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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Blessing

Number of Babies Named Blessing

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Blessing

Popular Baby Names in Idaho, 2012

Idaho’s most popular baby names of 2012 were announced a year and a half late, as usual.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state’s top names two years ago were Sophia for girls and Liam for boys.

Here are Idaho’s top 25 girl names and top 25 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Sophia (115 baby girls)
2. Olivia (113)
3. Emma (100)
4. Ava (79)
5. Abigail (76)
6. Elizabeth (71)
7. Chloe (69)
8. Emily (62) – tie
9. Zoey (62) – tie
10. Brooklyn (61)
11. Hannah* (60)
12. Madison (57)
13. Ella (56) – tie
14. Isabella (56) – tie
15. Lily (56) – tie
16. Avery (54)
17. Grace (51)
18. Amelia (50) – tie
19. Evelyn (50) – tie
20. Hailey* (48)
21. Ellie (46) – tie
22. Natalie (46) – tie
23. Charlotte* (45) – tie
24. Paisley* (45) – tie
25. Addison (44)
1. Liam (133 baby boys)
2. William (94)
3. Mason (81)
4. Jacob (79)
5. Michael* (78) – tie
6. Samuel (78) – tie
7. Wyatt (77)
8. Logan (76)
9. Ethan (75)
10. Carter (73)
11. Hunter (72)
12. Aiden (71)
13. Benjamin (69) – tie
14. Jackson (69) – tie
15. Gabriel (68)
16. Andrew (67)
17. Henry* (66) – tie
18. Noah (66) – tie
19. Cooper* (65) – tie
20. Elijah (65) – tie
21. David* (64)
22. Isaac (63)
23. Alexander* (57) – tie
24. Jayden (57) – tie
25. Joseph* (57) – tie
26. Owen (57) – tie

*New to the top 25 since 2011.

Idaho’s annual report also includes a section called “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings,” which is rather awesome.

Here are the handpicked oddballs of 2012:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Alixathymia, Aunastasha, Beloved, Blessing, Britannica, Burdyn, Challyss, Echkoe, Exodus, Harlequinn, Idalyz, Killary, Lulubell, Lyrica, Mercy, Miracle, Mystic, Noble, Oasis, Pearadice, Savvy, Secret, Sunshyne, Theory, Versailles Adamant, Arsin, Awesome, Cactus, Captain, Chipper, Cross, Denym, Dually, Dynamic, Falchion, Glacier, Kasteel, Kazys, Krozlee, Lock, Mehdiullah, Mogley, Natavious, Nyte, Peregrin, Pilot, Torque, Truce, Wild

Thoughts:

  • Alixathymia – Part name, part medical condition.
  • Adamant – Synonym for stubborn. Or an Adam Ant reference. Or both.
  • Burdyn – “Burden”? Really?
  • Cactus – A nature name I’ve never seen before.
  • Dually – Rosamund Pike should pick this for kid #2. (Her firstborn is “Solo.”)
  • Falchion – A type of sword. (Do they talk about falchions on Game of Thrones?)
  • Glacier – There’s a Glacier in Quebec as well.
  • Killary – This would make a great roller derby name! So would Hellga the American Gladiator name.
  • Truce – Nice to see a name that promotes cooperation/peace instead of conflict/anger (like Rebel, Fury, Rage, Rowdy, Savage, and so on). Truce reminds me of Armistice. Speaking of armistice…
  • Versailles – It’s a pretty word, but what percentage of Americans can spell it correctly? Or even pronounce it?

And, since I never wrote about the Idaho baby names of 2011, I’ll throw in the unique names from that year as well:

Unique Girl Names (2011) Unique Boy Names (2011)
Asma, Ajla, Bandana, Birdie, Candelaria, Cinderella, Courage, Disney-Gin, Elphaba, Jerzi, Kaymin, Khryztale, Kyraeveryn, November, Rainbow, Rockee, Rogue, Ropeer, Satchel, Soliscity, Temperenz, Thunder, Trypzee, Winter, Xxoie Adakiss, Aegis Orion, Beauxdarin, Bluesky, Cinch, Coyote, Dagr, Deevo, Diggory, Doc, Eighthin, Flint, Gator, General, Iron, Jayger, John-Wayne, Khryztian, Maverik, Pistol, Pragedis, Rifle, Riot, Slate, Wilderness

Thoughts:

  • Adakiss – Not quite as bad as Addtakizz.
  • Dagr, Pistol, Rifle, Riot – More weaponry & violence. Lovely.
  • Deevo – Inspired by Devo? Perhaps. (Two references to ’80s music in a single post? Yup.) You must whip it

Finally, here are earlier lists of Idaho’s unique baby names (2006 through 2010).

Source: Vital Statistics Annual Report


Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2013

Quebec’s top baby names of 2013 were announced yesterday.

According to data from the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ), the most popular baby names last year were Lea and William.

Here are Quebec’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lea, 625 baby girls
2. Emma, 500
3. Olivia, 491
4. Florence, 455
5. Alice, 439
6. Zoe, 415
7. Rosalie, 404
8. Juliette, 366
9. Charlie, 343
10. Chloe, 339
11. Charlotte, 332
12. Sofia, 304
13. Jade, 302
14. Mia, 299
15. Eva, 289
16. Camille, 286
17. Victoria, 284
18. Anais, 274
19. Beatrice, 265
20. Laurence, 260 (tie)
21. Maeva, 260 (tie)
1. William, 823 baby boys
2. Nathan, 771
3. Samuel, 704
4. Alexis, 699
5. Olivier, 694
6. Felix, 692
7. Thomas, 692
8. Liam, 683
9. Jacob, 630
10. Gabriel, 602
11. Antoine, 516
12. Logan, 516
13. Raphael, 498
14. Noah, 463
15. Xavier, 441
16. Benjamin, 420
17. Emile, 413
18. Charles, 397
19. Adam, 389
20. Leo, 386

Charlie is new to the girls’ top 10. In 2012, it ranked 12th.

On the boys’ side, Jayden is on the rise as well — from 38th in 2012 to 35th in 2013. (In the U.S., Jayden has been falling for a few years now.)

Finally, here are some baby names that were used only once or twice in Quebec last year:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Alaska (1), Alutchainah Winfrey (1), Cheleby-Prettey (1), Divine Jeremiah (1), Etye Tzirl (1), Fanny-Jade (1), Galaxyanne (1), Golding Merly (1), Iokennorehseriio (1), K La (1), Kellixia (1), Khaleesi (2), Khlde (1), Kinda Love (1), Kukuess (1), Libertad-Quillay (1), Luna Love (1), Luxshiny (1), Mamba Gabrielle (1), Marie-Neige (2), Milky (1), Nelricka (1), O-Feely (1), Nermine (2), Peggy Evie Maggie (2), Reness-May (1), Rougui (2), Rulx-Jeffrey (1), Schrolding Sarry (1), Shine Present (1), Skysea (1), Walter-Lynn (1), Zoolee (1) Aggaajuk (1), Best Blessing (1), Beckham (2), Charm Henri (1), Chumly (1), Clarenceford (1), D-Reck (1), Dick-Yan (1), Djeepy (1), Edwidge Lovensky (1), Ettuk (2), Fhitzjericho (1), Fox Henri (1), Frignol (1), Gayden (1), Hunter Chace (1), Indrix (1), Lafleche (2), Lucassie (2), Meyroi Deliver Midy (1), Micipsa (1), Nhel Rein (1), Noonard (1), Nyko (2), Queben (1), Rhodeelny (1), Sampo (1), Shragy (2), Syphax (2), Vwila (1), Warrior (1), Wedgy (1), Woody Tommy (1), Za-Ak (1)

Sources: Most popular baby names for 2013, Lea and William top baby names of 2013

The Decline of the Baby Name Mary

Sociology professor Philip Cohen wrote about the decline of the baby name Mary recently in The Atlantic. Here’s how the article begins:

Each year I mark the continued calamitous decline of Mary as a girls’ name in the United States. Not to be over-dramatic, but in the recorded history of names, nothing this catastrophic has ever happened before.

Ouch.

He’s right, though. Usage of Mary — the dominant girl in the nation from the 1880s to the 1950s — plummeted during the 1960s:

Baby Name Mary - Decline in Usage on Popularity Graph
The Baby Name Mary

At one time, Mary was regularly given to more than 70,000 baby girls per year. It’s now given to fewer than 3,000. (And the population is much higher today that it was back then, so that difference is even more extreme than it seems.)

We’re well aware that Mary is on its way out, so let’s get right to Cohen’s two-part explanation of what the “Mary trend” means:

First, it’s the growing cultural value of individuality, which leads to increasing diversity. People value names that are uncommon. When Mary last held the number-one spot, in 1961, there were 47,655 girls given that name. Now, out of about the same number of total births, the number-one name (Sophia) was given only 21,695 times. Conformity to tradition has been replaced by conformity to individuality. Being number one for so long ruined Mary for this era.

The decreasing dominance of the top names is something we’ve discussed before.

Second, America’s Christian family standard-bearers are not standing up for Mary anymore. It’s not just that there may be fewer devout Christians, it’s that even they don’t want to sacrifice individuality for a (sorry, it’s not my opinion) boring name like Mary. In 2011 there were more than twice as many Nevaehs (“Heaven” spelled backwards) born as there were Marys. (If there is anything more specific going on within Christianity, please fill me in.)

This one is interesting. It might also explain the rise of religious word-names like
Blessing, Cross, Eden, Hallelujah, Trinity, even the ridiculous Nevaehtnes.

He says there’s still hope for a resurgence, similar to the one Emma experienced, “as long as Christianity keeps hanging around.”

What do you think — will Mary make a comeback one day like Emma did?

If so, when? How many years from now: 20, 50, 100, more?

Source: Why Don’t Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore? (via A Mitchell)

Baby Names in Zimbabwe

About a month ago, Zimbabwean newspaper The Herald published Sekai Nzenza’s essay Behind the Names. It’s a fascinating look at how babies are named in Zimbabwe.

I can’t post the entire essay here, but I can give you a few quotes.

The author’s full first name is Sekesayi, which means “laugh/mock as much as you like” in Shona. Here’s why:

This was in reference to my mother’s inability to provide me with a proper baby blanket when I was born. I was child number six and all the hand-me-down baby clothes were worn out. She improvised by cutting pieces of cream cloths from her petticoat, mudhongi and sewed them together with sackcloth. People laughed. But my mother, said you can laugh as much as you like, sekesayi.

And here’s why Nzenza used a different name while attending school:

My name was linked to a period of poverty. How could such a name enter a civilised place like the Methodist mission? To avoid embarrassment, I was not going to tell that story to anyone at school. Already, I carried the stigma of having grown up in a big village compound while some of the girls at the school were daughters of business men, hospital orderlies and fathers who worked in Salisbury.

[…]

I was Christened Irene and that seemed to fit in well with others on this road to “civilisation”.

Some of the other Shona names mentioned in the essay include:

  • Muchademba: “you shall regret”
  • Chandisaita: “what did I not do for you?”
  • Muchaneta: “you will tire of what you are doing”
  • Tichapondwa: “we shall be murdered”
  • Ndakaziva: “I wish I had known”
  • Chaipachii: “what is the matter now?”

Baby names like these aren’t as common anymore, though.

Gone are the names with strong messages of spite or anger like Muchademba, Marwei, Muzvondiwa or Muchaneta. After independence, we captured the joy of freedom and named our children positive names like Tatenda meaning we are grateful, Tafadzwa, we are pleased and Mufaro, happiness. There are many like Tapiwa, Tarumbidzwa, Tanyaradzwa, Tadiwa, Mudiwa, Tasimba and others. We have also included the religious Shona names and added Rutendo, Grace and Blessing.

This tradition of having a name with a conspicuous meaning/message helps explain the attraction to English words as names:

Those who stayed in the village and did not go to war or boarding school, also wanted English names that meant something. Out came more names like Beauty, Happy, and Gladness, Clever, Tears, Polite and others.

I’ve left quite a bit out, so if you have a minute, go read the rest of Sekai Nzenza’s essay on baby names in Zimbabwe.