How popular is the baby name Caledonia 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 Caledonia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Caledonia


Posts that Mention the Name Caledonia

The Namesakes of Huey P. Long

Huey on Time, Apr. 1935

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:

YearU.S. boys named HueyLouisiana boys named Huey
1937214 boys [rank: 378th]95 boys (44% of U.S. usage) [rank: 50th]
1936353 boys [288th]153 boys (43%) [30th]
1935494 boys [237th]202 boys (41%) [14th]
1934187 boys [403rd]86 boys (46%) [48th]
1933154 boys [447th]66 boys (43%) [67th]
1932144 boys [480th]76 boys (53%) [61st]
1931162 boys [443rd]98 boys (60%) [39th]
1930174 boys [447th]119 boys (68%) [37th]
1929194 boys [424th]146 boys (75%) [26th]
1928215 boys [411th]159 boys (74%) [22nd]
1927114 boys [579th]62 boys (54%) [75th]
192662 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.

Sources:

Image: Senator Huey P. Long © 1935 Time

Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2017

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 512 baby girls
2. Emily, 460
3. Isla, 395
4. Sophie, 370
5. Amelia, 321
6. Jessica, 318
7. Ava, 294
8. Ella, 290
9. Charlotte, 280
10. Aria, 254

Boy Names
1. Jack, 486 baby boys
2. Oliver, 380
3. James, 368
4. Lewis, 356
5. Logan, 324
6. Noah, 318
7. Harris, 299
8. Alexander, 297
9. Leo, 289
10. Harry, 282

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Lucy (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Harris replaces Charlie (now 14th).

In 2016, the top two names were the same.

And here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Auristelle, Bella-Caledonia, Carcy, Debbie, Elpiniki, Fernie, Ghzal, Hanwen, Isatou, Jumana, Kuma, Larch, Magdiel, Nettle, Oreli, Paupi-Anais, Rebbl, Sibianca, Tuppence, Ultra-Violet, Verdie, Wanda, Xenia, Yana-River, Zacharoula-Electra Amazon, Bzhyar, Cakrawala, Daro, Ernie, Findhorn, Ghillie, Harley-David, Isoa, Jhy, Kestrel, Little-One, Magnus-Ailig, Nimbus, Orlo, Peter-Gabriel, Reeco, Sochisth, Talisker-Brett, Uisdean, Vasco, Wulff, Xane, Ythan, Zeth

Bella-Caledonia could be a reference to Bella Caledonia, the Scottish pro-independence magazine. And Yana-River happens to be the name of a real pace: the Yana River in Russia.

Sources: Most popular names in Scotland, Scotland’s newest baby names are inspired by the constitutional question and Star Wars

The Baby Name Caldonia

Caldonia, Louis Jordan, film poster, 1945

The baby name Caldonia was on the U.S. charts for most of the first half of the 20th century, but there was a curious uptick in usage in 1945:

  • 1948: 7 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1947: 7 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1946: 10 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1945: 23 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: 11 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1942: 12 baby girls named Caldonia

This uptick corresponds to the release of a song that played a part in rock and roll history in two different ways.

That song was “Caldonia” (1945) by Louis Jordan, one of the most successful African-American bandleaders of his day. It’s an up-tempo blues (or “jump blues”) song about a woman named Caldonia:

Walkin’ with my baby she’s got great big feet
She’s long, lean, and lanky and ain’t had nothing to eat
But she’s my baby and I love her just the same
Crazy ’bout that woman cause Caldonia is her name

The song reached #1 on the Race Records chart (which tracked music by and for an African-American audience) and peaked at #6 on the pop chart.

Here’s video footage of Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five performing “Caldonia” in a short musical film (a “soundie”) made the same year:

The song was covered by many other artists, including Erskine Hawkins. Hawkins’ version is notable because a reviewer in Billboard described it as “rock and roll music”:

rock and roll music, caldonia, review, erskine hawkins
First use of “rock and roll music” in print? (1945)

The phrase “rock and roll” had been around for decades, but this might be the first time it was ever used in print to describe a style of music.

Jordan’s song also made a big impact on rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, who said that “Caldonia” was the first non-gospel song he ever learned. The character of Caldonia even seems to be “the mother of Long Tall Sally, Miss Molly, Miss Ann, Jenny and especially Lucille, the least cooperative and most desired of Little Richard’s musical sweethearts.”

So now let’s get back to the name. Where does Caldonia come from?

It’s hard to know where Jordan discovered it. The name had been featured in African-American music at least once before, in “Caldonia Blues” (1924) by blues singer Sippie Wallace, and it had also been in use (though not very common) in the Southern states since the mid-19th century.

My best guess is that Caldonia is based on Caledonia (kal-eh-D?N-yah), the Roman word for the region that is now Scotland, because the words are so similar.

Do you have any other theories?

(One of the baby girls born in Scotland in 2015 was named Caledonia, btw.)

Sources:

Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2015 (Take 2)

According to finalized data from National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in Scotland in 2015 were Emily and Jack.

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 497 baby girls
2. Sophie, 468
3. Olivia, 452
4. Isla, 419
5. Jessica, 357
6. Ava, 354
7. Amelia, 352
8. Ella, 341
9. Lucy, 317
10. Lily, 279
1. Jack, 565 baby boys
2. Oliver, 448
3. James, 416
4. Lewis, 371
5. Alexander, 349
6. Charlie, 342
7. Lucas, 316
8. Logan, 311
9. Harris, 306
10. Daniel, 282

This finalized 2015 list is a lot like (but not exactly like) the preliminary rankings that came out in December.

It’s also a lot like the 2014 rankings, the main difference being that Harris has replaced Noah in the boys’ top ten.

And now for the fun part! Here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once last year in Scotland. Ladies first:

  • Aara
  • Aerith
  • Albatool
  • Aneu
  • Aragon
  • Aria-Denver
  • Arracah
  • Avana-Solaris
  • Awesome
  • Beatrix-Gwendoline
  • Bebe-Rose
  • Bexlie
  • Caledonia – Caledonia was what the ancient Romans called the region that became Scotland. It’s now used as a poetic name for Scotland.
  • Calypso
  • Christine-Smart – I’ve seen “smart” used as a name before, but all the examples I know of are historical.
  • Ciorstaidh
  • Csenge
  • Debsther
  • Duoduo
  • Dzeiviana
  • Elenaria
  • Ersjola
  • Esme-May
  • Ginijane
  • Glencora
  • Iphigenia
  • Izzy-Mary-Bel
  • Juveria
  • Lithisha
  • Littlest
  • Lohasna
  • Midelle
  • Mirrany
  • Ndack
  • Nettle
  • Peryl
  • Piali
  • Ptarmigan – A bird name I almost never see used as a baby name. Ironically, the word “ptarmigan” happens to be based on a Scottish Gaelic word (tàrmachan).
  • Renae-Esmae
  • Roux-Jane
  • Splendor
  • Styliani
  • Tjitske
  • Twylabelle – Another -belle name to add to the list of -bella and -belle names.
  • Xrysoula
  • Zazilia
  • Zephyra
  • Zerfin
  • Zymal

And now the gents:

  • Albany
  • Aodee
  • Bonus
  • Bowie
  • Brando
  • Bucci
  • Bully
  • Charlieboy
  • Chrisvin
  • Claigh
  • Cobain
  • Coist
  • Corryvreckan – The Gulf of Corryvreckan (from the Gaelic Coire Bhreacain) is a narrow strait off Scotland’s west coast famous for its large whirlpool. Corryvreckan’s father, a whisky expert, also admits that “we may have joked with the name while I was sipping on some of the peat-astic Ardbeg Corryvreckan.” (Source: Why Corryvreckan is a dram fine name for my baby says whisky expert Andy Bell)
  • Csoma
  • Firth
  • Feynman
  • Frankie-Boy
  • Gruffydd
  • Harrison’jai
  • Highlande
  • Innes-Ross
  • Jesuferanmi
  • Jevgenijs
  • Jotvingis
  • Lansana
  • Leonce
  • Oomo – Reminds me of Omoo.
  • Panache
  • Roux
  • Roxus
  • Sonnyboy
  • Stuarttie
  • Taighearnach
  • Turki
  • Tybalt
  • Ythan
  • Zaff
  • Zanemvula
  • Zeteny
  • Zion-Antoine

For more sets of rankings, check out the name rankings category.

Source: Jack and Emily are Scotland’s top baby names