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

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.

How to Name Fictional Characters

three tips on choosing a character name

How-to articles on naming fictional characters are a dime a dozen. But most are a litany of tips — some important, others not so much. So I thought I’d try boiling the best of the advice down to a single sentence. Here’s what I came up with:

“Each character’s name should fit the setting, fit the character, and be distinct within the story.”

The sentence contains three different objectives, so let’s look at each one separately:

Fit the setting

The name should be appropriate for the time and place in which the story occurs. A romance set in 18th-century England could be between an Elizabeth and a Frederick, but not a Nevaeh and a Jayden. Similarly, the protagonist of a 24th-century space opera could be named something standard/plain (John) or futuristic (Loxxan), but probably not something very old (Holmketill), or even slightly old (Clarence).

Fit the character

The name should suit the character, primarily in terms of permanent descriptors (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity), but also, perhaps, in terms of personality traits (e.g., bubbly, gracious, haughty).

Stereotyping in general is bad, but when it comes to character names, it’s very useful: You want the name to give the correct impression of the character right away. A woman from India should be named Padma, not Margaret. A man from Germany should be called Armin, not Oakley.

You could also take it a step further and choose a name that reflects the character’s personality in a subtle way. A friendly woman could be an Amy, while a complex woman could be Demetria. Do this mainly with sounds and associations, which will be picked up instantly by the reader.

Be distinct within the story

The name should not look or sound similar to any of the other names in the story, or else the reader could get confused. Pay special attention to first letters and to repeated sounds. If the protagonists are sisters, name them Mila and Harriet, not Katie and Kelly. Likewise, if the main characters are brothers, use the names Brian and Luke, not Aidan and Adam.

…What are your thoughts on this topic?