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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Holly

Number of Babies Named Holly

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Holly

Names in the News: Evie Megan, Chloe, Thatcher

Three recent baby name stories out of England:

  • Evie Megan: In December of 2013, a baby girl born in Manchester — on Christmas Eve, in the passenger seat of a Renault Megane — was named Evie Megan.
  • Chloe: In December of 2015, a baby girl born to a family in Northhampton was named Holly Chloe, middle name in honor of the paramedic who assisted her mother during the birth.
  • Thatcher: In January of 2016, a baby boy born to a Conservative councillor in Essex was named Thatcher after former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

And here are two non-names: In April of 2016, a mother in Powys was forbidden from naming her twins (a girl and a boy) Cyanide and Preacher.

Here are three earlier name stories from nearby Scotland and Ireland.

Sources: Meet the Christmas baby named after the car she was born in, Baby named after the paramedic who helped with delivery, Essex man names his baby after ex-PM Margaret Thatcher, Powys mum banned from naming daughter Cyanide by court


Name Quotes for the Weekend #33

It's not like I called her Coffee Table - quote by Holly Madison, mother of Rainbow

From an interview with Holly Madison at Yahoo Parenting:

Q: People love to pass judgment on baby names — everyone has an opinion. Your daughter Rainbow has an unusual name; did you have to deal with a lot of judgment there?

A: Oh, yeah. I got flooded with stupid commentary on social media. It’s definitely a unique name. I like unique names and I wouldn’t have picked it if were common. But, growing up, there was a girl in my class named Rainbow. I grew up in Oregon, where a lot of hippies went to start families. There was a girl at school named Rainbow, and I was so jealous and I wanted it to be my name. So it’s definitely unusual, but it’s a name. It’s not like I called her Coffee Table. People love to say, “That’s a stripper name.” But I’ve spent a lot of time in Vegas and strippers aren’t named Rainbow. They’re named Amber, Crystal and Jessica.

From an article about Woody Guthrie’s son Joady in the Mercury News:

Joady Guthrie was named for Tom Joad, the hero of John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath,” because his father, himself a political activist and an Oklahoman, or “Okie,” was sympathetic to the plight of 1930s farmers of the Great Depression. Many of Woody Guthrie’s songs championed Dust Bowl migrant workers and working people.

From an article about a baby sloth at the London Zoo:

The seven-week-old two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), born to second-time parents Marilyn and Leander, needed a helping hand when his mum stopped producing milk, and was unable to care for her infant.

Keepers have named the young male Edward after Johnny Depp’s famous character, Edward Scissorhands, due to his impressive claws – which will grow up to four inches in length and enable him to cling on and climb easily through the tree-top branches of his Rainforest Life home.

From the opinion piece “Denali and the Names of the Past” by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker:

The truth is that the obsession with word magic and names is a primitive one, inherently irrational. Names are notional. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet–or as rancid, depending; a mountain by its older name is just as tall. Yet the desire to remedy the wrongs of the past by righting our nomenclature is a deep one, and it burns on. Word magic it may be, and no more than that, but we believe in magic, and we think in words.

[…]

Nothing depends on names. The rock will not get an inch taller or shorter or changed in nature depending on what we call it. If Ohioans want to keep calling it Mount McKinley, let them, and let them take a place of pride along with those who are fighting to keep Pluto called a planet. We are not slaves of our tongues. But we are citizens of our languages. Choosing names is a way of expressing emotions. The things of this world can exist with as many names as we choose to give them, and the biggest among them can take on many identities without getting any smaller.

(This is in response to Denali’s recent renaming.)

From “Leave Mariah Alone, Dammit” at New York Magazine site The Cut:

Little Moroccan, whose name is technically a modifier, modified Mariah’s photo-op by briefly rushing over to hug her.

From “The Paradox of Baby Names” by Megan Garber in The Atlantic:

Erfolgswelle [a baby-naming company in Switzerland] has a business not just because there are people in the world with $31,000 lying around to finance its services, but because there can be a game-theory component to baby-naming. While some parents choose traditional names for their kids, and many others choose family names, and many others choose names that have been lifted from pop culture…many other new parents seek unusual names that, they hope, will help their kids stand out rather than fit in. As the sociologist Philip Cohen put it, exploring the precipitous decline of the name Mary in recent years, “Conformity to tradition has been replaced by conformity to individuality.”

(Thank you to commenter Pernille for making sure I saw this one!)

From an article about the late Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney in the New York Times:

Mr. Pinckney’s late mother, Theopia Stevenson Aikens, was a baseball fan who named her son after Roberto Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star, who had died in a plane crash seven months earlier while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, family members said. His last name, one of the most stories in South Carolina politics, is that of a pair of white slaveholding cousins who signed the United States Constitution.

From a comment about Vietnamese names by reader Pham Quang Vinh in Viet Nam News:

Vietnamese address other compatriots by their first name, not by their family name like other peoples in the world and always call it in Vietnamese way, which means they will pronounce the last syllable of the longer full name for addressing that person.

For example, if a person is named Nguyen Manchester United, everybody will know he comes from the Nguyen family and no matter what follows Nguyen, including a middle name or addressed name or not, it must be translated and spoken in Vietnamese way and will become something like man-chet-to-diu-nai-tit, so, people will call him Tit.

Nobody cares about what lies before the “Tit” in his full name. If he is stopped by a policeman on the street, he would be called “Anh (Brother) Tit” or “Ong (Mister) Tit.”

For previous quote posts, check out the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in England and Wales, 2014

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

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Amelia, 5,327 baby girls
2. Olivia, 4,724
3. Isla, 4,012
4. Emily, 3,991
5. Poppy, 3,273
6. Ava, 3,171
7. Isabella, 3,022
8. Jessica, 2,995
9. Lily, 2,965
10. Sophie, 2,905
1. Oliver, 6,649 baby boys
2. Jack, 5,804
3. Harry, 5,379
4. Jacob, 5,050
5. Charlie, 4,642
6. Thomas, 4,405
7. George, 4,320
8. Oscar, 4,269
9. James, 4,167
10. William, 4,134

In the girls’ top 10, Lily replaces Mia (now 13th). The boys’ top 10 includes the same names in a different order.

The ONS report also highlighted a few seasonal favorites, such as…

  • Holly, which ranked 5th in December but 70th in June. Overall, it was 39th.
  • Summer, which ranked 25th in June but 105th in December. Overall, it was 58th.

Here are some of last year’s rare baby names, each given to either 3, 4 or 5 babies:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Ambreen, Angharad, Arinola, Arzoo, Astala, Boux, Cagla, Cliodhna, Darasimi, Delyth, Dolsie, Elliw, Eslem, Flourish, Harper-Lee, Heulwen, Heyabel, Honeysuckle, Ilinca, Io, Iris-Rose, Jedidiah, Kitty-Rose, Lili-Haf, Loveday, Luul, L’Wren, Makatendeka, Maxima, Moksha, Morsal, Nainsi, Peach, Poppy-Willow, Ritaj, Sailor, Shailene, Tavleen, Topsy, Tuppence, Uxia, Vaneeza, Venba, Zennor, Ziggy Aldion, Alias, Archimedes, Bevon, Boycie, Bright, Buzz, Caelum, Calix, Cloud, Coast, Cove, Crispin, Denley, Diesel, Dipson, Grantas, Gwern, Hanzala, Harrington, Jensen-James, Jolyon, Jonjoe, Jorel, Kebba, Keita, Khattab, Klaidas, Marceau, Metodi, Oaklen, Osazee, Peregrine, Refoel, Re’Kai, Romarni, Sanchez, Seweryn, Sheriff, Stanleigh, Swayley, Timurs, Ugnius, Vasco, Velizar, Ynyr

Finally, here are all of my previous posts on baby names in England and Wales: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

Source: Baby Names, England and Wales, 2014 – ONS

Names of the Boston Duck Boats

I’m in Boston right now visiting family, and earlier this week some of us went on a Duck Tour for the first time. The tour was pretty good — I’m on the fence about whether or not I’d recommend it to others — but one thing I did like was finding this list of duck boat names in the pamphlet they gave us:

Boston duck boats
Names of the Boston duck boats
  • Annie Aquarium
  • Arborway Alex
  • Back Bay Bertha
  • Beacon Hilda
  • Beantown Betty
  • Charlie River
  • Commonwealth Curley
  • Copley Squire
  • Dorchester Dottie
  • Espla Nadia
  • Faneuil Holly
  • Fenway Fanny
  • Frog Pond Lily
  • Haymarket Hannah
  • Kenmore Karla
  • Liberty Teresa
  • Longfellow Bridget
  • Miss Emma Science
  • Molly Molasses
  • North End Norma
  • Old Gloria
  • Olga Ironsides
  • Penelope Pru
  • Red Sox Nathan
  • South End Sara
  • Symphony Hal
  • Tub of the Hub
  • Waterfront Wanda

I especially like Espla Nadia and Molly Molasses — the first for the wordplay (a take on “Esplanade”) the second for the historical reference (the Great Molasses Flood).

Which of the above do you like best?

Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, E/W, 2013

I’ve got a post on the top names in England and Wales scheduled for Monday, but until then here are a couple of “biggest changes” analyses. We’ll do the girl names today and the boy names tomorrow.

The tables below include two versions of each list. On the left are the top raw-number differences, taking all names into account. On the right are the top ranking differences, taking only the top 1,000 names (roughly) into account.

Biggest Increases in Popularity

Raw Numbers (all names) Rankings (top 1,000)
  1. Sienna, +586 babies
  2. Scarlett, +395
  3. Elsie, +293
  4. Sofia, +274
  5. Thea, +241
  6. Ivy, +234
  7. Poppy, +219
  8. Evelyn, +193
  9. Willow, +182
  10. Alice, +172
  1. Reeva, +4951 spots
  2. Esmay, +844
  3. Bea, +761
  4. Khaleesi, +711
  5. Neriah, +703
  6. Keeva, +690
  7. Siyana, +650
  8. Milan, +643
  9. Isla-Mae, +574
  10. Dahlia, +566

Eleanor “Elea” Nickerson of British Baby Names mentioned the rise of Reeva yesterday on Facebook, attributing it to Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend Oscar Pistorius allegedly murdered. That sounds like a good explanation to me. In fact, the murder early last year (and the ongoing news coverage) might explain why Oscar itself saw such a big increase in 2013.

Can you think of explanations for any of the other names? (Well, besides Khaleesi. I think we all know where that one comes from at this point.)

Biggest Decreases in Popularity

Raw Numbers (all names) Rankings (top 1,000)
  1. Amelia, -1491 babies
  2. Lily, -919
  3. Jessica, -658
  4. Mia, -531
  5. Evie, -513
  6. Sophie, -483
  7. Lola, -436
  8. Maisie, -393
  9. Holly, -391
  10. Grace, -389
  1. Gemma, -402 spots
  2. Lilly-Mai, -364
  3. Krystal, -360
  4. Star, -320
  5. Sian, -297
  6. Tayla, -286
  7. Bo, -271
  8. Veronica, -256
  9. Zaina, -246
  10. Tahlia, -240

Top Debut Name

Everly.

Fewer than 3 baby girls got the name in 2012, but 21 baby girls were named Everly in 2013. Everley, Everleigh and Everlyn have been on the list before, but never Everly. (I only have the full England and Wales baby name lists going back to 2007, though.)

Here are the U.S. girl names that changed the most in popularity in 2013, if you’d like to compare.

Source: Baby Names, England and Wales, 2013 – ONS

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2013

Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office, the most popular baby names are Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Sophie
4. Ella
5. Amelia
6. Aoife
7. Ava
8. Lucy
9. Grace
10. Sarah
11. Mia
12. Anna
13. Chloe
14. Hannah
15. Kate
16. Ruby
17. Lily
18. Katie
19. Caoimhe
20. Sophia
21. Lauren
22. Saoirse
23. Ellie
24. Holly
25. Leah
26. Amy
27. Olivia
28. Jessica
29. Ciara
30. Zoe
31. Isabelle
32. Niamh
33. Molly
34. Julia
35. Robyn
36. Erin
37. Roisin
38. Freya
39. Laura
40. Cara
41. Sofia
42. Eva
43. Rachel
44. Isabella
45. Kayla
46. Abbie
47. Charlotte [tie]
47. Millie [tie]
49. Faye
50. Clodagh
51. Aisling
52. Alice [tie]
52. Eabha [tie]
54. Abigail
55. Ellen
56. Lexi
57. Aoibhinn
58. Layla
59. Eve [tie]
59. Zara [tie]
61. Alannah
62. Aine
63. Maria [tie]
63. Megan [tie]
65. Rebecca
66. Nicole
67. Sadhbh
68. Clara
69. Elizabeth
70. Maya
71. Maja
72. Emilia
73. Caitlin
74. Rose
75. Isabel
76. Aoibheann
77. Sadie
78. Lena
79. Hollie
80. Sienna
81. Mary
82. Fiadh
83. Zuzanna
84. Aimee [tie]
84. Tara [tie]
86. Hanna [tie]
86. Katelyn [tie]
86. Lilly [tie]
86. Ruth [tie]
90. Alexandra [tie]
90. Poppy [tie]
92. Amber [tie]
92. Mollie [tie]
92. Victoria [tie]
95. Lara
96. Sara
97. Brooke
98. Aoibhe [tie]
98. Laoise [tie]
100. Kayleigh
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Conor
5. Sean
6. Adam
7. Ryan
8. Michael
9. Harry
10. Noah
11. Thomas
12. Alex
13. Luke
14. Oisin
15. Charlie
16. Patrick
17. Cian
18. Liam [tie]
18. Darragh [tie]
20. Dylan
21. Jamie
22. Matthew
23. Cillian
24. Aaron
25. Fionn
26. Jake
27. John
28. David
29. Ben
30. Finn
31. Nathan
32. Kyle
33. Samuel
34. Evan
35. Max
36. Ethan
37. Rian
38. Joseph
39. Alexander
40. Mason
41. Oliver
42. Joshua
43. William
44. Eoin
45. Jayden
46. Oscar
47. Callum
48. Aidan
49. Tom
50. Robert
51. Sam [tie]
51. Tadhg [tie]
53. Jacob
54. Cathal
55. Shane
56. Leon
57. Mark
58. Senan
59. Bobby
60. Ronan [tie]
60. Andrew [tie]
62. Eoghan
63. Leo
64. Lucas
65. Rory
66. Alfie
67. Tyler
68. Benjamin [tie]
68. Cormac [tie]
70. Scott
71. Christopher
72. Odhran
73. Kevin
74. Ciaran
75. Dara
76. Shay [tie]
76. Alan [tie]
78. Tommy
79. Logan [tie]
79. Anthony [tie]
81. Jakub
82. Rhys
83. Tomas
84. Donnacha
85. Kai
86. Stephen
87. Killian
88. Niall
89. Jason
90. Josh
91. Kayden
92. Martin [tie]
92. Ruairi [tie]
92. Brian [tie]
95. Isaac
96. Danny [tie]
96. Edward [tie]
98. Oran [tie]
98. Sebastian [tie]
98. Hugh [tie]

New to the top 100 are Sadie, Sienna, Fiadh and Poppy for girls and Kai and Kayden for boys.

(Names that were new on the 2012 list but that have since dropped out of the top 100 are Amelie, Evie and Maisie.)

Of all the girl names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Fiadh, +64 (146th to 82nd)
  2. Sadie, +62 (139th to 77th)
  3. Poppy, +46 (136th to 90th)
  4. Lexi, +33 (89th to 56th)
  5. Sienna, +32 (112th to 80th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Anna, +56 (296 babies to 352 babies)
  2. Lexi, +54 (127 babies to 73 babies)
  3. Sofia, +50 (155 babies to 105 babies)
  4. Sadie, +42 (84 babies to 42 babies)
  5. Fiadh, +39 (78 babies to 39 babies)

Of all the boy names in the current top 100, these five saw the biggest increases from 2012 to 2013 in terms of rank change:

  1. Kayden, +44 (135th to 91st)
  2. Shay, +27 (103rd to 76th)
  3. Kai, +24 (109th to 85th)
  4. Leo, +21 (84th to 63rd)
  5. Anthony, +20 (99th to 79th)

And these five saw the biggest increases in terms of number of babies:

  1. Oliver, +44 (199 babies to 155 babies)
  2. Mason, +42 (201 babies to 159 babies)
  3. Alexander, +41 (202 babies to 161 babies)
  4. Leo, +35 (131 babies to 96 babies)
  5. Shay, +35 (104 babies to 69 babies)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2013
Image: Adapted from Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, Ireland by Giuseppe Milo under CC BY 2.0.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2013

Here are the results of the 2013 pop culture baby name game!

But I’m writing them up a bit differently this year — I’m only focusing on 20 big winners.

How did I choose these 20? First, I eliminated all the names that didn’t see increased usage in 2013. Then I eliminated the names that saw relatively small increases in usage. Then I eliminated the names that saw more or less expected increases in usage, given their trajectories.

That left me with about 20 names that became more popular in 2013 due mainly (in some cases entirely) to pop culture influence.

The links will take you to popularity graphs.

1. Jace

  • Increase: +1,649 baby boys (4,692 to 6,341) and +8 baby girls (36 to 44).
  • Inspiration: “Duck Dynasty” character Jason “Jase” Robertson.
  • Even more impressive, the name Jase increased +3,410 and +13.

2. Lincoln

  • Increase: +1,112 baby boys (2,898 to 4,010) and +28 baby girls (33 to 61).
  • Inspiration: The film Lincoln (2012).

3. Ariana

  • Increase: +816 baby girls (3,568 to 4,384).
  • Inspiration: Singer/actress Ariana Grande.
  • 4,384 baby girls is a new all-time high for Ariana. The previous high was 4,322 baby girls in 2007.

4. Everly

  • Increase: +517 baby girls (287 to 804).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby Everly, daughter of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan.

5. Kendrick

  • Increase: +472 baby boys (570 to 1,042).
  • Inspiration: Hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.
  • 1,042 baby boys is a new all-time high for Kendrick. The previous high was 763 baby boys in 1991.

6. Milan

  • Increase: +333 baby boys (151 to 484) and +89 baby girls (382 to 471).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby Milan, son of Shakira and Gerard Pique.

7. George

  • Increase: +194 baby boys (2,328 to 2,522).
  • Inspiration: Royal baby George, son of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

8. Francis

  • Increase: +101 baby boys (429 to 530) and +13 baby girls (44 to 57).
  • Inspiration: The election of Pope Francis.
  • Even more impressive, the name Francisco increased +125.

9. Bruno

  • Increase: +91 baby boys (284 to 375).
  • Inspiration: Singer Bruno Mars.
  • 375 baby boys is a new all-time high for Bruno. The previous high was 353 in 1916.

10. Paul

  • Increase: +78 baby boys (1,939 to 2,017).
  • Inspiration: The death of actor Paul Walker.
  • Walker saw an even bigger increase (+128) but I thought Paul’s rise was more compelling as it went against a decades-long decline in usage.

11. Robin

  • Increase: +48 baby boys (104 to 152).
  • Inspiration: Singer Robin Thicke.

12. Diamond

  • Increase: +41 baby girls (345 to 386).
  • Inspiration: Rihanna song “Diamonds” (2012).

13. Wendy

  • Increase: +37 baby girls (357 to 394).
  • Inspiration: Texas politician Wendy Davis.
  • I’m dying to see how much of Wendy’s increase can be attributed to Texas specifically. The SSA’s state lists haven’t been updated yet, though.

14. Nori

  • Increase: +18 baby girls (11 to 29).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby “Nori” (North), daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
  • 29 baby girls is a new high for Nori. The previous high was 20 in 2009.

15. Primrose

  • Increase: +17 baby girls (17 to 34).
  • Inspiration: Hunger Games (2012) character Primrose Everdeen.
  • Prim, a nickname for Primrose, debuted with 7 baby girls.

16. Marnie

  • Increase: +14 baby girls (13 to 27).
  • Inspiration: “Girls” character Marnie Michaels.

17. Rainbow

  • Increase: +9 baby girls (7 to 16).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby Rainbow, daughter of Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella.

18. Kitai

  • Debuted with 16 baby boys.
  • Inspiration: After Earth (2013) character Kitai Raige.
  • Cypher, the name of another After Earth character, increased +4.

19. Sansa

  • Debuted with 11 baby girls.
  • Inspiration: “Game of Thrones” character Sansa Stark.

20. Malala

  • Debuted with 9 baby girls.
  • Inspiration: Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

Did any of the above surprise you?

Past PCBNG results: 2012, 2011, 2010.