Independent baby name blog & directory, est. 2006.
How popular is the baby name Hercules in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Hercules and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Hercules.
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In 1978, the names Astria, Astrea and Astreia all debuted on the SSA’s baby name list, and Astra saw its highest-ever usage:
What caused this sudden interest in the name Astria?
A Saturday morning cartoon called The Space Sentinels (originally titled The Young Sentinels). It premiered in September of 1977, and the main characters were a trio of teenage superheros that represented three different racial groups:
Mercury (Asian) “the amazing athlete who can match the speed of light”
Astria (African-American) “able to assume any living form”
Hercules (white) “empowered with the strength of a hundred men”
Astria was one of the few African-American superheroes on television around this time. (The Super Friends character Black Vulcan was another.)
Like Hercules and Mercury, Astria’s name was taken from a figure in ancient mythology: the Greek goddess Astraea.
Though I’m writing her name “Astria” here, I have to admit that I don’t know which spelling was used in the cartoon. Every source I checked seemed to use a different variant (Astrea at Wikipedia, Astraea at IMDb, etc.) and none of the episodes I watched on YouTube showed her name on-screen.
Speaking of episodes, not very many exist: only 13 aired before The Space Sentinels was cancelled. Was the mixed-race cartoon too ahead of its time to survive? Hm…
So which of those three debut spellings do you like best — Astria, Astrea or Astreia?
Source: Terrace, Vincent. Television Introductions: Narrated TV Program Openings since 1949. Plymouth, UK: Scarecrow Press, 2014.
Here are some of the baby names that didn’t make the cut: Aristotle, Artist, Boss, Brave, Couture, Czar, Dandy, Emperor, Fancy, Fantasy, Great, Hercules, Legacy, Ninja, Peerless, Pride, Pristine, Ritzy, Romeo, Royalty, Sassy.
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Until a few years ago, dwarf planet Pluto had only three known moons: Charon, Nix and Hydra. In 2011 and 2012, two more moons were discovered. Astronomers would now like some help naming these two new moons.
“By tradition, the moons of Pluto have names associated with Hades and the underworld,” so the ballot options include Acheron, Alecto, Cerberus, Erebus, Eurydice, Hercules, Hypnos, Lethe, Obol, Orpheus, Persephone, Styx and Vulcan. Write-in suggestions may also be added to the ballot before it closes. (Vulcan was added after being suggested by none other than William Shatner, for instance.)
The state of South Australia, home to about 8% of Australia’s population, has released its baby name rankings for 2009. Here are the top names for each gender, followed by two dozen names that were used only once last year.