How popular is the baby name Clementine in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Clementine and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Clementine.
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Nature is waking up again! Let’s celebrate by checking out which nature names are the most popular for baby girls right now. Ironically the top 50 list below includes all the seasons except for “Spring,” but it does feature lots of springtime things: flowers, birds, trees…
For this list I stuck to names that are also correctly spelled English words. This means that I skipped names that are non-English words (like Stella and Luna) and alternative spellings of words (like Brooke and Briar). I should also mention that several of the above (including Rowan, Robin, and Clementine) do have more than one etymology to choose from.
Boy Names (spellings combined)
But combining spellings isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For instance, if “Amelia” is combined with “Emilia” (which is actually in the Emily family) then why wasn’t “Alivia” combined with “Olivia”? That would boost Olivia/Alivia into the #1 spot. And should “Eva” go with “Ava,” since they’re occasionally pronounced the same way…?
Here are some names from the other end of the rankings, each used just five times in 2015:
It said that a “correspondent of leisure” had kept track of all the female names that appeared in the Marriages and Deaths column of the Glasgow Herald during the second half of 1913. He spotted a total of 208 different names (shared among 3,500 women) during that time. The two most popular? Margaret and Mary. The next-most-popular were Elizabeth, Agnes, Janet and Isabella. The least popular were the 73 that appeared only once, including:
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:
Hilary Parker’s recent post on the 14 most “poisoned” baby names 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 are the spikes, both graphically and numerically:
The Baby Name Hillary
1994: 408 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 566th]
1993: 1,064 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 261st]
1992: 2,522 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 132nd]
1991: 1,789 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 166th]
1990: 1,523 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).
The Baby Name Hilary
1994: 145 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 1,208th]
1993: 343 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 651st]
1992: 1,171 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 233rd]
1991: 1,148 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 243rd]
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.”)
The Baby Name Chelsea
1994: 7,713 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 38th]
1993: 11,288 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 25th]
1992: 16,176 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 15th]
1991: 13,508 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 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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).
A reader named Grace would like some help naming her twin girls, due in a couple of months. She and her husband John already have three boys, Jackson, Samuel and Lucas.
So far, their favorite girl names are Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah. But they’re also considering a family name:
We would love to honor my mother, Denise Marie, but we despise both names. I would love some ideas on how to use that without actually using those names.
For the middle spots, they’re aiming for virtue names. They already have Honor picked out, and “[i]f there is another virtue name you would suggest so they both had one that would be great!”
Their last name is similar to Cawston.
– On the current favorites…
I like all of the current favorites. The pairing I like best, though, is Juliet and Susannah. I just think they sound good together. I also like how they can both be shortened, just like the boys’ names — Jack, Sam, Luke, Jules & Sue (or Julie & Susie).
On incorporating Denise Marie…
One way to incorporate Denise Marie would be to find a name that features the sounds of both Denise and Marie (especially those D- and M-sounds). Names with these sounds include Madeline, Demetria, Dominique/Domenica, Damaris, Adamina, Amadea and Idamae.
Another approach would be to use initials — either the initials “D. M.” for one twin or a D-name for twin #1 and an M-name for twin #2. Some possibilities (beyond the names above) include Dahlia, Daisy, Damiana, Daphne, Dara, Delphine, Diana, Dina, Dora, Dorothy and Drusilla for D-names and Mara, Marian, Marlene, Martina, Mina, Mirabelle, Miranda, Miriam, Molly, Monica and Mona for M-names.
On virtuous middles…
My first thought was Mercy, because it sounds a lot like Marie. Other virtue names that might make nice middles are Amity, Charity, Clementine/Clemency, Hope, Joy, Patience, Peace/Pax, Temperance and Verity.
Now it’s your turn! Which of Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah do you like best for twins? What names can you come up with to honor Denise Marie? Which virtue names do you like best for middle names?