How popular is the baby name Cross 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 Cross.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Cross


Posts that Mention the Name Cross

Name Quotes 86: Sena, Fennis, LeBron

Time for the monthly quote-post!

From the speech “How Everything Turns Away” by children’s book author Lois Lowry (b. 1937):

My first photograph…or the first photograph of me…was taken, by my father, when I was 36 hours old. My name was different then. They had named me Sena, for my Norwegian grandmother, and that was my name until she was notified; then she sent a telegram insisting that they give me an American name, and so I was renamed Lois Ann for my father’s two sisters.

From an article about baby-naming in Armenia:

Armenia does not have a censorship for names, while its neighbor Azerbaijan has. There are three categories of names in Azerbaijan: “allowed,” “undesirable,” and “prohibited.” No comment is necessary for the first group. The second group includes funny and bizarre names. The third group refers to Armenian names.

On the names of spirit guides, from the book Journey of Souls (1994) by LBL hypnotherapist Dr. Michael Newton:

The personal names my clients attach to their guides range from ordinary, whimsical, or quaint-sounding words, to the bizarre. Frequently, these names can be traced back to a specific past life a teacher spent with a student. Some clients are unable to verbalize their guide’s name because the sound cannot be duplicated, even when they see them clearly while under hypnosis. I tell these people it is much more important that they understand the purpose of why certain guides are assigned to them, rather than possessing their names. A subject may simply use a general designation for their guide such as: director, advisor, instructor, or just “my friend.”

From a 1987 Sports Illustrated interview with basketball player Fennis Dembo:

With apologies to World B. Free, Shaquille O’Neal and, yes, even God Shammgod, when it comes to staking a claim to basketball’s alltime name, Fennis Dembo enjoys Jordanlike distance from the pretenders. “I’m always a bit stunned that people still remember me,” says Fennis, whose mother, Clarissa, selected his name, along with that of his twin sister, Fenise, as a declaration that after 11 children, her childbearing days were finis. “I tried to set up an E-mail account, but two other guys–basketball fans, I guess–were already using my name in their address.”

From a 2018 interview with basketball player LeBron James [vid]:

I still regret giving my 14-year-old my name […] When I was younger, obviously, I didn’t have a dad. So, my whole thing was, like, whenever I have a kid, not only is he gonna be a junior, but I’m gonna do everything that this man didn’t do. They’re gonna experience things that I didn’t experience, and the only thing I can do is give them the blueprint, and it’s up to them to take their own course.

(LeBron, Jr., is nicknamed “Bronny” — no doubt to differentiate son from father, but perhaps also to take some of the pressure off. Here’s a post about how LeBron James has affected baby names over the years.)

From a 2016 Maxim interview with movie director Ron Howard:

Q: Is it true that your kids’ middle names come from the locations where they were conceived?

A: David Letterman got that out of me, and my kids will never let me forget it. My daughter, Bryce [Dallas Howard], was conceived in Dallas, and our twins [Jocelyn Carlyle Howard and Paige Carlyle Howard] were conceived while we were doing a publicity tour at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. For the last one [Reed Cross Howard], we were on Lower Cross Road, so we decided to go with Cross. “Volvo” wouldn’t be such a good middle name.

From a review of the memoir The Kennedy Chronicles by former MTV veejay Kennedy (full name: Lisa Kennedy Montgomery):

According to Kennedy, her secret dalliance with the then-married lead singer and frontman of the Goo Goo Dolls led to one of the group’s most well-known songs, the 1995 mega-hit “Name.” To Kennedy, the lyrics hit a little to close to home: “Did you lose yourself somewhere out there? Did you get to be a star?” And then “You could hide beside me/ Maybe for a while. And I won’t tell no one your name.”

She writes: “When I asked him about it he indeed admitted the inspiration and told me there was no way all we’d shared wasn’t going to show up in his writing.”

Here’s the song:

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in Idaho, 2012

Idaho’s most popular baby names of 2012 were announced a year and a half late, as usual.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state’s top names two years ago were Sophia for girls and Liam for boys.

Here are Idaho’s top 25 girl names and top 25 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Sophia (115 baby girls)
2. Olivia (113)
3. Emma (100)
4. Ava (79)
5. Abigail (76)
6. Elizabeth (71)
7. Chloe (69)
8. Emily (62) – tie
9. Zoey (62) – tie
10. Brooklyn (61)
11. Hannah* (60)
12. Madison (57)
13. Ella (56) – tie
14. Isabella (56) – tie
15. Lily (56) – tie
16. Avery (54)
17. Grace (51)
18. Amelia (50) – tie
19. Evelyn (50) – tie
20. Hailey* (48)
21. Ellie (46) – tie
22. Natalie (46) – tie
23. Charlotte* (45) – tie
24. Paisley* (45) – tie
25. Addison (44)
1. Liam (133 baby boys)
2. William (94)
3. Mason (81)
4. Jacob (79)
5. Michael* (78) – tie
6. Samuel (78) – tie
7. Wyatt (77)
8. Logan (76)
9. Ethan (75)
10. Carter (73)
11. Hunter (72)
12. Aiden (71)
13. Benjamin (69) – tie
14. Jackson (69) – tie
15. Gabriel (68)
16. Andrew (67)
17. Henry* (66) – tie
18. Noah (66) – tie
19. Cooper* (65) – tie
20. Elijah (65) – tie
21. David* (64)
22. Isaac (63)
23. Alexander* (57) – tie
24. Jayden (57) – tie
25. Joseph* (57) – tie
26. Owen (57) – tie

*New to the top 25 since 2011.

Idaho’s annual report also includes a section called “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings,” which is rather awesome.

Here are the handpicked oddballs of 2012:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Alixathymia, Aunastasha, Beloved, Blessing, Britannica, Burdyn, Challyss, Echkoe, Exodus, Harlequinn, Idalyz, Killary, Lulubell, Lyrica, Mercy, Miracle, Mystic, Noble, Oasis, Pearadice, Savvy, Secret, Sunshyne, Theory, Versailles Adamant, Arsin, Awesome, Cactus, Captain, Chipper, Cross, Denym, Dually, Dynamic, Falchion, Glacier, Kasteel, Kazys, Krozlee, Lock, Mehdiullah, Mogley, Natavious, Nyte, Peregrin, Pilot, Torque, Truce, Wild

Thoughts:

  • Alixathymia – Part name, part medical condition.
  • Adamant – Synonym for stubborn. Or an Adam Ant reference. Or both.
  • Burdyn – “Burden”? Really?
  • Cactus – A nature name I’ve never seen before.
  • Dually – Rosamund Pike should pick this for kid #2. (Her firstborn is “Solo.”)
  • Falchion – A type of sword. (Do they talk about falchions on Game of Thrones?)
  • Glacier – There’s a Glacier in Quebec as well.
  • Killary – This would make a great roller derby name! So would Hellga the American Gladiator name.
  • Truce – Nice to see a name that promotes cooperation/peace instead of conflict/anger (like Rebel, Fury, Rage, Rowdy, Savage, and so on). Truce reminds me of Armistice. Speaking of armistice…
  • Versailles – It’s a pretty word, but what percentage of Americans can spell it correctly? Or even pronounce it?

And, since I never wrote about the Idaho baby names of 2011, I’ll throw in the unique names from that year as well:

Unique Girl Names (2011) Unique Boy Names (2011)
Asma, Ajla, Bandana, Birdie, Candelaria, Cinderella, Courage, Disney-Gin, Elphaba, Jerzi, Kaymin, Khryztale, Kyraeveryn, November, Rainbow, Rockee, Rogue, Ropeer, Satchel, Soliscity, Temperenz, Thunder, Trypzee, Winter, Xxoie Adakiss, Aegis Orion, Beauxdarin, Bluesky, Cinch, Coyote, Dagr, Deevo, Diggory, Doc, Eighthin, Flint, Gator, General, Iron, Jayger, John-Wayne, Khryztian, Maverik, Pistol, Pragedis, Rifle, Riot, Slate, Wilderness

Thoughts:

  • Adakiss – Not quite as bad as Addtakizz.
  • Dagr, Pistol, Rifle, Riot – More weaponry & violence. Lovely.
  • Deevo – Inspired by Devo? Perhaps. Two references to ’80s music in a single post? Yup. You must whip it

Finally, here are earlier lists of Idaho’s unique baby names (2006 through 2010).

Source: Vital Statistics Annual Report

Biggest Baby Name Debuts of All Time: Boys, 40 to 31

biggest baby name debuts of all time, boy names, 40 to 31

Here’s the second installment of top baby boy name debuts.

From 40 to 31:

Dvante, Raekwon & Savion, 3-way tie for #40

  • Dvante debuted with 39 baby boys in 1992.
    Inspired by singer DeVante Swing, a member of Jodeci.
  • Raekwon debuted with 39 baby boys in 1994.
    Inspired by rapper Raekwon, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
  • Savion debuted with 39 baby boys in 1989.
    Inspired by dancer Savion Glover.

Devanta, #39

  • Devanta debuted with 41 baby boys in 1992.
    Inspired by DeVante Swing as well.

Jamaine, #38

  • Jamaine debuted with 42 baby boys in 1971.
    Inspired by singer Jermaine Jackson, a member of The Jackson 5.

Cross & Toma, 2-way tie for #37

  • Cross debuted with 43 baby boys in 1997.
    I’m not sure what inspired it. Inspired by Alex Cross, a character in the movie Kiss the Girls.
  • Toma debuted with 43 baby boys in 1973.
    Inspired by David Toma, a character on the TV show “Toma.”

Kristoph & Yohance, 2-way tie for #36

Quayshawn, #35

  • Quayshawn debuted with 45 baby boys in 1991.
    Inspired by rapper Quayshaun.

Jencarlos, #34

  • Jencarlos debuted with 46 baby boys in 2009.
    Inspired by singer Jencarlos Canela.

Jemal, #33

  • Jemal debuted with 47 baby boys in 1968.
    Inspired by Jemal David, a character on the TV western “The Outcasts.”

Eder, Jayceon & Nikia, 3-way tie for #32

  • Eder debuted with 48 baby boys in 1982.
    Inspired by soccer player Éder Aleixo de Assis.
  • Jayceon debuted with 48 baby boys in 2005.
    Inspired by rapper The Game (born Jayceon Taylor).
  • Nikia debuted with 48 baby boys in 1974.
    Inspired by Nakia Parker, a character on the TV movie/show “Nakia.”

Trayvond, #31

  • Trayvond debuted with 49 baby boys in 1994.
    I’m not sure what inspired it. (Looks like it’s a variant of Trayvon, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.)

Do you have any thoughts on Trayvond/Trayvon or Cross?

*The Top 50 Baby Name Debuts for Boys: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1*

The Decline of the Baby Name Mary

Sociology professor Philip Cohen wrote about the decline of the baby name Mary recently in The Atlantic. Here’s how the article begins:

Each year I mark the continued calamitous decline of Mary as a girls’ name in the United States. Not to be over-dramatic, but in the recorded history of names, nothing this catastrophic has ever happened before.

Ouch.

He’s right, though. Usage of Mary — the dominant girl in the nation from the 1880s to the 1950s — plummeted during the 1960s:

Baby Name Mary - Decline in Usage on Popularity Graph
The Baby Name Mary

At one time, Mary was regularly given to more than 70,000 baby girls per year. It’s now given to fewer than 3,000. (And the population is much higher today that it was back then, so that difference is even more extreme than it seems.)

We’re well aware that Mary is on its way out, so let’s get right to Cohen’s two-part explanation of what the “Mary trend” means:

First, it’s the growing cultural value of individuality, which leads to increasing diversity. People value names that are uncommon. When Mary last held the number-one spot, in 1961, there were 47,655 girls given that name. Now, out of about the same number of total births, the number-one name (Sophia) was given only 21,695 times. Conformity to tradition has been replaced by conformity to individuality. Being number one for so long ruined Mary for this era.

The decreasing dominance of the top names is something we’ve discussed before.

Second, America’s Christian family standard-bearers are not standing up for Mary anymore. It’s not just that there may be fewer devout Christians, it’s that even they don’t want to sacrifice individuality for a (sorry, it’s not my opinion) boring name like Mary. In 2011 there were more than twice as many Nevaehs (“Heaven” spelled backwards) born as there were Marys. (If there is anything more specific going on within Christianity, please fill me in.)

This one is interesting. It might also explain the rise of religious word-names like
Blessing, Cross, Eden, Hallelujah, Trinity, even the ridiculous Nevaehtnes.

He says there’s still hope for a resurgence, similar to the one Emma experienced, “as long as Christianity keeps hanging around.”

What do you think — will Mary make a comeback one day like Emma did?

If so, when? How many years from now: 20, 50, 100, more?

Source: Why Don’t Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore? (via A Mitchell)

The Top Baby Name Debuts, 1881 to Today

baby names, debut names, name list

Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.

Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.

Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing pop culture explanations. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.

Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)

  • 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
  • 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
  • 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
  • 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
  • 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
  • 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
  • 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
  • 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
  • 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
  • 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
  • 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
  • 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
  • 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
  • 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
  • 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
  • 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
  • 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
  • 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
  • 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
  • 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
  • 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
  • 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
  • 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
  • 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
  • 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
  • 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
  • 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
  • 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
  • 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
  • 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
  • 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
  • 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
  • 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
  • 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
  • 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
  • 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
  • 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
  • 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
  • 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
  • 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
  • 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
  • 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
  • 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
  • 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
  • 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
  • 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
  • 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9

This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)

Now back to the list:

I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!

*If you ignore the Great Baby Name Glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.