How popular is the baby name Cleveland 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 Cleveland.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Cleveland


Posts that Mention the Name Cleveland

Contrarian Baby Names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

contrarian baby names, uncool baby names

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

Some Single-State Baby Names: Ariza, Barbie, Cruzito…

It’s easy to figure out which baby names appeared on all (or most) of the state-specific baby name lists for 2017. But what about the rare names that only made one or two state lists?

A total of 1,324 names appeared on just one state list, and a total of 1,198 names appeared on two state lists. (I analyzed boy names and girl names separately, though, so several of these names did show up on extra lists as the other gender.)

Here’s a selection of the baby names that appeared on just one state list last year:

  • Neyland, 41 boys in Tennessee (out of 53 nation-wide)
  • Roel, 23 boys in Texas (out of 50 nation-wide)
  • Ariza, 22 girls in Arizona (out of 31 nation-wide)
  • Marty, 21 boys in Ohio (out of 66 boys, and 13 girls, nation-wide)
  • Venice, 20 girls and 5 boys in California (out of 44 and 12 nation-wide)
  • Kinnick, 19 boys in Iowa (out of 29 nation-wide)
  • Benuel, 17 boys in Pennsylvania (out of 26 nation-wide)
  • Barbie, 16 girls in Pennsylvania (out of 29 nation-wide)
  • Kainalu, 16 boys in Hawaii (out of 23 nation-wide)
  • Mahina, 16 girls in Hawaii (out of 22 nation-wide)
  • Taysom, 14 boys in Utah (out of 24 nation-wide)
  • Hatcher, 10 boys in Alaska (out of 40 nation-wide)
  • Talmage, 10 boys in Utah (out of 20 nation-wide)
  • Atlee, 8 boys in Ohio (out of 25 boys and 32 girls nation-wide)
  • Cruzito, 8 boys in New Mexico (out of 25 nation-wide)
  • Nizhoni, 8 girls in Arizona (out of 21 nation-wide)
  • California, 7 girls in California (out of 16 nation-wide)
  • Griffey, 7 boys in Washington state (out of 21 nation-wide)
  • Kodiak, 7 boys in California (out of 30 nation-wide)
  • Rainier, 7 boys in Washington state (out of 24 nation-wide)
  • Alabama, 5 girls in California (out of 16 nation-wide)
  • Boomer, 5 boys in Texas (out of 33 nation-wide)
  • Cleveland, 5 boys in Florida (out of 28 nation-wide)
  • Crockett, 5 boys in Texas (out of 10 nation-wide)
  • Ole, 5 boys in Minnesota (out of 21 nation-wide)

A lot of these have easy explanations (e.g., Neyland Stadium, Kinnick Stadium, Mount Rainier, Taysom Hill) or are logical in some other way (like “Ariza” in Arizona).

Two that I couldn’t figure out, though, were Marty in Ohio and Barbie in Pennsylvania. My assumption regarding Barbie is that it’s popular among the Amish. (Benuel too.) But I have no clue about Marty. Is it college sports…?

And here’s a selection of the baby names that showed up on two state lists in 2017:

  • Hyrum, 36 boys in Utah and 15 in Idaho (out of 88 nation-wide)
  • Ammon, 24 boys in Utah and 6 in Pennsylvania (out of 64 nation-wide)
  • Fannie, 18 in Pennsylvania and 6 in New York (out of 45 nation-wide)
  • Avenir, 11 boys in Washington state and 6 in California (out of 31 nation-wide)
  • Reverie, 8 girls in California and 5 in Illinois (out of 26 nation-wide)
  • Sunshine, 7 girls in Arizona and 7 in California (out of 55 nation-wide)

I was confused about Avenir a few years ago, but I’ve since found the answer: it’s the Russian form of the Biblical name Abner. Avenir has been popping up on West Coast state lists (WA, OR, CA) lately, which makes sense given the fact that several West Coast cities have relatively large Russian-American populations.

Have you had a chance to go over the state lists yet? If so, did you spot anything interesting?

Name Quotes #57: Gage, Ciku, Abigail Fortitude

George Clooney explaining why he and his wife Amal named their twins Alexander and Ella (People):

“[We] didn’t want to give them one of those ridiculous Hollywood names that don’t mean anything,” George told Paris Match in an interview published Saturday. “They’ll already have enough difficulty bearing the weight of their celebrity.”

Summary of a recent study on the practice of naming winter storms (WBIR):

The researchers presented their subjects with three mock tweets about an upcoming winter storm — either using names like “Bill,” “Zelus,” or no name at all — then asked them about their perceptions of the storm’s potential severity.

It turned out that the survey participants were equally likely to show concern for the storm regardless of whether common names such as Bill were used, rather than uncommon names, such as Zelus. This was a surprise to Rainear, who thought that more “Americanized” names might make people more wary.

On the origin of the name of the Slinky (New York Times):

[N]ext month the Toy Manufacturers of America will induct Betty James, 82, the retired toy maker who gave the Slinky its name, into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Mrs. James came up with the name after deciding that Slinky best described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing. Slinky, of course, meaning sort of stealthily quiet. Mrs. James did not have sexy evening wear in mind; it was 1943, after all, and there was a war.

On changing name trends in Kenya (SDE Kenya):

It is so 1980 for modern Kenyan parents to name their children after biblical figures. Ati names like Grace, Hannah, Sarah, Magdalene or Jane for their daughters is now a no-no. For sons, naming them Abednego or Adonijah sounds like a bad Sunday school dream.

[…]

Names like Peter and Paul, Esther and Lois were fashionable in their grandparents’ time and today, girls are named Tasha, Tanya or Tiffany, while boys go by cooler ones like Cy, Kyle, Declan and Sherwin.

…The article also mentioned that many traditional names now have modernized forms:

  • Wangui -> Kui
  • Waithiageni -> Sheni
  • Wanjiku -> Ciku
  • Wanjiru -> Ciru
  • Wambui -> Foi
  • Wacera -> Cera

“Modern parents have no qualms having them appear like that in official documents. Welcome to baby names in 21st century Kenya.”

Onomastician Cleveland Kent Evans vs. the baby name Gage (Washington Post):

But right now, Evans is pondering the sudden, explosive rise of the male first name Gage. From out of nowhere. There’s no record of this name, nothing in the texts, nothing anywhere. And yet just in the last couple of years, it’s been popping up all around the country.

[…]

Finally, he asked his students at Bellevue College near Omaha. One student got the reference immediately: “Emergency!” he said. Meaning the short-lived 1970s TV series, of course. Turns out there was a character named John Gage on that show, and he was generally addressed as Gage.

[…]

Incredibly, “Emergency!,” which aired opposite “60 Minutes” for four years, was exceedingly popular among elementary-school children.

One mom’s positive experience with revealing her son’s name during pregnancy (Popsugar)

One reason why people don’t reveal the baby’s name is to ward off other people’s opinions. I could tell there were a couple of my friends who didn’t like the name, but just like I didn’t get pregnant to please them, I’m wasn’t going to change his name for them either. Most people that I talked to had enough common sense to keep their opinions to themselves. Even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t have changed a thing.

My son’s name […] is special to me. I didn’t stop feeling that way once I told it to people — if anything, it made the pregnancy a whole lot easier.

From the script for Mother Is a Freshman (1949), about a 35-year-old widow, Abigail, who starts attending the college that her daughter Susan goes to:

Abigail: I mean about the Abigail Fortitude Memorial Scholarship.
Susan: The one they give to any girl whose first two names are Abigail Fortitude?
Abigail: Yes.
Susan: Clara Fettle says no one’s applied for it since 1907, and there’s zillions piling up.
Abigail: And you never told me!
Susan: Of course not.
Abigail: It never occurred to you that my first names are Abigail Fortitude–that I’ve had to put up with them all my life!
Susan: I know, Mom. It must have been awful.
Abigail [struck by thought]: Maybe that’s why my mother gave me those names. Maybe she know about the scholarship.

…Turns out the scholarship had been set up by Abigail’s grandmother, also named Abigail Fortitude.

*

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.

Unusual Real Names: Eulavelle, Jettabee, McKaskia

Another batch of long unusual-but-real names:

  • Eulavelle: Eulavelle Lee Drake was born in California in 1913.
  • Henderina: Botanist/cinematographer Henderina “Rina” Victoria Scott was born in England in 1862.
  • Hurieosco: Hurieosco Austill was born in Alabama in 1841.
  • Jacquemin: Jacquemin, brother of Jeanne d’Arc, was born in France in the early 15th century.
  • Jettabee: Radio scriptwriter Jettabee Ann Hopkins was born in Nebraska in 1905.
  • Lianella: Film actress Lianella Carell was born in Italy in 1927.
  • Limbania: St. Limbania was born in Cyprus in the 13th century. The Philadelphia Art Museum has a painting of Saint Limbania (1725).
  • Lodusky: Lodusky Jerusha Taylor was born in Minnesota in 1856. (According to Cleveland Kent Evans, the name Lodusky was derived from the literature name Lodoïska, which may have been inspired by Louise. The title character in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book Lodusky (1877) went by the nickname “Dusk.”)
  • Marjabelle: Etiquette expert Marjabelle Young Stewart was born in Iowa in 1924.
  • Marmaduke: Shipping magnate Marmaduke Furness was born in England in 1883.
  • McKaskia: McKaskia Stearns Bonnifield was born in West Virginia in 1833.
  • Mellcene: Mellcene Thurman Smith was born in Missouri in 1872.
  • Minervina: Minervina was the first wife of Constantine the Great during the early 4th century.

Which of the above do you like best?

Baby Born on Ship, But Not Named for It

Back when ocean liners were the main mode of long distance travel, it was common for babies born at sea to be named after the ship they were born on (e.g., Cleveland, Martello, Numidian).

So it was notable when a baby was born on a ship and not named for that ship.

Case in point, the first baby born aboard the RMS Carmania:

The first baby to be born on board the new Cunard turbine liner Carmania came into the world in midocean last Wednesday. The baby is a boy, the son of Russian parents, who were among the 1,001 steerage passengers arriving here on the Carmania yesterday. The saloon passengers made up a purse of $60 and presented it to the parents. Strange to say, the boy was not christened Carmania. His parents decided that when he grew up he might object.

According to the manifest for that trip, the baby was named Gerschon. (His father’s first and middle names were Abram Gerschon.)

The Biblical name Gerschon/Gershon is a variant of another Biblical name, Gershom, which is thought to mean “[a person in] exile” in Hebrew.

Sources:

  • First Carmania Baby.” New York Times 5 Mar. 1906.
  • Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.