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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Dawn

Number of Babies Named Dawn

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Dawn

Name Quotes for the Weekend #32

Thana, cover of LIFE, 1947

Happy Friday! Here’s another batch of random, name-related quotes to end the week…

From the description of the December 15, 1947, cover of LIFE magazine:

Among the prettiest showgirls in New York’s nightclubs are (from left) brunette Dawn McInerney, red-haired Thana Barclay and blond Joy Skylar who all work in the Latin Quarter. […] Thana, also 22, was named after her mother’s favorite poem Thanatopsis. She is married to a song plugger named Duke Niles and owns a dachshund named Bagel.

The poem “Thanatopsis” was written by William Cullen Bryant. The word itself means “a view or contemplation of death.” In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the god of death.

From the All Music Guide to Hip-hop by Vladimir Bogdanov:

Ginuwine was born in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1975, with the unlikely name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (after D.C.-born Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor).

Elgin Baylor, born in 1934, was named after the Elgin National Watch Company. (He’s on my Long List of Unusual Real Names.)

From “The Art Of Knowing When Less Is More” by Greg Dawson, published in the Orlando Sentinel in 1997:

Fellow immigrants…Here is proof that we need that national “conversation about race” urged by President Clinton: Last week in a whimsical moment I argued that official hurricane names are too “white bread” (like Greg) and don’t reflect America’s ethnic stew. To make my point I looked at the births page of the Sentinel for names that you never see attached to a hurricane — names such as Attaliah, Desjambra, Ofori. A reader called to complain about the “white bread” line and added, “A lot of those names aren’t even American.”

“Excuse me,” I said, “but they were born in this country. They’re just as American as you and me.”

“You know what I mean,” he said.

Yes, unfortunately, I think I do.

From The Making of Cabaret by Keith Garebian, regarding the name of English actress Valerie Jill Haworth, who was born on Victory over Japan Day (Aug. 15, 1945):

The initials of her baptismal names (Valerie Jill) were in honor of her birth on VJ Day.

Related: American actress Robin Vee Strasser was born on Victory in Europe Day.

A quote from Freddie Prinze, Jr., in the documentary Misery Loves Comedy (sent to me by Anna of Waltzing More Than Matilda):

“When you’re a Junior you’re pretty much just a statue to what went before.”

From “My Daughter Will Be Named Ruby Daffodil” in US magazine article

Back when Drew Barrymore was only 20 years old, she already had a name picked out for her future child.

During an interview with Rolling Stone in June 1995, Barrymore opened up about her relationship at the time with Hole musician Eric Erlandson.

[…]

“I never thought I’d have a sense of family until I had my own kids. I want two: a boy and a girl,” she revealed. “My daughter will be named Ruby Daffodil.”

Today she has two daughters, neither of whom are named Ruby Daffodil. The first was named Olive and the second Frankie.

From “The History Of How “Cow Poop” Became A Real-Life Japanese Family Name” by Mami of the blog Tofugu:

There are some Japanese family names that are so ridiculous that I’m forced to believe that someone was playing some kind of horrible family prank when they named themselves. Cow Poop (Ushikuso), Horse-Butt (Umajiri), and Boar-Crotch (Inomata/Imata) are actual people in Japan. If they wanted a memorable name, they’ve certainly achieved it, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up with a name like that as a child.

From the “Name Wisely” section of “8 Tips for Creating Great Stories” by Hugh Hart of Fast Company:

Fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman stresses the importance of a good name in describing the genesis of his American Gods protagonist. “There’s a magic to names, after all,” he says. “I knew his name [needed to be] descriptive. I tried calling him Lazy, but he didn’t seem to like that, and I called him Jack, and he didn’t like that any better. I took to trying every name I ran into on him for size, and he looked back at me from somewhere in my head unimpressed every time. It was like trying to name Rumpelstiltskin.”

He finally discovered the name, Shadow, in an Elvis Costello song. (American Gods will be on TV soon…will we soon be seeing more babies named Shadow?)


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…

At Work, Do Sexy Names Help or Hinder?

Signs point to “hinder.”

While Deborah Linville was a grad student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1984, she asked a group of students to “rate the perceived sexiness of 250 female names” on a scale from 1 to 7. Below are the biggest winners and losers. (Remember, this was the 1980s!)

Most Sexy Names Least Sexy Names
Christine (5.08)
Candace (4.92)
Cheryl (4.91)
Melanie (4.91)
Dawn (4.83)
Heather (4.83)
Jennifer (4.83)
Marilyn (4.83)
Michelle (4.83)
Susan (4.83)
Ethel (1.00)
Alma (1.08)
Zelda (1.16)
Florence (1.5)
Mildred (1.5)
Myrtle (1.5)
Silvana (1.5)
Edna (1.66)
Eurolinda (1.66)
Elvira (1.69)

Linville then had a different group of students to “rate the job applications of eight equally qualified women — submitted under particularly sexy and unsexy names.”

The result?

Linville found that a “sexy” name can hurt a woman’s chances of furthering her career. Conversely, an unsexy name may give her an advantage.

The study…found that men are more likely to hire women with names they perceive as non-sexy for managerial positions and give these women higher salaries. Women hiring other women are less influenced by the sound of the name.

Why might men be biased against sexy names in the workplace? “[P]erhaps because men particularly expect female managers to possess strengths, such as motivation and decisiveness, that they don’t associate with sexy-sounding names.”

Linville’s suggestion to women was to use initials rather than first names on their résumés. (Good suggestion, as this could also help job-seekers avoid other kinds of name discrimination.)

Sources:

82 Baby Girls Named Danity After Danity Kane

Danity Kane was a pre-fab American band formed via TV show in 2005. The band released two successful albums before disbanding in early 2009.

The name of the band had been inspired by the doodlings of band member Dawn Richard:

During a June 2006 appearance on MTV’s TRL, it was announced the group would be called Danity Kane, a reference to a superhero Dawn had created and sketched in the studio during downtime.

Danity wasn’t used much (if at all) as a baby name in the U.S. until 2007, when it popped up on the SSA’s baby name list for the first time:

  • 2009: 30 31 baby girls named Danity
  • 2008: 27 baby girls named Danity
  • 2007: 25 baby girls named Danity [debut]
  • 2006: unlisted

Will there be any more baby girls named Danity now that Danity Kane is kaput, do you think?

UPDATE, 1/9/15: Danity lingers on the list to this day! Daughtry hasn’t been so lucky.

Source: Danity Kane @ MTV

Baby Name Warning from 1942

Unusual baby names are discussed regularly online, in entertainment magazines, even on late night TV. But I don’t often see the topic come up in old newspapers, which is why I was surprised to find the following in a 1942 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle:

News pictures recently gave publicity to a baby who was born during a practice air-raid blackout and whose mother hit on the expediency of naming her Dawn Siren. Another baby has been named Victory Pearl Harbor.

These names did not impress our anonymous reporter:

Herewith is a brief for all children whose parents give them unusual mirth-provoking or humiliating names. The offending fathers and mothers may be well meaning enough and in some cases the names have significance at the time they are given, but before long the child is hanging his head in shame under the storm of derision of his playmates, or blushing when he gives his name for the roll at school.

Dawn and Victory seem tame nowadays…makes me wonder what this person would have had to say about Aussie, Crimson and Marijauna.

Source: “What’s in a name? Plenty.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 6 Jan. 1942: 4.

Names I’ve Heard in Song Recently

Names I’ve heard in song in the last few weeks:

  • Alejandro, Fernando and Roberto in “Alejandro” (audio) by Lady Gaga.
  • Isaiah, Charlotte, Dawn and Myfanwy in “The Rake’s Song” (video) by The Decemberists.
  • Lavinia in “Lavinia” (video) by The Veils.
  • Silvia in “Silvia” (video) by Miike Snow.

“The Rake’s Song” is notable because all of those names actually refer to babies. Despite the babies, it’s a dark little song. I think the lyricist must have read a lot of Edward Gorey as a kid.

Have you discovered any songs that feature names recently?

One-Syllable Girl Names – Bree, Hope, Jill, Paige, Tess

Want a baby name that’s short & sweet? Here are over 100 one-syllable girl names:

Anne, Ann
Ayn
Bea
Belle
Bess
Beth
Bjork
Blair, Blaire
Blake, Blayke
Blanche
Bliss
Blythe
Bree, Brie
Britt
Brooke, Brook
Brynn, Bryn, Brynne
Cass
Cate
Claire, Clare, Clair
Dawn
Dee
Dream
Drew, Dru
Elle
Eve
Faith, Fayth
Fawn
Faye, Fay, Fae
Fern
Fleur
Flor
Fran
Gail, Gayle, Gale
Grace, Grayce
Greer
Gwen
Gwyn
Hope
Jade, Jayde, Jaide
Jan
Jane, Jayne
Jean, Jeanne
Jen, Jenn
Jess
Jill
Joan
Joy, Joi, Joie
Joyce
Jude
June
Kai
Kate
Kay, Kaye
Kim
Klaire
Kris
Laine, Lane, Layne
Lark
Leigh, Lee
Liv
Liz
Love
Lux
Luz
Lynn, Lynne, Lyn
Mae, May
Madge
Maeve
Mai
Marge
Maude, Maud
Nelle, Nell
Neve, Niamh
Noor, Nour
Paige, Payge
Pam
Pearl
Queen
Quinn
Rae
Reece, Reese
Rayne, Rain, Raine
Reem
Rose
Rue
Ruth
Sage, Saige
Scout
Shea, Shae, Shay
Skye, Sky
Sloane, Sloan
Sol
Star, Starr
Sue
Tea
Tess
Trish
True, Tru
Wren

See any you like?

P.S. Here are the most popular 1-syllable girl names of 2012, 2011 and 2010.