How popular is the baby name Brendan 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 Brendan.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Brendan


Posts that Mention the Name Brendan

12 Rare Irish Boy Names

rare irish boy names

We’re all familiar with Irish boy names like Aidan (Aodhán), Brendan (Breandán), and Kieran (Ciarán).

What if you like the sound of these names, but want something a little less common?

Here are a dozen legit Irish names that are barely being used right now — and all of them have that popular two-syllable, ends-with-N structure that American parents tend to like for boy names (think Mason, Ethan, Jackson, Logan, Owen, Jayden, Dylan, Justin…and countless others).

Which of these would you be most likely to use for your own baby boy?

Cammán
Historical example: Cammán mac Amlaíb, 10th-century viking.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Colmán
Historical example: Colmán mac Báetáin, 6th-century monarch.
Current usage: Colman is rare.

Crónán
Historical example: Crónán mac Bécáin, 7th-century saint.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Dallán
Historical example: Dallán Forgaill, 6th-century poet.
Current usage: Dallan is rare.

Donnán
Historical example: Donnán of Eigg, 7th-century priest.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Fintán
Historical example: Fintán of Taghmon, 7th-century saint.
Current usage: Fintan is rare.

Flannán
Historical example: Flannán mac Toirrdelbaig, 7th-century saint.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Garbán
Historical example: Garbán mac Éndai, 6th-century monarch.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Lommán
Historical example: Lommán mac Dalláin, 6th-century saint.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Lorcán
Historical example: Lorcán mac Cellaig, 9th-century monarch.
Current usage: Lorcan is rare.

Marcán
Historical example: Marcán mac Tommáin, 7th-century monarch.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Mongán
Historical example: Mongán mac Fiachnai, 7th-century prince.
Current usage: Has never been in the data.

Most Common Names of D.C. Voters, by Party

capitol building DC

A couple of weeks ago, reader Becca sent me a link to a Washington Post graphic showing the 10 most common names of registered voters within each of Washington D.C.’s four main political parties — Statehood Green, Democratic, Republican and Libertarian.

Here’s the info from the graphic:

Statehood Green Democratic Republican Libertarian
1. Jon
2. Jesse
3. Barry
4. Darnell
5. Ian
6. Juan
7. Jordan
8. Jerry
9. Corey
10. Tyrone
1. Lillie
2. Laverne
3. Ella
4. Bernice
5. Mildred
6. Peggy
7. Betty
8. Ethel
9. Toni
10. Geraldine
1. Tyler
2. Bradley
3. Kelsey
4. Lindsey
5. Kristina
6. Meredith
7. Caroline
8. Kyle
9. Kelly
10. Taylor
1. Jared
2. Jon
3. Brendan
4. Derek
5. Joy
6. Kyle
7. Brooke
8. Julian
9. Nicholas
10. Chelsea

The graphic didn’t mention the disparity between the sizes of these groups, though, so let’s throw that in too. The lists were based on data from mid-June, 2015, so here are the D.C. voter registration statistics from June 30th:

  • Statehood Green: 3,820 registered voters (0.82% of all registered voters in D.C.)
  • Democrats: 350,684 (75.58%)
  • Republicans: 28,560 (6.16%)
  • Libertarians: 779 (0.17%)

The Democrats outnumber the Libertarians by more than 450 to 1, in other words.

Here are the lists individually. After each name is the gender it’s most closely associated with and the year of peak usage as a baby name (in terms of percentage of births) since 1900.

Statehood Green (0.82% of registered voters):

  1. Jon, male, peak usage in 1968
  2. Jesse, male, 1981
  3. Barry, male, 1962
  4. Darnell, male, 1984
  5. Ian, male, 2003
  6. Juan, male, 1999
  7. Jordan, male, 1997
  8. Jerry, male, 1941
  9. Corey, male, 1977
  10. Tyrone, male, 1970

The top Statehood Green names are 100% male, and most saw peak usage during the last four decades of the 20th century.

Democrat (75.58% of registered voters):

  1. Lillie, female, peak usage in 1900
  2. Laverne, female, 1928
  3. Ella, female, 2012
  4. Bernice, female, 1921
  5. Mildred, female, 1920
  6. Peggy, female, 1937
  7. Betty, female, 1934
  8. Ethel, female, 1900
  9. Toni, female, 1968
  10. Geraldine, female, 1931

The top Democrat names are 100% female, and most saw peak usage in the first half of the 20th century, especially the ’20s and ’30s.

Republican (6.16% of registered voters):

  1. Tyler, male, peak usage in 1994
  2. Bradley, male, 1979
  3. Kelsey, female, 1992
  4. Lindsey, female, 1984
  5. Kristina, female, 1985
  6. Meredith, female, 1981
  7. Caroline, female, 2014
  8. Kyle, male, 1990
  9. Kelly, female, 1977
  10. Taylor, female, 1996

The top Republican names are 70% female and 30% male, and most saw peak usage during the last three decades of the 20th century, especially the ’90s.

Libertarian (0.17% of registered voters):

  1. Jared, male, peak usage in 1998
  2. Jon, male, 1968
  3. Brendan, male, 1999
  4. Derek, male, 1982
  5. Joy, female, 1974
  6. Kyle, male, 1990
  7. Brooke, female, 2003
  8. Julian, male, 2014
  9. Nicholas, male, 1999
  10. Chelsea, female, 1992

The top Libertarian names are 70% male and 30% female, and most saw peak usage during the last few decades of the 20th century, especially the ’90s.

*

It was interesting to see just how feminine and old-fashioned the top Democrat names are. But the thing that most surprised was that the Green party’s list included zero female names. I would have guessed that, if any list here was going to be 100% male, it’d be the Libertarian party — definitely not the Green party.

What are your thoughts on these lists?

Sources: Identity Politics, Washington Post, December 2015; Voter Registration Statistics – DC Board of Elections; Popular Baby Names – SSA
Image: NPS

P.S. Thank you, Becca!

How Do You Like Your Name, Barry?

Today’s name interview is with Barry Brake, a 46-year-old from San Antonio, Texas.

What’s the story behind his name?

They were going to name me Brandon (or was it Brendan?) — one of the really trendy names of the late 60s. But a few months into it, a kid down the street was born and they named *him* Brendan, so my parents didn’t want 2 on the same block.

It appeared to everyone that the name Barry came out of the blue. It’s not a family name or anything. But when I was an adult my mom told me something she’d never told me or anyone before, except my dad: that she thought I’d be a performer with my name in lights, and she really liked the stagey sound of “Barry Brake.” Indeed I ended up with musical talent and a showoff personality, and became a performer (though my name isn’t in lights!) I have to say my name works quite well and is a memorable name for a performer to have. Nice premonition!

(He’s right about the ’60s: the baby name Barry was most popular back in 1962.)

What does he like most about his name?

It’s catchy and memorable, and easy to spell for bank tellers and other people behind desks. I can’t imagine how many thousands of hours of my life would have been wasted in spelling out Kryzstoffre or something. Whew! And Barry works well with my last name, too, which I think matters a lot.

What does he like least about his name?

As a kid it’s pretty easy to make fun of. It rhymes with stuff, so you get everything from the relatively irritating “Barry Cherry” to the slightly more irritating “Barry Fairy.” Also, there were several years there when people could not help but mention Barry Manilow when they met me.

Added to that is that my last name is rather unusual, leading to my now rule that a kid should only have one unusual name, so if your last name is Sauvage you should stick to naming your kids Mike and Ann, and if your last name is Smith you can name them Thaddeus and Guinevere, but you don’t want a super-plain-jane name or a plaid-on-stripes name.

That said, mine wasn’t *too* plaid-on-stripes, and all the current research shows that people with unusual names who get made fun of as kids generally grow as a result of it. So I’m glad I had a mildly character-building name, though I can’t tell you how thankful I am that my name wasn’t Schenectady Picklebottom.

Later on in life, you get rid of the schoolyard games and move on to other concerns. Mine is that Barry seems to always be the name of the fiancé in the *beginning* of the movie: the bland guy who’s “nice” but all wrong for the girl, and who gets summarily dumped. Either that or the loser boyfriend who … also gets summarily dumped. What is it with screenwriters and the name Barry?

Finally, would Barry recommend that his name be given to babies today?

Sure. If we’d had a son, Barry was at least a consideration, probably for a middle name. It’s sturdy and solid, and not trendy. But on the other hand it *is* more a Gen-X name than you’d probably get today: with Jennifer and Amy and Scott, it just seems to belong to people my age and not to the Noahs and Calebs our kids’ age. My prediction is that for at least a couple of generations, the Barrys around you will be named for someone in the family.

Thanks so much, Barry!

[Would you like to tell me about your name?]

Baby Names for the End of the World?

Bolon Yokte Kuh

You guys know the world is ending in two weeks, right?

At least, that’s how popular culture has misinterpreted the ending of the 13th b’ak’tun of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar on December 21, 2012.

If your due date is December 21, why not commemorate the date with an end of the world-inspired baby name?

No, I’m not suggesting you go with something ridiculous like Armageddon or Apocalypse. (Though I have seen both used as names. Examples: Rev. Armageddon James Margerum, born in England in 1833, and Ulysses Apocalypse Johnson, born in California in 1992.)

Instead, try a name with a less obvious EotW connection. Perhaps one of these:

  • Maya – the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is most commonly associated with the Maya
  • Jeremiah – ending sounds like Maya
  • Nehemiah – ending sounds like Maya
  • Deedee – short for doomsday
  • Ann – short for annihilation
  • Catherine – inspired by cataclysm
  • Arma – short for armageddon
  • Armand – inspired by armageddon
  • Armando – inspired by armageddon
  • Gideon – inspired by armageddon
  • Don – inspired by armageddon

Or try one of the dozens of names that happen to contain the word end (short for end of the world, of course).

  • Brenda
  • Brendan
  • Enda (a masculine Irish name, e.g., Enda Kenny)
  • Glenda
  • Gwendolen/Gwendolyn
  • Henderson
  • Hendrik
  • Kendall
  • Kendra
  • Mendel
  • Nagendra
  • Rajendra
  • Rosenda
  • Rosendo
  • Surendra
  • Vendela
  • Wendell
  • Wendy

What other end of the world baby names can you think of?