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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Delphine

Number of Babies Named Delphine

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Delphine

Mystery Baby Names – Open Cases

I’m a baby name blogger, but sometimes I feel more like a baby name detective. Because so much of my blogging time is spent doing detective work: trying to figure out where a particular baby name comes from, or why a name saw a sudden jump (or drop) in usage during a particular year.

If a name itself doesn’t make the answer obvious (e.g., Lindbergh) and a simple Google search hasn’t helped, my first bit of detective work involves scanning the baby name charts. I’ve learned that many search-resistant baby names (like Deatra) are merely alternative spellings of more common names (Deirdre).

If that doesn’t do it, I go back to Google for some advanced-level ninja searching, to help me zero in on specific types of historical or pop culture events. This is how I traced Irmalee back to a character in a short story in a very old issue of the once-popular McCall’s Magazine.

But if I haven’t gotten anywhere after a few rounds of ninja searching, I officially give up and turn the mystery baby name over to you guys. Together we’ve cracked a couple of cases (yay!) but, unfortunately, most of the mystery baby names I’ve blogged about are still big fat mysteries.

Here’s the current list of open cases:

  • Wanza, girl name, debuted in 1915.
  • Nerine, girl name, debuted in 1917.
  • Laquita, girl name, debuted in 1930.
  • Norita, girl name, spiked (for the 2nd time) in 1937.
  • Delphine, girl name, spiked in 1958.
  • Leshia, girl name, debuted in 1960.
  • Lavoris, girl name, debuted in 1961.
  • Djuna, girl name, debuted in 1964.
  • Latrenda, girl name, debuted in 1965.
  • Ondina, girl name, debuted in 1968.
  • Khari, boy name, debuted in 1971.
  • Jelani, boy name, debuted in 1973.
  • Toshiba, girl name, debuted in 1974.
  • Brieanna, girl name, debuted in 1979.
  • Sumiko, girl name, spiked in 1980.
  • Tou, boy name, debuted in 1980.
  • Marquita, girl name, spiked in 1983.
  • Caelan, boy name, debuted in 1992.
  • Deyonta, boy name, debuted in 1993.
  • Trayvond, boy name, debuted in 1994.
  • Zeandre, boy name, debuted in 1997.
  • Yatzari, girl name, debuted in 2000.
  • Itzae, boy name, debuted in 2011.

If you enjoy sleuthing, please give some of the above a shot! I’d love to knock one or two off the list before I start adding more mystery names in the coming weeks…

Update, 1/23/15: Forgot to add Avenir from the distinctive baby names, state by state list (see Oregon & Washington). It debuted as a boy name in 2002.

Update, 7/13/16: More still-open cases from the Mystery Monday series last summer: Theta, Memory, Treasure, Clione, Trenace, Bisceglia, Genghis and Temujin.


Mystery Baby Name – Delphine

The baby name Delphine has an interesting popularity graph. Usage of the name peaked in the 1920s and it may have had a long, slow decline all the way to the end of the century…if not for a period of increased in usage from the late ’40s until the early ’60s.

Even more curious? A spike in the number babies named Delphine in 1958:

  • 1960: 192 baby girls named Delphine
  • 1959: 252 baby girls named Delphine
  • 1958: 347 baby girls named Delphine
  • 1957: 132 baby girls named Delphine
  • 1956: 154 baby girls named Delphine

I’m not sure what caused the turnaround in the late ’40s (maybe Delphine Downing played a part?) and I’m also not sure what caused the spike.

Any ideas?

UPDATE: Commenter Becca figured out the spike. It was caused by the TV show Kitty Foyle, which aired on NBC during the first half of 1958. Thanks, Becca!

Unique Baby Names in Quebec, 2012

One thing I love about Quebec? Their yearly baby name list includes all baby names.

Not just names given to 5 or more babies, like the U.S. list. Not just names given to 3 or more babies, like the England and Wales list.

Every single name. Regardless of whether the name was given to hundreds of babies or just one.

Privacy: Who needs it! :)

Here are some stats on all those Quebec names:

  • 7,921 boy names total
    • 6,107 (77%) of them were given to 1 baby boy
    • 7121 (90%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby boys*
  • 9,074 girl names total
    • 6,686 (74%) of them were given to 1 baby girl
    • 8058 (89%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby girls*

*So, if the names given to 5+ babies in Quebec account for only about 10% of the names on the full list, and we assume baby name distribution in the U.S. is similar, the “full” U.S. lists should contain over 140,000 boy names and over 190,000 girl names.

Here are some of Quebec’s unique names (used only once):

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
Aghogho Elise
Alphee
Aoua
Apphia
Arnautilik Louisa
Aupale
Auphelie
Ayagutaq
Becky Tillikasak
Berlidia
Brunette
Cloud
Cloudine Mae
Cocolo
Delphine Eleonore
Desneiges
Euphelie
Evodine Ntshila
Feenix
Felixia
Fella
Fenixia
Feriel Nouara
Fihagarra
Flechanne
Flechelle
Fleurange
Franstevia
Fritzmaelle Deborah
Garrissa
Grace Nono Dipita
Iakohontsiio
Iakoteraswiioshton
Iaohseranawen
Ibtihel
Ichnekanoron
Idonia
Iehwatsirahnira’ts
Ietohrhuostha
Iotenhariio
Ipena Alexa
Iphigenie
Itohan
Justinique
Katsitsenhawitha
Kayla de la Caridad
Kelo-Meteore
Knoxia
Lady-Snider
Latt Hemlyss
Livia Mbombo
Ludgy
Lumen Pascale
Lyora Lyssandre
Maatiwaaytaabinukwaa
Maisie Inuusiq
Maniphone
Maori
Mar Mar
Mardochee Widlyka
Mavourneen
Mavrixe
Mennishkuess
Mewefca
Myrianna Pishumuss
Myrrhielle
Nancy Silaggi
Necerine
Nephthalia Elani
Oriana
Oriella
Orlanel Keriane Elsa
Orlguine
Ossossohou
Ouassila
Ouerdia
Paglianie Stacy
Perpetua
Prielle Tehora
Qilabuk
Qiluqi
Qods
Qullik
Qupanuaq
Ralphine
Roldyanna
Romance
Rosemaelle-Esperance
San San Jessica
Scotia
Sevim
Shellsea
Shyness
Sila Grey
Sombriddy
Stephanie Daystar
Stevia
Stherlyn’s
Sublime
Tally-Ann Uapikuniss
Teiakotshennonnihat
Teieronhiathe Tha
Teietsitsen Tons
Thalia Sgrolma
Thaliamenie
Thea Daphnee
Tiewennaie Na’s
Tillikasak
Trickcy
Tsubaki-Constance
Vinuki Sethlini
Vithusha
Vithushana
Wazberly
Wildana
Willfalya Gladaelle
Wilthalia
Windflower
Woodaelle
Wylianna
Xxxxxxxalaniq O’oka
Yvedianah
Zaely Hyacinthia
Agape Enrique
Aws
Brudginel-Bryan
Chedly
Chivens
Christian Braveheart
Chromeo
Cliffordson
Darling Jose
Darvens Moteler
Davinnsly
Delivrance
Dykxon
Ecclesiaste
Enbo
Fackel
Favour-Fane
Folly
Fougnigue
Fred-Eden
Ghemsley Nollens
Gia-Uy
Godly Christian
Heaven Theophile
Hichembentaiba
Ittulaaq
Judley
Kahrhata’kehshon
Kendley-Wilgenson
Kenny S. Phacoly
Klyf
Kylliam
Lafleche William
Lamartiniere Junior
Lewandowski
Lord-Lee Treasure
Manhattan-Zola
Manic
Mardochee
Milliam
Mortadha
Neo-Phoenix
Nyrlberson
Olmo Centeotl
Pat-Leo
Perseus Koperqualuk
Po Bing
Polycarpe Riley
Quincy-Herby
Quindlley
Rahontsawaks
Rahontsiiostha
Raiden Jethro
Ra’kerenhat’atie
Rakhmondzhon
Rallendi
Ramzi Nizar
Rani’ Konhra Katste
Raniehtenha Wi
Rarennisa’s
Rarennonni
Ratanakpich
Ricci Smily
Rocky Junior
Rolmerson
Ronikonrahniron
Roolens
Roque
Roweniente
Salomon Ghandi
Sebastian Berry-D
Shaquille-Shanqi
Shelby-Christ
Success
Sunny Skye
Sunny-James
Tchy
Tebly
Thominhdy
Tiesto
Toly-Jos
Tristar
Trooper
Tsikahnawakeniate H
Uqitatuq
Uqittuk
Utshimass
Victor-Sam Ikuagasak
Vuyolwethu
Wa’kenhrawakon
Widolph-Tristan
William-Promedi
Winner
Wynn Oscar
X-Zaylen
Yanga
Ylai Santiago
Yohann Tresors
Ywisnavin
Zack Browndly
Zion-Lee Eliott

I had my eye out for Inuit names in particular.

Among the girl names given to two babies last year, I spotted both Chaya Mushka and Katniss.

P.S. Here are the Most Popular Baby Names in Quebec for 2012.

110+ Hidden Gems: Rare Baby Girl Names

gemstoneWant a girl name that’s not popular, but also not made-up?

I looked through the names at the bottom of SSA’s 2011 mega-list and found a bunch of hidden gems:

  1. Alberta (9 baby girls)
  2. Alexandrina (6)
  3. Amity (28)
  4. Apollonia (21)
  5. Augusta (31)
  6. Augustina (15)
  7. Avelina (34)
  8. Bernadine (6)
  9. Bertha (45)
  10. Bettina (8)
  11. Blanche (6)
  12. Bryony (5); Briony (16)
  13. Carlotta (20)
  14. Celestina (19)
  15. Celestine (7)
  16. Cicely (14)
  17. Claribel (19)
  18. Clarice (37)
  19. Clarity (17)
  20. Claudette (9)
  21. Claudine (9)
  22. Clementina (7)
  23. Constantina (5)
  24. Coretta (5)
  25. Corinna (37)
  26. Cornelia (17)
  27. Damiana (10)
  28. Davida (10)
  29. Delphine (26)
  30. Dinah (44)
  31. Dolores (39)
  32. Dorothea (15)
  33. Edwina (8)
  34. Eloisa (42)
  35. Enid (15)
  36. Ernestina (5)
  37. Eugenia (29)
  38. Eugenie (8)
  39. Eulalia (25)
  40. Euphemia (5)
  41. Evita (13)
  42. Fabiana (47)
  43. Faustina (21)
  44. Flavia (12)
  45. Floriana (6)
  46. Florina (6)
  47. Georgette (24)
  48. Gertrude (16)
  49. Gloriana (22)
  50. Golda (34)
  51. Goldie (37)
  52. Heloise (8)
  53. Henrietta (34)
  54. Hilda (40)
  55. Imelda (23)
  56. Io (9)
  57. Ione (26)
  58. Isidora (13)
  59. Jeanne (39)
  60. Josette (27)
  61. Junia (17)
  62. Linnaea (12)
  63. Lucette (7)
  64. Lucienne (43)
  65. Lucilla (12)
  66. Marietta (22)
  67. Maude (9)
  68. Mavis (38)
  69. Minerva (38)
  70. Nanette (8)
  71. Nell (32)
  72. Nella (38)
  73. Nicola (30)
  74. Nicoletta (19)
  75. Nicolina (29)
  76. Odette (48)
  77. Olympia (22)
  78. Orla (28); Orlagh (6)
  79. Phillipa (10)
  80. Philomena (41)
  81. Phyllis (20)
  82. Rhoda (28)
  83. Romana (6)
  84. Rosabella (46)
  85. Rosalba (17)
  86. Rosaline (20)
  87. Rosella (26)
  88. Rosetta (25)
  89. Rosette (5)
  90. Rosina (17)
  91. Rowena (15)
  92. Rubina (5)
  93. Rue (13)
  94. Sebastiana (5)
  95. Seraphine (19)
  96. Sigrid (15)
  97. Stephania (32)
  98. Sybilla (5)
  99. Talulla (5)
  100. Therese (47)
  101. Thomasina (6)
  102. Thora (19)
  103. Tova (43)
  104. Ulyssa (8)
  105. Ursula (25)
  106. Vashti (16)
  107. Verity (38)
  108. Violetta (46)
  109. Vita (36)
  110. Wanda (23)
  111. Winifred (30)
  112. Winona (20)
  113. Xanthe (7)
  114. Zenaida (36)
  115. Zenobia (22)
  116. Zillah (9)
  117. Zipporah (41); Tzipporah (12)

(In some cases, a different spelling of the name is more popular than what’s shown here. For instance, Isidora is rare, but Isadora is more common.)

Like any of these?

Did you spot any other great end-of-the-list names?

See the boys’ list, or check out the Rare Baby Names page.

Names Needed for Twin Baby Girls

A reader named Grace would like some help naming her twin girls, due in a couple of months. She and her husband John already have three boys, Jackson, Samuel and Lucas.

So far, their favorite girl names are Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah. But they’re also considering a family name:

We would love to honor my mother, Denise Marie, but we despise both names. I would love some ideas on how to use that without actually using those names.

For the middle spots, they’re aiming for virtue names. They already have Honor picked out, and “[i]f there is another virtue name you would suggest so they both had one that would be great!”

Their last name is similar to Cawston.


On the current favorites…
I like all of the current favorites. The pairing I like best, though, is Juliet and Susannah. I just think they sound good together. I also like how they can both be shortened, just like the boys’ names — Jack, Sam, Luke, Jules & Sue (or Julie & Susie).

On incorporating Denise Marie…
One way to incorporate Denise Marie would be to find a name that features the sounds of both Denise and Marie (especially those D- and M-sounds). Names with these sounds include Madeline, Demetria, Dominique/Domenica, Damaris, Adamina, Amadea and Idamae.

Another approach would be to use initials — either the initials “D. M.” for one twin or a D-name for twin #1 and an M-name for twin #2. Some possibilities (beyond the names above) include Dahlia, Daisy, Damiana, Daphne, Dara, Delphine, Diana, Dina, Dora, Dorothy and Drusilla for D-names and Mara, Marian, Marlene, Martina, Mina, Mirabelle, Miranda, Miriam, Molly, Monica and Mona for M-names.

On virtuous middles…
My first thought was Mercy, because it sounds a lot like Marie. Other virtue names that might make nice middles are Amity, Charity, Clementine/Clemency, Hope, Joy, Patience, Peace/Pax, Temperance and Verity.


Now it’s your turn! Which of Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah do you like best for twins? What names can you come up with to honor Denise Marie? Which virtue names do you like best for middle names?

Rainelle – Baby Name Inspired by Tragedy

We know that baby names have been inspired by missing children (e.g., Caylee Anthony, Kyron Horman, Natalee Holloway). Sadly, they’ve also been inspired by murdered children.

Rainell

One example is Rainelle. The baby name Rainelle was given to 46 baby girls all of a sudden in 1949, making it a top debut name that year. Other baby girls were named Rainell (24), Ranell (8) and Raenelle (5).

Who was the inspiration?

Rainelle Downing, a 2-year-old from Michigan who was murdered in February of 1949. She and her mother were victims of the Lonely Hearts Killers Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck.

Mrs. Beck admitted drowning the child, Rainelle Downing, in a tub of water after Fernandez had killed her mother, Mrs. Delphine Downing.

After a highly sensationalized trial, Fernandez and Beck were found guilty of first-degree murder in August. Both were executed by electric chair about a year and a half later.

Poor Rainelle didn’t live long, but it’s nice to think that her name lives on.

Source: “Jury Convicts ‘Hearts’ Pair of Murder.” Reading Eagle 18 Aug. 1949: 1+.

Baby Name Needed – What Do You Think of Phineas?

A reader named Virginia is expecting a baby in September. For a boy, she’d selected the name Phineas. She liked “that it was unusual without being bizarre,” and that it started with ph. But now she’s not so sure about the name:

All was fine and dandy until I read an article about violence in the Bible. It vaguely mentioned Phineas as a name from the Bible used as a talisman by white supremacists. What!?!

That was a shock to me too. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Phineas Priesthood is “a violent credo of vengeance that has gained some popularity among white supremacists and other extremists in recent years.” I’d never heard of the Phineas Priesthood before–not even when Julia Roberts named her son Phinnaeus a few years ago.

Virginia doesn’t want to give up her favorite name, but she also “can’t live with such an association,” so she was hoping for some name suggestions. Other names she’s considering include Joel and Samuel (for boys) and Sigrid, Phoebe, Elisabeth, and Anne (for girls). All are family names.

First, a few thoughts:

  • I doubt many people are aware that white supremacists use Phineas as a code word. It’s an odious association, but maybe it’s also obscure enough that it’s not worth worrying about…?
  • I really like Sigrid and Phoebe–they’re both significant and unusual. Especially Sigrid. (Phoebe is being used more and more every year, so it might not be unusual for long.)

And now, name suggestions. Here are some unusual-but-not-bizarre boy names that I think Virginia might like:

Amos
Barnabas
Baxter
Ephraim
Ezra
Felix
Horatio
Humphrey
Lazarus
Matthias
Maximilian
Moses
Peregrine
Ralph
Raphael
Rufus
Silas
Simeon
Ulysses
Zephaniah

And some girl names:

Clotilde
Cybele
Daphne
Dagny
Delphine
Drusilla
Esther
Fabiola
Georgia
Josephine
Lucretia
Ophelia
Penelope
Phyllis
Ruth
Salome
Seraphina
Talulla
Tryphena
Verena

What other names would you suggest to Virginia? (And, what’s your take on the Phineas dilemma?)

Update: The baby has arrived! Click here to learn the baby’s name.