How popular is the baby name Curtis 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 Curtis.

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 Curtis


Posts that Mention the Name Curtis

Five Name Friday: Boy Name for Curtis & Alistair’s Brother

five-name friday, boy name

It’s another Five-Name Friday! Here’s today’s baby name request:

Looking for a boy’s name that complements brothers Curtis and Alistair.

Can you come up with five solid baby name suggestions for this person?

Here are the rules:

  • Be independent. Choose your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Stick to legit recommendations you might offer a real-life friend or acquaintance.
  • Five names total in your comment. Seriously. If you go over, I will delete the extras.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

More on Mr. Dill Pickle

Last year, in Name Quotes #31, I mentioned a guy with one of the best aptonyms I know of: Dill Pickle (1924-1986), pickle salesman. Here’s an article about him:

man named dill pickle

I haven’t been able to figure out what the middle initial “L” stands for, but I can tell you that “Dill” was a hand-me-down from Dill’s father, Curtis Dill Pickle (1899-1970).

Source: “Dill L. Pickle Has Job Selling Them.” Milwaukee Journal 24 Nov. 1949, sec. Green Sheet: 1.

The Colorful Names of Meghalaya, India

meghalaya. india

The small, remote Indian state of Meghalaya has long been known for the colorful names of its residents.

The state typically makes international headlines during election years. Actual candidate names have included…

  • Adolf Lu Hitler Rangsa Marak
  • Billy Kid A. Sangma
  • Boldness Nongum
  • Bombersingh Hynniewta
  • Clever Marak
  • Darling Wavel Lamare
  • Fairly Bert Kharrngi
  • Field Marshal Mawphniang
  • Frankenstein W. Momin
  • Friday Lyngdoh
  • H. Britain War Dan
  • Highlander Kharmalki
  • Hilarious Dhkar
  • Hispreachering Son Shylla
  • Hopingstone Lyngdoh
  • J. Ulysses Nongrum (He has sisters named England, New Zealand, Finland and Switzerland.)
  • Jhim Carter Sangma
  • John Manner Marak
  • Kenedy Marak
  • Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem
  • Laborious Manik S. Syiem
  • Moonlight Pariat
  • Oral Syngkli
  • Process T. Sawkmie
  • Rain Augustine Lyngdoh
  • Rockfeller Momin
  • Romeo Phira Rani
  • Sevenson Dhar
  • Stafing Jove Langpen Pdahkasiej
  • Teilang Star Blah
  • Tony Curtis Lyngdoh
  • VeecareNicia Lamare
  • Zenith M. Sangma

Here’s what Adolf Lu Hitler Rangsa Marak (who was born in the late 1950s) had to say about his name:

“Maybe my parents liked the name and hence christened me Hitler,” he recently told the Hindustan Times newspaper.

“I am happy with my name, although I don’t have any dictatorial tendencies.”

Reporters have been writing about the names in Meghalaya for at least a decade, but the strange names have been around a lot longer than that. “My erstwhile escort explained that Khasi parents are fond of naming children after great personalities of the West,” said the author of a 1956 article about Meghalaya’s names. (The article also mentioned Khasi sisters named Million, Billion and Trillion.)

So, why are strange names the norm in Meghalaya? I’ve found various explanations.

One travel article suggests the roots are religious. The names are the “legacy of the missionaries’ work,” it says, though “children now are just as likely to be named after the latest gadget as a saint.” (About 70% of the state is Christian, which is notable, as India overall is only about 2% Christian.)

Another source blames Britain:

The region’s unusual names stem from the state’s close historical links with Britain, explains Agence France-Presse: in colonial times, missionaries and soldiers would visit the hilly state’s capital Shillong, known as the “Scotland of the East,” to escape the overbearing heat of much of the country, and its residents began naming their children with random English words as a nod to that influence.

“Often they don’t know the background of the names. They get attracted to these names for their quest of modernity,” Sanjeeb Kakoty, a history professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, told AFP.

Yet another source adds two more possibilities. First, that people try to “sound knowledgeable by naming their children after great leaders.” Second, that the names are “part of a culture where laughter is considered important.”

Meghalaya’s three major tribes, the Khasis, the Garos and Jaintias all have Laugh Clubs. Giving their children whacky [sic] names is part of the fun.

“We share the most brazen of jokes at these clubs,” says local historian Milton Sangma.

Which might explain why one of the candidates is Tony Curtis, better known as a Hollywood legend.

“We believe if we laugh heartily at least once or twice a day, we will live long.”

(Laughter clubs have only been around since the mid-1990s.)

Which of the names on the list above do you like best?

Sources:

Image: Seema Agarwal

Related post: Soviet-Inspired Baby Names in Kerala, India

Holiday Baby Name: Happy New Year

fireworks

Happy New Year, everyone!

Time for the first post of 2013.

And my question is: Have any babies ever been named after the New Year?

The answer is yes.

Most notably, at least seven people have been named Happy New Year:

  • Happy Newyear Boor, female, born in 1926 in Pennsylvania
  • Happy New Year Dennis, female, born in 1920 in South Africa
  • Happy New Year Grierson, born in 1896 in Oregon
  • Happy New Year Kauakahi, female, born circa 1906 in Hawaii
  • Happy New Year Kapahu, male, born circa 1907 in Hawaii
  • Happy Newyear Kerwenzee, female, born 1877 in Ontario
  • Happy New Year Ribs, male, born circa 1912 in South Dakota

Several hundred others have simply been named New Year.

The earliest examples I’ve seen come from the 1600s:

  • Newyear Dale, male, baptized on January 6, 1675, in York, England.
  • Newyear Harrison, male, baptized on January 2, 1687, in York, England.
  • New Year Carlile, female, baptized on January 12, 1690, in Cumberland, England
  • New Years Mitchinson, male, baptized on December 31, 1691, in Cumberland, England
  • New Year Ireland, male, baptized on February 5, 1694, in York, England

Here are three more from the 1700s:

  • New Year Dowthwait, male, baptized on January 1, 1731 in York, England
  • New Year Prudget, male, baptized on January 15, 1737, in Suffolk, England
  • Hannah New Year Chamberlain, female, baptized on January 7, 1759 in Northampton, England

And three more from the 1800s:

  • William New Year Sadler, male, baptized on January 2, 1819, in Norfolk, England. Here he is in the Norfolk parish register:
    William New Year Sadler
  • Frances New Year Tobin, female, born on December 31, 1872, in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • New Year Bowman, female, born on January 1, 1881, in Ontario, Canada

And three more in the 1900s:

  • Columbus New Year Clanton, male, born on January 1, 1900, in Alabama
  • Curtis New Year Cooper, male, born on January 1, 1905, in Texas
  • New Year Bell Sunday, female, born on January 1, 1912
  • New Year Mahu, male, born circa 1916 in Hawaii

The most recent New Year I’ve spotted was born in Micronesia in 2002. (The most recent U.S. New Year I’ve seen was born in 1930.)

More holiday baby names: Christmas Eve, Merry Christmas, Christmas Day, Christmas Carol, Christmas Tree

Barbara Gale: First Hurricane Baby Name?

hurricane

In 1950, the United States Weather Bureau started naming Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms.

The initial names came from a radio alphabet that began Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox and George. Because the alphabet happened to include several human names, you could say the first Atlantic storms that were “named” were the Charlies and Georges of 1950-1952.

It wasn’t until three years later that the USWB starting using human names exclusively. In 1953, it replaced the phonetic alphabet with a list of female names. (Male names weren’t thrown into the mix until 1979.)

The first storm with a female name was Tropical Storm Alice, the first storm of the 1953 storm season. I couldn’t find any babies named after Alice, but I did find one named after the second storm, Hurricane Barbara.

Hurricane Barbara traveled up the Eastern seaboard in mid-August. It struck the Outer Banks (islands off the North Carolina coast) on August 13. That night, a baby girl born in New Bern, N.C., to Mr. and Mrs. N. E. Ward was named Barbara Gale.

There were six other named storms (Carol, Dolly, Edna, Florence, Gail and Hazel) that season, but I could only find a namesake for one of them — Florence.

Hurricane Florence struck the Florida panhandle on September 26. Earlier that day, a baby born in Crestview, Florida, to Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Holt was named Sandra Florence.

Since 1953, many more babies — hundreds, probably — have been named for Atlantic hurricanes. Hurricane-inspired baby names I’ve blogged about here include Hazel (1954), Alicia (1983), Elena (1985), Gloria (1985), Andrew (1992) and Isabel (2003).

Sources:

  • “Child Aptly Named.” Los Angeles Times 16 Aug. 1953: 23.
  • “Hurricane Florence Has Tiny Namesake.” Hartford Courant 27 Sep. 1953: 24A.
  • Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names