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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Eric

Number of Babies Named Eric

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Eric

Another Baby Named After a Soccer Team

soccer-ballIn 1992, Leeds United superfans Jeanne and Andrew Cazaux welcomed a baby boy. They named him “Dominic Andrew Lukic Newsome Fairclough Whyte Dorigo McAllister Batty Strachan Speed Chapman Cantona Cazaux” after the following Leeds players:

  • John Lukic
  • Jon Newsome
  • Chris Fairclough
  • Chris Whyte
  • Tony Dorigo
  • Gary McAllister
  • David Batty
  • Gordon Strachan
  • Gary Speed
  • Lee Chapman
  • Eric Cantona

So which team does Dominic root for these days? Arsenal. “I think I chose Arsenal mainly to rebel,” he said. “I was only about eight years old and it was just one of those things you do to go against your parents. They were disappointed but said that it was my choice.”

Dominic isn’t the only person out there named after a soccer team, believe it or not. There are several others, including Jensen Jay Alexander Bikey Carlisle Duff Elliot Fox Iwelumo Marney Mears Paterson Thompson Wallace Preston, who was named after 14 Burnley F.C. players.

Source: So what would you do if your parents named you after the entire Leeds United team?


Babies Named for Erik Estrada?

erik estrada, chipsThe TV show CHiPs aired from 1977 to 1983.

The main characters were two motorcycle-riding highway patrolmen of the California Highway Patrol — CHP, hence CHiPs.

One of those two patrolmen was Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, played by actor Erik Estrada. (In his case, Erik is short for Enrique.)

The show was most successful during the 1979-1980 season, in terms of ratings.

Also in 1979, Erik Estrada was voted one of “The 10 Sexiest Bachelors in the World” by People magazine.

So it’s not surprising that the baby name Erik saw increased usage in 1979 and 1980. Eric did, too.

Name 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
Erik # babies:
rank:
2,784
94th
3,262
85th
4,637
66th
4,912
64th
3,922
75th
3,632
80th
Eric # babies:
rank:
20,745
17th
19,776
16th
20,272
17th
22,622
16th
20,722
17th
19,861
20th

There were also two CHiPs-related one-hit wonders on the baby name charts. One was Estrada:

  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: 5 baby boys named Estrada [debut]
  • 1979: unlisted

The other, Poncho, doesn’t quite match Ponch or Poncherello but was still likely influenced by the show:

  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: 5 baby boys named Poncho [debut]
  • 1979: unlisted

Finally, I did manage find a handful of U.S.-born males with “Erik Estrada” as their first and middle names. Most of them were born during the years CHiPs was on the air.

A decade after CHiPs was cancelled, what was Erik Estrada up to? Hosting the “Kebrina’s Psychic Answer” infomercial.

Sources: Erik Estrada – Wikipedia, Ratings – CHiPs Wiki

Name Quotes for the Weekend #35

Happy New Year, everyone! Some quotes to kick off 2016…

From an article about Taylor Swift in GQ:

Swift mentions that she wrote a non-autobiographical novel when she was 14, titled A Girl Named Girl, and that her parents still have it. I ask her what it was about, assuming she will laugh. But her memory of the plot is remarkably detailed. (It’s about a mother who wants a son but instead has a girl.)

From a biography of North Carolina businessman Edward James Parrish in the book Makers of America: Biographies of Leading Men of Thought and Action, vol. II (1916):

Colonel Parrish was born near Round Hill Post Office, then in Orange County (now Durham County), on October 20, 1846, son of Colonel Doctor Claiborn and Ruthy Anne (Ward) Parrish. His father had the peculiar given name of Doctor because he was a seventh son, in accordance with the old belief that the seventh son has the gift of healing.

From What’s in a name? Everything, if you are a migrant and Muslim by Yusuf Sheikh Omar (found via Anna’s Wintery Name News post at Waltzing More than Matilda):

Many Somali refugees have changed their names. Since 1991 a brutal civil war in our homeland, in the Horn of Africa, has displaced 1.7 million people, roughly one-fifth of the population. The displaced spent years in refugee camps or embarked on long, treacherous journeys to safety; the luckier ones found haven in countries such as Australia and elsewhere in the West. Some of these newly arrived refugees feared that if they kept their real names, the authorities would trace their travel route and return people to their last country of departure. So these Somalis changed their names on arrival at the airport. Many still use these bogus names in official documents, but use their real names in the community.

[…]

Some of the generation who changed their names have since passed away leaving their children with unknown family and clan names. These young people are in limbo, both in the Somali community in Australia and in their country of origin. From other Somalis they often hear insults, such as “you have a fake family name.”

From an article about late Mexican American singer Selena Quintanilla:

Selena continues to have influence over other known and up-and-coming performers. Born in 1992 near Dallas, Disney bopper Selena Gomez, now a pop star of her own, was named after the queen of Tejano (during Selena’s 1991-1995 reign, her name skyrocketed from 780 to 91 in the rankings of most popular baby names in America).

From Anthony S. Kline’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book 9:

When the pains grew, and her burden pushed its own way into the world, and a girl was born, the mother ordered it to be reared, deceitfully, as a boy, without the father realising. She had all that she needed, and no one but the nurse knew of the fraud. The father made good his vows, and gave it the name of the grandfather: he was Iphis. The mother was delighted with the name, since it was appropriate for either gender, and no one was cheated by it.

From Dear Saint West: I Too Once Had an Unusual Name by Logan Hill:

Baby Saint, maybe you’re thinking: No way am I going to be some middle-aged man with some basic name. Well, I used to think the same thing, back when I was No. 902. Now I’m No. 13 on the list.

You know who was No. 13 in 1975? Fucking Eric.

Now I’m the Eric.

You may not want to hear this, Baby Saint, but, some day — and probably some day soon, thanks to your family’s fame — you’ll be the Eric, too.

From the book The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) by Oliver Goldsmith:

Our second child, a girl, I intended to call after her aunt Grissel; but my wife, who during her pregnancy had been reading romances, insisted upon her being called Olivia. In less than another year we had another daughter, and now I was determined that Grissel should be her name; but a rich relation taking a fancy to stand godmother, the girl was, by her directions, called Sophia; so that we had two romantic names in the family; but I solemnly protest I had no hand in it.

(Elea of British Baby Names also mentioned this passage in one of her ‘Twas Ever Thus posts.)

From an article about unique names in a 1990 issue of the Harvard Crimson:

“When I was growing up, everyone in my community knew my name,” Caraway Seed ’93 says. “Sometimes it’s a little disconcerting because a lot of people at Harvard have never met me, but know my name,” she added.

“I feel like I’m always noticed because of my name…I want people to know me for who I am,” she says.

Seed says her name was chosen by her father, who as a child was often asked “What kind of Seed are you?” In order to save his children from a similar fate, he decided to name three of them after plants: Caraway, Cotton and Huckleberry.

“I guess they just wanted to be interesting,” Seed says.

From Sunday Summary: 48/2015 by Abby of Appellation Mountain:

A few days ago, I picked him up from a [hockey] skills clinic. “Who else was there tonight?” I asked. He rattled off some names, finishing with, “… and Kelly.”

“Is Kelly a boy or a girl?”

“A boy, mom! Who names a girl Kelly?”

Mind blown.

Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles lately? Let me know!

Popular Boy Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

How has the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names changed over time (if at all) among the most popular baby names in the U.S.?

This question popped into my head recently, so I thought I’d take a look at the data. We’ll do boy names today and girl names tomorrow.

First, let’s set some parameters. For these posts, “Biblical” names are personal names (belonging to either humans or archangels) mentioned in the Bible, plus all derivatives of these names, plus any other name with a specifically Biblical origin (e.g., Jordan, Sharon, Genesis). The “most popular” names are the top 20, and “over time” is the span of a century.

For boy names, the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names has basically flipped over the last 100 years. Here’s a visual — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and a borderline name (which I counted as non-Biblical) is in the orange cell:

Popular boy names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular boy names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Adam, Alexander, Andrew, Austin (via Augustus), Benjamin, Daniel, David, Elijah, Ethan, Jack (via John), Jackson (via John), Jacob, James, Jason, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Joshua, Justin (via Justus), Lucas, Mark, Matthew, Michael, Nathan, Nicholas, Noah, Paul, Stephen, Steven, Thomas, Timothy, Zachary
  • Non-Biblical names: Aiden, Albert, Anthony, Arthur, Billy, Brandon, Brian, Charles, Christopher, Dennis, Donald, Dylan, Edward, Eric, Frank, Gary, George, Harold, Harry, Henry, Jayden, Jeffrey, Kenneth, Kevin, Larry, Liam, Logan, Louis, Mason, Raymond, Richard, Robert, Ronald, Ryan, Scott, Tyler, Walter, William
  • Borderline name: Jerry (can be based on the Biblical name Jeremy/Jeremiah or on the non-Biblical names Jerome, Gerald, Gerard)
    • It felt strange putting an overtly Christian name like Christopher in the non-Biblical category, but it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, so…that’s where it goes.

      Here are the year-by-year tallies:

      Year Top 20 names
      given to…
      # Biblical # Non-Biblical
      1914 40% of baby boys 5 (25%) 15 (75%)
      1924 43% of baby boys 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
      1934 43% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1944 47% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1954 46% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1964 42% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1974 38% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1984 36% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      1994 27% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2004 19% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2014 14% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)

      But there’s a huge difference between sample sizes of 40% and 14%, so let’s also take a look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 42% of male births.

      By my count, last year’s top 100 boy names were half Biblical, half non-Biblical:

      Biblical names (49) Non-Biblical names (51)
      Noah, Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel, Elijah, Benjamin, Matthew, Jackson (via John), David, Lucas, Joseph, Andrew, Samuel, Gabriel, Joshua, John, Luke, Isaac, Caleb, Nathan, Jack (via John), Jonathan, Levi, Jaxon (via John), Julian (via Julius), Isaiah, Eli, Aaron, Thomas, Jordan, Jeremiah, Nicholas, Evan, Josiah, Austin (via Augustus), Jace (via Jason), Jason, Jose, Ian, Adam, Zachary, Jaxson (via John), Asher, Nathaniel, Justin (via Justus), Juan Liam, Mason, William, Logan, Aiden, Jayden, Anthony, Carter, Dylan, Christopher, Oliver, Henry, Sebastian, Owen, Ryan, Wyatt, Hunter, Christian, Landon, Charles, Connor, Cameron, Adrian, Gavin, Robert, Brayden, Grayson, Colton, Angel, Dominic, Kevin, Brandon, Tyler, Parker, Ayden, Chase, Hudson, Nolan, Easton, Blake, Cooper, Lincoln, Xavier, Bentley, Kayden, Carson, Brody, Ryder, Leo, Luis, Camden

      (Christian, Angel, Xavier, Dominic…all technically non-Biblical, despite having strong ties to Christianity.)

      50%-50% isn’t quite as extreme as 70%-30%, but it’s still noticeably more Biblical than 1914’s 25%-75%.

      Do any of these results surprise you?

Name Quotes for the Weekend #32

Thana, cover of LIFE, 1947

Happy Friday! Here’s another batch of random, name-related quotes to end the week…

From the description of the December 15, 1947, cover of LIFE magazine:

Among the prettiest showgirls in New York’s nightclubs are (from left) brunette Dawn McInerney, red-haired Thana Barclay and blond Joy Skylar who all work in the Latin Quarter. […] Thana, also 22, was named after her mother’s favorite poem Thanatopsis. She is married to a song plugger named Duke Niles and owns a dachshund named Bagel.

The poem “Thanatopsis” was written by William Cullen Bryant. The word itself means “a view or contemplation of death.” In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the god of death.

From the All Music Guide to Hip-hop by Vladimir Bogdanov:

Ginuwine was born in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1975, with the unlikely name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (after D.C.-born Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor).

Elgin Baylor, born in 1934, was named after the Elgin National Watch Company. (He’s on my Long List of Unusual Real Names.)

From “The Art Of Knowing When Less Is More” by Greg Dawson, published in the Orlando Sentinel in 1997:

Fellow immigrants…Here is proof that we need that national “conversation about race” urged by President Clinton: Last week in a whimsical moment I argued that official hurricane names are too “white bread” (like Greg) and don’t reflect America’s ethnic stew. To make my point I looked at the births page of the Sentinel for names that you never see attached to a hurricane — names such as Attaliah, Desjambra, Ofori. A reader called to complain about the “white bread” line and added, “A lot of those names aren’t even American.”

“Excuse me,” I said, “but they were born in this country. They’re just as American as you and me.”

“You know what I mean,” he said.

Yes, unfortunately, I think I do.

From The Making of Cabaret by Keith Garebian, regarding the name of English actress Valerie Jill Haworth, who was born on Victory over Japan Day (Aug. 15, 1945):

The initials of her baptismal names (Valerie Jill) were in honor of her birth on VJ Day.

Related: American actress Robin Vee Strasser was born on Victory in Europe Day.

A quote from Freddie Prinze, Jr., in the documentary Misery Loves Comedy (sent to me by Anna of Waltzing More Than Matilda):

“When you’re a Junior you’re pretty much just a statue to what went before.”

From “My Daughter Will Be Named Ruby Daffodil” in US magazine article

Back when Drew Barrymore was only 20 years old, she already had a name picked out for her future child.

During an interview with Rolling Stone in June 1995, Barrymore opened up about her relationship at the time with Hole musician Eric Erlandson.

[…]

“I never thought I’d have a sense of family until I had my own kids. I want two: a boy and a girl,” she revealed. “My daughter will be named Ruby Daffodil.”

Today she has two daughters, neither of whom are named Ruby Daffodil. The first was named Olive and the second Frankie.

From “The History Of How “Cow Poop” Became A Real-Life Japanese Family Name” by Mami of the blog Tofugu:

There are some Japanese family names that are so ridiculous that I’m forced to believe that someone was playing some kind of horrible family prank when they named themselves. Cow Poop (Ushikuso), Horse-Butt (Umajiri), and Boar-Crotch (Inomata/Imata) are actual people in Japan. If they wanted a memorable name, they’ve certainly achieved it, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up with a name like that as a child.

From the “Name Wisely” section of “8 Tips for Creating Great Stories” by Hugh Hart of Fast Company:

Fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman stresses the importance of a good name in describing the genesis of his American Gods protagonist. “There’s a magic to names, after all,” he says. “I knew his name [needed to be] descriptive. I tried calling him Lazy, but he didn’t seem to like that, and I called him Jack, and he didn’t like that any better. I took to trying every name I ran into on him for size, and he looked back at me from somewhere in my head unimpressed every time. It was like trying to name Rumpelstiltskin.”

He finally discovered the name, Shadow, in an Elvis Costello song. (American Gods will be on TV soon…will we soon be seeing more babies named Shadow?)

Liverpool Fans Name Baby Girl YNWA

ynwa logo liverpool
YNWA: New baby name for Liverpool fans?
Norwegian couple Tor-Eric and Eirin Iversen, big fans of Liverpool F.C. (the English soccer team), welcomed a baby girl back in 2010 and named her Karoline Ynwa.

The middle name Ynwa is an acronym that stands for “You’ll Never Walk Alone” — the song that was adopted as Liverpool’s anthem in the 1960s. It originally comes from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel (1945).

Tor-Eric and Eirin weren’t sure about the name Ynwa (which they pronounce “yee-nwa”) at first, but it grew on them over time. Before Ynwa they’d considered the name Gerrard (for Steven Gerrard) but decided that Gerrard wouldn’t work well for a girl.

Pål Christian Møller, head of Liverpool FC Supporters Club Norway, says the Liverpool-inspired baby name he sees most often is simply “Liverpool.” (He said if he could give himself another name, he’d add Oliver and become “O Liverpål.”) Another acronym-based Liverpool name he’s seen is Tia, which stands for “this is Anfield.” Anfield is the stadium at which Liverpool F.C. has been playing since the 1890s.

Now that news of a child named Ynwa has surfaced, do you think Liverpool fans in England will start using the name? And, if so, do you think Ynwa will ever reach the minimum usage requirement of 3 babies per year to be included on a future England and Wales baby name list?

Sources: Ynwa (4) fikk ikke velge favorittlag selv, Liverpool FC fans from Norway name their daughter YNWA (discovered originally via Clare’s Name News)

P.S. Other modern-day acronym baby names include Ily, Ilys & Ktyal. I’ve also heard rumors that the baby name Yolo now exists, but I have yet to see proof of this.

“2la” – The First Number-Name in Britain?

Back in the early 1990s, the Fotherby family of England welcomed two daughters, Zanya Obea and Zaedea 2la.

The BBC ran an article about the sisters back in 2000. “They both love music and, with names like theirs, they are tailor made to be pop stars,” their father was quoted as saying.

At the time, it was thought that younger sister Zaedea might be “the only child in Britain with a number registered as part of her name.” (In the U.S., number-names are permitted in some states, but not others.)

Her name had caused some confusion in school — teachers thought Zaedea “must have meant to write Tula or Toola” when she wrote 2la — but she said she liked it regardless.

Source: ‘I’m not a name, I’m a number’