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, see baby names similar to Bobby and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Bobby.
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Centuries ago, in the small fishing villages of north-east Scotland, there weren’t many surnames to go around. There also weren’t many acceptable first names to choose from. So a large number of people ended up with identical sets of first and last names.
To differentiate between all these like-named people, locals began using tee-names: descriptive words that were added to (or used in place of) legal names. A tee-name could refer to a person’s appearance, demeanor, occupation, or anything else that served as a useful identifier.
Here’s how an article from 1842 described the practice:
In an unsophisticated village, the proper names only connect the inhabitants with the external civilisation [sic], while the tee-name is, of necessity, the thing for use. It is amusing enough to be permitted to turn over the leaves of a grocer’s ledger, and see the tee-names as they come up. Buckie, Beauty, Bam, Biggelugs, Collop, Helldom, the King, the Provost, Rochie, Stoattie, Sillerton, the Smack, Snipe, Snuffers, Toothie, Todlowrie. Ladies are occasionally found who are gallantly and exquisitely called the Cutter, the Bear, &c. Among the twenty-five George Cowies in Buckie, there are George Cowie, doodle, George Cowie, carrot, and George Cowie, neep.
(In Scottish, a buckie is a whelk, a collop is a slice of meat, rochie means “rough,” a snipe is either a type of bird or a contemptible person, a snuffers is a scissor-like tool used to snuff candles, a todlowrie is a fox, and a neep is a turnip.)
Here’s an interesting example that also demonstrates how tee-names were sometimes passed down to the next generation:
John May was born in Rathen, Aberdeenshire in 1846. He was known as Jockey Borra. Jockey is a common Scottish nick-name for John but Borra was taken from the “Northern Lights”, Aurora Borealis with which he was fascinated. His sons took the same Tee-name: one was also Jockey Borra and the other, Robert, was known as Bobby Borra, although it isn’t known if they also had a fascination with the Aurora.
Do you have Scottish ancestry? If so, did any of the folks in your family tree have a tee-name?
Country singer Dolly Parton was born to parents Avie Lee and Robert Lee Parton in Tennessee 1946. She was the fourth of a dozen children: six boys and six girls. The names of all twelve, in order, are:
In the girls’ top 10, Poppy and Florence replace Sophia and Sophie.
In the boys’ top 10, most of the names are new: Arthur, Alfie, Oscar, Jacob, Muhammed, and Benjamin replace Henry, Joshua, Thomas, William, Samuel, and James.
Alicja Gilroy, Superintendent Registrar, also made note of two recent trends: using hyphenated first names, and using “names that would once have been nick names from a longer name: Charlie, Albie, Archie, Ollie, Bobby, Reggie, Teddy, Vinnie, Ronnie, Freddie, Pippa, Maggie, Rosie, Ellie, Tilly are a few of the more popular ones.”
In 2016, the top two names in Oxfordshire were Lily and Jack.
A few years ago, we held a fun 1980s name-song tournament. (Come on, Eileen, you must remember!) This year, let’s go back even further — let’s check out songs with names in the titles from the early rock and roll era (late ’50s and early ’60s).
I’ll explain more about the tournament at the bottom of the post. For now, I’ll just forewarn you that each link opens a video in a new page so that you don’t lose your place on this page, which is pretty long.
"Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers (57%, 4 Votes)
"Sally, Go 'Round the Roses" by The Jaynetts (43%, 3 Votes)
Total Voters: 7
Which song is better? (30 of 32)
"Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins (71%, 5 Votes)
"Sherry" by The Four Seasons (29%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 7
Which song is better? (31 of 32)
"Runaround Sue" by Dion (67%, 4 Votes)
"Venus in Blue Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton (33%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 6
Which song is better? (32 of 32)
"Sheila" by Tommy Roe (67%, 4 Votes)
"Susie Darlin'" by Robin Luke (33%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 6
…And that’s it for now! Round 2 will start on Friday.
Here’s the full tournament schedule:
Round 1 (64 songs to 32): Vote March 12-15
Round 2 (32 to 16): Vote March 16-19
Sweet 16 (16 to 8): Vote March 20-22
Elite Eight (8 to 4): Vote March 23-25
Final Four (4 to 2): Vote March 26-27
Championship (2 to 1): Vote March 28-29
Winner (1): Announced on March 30
Polls close at 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) on the last day of each round.
And finally, in case you’re wondering how I chose the groups and the pairings: The groups are alphabetical (A to F, G to L, L to P, and R to W). To rank the songs within each group, I used that “total” number of Google search results as a proxy for popularity. Then I created match-ups in true March Madness style: first vs. last, second vs. second-to-last, and so forth.
Oodles of multiples — eight sets of twins, one set of triplets, six sets of quadruplets, and one set of quintuplets — were featured in an early 1944 issue of LIFE magazine. Most of these multiples had been born in the 1920s and 1930s.
Curious about the names? I knew you would be! Here they are, along with ages and other details.
Marjorie and Mary Vaughan, 19.
Lois and Lucille Barnes, 21.
Betty and Lenore Wade, early 20s.
Robert “Bobby” and William “Billy” Mauch, 22.
They had starred in the 1937 movie The Prince and the Pauper.
Blaine and Wayne Rideout, 27.
They had been track stars at the University of North Texas in the late 1930s along with another set of twins, Elmer and Delmer Brown.
Charles and Horace Hildreth, 41.
Horace was elected Governor of Maine later the same year.
Ivan and Malvin Albright, 47.
Auguste and Jean Piccard, 60.
“Honors as the world’s most distinguished pair of twins must go to Jean and Auguste Piccard, stratosphere balloonists, who are so identical that not everyone realizes there are two of them.”
Diane Carol, Elizabeth Ann, and Karen Lynn Quist, 11 months.