How popular is the baby name Cordelia 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 Cordelia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Cordelia


Posts that Mention the Name Cordelia

Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2020

According to British Columbia’s Ministry of Health, the most popular baby names in the province last year were Olivia and Liam.

Here are British Columbia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 239 baby girls
  2. Emma, 184
  3. Charlotte, 161
  4. Ava, 157
  5. Amelia, 148
  6. Sophia, 138
  7. Isla, 130
  8. Hannah, 128
  9. Chloe, 125
  10. Emily, 111

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 223 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 215
  3. Noah, 206
  4. Lucas, 193
  5. Benjamin, 174 (tie)
  6. Theodore, 174 (tie)
  7. Ethan, 170
  8. Jack, 158
  9. Leo, 154
  10. William, 149

In the girls’ top 10, Hannah and Emily replaced Mia, Evelyn and Ella.

In the boys’ top 10, Jack replaced Logan.

Some of the baby names from lower down in the rankings include…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Arzoi (5 baby girls), Baani (16), Cordelia (5), Della (12), Eunice (8), Fenna (5), Gurasees (9), Holland (7), Izzy (5), Jana (9), Kairi (5), Lina (9), Maple (8), Navy (9), Ophelia (19), Prabhleen (5), Rubani (5), Sahara (5), Tayla (5), Veronica (8), Waverly (8), Yuna (8), Zelda (7)Axton (6 baby boys), Brandt (5), Clyde (7), Dalton (6), Elio (7), Franklin (8), Grey (6), Hendrik (8), Ivan (17), Jerry (7), Kabir (23), Leonidas (5), Merrick (7), Nova (7), Ollie (7), Pearson (5), Rupert (5), Sunny (5), Tegh (9), Viraaj (5), Westley (8), Yuvaan (8), Zoravar (5)

I love how specifically Canadian the names Maple and Pearson are. (Lester B. Pearson served as prime minister of Canada during the 1960s.)

In 2019, the top two names in British Columbia were Olivia and Oliver.

Source: Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2020

Name Quotes #97: Netley, Cordelia, O’Shea

Anne Shirley quote

From the book Anne of Green Gables (1908) by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a conversation about names between characters Anne Shirley and Marilla Cuthbert:

“Well, don’t cry any more. We’re not going to turn you out-of-doors to-night. You’ll have to stay here until we investigate this affair. What’s your name?”

The child hesitated for a moment.

“Will you please call me Cordelia?” she said eagerly.

“Call you Cordelia? Is that your name?”

“No-o-o, it’s not exactly my name, but I would love to be called Cordelia. It’s such a perfectly elegant name.”

“I don’t know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia isn’t your name, what is?”

“Anne Shirley,” reluctantly faltered forth the owner of that name, “but, oh, please do call me Cordelia. It can’t matter much to you what you call me if I’m only going to be here a little while, can it? And Anne is such an unromantic name.”

“Unromantic fiddlesticks!” said the unsympathetic Marilla. “Anne is a real good plain sensible name. You’ve no need to be ashamed of it.”

“Oh, I’m not ashamed of it,” explained Anne, “only I like Cordelia better. I’ve always imagined that my name was Cordelia–at least, I always have of late years. When I was young I used to imagine it was Geraldine, but I like Cordelia better now. But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E.”

“What difference does it make how it’s spelled?” asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.

“Oh, it makes such a difference. It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can’t you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. If you’ll only call me Anne spelled with an E I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.”

From a Graham Norton Show episode [vid] that aired in January, 2016, in which comedian Kevin Hart talks about baby names following a discussion between Graham and Ice Cube about Cube’s birth name (O’Shea Jackson):

Lemme educate you on something. Black people are notorious for picking things that they saw one day and saying, “That’s my baby name.” That’s all that was. That’s all that was, Graham. It was nothing — there was no amazing story behind it. We’d love to tell you, yes, it actually came from a Irish forefather that did this…that’s not the case. His mother was reading the paper, and she was eating some cereal, and somebody in back said, “O’Shea!” She said, “That’d be a good name for the baby.” That’s it. That’s how it happened.

From a New York Times interview with Kate Winslet:

[Ms. Winslet] has a son, Bear, 7, with her current husband, who has gone back to his original name, Edward Abel Smith, from his playful pseudonym, Ned Rocknroll.

“He added ‘Winslet’ as one of his middle names, just simply because the children have Winslet,” the actress said. “When we’re all traveling together, to all have that name on the passports makes life easier.” (Bear’s middle name is Blaze, after the fire that Kate and Ned escaped that burned down the British Virgin Islands home of Richard Branson, her husband’s uncle.)

(The article also mentioned that a Delco sandwich shop now sells a hoagie called “The Mare” in honor of Kate’s Mare of Easttown character, Mare Sheehan.)

From a Vogue UK interview with Thandiwe Newton (whose first name means “beloved” in Zulu):

Meanwhile Thandiwe and her younger brother attended a Catholic primary school run by joyless nuns […] where the W of her name drifted inward, out of sight and earshot, in a futile hope to make her feel less different.

[…]

No longer is Newton afraid of the red carpet because of how much it reminded her of her invisibility, and she looks forward to a future where the illusion of race will no longer narrow who we are. […] All her future films will be credited with Thandiwe Newton, after the W was carelessly missed out from her first credit. Now she’s in control. Many lives lived and she’s come out triumphant, preserved in the magic of the mist and sun that made her, and wanted her to shine. “That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”

Speaking of reclaiming names…from an article about immigrants reclaiming anglicized names on PEI (the speaker is a man named Chijioke Amadi, originally from Nigeria):

“What I didn’t really know then was I was trying to fit in, because that’s what society made me think, that my name was so hard to pronounce.”

Ironically, he found that going by CJ made it harder to fit in with his own community.

“The fact that I never used my real name made my community start veering away from me, rather than coming towards me,” he said.

“It makes you second guess who you are, what you are.”

From a review of a book about famous English con man/writer Netley Lucas (born circa 1903, died 1940):

Anyone keen to make sense of the chaotic career of Netley Lucas could usefully begin by compiling a list of his aliases. I managed a dozen; there are doubtless more. They include the debt-bilking naval officer Gerald Chilfont; the travel agency-swindling Viscount Knebworth; that fabled Asian potentate the Emir of Kurdistan, in whose name Lucas reserved accommodation at the Savoy; the hotel-haunting Honourable Basil Vaughan; the celebrity biographer Evelyn Graham; and a certain Lady Angela Stanley who, proposing to write a life of Queen Alexandra based on her years as a lady-in-waiting, was discovered to be quite unknown to the royal household that had supposedly employed her.

(He also claimed that he was born aboard a yacht anchored near the village of Netley in Southhampton, and that this was the source of his first name.)

From an article about Mormon baby names by USU professor Jennifer Mansfield:

It seems as though members [of the LDS Church] in Utah feel so similar to everyone else that (consciously or unconsciously) they try to find other ways to express their individuality in ways that do not carry negative consequences. Names carry an especially heavy weight in the LDS Church (perhaps inspired to some extent by Helaman 5:6-7), so naming feels like a meaningful place to invest creativity without suffering the repercussions that come from being different in other ways.

That all being said, my strong impression is that very few Mormons deliberately use baby naming practices to rebel against the pressures of social conformity that come along with being part of a tight-knit religious subculture. No one I’ve spoken with seems to realize that their “unique” names are not unique at all, but instead are yet another characteristic they share with many of their Mormon neighbors.

Popular Baby Names in Sonoma County, CA, 2019

According to the government of Sonoma, California, the most popular baby names in the county last year were (again) Camila and Mateo.

Here are Sonoma’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Camila, 29 baby girls
  2. Isabella, 25
  3. Olivia/Sofia (tie), 23
  4. Amelia/Sophia (tie), 22
  5. Charlotte/Mia (tie), 21

Boy Names

  1. Mateo, 32 baby boys
  2. Benjamin, 22
  3. Sebastian, 21
  4. Liam, 20
  5. William/Noah/Isaac/Wyatt/Henry (5-way tie), 19

And what about the names bestowed just once in Sonoma in 2019? Here’s a sampling of the unique baby names from the other end of the list:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aura, Banjolene, Cordelia, Dalihana, Ender, Finleigh, Grecia, Hazelle, Itabili, Junebelle, Kella, Lumena, Macabiah, Moon, Nizhoni, Ovette, Pemma, Ruriko, Sabine, Sonali, Twyla, Vianna, Waverly, Yamanik, ZalethAonyx, Birke, Caius, Dexon, Eerikki, Farrokh, Gustavo, Hezekiah, Itzael, Javid, Juvenal, Kibou, Lylin, Montanez, Nylex, Osher, Philo, Ryuchi, Sune, Taivaleoa’ana, Talizen, Ventura, Wylder, Yago, Zaeryn

(Check out Patreon for more of Sonoma County’s unique baby names.)

Source: Sonoma County Baby Names

Where did the baby name Dewilla come from?

The unusual baby name Dewilla debuted in the baby name data in 1935:

  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 6 baby girls named Dewilla
  • 1936: unlisted
  • 1935: 8 baby girls named Dewilla [debut]
  • 1934: unlisted

What put it there initially?

A murder that began as a mystery.

On November 24, 1934, the bodies of three slain girls were discovered in the woods near Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The case was dubbed the “babes in the woods” mystery by the press.

After about a week, the police were able to identify the bodies as belonging to sisters Dewilla Noakes (age 10) and Cordelia Noakes (age 8), and their older half-sister Norma Sedgwick (age 12).

They were originally from Roseville, California, and had recently traveled east with their father, Elmo, and his teenage niece, Winifred — both of whom were later found shot to death over 100 miles away in Altoona. Contemporary sources guessed that Elmo and Winifred were on the run because they were in an illicit relationship.

That doesn’t explain how or why the three girls ended up dead in Pennsylvania, though. The assumption is that Elmo suffocated them, but his motive isn’t known for sure. (Perhaps the family was out of money and Elmo didn’t want the girls to starve.)

This sensationalized, Depression-era crime happened around the same time that Charles Lindbergh‘s baby boy was kidnapped (1932) and the boy’s murderer was captured and put on trial (1934 to 1936).

Do you like the name Dewilla? (How about the names Cordelia and Norma?)

Sources:

Image: New York Daily News 2 Dec. 1934: 92.

Character Names in King Lear

king leir, king lear, daughters, names

When we think of King Lear, we think of the famous William Shakespeare play, which was written in the very early 1600s.

But the story of the legendary king of Britain predates Shakespeare by centuries. The first written account we know of comes from The History of the Kings of Britain (circa 1136 A.D.) by British cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth.

In Will’s version, the king is named Lear and the three daughters are named Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. But in Geoff’s version, the king is Leir and the daughters are Gonorilla, Regau and Cordeilla. And in the dozens of versions of the story published in between, the names are rendered all sorts of ways:

  • Lear: Leare, Leier, Leir, Leire, Leïr, Leyr, Leyre, Leyrius, Leyrus, Leÿr, Lhyr, Lier, Leirius, Llur, Llyr, Lur, Lyer, Lyr
  • Goneril: Agornille, Condril, Conorel, Corneill, Garonilla, Genoril, Genorilla, Geronilla, Gonerell, Gonerill, Gonerilla, Gonoreille, Gonorell, Gonorelle, Gonorild, Gonorilde, Gonoril, Gonorill, Gonorilla, Gonorille, Gonoryll, Gonorylla Gonorylle, Gordonilla, Gorgonilla, Gornoille, Gornoylle, Gornorilla, Gornorille, Gornylle, Goriorilla, Goronilla
  • Regan: Ragaie, Ragan, Ragana, Ragau, Ragaw, Regau, Regault, Regina, Regnault, Rigan, Rogan, Rugau, Rygan
  • Cordelia: Chordaila, Chordalia, Chordeila, Chordeylla, Cordaila, Cordeila, Cordeilla, Cordeil, Cordeile, Cordeill, Cordeilla, Cordeille, Cordela, Cordell, Cordella, Cordelle, Cordeyl, Cordeyll, Cordeylla, Cordeylle, Cordiel, Cordil, Cordila, Cordile, Cordilla, Cordille, Cordoil, Cordoilla, Cordoille, Cordoylla, Cordyla, Cordylle, Coredil, Gordaila, Gordalia, Gordeil, Gordeila, Gordeilla, Gordeille, Gordeylla, Gordille, Gordoille, Gordoylle, Gordylle

Interesting how Shakespeare’s “Goneril” and “Cordelia” are easy to differentiate, but certain earlier versions of the two names were quite similar. Modern academics associate them with the Latin words gonos, meaning “genitals,” and cordis, meaning “heart.”

Sources:

  • Charlton, H. B. Shakespearian Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948.
  • Perrett, Wilfrid. The Story of King Lear from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Shakespeare. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1904.

Image: King Lear and Daughters