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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bethany

Number of Babies Named Bethany

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Bethany

Most Popular U.S. Baby Names of 2015

According to the Social Security Administration, Emma and Noah were the most popular baby names in the United States in 2015.

Here’s the top 10:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma, 20355 baby girls
2. Olivia, 19553
3. Sophia, 17327
4. Ava, 16286
5. Isabella, 15504
6. Mia, 14820
7. Abigail, 12311
8. Emily, 11727
9. Charlotte, 11332
10. Harper, 10241
1. Noah, 19511 baby boys
2. Liam, 18281
3. Mason, 16535
4. Jacob, 15816
5. William, 15809
6. Ethan, 14991
7. James, 14705
8. Alexander, 14460
9. Michael, 14321
10. Benjamin, 13608

Emma and Noah were also the #1 names in 2014.

Harper replaces Madison in the girls’ top 10; Benjamin replaces Daniel in the boys’ top 10.

Here’s the rest of the top 50:

Girl Names Boy Names
11. Madison, 10038
12. Amelia, 9795
13. Elizabeth, 9656
14. Sofia, 9650
15. Evelyn, 9313
16. Avery, 9298
17. Chloe, 7884
18. Ella, 7852
19. Grace, 7589
20. Victoria, 7575
21. Aubrey, 7357
22. Scarlett, 7100
23. Zoey, 6900
24. Addison, 6683
25. Lily, 6617
26. Lillian, 6571
27. Natalie, 6466
28. Hannah, 6372
29. Aria, 6371
30. Layla, 6289
31. Brooklyn, 6268
32. Alexa, 6029
33. Zoe, 5995
34. Penelope, 5921
35. Riley, 5707
36. Leah, 5585
37. Audrey, 5581
38. Savannah, 5413
39. Allison, 5329
40. Samantha, 5304
41. Nora, 5301
42. Skylar, 5258
43. Camila, 5257
44. Anna, 5094
45. Paisley, 5056
46. Ariana, 4933
47. Ellie, 4838
48. Aaliyah, 4836
49. Claire, 4805
50. Violet, 4779
11. Elijah, 13511
12. Daniel, 13408
13. Aiden, 13378
14. Logan, 12862
15. Matthew, 12648
16. Lucas, 12246
17. Jackson, 12182
18. David, 11691
19. Oliver, 11592
20. Jayden, 11475
21. Joseph, 11375
22. Gabriel, 10782
23. Samuel, 10733
24. Carter, 10727
25. Anthony, 10564
26. John, 10303
27. Dylan, 10232
28. Luke, 10219
29. Henry, 10112
30. Andrew, 10027
31. Isaac, 9878
32. Christopher, 9742
33. Joshua, 9720
34. Wyatt, 9597
35. Sebastian, 9569
36. Owen, 9549
37. Caleb, 8727
38. Nathan, 8530
39. Ryan, 8474
40. Jack, 8456
41. Hunter, 8284
42. Levi, 8236
43. Christian, 8127
44. Jaxon, 8015
45. Julian, 8003
46. Landon, 7896
47. Grayson, 7852
48. Jonathan, 7577
49. Isaiah, 7528
50. Charles, 7125

In the girls’ top 50, Alexa, Paisley, Ellie and Violet replace Arianna, Gabriella, Sadie and Sarah.

In the boys’ top 50, Grayson and Charles replace Eli and Aaron.

Impressive rises:

  • Alexa rose 31 places, from 63rd to 32nd
  • Violet rose 17 places, from 67th to 50th
  • Grayson rose 16 places, from 63rd to 47th
  • Oliver rose 13 places, from 32nd to 19th
  • Riley (girl name) rose 12 places, from 47th to 35th

Impressive drops:

  • Arianna dropped 16 places, from 40th to 56th
  • Gabriella dropped 11 places, from 43rd to 54th
  • Anna dropped 10 places, from 34th to 44th

There’s much more to come! Until then, I’ll quote liberally from the SSA’s press release:

Each year, the list reveals the effect of pop-culture on naming trends. This year’s winners for biggest jump in popularity in the Top 1,000 are Alaia and Riaan.

Alaia jumped 2,012 spots on the girls’ side to number 664, from number 2,676 in 2014. Perhaps this can be attributed to high fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, or maybe it is because of Alaia Baldwin, the model/daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin.

Riaan increased 1,360 spots for the boys, from number 2,286 in 2014 to number 926. Of Indian origin, it is also the name of the young son of a well-known Bollywood actor, Riteish Deshmukh.

The second fastest riser for girls was Meilani. If you have ever watched MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” and maybe even if you haven’t, you’ve heard of Jenni “JWoww” Farley. She gave birth to daughter Meilani in 2014. On a different American shore, out in Hawaii, is another well-known Meilani–Bethany Meilani Hamilton, the professional surfer whose story of surviving a shark attack was documented in the movie “Soul Surfer.”

For boys, it was Huxley (a brave new comeback for the late science fiction writer?).

Some other notable names in the top 10 biggest increase category, and some possible reasons for their newfound popularity:

  • Omari and Jabari for boys. Omari Hardwick is an actor, known for his roles in “Sparkle,” “The A-Team,” and BET Network’s “Being Mary Jane.” He currently stars in “Power,” a popular cable TV series. Jabari Parker is a professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft out of Duke.
  • Adaline and Zelda for girls. “The Age of Adaline” is a 2015 fantasy film starring Blake Lively, Harrison Ford, Michiel Huisman, and Ellen Burstyn. As for Zelda, maybe the legend continues to grow?

I’ll also note that the name Isis dropped from 705th place (398 baby girls) in 2014 to 1770th place (117 baby girls) in 2015.

Source: Emma and Noah Once Again Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2015

U.S. Baby Names 2015: Most Popular Baby Names, Top Debuts: Girl Names, Top Debuts: Boy Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Girl Names, Biggest Changes in Popularity: Boy Names, First Letter Popularity, Name Length Popularity


Feithfailge, Jossoway, Ulundi – Random List of Names

I recently read through a 19th-century book about personal names “either in every-day use or lingering in the literature of Great Britain and Ireland.” Here are a couple dozen names that caught my eye:

Aeneasina
“A female name of common occurrence in the Highlands of Scotland. Formed from Aeneas,” which itself was “not from the classical name, but from the Gaelic name Aonghas, i.e. Angus.”

Bancho
“The Gaelic original of Banquo. Some translate this name ‘white’ (Gaelic ban, white, also pale, fair, fair-haired); but it is rather from ban-cu, the white dog; figuratively white hero. In Irish, cu, among other meanings, is a dog, greyhound, champion, hero, warrior.” Banquo was a character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Dousabel, Dowsabel
“A female name, said to be derived from Fr. douce et belle, sweet and fair.” Most books define these as variants of Dulcibella (Latin dulcis “sweet” + bella “beautiful”).

Drumad
“A Gaelic name of local origin, viz. from Drymen, co. Stirling, from druim monadh, back of the hill.”

Dubhdeasa, Dudeasa
“An old Irish female name, signifying ‘a dark-haired beauty’ (dubh, and deas beautiful).” According to Wiktionary, deas does mean “pretty,” and also “nice,” “honest,” “straight” and “right (as opposed to wrong).”

Eachmarcach
“An old Irish name derived from each a steed, marcach a rider.”

Eachmilidh
“An old Irish name derived from each a steed, milidh a knight.”

Eniawn
“A Welsh name. From uniaum, upright, perfect, just; lit. right, straight, direct, like iniawn.”

Eochaidh, “pronounced Eochy or Eohy”
“An old Irish name signifying a horseman or knight; from each or eoch, a steed. According to the Annals of Ireland it has been Anglicised Achy, and Latinised Eochadius, Achadius, and Achaius.”

Feithfailge
“An old Irish female name, signifying a honeysuckle of ringlets (feith-failge).” That meaning doesn’t make a lot of sense to me…I wonder if it shouldn’t read “ringlets of honeysuckle” instead?

Gesana
“A female baptismal name. One writer says Gesana, or rather Gesina, is a very common female name in Friesland, and not unknown in other parts of the Netherlands. According to others Gesana is a Spanish name, and of Scriptural origin. It is scarcely Scriptural, and is probably derived from the ending of some feminine diminutive.”

Helengenwagh
“If of Celtic origin this name might translate ‘willow marsh.'”

Hengist
“Found as a male name at the present day. From A. S. hengest, which Lye renders ‘cantherius, caballus,’ i.e. gelding, horse.” According to Encyclopedia Britannica (the book, not the baby) Hengist and Horsa were “brothers and legendary leaders of the first Anglo-Saxon settlers in Britain.”

Idonea
“An old baptismal name derived from L. idoneus, fit, […] proper.” According to Behind the Name, Idonea is based on the Scandinavian name Iðunn, but was influenced by the Latin word idonea.

Jossoway
“A male name corrupted from Joshua.”

Kabedigia
“A female name which some think to have been corrupted from Rabege, another form of Rebecca.”

Mungo
“A name derived from Mwyngu or Munghu, the subsequent name of the Pictish saint Kentigern. It may be derived from mwyn, tender, kind, mild, gentle, courteous, affable, with the addition of og, as a diminutive.”

Napkin
“A baptismal name signifying little Nap–that is, Napoleon.”

Perthany
“A baptismal name often found in Hertfordshire. One writer suggests that it may be from L. pertenuia, very slender. It has been more probably corrupted from the Scripture place-name Bethany.”

Shepherdess
“A female name. The Tyne Mercury of 3rd November, 1829, gives a ‘Shepherdess Speedy.’ The name was no doubt derived from the occupation, like the male names Pastor and Le Pastur, found in the Hundred Rolls.”

Theaster
“Found as an old baptismal name, said to mean God’s star.” Presumably based on the Latin words theos, “god,” and aster, “star.”

Tomaltach
“An old Irish name signifying ‘a man of hospitality,’ derived from tomailt, provisions.”

Uther, Uthyr
“A Welsh name derived from uthr, signifying awful, wonderful, astonishing, terrific, horrible.”

The book also mentioned the battle-inspired baby names Crimea and Ulundi. (The Battle of Ulundi, fought in 1879, was the last major battle of the Anglo-Zulu War.)

Source: Charnock, Richard Stephen. Prænomina; or, The Etymology of the Principal Christian Names of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Trubner & Co., 1882.

Female Names in Texas, 1860

Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas, put together a neat list of female names using the 1860 census records for Smith County, Texas.

Here’s some background information, per Vicki:

Ninety per cent of the people had emigrated to the county within the preceding ten years, 95.8% born in the states of the future Confederacy, 1.8% in the border states, 1.6% in northern states, and 0.8% in foreign countries. Therefore, these name should be fairly representative of Southern female names in general, with the exception of Alamo, Texas, Texana, etc.

And now the names! Here are the names that appeared most frequently on the 1860 Smith County census:

Mary, 501
Sarah, 271
Martha, 247
Elizabeth, 218
Jane, 199
Ann, 198
Nancy, 176
Margaret, 98
Susan, 95
Frances, 94
Eliza, 74
Amanda, 65
Louisa, 61
Laura, 52
Lucinda, 50
Rebecca, 50
Emily, 49
Catherine, 48
Caroline, 41
Julia, 39
Anna, 31
Isabella, 28
Ellen, 26
Josephine, 25
Harriet, 24
Emmer, 22
Lucy, 22
Rachel, 22
Melissa, 18
Adeline, 17
Malinda, 17
Matilda, 16
Allice, 15
Mariah, 15
Virginia, 15
Minerva, 14
Ella, 13
Eveline, 13
Charlotte, 12
Cynthia, 10
Evaline, 10
Victoria, 10
Emeline, 9
Hannah, 9
Hellen, 9
Theodosia, 9
Angeline, 8
Eudora, 8
Eugenia, 8
Mahala, 8
Ophelia, 8
Permelia, 8
Dorotha, 7
Fannie, 7
Missouri, 7
Olive, 7
Samantha, 7
Tabitha, 7
Ada, 6
Charity, 6
Delilah, 6
Flora, 6
Georgia, 6
Tennessee, 6

Names in the 2-to-5 range:

  • 5: Clementine, Cyntha, Florence, Ida, Joannah, Narcissa, Priscilla, Serena, Texana, Texas
  • 4: Almeda, Amelia, Augusta, Celia, Clara, Cornelia, Dicy, Dora, Henrietta, Janetta, Louisiana, Louvenia, Lulah, Mollie, Parmelia, Penelope, Ruth, Susannah
  • 3: Alma, Amarillo, Angelina, Antonette, Carrie, Casandra, Christiana, Clarissa, Cora, Cordelia, Edna, Emma, Ester, Fanny, Irena, Jemima, Kesiah, Leona, Leonora, Lucretia, Lyddia, Manerva, Maranda, Morando, Mildred, Milly, Narcissus, Olevia, Piety, Rhoda, Sallie, Sefrona, Sophrona, Telulah, Zelida
  • 2: Abigal, Adaline, Adelia, Agnes, Alabama, Alcasarah, America, Amy, Annetta, Araminta, Armelia, Arrenia, Candis, Caledonia, Celina, Easter, Eller, Elvira, Epsey, Exer, Henryetta, Jaly, Judy, Leah, Luella, Madora, Malissa, Marsileet, Medorah, Melinda, Mattie, Minnie, Moranda, Nelly, Olivia, Priscella, Rhody, Roxana, Salena, Sirena, Sophia, Temperance, Viola, Willie

Finally, names that appeared only once:

Abbigal
Abi
Absaly
Adah
Adalade
Adaline
Addia
Adelade
Adella
Ader
Aimenetta
Alamanzer
Alamo
Alcisty
Alis
Allethia
Almanda
Alphine
Alsey
Althie
Alvarado
Alvira
Amarantha
Amarylles
Amazor
Ameda
Americus
Amira
Ansebell
Appy
Arabella
Arainetta
Aramintha
Aranda
Arcadia
Ardalla
Armedilla
Armel
Armelda
Arminda
Artele
Arvezene
Arvilla
Atha
Audella
Aurire
Azeline
Barbary
Belzora
Bendett
Bernessa
Bethania
Bethany
California
Callie
Camella
Camilla
Candas
Candice
Cansandra
Carrentha
Casandre
Castero
Cecily
Celistia
CerroGordo
Christana
Cicily
Claranda
Claricinda
Conzada
Darcus
Deannah
Debra
Delila
Delitha
Della
Delmar
Derinda
Deziah
Dicey
Dilla
Dilly
Disha
Dlia
Dola
Domaris
Dorothea
Dovy
Drucilla
Dulcena
Dyca
Eddie
Edith
Editha
Elander
Eleanor
Elisa
Ellenor
Elmina
Elsy
Elvy
Elwina
Elzina
Elzona
Emaline
English
Eunis
Euphema
Euphemia
Euratasa
Evy
Falby
Fenette
Fillmore
Flore
Florida
Fransina
Georgana
George Eller
Georgiana
Harmoner
Hazeltine
Heepsebeth
Heland
Hester
Hetty
Hilery
Hutoka
Idella
Imogenia
Indiana
Inez
Irine
Isabelle
Isadora
Jeannah
Jerusha
Jessie
Joana
Joicy
Joly
Judah
Judith
Juliett
June
Kasandre
Kasana
Keburah
Keturah
Lailah
Larresa
Larrissa
Laurena
Lavacca
Lela
Leora
Leuella
Levega
Levina
Lewella
Lilla
Lillian
Lilly
Lina
Livana
Livona
Lizza
Loreey
Loreta
Lourana
Lourena
Lourenia
Louretta
Louvena
Louvina
Lova
Lovena
Lucretice
Lurana
Lurena
Lutitia
Luvena
Lydda
Madella
Madosa
Malabry
Mariella
Marietta
Marinda
Marion
Marbre
Marcella
Marcena
Marg
Matta
McReudry
Medarah
Melbry
Melvina
Mercena
Milley
Millison
Minor
Missoura
Mitty
Molly
Morinua
Mouring
Mourmen
Mourning
Nannett
Narcisa
Nebraska
Neome
Neomia
Nicy
Nina
Nisse
Occo
Octavia
Oja
Oliva
Omino
Orpha
Oudelia
Paralee
Paralie
Parilee
Parolee
Parthena
Pauline
Pemelia
Pernetta
Pernisia
Petrona
Phebe
Pheby
Phereby
Philliss
Pleasant
Pope
Prascovia
Pricilla
Prudence
Recella
Resalla
Reozia
Resiah
Rhina
Rosana
Rosanna
Rosena
Sabra
Sabrina
Salina
Samaria
Saphona
Saphrona
Sareta
Sebrina
Sefrone
Seleta
Selethia
Selina
Shaby
Sharlotti
Silena
Sina
Sirena
Sobrina
Sofrona
Solona
Sonora
Sophier
Stacy
Surana
Tabetha
Taletha
Talitha
Telpha
Teressa
Texanah
Texanna
Theodora
Theressa
Tranquilla
Trephemia
Ululie
Vanburena
Vandalia
Varlinda
Vashti
Vasti
Verlinda
Vertula
Victora
Victorier
Vina
Vinolia
Violet
Vunavista
Wennyford
Wilford
Wilmouth
Wineford
Winerfred
Winnaford
Winnfred
Zarilla
Zeban
Zeleame
Zira
Zouley

See any names you like? Any that make you curious?

Here are some thoughts I had:

  • Location names were more common than I thought they’d be. Seven females named Missouri? Six named Tennessee? Huh.
  • I love that Emmer appeared 22 times, while Emma appeared a mere 3 times.
  • The Battle of Cerro Gordo (1847) inspired a handful of namesakes. Cerro gordo is Spanish for “fat hill.”
  • Hutoka: Or, The Maid of the Forest: a Tale of the Indian Wars (1846) by Osgood Bradbury inspired several hundred namesakes nationwide. The book claimed that the fictitious Native American name Hutoka meant “springing fawn.”
  • Martin Van Buren — no doubt the inspiration behind Vanburena — was president of the U.S. from 1837 to 1841.
  • I’m thinking Vunavista was based on buena vista, Spanish for “good view.”

Source: Female First Names in the 1860 Smith County, Texas, Census, via Vicki Betts

Baby Name Needed for 6th Baby

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:
Felix Lysander
Olive Matilda
Maeve Tallulah
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:

Alastair
Alfred
Arthur
Baxter
Bennett
Calvin
Clarence
Declan
George
Henry
Hugo
Lawrence
Louis
Lucian
Nigel
Nolan
Thaddeus
Thomas
Tobias
Vincent
Winston

And some girl names:

Alice
Bethany
Camilla
Cecily
Charlotte
Cora
Davina
Della
Dorothy
Harriet
Helen
Katherine
Lillian
Lydia
Penelope
Phoebe
Priscilla
Prudence
Tabitha
Willa
Victoria

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.

Baby Names No Longer Needed – Brendan, Colson

We helped nine people brainstorm for names in March. So far, I’ve heard back from six of those nine. Diane picked Brendan, Tamela opted for Maxwell, Liz went with Francesca, Whitney decided on Stanley, Baccara stuck with Charlotte and Bethany chose Colson.

I have yet to hear from Dana, Nita and Kate.

Baby Names Needed for the Twin Sisters of Thomas

A reader named Eva is expecting twin girls and would like some help naming them. She says:

One of the twins should have a unisex first name and a very girly middle name. For the second twin we want a girly first name and unisex middle name.

Here are the names Eva likes so far:

  • Unisex: Avery, Harper, Morgan, Kennedy, Madison
  • Feminine: Anastasia, Michaela, Caroline, Sofia, Kristina

Her husband is only on board with Avery, Caroline, Kristina and Michaela (he prefers the spelling Makayla).

The twins will have an older brother named Thomas Aiden (nn Tommy) and their surname will be similar to Damon.

Eva’s criteria reminded me of the twins named Charlotte and Dylan I wrote about a few years ago. I think the name Charlotte is a good option in this case, but Dylan plus that surname might be D/N-overload. Here are some other possibilities:

Feminine names Unisex names
Adeline
Amelia
Anne/Annie
Bethany
Camille
Cassandra
Cecilia
Cynthia
Esmé
Fiona
Gemma
Genevieve
Hannah
Helena
Julia
Lydia
Lucy
Maria
Melanie
Melissa
Monica
Nicole
Olivia
Phoebe
Rose
Samantha
Sarah
Tabitha
Theresa
Victoria
Addison
Ainsley
Alexis
Bailey
Cameron
Casey
Cassidy
Emery
Finley
Harley
Jamie
Jordan
Kendall
Leigh
Paige
Parker
Piper
Quinn
Reagan
Reese
Riley
Rowan
Sage
Shea
Sidney
Skylar
Tatum
Taylor
Teagan
Willow

Which of the above names do you like best for Tommy’s sisters? What combinations (either unisex+feminine or feminine+unisex) sound best together, do you think?

Here are a few combinations I like, just to kick things off:

  • Unisex+Feminine: Avery Helena, Cameron Nicole, Riley Caroline
  • Feminine+Unisex: Amelia Quinn, Olivia Willow, Victoria Leigh

Baby Names Needed – Girl Names for Fourth Baby

A reader named Klaudia is expecting her fourth child, a baby girl, and she’d like some help brainstorming for a first and a middle name. Here’s what Klaudia says:

We like…unusual names. I mean, not names that sound “made-up” but real names. At least, not trendy, popular names.

Juniper was at the top of their list, but then a friend used it, so now they’re back to the drawing board.

A few more details:

  • The first name should have 3 syllables.
  • The middle name should have 2 syllables and start with an n.
  • The surname will be a one-syllable s-name.
  • The older siblings are named Kendra Darlene, Carmen Nellie and Matteo Kendell.

I think Juniper paired with an n-name would have sounded nice, so I tried to come up with a lot of name suggestions that also include the letter n:

Acacia
Adelaide
Adina
Allegra
Angela
Annabelle
Belinda
Bethany
Bettina
Bianca
Cynthia
Daniela
Dominique
Felicia
Francesca
Genevieve
Henriette
Honora
Juliet
Justina
Lucinda
Lydia
Marcella
Melinda
Minerva
Miranda
Monica
Priscilla
Ramona
Regina
Sabrina
Simona
Sunniva
Susanna
Sylvia
Valerie
Rosemary
Venetia
Winifred
Yolanda

None of the above are currently in the top 100.

Now middles. It’s tricky to pick a middle if the first isn’t already in place, but here are some possibilities. Names on the left have a stress on the first syllable, names on the right have a stress on the second syllable.

Nina
Nita
Nola
Norah
Norma
Nadine
Nanette
Nicole
Noelle
Noreen

What first names would you suggest for the sibling of Kendra, Carmen and Matteo? What middle names would you pair with those first names?