How popular is the baby name Baxter in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Baxter and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Baxter.
Years ago I posted about Livonia, a baby both born on and named after a Pullman car. Recently I wondered: What other Pullman car names would have made good baby names?
So I downloaded a big spreadsheet of over 12,000 Pullman car names from The Pullman Project and was slightly surprised to see that thousands of them could have been baby names, if we allow for the splitting of compound car names (like Fort Miley, Glen Norman, Meredith College, and West Willow).
Here are a handful of examples. On the left are relatively common/familiar names, and on the right are some unexpected choices.
|Alana, Archer, Arnold
||Adriatha, Arundel, Arvonia
|Baxter, Becket, Bradley
||Bantry, Bellonia, Besco
|Calvin, Catalina, Clyde
||Cadesia, Clarnie, Clymer
|Dana, Deborah, Dwight
||Darlow, Dathema, Dodona
|Edith, Eileen, Elmo
||Edminster, Emalinda, Etherley
|Finley, Flavia, Floyd
||Fithian, Flaxton, Florilla
|Gary, Georgette, Grayson
||Gavarnie, Gilia, Gloxinia
|Harper, Harriet, Hector
||Harista, Humela, Hythe
|Iona, Isabella, Ivan
||Irvona, Isleta, Ixion
|Jessica, Jordan, Julia
||Jacelia, Jathniel, Justitia
|Kara, Keith, Kenneth
||Keinath, Kenia, Kittson
|Laurel, Lewis, Linden
||Lauveta, Leolyn, Lysander
|Madison, Marco, Maude
||Mardonia, Mayence, Morganza
|Nicola, Noel, Nora
||Narinda, Nasby, Norlina
|Olivia, Omar, Otis
||Oaklyn, Olanda, Oxus
|Parker, Perry, Philippa
||Penlyn, Pipila, Pixley
|Rebecca, Riley, Ronald
||Rexis, Risley, Ruxton
|Sarah, Scott, Susanne
||Salphrona, Sarver, Sibley
|Thora, Tracy, Tyler
||Tascott, Tilden, Tisonia
|Vanessa, Vernon, Victoria
||Varick, Vinora, Vivita
|Wesley, Wilson, Wren
||Welby, Wescott, Wexford
Which of the names above do you like best?
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.
- Crimson – Crimson Tide is the University of Alabama football team.
- Denali – Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska is North America’s highest peak.
- Nizhoni – Nizhóní is a Navajo word meaning “it/he/she is pretty/beautiful.”
- Sedona – Sedona is a city in Arizona.
- Eztli – Eztli is a Nahuatl (Aztec) word meaning “blood.”
- Trindon – Trindon Holliday played pro football in Colorado.
- Kinnick – Kinnick Stadium is where the Iowa Hawkeyes football team plays.
- Marigny – Foubourg Marigny is a New Orleans neighborhood.
- Baxter – Baxter is a state park in Maine.
In North Carolina:
In North Dakota:
- 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?
- 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.”
- Korver – Kyle Korver played pro basketball in Utah.
In Washington, D.C.:
In Washington (state):
- Avenir – see Oregon
In West Virginia:
See the original post for the rest. You might also be interested in checking out the “most regional” baby names in the US.
A reader named Juliet writes:
My husband Ralph and I have five children, and I am four months pregnant with our sixth.
We’ve always had a difficult time choosing names, but Ralph and I have always found names that we’ve both loved early on in the pregnancy (agreeing on the name was another story).
This time around, however, it seems like there are no names out there that either of us even like. Can you help us?
Our kids are:
Susannah Blair (she goes by Sunny)
Edward Atticus (we call him Ned)
We’re looking for names that are quirky, light, vintage-y, and that will age well and go with my other children’s.
Wow, a lot of great names there! (In fact, Juliet’s large, well-named family reminded me of Cora’s large, well-named family from a few years ago.)
For #6, here are some boy names that came to mind:
And some girl names:
I focused on first letters that aren’t already in use, only because everyone else seems to have a unique first initial. Not sure if this is something that matters to Juliet or not, though.
Which of the above do you like best with Felix, Olive, Maeve, Susannah and Edward? What other names would you suggest?
Update: It’s a boy! Scroll down or click here to learn what his name is.
Nancy Friedman of Fritinancy recently sent me a link to The Name, an essay in which sportswriter Baxter Holmes explains what it’s like to be a Baxter.
Names are identifiers, but since they shadow our lives, we never give them much thought, just like we never think about how we walk or what we sound like breathing. I grew up in a small town in rural Oklahoma, where everyone knew everyone. Baxter was just what I was–nothing special.
So when asked to describe the essence of “Baxter,” I thought, When someone shouts it in a crowd, it’s my attention they’re trying for.
How did Baxter’s mother come up with his name?
When waddling around with me in her belly, she saw “Baxter” autographed on the cast of a friend of a friend’s broken arm. It was just what she was looking for, something distinct and distinguished. “I knew the minute I said it in my mind,” she says. “I loved the way it sounded.”
See the rest of Bax’s essay in this month’s LA Time Magazine.
A reader named Virginia is expecting a baby in September. For a boy, she’d selected the name Phineas. She liked “that it was unusual without being bizarre,” and that it started with ph. But now she’s not so sure about the name:
All was fine and dandy until I read an article about violence in the Bible. It vaguely mentioned Phineas as a name from the Bible used as a talisman by white supremacists. What!?!
That was a shock to me too. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Phineas Priesthood is “a violent credo of vengeance that has gained some popularity among white supremacists and other extremists in recent years.” I’d never heard of the Phineas Priesthood before–not even when Julia Roberts named her son Phinnaeus a few years ago.
Virginia doesn’t want to give up her favorite name, but she also “can’t live with such an association,” so she was hoping for some name suggestions. Other names she’s considering include Joel and Samuel (for boys) and Sigrid, Phoebe, Elisabeth, and Anne (for girls). All are family names.
First, a few thoughts:
- I doubt many people are aware that white supremacists use Phineas as a code word. It’s an odious association, but maybe it’s also obscure enough that it’s not worth worrying about…?
- I really like Sigrid and Phoebe–they’re both significant and unusual. Especially Sigrid. (Phoebe is being used more and more every year, so it might not be unusual for long.)
And now, name suggestions. Here are some unusual-but-not-bizarre boy names that I think Virginia might like:
And some girl names:
What other names would you suggest to Virginia? (And, what’s your take on the Phineas dilemma?)
Update: The baby has arrived! Click here to learn the baby’s name.