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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Heidi

Number of Babies Named Heidi

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Heidi

42 Swedes Change Their Names to “Klaus-Heidi”

Klaus-Heidi bike
“Property of: Klaus-Heidi”
Late last year, Lufthansa tried “to attract more Swedes to its flights” (and away from competitors’ flights) with a crazy marketing campaign.

What was so crazy about the campaign?

The name change contest.

The winner of the contest would get to live in Berlin for free for an entire year. He or she would get a flight to the city from Sweden, several more domestic flights within Germany (“so you can see all of your new homeland”), a fully furnished apartment, German language lessons, food vouchers, a bike, a Berlin WelcomeCard (for public transportation and entrance to museums), and more — all for free.

To enter the contest in the first place, though, this person would have to have changed his/her legal name to include the “very German” Klaus-Heidi.

Magnus Engvall, the Lufthansa marketing specialist running the competition, explains that it’s as if, translated for an American audience, Lufthansa was asking you to change your name to Jack-Barbara.

Proof of the name change, plus an essay, needed to be submitted to Lufthansa sometime between mid-October, when the contest began, and mid-November, when it ended.

Here’s the commercial Lufthansa used to introduce the “Are You Klaus-Heidi?” campaign:

Only a handful of entries were expected, but — thanks to Sweden’s notoriously liberal name-changing laws — dozens began pouring in. Lufthansa shut the contest down early, but not before 42 people entered, 9 on the very first day.

The 42 Swedes who changed their names to Klaus-Heidi ranged in age from 19 to 69. About 70% were male and 30% were female. Half were from Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm.

The winner of the contest, chosen because he’d creatively submitted a poem in place of an essay, was 24-year-old Michael Eric Klaus-Heidi Andersson (originally Michael Eric Andersson) from the village of Fjugesta. His “new life in Berlin” began in January of 2014.

The 41 other Klaus-Heidis didn’t walk away empty-handed, though. Each was awarded status in Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program and 60,000 free miles.

Now for the question of the day: If you were a Swede, would you have entered this contest?

Sources: The Atlantic, BusinessWeek, The Economist, The Local, Lufthansa


Girl Names Based on “Hester Jo” Needed

A reader named Q* contacted me a several years ago about choosing a name for her first daughter, Posy. Q is now expecting her second daughter (due in one week!) and would like some help naming baby #2.

I never wrote a post about Posy’s name, but I think a collective brainstorm is in order for baby #2.

The frontrunners so far are Gemma, Evie (“EH-vie”), Persephone (nn Sephie) and Belle, but Q says that “nothing has really grabbed us.”

Also, there’s this to think about:

We got some very sad news this weekend which is that our close family friend passed away. We would like to incorporate her name somehow in our daughter’s name.

Her name was Hester Jo. I don’t particularly like the name Hester Jo but we would really like to somehow honor her. I prefer Hestia or Hes or Esti to Hester, but none of these names really grab me, and the fact that our last name also ends in an “-er” sound doesn’t seem to mesh well with Hester.

Can you think of any creative ways to incorporate her name? I know that Hester means “star” so I was wondering if there are any other names meaning star or something similar that might be good. Or even matching the initials HJ?

The baby’s last name will be a 2-syllable T-name a lot like Tyler.

First, let me say that I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

I think it’s wonderful that you want to honor Hester Jo. I can understand why “Hester” might not sound so hot with a surname that ends with -er, though.

Hester comes from Esther, which we know of through the biblical Queen Esther. We don’t know for sure what her name means. Esther could be based on the Persian word for “star,” on the name of the goddess Ishtar, on a Median word for “myrtle,” or on something else entirely.

One H-name with a direct connection to the original Esther is Esther’s birth name, Hadassah, which is Hebrew for “myrtle.” It could shortened to a nickname like Hada or Dassah to make it sound a bit peppier, like Posy.

Speaking of nicknames, short forms of Hester and Esther are Hettie and Essie. These could also be bestowed as-is, just like Posy (which is a nickname for Josephine).

Essie reminds me of Vanessa, a name invented by Jonathan Swift. He based it on the name of a friend, Esther Vanhomrigh, and featured it in his poem “Cadenus and Vanessa.” (And Vanessa gives rise to nicknames like Vana and Nessa.)

In terms of star-names, I like Stella, Estella, and Estelle — really, anything in the Stella family (stella is Latin for “star”).

Another star-themed idea is the Scandinavian name Astrid, which doesn’t have an etymological connection to the prefix astro- (which is based on the Ancient Greek astron, “star”) but looks/sounds like it does.

The name Johanna reminds me of Hester Jo a little — Jo in the front, followed by an H.

Other H-names, let’s see…Hazel, Honora (Nora), Heidi, Harriet, Helen, maybe even Hephzibah (nn Hepsie — Persephone/Sephie is on the table, so I had to throw this in!).

Out of this group, I like Hazel the best. It has a z-sound like Posy, and also a vegetation connection like Hester/Esther (possibly “myrtle”), Hadassah (definitely “myrtle”) and Posy (in the bouquet sense).

Now on to the current favorites…

I like them all, actually. I could see any of them in a sibset with Posy.

I’d be a little concerned about trendiness with both Gemma and Belle. Gemma’s been climbing the charts rather quickly in the last few years; you never know how high it could go. And Belle, not popular on its own, could get lost in a sea of girls with -bella names (Isabella is currently ranked #1, Bella #48, Isabelle #105, Annabelle #117, Izabella #140, etc.).

Sephie reminds me a lot of Posy — both are very rare and have an old-fashioned feel. But I don’t know how fair it is to give one daughter a name that is a nickname (i.e. 1 name) and the other a name that has a nickname (i.e. 2 names). If Posy had been Josephine (nn Posy), I would have been a lot more excited about Persephone (nn Sephie).

Finally, Evie. I have a feeling that most people pronounce it EE-vee, not EHV-ee, so correcting people could become a chore. Spelling it Evvie might help, though both names can be pronounced both ways, so the extra v may not make much of a difference.

Want to help Q name her daughter? Please leave a comment with your…

  • Ideas about how to incorporate the name Hester Jo (or the initials H. J.),
  • Opinions on the current favorites, and/or
  • Other helpful suggestions.

*Name edited out at Q’s request.

Baby Name Needed for Ethan’s Little Sister

A reader named Kathy is expecting a baby girl in December. She’d like some help coming up with a name. She writes:

I have a 25 month old named Ethan. I have loved that name but am sad to see it’s become so popular. I would like suggestions for a feminine, unique girl name if you have some.

Kathy does like the name Ava, but feels it’s too popular to use.

She also mentions that the baby will be of German/Irish extraction and have a 2-syllable surname that starts with an h (think Hofler).

Ethan and Ava are short, simple, traditional names. But they both happen to be very popular right now. So I looked for girl names that have a similar profile, but that aren’t quite as popular (i.e. none are top 20).

Alice
Amy
Anna
Clara
Cora
Elsa
Gemma
Heidi
Ivy
Laura
Leah
Lucy
Lydia
Marie
Mary
Naomi
Paula
Ruth
Sarah
Susan

Now, Kathy did use the word “unique” in her e-mail. None of the above names could be described as unique. In fact, I don’t think any baby name is unique in a literal sense. But here are some names that weren’t popular enough to make the top 1,000 in 2009.

Anja
Audra
Flora
Jill
Judy
Marla
Petra
Sonja

Which of these names do you like best with Ethan? What other names would you suggest to Kathy?

Top Baby Names in England in 2009 – Oliver, Olivia

Just announced! The most popular baby boy names in England and Wales in 2009 were:

  1. Oliver
  2. Jack
  3. Harry
  4. Alfie
  5. Joshua
  6. Thomas
  7. Charlie
  8. William
  9. James
  10. Daniel

And the most popular baby girl names were:

  1. Olivia
  2. Ruby
  3. Chloe
  4. Emily
  5. Sophie
  6. Jessica
  7. Grace
  8. Lily
  9. Amelia
  10. Evie

The big news is that Oliver ousted former #1 Jack, which had been the top name for 14 years. And…now the top boy name and the top girl name sound eerily similar.

The biggest jumps within the top 100 were Lucas for boys (36th to 17th) and Maisie for girls (63rd to 34th). Newbies in the top 100 were Aiden, Arthur, Frederick, Stanley (!), Jude and Austin for boys and Heidi, Sara and Mya for girls.

Finally, looks like the ONS has a brand new baby names comparison tool for us to play with. Very cool.

Sources: Oliver and Olivia top names’ list, Office for National Statistics

Baby Named After Hurricane Andrew

hurricaneMost of the hurricane-inspired baby names I know of (e.g. Alicia, Gloria, Hazel) were given to girls. So I had to end the series with a boy. :)

Hurricane Andrew hit Florida on 24 August 1992. It ended up demolishing Homestead Air Force Base.

Luckily, Kevin Hicks–who had been stationed at Homestead–was off the base by that point. Kevin, his pregnant wife Heidi, and their daughter Emily had driven 5 hours north to Leesburg to avoid the storm.

But on the day the hurricane hit Homestead, Heidi went into labor (4 days early). She gave birth to a baby boy at Leesburg Regional Medical Center that night.

The baby was named Jacob Andrew.

Source: Bond, Bill. “Hurricane Shoots Down Visiting Air Force Family.” Orlando Sentinel 27 Aug. 1992: 1.

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Saylor’s Sister

A reader named Michelle has a son named Saylor Dorian. She’s expecting a baby girl in May and would like some name suggestions. She says:

We originally picked shiloh for a girl but we aren’t liking how popular it’s getting [due to a celebrity finding it first..grrr] we want a unique name that’s still ‘easy on the ears’ as in easy to get used to. I try to stay away from the too feminine popular vowel names like ava, bella, etc… though we like them we don’t want a trendy name like piper, stella, etc…

We are currently tossing around names like vega, remy…. though what i loved about shiloh was that O ending.. but we are open to whatever.

First let’s try to come up some more o-endings. How about:

Callisto
Calypso
Clio
Flo (Flora/Florence)
Jo (Josie/Josephine)
Juno
Leo (Leona)
Margot
Marlow
Meadow
Mo (Maureen)
Willow

And here are some other names that came to mind:

Audra
Briar
Darcy
Dylan
Emery
Fiona
Gillian
Greer
Heidi
Ione
Jaya
Lotus
Lyra
Mina
Morgan
Nadia
Naomi
Nova
Phoebe
Rory
Tess
Violet
Vita
Zillah

Which of the above do you like best for Saylor’s sister? What other girl names would you suggest to Michelle?

Baby Name Needed – Names That Go with Saling

A reader named Kim wrote to me the other day with a surname question:

My husband and I are pregnant with our first child, my husband and his family are really proud of their last name. I was wondering what names go along with Saling (pronounced like sailing) that actually sound like names and not just boat terms.

This question reminds me of the post I wrote about the surname Gripe a few months ago.

They key with surnames like Saling and Gripe is to pick a first and middle names that don’t make them seem like anything other than surnames. That is, names that don’t pull them out of context. This entails avoiding:

  • Names, nicknames, and initials that are (or sound like) nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or other parts of speech. Examples: Christian Saling, Sky Saling, Ernest Saling, Ben Saling, Izzy Saling, Will B. Saling, C. U. Saling.
  • Names and nicknames that have too many sounds in common with the surname. Alliteration can make a name sound cartoonish (e.g. Olive Oyl, Betty Boop). Examples: Stella Saling, Cecilia Saling, Irving Saling, Sal Saling.
  • Names that don’t work with the surname specifically. Examples: Clara Saling, Perry Saling (both are close to parasailing).

Here are some names that I think would work with Saling:

Boy names: Girl names:
Brian
David
Derek
Dominic
Eric
Ethan
Frederick
Gregory
Henry
Jacob
Jeffrey
Jonathan
Nathan
Ryan
Timothy
Zachary
Bethany
Brianna
Catherine
Diane
Hannah
Heidi
Jennifer
Megan
Monica
Naomi
Natasha
Norah
Phoebe
Rebecca
Veronica
Zoe

Which of the above do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Kim?