How popular is the baby name Courtney 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 Courtney.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Courtney

Posts that Mention the Name Courtney

Baby Names Falling in 2018: Girl Names

Which girl names decreased the most in popularity from 2017 to 2018?

In this post we’ll answer the question two different ways: first by looking at the top absolute (raw number) drops, second by looking at the top relative drops.

Fastest Falling Girl Names: Absolute

  1. Emily, -1,125 baby girls
  2. Emma, -1,112
  3. Ava, -1,034
  4. Sophia, -955
  5. Madison, -839
  6. Alexa, -838
  7. Mia, -828
  8. Abigail, -811
  9. Olivia, -782
  10. Aubrey, -721

Fastest Falling Girl Names: Relative

  1. Yuleimy, -85% (from 54 to 8 baby girls)
  2. Darleth, -84%
  3. Brennley, -75%
  4. Anastazja, -74%
  5. Danelly, -73%
  6. Kenly, -71%
  7. Lita, -71%
  8. Alaena, -71%
  9. Elnora, -69%
  10. Jacquelin, -69%

(This second list only accounts for names that stayed in the data; I didn’t account for names that fell off the list in 2018.)

If you have any explanations for the name movement above, let us know in the comments!

P.S. Here’s the SSA’s table of baby names that decreased in rank from 2017 to 2018. The top girl names on their list are Audrina, Courtney, and Angelique.

The Earliest Celebrity Baby Name Debuts

When a major celebrity chooses an uncommon baby name, there’s a good chance that name will become trendy.

Seems like this might be a modern phenomenon, right? Maybe tied to the rise of the Internet?

Nope. In fact, I bet you’ll be surprised at just how far back it goes.

Let’s take a look at celebrity baby names through the decades, focusing on those that inspired debuts on the SSA’s baby name list. (To debut, a rare names needs to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other in a single year.)


Jerilyn Jessel
Lois Andrews and baby Jerilyn
Which baby name was the very first to debut on the charts thanks to a celebrity baby?

The answer depends on how strict you want to be about spelling.

If exact-spelling debuts are what you want, the first I know of doesn’t appear until the late ’40s.

If variant-spelling debuts are okay, though, there’s a celebrity baby name from the early ’40s that inspired a whopping six of them:


In October of 1941, actor/comedian George Jessel (43 years old) and showgirl Lois Andrews (17) welcomed a baby girl named Jerilyn.

The name Jerilyn itself had already been on the list for a few years, but usage rose significantly in both 1941 and 1942:

  • 1943: 182 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 558th]
  • 1942: 325 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 397th]
  • 1941: 135 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 608th]
  • 1940: 10 baby girls named Jerilyn

The popularity of similar names like Jerrilyn and Jerelyn also increased, and six other variants appeared on the national list for the very first time in either 1941 or 1942 (asterisks denote debuts):

Name 1940 1941 1942 1943
Jerilynn x 56* 162 58
Jerrilynn x 9* 38 19
Gerilyn x x 15* 5
Jerilynne x x 7* x
Jarilyn x x 6* x
Geralynn x x 5* x

In fact, Jerilynn and Gerilyn were the top baby name debuts of 1941 and 1942, respectively.

I was skeptical about this one for a while, as I’d never heard of George Jessel before. Was he really high-profile enough for his baby to have that sort influence? Turns out he was indeed a popular entertainer from the ’20s until at least the ’50s. He’s the one responsible for the “Garland” part of Judy Garland’s stage name, and some sources even claim he invented the Bloody Mary.

Even more variants of Jerilyn (e.g., Gerilynn) debuted during the ’40s and early ’50s, when young Jerilyn was being mentioned in newspaper articles and appearing on TV and in films with her father. Here’s a fundraising film from 1953, for instance, featuring both George and Jerilyn.

Jerilyn Jessel’s influence on the U.S baby names was impressive, but, technically speaking, she didn’t put “Jerilyn” on the map.


The first exact-spelling celebrity baby name debut was Yasmin, which appeared on the list in 1949.

In December of 1949, actor Rita Hayworth and her husband Prince Aly Khan welcomed a baby girl named Yasmin. The same year, the baby name Yasmin appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

(The name Yasmin was late addition to the post. Thank you, Becca!)


Elizabeth Taylor and daughter Liza on the cover of LIFE in 1957
Liz & Liza in 1957 © LIFE

At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1950s were inspired by celebrity babies:


In October of 1951, actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian welcomed their first baby, Romina, who was named after the church in Italy (Santa Francesca Romana) where they had married in 1949. The same year, the baby name Romina appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.


In September of 1953, Power and Christian welcomed their second baby girl, Taryn, whose name was likely inspired by “Tyrone.” The same year, the baby name Taryn debuted on the list.


In November of 1956, boxer Floyd Patterson and his wife Sandra welcomed a baby girl named Seneca. The same year, the traditionally male name Seneca debuted on the list as a female name. Patterson said the name was inspired by a street in Brooklyn.


In October of 1958, singer/actor Rosemary Clooney and actor José Ferrer welcomed a baby girl named Monsita — their fourth child. The same year, Monsita debuted. It fell off the list the very next year, though, making it a one-hit wonder.

Honorable mentions from the ’50s include:

  • Liza, which became more popular after Liz Taylor named her daughter Liza in 1957.
  • Tyrone, which became more popular after Tyrone Power named his third child Tyrone in 1959. The increased usage could also have been influenced by the death of the actor himself the same year, though.


Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963
Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963 © Ebony

At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1960s were inspired by celebrity babies:


In September of 1961, singer of Nat King Cole and his wife Maria welcomed identical twin baby girls named Timolin and Casey. The same year, the baby name Timolin debuted on the list.


In September of 1965, actor/director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands welcomed a baby girl named Alexandra “Xan” Cassavetes. The same year, the baby name Xan debuted on the list.


In October of 1967, singer Eddie Fisher and actress Connie Stevens welcomed a baby girl named Joely. The same year, the baby name Joely debuted on the list.


In June of 1968, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed a baby girl named Maryum. The same year, the baby name Maryum debuted on the list.


In March of 1969, singers Cher and Sonny Bono, welcomed a baby girl named Chastity. The same year, the baby name Chastity debuted on the list. In May of 2010, Chastity legally changed genders and adopted the name Chaz.

Honorable mentions from the ’60s include:

  • Dodd, which became more popular after Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee named their son Dodd in late 1961.


Rasheda & Jamillah Ali in 1971
The Alis and babies Rasheda & Jamillah in 1971 © Ebony

At least eight of the baby names that debuted during the 1970s were inspired by celebrity babies:


In August of 1970, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed twin baby girls named Rasheda and Jamillah. The same year, the baby name Rasheda debuted on the list.

(An Ebony article from 1971 misspelled her name “Reeshemah.” The same year, there was a spike in the usage of Reeshemah and a dip in the usage of Rasheda.)


In 1971, comedian/activist Dick Gregory and his wife Lillian welcomed a baby girl named Ayanna. The same year, the baby name Ayanna debuted on the list.


In July of 1973, Dick Gregory and Lillian welcomed a baby boy named Yohance. The same year, the baby name Yohance debuted on the list.

(I wrote more about baby names in the Gregory family a few years ago.)


In March of 1974, musician/producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton welcomed a baby girl named Kidada. The same year, the baby name Kidada debuted on the list.


In August of 1975, singer Tito Jackson (of The Jackson 5) and his wife Dee Dee welcomed a baby boy named Taryll. The same year, the baby name Taryll debuted on the list.


In April of 1975, singer Mary Wilson (of The Supremes) and her husband Pedro welcomed a baby girl named Turkessa. The same year, the baby name Turkessa debuted on the list. Turkessa was just 3 babies away from being the top baby name debut of the year. Here’s how Mary came up with the name:

Pedro brought me a beautiful plant. I asked him was it was called. “Turquesa,” he replied, “Spanish for turquoise.” So we named our daughter Turkessa.


In November of 1975, singer Diana Ross (also of The Supremes) and her husband Robert welcomed a baby girl named Chudney. The next year, the baby name Chudney debuted on the list. Here’s how Diana came up with the name:

Friends kept suggesting popular names like Courtney, but so many girl babies were getting that. I suddenly thought of something I liked very much — chutney. Only I didn’t know how to spell it — I put a ‘d’ where the ‘t’ should have been on the birth certificate. And that’s how my little girl became Chudney!


In 1978, Puerto Rican dancer/singer Iris Chacón and her husband Junno welcomed a baby girl named Katiria. The same year, the baby name Katiria debuted on the list. Most of these babies were born in New York.


Condola Rashad in 1987
The Rashads and baby Condola
© Ebony
At least three of the baby names that debuted during the 1980s were inspired by celebrity babies, and at least one was inspired by a celebrity grandbaby:


In September of 1984, singer Gladys Knight didn’t have a baby, but her son James (b. 1962) and his wife Michelene did. They welcomed a boy named Rishawn. The next year, the baby name Rishawn debuted on the list. It was one of the top debut names of 1985, in fact.


In November of 1986, football player Willie Gault and his wife Dainnese welcomed a baby girl named Shakari. The next year, the baby name Shakari debuted on the list.


I wrote about Condola a few months ago, but here’s a recap: In December of 1986, actress Phylicia Rashad and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad welcomed a baby girl named Condola. The next year, the baby name Condola debuted on the list.


In December of 1987, filmmaker/actor Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow welcomed a baby boy named Satchel. The next year, the baby name Satchel debuted on the list. He now goes by Ronan, and rumor has it that he is *possibly* the biological son of Frank Sinatra.


Demi, pre-Scout, on cover of Vanity Fair, August 1991
Demi Moore and baby Scout (kinda)
© Vanity Fair
At least three of the baby names the debuted during the 1990s were inspired by celebrity babies:


In July of 1991, actors Demi Moore and Bruce Willis welcomed a baby girl named Scout. (And in August, that famous image of 7-months-pregnant Demi ran on the cover of Vanity Fair.) The next year, the baby name Scout debuted on the list, for both genders.


In February of 1995, actor Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy welcomed twin baby girls named Aquinnah and Schuyler. The same year, the baby name Aquinnah debuted on the list. (I wrote more about the name Aquinnah a few years ago.)


In July of 1998, model Christie Brinkley and her husband Peter welcomed a baby girl named Sailor. The same year, the baby name Sailor debuted on the list as a girl name. It had debuted as a boy name the year before.

Honorable mentions from the ’90s include:

  • Seven, which became more popular after Erykah Badu named her son Seven in 1997.
  • Zion, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her son Zion in 1997.
  • Selah, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her daughter Selah in 1998.


Angelina and Maddox Jolie in 2002
Angelina Jolie and baby Maddox
© People
At least five of the baby names that debuted during the 2000s (the decade) were inspired by celebrity babies:


In August of 2001, singer Shania Twain and her husband Robert welcomed a baby boy named Eja. The same year, the baby name Eja debuted on the list (as a girl name).


In August of 2001, actors Tisha Campbell-Martin and Duane Martin welcomed a baby boy named Xen. The same year, the baby name Xen debuted on the list.


In March of 2003, singer Toni Braxton and musician Keri Lewis welcomed a baby boy named Diezel. The same year, the baby name Diezel debuted on the list.


In June of 2005, magician Penn Jillette and his wife Emily welcomed a baby girl named Moxie (middle name CrimeFighter). The next year, the baby name Moxie debuted on the list.


In September of 2006, model Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Larry Birkhead welcomed a baby girl named Dannielynn. The next year, the baby name Dannielynn debuted on the list.

Honorable mentions from the ’00s include:

  • Massai, which became more popular after Nia Long named her son Massai in 2000.
  • Rocco, which became more popular after Madonna and Guy Ritchie named their son Rocco in 2000.
  • Denim, which became more popular after Toni Braxton named her son Denim in 2001.
  • Maddox, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted son Maddox in 2002.
  • Carys, which became more popular after Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas named their daughter Carys in 2003.
  • Stellan, which became more popular after Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their son Stellan in 2003.
  • Apple, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple in 2004.
  • Coco, which became more popular after Courtney Cox and David Arquette named their daughter Coco in 2004.
  • Zahara, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted daughter Zahara in 2005.
  • Moses, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their son Moses in 2006.
  • Kingston, which became more popular after Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their son Kingston in 2006.
  • Suri, which became more popular after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes named their daughter Suri in 2006.
  • Shiloh, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh in 2006.
  • Pax, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their adopted son Pax in 2007.
  • Harlow, which became more popular after Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow in 2008.
  • Knox & Vivienne, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their twins Knox and Vivienne in 2008.
  • Honor, which became more popular after Jessica Alba named her daughter Honor in 2008.
  • Nahla, which became more popular after Halle Berry named her daughter Nahla in 2008.
  • Bronx, which became more popular after Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx in 2008.


The 2010s are only half over and already we’ve seen more celebrity baby-inspired debuts than in any other decade — Naleigh, Aleph (for boys), Locklyn, Aaradhya, Sebella, Sparrow (for boys), Viaan, Naiovy, Eisele, and no doubt others I’ve missed. Follow along as we uncover more year by year in the Pop Culture Baby Names 2010s category.


  • Manners, Dorothy. “Off the Grapevine.” Toledo Blade 14 Feb. 1977: P-3.
  • Wilson, Mary and Patricia Romanowski. Supreme Faith. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

Have You Named Your Computer?

Have You Named Your Computer?

Lots of people name their cars, but how many people name their computers?

A good number, turns out.

Granted, any computer on a network already has a name. But that’s not necessarily the name we’re talking about here. (Though some people do change their computer’s network name to match its “given” name.)

What kinds of names have people chosen for their laptops and desktops? Here are some real-life computer names I’ve collected from around the web:

Aurora: “I named her Aurora. Isn’t she beautiful? Like every really wonderful thing, her outward beauty is a reflection of her deeper goodness.” –MrShad of Conflictium

Avery Cates: “How can you resist this series when the first line of the back cover blurb is “Avery Cates is a very bad man”? I love Avery Cates so much I named my computer after him.” –Melanie of Melanie R. Meadors (blog)

Black Stallion: “As my birthday/Christmas present, I was given a brand new LAPTOP! Vane named him “Black Stallion”. It’s very sleek and black.” –Des of Miss DreamyMarie

Don Juan IV: “Don Juan IV is my laptop. What, you don’t name your computer? That is too bad.” –Heather of The Spohrs Are Multiplying

Dorothy Parker: “Interesting aside: I named my computer Dorothy Parker. It’s probably wishful thinking more than anything else.” –cenobyte of centre of the univerce

Frangus: “Frangus is a beautiful name. It sounds like the name of the lost Weasley child. It evokes images of a tall, rangy, somewhat grungy hunk (think Aragorn-esque) with blazing red hair, a legendary sword, and a breathtaking Scottish accent. It was also, as some may recall, from a Sparticle made of pure awesomeness. It just fit perfectly.” –RabidWrackspurt via SparkLife

Henry & Eli: “I finally have a laptop, after two and half years working on a desktop. Trust me, I loved my desktop but he was hard to live with. Not being able to spend valuable time with him while I worked with my friends in the studios. And yes, I called him a ‘he.’ I named him Henry. But now my laptop is named Eli and he is a gem. I can take him anywhere and I love it! I sound like I had no idea they make computers that can move.” –Catie of Catie Witt (blog)

Holophonor: “All of which is an extended introduction to the announcement of the name of my new MacBook. I’ve dubbed it Holophonor. (…) It’s a musical instrument from Futurama, which produces images as well as music. It’s allegedly incredibly hard to play (although the holophonor recital in one episode suggests a little otherwise) but is capable of intoxicatingly immersive effects.” –James Grimmelmann of The Laboratorium

Hubert: “I named my computer Hubert because it reminds me of Hubert Humphrey, the long time U.S. Senator from Minnesota and Lyndon Johnson’s vice president. For those of you too young to remember, Humphrey was a likeable, compulsive talker who was so eager to please he could become annoying. My computer is like that.” –Gwen Gibson of The Lighter Years

Lafayette: “Lafayette – My current iMac is named for my favorite, and the most well-acted character in HBO’s True Blood.” –Courtney Heard of

Lisbeth: “But, before I sign off for tonight, let me introduce you to Lisbeth. (…) Yes, I named my laptop after the hacker survivor extraordinaire from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She’s a victim who takes her life back, with the power of her intelligence and her trusty computer.” –Erin of Daisies and Bruises

Lucille: “My computer is Lucille; she is a fiery redhead, like Lucille Ball.” –Rachel of Not-so-Plain Jane

Lucy: “I am writing this from my new laptop – a MacBook. Lovely little piece of equipment – I have named her Lucy (as in “Lucy, I’m h-o-m-e”) with the hopes that we will enter into a long-term relationship of mutual respect and understanding.” –mimijk of Waiting for the Karma Truck

Lula: “It was the Romantic me who went to Circuit City and Best Buy, who glazed over as acne-riddled salesboys extolled the virtues of Vaios and Thinkpads, and who eventually fled to do some reading on the subject before spending nearly a month’s salary for a basic, Luddite-friendly model. When I finally got my laptop home, I immediately named her Lula (after my grandmother, who also inspired and terrorized me), then ditched my paper notebook, opened Word, and began writing the new play before even checking out the other programs I had paid for.” –David Valdes Greenwood via The Boston Phoenix

Mandy: “I know you all are wondering why her name is Mandy (ok, maybe you’re not, but I’m going to tell you anyway.) When I first got Mandy, she was a beautiful new white Macbook. I had just started dating my Handsome, and he lent me his book of cd’s so I could put new music on my new laptop. Well, lo and behold, what cd did I find buried in with his? Why yes, the cd pictured at the beginning of this post [Mandy Moore’s “So Real”]. I thought this was hysterical, and because it was a white cd and my laptop was white, I named her Mandy. It seemed to fit.” –Kate of Kindly, Kate

Marcus: “i have named him Marcus after the lead singer of my favorite band Mumford & Sons. i was going to call him Lenny because Lenovo, but ever since the movie The Perfect Man, all i can think of when i hear that name is a chubby guy singing a Styx song.” –Leann Elizabeth of A Glass of Leannade

Milo: “My world is currently in a state of crazed shuffling and god-awful box hoarding. My room is now returned to the cold monastic state I found it in and as soon as this post is over so goes Milo the netbook. (Yes I named my computer Milo, no you cannot make fun of me for it). By this time tomorrow I will have returned to my domicile and summer hi-jinks can begin!” –SugaryCynic of Sugary Cynicism

Nox: “It started (…) with me buying a new computer, and this time I went for brand new hardware, top of the line, as I just had gotten my first paycheck from my first real job. And as this was a proper computer, it needed a proper name. And as the casing was black, I went looking for something that resembled darkness and the absence of light. Can you guess which name I ended up with? Probably not if you aren’t very well versed in old Greek and Roman mythology, as the goddess I named my computer after isn’t that famous. I named my computer “Nox”, the Roman name for the Greek goddess Nyx, the primordial goddess of the night.” –Sebastian Storholm of Sebastian’s Blog

Sadie: “Sadie came into my life in March of 2008. She was an HP Pavilion, the first new computer I had purchased in over ten years. Sadie was not my first choice when I was doing research in buying a laptop, but she was quite simply prettier and shinier than the one I had originally picked out, so I bought her instead. I named her Sadie because I had had a dream where I bought a laptop and named it Sexy Sadie, after the Beatles song.” –Gena Radcliffe of You Are Not a Winner

Sally: “My computer, Sally (yes, I named my computer), is almost six years old. While I love her to death, it’s about time to put her down. She’s been good to me, despite all the verbal abuse.” –Marian Schembari of

Serena: “I got Serena back in the winter of 2005, and named her, as I named a lot of my machines, [after] a character in the TV show ‘Roswell’ – actually, an enigmatic reference to a person from the future who was never shown on screen.” –Chris K of The Kelworth Files

SparkyBookPro: “My baby is going into the hospital for outpatient surgery. Actually it’s more like a transplant. SparkyBookPro needs his fan replaced. Yes, I named my computer. Yes, I am a nerd. They are also going to do a bypass of the current battery and transplant a new one in its place. As soon as I am done with this post (and a bit more blog reading), SparkyBookPro will be taken to the facility. He will be gone for two days.” –Kim of Emergiblog

Tardis: “Now, I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a big Whovian. (fan of the British show Dr Who) I named my computer the TARDIS, I have a sonic screwdriver on me at all times, and I bought a pair of Converse because the 10th Doctor wears them. Yes, I am obsessed.” –Jenny of The Eternal Puppy Station

Thusnelda: “How did I choose the name Thusnelda? Well, you see, a month or two ago I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to buy a laptop, and I needed a name. And generously, Angela shared the names of some of her relatives. And when I read Thusnelda, I knew that had to be the one. It is solid, original, and not at all trendy. There aren’t going to be 15 other Thusneldas in a 3-block radius. And the name can’t go out of style, because it was never in style.” –Amber Strocel of

Veronica: “She’s cute, she’s skinny, she’s bright-eyed, energetic (great battery life), and she even has a cute pattern on her hood. I’ve named her Veronica.” –Jamie of The Appropriate Opinion

Have you named your computer? If so, what’s the name, and why did you choose it?

Name Quotes for the Weekend #14

name quote amy poehler

From an interview with Amy Poehler in The Daily Beast:

Amy Poehler has five parenting tips: “Always remember your kid’s name. Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers…for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”

From an old episode of the The Rachel Maddow Show:

[T]he single, least important but most amazing thing about covering the life and times of Buddy Cianci for me was always the name of his wife. Buddy Cianci was married to a woman named Nancy Ann. Here name is Nancy Ann Cianci. Nancy Ann Cianci — the single, most awesome name in all of the names tangentially related to American political scandal ever. Nancy Ann Cianci.

From The baby name dilemma: sensible English or crazy Californian? in the Telegraph:

Why not give my first born a head start in Californian life? I’m sure when he’s older and I take him and his mates Zen and Jazz out for a wheatgrass smoothie, he’d thank me for it. But what if his cruel English father one day moves him back to London? What then for poor Dove, as he tries to make friends with all the Toms and Harrys back in Blighty? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it: Tom and Harry would throw bird s*** at him and then flush his head down the bog.

From a 2003 interview with Jhumpa Lahiri in the New York Times:

JG: In the new book, you explain that all Bengalis have private pet names and public “good names.” But the main character in “The Namesake” is given only one name: Gogol, after the Russian writer.

JL: That happened to me. My name, Jhumpa, which is my only name now, was supposed to be my pet name. My parents tried to enroll me in school under my good name, but the teacher asked if they had anything shorter. Even now, people in India ask why I’m publishing under my pet name instead of a real name.

JG: What does Jhumpa mean?

JL: Jhumpa has no meaning. It always upset me. It’s like jhuma, which refers to the sound of a child’s rattle, but with a “p.” In this country, you’d never name your child Rattle. I actually have two good names, Nilanjana and Sudeshna. My mother couldn’t decide. All three are on the birth certificate. I never knew how to write my name.

From a live chat with Prudie of Slate:

Q. Who Is Courtney?: I’ve noticed that whenever you need to make up a fictional female name, you always pick “Courtney.” What’s up with that? Just curious!

A: I used to reflexively write, “Denise” and I once got a funny letter from a Denise asking what a Denise ever did to me. Good point that I need a name book by my computer. I like Courtney because I don’t know any and it’s a likely name of a person in her 20s, the way Susan is Courtney’s mother, Dorothy is her grandmother, and Myrna is her great-grandmother.

…and later in the same chat:

Q. Re: Courtney: I once had a professor who would reflexively use the name “Stacy” for a generic female and then mutter, to a room full of students born in the ’80s, “That’s such an ’80s name.” The Stacys in the room—and there always was at least one—got a good laugh out of it.

A: I’ll add this to my repertoire! But a quick look at a reference confirms my sense that Stacy is such a ’70s name.

From an article on ostentatious baby names:

The reason is simple. If you really want your kid to be special, a name is not going to do it. Your kid is going to have to earn it. She is going to have to work hard and sacrifice. She’ll have to try and fail and eventually find her place — find whatever she’s good at — and then work harder to develop her talents.

It will be easier to do that if she is humble. And it will be easier for her to be humble if she doesn’t have a name that makes her think she’s precious and special and God’s gift to the universe (such as Nevaeh, which is heaven spelled backward).

It’s nobody’s fault that we’re screwing up kids’ names — we’re screwing up a lot of things. We’re doing it because we’re able to. We’re able to because the American experiment has produced untold wealth — which shifted our focus from trying to subsist, as our parents did, to fretting over what to name our kids.

We have to knock it off, though.

From an ESPN interview with Frostee Rucker, football player:

How did you get the name Frostee?

“My pop [Len] was a DJ while he was in the military and they called him DJ Frost because they said he was cold on the spins. [They called him] Frost, Frostee all that. No matter what he named me they were going to call me Little Frost anyway, so they named me Frostee.”

So Frostee is your given name?

“Yup, that’s my given name.”

What was it like growing up named Frostee?

“It sucked growing up really because kids at Christmas time and teachers, and me being African American, it just didn’t all come together but about [the] time I came to high school it became a household name in Orange County (Calif.).

“It’s just benefited [me] from then. It’s always caught peoples’ eye in the paper and they wanted to know more. So I don’t know if I’ll name my kid that if I ever have one but at the same time being unique isn’t bad either.”

From German Court Upholds Ban on Extra-Long Names in TIME Magazine:

The decision on which names to accept and which to reject is generally left to the local registrar, but that decision can be contested in court. And sometimes the court’s ruling can seem rather arbitrary. While the names Stompie, Woodstock and Grammophon have been rejected by German courts in the past, the similarly creative parents of Speedy, Lafayette and Jazz were granted their name of choice.

(Grammophon is German for Gramophone.)

From a Slate article on Puritan names:

A wide variety of Hebrew names came into common usage beginning in 1560, when the first readily accessible English Bible was published. But by the late 16th century many Puritan communities in Southern Britain saw common names as too worldly, and opted instead to name children after virtues or with religious slogans as a way of setting the community apart from non-Puritan neighbors. Often, Puritan parents chose names that served to remind the child about sin and pain.

(The book they used as a source — Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature — is one I’ve referenced here on the blog a bunch of times, in posts about Acts of the Apostles, George William Frederic, Gib & Tib, Job-Rakt-Out-of-the-Asshes, Nan & Nanny, Posthumus, Robert and Tibbe.)

From an article about tennis-playing sisters Alicia “Tornado” Black and Tyra Hurricane Black:

[I]t’s their mom, Gayal Black, who is behind the girls’ brand-worthy names, designed to minimize comparisons with Venus and Serena Williams, and establish a unique, powerful identities for the sisters.

“I have a marketing degree…and I knew I needed to do something for them to stand out, and we thought it was cute,” Gayal told ESPNW.

Tornado was born Alicia, but Gayal says the nickname came from her daughter’s ferocious tennis skills as a three-year-old. “We couldn’t believe how amazing she was and we knew then we had a champion. When the next one was born, we knew she could do it, too, and so her [legal] name is Tyra Hurricane.”

“[Tornado didn’t like her name] a few years ago. Kids tease you. But now they understand it’s marketing and it’s very big to say a storm blew through the US Open.”

Dad Sly added that the names started as “a little joke” but “turned out to be a pretty big deal.”

“Yes, Tornado and Hurricane are names for marketable athletes, but that’s a big part of it nowadays, and if you can get a good, strong name, all the better.”

(Found out about the Black sisters via Abby – thanks!)

Gender Test: Which Girl Names Are Not Quite Girl Names?

Yesterday was the masculinity test, so today, of course, is the femininity test.

Here’s the focus question: Which girl names were given to a significant proportion of baby boys last year?

If you’re looking for a name that will clearly identify your daughter as a girl, the answer will help you avoid names that could cause gender confusion.

This year’s femininity test is even easier to understand, as I’m now using a pass/fail system. So, if a girl name was…

  • Given to baby girls at least 80% of the time, the grade is pass. (But less than 90% of the time: warning.)
  • Given to baby girls less than 80% of the time, the grade is fail.

I analyzed all of the girl names on the top 1,000 list. Of these 1,000 names, 58 failed and 31 got a warning. (Scroll down to see lists of the failed and warning names only.)

1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Isabella
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Mia
9. Madison
10. Elizabeth
11. Chloe
12. Ella
13. Avery, Warning
14. Addison
15. Aubrey
16. Lily
17. Natalie
18. Sofia
19. Charlotte
20. Zoey
21. Grace
22. Hannah
23. Amelia
24. Harper
25. Lillian
26. Samantha
27. Evelyn
28. Victoria
29. Brooklyn
30. Zoe
31. Layla
32. Hailey
33. Leah
34. Kaylee
35. Anna
36. Aaliyah
37. Gabriella
38. Allison
39. Nevaeh
40. Alexis, Fail
41. Audrey
42. Savannah
43. Sarah
44. Alyssa
45. Claire
46. Taylor, Warning
47. Riley, Fail
48. Camila
49. Arianna
50. Ashley
51. Brianna
52. Sophie
53. Peyton, Fail
54. Bella
55. Khloe
56. Genesis
57. Alexa
58. Serenity
59. Kylie
60. Aubree
61. Scarlett
62. Stella
63. Maya
64. Katherine
65. Julia
66. Lucy
67. Madelyn
68. Autumn
69. Makayla
70. Kayla
71. Mackenzie
72. Lauren
73. Gianna
74. Ariana
75. Faith
76. Alexandra
77. Melanie
78. Sydney
79. Bailey
80. Caroline
81. Naomi
82. Morgan, Warning
83. Kennedy
84. Ellie
85. Jasmine
86. Eva
87. Skylar, Warning
88. Kimberly
89. Violet
90. Molly
91. Aria
92. Jocelyn
93. Trinity
94. London, Warning
95. Lydia
96. Madeline
97. Reagan
98. Piper
99. Andrea
100. Annabelle
101. Maria
102. Brooke
103. Payton, Warning
104. Paisley
105. Paige
106. Ruby
107. Nora
108. Mariah
109. Rylee
110. Lilly
111. Brielle
112. Jade
113. Destiny
114. Nicole
115. Mila
116. Kendall, Warning
117. Liliana
118. Kaitlyn
119. Natalia
120. Sadie
121. Jordyn
122. Vanessa
123. Mary
124. Mya
125. Penelope
126. Isabelle
127. Alice
128. Reese, Warning
129. Gabrielle
130. Hadley
131. Katelyn
132. Angelina
133. Rachel
134. Isabel
135. Eleanor
136. Clara
137. Brooklynn
138. Jessica
139. Elena
140. Aliyah
141. Vivian
142. Laila
143. Sara
144. Amy
145. Eliana
146. Lyla
147. Juliana
148. Valeria
149. Adriana
150. Makenzie
151. Elise
152. Mckenzie
153. Quinn, Fail
154. Delilah
155. Cora
156. Kylee
157. Rebecca
158. Gracie
159. Izabella
160. Josephine
161. Alaina
162. Michelle
163. Jennifer
164. Eden, Warning
165. Valentina
166. Aurora
167. Catherine
168. Stephanie
169. Valerie
170. Jayla
171. Willow
172. Daisy
173. Alana
174. Melody
175. Hazel
176. Summer
177. Melissa
178. Margaret
179. Kinsley
180. Kinley
181. Ariel, Warning
182. Lila
183. Giselle
184. Ryleigh
185. Haley
186. Julianna
187. Ivy
188. Alivia
189. Brynn
190. Keira
191. Daniela
192. Aniyah
193. Angela
194. Kate
195. Londyn
196. Hayden, Fail
197. Harmony
198. Adalyn
199. Megan
200. Allie
201. Gabriela
202. Alayna
203. Presley
204. Jenna
205. Alexandria
206. Ashlyn
207. Adrianna
208. Jada
209. Fiona
210. Norah
211. Emery, Warning
212. Maci
213. Miranda
214. Ximena
215. Amaya
216. Cecilia
217. Ana
218. Shelby
219. Katie
220. Hope
221. Callie
222. Jordan, Fail
223. Luna
224. Leilani
225. Eliza
226. Mckenna
227. Angel, Fail
228. Genevieve
229. Makenna
230. Isla
231. Lola
232. Danielle
233. Chelsea
234. Leila
235. Tessa
236. Adelyn
237. Camille
238. Mikayla
239. Adeline
240. Adalynn
241. Sienna
242. Esther
243. Jacqueline
244. Emerson, Fail
245. Arabella
246. Maggie
247. Athena
248. Lucia
249. Lexi
250. Ayla
251. Diana
252. Alexia
253. Juliet
254. Josie
255. Allyson
256. Addyson
257. Delaney
258. Teagan, Warning
259. Marley, Warning
260. Amber
261. Rose
262. Erin
263. Leslie
264. Kayleigh
265. Amanda
266. Kathryn
267. Kelsey
268. Emilia
269. Alina
270. Kenzie
271. Kaydence
272. Alicia
273. Alison
274. Paris
275. Sabrina
276. Ashlynn
277. Lilliana
278. Sierra
279. Cassidy
280. Laura
281. Alondra
282. Iris
283. Kyla
284. Christina
285. Carly
286. Jillian
287. Madilyn
288. Kyleigh
289. Madeleine
290. Cadence
291. Nina
292. Evangeline
293. Nadia
294. Raegan
295. Lyric, Warning
296. Giuliana
297. Briana
298. Georgia
299. Yaretzi
300. Elliana
301. Haylee
302. Fatima
303. Phoebe
304. Selena
305. Charlie, Fail
306. Dakota, Fail
307. Annabella
308. Abby
309. Daniella
310. Juliette
311. Lilah
312. Bianca
313. Mariana
314. Miriam
315. Parker, Fail
316. Veronica
317. Gemma
318. Noelle
319. Cheyenne
320. Marissa
321. Heaven
322. Vivienne
323. Brynlee
324. Joanna
325. Mallory
326. Aubrie
327. Journey
328. Nyla
329. Cali
330. Tatum, Fail
331. Carmen
332. Gia
333. Jazmine
334. Heidi
335. Miley
336. Baylee
337. Elaina
338. Macy
339. Ainsley
340. Jane
341. Raelynn
342. Anastasia
343. Adelaide
344. Ruth
345. Camryn, Warning
346. Kiara
347. Alessandra
348. Hanna
349. Finley, Fail
350. Maddison
351. Lia
352. Bethany
353. Karen
354. Kelly, Warning
355. Malia
356. Jazmin
357. Jayda
358. Esmeralda
359. Kira
360. Lena
361. Kamryn, Fail
362. Kamila
363. Karina
364. Eloise
365. Kara
366. Elisa
367. Rylie
368. Olive
369. Nayeli
370. Tiffany
371. Macie
372. Skyler, Fail
373. Addisyn
374. Angelica
375. Briella
376. Fernanda
377. Annie
378. Maliyah
379. Amiyah
380. Jayden, Fail
381. Charlee
382. Caitlyn
383. Elle
384. Crystal
385. Julie
386. Imani
387. Kendra
388. Talia
389. Angelique
390. Jazlyn
391. Guadalupe, Warning
392. Alejandra
393. Emely
394. Lucille
395. Anya
396. April
397. Elsie
398. Madelynn
399. Myla
400. Julissa
401. Scarlet
402. Helen
403. Breanna
404. Kyra
405. Madisyn
406. Rosalie
407. Brittany
408. Brylee
409. Jayleen
410. Arielle
411. Karla
412. Kailey
413. Arya
414. Sarai
415. Harley, Fail
416. Miracle
417. Kaelyn
418. Kali
419. Cynthia
420. Daphne
421. Aleah
422. Caitlin
423. Cassandra
424. Holly
425. Janelle
426. Marilyn
427. Katelynn
428. Kaylie
429. Itzel
430. Carolina
431. Bristol
432. Haven, Warning
433. Michaela
434. Monica
435. June
436. Janiyah
437. Camilla
438. Jamie, Fail
439. Rebekah
440. Audrina
441. Dayana
442. Lana
443. Serena
444. Tiana
445. Nylah
446. Braelyn, Warning
447. Savanna
448. Skye
449. Raelyn
450. Madalyn
451. Sasha
452. Perla
453. Bridget
454. Aniya
455. Rowan, Fail
456. Logan, Fail
457. Mckinley, Warning
458. Averie
459. Jaylah
460. Aylin
461. Joselyn
462. Nia
463. Hayley
464. Lilian
465. Adelynn
466. Jaliyah
467. Kassidy
468. Kaylin
469. Kadence
470. Celeste
471. Jaelyn
472. Zariah
473. Tatiana
474. Jimena
475. Lilyana
476. Anaya
477. Catalina
478. Viviana
479. Cataleya
480. Sloane
481. Courtney, Warning
482. Johanna
483. Amari, Fail
484. Melany
485. Anabelle
486. Francesca
487. Ada
488. Alanna
489. Priscilla
490. Danna
491. Angie
492. Kailyn
493. Lacey
494. Sage, Fail
495. Lillie
496. Brinley
497. Caylee
498. Joy
499. Kenley
500. Vera
501. Bailee
502. Amira
503. Aileen
504. Aspen
505. Emmalyn
506. Erica
507. Gracelyn
508. Kennedi
509. Skyla
510. Annalise
511. Danica
512. Dylan, Fail
513. Kiley
514. Gwendolyn
515. Jasmin
516. Lauryn
517. Aleena
518. Justice, Fail
519. Annabel
520. Tenley
521. Dahlia
522. Gloria
523. Lexie
524. Lindsey
525. Hallie
526. Sylvia
527. Elyse
528. Annika
529. Maeve
530. Marlee
531. Aryanna
532. Kenya
533. Lorelei
534. Selah
535. Kaliyah
536. Adele
537. Natasha
538. Brenda
539. Erika
540. Alyson
541. Braylee
542. Emilee
543. Raven
544. Ariella
545. Blakely
546. Liana
547. Jaycee
548. Sawyer, Fail
549. Anahi
550. Jaelynn
551. Elsa
552. Farrah
553. Cameron, Fail
554. Evelynn
555. Luciana
556. Zara
557. Madilynn
558. Eve
559. Kaia
560. Helena
561. Anne
562. Estrella
563. Leighton, Fail
564. Nataly
565. Whitney
566. Lainey
567. Amara
568. Anabella
569. Malaysia
570. Samara
571. Zoie
572. Amani, Warning
573. Phoenix, Fail
574. Dulce
575. Paola
576. Marie
577. Aisha
578. Harlow
579. Virginia
580. Ember
581. Regina
582. Jaylee
583. Anika
584. Ally
585. Kayden, Fail
586. Alani
587. Miah
588. Yareli
589. Journee
590. Kiera
591. Nathalie
592. Mikaela
593. Jaylynn
594. Litzy
595. Charley, Warning
596. Claudia
597. Aliya
598. Madyson
599. Cecelia
600. Liberty
601. Braelynn
602. Evie
603. Rosemary
604. Myah
605. Lizbeth
606. Giana
607. Ryan, Fail
608. Teresa
609. Ciara
610. Isis
611. Lea
612. Shayla
613. Jazlynn
614. Rosa
615. Gracelynn
616. Desiree
617. Elisabeth
618. Isabela
619. Arely
620. Mariam
621. Abbigail
622. Emersyn
623. Brenna
624. Kaylynn
625. Nova, Warning
626. Raquel
627. Dana
628. Laney
629. Laylah
630. Siena
631. Amelie
632. Clarissa
633. Lilianna
634. Lylah
635. Halle
636. Madalynn
637. Maleah
638. Sherlyn
639. Linda
640. Shiloh, Fail
641. Jessie, Fail
642. Kenia
643. Greta
644. Marina
645. Melina
646. Amiya
647. Bria
648. Natalee
649. Sariah
650. Mollie
651. Nancy
652. Christine
653. Felicity
654. Zuri
655. Irene
656. Simone
657. Amya
658. Matilda
659. Colette
660. Kristen
661. Paityn
662. Alayah
663. Janiya
664. Kallie
665. Mira
666. Hailee
667. Kathleen
668. Meredith
669. Janessa
670. Noemi
671. Aiyana
672. Aliana
673. Leia
674. Mariyah
675. Tori
676. Alissa
677. Ivanna
678. Joslyn
679. Sandra
680. Maryam
681. Saniyah
682. Kassandra
683. Danika
684. Denise
685. Jemma
686. River, Fail
687. Charleigh
688. Emelia
689. Kristina
690. Armani, Fail
691. Beatrice
692. Jaylene
693. Karlee
694. Blake, Fail
695. Cara
696. Addilyn
697. Amina
698. Ansley
699. Kaitlynn
700. Iliana
701. Mckayla
702. Adelina
703. Briley, Warning
704. Elaine
705. Lailah
706. Mercedes
707. Chaya
708. Lindsay
709. Hattie
710. Lisa
711. Marisol
712. Patricia
713. Bryanna
714. Taliyah
715. Adrienne
716. Emmy
717. Millie
718. Paislee
719. Charli
720. Kourtney
721. Leyla
722. Maia
723. Willa
724. Milan, Fail
725. Paula
726. Ayleen
727. Clare
728. Kensley
729. Reyna
730. Martha
731. Adley
732. Elianna
733. Emilie
734. Karsyn, Fail
735. Yasmin
736. Lorelai
737. Amirah
738. Aryana
739. Livia
740. Alena
741. Kiana
742. Celia
743. Kailee
744. Rylan, Fail
745. Ellen
746. Galilea
747. Kynlee
748. Leanna
749. Renata
750. Mae
751. Ayanna
752. Chanel
753. Lesly
754. Cindy
755. Carla
756. Pearl
757. Jaylin, Fail
758. Kimora
759. Angeline
760. Carlee
761. Aubri
762. Edith
763. Alia
764. Frances
765. Corinne
766. Jocelynn
767. Cherish
768. Wendy
769. Carolyn
770. Lina
771. Tabitha
772. Winter
773. Abril
774. Bryn
775. Jolie
776. Yaritza
777. Casey, Fail
778. Zion, Fail
779. Lillianna
780. Jordynn
781. Zariyah
782. Audriana
783. Jayde
784. Jaida
785. Salma
786. Diamond
787. Malaya
788. Kimber
789. Ryann
790. Abbie
791. Paloma
792. Destinee
793. Kaleigh
794. Asia
795. Demi
796. Yamileth
797. Deborah
798. Elin
799. Kaiya
800. Mara
801. Averi
802. Nola
803. Tara
804. Taryn
805. Emmalee
806. Aubrianna
807. Janae
808. Kyndall
809. Jewel
810. Zaniyah
811. Kaya
812. Sonia
813. Alaya
814. Heather
815. Nathaly
816. Shannon, Fail
817. Ariah
818. Avah
819. Giada
820. Lilith
821. Samiyah
822. Sharon
823. Coraline
824. Eileen
825. Julianne
826. Milania
827. Chana
828. Regan, Warning
829. Krystal
830. Rihanna
831. Sidney, Fail
832. Hadassah
833. Macey
834. Mina
835. Paulina
836. Rayne, Warning
837. Kaitlin
838. Maritza
839. Susan
840. Raina
841. Hana
842. Keyla
843. Temperance
844. Aimee
845. Alisson
846. Charlize
847. Kendal, Warning
848. Lara
849. Roselyn
850. Alannah
851. Alma
852. Dixie
853. Larissa
854. Patience
855. Taraji
856. Sky, Fail
857. Zaria
858. Aleigha
859. Alyvia
860. Aviana
861. Bryleigh
862. Elliot, Fail
863. Jenny
864. Luz
865. Ali, Fail
866. Alisha
867. Ayana
868. Campbell, Fail
869. Karis
870. Lilyanna
871. Azaria
872. Blair, Warning
873. Micah, Fail
874. Moriah
875. Myra
876. Lilia
877. Aliza
878. Giovanna
879. Karissa
880. Saniya
881. Emory, Fail
882. Estella
883. Juniper
884. Kairi
885. Kenna
886. Meghan
887. Abrielle
888. Elissa
889. Rachael
890. Emmaline
891. Jolene
892. Joyce
893. Britney
894. Carlie
895. Haylie
896. Judith
897. Renee
898. Saanvi
899. Yesenia
900. Barbara
901. Dallas, Fail
902. Jaqueline
903. Karma
904. America
905. Sariyah
906. Azalea
907. Everly
908. Ingrid
909. Lillyana
910. Emmalynn
911. Marianna
912. Brisa
913. Kaelynn
914. Leona
915. Libby
916. Deanna
917. Mattie
918. Miya
919. Kai, Fail
920. Annalee
921. Nahla
922. Dorothy
923. Kaylyn
924. Rayna
925. Araceli
926. Cambria
927. Evalyn
928. Haleigh
929. Thalia
930. Jakayla
931. Maliah
932. Saige
933. Avianna
934. Charity
935. Kaylen, Warning
936. Raylee
937. Tamia
938. Aubrielle
939. Bayleigh
940. Carley
941. Kailynn
942. Katrina
943. Belen
944. Karlie
945. Natalya
946. Alaysia
947. Celine
948. Milana
949. Monroe, Fail
950. Estelle
951. Meadow
952. Audrianna
953. Cristina
954. Harlee
955. Jazzlyn
956. Scarlette
957. Zahra
958. Akira
959. Ann
960. Collins, Warning
961. Kendyl
962. Anabel
963. Azariah, Fail
964. Carissa
965. Milena
966. Tia
967. Alisa
968. Bree
969. Carleigh
970. Cheyanne
971. Sarahi
972. Laurel
973. Kylah
974. Tinley
975. Kora
976. Marisa
977. Esme
978. Sloan, Fail
979. Cailyn
980. Gisselle
981. Kasey, Fail
982. Kyndal
983. Marlene
984. Riya
985. Annabell
986. Aubriana
987. Izabelle
988. Kirsten
989. Aya
990. Dalilah
991. Devyn, Fail
992. Geraldine
993. Analia
994. Hayleigh
995. Landry, Fail
996. Sofie
997. Tess
998. Ashtyn, Fail
999. Jessa
1000. Katalina

The 31 “Warning” names: Avery, Taylor, Morgan, Skylar, London, Payton, Kendall, Reese, Eden, Ariel, Emery, Teagan, Marley, Lyric, Camryn, Kelly, Guadalupe, Haven, Braelyn, Mckinley, Courtney, Amani, Charley, Nova, Briley, Regan, Rayne, Kendal, Blair, Kaylen, Collins.

The 58 “Fail” names: Alexis, Riley, Peyton, Quinn, Hayden, Jordan, Angel, Emerson, Charlie, Dakota, Parker, Tatum, Finley, Kamryn, Skyler, Jayden, Harley, Jamie, Rowan, Logan, Amari, Sage, Dylan, Justice, Sawyer, Cameron, Leighton, Phoenix, Kayden, Ryan, Shiloh, Jessie, River, Armani, Blake, Milan, Karsyn, Rylan, Jaylin, Casey, Zion, Shannon, Sidney, Sky, Elliot, Ali, Campbell, Micah, Emory, Dallas, Kai, Monroe, Azariah, Sloan, Kasey, Devyn, Landry, Ashtyn.

Here is last year’s femininity test.