How popular is the baby name Bob 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 Bob.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bob


Posts that Mention the Name Bob

Contrarian Baby Names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

contrarian baby names, uncool baby names

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

Old-Fashioned Double Names: Jimbob, Troydale, Earlray

old-fashioned double names

Last month I posted a long list of old-fashioned double names for girls, so this month let’s follow up with a similar list for boys.

To come up with these names, I used the same search method and focused on the same type of name: double names written as a single names in the records.

Pairings that didn’t seem “old fashioned” enough (like Williamjohn and Jamespaul) were omitted, but pairings that also happen to be surnames (like Gilroy and Aldean) were left alone for the most part.

Again I limited the search to 15 second names, but of course plenty of other pairings exist. (One I remember spotting was “Philherbert,” for instance.)

*

-Bob

Billbob, Billiebob, Billybob, Eddybob, Elbertbob, Jimbob, Jobbob, Joebob, Leebob, Norrisbob, Olybob, Raybob, Roybob, Tombob, Willbob, Williebob

-Dale

Alfreddale, Billydale, Carldale, Clemdale, Cliffdale, Dougdale, Dondale, Earldale, Genedale, Georgedale, Glendale, Harrydale, Henrydale, Jaydale, Joedale, Leedale, Lesterdale, Maxdale, Orveldale, Pauldale, Ralphdale, Raydale, Rexdale, Robertdale, Rondale, Royaldale, Roydale, Russeldale, Standale, Thomasdale, Troydale, Vandale, Verndale, Vernondale, Walterdale, Warrendale, Willdale

-Dean

Abedean, Albertdean, Aldean, Alfreddean, Arnolddean, Barrydean, Bertdean, Billydean, Bobbydean, Carldean, Cobydean, Coydean, Daviddean, Donalddean, Dondean, Eddean, Elbertdean, Elmerdean, Floyddean, Freddean, Genedean, Georgedean, Geralddean, Glendean, Harolddean, Harrydean, Howarddean, Jackdean, Jaydean, Jerrydean, Joedean, Leedean, Leodean, Lexdean, Maxdean, Ollydean, Raydean, Rexdean, Robdean, Rondean, Rothdean, Roycedean, Roydean, Rupertdean, Samydean, Teddean, Vernondean, Warrendean, Wendeldean

-Dell

Albertdell, Aldell, Bertdell, Carldell, Cecildell, Coydell, Drewdell, Freddell, Georgedell, Glendell, Harrydell, Jaydell, Jeddell, Jimdell, Joedell, Leodell, Lyndell, Maxdell, Pauldell, Raydell, Rexdell, Roydell, Samdell, Standell, Verndell, Wesdell, Wildell, Wilfdell, Willydell

-Jack

Abejack, Adolfjack, Aljack, Benjack, Bertjack, Billjack, Billyjack, Bobjack, Edgarjack, Elwinjack, Jimjack, Johnjack, Kennethjack, Leejack, Leroyjack, Monroejack, Pauljack, Rayjack, Ronjack, Rossjack

-Jim

Benjim, Billiejim, Thorvaldjim

-Joe

Aljoe, Alphonsejoe, Anthonyjoe, Artjoe, Benjoe, Billyjoe, Bobbyjoe, Carljoe, Chrisjoe, Danjoe, Douglasjoe, Edjoe, Frankjoe, Harrisjoe, Ivanjoe, Jackiejoe, Jimyjoe, Johnjoe, Nedjoe, Peterjoe, Rayjoe, Rochejoe, Royjoe, Sammyjoe, Teryjoe, Tomjoe, Valentinejoe, Vanjoe, Williejoe, Willjoe

-John

Adolfjohn, Albertjohn, Alfjohn, Alfredjohn, Aljohn, Altonjohn, Angusjohn, Anthonyjohn, Antonjohn, Archiejohn, Arthurjohn, Benjohn, Bernardjohn, Bertjohn, Carljohn, Casimirojohn, Casperjohn, Chesterjohn, Chrisjohn, Davidjohn, Deanjohn, Donaldjohn, Earljohn, Edmundjohn, Edwinjohn, Elmerjohn, Emanueljohn, Emiljohn, Erichjohn, Eugenejohn, Francisjohn, Fredjohn, Georgejohn, Gerritjohn, Gilesjohn, Groverjohn, Gusjohn, Hermonjohn, Howardjohn, Irwinjohn, Jackjohn, Jayjohn, Johnnyjohn, Leejohn, Leojohn, Lewisjohn, Lioneljohn, Louisjohn, Martinjohn, Nilsjohn, Oscarjohn, Ottojohn, Philjohn, Rexjohn, Royjohn, Samueljohn, Vernonjohn, Victorjohn, Vincentjohn, Walterjohn, Weldonjohn, Wiljohn, Willardjohn

-Lloyd

Aloislloyd, Charleslloyd, Davidlloyd, Gaylloyd, Jaylloyd, Johnlloyd, Leelloyd, Leroylloyd, Lewislloyd, Macklloyd, Martinlloyd, Reylloyd, Thomaslloyd, Williamlloyd

-Mack

Billmack, Burlmack, Charleymack, Chestermack, Colliemack, Conmack, Danmack, Deemack, Donmack, Eddiemack, Galemack, Georgemack, Glenmack, Joemack, Johnmack, Kylemack, Lannymack, Leemack, Leomack, Lonmack, Michaelmack, Raymack, Williemack, Willmack

-Paul

Alfredpaul, Alpaul, Antonpaul, Archiepaul, Arthurpaul, Carlpaul, Clauspaul, Clementpaul, Donpaul, Edwardpaul, Edwinpaul, Erhardpaul, Ernestpaul, Eugenepaul, Francispaul, Frankpaul, Georgepaul, Glenpaul, Gordonpaul, Haroldpaul, Harrypaul, Henrypaul, Hermanpaul, Homerpaul, Howardpaul, Jaypaul, Johnnypaul, Lawrencepaul, Leepaul, Leonpaul, Louispaul, Mauricepaul, Maxpaul, Morrispaul, Oscarpaul, Raphaelpaul, Raymondpaul, Raypaul, Ronaldpaul, Samuelpaul, Sanfordpaul, Stephenpaul, Tompaul, Vincentpaul, Wesleypaul, Willpaul

-Ralph

Alralph, Conralph, Edwardralph, Ernestralph, Henryralph, Horaceralph, Jamesralph, Johnralph, Josephralph, Leeralph, Lesterralph, Orsonralph, Thomasralph,

-Ray

Alfray, Alfredray, Alray, Artray, Barnyray, Benray, Bertray, Billyray, Bobbyray, Bobray, Carlray, Charlesray, Charleyray, Conray, Coyray, Danray, Deeray, Delbertray, Delray, Dennyray, Donaldray, Donray, Earlray, Edray, Elray, Eugeneray, Ferdray, Frankieray, Fredray, Generay, Georgeray, Glenray, Guyray, Howardray, Jayray, Jimray, Joeray, Johnray, Kennyray, Kenray, Leeray, Leoray, Maxray, Nedray, Paulray, Robertray, Robray, Ronray, Sammieray, Samray, Sidray, Thomasray, Vanray, Willieray, Willray, Wilmerray

-Roy

Alfroy, Alroy, Andrewroy, Benroy, Bertroy, Bobroy, Carlroy, Clayroy, Clemroy, Conroy, Deeroy, Delroy, Donroy, Earlroy, Ebertroy, Edroy, Elroy, Generoy, Gilroy, Glenroy, Hughroy, Jamesroy, Jayroy, Jedroy, Joeroy, Johnroy, Kenroy, Kimroy, Leeroy, Leighroy, Leoroy, Lesroy, Lewroy, Louisroy, Mackieroy, Maxroy, Melroy, Milroy, Ollieroy, Paulroy, Philroy, Rayroy, Rexroy, Robertroy, Robroy, Samroy, Timroy, Toddroy, Tomroy, Vanroy, Vernonroy, Walterroy, Williamroy, Willieroy, Wilroy, Zephroy

-Tom

Bentom, Carltom, Chestertom, Claytom, Clemtom, Edtom, Jimmytom, Jimtom, Joetom, Johntom, Williamtom, Willietom

*

Which of these old-fashioned double names do you like best? Would you consider using any of them for a modern-day baby boy?

Name Quotes #58: Vesper, Ailsa, Kikkan

"Vesper. I do hope you gave your parents hell for that."

From the 2006 movie Casino Royale, James Bond commenting about Vesper Lynd’s first name:

‘Vesper.’ I do hope you gave your parents hell for that.

About the choosing of Ailsa, the first name of the daughter of gold-medal winning Olympic curler Joe Polo:

Both her parents were curlers, members of a tight-knit sport where an intense reverence for the game tends to bleed over into the players’ personal lives. And so it was only natural that Joe and Kristin Polo decided to name their future daughter Ailsa, after the Scottish island where the granite that makes curling rocks is mined.

About the coining of Kikkan, the first name of gold-medal winning Olympic cross-country skier Kikkan Randall:

After Randall’s birth on Dec. 31, 1982, Ronn wanted to name her Kikki, after Kiki Cutter, the first American skier, male or female, to win a rase in a World Cup event, a slalom in 1968. Deborah preferred Meghan. They compromised on Kikkan.

(Kiki Cutter = Christina “Kiki” Cutter.)

From an article about unusual names by Felicity “Flic” Everett:

When I was eight, I changed my name. Until then, I was called Johanna Louise, because my youthful parents, huge Bob Dylan fans, had named me after his mystical 1966 ballad, Visions of Johanna. In mid-70s south Manchester, sadly, the mysticism was somewhat lost. I hated explaining my name […] and thought it sounded clunky and earthy, when I longed to be ethereal and balletic.

From an essay about ethnic names by Australian-born Turkish author Dilvin Yasa

“Have you ever considered changing your name to something more ‘white’?” asked a literary agent the other day. “It’s been my experience that authors with strong, Anglo names tend to do better at the cash registers than those who have ethnic or even Aboriginal names.”

[…]

“Leave your name as it is!” [Jane Palfreyman] wrote. “I can tell you that their names have affected the popularity of Anh Do*, Christos Tsiolkas, Kevin Kwan or Munjed Al Muderis – and indeed may well have contributed to their success.”

*Misspelled “Ahn Do” in the original text.

From an article called “Restore Yamhill!” in the March 30, 1917, issue of The New York Sun:

The City Commission of Portland, Ore., has succumbed to an attack of mock elegance and under its influence has erased from the map the excellent, juicy and meaningful name of Yamhill street, substituting for it the commonplace and sordid Market street.

[…]

Yamhill is ancient, respectable, typical, historic. Alexander Henry, a fur trader of the Northwest Company, traversing the then unknown Willamette country, met at Willamette Falls, January 10, 1814, seven “ugly, ill formed Indians” leading a horse. They were of the Yamhela tribe, as Henry spelled it in his diary, the name being derived from the Yamhela, or yellow river.

From an article about Rose Collom in True West Magazine:

Rose was the perfect name for the Grand Canyon’s first official botanist, because self-taught Rose Collom blossomed when exposed to the state’s flora.

Rose discovered several varieties of plants previously unknown, and each was named after her.

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.

Do We Need to Talk About Kevin?

kevin, home aloneHave you heard of “Kevinism”? It’s Europe’s bias against people who have first names that are “culturally devalued” like Kevin, Chantal, Mandy and Justin — names that were popularized by American pop culture, typically.

In the case of Kevin, actors like Kevin Costner and Kevin Bacon — not to mention the very successful 1990 Christmas movie Home Alone, in which the lead character was a young Kevin — made the name very trendy overseas in the early 1990s. In fact, it hit #1 in several European countries, including France and Switzerland.

But after the trend cooled off, the backlash began. And it’s so bad now that, just a few years ago, a German schoolteacher told researchers that Kevin is “not a name, but a diagnosis.”

Which makes this recent observation by Andrew Gruttadaro of The Ringer all the more interesting: “Of the scripted shows on the four major [U.S.] networks that currently include a first name in the title–Kevin Can Wait, Young Sheldon, Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, Bob’s Burgers, Will & Grace, and Marlon–33 percent of them feature a Kevin.”

It’s a fascinating juxtaposition. Kevin has apparently hit some sort of nostalgic sweet-spot for American TV audiences, and, at the same time, it’s so disliked overseas that an entirely new word has been coined to describe the prejudice.

I wonder if those American shows are being seen in Europe and, if so, whether they’ll affect Kevinism. Will they exacerbate it? Eradicate it? Hm…

Where do you live, and how do you feel about the name Kevin?

Sources: Kevin, Chantal among worst names for online dating, We need to talk about Kévin: Why France fell in (and out of) love with a name, Why Are There So Many Kevins on TV?

The Many Names in Dobie Gillis

The baby name Dobie debuted in the US baby name data in 1960.

Girl-crazy teenager Dobie Gillis was a character created by writer Max Shulman in the 1940s. He was first brought to life in the movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis in 1953, but the most memorable portrayal of Dobie was by Dwayne Hickman in the four-season TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which premiered in September of 1959.

Dobie Gillis is notable for being “the first prime-time series to consistently privilege teenage characters, activities, and spaces over those associated with family shows.”

It was also known for the unusual character names. Dobie (pronounced doh-bee, rhymes with Toby) had friends with names like:

  • Maynard (a beatnik played by Bob Denver, who later portrayed Gilligan)
  • Zelda (a brainiac played by Sheila James Kuehl, sister of Jeri Lou)
  • Thalia Menninger (a rich girl played by Tuesday Weld)

These “uncommon first names [were] evidently meant to seem vaguely silly in their failure to conform with ’50s norms.”

The show ended up influencing the usage of several baby names. First of all, it was behind the debut of the name Dobie in 1960:

  • 1964: 9 baby boys named Dobie
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 6 baby boys named Dobie
  • 1961: 8 baby boys named Dobie
  • 1960: 9 baby boys named Dobie [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

The name Thalia also saw a spike in usage in 1960, which makes sense because all but two of the episodes featuring Thalia Menninger were first-season (1959-1960) episodes. Dobie pronounced Thalia’s name thale-ya.

  • 1964: 46 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1963: 42 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1962: 42 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1961: 46 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1960: 90 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1959: 30 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1958: 24 baby girls named Thalia

Finally, the name Zelda saw elevated usage in the early ’60s:

  • 1964: 133 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1963: 171 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1962: 178 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1961: 168 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1960: 136 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1959: 142 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1958: 131 baby girls named Zelda

Fun fact: Zelda — who pursued Dobie as ardently as Dobie pursued all other females — once convinced a girl named Phyllis to break it off with Dobie by warning her that her married name would be “Phyllis Gillis.”

Many of the secondary and single-episode characters had unusual names as well. Here are some examples:

Aphrodite
Arabella
Aristede
Blossom
Bruno
Bubbles
Chatsworth
Clothilde
Clydene
Drusilla
Esmond
Glynis
Imogene
Jethro
Kermit
Laurabelle
Leander
Maribelle
Mignonne
Poppy
Riff

Do you like any of the above Dobie Gillis names? How about the name “Dobie” itself?

Sources:

  • Kearney, Mary C. “Teenagers and Television in the United States.” Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Television, ed. by Horace Newcomb, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge, 2013, pp. 2276-2281.
  • Sterritt, David. Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the ’50s, and Film. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (TV Series 1959–1963) – IMDb