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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Benji

Number of Babies Named Benji

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Benji

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.


Popular Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2014

According to data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland in 2014 were Emily and Jack.

Here are NI’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 261 baby girls
2. Grace, 189
3. Sophie, 180
4. Amelia, 175
5. Ella, 172
6. Olivia, 152
7. Anna, 150
8. Lucy, 149
9. Sophia, 148
10. Eva, 146
1. Jack, 285 baby boys
2. James, 276
3. Daniel, 236
4. Charlie, 224
5. Harry, 193
6. Noah, 190
7. Oliver, 155
8. Ethan, 153
9. Jacob, 148
10. Thomas, 147

Olivia and Eva replace Aoife and Jessica in the girls’ top 10.

Thomas replaces Matthew in the boys’ top 10.

Two names that made big jumps into the top 100 were Kian (171st to 78th) and Aria (218th to 89th).

Finally, here are some of the unusual names that were given to only 1 or 2 babies in Northern Ireland last year:

Girl Names Boy Names
Aoifrie, Cobhlaith, Cuisle, Deirbhile, Enfys, Ermioni, Ezraelle, Flossie-Bo, Ionagh, Ionela, Labhaoise, Loveday, Maoiliosa, Maureen-Nevaeh, Narbflaith, Rimgaile, Saorfhlaith, Saylor-Doll, Tsz, Vogue, Zinifer Aodh, Benji-Beau, Caoilte, Cavani, Connlaoth, Davog, Dualta, Epaphroditus, Feidhlim, Goldberg, Grantas, Jecstonio, Jeef, Kal-El, Laochra, Laoghaire, Mjtba, Peanut, Seachlann, Stanex, Theo-Thaddeus, Tucgan

Earlier rankings for Northern Ireland: 2013, 2012, 2007, 2006.

Sources: NISRA – Demography, Most popular NI baby names for 2014 are Jack and Emily

Baby Name Needed – Spanish Name for Nadia’s Little Brother

A reader named Tamara is expecting a baby boy in May. She writes:

We are a bi-racial couple…he is Mexican and I am American (white), and are looking for a Spanish name for our little boy. Unfortunately, I don’t LOVE a lot of the Hispanic boy names, and we are having some trouble finding the perfect name.

So far, she and her fiance Oscar like the names Tiago and Gabriel…but here are the issues:

We need a good middle name to go with Tiago. And we haven’t gotten a lot of positive feedback on the name. And I feel like Gabriel is overused and doesn’t hold its own when paired with our daughter’s name, Nadia. And the two names don’t exactly flow well together, so pairing them up isn’t an option for us. Any suggestions? Middle names for Tiago? Or just different first names all together?

Here are some thoughts on Tiago and Gabriel:

  • Nicknames (e.g. Benji, Topher, Xander) sometimes loose their charm when used as stand-alone names, so people might like Tiago more if it were a nickname for Santiago. Santiago is currently ranked 200th, but I don’t think it will rise too much higher.
  • How about Diego? It’s not as hip as Tiago…but it’s got a similar sound, and, because it’s more familiar, it’ll probably get better feedback. In terms of popularity, Diego seems to be plateauing just outside the top 50.
  • I think Gabriel sounds fantastic with Nadia, personally. But it’s become popular recently (i.e. over 10,000 babies have been named Gabriel every year since 2001) and my hunch is that it will remain popular for a while to come. So I can understand wanting to avoid it for that reason.

Let’s see, middle names for Tiago…I think iambic names like Ramón, Raúl and Noé sound good after Tiago. I also like longer middles (e.g. Antonio, Mauricio).

Here are a few other ideas for first names:

Armando
Arturo
Elías
Iván
Lorenzo (Enzo)
Marcelo
Mateo
Rafael
Renato
Silvio
Ulises
Víctor

What other advice/suggestions would you offer Tamara?

Baby Name Needed – Boy and Girl Names for Baby #1

A reader named Sarah is expecting her first baby in several months, and she’d like some baby name suggestions. These are the names she and her husband like so far (girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right).

Adelaide
India
Meeka
September
Summer
Banjo*
Benjamin (Benji)
Indiana
Indigo
Porter
Rio

I think they might also like…

Augusta
Bijou
Briar
Calliope
Clio
Daisy
Hazel
Juniper
Opal
Paisley
Piper
Saffron
Skye
Star
Thisbe
Thyme
Wren
Zinnia
Asher
Baron
Beckett
Caspian
Caesar
Cedar
Emery
Fox
Holland
Hunter
Jasper
Jett
Jude
Orion
Parker
Phoenix
Sawyer
Tristan

What other names would you suggest?

*In Australia, the name Banjo can be traced back to “Waltzing Matilda” poet Andrew “Banjo” Paterson (1864-1941).

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Eliza’s Twin Brother

A reader named Lucas is expecting twins, one boy and one girl, and would like help choosing the boy name:

Its decided that the girl will be named Eliza, we just couldn’t resist its streamlined modernity and Eliza Doolitte charm and spunk, but when it comes to boys names we’re completely stuck. We were thinking of Joseph, its classic and timeless but perhaps a little too conservative for a twin sister named Eliza?

Personally, I think Eliza and Joseph sound great together. They’re not an exact match in terms of tone, but the difference isn’t a huge one.

It’s too bad Joseph doesn’t offer much more than Joe and Joey in terms of nicknames, though. Eliza is a pet form of Elizabeth, so I wish Joseph shortened to something with more verve (e.g. Benji, Theo). But that’s the only drawback I can think of; it’s hard to go wrong with Joseph.

As for other boy name ideas, how about…

Amos
Asher
Benedict
Benjamin
Caleb
Calvin
Curtis
Cyrus
Declan
Desmond
Dexter
Duncan
Dwight
Felix
Frank
Gideon
Graham
Grant
Grover
Harvey
Henry
Hugh
Jasper
Levi
Maxwell
Malcolm
Milo
Monroe
Nigel
Nolan
Oscar
Otis
Owen
Roland
Roscoe
Silas
Simon
Stuart
Theodore
Tobias

So now, three questions for you: Does Joseph sound good with Eliza? Do any of the non-Joseph names listed above sound good with Eliza? And, finally, what other names would you suggest to Lucas?