How popular is the baby name Humphrey in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Humphrey.
A while back, I stumbled upon a register of people associated with Oxford University in the late 1500s and early 1600s. The most interesting part? The author of the register included a chapter dedicated to first names and surnames, and that chapter featured a table of male forenames ranked by frequency of occurrence from 1560 to 1621.
The author claimed that, for several reasons, these rankings were “probably…more representative of English names than any list yet published” for that span of time. One reason was that the names represented men from “different grades of English society” — including peers, scholars, tradesmen, and servants.
Ready for the list?
John, 3,826 individuals Thomas, 2,777 William, 2,546 Richard, 1,691 Robert, 1,222 Edward, 957 Henry, 908 George, 647 Francis, 447 James, 424 Nicholas, 326 Edmund, 298 Anthony, 262 Hugh, 257 Christopher, 243 Samuel, 227 Walter, 207 Roger, 195 Ralph (sometimes confused with Raphael/Randall in the records), 182 Peter, 175 Humphrey, 168 Charles, 139 Philip, 137 David, 129 Matthew (sometimes confused with Matthias), 116 Nathaniel, 112 Michael, 103 Alexander, 98 (tie) Arthur, 98 (tie) Laurence, 90 Giles, 88 Stephen, 86 Simon (sometimes confused with Simeon), 83 Daniel, 79 Joseph, 78 (tie) Lewis, 78 (tie) Andrew, 69 Roland (also Rowland), 65 Griffith (also Griffin), 60 Evan, 55 Abraham, 54 (tie) Leonard, 54 (tie) Owen, 53 Gilbert, 52 Morris (sometimes confused with Maurice), 51 Bartholomew, 46 (3-way tie) Oliver, 46 (3-way tie) Timothy, 46 (3-way tie) Morgan, 45 Martin, 44 (tie) Rice (sometimes confused with Richard), 44 (tie) Gabriel, 41 Benjamin, 40 Jeffrey (also Geoffrey; sometimes confused with Godfrey), 38 Ambrose, 36 Adam, 35 Toby (also Tobias), 34 Jerome, 33 Ellis, 30 Paul, 29 Bernard, 28 (3-way tie) Gregory (sometimes confused with George), 28 (3-way tie) Isaac, 28 (3-way tie) Jasper (also Gaspar), 26 Randall (also Randle, Randolph; sometimes confused with Ralph), 26 (tie)
Did the relative popularity of any of these names surprise you?
Entries lower down on the list included Lancelot (23), Jarvis (22) Theophilus (19), Marmaduke (18), Fulke (17), and Cadwalader (9).
The author also included every other Oxford-associated name from that general time period, so here’s a sampling of the rare names that popped up in the register just once:
Aegeon, Arundel, Aunstey, Aymondesham Bamfield, Beauforus, Bezaliel, Bulstrod Cadoc, Cannanuel, Chiddiock, Cosowarth Dabridgcourt, Delvus, Deodatus, Donwald Erisy, Esdras Fettiplace, Florice, Fogge Glidd, Gourneus, Granado Hattil, Hercius Jarniot, Jerameel, Jeremoth, Jolliffe Kelamus, Killingworth, Kingsmell Leoline, Levinus, Livewell Maior, Maniewe, Marchadine, Moyle Nargia, Nizael, Noye Ogier, Olliph Peleger, Periam, Pexall, Phatnell Rimprum, Rollesley, Rotheram, Rumbold Scipio, Snappe Thekeston, Thrasibulus, Timoleon, Tournie Ulpian, Umpton, Utred Wallop, Walsingham, Warian, Willgent Yeldard Zorobabel
, edited by Andrew Clark, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889. Register of the University of Oxford, vol. 2, part 4
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…she walks into mine.”
Who is “she”? Ilsa Lund, the ex-lover of Rick Blaine in the classic film
Casablanca, which was released in late 1942 and won the Academy Award for Best Picture (plus two other Oscars) in early 1944.
1945: 5 baby girls named Ilsa 1944: 12 baby girls named Ilsa 1943: 6 baby girls named Ilsa [debut] 1942: unlisted 1942: unlisted
The baby name
Ilsa (a variant of Ilse, which is a pet form of Elisabeth, the German form of Elizabeth) promptly debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1943.
The movie was based upon a never-produced play written in 1940. In the play, the female lead was an American named Lois Meredith, but in the screenplay the character evolved into a Norwegian woman named Ilsa Lund.
Ingrid Bergman (the mother of
Pia) played Isla, while Humphrey Bogart played protagonist Rick — who likely kicked off the sharp rise in the usage of Rick that began in the early ’40s:
1945: 505 baby boys named Rick 1944: 431 baby boys named Rick 1943: 237 baby boys named Rick 1942: 96 baby boys named Rick 1941: 60 baby boys named Rick
What do you think of the name Ilsa? Do you prefer this spelling, or the original spelling (Ilse)?
Source: Rode, Alan K.
Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2017.
Looking for a surname-inspired baby name with a connection to Catholicism?
Here are more than 200 options, most of which come from Catholic Englishmen martyred during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Because the goal was to include as many
realistic baby names as possible, I interpreted “surname” and “saint” liberally in some cases. Xavier is not technically a surname, for instance, and many of the folks below are not yet full-fledged saints.
The hyperlinked names will take you to popularity graphs.
Abel, for Bl. Thomas Abel (d. 1540) of England.
Abbot, for Bl. Henry Abbot (d. 1597) of England.
Albert, for Bl. Federico Albert (d. 1876) of Italy.
Almond, for St. John Almond (d. 1612) of England.
Amias, for Bl. John Amias (d. 1589) of England. Ancina, for Bl. John Juvenal Ancina (d. 1604) of Italy.
Andleby, for Bl. William Andleby (d. 1597) of England.
Aquinas, for St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) of Italy. Arrowsmith, for St. Edmund Arrowsmith (d. 1628) of England.
Ashley, for Bl. Ralph Ashley (d. 1606) of England.
Ashton, for Ven. Roger Ashton (d. 1592) of England. Atkinson, for Bl. Thomas Atkinson (d. 1616) of England.
Aufield, for Bl. Thomas Aufield (d. 1585) of England.
Barlow, for St. Ambrose Barlow (d. 1641) of England.
Baylon, for St. Paschal Baylon (d. 1592) of Spain.
Becket, from St. Thomas Becket (d. 1170) of England. Beesley, for Bl. George Beesley (d. 1591) of England.
Belson, for Bl. Thomas Belson (d. 1589) of England.
Bertie, for Servant of God Andrew Bertie (d. 2008) of England/Malta.
Bertrand, for St. Louis Bertrand (d. 1581) of Spain/South America. Bessette, for St. André Bessette (d. 1937) of Canada.
Bonzel, for Bl. Maria Theresia Bonzel (d. 1905) of Germany.
Bosco, for St. John Bosco (d. 1888) of Italy. Bosgrave, for Bl. Thomas Bosgrave (d. 1594) of England.
Bowes, for Bl. Marmaduke Bowes (d. 1585) of England.
Briant, for St. Alexander Briant (d. 1581) of England.
Britton, for Bl. John Britton (d. 1598) of England.
Buxton, for Bl. Christopher Buxton (d. 1588) of England.
Cabrini, for St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (d. 1917) of Italy/U.S.
Campion, for St. Edmund Campion (d. 1581) of England.
Carey, for Bl. John Carey (d. 1594) of England.
Carter, for Bl. William Carter (b. 1584) of England.
Casey, for Ven. Solanus Casey (d. 1957) of the U.S. (His religious name “Solanus” comes from St. Francis Solanus, below.) Cassant, for Bl. Pierre-Joseph Cassant (d. 1903) of France.
Catherick, for Bl. Edmund Catherick (d. 1642) of England.
Chanel, for St. Peter Chanel (d. 1841) of France. Claver, for St. Peter Claver (d. 1654) of Spain.
Claxton, for Bl. James Claxton (d. 1588) of England.
Collins, for Bl. Dominic Collins (d. 1602) of Ireland.
Cope, for St. Marianne Cope (d. 1918) of Germany/U.S.
Corbie, for Ven. Ralph Corbie (d. 1644) of Ireland.
Cornelius, for Bl. John Cornelius (d. 1594) of England. Dalby, for Bl. Robert Dalby (d. 1589) of England.
Daniel, for St. Antoine Daniel (d. 1648) of France/Canada.
David, for Bl. Vicente Vilar David (1937) of Spain or Bl. Toros Oghlou David (d. 1895) of Armenia
Davy, for Bl. John Davy (d. 1537) of England or Bl. Charlotte Davy (d. 1794) of France.
Dean, for Bl. William Dean (d. 1588) of England.
Dorie, for Bl. Pierre Henri Dorie (d. 1866) of France.
Douglas, for Bl. George Douglas (d. 1587) of Scotland.
Drexel, for St. Katharine Drexel (d. 1955) of the U.S.
Drury, for Bl. Robert Drury (d. 1607) of England.
Duff, for Servant of God Frank Duff (d. 1980) of Ireland.
Duke, for Bl. Edmund Duke (d. 1590) of England. Durando, for Bl. Marco Antonio Durando (d. 1880) of Italy.
Dutton, for Servant of God Joseph Dutton (d. 1931) of the U.S.
Ebner, for Bl. Margareta Ebner (d. 1351) of Germany.
Emmerich, for Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824) of Germany. Errico, for St. Gaetano Errico (d. 1860) of Italy.
Errington, for Bl. George Errington (d. 1596) of England.
Evans, for St. Philip Evans (d. 1679) of Wales.
Faber, for St. Peter Faber (d. 1546) of France. Falzon, for Bl. Nazju Falzon (d. 1865) of Malta.
Farina, for St. Giovanni Antonio Farina (d. 1888) of Italy. Fasani, for St. Francis Anthony Fasani (d. 1742) of Italy.
Felton, for Bl. John Felton (d. 1570) in England.
Fenn, for Bl. James Fenn (d. 1584) in England.
Fenwick, for Bl. John Fenwick (d. 1679) of England.
Ferrari, for Bl. Andrea Carlo Ferrari (d. 1921) of Italy. Ferrer, for St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419) of Spain.
Filby, for Bl. William Filby (d. 1582) of England.
Frassati, for Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (d. 1925) of Italy.
Fulthrop, for Bl. Edward Fulthrop (d. 1597) of England.
Finch, for Bl. John Finch (d. 1584) of England.
Fisher, for Bl. John Fisher (d. 1535) of England.
Foley, for Servant of God Theodore Foley (d. 1974) of the U.S.
Fontaine, for Bl. Marie-Madeleine Fontaine (d. 1794) of France.
Forest, for Bl. John Forest (d. 1538) of England.
Garnet, for St. Thomas Garnet (d. 1608) of England.
Gavan, for Bl. John Gavan (d. 1679) of England. Gennings, for St. Edmund Gennings (d. 1591) of England.
Gerard, for Bl. Jeanne Gerard (d. 1794) of France or Bl. Joseph Gérard, (d. 1914) of France/South Africa. Gerosa, for St. Vincentia Gerosa (d. 1847) of Italy.
Gervase, for Bl. George Gervase (d. 1608) of England.
Gibson, for Bl. William Gibson (d. 1596) of England.
Goretti, for St. Maria Goretti (d. 1902) of Italy.
Grove, for Bl. John Grove (d. 1679) of England.
Gwyn, for St. Richard Gwyn (d. 1584) of Wales.
Harrington, for Bl. William Harrington (d. 1594) of England.
Heath, for Bl. Henry Heath (d. 1643) of England.
Hewitt, for Bl. John Hewitt (d. 1588) of England. Higgins, for Bl. Peter Higgins (d. 1642) of Irish.
Houghton, for St. John Houghton (d. 1535) of England.
Howard, for St. Philip Howard (d. 1595) of England or for his grandson, Bl. William Howard (d. 1680) of England.
Humphrey, for St. Lawrence Humphrey (d. 1590) of England.
Hunt, for Bl. Thurston Hunt (d. 1601) of England. Ingleby, for Bl. Francis Ingleby (d. 1586) of England.
Ingram, for Ven. John Ingram (d. 1594) of England.
Janssen, for St. Arnold Janssen (d. 1909) of Germany. Kemble, for St. John Kemble (d. 1679) of England.
Kern, for Bl. Jakob Kern (d. 1924) of Austria.
Kirby, for St. Luke Kirby (d. 1582) of England.
Kolbe, for St. Maximilian Kolbe (d. 1941) of Poland.
Konrad, for Bl. Nicholas Konrad (d. 1941) of Ukraine.
Lakota, for Bl. Gregor Lakota (d. 1950) of Ukraine.
Langley, for Bl. Richard Langley (d. 1586) of England. Lanteri, for Ven. Bruno Lanteri (d. 1830) of Italy.
Larke, for Bl. John Larke (d. 1544) of England.
Laval, for Bl. Jacques-Désiré Laval (d. 1864) of France/Mauritius.
Lawrence, for St. Robert Lawrence (d. 1535) of England.
Leigh, for Bl. Richard Leigh (d. 1588) of England.
Lewis, for St. David Lewis (d. 1679) of Wales Liguori, for St. Alphonsus Liguori (d. 1787) of Italy.
Lilli, for Bl. Salvatore Lilli (d. 1895) of Italy.
Lloyd, for St. John Lloyd (d. 1679) of Wales.
Lockwood, for Bl. John Lockwood (d. 1642) of England.
Lucas, for Bl. Charlotte Lucas (d. 1794) of France. MacKillop, for St. Mary MacKillop (d. 1909) of Australia.
Majali, for Bl. Giuliano Majali (d. 1470) of Sicily.
Majella, for St. Gerard Majella (d. 1755) of Italy.
Manna, for Bl. Paolo Manna (d. 1952) of Italy.
Marchand, for St. Joseph Marchand (d. 1835) of France.
Marella, for Ven. Olinto Marella (d. 1969) of Italy. Mareri, for Bl. Philippa Mareri (d. 1236) of Italy.
Margil, for Ven. Antonio Margil (d. 1726) of Spain/Central America.
Mari, for Servant of God Ida Mari (d. 1981) of Italy.
Martin, for St. Louis Martin (d. 1894) of France or Bl. Richard Martin (d. 1588) of England.
Marsden, from Bl. William Marsden (d. 1586) of England. Marto, for Bl. Francisco Marto (d. 1919) of Portugal.
Mason, for Bl. John Mason (d. 1591) of England.
Massey, for Bl. René-Julien Massey (d. 1792) of France.
Maxfield, for Bl. Thomas Maxfield (d. 1616) of England. Munden, for Bl. John Munden (d. 1584) of England.
Mayer, for Bl. Rupert Mayer (d. 1945) of Germany. McAuley, for Ven. Catherine McAuley (d. 1841) of Ireland.
Meehan, for Bl. Charles Meehan (d. 1679) of Ireland.
Merlo, for Ven. Thecla Merlo (d. 1964) of Italy.
Medina, for Bl. Manuel Medina y Olmos (d. 1936) of Spain.
Mela, for Ven. Itala Mela (d. 1957) of Italy.
Merton, for Fr. Thomas Merton (d. 1968) of the U.S.
Mesina, for Bl. Antonia Mesina (d. 1935) of Italy.
Miki, for St. Paul Miki (d. 1597) of Japan.
Molina, for Bl. Mercedes de Jesús Molina y Ayala (d. 1883) of Ecuador.
Molla, for St. Gianna Beretta Molla (d. 1962) of Italy.
Mora, for Bl. Elisabeth Canori Mora (d. 1825) of Italy.
Morse, for St. Henry Morse (d. 1645) of England.
Nelson, for Bl. John Nelson (d. 1578) of England.
Neri, for St. Philip Neri (d. 1595) of Italy.
Newman, for Bl. John Henry Newman (d. 1890) of England.
Nichols, for Bl. George Nichols (d. 1589) fo England. Nolasco, for St. Peter Nolasco (d. 1256) of France.
Ogilvie, for St. John Ogilvie (d. 1615) of Scotland.
Owen, for St. Nicholas Owen (d. 1606) of England.
Page, for Bl. Anthony Page (d. 1593) of England or Bl. Francis Page (d. 1602) of England.
Percy, for Bl. Thomas Percy (d. 1572) of England.
Potter, for Ven. Mary Potter (d. 1913) of England.
Powell, for Bl. Edward Powell (d. 1540) of Wales.
Quinn, for Ven. Edel Quinn (d. 1944) of Ireland.
Rawlins, for Bl. Alexander Rawlins (d. 1595) of England.
Regis, for St. John Francis Regis (d. 1640) of France.
Reynolds, for St. Richard Reynolds (d. 1535) of England or Bl. Thomas Reynolds (d. 1560) of England.
Richardson, for Bl. Lawrence Richardson (d. 1582) of England or Bl. William Richardson (d. 1603) of England.
Rigby, for St. John Rigby (d. 1600) of England Rivi, for Bl. Rolando Rivi (d. 1945) of Italy.
Robinson, for St. Christopher Robinson (d. 1598) of England.
Rochester, for Bl. John Rochester (d. 1537) of England.
Roe, for St. Alban Roe (d. 1642) of England.
Romano, for Bl. Vincent Romano (d. 1831) of Italy. Rossello, for St. Maria Giuseppa Rossello (d. 1880) of Italy.
Sala, for Bl. Maria Anna Sala (d. 1891) of Italy.
Savio, for St. Dominic Savio (d. 1857) of Italy.
Scott, for Bl. Montford Scott (d. 1591) of England or Bl. Maurus Scott (d. 1612) of England.
Serra, for St. Junipero Serra (d. 1784) of Spain/New Spain.
Seton, for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (d. 1821) of the U.S.
Sheen, for Ven. Fulton J. Sheen (d. 1979) of the U.S.
Shelley, for Bl. Edward Shelley (d. 1588) of England.
Sherwin, for St. Ralph Sherwin (d. 1581) of England.
Sherwood, for Bl. Thomas Sherwood (d. 1578) of England.
Sinclair, for Ven. Margaret Anne Sinclair (d. 1925) of Scotland.
Slade, for Bl. John Slade (d. 1583) of England. Solanus, for St. Francis Solanus (d. 1610) of Spain.
Southwell, for St. Robert Southwell (d. 1595) of England.
Southworth, for St. John Southworth (d. 1654) of England.
Steno, for Bl. Nicolas Steno (d. 1686) of Denmark.
Spenser, for Bl. William Spenser (d. 1589) of England.
Spencer, for Ven. Ignatius Spencer (d. 1864) of England.
Stefani, for Bl. Irene Stefani (d. 1930) of Italy.
Stein, for St. Edith Stein (d. 1942) of Germany.
Stone, for St. John Stone (d. 1539) in England.
Sullivan, for Ven. John Sullivan (d. 1933) in Ireland.
Sutton, for Bl. Robert Sutton (d. 1587) of England.
Talbot, for Ven. Matt Talbot (d. 1925) of Ireland or Bl. John Talbot (d. 1600) of England.
Tansi, for Bl. Cyprian Michael Tansi (d. 1964) of Nigeria.
Taylor, for Bl. Hugh Taylor (d. 1585) of England, Francis Taylor (d. 1621) of Ireland, or Ven. Frances Margaret Taylor (d. 1900) of England. Tezza, for Bl. Luigi Tezza (d. 1923) of Italy.
Thirkeld, for Bl. Richard Thirkeld (d. 1583) in England.
Thompson, for Bl. James Thompson (d. 1582) of England.
Thorne, for Bl. John Thorne (d. 1539) of England.
Thorpe, for Bl. Robert Thorpe (d. 1591) of England. Tirry, for Bl. William Tirry (d. 1654) of Ireland.
Tomasi, for St. Giuseppe Maria Tomasi (d. 1713) of Italy. Tunstall, for Bl. Thomas Tunstall (d. 1616) of England.
Turner, for Bl. Anthony Turner (d. 1679) of England.
Vega, for Servant of God Pablo Muñoz Vega (d. 1994) of Ecuador.
Venard, for St. Jean-Théophane Vénard (d. 1861) of France.
Vera, for Ven. Jacinto Vera y Durán (d. 1881) of Uruguay.
Verna, for Bl. Antonia Maria Verna (d. 1838) of Italy.
Vianney, for St. Jean Vianney (d. 1859) of France.
Ward, for St. Margaret Ward (d. 1588) of England.
Webster, for St. Augustine Webster (d. 1535) of England.
Wells, for St. Swithun Wells (d. 1591) of England.
Wharton, for Bl. Christopher Wharton (d. 1600) of England.
Whitaker, for Bl. Thomas Whitaker (d. 1646) of England.
Wilson, for Ven. Mary Jane Wilson (d. 1916) of British India.
Wright, for Bl. Peter Wright (d. 1651) of England.
Xavier, for St. Francis Xavier (d. 1552) of Spain.
Zaccaria, for St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria (d. 1539) of Italy.
Zola, for Bl. Giovanni Batista Zola (d. 1626) of Italy.
Which of the above do you like best?
And, what other saint-inspired surnames would make good baby names? I’m sure I missed a few. Let me know in the comments!
In late 2007, Greenpeace held a competition to name some endangered humpback whales in the South Pacific Ocean.
After gathering over 11,000 suggestions from people across the globe, the organization narrowed it down to just 30 contenders:
Aiko Amal Anahi Atticus Aurora Babu Bumi Cian Echo Gana Humphrey Jacques Kaimana Kigai Libertad Madiba Malaya Manami Mira Mister Splashy Pants Moya Nurani Paikea Paz Sedna Shanti Suzuki Talei Veikko Yarrindi
When the polls opened, the rule was one vote per person. But things didn’t go quite as planned.
An anonymous voter in Arizona disabled cookies on his/her computer and was able to cast thousands of votes for Mister Splashy Pants early on.
This attracted the attention of various websites (Digg, Reddit, BoingBoing, Fark, etc.) which led to even more votes for Mister Splashy Pants.
Mister Splashy Pants ended up winning by a landslide, with over 78% of the vote. In 2nd place was Humphrey, with less than 3%.
So let’s play a game. Though I love the name “Mister Splashy Pants” (reminds me of
Sparklemuffin!) let’s pretend Greenpeace had disqualified MSP mid-competition. Out of the 29 remaining names, which one would you have voted for?
Mister Splashy Pants – Wikipedia
I listed all the
female names in the Domesday Book a while back, so today I thought I’d complete the project by listing all the male names.
The male names below appeared in the
Open Domesday database just once, except where noted. (For the record, I overlooked entries in which one person’s name was used to refer to another person, e.g., “Aelfric’s uncle.”)
The most-mentioned name within each letter group is in bold.
If you make it all the way to the bottom, your reward is a top ten list. :)
Aelfric (88) Aelgeat
Brictric (16) Brictsi (6)
Brorda Brothir (4)
Cola (7) Colben
Drogo (16) Druward
Edric (34) Edsi (4)
Fulco (7) Fulcran
Godwin (72) Godwy (3)
Hugh (76) Hugolin (2)
Ivo (7) Iwain
John (11) Joseph
Ketil (14) Ketilbert (3)
Leofday Leofgar (2)
Leofwin (50) Leofwold
Manwin (9) Marcher
Nigel (14) Nivelung
Osbern (31) Osbert (3)
Peter (9) Peverel
Robert (127) Roc
Siward (19) Siwold
Ulf (15) Ulfgrim (2)
(6) Vitalis Vithfari
William (166) Wimer (2)
And now it’s time for the…
Top Ten Male Names
Which male were mentioned most often in the Domesday book? The #1 name was William, followed by Robert and Ralph:
1. William (166)
2. Robert (127)
3. Ralph (124)
4. Aelfric (88)
5. Alwin (76)
5. Hugh (76)
7. Roger (73)
8. Godwin (72)
9. Walter (64)
10. Godric (59)
Though the names in the book aren’t necessarily representative of name usage in England overall, it does make sense than William took the top spot. The Domesday Book was created a couple of decades after the
Norman Invasion, at a time when the name William was very fashionable, thanks to William the Conqueror.