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, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Brian.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Brian


Posts that Mention the Name Brian

Name Quotes 85: Karen, Blane, Friedemann

pretty in pink, duckie, blane, movie, 1980s, quote,

From the 1986 movie Pretty in Pink, Duckie’s reaction to learning that Andie is dating a guy named Blane:

Blane? His name is Blane? That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!

From sociolinguist Robin Queen, an explanation of how ‘Karen’ went from a popular baby name to a stand-in for white entitlement:

By tracing the origins of Karen up until the Central Park incident, you can see how two separate threads of meaning converged to make Karen the label for an officious, entitled, white woman.

The first comes from African American communities, where certain generic first names have long been a shorthand for “a white woman to be wary of because she won’t hesitate to wield privilege at the expense of others.” Around 2018, people started posting pictures of white women calling the police on the mundane activities of black people. These individuals got labeled with hashtags like #bbqbecky, #permitpatti, #golfcartgail and #cornerstonecaroline.

[…]

The second thread emerges from stand-up comedy and Reddit. In 2005, Dane Cook performed a sketch comedy piece in which Karen is “that friend nobody likes.” In the sketch, she’s described as “always a douche.” This portrayal of a “Karen” is less about her racism and contains more gender-based critiques, which might be why some continue to call the Karen meme sexist.

New Jersey police officer Brian Porter — who delivered two babies during the first half of 2002 — regarding his success so far in having a baby named after him:

0-2.

(In the case of the second baby, the baby’s father and brother were both already named Bryan.)

From the “pejorative names” section of a 2019 academic article called From Enslavement to Emancipation: Naming Practices in the Danish West Indies:

“[I]njurious” names [were] intended to mark slaves out by drawing upon naming forms not used by the dominant class. For instance, some are not personal names, but refer instead to places (London, Madrid, Dublin), animals (Zebra, Fox), or qualities (Amor). Another popular category includes names of classical figures (Cicero, Ancilla, Cupido). Such names functioned as cruel jokes: for instance, Scipio, a common male slave name, referred to the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, whose agnomen, Africanus, meant “the African,” in praise of his triumphs in battle in North Africa. Names of Greek and Roman heroes, philosophers, and orators were popular choices for male slaves, underlining their degradation and emasculation via their juxtaposition with these great men. Meanwhile, as Saidiya Hartman has noted, names like “Venus” for female slaves reflected and licensed the lasciviousness of European slave-owners toward African women, making such behaviors “sound agreeable.”

From the funny April Fools’ Day video Pronouncing Friedemann Findeisen like a Bad-Ass German by songwriter Friedemann Findeisen [FREE-day-mahn FIND-ei-zen]:

Welcome to this German tutorial on how to pronounce my name, Friedemann Findeisen. In the past, many of you have wondered why I have such an unusual name, and why it sounds so German. Well, I am German. You just can’t tell because my lederhosen aren’t in the shot.

From the National Geographic article “Who’s the First Person in history whose name we know?“:

[T]o my great surprise—the first name in recorded history isn’t a king. Nor a warrior. Or a poet. He was, it turns out…an accountant. In his new book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari goes back 33 centuries before Christ to a 5,000-year-old clay tablet found in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

[…]

It’s a receipt for multiple shipments of barley. The tablet says, very simply:

29,086 measures barley 37 months Kushim

(But we don’t know for sure that Kushim was a human name; it may have been a job title.)

A second theory, from the same article:

Dated to around 3100 B.C.—about a generation or two after Kushim—the tablet’s heading is, “Two slaves held by Gal-Sal.” Gal-Sal is the owner. Next come the slaves, “En-pap X and Sukkalgir.” So now we’ve got four names: an accountant, a slave owner, and two slaves.

(Some scholars are Team Kushim, other scholars are Team Gal-Sal.)

What’s in a Name, Ethyl?

A few weeks ago, on a Facebook post about Ethel and other e-names, Angel Brave left a comment about an Ethyl Corporation promotional booklet from the 1940s. Playing off the fact that Ethyl is a human name as well as a brand name, the booklet was full of names and definitions.

Her comment reminded me that I’d actually seen advertisements for that very booklet in old magazines. In fact, I was able find four full-page examples in Life.

The earliest ad (click to enlarge) featured the names Henry, Valerie, Caesar, and Jason:

Ethyl Corporation advertisement 1942

The next one had Edgar, Conrad, Hortense, and Moses:

Ethyl Corporation advertisement 1943

The third featured Vivian, Maxwell, Brian, and Albert:

Ethyl Corporation advertisement 1943

And the final ad had Clementine, Dexter, Jasper, and Louise:

Ethyl Corporation advertisement 1943

Which of these sets of names do you prefer?

Which group of names do you like best?

View Results

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Sources:

  • Advertisement for Ethyl Corporation. Life 19 Oct. 1942: 9.
  • Advertisement for Ethyl Corporation. Life 7 Jun. 1943: 3.
  • Advertisement for Ethyl Corporation. Life 19 Jul. 1943: 1.
  • Advertisement for Ethyl Corporation. Life 30 Aug. 1943: 1.
  • Ethyl Corporation Records – Smithsonian

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 8

baby names that add up to 8, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “8.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “8” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “8,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

8

The following baby names add up to 8.

  • “8” girl names: Bea
  • “8” boy names: Abe

8 via 17

The following baby names add up to 17, which reduces to eight (1+7=8).

  • “17” girl names: Gia, Bo, Afia, Abida, Aana, Adiba, Cala, Kada, Beia
  • “17” boy names: Bo, Mac, Cam, Md, Jeb, Adeeb, Ibaad, Abie, Aabid, Ege

8 via 26

The following baby names add up to 26, which reduces to eight (2+6=8).

  • “26” girl names: Leah, Maci, Jana, Pia, Aahana, Brea, Dua, Gema, Cami, Anja
  • “26” boy names: Eli, Bode, Bear, Obed, Eben, Adil, Asaad, Mica, Baer, Mega

8 via 35

The following baby names add up to 35, which reduces to eight (3+5=8).

  • “35” girl names: Mila, Clara, Laila, Heidi, Alicia, Dahlia, Cadence, Hadlee, Carla, Cleo
  • “35” boy names: Liam, Cole, Eric, Jax, Kaden, Edgar, Jase, Abram, Kian, Makai

8 via 44

The following baby names add up to 44, which reduces to eight (4+4=8).

  • “44” girl names: Ariana, Faith, Hope, Keira, Helen, Jenna, Opal, Anais, Kiera, Erika
  • “44” boy names: Kaiden, Jayce, Abraham, Judah, Brian, Dante, Andy, Allen, Braden, Ray

8 via 53

The following baby names add up to 53, which reduces to eight (5+3=8).

  • “53” girl names: Julia, Eliza, Samara, Laura, Chelsea, Kendra, Reign, Rosa, Livia, Kori
  • “53” boy names: Gavin, Bryce, Kyle, Archer, Colin, Atlas, Khalil, Keith, Saul, Kamari

8 via 62

The following baby names add up to 62, which reduces to eight (6+2=8).

  • “62” girl names: Natalie, Leilani, Kylie, Sienna, Georgia, Arielle, Ariyah, Jordan, Danielle, Serena
  • “62” boy names: Mason, Josiah, Jordan, Ronan, Adonis, Callum, Briggs, Randy, Talon, Hassan

8 via 71

The following baby names add up to 71, which reduces to eight (7+1=8).

  • “71” girl names: Avery, Zoey, Adalynn, Jasmine, Finley, Lauren, Rowan, Gabrielle, Shelby, Octavia
  • “71” boy names: Samuel, Rowan, Rhett, Avery, Finley, Orion, Kyler, Mathias, Zayne, Emanuel

8 via 80

The following baby names add up to 80, which reduces to eight (8+0=8).

  • “80” girl names: Savannah, Alexandra, Cassidy, Emberly, Colette, Monroe, Cassandra, Stevie, Ensley, Cynthia
  • “80” boy names: Tyler, Bennett, Brooks, Alejandro, Spencer, Moises, Emmitt, Bryant, Jeremias, Giancarlo

8 via 89

The following baby names add up to 89, which reduces to eight (8+9=17; 1+7=8).

  • “89” girl names: Raelynn, Emerson, Summer, Alexandria, Felicity, Winter, Virginia, Ivory, Avalynn, August
  • “89” boy names: Wyatt, Wesley, August, Emerson, Titus, Travis, Garrett, Enrique, Mauricio, Quincy

8 via 98

The following baby names add up to 98, which reduces to eight (9+8=17; 1+7=8).

  • “98” girl names: Scarlett, Valentina, Allyson, Crystal, Jocelynn, Londynn, Kenzley, Julietta, Kynzlee, Justine
  • “98” boy names: Trevor, Jefferson, Marquis, Lazarus, Klayton, Zephyr, Britton, Giuseppe, Brexton, Kurtis

8 via 107

The following baby names add up to 107, which reduces to eight (1+0+7=8).

  • “107” girl names: Treasure, Dominique, Phoenyx, Charolette, Jourdyn, Winsley, Journeigh, Chrisette, Shukrona, Lynnley
  • “107” boy names: Preston, Dominique, Giovanny, Yousuf, Shourya, Phoenyx, Prosper, Norberto, Rayshaun, Ruston

8 via 116

The following baby names add up to 116, which reduces to eight (1+1+6=8).

  • “116” girl names: Royalty, Annistyn, Eternity, Suzette, Christianna, Graylynn, Ruqayyah, Jozlynn, Rhylynn, Christyn
  • “116” boy names: Cornelius, Stryker, Treyson, Royalty, Christiano, Prescott, Dimitrios, Burhanuddin, Maxemiliano, Josemiguel

8 via 125

The following baby names add up to 125, which reduces to eight (1+2+5=8).

  • “125” girl names: Tristyn, Rozalynn, Anjolaoluwa, Remingtyn, Skyelynn, Oliviarose, Sophiarose, Quintessa, Skylynne, Charlestyn
  • “125” boy names: Kyngston, Tristyn, Octavious, Oluwademilade, Trystin, Dontavius, Vishruth, Johnrobert, Johnpatrick, Prinston

8 via 134

The following baby names add up to 134, which reduces to eight (1+3+4=8).

  • “134” girl names: Willoughby
  • “134” boy names: Constantine, Massimiliano, Christensen, Juanantonio, Willoughby, Muhammadibrahim, Muzzammil

8 via 143

The following baby names add up to 143, which reduces to eight (1+4+3=8).

  • “143” girl names: Montserrat, Skylarrose, Monserratt, Oluwafifehanmi
  • “143” boy names: Kaitochukwu

8 via 161

The girl name Prosperity adds up to 161, which reduces to eight (1+6+1=8).

8 via 170

The boy name Josephanthony adds up to 170, which reduces to eight (1+7+0=8).

8 via 197

The girl name Moyosoreoluwa adds up to 197, which reduces to eight (1+9+7=17; 1+7=8).

What Does “8” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “8” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “8” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“8” (the octad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “They used to call the ogdoad [group of eight] ’embracer of all harmonies’ because of this marvellous attunement, or because it is the first to have been attuned and multiplied so as to be equal-times-equal-times-equal, which is a most lawful generation. So when they call it ‘Cadmean,’ they should be understood to be referring to the fact that, as all historians tell us, Harmonia was the wife of Cadmus.”
  • “The number 8 is the source of the musical ratios”
  • “All the ways in which it is put together are excellent and equilibrated tunings.”
  • “The ogdoad is called ‘safety’ and ‘foundation,’ since it is a leader, because two is a leader: the seed of the ogdoad is the first even number.”
  • “They used to call the ogdoad ‘mother, ‘ perhaps [because] even number is female”
  • “The eighth sphere encompasses the whole ‘ hence the saying ‘All is eight.'”

“8” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Eight – a money number” (reading 261-14).
  • “Eight indicates the commercial change” (reading 261-15).
  • “This brings eight as a vibration for the entity that means an awakening within the inner self to the new possibilities, the new opportunities within self that may make for not only carrying with it the abilities but the obligations of same as well. For to whom much is given in any manifested form, of him much is required” (reading 707-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “8” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 35, 44, 71, 143) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “35” (i.e., 35 mm format) reminds you of photography and film, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 8, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

More Top Baby Name Drops

A couple of weeks a go we checked out the list of top raw-number rises in the U.S. baby name data, so today let’s balance things out with the list of top raw-number drops.

Just remember that the SSA data doesn’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t reflect reality all that well.

Same format as usual: Girl names on the left, boy names on the right. Numbers represent single-year decreases in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, usage of the girl name Mary dropped by 146 babies and usage of the boy name William dropped by 1,008 babies.

  • 1881: Mary, -146; William, -1,008
  • 1882: Lulu, -34; Garfield, -78
  • 1883: Mary, -136; William, -911
  • 1884: Mina, -33; Albert, -61
  • 1885: Sarah, -94; William, -853
  • 1886: Nancy, -35; Grover, -361
  • 1887: Minnie, -157; John, -916
  • 1888: Dorothea, -24; Rudolph, -17
  • 1889: Emma, -203; William, -933
  • 1890: Mollie, -53; William, -278
  • 1891: Mary, -375; John, -821
  • 1892: Jennie, -26; Enoch & Irving, -16 each (tie)
  • 1893: Mary, -390; John, -990
  • 1894: Ruth, -286; Grover, -171
  • 1895: Laura, -87; Charles, -155
  • 1896: Jessie, -197; John, -182
  • 1897: Anna, -431; John, -589
  • 1898: Sophie, -49; Hobart, -63
  • 1899: Mary, -1,234; William, -1,314
  • 1900: Manila, -24; Dewey, -154
  • 1901: Mary, -3,572; John, -2,931
  • 1902: Sophie, -45; Manuel, -32
  • 1903: Mary, -211; William, -305
  • 1904: Lillie, -121; Leo, -83
  • 1905: Florence, -94; Alton, -138
  • 1906: Minnie, -173; Theodore, -146
  • 1907: Bessie & Alice, -85 each (tie); Austin, -27
  • 1908: Evelyn, -178; Theodore, -69
  • 1909: Mae, -154; Ernest, -115
  • 1910: Allie, -35; Delmar & Bruce, -24 each (tie)
  • 1911: Annie, -220; Willie, -405
  • 1912: Dessie, -20; Lawyer & Blas, -12 each (tie)
  • 1913: Carrie, -62; Emerson, -28
  • 1914: Tomasa, -27; Woodrow, -547
  • 1915: Juana, -32; Kermit, -79
  • 1916: Mollie, -88; Willard, -476
  • 1917: Edna, -204; Woodrow, -239
  • 1918: Rose, -215; Frederick, -103
  • 1919: Helen, -2,447; John, -3,029
  • 1920: Sophie, -234; Woodrow, -1,033
  • 1921: Gertrude, -449; Willie, -391
  • 1922: Helen, -2,314; Warren, -3,315
  • 1923: Helen, -1,017; George, -321
  • 1924: Elizabeth, -512; Warren, -1,231
  • 1925: Mary, -2,910; John, -1,878
  • 1926: Mary, -2,773; William, -1,358
  • 1927: Helen, -1,582; William, -479
  • 1928: Mary, -3,756; William, -2,360
  • 1929: Mary, -3,361; John, -1,652
  • 1930: Ruth, -1,079; Herbert, -2,187
  • 1931: Dorothy, -3,884; John, -4,026
  • 1932: Betty, -1,688; Robert, -1,255
  • 1933: Mary, -4,381; Robert, -5,052
  • 1934: Dorothy, -761; Franklin, -1,209
  • 1935: Betty, -2,408; Franklin, -1,543
  • 1936: Shirley, -7,202; Donald, -1,025

(From the SSA: “Note that many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.”)

  • 1937: Shirley, -8,337; Donald, -771
  • 1938: Shirley, -3,048; Donald, -1,207
  • 1939: Shirley, -3,320; Robert, -2,630
  • 1940: Shirley, -2,573; Donald, -962
  • 1941: Betty, -1,172; Wendell, -533
  • 1942: Deanna, -408; Billy, -352
  • 1943: Carole, -1,900; Douglas, -3,001
  • 1944: Barbara, -4,242; Robert, -4,008
  • 1945: Mary, -3,184; James, -2,497
  • 1946: Victoria, -280; Victor, -492
    • Top 5 boy-name drops of ’46, in order: Victor, Truman, Franklin, Delano, Roosevelt/Homer (tie)
  • 1947: Carole, -793; Richard, -369
  • 1948: Patricia, -5,144; Richard, -7,570
  • 1949: Linda, -5,192; Ronald, -2,026
  • 1950: Linda, -10,549; John, -1,642
  • 1951: Linda, -6,553; Larry, -1,016
  • 1952: Linda, -6,808; Larry, -2,224
  • 1953: Linda, -5,819; Larry, -3,081
  • 1954: Linda, -5,884; Dennis, -2,860
  • 1955: Mary, -4,830; Gary, -3,499
  • 1956: Deborah, -4,476; David, -4,588
  • 1957: Deborah, -7,778; Gary, -2,286
  • 1958: Cynthia, -8,311; James, -5,502
  • 1959: Debra, -4,166; Michael, -5,209
  • 1960: Debra, -4,626; Richard, -3,619
  • 1961: Donna, -5,468; Richard, -2,432
  • 1962: Mary, -4,163; Mark, -4,234
  • 1963: Linda, -3,754; Mark, -4,150
  • 1964: Lori, -5,280; Mark, -4,073
  • 1965: Mary, -6,709; John, -10,972
  • 1966: Karen, -7,431; John, -6,519
  • 1967: Lisa, -4,483; James, -3,495
  • 1968: Mary, -3,592; David, -3,058
  • 1969: Lisa, -4,494; Timothy, -3,153
  • 1970: Lisa, -6,077; David, -1,953
  • 1971: Lisa, -6,053; David, -8,650
  • 1972: Lisa, -5,357; John, -8,340
  • 1973: Lisa, -4,883; David, -5,267
  • 1974: Lisa, -2,889; Robert, -1,681
  • 1975: Jennifer, -4,926; Brian, -3,864
  • 1976: Michelle, -3,116; Scott, -1,571
  • 1977: Amy, -4,613; Scott, -1,541
  • 1978: Amy, -3,509; Jason, -4,027
  • 1979: Kelly, -1,686; Kevin, -1,373
  • 1980: Melissa, -2,420; Jason, -2,203
  • 1981: Melissa, -3,623; Jason, -6,268
  • 1982: Brooke, -2,183; Jeremy, -2,643
  • 1983: Jennifer, -2,767; Jason, -5,512
  • 1984: Jennifer, -3,784; Jason, -5,167
  • 1985: Jennifer, -7,903; Jason, -3,905
  • 1986: Jennifer, -6,474; Joshua, -4,655
  • 1987: Jennifer, -3,483; Jason, -3,054
  • 1988: Ashley, -4,873; Jason, -3,441
  • 1989: Jennifer, -3,888; Jason, -3,292
  • 1990: Tiffany, -2,555; Adam, -2,216
  • 1991: Brittany, -7,446; Christopher, -5,219
  • 1992: Jessica, -5,047; Michael -6,409
  • 1993: Chelsea, -4,885; Michael, -4,821
  • 1994: Ashley, -4,571; Michael, -5,089
  • 1995: Jessica, -4,175; Michael, -3,060
  • 1996: Jessica, -3,752; Michael, -3,043
  • 1997: Jessica, -3,142; Cody, -2,660
  • 1998: Jessica, -2,816; Christopher, -2,104
  • 1999: Brittany, -1,903; Austin, -2,710
  • 2000: Brittany, -2,760; Austin, -4,824
  • 2001: Hannah, -2,366; Brandon, -2,445
  • 2002: Taylor, -2,220; Jacob, -1,968
  • 2003: Ashanti, -1,983; Austin, -2,850
  • 2004: Hannah, -2,034; Zachary, -1,832
  • 2005: Alexis, -1,503; Jacob, -2,059
  • 2006: Emily, -2,540; Ryan, -1,557
  • 2007: Emily, -2,050; Joshua, -1,664
  • 2008: Hannah, -3,738; Christopher, -2070
  • 2009: Emily, -2,084; Anthony, -2,099
  • 2010: Madison, -2,059; Joshua, -2,219
  • 2011: Isabella, -3,032; Jacob, -1,783
  • 2012: Chloe, -1,361; Jacob, -1,370
  • 2013: Isabella, -1,536; Ethan, -1,494
  • 2014: Sophia, -2,657; Jayden, -1,834
  • 2015: Isabella, -1,523; Jase, -1,459
  • 2016: Sophia, -1,311; Logan, -1,697
  • 2017: Sophia, -1,281; Mason, -1,728
  • 2018: Emily, -1,125; Matthew, -1,747

I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and will write about others in the future. In the meanwhile, feel free to beat me to it! Comment below with the backstory on the fall of Shirley in the late ’30s, Linda in the early ’50s, etc.