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, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Gordon.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Gordon


Posts that Mention the Name Gordon

Comic Strip Baby Name: Darlia

flash gordon, darlia, comic, baby name,
Darlia saves Flash ~ March, 1946

Speaking of Desira, here’s another baby name that was influenced by a Flash Gordon comic strip character. This one is Darlia, and it was a one-hit wonder in 1946. In fact, it was the top one-hit wonder of 1946. More than a dozen baby girls were named Darlia that year:

  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 13 baby girls named Darlia [debut]
  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: unlisted

Darlia appeared in a storyline called “The Atomic Age,” which ran in papers from October of 1945 to March of 1946.

The installment featured identical twin sisters: Queen Evila (the bad twin) and Darlia (the good twin). For much of the story, the wrongdoers had Flash convinced that Evila was Darlia and vice versa. In the end, though, the truth came out just in time for Flash to save the day. But not in time to save the sisters. In fact, Darlia had to save him: she “courageously sacrifice[d] her own life by stepping into the line of fire” that otherwise would have killed Flash. Evila, on the other hand, died by falling off a ledge while trying to escape from an infirmary.

Do you like the name Darlia? Do you like it more or less than Desira?

Source: Blogging Austin Briggs’ Flash Gordon – Part Twelve, “The Atomic Age”

The Baby Name “Sundown”

sundown, song, 1970s, baby name

We talked about Sundance last week, so today let’s look at Sundown.

In 1974, the baby name Sundown was a dual-gender debut — that is, it appeared for the first time on both sides of the U.S. baby name data simultaneously:

  • 1977: unlisted
  • 1976: 5 baby girls named Sundown
  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: 7 baby girls named Sundown [debut] + 6 baby boys named Sundown [debut]
  • 1973: unlisted

Overall it was a one-hit wonder on the boys’ side and a two-hit wonder on the girls’ side.

The name was inspired by the song “Sundown” by Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot. The song had been released in early 1974. Here are some lyrics:

Sundown, you better take care
If I find you been creepin’ ’round my back stairs

By the middle of 1974 the song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Lightfoot’s album (also called Sundown) reached the #1 spot on both the U.S. and Canadian charts.

What do you think of “Sundown” as a personal name? Usable?

Lyrics: Sundown © 1973 Gordon Lightfoot

Another Baby Named After a Soccer Team

soccer-ballIn 1992, Leeds United superfans Jeanne and Andrew Cazaux welcomed a baby boy. They named him “Dominic Andrew Lukic Newsome Fairclough Whyte Dorigo McAllister Batty Strachan Speed Chapman Cantona Cazaux” after the following Leeds players:

  • John Lukic
  • Jon Newsome
  • Chris Fairclough
  • Chris Whyte
  • Tony Dorigo
  • Gary McAllister
  • David Batty
  • Gordon Strachan
  • Gary Speed
  • Lee Chapman
  • Eric Cantona

So which team does Dominic root for these days? Arsenal. “I think I chose Arsenal mainly to rebel,” he said. “I was only about eight years old and it was just one of those things you do to go against your parents. They were disappointed but said that it was my choice.”

Dominic isn’t the only person out there named after a soccer team, believe it or not. There are several others, including Jensen Jay Alexander Bikey Carlisle Duff Elliot Fox Iwelumo Marney Mears Paterson Thompson Wallace Preston, who was named after 14 Burnley F.C. players.

Source: So what would you do if your parents named you after the entire Leeds United team?

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 Medievalists.net:

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.

Sources:

***

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.