How popular is the baby name David 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 David.

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Popularity of the Baby Name David


Posts that Mention the Name David

Popular baby names in Moldova, 2020

Moldova

The Romanian-speaking country of Moldova — which is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine — welcomed more than 27,000 babies in 2020. According to Moldova’s Public Services Agency, the most popular baby names in the country that year were Sofia and David.

Here are Moldova’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Sofia
  2. Amelia
  3. Anastasia
  4. Maria
  5. Daria
  6. Victoria
  7. Eva
  8. Alexandra
  9. Evelina
  10. Andreea

Boy Names

  1. David
  2. Matei
  3. Bogdan
  4. Maxim
  5. Alexandru
  6. Damian
  7. Daniel
  8. Artiom
  9. Ion
  10. Gabriel

The top names in 2016 were also Sofia and David.

Source: Topul celor mai populare nume de baieti si fete pe care le-au ales parintii din Moldova in anul 2020

Where did the baby name Caramia come from in 1966?

Jay and the Americans performing the song "Cara Mia" on the TV show "Shindig!" in 1965
Jay and the Americans performing “Cara Mia”

The name Caramia first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1966:

  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: 6 baby girls name Caramia [debut]
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: unlisted

The names Cara and Mia also saw boosts in usage that year.

So what turned the Italian phrase cara mia, meaning “my beloved,” into a U.S. baby name in the mid-1960s?

The song “Cara Mia” by Jay and the Americans, which peaked at #4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 in July of 1965. Here are Jay and The Americans performing “Cara Mia” on the musical variety series Shindig! in 1965:

The song was originally recorded in 1954 by British singer David Whitfield. His rather operatic version [vid] sold well in the U.S, but not well enough for the name to emerge in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1950s. (A name needs to be given to at least five U.S. babies per year to be included in the data.) That said, I have come across records for a couple dozen U.S. babies named Caramia/Cara Mia during that time period.

What are your thoughts on the name Caramia?

P.S. The original lead singer of Jay and the Americans was not named “Jay,” but John. His replacement — who is singing “Cara Mia” in the video above — was also not a “Jay,” but a David.

Sources: Cara Mia by Jay & the Americans, SSA

Babies named for Napoléon Bonaparte

Portrait of French Emperor Napoleon I (1769-1821)
Napoléon Bonaparte (circa 1812)

French military leader Napoléon Bonaparte may have spent his life trying to conquer a continent, but that life began and ended on islands.

He was born (as “Napoleone Buonaparte”) on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in 1769 — the same year that France took Corsica from the Republic of Genoa (now part of Italy). He died while in exile on the remote South Atlantic island of Saint Helena in 1821.

In between, Napoléon: attended military school on the mainland, began serving in the French Army, rose to prominence during the French Revolution and the French Revolutionary Wars, became the de facto leader of France in 1799, declared himself Emperor in 1804, and proceeded to build a vast empire via the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).

Needless to say, a large number of babies all over the world have been named “Napoleon” since that time.

I don’t want this post to get too crazy, though, so I’ve decided to collect namesakes from just two locations — France and the U.S. — and to stick to the years during which Napoléon was active.

Portrait of First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Napoléon Bonaparte (circa 1803)

Napoléon’s namesakes in France

Thousands of French babies were named in honor of Napoléon from the mid-1790s to the mid-1810s.

In contrast with namesakes in other countries (like the U.S. and England), most of his French namesakes were given only his first name — not both names — and it was typically combined with one or more traditional French names (e.g., “Louis Napoléon,” “Jean Baptiste Napoléon”).

With that in mind, I went out of my way to find combinations that were a bit more varied…

  • Napoléon Baillot, b. 1793 in France
  • Jacques Napoléon Desiré Campa, b. 1795 in France
  • Napoléon Stéphanie Joseph Therin, b. 1797 in France
  • Napoléon Joseph Buttin, b. 1799 in France
  • Napoléon-Jean Demeester, b. 1800 in France
  • Napoléon Nicolas Senelar, b. 1801 in France
  • Guillaume Napoléon Pelletier, b. 1802 in France
  • Willebrod Napoléon Désiré Degrave, b. 1803 in France
  • Charlemagne Napoléon Lambert, b. 1804 in France
  • Napoléon Louis François Richounne, b. 1805 in France
  • Napoléon Parfait Furpille, b. 1806 in France
    • parfait means “perfect” in French
  • Bienaimé Napoléon Le Cagneux, b. 1807 in France
    • bienaimé means “beloved” in French
  • François Desiré Prosper Napoléon Loiseau, b. 1808 in France
  • Napoléon La Paix Lemasson, b. 1809 in France
    • la paix means “peace” in French
  • Gustave Napoléon Fichet, b. 1810 in France
  • Esprit Napoléon Houdry, b. 1811 in France
    • esprit means “spirit” in French
  • Napoléon Bonaventure Dusautier, b. 1812 in France
  • Auguste César Napoléon Decoene, b. 1813 in France
  • Napoléon-Etienne Vernoni, b. 1814 in France
  • Fructueux Napoléon Artigue, b. 1815 in France
    • fructueux means “successful” in French

Almost all of the namesakes in this group were boys, but a handful were girls with feminized forms of the name (like Napoléonne, Napoléonide, and Napoléontine).

Several dozen more boys — most of them born early on — were given only the surname:

  • Jacques Dominique Bonaparte Venkirch, b. 1796 in France
  • Augustin Bonaparte Joseph Galle, b. 1797 in France
  • Jean Baptiste Bonaparte Mollard, b. 1798 in France
  • Séraphin Adolphe Bonaparte Decorne, b. 1799 in France
  • Alexis Sébastien Bonaparte Poirée, b. 1801 in France

Napoléon had usually been called “General Bonaparte” or “citizen Bonaparte” before mid-1802, when the people of France went to the polls to decide: “Should Napoléon Bonaparte be consul for life?” Millions voted yes, and, after that, “he was generally known as Napoléon rather than Bonaparte.”

Napoléon’s namesakes in the U.S.

Napoléon didn’t wage any wars on North American soil (though he did sell a lot of that soil in 1803, when he let go of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million). Nonetheless, U.S. newspapers paid close attention to him:

French plebiscite mentioned in U.S. newspaper (July, 1802)
The “consul for life” vote mentioned in a Virginia newspaper, 1802

Americans were clearly impressed by Napoléon’s achievements, judging by the hundreds of U.S. namesakes born in the late 1790s and first decades of the 1800s. Many of these babies received both his first name and his surname:

Others were given only his first name:

And a good number simply got his surname:

  • Buonapart Manly Towler, b. 1796 in New York
  • Buonaparte Bennett, b. 1797 in Maryland
  • Buonaparte Mann, b. 1798 in Rhode Island
  • William Bonaparte Wood, b. 1799 in Massachusetts
  • Charles Bonapart Hunt, b. 1800 in Maine
  • George Washington Bonaparte Towns, b. 1801 in Georgia
  • Louis Bonaparte Chamberlain, b. 1802, probably in Mississippi
  • Lucion Bonaparte Keith, b. 1803 in Massachusetts
  • Consul Bonaparte Cutter, b. 1804 in Massachusetts
    • Napoléon Bonaparte served as Premier consul from 1799 to 1804
  • John Bonaparte Dixon, b. 1805 in North Carolina
  • Erastus Bonaparte White, b. circa 1806 in Rhode Island
  • Socrates Bonaparte Bacon, b. 1807 in Massachusetts
  • Bonaparte Crabb, b. 1808 in Tennessee
  • Madison Bonaparte Miller, b. 1809 in Vermont
    • James Madison served as 4th U.S. president from 1809 to 1817
  • Bonaparte Hopping, b. 1810 in New Jersey
  • Israel Bonaparte Bigelow, b. 1811 in Connecticut
  • Joseph Bonaparte Earhart, b. 1812 in Pennsylvania
  • Ampter Bonaparte Otto, b. 1813 in New York
  • William Bonaparte Steen, b. 1814 in South Carolina
  • Leonard Bonaparte Williams, b. 1815 in Virginia

A few of the people named Bonaparte (but not Napoléon) did have other given names — like Lucien, and Jerome — that could have been inspired by other members of the Bonaparte family. I found a Josephine Bonaparte Evans (b. 1815), for instance, who was probably named after Napoléon’s first wife.

Another of the relatively few females in this group was Federal Anne Buonapart Gist (b. 1799), the daughter of Joshua Gist, who served in the Maryland Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Defining “Napoléon” and “Bonaparte”

Other famous men named Napoléon Bonaparte (including Napoleon III) also had namesakes, but it was the original Napoléon Bonaparte who put these two unusual names on the map.

So…what do they mean?

The Italian forename Napoleone has obscure origins, so the meaning isn’t known for certain. One popular theory is that it’s made up of the elements Neapolis, the original name of Naples, and leone, meaning “lion.” When Bonaparte was born in 1769, the name was “relatively common around Genoa and Tuscany,” though it was spelled a variety of ways (e.g., Nabulio, Nabulione, Napulione, Napolionne, Lapulion). The name had been used in his family before; his father’s uncle, for instance, was also named Napoleone.

The Italian surname Buonaparte, on the other hand, is much more straightforward: it’s made up of the elements buona, meaning “good,” and parte, meaning “part, share, portion.”

Was anyone in your family tree named after Napoléon?

Sources:

Baby name story: Umtata Greyhound

buses

In 1999, a pregnant woman in South Africa went into labor while riding a Greyhound bus from Durban to Port Elizabeth.

The bus stopped at a clinic a few miles away from the city of Umtata, and there Ms. Xoleka Mdamane gave birth to a baby boy.

She decided to name her son David Umtata Greyhound Mdamane.

Source: “Bus baby named after company.” Daily Dispatch 23 Jun. 1999.

[Other babies named for bus lines: Queenie, Egedah]

Popular baby names in Albania, 2019

albania

I’ve never posted rankings for Albania before, so even though these are out-of-date — even more so than the Iowa rankings from earlier this week — I figured it would be better to have one set as opposed to nothing at all. :)

According to Albania’s Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Amelia and Noel.

Here are Albania’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Amelia, 499 baby girls
  2. Ajla, 327
  3. Aria, 182 (tie)
  4. Amelja, 182 (tie)
  5. Leandra, 145
  6. Ambra, 144
  7. Klea, 121
  8. Melisa, 114 (tie)
  9. Amaris, 114 (tie)
  10. Reina, 104

Boy Names

  1. Noel, 402 baby boys
  2. Aron, 190
  3. Joel, 188
  4. Roan, 178
  5. Amar, 170
  6. Mateo, 146
  7. Alteo, 121
  8. Luis, 115 (tie)
  9. Roel, 115 (tie)
  10. Dion, 113

The following names didn’t make Albania’s top 10, but did rank #1 in at least one Albanian municipality:

Other top girl namesOther top boy names
Adela, Adriana, Ajsela, Alesia, Alesja, Alisja, Ariela, Arilena, Jasmina, Kostandina, Marilena, NataliaAjan, Albi, Albjon, Aleandro, Alesio, Alfjo, Alison, Amelio, Anesti, Angjelo, David, Denis, Enea, Ergi, Hristos, Mihal, Nezir, Rafael, Samuel, Xhoel

An article about Albanian baby names published several years ago mentioned that, in 2014, none of the top ten names of either gender were of Albanian origin. University of Tirana sociology professor Edmond Dragoti argued that the trendiness of foreign names could be traced back to the fall of communism in Albania because, during the communist era, such names had been banned. He explained:

All the frustration about [parents] not being able to name their children as they wished exploded after the 1990s, when Albania opened up. The unlimited and uncontrolled new freedom quickly surpassed the need for a national identity.

Sources: Emrat më të përdorur për bebet shqiptare në 2019-n! Para se të vendosësh shiko listën, Top 10 names used in the last year – INSTAT, Emrat e rinj – INSTAT, Craze For Foreign Names Alarms Albanian Patriots