It’s easy to figure out which baby names appeared on all (or most) of the state-specific baby name lists for 2017. But what about the rare names that only made one or two state lists?
A total of 1,324 names appeared on just one state list, and a total of 1,198 names appeared on two state lists. (I analyzed boy names and girl names separately, though, so several of these names did show up on extra lists as the other gender.)
Here’s a selection of the baby names that appeared on just one state list last year:
Neyland, 41 boys in Tennessee (out of 53 nation-wide)
Roel, 23 boys in Texas (out of 50 nation-wide)
Ariza, 22 girls in Arizona (out of 31 nation-wide)
Marty, 21 boys in Ohio (out of 66 boys, and 13 girls, nation-wide)
Venice, 20 girls and 5 boys in California (out of 44 and 12 nation-wide)
Kinnick, 19 boys in Iowa (out of 29 nation-wide)
Benuel, 17 boys in Pennsylvania (out of 26 nation-wide)
Barbie, 16 girls in Pennsylvania (out of 29 nation-wide)
Kainalu, 16 boys in Hawaii (out of 23 nation-wide)
Mahina, 16 girls in Hawaii (out of 22 nation-wide)
Taysom, 14 boys in Utah (out of 24 nation-wide)
Hatcher, 10 boys in Alaska (out of 40 nation-wide)
Talmage, 10 boys in Utah (out of 20 nation-wide)
Atlee, 8 boys in Ohio (out of 25 boys and 32 girls nation-wide)
Cruzito, 8 boys in New Mexico (out of 25 nation-wide)
Nizhoni, 8 girls in Arizona (out of 21 nation-wide)
California, 7 girls in California (out of 16 nation-wide)
Griffey, 7 boys in Washington state (out of 21 nation-wide)
Kodiak, 7 boys in California (out of 30 nation-wide)
Rainier, 7 boys in Washington state (out of 24 nation-wide)
Alabama, 5 girls in California (out of 16 nation-wide)
Boomer, 5 boys in Texas (out of 33 nation-wide)
Cleveland, 5 boys in Florida (out of 28 nation-wide)
Crockett, 5 boys in Texas (out of 10 nation-wide)
Ole, 5 boys in Minnesota (out of 21 nation-wide)
A lot of these have easy explanations (e.g., Neyland Stadium, Kinnick Stadium, Mount Rainier, Taysom Hill) or are logical in some other way (like “Ariza” in Arizona).
Two that I couldn’t figure out, though, were Marty in Ohio and Barbie in Pennsylvania. My assumption regarding Barbie is that it’s popular among the Amish. (Benuel too.) But I have no clue about Marty. Is it college sports…?
And here’s a selection of the baby names that showed up on two state lists in 2017:
Hyrum, 36 boys in Utah and 15 in Idaho (out of 88 nation-wide)
Ammon, 24 boys in Utah and 6 in Pennsylvania (out of 64 nation-wide)
Fannie, 18 in Pennsylvania and 6 in New York (out of 45 nation-wide)
Avenir, 11 boys in Washington state and 6 in California (out of 31 nation-wide)
Reverie, 8 girls in California and 5 in Illinois (out of 26 nation-wide)
Sunshine, 7 girls in Arizona and 7 in California (out of 55 nation-wide)
I was confused about Avenir a few years ago, but I’ve since found the answer: it’s the Russian form of the Biblical name Abner. Avenir has been popping up on West Coast state lists (WA, OR, CA) lately, which makes sense given the fact that several West Coast cities have relatively large Russian-American populations.
Have you had a chance to go over the state lists yet? If so, did you spot anything interesting?
As usual, the disclaimer: Some of the names below were already on the rise. Others may have been influenced by more than just the single pop culture person/event listed. I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence in each case.
I was surprised that Adonis and Wade jumped in usage as much as they did.
I was also surprised that Wrigley barely jumped at all in usage. Maybe “Wrigley” reminds too many people of gum?
Where the heck is Usain? Why is Usain not in the data yet? Sure, track and field is relatively unpopular in the United States. Still, I thought Rio might do it — with the help of that viral photo of Usain Bolt cheekily grinning at the competition in the middle of that 100 meter sprint.
Finally, as a former ’80s kid, I did have my fingers crossed for Voltron. Oh well…
How about you? Did any of these rises/falls surprise you?
It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.
Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.
Here are some of the baby names that didn’t make the cut: Boomer, Bub, Bubber, Calamity, Cookie, Dainty, Danger, Demon, Fancy, Fester, Jinx, Less, Little, Manly, Notorious, Phuc, Pleasure, Rage, Riot, Savage, Sherlock, Sparky, Tarzan, Tiny.
If you know people who like baby name humor, please share!