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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ember

Number of Babies Named Ember

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Ember

Popular Baby Names in Sonoma County, CA, 2015

Sonoma_County
According to Sonoma County’s data site SoCo Data, the most popular baby names in 2015 were Ava and Olivia (tie) and Mateo and Daniel (tie).

Here are the county’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Ava and Olivia (tie), 28 baby girls
2. Camila, 25
3. Isabella, Mia and Emma (3-way tie), 23
4. Charlotte and Sophia (tie), 21
5. Alexa, 20
1. Mateo and Daniel (tie), 28 baby boys
2. Jackson, 27
3. Sebastian, 25
4. Benjamin, 24
5. Julian, Jayden and Noah (3-way tie), 22

In 2014, the top names in the county were Emma and Logan.

Of the 1,204 girl names bestowed last year, 811 (67%) were used just once. A smaller proportion of the 919 boy names — 549 (60%) — were bestowed once. Here are a few of those single-use names:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Amarilla, Antimony, Edelweiss, Ember, Fanny, Lluvia, Lovely Estrella, Mae Pearl, Magnolia, Nkirote, Reminisce, Rosalene, Rurapenthe*, Summit Attimus, Banyan, Cypress, Cyprus, Destry, Ernestor, Fogatia, Iknav, Montgomery, Mercury, Orion, Quintil, Thornhill, Zinley

*Looks like Rurapenthe is based on “Rura Penthe,” the name of a planetoid used as a Klingon penal colony (!) in the Star Trek universe. Its name is a nod to Rorapandi, a penal colony island in the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Rorapandi was invented by Disney; it did not appear in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Source: SoCo Data


Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2014

According to data from British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province in 2014 were Olivia and Ethan.

Here are B.C.’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia, 292 baby girls
2. Emma, 240
3. Sophia, 183
4. Emily, 181
5. Chloe, 175
6. Ava, 169
7. Charlotte, 159
8. Lily, 141
9. Amelia, 136
10. Abigail, 134
1. Ethan, 256 baby boys
2. Liam, 254
3. Lucas, 226
4. Oliver, 198
5. Mason, 197
6. Benjamin, 187
7. William, 183
8. Jacob, 179
9. Noah, 177
10. Logan, 175

Lily, Amelia and Abigail replace Ella, Avery and Hannah in the girls’ top 10, and Jacob replaces Alexander in the boys’ top 10.

Other girl names used 5-or-more times in 2014, in order of popularity, include: Mannat, Juniper, Yuna, Avleen, Bria, Acacia, Ember, Isis, Juno, Japji, Jovie, Neve, Saskia, Asees, Harveen, Khaleesi, Queena, Ria, Sehaj, Winnie.

And other boy names used 5-or-more times in 2014, in order of popularity, include: Arlo, Bodhi, Angus, Atlas, Sage, Enoch, Huxley, Nikola, Daya, Kesler, Kyan, Jairus, Jujhar, Kaito, Koa, Rocky, Seamus, Terry, Tejas, Thorin.

Here are the 2013, 2012 and 2009 rankings for B.C.

Sources: Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2014, Most popular B.C. baby names for 2014 are Ethan and Olivia

The Baby Name Ember

the baby name ember

Anyone who’s ever sat beside a dying campfire late at night knows how mesmerizing the embers can be. That shimmering orange-red glow that grows alternatively brighter and dimmer depending on the wind…it’s hard not to imagine that it’s somehow breathing, somehow alive.

Author Cormac McCarthy expressed this idea (albeit in a much more eloquent/macabre way) in his book Blood Meridian:

The flames sawed in the wind and the embers paled and deepened and paled and deepened like the bloodbeat of some living thing eviscerate upon the ground before them.

Powerful imagery, isn’t it?

An ember is a smoldering piece of coal, wood or other carbon-based material left over after a fire. Embers stay hot for a long time — so hot that they can be used to rekindle a fire hours after the flames are put out. By extension, the plural form is also sometimes used to refer to “slowly dying or fading emotions, memories, ideas, or responses still capable of being revived.”

The modern word ember, which has existed since the 14th century, was derived from the Middle English eymere, which in turn came from the Old English æmerge, which ultimately came from an unrecorded Indo-European word that referred to burning.

So has the word ember ever been used as a baby name?

Yes. In fact, you might be surprised by how popular the baby name Ember has become lately. Here’s a running tally of the number of U.S. baby girls named Ember so far this century:

  • 2013: 519 baby girls named Ember [rank: 558th]
  • 2012: 506 baby girls named Ember [rank: 576th]
  • 2011: 421 baby girls named Ember [rank: 669th]
  • 2010: 326 baby girls named Ember [rank: 824th]
  • 2009: 309 baby girls named Ember [rank: 886th]
  • 2008: 201 baby girls named Ember
  • 2007: 222 baby girls named Ember
  • 2006: 176 baby girls named Ember
  • 2005: 160 baby girls named Ember
  • 2004: 143 baby girls named Ember
  • 2003: 127 baby girls named Ember
  • 2002: 98 baby girls named Ember
  • 2001: 90 baby girls named Ember
  • 2000: 68 baby girls named Ember

Ember has been used as a personal name in the U.S. since the 1800s, though usage remained rare until the 1970s. By the end of that decade, a few dozen baby girls were being named Ember every year. Usage kept creeping upward over the following decades until the name really started taking off in the mid-2000s. In 2009, Ember became one of the 1,000 most popular girl names in the nation — something that would have been hard to predict a mere 10 or 15 years ago.

The states with the most people tend to have the most babies named Ember. In 2013, for instance, there were 56 Embers born in California, 45 born in Texas, and 27 born in Florida. But several states don’t quite follow this pattern:

  • New York, the 4th most populous state, welcomed only 11 Embers.
  • Utah, the 33rd most populous state, welcomed an impressive 18 Embers. (The name has long been trendy in Utah, having debuted on Utah’s state-specific baby name list way back in 1975.)

Though the name isn’t traditionally associated with a gender, and the SSA data shows that a handful of baby boys have indeed been named Ember recently, the vast majority of babies being named Ember are girls.

Which reminds me of a sound-alike nature name also used mainly for girls that was quite trendy several decades ago: Amber. Amber saw peak usage during the second half of the ’80s, but usage has been cooling off since then. Ember, on the other hand, is just heating up (pun intended!). Could Ember be the new Amber, I wonder?

What do you think of the baby name Ember?

UPDATE, 5/9/2015: The 2014 names were just released. Ember was given to 729 baby girls and 10 baby boys last year. Ember is now ranked 435th for girls.

Image: Adapted from Aljamer SM.BOUALAM by Mohamed Boualam under CC BY-SA 4.0

Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2014

According to data from the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ), the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2014 were Lea and William.

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

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lea, 575 baby girls
2. Emma, 569
3. Olivia, 508
4. Florence, 482
5. Chloe, 472
6. Alice, 459
7. Zoe, 422
8. Rosalie, 410
9. Charlie, 386
10. Charlotte, 369
1. William, 773 baby boys
2. Thomas, 733
3. Felix, 711
4. Liam, 695
5. Nathan, 672
6. Jacob, 611
7. Alexis, 594
8. Logan, 593
9. Olivier, 582
10. Samuel, 579

Charlotte replaces Juliette in the girls’ top 10, and Logan replaces Gabriel in the boys’ top 10.

The biggest moves within the top 10 were the fall of Samuel (down 7 spots) the rises of both Chloe and Thomas (up 5 spots each).

Quebec is one of the wonderful places that releases all of its baby name data (yay!) so now let’s check out some of the names at the other end of the spectrum.

The following names were bestowed only once in Quebec last year:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Aberdeen, Acacia, Alghalia, Allegresse, Alimata, Alypier, Amorelle Simo, Anabia, Aonnhi Io, Armiella Sylene, Astoria, Ausalie, Auxanne, Ayqut, Balsam, Berangere, Brunaica, Bremellia, Cassou, Coumba, Coramely, Cydra, Dahlianne, Delnaz, Edmaelle, Ejona, Eliabelle, Elielle, Eliora, Elisapie, Elowen, Eluvia, Ember, Eolie, Eunicia, Fedaelle, Felune, Greyelle, Hyzalie, Inuluk, Isatis*, Izalee, Janabelle, Jedia, Juniper, Kalixie, Kazelly, Koubrah, Lessika Sibi, Leocadie, Lilafee, Lilwenn Sage, Losokola Victoria, Lysea, Lysmee, Macdara, Massylia, Mavie, Mayura, Mazaly, Mervedie Hope, Miaphee, Mijanie, Moon, Myrannie, Nauralie, Neelamy, Nektaria, Nephthalie, Nima, Nourcine, Nuunia, Oonq, Orkida, Orzala, Ozia, Phiji, Poeme, Prunille, Quinn Logan, Quppiak, Ralph-Emma, Rivlynca, Rizelane, Rosemma, Runa, Saby-Lina, Sauriane, Sensylia, Sheltoina Nissie, Sherodie Norah, Siella, Sillija, Siska, Sonoma, Spring Kimberly, Stratus, Sylenad, Syrianne, Tassadit, Taurie, Taurielle, Tillia, Toltzy, Tshiala, Twiggy, Upoma, Velesie, Venba, Yaralee Phedianie, Yebga Johanne, Yolbie, Zazyl Alarik, Asher Zelig, Ateronhiahere, Audric, Avigdor, Benjamin Rebel, Carther, Carlvin, Charvey, Clyvens, Curry-Tianlang, Dannic, Darwin, Detroit, Dillis Della Mcnjiss, Dimaben, Donadel Theo, Dzoti-Dylan, Ednershley Josue, Eluann, Enxu, Eudovic Nicanor, Exode Baelo, Faucher-Levasseur, Fenryr, Fulgence, Fundy, Glennfrey, Glory-Honneuramons, Godlycharacter, Gonzalo Kai Fei, Harley Davidson, Heliodore, Hugolin, Imix, Jayssijay, Joelvino, Jusipi, Kaherahere, Kallytrie, Karmany Alain, Kerfala, Klooff, La Fleche, Leith, Leolo, Lowry Nessi, Madden-Steeve, Malorik, Markernald, Maverix, Maxange, Med Reda, Maydenlee, Micipsa, Monzonto Bertinel, Mor Talla, Mordechai Max, Namory, Neven, Nick-Jovi, Nils, Noeliam*, Nowlan, Ossimbo, Providence Nathanael, Renzo, Rozzel Emmanuel, Savio, Sederi, Sphinx Jones, Syphax, Taliby, Tauren, Techeley, Thymote, Trencely, Turic, Tylian, Valliant-Bob, Vanguard, Vyber Biao, William-Wallace, Willie Ittuk, Y Rambo, Xquenda, Yansyl, Yartine, Yizo, York, Yulrick, Zacchaeus Righteous, Zeegar, Zineddine Zidane, Zino

*Isatis is a genus of Old World plants/herbs that includes woad (Isatis tinctoria).

**Noeliam might be a mashup of Noel + Liam. Maybe his parents are big Oasis fans?

Here are Quebec’s top baby names of 2013, 2012, 2009 and 2006, if you’d like to compare.

Source: RRQ – List of Baby Names in Québec

Newbie Baby Names of 2009

Over 40 baby names (25 girl names, 16 boy names) were new to the top 1,000 in 2009. The highest debuts for girls were Analia, Bristol and Brinley. For boys, Maximiliano, Sylas and Kayson.

Analia comes from the telenovela El Rostro de Analía. The lead character’s name is Ana Lucia, but other characters know her as Analía.

Maximiliano might be another TV reference. Argentinian actor/athlete Maximiliano Palacio was featured on The Real Housewives of New York City last year.

Bristol was influenced by teen mom Bristol Palin, daughter of former VP nominee Sarah Palin.

Other newbies (and likely sources) are Taraji (actress Taraji Henson), Juelz (rapper Juelz Santana) and Maliah (presidential daughter Malia Obama).

There’s also Cambria (the ultimate Welsh name?), Ember (not yet hotter than Amber), Kalel (thanks a bunch Nic Cage), Maddux (Maddox + redux?) and Maxx.

Update: Elisabeth of You Can’t Call It “It”! has published a nice analysis of newbies to the top 100.