How popular is the baby name Dale in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Dale and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Dale.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Dale

Number of Babies Named Dale

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Dale

Name Quotes for the Weekend #20

Dale Carnegie, on Names

From the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie:

Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

From a Washington Post article about Khaleesi, Katniss, and similar names by Alexandra Petri:

Every generation’s baby names are the refuse of terrible literature. It is a tradition of long standing.


Maybe it’s not so bad. This is one of the major incentives to write fiction: to take up residency in the minds of others, to make your story a part of their stories, to run into crops of little Anakins at recess or drive the name Joffrey to extinction, all through the power of your storytelling.

(Popularity graphs for Anakin and Joffrey.)

From a Mental Floss article on why we call parrots Polly by Kara Kovalchik:

The generic name “Pol” for a parrot can be traced back to England since at least the early 1600s. In his 1606 comedy Volpone, Renaissance playwright — and close friend of William Shakespeare — Ben Jonson assigned many of the characters animal personas which reflected their true nature.


Two comic relief-type characters, Sir Politic Would-Be (“Sir Pol” for short) and his wife, are visitors from England who are trying to ingratiate themselves into Venetian society, and they do so by simply mimicking the words and behavior of Volpone and his associates. Because of their endearing ignorance of what they are actually saying when they repeat phrases they’ve learned, Jonson describes them as parrots.

It is unclear whether Jonson actually coined the term “Pol” as a catch-all moniker for parrots, or if he simply popularized it. In any case, indulgent British pet owners eventually turned “Pol” into the much cutesier diminutive “Polly,” and both names made their way across the Atlantic.

From an essay on why expectant parents are hesitant to talk about baby names by Anna Claire Vollers:

In an ideal world, the baby’s name is between my husband and me, and it shouldn’t bother me what other people think about it. I’ve shared with family and close friends the name(s) we’re thinking about, and gotten mixed reviews. Which is fine. I asked because I value their opinions.

But I’m already a hormonal mess most days. I just don’t want to hear from an acquaintance that she used to know a kid with my favorite baby name who grew up to be a meth dealer, or from a stranger at the grocery store who had an extremely overweight uncle with the same name “but he was a really nice person.”

From a Tulsa World article on Oklahoma baby names:

Jeremiah and Carrie Rosson of Kellyville chose the name Elijah Gust for their 17-month-old because of its biblical roots and because the weather-influenced middle name paired well with their four-year-old son Josiah Thunder’s name.

“There is a verse in the 2 Kings that says Elijah was swept up in a gust,” Jeremiah Rosson said of the inspiration for their younger son’s name.

(Hundreds of baby boys in the U.S. have been named Thunder, btw.)

From the book Germaine Greer: Untamed Shrew by Christine Wallace:

In the autumn of 1938 came the first conception. Peggy’s pregnancy was easy, with little more than queasiness. But the labor was long and difficult. The baby, a girl, was bruised around the head from the traumatic delivery and arrived in floods of blood as Peggy hemorrhaged from a retained placenta. The baby was named Germaine, with no middle initial to interrupt the elegant alliteration with Greer. According to Peggy, it was the name of a minor British actress she found in an English magazine Reg had brought home from work. In Germaine’s version, her mother was reading George Sand’s The Countess of Rudolstadt when she fell pregnant, and drew the name from one of its characters, the Comte de Saint-Germain — `because she liked the sound of it, I reckon.’ It was the height of the last Australian summer before the war: 29 January 1939.

From the book Descendants of David McWhirter and Mary Posten (Vol. 1) by Patricia Lynn Petitt:

Alexander, the eldest son, died at the age of twenty-two, before he had graduated from Princeton. About two months after his death another son was born to Hugh and Jean. This baby was named “Alexander” after his deceased brother, but his name was not allowed to bespoken in the family until he was several months old. This son became the Rev. Dr. Alexander McWhirter of Revolutionary fame.

From “You Can Call Me Chana” by Chana R. Schoenberger in the Harvard Crimson:

No one can pronounce my name correctly. Most people think it’s “Shana” or “Chayna” or “Shanna.” It’s not hard, really: just say “Hannah,” only with a guttural ch sound, like “Chanukah.”


I was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to a pair of New Yorkers who did not want to give me a more ordinary American name like Jennifer or Jessica–names by which I now call almost all my female friends. As my parents intended, my name sets me apart from the mainstream. There has never been another Chana in my class (although a Harvard classmate spells it Hanna). This uniqueness made it harder to blend in when I was a preteen and wanted to disappear into a crowd. But now that I’m older and value individuality, I appreciate the merits of not being just another Mary or Susan.

My parents also wanted me to have a distinctly Jewish name, with a Hebrew pronunciation. Because of my name, my religion is one of the first things most people find out about me. So no one can ever call me a dirty Jew behind my back, as my mother explained to me years ago.

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

Interesting Baby Name Analysis

I only recently noticed that Behind the Name, one of my favorite websites for baby name definitions, has a page called United States Popularity Analysis — a “computer-created analysis of the United States top 1000 names for the period 1880 to 2012.”

The page has some interesting top ten lists. Here are three of them:

Most Volatile

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Elvis
2. Brooks
3. Santiago
4. Lincoln
5. Ernie
6. Wyatt
7. Quincy
8. Rogers
9. Alec
10. Dexter
1. Juliet
2. Lea
3. Justine
4. Martina
5. Felicia
6. Delilah
7. Selina
8. Lonnie
9. Magdalena
10. Katy

Biggest Recoveries

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Silas
2. Isaiah
3. Caleb
4. Emmett
5. Jordan
6. Josiah
7. Harrison
8. Ezra
9. Jason
10. Jesus
1. Ella
2. Stella
3. Sadie
4. Sophie
5. Isabella
6. Lily
7. Hannah
8. Isabelle
9. Sophia
10. Lilly

Biggest Flash-in-the-Pans

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Dewey
2. Woodrow
3. Dale
4. Barry
5. Rick
6. Greg
7. Roosevelt
8. Shannon
9. Kim
10. Darrin
1. Debra
2. Lori
3. Tammy
4. Pamela
5. Tracy
6. Cheryl
7. Beverly
8. Dawn
9. Diane
10. Kathy

I wonder what the formulas were. I’d love to try the same analysis on the SSA’s full list, using raw numbers instead of rankings. Wonder how much overlap there’d be…

New Jersey Family with 18 Children

In 1951, Joseph and Clara Carey of New Jersey welcomed their 18th child. The parents and all but three of the children posed for a newspaper photo that year. According to the caption, the 15 kids in the photo were named…

  • Carol, 17
  • Joseph, 15
  • Crawford, 13
  • William, 12
  • Margaret, 11
  • Raymond, 10
  • Geraldine, 9
  • Dorothy Ann, 8
  • Doris Joan, 7
  • Emily, 6
  • Dale, 5
  • Vernon, 4
  • Barbara, 3
  • Johnny, 2
  • Bruce, baby

What do you think the other three were named? (I have no idea about the genders.)

Which of the 15 names above is your favorite?

Source: “Mother Carey Has 18 Children Born in 18 Years.” Robesonian 16 Jan. 1951: 1.

Baby Name Needed – Brother of Jett Royce

One of my readers is expecting a baby boy in a matter of days and she’d like some last-minute name suggestions.

The baby will have one older sibling, a brother named Jett Royce. The surname sounds like Adlard.

Jett’s given names are both quite short, so I’m going to stick to the pattern and suggest…

Drew (or Andrew)
Tom (or Thomas)

Which of the above do you like best for Jett’s little brother? What other names would you suggest?

Baby Name Needed – Dale, Dallas or Dalen?

A reader named Kennith contacted me a few weeks ago about the names Dale Earl and Dallas Earl for his son.

He didn’t receive my initial response (as my emails haven’t been going out lately) but, luckily, he stopped by the other day and left a comment letting me know that he’s now considering the name Dalen Earl as well:

Nancy, I emailed you awhile back about a boy’s name but I’m not sure you got it. I like the name Dallas Earl but now I have a new name to consider, Dalen Earl. My late father and late brother’s middle names were Dale so I added an n at the end and loved it, does it sound good? My middle name is Earl as is my uncle and grandfather.

First, thank you for trying again, Kennith. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to give you some feedback.

Second, let’s try a three-way poll:

Which do you like best?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

In the comments, please let us know which option you chose and why.

Here are my thoughts:

When it was Dale Earl vs. Dallas Earl, I had a slight preference for Dallas. I loved that Dale was a family name, but I just wasn’t keen on the sound of “Dale Earl.”

Now that it seems to be Dallas Earl vs. Dalen Earl, I think I’ll stick to my preference for Dallas. I like that Dalen is close to Dale, but I also think people will misspell and mispronounce it a lot because it’s rather unusual. Dallas is more familiar, so living with it ought to be less of a hassle.

Do you agree? Disagree?

Boy Names Beyond the Top 1,000

[UPDATE: Check out the Popular Baby Names page to see lists of the top 2,000 since 2000!]

We’ve all seen the top 1,000 boy names of 2010 by now, but have you had a chance to look at the names beyond the top 1,000?

Here they are, down to the names that were given to 100 babies each last year. The 1,000th most popular boy name was Crew, given to 193 babies, and after Crew comes…

  • 193: Enoch, Maxton, Taj, Truman [all tied with Crew]
  • 192: Addison, Nikhil, Simeon
  • 191: Cassius, Elvis, Reuben
  • 190: Brenton, Maximillian
  • 189: Brecken, Eliezer, Eliseo, Elmer, Jovany, Kamren, Tyshawn
  • 188: Anton, Cristiano, Jovan, Jovanny, Miller, Shamar
  • 187: Augustine, Corban, Glenn, Milton
  • 186: Adolfo, Carlo, Dale, German, Zavion
  • 185: Boden, Bodie, Campbell, Garrison
  • 184: Emory, Harvey, Hendrix, Nixon, Siddharth, Yehuda
  • 183: Anish, Jamarcus, Juelz, Kyan, Ulysses
  • 182: Estevan, Isaak, Maddux
  • 181: Arlo, Braedyn, Ethen
  • 180: Dhruv, Nathanial, Thiago, Zeke
  • 179: Denzel, Dion, Gordon, Karsen, Mack, Marquise, Vladimir
  • 178: Braedon, Crosby, Ephraim, Graysen, Otto, Yisroel
  • 177: Andreas, Coby, Dariel, Dimitri, Geovanni, Immanuel, Jamel, Josh, Karl, Maksim
  • 176: Jarrett, Kohen, Langston, Rylen, Tremaine, Treyvon
  • 175: Kasey, Kenyon, Marques, Mustafa
  • 174: Cayson, Kalel, Nick, Reynaldo, Trevin
  • 173: Stone, Turner
  • 172: Briar, Lamont, Leif, Princeton
  • 171: Marcello
  • 170: Amos, Coen, Donavan
  • 169: Jesiah, Kayleb, Leeland, Shmuel
  • 168: Bernard, Chaz, Jacobi, Mikel, Rishi
  • 167: none
  • 166: Jayvon, Jericho, Lucien, Savion, Tyce
  • 165: Benton, Bowen, Kamarion, Kooper, Said, Yaakov
  • 164: Brennon, Eddy, Maison, Treyton
  • 163: Braylin, Fredrick, Keven, Nestor
  • 162: Abner, Reilly
  • 161: Bishop, Canaan, Gaven, Jaedyn, Jermiah, Mariano, Ryley, Thatcher
  • 160: Forrest, Haven, Jaylan, Keanu, Rocky
  • 159: Gino, Magnus, Nathen, Rigoberto
  • 158: Amarion, Jaren, Kelton, Lucca, Stephan, Vince
  • 157: Austyn, Harlan, Kylen
  • 156: Baylor, Chevy, Desean, Shiloh, Titan
  • 155: Kennedy
  • 154: Jaleel, Tayden
  • 153: Guy, Jai, Javen, Sammy, Vihaan
  • 152: Benny, Briggs, Haden, Jullian, Karim
  • 151: Brayson, Brysen, Callan, Colson
  • 150: Armaan, Domenic, Jarvis, Joan, Kyran, Tobin, Zyon
  • 149: Arian, Austen, Darrius, Landin
  • 148: Devonte, Kamdyn, Markell, Massimo, Zaden
  • 147: Jakub, Lachlan, Mordechai
  • 146: Cristobal, Ewan, Santana, Taven
  • 145: Ayan, Dashiell, Gonzalo, Jael, Jakari, Jariel, Javian, Syed
  • 144: Kye, Leyton, Marek, Viktor
  • 143: Dereck, Dewayne, Jamil, Jeremias, Kannon, Lenny, Milan, Shimon, Stetson
  • 142: Apollo, Aubrey, Clifford, Khalid, Mikah, Zyaire
  • 141: Anson, Darion, Norman, Phineas, Royal, Terence
  • 140: Ajay, Baron, Cornelius, Duke, Dwight, Neel
  • 139: Alexandre, Beck, Bernardo, Bilal, Britton, Gerard, Irving, Kaidyn, Tristyn, Zahir
  • 138: Arman, Aven, Drayden, Presley, Shayne
  • 137: Carmine, Dereon, Elvin, Guadalupe, Marquez, Miguelangel, Shlomo
  • 136: Cordell, Mikael, Nate, Sami, Vernon
  • 135: Alek, Corbyn, Coy, Ely, Jan, Kiptyn, Koby, Sabastian, Tevin, Travon
  • 134: Alexandro, Korbyn, Korey, Oakley
  • 133: Clyde, Izaac, Tavin, Tegan
  • 132: Karsten, Kyree, Raylan, Ridge, Zayd
  • 131: Aleksander, Benicio, Gus, Jet, Judson, Nazir, Sebastien
  • 130: Atreyu, Braulio, Colter, Emmet, Rico, Tiger
  • 129: Garret, Ira, Jaedon, Juancarlos, Keelan, Kent, Myron, Rashawn
  • 128: Aayden, Clint, Ishan, Lucius, Musa, Oskar, Perry, Torin
  • 127: Amar, Cian, Dallin, Denver, Donnie, Duane, Giovany, Landan
  • 126: Avi, Bryden, Cormac, Dandre, Dontae, Finnian, Jameer, Yariel, Zakary
  • 125: Courtney, Efren, Josef, Kalvin, Lloyd, Lonnie, Markel, Merrick, Zev
  • 124: Denis, Eamon, Foster, Gannon, Kalen, Keller, Louie, Tavion, Tylan, Wilmer, Xavion
  • 123: Deshaun, Geovanny, Kain, Luc, Marion
  • 122: Hagen, Tiago, Tzvi, Zakaria
  • 121: Alton, Bryton, Carlton, Carmello, Jaheim, Rayyan, Yaseen
  • 120: Coltin, Dash, Gian, Jahir, Jeancarlos, Nevin, Raheem, Sutton, Trae
  • 119: Aksel, Barry, Khamari, Kolt, Omarion, Otis, Yitzchok
  • 118: Brighton, Grayden, Jeshua, Maddix, Rickey, Shea, Talen, Trenten
  • 117: Brad, Caeden, Cy, Kallen, Kenji, Linus, Mikhail, Om, Oswaldo
  • 116: Adin, Azariah, Carsten, Cashton, Damarcus, Demari, Ever, Kaison, Lester, Maddex
  • 115: Ayush, Brandt, Chayce, Dan, Demarco, Deonte, Francesco, Izaak, Kipton, Mac, Pierson, Stephon
  • 114: Abhinav, Avraham, Carsyn, Earl, Faris, Gerson, Jayven, Johnpaul, Yoel
  • 113: Ahmir, Alexavier, Amani, Coleton, Dev, Evin, Obed, Osmar, Yahya
  • 112: Dyllan, Eliel, Jayshawn, Jeff, Jonatan, Jordin, Nikko
  • 111: Daryl, Harris, Jeremih, Jordy, Kurt, Neal, Tariq, Veer, Yash
  • 110: Achilles, Ares, Demario, Demetri, Dezmond, Gianluca, Ishmael, Jaziel, Kahlil, Karon, Youssef
  • 109: Broden, Deion, Don, Ethyn, Jaidon, Jimmie, Kegan, Kenton, Marko, Yovani
  • 108: Adler, Elan, Eliyahu, Fidel, Finnley, Jahmir, Kentrell, Rio, Tahj, Tye, Westley
  • 107: Antwon, Benito, Clifton, Diesel, Greysen, Khristian, Kurtis, Latrell, Ramses, Rick, Robin
  • 106: Braelyn, Canyon, Eian, Grey, Javien, Jaysen, Kaysen, Lyndon, Meir
  • 105: Axton, Bronx, Canon, Darin, Daveon, Ervin, Fred, Jancarlos, Jaxsen, Johnnie, Osiel, Rian, Tyron, Yasir, Zephaniah
  • 104: Athan, Chayse, Donnell, Emil, Hans, Jacen, Javeon, Kollin, Syncere, Trevion
  • 103: Brigham, Emir, Freddie, Heriberto, Wiley
  • 102: Constantine, Graeme, Keandre, Kiran, Kirk, Kyren, Murphy, Nikita
  • 101: Abdul, Geoffrey, Harlem, Hernan, Idris, Isac
  • 100: Anakin, Andrei, Dylon, Ford, Jacorey, Kaydin, Kelly, Lazaro, Patricio, Raymundo, Rowdy, Sahil, Shepherd, Zaylen

P.S. Here’s the 2009 version. And here’s the girls’ list for 2010.

Baby Name Needed – Name for Baby Girl #4

A reader named Darlene is having trouble coming up with a name for her fourth baby girl (due in 2 months). Her first three daughters are Whitney Anne, Presley Kaye, and Gracey Dale. She and her husband have come up with possibilities like Lindsey, Kristen, Nicole, Jenna, Carley, Valerie and Meloney — but none of them have really emerged as favorites.

What do you think, readers? Whitney, Presley, Gracey, and … what?

My opinion is that the fourth daughter’s name ought to continue the pattern: 2-syllable first name ending with an “ee”-sound, then a 1-syllable middle name. Trying something new at this point might give rise to jealousy.

With that in mind, I think the following first names might work: Ainsley, Annie, Bailey, Chelsea, Elsie, Finley, Hadley, Harley, Jody, Josie, Kacey, Lainey, Lilly, Marley, Riley or Zoe.

For middle names, I came up with Beth, Bree, Claire, Faith, Hope, Jade, Jane, Kate, Paige, Reese, Rose, Sage and Tess.

As for combinations… Ainsley Jane? Riley Claire? Zoe Rose? Marley Kate?

Please leave a comment with your suggestions for Darlene.