How popular is the baby name George 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 George.

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Popularity of the Baby Name George


Posts that Mention the Name George

Name Quotes 88: Booker, Beyoncé, Beatrice

From an interview with Beyoncé’s mother Tina Knowles-Lawson — the youngest of seven siblings — on the podcast In My Head:

A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name. My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which, at that time, was not a cool thing, to have that weird name.

[…]

But, all of us have a different spelling. I think me and my brother, Skip, were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E.

And, it’s interesting — and it shows you the times — because we asked my mother when I was grown, I was like, ‘Why is my brother’s name spelled B-E-Y-I-N-C-E?’

[…]

[M]y mom’s reply to me was like, ‘That’s what they put on your birth certificate.’

So I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?’

She said, ‘I did one time, the first time, and I was told: ‘Be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate.” Because, at one time, Black people didn’t get birth certificates. They didn’t even have a birth certificate. Because it meant that you really didn’t exist, you know, you weren’t important. It was that subliminal message.

And so I understood that that must have been horrible for her, not to even be able to have her children’s names spelled correctly.

So it was an odd name, it was a weird name, and they were like, ‘How dare you have a French name.’ Like, ‘We’re gonna screw this up real good for you.’ And that’s what they did. So we all have different spellings.

From an Express article that reveals the Queen’s preference for the name Beatrice over the name Annabel:

The names of royal babies are traditionally approved by the Queen. But the monarch is said to have rejected the Duke and Duchess of York’s choice of Annabel for their first child.

The Queen found Annabel too “yuppie”, The Sun reported, and instead suggested Beatrice.

The name Beatrice was royal enough for the head of state but unusual enough to please Sarah, according to the newspaper.

Two quotes from an article in which the author argues that distinctively black names in America emerged long before the civil rights movement:

[I]n the 1920 census, 99% of all men with the first name of Booker were black, as were 80% of all men named Perlie or its variations. We found that the fraction of blacks holding a distinctively black name in the early 1900s is comparable to the fraction holding a distinctively black name at the end of the 20th century, around 3%.

…and second:

[W]e found that names like Alonzo, Israel, Presley and Titus were popular both before and after emancipation among blacks. We also learned found that roughly 3% of black Americans had black names in the antebellum period – about the same percentage as did in the period after the Civil War.

But what was most striking is the trend over time during enslavement. We found that the share of black Americans with black names increased over the antebellum era while the share of white Americans with these same names declined, from more than 3% at the time of the American Revolution to less than 1% by 1860.

From an article in Time about middle names:

Middle names provide an opportunity for people to shift identities throughout their life: the author George Sand wrote that her mother, who had “three baptismal names,” used each of them at various points throughout her life. Pablo Picasso was baptized with a string of more than a dozen names and though, like many people with multiple names, he wasn’t known by all of them, he did test out different combinations: initially signing paintings as P. Ruiz, then trying P. Ruiz Picasso before sticking with Picasso.

From the 2004 book Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut:

Three essential parts made a human in the Inuit view: body, soul, and name. A nameless child was not fully human; giving it a name, whether before or after birth, made it whole. Inuit did not have family surnames. Instead, each person’s name linked him or her to a deceased relative or family friend.

[…]

Is this reincarnation? Elders point out that it is not, for it is not the soul, but rather the spiritual element that is the name — the name-soul — that joins the child, remaining with him and protecting him throughout his life.

(The word in the book’s title, uqalurait, refers to a type of snowdrift with a tip that resembles a tongue (uqaq). It’s a pun because the word for “tongue” in inuttitut (the Canadian dialect of inuktitut) is also the word for “language” — very fitting for a book of oral history.)

From a Bon Appetit article about a particular dijon mustard product:

I mostly love Rich Country because…it’s called Rich Country, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a pretty unnecessarily epic name for a condiment. It sounds like the next great Rick Ross album. Or a Keith Urban-themed Southern waterpark. Or a new bourbon endorsed by a retired pro-wrestler. But it’s not! It’s mustard. And it’s helped to clarify for me that I want my condiments to do more than simply enhance the taste of food I’m preparing—I want them to enhance my life, to spark joy every time I pull them out of the fridge. Indeed, every time I reach for my new favorite mustard, I can’t help but whisper the name aloud as if I were starring in a commercial for it—R-r-r-r-iiiiiiich Coooooountry—and laugh out loud while I’m making lunch. (This could be the quarantine brain talking, but still. It’s the little things, people.)

(Speaking of dijon mustard…)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

The Apex of Arlynne

arlynne, roller derby, baby name, news, sports, 1950s

The baby name Arlynne popped up a few times in the SSA data in the ’30s and ’40s before seeing its highest-ever usage in 1951:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 15 baby girls named Arlynne [peak]
    • 5 in New York specifically
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

What caused this isolated popularity spike?

Arlynne Buchmann, a 19-year-old New Jersey roller skater who was voted Roller Derby Beauty Queen of 1950. At least two different photos of her ran in various newspapers in from mid-1950 to mid-1951.

A former model, Arlynne had only been skating for only 14 months in the fledgling National Roller Derby League (NRDL) before being voted “Queen” by fans. At that time, the league consisted of six teams. Arlynne’s was the Jersey Jolters.

In fact, the early 1950s was when Roller Derby itself was at peak popularity. The sport, which had been around since the 1930s, began to be televised locally in New York City in 1948 — back when TV sets could only be found in bars and storefronts. This coverage was enough to kick off a national craze.

For instance, Roller Derby fans included well-known celebrities like Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, Cesar Romero, Sonja Henie, Eddie Cantor, Marilyn Maxwell, Eleanor Powell, George Raft, Jack Benny, W. C. Fields, Cary Grant, George Burns, and Gracie Allen. Many were photographed either at games or socializing with Derby athletes.

Also notable is the fact that a multi-day “Roller Derby World Series” was held annually at Madison Square Garden starting in 1949. Here’s some video footage of the very first one.

By the mid-1950s, the public had grown tired of the sport due to TV overexposure (ironically). Though Roller Derby continues to this day, it has never again achieved the level of popularity that it had for a handful of years in the middle of the 20th century.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Arlynne? Would you use it?

Sources:

Popular Baby Names in England and Wales, 2019

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most popular baby names in England and Wales last year were, yet again, Olivia and Oliver.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 4,082 baby girls
  2. Amelia, 3,712
  3. Isla, 2,981
  4. Ava, 2,946
  5. Mia, 2,500
  6. Isabella, 2,398
  7. Sophia, 2,332
  8. Grace, 2,330
  9. Lily, 2,285
  10. Freya, 2,264

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 4,932 baby boys
  2. George, 4,575
  3. Noah, 4,265
  4. Arthur, 4,211
  5. Harry, 3,823
  6. Leo, 3,637
  7. Muhammad, 3,604
  8. Jack, 3,381
  9. Charlie, 3,355
  10. Oscar, 3,334

In the girls’ top 10, Lily and Freya replace Emily and Ella. The boys’ top ten includes the same ten names as in 2018.

In the girls’ top 100, Lara and Mabel replace Aisha and Francesca. In the boys’ top 100, Alfred, Chester, Hudson, Ibrahim and Oakley replace Alex, Dexter, Dominic, Kai, Sonny and Tobias.

The fastest risers within the top 100 were Hallie (on the girls’ list) and Tommy (on the boys’).

Several names that saw increased usage due to pop culture were…

  • The girl name Dua, now at an all-time high thanks to English pop singer Dua Lipa, whose parents were Kosovar refugees.*
  • The boy name Kylo, thanks to the Star Wars sequel trilogy. (Kylo debuted in 2015, the year the first film was released.)
  • The boy name Taron, likely due to actor Taron Egerton, featured in the 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman.

Here are the top ten lists for England and Wales separately, if you’d like to compare the regions…

England’s top ten…Wales’s top ten…
Girl NamesOlivia, Amelia, Isla, Ava, Mia, Isabella, Grace, Sophia, Lily, EmilyOlivia, Amelia, Isla, Ava, Freya, Willow, Mia, Ella, Rosie, Elsie
Boy NamesOliver, George, Arthur, Noah, Harry, Muhammad, Leo, Jack, Oscar, CharlieOliver, Noah, Charlie, Jacob, Theo, George, Leo, Arthur, Oscar, Alfie

Finally, here are some of the rare baby names from the other end of the rankings. Each one was given to exactly 3 babies in England and Wales last year.

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Aiste, Bella-Blue, Cosmina, Dolcieanna, Elliw, Floella, Gurveen, Harerta, Iffah, Jainaba, Kalsoom, Lussy, Mallie, Nellie-Beau, Otterly, Primavera, Reevie, Saffanah, Tuppence, Venba, Winter-Lily, Yidis, ZeemalAuburn, Boycie, Cybi, Dawsey, Eason, Folarin, Glyndwr, Hadrian, Isaa, Johnjo, Kaniel, Lazo, Madani, Now, Olgierd, Pijus, Rakai, Smit, Taqi, Veselin, Wilby, Yilmaz, Zarel

Cybi, pronounced “kubby,” is the (Welsh) name of a 6th-century Cornish saint.

Sources: Baby names in England and Wales: 2019, Baby names for boys in England and Wales (dataset), Baby names for girls in England and Wales (dataset)

*Kosovar refugees are also mentioned in the posts on Amerikan and Tonibler.

Baby Name Predictions – Bryant, Breonna, Doja

Here are some names that might see a surge in usage in 2020, thanks to popular culture…

Kobe & Bryant

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in January. (His daughter Gianna died in the accident as well.)

Doja & Amala

Singer Doja Cat (real name: Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini), whose 2018 debut album was entitled Amala, has become increasingly popular.

Isaias

Hurricane Isaias — after weakening to a tropical storm — caused damaged along East Coast of the U.S. in late July and early August.

Ahmaud, Breonna, George, Rayshard

…or the name of any other unarmed black American who was shot and killed by a police officer this year (or late last year).

  • Ahmaud Arbery (February)
  • Breonna Taylor (March)
  • George Floyd (May)
  • Rayshard Brooks (June)

Based on what we’ve seen this year so far, what other names would you add to the list?

Popular Baby Names in Gibraltar, 2018 & 2019

rock of Gibraltar

I recently discovered that Gibraltar, a 2.6-square mile British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of Spain, has its own baby name rankings!

According to the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the most popular baby names in Gibraltar in 2018 were Emma and James and in 2019 were Olivia and Ethan.

Here are all the names given to 3 or more babies in 2018 (during which a total of 402 babies were born):

Girl Names, 2018

  1. Emma, 5 baby girls
  2. Mia, 4
  3. Sophia, 4
  4. Aria, 3
  5. Ava, 3

Boy Names, 2018

  1. James, 6 baby boys
  2. Alexander, 5 (tie)
  3. Ethan, 5 (tie)
  4. Leo, 5 (tie)
  5. Logan, 5 (tie)
  6. Jack, 4 (five-way tie)
  7. Lucas, 4 (five-way tie)
  8. Michael, 4 (five-way tie)
  9. Noah, 4 (five-way tie)
  10. Ryan, 4 (five-way tie)
  11. Evan, 3 (six-way tie)
  12. Jamie, 3 (six-way tie)
  13. Jesse, 3 (six-way tie)
  14. Leon, 3 (six-way tie)
  15. Theo, 3 (six-way tie)
  16. Tiago, 3 (six-way tie)

(If you want to compare these to the equivalent rankings for England and Wales, there’s the link.)

The unique names bestowed just once in Gibraltar in 2018 include…

  • Girl names: Ainara, Daura, Diae, Nuria, Rharmaini
  • Boy names: Amitai, Cayetano, Mordechai, Shams, Tzion

And here are all the names given to 3 or more babies in 2019 (during which a total of 423 babies were born):

Girl Names, 2019

  1. Olivia, 9 baby girls
  2. Lucia, 6
  3. Robyn, 4 (tie)
  4. Sofia, 4 (tie)
  5. Ava, 3 (four-way tie)
  6. Celine, 3 (four-way tie)
  7. Lily, 3 (four-way tie)
  8. Maya, 3 (four-way tie)

Boy Names, 2019

  1. Ethan, 6 baby boys
  2. Jamie, 5 (tie)
  3. Thomas, 5 (tie)
  4. Jack, 4 (three-way tie)
  5. Leo, 4 (three-way tie)
  6. Oliver, 4 (three-way tie)
  7. Dylan, 3 (eight-way tie)
  8. George, 3 (eight-way tie)
  9. Jacob, 3 (eight-way tie)
  10. James, 3 (eight-way tie)
  11. Jayden, 3 (eight-way tie)
  12. Kian, 3 (eight-way tie)
  13. Theo, 3 (eight-way tie)
  14. Tyler, 3 (eight-way tie)

The unique names bestowed just once in 2019 include…

  • Girl names: Ilythia, Lamis, Mirtel, Sirine, Tais
  • Boy names: Brath, Dimitar, Haron, Levin-Lee, Theon

And I did find one more interesting thing: In May of 2017, local newspaper Panorama conducted a survey to determine “the most popular names among boys and girls aged 12” — so, kids born in or around the year 2005 — and came up with…

  1. Emma, 27 girls
  2. Amy, 22
  3. Arianne, 17
  1. Julian, 25 boys
  2. Liam, 19 (tie)
  3. Ryan, 19 (tie)

Sources: Gibraltar’s most popular baby names of 2018 revealed, Ethan and Olivia; Gibraltar’s most popular baby names of 2019, Gibraltar – Wikipedia, What are the most popular children’s names on the Rock?