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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Brian

Number of Babies Named Brian

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Brian

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2015

According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in Ireland in 2015 were Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 626 baby girls
2. Emma, 449
3. Ava, 421
4. Sophie, 407
5. Amelia, 400
6. Ella, 384
7. Lucy, 379
8. Grace, 367
9. Chloe, 362
10. Mia, 360
1. Jack, 752 baby boys
2. James, 697
3. Daniel, 617
4. Conor, 558
5. Sean, 530
6. Adam, 449
7. Noah, 438
8. Michael, 434
9. Charlie, 399
10. Luke, 382

Here are some quick comparisons between these rankings with the 2014 rankings…

New to the top 10:

  • Girl names: Chloe (replaces Aoife, now ranked 13th)
  • Boy names: Michael (replaces Harry, now tied for 14th with Cian)

New to the top 100:

  • Girl names: Maisie, Annabelle, Mila, Rosie, and Eimear
  • Boy names: Lorcan, George, Daithi, Brian, Edward, and Daire

Biggest increases within the top 100:

  • Girl names (by rank): Mila, Fiadh, Maisie, Annabelle, and Alice
  • Girl names (by raw numbers): Fiadh, Roisin, Robyn, Sadie, and Chloe
  • Boy names (by rank): Ollie, Donnacha, Billy, Tadhg, and Brian/Daire (tied)
  • Boy names (by raw numbers): Oliver, Michael, Fionn, Tadhg, and Finn

And finally, some of the “less common” (non-top 100) baby names mentioned in the CSO’s statistical release:

  • Girl names: Paris, Nelly, Dakota, Kim, Pixie, and Sabina
  • Boy names: Barra, Pauric, Zayn, Gus, Romeo, and Otis

Source: Irish Babies’ Names, 2015


Study Finds Less Name-Based Hiring Bias…Maybe

resumeA recent study by University of Missouri researchers Cory Koedel and Rajeev Darolia found that resumes featuring black-sounding and Hispanic-sounding names were “just as likely to lead to callbacks and job interviews” as those featuring white-sounding names.

The catch?

The study focused on applicant surnames, not first names.

Washington and Jefferson were used to represent African American applicants, Anderson and Thompson to represent white applicants, and Hernandez and Garcia to represent Hispanic applicants.

For the first two groups, forenames were used to signify gender only. Chloe and Ryan were used for the African American applicants, Megan and Brian for the white applicants.

But for the Hispanic applicants, called either Isabella or Carlos, forenames also signified ethnicity.

Why did the researchers do it this way?

Because they wanted to avoid stereotypically black-sounding first names like Lakisha and Jamal, which they felt were too strongly tied to socioeconomic status to get a clear reading on racial bias.

Which is a fair point, though…can surnames alone convey race all that well? Would a hiring manager really assume that an applicant with the surname Jefferson was black while another with the surname Thompson was white?

Though I’d love to see proof that hiring discrimination is on the wane in the U.S., I’m not sure how convincing a surname-focused study can be in this regard. (I do find the part about Hispanic names encouraging, though.)

What’s your opinion?

Sources: Hiring bias study: Resumes with black, white, Hispanic names treated the same, An Updated Analysis of Race and Gender Effects on Employer Interest in Job Applicants (PDF)

Popular Boy Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

How has the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names changed over time (if at all) among the most popular baby names in the U.S.?

This question popped into my head recently, so I thought I’d take a look at the data. We’ll do boy names today and girl names tomorrow.

First, let’s set some parameters. For these posts, “Biblical” names are personal names (belonging to either humans or archangels) mentioned in the Bible, plus all derivatives of these names, plus any other name with a specifically Biblical origin (e.g., Jordan, Sharon, Genesis). The “most popular” names are the top 20, and “over time” is the span of a century.

For boy names, the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names has basically flipped over the last 100 years. Here’s a visual — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and a borderline name (which I counted as non-Biblical) is in the orange cell:

Popular boy names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular boy names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Adam, Alexander, Andrew, Austin (via Augustus), Benjamin, Daniel, David, Elijah, Ethan, Jack (via John), Jackson (via John), Jacob, James, Jason, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Joshua, Justin (via Justus), Lucas, Mark, Matthew, Michael, Nathan, Nicholas, Noah, Paul, Stephen, Steven, Thomas, Timothy, Zachary
  • Non-Biblical names: Aiden, Albert, Anthony, Arthur, Billy, Brandon, Brian, Charles, Christopher, Dennis, Donald, Dylan, Edward, Eric, Frank, Gary, George, Harold, Harry, Henry, Jayden, Jeffrey, Kenneth, Kevin, Larry, Liam, Logan, Louis, Mason, Raymond, Richard, Robert, Ronald, Ryan, Scott, Tyler, Walter, William
  • Borderline name: Jerry (can be based on the Biblical name Jeremy/Jeremiah or on the non-Biblical names Jerome, Gerald, Gerard)
    • It felt strange putting an overtly Christian name like Christopher in the non-Biblical category, but it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, so…that’s where it goes.

      Here are the year-by-year tallies:

      Year Top 20 names
      given to…
      # Biblical # Non-Biblical
      1914 40% of baby boys 5 (25%) 15 (75%)
      1924 43% of baby boys 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
      1934 43% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1944 47% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1954 46% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1964 42% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1974 38% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1984 36% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      1994 27% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2004 19% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2014 14% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)

      But there’s a huge difference between sample sizes of 40% and 14%, so let’s also take a look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 42% of male births.

      By my count, last year’s top 100 boy names were half Biblical, half non-Biblical:

      Biblical names (49) Non-Biblical names (51)
      Noah, Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel, Elijah, Benjamin, Matthew, Jackson (via John), David, Lucas, Joseph, Andrew, Samuel, Gabriel, Joshua, John, Luke, Isaac, Caleb, Nathan, Jack (via John), Jonathan, Levi, Jaxon (via John), Julian (via Julius), Isaiah, Eli, Aaron, Thomas, Jordan, Jeremiah, Nicholas, Evan, Josiah, Austin (via Augustus), Jace (via Jason), Jason, Jose, Ian, Adam, Zachary, Jaxson (via John), Asher, Nathaniel, Justin (via Justus), Juan Liam, Mason, William, Logan, Aiden, Jayden, Anthony, Carter, Dylan, Christopher, Oliver, Henry, Sebastian, Owen, Ryan, Wyatt, Hunter, Christian, Landon, Charles, Connor, Cameron, Adrian, Gavin, Robert, Brayden, Grayson, Colton, Angel, Dominic, Kevin, Brandon, Tyler, Parker, Ayden, Chase, Hudson, Nolan, Easton, Blake, Cooper, Lincoln, Xavier, Bentley, Kayden, Carson, Brody, Ryder, Leo, Luis, Camden

      (Christian, Angel, Xavier, Dominic…all technically non-Biblical, despite having strong ties to Christianity.)

      50%-50% isn’t quite as extreme as 70%-30%, but it’s still noticeably more Biblical than 1914’s 25%-75%.

      Do any of these results surprise you?

Everton Fans Have Baby Boy “EFC”

efc-cupcakesReady for another soccer-inspired baby name?

In December of 2012, Katie Brown and her partner Brian welcomed a baby boy at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in Liverpool, England. They’re big fans of Everton Football Club, so they named their son Elliott Francis Cain, initials E.F.C., in honor of the club.

I’m not sure if “Cain” is a middle name or a surname, but while searching for clues I did happen to find a photo of Elliott Francis Cain (EFC) cupcakes. :)

Speaking of yummy things, one nickname for Everton F.C. is “The Toffees.”

Rival team Liverpool, which inspired a pair of Norwegian parents to name their daughter Ynwa back in 2010, goes by “The Reds.”

Source: Mersey mum gives birth to baby blue Elliott Francis Cain on Christmas Day

Did the O. J. Simpson Trial Influence Baby Names?

Kato KaelinToday marks the 19th anniversary of O. J. Simpson’s acquittal.

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman were murdered on June 12, 1994. The heavily publicized trial began early the next year, and the “not guilty” verdict was handed down on October 3, 1995.

Believe it or not, several baby names saw increased usage in the mid-1990s thanks to the O. J. Simpson murder trial:

  • Arnelle & Arnell, which refer to Arnelle Simpson, O. J. Simpson’s daughter with his first wife.
  • Kaelin & Kato, which refer to Brian Jerard “Kato” Kaelin, the memorable witness who was living on Simpson’s property at the time of the murders. (His nickname comes from the Green Hornet character.)

Here’s how many U.S. babies got each name per year from 1993 through 1997:

Name 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Arnell (girls) 5 21 13 7
Arnelle (girls) 16 15 28 10
Kaelin (boys) 12 63 121 65 44
Kaelin (girls) 38 89 159 119 120
Kato (boys) 6 10 13 15 6

Does this surprise you at all, or would you have expected it?

(And these aren’t the only baby names to be popularized by murders and/or murder trials. Check out Evelyn, Delmas & Delphin, Rainelle & Rainell and Trayvon.)

Source: O. J. Simpson murder case – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office, the most popular baby names are Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Sophie
4. Ella
5. Amelia
6. Aoife
7. Ava
8. Lucy
9. Grace
10. Sarah
11. Mia
12. Anna
13. Chloe
14. Hannah
15. Kate
16. Ruby
17. Lily
18. Katie
19. Caoimhe
20. Sophia
21. Lauren
22. Saoirse
23. Ellie
24. Holly
25. Leah
26. Amy
27. Olivia
28. Jessica
29. Ciara
30. Zoe
31. Isabelle
32. Niamh
33. Molly
34. Julia
35. Robyn
36. Erin
37. Roisin
38. Freya
39. Laura
40. Cara
41. Sofia
42. Eva
43. Rachel
44. Isabella
45. Kayla
46. Abbie
47. Charlotte [tie]
47. Millie [tie]
49. Faye
50. Clodagh
51. Aisling
52. Alice [tie]
52. Eabha [tie]
54. Abigail
55. Ellen
56. Lexi
57. Aoibhinn
58. Layla
59. Eve [tie]
59. Zara [tie]
61. Alannah
62. Aine
63. Maria [tie]
63. Megan [tie]
65. Rebecca
66. Nicole
67. Sadhbh
68. Clara
69. Elizabeth
70. Maya
71. Maja
72. Emilia
73. Caitlin
74. Rose
75. Isabel
76. Aoibheann
77. Sadie
78. Lena
79. Hollie
80. Sienna
81. Mary
82. Fiadh
83. Zuzanna
84. Aimee [tie]
84. Tara [tie]
86. Hanna [tie]
86. Katelyn [tie]
86. Lilly [tie]
86. Ruth [tie]
90. Alexandra [tie]
90. Poppy [tie]
92. Amber [tie]
92. Mollie [tie]
92. Victoria [tie]
95. Lara
96. Sara
97. Brooke
98. Aoibhe [tie]
98. Laoise [tie]
100. Kayleigh
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Conor
5. Sean
6. Adam
7. Ryan
8. Michael
9. Harry
10. Noah
11. Thomas
12. Alex
13. Luke
14. Oisin
15. Charlie
16. Patrick
17. Cian
18. Liam [tie]
18. Darragh [tie]
20. Dylan
21. Jamie
22. Matthew
23. Cillian
24. Aaron
25. Fionn
26. Jake
27. John
28. David
29. Ben
30. Finn
31. Nathan
32. Kyle
33. Samuel
34. Evan
35. Max
36. Ethan
37. Rian
38. Joseph
39. Alexander
40. Mason
41. Oliver
42. Joshua
43. William
44. Eoin
45. Jayden
46. Oscar
47. Callum
48. Aidan
49. Tom
50. Robert
51. Sam [tie]
51. Tadhg [tie]
53. Jacob
54. Cathal
55. Shane
56. Leon
57. Mark
58. Senan
59. Bobby
60. Ronan [tie]
60. Andrew [tie]
62. Eoghan
63. Leo
64. Lucas
65. Rory
66. Alfie
67. Tyler
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Scott
71. Christopher
72. Odhran
73. Kevin
74. Ciaran
75. Dara
76. Shay [tie]
76. Alan [tie]
78. Tommy
79. Logan [tie]
79. Anthony [tie]
81. Jakub
82. Rhys
83. Tomas
84. Donnacha
85. Kai
86. Stephen
87. Killian
88. Niall
89. Jason
90. Josh
91. Kayden
92. Martin [tie]
92. Ruairi [tie]
92. Brian [tie]
95. Isaac
96. Danny [tie]
96. Edward [tie]
98. Oran [tie]
98. Sebastian [tie]
98. Hugh [tie]

New to the top 100 are Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy for girls and Kai and Kayden for boys.

(Names that were new on the 2012 list but that have since dropped out of the top 100 are Amelie, Evie and Maisie.)

Of all the girl names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Fiadh, +64 (146th to 82nd)
  2. Sadie, +62 (139th to 77th)
  3. Poppy, +46 (136th to 90th)
  4. Lexi, +33 (89th to 56th)
  5. Sienna, +32 (112th to 80th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Anna, +56 (296 babies to 352 babies)
  2. Lexi, +54 (127 babies to 73 babies)
  3. Sofia, +50 (155 babies to 105 babies)
  4. Sadie, +42 (84 babies to 42 babies)
  5. Fiadh, +39 (78 babies to 39 babies)

Of all the boy names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Kayden, +44 (135th to 91st)
  2. Shay, +27 (103rd to 76th)
  3. Kai, +24 (109th to 85th)
  4. Leo, +21 (84th to 63rd)
  5. Anthony, +20 (99th to 79th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Oliver, +44 (199 babies to 155 babies)
  2. Mason, +42 (201 babies to 159 babies)
  3. Alexander, +41 (202 babies to 161 babies)
  4. Leo, +35 (131 babies to 96 babies)
  5. Shay, +35 (104 babies to 69 babies)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2013
Image: Adapted from Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland by Giuseppe Milo under CC BY 2.0.

Name Quotes for the Weekend #17

Mitch Hedberg quote

From comedian Mitch Hedberg:

“I wish my name was Brian because maybe sometimes people would misspell my name and call me Brain. That’s like a free compliment and you don’t even gotta be smart to notice it.”

From the Mental Floss article 18 Athletes Going to Sochi Alone:

If you do a Google search for the name Bruno Banani, you will get the German underwear company of that name. But it’s also the name of the first Winter Olympian from Tonga. Born Fuahea Semi, the Tongan rugby player and luger went by Bruno Banani to court sponsorship from the company. It was part of a deal endorsed by the Tongan royal family to enable the athlete to afford training in Germany with the world’s best lugers. The company insinuated that the name was just a coincidence that led to the sponsorship, but that story unraveled quickly. It wasn’t “just” a hoax; Semi legally changed his name to Bruno Banani. The International Olympic Committee decided that even though using a sponsor’s name is in bad taste, Banani is the name on his passport, so he will be the lone athlete representing Tonga at Sochi in the luge event.

From the NYT obituary of Pitcairner and Bounty mutineer descendant Tom Christian:

There are no automobiles on Pitcairn, and the island’s rocks and cliffs bear names redolent of long-ago tragedies: “Where Dan Fall,” “Where Minnie Off,” “Oh Dear.”

[…]

Besides his daughter Jacqueline, Mr. Christian’s survivors include his wife, the former Betty Christian, whom he married in 1966 (like many Pitcairn couples, they are distant cousins); three other daughters, Raelene Christian, Sherileen Christian and Darlene McIntyre; and six grandchildren.

From Penelope Trunk’s blog post My name is not really Penelope:

So when I signed up for my son’s preschool, I told them my name was Penelope Trunk. My husband had a fit. He told me I was starting our new life in Madison as an insane person and I cannot change my name now.

But I explained to him that it would be insane not to change my name now. I am way better known as Penelope than Adrienne. And my career is so closely tied with the brand Penelope Trunk, that I actually became the brand. So calling myself Penelope Trunk instead of Adrienne Greenheart is actually a way to match my personal life with my professional life and to make things more sane.

At first it was a little weird. For example, we were driving in the car one day and my son said, “Mom, who’s Penelope Trunk?”

But now it feels good to be Penelope Trunk. No more having to figure out what name to give where. No more pretending to be someone, sometimes. No more long explanations and short memories of who calls me what.

From The Importance of Social Class in Ecuador by Kera Wright:

Before heading to Quito, an Ecuadorian friend warned me about the importance of social class, saying “It’s a really big deal over there.” Although I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, after being here for 8 months, I realize that her statement certainly holds true. Though subtle, I hear class-related conversation almost every day.

Like the United States, social class influences several aspects of your life. Examples include neighborhood, appearance, education, and even your last name. However, unlike the United States, there is little social mobility. People born in the lower class will usually remain there for the rest of their lives, tending to give a sense of superiority to many members of Ecuador’s upper class.

During Christmas dinner, a member of my host family revealed that she was pregnant. The entire family was excited, and immediately began suggesting baby names. After someone suggested a name, my host mom scrunched up her face in disapproval and replied “¡Suena como nombre de taxista,” or “Sounds like a taxi driver’s name!” Everyone laughed. Apparently the thought of the baby, a member of Quito’s upper-middle class, having a name fit for a “lowly” taxista was absurd and comical. These kinds of assertions are not extremely uncommon.

From Overheard in New York:

Bartender to 20-something man: What’s your name? I’ll start a tab.
20-something man: Oliver.
Old man at bar: Oliver Twist… People ever call you Oliver Twist? (laughs)
20-something man: Old people always do. Newer people don’t.

-Pizzaria, 86th & 3rd

From a LIFE article about Ham, the First Chimpanzee in Space:

The most famous of all the Mercury chimps, due to his landmark January 1961 flight, Ham was actually not publicly called Ham until after the flight succeeded. The name by which he’s now known — an acronym for Holloman Aerospace Medical Center at the Air Force base — was only widely used when he returned safely to earth; NASA reportedly wanted to avoid bad publicity should a named (and thus a known, publicly embraced) animal be killed; all the Mercury chimps were known by numbers.

From a Harvard Crimson article on student Techrosette Leng:

It has taken Techrosette Leng ’07 a while to grow into her unusual name. During a sixth grade spelling bee, the principal called her “Techroshit.”

Want more? Here’s the Name Quotes category.