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

Name quotes #107: India, Arvid, Sahar

bobcat
NPS bobcat

From a recent National Park Service Instagram post:

Fun fact: The actual number of bobcats named Bob is fairly small.

Many actually prefer Robert.

From a 2020 Facebook post by The Pioneer Woman, Anne Marie “Ree” Drummond (found via Mashed):

Happy Father’s Day to my father-in-law, whom I love, my own dad, whom I adore, and my husband Ladd, pictured here with our first child (who was conceived on our honeymoon, btw…sorry if that’s TMI, we almost named her Sydney but changed our mind because we didn’t want her to have to explain it her whole life).

(They ended up naming her Alex.)

A 2017 tweet by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to the daughter of South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes, India Rhodes (b. 2015), who was named in honor of the country:

Happy birthday to India, from India. :)

From the 2008 essay “What’s in a name?” by Arvid Huisman in the Daily Freeman-Journal:

As a first grader I wanted to be named Johnnie or Bobbie or Billie or Tommie — just about anything except Arvid.

By the time I was a young adult I realized that a unique name can be an asset and I continue to believe that. Once people commit an uncommon name to memory they don’t soon forget and that’s a good thing in business.

From a 1935 article about baby names in a newspaper from Perth, Australia:

After Amy Johnson (Mrs. J. A. Mollison) made her wonderful flight to Australia it seemed that every baby girl was being named “Amy.” They were comparatively lucky. “Amy” is rather a nice name, but what about the unfortunate boys who were called “Lindbergh” or “Lindy” in 1927 to commemorate the young American’s lone Atlantic flight?

Amy Johnson newspaper article 1935

(I don’t have any Australian baby name data that goes back to the late 1920s — Amy Johnson‘s solo flight from England to Australia was in 1930 — but, anecdotally, most of the Australian Amys I’m seeing in the records were born decades before the flight.)

From the 2012 op-ed “Weird names leave teachers scratching their heads” at China Daily:

In the past, rural children were named after animals because poor farmers hoped they would bring up their children as cheaply as raising pigs and puppies.

From the obituary of singer (and early ’60s teen idol) Bobby Rydell at New York Daily News:

He was so popular and tied to teen culture that Rydell High School in the stage and screen musical “Grease” was named for him.

“It was so nice to know that the high school was named after me,” he told the Allentown Morning Call in 2014. “And I said, ‘Why me?’ It could have been Anka High, Presley High, Everly High, Fabian High, Avalon High. And they came up with Rydell High, and, once again, total honor.”

(Dozens of baby boys were named after Rydell as well.)

From the BBC article “Afghan women campaign for the right to reveal their names” by Mahjooba Nowrouzi (found via Clare’s Name News):

Using a woman’s name in public is frowned upon and can be considered an insult. Many Afghan men are reluctant to say the names of their sisters, wives or mothers in public. Women are generally only referred to as the mother, daughter or sister of the eldest male in their family, and Afghan law dictates that only the father’s name should be recorded on a birth certificate.

The problem starts early, when a girl is born. It takes a long time for her to be given a name. Then when a woman is married her name does not appear on her wedding invitations. When she is ill her name does not appear on her prescription, and when she dies her name does not appear on her death certificate or even her headstone.

I also liked the last two paragraphs:

Sahar, an Afghan refugee in Sweden who used to be a freelance journalist but now works in a nursing home, told the BBC she had been a distant but staunch supporter of the campaign since it began. When Sahar first heard about the idea, she decided to post a message on social media.

“I am proud to write that my name is Sahar,” she wrote. “My mother’s name is Nasimeh, my maternal grandmother’s name is Shahzadu, and my paternal grandmother’s name is Fukhraj.”

Name quotes #102: Dana, Besta, Jeter

quotation marks

Welcome to the latest batch of name quotes! Here we go…

From an interview with English actor Marcus Rutherford in British GQ:

Marcus Rutherford realised The Wheel Of Time was going to be a big deal when he heard about the baby names. It was his birthday, not long after he’d been cast as the young blacksmith Perrin Aybara in Amazon’s new big-budget adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy book series, and he decided […] to check out some of the birthday wishes on Twitter from a handful of die-hard Wheel Of Time fan accounts. […] “A lot of it came in, then there was a picture of a newborn baby. And this guy was like, ‘This is Perrin, who’s just been born. I’ve named him after your character. He says happy birthday.'”

From an interview with Brazilian soccer player Oleúde José Ribeiro (translated from Portuguese):

Q: But, after all, is your name, Oleúde, inspired by Hollywood or not?

A: No, no, it was just a brilliant idea from my parents (laughs). Like it or not, this story always helped me, it drew the attention of reporters… the late Luciano do Valle always asked listeners to guess my name, saying that it was the capital of cinema, it had a lot of impact at the time. This Hollywood thing has become a legend, but it has nothing to do with it.

From the obituary of Dana Marie Ek in Fauquier Now:

Dana was born on October 19, 1995, in Astoria, Oregon. She was named after the Dana Glacier — located deep in the wilds of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, because her father thought it was the most beautiful place on heaven or earth.

From an MLB.com article recounting how Jeter Downs met Derek Jeter:

So the man named after Derek Jeter by his baseball-crazed mother — even though his father is a Red Sox fan — had never actually met Derek Jeter?

It finally happened last week in a random encounter on a road in South Florida — sort of.

“This last week, I was driving, me and my brother were driving to go to [the] train,” said Downs. “We’re in traffic. My brother sees this Range Rover pulling up. He was like, ‘Oh my God, is that Jeter?’ He honks and I wave at him.

“I’m doing training with Raul Ibanez, [Jeter’s former teammate]. I called Raul and said, ‘Tell [Derek] Jeter that the kid he was waving at was Jeter [Downs].’ So then he told him that and it was pretty cool that I met him that way.”

From an article about Manchester twins named Ronnie and Reggie (like the famous London criminals Ronnie and Reggie Kray):

[W]e found two sets of twins and siblings named Ronnie and Reggie, as well as some Ronnies on their own.

Among them are the adorable twins pictured above (main image). Their mum said: “I thought it was only me capable of calling mine Ronnie and Reggie.”

But she’s far from alone. As well as finding another pair of twins with the same names, Moston mum Kellie Smart shared a picture of her sons, five-year-old Reggie Urch and Ronnie Urch, who turns four next week.

“People stop me all the time and ask are they twins and laugh when I tell them their names,” said Kellie, also mum to teenagers Mollie and Thomas.

From a 2007 article called “You Are What Your Name Says You Are” in the New York Times:

Sociologists like Mr. Besnard observed that first names [in France] were often quick markers of social and educational status. As another Libération reader, an elementary school teacher, pointed out: “I can often guess the ‘profile’ of a child thanks to the first name. A ‘Maxime,’ a ‘Louise,’ a ‘Kevin,’ a ‘Lolita.’ It’s sad, but that’s how it often works.” That is, Maxime and Louise probably have wealthy parents, while Kevin and Lolita are more likely to have a working- or lower-middle-class background.

Indeed, bourgeois French parents are unlikely to give their children “Anglo-Saxon” names; Jennifer was the most popular name for girls from 1984 to 1986, but it’s a safe bet few Jennifers came from well-educated families. (The craze is commonly explained by the success of the TV series “Hart to Hart” in France at that time — Jennifer Hart was one of the title characters — while “Beverly Hills, 90210,” featuring a popular character named Dylan McKay, is sometimes blamed for the explosion of Dylans a few years later.)

And finally, a bevy of B-names from basketball player Bradley Beal’s “About Brad” page:

Born on June 28, 1993, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, by Bobby and Besta Beal, there was little doubt that Brad would eventually be an athlete. Both parents played sports for Kentucky State — Bobby was a football player, Besta a basketball player.

[…]

There were four other people in Brad’s family who were instrumental in his development as an athlete, and ultimately, as a young man. His two older brothers, Bruce and Brandon, and his younger brothers, the twins Byron and Bryon.

Where did the baby name Rydell come from?

Bobby Rydell's album "We Got Love" (1959)
Bobby Rydell album

The baby name Rydell first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1960:

  • 1962: 11 baby boys named Rydell
  • 1961: 11 baby boys named Rydell
  • 1960: 17 baby boys named Rydell [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

The influence?

Teen idol of the early 1960s Bobby Rydell (who was born Robert Louis Ridarelli in Pennsylvania in 1942).

His first singles started coming out in 1959. His early hits included “Kissin’ Time” (1959), “Wild One” (1960), and “Swingin’ School” (1960).

Here he is lip-syncing to “We Got Love” on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show in November of 1959:

The 1971 musical Grease, set in 1959, paid tribute to Rydell — one of the breakout stars of ’59 — with the name of Rydell High School.

The surname Rydell has two possible origins: Swedish (meaning “woodland clearing”) or English (based on the Norman personal name Ridel).

Sources:

P.S. “We Got Love” was co-written by Kal Mann, who I mentioned in the Pier Angeli post…

Where did the baby name Billie Jean come from?

Advertisement for the Billie Jean Horton song "Ocean of Tears" from Billboard Magazine (July3, 1961).
Ad for Billie Jean Horton song, 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