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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Bear

Number of Babies Named Bear

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Bear

Name Quotes #51: Fox, Bear, Sarah, Michael

quote, name, blake lively, stage name, real name

From a 2006 interview with Blake Lively:

Q: I’ve got to say, “Blake Lively” sounds almost too cool to not be a stage name…

A: People are always like, “Blake Lively! Okay, what’s your real name?” It’s kind of embarrassing to tell people, because it sounds like a really cheesy stage name.

Q: Is there a story behind the first part?

A: Actually, my grandma’s brother’s name was Blake, and my sister wrote it down when she was reading a family tree. And they said, “If it’s a boy, we’ll name him Blake, and if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Blakely.” And everybody thought I was going to be a boy, and then I came out and I was a girl. And they had already been calling me Blake for months because they were positive I was going to be a boy. And they had been calling me Blake for so long, they just [kept it].

[The surname “Lively” came from Blake’s mother’s first husband. Blake’s mother kept it after the divorce, and Blake’s father — her mother’s second husband — liked it enough to take as his own when they married.]

[I mentioned Blake Lively in this year’s Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity post. Speaking of the latest batch of baby names…]

From “From Alessia to Zayn, Popular Baby Names on the Rise!” on the Social Security Matters blog:

Some other notable names in the top 10 biggest increase category include Benicio and Fox for boys. […] As for Fox, did anyone ever figure out what the fox said?

[I love that the SSA made a reference to “What Does the Fox Say?” in a baby name post.]

From Baby Kylo: ‘Star Wars’ Names Raced Up the Charts in 2016 at Live Science:

“What dad wants to name his son after a son who kills his dad?” said baby-name expert Laura Wattenberg, who analyzed the latest data on Babynamewizard.com. “It doesn’t seem like the most auspicious choice.”

From an E! News article about Liam Payne:

The One Direction singer-turned-solo artist explained the origin of son Bear Payne’s name during a Total Access radio interview, which he said was decided upon by mom Cheryl Cole.

“It was an internal battle,” Liam reflected. “I wanted a more traditional name and she wanted a name that was more unusual. “The reason she chose Bear was because Bear is a name that when you leave a room, you won’t forget.”

“And I like that,” the U.K. native decided eventually.

From The psychological effects of growing up with an extremely common name by Sarah Todd at Quartz:

If the purpose of a name is to signify an object, a very common first name seems like a pretty ineffective signifier. When people on the street say my name, I often don’t bother to turn around, knowing that there are probably other Sarah’s in close proximity. And so I think of “Sarah” less as a name that’s specific to me and more as a general descriptor—another word for “woman” or “girl,” or something else that applies both to me and to a lot of other people, too.

[Found via Appellation Mountain.]

From Why Coke Is Adding Last Names to ‘Share a Coke’ in Ad Age:

As for first names, Michael is No. 1, according to Coke.

[Found via Name Nerds.]

From Why Your Name May Be Ruining Your Life

Two University of Colorado economists found compelling evidence that the first letter of your last name does matter quite a bit—especially when you’re young.

Professor Jeffrey Zax and graduate student Alexander Cauley analyzed data on the lives of more than 3,000 men who graduated from Wisconsin high schools 2 in 1957. They found that those with surnames further back in the alphabet did worse in high school, in college, and in the job market early in their careers. […] While correlation isn’t necessarily causation, the researchers firmly believe there’s a connection.

[Found via Nameberry.]

[I’m slightly surprised we haven’t seen Zax in the data yet. Zaxton is a regular these days, though.]

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.


Could “Unicorn” Become a Baby Name?

could unicorn become a baby name?

The baby name Unicorn: Ridiculous? Inevitable? Both?

I’m not asking because I think Unicorn should become a baby name. I’m asking because I think there’s an outside chance that it could see some usage this year, thanks to the sudden trendiness of unicorns.

The word “unicorn” is being used to market all manner of colorful, sparkly products at the moment. In fact, Google searches for “unicorn” hit an all-time high last month.

The word has also acquired some positive associations over the last few years. According to Elizabeth Segran of Fast Company, “unicorn” is now being used to denote uniqueness (e.g., unicorn startup, unicorn boyfriend) and also to signify anything “happy, fun-loving, and cute.”

So if this unicorn fad lasts long enough, and if American parents are daring enough, do you think we could see a Unicorn or two in the birth announcements this year?

For the record, Unicorn has been used as a name in the U.S. before, but only a handful of times. The youngest I found was a male born in the ’90s with the middle name Unicorn.

Mythical creature names (like Phoenix, Griffin, and Dragon) — not to mention real-life creature names (like Bear, Fox, Wolf, and Wren) — are on the rise right now. So what are the odds that we’ll see some some baby Unicorns in 2017?

Source: The Unicorn Craze, Explained

Uncommon Baby Names in Oregon, 2012

Oregon’s Open Data website includes several tables of baby name data from 2012.

The most interesting thing about this data? It goes all the way down to names given to just three babies per year. (All the SSA baby name lists, on the other hand, have a five-baby cutoff.)

So here are some of the baby names that were bestowed in Oregon just three or four times in 2012:

Girl Names Boy Names
Amberly
Andromeda
Arianny
Damaris
Diem
Ellingon
Fern
Gaia
Io
Isela
Jubilee
Kahlan
Linnea
Lois
Lumen
Magali
Rue
Sahasra
Sanvi
Sayuri
Seven
Sinai
Siri
Sonora
Sparrow
Timber
Twyla
Van
Yara
Achilles
Alvin
Atlas
Atreyu
Bear
Briar
Calder
Carver
Clive
Dutch
Forest
Huck
Hyrum
Isley
Kainoa
Kincaid
Koa
Larry
Loki
Montgomery
Riot
Rogue
Summit
Tavish
Tiberius
Tor
Trapper
Van
Zephyr

The name Diem has been in the SSA data since the ’80s, but a lot of the recent usage was probably inspired by Danielle Michelle “Diem” Brown, who appeared on various MTV reality TV shows from 2006 to 2015. (She passed away in 2014 from ovarian cancer.) In her case, “Diem” was a nickname based on the initials “D.M.,” making this yet another girl name that can be spelled with the names of letters.

Sources: 2012 Boy Baby Names | Oregon transparency, 2012 Girl Baby Names | Oregon transparency

41 Pun Names for April Fools’ Day (4/1)

pun names for april fool's day, gravestonesI can’t play a prank on you for April Fools’ Day, but I can give you a list of personal names that seem like pranks.

Except, they’re not.

All of the below are legit first & last names that belonged to real people — often multiple people. (In parentheses is a rough estimate of how many I’ve come across so far.)

Which one do you think is the worst?

  1. Alma Mater (several)
  2. April Showers (dozens)
  3. Bear Trapp (one)
  4. Candy Cane (several)
  5. Cliff Hanger (several)
  6. Constant Agony (two)
  7. Constant Craps (one)
  8. Crystal Ball (dozens)
  9. Death Knox (one)
  10. Drew Peacock (dozens)
  11. Gettysburg Battle (one)
  12. Gold Mine (two)
  13. Green Bean (several)
  14. Hazel Nut/Nutt (dozens)
  15. Ima Hogg (one)
  16. Jed I Knight (one)
  17. London England (dozens)
  18. Mud Brown (three)
  19. Never Fail (two)
  20. Norman Conquest (two)
  21. North West (hundreds)
  22. Nude Mann (one)
  23. Orbit Moon (one)
  24. Orchestra Harp (one)
  25. Paris France (several)
  26. Preserved Fish (one)
  27. Pullman Carr (several), one with the middle name Palace, as in the Pullman Palace Car Company.
  28. Rainy Day (one)
  29. River Bottom (one)
  30. Rocky Mountain (dozens)
  31. Sandy Beach (dozens)
  32. Sea Shore (several)
  33. Seymour Butts (two) — not just a Bart Simpson prank call!
  34. Silence Bellows (one)
  35. Soda Popp (one)
  36. Strong Beer (one)
  37. Tell No Lyes (several)
  38. Ten Million (one), who had a daughter named Decillian Million.
  39. Timber Wood* (one), who has a sister named Drift Wood.
  40. Truly Wright (several)
  41. Tu Morrow (one)

Some of the above are also on my Unusual Name Combinations list.

Finally, don’t forget about the best April Fools’ Day name of all time, April Fool Harris!

*Reminded of this one by @jessiejensen – thanks!

[Images from Find a Grave: Constant Craps © Tonya Sapp Hames; Crystal Kay Ball © Connie Lagasse Russell; Never McNeil Fail, Sr © P Black-Avitts; Pullman P Carr © Emily; Rocky D. Mountain © Bobbi Janes; Seymour Butts © suscat.]

Name Quotes for the Weekend #5

From name researcher Cleveland Evans:

With combined spellings, I also found 25,451 Jaydens, 13,249 Braydens, 5,102 Haydens and 2,320 Zaydens. When more rare names like Grayden, Bladen, Slayden and Waden are added in, the total number of boys with names rhyming with Aiden was more than 94,000, or more than 4.6 percent of all names for boys in 2011.

I calculated 4.9% for 2009. (Never did 2010.)

From Pandora Radio’s bio for the band Needtobreathe:

Named after acclaimed University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, brothers Bear and Bryant “Bo” Rinehart were born and raised in rural Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, where their pastor father ran a church camp.

From Abby Sandel of the blog Appellation Mountain:

I’m reading Lisa Napoli’s Radio Shangri-La: What I Discovered on my Accidental Journey to the Happiest Kingdom on Earth, and wouldn’t you know it? Chapter Five starts with an account of baby naming customs in Bhutan:

If you walked into any village in all of Bhutan and shouted “Karma,” a quarter of the heads would turn. There are only about fifty names in the whole country … As Bhutan becomes more modern, some of the more daring Bhutanese parents break tradition in order to distinguish themselves, altering the spelling of familiar names or abbreviating them.

Napoli also explains that monks traditionally choose children’s names, but some of the boldest parents are also changing that custom. I have a feeling that there’s enough there for a book in itself!

From a Telegraph article about UK baby names:

An especially interesting development is the middle-class fashion for retro kitsch, with old-fashioned names such as Alfie, Charlie, Lily and Florence among the fastest-growing. Perhaps this yearning for the past is a good thing. But isn’t there a hint of Cath Kidston tweeness in the hordes of young Ernests and Olivers, Esmes and Maisies? Some friends, or friends of friends, are coming up with names that wouldn’t be out of place in a PG Wodehouse novel. It’s not quite reached the Bertram Wilberforce (or even Pelham Grenville) stage, but it’s getting there.

Here are quote lists #1, #2, #3 and #4.