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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Danny

Number of Babies Named Danny

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Danny

Should We Name Hurricanes to Maximize Donations?

hurricaneIn 2008, psychologists Jesse Chandler, Tiffany M. Griffin, and Nicholas Sorensen published a study showing that people who shared an initial with a hurricane name were over-represented among hurricane relief donors. So, for instance, people with R-names donated significantly more than other people to Hurricane Rita relief efforts. (This is an offshoot of the name-letter effect.)

A few years later, marketing professor Adam Alter came up with an interesting idea: Why not use this knowledge to try to maximize donations to hurricane relief efforts? He explained:

In the United States, for example, more than 10% of all males have names that begin with the letter J-names like James and John (the two most common male names), Joseph and Jose, Jason, and Jeffrey. Instead of beginning just one hurricane name with the letter J each year (in 2013, that name will be Jerry), the World Meteorological Organization could introduce several J names each year. Similarly, more American female names begin with M than any other letter–most of them Marys, Marias, Margarets, Michelles, and Melissas–so the Organization could introduce several more M names to each list.

I think his idea is a good one overall. It wouldn’t cost much to implement, but could potentially benefit many hurricane victims.

I would go about choosing the names differently, though.

Repeating initials multiple times within a single hurricane season would be unwise, for instance. It would cause confusion, which would undermine the reason we started naming hurricanes in the first place (“for people easily to understand and remember” them, according to the WMO).

But optimizing the name lists using data on real-life usage? That would be smart.

I might even try optimizing based on demographics. Baby boomers are particularly generous donors, so maybe we should choose letters (or even names) with that generation in mind?

The baby boomers were born from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, so here are the top initials for babies born in 1956 (60 years ago):

Top first letters of baby names, 1956, U.S.

Here are two possible lists of hurricane names using the above letters. I stuck with the WMO’s conventions: 21 names total, alternating genders, and no retired names.

Mid-century style Modern style

And here’s another point: we wouldn’t want to assign these names in order. While the official hurricane season lasts a full six months — June to November — most hurricane activity happens in August, September and October:

Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years (NOAA)

To really optimize, we’d want to reserve the top initials/names for the stronger mid-season hurricanes, which tend to do the most damage. So we could start the season using mid-list names, then jump to the top of the list when August comes around and go in order from that point forward (skipping over any mid-list names that had already been used).

What are your thoughts on assigning hurricane names with disaster relief in mind? Do you think it could work? What strategy/formula would you use to select relief-optimized hurricane names?

Sources: In the “I” of the storm: Shared initials increase disaster donations, Smart Hurricane Names: A Policy Intervention that Costs Almost Nothing but Should Attract Billions of Dollars in Aid, Tropical Cyclone Programme – WMO
Image: Tropical Cyclone Climatology – National Hurricane Center – NOAA

P.S. While J, D and R were the top initials 60 years ago, today’s top initials are A, J and M.

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2014

According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in Ireland in 2014 were Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 619 baby girls
2. Sophie, 468
3. Emma, 441
4. Grace, 408
5. Ava, 404
6. Ella, 398
7. Amelia, 388
8. Mia, 370
9. Lucy, 369
10. Aoife, 364
1. Jack, 786 baby boys
2. James, 695
3. Daniel, 638
4. Conor, 581
5. Sean, 526
6. Adam, 493
7. Luke, 437
8. Noah, 434
9. Harry, 398
10. Charlie, 389

In the girls’ top 10, Mia replaces Sarah. (Also: Grace rises from 9th to 4th while Aoife falls from 6th to 10th.)

In the boys’ top 10, Luke and Charlie replace Ryan and Michael.

Of all the girl names in the current top 100, the ones that saw the biggest increases from 2013 to 2014 were…

  • Evie, Amber, Sadie, Annie and Ailbhe (in terms of rank change)
  • Sadie, Olivia, Amber, Evie and Lily (in terms of number of babies)

Of all the boy names in the current top 100, the ones that saw the biggest increases from 2013 to 2014 were…

  • Ollie, Peter, Isaac, Danny, Billy and Lorcan (in terms of rank change)
  • David, Luke, Callum, Peter and Ciaran (in terms of number of babies)

Kayden, the boy name that saw the biggest rank-change increase from 2012 to 2013, was one of the names that dropped out of the top 100 in 2014.

Here are the 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007 rankings for Ireland.

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2014 (CSO)

The Baby Name Thumbelina

1914 illustration of Thumbelina
In the Danish fairy tale “Tommelise” (1835) by Hans Christian Andersen, Tommelise is a tiny girl who has adventures with a toad, a butterfly, some stag beetles, a field mouse, a mole, a swallow, and finally a tiny prince.

In the earliest English translations of “Tommelise” the main character is renamed Little Ellie, Little Totty, and Little Maja. It wasn’t until 1864 that translator Henry W. Dulcken came up with the name Thumbelina.

(Both names, Tommelise and Thumbelina, were probably influenced by the name of folklore character Tom Thumb.)

Now for the important question: Have any babies ever been named Thumbelina?

Yes, at least a few dozen.

One example is Fabiola Thumbelina Blonigen, born in Minnesota in 1935. She was mentioned in the book Big Pants, Burpy and Bumface…and Other Totally True Names! by Russell Ash. (Her 5 siblings also had interesting names: Elaine Enid, Fabian Adrian, Quentin Phillip, Verdi Georgio and Twyla Delilah.)

Most of the Thumbelinas I’ve found were born in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. The parents of these babies were likely inspired by the song “Thumbelina” from the movie musical Hans Christian Andersen (1952).

The song, sung by Danny Kaye, starts at about 1:20 in this clip:

Believe it or not, “Thumbelina” was one of the nominees for Best Original Song at the 25th Academy Awards.

The most interesting Thumbelina name-combo I’ve spotted so far? “Tiny Thumbelina.” It was given to a North Carolina baby born in 1969.

So what do you think of Thumbelina as a baby name?

And, bonus question: At the end of the original fairy tale, the prince tells Tommelise [pron. tom-meh-lee-seh] that he doesn’t like her name. “It’s an ugly name, and you are so beautiful.” So he gives her a new one: Maja [pron. mie-ah]. Which name do you prefer, Tommelise or Maja?

Source: Tommelise – H.C. Andersen

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office, the most popular baby names are Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Sophie
4. Ella
5. Amelia
6. Aoife
7. Ava
8. Lucy
9. Grace
10. Sarah
11. Mia
12. Anna
13. Chloe
14. Hannah
15. Kate
16. Ruby
17. Lily
18. Katie
19. Caoimhe
20. Sophia
21. Lauren
22. Saoirse
23. Ellie
24. Holly
25. Leah
26. Amy
27. Olivia
28. Jessica
29. Ciara
30. Zoe
31. Isabelle
32. Niamh
33. Molly
34. Julia
35. Robyn
36. Erin
37. Roisin
38. Freya
39. Laura
40. Cara
41. Sofia
42. Eva
43. Rachel
44. Isabella
45. Kayla
46. Abbie
47. Charlotte [tie]
47. Millie [tie]
49. Faye
50. Clodagh
51. Aisling
52. Alice [tie]
52. Eabha [tie]
54. Abigail
55. Ellen
56. Lexi
57. Aoibhinn
58. Layla
59. Eve [tie]
59. Zara [tie]
61. Alannah
62. Aine
63. Maria [tie]
63. Megan [tie]
65. Rebecca
66. Nicole
67. Sadhbh
68. Clara
69. Elizabeth
70. Maya
71. Maja
72. Emilia
73. Caitlin
74. Rose
75. Isabel
76. Aoibheann
77. Sadie
78. Lena
79. Hollie
80. Sienna
81. Mary
82. Fiadh
83. Zuzanna
84. Aimee [tie]
84. Tara [tie]
86. Hanna [tie]
86. Katelyn [tie]
86. Lilly [tie]
86. Ruth [tie]
90. Alexandra [tie]
90. Poppy [tie]
92. Amber [tie]
92. Mollie [tie]
92. Victoria [tie]
95. Lara
96. Sara
97. Brooke
98. Aoibhe [tie]
98. Laoise [tie]
100. Kayleigh
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Conor
5. Sean
6. Adam
7. Ryan
8. Michael
9. Harry
10. Noah
11. Thomas
12. Alex
13. Luke
14. Oisin
15. Charlie
16. Patrick
17. Cian
18. Liam [tie]
18. Darragh [tie]
20. Dylan
21. Jamie
22. Matthew
23. Cillian
24. Aaron
25. Fionn
26. Jake
27. John
28. David
29. Ben
30. Finn
31. Nathan
32. Kyle
33. Samuel
34. Evan
35. Max
36. Ethan
37. Rian
38. Joseph
39. Alexander
40. Mason
41. Oliver
42. Joshua
43. William
44. Eoin
45. Jayden
46. Oscar
47. Callum
48. Aidan
49. Tom
50. Robert
51. Sam [tie]
51. Tadhg [tie]
53. Jacob
54. Cathal
55. Shane
56. Leon
57. Mark
58. Senan
59. Bobby
60. Ronan [tie]
60. Andrew [tie]
62. Eoghan
63. Leo
64. Lucas
65. Rory
66. Alfie
67. Tyler
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Scott
71. Christopher
72. Odhran
73. Kevin
74. Ciaran
75. Dara
76. Shay [tie]
76. Alan [tie]
78. Tommy
79. Logan [tie]
79. Anthony [tie]
81. Jakub
82. Rhys
83. Tomas
84. Donnacha
85. Kai
86. Stephen
87. Killian
88. Niall
89. Jason
90. Josh
91. Kayden
92. Martin [tie]
92. Ruairi [tie]
92. Brian [tie]
95. Isaac
96. Danny [tie]
96. Edward [tie]
98. Oran [tie]
98. Sebastian [tie]
98. Hugh [tie]

New to the top 100 are Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy for girls and Kai and Kayden for boys.

(Names that were new on the 2012 list but that have since dropped out of the top 100 are Amelie, Evie and Maisie.)

Of all the girl names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Fiadh, +64 (146th to 82nd)
  2. Sadie, +62 (139th to 77th)
  3. Poppy, +46 (136th to 90th)
  4. Lexi, +33 (89th to 56th)
  5. Sienna, +32 (112th to 80th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Anna, +56 (296 babies to 352 babies)
  2. Lexi, +54 (127 babies to 73 babies)
  3. Sofia, +50 (155 babies to 105 babies)
  4. Sadie, +42 (84 babies to 42 babies)
  5. Fiadh, +39 (78 babies to 39 babies)

Of all the boy names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Kayden, +44 (135th to 91st)
  2. Shay, +27 (103rd to 76th)
  3. Kai, +24 (109th to 85th)
  4. Leo, +21 (84th to 63rd)
  5. Anthony, +20 (99th to 79th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Oliver, +44 (199 babies to 155 babies)
  2. Mason, +42 (201 babies to 159 babies)
  3. Alexander, +41 (202 babies to 161 babies)
  4. Leo, +35 (131 babies to 96 babies)
  5. Shay, +35 (104 babies to 69 babies)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2013
Image: Adapted from Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland by Giuseppe Milo under CC BY 2.0.

Most Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2012

Most popular baby names in Ireland, 2012
The most popular baby names in Ireland came out a few days ago.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the country’s top names are Jack for boys and Emily for girls.

Here are the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Sophie
3. Emma
4. Grace
5. Lily
6. Mia
7. Ella
8. Ava
9. Lucy
10. Sarah
11. Aoife
12. Amelia
13. Hannah
14. Katie
15. Chloe
16. Caoimhe
17. Saoirse
18. Kate
19. Holly
20. Ruby
21. Sophia
22. Anna
23. Lauren
24. Leah
25. Amy
26. Isabelle
27. Molly
28. Ellie
29. Jessica
30. Olivia
31. Roisin
32. Ciara
33. Kayla
34. Julia [tie]
34. Zoe [tie]
36. Laura
37. Niamh
38. Abbie
39. Erin
40. Rachel
41. Robyn
42. Aisling
43. Faye
44. Rebecca
45. Eva [tie]
45. Layla [tie]
47. Ellen
48. Cara
49. Freya
50. Abigail [tie]
50. Eve [tie]
50. Isabella [tie]
53. Megan
54. Aine [tie]
54. Clodagh [tie]
56. Aoibhinn
57. Millie
58. Nicole
59. Aoibheann
60. Maja
61. Sadhbh
62. Eabha
63. Charlotte
64. Amber [tie]
64. Caitlin [tie]
64. Sofia [tie]
67. Alannah
68. Zara
69. Alice
70. Maria
71. Elizabeth [tie]
71. Lena [tie]
71. Mary [tie]
74. Emilia
75. Aimee [tie]
75. Lilly [tie]
77. Hollie
78. Aoibhe
79. Victoria
80. Eimear [tie]
80. Maya [tie]
82. Isabel [tie]
82. Orla [tie]
84. Evie
85. Kayleigh
86. Brooke [tie]
86. Clara [tie]
88. Meabh
89. Lexi
90. Tara
91. Daisy [tie]
91. Katelyn [tie]
93. Ailbhe [tie]
93. Amelie [tie]
93. Natalia [tie]
93. Sara [tie]
97. Hanna [tie]
97. Laoise [tie]
97. Ruth [tie]
100. Madison [tie]
100. Maeve [tie]
100. Maisie [tie]
100. Rose [tie]
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Sean
5. Conor
6. Adam
7. Harry
8. Ryan
9. Dylan
10. Michael
11. Luke
12. Charlie
13. Liam
14. Oisin
15. Cian
16. Jamie
17. Thomas
18. Alex
19. Noah
20. Darragh
21. Patrick
22. Aaron
23. Cillian
24. Matthew
25. John
26. Nathan
27. David [tie]
27. Fionn [tie]
29. Evan
30. Ethan
31. Jake
32. Kyle
33. Rian
34. Ben [tie]
34. Max [tie]
36. Eoin
37. Tadhg
38. Finn
39. Callum
40. Samuel
41. Joshua
42. Rory
43. Jayden
44. Joseph
45. Tyler
46. Sam
47. Shane
48. Mark [tie]
48. Robert [tie]
50. Aidan
51. William
52. Ronan
53. Eoghan
54. Alexander [tie]
54. Leon [tie]
56. Cathal
57. Mason
58. Tom
59. Oliver
60. Andrew
61. Oscar
62. Ciaran
63. Bobby
64. Jacob
65. Senan
66. Rhys
67. Scott
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Kevin
71. Lucas
72. Alan
73. Donnacha [tie]
73. Jakub [tie]
75. Christopher
76. Filip [tie]
76. Killian [tie]
78. Josh
79. Alfie
80. Tommy
81. Ruairi
82. Odhran
83. Oran
84. Leo
85. Isaac
86. Dara [tie]
86. Jason [tie]
88. Zach
89. Martin [tie]
89. Peter [tie]
91. Brian
92. Danny
93. Niall [tie]
93. Tomas [tie]
95. Edward [tie]
95. Stephen [tie]
97. Logan
98. Kacper
99. Anthony
100. Billy

New to the top 100 list are Isaac, Danny and Logan for boys and Evie, Amelie, Hanna, Maisie and Rose for girls.

Some of the specifically Irish names in the top 100 are…

  • Girls: Aoife, Caoime, Saoirse, Roisin, Ciara, Niamh, Aisling, Aine, Clodagh, Aoibhinn, Aoibheann, Sadhbh, Eabha, Aoibhe, Eimear, Meabh, Ailbhe, Laoise, Maeve
  • Boys: Liam, Oisin, Cian, Darragh, Cillian, Fionn, Rian, Eoin, Tadhg, Finn, Callum, Rory, Ronan, Eoghan, Cathal, Ciaran, Senan, Cormac, Donnacha, Ruairi, Odhran, Niall

Sources: Jack and Emily most popular baby names, Irish Babies’ Names – CSO

Name Spotting in Toronto, Canada

Toward the end of July I spent a week in Toronto. I spotted a few interesting names while there.

In the Royal Ontario Museum I found these:

Hannah Jarvis painting Marie-Zoe Persillier painting

On the left are Hannah Jarvis and her daughters Maria Lavinia and Augusta Honoria. They were painted by American artist James Earl around 1791.

On the right is Marie-Zoé Persillier dite Lachapelle. She was likely painted by Canadian artist Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy around 1845.

Both were in the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada.


Also in the ROM I saw an installation of 32 drawings called “Beethoven 1-32” by German artist Jorinde Voigt.

the name Jorinde

I don’t know the etymology of her first name — perhaps it’s related to George? — but I do know that “Jorinde and Joringel” is a German fairy tale.


Lining the walls of local landmark Honest Ed’s were hundreds of old posters and photographs, including these two:

Urylee Leonardos photo Sonyke Cortidou photo

Urylee Leonardos (1910-1986) was a singer/actress on Broadway. I have no idea who Sonyke Cortidou was.


While walking Queen Street East just before the Beaches Jazz Festival StreetFest started, I found a billboard full of kids’ names.

kids names

Here are all the names I managed to get photos of:

Juliette, Chris, Jaya, Eric, Rain, Vishal, Dylan, Chantelle, Isabelle, Ashana, Julia, Arooba, Mien, Anamol, Iksa, Selena, Kyle, Sarah, Xuanji, Neha, Lasya, Elisha, Daneille, Danny, Ukasa, Huzaifa, Suchana, Manasa, Anuja, Mehul, Matteo, Wyatt, Ashanae, Emma, Tony, Helena, Lindsay, Chloe, Elizabeth, Erica, Matthew, Jarvis, Stephanie, Emi, Arujala, Lisa, Judy, Mateo, Zaccai, Bronwyny, Ervie, Mckayla, Taylor, Griffin, Callam, Mattas, Michelle, Dain, Aileen, Apurva, Aayush, Gloria, Josh, Deborah, Akshata

Which of the above do you like best?

Baby Name Needed for Little Sister

One of my readers is looking for some name suggestions. She writes:

I’m in need of a girl name, a stronger name to go with a flowy last name. 3 older brothers are Charlie, Zack, and Andrew. Would like the name to have ‘a’ sound in the first syllable to follow brothers, also have a different initial. So far have thought of Paige, Megan, Sadie, Grace, but not sold on any of them.

The flowy surname has 4-syllables, starts with Van- and ends with -a.

Here are some names that I think could work:


What other girl names would you suggest?