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 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
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:
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
I 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?
- Alma Mater (several)
- April Showers (dozens)
- Bear Trapp (one)
- Candy Cane (several)
- Cliff Hanger (several)
- Constant Agony (two)
- Constant Craps (one)
- Crystal Ball (dozens)
- Death Knox (one)
- Drew Peacock (dozens)
- Gettysburg Battle (one)
- Gold Mine (two)
- Green Bean (several)
- Hazel Nut/Nutt (dozens)
- Ima Hogg (one)
- Jed I Knight (one)
- London England (dozens)
- Mud Brown (three)
- Never Fail (two)
- Norman Conquest (two)
- North West (hundreds)
- Nude Mann (one)
- Orbit Moon (one)
- Orchestra Harp (one)
- Paris France (several)
- Preserved Fish (one)
- Pullman Carr (several), one with the middle name Palace, as in the Pullman Palace Car Company.
- Rainy Day (one)
- River Bottom (one)
- Rocky Mountain (dozens)
- Sandy Beach (dozens)
- Sea Shore (several)
- Seymour Butts (two) — not just a Bart Simpson prank call!
- Silence Bellows (one)
- Soda Popp (one)
- Strong Beer (one)
- Tell No Lyes (several)
- Ten Million (one), who had a daughter named Decillian Million.
- Timber Wood* (one), who has a sister named Drift Wood.
- Truly Wright (several)
- 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.]
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.
In Pop Culture Baby Name Game #2, we tried to predict which baby names would see increased usage in 2011, thanks to popular culture.
Here’s how we did. The numbers are all from 2010 and 2011, respectively. (Check out Harper & Bentley!)
- Adele – yes, rose from 286 to 453 baby girls
- Atlantis – nope, fell from 16 to 7 baby girls
- Alaina – yes, rose from 1,490 to 1,985 baby girls
- Alaric – yes, rose from 40 to 48 baby boys
- Amy – nope, fell from 2,275 to 2,177 baby girls
- Arya – yes, rose from 273 to 386 baby girls (& from 87 to 110 baby boys)
- Arabella – yes, rose from 826 to 934 baby girls
- Aria – yes, rose from 898 to 1,964 baby girls
- Arthur – yes, rose from 725 to 888 baby boys
- Bear – yes, rose from 53 to 85 baby boys
- Bentley – yes rose from 3761 to 5535 baby boys (& from 231 to 285 baby girls)
- Betty – yes, rose from 130 to 163 baby girls
- Bran – yes, rose from 5 to 7 baby boys
- Cairo – yes, rose from 45 to 91 baby boys, and 5 to 12 baby girls
- Casey – nope, fell from 483 to 463 baby girls (& from 705 to 635 baby boys)
- Caylee – yes, rose from 565 to 692 baby girls
- Charlie (girl name) – yes, rose from 664 to 848 (pop culture reference: Disney’s Good Luck Charlie)
- Crosby – yes, rose from 180 to 301 baby boys
- Edith – yes, rose from 325 to 350 baby girls
- Egypt – yes, rose from 100 to 112 baby girls, and 5 to 11 baby boys
- Ezra – yes, rose from 1439 to 1735 baby boys (& from 88 to 101 baby girls)
- Florence – nope, fell from 75 to 73 baby girls (I’m surprised by this!)
- Flynn – yes, rose from 81 to 208 baby boys
- Gabrielle – nope, fell from 3,128 to 2,601 baby girls
- Harper – yes, Harper rose from 2,624 to 4,636 baby girls (& from 339 to 399 baby boys)
- Harvey – yes, rose 184 to 243 baby boys
- Hattie – yes, from 157 to 253 baby girls
- Haven – yes, rose from 447 to 504 baby girls (but fell from 164 to 133 baby boys)
- Jace – yes, rose from 2,669 to 3,689 baby boys
- Kate – yes, rose from 1,485 to 1,774 baby girls
- Kez – nope, off the list both years
- Khal – nope, off the list both years
- Libya – yes, rose from off-the-list (fewer than 5) to 7 baby girls
- Maci – yes, rose from 1,351 to 1,725 baby girls
- Mars – yes, rose from 14 to 23 baby boys
- Maxton – yes, 193 to 208 baby boys
- Mobley – nope, off the list both years
- Monroe – yes, rose from 93 to 141 baby girls
- Mylo – yes, rose from 33 to 57 baby boys
- Nicki – yes, rose from 9 to 21 baby girls
- Octavia – no, fell from 88 to 72
- Perry – yes, rose from 32 to 40 baby girls, and 129 to 146 baby boys
- Pippa – yes, Pippa rose from 16 to 69 baby girls (& Philippa from 25 to 53)
- Raylan – yes, rose from 132 to 326 baby boys
- Rue – yes, rose from 9 to 13 baby girls
- Siri – nope, Siri fell from 111 to 103 baby girls
- Sparrow – yes, rose from 5 to 11 baby boys (but fell from 32 to 31 baby girls)
- Spring – yes, rose from 11 to 16 baby girls
- Steve – yes, rose from 279 to 324 baby boys
- Tim – nope, fell from 65 to 48 baby boys
- Tunisia – nope, off the list both years
- William – yes, rose from 16,979 to 17,151 baby boys
I know I missed a few, but we’ll discuss them all eventually I’m sure. :)
Here are the results to PCBNG #1.