How popular is the baby name Brett 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 Brett.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Brett


Posts that Mention the Name Brett

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2020

Happy birthday, Elvis!

It’s hard to put into words just how bizarre 2020 was.

Despite this…people still had babies in 2020, and people still paid attention to pop culture in 2020. (In fact, thanks to quarantine, many people probably paid a lot more attention to pop culture than usual last year.) So, let’s put the seriousness of 2020 aside for a second and kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Of course, “pop culture” includes not just things like movies and music and social media, but also anything that was in the news — including COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the U.S. presidential election.

Which baby names will see higher usage — or appear for the very first time — in the 2020 SSA baby name data thanks to pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas (plus some context):

  • Aalam, DJ Khaled’s baby
  • Ahmaud, shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
  • Amala, Doja Cat album
  • Azula, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (made available on Netflix in mid-2020)
  • Breonna, shooting of Breonna Taylor
  • Bryant, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Casme, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Catori, Chris Brown’s baby (suggested by alex)
  • Chadwick, death of Chadwick Boseman
  • Charli, singer Charli XCX
  • Corona, coronavirus
    • Not to mention the brand new Daddy Yankee song “Corona” [vid]…
  • Crozier, naval captain Brett Crozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Daisy, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s baby
  • Desz, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Doja, singer Doja Cat
  • Domhnall, Irish actor on (canceled) HBO series Run
  • Dua, singer Dua Lipa
  • Esty, character on the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox
  • George, killing of George Floyd
  • Gianna, death of Gianna Bryant
  • Greta, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg
  • Isaias, hurricane
  • Jack, death of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s unborn baby
  • Kamala, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
  • Kamiyah, character in the Lifetime movie Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story*
  • Kaori, Kevin Hart’s baby
  • Katara, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Kobe, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Kraken, NHL expansion team (Seattle)
  • Larriah, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Laura, hurricane
  • Lenin, Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez (suggested by elbowin)
  • Liberty, Meghan McCain’s baby
  • Lovella, singer Matt Bellamy’s baby
  • Lynika, death of Lynika Strozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Lyra, Ed Sheeran’s baby
  • McGivney, beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney
  • Neowise, comet (suggested by elbowin)
  • Onyx, Iggy Azalea’s baby
  • Raddix, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s baby
  • Rayshard, shooting of Rayshard Brooks
  • River, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara’s baby
  • Robinette, President-elect Joseph Robinette Biden (suggested by elbowin)
  • Rona, coronavirus
  • Rue, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert’s baby
  • Rumble, model Lucky Blue Smith’s baby
  • Ruth, death of RBG
  • Sovereign, Usher’s baby
  • Tchalla, death of Chadwick Boseman (who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther)
  • Wenliang, Chinese doctor Li Wenliang (suggested by elbowin)
  • Willa, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s baby
  • Win, Ciara and Russell Wilson’s baby
  • Yara, actress Yara Shahidi
  • Zuko, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (here’s one Zuko from 2020)

Some of the names from the 2019 game could be applicable to the 2020 data as well.

Also, feel free to zoom out and consider name trends this year. Here are a few ways in which baby-naming may have been influenced by our collective experience of COVID-19, for instance:

  • “In my opinion this unprecedented situation will affect naming towards something “bolder” or “more badass” baby names and so you’ll probably see a spike of certain names like King, Major or Royal.” (Gheba)
  • “I’d bet on the rise of virtue names, or at least modern version of virtue names, like Brave/Bravery, Courage, Honor, etc. And I’d say names like Legend, Messiah, Legacy, Major, King, will probably rise some more too.” (Skizzo)
  • “I think it will also affect which media influence names this year. Eg we’ll miss out on names inspired by Olympic athletes, but might see even more from Netflix and YouTube.” (Clare)

What other names (or name trends) should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Just remember to make a note of the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the results as soon as I can after the SSA releases the 2020 data (in May of 2021, hopefully).

*Did you know that the actress who played Kamiyah in that Lifetime movie is named Rayven Symone Ferrell? Certainly a nod to Raven-Symoné

Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2017

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 512 baby girls
2. Emily, 460
3. Isla, 395
4. Sophie, 370
5. Amelia, 321
6. Jessica, 318
7. Ava, 294
8. Ella, 290
9. Charlotte, 280
10. Aria, 254

Boy Names
1. Jack, 486 baby boys
2. Oliver, 380
3. James, 368
4. Lewis, 356
5. Logan, 324
6. Noah, 318
7. Harris, 299
8. Alexander, 297
9. Leo, 289
10. Harry, 282

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Lucy (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Harris replaces Charlie (now 14th).

In 2016, the top two names were the same.

And here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Auristelle, Bella-Caledonia, Carcy, Debbie, Elpiniki, Fernie, Ghzal, Hanwen, Isatou, Jumana, Kuma, Larch, Magdiel, Nettle, Oreli, Paupi-Anais, Rebbl, Sibianca, Tuppence, Ultra-Violet, Verdie, Wanda, Xenia, Yana-River, Zacharoula-Electra Amazon, Bzhyar, Cakrawala, Daro, Ernie, Findhorn, Ghillie, Harley-David, Isoa, Jhy, Kestrel, Little-One, Magnus-Ailig, Nimbus, Orlo, Peter-Gabriel, Reeco, Sochisth, Talisker-Brett, Uisdean, Vasco, Wulff, Xane, Ythan, Zeth

Bella-Caledonia could be a reference to Bella Caledonia, the Scottish pro-independence magazine. And Yana-River happens to be the name of a real pace: the Yana River in Russia.

Sources: Most popular names in Scotland, Scotland’s newest baby names are inspired by the constitutional question and Star Wars

History of the Baby Name Maverick

baby name maverick

Maverick is currently the 356th most popular baby boy name in the US. In 2012, over 800 baby boys — the most ever in a single year — got the name.

Where did the name come from, and how did it become so trendy?

Maverick the Surname

Maverick began as an English surname. Its etymology is unknown, but there are several theories. Some think the origin is Welsh. Others think it’s related to the name Maurice.

The surname traveled with settlers to the New World as early as the 1620s.

Maverick the Noun/Adjective

One descendant of those 17th-century settlers was Texas cattle owner Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870).

When he returned permanently to San Antonio with his family, Maverick left a small herd of cattle originally purchased in 1847 on Matagorda Peninsula with slave caretakers. It was this herd that was allowed to wander and gave rise to the term maverick, which denotes an unbranded calf.

The earliest recorded use of “maverick” in this sense comes from 1867.

The earliest recorded use of “maverick” to refer to a human — someone who does not follow rules, someone who is unconventional — comes from 1886.

Maverick on Television

The TV Western Maverick debuted in 1957 and ran until 1962. The series featured card player Bret Maverick and sometimes other family members, like brother Bart Maverick.

This show is what put the baby name Maverick on the map. (It also gave a very big boost to the baby name Bret and to variant spelling Brett.)

popularity graph, baby name maverick
The rising popularity of baby name Maverick.

Maverick in the Movies

Usage of the name stayed flat until the popular movie Top Gun was released in 1986. The film starred Tom Cruise as a navy pilot Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell. (Also around this time we see the debut of the baby name Cruise.)

Another movie that may have added to the momentum was Maverick (1994), which starred Mel Gibson and was based on the original television series.

Maverick in Sports

The name has really picked up steam in the last few years, perhaps due in part to the success of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, which made it to the finals during the 2005-06 season and won the finals in 2010-2011. (Texas was the state with the most Mavericks in both 2006 and in 2010, incidentally.)

Maverick in The Future

Given the current trajectory, the name set to become increasingly popular in the next few years.

How high do you think it will go?

And, what do you think of the baby name Maverick?

Sources: Maverick – Online Etymology Dictionary, Maverick, Samuel Augustus – The Handbook of Texas Online – TSHA

Baby Names that Became Less Popular in 2011

The SSA has re-ordered the top 500 (or so) most popular baby names by rank change. According to these lists, the boy and girl names that decreased the most in terms of rank from 2010 to 2011 were these:

Girl names:

  1. Brisa, -343 (464th to 807th)
  2. Dana, -147 (463rd to 610th)
  3. Desiree, -121 (473rd to 594th)
  4. Denise, -114 (489th to 603rd)
  5. Kimora, -109 (498th to 607th)
  6. Brenda, -104 (426th to 530th)
  7. Erika, -103 (429th to 532nd)
  8. Miley, -99 (217th to 316th)
  9. Danna, -98 (267th to 365th)
  10. Janiya, -91 (448th to 539th)

Boy names:

  1. Brett, -119 (389th to 508th)
  2. Jamarion, -112 (475th to 587th)
  3. Shaun, -105 (483rd to 588th)
  4. Jaydon, -100 (492nd to 592nd)
  5. Nickolas, -86 (465th to 551st)
  6. Brenden, -81 (382nd to 463rd)
  7. Davion, -76 (474th to 550th)
  8. Braiden, -76 (468th to 544th)
  9. Salvador, -75 (457th to 532nd)
  10. Braeden, -67 (409th to 476th)

To know which names fell the most overall, check out my follow-up posts Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2011 and Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2011.

Names Needed for Baby Boy

A reader named Leigh will be having a baby boy within the next few weeks. She writes:

I am a teacher and have heard so many names that I don’t want to name our child. My husband and I really like the name Miles, however, there are many new baby boys in my friend circle, named Miles. I really like Emmett, but my husband is afraid he’ll be mocked because people might only know of his name from the Twilight series. We’re interested in two or three syllable strong, unique (not necessarily unusual) names. A current front runner is Anders, possibly Anders Gray Hollyard*. We also like the name Lars. I guess I’m finding we like names that end in s!

First name and possible middle name suggestions to go with Anders would be greatly appreciated.

*Their surname isn’t Hollyard, but a like-sounding two-syllable h-name.

A few thoughts on the current favorites:

  • Miles: The popularity of this one has been on the rise for years, so it makes sense that you’re hearing it more often. I’m sure this has already come up, but just in case: Have you considered Milo or Niles as alternatives? They both sound a lot like Miles, but they’re not nearly as popular (i.e. only 29 babies were named Niles in 2010).
  • Emmett: Personally, I associate this name with Emmitt Smith, not the fictional vampire. And I’m not even a sports fan. This Twilight craze will blow over one day (thankfully!) and, when it does, these vampire/werewolf associations will fade. Possible exception: Renesmee.
  • Anders: I really like this one. I especially like that it shortens to the nickname Andy, allowing anyone with this name to flip back and forth between formal/unusual and informal/familiar, depending on the occasion. Versatility is always a good thing.
  • Lars: I have a strong association with this one as well, though I’m not sure how many others have it — Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. So this one may prompt people to ask about the possible Metallica connection. Much cooler than a Twilight question, anyway.

Here are some other names, many with s-endings:

Adam
Boris
Clark
Curtis
Elliot
Ellis
Eric
Felix
Grant
James
Jasper
Jens
Joel
Levi
Linus
Lucas
Marcus
Marius
Matthias
Max
Neil
Nils
Oliver
Oscar
Peter
Reed
Thomas
Victor

As far as middle names for Anders go, I think Gray is great. I think a one-syllable name with a hard sound (that g) sounds good in that spot. Other names that fit this description are Brett, Craig, Drake, Frank, Grant, Jack, Kent, Mark and Paul.

Which of the above names do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Leigh?

Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down for the name (or just click here).