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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Charlie

Number of Babies Named Charlie

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Charlie

Do Americans Have an Obsession with Nicknames?

A couple of weeks ago, Judith left the following comment on a Five-Name Friday post.

I would love it if you dedicated a blog article to the American obsession with nicknames. Being European this really baffles me. Over here we give our children the name we like best, whether this is a long name (i.e. Michael) or a short one (i.e. Mike). A nickname might pop up in due course but is not something that you force (or even think about) beforehand. If you want your child to be called Ella, why would you name her Eleonora only to shorten it to Ella? Like I said it baffles me and I would love to know the background of this phenomenon.

Such an interesting question!

There’s certainly a difference between Americans and Europeans when it comes up nickname usage. You can see it comparing the top names in the U.S. with the top names in England — boy names especially. The English top 20 includes many more informal names (Jack, Harry, Charlie, Alfie, Freddie, Archie) than the U.S. top 20.

Seems to me that both regions are concerned with nicknames, but handle them in very different ways. Europeans are reasonably comfortable putting nicknames on birth certificates, while Americans are not as comfortable turning nicknames into legal names.

So what’s behind these diverging trends? I’m not sure that there’s a single answer, but here are a few theories. (Please excuse me ahead of time for making sweeping generalizations about Americans and Europeans.)

Formality differences
Europeans tend to be more relaxed than Americans, both in terms of daily life/habits and in terms of viewpoints. Maybe this informality leads them to prefer the informal names. (Or at least doesn’t make them feel obligated to use formal names.)

Work attitude differences
Americans tend to be more career-focused than Europeans. Perhaps this outlook makes them feel that it’s smart to have a formal name to fall back on for future professional use — that having a nickname-only name could be limiting.

Class differences
This theory, which is somewhat like the work attitude theory, comes from an Encyclopedia Britannica* blogger and concerns the U.S. and the UK specifically:

Perhaps the difference has to do with class. Americans may shy away from bestowing diminutives upon their children because they suspect that such “cutesy” names will prevent their children from climbing the ranks and becoming CEOs. In the more-rigid class system of the U.K., on the other hand, some parents might believe that that sort of advancement is so unlikely that it’s not worth letting it affect their choice of a name. So Charlie it is.

Gender-switch differences (pertains to boy names only)
In America, many formerly male/unisex names with “-ee” endings (e.g., Ashley, Avery, Bailey, Ellery, Riley) have turned into girl names. This might make Americans more hesitant to permanently attach diminutives with similar endings to baby boys.

Which (if any) of these theories do you think makes the most sense? What others can you think of?

Source: How to Tell a British Baby from an American: Differences in Naming Trends, Judith’s comment

*Did you know about the New York woman named Encyclopedia Britannica?


Popular Baby Names in England and Wales, 2015

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most popular baby names in England and Wales last year were (again) Amelia and Oliver.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Amelia, 5,158 baby girls
2. Olivia, 4,853
3. Emily, 3,893
4. Isla, 3,474
5. Ava, 3,414
6. Ella, 3,028
7. Jessica, 2,937
8. Isabella, 2,876
9. Mia, 2,842
10. Poppy, 2,816
1. Oliver, 6,941 baby boys
2. Jack, 5,371
3. Harry, 5,308
4. George, 4,869
5. Jacob, 4,850
6. Charlie, 4,831
7. Noah, 4,148
8. William, 4,083
9. Thomas, 4,075
10. Oscar, 4,066

In the girls’ top 10, Ella and Mia replace Lily (now 13th) and Sophie (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Noah (the top name in the U.S. right now) replace James (11th).

In the girls’ top 100, Penelope, Mila, Clara, Arabella, Maddison and Aria replace Lydia (now 103rd), Faith (104th), Mollie (105th), Brooke (107th), Isabel (110th) and Amy (117th).

In the boys’ top 100, Jaxon, Roman, Reggie and Carter replace Owen (now 101st), Robert (105th), Joey (117th) and Finlay (123rd).

Here are some of last year’s rare baby names, each given to either 3, 4 or 5 babies:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Aarzoo, Autumn-Lily, Boglarka, Comfort, Edna, Enxi, Euphemia, Flourish, Fozia, Gabia, Jupiter, Lady, Lleucu, Llio, Merveille, Nectaria, Pebbles, Peony, Prisca, Purity, Quorra, Reisel, Sloka, Tuba, Venice, Vimbainashe, Ylva Alffi, Bam, Bright, Crimea, Cuthbert, Efezino, Elimelech, Fyfe, Ghyll, Gryff, James-Dean, Jamesdean, Kushagra, Ignatius, Marmaduke, Math, Mio, Osagie, Otso, Pip, Przemyslaw, Sherlock, Swayley, Ringo, Testimony, Thierno, Zephyrus

(Crimea is intriguing, isn’t it? It was used as a baby name in the 1850s, during the Crimean War, but this is the first time I’ve seen it on a modern name list.)

And what about Welsh names?

Welsh Girl Names Welsh Boy Names
  • Seren (“star”) ranks 17th in Wales
  • Ffion (“foxglove”), 20th
  • Megan, 27th
    • & 76th overall
  • Mali, 45th
  • Alys, 66th
  • Carys (“love”), 72nd
  • Efa, 73rd
  • Cadi, 82nd
  • Lili, 85th
  • Lowri, 88th
  • Eira (“snow”), 92nd
  • Ela, 97th
  • Elin, 97th
  • Dylan ranks 13th in Wales
    • & 38th overall
  • Osian, 25th
  • Harri, 27th
  • Jac, 33rd
  • Rhys, 34th
  • Evan, 37th
  • Tomos, 47th
  • Cai, 51st
  • Ioan, 56th
  • Morgan, 67th
  • Elis, 66th
  • Hari, 82nd
  • Gethin (“swarthy”), 88th
  • Iestyn, 88th
  • Macsen, 92nd
  • Owain, 92nd
  • Ifan, 96th

Finally, if you’d like to go back another year, here are the England and Wales rankings for 2014.

Source: Baby names in England and Wales: 2015

Popular Baby Names in Paris, 2015

According to Open Data Paris, the most popular baby names in Paris, France, in 2015 were Louise and Adam/Gabriel (tie).

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Louise, 293 baby girls
2. Alice, 244
3. Chloé, 206
4. Emma, 178
5. Inès, 175
6. Sarah, 174
7. Jeanne, 173
8. Anna, 160
9. Adèle, 155
10. Juliette, 149
1. Adam, 355 baby boys (tie)
2. Gabriel, 355 (tie)
3. Raphaël, 320
4. Paul, 260
5. Louis, 256
6. Arthur, 245
7. Alexandre, 226
8. Victor, 208
9. Jules, 205
10. Mohamed, 185

In the girls’ top 10, Anna and Juliette replace Camille and Lina.

In the boys’ top 10, Jules replaces Maxime (now down in 15th).

The prénom mixte (unisex name) Charlie saw a dual-gender decline in 2015, “probably due to the association with the attacks in Charlie Hebdo in January.”

  • 2015: 29 girls and 6 boys named Charlie in Paris
  • 2014: 71 girls and 35 boys named Charlie in Paris
  • 2013: 75 girls and 37 boys named Charlie in Paris

Like the SSA data, the Paris data includes names used as seldom as 5 times per year. Here are some of the names from the bottom of the Paris rankings:

Uncommon Girl Names Uncommon Boy Names
Cléa, Clothilde, Dyna, Isée, Jane, Mélisande, Ornella, Romaïssa, Tasnime, Wendy Demba, Ezio, Foucauld, Harold, Idrissa, Massyl, Sixte, Tidiane, Vianney, Yaya

Slightly higher up on the girls’ side I spotted Armance, used 6 times. It’s both a river in France and a romance novel by French writer Stendhal (born Marie-Henri Beyle).

Sources: Open Data Paris – Liste des prénoms 2004 à 2015, Les prénoms les plus donnés à Paris en 2015

Top Dog Names in New York City, 2015

yorkshire terrier, dog names NYC
Gucci? Chanel?
According to the New York City Department of Health, Bella and Max were the most popular names for licensed dogs* in New York City in 2015.

Here are NYC’s top female dog names:

  1. Bella (…vs. 69th for baby girls in NY state, 2015)
  2. Lola (…267th)
  3. Lucy (…88th)
  4. Daisy (…271st)
  5. Coco
  6. Princess
  7. Molly (…128th)
  8. Chloe (…14th)
  9. Luna (…129th)
  10. Sophie (…77th)

And here are NYC’s top male dog names:

  1. Max (…vs. 85th for baby boys in NY state, 2015)
  2. Rocky
  3. Charlie (…236th)
  4. Buddy
  5. Lucky
  6. Teddy
  7. Toby (…760th)
  8. Jack (…23rd)
  9. Oliver (…32nd)
  10. Milo (…270th)

Uniquely popular names by breed include Snoopy for beagles, Tyson for boxers, Lulu for French bulldogs, Chico for chihuahuas, Frank for dachshunds, Dolly for poodles, Mugsy for pugs, Snow for Siberian huskies, and Chanel and Gucci for Yorkshire terriers.

On this map of unique dog names by neighborhood I see Baci (bah-chee, Italian for “kisses”), Boomer, Brutus, Frankie, Katie, Mochi, Ollie, Penelope, and Taz.

For less common NYC dog names, check out the dog names by frequency of occurrence page. Mousing over the bubbles I see 4 Tictacs, 3 Zombies, 2 Orbits, and 1 Chopstick.

Sources: Health Department Announces 2015’s Most Popular Dog Names, And the most popular dog name in New York is…

*The 84,000+ licensed dogs represent about 20% of all the dogs in NYC.

Top Dog and Cat Names in Toronto, 2015

dog and cat, grassCharlie and Max were the two most popular names for both licensed dogs and licensed cats living in the City of Toronto in 2015.

For dogs, of the more than 11,300 names on the list, these 10 were the most common:

  1. Charlie, 678 dogs
  2. Max, 560
  3. Bella, 515
  4. Buddy, 480
  5. Molly, 463
  6. Maggie, 416
  7. Bailey, 402
  8. Lucy, 376
  9. Coco, 369
  10. Daisy, 364

Over 7,300 of the dog names were used just once. Here are some of the funnier/punnier examples:

  • Barkley, Barksdale, Riley Barker, Wendel Bark
  • Dogma, Snoop Dog
  • Arcanine
  • Muttley, Muttley Crue
  • Paw-Prints, Paws, Pawsy
  • Pooches, Poochie, Poochy
  • Lolly Pup
  • Ruffy, Ruffas, Woodruff
  • Scallywag, Wagner, Wags, Tommy Wags
  • Woof, Woofie, Woofy
  • Nymeria (from Game of Thrones)

For cats, of the more than 7,900 names on the list, these 10 were the most common:

  1. Charlie, 174 cats (…though, technically, the top name for cats was actually “no name”)
  2. Max, 157
  3. Molly, 150
  4. Tiger, 140
  5. Lucy, 133 (tie)
  6. Smokey, 133 (tie)
  7. Bella, 130
  8. Shadow, 115
  9. Lucky, 111
  10. Tigger, 107

About 5,400 of the cat names were used just once. Some examples:

  • Battlecat, Stratacater
  • Coco Declaw, Heath Declaw, Riley Declaw, Zoey Declaw
  • Cleokatra, Kat Middleton, Kat-Mandu, Eartha Kat, Genghis Khat
  • Meowl, Meowlodie, Meowth
  • Stephen Pawk, Timmy Paws
  • Hypurr, Jaspurr, Peppurr, Purrcilla, Purriwinkle, Purrl, Purrscilla, Thumpurr
  • Grumpy (as in Grumpy Cat)

Sources: Licensed Dog and Cat Names – City of Toronto, Charlie and Max top Toronto lists of popular pet names

Popular Baby Names in Tasmania, 2015

According to the Tasmanian government, the most popular baby names in Tasmania in 2015 were again Charlotte and Oliver.

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Charlotte
2. Ella
3. Amelia
4. Mia
5. Sophie
6. Matilda
7. Ruby
8. Grace
9. Ivy
10. Ava
1. Oliver
2. William
3. Charlie
4. Jack
5. Thomas
6. James
7. Harrison
8. Oscar
9. Henry
10. Lucas

These rankings are pretty different from the 2014 rankings.

In the girls’ top 10, Ella, Ivy, and Ava replace Isla, Olivia, and Lucy. (Ivy is rising fast in the U.S. as well.)

In the boys’ top 10, James, Harrison, Oscar, Henry, and Lucas replace Mason, Lachlan, Max, Logan, and Noah.

Source: Tasmanian Top Baby Names

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2015

According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in Ireland in 2015 were Emily and Jack.

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 626 baby girls
2. Emma, 449
3. Ava, 421
4. Sophie, 407
5. Amelia, 400
6. Ella, 384
7. Lucy, 379
8. Grace, 367
9. Chloe, 362
10. Mia, 360
1. Jack, 752 baby boys
2. James, 697
3. Daniel, 617
4. Conor, 558
5. Sean, 530
6. Adam, 449
7. Noah, 438
8. Michael, 434
9. Charlie, 399
10. Luke, 382

Here are some quick comparisons between these rankings with the 2014 rankings…

New to the top 10:

  • Girl names: Chloe (replaces Aoife, now ranked 13th)
  • Boy names: Michael (replaces Harry, now tied for 14th with Cian)

New to the top 100:

  • Girl names: Maisie, Annabelle, Mila, Rosie, and Eimear
  • Boy names: Lorcan, George, Daithi, Brian, Edward, and Daire

Biggest increases within the top 100:

  • Girl names (by rank): Mila, Fiadh, Maisie, Annabelle, and Alice
  • Girl names (by raw numbers): Fiadh, Roisin, Robyn, Sadie, and Chloe
  • Boy names (by rank): Ollie, Donnacha, Billy, Tadhg, and Brian/Daire (tied)
  • Boy names (by raw numbers): Oliver, Michael, Fionn, Tadhg, and Finn

And finally, some of the “less common” (non-top 100) baby names mentioned in the CSO’s statistical release:

  • Girl names: Paris, Nelly, Dakota, Kim, Pixie, and Sabina
  • Boy names: Barra, Pauric, Zayn, Gus, Romeo, and Otis

Source: Irish Babies’ Names, 2015