How popular is the baby name Harry in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Harry and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Harry.
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In the late 1800s and early 1900s, English showman and “Animal King” Frank C. Bostock brought his performing menagerie of lions, jaguars, elephants, camels, and other animals to various cities in Great Britain and America.
Given that Bostock was famous for hosting weddings (for humans) inside the lion cage, the following story isn’t too surprising:
On August 23, 1903, Bostock’s English-born, Brooklyn-based business manager, Harry E. Tudor, had a baby girl. At three weeks old, the newborn was taken to an afternoon Bostock show on Coney Island, at the Sea Beach Palace.
Bostock’s lion tamer, Captain Jack Bonavita, took the newborn inside the lion cage, which contained 27 lions at the time. “[H]e commanded them to stand on their hind legs, which they did, supporting themselves against the bars of the cage.”
He then conducted some sort of naming ceremony in front of several thousand spectators, choosing the name Isla for the baby because, he said, it paid tribute to Coney Island. The baby was then passed out of the cage “and the regular exhibition took place.”
According to New York City birth records, the baby’s name was officially Isabel, same as her mother. Regardless, she was always called Isla by the newspapers.
And why was she in the newspapers? Because she led a fascinating (if short) life.
During her childhood, Isla crossed the Atlantic dozens of times “and visited Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.” She spent her eighth birthday sailing to Europe aboard the RMS Olympic, and her 12th picnicking with a lion named Baltimore at Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
When her father took up flying, she took it up as well. She participated in aviation exhibitions in both England and America, eventually piloting a plane herself. Aerial Age Weekly said Isla was “known on two continents as the youngest girl aviator.”
Sadly, Isla Tudor died of appendicitis in 1916, one month after her 13th birthday. News of her death was reported in the New York Times, Billboard magazine, and many other publications. (In the New York City death records she’s listed as Isla, not Isabel; her name may have been legally changed at some point.)
According to the States of Jersey Child Health System, the most popular baby names on the island of Jersey (the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel) from 2014 to 2016 were Emily and Oliver.
Here are Jersey’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014-2016:
3. Ethan (3-way tie)
3. James (3-way tie)
3. Thomas (3-way tie)
6. Alexander (tie)
6. Charlie (tie)
8. Harry (4-way tie)
8. Leo (4-way tie)
8. Theo (4-way tie)
8. William (4-way tie)
Roughly 1,000 babies are born on the island per year, so these rankings account for about 3,000 babies overall.
Here’s some information on historically popular names in Jersey. The current top names are English names, but only because the island switched to speaking English relatively recently. For hundreds of years the islanders spoke Norman languages (French and/or Jèrriais, the local dialect) so the top names would have been French.
Teenage thief Harry Longabaugh served an 18-month jail sentence in Sundance, Wyoming, in the late 1880s. During his imprisonment, he was nicknamed “the Sundance Kid.”
In the 1890s, Harry became associated with Butch Cassidy’s infamous “Wild Bunch” train-robbing gang.
Many years later, the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) came out. Not only did it win four Academy Awards, but it called attention to the names Cassidy and Sundance. Cassidy started appearing in the U.S. baby name data in the late ’60s, Sundance in the early ’70s.
Cassidy has been in the data ever since. It became especially popular as a girl name, peaking at 99th on the girls’ list in 1999.
Sundance, on the other hand, never really picked up steam. It was last in the data in the mid-1990s…though the most recent winner of The Voice is nicknamed Sundance, so the name might be back soon.
Which of these two names do you prefer, Sundance or Cassidy?