheetara, debuted on the baby name charts in 1985.
  4. DeLorean. The baby name DeLorean, inspired by the car, debuted on the baby name charts in 1982.
  5. Cetera. The baby name Cetera, inspired by singer Peter Cetera, debuted on the baby name charts in 1987.
  6. Malcolmjamal. The baby name Malcolmjamal, inspired by Cosby Show actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, debuted on the baby name charts in 1986.
  7. Atreyu. The baby name Atreyu, inspired by the NeverEnding Story character Atreyu, debuted on the baby name charts in 1985.
  8. Martika. The baby name Martika, inspired by singer Martika, debuted on the baby name charts in 1986.
  9. Luka. The baby name Luka, inspired by the song “Luka” by Suzanne Vega, debuted as a girl name on the baby name charts in 1987.
  10. Jareth. The baby name Jareth, inspired by the Labyrinth character Jareth, debuted on the baby name charts in 1986.

Runners-up: Axl, Enya, Jeanluc, Jordache, Roxette, Wrangler.

Do YOU have any favorite ’80s baby names?

P.S. Here are my 10 favorite uniquely ’70s and ’90s baby names.

Note: Updated in March of 2015.

Baby Name Story – Invicta

Invicta and Horse - Aveling and PorterRemember Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose? I recently found out that one of his ex-wives is named Erin Invicta Everly. Invicta is a form of invictus, Latin for “unconquered.”

What’s the story behind Invicta?

Erin was born in 1965 to musician Don Everly and actress Venetia Stevenson, full name Joanna Venetia Invicta Stevenson. Venetia was born in 1938 to director Robert Stevenson and actress Anna Lee (best known for portraying Lila Quartermaine on General Hospital).

Anna Lee is the one who came up with Invicta. Here’s what she says in her memoir:

Venetia’s middle name, Invicta, meaning “invincible,” came from a childhood memory. I used to watch the street being repaired, and I loved the smell of the thick, black tar as it was poured over the gravel and then flattened and smoothed by a giant steamroller. It was the huge, formidable steamroller that fascinated me. On the front of this piece of machinery was a brass plaque of a horse, rearing up, with the word “Invicta” beneath it.

Interesting, isn’t it? Certainly one of the most vivid baby name stories I’ve seen in a while.

The steamroller would have been an Aveling-Barford steamroller. The company, established in the 1860s as Aveling and Porter, was based in Kent, which is where Anna Lee was born. It used Kent’s motto, Invicta, and the rearing horse from Kent’s coat of arms on its steamrollers and other equipment.

Lee’s memoir also mentions that Venetia’s first name was inspired by a portrait of Venetia Stanley (1600-1633) that Anna had seen at Sherborne Castle.

Source: Lee, Anna and Barbara Roisman. Anna Lee: Memoir of a Career on General Hospital and in Film. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007.
Image: Adapted from 1871 Aveling and Porter traction engine 04 by Oxyman under CC BY 2.5.