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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Booker

Number of Babies Named Booker

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Booker

100 Years Ago, Were Black Names Beneficial?

© Cook, Logan, and Parman
© Cook, Logan, and Parman

In generations past, was it advantageous for a black man to have a distinctively black name?

Yes, according to a study published recently in the journal Explorations in Economic History.

Researchers Lisa D. Cook, Trevon D. Logan, and John M. Parmanc analyzed over 3 million death certificates from Alabama, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina from 1802 to 1970. They looked specifically at the life expectancy of men with the following distinctively black names:

  • Abe, Abraham
  • Alonzo
  • Ambrose
  • Booker
  • Elijah
  • Freeman
  • Isaac
  • Isaiah
  • Israel
  • King
  • Master
  • Moses
  • Percy
  • Perlie, Purlie, Pearlie
  • Presley, Presly
  • Prince
  • Titus

What did they find?

That black men with these names lived more than a full year longer (on average) than other black men. In fact, according to the abstract, “[a]s much as 10% of the historical between-race mortality gap would have been closed if every black man was given a black name.”

So what’s behind this beneficial effect?

It’s hard to say, but Lisa D. Cook believes that the black men with Biblical names specifically could have been “held to a higher standard in academic and other activities […] and had stronger family, church or community ties,” and that this could have played a part in their relative longevity.

Studies of modern black names, in contrast, regularly find that such names are a hindrance in the workplace, in academia, etc. My most recent post about this is: Men with “Black” Names Seen as Aggressive, Low Status.

Sources: What’s in a name? In some cases, longer life, The mortality consequences of distinctively black names (abstract)


80+ Hidden Gems: Rare Baby Boy Names

gemstoneWant a boy name that’s not common, but also not crazy?

I looked through all the names at the bottom of SSA’s 2011 mega-list and found a bunch of hidden gems:

  1. Alaric (48 baby boys)
  2. Alban (12)
  3. Aldous (11)
  4. Aldric (7)
  5. Alphonse (20)
  6. Archibald (14)
  7. Astor (5)
  8. Augustin (50)
  9. Balthazar (13)
  10. Barclay (6)
  11. Barnabas (8)
  12. Bartholomew (19)
  13. Booker (22)
  14. Chadwick (34)
  15. Cyril (41)
  16. Clancy (14)
  17. Claude (44)
  18. Clement (34)
  19. Crispin (21)
  20. Darcy (15)
  21. Dirk (40)
  22. Doyle (10)
  23. Ernst (6)
  24. Ferdinand (20)
  25. Garrick (42)
  26. Giles (20)
  27. Gregor (14)
  28. Griffith (18)
  29. Grover (9)
  30. Gustaf (7); Gustav (29)
  31. Horatio (10)
  32. Hubert (46)
  33. Ignatius (49)
  34. Isidore (7)
  35. Kermit (6)
  36. Lambert (6)
  37. Laird (17)
  38. Laurence (48)
  39. Laurent (9)
  40. Leander (48)
  41. Leith (7)
  42. Lemuel (50)
  43. Lowell (29)
  44. Maxfield (22)
  45. Newton (14)
  46. Nicanor (8)
  47. Norbert (9)
  48. Norris (21)
  49. Ogden (13)
  50. Orson (33)
  51. Osborn (5); Osborne (7)
  52. Oswald (18)
  53. Pascal (25)
  54. Percival (13)
  55. Peregrine (9)
  56. Piers (16)
  57. Regis (10)
  58. Remis (11)
  59. Roscoe (47)
  60. Rudolph (44)
  61. Rufus (39)
  62. Rupert (8)
  63. Sanford (6)
  64. Seymour (6)
  65. Sherman (40)
  66. Sinclair (8)
  67. Tavish (16)
  68. Thane (48)
  69. Tobiah (14)
  70. Walton (14)
  71. Warner (48)
  72. Watson (42)
  73. Webster (8)
  74. Weldon (27)
  75. Werner (11)
  76. Wilbert (42)
  77. Wilbur (20)
  78. Winfield (7)
  79. Winfred (7)
  80. Winslow (10)
  81. York (5)
  82. Zebulon (25)
  83. Zeno (13)

(In some cases, a different spelling of the name is more popular than what’s shown here. For instance, Laurence is rare, but Lawrence is moderately popular.)

Like any of these?

Spot any other good names at the end of the list?

See the girls’ list, or check out the Rare Baby Names page.

Baby Name Needed for Brother of Saylor and Clover

A couple of years ago, we helped reader Michelle brainstorm for a baby names for her second child, a baby girl named Clover. (Michelle already had a son named Saylor.)

I heard from Michelle not long ago, and she’s now expecting #3 (congrats!). The baby is a boy. So far, the favorite name is Caspian but…well, I’ll let Michelle explain:

we really like the name caspian. i like that it’s a literary character [like saylor’s middle name dorian] and even more so i like that it’s a ‘noun’ name so it matches saylor and clover. also being the name of a sea it matches saylor without being too matchy like the name anchor or navy or something.

so that’s the name that i keep going back to but i am having the hardest time with it being 3 syllables. i feel like it doesn’t flow that well- it feels long to me so i KNOW i would want to abbreviate it. and so then he would be cas, casp, or caspy or casper.. which i’m not crazy fond of any of these. plus then you lose the name… i don’t like naming a kid something knowing they will never really go by that name. so i’m looking for a name like caspian.. but looking for a 2 syllable name i guess! i prefer 2 but would use a 1 syllable name if we loved it.

other names we’ve looked at-

cannon- but i feel like it’s forgettable and sounds like a bunch of other names- caiden, cohen, etc.

shepherd- i do like this name. not sure how well it matches our kids but i think i like it?

sage- considering this as potential middle name tho it’s way more popular for a girl’s name now!

my husband suggested voyage today but i feel like that’s too out there/trying to be crazy. i’m open to virtue names but not many good boy ones. not a fan of loyal.

i’ve chewed on booker, shale, atlas and cedar but not feeling it…

a friend also suggested oxlee which is kinda cool but kinda a made up name which i’d rather have a real word.

basil is a family name and i like it but not enough i don’t think..

i’ve spent countless hours thinking and looking and considering… i want to find a name that isn’t in the top 1000 as well. for sure forget it if it’s in the top 500 [i do like the names kingston, river, maddox etc but do not like how trendy they are].. sorry i ramble. :)

so, should i just go with caspian and try to get used to saying 3 syllables all the time? do you have any other suggestions??

Some of my thoughts:

1. Caspian

If you know without a doubt that you’ll shorten it, and you don’t like (and won’t grow to like) any of the shortened versions, there’s no point in forcing it. Picking Caspian would be equivalent to picking a name you don’t like.

That said…when someone tells me he/she “keeps going back to” a particular baby name, I tend to see that as a sign.

Caspian may have 3 syllables, but it’s not that long–especially since the first syllable gets the most stress and the last gets the least. This makes it easy for the name to roll off the tongue.

We all know people with even longer names (e.g. Alexanders, Ariannas) who go by their full names. It’s not strange or outlandish or anything.

If you like Caspian that much, try testing it out. Call the baby Caspian for a week or two and challenge yourself not to shorten the name. Maybe it’ll be easier than you think. Much like picking up a new habit — you have to put in some effort at first, but once it sticks, you’re good.

2. A few more name ideas

All have 2 syllables and are not in the top 1,000 right now.

  • Ansel – Makes me think of nature/the outdoors, thanks to Ansel Adams.
  • Bering – From the sea and strait, both named for the explorer.
  • Canyon – More memorable than cannon, as it gives people a visual.
  • Crispin – Sounds a lot like Caspian.
  • Murray – From the name of Australia’s longest river.
  • Radley – From the character Arthur “Boo” Radley.
  • Rigel – From the star Rigel.

3. Your turn!

  • What are your thoughts on Caspian?
  • Which of the above names do you like best with Saylor and Clover?
  • What other names would you suggest to Michelle and her husband?