How popular is the baby name Ira 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 Ira.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ira


Posts that Mention the Name Ira

The First Appearance of Pepi

five fathers of pepi, ira avery, book, 1950s

The peppy name Pepi first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1956:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby boys named Pepi [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

What put it there?

“The Five Fathers of Pepi” — a mid-1956 episode of the live anthology TV show The United States Steel Hour.

The episode told the story of a group of men (Giorgio, Benozzo, Jacopo, Carlo, and Vittore) in an Italian town who were raising a war orphan named Pepi.

Pepi, a young orphan, has been adopted by five men of a town on the Italian riviera. Both the “fathers” and the boy are very happy about this arrangement, until the arrival of a wealthy American couple threatens the pleasant state of affairs. The Americans become interested in Pepi and consider adopting him themselves, legally. When they fail to be discouraged by various ruses, the “fathers” feel there is only one thing left to do and it is up to Giorgio, the “bachelor father,” to act quickly.

Giorgio was played by a young Paul Newman, described by a contemporary source as the “outstanding talent of stage, screen and television, who has skyrocketed to stardom during the past year.”

The story, written by Ira Avery, had been published in book form in mid-1955. Interestingly, though, Avery had originally created it as a television script for a 1952 episode of The Philco Television Playhouse.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Pepi? (It’s a pet form of Giuseppe, the Italian form of Joseph.)

Sources:

Baby Names & Numerology: Number 1

baby names that add up to 1, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “1.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “1” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “1,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

1 via 10

The following baby names add up to 10, which reduces to one (1+0=1).

  • “10” girl names: Eda, Dea, Ebba, Ade
  • “10” boy names: Ade

1 via 19

The following baby names add up to 19, which reduces to one (1+9=10; 1+0=1).

  • “19” girl names: Mae, Ema, Abbie, Alea, Acadia, Aela, Mea, Jace, Aide, Gabi
  • “19” boy names: Adam, Jace, Dan, Jed, Fahd, Bob, Ra, Beka, Amad, Addai

1 via 28

The following baby names add up to 28, which reduces to one (2+8=10; 1+0=1).

  • “28” girl names: Eva, Eden, Lana, Ari, Nala, Andi, Adalee, Dani, Vada, Jael
  • “28” boy names: Alan, Ari, Eden, Case, Mack, Ira, Jael, Ash, Om, Adin

1 via 37

The following baby names add up to 37, which reduces to one (3+7=10; 1+0=1).

  • “37” girl names: Elena, Cora, Alina, Rebecca, Kate, Ariah, Alani, Liana, Amalia, Mina
  • “37” boy names: Luca, Baker, Axl, Jamal, Coen, Van, Brice, Niam, Nick, Ajay

1 via 46

The following baby names add up to 46, which reduces to one (4+6=10; 1+0=1).

  • “46” girl names: Hannah, Zoe, Gianna, Reagan, Lucia, Daniela, Adaline, Zara, Vera, Raegan
  • “46” boy names: Elias, Ivan, Juan, Zane, Leon, Damien, Arlo, Erick, Cesar, Malik

1 via 55

The following baby names add up to 55, which reduces to one (5+5=10; 1+0=1).

  • “55” girl names: Nevaeh, Hadley, Iris, Joanna, Camille, Freya, Aspen, Gabriela, Heaven, Mariam
  • “55” boy names: Edward, Jorge, Jett, Edwin, Grady, Davis, Conrad, Kellan, Vihaan, Grey

1 via 64

The following baby names add up to 64, which reduces to one (6+4=10; 1+0=1).

  • “64” girl names: Emily, Piper, Makayla, Tessa, Sabrina, Mercy, Miley, Frankie, Natasha, Azariah
  • “64” boy names: Jaxon, Brody, Zion, Peter, Knox, Lukas, Israel, Arjun, Ronald, Roland

1 via 73

The following baby names add up to 73, which reduces to one (7+3=10; 1+0=1).

  • “73” girl names: Brynn, Carolina, Kaylani, Jazmin, Elliot, Calliope, Karter, Jurnee, Bexley, Nataly
  • “73” boy names: Jackson, Joseph, Ezekiel, Elliot, Karter, Nicolas, Jayceon, Sergio, Sincere, Alberto

1 via 82

The following baby names add up to 82, which reduces to one (8+2=10; 1+0=1).

  • “82” girl names: Allison, Julianna, Kamryn, Meredith, Addyson, Clarissa, Kaisley, Lizbeth, Kaelynn, Charlize
  • “82” boy names: Maverick, Zachary, Hendrix, Phillip, Mitchell, Crosby, Thaddeus, Kamryn, Alfonso, Dimitri

1 via 91

The following baby names add up to 91, which reduces to one (9+1=10; 1+0=1).

  • “91” girl names: Katherine, Taylor, Everleigh, Sawyer, Payton, Phoenix, Braelynn, Kensley, Liberty, Lauryn
  • “91” boy names: Sawyer, Giovanni, Phoenix, Johnathan, Matthias, Taylor, Cassius, Yousef, Payton, Agustin

1 via 100

The following baby names add up to 100, which reduces to one (1+0+0=1).

  • “100” girl names: Presley, Vivienne, Clementine, Brynleigh, Joselyn, Austyn, Yaritza, Jordynn, Temperance, Lillyanna
  • “100” boy names: Maximus, Ezequiel, Quentin, Quinten, Presley, Everette, Shivansh, Austyn, Ignatius, Yunus

1 via 109

The following baby names add up to 109, which reduces to one (1+0+9=10; 1+0=1).

  • “109” girl names: Sutton, Brittany, Raylynn, Joslynn, Zipporah, Hennessy, Sunshine, Kimberlyn, Rowynn, Faithlynn
  • “109” boy names: Kingston, Sutton, Westley, Tristin, Khristian, Rigoberto, Montrell, Rayshawn, Justyn, Stryder

1 via 118

The following baby names add up to 118, which reduces to one (1+1+8=10; 1+0=1).

  • “118” girl names: Rosalynn, Westlyn, Shaylynn, Jesslynn, Kynzley, Sharlotte, Krystiana, Christyana, Isabellarose, Timberlyn
  • “118” boy names: Demitrius, Oluwatobi, Braxxton, Anastasios, Barrington, Stanislaw, Bryxton, Braxtynn, Youness, Jatavious

1 via 127

The following baby names add up to 127, which reduces to one (1+2+7=10; 1+0=1).

  • “127” girl names: Quetzaly, Karrington, Rosselyn, Roselynne, Lillyrose, Onyinyechi, Terralynn, Annavictoria, Torilynn
  • “127” boy names: Stratton, Odysseus, Kristoffer, Maksymilian, Augustino, Ozymandias, Theophilos, Chukwuebuka, Jaxxston, Kingarthur

1 via 136

The following baby names add up to 136, which reduces to one (1+3+6=10; 1+0=1).

  • “136” girl names: Kourtlyn, Oyinkansola, Brookelynne, Rosslynn, Tanitoluwa
  • “136” boy names: Jaquavious, Xzayvion, Oreofeoluwa

1 via 145

The following baby names add up to 145, which reduces to one (1+4+5=10; 1+0=1).

  • “145” girl names: Montgomery, Maryelizabeth, Elizabethrose, Peneloperose
  • “145” boy names: Montgomery, Sylvester, Quantavius, Constantinos

1 via 154

The girl name Summerlynn adds up to 154, which reduces to one (1+5+4=10; 1+0=1).

1 via 163

The boy name Constantinos adds up to 163, which reduces to one (1+6+3=10; 1+0=1).

1 via 172

The girl name Trinityrose adds up to 172, which reduces to one (1+7+2=10; 1+0=1).

What Does “1” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “1” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “1” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“1” (the monad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “The Pythagoreans called the monad ‘intellect’ because they thought that intellect was akin to the One; for among the virtues, they likened the monad to moral wisdom; for what is correct is one. And they called it ‘being,’ ’cause of truth,’ ‘simple,’ ‘paradigm,’ ‘order,’ ‘concord,’ ‘what is equal among greater and lesser,’ ‘the mean between intensity and slackness,’ ‘moderation in plurality,’ ‘the instant now in time,’ and moreover they called it ‘ship,’ ‘chariot,’ ‘friend,’ ‘life,’ ‘happiness.'”
  • “They say that the monad is not only God, but also ‘intellect’ and ‘androgyne.’ It is called ‘intellect’ because of that aspect of God which is the most authoritative both in the creation of the universe and in general in all skill and reason”
  • “They consider it to be the seed of all, and both male and female at once”
  • “They call it ‘Chaos’ which is Hesiod’s first generator, because Chaos gives rise to everything else, as the monad does. It is also thought to be both ‘mixture’ and ‘blending,’ ‘obscurity’ and ‘darkness,’ thanks to the lack of articulation and distinction of everything which ensues from it.”
  • “They call it ‘Prometheus,’ the artificer of life, because, uniquely, it in no way outruns or departs from its own principle, nor allows anything else to do so, since it shares out its own properties.”

“1” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “One indicates strength, power, influence” (reading 261-15).
  • “All activities emanate from the one” (reading 5751-1).
  • “As in numbers…all are formations or divisions or multiples of units of one, so the universe and the expressions of all natures within same are the manifestations of that one force, one power, one spirit, one energy known as or called a Universal Force, Creative Energy, or God.” (reading 1462-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “1” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 19, 55, 64, 109) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite song is “When I’m Sixty-Four” by the Beatles, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 1, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

California Family with 22 Children

Story family of California in 1940 U.S. census
The Story family on the 1940 U.S. Census
Marion and Charlotte “Lottie” Story of Bakersfield, California, had at least 22 children — including five sets of twins — from 1922 to 1946. Seventeen of their kids are listed on the 1940 U.S. Census (at right).

I don’t know the names of all the Story children, but here are 20 of them: Jean, Jane, Jack, Jacqueline, June, Eileen, Clyde, Robert, James, Jeannette, Steve, Jerry, Terry (sometimes “Terrytown”), Charlotte, Scotty, Sherrie, Garry, Joanne, Frances (called Lidwina), and Monica (called Sandy).

Charlotte Story herself was one of a dozen children, born from 1899 to 1919. Her 11 siblings were named Pearl, George, Rhea, Hazel, Fern, Ira, Myrtle, Dorothy, Helen, Russell, and Viola.

And Charlotte’s mother Elsie was one of 13 children, born from 1865 to 1892. Her 12 siblings were named Edward, Levi, William, Frank, Rosa, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Archibald, Gertrude, and Emma.

So here’s the question: If you had to choose all of your own children’s names from just one of the sibsets above, which set would you pick? Why?

Sources: Charlotte M Lacount Story – Find A Grave, Elsie E Dubay LaCount – Find A Grave

Should We Name Hurricanes to Maximize Donations?

hurricaneIn 2008, psychologists Jesse Chandler, Tiffany M. Griffin, and Nicholas Sorensen published a study showing that people who shared an initial with a hurricane name were over-represented among hurricane relief donors. So, for instance, people with R-names donated significantly more than other people to Hurricane Rita relief efforts. (This is an offshoot of the name-letter effect.)

A few years later, marketing professor Adam Alter came up with an interesting idea: Why not use this knowledge to try to maximize donations to hurricane relief efforts? He explained:

In the United States, for example, more than 10% of all males have names that begin with the letter J-names like James and John (the two most common male names), Joseph and Jose, Jason, and Jeffrey. Instead of beginning just one hurricane name with the letter J each year (in 2013, that name will be Jerry), the World Meteorological Organization could introduce several J names each year. Similarly, more American female names begin with M than any other letter–most of them Marys, Marias, Margarets, Michelles, and Melissas–so the Organization could introduce several more M names to each list.

I think his idea is a good one overall. It wouldn’t cost much to implement, but could potentially benefit many hurricane victims.

I would go about choosing the names differently, though.

Repeating initials multiple times within a single hurricane season would be unwise, for instance. It would cause confusion, which would undermine the reason we started naming hurricanes in the first place (“for people easily to understand and remember” them, according to the WMO).

But optimizing the name lists using data on real-life usage? That would be smart.

I might even try optimizing based on demographics. Baby boomers are particularly generous donors, so maybe we should choose letters (or even names) with that generation in mind?

The baby boomers were born from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, so here are the top initials for babies born in 1956 (60 years ago):

Top first letters of baby names, 1956, U.S.

Here are two possible lists of hurricane names using the above letters. I stuck with the WMO’s conventions: 21 names total, alternating genders, and no retired names.

Mid-century style Modern style
Janice
Danny
Rebecca
Martin
Cindy
Scott
Lori
Kenneth
Brenda
Patrick
Theresa
Gerald
Angela
Eugene
Wanda
Vincent
Nancy
Howard
Francine
Ira
Olga
Jasmine
Dominic
Rylee
Matthew
Charlotte
Sebastian
Lucy
Kingston
Bella
Preston
Trinity
Grayson
Ava
Eli
Willow
Victor
Nora
Hunter
Fiona
Isaac
Olivia

And here’s another point: we wouldn’t want to assign these names in order. While the official hurricane season lasts a full six months — June to November — most hurricane activity happens in August, September and October:

Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years (NOAA)

To really optimize, we’d want to reserve the top initials/names for the stronger mid-season hurricanes, which tend to do the most damage. So we could start the season using mid-list names, then jump to the top of the list when August comes around and go in order from that point forward (skipping over any mid-list names that had already been used).

What are your thoughts on assigning hurricane names with disaster relief in mind? Do you think it could work? What strategy/formula would you use to select relief-optimized hurricane names?

Sources: In the “I” of the storm: Shared initials increase disaster donations, Smart Hurricane Names: A Policy Intervention that Costs Almost Nothing but Should Attract Billions of Dollars in Aid, Tropical Cyclone Programme – WMO
Image: Tropical Cyclone Climatology – National Hurricane Center – NOAA

P.S. While J, D and R were the top initials 60 years ago, today’s top initials are A, J and M.