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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Elmo

Number of Babies Named Elmo

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Elmo

Baby Names from Pullman Cars?

pullman car, train,Years ago I posted about Livonia, a baby both born on and named after a Pullman car. Recently I wondered: What other Pullman car names would have made good baby names?

So I downloaded a big spreadsheet of over 12,000 Pullman car names from The Pullman Project and was slightly surprised to see that thousands of them could have been baby names, if we allow for the splitting of compound car names (like Fort Miley, Glen Norman, Meredith College, and West Willow).

Here are a handful of examples. On the left are relatively common/familiar names, and on the right are some unexpected choices.

Alana, Archer, Arnold Adriatha, Arundel, Arvonia
Baxter, Becket, Bradley Bantry, Bellonia, Besco
Calvin, Catalina, Clyde Cadesia, Clarnie, Clymer
Dana, Deborah, Dwight Darlow, Dathema, Dodona
Edith, Eileen, Elmo Edminster, Emalinda, Etherley
Finley, Flavia, Floyd Fithian, Flaxton, Florilla
Gary, Georgette, Grayson Gavarnie, Gilia, Gloxinia
Harper, Harriet, Hector Harista, Humela, Hythe
Iona, Isabella, Ivan Irvona, Isleta, Ixion
Jessica, Jordan, Julia Jacelia, Jathniel, Justitia
Kara, Keith, Kenneth Keinath, Kenia, Kittson
Laurel, Lewis, Linden Lauveta, Leolyn, Lysander
Madison, Marco, Maude Mardonia, Mayence, Morganza
Nicola, Noel, Nora Narinda, Nasby, Norlina
Olivia, Omar, Otis Oaklyn, Olanda, Oxus
Parker, Perry, Philippa Penlyn, Pipila, Pixley
Quincy Quarren
Rebecca, Riley, Ronald Rexis, Risley, Ruxton
Sarah, Scott, Susanne Salphrona, Sarver, Sibley
Thora, Tracy, Tyler Tascott, Tilden, Tisonia
Vanessa, Vernon, Victoria Varick, Vinora, Vivita
Wesley, Wilson, Wren Welby, Wescott, Wexford

Which of the names above do you like best?


Names Collected While Watching PBS Kids Sprout

A few months ago, blogging dad “Jef With One F” wrote a funny post called The Parade of Bad, Bad Baby Names on Mother’s Day from PBS Sprout over at HoustonPress.com.

Here’s an excerpt:

In order to help fully re-create the experience, I decided to give you a minute-by-minute breakdown of what I went through on Mother’s Day as my wife soaked in a Lush bath and I allowed TV to rear my offspring.

12:15: This was the name that started out the slow descent of my madness…Wynter Eve. I don’t know exactly what chemical is in the water that makes all the world Welsh post-natal, but I would really appreciate the government looking into it. Nah, they’re probably in the pocket of the powerful Y lobby anyways.

12:17: You know, Sesame Street is still a really terrific show. They have bales of hay playing punk music and Elmo remains adorable. I hope Super Grover flies into a wood chipper, though.

12:24: I’m on my fourth Hunter by this point. That’s a perfectly acceptable boy’s name, true, but it makes me wonder why no one follows it up with Gatherer. You could spell it Gathyrer!

Jef goes on to say that Xavieon “sounds like a lightbulb made of spring water,” and that he guesses Kelan might be “a deity in charge of some sort of organic vegetable.”

Have you heard any strange/unusual names while watching children’s TV?

Baby Names in Cursive – Clarabelle, Jefferson, Mercedes, Rebecca

I wrote a letter to a friend not long ago, and the act of writing something longhand (which I rarely do anymore) made me wonder: which baby names can be written in cursive without lifting the pen from the page?

Turns out that many names can be written this way–so long as they don’t contain letters that need crossing/dotting (t, i, x, j) and don’t start with a tricky capital (such as W, which doesn’t connect to the letters that follow, or H, which itself requires more than one pen-stroke to be formed correctly).

Here are some examples of names that can be written in script with one continuous line of ink.

  • 3 letters: Ava, Moe, Ned, Rob, Ula
  • 4 letters: Cleo, Elmo, Jada, Rhys, Zane
  • 5 letters: Carla, Jesse, Nancy, Ryder, Yosef
  • 6 letters: Edward, Jazmyn, Morgan, Nelson, Ursula
  • 7 letters: Charles, Eleanor, Jeffrey, Malcolm, Rebecca
  • 8 letters: Alphonso, Emmanuel, Mercedes, Mohammad, Randolph
  • 9 letters: Cleveland, Esperanza, Jefferson, Magdalena, Rosabelle
  • 10 letters: Alessandra, Alessandro, Clarabella, Clarabelle, Jacquelynn

…For more onomastic trivia, try this list of baby names that can be typed one-handed on a QWERTY keyboard.

Most Popular First Letter-Pairs of U.S. Baby Names

Mathematically speaking, it’s possible to construct 676 pairs of letters from a 26-letter alphabet. In terms of baby names, though, only a portion of these pairs can realistically be used to start a baby name.

If you look at each of the 6,692 names that have ever ranked among the most popular U.S. (1880-2006), you’ll notice that only 233 two-letter combinations have ever been used at the beginning of the names (e.g., “Na-” for Nancy, or “Ev-” for Evan).

So…what’s the most common pair of starting letters?

Ma– is the clear winner. It starts nearly twice as many names as Ja-, the second most common starting letter-pair.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of all the two-letter combinations that have started at least 100 ranked baby names:

  • 331 “Ma-” names (Mark, Mandy, Matthias, Marylouise)
  • 177 “Ja-” names (Jane, Jacob, Jaleesa, Jamarion)
  • 174 “Al-” names (Alf, Alice, Alphonso, Albertina)
  • 167 “De-” names (Dean, Della, Devontae, Demetria)
  • 157 “Ka-” names (Karl, Katie, Kameron, Katharina)
  • 144 “Sh-” names (Shane, Sherman, Shanice, Sheridan)
  • 143 “Ca-” names (Cash, Cadence, Carmella, Casimiro)
  • 139 “Da-” names (Dave, Daisy, Damarcus, Dayanara)
  • 125 “El-” names (Elmo, Elyse, Elijah, Eleanora)
  • 121 “Ro-” names (Ross, Roxie, Roosevelt, Rosalinda)
  • 118 “Br-” names (Bruce, Brenda, Bryson, Brittany)
  • 118 “Ch-” names (Chad, Chantal, Christopher, Christiana)
  • 117 “La-” names (Lane, Laura, Lafayette, Lakeshia)
  • 113 “Le-” names (Les, Leah, Leandra, Leopoldo)
  • 102 “Je-” names (Jeff, Jewel, Jennifer, Jeremiah)
  • 101 “Jo-” names (John, Joanna, Joshua, Josefina)
  • 100 “Ar-” names (Art, Arla, Armani, Araceli)