How popular is the baby name Bobby 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 Bobby.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bobby


Posts that Mention the Name Bobby

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

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2019

According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were — yet again! — Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Emily, 452 baby girls
  2. Grace, 426
  3. Fiadh, 334
  4. Sophie, 330
  5. Hannah, 321
  6. Amelia, 315
  7. Ava, 313 (tie)
  8. Ellie, 313 (tie)
  9. Ella, 292
  10. Mia, 289

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 677 baby boys
  2. James, 534
  3. Noah, 502
  4. Conor, 427
  5. Daniel, 399
  6. Adam, 345
  7. Liam, 334
  8. Tadhg, 318
  9. Luke, 317
  10. Charlie, 316

Jack has been the top boy name since 2007 (with the exception of 2016) and Emily has been the top girl name since 2011.

In the girls’ top 10, Hannah returned and Emma dropped out.

In the boys’ top 10, Liam and Tadhg (pronounced tyeg, like the first syllable of “tiger”) replaced Harry and Michael.

The fastest-rising names in the top 100 in terms of numbers of babies were:

  • Éabha (+57 baby girls), Caoimhe (+36), Molly (+32), Erin (+31), Sadhbh (+31)
  • Rían (+69 baby boys), Bobby (+50), Senan (+46), Darragh (+38), Tadhg (+38), Theo (+38)

And the fastest-rising in terms of rank were:

  • Alexandra (+25 spots), Heidi (+20), Hollie (+20), Bonnie (+19), Éabha (+19)
  • Odhrán (+41 spots), Odhran (+39), Eli (+37), Kayden (+30), Ruairí (+27)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2019 – CSO


Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2019

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 394 baby girls
  2. Emily, 388
  3. Isla, 364
  4. Sophie, 308
  5. Ella, 284
  6. Ava, 278
  7. Amelia, 275
  8. Grace, 272
  9. Freya, 260
  10. Charlotte, 243

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 449 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 359
  3. James, 345
  4. Charlie, 306
  5. Harris, 304
  6. Lewis, 280
  7. Leo, 278
  8. Noah, 272
  9. Alfie, 261
  10. Rory, 258

In girls’ top 10, Freya and Charlotte replace Jessica (now 11th) and Aria (now 15th).

In the boys’ top 10, Charlie and Alfie replace Alexander (now 11th) and Logan (now 13th). Charlie’s rise was significant; it shot up to 4th from 13th the year before.

The NRS press release mentioned that the popular British crime drama Peaky Blinders has given a boost to the baby names Cillian, Polly and Chester. (Polly and Chester are characters in the show; Cillian refers to star Cillian Murphy.) It also noted that Ezra has become more popular thanks to English singer/songwriter George Ezra.

Of the nearly 50,000 babies born in Scotland last year, more than 5,000 — over 10% — were given a one-of-a-kind first name. Here are some of the names bestowed just once in Scotland in 2019:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Alba-Nova, Bramble, Calanais, Delphi, Evie-Peaches, Fritha, Grey, Harper-Lee, Isla-Dee, Janiba, Kavinila, Lumi, Mazikeen, Moksha, Nirbhana, Ooliana, Pichapak, Quaintrelle, Roux, Salvina-Liza, Sanziana, Tefta, Thistle, Uendjipa, Vaticana, Wish, Xiorra, Yaldz, ZografiaAzmi, Bobby-Dylan, Coen-Knox, Dicaprio, Enxu, Ferdinand, Gurzack, Harbury, Iyvhn, Jonjo, Karamo, Leicester, Malachite, Moncef, Neo-Nova, Otter, Phenomenal, Qusai, Roag, Scirocco, Swift, Theodore-Bear, Torcuil, Udhay, Valdis, Wurrd, Xubin, Yug, Zalvadorro

And here are possible explanations/associations for some of the above:

  • Bobby-Dylan, American singer Bob Dylan
  • Calanais, a Scottish village and/or the standing stones nearby
  • Dicaprio, American actor Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Harper-Lee, American writer Harper Lee
  • Karamo, American TV personality Karamo Brown
  • Leicester, an English city and (more importantly) a professional soccer team
  • Malachite, a banded green stone
  • Mazikeen, a character from the TV show Lucifer
  • Moksha, the Hindu/Buddish cycle of rebirth (it was on the Baby Names from the East list)
  • Nirbhana, apparently a Gaelic-influenced Nirvana (another name from the East)
  • Quaintrelle, “a woman who is focused on style and leisurely pastimes”
  • Roag, a Scottish hamlet on the Isle of Skye
  • Sanziana, a Romanian word for either fairies or flowers
  • Scirocco, a Mediterranean wind and (more importantly) a car made by Volkswagen
  • Theodore-Bear, apparently an elongated form of “teddy bear”
  • Thistle, the national flower of Scotland (thank you to Clare for reminding me!)

(I posted even more of Scotland’s unique baby names over on Patreon.)

In 2018, the top two names were the same.

Sources: Full list of names for 2019, Babies’ First Names, Quaintrelle – Wiktionary

Name Quotes #73: Kamilah, Alexa, Bob

Actress Jameela Jamil called "Kamilah Al-Jamil"
Actress Jameela Jamil labeled “Kamilah Al-Jamil” by E! News

The red carpet prank pulled on actress Jameela Jamil at the Golden Globes back in January:

Jameela Jamil’s name was spelled wrong on E! News during the red carpet show before the 76th annual Golden Globes.

In place of The Good Place star’s name, the network referenced a plot point from the show — that Jamil’s character, Tahani, is always outshined by her sister, Kamilah Al-Jamil.

Jamil herself was more than a good sport about the misnaming at the Globes. “This is legit the funniest thing I have ever seen,” the actress tweeted. “Tahani would DIE!”

From a New York Times article about parents allowing children to choose their own names:

Tiffany Towers, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, said she understands why parents may be agreeable to allowing their children to choose or change their names so readily.

It can be either an attempt to empower their children or to avoid the pressure of assigning a name to their offspring, Dr. Towers said. Perhaps the parents don’t want to feel responsible for their child being bullied for having a weird or old-fashioned name. Or maybe they believe that their child’s future will be shaped by this initial identity of a name (a name that the child didn’t request), and they fear that their child will resent them or feel oppressed by their name.

From an article that asks, “Where did all the Bobs in baseball go?

By the turn of the century, the Bob-to-Rob transition had been essentially complete. No Major Leaguer has gone by Bob since journeyman reliever Bob Howry retired in 2010. There are dozens of Robs, Robbys and Bobbys currently in the Minors working their way up the ladder, but no Bobs to be found.

Should social media influence your choice in baby names?

[E]xperts say consulting social media when naming your child — be it asking others about a name on Facebook, or using social media handles to inform a name — can be smart. “With the goal of not having your child get lost in the social shuffle and losing opportunities, it may be best to take a proactive social branding strategy or ‘self insurance’ from the very start of their life,” says Robb Hecht, an adjunct professor of marketing at Baruch College in New York City.

[…]

Others disagree: Lots of people have a social media handle that’s different from their name, so that shouldn’t be a factor in naming your child, says Kim Randall, the owner of KiMedia Strategies. Adds Kent Lewis, the president and founder of marketing firm Anvil: “A [social media] handle can be changed or modified over time, and typically isn’t as important as the content and visibility of the profile.”

From an article that attempts to calculate the ROI of Starbucks baristas spelling your name wrong:

How much free advertising has Starbucks got from the incorrect (and correct) spelling of their baristas? […] If we are to accept that people sharing images (especially with a brand name or @ mention) is the most valuable form of “free advertising” for Starbucks on social, the whole name spelling trend is working harder than the general conversation to generate it. […] If this is all a scheme by Starbucks to get free advertising on social media, it’s a very good one indeed.

A sentence from “A tale of two Trump sisters” (Ivanka and Tiffany) in the Telegraph:

One had her own jewellery line, the other was named after a jewellery brand.

From an article about the Cook Islands, which is considering a name change “to reflect its Polynesian heritage”:

The nation was named after British explorer James Cook who landed on the islands in the 1700s.

A committee is considering 60 options in Cook Islands Maori including Rangiaroa, meaning Love from the Heavens and Raroatua which translates as We Stand Under God.

Finally, two more quotes about people named Alexa. (The first was in Name Quotes 53.) One is about a woman in Saskatchewan named Alexa:

“(It’s) kind of weird sometimes when people come right up to me and say ‘Alexa, what’s the best restaurant in …’ or ‘Alexa, how do I get to …’ and they’re joking of course, but initially you’re kind of taken aback a bit that people are using it in that way,” [Alexa] Gorenko said.

[…]

As for Gorenko, she said the newfound prominence of her name has actually helped her embrace it.

“It kind of brought the name out to me, because there aren’t very many people named Alexa and now you hear it all the time,” she said.

The other is about a Maryland couple whose toddler is named Alexa:

The couple is so concerned that they wrote to Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, and proposed a different name to the popular device. Lew Klein said they did hear back.

Amazon explained to them that the product was named after the famous Library of Alexandria that “stored the knowledge of the ancient world.” While the message said the suggestion would be passed along, Amazon has no plans on changing the name anytime soon.

(This reminds me of the time when people named Zoe in France got angry about the name of the Renault Zoe.)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

What Would You Name the Catfish-Riding Boy?

little boy, large catfish, old photo, texas, 1940s

This might be my favorite photo on the entire internet.

The shot, which depicts a playful little Texas boy pretending to ride a dead catfish on someone’s front porch, was taken by photographer Neal Douglass in April of 1941.

The Portal to Texas History calls it “Mrs. Bill Wright; Boy Riding Catfish.” So I’m guessing that “Mrs. Bill Wright” was the boy’s mother. But there’s no other identifying information, so I don’t know the boy’s name, nor do I have any way of tracking it down.

So let’s turn this into a name game!

First, let’s suppose our little catfish-rider was not named “Bill” (or “William,” or “Willie,” etc.) after his father. With that rule in place, here are the questions:

  • What do you think Mrs. Bill Wright named her son?
  • What would you have named him?

Just for reference, popular names for Texas newborns in the late ’30s included:

Albert
Arthur
Carl/Charles
Clarence
Daniel
David
Don/Donald
Edward/Eddie
Ernest
Frank
Fred
Gary
Gene/Eugene
George
Gerald
Harold
Henry
Jack
James
Jerry
Jesse
Jesus
Jimmie/Jimmy
Joe/Joseph
John/Johnny
Jose
Juan
Kenneth
Larry
Louis
Manuel
Melvin
Paul
Raymond
Richard
Robert/Bobby
Ronald
Roy
Thomas/Tommy
Walter

For extra credit, what do you think the boy named his catfish? And, what would you have named his catfish? ;)

(If you like this game, here’s a similar one from years ago: What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?)