How popular is the baby name Broderick 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 Broderick.
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Yesterday’s name, Broderick, was popularized by a movie based on the life of populist politician Huey P(ierce) Long, nicknamed “The Kingfish,” who served as Governor of Louisiana (1928-1932), U.S. Senator (1932-1935), and was gearing up for a presidential run in 1935. At that time…
Long’s Senate office was flooded with thousands of letters daily, prompting him to hire 32 typists, who worked around the clock to respond to the fan mail. As the nation’s third most photographed man (after FDR and celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh), Long was recognized from coast to coast simply as “Huey.”
He never ran for president, though, because he was assassinated in September of 1935.
So how did Long’s his political rise (and sudden death) affect the usage of the baby name Huey?
In April of 1929, newspapers reported that, since the gubernatorial election the previous May, “Governor Long has presented a [silver] cup to every baby in the state which is made his namesake. He says there are now are 90 “Huey P’s” and he believes the total will run well over 200 before his term of office expires.”
According to the SSA’s baby name data, the national usage of Huey spiked twice: the year Long was elected governor, and the year he was killed. Notice how much of the usage happened in Huey’s home state of Louisiana:
U.S. boys named Huey
Louisiana boys named Huey
214 boys [rank: 378th]
95 boys (44% of U.S. usage) [rank: 50th]
353 boys [288th]
153 boys (43%) [30th]
494 boys [237th]
202 boys (41%) [14th]
187 boys [403rd]
86 boys (46%) [48th]
154 boys [447th]
66 boys (43%) [67th]
144 boys [480th]
76 boys (53%) [61st]
162 boys [443rd]
98 boys (60%) [39th]
174 boys [447th]
119 boys (68%) [37th]
194 boys [424th]
146 boys (75%) [26th]
215 boys [411th]
159 boys (74%) [22nd]
114 boys [579th]
62 boys (54%) [75th]
62 boys [840th]
22 boys (35%) [179th]
Huey P. Long was named after his father. He had nine siblings: brothers Julius, George and Earl (who also served as governor of Louisiana) and sisters Charlotte, Clara, Helen, Lucille, and Olive. Speedy Long was a cousin.
The first name Roderick has been in use for centuries, but the similar name Broderick is relatively new. It debuted in the U.S. data in 1950:
1953: 29 baby boys named Broderick
1952: 25 baby boys named Broderick
1951: 25 baby boys named Broderick
1950: 30 baby boys named Broderick [debut]
The man who inspired this debut? Veteran actor Broderick Crawford. His portrayal of corrupt politician Willie Stark in the drama All the King’s Men, released nationally in early 1950, turned him into a star overnight. He won the Best Actor award at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes that year.
The movie was based on the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. The story was inspired by the rise and fall of notorious Louisiana politician Huey P. Long.
Crawford’s birth name was William Broderick Crawford; Broderick was his mother’s maiden name. There are two possible etymologies for the surname Broderick:
The Gaelic surname Ó Bruadair, meaning “descendant of Bruadar.” The origin of Bruadar is either Norse or Irish — sources disagree.
The Welsh surname ap Rhydderch, meaning “son of Rhydderch.” The definition of Rhydderch is “reddish brown.”
Do you like the name Broderick? Do you like it more or less than Roderick?
Which boy names increased and decreased the most in popularity from 2014 to 2015?
Here are two ways to look at it. The SSA’s way looks at ranking differences and covers the top 1,000 boy names (roughly). My way looks at raw number differences and takes all boy names on the SSA’s list into account.
Riaan was boosted by a celebrity baby born in late 2014 to Bollywood actors Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza.
Jaziel’s rise seems to be due to Jaziel Avilez, a young singer featured in the 2014 song “Padre Ejemplar” [vid] by Mexican group Los Titanes de Durango.
Omari’s rise can be traced back to American actor Omari Hardwick, who has appeared in the TV shows Being Mary Jane and Power lately, and Jabari’s to basketball player Jabari Parker, the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
This week let’s finish checking out the top baby name debuts of all time.
I’ll be counting down the 50 most popular boy name debuts in five posts, from today until Friday. (I did the top girl name debuts a couple of weeks ago.) I didn’t break any ties, so this “top 50” list actually has 93 names.
I came up with explanations for as many names as I could, but I’m still stumped on a few of them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.
Here’s 50 to 41:
Cordaryl, Devaunte, Jeffren, Naksh, Sanjaya, Tige & Trysten, 7-way tie for #50
Cordaryl debuted with 28 baby boys in 1986.
Inspired by Cordero Roberts, a character on the soap opera “One Life to Live.”
Devaunte debuted with 28 baby boys in 1992.
Inspired by singer DeVante Swing, a member of Jodeci.
Jeffren debuted with 28 baby boys in 2010.
Inspired by soccer player Jeffren Suarez.
Naksh debuted with 28 baby boys in 2012.
Inspired by Naksh, a character on the Indian TV show “Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai.”
Sanjaya debuted with 28 baby boys in 2007.
Inspired by Sanjaya Malakar, a contestant on the TV singing competition “American Idol.”