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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Elena

Number of Babies Named Elena

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Elena

Top Baby Names in Malta, 2015

Malta’s top baby names of 2015 have been out for months now, but the latest data still isn’t available on the government’s Naming Babies page, so I can’t give you the official rankings.

The best I can do is this quote from a recent Times of Malta article:

Amy, Ella, Leah, Maya, Valentina, Emma, Martina, Jade, Julia, Elisa and Elena are among the most popular for girls […] Luca, Matthias, Adam, Ben, Benjamin, Beppe, Alexander, Thomas, Zack, Liam, Luke and Noah are among the most popular for boys.

The article also mentioned many of the less common names bestowed in Malta in 2015, including:

  • Ajson
  • Alix (the Maltese version of Alex)
  • Bitania
  • Carleshian
  • Delyth (“which in Welsh means neat and pretty, but when read with a Maltese pronunciation it means, err, murder”)
  • Ebtisam
  • Izz
  • Jack Daniel (similar to this guy)
  • Kelzen
  • Massa (“after Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Formula One driver”)
  • Massabielle
  • Mixhal (the Maltese version of Michelle)
  • Neymar
  • Roksanda
  • Rancy
  • Shaznolee
  • Thisseanne
  • Tenishia (“after the internationally renowned Maltese DJ duo”)
  • Vuk
  • Xemx (the Maltese word for “sun,” pronounced shemsh)
  • Zashielle
  • Zeshinzer

Malta’s top names of 2014 were Elena and Luke (more or less).

Source: Hi, Jack Daniel, It’s me, Xemx – Malta’s list of baby names


Popular Baby Names in Switzerland, 2015

According to data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (OFS), the country’s most popular baby names last year were Mia and Noah.

Here are Switzerland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Mia
2. Emma
3. Lara
4. Lena
5. Sofia
6. Mila
7. Anna
8. Elena
9. Laura
10. Lina
1. Noah
2. Liam
3. Luca
4. Gabriel
5. Leon
6. David
7. Matteo
8. Elias
9. Louis
10. Levin

In 2014 the top names were Emma and Noah.

And here are the top names within each of the main language groups:

Language Group Girl Names Boy Names
German speakers
(64% of Switzerland)
1. Mia
2. Emma
3. Lena
1. Leon
2. Noah
3. Luca
French speakers
(23%)
1. Emma
2. Alice
3. Eva
1. Gabriel
2. Liam
3. Noah
Italian speakers
(8%)
1. Sofia
2. Emma
3. Noemi
1. Leonardo
2. Alessandro
3. Liam
Romansh speakers
(less than 1%)
1. Alessia 1. Laurin

Sources: Most popular Swiss baby names in 2015 (via Clare’s Name News), Switzerland Statistics

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2014

According to data from Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in Spain in 2014 were Lucia and Hugo.

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lucia, 5,161 baby girls
2. Maria, 4,951
3. Martina, 4,380
4. Paula, 4,210
5. Daniela, 3,792
6. Sofia, 3,568
7. Valeria, 3,246
8. Carla, 3,138
9. Sara, 3,116
10. Alba, 3,111
1. Hugo, 5,121 baby boys
2. Daniel, 4,859
3. Pablo, 4,494
4. Alejandro, 4,116
5. Alvaro, 3,670
6. Adrian, 3,463
7. David, 3,376
8. Martin, 3,181
9. Mario, 3,067
10. Diego, 3,000

Alba (was 11th) replaces Julia (now 11th) in the girls’ top 10.

Martin (was 20th) replaces Javier (now 11th) in the boys’ top 10.

Here are the 2013 baby names rankings for Spain, if you’d like to compare.

And, just for fun, let’s also check out the nearly 5 million foreign nationals living in Spain. The most common first names among expats (grouped by nation of origin) are:

Female Expat Names Male Expat Names
1. Fatima (Morocco), 18,493 females
2. Maria (Romania), 12,547
3. Elena (Romania), 10,629
4. Khadija (Morocco), 8,339
5. Mariana (Romania), 7,535
6. Mihaela (Romania), 6,050
7. Ana Maria (Romania), 5,265
8. Aicha (Morocco), 5,208
9. Naima (Morocco), 4,963
10. Daniela (Romania), 4,823
1. Mohamed (Moroccan), 40,658 males*
2. Mohammed (Moroccan), 19,401
3. Ahmed (Moroccan), 15,003
4. Said (Moroccan), 9,513
5. Gheorghe (Romanian), 9,399
6. Vasile (Romanian), 9,045
7. Ioan (Romanian), 9,035
8. Rachid (Moroccan), 8,956
9. Youssef (Moroccan), 8,583
10. Mustapha (Moroccan), 7,468

*The total for Mohamed is even higher when you factor in the 2,436 Mohameds that came from Algeria.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, And the most common expat name in Spain is…

Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2014

According to data from Malta’s National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups in Malta in 2014 were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.

Here are Malta’s top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
  1. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 97 baby girls
  2. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 72
  3. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 70
  4. Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 69
  5. Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 46
  6. Maya/Mia/Myah, 44
  7. Lea/Leah/Leia, 42
  8. Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 41
  9. Amy/Aimee, 39
    • Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 37 [tie]
    • Anna/Hannah/Ann, 37 [tie]
  1. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 98 baby boys
  2. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 97
  3. Jacob/Jake, 77
  4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 59
  5. Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53
    • Liam/William, 51 [tie]
    • John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 51 [tie]
  6. Benjamin/Ben, 51
    • Kaiden/Kayden/Kai ,46 [tie]
    • Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 46 [tie]
  7. Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 45
  8. Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 40

Down in 15th place on the boys’ side is “Yannick/Yan” — both are versions of John, and yet they’re not part of the John group, which is tied for 6th.

Speaking of strange things…

The current Maltese birth registration system does not allow for Maltese fonts, which essentially means that names with ċ such as Ċikku or Ċensa; with a ġ such as Ġorġ or Ġanna; and with a ż such as Liża or Ġużi, are out – or at least will be recorded without the essential dots which distinguish the Maltese phonetical sound.

I’ve seen governments (e.g., NWT, California) make excuses about not being able to render minority/ethnic names properly on birth certificates, but I’ve never heard of a country that couldn’t render names from its own national language.

Oh, Malta.

Here are the 2013, 2012, 2009, 2007 and 2006 rankings.

Sources: Naming Babies – National Statistics Office – Malta, Luke and Elena remain most popular names given to newborns, ‘Dotty’ system bars patriot baby names

Name Quotes for the Weekend #28

Keira Knightly quote about  her misspelled name

From an interview with Keira Knightley in Elle (UK):

Keira also revealed that she was never intended to be called Keira.

‘I was meant to be named “Kiera”, after a Russian ice skater who was on the TV one day. My dad fancied her and nicked her name for me. But it was my mum who went to register my birth, and she accidentally spelled “ei” instead of “ie” because my mum’s crap at spelling.

‘Apparently, when she came back he said: “WHAT THE F*CK? You’ve spelt her name wrong!” What were they going to do, though? Once it’s on the piece of paper, it’s on the piece of paper. And that’s me. A spelling error.’

From There’s Something About Nutella (about the French parents who tried to name their baby Nutella) by lawyer Wes Anderson:

If only the parents lived in the United States, then they may likely have realized their dream. While many European countries place various restrictions on baby names, American parents may generally use a trademark as a personal name, so long as it is a word mark and both parents consent to the name. Brand loyalty may have some limits abroad, but the courts on our shores would hardly object to baby Nutella.

From Parents seek unique names for their children in The Japan News:

Under the Family Registration Law, about 3,000 kanji can be used for a person’s name, including joyo kanji (kanji designated for common use) and kanji exclusively used for people’s names. Hiragana and katakana can be used as well. However, there are no rules regarding how a kanji character should be read in a name or how long the name can be.

In recent years, more and more variations are showing up in children’s names with nonstandard pronunciations apparently becoming prominent. For example, the kanji “kokoro” (heart) is often read “ko” these days, while “ai” (love) is read “a.”

[…]

At one kindergarten in Kanagawa Prefecture, teachers write down the phonetic readings of all the new pupils’ names on the roll before the entrance ceremony to check how they should be read.

“It’s a shock for parents to hear their children’s names read out incorrectly,” a staff member of the kindergarten said.

Tamago Club, a magazine for expecting mothers published by Benesse Corp., is calling on readers to avoid names whose kanji readings are too different from the norm.

From the book The Leonardo DiCaprio Album by Brian J. Robb:

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles on 11th November 1974 to burnt-out hippie parents who named him after the Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci. His mother, German-born Irmelin Idenbirken chose her son’s name after feeling him kicking in the womb as she stood in front of a Da Vinci painting in the Uffizi Gallery in Venice, Italy.

From Why We Like Boys Better Than Girls (Or At Least Their Names) by Laura Wattenberg:

Our modern naming age sees lots of names flowing around the gender divide. Some traditional male names, like Micah and Riley, are showing up more and more on the girls’ side. Other names with no traditional gender link, like word names, place names, and surnames, are flipping back and forth or remaining unisex. But even in this fluid, creative naming culture, I challenge you to find a traditionally female name that is given to boys. Much as a reference to running or fighting “like a girl” is taken as an insult, so do we shrink from any hint of girliness in our boys’ names. As a result, the move toward androgyny in baby names turns out to look an awful lot like masculinization.

[…]

Names have enormous symbolic power. They send messages. What message would it send to girls if the women of the U.S. Supreme Court were named Raymond, Simon and Elliot instead of Ruth, Sonia and Elena? Just as we may wish for a future where “running like a girl” means “running as fast and long as you can,” I’m rooting for a future where a little Leia is considered just as bold and confident as a girl dressed — or named — like Han.

From the Survivor Wiki page about Neleh Davis, the runner-up from Survivor: Marquesas (2002):

Neleh Dennis was born in Heber City, Utah, and is one of eight siblings (five brothers, Tom, John, Devin, Nathan, and Landon, and two sisters, McKenna and Robyn). She was named after her maternal grandmother, Helen. Same name, only spelled backwards.

From an interview with Dax Shepard [vid] on Ellen:

Ellen: Where does the name Delta come from, was that something you had thought of before?

Dax: So Delta actually–it was a joke, because our first daughter’s name is Lincoln, which is very masculine, so a friend of mine teasingly texted me, “Oh great, what’s this one gonna be, Navy Seal? Delta Force? Green Beret?” And I was reading this text out loud to Kristen, I’m like, “Oh listen to how funny this is, Steve said, what if we named her Delta Force” and I was like…Delta! Delta Bell Shepard, that’s it! And that’s it.

Want to see quote posts #1 through #27? Check out the quote post category. Have a nice weekend, all!

Nicolae Ceausescu & His Brother, Nicolae Ceausescu

Notorious Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu (1918-1989) was one of nine surviving siblings:

  1. Niculina Ceaușescu
  2. Marin Ceaușescu
  3. Nicolae Ceaușescu
  4. Florea Ceaușescu
  5. Nicolae Ceaușescu
  6. Ilie Ceaușescu
  7. Maria Ceaușescu
  8. Elena Ceaușescu
  9. Ion Ceaușescu

Did you catch it? Nicolae is listed twice. The first one is the dictator, the second one is his younger brother, born when the first Nicolae was about 6.

Ceaușescu biographer John Sweeney writes off the repetition: “His parents had more children than they knew names.”

But here’s how Alice Miller, psychologist and child abuse expert, explains it:

To my question as to how a brother could also be christened Nicolae, I repeatedly received the reply that the father was drunk “as usual” at the time the child was named. By all accounts, he had simply forgotten that he already had a son named Nicolae–though no one could explain to me how Ceausescu’s mother could also forget that fact. This information seemed to arouse little surprise in Bucharest.

She also says the situation “throws light on the dictator’s obsessive desire for revenge,” which must have come from his “insatiable determination to gain at last the recognition completely denied him as a child.”

I haven’t found anything to verify Alice’s version of the story but, if true, it’s rather depressing. Naming and drinking do not mix. (Robert could have told you that.)

Sources:

  • Miller, Alice. Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth. New York: Dutton, 1991.
  • Sweeney, John. The Life and Evil Times of Nicolae Ceausescu. London: Hutchinson, 1991.

Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2013

Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.

According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.

Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
  1. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
  2. Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
  3. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
  4. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
  5. Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
  6. Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
  7. Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
  8. Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
  9. Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
    • Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
    • Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
    • Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
  10. Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
  11. Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
    • Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
    • Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
  12. Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
    • Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
    • Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
  13. Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
    • Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
    • Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
    • Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
    • Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
    • Nina, 17 (0.9%)
    • Faith, 17 (0.9%)
  14. Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
    • Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
    • Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
    • Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
    • Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
  1. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
  2. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
  3. Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
  4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
    • John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
    • Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
  5. Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
    • Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
    • Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
  6. Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
  7. Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
  8. Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
  9. Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
  10. Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
    • Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
    • Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
  11. Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
    • Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
    • Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
  12. Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
  13. Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
    • Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
    • Adam, 24 (1.1%)
    • Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
    • Noah, 23 (1.1%)
    • James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
    • Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
    • Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)

Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.

Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.

Sources: NSO – Naming Babies: 2013, Quality and Amporn top the list of unusual names