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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gordon

Number of Babies Named Gordon

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Gordon

Name Quotes for the Weekend #40

Sting quote: Your parents name you, but they haven’t a clue who you are. Your friends nickname you because they know exactly who you are.

From a list of quotes by the musician Sting (a.k.a. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner):

Your parents name you, but they haven’t a clue who you are. Your friends nickname you because they know exactly who you are.

From a post about black names vs. white names at the blog Baby Making Machine:

My name is Jennifer. My siblings: Heather, Michael, Lauren, Kimberly. None of them are stereotypical names you’d hear on the Top 60 Ghetto Black Names list. They are, however, found in the most popular names of the year list. I didn’t want my daughter’s name on either. My mother’s reasoning for her decision was different than mine. She would say “do you want to get a job?” Which sounds harsh but some research shows “black-sounding” names on resumes don’t do as well next to the same resume holding a “white-sounding” names.

From a post called “Save Our Susans and Protect The Peter: The Ridiculous World of “Endangered” Names” at the blog Waltzing More Than Matilda:

If a name isn’t used much any more, no great calamity will result. Brangien and Althalos have been rarely used since the Middle Ages, but nobody has suffered as a result of Brangien deficiency, and no awful disaster has ensued from the loss of Althalos.

Furthermore, if we decided we’d like to see more of a particular name which has gone out of use, it costs no money or effort to bring it back. You simply slap the name onto your child’s birth certificate, and hey presto – you’ve got yourself a rare and beautiful specimen of an Althalos.

As long as we still know of a name’s existence from books and records, it is a potential baby name, no matter how many centuries or even millennia since it was last used.

From an article about Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) in NYC newspaper The Villager:

There is hardly an account of Greenwich Village in the ’20s in which she does not prominently figure. Yet her roots in the neighborhood preceded even her fame. The poet’s unusual middle name came from St. Vincent’s Hospital on 12th St. Millay’s uncle was nursed back to health there after a sailing accident, and her mother wished to show her gratitude by naming her first-born child after the place.

From an article called “Baby Names Can’t Be Stolen–but It’s Not Surprising That Some Parents Think They Can” in Slate:

This belief [in baby-name stealing] is ridiculous–after all, liking a name doesn’t give you ownership over it, and sharing a name with a friend or relative is, at worst, a mild nuisance. But the idea that names shouldn’t be stolen is not surprising. Over the past hundred years, naming has increasingly become an act of self-expression for parents, a way to assert their individuality rather than a sense of belonging in their community. With our names and selves so thoroughly intertwined, it stands to reason that parents would become increasingly protective of their children’s names.


As with so much of contemporary parenting, the drama surrounding name-stealing is ultimately more about the threat it poses to parent’s identities than their children’s. In practical terms, no child will be harmed by having the same name as a classmate or cousin. … Far more punishing than having the same name as another child is growing up in an environment where names are considered personal property and friendships end when someone “steals” one.

Jimmy Wales, in response to the Quora question: Is the name “Jimmy” unsuitable for an adult?

Interestingly, my actual name is Jimmy. Not James. I used to wonder the same thing, but decided – hey, I’m from Alabama, so people can get over themselves.

It has not seemed to hurt my career in any way, and may have helped as it (correctly, as it turns out) signals to people that I’m not stuffy.

From an article called “How baby names got so weird” in The Spectator:

Naming your child was once simple: you picked from the same handful of options everyone else used. But modern parents want exclusivity. And so boys are called Rollo, Emilio, Rafferty and Grey. Their sisters answer to Aurelia, Bartolomea, Ptarmigan or Plum. Throw in a few middle names and the average birth certificate looks like an earthquake under a Scrabble board.


They’ve forgotten about ‘eccentric sheep’ syndrome.

This is the process, identified by social anthropologist Kate Fox in her book Watching the English, whereby something meant as ‘evidence of our eccentricity and originality’ ends up as ‘conformist, conservative rule-following’. Fox applied it to clothes, but the same thing is happening with names. In an attempt to make their children stand out, parents are only helping them to blend in. When everyone’s a Marni or an Autumn or a Sky, the rebellion has nothing to register against.

(Incidentally, here’s a Ptarmigan.)

From an article about Medieval Pet Names at

In England we find dogs that were named Sturdy, Whitefoot, Hardy, Jakke, Bo and Terri. Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of King Henry VIII, had a dog named Purkoy, who got its name from the French ‘pourquoi’ because it was very inquisitive.

Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles/blog posts lately? Let me know!

Unique Name: Tara Gabriel Galaxy Gramophone Getty

Most of us have heard of J. Paul Getty, who was one of the wealthiest people in America during his lifetime. But most of us have probably not heard that one of his grandchildren was named “Gramophone.”

This particular grandchild was the son of Eugene Paul Getty, who later went by John Paul Getty II, and his second wife, Dutch model Talitha Pol.

The couple were the toast of Europe’s glamour-hippie set, jetting to exotic spots with the likes of Mick Jagger. “J. P. II’s whole young-adult life,” says Evey, “was Marrakech and the Rolling Stones.”

Here’s how French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent described the scene:

Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, I love a dying frenzy. […] In my own life, I’ve seen the last afterglow of the sumptuous Paris of before the war. The balls of the fifties and the splendor of the vigorous haute couture. And then I knew the youthfulness of the sixties: Talitha and Paul Getty lying on a starlit terrace in Marrakesh, beautiful and damned, and a whole generation assembled as if for eternity where the curtain of the past seemed to life before an extraordinary future.

In 1968, Paul and Talitha couple welcomed their only child, a son.

They named him Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy Getty.

Talitha and Tara
Talitha and Tara

In 1971, Talitha died of a heroin overdose. Her death occurred “in the 12-month period that also saw the deaths of Edie Sedgwick, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin.”

(Tragedy struck John Paul II’s family again in 1973 when his eldest son, John Paul III, was kidnapped by the Calabrian mafia.)

Tara Gabriel Galaxy Gramophone Getty has long since dropped both “Gramophone” and “Galaxy” from his full name.

Today, he and his wife Jessica live in South Africa on the Phinda Game Reserve. They have three kids named Orlando, Caspar, and Talitha.



In case you’re curious, here are the (first) names of all the kids and grand-kids of J. Paul Getty:

  • With first wife Jeannette Dumont (m. 1923) he had one son, George. George went on to have three daughters: Ann, Claire and Caroline.
  • With third wife Adolphine Helme (m. 1928) he had one son, Jean. Jean went on to have four kids: Christopher, Stephanie, Cecile and Christina.
  • With fourth wife Ann Rork (m. 1932) he had two sons, Eugene (JPII) and Gordon. Eugene/JP went on to have five kids: Jean, Aileen, Mark, Ariadne and Tara. Gordon went on to have seven kids: Gordon, Andrew, John, William, Nicolette, Kendalle and Alexandra.
  • With fifth wife Louise “Teddy” Lynch (m. 1930) he had one son, Timothy.

Babies Named After Aviator Charles Lindbergh

Charles LindberghExactly 85 years ago today, 25-year-old Air Mail pilot Charles Lindbergh was in the middle of his non-stop, solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

His successful journey from New York City to Paris, which lasted from about 8 am on May 20 until about 10:30 pm on May 21, 1927, earned Lindbergh the $25,000 Orteig Prize and made him world-famous virtually overnight.

Hundreds of babies were named Lindbergh and Lindy that year:

Year Babies named Lindbergh Babies named Lindy
1930 31 boys 64 boys, 6 girls
1929 41 boys 84 boys, 14 girls
1928 71 boys 176 boys, 16 girls
*1927* 115 boys 234 boys, 27 girls
1926 12 boys 30 boys
1925 7 boys 11 boys, 8 girls
1924 ? boys 6 boys, 6 girls

Variant spellings Lindberg, Lindburgh [debut] and Lindburg [debut] also got a boost.

And, of course, many babies were given the first-middle combo “Charles Lindbergh.” The following Charles Lindbergh babies made the news:

  • Charles Lindbergh, son of Mr. and Mrs. Horace E. Lindbergh of Cambridge, MA
  • Charles Lindbergh Bohannon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bohannon of La Jolla, San Diego, CA
  • Charles Lindbergh Erickson, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Carl W. Erickson of Worcester, MA
  • Charles Lindbergh Hurley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hurley of Sea Cliff, Long Island, NY

A few years later, in 1931, a Canadian baby who made headlines for being born in an airplane was also named after Lindbergh.


  • “3 Babies Are Given Name of Air Ace.” Painesville Telegraph 23 May 1927: 1.
  • “New Born Baby Gets Lindbergh’s Name.” Border Cities Star [Windsor, Ontario, Canada] 23 May 1927: 14.
  • “San Diego Baby Is Named for Aviator.” Prescott Evening Courier 8 Jun. 1927: 1.

Related: Babies Named for First Transpacific Flight, Babies Named for Aviator Jack Vilas, Baby Names for Aviation Enthusiasts

Image: Lindbergh Received the Distinguished Flying Cross

Which Names Are the Most Scottish?

Several years ago, UK marketing firm CACI came up with a way to quantify the “Scottishness” of a name.

They looked at tens of millions of forenames and surnames across the UK and asked: are these names more common in Scotland, or in England and Wales? Based on the answers, they calculated “Scottishness” scores for full names.

They set the average at 100. Names like Ewen McGregor (270) and David Cameron (153) scored higher (i.e. were more Scottish) than average. Names like Gordon Brown (95) and Sean Connery (34) scored lower.

Which full names were the most Scottish overall?

  1. Angusina MacEachen (284)
  2. Murdo MacRitchie (283)
  3. Murdina MacCorquodale (283)
  4. Williamina Killoh (283)
  5. Angusina MacIver (283)
  6. Mhairi Kimmet (283)
  7. Williamina Marnie (283)
  8. Williamina McCallie (283)
  9. Alexina Killoh (283)
  10. Eilidh McCorquodale (281)

I was a surprised about Williamina and Alexina. I guess didn’t realize these two names were so distinctly Scottish. Both are rare here in the U.S.


Update, 3/22/16: Some incredibly Scottish names — Caledonia, Corryvreckan, Highlande — popped up in Scotland in 2015.

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Lucy’s Brother

A reader named Kate, who has a daughter named Lucy, is expecting a baby boy and would like some name suggestions. Here’s what she says:

We want what a lot of people probably want – timeless, classic, slightly vintage and old fashioned, an ‘accepted’ name in the sense it’s known, but hopefully he is not one of three kids in class to have it.

So far, Kate and her husband like five names: William, Henry, Oliver, Duncan and Charles (nn Charlie). (She also likes the girl names Abigail, Alice, Clara and Hope.)

The baby’s middle name will be Hawkins, and his surname will begin with the letter t.

Here are some names that came to mind:

Alfred (Alfie)

I stayed away from the current top 50 (and names that looked like they might be headed that way soon).

Which of the names above to you like best for Lucy’s brother? What other name suggestions can you come up with for Kate?

Spelling Tip for Creative Baby Names – Hard G vs. Soft G

Gordana Gehlhausen was a contestant on Project Runway this season. Before the season began, I assumed her first name would be pronounced with a hard G, like Gordon. I was wrong. She pronounces her name with a soft G. I wonder how many other people also got it wrong?

Typically, when the letter G is followed by E, I or Y, it’s soft. Otherwise, it’s hard. Gentle and giant have soft G’s, while gargoyle and gurgle have hard G’s.

The rule can also be applied to names. Geoffrey and Gillian have soft G’s; Gavin, Goldie and Gus have hard G’s. (Exceptions like Gertrude and Gideon do exist.)

If you want to personalize a name that features the letter G, or substitute a G for a J, pay close attention to the vowels that follow. Taking an E out of George turns the name into a geological formation. Forcing a G into James gives you Games. (And playing Games with baby names is usually not a good idea.)

Unusual Real Names – Grlenntys, Icie, Rensis, Schelto

A dozen peculiar names:

  • Anthony Philip David Terry Frank Donald Stanley Gerry Gordon Stephen James Oatway (b. 1973) – retired English footballer who goes by the name “Charlie.” Each given name corresponds to a player on the 1972-1973 Queens Park Rangers team.
  • Collingwood Schreiber (1831-1918) – Canadian surveyor and engineer.
  • Delarivier Manley (d. 1724) – English novelist.
  • Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims (b. 1986) – Alabama State University basketball player.
  • Hawthorne Wingo – New York Knicks player during the 1970s. (Discovered this one in a Beastie Boys song, of all places.)
  • Icie Macy Hoobler (1892-1984) – American physiologist and biochemist.
  • Manton Marble (1834-1917) – editor of the New York World.
  • Pomeroy Tucker (1802-1870) – American journalist.
  • Quett Ketumile Joni Masire (b. 1925) – second president of Botswana.
  • Rensis Likert (1903–1981) – American organizational psychologist.
  • Schelto Patijn (1936-2007) – Dutch politician.
  • Xenophon Pierce Wilfley (1871-1931) – U.S. senator from Missouri.

Which one do you like the most?