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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Geraldine

Number of Babies Named Geraldine

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Geraldine

Most Common Names of D.C. Voters, by Party

capitol building DC

A couple of weeks ago, reader Becca sent me a link to a Washington Post graphic showing the 10 most common names of registered voters within each of Washington D.C.’s four main political parties — Statehood Green, Democratic, Republican and Libertarian.

Here’s the info from the graphic:

Statehood Green Democratic Republican Libertarian
1. Jon
2. Jesse
3. Barry
4. Darnell
5. Ian
6. Juan
7. Jordan
8. Jerry
9. Corey
10. Tyrone
1. Lillie
2. Laverne
3. Ella
4. Bernice
5. Mildred
6. Peggy
7. Betty
8. Ethel
9. Toni
10. Geraldine
1. Tyler
2. Bradley
3. Kelsey
4. Lindsey
5. Kristina
6. Meredith
7. Caroline
8. Kyle
9. Kelly
10. Taylor
1. Jared
2. Jon
3. Brendan
4. Derek
5. Joy
6. Kyle
7. Brooke
8. Julian
9. Nicholas
10. Chelsea

The graphic didn’t mention the disparity between the sizes of these groups, though, so let’s throw that in too. The lists were based on data from mid-June, 2015, so here are the D.C. voter registration statistics from June 30th:

  • Statehood Green: 3,820 registered voters (0.82% of all registered voters in D.C.)
  • Democrats: 350,684 (75.58%)
  • Republicans: 28,560 (6.16%)
  • Libertarians: 779 (0.17%)

The Democrats outnumber the Libertarians by more than 450 to 1, in other words.

Here are the lists individually. After each name is the gender it’s most closely associated with and the year of peak usage as a baby name (in terms of percentage of births) since 1900.

Statehood Green (0.82% of registered voters):

  1. Jon, male, peak usage in 1968
  2. Jesse, male, 1981
  3. Barry, male, 1962
  4. Darnell, male, 1984
  5. Ian, male, 2003
  6. Juan, male, 1999
  7. Jordan, male, 1997
  8. Jerry, male, 1941
  9. Corey, male, 1977
  10. Tyrone, male, 1970

The top Statehood Green names are 100% male, and most saw peak usage during the last four decades of the 20th century.

Democrat (75.58% of registered voters):

  1. Lillie, female, peak usage in 1900
  2. Laverne, female, 1928
  3. Ella, female, 2012
  4. Bernice, female, 1921
  5. Mildred, female, 1920
  6. Peggy, female, 1937
  7. Betty, female, 1934
  8. Ethel, female, 1900
  9. Toni, female, 1968
  10. Geraldine, female, 1931

The top Democrat names are 100% female, and most saw peak usage in the first half of the 20th century, especially the ’20s and ’30s.

Republican (6.16% of registered voters):

  1. Tyler, male, peak usage in 1994
  2. Bradley, male, 1979
  3. Kelsey, female, 1992
  4. Lindsey, female, 1984
  5. Kristina, female, 1985
  6. Meredith, female, 1981
  7. Caroline, female, 2014
  8. Kyle, male, 1990
  9. Kelly, female, 1977
  10. Taylor, female, 1996

The top Republican names are 70% female and 30% male, and most saw peak usage during the last three decades of the 20th century, especially the ’90s.

Libertarian (0.17% of registered voters):

  1. Jared, male, peak usage in 1998
  2. Jon, male, 1968
  3. Brendan, male, 1999
  4. Derek, male, 1982
  5. Joy, female, 1974
  6. Kyle, male, 1990
  7. Brooke, female, 2003
  8. Julian, male, 2014
  9. Nicholas, male, 1999
  10. Chelsea, female, 1992

The top Libertarian names are 70% male and 30% female, and most saw peak usage during the last few decades of the 20th century, especially the ’90s.

*

It was interesting to see just how feminine and old-fashioned the top Democrat names are. But the thing that most surprised was that the Green party’s list included zero female names. I would have guessed that, if any list here was going to be 100% male, it’d be the Libertarian party — definitely not the Green party.

What are your thoughts on these lists?

Sources: Identity Politics, Washington Post, December 2015; Voter Registration Statistics – DC Board of Elections; Popular Baby Names – SSA
Image: NPS

P.S. Thank you, Becca!


Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2013

Which girl names increased/decreased the most in popularity from 2012 to 2013?

Below are two versions of each list. My version looks at raw number differences and takes all 19,114 girl names on the 2013 list into account. The SSA’s version looks at ranking differences and covers roughly the top 1,000 girl names.

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Sadie, +2,031 babies (2,583 to 4,614)
  2. Aria, +1,862 (3,223 to 5,085)
  3. Charlotte, +1,773 (7,459 to 9,232)
  4. Penelope, +1,732 (2,526 to 4,258)
  5. Sofia, +1,300 (7,808 to 9,108)
  6. Mia, +1088 (11,978 to 13,066)
  7. Harper, +1046 (7,176 to 8,222)
  8. Mila, +1027 (2,634 to 3,661)
  9. Olivia, +1003 (17,253 to 18,256)
  10. Scarlett, +994 (4,037 to 5,031)
  11. Kendra, +913 (800 to 1,713)
  12. Avery, +818 (8,303 to 9,121)
  13. Ariana, +816 (3,568 to 4,384)
  14. Evelyn, +751 (6,865 to 7,616)
  15. Amelia, +746 (7,233 to 7,979)
  16. Jaylah, +683 (676 to 1,359)
  17. Nicole, +679 (2,646 to 3,325)
  18. Paisley, +671 (2,913 to 3,584)
  19. Valentina, +642 (1,900 to 2,542)
  20. Violet, +629 (3,266 to 3,895)
  21. Eleanor, +618 (2,368 to 2,986)
  22. Nora, +600 (2,882 to 3,482)
  23. Kennedy, +555 (3,377 to 3,932)
  24. Caroline, +547 (3,408 to 3,955)
  25. Alexia, +530 (1,283 to 1,813)
  1. Daleyza, +3,130 spots (3,715th to 585th)
  2. Marjorie, +735 (1,645th to 910th)
  3. Lennon, +700 (1,623rd to 923rd)
  4. Jurnee, +571 (1,467th to 896th)
  5. Everleigh, +538 (1,403rd to 865th)
  6. Everly, +524 (907th to 383rd)
  7. Henley, +478 (1,309th to 831st)
  8. Freya, +395 (1,303rd to 908th)
  9. Neriah, +392 (1,346th to 954th)
  10. Oakley, +340 (1,268th to 928th)
  11. Mabel, +338 (1,045th to 707th)
  12. Hadlee, +326 (1,215th to 889th)
  13. Gwyneth, +297 (1,183rd to 886th)
  14. Emerie, +294 (1,234th to 940th)
  15. Dallas, +292 (902nd to 610th)
  16. Saige, +282 (931st to 649th)
  17. Azalea, +269 (900th to 631st)
  18. Hunter, +266 (1,196th to 930th)
  19. Kaidence, +266 (1,245th to 979th)
  20. India, +240 (1,212th to 972nd)
  21. Rosie, +235 (1,118th to 883rd)
  22. Juniper, +227 (875th to 648th)
  23. Jaylah, +226 (460th to 234th)
  24. Saylor, +217 (1,123rd to 906th)
  25. Kora, +216 (974th to 758th)

Check out Sadie! I wasn’t expecting to see that name here. Unlike Penelope, which I was expecting to see here.

Harper, Aria, Charlotte — still going strong. And Paisley’s back, though the rise has slowed: 3rd in 2012, 18th in 2013.

Does anyone have a theory on Jaylah?

(The SSA broadened the scope of their analysis this year — top 500 to top 1,000 — which is great, but it makes direct comparisons between this year’s list and last year’s impossible.)

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Isabella, -1,536 babies (19,026 to 17,490)
  2. Sophia, -1,170 (22,245 to 21,075)
  3. Lily, -998 (7,933 to 6,935)
  4. Chloe, -914 (9,628 to 8,714)
  5. Hailey, -903 (5,897 to 4,994)
  6. Alyssa, -900 (5,069 to 4,169)
  7. Sophie, -851 (4,561 to 3,710)
  8. Madison, -831 (11,360 to 10,529)
  9. Ella, -794 (9,164 to 8,370)
  10. Ashley, -776 (4,689 to 3,913)
  11. Brianna, -748 (4,617 to 3,869)
  12. Taylor, -739 (4,847 to 4,108)
  13. Khloe, -645 (4,299 to 3,654)
  14. Nevaeh, -629 (5,345 to 4,716)
  15. Alexis, -591 (5,332 to 4,741)
  16. Emily, -562 (13,606 to 13,044)
  17. Sarah, -523 (5,158 to 4,635)
  18. Kaylee, -521 (5,600 to 5,079)
  19. Kayla, -512 (3,748 to 3,236)
  20. Zoe, -501 (6,421 to 5,920)
  21. Makayla, -498 (3,756 to 3,258)
  22. Addison, -482 (8,159 to 7,677)
  23. Vanessa, -463 (2,548 to 2,085)
  24. Samantha, -454 (6,907 to 6,453)
  25. Natalie, -450 (7,880 to 7,430)
  1. Litzy, -825 spots (597th to 1422nd)
  2. Geraldine, -412 (990th to 1,402nd)
  3. Marisa, -389 (978th to 1,367th)
  4. Taraji, -382 (859th to 1,241st)
  5. Adley, -370 (735th to 1,105th)
  6. Jazzlyn, -343 (955th to 1,298th)
  7. Maritza, -304 (840th to 1,144th)
  8. Izabelle, -299 (984th to 1,283rd)
  9. Jaqueline, -246 (905th to 1,151st)
  10. Abbie, -226 (791st to 1,017th)
  11. Kenia, -221 (643rd to 864th)
  12. Larissa, -219 (857th to 1076th)
  13. Perla, -216 (452nd to 668th)
  14. Haylie, -213 (894th to 1,107th)
  15. Kendal, -208 (851st to 1,059th)
  16. Ryann, -204 (790th to 994th)
  17. Jayde, -201 (784th to 985th)
  18. Carissa, -199 (958th to 1,157th)
  19. Jessa, -197 (991st to 1,188th)
  20. Meghan, 196 (883rd to 1,079th)
  21. Jakayla, -186 (933rd to 1,119th)
  22. Saanvi, -183 (901st to 1,084th)
  23. Kaitlin, -180 (838th to 1,018th)
  24. Brisa, -179 (912th to 1,091st)
  25. Kyndal, -178 (981st to 1,159th)

Newbie losers on the left-hand side include Sophia (still the #1 name despite the decrease), Lily, Hailey and Sophie.

Winners/losers in years past:

  • 2012: Harper/Chloe, or Arya/Dulce
  • 2011: Harper/Isabella
  • 2010: Sophia/Madison

Source: Change in Popularity from 2012 to 2013

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names

List of Female Names from 1888

female names, 1888

A while ago I found a book called “A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names” that was published in Toronto in 1888.

I won’t post any of the poems, which are all pretty cheesy, but author George J. Howson does include an intriguing selection of names. He notes that he wrote acrostics for “all the most popular feminine christian names of the day, and many more that, while not in common use, are known to exist in actual life.”

Here’s the list:

Abigail
Ada
Adelaide
Adelle
Adeline
Addie
Aggie
Agnes
Alberta
Alecia
Aletha
Alfretta
Alice
Allie
Alma
Almeda
Almira
Alta
Althea
Alvira
Alzina
Amanda
Amelia
Amy
Ann
Anna
Annabell
Annas
Annette
Angelia
Angeline
Annie
Athaliah
Athelia
Augusta
Aura
Avis
Barbara
Beatrice
Bell
Bella
Berdie
Bertha
Bertie
Bessie
Beulah
Blanche
Bridget
Calista
Carrie
Carlotta
Cassie
Catherine
Cecilia
Cela
Celia
Celicia
Celis
Charlotte
Chloe
Christie
Christine
Clara
Clarissa
Cleanthe
Clementina
Constance
Cora
Cordelia
Corinne
Cornelia
Cynthia
Cyrena
Debbie
Delia
Della
Diana
Diantha
Dinah
Dollie
Dora
Dorcas
Dorinda
Dorothy
Edith
Edna
Effie
Ella
Eleanor
Eleanora
Electa
Ellen
Elfie
Eliza
Elma
Elsie
Emma
Emmeline
Emily
Ena
Erma
Estelle
Esther
Ethel
Ethelind
Ettie
Eugenie
Eula
Eunice
Euphemia
Euretta
Eva
Evalina
Eveline
Evelyn
Fannie
Felicia
Flora
Florence
Floss
Frances
Frank
Gay
Georgie
Georgina
Geraldine
Gertie
Gracie
Hagar
Hannah
Harriet
Hattie
Helen
Helena
Henrietta
Hulda
Ida
Irene
Isabel
Isabella
Isadora
Jane
Janet
Janie
Jeannette
Jemima
Jennet
Jennie
Jessie
Jerusha
Joanna
Josephine
Josie
Julia
Kate
Kathleen
Katie
Keziah
Lany
Laura
Leah
Leila
Lena
Lera
Lettie
Levina
Levinia
Libbie
Lida
Lilian
Lillie
Lizzie
Lola
Lora
Lorretta
Lottie
Lou
Louisa
Louise
Lucinda
Lucretia
Lucy
Luella
Lula
Lulu
Lydia
Mabel
Madelaine
Maggie
Malvina
Mamie
Marcella
Margaret
Maria
Marilla
Marion
Mary
Marsena
Martha
Mattie
Maud
Maudie
May
Melinda
Mellissa
Mercy
Mertie
Mildred
Millie
Mina
Minerva
Minnie
Mintha
Miranda
Mollie
Muriel
Myra
Myrtle
Nancy
Naomi
Nellie
Nettie
Nina
Nora
Ollie
Olive
Olivia
Ormanda
Ophelia
Pauline
Pearl
Phoebe
Phyllis
Priscilla
Prudence
Rachel
Rebecca
Rhoda
Robena
Rosa
Rosabel
Rosalie
Rosalind
Rosamond
Rose
Ruby
Ruth
Sabina
Sadie
Sally
Samantha
Sarah
Selina
Sophia
Sophronia
Stella
Susanna
Susie
Sybil
Teresa
Theodocia
Theresa
Tillie
Una
Verna
Victoria
Vida
Viola
Violet
Wilhelmina
Winifred
Zuba

Have any favorites?

Hulda/Huldah is one I like. It’s one of those names that I always see on old New England gravestones but never come across in real life. Wonder when that one will become stylish again.

BTW, has anyone ever seen a good name acrostic? Like, one that’s actually well-written and/or thought-provoking? Because I don’t think I ever have.

Source: A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names by George J. Howson

New Jersey Family with 18 Children

In 1951, Joseph and Clara Carey of New Jersey welcomed their 18th child. The parents and all but three of the children posed for a newspaper photo that year. According to the caption, the 15 kids in the photo were named…

  • Carol, 17
  • Joseph, 15
  • Crawford, 13
  • William, 12
  • Margaret, 11
  • Raymond, 10
  • Geraldine, 9
  • Dorothy Ann, 8
  • Doris Joan, 7
  • Emily, 6
  • Dale, 5
  • Vernon, 4
  • Barbara, 3
  • Johnny, 2
  • Bruce, baby

What do you think the other three were named? (I have no idea about the genders.)

Which of the 15 names above is your favorite?

Source: “Mother Carey Has 18 Children Born in 18 Years.” Robesonian 16 Jan. 1951: 1.

Maine Family with 18 Children

Yesterday, a reader named Kristin let me know about a Bagnor Daily News article about the 18-child Rancourt family of Winterport, Maine.

The parents, Harry and Alice, wed in 1909 and went on to have 17 children (and adopt one more):

  1. Dorothy, born in 1910
  2. Gaspar, b. 1911
  3. Mildred, b. 1912
  4. Leo, b. 1914
  5. Marion, b. 1916
  6. Marguerite, b. 1917
  7. Corinne, b. 1919
  8. Clara, b. 1920
  9. Harry, b. 1921
  10. Leon, b. 1923
  11. Clayton, b. 1924
  12. Alton, b. 1926
  13. Kenneth, b. 1927
  14. Reginald, b. 1929 (grandson adopted after his mother, Dorothy, died during childbirth)
  15. John, b. 1930
  16. Celestia, b. 1931
  17. Geraldine, b. 1932
  18. Iris, b. 1933

Which of these 18 names is your favorite?

Why Were So Many Baby Girls Named “Nira” in 1933?

The Great Depression began in late 1929. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt replaced Herbert Hoover as U.S. President in early 1933, he got to work on the New Deal, which was intended to bring immediate economic relief.

Part of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which “sanctioned, supported, and in some cases, enforced an alliance of industries.” It was enacted on June 16, 1933.

Soon after, Roosevelt created the corresponding National Recovery Administration (NRA), which was “empowered to make voluntary agreements dealing with hours of work, rates of pay, and the fixing of prices.” Participating businesses were encouraged to display the NRA emblem, the Blue Eagle:

NRA poster

At first, the public was excited by the NIRA and the NRA. And this excitement spilled over onto birth certificates.

According to Social Security Administration data, more than 200 baby girls were named Nira in 1933. This was enough to make Nira the 463rd most popular baby girl name in the nation that year.

  • 1937: unlisted
  • 1936: 9 baby girls named Nira
  • 1935: 12 baby girls named Nira
  • 1934: 38 baby girls named Nira
  • 1933: 201 baby girls and 6 baby boys named Nira
  • 1932: unlisted
  • 1931: 8 baby girls named Nira
  • 1930: unlisted

[Of course, those raw numbers aren’t quite right. The SSA website reminds us that “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card,” so their names are not included in the data. And the SSDI doesn’t help in this case, as many people born in 1933 are still living. It lists only 63 Niras born in 1933. Notably, though, all but two were born in mid-June or later.]

Newspapers heralded the births of several of these 1933 Niras, including:

  • Nira Collins, born on July 25th to Mr. and Mrs. Christopher J. Collins of Philadelphia. The father, unemployed for ten months, found work two weeks before she was born.
  • Nira Davis, born on August 30th to Mrs. Geraldine Davis of Newburgh, New York.
  • Nira Lavallee, born on September 1st to Mr. and Mrs. George E. Lavallee of Marlborough, Massachusetts. Her father “returned to work after a lengthy period of unemployment soon after her birth.”
  • Nira Coelho, born on September 25th to Mr. and Mrs. Pedro Coelho of Los Angeles. “The parents are ardent believers in the President’s recovery program.”

One reporter cautioned that, while Nira was “a pretty name,” parents should “take into account the fact that everyone who keeps posted on current national history will know Nira was born in 1933. Which might be embarrassing 25 or 30 years hence.”

The flood of baby Niras prompted at least one person to write to the editor of the New York Times and ask if Washington had offered an “official pronunciation of the name” yet.

But the popular support didn’t last long. The NIRA and the NRA were widely criticized, and ended up doing little to speed up economic recovery. (We can get a feel for how quickly the excitement dried up by looking at the downward trajectory of those SSA numbers: 201, 38, 12.)

The NIRA had been set to expire in June of 1935, but was nullified even earlier when the Supreme Court unanimously declared the NIRA unconstitutional in May of 1935.

Sources:

Follow-up posts: Blue Eagle, Nira (Iowa), Fera.

What Brought Geraldine Back?

Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice-presidential candidate on a major-party ticket, passed away several days ago. (She was the running mate of Democrat Walter Mondale in the 1984 presidential election.)

Blogger L.R. at NameCandy insinuates that Ferraro’s nomination helped bring back the name Geraldine:

Although the name Geraldine sank rapidly through the 60s and finally fell off the charts in 1976, it rallied briefly after the presidential campaign.

Geraldine reappeared on the baby name charts in 1988, leaping from nowhere to #576, and charted in 1989 and 1990, too. Named years after Ferraro’s failed campaign, these young Geraldines suggest that she continued, nevertheless, to inspire.

Probably not. In fact, it doesn’t look like Geraldine Ferraro had any impact on baby naming at all:

  • 1980 – 109 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1981 – 125 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1982 – 124 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1983 – 103 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1984 – 107 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1985 – 125 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1986 – 122 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1987 – 137 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1988 – 356 baby girls named Geraldine [rank: 576th]
  • 1989 – 250 baby girls named Geraldine [rank: 777th]
  • 1990 – 199 baby girls named Geraldine [rank: 948th]
  • 1991 – 161 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1992 – 152 baby girls named Geraldine
  • 1993 – 118 baby girls named Geraldine

A Ferraro-inspired comeback would have started in ’84 or ’85, not years later.

What really caused the brief return of the name Geraldine to the top 1,000? My best guess is Geraldine Page, the well-known theater actress who won an Oscar in 1986 and passed away in mid-1987. Another possibility is Geraldine Muir, the little girl in Hope and Glory (1987), which was nominated for five Oscars in 1988.

Do you have any other theories?