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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Curtis

Number of Babies Named Curtis

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Curtis

More on Mr. Dill Pickle

Last year, in Name Quotes for the Weekend #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.


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

Names Needed for Baby Boy

A reader named Leigh will be having a baby boy within the next few weeks. She writes:

I am a teacher and have heard so many names that I don’t want to name our child. My husband and I really like the name Miles, however, there are many new baby boys in my friend circle, named Miles. I really like Emmett, but my husband is afraid he’ll be mocked because people might only know of his name from the Twilight series. We’re interested in two or three syllable strong, unique (not necessarily unusual) names. A current front runner is Anders, possibly Anders Gray Hollyard*. We also like the name Lars. I guess I’m finding we like names that end in s!

First name and possible middle name suggestions to go with Anders would be greatly appreciated.

*Their surname isn’t Hollyard, but a like-sounding two-syllable h-name.

A few thoughts on the current favorites:

  • Miles: The popularity of this one has been on the rise for years, so it makes sense that you’re hearing it more often. I’m sure this has already come up, but just in case: Have you considered Milo or Niles as alternatives? They both sound a lot like Miles, but they’re not nearly as popular (i.e. only 29 babies were named Niles in 2010).
  • Emmett: Personally, I associate this name with Emmitt Smith, not the fictional vampire. And I’m not even a sports fan. This Twilight craze will blow over one day (thankfully!) and, when it does, these vampire/werewolf associations will fade. Exception: Renesmee.
  • Anders: I really like this one. I especially like that it shortens to the nickname Andy, allowing anyone with this name to flip back and forth between formal/unusual and informal/familiar, depending on the occasion. Versatility is always a good thing.
  • Lars: I have a strong association with this one as well, though I’m not sure how many others have it — Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. So this one may prompt people to ask about the possible Metallica connection. Much cooler than a Twilight question, anyway.

Here are some other names, many with s-endings:

Adam
Boris
Clark
Curtis
Elliot
Ellis
Eric
Felix
Grant
James
Jasper
Jens
Joel
Levi
Linus
Lucas
Marcus
Marius
Matthias
Max
Neil
Nils
Oliver
Oscar
Peter
Reed
Thomas
Victor

As far as middle names for Anders go, I think Gray is great. I think a one-syllable name with a hard sound (that g) sounds good in that spot. Other names that fit this description are Brett, Craig, Drake, Frank, Grant, Jack, Kent, Mark and Paul.

Which of the above names do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Leigh?

Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down for the name (or just click here).

Barbara Gale – First Hurricane Baby Name?

hurricaneIn 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

Baby Names Needed for the Twin Siblings of Beatrix

A reader named Marissa, who has a daughter named Beatrix Penelope (nn Bea), is expecting twins–one boy, one girl. She’s got their middle names narrowed down (Anthony or Alexander for the baby boy, Daphne or Jillian for the baby girl) but she’d like some help with their first names.

Here’s what she’s looking for in a boy name:

For the boy I’d like names that are two syllables long and start and end in a consonant. So far I like Robert, Patrick, Daniel and Fabian. The only one he likes is Fabian, but we’re still not sure.

And here’s what she’s looking for in a girl name:

For the girl I’d like names that are three or four syllables long, and start and end in a vowel. So far I like Anastasia, Ophelia, Elena and Ursula, but he likes none of them.

The babies’ last name will sound something like Thisbe.

Here are some of the boy names I came up with:

Calvin
Clement
Chester
Conrad
Curtis
David
Declan
Dexter
Duncan
Felix
Franklin
Holden
Howard
Jasper
Kenneth
Lincoln
Linus
Lucas
Malcolm
Martin
Maxwell
Miles
Mitchell
Nathan
Nelson
Nigel
Nolan
Philip
Raymond
Reuben
Roland
Roman
Silas
Simon
Stuart
Thomas
Victor
Vincent
William
Winston

And here are some ideas for the girl name:

Acantha
Adela
Adelina
Adriana
Agatha
Alexandra
Alexina
Alicia
Allegra
Althea
Amelia
Annabella
Andrea
Angela
Antonia
Arabella
Araminta
Athena
Augusta
Aurelia
Aurora
Azalea
Eleanora
Eliana
Elisa
Eloisa
Estella
Eugenia
Eulalia
Imelda
Iona
Irena/Irina
Isabella
Isidora
Octavia
Odelia
Odessa
Olivia
Olympia
Ottilia

Which of the above do you like best with Beatrix? (And which ones make the best boy/girl pairings, do you think?)

What other names would you suggest to Marissa?

Spelling Tip for Creative Baby Names – Hard C vs. Soft C

Google tells me that there are women out there named Cimberly. Cimberly is meant to be a variant of Kimberly, but when I see it, I can’t force myself to say anything but Simberly.

That’s because the pronunciation of the letter C depends upon the letter that follows. When C is followed by E, I or Y, it’s typically soft (cell, city, cyst). Otherwise, it’s hard (cat, cot, cut).

Same with names. Carson, Cordelia and Curtis have hard C’s; Cecilia, Cindy and Cyrus have soft C’s. (The only exceptions I can come up with are Irish names like Cillian and Ciara.)

If you want to personalize a name that features the letter C, be careful. You don’t want to turn Caleb in Celeb, or Cassie into Cissie. (Caleb might like the change, but I don’t think Cassie would appreciate it.)

And if you substitute a C for a K or an S without considering what letter comes next, you run the risk of turning Kent into Cent, or Sage into Cage. Or Kimberly into Cimberly.

Baby Name Needed – Familiar-Yet-Uncommon Boy Name

A reader named Rachel is expecting a baby boy. She says:

We had two girls’ names that I adored — Jane and Marjorie. Both of these are very uncommon (400s for Jane, not in top 1000 for Marjorie!) yet are utterly familiar (and unpretentious).

I am completely unable to find a boys’ name that fits that bill. All of the familiar, classic names are common. All of the uncommon names make me fear trendiness; few have that classic simplicity.

To add another wrinkle, if possible we’d like to honor a relative with an S-name. The only two I’ve found that I like so far are Samuel (but so common) and Silas (uncommon, but maybe trying too hard?) Other contenders are Henry and Edmund.

How funny — as soon as I read that second paragraph, the name Henry popped into my head.

I don’t think Silas is necessarily one of those “trying too hard”-types of names. (Unlike, say, Ptolemy.) But it will sound more natural in some areas than in others. Are future playmates going to have names like Victoria and Robert, or names like Jayden and Kayla? That could make a huge difference to a boy named Silas.

Here are a few other S-names that might be tempting (along with current rankings, for those in the top 1,000):

Simon (261)
Solomon (429)
Stanley (653)
Stanton
Stuart/Stewart
Sylvan
Sylvester

And, along with Edmund and Henry, here are some non-S-names that could work:

Antony (895)
Bernard (940)
Carl (490)
Chester
Clifford
Curtis (380)
Duncan (717)
Eugene (691)
Francis (656)
Franklin (467)
Frederick (523)
Gerald (603)
Gerard
Giles
Harvey
Howard (903)
Jerome (616)
Lane (319)
Leonard (621)
Lewis (640)
Matthias (772)
Milton (923)
Morris
Otis
Percy
Philip (378)
Roger (463)
Roscoe
Victor (111)
Walter (393)

What other names would you suggest to Rachel?

Update: The baby is here! Scroll down to find out what name Rachel chose.