How popular is the baby name Billie 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 Billie.

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 Billie


Posts that Mention the Name Billie

The Beginning of Billie Jean

billie jean horton, country music, baby names, 1960s
Advertisement in Billboard (July 1961)

When I think of the name Billie Jean, I think of the Michael Jackson song. Next, I think of the tennis player.

But the name Billiejean first appeared in the U.S. baby name data way back in 1962, decades before the song, and years before the tennis player was at the height of her fame.

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 5 baby girls named Billie Jean
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: unlisted

My guess on this one? Country singer Billie Jean Horton.

Today she’s best remembered for her relationships with various country singers: Faron Young, Hank Williams (married 1952-1953), Johnny Horton (married 1953-1960), and Johnny Cash.

But she was a recording artist in her own right, and her most successful single, “Ocean Of Tears,” peaked at #29 on the country chart in August of 1961. The next year, for one year only, Billiejean popped up in the data.

The name didn’t return until 1973, when tennis player Billie Jean King defeated male player Bobby Riggs in tennis’s most famous “Battle of the Sexes” match. This time it stuck around until the late ’70s.

billie jean, michael jackson, song, 1980s, baby name,

It emerged a third time with the help of Michael Jackson, whose song “Billie Jean” was the #1 song in the nation for seven weeks straight in March and April of 1983.

What are your thoughts on the name Billie Jean? What’s your strongest association with the name?

Source: Billie Jean Horton – Wikipedia

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2019

Which of the names in the 2019 pop culture baby name game saw increases in usage last year? And which did not? All the results are below!

Here are the names that increased in usage from 2018 to 2019:

  • Alita (f) increased by 554%.
  • Banks (f) increased by 267%, and increased as a boy name as well. Suggested by alex.
  • Posie (f) increased by 143%. Suggested by alex.
  • Psalm (m) increased by 129%, but decreased as a girl name.
  • Maelyn (f) increased by 91%. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Navy (f) increased by 85%, and increased as a boy name as well. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Archie (m) increased by 82%, and re-emerged as a girl name in the data as well.
  • Asante (m) increased by 80%, and increased as a girl name as well. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Hart (m) increased by 73%, but decreased as a girl name. Suggested by alex.
  • Ciro (m) increased by 70%. Suggested by alex.
  • Alaiya (f) increased by 66%. Suggested by alex.
  • Myracle (f) increased by 51%. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Boomer (m) increased by 45%. Suggested by Aya.
  • Billie (f) increased by 42%, and increased as a boy name as well.
  • Valentine (m) increased by 38%, and increased as a girl name as well. Suggested by alex.
  • Kamala (f) increased by 30%.
  • Birdie (f) increased by 29%. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Rosalia (f) increased by 28%. Suggested by alex.
  • Myles (m) increased by 26%, and increased as a girl name as well. Suggested by alex.
  • Rue (f) increased by 24%. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Rami (m) increased by 24%, and increased as a girl name as well. Suggested by Elisabeth.
    • Incidentally, the usage of Malek also increased. :)
  • Jed (m) increased by 23%. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Hayes (m) increased by 19%, but decreased as a girl name. Suggested by alex.
  • Ace (m) increased by 16%, and increased as a girl name as well. Suggested by alex.
  • Elsa (f) increased by 16%. Suggested by elbowin.
  • Maverick (m) increased by 14%, and increased as a girl name as well. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Brixton (m) increased by 14%, but decreased as a girl name.
  • Lucca (m) increased by 13%, but decreased as a girl name. Suggested by alex.
  • Phoebe (f) increased by 11%. Suggested by Elisabeth.
  • Valentino (m) increased by 8%. Suggested by alex.
  • Dorian (m) increased by 3%, but decreased as a girl name.
  • Gloria (f) increased by 3%.
  • Roux (f) increased by 3%, but decreased as a boy name. Suggested by alex.
  • Adeya debuted with 22 baby girls.
  • Marsai was a double-debut: 10 baby girls, 5 baby boys.
  • Kaavia debuted with 15 baby girls. Suggested by alex.
  • Eryss re-emerged in the data with 5 baby girls. Suggested by alex.
  • Embrii debuted with 5 baby girls. Suggested by alex.

Here are the names that did not increase in usage from 2018 to 2019:

Abril, Aeko, Arendelle, Asahd, Avani, Catori, Charli, Deckard, Donna, Eilish, Garima, Gil, Gilmher, Gima, Greedy, Greta, Huckleberry, Idina, Iduna, Kelleth, Lia, Lisann, Lizzo, Luce, Maleficent, Malone, Marli, Megan, Miren, Nadia, Nipsey, Post, Riyaz, Sameeksha, Sanni, Sansa, Saybie, Shaed, Shahadi, Sulwe, Taeyang, Wick

(These names saw equal usage, less usage, or weren’t in the data at all.)

Here are the late bloomers (i.e., names that were part of the 2018 game, but didn’t rise/debut until 2019):

  • Kulture double-debuted with 17 baby girls and 5 baby boys.
  • Chevel debuted with 17 baby girls.
  • Zaxai debuted with 14 baby boys.
  • Qira debuted with 13 baby girls.
  • Story increased by 40 baby girls (but fell for boys).
  • Dash increased by 25 baby boys (but fell for girls).
  • Akash increased by 14 baby boys.
  • Storm increased by 10 baby girls (but fell for boys).
  • Kiki increased by 4 baby girls.

Finally, two more things…

  • While the name Nipsey didn’t debut in 2019, Nispey Hussle’s legal first name, Ermias, was the fastest-rising boy name of 2019 (in terms of relative increase).
  • Dua, one of the rising names in last year’s game, stayed perfectly level this time around — exactly 72 baby girls in both ’18 and ’19. (In the UK, on the other hand, Dua’s usage increased quite a bit.)

What are your thoughts on the results this year? Did anything surprise you?

[The usual disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated. Others were influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. In each case, I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence.]

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: A (part 1)

Looking for an under-the-radar girl name with a retro feel?

Check out this post and the rest of the “early cinema” series, featuring thousands of uncommon female names collected from old movies (1910s-1940s).

Many of these names have never appeared in the SSA data before. For those that have, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

Enjoy!

*

Abbasah
Abbasah was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film The Miracle (1912).

Acquanetta
Burnu Acquanetta, often credited simply as Acquanetta, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1990s. She was born in Wyoming in 1921. Her birth name was Mildred Davenport.

Adamae
Adamae Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1905.

  • Usage of the baby name Adamae.

Adda
Adda Gleason was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Illinois in 1888.

  • Usage of the baby name Adda.

Adorée
Adorée was a character name in multiple films, including A Maid of Belgium (1917) and The Auction Block (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Adoree.

Adraste
Adraste was a character played by actress Alice White in the film The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1928).

Adrea
Adrea Spedding was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the Sherlock Holmes film The Spider Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrea.

Adrean
Adrean Wainwright was a character played by actress Ruth Clifford in the film The Thrill Seekers (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrean.

Aelita
Aelita was a character played by actress Yuliya Solntseva in the film Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Aelita.

Afy
Aphrodite “Afy” Hallijohn was a character played by various actresses (such as Madge Kirby and Belle Bennett) in various movies called East Lynne, all based on the novel of the same name by Ellen Wood.

Aggie
Aggie was a character name in multiple films, including Her Better Self (1917) and Women Won’t Tell (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aggie.

Agia
Agia was a character played by actress Eugenie Forde in the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

Agostina
Agostina was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Children of Chance (1949).

Aho
Aho was a character played by actress Maude George in the film The Marriage Ring (1918).

Ailea
Ailea Lorne was a character played by actress Gertrude McCoy in the film series The Chronicles of Cleek (1913-1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Ailea.

Airleen
Airleen MacGregor was a character played by actress Adrienne Kroell in the short film The Laird’s Daughter (1912).

Aisla
Aisla Crane was a character played by actress Belle Chrystall in the film The Frightened Lady (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aisla.

Aissa
Aissa was a character played by actress Laura Winston in the film The Demon (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aissa.

Akanesi
Akanesi was a character played by actress Lily Phillips in the film The Adorable Savage (1920).

Alabam
Alabam Lee was a character played by actress Carole Lombard in the film Lady by Choice (1934).

Alaire
Alaire Austin was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Heart of the Sunset (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Alaire.

Alathea
Alathea Bulteel was a character played by actress Harriet Hammond in the film Man and Maid (1925).

Alatia
Alatia Marton was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Texas in 1894.

Alayne
Alayne Archer was a character played by actress Kay Johnson in the film Jalna (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Alayne.

Albany
Albany Yates was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Chad Hanna (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Albany.

Alberta
Alberta Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1904. Alberta was also a character played by actress Helene Chadwich in the film The Challenge (1916).

Albertine
Albertine was a character played by actress Sarah Padden in the film Assignment in Brittany (1943).

Albina
Albina was a character played by actress Kate Toncray in the film The Narrow Street (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Albina.

Albine
Albine was a character played by actress Polly Moran in the film The Passionate Plumber (1932).

Alcolma
Alcolma was a character played by actress Eva Moore in the film Chu-Chin-Chow (1923).

Alda
Alda was a character played by actress Katharine Alexander in the film Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alda.

Aldyth
Aldyth was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the short film The Last of the Saxons (1910).

  • Usage of the baby name Aldyth.

Alene
Princess Alene was a character played by actress Mary Charleson in the film serial The Road o’ Strife (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Alene.

Aleska
Aleska was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film Betta the Gypsy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleska.

Aleta
Aleta Doré was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1925. Aleta was also a character played by actress Lois Collier in the film Slave Girl (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleta.

Alexandrine
Alexandrine Zola was a character played by actress Gloria Holden in the film The Life of Emile Zola (1937).

Algeria
Algeria was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film The Walls of Jericho (1948).

Alida
Alida Valli, often credited simply as Valli, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 2000s. She was born in Italy in 1921. Her birth name was Alida Maria Laura Altenburger von Marckenstein-Frauenberg. Alida was also a character name in multiple films, including The Lure of Jade (1921) and Crimson Romance (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alida.

Aliette
Aliette Brunton was a character played by actress Isobel Elsom in the film The Love Story of Aliette Brunton (1924).

Aline
Aline MacMahon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1899. Aline was also a character name in multiple films, including Seeds of Wealth (short, 1913) and A Fool and His Money (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Aline.

Alis
Alis Porter was a character played by actress Vera Reynolds in the film The Million Dollar Handicap (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alis.

Alisande
Alisande La Carteloise was a character played by actress Rhonda Fleming in the film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949).

Alisia
Alisia Stafford was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Tide of Battle (1912).

  • Usage of the baby name Alisia.

Alita
Alita Allen was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Daring Youth (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Alita.

Alix
Alix was a character name in multiple films, including The Call of Home (1922) and The Little French Girl (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alix.

Alixe
Alixe was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Alixe; or, The Test of Friendship (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Alixe.

Alla
Alla Nazimova, often credited simply as Nazimova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1879. Her birth name was Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon. Alla was also a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Alla.

Allaine
Allaine Grandet was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Tyrant Fear (1918).

Allana
Allana was a character played by actress Constance Bennett in the film Son of the Gods (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Allana (which debuted in the data in 1930).

Allane
Allane Houston was a character played by actress Beverly Bayne in the film The Voice of Conscience (1917).

Allayne
Allayne was a character name in multiple films, including The Poison Pen (1919) and The Net (1923).

Allegheny
Allegheny Briskow was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Flowing Gold (1924).

Allene
Allene was a character name in multiple films, including Flattery (1925) and The Love Route (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Allene.

Allida
Allida Bederaux was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film Experiment Perilous (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Allida (which debuted in the data in 1945).

Allifair
Allifair McCoy was a character played by actress Gigi Perreau in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

Allisa
Allisa Randall was a character played by actress Mildred Harris in the film The Inferior Sex (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Allisa.

Allouma
Allouma was a character played by actress Violet MacMillan in the film The Dragoman (1916).

Alluna
Alluna was a character played by various actresses (such as Neola May and Sara Haden) in various movies called The Barrier, all based on the novel of the same name by Rex Beach.

Aloha
Aloha was a character played by actress Nina Campana in the film Honolulu Lu (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloha.

Alois
Alois was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film A Dog of Flanders (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Alois (which debuted in the data in 1915).

Aloisa
Aloisa Weber Lange was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Eternal Melodies (1940).

Aloma
Aloma was a character played by actresses Gilda Gray in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1926) and by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloma.

Alouette
Alouette DeLarme was a character played by actress Louise Glaum in the film A Law Unto Herself (1918).

Alta
Alta Wilton was a character played by actress Mona Barrie in the film A Tragedy at Midnight (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Alta.

Alva
Alva was a character name in multiple films, including Revenge (1918) and Friends of Lovers (1931)

  • Usage of the baby name Alva.

Alvah
Alvah Morley was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film If You Believe Me, It’s So (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvah.

Alvarez
Alvarez Guerra was a character played by actress Carmelita Geraghty in the film This Thing Called Love (1929).

Alvern
Alvern Adams was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Louisiana (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvern.

Alverna
Alverna was a character name in multiple films, including Mantrap (1926) and Untamed (1940).

Alvira
Alvira was a character name in multiple films, including The Scarlet Shadow (1919) and Along Came Auntie (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvira.

Alys
Alys was a character name in multiple films, including Cutie Plays Detective (short, 1913) and Ermine and Rhinestones (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alys.

Alysia
Alysia Potter was a character played by actress Billie Dove in the film Polly of the Follies (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alysia.

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

The Height of Eilish (…So Far)

katie, eilish, twins, siamese, 1990s, baby name,
Katie and Eilish Holton, born in Ireland in 1988

Once the SSA releases the 2019 baby name data, we’ll know just how high the name Eilish — an anglicized form of Eilís, the Irish Gaelic form of Elizabeth or Alice — climbed during Billie Eilish’s breakout year.

While we wait, though, we can go back in time to learn why the Irish name Eilish saw its strongest usage in the U.S. in the mid-1990s.

The year Eilish debuted in the data, 1977, it was given to a mere five babies. The year it reappeared, 1993, it was given to nearly two dozen babies. (The same year, we see the reappearance of Ailish and the debut of one-hit wonder Ilish.) And when Eilish peaked in usage three years later, the number had climbed to nearly three dozen.

  • 1997: 27 baby girls named Eilish
  • 1996: 35 baby girls named Eilish [peak]
  • 1995: 17 baby girls named Eilish
  • 1994: 14 baby girls named Eilish
  • 1993: 23 baby girls named Eilish
  • 1992: unlisted
  • 1991: unlisted

So what brought Eilish back?

Eilish Holton, a conjoined twin (along with her sister Katie) who was born in County Kildare, Ireland, in August of 1988. The pair were “joined from shoulder to hip, with four arms and two shared legs. Each had her own heart and spinal column but shared one pelvis, one large bowel, one bladder and one kidney.” Eilish was on the right-hand side, Katie on the left-hand side.

The girls came to the attention of Americans thanks to the British TV documentary Katie and Eilish (1992), which aired in the U.S. in May of 1993.

katie and eilish, documentary, television, 1993, conjoined, twins,

The Peabody Award-winning documentary followed the 3-year-old twins over the twelve months leading up to their 15-hour separation surgery, which took place in London in April of 1992. The film concluded after the operation had taken place and Katie had passed away (due to heart failure, just days after the separation) leaving Eilish as the sole surviving twin.

The documentary’s follow-up, Eilish: Life Without Katie (1995), which aired in the U.S. in July of 1996, is what pushed the name to peak usage three years later.

The second film followed 6-year-old Eilish, who was now getting around with the help of a prosthetic leg (dubbed “Katie,” poignantly). Unlike the first film, though, this one wasn’t well-received by reviewers; one described it as “maddeningly unchallenging, uninformative and undemanding.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Eilish? Would you use it?

Sources: Katie and Eilish – ITV Studios, The Most Intimate Bond – Time, Such Sweetened Sorrow – The Independent, Life after Katie – Independent.ie, Eilish – Behind the Name

P.S. Eilish Holton’s four other sisters are named Claire, Therese, Mairead, and Maeve.

Name Quotes 82: Rosebud, Pirate, Habakkuk

From an article about the Mad About You reboot:

On the original show, Theresa was portrayed by Burnett as a bit overbearing. But, she always brought extra love…and helped them name their daughter Mabel. When Jamie and Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) couldn’t decide on a name for their baby, Theresa proclaimed that “Mothers Always Bring Extra Love,” an homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura explain Ritchie’s middle name. The Buchman’s decide to call their daughter Mabel.

The conversation between Rob Petrie (dad) and Ritchie Rosebud Petrie (son) referenced above, from the 1962 Dick Van Dyke episode “What’s in a Middle Name?” [vid]:

Rob: …and there’s no reason to look so sad, your middle name isn’t really Rosebud.

Ritchie: Yes it is, my birth certificate says it’s Rosebud.

Rob: Yes it does, but do you know why?

Ritchie: No, but I wish it was ‘Jim.’

[…]

Rob: So you see, Ritch, actually, your middle name is Robert, Oscar, Sam, Edward, Benjamin, Ulysses, David. And, the initials to all of your middle names spells…

Ritchie: Rosebud!

(The seven names were suggestions from various family members. To see the scene and hear the full explanation, click the link to the video.)

From the 2018 children’s book Who Is Pele? by James Buckley, Jr.:

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940, in the tiny village of Três Corações (say: TRACE kor-ah-SOYS), Brazil. Even in 1940, there were many parts of the world that did not have electricity. Most of southeastern Brazil was one of those areas. In honor of their village finally getting electricity, Edson’s parents named their first son after the American inventor Thomas Edison.

From a BBC interview with Billie Eilish:

Q: Hello Billie Eilish… Have I pronounced that right?

A: Yes! It’s eye-lish, like eyelash with a lish.

Q: Your family name is O’Connell, though, so is that a stage name?

It is my middle name. So I’m Bille Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell.

Q: Pirate! That’s an amazing name.

Pretty weird, right? Pirate was going to be my middle name but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad. Then Baird is my mother’s name.

From an NPR interview with Leonardo DiCaprio:

My father tells me that they were on their honeymoon at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I believe. They were looking at a da Vinci painting, and allegedly I started kicking furiously while my mother was pregnant. And my father took that as a sign, and I suppose DiCaprio wasn’t that far from da Vinci. And so, my dad, being the artist that he is, said, “That’s our boy’s name.”

From a Christianity Today article called “Sorry, James and David: Silas and Obadiah Are Today’s Trending Baby Names“:

Looking forward, there’s plenty more space for creativity with highly unique but still highly religious names. Of the 2,606 biblical names I track in my ongoing research, only 811 ever had a year with more than 4 baby boys or girls given that name. We haven’t yet seen kids named Abijam or Paltiel, nor have we seen name fads for Philetus or Berechiah. Even notably faithful biblical figures like Ehud, Elkanah, Habakkuk, Hilkiah, and Jehonadab have been passed over.

If you ever come across an interesting name-related quote (or article), please let me know!