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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Donna

Number of Babies Named Donna

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Donna

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Sweet 16)

name-song tournament

Several strong contenders were knocked out in round 2! Now it’s time for the Sweet 16 round. Over the next three days, we’ll narrow down what’s left to just 8. Here are the match-ups:

Group 1

Match Song Song
#1 Carol” (1957) by Chuck Berry vs. Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens
#2 Barbara Ann” (1961) by The Regents vs. Donna” (1958) by Ritchie Valens

Which song is better? (1 of 8)

  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (55%, 6 Votes)
  • "Carol" by Chuck Berry (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Which song is better? (2 of 8)

  • "Barbara Ann" by The Regents (54%, 7 Votes)
  • "Donna" by Ritchie Valens (46%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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Group 2

Match Song Song
#1 Hit the Road Jack” (1961) by Ray Charles vs. Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie” (1958) by Eddie Cochran
#2 Hello Mary Lou” (1961) by Ricky Nelson vs. Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry

Which song is better? (3 of 8)

  • "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles (86%, 12 Votes)
  • "Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie" by Eddie Cochran (14%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Which song is better? (4 of 8)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (71%, 10 Votes)
  • "Hello Mary Lou" by Ricky Nelson (29%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Group 3

Match Song Song
#1 Lucille” (1957) by Little Richard vs. Maybellene” (1955) by Chuck Berry
#2 Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets vs. (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” (1961) by Elvis Presley

Which song is better? (5 of 8)

  • "Lucille" by Little Richard (54%, 7 Votes)
  • "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry (46%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (6 of 8)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (58%, 7 Votes)
  • "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley (42%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Group 4

Match Song Song
#1 Ride on Josephine” (1960) by Bo Diddley vs. Sandy” (1963) by Dion
#2 Wake Up Little Susie” (1957) by The Everly Brothers vs. Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion

Which song is better? (7 of 8)

  • "Ride on Josephine" by Bo Diddley (64%, 7 Votes)
  • "Sandy" by Dion (36%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (8 of 8)

  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (64%, 7 Votes)
  • "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers (36%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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…Polls for this round close on Thursday night. The Elite 8 round starts on Friday morning.

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Round 2)

We started with 64 name-songs in round 1, and now we have 32 going into round 2. Here are the match-ups:

Group 1

Match Song Song
#1 Denise” (1963) by Randy & The Rainbows vs. Carol” (1957) by Chuck Berry
#2 Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens vs. Anna (Go to Him)” (1962) by Arthur Alexander
#3 Barbara Ann” (1961) by The Regents vs. Claudette” (1958) by The Everly Brothers
#4 Donna” (1958) by Ritchie Valens vs. Cathy’s Clown” (1960) by The Everly Brothers

Which song is better? (1 of 16)

  • "Carol" by Chuck Berry (58%, 7 Votes)
  • "Denise" by Randy & The Rainbows (42%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (2 of 16)

  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (58%, 7 Votes)
  • "Anna (Go to Him)" by Arthur Alexander (42%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (3 of 16)

  • "Barbara Ann" by The Regents (80%, 8 Votes)
  • "Claudette" by The Everly Brothers (20%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (4 of 16)

  • "Donna" by Ritchie Valens (55%, 6 Votes)
  • "Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Group 2

Match Song Song
#1 Good Golly Miss Molly” (1956) by Little Richard vs. Hit the Road Jack” (1961) by Ray Charles
#2 Just Like Eddie” (1963) by Heinz vs. Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie” (1958) by Eddie Cochran
#3 Hello Mary Lou” (1961) by Ricky Nelson vs. Johnny Angel” (1962) by Shelley Fabares
#4 Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry vs. Hey Paula” (1962) by Paul & Paula

Which song is better? (5 of 16)

  • "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles (79%, 11 Votes)
  • "Good Golly Miss Molly" by Little Richard (21%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Which song is better? (6 of 16)

  • "Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie" by Eddie Cochran (70%, 7 Votes)
  • "Just Like Eddie" by Heinz (30%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (7 of 16)

  • "Hello Mary Lou" by Ricky Nelson (73%, 8 Votes)
  • "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares (27%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Which song is better? (8 of 16)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (80%, 12 Votes)
  • "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula (20%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Group 3

Match Song Song
#1 Lucille” (1957) by Little Richard vs. Oh Julie” (1958) by The Crescendos
#2 Maybellene” (1955) by Chuck Berry vs. Nadine” (1964) by Chuck Berry
#3 Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets vs. Louie Louie” (1957) by Richard Berry
#4 Marlena” (1963) by The Four Seasons vs. (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” (1961) by Elvis Presley

Which song is better? (9 of 16)

  • "Lucille" by Little Richard (100%, 13 Votes)
  • "Oh Julie" by The Crescendos (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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Which song is better? (10 of 16)

  • "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry (64%, 7 Votes)
  • "Nadine" by Chuck Berry (36%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Which song is better? (11 of 16)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (75%, 9 Votes)
  • "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry (25%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (12 of 16)

  • "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley (55%, 6 Votes)
  • "Marlena" by The Four Seasons (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Group 4

Match Song Song
#1 Ride on Josephine” (1960) by Bo Diddley vs. Tall Paul” (1959) by Annette Funicello
#2 Sandy” (1963) by Dion vs. Ruby Ann” (1962) by Marty Robbins
#3 Wake Up Little Susie” (1957) by The Everly Brothers vs. Susie Q” (1957) by Dale Hawkins
#4 Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion vs. Sheila” (1962) by Tommy Roe

Which song is better? (13 of 16)

  • "Ride on Josephine" by Bo Diddley (67%, 6 Votes)
  • "Tall Paul" by Annette Funicello (33%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Which song is better? (14 of 16)

  • "Sandy" by Dion (60%, 6 Votes)
  • "Ruby Ann" by Marty Robbins (40%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (15 of 16)

  • "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers (54%, 7 Votes)
  • "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins (46%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (16 of 16)

  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (82%, 9 Votes)
  • "Sheila" by Tommy Roe (18%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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…Polls for this round close on Monday night. The Sweet 16 round starts on Tuesday morning.

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Round 1)

Time for another tournament!

A few years ago, we held a fun 1980s name-song tournament. (Come on, Eileen, you must remember!) This year, let’s go back even further — let’s check out songs with names in the titles from the early rock and roll era (late ’50s and early ’60s).

I’ll explain more about the tournament at the bottom of the post. For now, I’ll just forewarn you that each link opens a video in a new page so that you don’t lose your place on this page, which is pretty long.

Group 1

Match Song Song
#1 Denise” (1963) by Randy & the Rainbows vs. Deserie” (1957) by The Charts
#2 Carol” (1957) by Chuck Berry vs. Dede Dinah” (1958) by Frankie Avalon
#3 Fannie Mae” (1959) by Buster Brown vs. Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens
#4 Diana” (1957) by Paul Anka vs. Anna (Go to Him)” (1962) by Arthur Alexander
#5 Barbara Ann” (1961) by The Regents vs. Dusty” (1964) by The Rag Dolls
#6 Claudette” (1958) by The Everly Brothers vs. Bobby’s Girl” (1962) by Marcie Blane
#7 Donna” (1958) by Ritchie Valens vs. Donna the Prima Donna” (1963) by Dion
#8 Be-Bop-A-Lula” (1956) by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps vs. Cathy’s Clown” (1960) by The Everly Brothers

Which song is better? (1 of 32)

  • "Denise" by Randy & the Rainbows (56%, 5 Votes)
  • "Deserie" by The Charts (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Which song is better? (2 of 32)

  • "Carol" by Chuck Berry (80%, 8 Votes)
  • "Dede Dinah" by Frankie Avalon (20%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (3 of 32)

  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (88%, 7 Votes)
  • "Fannie Mae" by Buster Brown (13%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Which song is better? (4 of 32)

  • "Anna (Go to Him)" by Arthur Alexander (56%, 5 Votes)
  • "Diana" by Paul Anka (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Which song is better? (5 of 32)

  • "Barbara Ann" by The Regents (63%, 5 Votes)
  • "Dusty" by The Rag Doll (38%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Which song is better? (6 of 32)

  • "Claudette" by The Everly Brothers (57%, 4 Votes)
  • "Bobby's Girl" by Marcie Blane (43%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (7 of 32)

  • "Donna" by Ritchie Valens (71%, 5 Votes)
  • "Donna the Prima Donna" by Dion (29%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (8 of 32)

  • "Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers (56%, 5 Votes)
  • "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Group 2

Match Song Song
#1 Good Golly Miss Molly” (1956) by Little Richard vs. Katy Too” (1961) by Johnny Cash
#2 Hit the Road Jack” (1961) by Ray Charles vs. Jimmy Boy” (1963) by The Girlfriends
#3 Jacqueline” (1958) by Bobby Helms vs. Just Like Eddie” (1963) by Heinz
#4 Lana” (1961) by The Velvets vs. Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie” (1958) by Eddie Cochran
#5 Hello Mary Lou” (1961) by Ricky Nelson vs. Jim Dandy” (1956) by LaVern Baker
#6 Johnny Angel” (1962) by Shelley Fabares vs. Judy’s Turn to Cry” (1963) by Lesley Gore
#7 Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry vs. Hats off to Larry” (1961) by Del Shannon
#8 Hey Paula” (1962) by Paul & Paula vs. Jenny, Jenny” (1956) by Little Richard

Which song is better? (9 of 32)

  • "Good Golly Miss Molly" by Little Richard (100%, 6 Votes)
  • "Katy Too" by Johnny Cash (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (10 of 32)

  • "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles (100%, 6 Votes)
  • "Jimmy Boy" by The Girlfriends (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (11 of 32)

  • "Just Like Eddie" by Heinz (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Jacqueline" by Bobby Helms (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (12 of 32)

  • "Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie" by Eddie Cochran (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Lana" by The Velvets (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (13 of 32)

  • "Hello Mary Lou" by Ricky Nelson (71%, 5 Votes)
  • "Jim Dandy" by LaVern Baker (29%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (14 of 32)

  • "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Judy's Turn to Cry" by Lesley Gore (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (15 of 32)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (100%, 6 Votes)
  • "Hats off to Larry" by Del Shannon (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (16 of 32)

  • "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Jenny, Jenny" by Little Richard (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Group 3

Match Song Song
#1 Lucille” (1957) by Little Richard vs. Oh Rose Marie” (1959) by The Fascinators
#2 Mary Ann” (1956) by Ray Charles vs. Oh Julie” (1958) by The Crescendos
#3 Maybellene” (1955) by Chuck Berry vs. Little Latin Lupe Lu” (1963) by The Righteous Brothers
#4 Nadine” (1964) by Chuck Berry vs. Little Diane” (1962) by Dion
#5 Oh! Carol” (1959) by Neil Sedaka vs. Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets
#6 Louie Louie” (1957) by Richard Berry vs. Mickey’s Monkey” (1963) by The Miracles
#7 Marlena” (1963) by The Four Seasons vs. My Girl Josephine” (1960) by Fats Domino
#8 (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” (1961) by Elvis Presley vs. Long Tall Sally” (1956) by Little Richard

Which song is better? (17 of 32)

  • "Lucille" by Little Richard (100%, 7 Votes)
  • "Oh Rose Marie" by The Fascinators (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (18 of 32)

  • "Oh Julie" by The Crescendos (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Mary Ann" by Ray Charles (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (19 of 32)

  • "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry (80%, 4 Votes)
  • "Little Latin Lupe Lu" by The Righteous Brothers (20%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (20 of 32)

  • "Nadine" by Chuck Berry (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Little Diane" by Dion (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (21 of 32)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (100%, 5 Votes)
  • "Oh! Carol" by Neil Sedaka (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (22 of 32)

  • "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Mickey's Monkey" by The Miracles (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (23 of 32)

  • "Marlena" by The Four Seasons (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "My Girl Josephine" by Fats Domino (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (24 of 32)

  • "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Group 4

Match Song Song
#1 Venus” (1959) by Frankie Avalon vs. Ride on Josephine” (1960) by Bo Diddley
#2 Sandy” (1959) by Larry Hall vs. Tall Paul” (1959) by Annette Funicello
#3 Sandy” (1963) by Dion vs. Ruby Baby” (1956) by The Drifters
#4 Ronnie” (1964) by The Four Seasons vs. Ruby Ann” (1962) by Marty Robbins
#5 Wake Up Little Susie” (1957) by The Everly Brothers vs. Sally, Go ‘Round the Roses” (1963) by The Jaynetts
#6 Sherry” (1962) by The Four Seasons vs. Susie Q” (1957) by Dale Hawkins
#7 Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion vs. Venus in Blue Jeans” (1962) by Jimmy Clanton
#8 Sheila” (1962) by Tommy Roe vs. Susie Darlin’” (1958) by Robin Luke

Which song is better? (25 of 32)

  • "Ride on Josephine" by Bo Diddley (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Venus" by Frankie Avalon (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (26 of 32)

  • "Tall Paul" by Annette Funicello (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Sandy" by Larry Hall (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (27 of 32)

  • "Sandy" by Dion (57%, 4 Votes)
  • "Ruby Baby" by The Drifters (43%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (28 of 32)

  • "Ruby Ann" by Marty Robbins (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Ronnie" by The Four Seasons (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (29 of 32)

  • "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers (57%, 4 Votes)
  • "Sally, Go 'Round the Roses" by The Jaynetts (43%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (30 of 32)

  • "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins (71%, 5 Votes)
  • "Sherry" by The Four Seasons (29%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (31 of 32)

  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Venus in Blue Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (32 of 32)

  • "Sheila" by Tommy Roe (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Susie Darlin'" by Robin Luke (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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…And that’s it for now! Round 2 will start on Friday.

Here’s the full tournament schedule:

  • Round 1 (64 songs to 32): Vote March 12-15
  • Round 2 (32 to 16): Vote March 16-19
  • Sweet 16 (16 to 8): Vote March 20-22
  • Elite Eight (8 to 4): Vote March 23-25
  • Final Four (4 to 2): Vote March 26-27
  • Championship (2 to 1): Vote March 28-29
  • Winner (1): Announced on March 30

Polls close at 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) on the last day of each round.

And finally, in case you’re wondering how I chose the groups and the pairings: The groups are alphabetical (A to F, G to L, L to P, and R to W). To rank the songs within each group, I used that “total” number of Google search results as a proxy for popularity. Then I created match-ups in true March Madness style: first vs. last, second vs. second-to-last, and so forth.

Name Quotes #43 – Agnieszka, Shaniqua, Fire

"I love the Q. It's the most distinctive thing about me." Quote from stem cell scientist George Q. Daley.

From “I Love the Q,” a Harvard Medical School interview with stem-cell scientist George Q. Daley:

HMS: So you have five brothers and sisters?

DALEY: Yes. I was born fifth, and my middle name, Quentin, means “fifth-born.”

HMS: I was going to ask why you use the Q.

DALEY: I love the Q. It’s the most distinctive thing about me. Everybody asks, “What’s the Q stand for?”

From “Michael Caine’s Name Is Now Officially Michael Caine” by Jackson McHenry at Vulture:

Maurice Micklewhite is dead; long live Michael Caine. The legendary British actor has officially adopted the name you know and impersonate him by after getting fed up with increased airport security checks. “I changed my name when all the stuff started with ISIS and all that,” Caine told The Sun, going on to describe his experiences with security guards thusly: “He would say, ‘Hi Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d be giving him a passport with a different name on it. I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.”

From “Frond this way: Lady Gaga’s ferns” by Ben Guarino of Scienceline:

In a 2006 letter to Nature, Australian geneticist Ken Maclean highlights the pitfalls of fanciful names: “The quirky sense of humour that researchers display in choosing a gene name often loses much in translation when people facing serious illness or disability are told that they or their child have a mutation in a gene such as Sonic hedgehog, Slug or Pokemon.”

From “Translating Names” by Dariusz Galasiński

Translating names mostly goes one way. Somehow ‘we’ must translate our names into English, and ‘you’ don’t have to translate yours into Polish, Estonian, Romanian or Slovak. And that makes the translation much more political than linguistic. And if it is political, I go against!

[…]

And here is the main point of this post – it’s not linguistic, I’m afraid. Names are political. And I think it’s important to keep them. Michał, Agnieszka, Małgorzata, Paweł, Justyna…these are your names, don’t change them to Michael, Agnes, Margaret, Paul or Justine. If they care, they will learn, if they don’t — it’s their loss.

(Found via “What’s in a name? Introducing yourself in academia” by Marta Natalia Wróblewska, via Clare’s Name News.)

From “The Jody Grind” by Jody Rosen in Slate:

Could it be that we are best served by imperfect, not perfect, names? When a baby is saddled with a name, he is taught a first lesson about pitiless fate and life’s limitations–that there are aspects of the self that can never be self-determined, circumstances that must be stoically endured, and, hopefully, someday, made peace with. There are a goodly number of us who wear our names not like a precious spell but like a humbler workaday garment. Whatever you’re called–Jody or Sue or Moon Unit or Jermajesty or maybe even Anus–you can, if you’re lucky, reach that state of grace where you hardly notice your name is there at all. You wake up in the morning and slide right into it, like a well–broken-in pair of pantaloons.

From “What’s in a Name? Exhibit explores identity, prejudice” (about a pop-up art exhibition by Donna Woodley) in The Tennessean:

“The idea for this project came as I was typing names one day. I realized that the Microsoft Word program would indicate that some names were spelled incorrectly — a red wavy line would appear under them — but not others. I’d type a name like Elizabeth or Judy and there’d be no red line, which implied it was spelled correctly. Then I’d type a name like Shaniqua, LaQuisha, or other black women’s names I knew, and they would get a red line under them, like it was spelled wrong.”

[…]

“It made me wonder, does Microsoft have a diversity department?” said Woodley.

(Found via the ANS post Names exhibit in Nashville, TN explores identity and prejudice.)

From “Church won’t let me call my son ‘Jesus’” by Cate Mukei at Standard Digital Entertainment (Kenya):

The rights activist [Nderitu Njoka] said he just wanted to prove his deeply rooted Christian faith by naming his son ‘Jesus’.

‘After all, the name is common in Portugal, Spain, and Mexico which are God fearing. My call is to Christians to start naming their sons Jesus since by doing this they will be preaching gospel of Jesus Christ to the world without hypocrisy,” the letter says.

From Politics, Religion and…Baby Names by Tim Bradley:

Our oldest son Jay (who was almost two at the time) insisted on calling our baby-to-be “Baby Fire” while my wife was pregnant. It caught on and throughout my wife’s pregnancy, our families would ask, “How’s Baby Fire doing?” Although it seemed like a fitting name, we just dismissed it thinking “Fire” was too “out there” for anyone to be on board. But on the way to the hospital during the wee hours of the morning on July 4th, my wife and I decided that “Fire” as a middle name seemed appropriate. It will forever link our sons since it was Jay’s idea, and it captures the memories and emotions we felt throughout the pregnancy. There’s the July 4th fireworks tie-in as well. And let’s face it “Fire” as a middle name is only one step away from “Danger” as the coolest name ever.

From H. L. Mencken’s The American Language (1921):

The religious obsession of the New England colonists is also kept in mind by the persistence of Biblical names: Ezra, Hiram, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Elijah, Elihu, and so on. These names excite the derision of the English; an American comic character, in an English play or novel, always bears one of them.

For more quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Names from WHER, the First All-Female Radio Station

Dot Fisher of WHER radio station in the 1950s
Dot Fisher of WHER c. 1957 © Broadcast News
Memphis-based radio station WHER (1430 AM), which was run almost entirely by women, went on the air in October of 1955. It was billed as America’s “First All-Female Radio Station.”

The station was created and funded by legendary record producer Sam Phillips — the guy who discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, among others.

WHER’s original staff included Sam’s wife Rebecca (Becky) along with seven other women: Barbara Gurley, Donna Rae Johnson, Dorothy “Dot” Fisher, Dotty Abbott, Fay Bussell, Phyllis Stimbert, and Roberta Stout.

Six of these eight ladies were on-air personalities with their own programs, each of which emphasized “some particular subject of interest to housewives” according to a 1957 source.

Which of the original WHER names do you like best?

Which WHER name do you like best?

View Results

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(Dotty is usually a nickname for Dorothy, so I combined them in the poll.)

Vida Jane Butler, who joined WHER later in the ’50s, was known on-air as “Janie Joplin.” She’d been told that Vida “was considered too old-fashioned and too Southern for WHER,” and the data backs it up: the name Vida was indeed out of fashion and associated with the south at that time. These days, though, Vida is picking up steam — particularly in California. Janie, on the other hand, saw peak usage in the mid-20th century and has been in decline ever since.

Sources: