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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bram

Number of Babies Named Bram

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Bram

The Baby Name Trilby

the baby name trilbyThe gothic melodrama Trilby by British author George du Maurier was first published serially in Harper’s Monthly from January to August, 1894. It was released as a book in September.

The story is set in Paris in the early 1850s. The titular character, Trilby O’Ferrall, is a naïve, tone-deaf artist’s model who goes on to become a world-famous singer, thanks to the hypnotic powers of the sinister Svengali. When Svengali suddenly dies, Trilby loses her ability to sing and and ends up wasting away.

Trilby wasn’t just a bestseller — the entire country was gripped by Trilby-mania for several years straight. (Not unlike the Twilight-mania that emerged more than 100 years later.)

Many things, from fashion to food, were influenced/inspired by Trilby during this time. Here’s a partial list:

  • Language:
    • Trilbies became slang for “(women’s) feet,” as Trilby had particularly beautiful feet
    • Svengali became slang for “a person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another, especially for a sinister purpose”
  • Music:
  • Products:
    • Trilby hat
    • Trilby dolls
    • Trilby ice cream (it was molded into the shape of a foot)
    • Trilby board game
    • Trilby high-heeled shoes
    • Trilby jewelry
    • Trilby belts
    • Trilby bathing suits
    • Trilby cigars/cigarettes
    • Trilby hearth brush
    • Trilby tea
    • Trilby cocktail
    • Trilby pie
    • Trilby sausage
    • Trilby ham
  • Non-human namesakes:
    • Trilby, Florida
    • USS Trilby
  • Adaptations:
    • Trilby, stage play
    • Trilby (1915), movie
    • Trilby (1923), movie
    • Svengali (1931), movie
  • Influence on other literary works:
    • Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker
    • Le Fantôme de l’Opéra (1909) by Gaston Leroux

Trilby and its glamorization of the bohemian lifestyle even “excited a vogue for nude modeling among the many young women who wished to follow the Trilby life.” (And this, of course, “alarmed the clergy and other guardians of morality.”)

So where does the name Trilby come from?

For a long time I’d assumed that George du Maurier had based it on the musical term trill, which refers to rapid alternation between two adjacent musical notes. Turns out this isn’t the case.

He borrowed the name from an earlier work of literature, the story “Trilby, ou le Lutin d’Argail” (“Trilby, or the Fairy of Argyle”) (1822) by French writer Charles Nodier. In Nodier’s story, which is set in Scotland, Trilby is a male sprite who seduces a mortal woman.

In 1895 a New York Times writer guessed that the name of Nodier’s Trilby might be “an endearing diminutive of “trall,” a member of the brownie clan,” but I can’t find any outside confirmation that the word “trall” even exists. (Perhaps it’s a Scottish variant of the word “troll”…?)

How many people in the U.S. have been named Trilby?

According to the SSA data, Trilby was the 978th most popular girl name in the U.S. in 1895, the year after the book was published. This was the only time Trilby managed to rank within the U.S. top 1,000.

  • 1897: unlisted
  • 1896: 6 baby girls named Trilby
  • 1895: 12 baby girls named Trilby [debut] (rank: 978th)
  • 1894: unlisted

But the SSA data from that period is incomplete, so here are the SSDI numbers for the same years:

  • 1897: 10 people named Trilby
  • 1896: 22 people named Trilby
  • 1895: 34 people named Trilby
  • 1894: 5 people named Trilby

These days, Trilby rarely appears on the SSA’s list:

  • 2014: unlisted
  • 2013: unlisted
  • 2012: unlisted
  • 2011: unlisted
  • 2010: 6 baby girls named Trilby
  • 2009: unlisted
  • 2008: 7 baby girls named Trilby
  • 2007: unlisted
  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: unlisted
  • 2004: unlisted
  • 2003: unlisted
  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: unlisted

Trilby may be an unfashionable name right now, but for the parents-to-be who want something a bit retro-sounding, this could be a good thing.

The name is also an intriguing option for lovers of trivia and/or quirky history, as it’s tied to a fascinating pop culture craze from over a century ago. (We might be saying the same thing about Renesmee 100 years from now!)

Plus, Trilby is one of a small number of names with that distinctive “-by” ending, such as Ruby, Shelby, Darby, Colby, Kirby and Rigby.

One possible drawback to the name is the not-so-subtle anti-Semitism in the book itself. Svengali is not merely the “greasily, mattedly unkempt” antagonist of the story, but he’s also Jewish — with “bold, black, beady Jew’s eyes” no less. Then again…similar things could be said about other historical pieces of literature that have inspired baby names.

If you’re considering the naming your baby girl Trilby, I highly encourage you to head over to Project Gutenberg and read (or at least skim) the text of Trilby.

What are your thoughts on the name Trilby?


Popular Baby Names in The Netherlands, 2013

The Netherlands’ top baby names of 2013 were announced a little while ago.

According to data from the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), the country’s most popular baby names last year were Tess and Sem.

Here are The Netherlands’ top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Tess
2. Sophie
3. Julia
4. Emma
5. Lisa
6. Fenna
7. Mila
8. Sara
9. Lotte
10. Zoe
11. Eva
12. Anna
13. Fleur
14. Isa
15. Lynn
16. Evi
17. Lieke
18. Saar
19. Noa
20. Sanne
1. Sem
2. Levi
3. Bram
4. Daan
5. Finn
6. Milan
7. Lucas
8. Luuk
9. Jesse
10. Jayden
11. Tim
12. Thomas
13. Thijs
14. Noah
15. Julian
16. Ruben
17. Liam
18. Lars
19. Stijn
20. Sam

The top names of 2012? Emma and Daan, both of which fell to 4th place last year.

Speaking of falling, Jayden continues to sink — 9th to 10th this time. (Jayden is also losing steam in the U.S.)

Source: Sociale Verzekeringsbank (via Tess en Sem zijn de populairste babynamen van 2013!)

Most Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2012

The most popular baby names in the Netherlands were announced a few days ago.

According to the Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), the top names in the Netherlands are Daan for boys and Emma for girls.

Here are the top 20 girl names and boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Emma
2. Sophie
3. Julia
4. Anna
5. Lisa
6. Isa
7. Eva
8. Saar
9. Lotte
10. Tess
11. Lynn
12. Fleur
13. Sara
14. Lieke
15. Noa
16. Fenna
17. Sarah
18. Mila
19. Sanne
20. Roos
1. Daan
2. Bram
3. Sem
4. Lucas
5. Milan
6. Levi
7. Luuk
8. Thijs
9. Jayden
10. Tim
11. Finn
12. Stijn
13. Thomas
14. Lars
15. Ruben
16. Jesse
17. Noah
18. Julian
19. Max
20. Liam

Quite short overall, aren’t they?

Jayden, now 9th, was 7th in 2011. It was 5th in 2010.

Here are a few more facts about the top 20, shamelessly stolen from Maarten Van Der Meer of

  • Big gainers are Bram (up from 16 to 2), Thijs (up from 14 to 8) and Anna (up from 10 to 4)
  • Newbies for boys are Noah and Max, for girls are Fenna and Mila.
  • Dropouts for boys are Sven and Mees, for girls are Maud and Jasmijn.

Sources: Daan en Emma zijn de populairste voornamen van 2012 – Bram, Thijs en Anna grootste stijgers, De populairste kindernamen van 2012 – SVB

Baby Name Stories at Appellation Mountain

Abby over at Appellation Mountain began posting her readers’ baby name stories just a few weeks ago and already has a very cool collection going:

If you have a baby name story to share, get in touch with Abby!