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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Idea

Number of Babies Named Idea

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Idea

Name Quotes for the Weekend #25

elton john quote about the name reginald

From an interview with Elton John on Larry King Live:

Well, I was making a record, and I had to choose a name, because they said, you know, you can’t make a record under the name of Reg Dwight, because it’s never going to — you know, it’s not attractive enough. And I agreed with that, and I couldn’t wait to change my name anyway, because I’m not too fond of the name of Reginald. It’s a very kind of ’50s English name.

So I picked Elton because there wasn’t — nobody seemed to have the name Elton. And I picked John to go with it. And it was — it was done on a bus going from London Heathrow back into the city. And it was done very quickly. So I said, oh, Elton John. That’s fine.

From The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography by Lois Potte:

Though contemporary sonneteers populated their world with lovers called Astrophil, Parthenophil, Stella, Delia, and Idea, the only names that appear in Shakespeare’s sonnets are Adonis, Helen, Mars, Saturn, Philomel, Eve, Cupid, Diana, and Time — and the one non-mythological figure, the author, “Will.”

From An Apology to Every (White) Girl Named Becky by Dara T. Mathis:

Black people commonly use the term “Becky” when referring to generic white women. It has a slight negative connotation (airheadedness), but white women don’t have to do anything to deserve the title.

Clearly, this is as problematic as sexual stereotypes against any demographic of people. Women fight on a daily basis not to be objectified, but this portrayal takes it further and assigns white women a role to which they may not ascribe.

Despite my dislike for using a proper name as a slur, it took an actual person to bring it home to me. After my tweet, a white colleague nicknamed Becky told me about how she’s been forced to use Rebecca instead. A group of black men were catcalling her down a sidewalk and she was doing her best to ignore them. One of them yelled out, “Hey Becky!” That’s her name: she automatically swung her head around. But this had the opposite effect of validating the men’s impression that she was a Becky, not a woman named Becky. They laughed. She laughed, too, because…it is kinda funny.

But I stopped laughing quickly. I had never thought about the implications of people using your name as a stereotype against you. Where can you run to escape that?

From a post about unusual personal names at Futility Closet:

A memo to every parent who’s ever lived: Giving your kid a special name does not make him special. It never has. It never will.

You know what I mean. It’s one thing to give yourself a screwy moniker. Body-modification enthusiasts have changed their names to Swirly Wanx Sinatra, Grenade Bee of Death, and RooRaaah Mew Crumbs, among other things, and there’s a U.S. Army Ohio National Guard firefighter who named himself Optimus Prime. That’s fine, you’re the one who has to live with it.

It’s worse when you inflict a harebrained epithet on a newborn, who will have to drag it through life like a neon hairshirt.

From a post about Ameribella cheese at Cheese Notes:

Originally named Arabella, this cheese underwent a slight name change recently; as Leslie told me, it’s always been named after Matthew’s great grandmother, whose name was America Arabella. To honor her, they combined her two names and came up with the Ameribella, which also has the unique quality of honoring this cheese’s American terroir and Italian origins.

(I discovered Ameribella via the Baby Name Pondering post Cheesy Baby Names.)

From an article by Kerry Parnell in The Daily Telegraph:

[W]hen I was born and my parents proudly announced my name to the family, my great-grandma was disgusted and informed them Kerry was a dog’s name.

She never wavered from this conviction until one day, when I was about five, we visited her to see her new poodle puppy.

“What’s his name?” I asked. “Kerry,” she replied, stony faced. There was a long, awkward silence and no one ever mentioned it again.

Ironically, great-grandma went by the name of “Pete”, which, unless I am very much mistaken, is a man’s name.

One day, I vow, I will get a dog just so I can call it Pete, for revenge.

Have you read anything interesting about names lately? Please send me the link so I can add it to a future quote post! Email me, Tweet me, or just leave a comment below.

Revolutionary Baby Names in Russia

Over a century after the the French revolution influenced French baby names, the Russian Revolution (and socialist ideology) inspired a handful of Russian parents to give their babies similarly patriotic names.

Russian Revolution

Here are some examples of those patriotic baby names. Most were bestowed in the 1920s and 1930s, though some (like Uryurvkos) popped up decades later.

Name Significance/Translation
Ateist Atheist
Arvil “Army of V. I. Lenin”
Avangarda Avant-garde
Barrikada Barricade
Bastil The Bastille, Paris fortress stormed during the French Revolution
Bebel August Bebel, German Marxist
Buntar Rebel
Danton Georges Jacques Danton, French revolutionary
Dinamit Dynamite
Dinamo Dynamo, originally a type of electrical generator
Donbass Donets Basin, coal-mining area in the Ukraine
Elekrifikatsiya Electrification
Engelina Friedrich Engels, co-creator of Marxism
Genii Genus
Gertruda “heroine of labor” (geroinja truda)
Giotin Guillotine
Idea Idea
Ilich; Ilina Based on Lenin’s patronym, Ilyich
Industriya Industry
Iskra Spark
Kazbek Mount Kazbek
Kommuna Commune
Krasnyi Red
Lagshmivara “Shmidt’s Arctic camp” (lager Shmidta v Arktike)
Lentrosh “Lenin, Trotsky, Shahumyan
Lentrozin “Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev
Libknekht Karl Liebknecht, German socialist executed in 1919
Lyuksemburg; Roza Rosa Luxemburg, German socialist executed in 1919
Marks Karl Marx, co-creator and namesake of Marxism
Marlen “Marx, Lenin”
Marseleza La Marseillaise, national anthem of France
Mels “Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin”
Melor “Marx, Engels, Lenin, October Revolution”
Molot Hammer
Ninel Lenin, backwards
Oktyabrina Based on October, signifies the October Revolution
Oyushminald Otto Yulyevich Schmidt on the ice floe”
Parizhkommuna Paris Commune
Proletarii Proletarians
Pravda Truth; Communist Party newspaper
Radium Radium, the element
Razin Stenka Razin, 17th-century Cossack rebel
Revdit “Revolutionary child (ditya)”
Revmir “Revolution, peace”
Revolyutsiya; Lyutsiya Revolution
Revvola “Revolutionary wave (volna)”
Robesper Maximilien Robespierre, French revolutionary
Roblen “born to be a Leninist” (rodilsia byt’ Lenintsem)
Serpina Based on Sickle
Smena Shift
Smychka Smychka, “collaboration in society”
Spartak Spartakusbund, Germany’s Spartacus League
Stalina Joseph Stalin
Svodoba Freedom
Tekstil Textile
Traktor; Traktorina Tractor
Uryurvkos “Hurray, Yura’s in space” (ura, Yura v kosmose) – reference to Yuri Gagarin
Vilora “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, organizer of the revolution (organizator revolyutsii)”
Vilen; Vilena V. I. Lenin
Vladlen; Vladilen Vladimir Lenin
Volya Will
Zikatra “Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky”

Other baby names of the era weren’t as political as they were fanciful, e.g., Atlantida, “Atlantis”; Monblan, “Mont Blanc”; Traviata for the Verdi opera; Zvezde, “star.”

It’s also interesting to note that a portion of these parents went in the other direction entirely. Instead of opting for progressive names, they went for “pre-Christian Slavic names such as Mstislav or Sviatopolk that had fallen into disuse in modern times.”


  • Harvard Ukrainian Studies 19 (1997): 272.
  • Komsomolskaya Pravda, via World Press Review 30 (1983): 14.
  • Stites, Richard. Revolutionary Dreams. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • White, Stephen. Political Culture and Soviet Politics. New York: Macmillan, 1979.