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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Frank


Posts that Mention the Name Frank

Name Quotes #99: Silbestre, Iris, Kin

Silbestre Esquivel’s inscription (via Petrified Forest NP’s IG)

About the historical “Silbestre Esquivel” inscription inside Petrified Forest National Park:

Who was Silbestre Esquivel? In 1811, he inscribed his name in what would become Petrified Forest National Park. Was he passing through? Was he a lonely cowboy or shepherd? Even the history of discovery of the inscription is mysterious. Two different articles in a magazine and a newspaper in 1943 and 1945 claim to discover the name. The earlier one found it by directions from a business woman in the area—wouldn’t she be the one to have discovered it? A professional photographer, Michael Bend, did find out that the man was part of a party traveling from Santa Fe to Utah lead by José Rafaél Sarracino to trade with the Ute people. Such fascinating secrets!

(The name Silbestre — like the related name Sylvester — can be traced back to the Latin word silva, meaning “forest.”)

From Blake Lively’s WIRED Autocomplete Interview [vid] with Anna Kendrick:

Anna: How did Blake Lively…get her name?
Blake: My grandmother’s brother was named Blake.
A: Oh!
B: But he was murdered. So thanks for asking, Google.
A: She’s so dark.

(Blake Lively was also featured in Name Quotes #51.)

From a Louder interview with John Rzeznik about the Goo Goo Dolls’ hit song “Iris”:

By the time Rzeznik had ironed out some of the “ugly chord sequences”, he had a swooning future classic on his hands. Only the name was required. “I’m horrible at naming songs,” he says, “so it’s the last thing I do. I was looking through a magazine called LA Weekly and saw that a great singer-songwriter called Iris DeMent was playing in town. I was, like: ‘Wow! What a beautiful name.’

(The song doesn’t actually include the name Iris in the lyrics, and yet the usage of the baby name Iris does seem to rise at a faster rate in 1998 and 1999, so…did the song influence the name? Wdyt?)

From the book Indiana’s 200: The People Who Shaped the Hoosier State (2016) by James E. St. Clair:

Amid much publicity in the early 1950s, [Herb Shriner and his wife] had given their children names that reflected his Hoosier heritage: They had a daughter named Indiana (known as “Indy”) and a son, Kin, named in honor of Abe Martin creator Frank McKinney “Kin” Hubbard. Kin Shriner became a soap opera actor; his twin brother, Wil (named for Will Rogers, but with one l), became a comedian, television, director, and talk show host with a laid-back style reminiscent of his father.

From an essay about names in The Arizona Republic by Karina Bland:

When Jim and I were choosing a name for our son, we turned to the dictionary.

Sawyer has three half-siblings — Sonnet, Sky and Savannah. Each name is an actual word, not a name like Sam or Sarah. We wanted to do the same for this baby.

Our list is still there in my Random House College Dictionary with the red cover — 22 possibilities neatly printed in purple pencil on the back of a sheet of paper shaped like a cluster of grapes: Street, South, Story, Satchel, Sage, Saracen.

We had narrowed it down to a handful — Storm, Sawyer, Story, Scout, Scarlet — when we saw him on an ultrasound for the first time. A boy. And he was instantly Sawyer, one fist raised above his head, all boyhood and adventure.

From an essay on baby names in The Guardian by Ed Cumming:

The one truly radical act for a British parent is to pluck a name from further down the class ladder. Yet it might not be the worst idea for the downwardly mobile upper-middle classes, whose jobs in accounting and law are about to be replaced by Elon’s robots. They continue to worry that Liam or Wayne wouldn’t fit in at Eton, little realising that will be the least of their concerns. Cressida and Monty will have a much harder time fitting in at the robot repair shop.

What turned Flip into a baby name?

actor, flip mark, 1960s, baby name, television
Flip Mark in 1961

The name Flip, typically a nickname for Philip, was a one-hit wonder in the baby name data in 1960:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 5 baby boys named Flip [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

Where did it come from?

I think the primary influence was child actor Flip Mark (born Philip Mark Goldberg), who played Brook Hooten on the short-lived sitcom Guestward, Ho! (1960-1961). He was also able to nudge the name of his character, Brook, into the boys’ top 1,000 for the first time in 1961.

But there could have been a secondary influence: Frank “Flip” Flippen, from the even shorter-lived series Overland Trail (1960). The character was played by actor Doug McClure (who later played Trampas on The Virginian).

Do you like Flip as a standalone name, or do you prefer it as a nickname?

“Real World” Baby Names: Amaya, Baya, Brynn…

“This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a loft…and have their lives taped…”

Several months ago, the cast of the inaugural season of MTV’s The Real World held a 6-day reunion in the very same NYC loft they shared back in 1992. The reunion — which was filmed, of course — is now airing as a series on the Paramount+ platform. (Here’s the trailer.)

When I was a teenager, I loved watching The Real World. (And I appreciated that the names of the cast members were always prominently displayed in the opening credits!) So I think now would be a great time to go back and see if any Real World cast member names had an influence on U.S. baby names.

First, let’s start with a comprehensive list of all the cast member names from each of RW‘s 33 (!) seasons…

  1. The Real World: New York (1992): Andre, Becky, Eric, Heather, Julie, Kevin, Norman
  2. The Real World: California (1993): Aaron, Beth (x2), David, Dominic, Glen, Irene, Jon, Tami
  3. The Real World: San Francisco (1994): Cory, Jo, Judd, Mohammed, Pam, Pedro, Puck, Rachel
  4. The Real World: London (1995): Jacinda, Jay, Kat, Lars, Mike, Neil, Sharon
  5. The Real World: Miami (1996): Cynthia, Dan, Flora, Joe, Melissa, Mike, Sarah
  6. The Real World: Boston (1997): Elka, Genesis, Jason, Kameelah, Montana, Sean, Syrus
  7. The Real World: Seattle (1998): David, Irene, Janet, Lindsay, Nathan, Rebecca, Stephen
  8. The Real World: Hawaii (1999): Amaya, Colin, Justin, Kaia, Matt, Ruthie, Teck
  9. The Real World: New Orleans (2000): Danny, David, Jamie, Julie, Kelley, Matt, Melissa
  10. The Real World: Back to New York (2001): Coral, Kevin, Lori, Malik, Mike, Nicole, Rachel
  11. The Real World: Chicago (2002): Aneesa, Cara, Chris, Keri, Kyle, Theo, Tonya
  12. The Real World: Las Vegas (2002-2003): Alton, Arissa, Brynn, Frank, Irulan, Steven, Trishelle
  13. The Real World: Paris (2003): Ace, Adam, Chris, Christina, Leah, Mallory, Simon
  14. The Real World: San Diego (2004): Brad, Cameran, Charlie, Frankie, Jacquese, Jamie, Randy, Robin
  15. The Real World: Philadelphia (2004-2005): Karamo, Landon, Melanie, M.J., Sarah, Shavonda, Willie
  16. The Real World: Austin (2005): Danny, Johanna, Lacey, Melinda, Nehemiah, Rachel, Wes
  17. The Real World: Key West (2006): Janelle, John, Jose, Paula, Svetlana, Tyler, Zach
  18. The Real World: Denver (2006-2007): Alex, Brooke, Colie, Davis, Jenn, Stephen, Tyrie
  19. The Real World: Sydney (2007-2008): Ashli, Cohutta, Dunbar, Isaac, KellyAnne, Parisa, Shauvon, Trisha
  20. The Real World: Hollywood (2008): Brianna, Brittini, Dave, Greg, Joey, Kimberly, Nick, Sarah, Will
  21. The Real World: Brooklyn (2009): Baya, Chet, Devyn, J.D., Katelynn, Ryan, Sarah, Scott
  22. The Real World: Cancun (2009): Ayiiia, Bronne, CJ, Derek, Emilee, Jasmine, Joey, Jonna
  23. The Real World: D.C. (2009-2010): Andrew, Ashley, Callie, Emily, Erika, Josh, Mike, Ty
  24. The Real World: New Orleans (2010): Ashlee, Eric, Jemmye, McKenzie, Preston, Ryan (x2), Sahar
  25. The Real World: Las Vegas (2011): Adam, Dustin, Heather (x2), Leroy, Michael, Nany, Naomi
  26. The Real World: San Diego (2011): Alexandra, Ashley, Frank, Nate, Priscilla, Sam, Zach
  27. The Real World: St. Thomas (2012): Brandon (x2), LaToya, Laura, Marie, Robb, Trey
  28. The Real World: Portland (2013): Anastasia, Averey, Jessica, Johnny, Joi, Jordan, Marlon, Nia
  29. Real World: Ex-Plosion (2014): Arielle, Ashley (x2), Brian, Cory, Hailey, Jamie, Jay, Jenna, Jenny, Lauren, Thomas
  30. Real World: Skeletons (2014-2015): Bruno, Jason, Madison, Nicole, Sylvia, Tony, Violetta
  31. Real World: Go Big or Go Home (2016): CeeJai, Chris, Dean, Dione, Dylan, Jenna, Kailah, Sabrina
  32. Real World Seattle: Bad Blood (2016-2017): Anika, Anna, Jennifer, Jordan, Kassius, Katrina, Kimberly, Mike, Orlana, Peter, Robbie, Theo, Tyara, Will
  33. The Real World: Atlanta (2019): Arely, Clint, Dondre, Justin, Meagan, Tovah, Yasmin

The names in boldface line up with a discernible increase in baby name usage. (Other Real World names may have affected baby names as well, but it can be hard to tell when, say, a name is already common, or already on the rise.)

Here are details on all the boldfaced names, plus two more influential RW names (from seasons 6 and 18) that didn’t even belong to primary cast members.

  • The name Jacinda (from season 4; 1995) saw peak usage in 1996.
  • The name Flora (5; 1996) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Kameelah (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Syrus (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Jason (6; 1997) was probably not affected, but the name of Jason’s girlfriend, Timber, saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Amaya (8; 1999) saw sharply increased usage in 1999 and 2000.
  • The name Kaia (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Ruthie (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Aneesa (11; 2002) saw peak usage in 2002.
  • The name Arissa (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2003.
  • The name Brynn (12; 2002-3) saw sharply increased usage in 2003.
  • The name Irulan (12; 2002-3) debuted in the data in 2003.
    • It looks like she was named after the fictional character Princess Irulan from Frank Herbert’s Dune books…?
  • The name Trishelle (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Mallory (13; 2003) saw increased usage in 2003 and 2004.
  • The name Cameran (14; 2004) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Jacquese (14; 2004) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Johanna (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005.
  • The name Nehemiah (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005 and 2006.
  • The name Janelle (17; 2006) saw increased usage in 2006.
  • The name Svetlana (17; 2006) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Colie (18; 2006-7) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Tyrie (18; 2006-7) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name of Tyrie’s girlfriend, Jazalle, debuted in 2007 and is a one-hit wonder so far.
  • The name Kellyanne (19; 2007-8) returned to the data in 2008.
  • The name Baya (21; 2009) saw sharply increased usage in 2009. In fact, Baya was one of the fastest-rising baby names of 2009.
  • The name Averey (28; 2013) saw peak usage in 2013.
  • The name Kassius (32; 2016-17) saw increased usage in 2017.

Of all the names above, which one(s) do you like most?

And, for all the Real World fans out there: which season(s) do you like most? :)

Source: The Real World (TV series) – Wikipedia

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (C)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with C-names…

  • Caduceus:
    • John Caduceus Mason, born in 1869
    • Pauline Caduceus Pyne, born in 1871
    • Amy Caduceus Ward, born in 1871
  • Calabria:
    • Sarah Elizabeth Calabria Marsden, born in 1874
  • Caledonia:
    • William Caledonia Lowe, born in 1870
    • Jane Caledonia Morrison, born in 1870
    • James Caledonia Terrie, born in 1871
    • Muhelina Caledonia Cardone, born in 1888
  • California:
    • Craig California McGinley, born in 1872
    • Sarah California Boettcher, born in 1877
  • Calliance:
    • William James Calliance Potter, born in 1861
  • Cambodia:
    • Mary Cambodia Pocock, born in 1884
    • Ellen Cambodia Goldthorp, born in 1884
    • Emma Cambodia Gascoigne, born in 1884
  • Cambria:
    • Cambria Wallace Milne, born in 1880
  • Cambrian:
    • Henry Cambrian Bouchier, born in 1863
  • Camorta:
    • John Camorta Bleney, born in 1882
  • Camperdown:
    • Ellen Duncan Camperdown Woods, born in 1876
  • Canada:
    • Amelia Canada Scrivens, born in 1857
    • Mary Canada Furlong, born in 1883
  • Canara:
    • Canara Iunatum, born in 1880
  • Canterbury:
    • Canterbury C. Purdon, born in 1863
  • Cardigan Castle:
    • Cardigan Petersen, born in 1873
  • Carisbrooke Castle:
    • Ellen Carisbrooke Haslett, born in 1875
    • Phoebe Carisbrooke Fleming, born in 1875
  • Carnatic:
    • Elizabeth Ann Carnatic Bowler, born in 1873
    • Agnes Carnatic Keen, born in 1875
    • Maria Carnatic Gauser, born in1880
    • Amy Carnatic Collins, born in 1880
    • David Carnatic Robinson, born in 1880
  • Carrick Castle:
    • Carrick Beatrix Hagerty, born in 1874
  • Cartrale:
    • Arthur Taylor Cartrale Smith, born in 1874
  • Cartsburn:
    • M. B. Cartsburn Watt, born in 1874
    • Cartsburn Baxter, born in 1874
    • A. C. Cartsburn Sloan, born in 1874
  • Caspian:
    • William Caspian Downham, born in 1877
  • Castalia:
    • Castalia Marchesa, born in 1879
  • Catalonia:
    • Gurnod Catalonius Sjoberg, born in 1886
  • Cedric The Saxon:
    • Frank Cedric McNair, born in 1885
  • Cephalonia:
    • Cephalonia Charles Jones, born in 1883
    • Henrietta Cephalonia Colman, born in 1885
    • Cephalonia Brook, born in 1886
  • Ceylon:
    • Archie Ceylon Randle, born in 1885
  • Chalmers:
    • Henry Richard Chalmers Charles Bainton, born in 1859
  • Charles Cox:
    • Carlotta Graham Cox, born in 1878
  • Charlwood:
    • Bertram Charlwood Hiscocks, born in 1881
  • Cheops:
    • Cheops Garthwaite, born in 1874
  • Chimborazo:
    • Daniel Chimborazo Dineen, born in 1879
  • China:
    • George China Ward, born in 1876
  • Chollerton:
    • Robert Chollerton Shepherd, born in 1887
    • Ellen Chollerton Blackwell, born in 1887
    • Gertrude Chollerton Archer, born in 1887
  • Christian McAusland:
    • William Taylor McAusland Nelson, born in 1875
  • Chyebassa:
    • Chyebassa Best, born in 1881
    • Chybasse Pettitgean, born in 1884
    • Godfrey Chyebassa Svensson, born in 1885
    • Chyebassa Lowe, born in 1887
  • Cilla:
    • Cillarius Gustav Guttinger, born in 1865
  • Circassia:
    • Circassia Wray Barrett, born in 1880
  • Cissy:
    • Cisseillia Naughton, born in 1867
  • City of Agra:
    • Marie Florence Agra Tyrell, born in 1876
    • Samson Agra Hay, born in 1877
  • City of Auckland:
    • Jane Auckland Pearce, born in 1872
    • Harry Auckland Wood, born in 1872
  • City of Baltimore:
    • Charlotte Baltimore Hadfield, born in 1856
  • City of Benares:
    • Fanny Benares Casson, born in 1874
  • City of Berlin:
    • James Berlin Felix Gerola, born in 1881
    • Adelaide Berlina Mathews, born in 1881
  • City of Brussels:
    • Timothy Brussels Hogan, born in 1880
    • Charles Brussels Arthur, born in 1880
  • City of Chester:
    • Wilhilmene Lewis Chester Andersson, born in 1887
  • City of Durham:
    • Patrick Durham Hickey, born in 1868
  • City of Montreal:
    • Fanny Lund Montreal Massey, born in 1881
  • City of Nankin:
    • Christina Nankin McLean, born in 1880
  • City of Rome:
    • Rose Roma Monro Colman, born in 1884
    • Romulus Johnson, born in 1884
    • Kate Roma Oliver, born in 1885
  • Clairellen:
    • Clairellen Ada Shepherd, born in 1873
  • Clara:
    • Deliela Clara Wright, born in 1875
  • Clara Mærsk:
    • Clara (surname unknown), born in 1975
  • Clarence:
    • Fanny Clarence Murray, born in 1861
    • Eliza Clarence Cox, born in 1861
  • Claverhouse:
    • Frank Claverhouse Parsons, born in 1879
  • Clio:
    • Charles Clio Greening, born in 1856
  • Clyde:
    • Veronica Clyde Gray, born in 1876
    • Richard Clyde Bordlace, born in 1878
    • George Clyde Baker, born in 1878
    • Louisa Teasdel Clyde Lancaster, born in 1879
    • Agnes Clyde Robertson, born in 1879
    • Alice Maria Clyde Crup, born in 1881
    • Venezia Clyde Mackenzie, born in 1884
  • Collingrove:
    • Isabelle Hope Collingrove Benson, born in 1870
  • Columbia:
    • Nora Columbia Needham, born in 1861
  • Colombo:
    • Robert Colombo Sharp, born in 1885
  • Colorado:
    • Colorado Harris, born in 1868
  • Compta:
    • Rose Compta August Kerutz, born in 1881
    • James Compta Burrows, born in 1882
  • Copenhagen:
    • Copenhagen G. Williams, born in 1862
  • Corean:
    • Corea Catherine Cosgrove, born in 1888
  • Corinthian:
    • Corinthian Macnicol McAtee, born in 1880
  • Corlic:
    • Minnie Corlic Collins, born in 1874
  • Coromandel:
    • Nellie Coromandel Brookes, born in 1880
  • Cotopaxi:
    • Herminia Angela Cotopaxi Shertzer, born in 1886
  • Countess Of Galloway:
    • Galloway Nicholson, born in 1878
  • Countess of Kintore:
    • Thomas Kintore Buer, born in 1871
  • Countess of Seafield:
    • Catherine Horton Seafield Danvers, born in 1864
  • Crusader:
    • Robert Alexander Crusader Rodgers, born in 1879
  • Cuba:
    • Rosetta Cuba Burke, born in 1869
  • Culzean:
    • Culzean Pernie Ryan, born in 1874
  • Cuzco:
    • Agnes Cuzco Johnstone, born in 1878
    • John Cuzco Parker, born in 1883
    • James Ridler Cuzco Hartley, born in 1886
    • Margaret Albany Cuzco Walsh, born in 1888

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Name Story: Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong photo

Chinese-American movie star Anna May Wong was born “Wong Liu Tsong” in Los Angeles in 1905.

Here’s what she had to say about her birth name in 1926:

I was named Wong Lew Song, which means Frosted Yellow Willows. A rather unusual name, isn’t it. Most Chinese children have names, which, interpreted into English, sound rather attractive, though they wouldn’t do for everyday use. They are all right in poetry, but I wouldn’t want to be called Frosted Yellow Willows by my acquaintances. It sounds altogether too quaint for a modern Chinese girl.

Here’s what she had to say about her American name and her stage name in 1928:

I was educated in Los Angeles. […] Our family did not live in the Chinese quarter but on Figueroa Street, where our neighbors were Americans and we were called by our English names. The doctor who brought me into the world named me ‘Anna’; my Chinese name is Tsong. When I was old enough to begin to think about a career, I added ‘May’ to ‘Anna,’ partly because we [daughters] all had four-letter names and I wanted to be different, and partly because it made a prettier signature.

(Her siblings’ American names were Lulu, James, Mary, Frank, Roger, and Richard.)

And, finally, here’s something funny I spotted in a newspaper about the 1924 movie Thief of Bagdad, which featured Wong:

The Mongol slave, a part that required emotional subtlety and balance, was played by Anna May Wong, a Chinese girl, educated in America. Her Chinese name is Lew Wong Song [sic], and means two yellow willows. When the picture was being filmed Miss Wong almost walked out on her job because an enthusiastic press agent misunderstood the translation of her name and published it as “two yelling widows.”

I saw several versions of this “two yelling widows” story, but never managed to track down the press agent’s original mis-translation.

Sources: