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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Beatrice


Posts that Mention the Name Beatrice

Name Quotes 88: Booker, Beyoncé, Beatrice

From an interview with Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson — the youngest of seven siblings — on the podcast In My Head:

A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name. My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which, at that time, was not a cool thing, to have that weird name.

[…]

But, all of us have a different spelling. I think me and my brother, Skip, were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E.

And, it’s interesting — and it shows you the times — because we asked my mother when I was grown, I was like, ‘Why is my brother’s name spelled B-E-Y-I-N-C-E?’

[…]

[M]y mom’s reply to me was like, ‘That’s what they put on your birth certificate.’

So I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?’

She said, ‘I did one time, the first time, and I was told: ‘Be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate.” Because, at one time, Black people didn’t get birth certificates. They didn’t even have a birth certificate. Because it meant that you really didn’t exist, you know, you weren’t important. It was that subliminal message.

And so I understood that that must have been horrible for her, not to even be able to have her children’s names spelled correctly.

So it was an odd name, it was a weird name, and they were like, ‘How dare you have a French name.’ Like, ‘We’re gonna screw this up real good for you.’ And that’s what they did. So we all have different spellings.

From an Express article that reveals the Queen’s preference for the name Beatrice over the name Annabel:

The names of royal babies are traditionally approved by the Queen. But the monarch is said to have rejected the Duke and Duchess of York’s choice of Annabel for their first child.

The Queen found Annabel too “yuppie”, The Sun reported, and instead suggested Beatrice.

The name Beatrice was royal enough for the head of state but unusual enough to please Sarah, according to the newspaper.

Two quotes from an article in which the author argues that distinctively black names in America emerged long before the civil rights movement:

[I]n the 1920 census, 99% of all men with the first name of Booker were black, as were 80% of all men named Perlie or its variations. We found that the fraction of blacks holding a distinctively black name in the early 1900s is comparable to the fraction holding a distinctively black name at the end of the 20th century, around 3%.

…and second:

[W]e found that names like Alonzo, Israel, Presley and Titus were popular both before and after emancipation among blacks. We also learned found that roughly 3% of black Americans had black names in the antebellum period – about the same percentage as did in the period after the Civil War.

But what was most striking is the trend over time during enslavement. We found that the share of black Americans with black names increased over the antebellum era while the share of white Americans with these same names declined, from more than 3% at the time of the American Revolution to less than 1% by 1860.

From an article in Time about middle names:

Middle names provide an opportunity for people to shift identities throughout their life: the author George Sand wrote that her mother, who had “three baptismal names,” used each of them at various points throughout her life. Pablo Picasso was baptized with a string of more than a dozen names and though, like many people with multiple names, he wasn’t known by all of them, he did test out different combinations: initially signing paintings as P. Ruiz, then trying P. Ruiz Picasso before sticking with Picasso.

From the 2004 book Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut:

Three essential parts made a human in the Inuit view: body, soul, and name. A nameless child was not fully human; giving it a name, whether before or after birth, made it whole. Inuit did not have family surnames. Instead, each person’s name linked him or her to a deceased relative or family friend.

[…]

Is this reincarnation? Elders point out that it is not, for it is not the soul, but rather the spiritual element that is the name — the name-soul — that joins the child, remaining with him and protecting him throughout his life.

(The word in the book’s title, uqalurait, refers to a type of snowdrift with a tip that resembles a tongue (uqaq). It’s a pun because the word for “tongue” in inuttitut (the Canadian dialect of inuktitut) is also the word for “language” — very fitting for a book of oral history.)

From a Bon Appetit article about a particular dijon mustard product:

I mostly love Rich Country because…it’s called Rich Country, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a pretty unnecessarily epic name for a condiment. It sounds like the next great Rick Ross album. Or a Keith Urban-themed Southern waterpark. Or a new bourbon endorsed by a retired pro-wrestler. But it’s not! It’s mustard. And it’s helped to clarify for me that I want my condiments to do more than simply enhance the taste of food I’m preparing—I want them to enhance my life, to spark joy every time I pull them out of the fridge. Indeed, every time I reach for my new favorite mustard, I can’t help but whisper the name aloud as if I were starring in a commercial for it—R-r-r-r-iiiiiiich Coooooountry—and laugh out loud while I’m making lunch. (This could be the quarantine brain talking, but still. It’s the little things, people.)

(Speaking of dijon mustard…)

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

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Quebec, 2019

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2019 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 11 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 549 baby girls
  2. Emma, 517
  3. Alice, 513
  4. Charlie, 499
  5. Charlotte, 497
  6. Lea, 465
  7. Florence, 418
  8. Livia, 407
  9. Rosalie, 354
  10. Beatrice, 343

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 695 baby boys
  2. William, 659
  3. Thomas, 648
  4. Leo, 596
  5. Noah, 585
  6. Logan, 561
  7. Nathan, 505
  8. Felix, 492
  9. Raphael, 489
  10. Edouard, 482 (tied)
  11. Emile, 482 (tied)

In the girls’ top 10, Rosalie re-enters and ousts Zoe (now ranked 15th).

In the boys’ top 10, Raphael and Emile replace Jacob (now ranked 12th).

Here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Quebec last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Allegresse, Berangere, Clarity, Daxia, Elixanne, Fenskerly, Gersia, Hugh-Laury, Izalie, Judicia-Wonder, Klermona, Lyriel, Merope, Nelsy, Ophelia Gipsy, Pleroma, Qetzia, Ryzlene, Sarassie, Tulugaq, Umi, Virgo, Waapikun, Xochitl Lilou, Yrina, ZackaelleAzai, Bonheur, Chalifix, Delson, Espoir, Fesley, Guerby, Heliodore, Inupak, Jeff-Smart, Keawolf, Light-Shine, Miami-Liam Zion, Nendley, Osric, Pelly, Quintus, Ronnoco, Skysun, Tiki Bolt, Ulrick, Vainqueur, Wibnerley, Xayren, Yalas, Zephyr Meteor

Background and/or possible explanations for some of the above:

  • Allegresse (allégresse) means “elation, joy, gladness” in French.
  • Hugh-Laury…a reference to English actor Hugh Laurie?
  • Merope is one of the seven Pleiades.
  • Tulugaq means “raven” in Inupiaq.
  • Bonhuer means “happiness” in French.
  • Espoir means “hope” in French.
  • Vainqueur means “conqueror” or “victor, winner” in French.

(More of Quebec’s unique baby names can be found on my Patreon page!)

In 2018, the top two names in Quebec were Emma and William.

Sources: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Wiktionary

Malta to Allow Maltese Baby Names

malta

Yay for Malta!

Years ago, I mentioned that Malta was the only nation I knew of in which parents were not allowed to register baby names in the national language.

Why couldn’t they? Because Malta’s government IT systems could not handle Maltese font.

But “a collective overhaul across government IT systems [is now] being done to ensure Maltese orthography is accepted across the board,” and Malta will soon be allowing parents to officially bestow traditional Maltese names.

Maltese, a Semitic language that descended from Sicilian Arabic, has six letters that English doesn’t have. One of them, ie, is easy enough to replicate on a computer; the other five (below) are not.

Here’s how to pronounce them, roughly:

  • C-with-a-dot makes a ch-sound
  • G-with-a-dot makes a j-sound (without the dot, G makes a g-sound)
  • Gh-with-a-line is silent*
  • H-with-a-line makes an h-sound (without the line, H is silent*)
  • Z-with-a-dot makes a z-sound (without the dot, Z makes a ts-sound)

Without these letters, a large number of traditional Maltese names are unable to be rendered properly.

(I would love to list some of those names, but, ironically, I can’t — WordPress hasn’t played nicely with special characters ever since the introduction of the Gutenberg editor a few years back.)

Anyway…well done, Malta! I’m proud of you. :)

Sources:

*More on the silent letters: “Maltese orthography continues to reflect the presence of some letters that are no longer pronounced in order to indicate semantic provenance — a convenience that makes it possible, among other things, to look up words in the dictionary under the three-consonant root (as one does with Semitic languages).”

Update, 6/13: Here’s an image of a list of traditional Maltese names…

Maltese baby names

The list above includes Maltese names that are equivalent to: Angelo, Beatrice, Francis, Elizabeth, Jacob, James, George, Juliet, Justin, Joseph, John, Hilda, Lucia, Luigi, Theresa, and Vincent.

P.S. While gathering these names, I happened to find out that the surname Buttigieg — as in former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg — is Maltese and means “poulterer.” Specifically, it comes from a pair of Sicilian Arabic words meaning “father, master, owner” and “fowl.”

Popular Baby Names in Italy, 2018

According to Italy’s Istituto Nazionale di Statistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Sofia and Leonardo.

Here are Italy’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Sofia, 6,400 baby girls
  2. Giulia, 5,917
  3. Aurora, 5,862
  4. Alice, 3,741
    • The Italian pronunciation is a-LEE-cheh (as opposed to AL-iss in English).
  5. Ginevra, 3,688
  6. Emma, 3,481
  7. Giorgia, 3,251
  8. Greta, 3,043
  9. Beatrice, 3,030
  10. Anna, 2,762

Boy Names

  1. Leonardo, 7,690 baby boys
  2. Francesco, 6,519
  3. Alessandro, 5,660
  4. Lorenzo, 5,566
  5. Mattia, 5,474
  6. Andrea, 5,016
  7. Gabriele, 4,721
  8. Riccardo, 4,456
  9. Tommaso, 4,181
  10. Edoardo, 3,776

In the girls’ top 10, Anna replaces Martina.

In the boys’ top 10, Edoardo replaces Matteo.

In 2017, the top names were Sofia and Francesco.

Source: How Many Babies Are Named…? (Istat)

Sharlie, Take Two

Sharlie debuted rather impressively as a girl name in the SSA data in the year 1933.

Initially, my best guess regarding Sharlie’s sudden appearance was the trendy radio catchphrase, “Vas you dere, Sharlie?”

But a few months ago, I serendipitously discovered a much better explanation: a serialized newspaper story simply called Sharlie. It was written by Beatrice Burton and appeared in the papers in late 1932 and early 1933. The main character was “pretty, vivacious Sharlie Dunn.”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned researching thousands of pop culture-inspired baby names over the years, it’s this: personification is key. A name attached to a person (real or fictional) carries far more weight with the baby-naming public than a free-floating name/word.

So, while I don’t doubt that the catchphrase did indeed draw attention to “Sharlie” back in the early 1930s, I think the female character was what helped expectant parents see “Sharlie” as a potential baby name. And that makes all the difference.

What are your thoughts on this?

P.S. I had to update my theory on the name Normandie for the very same reason. It’s much more likely that it was influenced by the comic strip character than by the ocean liner.