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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Popularity of the Baby Name Harry

Number of Babies Named Harry

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Harry

Name Quotes #55: Lehia, Evian, Onix

evian, name, quotation

From the 1999 movie Superstar, character Mary Katherine Gallagher talking to schoolmate Evian:

You know what, Evi? You should be really embarrassed, because your parents named you after bottled water.

From a 2016 article about Pokémon baby names:

I cross-referenced the Social Security Administration’s annual baby name records with all 151 original pocket monsters back through 1995, the year the Pokémon franchise was created. Five species of Pokémon have proven to be appealing baby names for U.S. parents: Tangela, Abra, Paras, Onix, and Eevee.

From the essay Vamsee or Taimur: Why it matters what you name your baby by Prof. Vamsee Juluri:

But what made my name somewhat of a complication for me was the fact that “Vamsee” was somehow not too familiar outside Telugu circles. My earliest encounters with high society, and I suppose, its brand of quietly privileged narcissism, were basically about people asking me if that was even a real name.

…I also liked his conclusion:

We are going to leave our children and grandchildren with a marauded and overheated planet as it is. Let us leave them with names that evoke love, creativity and dignity at least.

About Pigcasso, a 450-pound painting pig in South Africa with a genius name:

She’s fat, friendly and fabulous! Meet Pigcasso – the fine swine who was rescued from the brink of extinction at a South African pig ‘farm’. From pork chop to hog heaven, she loves the sweet things in life: Eat. Sleep. Eat. Repeat. She also loves to paint – and that’s no hogwash! Pigcasso’s primary purpose? To paint a better picture for farm animals.

Titles of Pigcasso’s paintings include Grin, Vitality, Rockstar, and Brexit.

From the Television Academy’s history of the Emmy Statuette:

After selecting the design for the statuette that would reward excellence in the television industry, Academy members were faced with decision number two: What to name the symbol.

Academy founder Syd Cassyd suggested “Ike,” the nickname for the television iconoscope tube. But with a national war hero named Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower, Academy members thought they needed a less well-known name. Harry Lubcke, a pioneer television engineer and the third Academy president, suggested “Immy,” a term commonly used for the early image orthicon camera. The name stuck and was later modified to Emmy, which members thought was more appropriate for a female symbol.

From The Age of Flexible Names by Laura Wattenberg:

[W]hile our baby-naming options are becoming ever more open, we’re closing the door on self-naming options. We’re treating our given names as, well, “givens.” They’re immutable objects, frozen in place as our parents imagined them before they ever met us. We don’t adapt them to fit different situations or life stages, or let friends bestow new names on us to reflect the experiences we accrue through our lives. We don’t reinvent our identities as my grandpa Isidore/Irving/Yitzhak did – or at least, not without a lot of soul-searching and ceremony.

Perhaps we could take some pressure off of ourselves in the naming process if we welcomed back a little of that old-time flexibility.

From an article about Hawaiian names in Maui Magazine by Kalehiaikealaikahiki “Lehia” Apana:

I’ve told the story of my name countless times: My mother was in Tahiti on a canoe-paddling trip and became very sick. Upon visiting a local doctor, she was shocked to learn that she was pregnant. Returning home, she asked Hōkūlani Holt, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner and close family friend, to name her baby. The name Aunty Hōkū gave me, Kalehiaikealaikahiki, translates as “the skillful fisherman on the pathway to Tahiti.”

In Hawaiian belief, one’s name is so important that many parents ask someone fluent in the language, with a deep understanding of the culture, to determine what their baby will be called. But not every child receives a Hawaiian name the way I did. For example, a name can appear through a vision or sign (inoa hō’ailona), or be given in memory of an event (inoa ho’omana’o). However it is chosen, one’s name is a prized possession, to be passed on only with the explicit permission of its owner.

From a Vanity Fair article about the Hilton family by Richard Lawson:

Anyway, all we had to do to find out that [Barron] Hilton was engaged was go on Instagram, where Hilton’s intended, Tessa Gräfin von Walderdorff, posted a picture announcing the news a few days ago. Should we talk about the fact that Barron Hilton is marrying someone named Tessa Gräfin von Walderdorff or should we just figure that that’s the kind of name you marry when you’re a son of the hotel gods?

Plus there was this line: “Barron is to be a husband, and maybe someday a father to a baby named Earrl.”

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.


Popular Baby Names in England and Wales, 2016

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most popular baby names in England and Wales last year were Olivia and Oliver.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 5,017 baby girls
2. Amelia, 4,777
3. Emily, 3,551
4. Isla, 3,476
5. Ava, 3,285
6. Isabella, 2,729
7. Lily, 2,722
8. Jessica, 2,703
9. Ella, 2,702
10. Mia, 2,662

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 6,623 baby boys
2. Harry, 5,284
3. George, 5,263
4. Jack, 4,751
5. Jacob, 4,485
6. Noah, 4,305
7. Charlie, 4,190
8. Muhammad, 3,908
9. Thomas, 3,898
10. Oscar, 3,894

In 2015, the #1 names were Amelia and Oliver.

In the girls’ top 10, Lily replaced Poppy. In the boys’ top 10, Muhammad replaced William.

Finally, here are some of the rare baby names from the other end of the rankings. Each was given to exactly 3 babies in England and Wales last year.

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Adrijana, Barira, Clove, Damla, Eloghosa, Flossy, Ginika, Hivda, Irtiqa, Jadesola, Kisa, Lwsi, Merina, Niniola, Oracle, Petruta, Ronny, Sirin, Teuta, Umm, Verona, Winta, Xanthia, Yvette, Zeliha Athavan, Believe, Cuban, Danujan, Endeavour, Finton, Gilby, Hale, Inder, Jeston, Kleart, Lando, Mordche, Nosson, Otli, Pavith, Rune, Smit, Tishan, Ugnius, Vencel, Wilfie, Yanky, Zenith

Sources: Baby names in England and Wales: 2016, Girl name statistics, Boy name statistics

Why Was Marilyn Monroe Named “Norma Jeane” at Birth?

We already know how Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, came up with her stage name — “Marilyn” was from Marilyn Miller, and “Monroe” was her mother’s maiden name.

But why was she named “Norma Jeane” as a baby?

In 1922, her mother Gladys, originally from California, moved to Kentucky to try to get her first two children (Robert and Berniece) back from her former husband’s family.

While there, Gladys worked as a housekeeper in the home of Harry and Lena Cohen of Louisville. She also helped care for the couple’s young daughters, Dorothy and Norma Jean.

norma jean cohen, namesake
The Cohen family of KY, 1930 U.S. Census

She eventually returned to California, alone.

In 1926, Gladys had her third and final baby. “She named the child after the little girl she had looked after whilst in Kentucky and, for the sake of respectability, also gave the surname of her former husband, hence naming her Norma Jeane Mortenson (she added an ‘e’ to Norma Jean and changed Mortensen to Mortenson on the birth certificate).”

Which first name do you like more, Marilyn or Norma? Vote below, then leave a comment with your reason…

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Source: Morgan, Michelle. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. London: Little, Brown Book Group, 2012.

Popular Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2016

According to data released on April 27 by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland in 2016 were Emily and James.

Here are the Northern Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emily, 237 baby girls
2. Grace, 198
3. Olivia, 191
4. Anna, 164
5. Sophie, 155
6. Lily, 151
7. Amelia, 150
8. Ella, 142
9. Ava, 136
10. Sophia, 135

Boy Names
1. James, 254 baby boys
2. Jack, 243
3. Oliver, 207
4. Charlie, 204
5. Noah, 201
6. Harry, 188
7. Jacob, 173
8. Daniel, 159
9. Matthew, 142
10. Alfie, 139

In the girls’ top ten, Lily and Sophia replace Aoife and Lucy. In the boys’ top ten, Jacob and Alfie replace Thomas and Jake.

The top names in the Republic of Ireland in 2016 were also Emily and James.

Here are the 2015 rankings for Northern Ireland.

Source: Baby Names – NISRA

Baby Isla, Named after Coney Island

Isla Tudor, 1915In 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.”

isla tudor, air lady
Isla Tudor, “Little Air Lady” (1914)

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.)

Sources: