How popular is the baby name Bruce 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 Bruce.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bruce


Posts that Mention the Name Bruce

Name quotes #109: Golan, O-Lan, Cale

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Happy fourth of July! Here’s the latest batch of name quotes…

From one of Abby’s recent Sunday Summary posts:

I remember watching the first Iron Man movie in the theater way back in 2008, and I’ve seen — and enjoyed — every movie since.

In the beginning, the Avengers were mostly men, mostly white. Heroes, of course. But they were from a familiar mold. Steve and Tony and Bruce.

But it didn’t stay that way. And I’ve [been] thrilled to see heroes slowly shift to look like the whole, wide world – and beyond. T’Challa. Wanda Maximoff. Valkyrie.

And now Kamala Khan. Soon Riri Williams, also known as Ironheart, will debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

From an article about brothers Cale and Taylor Makar, both of whom play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche:

Cale was named after Cale Hulse, who played for the Calgary Flames when [their father] Gary was doing some business with the team. Taylor is named after Colonel George Taylor of the Planet of the Apes movies, a take charge guy, portrayed by Charlton Heston, who was thrust into a leadership role. (Just for the record, Heston’s politics and ardent support of the National Rifle Association are not shared by the Makar family. “Oh my god, that’s the opposite of us,” Gary said.)

[Another source clarifies that Cale’s first name is short for Caleb. Cale noted in this interview [vid] that he was nearly named “Kurt Russell Makar, after the actor. […] I dodged a bullet there, I think.”]

From a 2015 interview with James Taylor at Stereogum:

Stereogum: Speaking of another powerful woman, Taylor Swift is probably the biggest pop star in the world right now, and she’s named after you! How do you feel about being connected to her in that way?

Taylor: It’s hugely flattering and was a delightful surprise when she told me that. We did a benefit together, I think it was focused on teenage pregnancy, before Taylor really took off. But she was playing guitar and singing her songs and I knew how remarkable she was. She told me that her mom and dad had been really, deeply into my music and I got a real kick out of the fact that she’d been named after me. Obviously it wasn’t her choice, it was her mom and dad, but nonetheless a great connection I think.

From a recent article about how to choose a Chinese name in the Guardian:

Don’t name yourself after a celebrity

In China, it is considered extraordinarily immodest to name a child after a famous person, a taboo that has roots in imperial laws that forbade citizens from having the same name as the emperor.

From a 2001 article about actress O-Lan Jones in the Los Angeles Times:

Jones’ mother, Scarlett Dark, named her after the character O-lan in Pearl S. Buck’s 1931 novel, “The Good Earth.” The “O” part, Jones said, means “profound,” and the “lan” means “wildflower.” Her mother, ever an original, chose to celebrate the wildflower part with a capital L.

Two from a recent opinion piece, “Every Jewish name tells a Jewish story,” in the Jerusalem Post:

[I]n Judaism after a near-death experience, it is traditional to add a name and change a name. The name Haim, which means “life” is often added, as is the name Alter, a blessing for “long days.” It is a Jewish insurance policy for an improved future for the name bearer.

…and:

After the 1967 Six Day War, Israelis created names that were lovely and filled with hope. Tal, Elizur, Sharona were born. And names of cities and towns became first names – Sinai, Golan, Eilat are a few. The ’67 war was a watershed for hope in Israel and it was reflected in these new names.

From the article “Amazon Killed the Name Alexa” by Joe Pinsker in The Atlantic:

“We don’t usually think about the individuals who are already born when this happens, but the impact on their lives is real as well,” Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland at College Park, told me. Sharing a name with a robot can be tiresome. “‘OMG, Siri like the iPhone,’ should be engraved on my tombstone,” complained Siri Bulusu, a journalist, in a 2016 piece about her name. And name overlaps have led to sitcom-style misunderstandings, like when, as The Wall Street Journal reported, one dad asked his daughter Alexa for some water, and their robot Alexa responded by offering to order a case of Fiji water for $27.

Name quotes #105: Barra, Dhani, Hellion

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From comedian Ali Wong’s 2016 stand-up special Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (vid):

I’m just waiting for the right moment to, like, become a housewife, financially, you know? I want my husband to get us to, like, a certain point financially. I wanna get to the point as a couple where I can comfortably afford sliced mango. Know what I’m talking about? I’m talking about that Whole Foods mango. That $10-a-box Whole Foods mango that was sliced by white people. That’s the kind of income bracket I’m striving for. That’s when you know you’ve made it, when you’re eating mango that was sliced by a dude named Noah. I want Noah mango, Rebecca kiwi, Danielle pineapple.

From an article about how Storm Barra (which hit the UK and Ireland in December of 2021) came to be named after BBC Northern Ireland weatherman Barra Best:

‘What happened was the head of Irish weather service Met Eireann called me in August and asked me where my name was from and I thought it was a bit strange, I didn’t know why she was asking,’ [Barra Best] told the BBC’s Evening Extra programme.

‘It comes from the south-west of Ireland from Finbarr, St Finbarr in Co Cork and it’s derived from that.’

He continued: ‘She said oh that’s fine, that’s fine. I asked why did you want to know and she said oh you’ll find out in about a month.

‘Of course the email came out and the list of names were announced and she had decided to put my name in there.’

On the origin of the name of George Harrison’s son, Dhani, from The Beatles Encyclopedia (2014) by Kenneth Womack:

Born on August 1, 1978, in Windsor, England, Dhani Harrison is the only son of Harrison and his second wife Olivia Trinidad Arias. His unusual name is a composite of the sixth and seventh notes of the Indian music scale — “dha” and “ni.”

From a 2012 interview with actor Crispin Glover, who goes by his full name, Crispin Hellion Glover, as a filmmaker:

SP: When did you begin using ‘Hellion’ as part of your name? Why the addition?

CHG: I began using “Hellion” as my middle name at birth. I was born in New York. Not too long before I was born, my parents went to see an off-Broadway production of Henry V, by Shakespeare and liked the production very much, and liked the name [Crispin, from the St. Crispin’s Day Speech] so [they] gave it to me. My father’s middle name is Herbert. He never liked his middle name Herbert. So as a young struggling actor in New York he would say to himself, “I am Bruce H. Glover, Bruce Hellion Glover. I am a hellion, a troublemaker.” And that would make him feel good. He told my mother this was his real middle name. When they were married she saw him writing on the marriage certificate Bruce Herbert Glover and she thought, “Who am I marrying?” They gave Hellion to me as my real middle name. I had always written and drawn as a child and I would always sign my drawing and writing with my whole name Crispin Hellion Glover. When I started acting professionally at 13, which was something I had decided on my own I could do as a profession at a relatively young age, it became apparent that I had to choose a professional acting name for SAG. I thought my whole name was too long for acting and just used my first and last name. When I started publishing my books I simply continued using the name I had always used for writing and drawing and had put in my books. This is also why I use my whole name for my own films.

On the origin of Harry S. Truman’s given names, from the book Truman (1992) by David McCullough:

In a quandary over a middle name, [parents] Mattie and John were undecided whether to honor her father or his. In the end they compromised with the letter S. It could be taken to stand for Solomon or Shipp, but actually stood for nothing, a practice not unknown among the Scotch-Irish, even for first names. The baby’s first name was Harry, after his Uncle Harrison.

(Ulysses S. Grant likewise had a single-letter middle.)

From an article about the increasing popularity of Maori baby names in New Zealand, published in The Guardian (found via Clare’s tweet):

Damaris Coulter of Ngati Kahu descent and Dale Dice of Ngati Hine, Te Aupouri and Nga Puhi [descent] […] [gave] their one-year-old daughter Hinekorako just one name, as was usual pre-colonisation.

Hinekorako’s name came to Dice as he was navigating a waka, a large traditional Maori sailing vessel, from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands back to Aotearoa. “It was coming up to midnight. We came into a little storm. The temperature had dropped … there was thunder … Once we got through the storm we all turned around and just behind us there was this massive white rainbow … It was a lunar rainbow.”

“I told our navigator about it and he goes’ “oh yeah, that’s a tohu (sign), that’s Hinekorako’.” In myth, Hinekorako is also a taniwha (a water spirit), who lives between the spirit and living worlds. Dice wrote the name in his diary and decided that night, were he to ever have a daughter, she would be named Hinekorako.

(According to Encyclopedia Mythica, Hine-korako is “the personification of the lunar bow or halo.”)

Name quotes #102: Dana, Besta, Jeter

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Welcome to the latest batch of name quotes! Here we go…

From an interview with English actor Marcus Rutherford in British GQ:

Marcus Rutherford realised The Wheel Of Time was going to be a big deal when he heard about the baby names. It was his birthday, not long after he’d been cast as the young blacksmith Perrin Aybara in Amazon’s new big-budget adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy book series, and he decided […] to check out some of the birthday wishes on Twitter from a handful of die-hard Wheel Of Time fan accounts. […] “A lot of it came in, then there was a picture of a newborn baby. And this guy was like, ‘This is Perrin, who’s just been born. I’ve named him after your character. He says happy birthday.'”

From an interview with Brazilian soccer player Oleúde José Ribeiro (translated from Portuguese):

Q: But, after all, is your name, Oleúde, inspired by Hollywood or not?

A: No, no, it was just a brilliant idea from my parents (laughs). Like it or not, this story always helped me, it drew the attention of reporters… the late Luciano do Valle always asked listeners to guess my name, saying that it was the capital of cinema, it had a lot of impact at the time. This Hollywood thing has become a legend, but it has nothing to do with it.

From the obituary of Dana Marie Ek in Fauquier Now:

Dana was born on October 19, 1995, in Astoria, Oregon. She was named after the Dana Glacier — located deep in the wilds of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, because her father thought it was the most beautiful place on heaven or earth.

From an MLB.com article recounting how Jeter Downs met Derek Jeter:

So the man named after Derek Jeter by his baseball-crazed mother — even though his father is a Red Sox fan — had never actually met Derek Jeter?

It finally happened last week in a random encounter on a road in South Florida — sort of.

“This last week, I was driving, me and my brother were driving to go to [the] train,” said Downs. “We’re in traffic. My brother sees this Range Rover pulling up. He was like, ‘Oh my God, is that Jeter?’ He honks and I wave at him.

“I’m doing training with Raul Ibanez, [Jeter’s former teammate]. I called Raul and said, ‘Tell [Derek] Jeter that the kid he was waving at was Jeter [Downs].’ So then he told him that and it was pretty cool that I met him that way.”

From an article about Manchester twins named Ronnie and Reggie (like the famous London criminals Ronnie and Reggie Kray):

[W]e found two sets of twins and siblings named Ronnie and Reggie, as well as some Ronnies on their own.

Among them are the adorable twins pictured above (main image). Their mum said: “I thought it was only me capable of calling mine Ronnie and Reggie.”

But she’s far from alone. As well as finding another pair of twins with the same names, Moston mum Kellie Smart shared a picture of her sons, five-year-old Reggie Urch and Ronnie Urch, who turns four next week.

“People stop me all the time and ask are they twins and laugh when I tell them their names,” said Kellie, also mum to teenagers Mollie and Thomas.

From a 2007 article called “You Are What Your Name Says You Are” in the New York Times:

Sociologists like Mr. Besnard observed that first names [in France] were often quick markers of social and educational status. As another Libération reader, an elementary school teacher, pointed out: “I can often guess the ‘profile’ of a child thanks to the first name. A ‘Maxime,’ a ‘Louise,’ a ‘Kevin,’ a ‘Lolita.’ It’s sad, but that’s how it often works.” That is, Maxime and Louise probably have wealthy parents, while Kevin and Lolita are more likely to have a working- or lower-middle-class background.

Indeed, bourgeois French parents are unlikely to give their children “Anglo-Saxon” names; Jennifer was the most popular name for girls from 1984 to 1986, but it’s a safe bet few Jennifers came from well-educated families. (The craze is commonly explained by the success of the TV series “Hart to Hart” in France at that time — Jennifer Hart was one of the title characters — while “Beverly Hills, 90210,” featuring a popular character named Dylan McKay, is sometimes blamed for the explosion of Dylans a few years later.)

And finally, a bevy of B-names from basketball player Bradley Beal’s “About Brad” page:

Born on June 28, 1993, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, by Bobby and Besta Beal, there was little doubt that Brad would eventually be an athlete. Both parents played sports for Kentucky State — Bobby was a football player, Besta a basketball player.

[…]

There were four other people in Brad’s family who were instrumental in his development as an athlete, and ultimately, as a young man. His two older brothers, Bruce and Brandon, and his younger brothers, the twins Byron and Bryon.

Popular and unique baby names in Quebec (Canada), 2020

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec last year were (again) Olivia and Liam.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 543 baby girls
  2. Alice, 491 (2-way tie)
  3. Emma, 491 (2-way tie)
  4. Charlie, 488
  5. Charlotte, 449 (2-way tie)
  6. Lea, 449 (2-way tie)
  7. Florence, 447
  8. Livia, 437
  9. Romy, 338
  10. Clara, 335

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 661 baby boys
  2. William, 644
  3. Noah, 639
  4. Thomas, 594
  5. Leo, 572
  6. Nathan, 518
  7. Edouard, 489
  8. Logan, 478
  9. Jacob, 468
  10. Arthur, 461

In the girls’ top 10, Romy and Clara replaced Rosalie and Beatrice.

In the boys’ top 10, Jacob and Arthur replaced Felix, Raphael and Emile.

Below are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Quebec last year. (I tried to focus on First Nations names this time around.)

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Ange Lumiere, Avanika, Balkissa, Cathy Jaguar, Croyance, Daphka, Ezralene, Framboise, Gaela Olga, Himalaya Fay, Iaely, Jolly-Anne, Julia Uapikun, Katsuak, Kim-Sparkle, Lailah-Waseskon, Lilwenn, Mappaluk, Mekuaushkuan, Meluvia, Nadege Prestige, Nidehina, Nkulu Aimerence, Olizianne, Onyx Mbombo, Ophelia-Darling, Pastel, Pixel, Plamedie, Qullik, Raphdaelle, Richelieu Christina, Rissala, Sikuliaq, Sunrise, Taliittuq, Thanjana, Tuline, Ullusiurvik, Uppialuk, Videluna, Widchelle, Woulimata Hannah, Xiyao, Youvica, Zoe-ZinaAbischai Sardonyx, Alexandre Wapan, Bikyeombe Bienvenue, Bluesun, Chanmonyrith, Charlie Qumanguaq, Crizo, Dalzell, Edwight, Fritzlerson, Guntaz, Heavyd, Ittukallak, Ittuvik, Ivan Appalirak, Justgood, Karthigan, Kasudluak, Lebonheur, Lenny Bruce, Manhattan, Massabiel, Mckeen, Naavalan, New-York, Oceannic Sunchase, Omri-Kyanite, Pacifique, Peter Angutik, Quppapik, Reiki, Ro’nikonhrowa nen, Soho, Surusiluk, Thomas Qautsaalik, Tikwaachin, Tuukak, Upenak, Uyghur, Valmont, Waseskon, Wastuskun, Xandres, Ywaashtin, Zaphly, Zoubert

Some explanations/associations:

  • Aimerence means “love” in French.
  • Ange Lumiere means “angel of light”/”light angel” in French.
  • Angutik means “male” or “man” in Inuttut.
  • Bienvenue means “welcome” in French.
  • Croyance means “belief” in French.
  • Framboise means “raspberry” in French.
  • Heavyd…could it be a reference to rapper Heavy D? (Maybe just a variant of Heaven?)
  • Katsuak (or Katsuaq) means “biceps” in Inuit.
  • Kyanite is a type of mineral.
  • Lebonheur means “happiness” in French.
  • Lenny Bruce…is it a reference to comedian Lenny Bruce?
  • Mekuaushkuan means “the clouds are red at sunset” in Innu-aimun.
  • Plamedie is a contracted form of the French phrase plan merveilleux de Dieu, meaning “wonderful plan of God.”
  • Qullik (or Qulliq) means “oil lamp” in Inuit.
  • Qumanguaq is a mountain in Nunavut; the name means “the shrugging hill (no neck)” in Inuktitut.
  • Reiki is a type of energy healing that was developed in Japan.
  • Richelieu…is it a reference to Cardinal Richelieu?
  • Ro’nikonhrowa nen (or Ro’nikonhrowa:nen), which comes from a figure in Iroquois folklore, means “he who has ideas.”
  • Sardonyx is a type of banded gemstone.
  • Sikuliaq (pronounced see-KOO-lee-auk) means “young sea ice” in Inupiaq.
  • Soho, Manhattan, New-York — in this order, they form an address :)
  • Taliittuq may mean “no arm” in Inuit.
  • Tikwaachin means “autumn” in Cree.
  • Tuukak…I don’t know the definition, but a character named Tuukak appeared in a mid-2020 episode of the animated kids’ show Molly of Denali.
  • Uapikun means “flower” in Innu-aimun.
  • Ullusiurvik means “feast day” or “holy day” in Inuktitut.
  • Uppialuk means “snowy owl” in Inuktitut.
  • Uyghur…the Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group in China.
  • Wapan means “dawn” in Cree.
  • Waseskon may mean “blue” or “sky blue” in Cree. (The very similar Cree word Waseskun has been defined as: “the time just after a storm, when the dark clouds begin to part, the blue sky appears, and the first rays of sunlight shine through.”)
  • Ywaashtin may mean “calm” in Cree.

Sources:

Name quotes #91: Wendy, Elliot, Thorlogh

From the 2010 book Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision by Louis P. Masur:

Peter Knobler, a writer for Crawdaddy, got an early listen [to “Born to Run”] in Springsteen’s Long Branch house. The place was cluttered with motorcycle magazines and old 45s. Over Bruce’s bed, according to Knobler, was a poster of Peter Pan leading Wendy out the window. The detail is suggestive: “Wendy let me in, I wanna be your friend/I want to guard your dreams and visions.”

From an article called “Khmer Legends” in The Cambodia Daily:

[T]he municipality has recently erected a statue of the fabled Yeay Penh, the woman who is credited with giving Phnom Penh its landmark hill.

As the story goes, in the 1370s, Yeay Penh asked her neighbors to raise the mound in front of her home so as to build on top of it a sanctuary to house the four statues of Buddha she had found inside a floating tree trunk. That mound, or phnom, is credited with giving Phnom Penh its name.

[…]

“The problem is we have no proof,” said Ros Chantrabot, a Cambodian historian and vice president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

“In all likelihood she did exist or, at the very least, the tale is based on an actual person, since Penh’s hill, or Phnom Penh, is there for all to see,” he said.

[“Yeah Penh” is the equivalent of “Grandmother Penh.” The word yeay in Cambodian is a title used to refer to and/or address an older female.]

From a recent Instagram post by actor Elliot Page (formerly called Ellen Page):

Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.

From the essay “On Naming Women and Mountains” by Lucy Bryan Green:

My own name scratches and constricts like an ill-fitting sweater. It comforts me to be [at Yosemite National Park] with wild things that do not speak it. As I walk among Steller’s jays and Brewer’s lupine and Douglas firs, I think, you, too, wear someone else’s name. This is also true of mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes—names within names. I wonder about the people and the motivations behind these names, which I feel hesitant to say aloud.

From a post about Protestant and Puritan names in Ireland vs. England at the DMNES blog:

Tait says one might expect the saint names, pushed by the Catholic church during the Reformation, and English names, handed down to descendants of settlers, to overtake and eradicate the use of Gaelic names as it did in England (315). She found this was not the case. Irish natives and settlers each retained their own naming systems, preserving them both. In the 1660s, she finds the top 6 names used by native Irish families remained largely Gaelic– Patrick, Bryan, Hugh, Owen, Thorlogh, and Shane, while the top names used by the descendants of settlers remained largely English– John, Thomas, William, Robert, James, and Richard (316).

From the 2015 essay “The Name on My Coffee Cup” by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh:

As a frequent consumer of Starbucks…the most contentious aspect for me when ordering coffee—until now, anyway—has been the perpetual misspelling of my name on the side of the cup. The mutations have been many, and they have often been egregious—“Zal,” “Sowl,” “Sagi,” “Shi”—and then once, incredibly, three years ago, at a branch in the financial district, “Saïd,” diaeresis added, prompting me to seek out the barista, whose hand I grasped with deep feeling but who, frankly, seemed perplexed that anyone would have difficulty spelling my name. He was Latino, I think, and he told me that he had a best friend named Saïd, spelled identically, which would explain his astuteness. Never mind the backstory, I was delighted by the outcome. I photographed the cup for posterity, and then, for good measure, tweeted it for the world to see.

Other tweeted misspellings include Saíd, Syeed, Sai, Saii, Sahi, Sie, Säd, Sia, and Sam.