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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Erskine

Number of Babies Named Erskine

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Erskine

The Baby Name Caldonia

Caldonia, Louis Jordan, film poster, 1945The baby name Caldonia was on the U.S. charts for most of the first half of the 20th century, but there was a curious uptick in usage in 1945:

  • 1948: 7 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1947: 7 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1946: 10 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1945: 23 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: 11 baby girls named Caldonia
  • 1942: 12 baby girls named Caldonia

This uptick corresponds to the release of a song that played a part in rock and roll history in two different ways.

That song was “Caldonia” (1945) by Louis Jordan, one of the most successful African-American bandleaders of his day. It’s an up-tempo blues (or “jump blues”) song about a woman named Caldonia:

Walkin’ with my baby she’s got great big feet
She’s long, lean, and lanky and ain’t had nothing to eat
But she’s my baby and I love her just the same
Crazy ’bout that woman cause Caldonia is her name

The song reached #1 on the Race Records chart (which tracked music by and for an African-American audience) and peaked at #6 on the pop chart.

Here’s video footage of Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five performing “Caldonia” in a short musical film (a “soundie”) made the same year:

The song was covered by many other artists, including Erskine Hawkins. Hawkins’ version is notable because a reviewer in Billboard described it as “rock and roll music”:

rock and roll music, caldonia, review, erskine hawkins
First use of “rock and roll music” in print? (1945)

The phrase “rock and roll” had been around for decades, but this might be the first time it was ever used in print to describe a style of music.

Jordan’s song also made a big impact on rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, who said that “Caldonia” was the first non-gospel song he ever learned. The character of Caldonia even seems to be “the mother of Long Tall Sally, Miss Molly, Miss Ann, Jenny and especially Lucille, the least cooperative and most desired of Little Richard’s musical sweethearts.”

So now let’s get back to the name. Where does Caldonia come from?

It’s hard to know where Jordan discovered it. The name had been featured in African-American music at least once before, in “Caldonia Blues” (1924) by blues singer Sippie Wallace, and it had also been in use (though not very common) in the Southern states since the mid-19th century.

My best guess is that Caldonia is based on Caledonia (kal-eh-DŌN-yah), the Roman word for the region that is now Scotland, because the words are so similar.

Do you have any other theories?

(One of the baby girls born in Scotland in 2015 was named Caledonia, btw.)

Sources:


The Baby Name Erskine

clan erskine, tartan
Tartan of Clan Erskine
Erskine (pronounced UR-skin) is a curious name with strong ties to both Scotland and Ireland.

It originates with the town of Erskine in Renfrewshire, Scotland. The name of the settlement may be derived from the Scottish Gaelic words aird, “high,” and sgainne, “cleft.”

The place name gave rise to the Scottish surname, first recorded in the 1200s. (Pictured is the tartan for Clan Erskine.)

What’s the connection to Ireland? It starts with London-born Irish nationalist Erskine Childers (1870-1922), author of the popular espionage novel The Riddle of the Sandse (1903).

His son, Erskine H. Childers (1905-1974), went on to serve as the fourth President of Ireland from mid-1973 until his death in late 1974.

Erskine was also the name of an American automobile produced by Studebaker from 1926 to 1930. It was named after company president Albert Russel Erskine.

Erskine may seem unfashionable as a baby name, but it’s still seeing usage today in the U.S.:

  • 2014: unlisted
  • 2013: unlisted
  • 2012: unlisted
  • 2011: 5 baby boys named Erskine
  • 2010: unlisted
  • 2009: 5 baby boys named Erskine
  • 2008: unlisted
  • 2007: 5 baby boys named Erskine
  • 2006: 5 baby boys named Erskine
  • 2005: 6 baby boys named Erskine
  • 2004: unlisted
  • 2003: unlisted
  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: 8 baby boys named Erskine

Historically, usage has been highest in the southern states, particularly Alabama. This is due to the influence of Alabama industrialist and philanthropist Erskine Ramsay (1864-1953), whose parents were from Scotland.

By 1920 as many as one hundred Alabama boys had been named for [Erskine Ramsay]. In most cases, Ramsay did not know the parents, but he heard from them, or others, about the children bearing his name. A life-long bachelor with no children, he took special interest in his namesakes. In 1920 and 1921, Ramsay opened savings accounts for each of them at Birmingham’s Bank of Ensley and deposited one hundred dollars into each account as a nest egg for the boys’ education and a lesson in the value of thrift.

The most famous of Ramsay’s namesakes was Alabama jazz musician Erskine Hawkins, who composed “Tuxedo Junction” in 1939. Another namesake was 1930s Alabama Crimson Tide football player Erskine Walker.

What do you think of the name Erskine? Have you ever met anyone with the name?

Sources:

Image: Erskine tartan (Vestiarium Scoticum) by Celtus under CC BY-SA 2.5.

A Rose by Any Other Name – Burnaby, Natali, Zelda Lloyd

Sure, a rose by just any other name would not smell as sweet. But what if the name were as cool as “Madame Azélie Imbert” or “Victor Emmanuel”?

Other intriguing rose names I found in the EveryRose.com database include:

Abraham Darby
Admired Miranda
Betty Uprichard
Burnaby
Clementina Carbonieri
Cyril Fletcher
Dagmar Spath
Dainty Bess
Edna Marie
Eustacia
Fiona’s Affection
Fraulein Octavia Hesse
Gentle Hermione
Ghislaine de Feligonde
Hawaiian Queen Martha
Henry Bennett
Ida Belle
Imperatrice Eugenie
Jan and Rick
Jessika
Kaitlyn Ainsley
Konigin Beatrix
Lady Duncan
Lawinia
Mrs Erskine Pembroke Thom
Natali
Noble Antony
Oskar Cordell
Our Terry
Phyllis Bide
Proud Titiana
Queen Margrethe
Rex Anderson
Ruthie
Sharifa Asma
Smokey Joe
Tara Allison
Thisbe
Uncle Walter
Uwe Seeler
Victoria’s Song
Whisper Louise
Wise Portia
Xavier Olibo
Yolande d’Aragon
Young Quinn
Zelda Lloyd
Zephirine Drouhin

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably now wondering: So how can I name a cultivar of my very own?

Well, just grab your credit card and get in touch with a company that hybridizes roses. Some charge as little as several thousand dollars; others ask for as much as $75,000 to name a rose.

If you don’t have that kind of money lying around, and you happen to live in British Columbia, you may be able to name a rose for free. Just submit a name to the GardenWise Name a Rose contest before the end of August.