How popular is the baby name Celestine 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 Celestine.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Celestine


Posts that Mention the Name Celestine

New Gemstone Baby Names

We’re very familiar with gemstone baby names names like Ruby, Opal and Jade. But you probably haven’t met anyone (yet?) who has one these names on their birth certificate…

  • Citrine: Citrine debuted in the SSA data in 2019. Citrine is an orange-y variety of quartz. It’s one of the birthstones for November.
  • Kyanite: Kyanite debuted in 2019 as well. Kyanite is typically blue, and its name is related to the color word “cyan.”
  • Lazuli: Lazuli, part of the rock name lapis lazuli (which translates to “stone of azure”), debuted in 2016.
  • Malachite: Malachite debuted in 2017. Malachite is a green-banded mineral. Its name refers to the leaves of the mallow plant.

These join the many gem-names — Amethyst, Angelite, Beryl, Celestine, Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Jasper, Larimar, Obsidian, Olivine, Onyx, Sapphire, Topaz, Turquoise, etc. — that have previously appeared in the SSA data. (Not to mention the rock names Coal, Flint, Granite, Shale, and Slate.)

I’m sure Citrine and Kyanite won’t be the last of the names in this category to emerge in the data, though, because there are just so many other nicely-named minerals and rocks out there. Some examples…

  • Agate: a banded, colored quartz with a name that happens to look and sound similar to Agatha.
  • Alexandrite: a color-changing variety of chrysoberyl named after Alexander II of Russia. It’s one of the birthstones for June.
  • Ametrine: a type of quartz with zones of purple and yellow/orange; a mix of amethyst and citrine.
  • Carnelian: a red variety of quartz. Its name can be traced back to the Latin word conus, the name of a type of berry.
  • Peridot: a green gemstone with a name of unknown origin. It’s the birthstone for August.
  • Selenite: a type of gypsum. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for “moon,” selene. (If you’ve ever watched metaphysical content on YouTube, you’ve probably seen a selenite wand before…)
  • Tourmaline: a gem that comes in a wide variety of colors. It’s one of the birthstones for October.

Which gem/mineral/rock name do you think we’ll spot next in the U.S. baby name data?

Name Quotes 88: Booker, Beyoncé, Beatrice

From an interview with Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson — the youngest of seven siblings — on the podcast In My Head:

A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name. My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which, at that time, was not a cool thing, to have that weird name.

[…]

But, all of us have a different spelling. I think me and my brother, Skip, were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E.

And, it’s interesting — and it shows you the times — because we asked my mother when I was grown, I was like, ‘Why is my brother’s name spelled B-E-Y-I-N-C-E?’

[…]

[M]y mom’s reply to me was like, ‘That’s what they put on your birth certificate.’

So I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?’

She said, ‘I did one time, the first time, and I was told: ‘Be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate.” Because, at one time, Black people didn’t get birth certificates. They didn’t even have a birth certificate. Because it meant that you really didn’t exist, you know, you weren’t important. It was that subliminal message.

And so I understood that that must have been horrible for her, not to even be able to have her children’s names spelled correctly.

So it was an odd name, it was a weird name, and they were like, ‘How dare you have a French name.’ Like, ‘We’re gonna screw this up real good for you.’ And that’s what they did. So we all have different spellings.

From an Express article that reveals the Queen’s preference for the name Beatrice over the name Annabel:

The names of royal babies are traditionally approved by the Queen. But the monarch is said to have rejected the Duke and Duchess of York’s choice of Annabel for their first child.

The Queen found Annabel too “yuppie”, The Sun reported, and instead suggested Beatrice.

The name Beatrice was royal enough for the head of state but unusual enough to please Sarah, according to the newspaper.

Two quotes from an article in which the author argues that distinctively black names in America emerged long before the civil rights movement:

[I]n the 1920 census, 99% of all men with the first name of Booker were black, as were 80% of all men named Perlie or its variations. We found that the fraction of blacks holding a distinctively black name in the early 1900s is comparable to the fraction holding a distinctively black name at the end of the 20th century, around 3%.

…and second:

[W]e found that names like Alonzo, Israel, Presley and Titus were popular both before and after emancipation among blacks. We also learned found that roughly 3% of black Americans had black names in the antebellum period – about the same percentage as did in the period after the Civil War.

But what was most striking is the trend over time during enslavement. We found that the share of black Americans with black names increased over the antebellum era while the share of white Americans with these same names declined, from more than 3% at the time of the American Revolution to less than 1% by 1860.

From an article in Time about middle names:

Middle names provide an opportunity for people to shift identities throughout their life: the author George Sand wrote that her mother, who had “three baptismal names,” used each of them at various points throughout her life. Pablo Picasso was baptized with a string of more than a dozen names and though, like many people with multiple names, he wasn’t known by all of them, he did test out different combinations: initially signing paintings as P. Ruiz, then trying P. Ruiz Picasso before sticking with Picasso.

From the 2004 book Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut:

Three essential parts made a human in the Inuit view: body, soul, and name. A nameless child was not fully human; giving it a name, whether before or after birth, made it whole. Inuit did not have family surnames. Instead, each person’s name linked him or her to a deceased relative or family friend.

[…]

Is this reincarnation? Elders point out that it is not, for it is not the soul, but rather the spiritual element that is the name — the name-soul — that joins the child, remaining with him and protecting him throughout his life.

(The word in the book’s title, uqalurait, refers to a type of snowdrift with a tip that resembles a tongue (uqaq). It’s a pun because the word for “tongue” in inuttitut (the Canadian dialect of inuktitut) is also the word for “language” — very fitting for a book of oral history.)

From a Bon Appetit article about a particular dijon mustard product:

I mostly love Rich Country because…it’s called Rich Country, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a pretty unnecessarily epic name for a condiment. It sounds like the next great Rick Ross album. Or a Keith Urban-themed Southern waterpark. Or a new bourbon endorsed by a retired pro-wrestler. But it’s not! It’s mustard. And it’s helped to clarify for me that I want my condiments to do more than simply enhance the taste of food I’m preparing—I want them to enhance my life, to spark joy every time I pull them out of the fridge. Indeed, every time I reach for my new favorite mustard, I can’t help but whisper the name aloud as if I were starring in a commercial for it—R-r-r-r-iiiiiiich Coooooountry—and laugh out loud while I’m making lunch. (This could be the quarantine brain talking, but still. It’s the little things, people.)

(Speaking of dijon mustard…)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: C (Part 1)

Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from old films (1910s through 1940s).

I’ve split the list of C-names in two, and the second half will be posted in a few weeks.

Cabiria
Cabiria was a character played by actress Lidia Quaranta in the film Cabiria (1914).

Caecilia
Caecilia was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film The Honeymoon (1930).

Calalou
Calalou was a character played by actress Hattie Peters in the film White Youth (1920).

Calanthe
Calanthe was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film Damon and Pythias (1914).

Cally
Cally was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Slim (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Cally.

Calpurnia
Calpurnia was a character played by actress Gertrude Michael in the film Cleopatra (1934).

Capria
Capria was a character played by actress Kathlyn Williams in the short film The Survival of the Fittest (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Capria.

Caprice
Caprice was a character played by actress Carmen Phillips in the short film The Pipes o’ Pan (1914).

Carreen
Carreen O’Hara was a character played by Ann Rutherford in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Caricia
Caricia was a character played by actress Barbara Bedford in the film The Broken Mask (1928).

Carita
Carita was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film Tin Gods (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Carita.

Carlina
Carlina was a character played by actress Charlotte Burton in the film At the Potter’s Wheel (1914).

Carlita
Carlita was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Flirting with Fate (1938).

Carlotta
Carlotta was a character name in multiple films, including The Laugh that Died (1915) and Dinner at Eight (1933).

Carmel
Carmel Myers was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1970s. She was born in California in 1899.

  • Usage of the baby name Carmel.

Carmelita
Carmelita Geraghty was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Indiana in 1901. Carmelita was also a character name in multiple films, including Carmelita’s Revenge (1914) and The Magnificent Fraud (1939).

Carmencita
Carmencita was the dancer who appeared in the short film Carmencita (1894). Carmencita was also a character name in multiple films, including Man from God’s Country (1924) and Adventurous Knights (1935).

Carmina
Carmina was a character name in multiple films, including The Drop of Blood (1913) and In Gay Madrid (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Carmina (which debuted in the data in 1914).

Carminella
Carminella was a character played by actress Madame Pilar-Morin in the short film Carminella (1910).

Carney
Carney was a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film Daughter of the Tong (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Carney.

Carola
Carola was a character name in multiple films, including College Holiday (1936) and Dangerous Partners (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Carola.

Carole

  • Carole Lombard was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Indiana in 1908. Her birth name was Carol Jane Peters.
  • Carole Landis was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in Wisconsin in 1919. Her birth name was Frances Lillian Mary Ridste.

Carole was also a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film Ann Carver’s Profession (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Carole.

Carolyne
Carolyne Wright was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

Carroll
Carroll Sherridan was a character played by actress Irene Ware in the film Happiness C.O.D. (1935).

Cary
Cary Whipple was a character played by actress Virginia Brissac in the film Three’s a Crowd (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Cary.

Caryl
Caryl Lincoln was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in California in 1903. Caryl was also a character name in multiple films, including Caryl of the Mountains (1914) and Fighting Destiny (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Caryl.

Cassy
Cassy Cara was a character played by actress Pauline Frederick in the film The Paliser Case (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Cassy.

Castelene
Princess Castelene was a character played by actress Fania Marinoff in the short film The Unsuspected Isles (1915).

Catana
Catana Perez was a character played by actress Jean Peters in the film Captain from Castile (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Catana (which debuted in the data in 1948).

Catterina
Catterina was a character played by actress Sylvia Sidney in the film Thirty-Day Princess (1934).

Cecile
Cecile was a character name in multiple films, including Camille (1915) and Honeymoon Deferred (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Cecile.

Cecy
Cecy Acuña was a character played by actress Leslie Brooks in the film You Were Never Lovelier (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Cecy.

Cédrien
Cédrien was a character played by actress Dale Fuller in the film Volcano! (1926).

Ceinwen
Ceinwen was a character played by actress Ann E. Todd in the film How Green Was My Valley (1941).

Celestine
Celestine was a character name in multiple films, including Dancing Man (1934) and I Want a Divorce (1940).

Celida
Celida was a character played by actress Doris Kenyon in the film The Feast of Life (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Celida.

Celie
Celie Sterling was a character played by actress Eileen Percy in the film Some Liar (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Celie.

Celimena
Celimena Moore was a character played by actress Emily Fitzroy in the film Bobbed Hair (1925).

Celinda
Celinda was a character played by actress Virginia Brown Faire in the film The Temptress (1926).

Cella
Cella Stuart was a character played by actress Sunday Wilshin in the film An Obvious Situation (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Cella.

Cenci
Cenci Prohaska was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Waltz Time (1945).

Cerise
Cerise was a character played by actress Patsy De Forest in the short film A Day on the Force (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Cerise.

Cesca
Cesca was a character name in multiple films, including Scarface (1932) and Tortilla Flat (1942).

Chaddie
Chaddie Green was a character played by actress Dorothy Devore in the film The Prairie Wife (1925).

Chadyeane
Chadyeane Fairfax was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film Born Rich (1924).

Chala
Chala was a character played by actress Amalia Rivera in the film The Tents of Allah (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Chala.

Chameli
Chameli Brentwood was a character played by actress Aileen Pringle in the film The Tiger’s Claw (1923).

Charisse
Cyd Charisse was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1970s. She was born in Texas in 1922. Her birth name Tula Ellice Finklea.

Charmaine
Charmaine was a character name in multiple films, including What Price Glory? (1926) and Those Three French Girls (1930).

Charmian
Charmian was a character name in multiple films, including Queenie of the Nile (1915) and Mister Dynamite (1925).

Charmion
Charmion was a character name in multiple films, including The Darling of the Rich (1922) and Cleopatra (1934).

Charmis
Charmis Graham was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film The Ugly Duckling (1920).

Cheema
Cheema was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Panama Lady (1939).

Cheeta
Cheeta was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film River’s End (1940).

Cherie
Cherie was a character name in multiple films, including The Destroyer (1915) and Her Man o’ War (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Cherie.

Cherokee
Cherokee Lansing was a character played by actress Susan Hayward in the film Tulsa (1949).

Cherry
Cherry was a character name in multiple films, including The Silver Horde (1930) and As Good as Married (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Cherry.

Cheryl
Cheryl Walker was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in California in 1918.

  • Usage of the baby name Cheryl.

Chichita
Chichita was a character played by actress Elsie Ferguson in the film The Avalanche (1919).

Chilita
Chilita was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the short film Mike and Jake in Mexico (1913).

China
China Valdés was a character played by actress Jennifer Jones in the film We Were Strangers (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name China.

Chinta
Chinta was a character played by actress Cora Drew in the film The Moral Law (1918).

Chiquita
Chiquita Hart was a character played by actress Carmen Miranda in the film Something for the Boys (1944).

Chita
Chita was a character name in multiple films, including Flaming Love (1925) and Girl from Havana (1940).

Chonita
Chonita Alvarado was a character played by actress Edith Storey in the film The Tarantula (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Chonita (which debuted in the data in 1917).

Chook-Ra
Chook-Ra was a character played by actress Edith Roberts in the film The Son of the Wolf (1922).

Christabel
Christabel was a character name in multiple films, including Robin Hood (1912) and A Man of Honor (1919).

Christiane
Christiane Mandelys was an actress who appeared in films in the early 1900s. She was born in France in 1873.

Chulita
Chulita was a character played by actress Frances Drake in the film The Trumpet Blows (1934).

Chyra
Chyra was a character played by actress Nina Quartero in the film One Stolen Night (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Chyra.

Which of the above do you like best?

Baby Names Inspired by the Solar Eclipse

baby names, solar eclipse

On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have — or conceive! — a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that isn’t as audacious as Eclipse itself). So what are your options?

Names with “celestial” associations

A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…

“Sun” names Helios, Elio, Sunny, Sol, Solange, Soleil, Solaris, Ravi, Samson, Surya, Sunniva, Haruko, Hinata
“Star” names Star, Stella, Estelle, Starla, Astra, Seren, Tara, Citlali, Hoshi
“Moon” names Luna, Moon, Selene, Selena, Chandra, Mahina, Qamar, Dawa
“Earth” names Eartha, Gaia, Tierra, Tlaloc, Avani
“Sky” names Sky, Skyla, Skylar, Lani, Miku, Akash, Alya, Celeste, Celestine, Ciel, Sora

Names with “dark” associations

The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…

“Shadow” names Shade, Umbra, Shadow, Zillah
“Dark” or “Black” names Melanie, Duff, Dubhan, Ciar, Ciara, Ciaran, Sullivan*, Krishna, Charna, Jett, Raven
“Night” names Nisha, Layla, Nyx, Lilith, Miyako, Rajnish

*Sullivan essentially means “descendant of the little dark eye” in Irish — weirdly appropriate for a solar eclipse baby name, don’t you think?

Name combos with both “celestial” and “dark” associations

You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…

  • Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
  • Jett Samson: “black” and “sun”
  • Ciaran Sol: “black” and “sun”
  • Melanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
  • Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)

Names (or name combos) featuring the letters “S” and “E”

This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…

Seeta
Sela
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Selma
Seraphina
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Serenity
Sean
Sebastian
Sefton
Sergio
Seth
Severino
Seymour

Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…

Sally Esther
Scarlett Eve
Sophia Eloise
Susanna Elizabeth
Samuel Elijah
Shane Everett
Stanley Edward
Sylvester Ellis

Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?

Sources: When & Where to See the Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017, Two Minutes Of Darkness With 20,000 Strangers

Update, 5/15/2018: The baby name Eclipse debuted in the 2017 SSA data!

The Demise of the Baby Name Hillary

Hillary Clinton, 1992
Hillary Clinton

A cool post on the 14 most “poisoned” baby names by data scientist Hilary Parker reminded me that I haven’t yet written about the demise of the baby name Hillary. (Or Hilary. Or Chelsea.)

So let’s travel back to 1992 for a minute.

In mid-July, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was selected as the Democratic candidate for the presidency. His wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea were now in the national spotlight.

In early November, Bill managed to beat Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush to become the 42nd president of the United States. Hillary and Chelsea would now stay in the national spotlight.

And in late November, a few weeks after the election, the Miami Herald printed this:

Now that the Clinton women are set to move into the White House, both names are becoming more popular among new parents.

For the first time, Chelsea has cracked the top 10 list of the most popular girl names in Florida. Name expert Leonard R. N. Ashley, a Brooklyn College professor, said he expects Hillary to also catch on.

[…]

The popularity of Chelsea, on the rise long before the presidential pre-teen made her Democratic convention appearance, is likely to get a boost from the first family pedigree, Ashley said.

The “name expert” got it wrong, of course.

Hillary did not catch on. Nor did Chelsea. Both names had been on the rise, but usage dropped significantly after 1992. Here’s the data:

Hillary

graph of usage of baby name hillary
  • 1995: 310 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 686th]
  • 1994: 408 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 566th]
  • 1993: 1,064 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 261st]
  • 1992: 2,521 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 132nd]
  • 1991: 1,789 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 166th]
  • 1990: 1,524 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 192nd]

That’s a 58% drop from 1992 to 1993. Hillary fell so low that it got pushed out of the top 1,000 entirely for two years (2002 and 2003).

Hilary

graph of usage of baby name hilary
  • 1995: 125 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 1,326th]
  • 1994: 145 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 1,210th]
  • 1993: 343 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 651st]
  • 1992: 1,170 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 234th]
  • 1991: 1,149 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 242nd]
  • 1990: 1,216 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 232nd]

A 71% drop from 1992 to 1993. Hilary was out of the top 1,000 by 1994 and hasn’t been back since. (Hilary Parker says the name Hilary is “clearly the most poisoned.”)

Chelsea

graph of usage of baby name chelsea
  • 1995: 6,760 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 47th]
  • 1994: 7,717 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 38th]
  • 1993: 11,288 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 25th]
  • 1992: 16,174 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 15th]
  • 1991: 13,511 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 18th]
  • 1990: 12,782 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 24th]

The drop here isn’t as dramatic — just 30% — but Chelsea was out of the top 100 by 1999. It currently ranks 222nd.

Why?

Why did the name Hillary slip after Hillary Clinton became a fixture in the White House?

Because she violated gender norms — that’s my guess.

Hillary Clinton was a new kind of First Lady. She was a lawyer, a businesswoman, a scholar and an activist. She was the first First Lady with an earned (vs. honorary) post-graduate degree, and the first to have her own professional career.

But, instead of being praised for her intelligence and ambition, she was criticized for it.

Just two months after the inauguration, Anna Quindlen of the New York Times made note of the double standard:

Maybe some of our daughters took notice of how Hillary Clinton was seen as abrasive, power-hungry and unfeminine when to some of us she seemed merely smart, outspoken and hard-working. Maybe they saw the masquerade and recognized intuitively the age-old message about how much more attractive women are when they are domestic, soft, contented, the message aimed over the years at Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt and many, many others.

To expectant parents, it didn’t matter that Hillary Clinton was smart and successful. They began avoiding the name Hillary in 1993 because the First Lady — the most high-profile Hillary in the nation — was making her name seem “unfeminine.”

Do you agree? Disagree?

P.S. What are the 13 other “poisoned” names? The 9 to drop since the 1960s are Ashanti, Catina, Deneen, Farrah, Iesha, Infant, Katina, Khadijah and Renata. The other four — Celestine, Clementine, Dewey and Minna — are from the 1800s, a time when SSA data wasn’t too reliable.

Sources: