How popular is the baby name Gerald 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 Gerald.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gerald


Posts that Mention the Name Gerald

Name Quotes #100: Wendy, Kyle, Lou

It’s the 100th batch of name quotes! :)

Real Housewives of Potomac cast member Wendy Osefo told the story behind her name in an episode from late 2020:

For Wendy Osefo, being named after a popular fast food restaurant chain is a constant reminder of her family’s hard work and success. 

“My parents came to this country with nothing. My dad worked at a fast food restaurant and one day he found out that he was being promoted to manager,” Wendy recalled on The Real Housewives of Potomac‘s November 8 episode. “He was so happy that to thank this country for giving him the opportunity to be a manager, he named his second daughter after that restaurant: Wendy.”

She added, “I am literally the embodiment of the American dream.”

From an interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Kyle Trask at Rivals.com:

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask returns Saturday to his home state of Texas, where he will play on the field he was named after.

His parents both went to Texas A&M, so he grew up an Aggies fan.

[…]

His father, Micheal Trask, and mother, Melissa Charba, both attended the school in the late 1980’s. When they welcomed their second son on March 6, 1998, his first name came from A&M’s football stadium.

“My mom and dad were Aggies, so they named me after Kyle Field,” Trask revealed Monday. “My whole family is full of Aggies.”

From an interview with Lou Diamond Phillips at Cowboys & Indians:

The story of his own life began on the Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines, where he was born Louis Diamond Upchurch in 1962. His interesting name has an interesting back story: His father, Gerald, named him after U.S. Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Leland “Lou” Diamond (known as “Mr. Leatherneck,” he is considered one of the finest Marines of all time); after his dad died, Phillips took his stepfather, George’s last name.

(Phillips’ co-star in the movie La Bamba was Esai Morales.)

From a 2014 article about high school basketball player Terance Mann in the Boston Globe:

The inevitable question that the Tilton School’s 6-foot-5-inch, 190-pound shooting guard has heard countless times before: Are you named after that Terence Mann?

“Most people think it’s from the movie ‘Field of Dreams,'” which featured a character portrayed by actor James Earl Jones, explained the junior, who, when not attending the boarding school in New Hampshire, lives in Lowell with his mother, Daynia La-Force, and 15-year-old brother, Martin. “But my grandma’s name is Terancia, and they named me after her.”

From an article about musician Gurf Morlix in Buffalo News:

It’s a name that makes you wonder. Run into Gurf Morlix in album credits for Peter Case or in a concert review of Warren Zevon, and you imagine one of two things. Either he’s a refugee from some republic trying to secede from the Soviet Union, or else he’s hopelessly addicted to science fiction novels.

In truth, he’s an emigrant from one of Buffalo’s ostensibly normal suburbs — Hamburg — and, if anything, he looks a bit English as he talks over a plate of pasta fazool in his favorite hometown restaurant.

“A friend of mine changed it for me,” he responds in answer to the name question. “It was kind of a stupid thing. I dreamed this name when I was 13 years old and I told my friend about it and he said, ‘Well, I’ll never call you anything else.’ And then everybody did.”

From the essay “The Mountains with No Name” by Clint Augustson at the Katmai Terrane blog:

“What are the names of those mountains?” I ask Michael, bear biologist and de facto trailblazer, as I gesture at a sweeping wall of wild windswept cliffs.

“I don’t think they have names,” Michael answers, smiling when he sees my astonishment. “A lot of mountains in Katmai are unnamed.”

I was thunderstruck by the concept. These peaks are as magnificent as any in the lower 48, each with its own striking contours, but they had no known name attached to them. Throughout the park are mountains that may never have one. My first reaction was one of awe: here is a place so wild that massive features are untouched by the human predilection for labels. My second reaction carried a hint of melancholy: these remarkable forms felt strangely underappreciated, no title to lend them texture and personality.

[…]

As I sit on a ridgeline drenched with tiny pink alpine azaleas and a host of other curious forms of tundra life, I consider that it is perhaps better for some mountains to remain ever-nameless, at least officially. Names carry a tremendous amount of power. Cultures across the world affix the act of naming with spiritual weight. Consider Mount Solstice: one could just as easily name this mass Butterfly Hill, Stormclaw, or Timothy, and each would lend different shadings to how we interpret the location, each would shape how we consider it. Can a name really capture the essence of such a place? Do we pay more attention when we cannot neatly affix a place by a pin and conveniently categorize it?

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (N)

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

  • Nackato:
    • Frederick Nackato Dickens, born in 1875
    • Ruth Nackato Bowick, born in 1875
  • Neckar:
    • Petrine Jeanette Hugo Neckar Walls, born in 1887
  • Nemesis:
    • Nemesis Louise Catherine Dupont, born in 1877
  • Nestor:
    • Nestorina Misonsnile, born in 1889
  • Nestorian:
    • Mary Nestorian Cowan, born in 1890
  • Neva:
    • Alice Neva Landham, born in 1886
  • Nevada:
    • Elizabeth Nevada West, born in 1872
    • William Nevada Webster, born in 1873
    • Nevada Atlantic Larsen, born in 1878
    • Mary Nevada Berry, born in 1881
    • Victoria Nevada Johnson, born in 1881
    • Marie Nevada McPhie, born in 1884
    • Nevada Christensen, born in 1887
  • Neville:
    • Gerald Neville Hemsworth, born in 1869
  • Niagara:
    • Fanny Elizabeth Niagara Pickard, 1875
  • Nile:
    • Nilena Thompson, born in 1866
    • Michelina Nilina Derosty, born in 1877
  • Nineveh:
    • Amelia Tabitha Nineveh Johns Adams, born in 1877
    • Nineveh Sydney, born in 1879
  • Norfolk:
    • Lilian Norfolk Beeching, born in 1880
  • Noronha:
    • Alice Noronha Yealland, born in 1878
  • Norseman:
    • Emily Norseman Stepp, born in 1866
  • North:
    • Adelaide North Hossack, born in 1875
  • Northam:
    • John Northam Davies, born in 1876
  • Northampton:
    • James Northampton Maughan, born in 1880
    • Ethel Northampton Jeffrey, born in 1882
    • William Northampton Irvine, born in 1882
  • Northumberland:
    • James Northumberland Byrne, born in 1873
  • Nourmahal:
    • Ellen Nourmahal Morrison, born in 1874
  • Nova Scotian:
    • Charles Nova Scotian Kuseley, born in 1860
    • Sarah Nova Scotia Keating, born in 1858
  • Nubian:
    • Edith Nubian Benwell Wootten, born in 1882
    • Nubian Jane Fisher, born in 1882
  • Nugget:
    • William Nugget Morant, born in 1860
    • Frederick Nugget Hurricks, born in 1860
  • Nyanza:
    • James Fisher Nyanza Allt, born in 1873

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

Source: FamilySearch.org

Name Quotes #97: Netley, Cordelia, O’Shea

Anne Shirley quote

From the book Anne of Green Gables (1908) by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a conversation about names between characters Anne Shirley and Marilla Cuthbert:

“Well, don’t cry any more. We’re not going to turn you out-of-doors to-night. You’ll have to stay here until we investigate this affair. What’s your name?”

The child hesitated for a moment.

“Will you please call me Cordelia?” she said eagerly.

“Call you Cordelia? Is that your name?”

“No-o-o, it’s not exactly my name, but I would love to be called Cordelia. It’s such a perfectly elegant name.”

“I don’t know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia isn’t your name, what is?”

“Anne Shirley,” reluctantly faltered forth the owner of that name, “but, oh, please do call me Cordelia. It can’t matter much to you what you call me if I’m only going to be here a little while, can it? And Anne is such an unromantic name.”

“Unromantic fiddlesticks!” said the unsympathetic Marilla. “Anne is a real good plain sensible name. You’ve no need to be ashamed of it.”

“Oh, I’m not ashamed of it,” explained Anne, “only I like Cordelia better. I’ve always imagined that my name was Cordelia–at least, I always have of late years. When I was young I used to imagine it was Geraldine, but I like Cordelia better now. But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E.”

“What difference does it make how it’s spelled?” asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.

“Oh, it makes such a difference. It looks so much nicer. When you hear a name pronounced can’t you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful, but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished. If you’ll only call me Anne spelled with an E I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.”

From a Graham Norton Show episode [vid] that aired in January, 2016, in which comedian Kevin Hart talks about baby names following a discussion between Graham and Ice Cube about Cube’s birth name (O’Shea Jackson):

Lemme educate you on something. Black people are notorious for picking things that they saw one day and saying, “That’s my baby name.” That’s all that was. That’s all that was, Graham. It was nothing — there was no amazing story behind it. We’d love to tell you, yes, it actually came from a Irish forefather that did this…that’s not the case. His mother was reading the paper, and she was eating some cereal, and somebody in back said, “O’Shea!” She said, “That’d be a good name for the baby.” That’s it. That’s how it happened.

From a New York Times interview with Kate Winslet:

[Ms. Winslet] has a son, Bear, 7, with her current husband, who has gone back to his original name, Edward Abel Smith, from his playful pseudonym, Ned Rocknroll.

“He added ‘Winslet’ as one of his middle names, just simply because the children have Winslet,” the actress said. “When we’re all traveling together, to all have that name on the passports makes life easier.” (Bear’s middle name is Blaze, after the fire that Kate and Ned escaped that burned down the British Virgin Islands home of Richard Branson, her husband’s uncle.)

(The article also mentioned that a Delco sandwich shop now sells a hoagie called “The Mare” in honor of Kate’s Mare of Easttown character, Mare Sheehan.)

From a Vogue UK interview with Thandiwe Newton (whose first name means “beloved” in Zulu):

Meanwhile Thandiwe and her younger brother attended a Catholic primary school run by joyless nuns […] where the W of her name drifted inward, out of sight and earshot, in a futile hope to make her feel less different.

[…]

No longer is Newton afraid of the red carpet because of how much it reminded her of her invisibility, and she looks forward to a future where the illusion of race will no longer narrow who we are. […] All her future films will be credited with Thandiwe Newton, after the W was carelessly missed out from her first credit. Now she’s in control. Many lives lived and she’s come out triumphant, preserved in the magic of the mist and sun that made her, and wanted her to shine. “That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”

Speaking of reclaiming names…from an article about immigrants reclaiming anglicized names on PEI (the speaker is a man named Chijioke Amadi, originally from Nigeria):

“What I didn’t really know then was I was trying to fit in, because that’s what society made me think, that my name was so hard to pronounce.”

Ironically, he found that going by CJ made it harder to fit in with his own community.

“The fact that I never used my real name made my community start veering away from me, rather than coming towards me,” he said.

“It makes you second guess who you are, what you are.”

From a review of a book about famous English con man/writer Netley Lucas (born circa 1903, died 1940):

Anyone keen to make sense of the chaotic career of Netley Lucas could usefully begin by compiling a list of his aliases. I managed a dozen; there are doubtless more. They include the debt-bilking naval officer Gerald Chilfont; the travel agency-swindling Viscount Knebworth; that fabled Asian potentate the Emir of Kurdistan, in whose name Lucas reserved accommodation at the Savoy; the hotel-haunting Honourable Basil Vaughan; the celebrity biographer Evelyn Graham; and a certain Lady Angela Stanley who, proposing to write a life of Queen Alexandra based on her years as a lady-in-waiting, was discovered to be quite unknown to the royal household that had supposedly employed her.

(He also claimed that he was born aboard a yacht anchored near the village of Netley in Southhampton, and that this was the source of his first name.)

From an article about Mormon baby names by USU professor Jennifer Mansfield:

It seems as though members [of the LDS Church] in Utah feel so similar to everyone else that (consciously or unconsciously) they try to find other ways to express their individuality in ways that do not carry negative consequences. Names carry an especially heavy weight in the LDS Church (perhaps inspired to some extent by Helaman 5:6-7), so naming feels like a meaningful place to invest creativity without suffering the repercussions that come from being different in other ways.

That all being said, my strong impression is that very few Mormons deliberately use baby naming practices to rebel against the pressures of social conformity that come along with being part of a tight-knit religious subculture. No one I’ve spoken with seems to realize that their “unique” names are not unique at all, but instead are yet another characteristic they share with many of their Mormon neighbors.

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (I)

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

  • Iberia:
    • Iberian Sey, born in 1883
    • Iberia Sealby, born in 1885
    • Gerald Iberia Crisp, born in 1886
  • India:
    • Maria Annajata India Cocchiavano, born in 1882
  • Indus:
    • William Indus Laudeis, born in 1857
    • Esther Indus Graves, born in 1870
    • Henry William Indus Peacock, born in 1870
    • James Indus Stanley, born in 1870
    • Robert Indus Kalterns, born in 1871
    • Phoebe Indus Smith, born in 1871
    • Harry Indus Rolling, born in 1873
    • William Indus Key, born in 1874
  • Intrinsic:
    • Elizabeth Intrinsic Kidd, born in 1841
  • Invererne:
    • Fanny Invererne Harrison, born in 1874
    • Jane Campbell Invererne Hetherington, born in 1874
    • Invererne Wilkinson, born in 1875
    • Florence Invererne Boston, born in 1875
  • Inverness:
    • George Inverness Durrant, born in 1876
  • Ionic:
    • James Ionic Carter, born in 1883
    • Katie Ionica Selenia Lear, born in 1885
  • Iowa:
    • Iowa Chesworth, born in 1886
  • Islay:
    • Georgiana Islay Mathewson, born in 1876
  • Ismalia:
    • Lillian Ismalia Sherwood, born in 1875
  • Italia:
    • Frederica Hassenstein Italia Bertol, born in 1884
  • Italy:
    • Agnes Italy Newton, born in 1879
  • Ivanhoe:
    • Ethel Ivanhoe Matthews, born in 1886
    • Alfred George Ivanhoe Chisholm, born in 1890

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

Source: FamilySearch.org

What Would You Name the Catfish-Riding Boy?

little boy, large catfish, old photo, texas, 1940s

This might be my favorite photo on the entire internet.

The shot, which depicts a playful little Texas boy pretending to ride a dead catfish on someone’s front porch, was taken by photographer Neal Douglass in April of 1941.

The Portal to Texas History calls it “Mrs. Bill Wright; Boy Riding Catfish.” So I’m guessing that “Mrs. Bill Wright” was the boy’s mother. But there’s no other identifying information, so I don’t know the boy’s name, nor do I have any way of tracking it down.

So let’s turn this into a name game!

First, let’s suppose our little catfish-rider was not named “Bill” (or “William,” or “Willie,” etc.) after his father. With that rule in place, here are the questions:

  • What do you think Mrs. Bill Wright named her son?
  • What would you have named him?

Just for reference, popular names for Texas newborns in the late ’30s included:

Albert
Arthur
Carl/Charles
Clarence
Daniel
David
Don/Donald
Edward/Eddie
Ernest
Frank
Fred
Gary
Gene/Eugene
George
Gerald
Harold
Henry
Jack
James
Jerry
Jesse
Jesus
Jimmie/Jimmy
Joe/Joseph
John/Johnny
Jose
Juan
Kenneth
Larry
Louis
Manuel
Melvin
Paul
Raymond
Richard
Robert/Bobby
Ronald
Roy
Thomas/Tommy
Walter

For extra credit, what do you think the boy named his catfish? And, what would you have named his catfish? ;)

(If you like this game, here’s a similar one from years ago: What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?)