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

Popular Baby Names in ACT (Canberra), 2020

According to Access Canberra, the most popular baby names in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 2020 were Charlotte and Henry.

Here are the ACT’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Charlotte
  2. Amelia
  3. Matilda
  4. Isla
  5. Emily
  6. Chloe [tie]
  7. Evelyn [tie]
  8. Zoe
  9. Eleanor [3-way tie]
  10. Grace [3-way tie]
  11. Olivia [3-way tie]

Boy Names

  1. Henry
  2. Noah
  3. William
  4. Leo
  5. Charlie [tie]
  6. Oliver [tie]
  7. Theodore
  8. George [tie]
  9. Jack [tie]
  10. Alexander [4-way tie]
  11. Harvey [4-way tie]
  12. James [4-way tie]
  13. Thomas [4-way tie]

These 2020 rankings are based on provisional data covering the year up to December 7th; by that time, the ACT had 5,865 registered births.

In 2019, the top two names were Amelia and Oliver. (I didn’t blog about the 2019 rankings, but I did post the 2018 rankings.)

Sources: ACT’s most popular baby names 2020, Pick the ACT’s most popular baby names for 2020, Most popular baby names by year

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (A)

Back when sea voyages were the only way to reach distant lands, many babies ended up being born aboard ships. And many of these ship-born babies were given names that reflected the circumstances of their birth. A good portion of them, for instance, were named after the ships upon which they were born.

I’ve gathered hundreds of these ship-inspired baby names over the years, and I think it’s finally time to post what I’ve found. So here’s the first installment…

  • Abergeldie:
    • Emma Abergeldie Walsh, born in 1884
  • Abernyte:
    • Eva Abernyte Congdon, born in 1875
  • Abington:
    • Herbert Bealie Abington Tait, born in 1884
  • Abyssinia:
    • Abyssinia Louise Juhansen, born in 1870
    • Abyssinia Elfkin, born in 1872
    • Louise Abyssinia Bellanger, born in 1874
  • Achilles:
    • John Achilles Denchey, born in 1871
  • Actoea:
    • U. Actoea Jones, born in 1868
  • Adriatic:
    • John Adriatic Gateley Collins, born in 1879
    • Adriatic O’Loghlin Gould, born in 1880
    • Agnes Adriatic Cook, born in 1880
  • Agamemnon:
    • Frederick Agamemnon Dingly, born in 1876
  • Alaska:
    • Mary Alaska Magee, born in 1884
  • Alcester:
    • Gertrude Alcester Dart, born in 1884
  • Alcinous:
    • Mary Duncan Alcinosa Greenwood, born in 1887
  • Aldergrove:
    • Aldergrove Andrew Fullarton Feathers, born in 1875
    • Ethel Aldergrove Winning, born in 1883
  • Aleppo:
    • Rosalia Aleppo Rosenthal, born in 1866
    • Aleppo Atalanta Boardsen, born in 1883
  • Alexandrina:
    • Caroline Alexandrina Phillips, born in 1873
    • Mary Alexandrina Hedges, born in 1874
    • Alexandrina Horsnell, born in 1874
  • Algeria:
    • Louis Algeria Noizet, born in 1872
  • Aliquin:
    • Edward Aliquin Poley, born in 1860
  • Allanshaw:
    • Joseph Allanshaw Moss, born in 1883
    • Frederick Allanshaw Shields, born in 1883
  • Almora:
    • Almora May Leech, born in 1856
    • Emily Almora Hamper, born in 1883
    • Joseph Henry Almora Alford, born in 1883
    • Mary Almora Clothier, born in 1887
    • Almora Merten, born in 1887
  • Alnwick Castle:
    • William Alnwick Bull, born in 1861
  • Alpheta:
    • Mary Alpheta Stone, born in 1877
  • Alsatia:
    • Alsatia Campbell Carnalian, born in 1877
  • Altmore:
    • Eliza Altmore Harris, born in 1883
  • Alumbagh:
    • Alumbagh Eleanor Bright, born in 1868
    • Sarah Louise Alumbagh Hancock, born in 1868
  • Alvington:
    • Alvington Oak Silvester, born in 1879
  • Amoor:
    • William Amoor Walker, born in 1864
  • Anchoria:
    • Anchoria Adelaide Williams, born in 1890
  • Angerona:
    • Mary Angerona Harwood, born in 1875
  • Anglesey:
    • Clara Anglesey Oakley, born in 1859
    • Emma Jane Anglesey Conbrough, born in 1874
  • Anglia:
    • James Craig Anglia Watt, born in 1871
    • Emma Anglia Hewitt, born in 1873
    • Margaret Anglia Smith Mulholland, born in 1874
  • Anglo Saxon:
    • Mary Saxon Copeland, born in 1860
  • Antiope:
    • Lilias Antiope Carrick, born in 1884
  • Aorangi:
    • Arthur Aorangi Burrow, born in 1884
    • Aorangi Millar, born in 1885
    • Ellen Corbet Aorangi Browne, born in 1891
  • Arabic:
    • Isabella Arabic East, born in 1887
  • Arcadia:
    • Arcadia Herbert, born in 1877
  • Archer:
    • Archer Grainger Bryans, born in 1883
    • Beatrice Archer Shambers, born in 1885
  • Argo:
    • Sigri Argo Larsen, born in 1877
  • Arica:
    • Aricania Pereg, born in 1883
  • Arizona:
    • Helen Arizona Erickson, born in 1881
    • Sarah Arizona Duggan, born in 1881
    • Ole Arizona Melting, born in 1881
    • Agnes Arizona Kane, born in 1884
    • Elenor Arizona Poulteny, born in 1884
    • Elizabeth Arizona Harvey, born in 1887
    • Marie Arizona Malm, born in 1887
  • Arundel Castle:
    • Arundal Sheal Davis, born in 1870
    • Leopold Arundel Hofmeyer, born in 1876
    • George Arundel Baylis, born in 1876
    • Charles Arundel Holden, born in 1876
  • Arvonia:
    • Herbert John Arvon Hughes, born in 1881
  • Ashmore:
    • James Alfred George Henry Ashmore Curtis, born in 1882
  • Astria:
    • Jessie Astria Santon, born in 1875
  • Atalanta:
    • Anne Atalanta McCormack, born in 1861
  • Atlanta:
    • Elizabeth Atlanta Harrington, born in 1871
    • Elizabeth Atlanta Earp, born in 1871
  • Auckland:
    • Jane Auckland Peacock, born in 1872
  • Australia:
    • Australia Dominica Scioli, born in 1880
  • Avalanche:
    • Avalanche Isaac Hughes, born in 1874
    • Gabrielle Stella Avalanche Newson, born in 1876
  • Avoca:
    • Margaret Avoca Randall, born in 1878
  • Avonmore:
    • Gwendoline Avonmore Corfield, born in 1876

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

Source: FamilySearch.org

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2020

Happy birthday, Elvis!

It’s hard to put into words just how bizarre 2020 was.

Despite this…people still had babies in 2020, and people still paid attention to pop culture in 2020. (In fact, thanks to quarantine, many people probably paid a lot more attention to pop culture than usual last year.) So, let’s put the seriousness of 2020 aside for a second and kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Of course, “pop culture” includes not just things like movies and music and social media, but also anything that was in the news — including COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the U.S. presidential election.

Which baby names will see higher usage — or appear for the very first time — in the 2020 SSA baby name data thanks to pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas (plus some context):

  • Aalam, DJ Khaled’s baby
  • Ahmaud, shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
  • Amala, Doja Cat album
  • Azula, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (made available on Netflix in mid-2020)
  • Breonna, shooting of Breonna Taylor
  • Bryant, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Casme, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Catori, Chris Brown’s baby (suggested by alex)
  • Chadwick, death of Chadwick Boseman
  • Charli, singer Charli XCX
  • Corona, coronavirus
    • Not to mention the brand new Daddy Yankee song “Corona” [vid]…
  • Crozier, naval captain Brett Crozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Daisy, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s baby
  • Desz, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Doja, singer Doja Cat
  • Domhnall, Irish actor on (canceled) HBO series Run
  • Dua, singer Dua Lipa
  • Esty, character on the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox
  • George, killing of George Floyd
  • Gianna, death of Gianna Bryant
  • Greta, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg
  • Isaias, hurricane
  • Jack, death of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s unborn baby
  • Kamala, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
  • Kamiyah, character in the Lifetime movie Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story*
  • Kaori, Kevin Hart’s baby
  • Katara, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Kobe, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Kraken, NHL expansion team (Seattle)
  • Larriah, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Laura, hurricane
  • Lenin, Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez (suggested by elbowin)
  • Liberty, Meghan McCain’s baby
  • Lovella, singer Matt Bellamy’s baby
  • Lynika, death of Lynika Strozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Lyra, Ed Sheeran’s baby
  • McGivney, beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney
  • Neowise, comet (suggested by elbowin)
  • Onyx, Iggy Azalea’s baby
  • Raddix, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s baby
  • Rayshard, shooting of Rayshard Brooks
  • River, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara’s baby
  • Robinette, President-elect Joseph Robinette Biden (suggested by elbowin)
  • Rona, coronavirus
  • Rue, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert’s baby
  • Rumble, model Lucky Blue Smith’s baby
  • Ruth, death of RBG
  • Sovereign, Usher’s baby
  • Tchalla, death of Chadwick Boseman (who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther)
  • Wenliang, Chinese doctor Li Wenliang (suggested by elbowin)
  • Willa, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s baby
  • Win, Ciara and Russell Wilson’s baby
  • Yara, actress Yara Shahidi
  • Zuko, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (here’s one Zuko from 2020)

Some of the names from the 2019 game could be applicable to the 2020 data as well.

Also, feel free to zoom out and consider name trends this year. Here are a few ways in which baby-naming may have been influenced by our collective experience of COVID-19, for instance:

  • “In my opinion this unprecedented situation will affect naming towards something “bolder” or “more badass” baby names and so you’ll probably see a spike of certain names like King, Major or Royal.” (Gheba)
  • “I’d bet on the rise of virtue names, or at least modern version of virtue names, like Brave/Bravery, Courage, Honor, etc. And I’d say names like Legend, Messiah, Legacy, Major, King, will probably rise some more too.” (Skizzo)
  • “I think it will also affect which media influence names this year. Eg we’ll miss out on names inspired by Olympic athletes, but might see even more from Netflix and YouTube.” (Clare)

What other names (or name trends) should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Just remember to make a note of the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the results as soon as I can after the SSA releases the 2020 data (in May of 2021, hopefully).

*Did you know that the actress who played Kamiyah in that Lifetime movie is named Rayven Symone Ferrell? Certainly a nod to Raven-Symoné

The Arrival of Ryder

ryder, baby name, movie, 1960s
Ryder Smith

The baby name Ryder became trendy in the early 21st century, thanks in large part to actress Kate Hudson naming her son Ryder in early 2004.

But Ryder wasn’t new to the data at that point. It first showed up in the early 1960s:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: 7 baby boys named Ryder
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 6 baby boys named Ryder [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted

The source? Looks to be Where the Boys Are, which was actually three things: a bestselling novel published in early 1960, a successful movie released in late 1960, and the movie’s title track, which peaked at #4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in early 1961.

The book focused on a group of four co-eds — Merritt, Tuggle, Melanie, and Angie — from a Midwestern college. For spring break, they decided to escape winter and head to the sunny beaches of Ft. Lauderdale. Because that’s where the boys were, of course. And the “boy” that main character Merritt eventually fell for was an Ivy Leaguer named Ryder Smith.

The book was a comedy, but also included realistic depictions of the behaviors and attitudes of teenagers in the early ’60s. The Saturday Review called it “[b]oth good comedy and first-rate social anthropology.”

The author, Glendon Swarthout, was an English professor at Michigan State University. In the late 1950s, when he was in his early 40s, he learned about the tradition of going to Fort Lauderdale for spring break (which had begun with collegiate swimmers in the 1930s). He tagged along with his students one year, and soon after wrote a book inspired by the experience.

The movie Where the Boys Are, which was a watered-down version of the book, was out by late December. It featured a cast of relatively unknown actors. The most famous face in the film was that of singer Connie Francis, who played Angie (and also sang the title track).

Merritt was played by Dolores Hart, and the character clearly had an influence on the usage of Merritt as a girl name:

  • 1963: 12 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1962: 13 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1961: 17 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

Merritt’s love interest, Ryder, was played by “a young, preternaturally tan George Hamilton.” Her friend Melanie was played by Yvette Mimieux, who’d appeared on the big screen as Weena earlier the same year.

Thanks to the book and (especially) the movie, spring break grew from a minor phenomenon into the “cultural rite of passage” that it is today. The number of American college students flooding into Fort Lauderdale every spring swelled from about 15,000 before the book came out to about 370,000 by the mid-1980s.

The trendiness of Fort Lauderdale as a spring break destination peaked in the ’80s, but the trendiness of Ryder (as a boy name) didn’t peak until the mid-2010s:

  • 2018: 3,000 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 131st]
  • 2017: 3256 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 122nd]
  • 2016: 3,883 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 102nd]
  • 2015: 4,154 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 98th]
  • 2014: 4,103 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 95th]
  • 2013: 3,785 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 103rd]
  • 2012: 3,814 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 100th]
  • 2011: 3,706 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 108th]

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

Sources: How an MSU Professor Helped Popularize Spring Break into a National Rite of Passage, Where the Boys Are (1960) – Emanuel Levy, Spring Break – Time

Baby Named for the Georgic

In 1933, during the second week of May, the ocean liner Georgic traveled west across the Atlantic from Ireland to the United States.

One day into the trip, a pregnant passenger named Alice Nolan welcomed a son — the first baby ever born aboard the Georgic (which had been launched earlier in the 1930s).

The baby’s name? George, in honor of the ship.

Sources:

  • “Baby, Born at Sea, Georgic Attraction.” Boston Globe 15 May 1933: 2.
  • “Baby Born on Liner Georgic.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch 15 May 1933: 9.