How popular is the baby name Callie 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 Callie.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Callie


Posts that Mention the Name Callie

The Baby Name Damita

Damita Jo, 1952, singer
© 1952 Jet

The name Damita first appeared in the SSA’s baby name dataset in 1950:

  • 1953: 33 baby girls named Damita
  • 1952: 7 baby girls named Damita
  • 1951: 18 baby girls named Damita
  • 1950: 5 baby girls named Damita [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted

It saw peak usage in the early ’60s:

  • 1963: 74 baby girls named Damita
  • 1962: 102 baby girls named Damita
  • 1961: 117 baby girls named Damita [peak]
  • 1960: 49 baby girls named Damita
  • 1959: 20 baby girls named Damita

(In fact, the name Damita would have entered the top 1,000 in 1961 if the six-way tie between Barrie, Callie, Damita, Freida, Staci, and Tonda — ranked 1,000th through 1,005th — hadn’t included a B-name and a C-name. As it happened, only Barrie made the cut and Damita technically ended up in 1,002nd place.)

So what was the influence?

Singer Damita Jo DeBlanc, born in Texas in 1930 and known simply as “Damita Jo” for most of her decades-long career.

Though she was most successful during the early ’60s — her highest-charting songs were 1960’s “I’ll Save the Last Dance for You” and 1961’s “I’ll Be There” — her first solo singles (like “Believe Me” and “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere”) were released in 1950 and 1951, and she spent the rest of the ’50s performing and recording with the R&B group Steve Gibson & the Red Caps. She also appeared on, and won, an episode of the TV talent show Chance of a Lifetime in 1952.

In 1960, Jet magazine defined Damita Jo DeBlanc’s name as meaning “little lady of white” in “French and Spanish.”

My wild guess is that she was named after French-born movie star Lili Damita, whose Hollywood career began in the late ’20s. The Spanish word damita does indeed mean “little lady,” but Lili Damita’s claim that it was a nickname given to her by King Alfonso XIII of Spain is harder to prove.

damita jo, janet jackson, 2004Speaking of namesakes, several of Damita Jo’s namesakes became famous in their own right. There’s Damita Jo Freeman (b. 1953), the memorable Soul Train dancer. There’s Damita Jo Nicholson (b. 1953), “Miss Miami Beach 1972.” And, most notable of all, there’s singer/actress Janet Damita Jo Jackson (b. 1966) – yes, Michael’s sister. Janet even put out an album called “Damita Jo” in 2004 — the year of her infamous wardrobe malfunction.

Do you like the name Damita?

Sources:

Image: Cover of Jet from July 24, 1952

Popular Baby Names in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2017

According to the Vital Statistics Division of Service NL, the most popular baby names in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2017 were Ava and Benjamin.

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

Girl Names
1. Ava
2. Charlotte/Charlette
3. Olivia
4. Lilly/Lily/Lillei
5. Emma
6. Mia/Miya/Myah/Mya
7. Callie/Cali/Calleigh/Kallie/Kali
8. Amelia/Emilia
9. Emily
10. Avery/Averi

Boy Names
1. Benjamin/Benjamyn
2. Jack/Jak
3. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxin
4. Connor/Conor/Conner
5. Grayson/Greyson/Greycen
6. William
7. Luke
8. Jacob/Jakob
9. Noah
10. Liam

The #1 name for girls, Ava, didn’t even feature in the the top 10 in 2016.

Here are the 2017 baby name rankings for the rest of Atlantic Canada: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

Source: Top 100 Baby Names – Open Data Newfoundland and Labrador

Name Battle: “6 Generation” Edition

Speaking of names on PEI…two six-generation Canadian families (one of which is from PEI) have been featured in the news relatively recently.

Here are the members of the PEI family:

  1. Tish Lidstone (great-great-great-grandmother)
  2. Diane Annand (great-great-grandmother)
  3. Janice Annand (great-grandmother)
  4. Sherri-Lynn Wallace (grandmother)
  5. Morgan Wallace (father)
  6. Kartar Wallace (baby boy born in January 2017)

And here are the members of the second family, from Alberta:

  1. Vera Sommerfeld (great-great-great-grandmother)
  2. Gwen Shaw (great-great-grandmother)
  3. Grace Couturier (great-grandmother)
  4. Amanda Cormier (grandmother)
  5. Alisa Marsh (mother)
  6. Callie Marsh (baby girl born in October of 2016)

So, which six-generation family has the best set of names, do you think?

Which set of names do you prefer?

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Sources: West Cape woman becomes great-great-great-grandmother, Alberta woman becomes great-great-great-grandmother

Popular Baby Names in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2016

According to preliminary data released on January 6th by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Emma and Jackson (and variants).

Here are the province’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Avary/Avery
3. Charlotte
4. Olivia
5. Addison/Addyson
6. Scarlett
7. Abbigail/Abigail/Abigale
8. Anna
9. Cali/Callie/Kali/Kallee/Kallie
10. Emilee/Emily

Boy Names
1. Jackson/Jaxen/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxxen/Jaxxon
2. Liam
3. Benjamin
4. Jack
5. James
6. Mason
7. Grayson/Greyson
8. Jacob
9. Noah
10. Isaac/Isac/Issac

The #1 names are the same as in 2015. (I forgot to post the 2015 rankings last year, but here are the 2014 rankings.)

In the girls’ top 10, the Addison-group, Scarlett, the Abigail-group, the Callie-group, and the Emily-group replace the Sophia-group, the Lily-group, the Mia-group, the Ava-group, and the Chloe-group.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason, the Greyson-group, and the Isaac-group replace Parker, the Nathan-group, and Carter.

Most of the pronunciation groupings on N.L.’s full top 100 made sense, but here are two I wasn’t so sure about:

  • In 21st place on the girls’ list was “Lea/Leah/Leia/Leiyah/Lia/Leya,” which mixes LEE‑uh and LAY‑uh names.
  • In 63rd place on the girls’ list was “Raya/Rayah/Rhea,” which mixes RAY‑uh and REE‑uh names.

Sources: Top 100 Baby Names – Open Data Newfoundland and Labrador, Jaxxen among most popular N.L. baby names in 2016

Pet Names for Women – Inappropriate? Disrespectful?

Nine women graduated from Rutgers Female College in 1886, and three of these nine women went by the pet names Hattie, Bessie and Mamie (diminutives of Harriet, Elizabeth and Mary/Margaret) during the graduation ceremony.

A writer at the now-defunct NYC newspaper The Sun had a strong opinion about this:

“[I]t seems very incongruous, and it is very incongruous, to give scholastic degree to a young woman who is spoken of only as if she were a baby who had not yet mastered the pronunciation of some of the consonants, and who changed the construction of words to suit the limitations of her infantile vocal organs.”

Here’s more:

In the domestic circle such nursery names have sweet and tender associations, but they sound quite silly when they are read out at a college commencement as the serious appellations of young women who are deemed worthy of grave scholastic degrees. Suppose that when Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was given an honorary degree in England, the other day, he had been described as Ollie Holmes or Noll Holmes.

These three young women allowed Dr. Samson and Dr. Burchard to address them before a large audience as if they were little girls in pinafores waiting for a present of a doll or of sweetmeats, instead of young ladies about to receive diplomas certifying that they had mastered studies within the ability of maturity only. They and their friends were not in the least indignant at the familiarity, but took it as altogether nice, pretty and proper.

Among the other recipients of degrees were two Marys and two Elizabeths, who were so called in their degrees, but Mamie and Bessie probably looked on them as the victims of the prejudices of old-fashioned and unreasonable parents. Yet we can never think of Mamie and Bessie and Hattie as dignified young women so long as they put those baby names on their cards.

The author didn’t strike me as being a feminist, but that’s how I saw his/her basic argument: women looking to be respected in the public sphere do themselves a disservice when they allow pet forms of their names to be used on serious/formal occasions.

And, back in that era — back when pet names typically were pet names (and not legal names) — I think I would have agreed. Because pet names would have denoted immaturity, familiarity, perhaps weakness — certainly not maturity, independence or power (traits that I imagine progressive women of the 19th century would have been aiming for).

These days the argument sounds a bit silly, though, as diminutives (e.g., Allie, Callie, Ellie, Sadie) are just as likely to be used as standalone legal names.

What’s your opinion?

Source: “Hattie, Bessie and Mamie.” Sun [New York] 12 Jun. 1886.