How popular is the baby name Cecily in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Cecily and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Cecily.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Cecily

Number of Babies Named Cecily

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Cecily

Female Names in Texas, 1860

Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas, put together a neat list of female names using the 1860 census records for Smith County, Texas.

Here’s some background information, per Vicki:

Ninety per cent of the people had emigrated to the county within the preceding ten years, 95.8% born in the states of the future Confederacy, 1.8% in the border states, 1.6% in northern states, and 0.8% in foreign countries. Therefore, these name should be fairly representative of Southern female names in general, with the exception of Alamo, Texas, Texana, etc.

And now the names! Here are the names that appeared most frequently on the 1860 Smith County census:

Mary, 501
Sarah, 271
Martha, 247
Elizabeth, 218
Jane, 199
Ann, 198
Nancy, 176
Margaret, 98
Susan, 95
Frances, 94
Eliza, 74
Amanda, 65
Louisa, 61
Laura, 52
Lucinda, 50
Rebecca, 50
Emily, 49
Catherine, 48
Caroline, 41
Julia, 39
Anna, 31
Isabella, 28
Ellen, 26
Josephine, 25
Harriet, 24
Emmer, 22
Lucy, 22
Rachel, 22
Melissa, 18
Adeline, 17
Malinda, 17
Matilda, 16
Allice, 15
Mariah, 15
Virginia, 15
Minerva, 14
Ella, 13
Eveline, 13
Charlotte, 12
Cynthia, 10
Evaline, 10
Victoria, 10
Emeline, 9
Hannah, 9
Hellen, 9
Theodosia, 9
Angeline, 8
Eudora, 8
Eugenia, 8
Mahala, 8
Ophelia, 8
Permelia, 8
Dorotha, 7
Fannie, 7
Missouri, 7
Olive, 7
Samantha, 7
Tabitha, 7
Ada, 6
Charity, 6
Delilah, 6
Flora, 6
Georgia, 6
Tennessee, 6

Names in the 2-to-5 range:

  • 5: Clementine, Cyntha, Florence, Ida, Joannah, Narcissa, Priscilla, Serena, Texana, Texas
  • 4: Almeda, Amelia, Augusta, Celia, Clara, Cornelia, Dicy, Dora, Henrietta, Janetta, Louisiana, Louvenia, Lulah, Mollie, Parmelia, Penelope, Ruth, Susannah
  • 3: Alma, Amarillo, Angelina, Antonette, Carrie, Casandra, Christiana, Clarissa, Cora, Cordelia, Edna, Emma, Ester, Fanny, Irena, Jemima, Kesiah, Leona, Leonora, Lucretia, Lyddia, Manerva, Maranda, Morando, Mildred, Milly, Narcissus, Olevia, Piety, Rhoda, Sallie, Sefrona, Sophrona, Telulah, Zelida
  • 2: Abigal, Adaline, Adelia, Agnes, Alabama, Alcasarah, America, Amy, Annetta, Araminta, Armelia, Arrenia, Candis, Caledonia, Celina, Easter, Eller, Elvira, Epsey, Exer, Henryetta, Jaly, Judy, Leah, Luella, Madora, Malissa, Marsileet, Medorah, Melinda, Mattie, Minnie, Moranda, Nelly, Olivia, Priscella, Rhody, Roxana, Salena, Sirena, Sophia, Temperance, Viola, Willie

Finally, names that appeared only once:

Abbigal
Abi
Absaly
Adah
Adalade
Adaline
Addia
Adelade
Adella
Ader
Aimenetta
Alamanzer
Alamo
Alcisty
Alis
Allethia
Almanda
Alphine
Alsey
Althie
Alvarado
Alvira
Amarantha
Amarylles
Amazor
Ameda
Americus
Amira
Ansebell
Appy
Arabella
Arainetta
Aramintha
Aranda
Arcadia
Ardalla
Armedilla
Armel
Armelda
Arminda
Artele
Arvezene
Arvilla
Atha
Audella
Aurire
Azeline
Barbary
Belzora
Bendett
Bernessa
Bethania
Bethany
California
Callie
Camella
Camilla
Candas
Candice
Cansandra
Carrentha
Casandre
Castero
Cecily
Celistia
CerroGordo
Christana
Cicily
Claranda
Claricinda
Conzada
Darcus
Deannah
Debra
Delila
Delitha
Della
Delmar
Derinda
Deziah
Dicey
Dilla
Dilly
Disha
Dlia
Dola
Domaris
Dorothea
Dovy
Drucilla
Dulcena
Dyca
Eddie
Edith
Editha
Elander
Eleanor
Elisa
Ellenor
Elmina
Elsy
Elvy
Elwina
Elzina
Elzona
Emaline
English
Eunis
Euphema
Euphemia
Euratasa
Evy
Falby
Fenette
Fillmore
Flore
Florida
Fransina
Georgana
George Eller
Georgiana
Harmoner
Hazeltine
Heepsebeth
Heland
Hester
Hetty
Hilery
Hutoka
Idella
Imogenia
Indiana
Inez
Irine
Isabelle
Isadora
Jeannah
Jerusha
Jessie
Joana
Joicy
Joly
Judah
Judith
Juliett
June
Kasandre
Kasana
Keburah
Keturah
Lailah
Larresa
Larrissa
Laurena
Lavacca
Lela
Leora
Leuella
Levega
Levina
Lewella
Lilla
Lillian
Lilly
Lina
Livana
Livona
Lizza
Loreey
Loreta
Lourana
Lourena
Lourenia
Louretta
Louvena
Louvina
Lova
Lovena
Lucretice
Lurana
Lurena
Lutitia
Luvena
Lydda
Madella
Madosa
Malabry
Mariella
Marietta
Marinda
Marion
Marbre
Marcella
Marcena
Marg
Matta
McReudry
Medarah
Melbry
Melvina
Mercena
Milley
Millison
Minor
Missoura
Mitty
Molly
Morinua
Mouring
Mourmen
Mourning
Nannett
Narcisa
Nebraska
Neome
Neomia
Nicy
Nina
Nisse
Occo
Octavia
Oja
Oliva
Omino
Orpha
Oudelia
Paralee
Paralie
Parilee
Parolee
Parthena
Pauline
Pemelia
Pernetta
Pernisia
Petrona
Phebe
Pheby
Phereby
Philliss
Pleasant
Pope
Prascovia
Pricilla
Prudence
Recella
Resalla
Reozia
Resiah
Rhina
Rosana
Rosanna
Rosena
Sabra
Sabrina
Salina
Samaria
Saphona
Saphrona
Sareta
Sebrina
Sefrone
Seleta
Selethia
Selina
Shaby
Sharlotti
Silena
Sina
Sirena
Sobrina
Sofrona
Solona
Sonora
Sophier
Stacy
Surana
Tabetha
Taletha
Talitha
Telpha
Teressa
Texanah
Texanna
Theodora
Theressa
Tranquilla
Trephemia
Ululie
Vanburena
Vandalia
Varlinda
Vashti
Vasti
Verlinda
Vertula
Victora
Victorier
Vina
Vinolia
Violet
Vunavista
Wennyford
Wilford
Wilmouth
Wineford
Winerfred
Winnaford
Winnfred
Zarilla
Zeban
Zeleame
Zira
Zouley

See any names you like? Any that make you curious?

Here are some thoughts I had:

  • Location names were more common than I thought they’d be. Seven females named Missouri? Six named Tennessee? Huh.
  • I love that Emmer appeared 22 times, while Emma appeared a mere 3 times.
  • The Battle of Cerro Gordo (1847) inspired a handful of namesakes. Cerro gordo is Spanish for “fat hill.”
  • Hutoka: Or, The Maid of the Forest: a Tale of the Indian Wars (1846) by Osgood Bradbury inspired several hundred namesakes nationwide. The book claimed that the fictitious Native American name Hutoka meant “springing fawn.”
  • Martin Van Buren — no doubt the inspiration behind Vanburena — was president of the U.S. from 1837 to 1841.
  • I’m thinking Vunavista was based on buena vista, Spanish for “good view.”

Source: Female First Names in the 1860 Smith County, Texas, Census, via Vicki Betts


Name Quotes for the Weekend, #3

From Barbara of the blog Sewing on the Edge:

I have started teaching a new course this month and am learning the names on a new class list.

My biggest challenge is, as always, the curse of the creative speller.

If your name is Megan why is it spelled Mheghaan?

Why is Cassidy, Kasidee?

Why is Britanny now Brit-anee?

Judy is Joodee?

I have taught Tifani’s, Tiffany, Tifanee all in the same class.

It makes my head explode.

Listen I have a last name that requires spelling out every time I say it, and over time that is a nuisance. Why send your child out in the world with that handicap over what is an ordinary name? Why have teachers say “you’re kidding” every time your kid says what the creative spelling stands for.

If you want your baby to have a cool name choose a cool name. Don’t try to do it with creative spelling. It’s making my class lists a nightmare.

From a Time article about how marketers could learn from baby name trends:

After using a statistical model to study more than 100 years of first names and doing a natural experiment using the names of hurricanes, the researchers found that the popularity of a particular moniker is impacted by how widely the sounds in that name were used previously. In other words, a first grade class filled with Karens is likely to be followed by a wave of six-year-olds with names that use similar sounds, or phonemes, such as “Katie” or “Karl” — or even “Darren” or “Warren.”

From a Slate article about minority births becoming the majority:

The Census Bureau announced Thursday that most of the newborn babies in the United States belong to minority groups, the first time in history that whites of European ancestry have accounted for less than half of that total.

Minorities—including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race—accounted for 50.4 percent of all U.S. births during the 12-month period that ended last July, edging past non-Hispanic whites who made up 49.6 percent.

From Angela of the blog Upswing Baby Names:

These names are still not in the top 1000: Cecily, Clementine, Philippa (or Pippa), Louisa, Linus and Rufus.

From Slate‘s Maurice Sendak obit:

He adored Melville, Mozart, and Mickey Mouse (and would have noted the alliteration with pleasure—he wrote in different places about the mysterious significance he attached to the letter M, his own first initial and that of many of his characters, beginning with Max of Where the Wild Things Are).

Sounds a lot like the Name-Letter Effect.

(Here are quote lists #1 and #2.)

Baby Name Needed for 6th Baby

A reader named Juliet writes:

My husband Ralph and I have five children, and I am four months pregnant with our sixth.

We’ve always had a difficult time choosing names, but Ralph and I have always found names that we’ve both loved early on in the pregnancy (agreeing on the name was another story).

This time around, however, it seems like there are no names out there that either of us even like. Can you help us?

Our kids are:
Felix Lysander
Olive Matilda
Maeve Tallulah
Susannah Blair (she goes by Sunny)
Edward Atticus (we call him Ned)

We’re looking for names that are quirky, light, vintage-y, and that will age well and go with my other children’s.

Wow, a lot of great names there! (In fact, Juliet’s large, well-named family reminded me of Cora’s large, well-named family from a few years ago.)

For #6, here are some boy names that came to mind:

Alastair
Alfred
Arthur
Baxter
Bennett
Calvin
Clarence
Declan
George
Henry
Hugo
Lawrence
Louis
Lucian
Nigel
Nolan
Thaddeus
Thomas
Tobias
Vincent
Winston

And some girl names:

Alice
Bethany
Camilla
Cecily
Charlotte
Cora
Davina
Della
Dorothy
Harriet
Helen
Katherine
Lillian
Lydia
Penelope
Phoebe
Priscilla
Prudence
Tabitha
Willa
Victoria

I focused on first letters that aren’t already in use, only because everyone else seems to have a unique first initial. Not sure if this is something that matters to Juliet or not, though.

Which of the above do you like best with Felix, Olive, Maeve, Susannah and Edward? What other names would you suggest?

Update: It’s a boy! Scroll down or click here to learn what his name is.

Baby Names Needed for Fraternal Twins, Boy & Girl

A reader named Abby is expecting fraternal twins, a boy and a girl, in October. She and her husband already have a son named Leo Sebastian.

They’re aiming for vintage names (with kind of a quirky/British feel) that aren’t too popular. These are their favorites so far, top picks in italics.

Boy Names Girl Names
Her Picks: Edward (Teddy)
Henry
Jasper
Jude
Maxwell (Max)
Oliver
Alice
Elsa (Elsie)
Ivy
Juliet
Violet
His Picks: August (Auggie/Gus)
Dashiell (Dash)
Beatrix
Felicity
Matilda
Penelope (Nellie)
Ramona

Abby says, “He thinks mine are slightly boring, I think his are a tad too flamboyant.”

They’d like our opinions on two things:

  1. What other boy and girl names would we suggest?
  2. Out of the current favorites, what are the best pairings?

The twins’ surname will be similar to Waters.

Here are my thoughts…

1. First, name suggestions. Most of these names have a vintage feel, and none of are currently in the top 100 (though several are heading that way).

Boy Names Girl Names
Archer
Byron
Calvin
Elias
Felix
Gideon
Graham
Grant
Heath
Hugh
Niles
Oscar
Pierce
Roman
Rufus
Seth
Silas
Simon
Theodore (Teddy)
Tobias
Adele/Adeline
Camille
Cecily
Celia
Corinne
Daphne
Eloise
Esme
Eugenia
Flora
Hazel
Helena
Iris
Jane
Josephine
Marion
Millicent (Millie)
Nicola
Rosamund
Stella

I didn’t include any w-names, but I was tempted to throw in Willa and Winifred (Winnie). Maybe even Wilhelmina (Minnie).

2. Out of the current favorites, Henry and Penelope are the two I like best for twins. I also like Maxwell and Beatrix (because both have that quirky x).

What other names/pairings would you suggest to Abby?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Fourth Baby

A reader named Jennifer would like some name suggestions for her baby girl, due in August. The baby will have three older siblings: Theo, Adrian and Nora Juliet.

Jennifer’s top choice had been Daphne…until a friend used it. Here’s what she liked about Daphne:

[I]t is Greek/mythological (I like the meaning), it is not easily nicknamed, it is not too long, and it is “old” and “traditional” but not common and it sounds beautiful, different. The sound with the last name is very important.

Now, about that last name. It’s distinctive. It starts with an x (that sounds like a z), ends with an s, has 2 syllables (stress on the first), and is unmistakably Greek. I couldn’t find a great substitute, but an Italian name like Zino or Zappa would probably suffice.

Currently, Jennifer’s favorite names are Charlotte, Eve, Genevieve, Lydia and Phoebe. She’s also interested in names that don’t end with an a-sound.

Here are some possibilities:

Beryl
Bettina
Camille
Caroline
Cecily
Chloe
Clytie
Colette
Corinne/Corinna
Danielle
Diane
Dorothy
Emily
Esther
Evelyn
Hannah
Harriet
Helen/Helena
Ione
Irene
Julie
Katherine
Laurel
Leonie
Lisette
Lucia
Margaret
Marie
Mona
Monica
Odette
Pauline
Rachel
Renee
Rosalie
Selene/Selena
Sibyl
Sophie
Sylvie
Yvonne

Which of the above do you like best with Theo, Adrian and Nora? What other girl names would you suggest to Jennifer?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Cecily’s Sister

A reader named Baccara has a daughter named Cecily. She’s expecting a second baby girl in May, and she’d like some name suggestions. She writes:

To give you an idea of our style, we like feminine names. We also tend to gravitate towards more unusual names, or at least ones that are not trendy.

Here are three names she and her husband are considering:

  • “Charlotte has always been a contender (during both pregnancies), although its popularity is now becoming somewhat of a deterrent.”
  • Camilla. “However, after reading your December post on sibling names, I am concerned that both names are too overtly similar (first initial, number of syllables) to work well together.”
  • Adele, though Baccara’s “husband is concerned with it having a religious affiliation (Hebrew).”

Their surname is a one-syllable N-name, so short names and names that end with n are out.

First, a couple of thoughts:

Cecily and Camilla do have the same first letter and number of syllables. But they don’t start with the same sound, and they don’t have the same rhythm. So I agree that they’re similar, but I don’t know if they’re too close. I think they might work pretty well together, in fact.

I also like Adele with Cecily. The name isn’t Hebrew in origin, though. It’s based on the Germanic word adal, meaning noble. (The first half of Adelaide comes from the same place.) I’m not aware of the name Adele being strongly associated with religion. (Am I overlooking something?)

Here are some other names that I think sound good with Cecily:

Allegra
Althea
Anastasia
Augusta
Aurora
Bianca
Dorothy
Eloisa
Fabiana
Felicia/Felice
Flora
Francesca
Gemma
Geneva
Genevieve
Isidora
Junia
Leona/Leonora
Lydia
Marcella
Margot
Minerva
Miranda
Miriam
Muriel
Phoebe
Portia
Rosemary
Therese
Valencia
Wilhelmina
Yvette

(I omitted Amelia, Evelyn, Vanessa and Victoria because I thought they might be too trendy/popular for Baccara’s taste.)

Which of the names above do you like best with Cecily? What other name suggestions would you offer to Baccara?

UPDATE – Scroll down to find out what the baby was named!