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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gail

Number of Babies Named Gail

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Gail

Which Baby Names Can Be Split in Two?

baby names split in two

In 1916, the London Globe mentioned twins named Jere and Miah:

There lived for many years in the village of Twerton, Bath, one named Miah. He was born a twin, and his parents thriftily divided the predestined name of Jeremiah between them, the other babe being christened Jere.

What other names could we divide into two usable mini-names like this?

Here are a few ideas to kick things off…

Abigail, Abi + Gail
Anastasia, Ana + Stasia
Calista, Cal + Ista
Drusilla, Dru + Silla
Elizabeth, Eliza + Beth
Mozelle, Mo + Zelle
Valentina, Valen + Tina
Alexander, Alex + Ander
Christopher, Chris + Topher
Denzel, Den + Zel
Donovan, Dono + Van
Joseph, Jo + Seph
Rexford, Rex + Ford
William, Wil + Liam

…what others can you think of?

Source: “Some Odd Christian Names.” Bee [Earlington, KY] 8 Dec. 1916: 8.

Name Quotes for the Weekend #24

quote gayle king

From an Us Weekly interview with Oprah BFF Gayle King:

I changed my name from Gail to Gayle in seventh grade because I liked to make a loopy Y.

From a STFU Parents post about Increasingly Yoonique Names:

I’m anticipating future pushback from readers who, over time, have come to accept and welcome names like ‘Brayden’ and ‘Kaidence’ into their lives. But until that fateful day arrives, I’m sticking to my belief that yoonique names are usually more effective at confusing teachers and government workers than they are at ensuring greatness and instilling confidence in kids.

From the book “A Herman Melville Encyclopedia” by Robert L. Gale:

Melville in a letter to Evert Duyckinck says that he and his wife will probably name their new-born son Stanwix because “this lad’s great grandfather spent his summers [at Fort Stanwix] in the Revolutionary War before Saratoga came into being–I mean Saratoga Springs & Pavilions” (7 November 1851).

(Melville’s baby boy did indeed end up with the name Stanwix. Stanwix’s great-grandfather was Peter Gansevoort, and his siblings were Malcolm, Elizabeth and Frances.)

From Anna Powell-Smith’s post on Baby names in England and Wales:

Celebrity names may also give an insight into public opinion: I enjoyed comparing trends for Jude and Sienna, especially what happens when Jude is exposed as a a CHEATING LOVE RAT in 2005 – the popularity of his name dips sharply, but hers continues to rise.

From a Waltzing More Than Matilda post about our (newly named) galactic supercluster, Laniakea:

The name Laniakea was suggested by Nawa’a Napoleon, associate professor of Hawaiian Language at Kapiolani Community College. The Hawaiian name can be translated in a number of ways, including “open skies”, “wide sky”, or “wide horizons”, but in this case it is understood as “immeasurable heavens”. The name was chosen to honour Polynesian navigators who studied the heavens in order to navigate the Pacific Ocean.

From Paul Schmidtberger’s City Room Blog post about misspelled baby names:

I have a major gripe with the trend of misspelling baby names. On purpose. The parents’ logic runs something like this: “My child is special and unique. Thus, my child deserves a special, uniquely spelled name.”


All across America, parents are mangling names in a misguided mission to trumpet their kid’s individuality. Take the wildly popular name Chase, which is actually not a name at all, but something a dog does to its tail. It was annoying to begin with, but now it gets worse as it slowly mutates from Chase to Chace, and on to Chayce.


Misspelling a child’s name won’t make Junior special, creative or unique. Y’s and I’s are not interchangeable, and apostrophes are not some sort of newfangled confetti to be sprinkled liberally throughout groups of letters. Parents shouldn’t impose cryptic, incoherent or foolish spellings on their own children, nor on society as a whole. And they shouldn’t condemn their children to a lifetime of bleakly repeating that, no, the name in question is spelled “Shaiyahne,” not “Cheyenne.” (And while I’m at it, don’t name your child Cheyenne, either.)

Want to see more name quotes?

California Couple with 20 Kids

In late 1966, Jim and Eldora Parnell of Bakersfield, California, welcomed their 20th child.

Here are the names of all twenty kids, plus their 1966-ages:

  • Robert, 26
  • James, 24
  • Edwina, 21
  • Marie (nn Baby Doll, “because we were sure she’d be our last one”), 19
  • Eddie, 18
  • Bill, 17
  • Charlotte, 16
  • Chris (female), 15
  • Elledie, 13
  • Patrick, 12
  • Wanetta, 11
  • Peggy, 9
  • Gail, 8
  • Donna, 7
  • Steve, 5
  • Logan, 4
  • Gil, 3
  • Daryl (twin), 18 months
  • Gerald (twin), 18 months
  • Teri Kay, newborn

Which girl name is your favorite? How about boy name?

Bonus: The article included name stories for Charlotte and Logan. Charlotte “was born in the family car during a visit to Los Angeles. The police officer delivering the baby was named Charley–so, Charlotte.” Logan “was named after Dr. Lloyd Q. Logan, who delivered eight of his older brothers and sisters. But when Logan was born, Dr. Logan was out of town and another doctor delivered him.”

Source: Hillinger, Charles. “Managing a Family of 20 Poses Big, Happy Problem.” Spokesman-Review 11 Dec. 1966: 7.

Barbara Gale – First Hurricane Baby Name?

hurricaneIn 1950, the United States Weather Bureau started naming Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms.

The initial names came from a radio alphabet that began Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox and George. Because the alphabet happened to include several human names, you could say the first Atlantic storms that were “named” were the Charlies and Georges of 1950-1952.

It wasn’t until three years later that the USWB starting using human names exclusively. In 1953, it replaced the phonetic alphabet with a list of female names. (Male names weren’t thrown into the mix until 1979.)

The first storm with a female name was Tropical Storm Alice, the first storm of the 1953 storm season. I couldn’t find any babies named after Alice, but I did find one named after the second storm, Hurricane Barbara.

Hurricane Barbara traveled up the Eastern seaboard in mid-August. It struck the Outer Banks (islands off the North Carolina coast) on August 13. That night, a baby girl born in New Bern, N.C., to Mr. and Mrs. N. E. Ward was named Barbara Gale.

There were six other named storms (Carol, Dolly, Edna, Florence, Gail and Hazel) that season, but I could only find a namesake for one of them — Florence.

Hurricane Florence struck the Florida panhandle on September 26. Earlier that day, a baby born in Crestview, Florida, to Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Holt was named Sandra Florence.

Since 1953, many more babies — hundreds, probably — have been named for Atlantic hurricanes. Hurricane-inspired baby names I’ve blogged about here include Hazel (1954), Alicia (1983), Elena (1985), Gloria (1985), Andrew (1992) and Isabel (2003).


  • “Child Aptly Named.” Los Angeles Times 16 Aug. 1953: 23.
  • “Hurricane Florence Has Tiny Namesake.” Hartford Courant 27 Sep. 1953: 24A.
  • Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names

Name Sighting – Romulus

I was flipping through the channels on a flight yesterday when I spotted a name I knew I’d have to blog about–Romulus.

The man who owns it is herpetologist and conservationist Romulus Whitaker. He doesn’t have a brother named Remus, but he does have sisters named Gail and Nina, a brother named Neelkanth, a wife named Zai and sons named Nikhil and Samir.

Update: Just spotted another Romulus–in a NYT article about actor Laura Linney. Her father is a playwright by the name of Romulus Linney.

One-Syllable Girl Names – Bree, Hope, Jill, Paige, Tess

Want a baby name that’s short & sweet? Here are over 100 one-syllable girl names:

Anne, Ann
Blair, Blaire
Blake, Blayke
Bree, Brie
Brooke, Brook
Brynn, Bryn, Brynne
Claire, Clare, Clair
Drew, Dru
Faith, Fayth
Faye, Fay, Fae
Gail, Gayle, Gale
Grace, Grayce
Jade, Jayde, Jaide
Jane, Jayne
Jean, Jeanne
Jen, Jenn
Joy, Joi, Joie
Kay, Kaye
Laine, Lane, Layne
Leigh, Lee
Lynn, Lynne, Lyn
Mae, May
Maude, Maud
Nelle, Nell
Neve, Niamh
Noor, Nour
Paige, Payge
Reece, Reese
Rayne, Rain, Raine
Sage, Saige
Shea, Shae, Shay
Skye, Sky
Sloane, Sloan
Star, Starr
True, Tru

See any you like?

P.S. Here are the most popular 1-syllable girl names of 2012, 2011 and 2010.