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, see baby names similar to Cleveland and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Cleveland.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Cleveland

Number of Babies Named Cleveland

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Cleveland

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.

My Top 40 Baby Name Stories

Open BookOf the hundreds of baby name stories I’ve posted so far, these are my 40 favorites (listed alphabetically).

  1. Actsapostles
  2. Airlene
  3. Aku
  4. Carpathia
  5. Cleveland
  6. Dee Day
  7. Dondi
  8. Emancipation Proclamation
  9. Frances Cleveland
  10. Georgia
  11. Grant
  12. Guynemer
  13. Ida Lewis
  14. Independence & Liberty
  15. Inte & Gration
  16. Invicta
  17. Iuma
  18. Jesse Roper
  19. Job-Rakt-Out-of-the-Asshes
  20. Karina
  21. Legal Tender
  22. Livonia
  23. Louisiana Purchase
  24. Maitland Albert
  25. Maria Corazon
  26. Mary Ann
  27. Medina
  28. Pannonica
  29. Pearl
  30. Poncella
  31. Return
  32. Robert
  33. Saarfried
  34. Salida
  35. Seawillow
  36. Speaker
  37. Speedy
  38. States Rights
  39. Thursday October
  40. Zeppelina

My favorite baby name stories tend to be those that I find most memorable. Several of them (e.g., Aku, Karina, Maitland) even taught me something new. In a few cases, it’s not the original story I like so much as something that happened later on in the tale (as with Georgia, Salida, Speaker).