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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Grey

Number of Babies Named Grey

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Grey

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!

Babies Named Earl Grey?

teaToday happens to be International Tea Day, so, in honor of Jean-Luc Picard, let’s talk a bit about Earl Grey.

Earl Grey tea was probably named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764-1845), who served as British Prime Minister in from 1830 to 1834. His actual connection to the tea is unknown. Here’s one theory:

The tea was specially blended by a Chinese mandarin for Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, to suit the water at Howick, using bergamot in particular to offset the taste of the lime in it. Lady Grey used it to entertain in London as a political hostess, and it proved so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others.

So has anyone ever been named “Earl Grey”?

Yes, so far I’ve found close to 90 people with the first-middle combo “Earl Grey.” Only three were born in England (the earliest in 1831, while Charles Grey was Prime Minister). The rest were born in the U.S. and Canada, mostly in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One was born as recently as the 1980s.

Here are a bunch of the U.S. Earl Greys:

It’s impossible to know how many were named with the tea in mind, but I’m sure at least a few were. (Earl Grey tea was available commercially starting in the 1880s.)

Finally, I should mention that Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, had a whopping 16 children with his wife Mary, and that 15 of the 16 lived to adulthood. The 15 surviving children were named Louisa, Elizabeth, Caroline, Georgiana, Henry, Charles, Frederick, Mary, William, George, Thomas, John, Francis, Henry and William.

Sources: The Earl Grey Tea House – Howick Hall Gardens, Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey – Wikipedia

Edmonton’s First Baby of 2015: Echo Frejya Grey

Echo Frejya Grey Adams
© Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
I haven’t seen many New Year’s baby announcements yet (fewer hospitals are participating in the tradition these days) but one of the announcements I have seen featured a rather distinctive name: Echo Frejya Grey.

Echo Frejya Grey Adams was the first baby of 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She was born to Kayla McEvoy and Jared Adams at 12:02 am on New Year’s Day.

Where did her three given names come from?

  • Echo came from the character Echo of the short-lived sci-fi TV series Dollhouse, created by Joss Whedon. “The couple agreed on the name Echo before she was even conceived, admiring the TV character’s strong personality and “take no prisoners” attitude.”
  • Frejya commemorates Iceland, which is where Kayla and Jared got married.
  • Grey came from the character Jean Grey of the X-Men comic series.

Frejya has never been on the SSA’s list, but Echo and Grey have.

Which of these three names do you like best?

Sources: Edmonton’s 2015 New Year’s baby named for Dollhouse character Echo

40 Pairs of Baby Names for Girl-Boy Twins

girl-boy twins

A few weeks ago, The Stir posted a list of 20 pairs of baby names for girl-boy twins.

The problem with their list? Each matchy-matchy name-pair started with the same first letter.

Yes, most parents gravitate toward patterns when it comes to naming twins. This has been confirmed by at least one study and is easy to see when you peruse the (now discontinued) lists of popular twin names.

But should they?

No. Child development experts say twins should have dissimilar first names.

So I thought I’d improve upon their list by separating the pairings and giving each of the 40 names a new, non-matchy partner — different first letter, different ending, different number of syllables.

Too Matchy? Much Better!
Hazel & Hugo
Emma & Evan
Madison & Mason
Taylor & Tyler
Vivienne & Val
Ava & Alexander
Chloe & Caleb
Sophia & Samuel
Eva & Ethan
Penelope & Pax
Savannah & Sebastian
Lily & Luke
Dylan & Dean
Naomi & Noah
Imogen & Isaac
Juliette & James
Christina & Christian
Grace & Gavin
Avery & Aiden
Claire & Clive
Hazel & Benjamin
Emma & Charles
Madison & Liam
Taylor & Grant
Vivienne & Phillip
Ava & Carl
Chloe & Gabriel
Sophia & Owen
Eva & Jack
Penelope & Duncan
Savannah & Zane
Lily & Cash
Dylan & Matthias
Naomi & Joseph
Imogen & Grey
Juliette & Simon
Christina & Thomas
Grace & Dominic
Avery & Beau
Claire & Julian
Hugo & Adelaide
Evan & Sabrina
Mason & Aria
Tyler & Addison
Val & Edie
Alexander & Daphne
Caleb & Lydia
Samuel & Hannah
Ethan & Amelia
Pax & Kira
Sebastian & Gemma
Luke & Maya
Dean & Harper
Noah & Abigail
Isaac & Johanna
James & Tabitha
Christian & Veronica
Gavin & Bree
Aiden & Katrina
Clive & Odette

Not only are the pairs in the middle and on the right smarter choices in terms of child development, but they’re also less likely to cause embarrassment and/or confusion. Unlike, say, Christina and Christian.

What are your favorite non-matchy baby names for girl-boy twins?

P.S. Hate to nit-pick, but…the Stir post also included several bogus definitions. Caleb means “devotion to God”? Nope, Caleb means dog.

Source: 20 Pairs of Baby Names for Twins of the Opposite Sex
Image: Adapted from Kinley and Liam Photos (18) by love_K_photo under CC BY 2.0.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2012

Here are the results of the 2012 pop culture baby name game!

Below are all the names we came up with and how they fared on the charts last year.

First up, the names that made the biggest gains. (Some of these were on their way up anyway, so I’ll leave it to you guys to interpret just how much each one was/was not helped along by pop culture events.)

Liam, +3286

  • 2012: 16687 baby boys named Liam
  • 2011: 13401 baby boys named Liam

Lincoln, +726

  • 2012: 2882 baby boys named Lincoln
  • 2011: 2156 baby boys named Lincoln

Dominic, +725

  • 2012: 6140 baby boys named Dominic
  • 2011: 5415 baby boys named Dominic

Penelope, +647

  • 2012: 2510 baby girls named Penelope
  • 2011: 1863 baby girls named Penelope

Ivy, +469

  • 2012: 1677 baby girls named Ivy
  • 2011: 1208 baby girls named Ivy

Arya, +367

  • 2012: 754 baby girls named Arya
  • 2011: 387 baby girls named Arya

Luna, +262

  • 2012: 1404 baby girls named Luna
  • 2011: 1142 baby girls named Luna

Louis, +132

  • 2012: 1049 baby boys named Louis
  • 2011: 917 baby boys named Louis

Trayvon, +123

  • 2012: 178 baby boys named Trayvon
  • 2011: 55 baby boys named Trayvon

Adele, +99

  • 2012: 559 baby girls named Adele
  • 2011: 460 baby girls named Adele

Olive, +87

  • 2012: 847 baby girls named Olive
  • 2011: 760 baby girls named Olive

Zayn, +83

  • 2012: 131 baby boys named Zayn
  • 2011: 48 baby boys named Zayn

Selena, +64

  • 2012: 1043 baby girls named Selena
  • 2011: 979 baby girls named Selena

Anastasia, +59

  • 2012: 918 baby girls named Anastasia
  • 2011: 859 baby girls named Anastasia

Grey, +59

  • 2012: 184 baby boys named Grey
  • 2011: 125 baby boys named Grey

Toby, +32 / +59

  • 2012: 93 baby girls and 349 baby boys named Toby
  • 2011: 61 baby girls and 290 baby boys named Toby

Melissa +57

  • 2012: 1761 baby girls named Melissa
  • 2011: 1704 baby girls named Melissa


  • 2012: 1081 baby boys named Lorenzo
  • 2011: 1027 baby boys named Lorenzo

Jubilee, +52

  • 2012: 155 baby girls named Jubilee
  • 2011: 103 baby girls named Jubilee

London, +22 / +32

  • 2012: 3179 baby girls and 482 baby boys named London
  • 2011: 3157 baby girls and 450 baby boys named London

Viola, +28

  • 2012: 162 baby girls named Viola
  • 2011: 134 baby girls named Viola

Renesmee, +26

  • 2012: 59 baby girls named Renesmee
  • 2011: 33 baby girls named Renesmee

Lovely, +26

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lovely
  • 2011: 56 baby girls named Lovely

Sarina, +26

  • 2012: 194 baby girls named Sarina
  • 2011: 168 baby girls named Sarina

McKayla, +25

  • 2012: 399 baby girls named McKayla
  • 2011: 374 baby girls named McKayla

Berenice, +20

  • 2012: 109 baby girls named Berenice
  • 2011: 129 baby girls named Berenice

Rue, +19

  • 2012: 32 baby girls named Rue
  • 2011: 13 baby girls named Rue

Selina, +18

  • 2012: 242 baby girls named Selina
  • 2011: 224 baby girls named Selina

Kateri, +16

  • 2012: 58 baby girls named Kateri
  • 2011: 42 baby girls named kateri

Merida, +15 at least

  • 2012: 19 baby girls named Merida [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Merida

Pepper, +15

  • 2012: 132 baby girls named Pepper
  • 2011: 117 baby girls named Pepper

Rooney (for girls), +15

  • 2012: 21 baby girls named Rooney
  • 2011: 6 baby girls named Rooney

Hugo, +13

  • 2012: 630 baby boys named Hugo
  • 2011: 617 baby boys named Hugo

Primrose, +12 at least

  • 2012: 16 baby girls named Primrose [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Primrose

Lisbeth, +11

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lisbeth
  • 2011: 71 baby girls named Lisbeth

Blue, +3 / +9

  • 2012: 10 baby girls and 20 baby boys named Blue
  • 2011: 7 baby girls and 11 baby boys named Blue

Romney, +9

  • 2012: 16 baby boys named Romney
  • 2011: 5 baby boys named Romney

Cassadee, +8

  • 2012: 13 baby girls named Cassadee
  • 2011: 5 baby girls named Cassadee

Katniss, +8 at least

  • 2012: 12 baby girls named Katniss [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Katniss

Niall, +8

  • 2012: 42 baby boys named Niall
  • 2011: 34 baby boys named Niall

Octavia, +7

  • 2012: 79 baby girls named Octavia
  • 2011: 72 baby girls named Octavia

Arrietty, +6 at least

  • 2012: 10 baby girls named Arrietty [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Arrietty

Loki, +6

  • 2012: 77 baby boys named Loki
  • 2011: 71 baby boys named Loki

Names that went up by 5 or fewer:

  • Beretta
  • Harry
  • Hawk (though Hawkeye debuted)
  • Joss (for boys)
  • Mavis
  • Maxwell (for girls)
  • Mitt
  • Tennessee

Names that went down:

  • Avila
  • Carly
  • Destinee
  • Django
  • Elizabeth
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Kindle
  • Missy
  • Ryan
  • Sparkle
  • Thor
  • Tony
  • Whitney

Names still not on the SSA’s list:

  • Altaluna
  • Azealia
  • Carlyrae
  • Dev (for girls)
  • Essined
  • Fury
  • Hildegard
  • Hulk
  • Lidislay
  • Quvenzhane
  • Shemekia
  • Stratos
  • Tika
  • Vanellope
  • Whedon
  • Yolo

Did any of these surprise you?

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who played!

Unique Baby Names in Quebec, 2012

One thing I love about Quebec? Their yearly baby name list includes all baby names.

Not just names given to 5 or more babies, like the U.S. list. Not just names given to 3 or more babies, like the England and Wales list.

Every single name. Regardless of whether the name was given to hundreds of babies or just one.

Privacy: Who needs it! :)

Here are some stats on all those Quebec names:

  • 7,921 boy names total
    • 6,107 (77%) of them were given to 1 baby boy
    • 7121 (90%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby boys*
  • 9,074 girl names total
    • 6,686 (74%) of them were given to 1 baby girl
    • 8058 (89%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby girls*

*So, if the names given to 5+ babies in Quebec account for only about 10% of the names on the full list, and we assume baby name distribution in the U.S. is similar, the “full” U.S. lists should contain over 140,000 boy names and over 190,000 girl names.

Here are some of Quebec’s unique names (used only once):

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
Aghogho Elise
Arnautilik Louisa
Becky Tillikasak
Cloudine Mae
Delphine Eleonore
Evodine Ntshila
Feriel Nouara
Fritzmaelle Deborah
Grace Nono Dipita
Ipena Alexa
Kayla de la Caridad
Latt Hemlyss
Livia Mbombo
Lumen Pascale
Lyora Lyssandre
Maisie Inuusiq
Mar Mar
Mardochee Widlyka
Myrianna Pishumuss
Nancy Silaggi
Nephthalia Elani
Orlanel Keriane Elsa
Paglianie Stacy
Prielle Tehora
San San Jessica
Sila Grey
Stephanie Daystar
Tally-Ann Uapikuniss
Teieronhiathe Tha
Teietsitsen Tons
Thalia Sgrolma
Thea Daphnee
Tiewennaie Na’s
Vinuki Sethlini
Willfalya Gladaelle
Xxxxxxxalaniq O’oka
Zaely Hyacinthia
Agape Enrique
Christian Braveheart
Darling Jose
Darvens Moteler
Ghemsley Nollens
Godly Christian
Heaven Theophile
Kenny S. Phacoly
Lafleche William
Lamartiniere Junior
Lord-Lee Treasure
Olmo Centeotl
Perseus Koperqualuk
Po Bing
Polycarpe Riley
Raiden Jethro
Ramzi Nizar
Rani’ Konhra Katste
Raniehtenha Wi
Ricci Smily
Rocky Junior
Salomon Ghandi
Sebastian Berry-D
Sunny Skye
Tsikahnawakeniate H
Victor-Sam Ikuagasak
Wynn Oscar
Ylai Santiago
Yohann Tresors
Zack Browndly
Zion-Lee Eliott

I had my eye out for Inuit names in particular.

Among the girl names given to two babies last year, I spotted both Chaya Mushka and Katniss.

P.S. Here are the Most Popular Baby Names in Quebec for 2012.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2012!

Britney Spears - Pop Culture Baby Name Game MascotHappy Birthday, Britney Spears!

And you guys know what happens every year on Brit’s birthday…we kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Which baby names have become more popular in 2012, thanks to popular culture?

We won’t have definitive answers until the SSA releases its next batch of data (in mid-2013). But 2012 is almost over, so we have all the information we need to start making guesses.

Some possibilities I’ve already blogged about:

Plus a few I forgot to blog about:

  • Blue, Ivy – Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy, born way back in January. (Only 7 girls and 11 boys were named Blue in 2011. I have a feeling both of these numbers will be going up.)
  • Maxwell (for a girl) – Jessica Simpson’s daughter Maxwell, born in May.
  • Mitt, Romney – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney

Want to play? Leave a comment with your name predictions and the pop culture event(s) you think gave those names a boost this year.

UPDATE, May 2013: Here are the results!