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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Irena

Number of Babies Named Irena

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Irena

Female Names in Texas, 1860

Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas, put together a neat list of female names using the 1860 census records for Smith County, Texas.

Here’s some background information, per Vicki:

Ninety per cent of the people had emigrated to the county within the preceding ten years, 95.8% born in the states of the future Confederacy, 1.8% in the border states, 1.6% in northern states, and 0.8% in foreign countries. Therefore, these name should be fairly representative of Southern female names in general, with the exception of Alamo, Texas, Texana, etc.

And now the names! Here are the names that appeared most frequently on the 1860 Smith County census:

Mary, 501
Sarah, 271
Martha, 247
Elizabeth, 218
Jane, 199
Ann, 198
Nancy, 176
Margaret, 98
Susan, 95
Frances, 94
Eliza, 74
Amanda, 65
Louisa, 61
Laura, 52
Lucinda, 50
Rebecca, 50
Emily, 49
Catherine, 48
Caroline, 41
Julia, 39
Anna, 31
Isabella, 28
Ellen, 26
Josephine, 25
Harriet, 24
Emmer, 22
Lucy, 22
Rachel, 22
Melissa, 18
Adeline, 17
Malinda, 17
Matilda, 16
Allice, 15
Mariah, 15
Virginia, 15
Minerva, 14
Ella, 13
Eveline, 13
Charlotte, 12
Cynthia, 10
Evaline, 10
Victoria, 10
Emeline, 9
Hannah, 9
Hellen, 9
Theodosia, 9
Angeline, 8
Eudora, 8
Eugenia, 8
Mahala, 8
Ophelia, 8
Permelia, 8
Dorotha, 7
Fannie, 7
Missouri, 7
Olive, 7
Samantha, 7
Tabitha, 7
Ada, 6
Charity, 6
Delilah, 6
Flora, 6
Georgia, 6
Tennessee, 6

Names in the 2-to-5 range:

  • 5: Clementine, Cyntha, Florence, Ida, Joannah, Narcissa, Priscilla, Serena, Texana, Texas
  • 4: Almeda, Amelia, Augusta, Celia, Clara, Cornelia, Dicy, Dora, Henrietta, Janetta, Louisiana, Louvenia, Lulah, Mollie, Parmelia, Penelope, Ruth, Susannah
  • 3: Alma, Amarillo, Angelina, Antonette, Carrie, Casandra, Christiana, Clarissa, Cora, Cordelia, Edna, Emma, Ester, Fanny, Irena, Jemima, Kesiah, Leona, Leonora, Lucretia, Lyddia, Manerva, Maranda, Morando, Mildred, Milly, Narcissus, Olevia, Piety, Rhoda, Sallie, Sefrona, Sophrona, Telulah, Zelida
  • 2: Abigal, Adaline, Adelia, Agnes, Alabama, Alcasarah, America, Amy, Annetta, Araminta, Armelia, Arrenia, Candis, Caledonia, Celina, Easter, Eller, Elvira, Epsey, Exer, Henryetta, Jaly, Judy, Leah, Luella, Madora, Malissa, Marsileet, Medorah, Melinda, Mattie, Minnie, Moranda, Nelly, Olivia, Priscella, Rhody, Roxana, Salena, Sirena, Sophia, Temperance, Viola, Willie

Finally, names that appeared only once:

Abbigal
Abi
Absaly
Adah
Adalade
Adaline
Addia
Adelade
Adella
Ader
Aimenetta
Alamanzer
Alamo
Alcisty
Alis
Allethia
Almanda
Alphine
Alsey
Althie
Alvarado
Alvira
Amarantha
Amarylles
Amazor
Ameda
Americus
Amira
Ansebell
Appy
Arabella
Arainetta
Aramintha
Aranda
Arcadia
Ardalla
Armedilla
Armel
Armelda
Arminda
Artele
Arvezene
Arvilla
Atha
Audella
Aurire
Azeline
Barbary
Belzora
Bendett
Bernessa
Bethania
Bethany
California
Callie
Camella
Camilla
Candas
Candice
Cansandra
Carrentha
Casandre
Castero
Cecily
Celistia
CerroGordo
Christana
Cicily
Claranda
Claricinda
Conzada
Darcus
Deannah
Debra
Delila
Delitha
Della
Delmar
Derinda
Deziah
Dicey
Dilla
Dilly
Disha
Dlia
Dola
Domaris
Dorothea
Dovy
Drucilla
Dulcena
Dyca
Eddie
Edith
Editha
Elander
Eleanor
Elisa
Ellenor
Elmina
Elsy
Elvy
Elwina
Elzina
Elzona
Emaline
English
Eunis
Euphema
Euphemia
Euratasa
Evy
Falby
Fenette
Fillmore
Flore
Florida
Fransina
Georgana
George Eller
Georgiana
Harmoner
Hazeltine
Heepsebeth
Heland
Hester
Hetty
Hilery
Hutoka
Idella
Imogenia
Indiana
Inez
Irine
Isabelle
Isadora
Jeannah
Jerusha
Jessie
Joana
Joicy
Joly
Judah
Judith
Juliett
June
Kasandre
Kasana
Keburah
Keturah
Lailah
Larresa
Larrissa
Laurena
Lavacca
Lela
Leora
Leuella
Levega
Levina
Lewella
Lilla
Lillian
Lilly
Lina
Livana
Livona
Lizza
Loreey
Loreta
Lourana
Lourena
Lourenia
Louretta
Louvena
Louvina
Lova
Lovena
Lucretice
Lurana
Lurena
Lutitia
Luvena
Lydda
Madella
Madosa
Malabry
Mariella
Marietta
Marinda
Marion
Marbre
Marcella
Marcena
Marg
Matta
McReudry
Medarah
Melbry
Melvina
Mercena
Milley
Millison
Minor
Missoura
Mitty
Molly
Morinua
Mouring
Mourmen
Mourning
Nannett
Narcisa
Nebraska
Neome
Neomia
Nicy
Nina
Nisse
Occo
Octavia
Oja
Oliva
Omino
Orpha
Oudelia
Paralee
Paralie
Parilee
Parolee
Parthena
Pauline
Pemelia
Pernetta
Pernisia
Petrona
Phebe
Pheby
Phereby
Philliss
Pleasant
Pope
Prascovia
Pricilla
Prudence
Recella
Resalla
Reozia
Resiah
Rhina
Rosana
Rosanna
Rosena
Sabra
Sabrina
Salina
Samaria
Saphona
Saphrona
Sareta
Sebrina
Sefrone
Seleta
Selethia
Selina
Shaby
Sharlotti
Silena
Sina
Sirena
Sobrina
Sofrona
Solona
Sonora
Sophier
Stacy
Surana
Tabetha
Taletha
Talitha
Telpha
Teressa
Texanah
Texanna
Theodora
Theressa
Tranquilla
Trephemia
Ululie
Vanburena
Vandalia
Varlinda
Vashti
Vasti
Verlinda
Vertula
Victora
Victorier
Vina
Vinolia
Violet
Vunavista
Wennyford
Wilford
Wilmouth
Wineford
Winerfred
Winnaford
Winnfred
Zarilla
Zeban
Zeleame
Zira
Zouley

See any names you like? Any that make you curious?

Here are some thoughts I had:

  • Location names were more common than I thought they’d be. Seven females named Missouri? Six named Tennessee? Huh.
  • I love that Emmer appeared 22 times, while Emma appeared a mere 3 times.
  • The Battle of Cerro Gordo (1847) inspired a handful of namesakes. Cerro gordo is Spanish for “fat hill.”
  • Hutoka: Or, The Maid of the Forest: a Tale of the Indian Wars (1846) by Osgood Bradbury inspired several hundred namesakes nationwide. The book claimed that the fictitious Native American name Hutoka meant “springing fawn.”
  • Martin Van Buren — no doubt the inspiration behind Vanburena — was president of the U.S. from 1837 to 1841.
  • I’m thinking Vunavista was based on buena vista, Spanish for “good view.”

Source: Female First Names in the 1860 Smith County, Texas, Census, via Vicki Betts


Another Unnecessarily Long Baby Name

This baby didn’t get 139 names, but 49 is still excessive, don’t you think?

Diana and Arthur Martello of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, had a baby girl in May of 1989 and gave her 49 names. (Initially it was just 43, but they added 6 more a few weeks later.)

Here are all 49 names:

Princess India Rosa Kathleen Pearla Meshelle Suzanne Luchianna Irena Iris Veronica Donna Holly Robin Concha Kristian Tonya Elizabeth Joana Magali Lavinia Ruth Sandy Lori Appolonia Concepteone Stephenie Victoria Ira Maria Jane Claudia Pamela Shirley Mellissa Leah Rebecca Simone Alana Loren Joy Angie Pheonix Cynthia Christine Eleanor Meg Sophia Eunice

Diana was the one who came up with them. She said her inspiration included TV shows like Matt Houston, T.J. Hooker, Santa Barbara, and The Young and the Restless.

If you could go back in time and rename this baby girl, which two names (out of the 49) would you choose as her first and middle names?

Sources:

  • Musala, Jane C. “A Nickname Makes it 45.” Allegheny Times 30 May 1989: A3.
  • Musala, Jane C. “The Good News is Short-Lived.” Allegheny Times 28 Jun. 1989: A3.

Baby Names Needed for the Twin Siblings of Beatrix

A reader named Marissa, who has a daughter named Beatrix Penelope (nn Bea), is expecting twins–one boy, one girl. She’s got their middle names narrowed down (Anthony or Alexander for the baby boy, Daphne or Jillian for the baby girl) but she’d like some help with their first names.

Here’s what she’s looking for in a boy name:

For the boy I’d like names that are two syllables long and start and end in a consonant. So far I like Robert, Patrick, Daniel and Fabian. The only one he likes is Fabian, but we’re still not sure.

And here’s what she’s looking for in a girl name:

For the girl I’d like names that are three or four syllables long, and start and end in a vowel. So far I like Anastasia, Ophelia, Elena and Ursula, but he likes none of them.

The babies’ last name will sound something like Thisbe.

Here are some of the boy names I came up with:

Calvin
Clement
Chester
Conrad
Curtis
David
Declan
Dexter
Duncan
Felix
Franklin
Holden
Howard
Jasper
Kenneth
Lincoln
Linus
Lucas
Malcolm
Martin
Maxwell
Miles
Mitchell
Nathan
Nelson
Nigel
Nolan
Philip
Raymond
Reuben
Roland
Roman
Silas
Simon
Stuart
Thomas
Victor
Vincent
William
Winston

And here are some ideas for the girl name:

Acantha
Adela
Adelina
Adriana
Agatha
Alexandra
Alexina
Alicia
Allegra
Althea
Amelia
Annabella
Andrea
Angela
Antonia
Arabella
Araminta
Athena
Augusta
Aurelia
Aurora
Azalea
Eleanora
Eliana
Elisa
Eloisa
Estella
Eugenia
Eulalia
Imelda
Iona
Irena/Irina
Isabella
Isidora
Octavia
Odelia
Odessa
Olivia
Olympia
Ottilia

Which of the above do you like best with Beatrix? (And which ones make the best boy/girl pairings, do you think?)

What other names would you suggest to Marissa?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Lilia’s Little Sister

I heard from a reader named Shana a couple of days ago. Here’s what she says:

I’m 35 weeks pregnant and my DH and I still can’t find a name. Maybe it’s because we would like to incorporate too much into the name or maybe we’re just unsure if we want a trendy name/classic name. I think we are trying to find both in one name, yet can’t.

Our DD is named Lilia Josephine. We both love that it takes a name that is recognizable such as “Lily” and puts a spin on it, so that she will indeed be the only “Lilia” in her class even if their are other girls named “Lily”.

[…]

The name must contain Anne/a in either the fn or mn. Also, she will be born and living in Hawaii the first 2 years of her life. We would love to incorporate that into the mix somehow (hence, Isla).

On their list right now is:

Abriana
Abrielle
Annelise
Gabriella
Gabrielle
Isla
Layla
Leora
Norah
Sierra

I really like Norah, Annelise, Isla and Gabrielle/a. I think any of them would sound good with Lilia. I especially like the first three because they bring something more than style to the table. Annelise has the Anne connection, Isla has the Hawaii connection, and Norah has a distinct set of letters/sounds.

I’m not too keen on the other five names, though. Sierra, Abriana and Abrielle don’t seem right to me in terms of style. They remind me of modern-trendy names like Alexis and Brianna, whereas Lilia reminds of old fashioned-trendy names like Isabella and Olivia. Layla and Leora worry me because they’re so similar to Lilia–same first letter, same last letter, same length. I think it would be wiser to choose a name with at least a different first initial.

Suggestions (inspired by Hawaii)

I love the idea of Isla symbolizing Hawaii. Other names that might work are the names of historical Hawaiian royals. Here are some that I like with Lilia:

  • Analea – The good news is that it could satisfy the Anne/a requirement. The bad news is that it could be mispronounced “anally.” Probably best as a middle name.
  • Emalani/Emmalani – I don’t think Hawaiian words typically contain double consonants, so the second spelling may have been influenced by Emma.
  • Eva
  • Miriam
  • Theresa
  • Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, Victoria

I didn’t include Lydia because, as with Layla and Leora, I think it’s uncomfortably close to Lilia.

Suggestions (based on style)

I tried to come up with names that remind me of Lilia (old fashioned with a twist), that aren’t too laden with L- and I-sounds, and that have some sort of connection to Anne/a.

  • Anastasia – not related to Anna, but looks & sounds like it could be.
  • Annetta – Italian diminutive of Anna, though it also sounds like an altered form of Annette.
  • Bryony – a little like Abriana.
  • Dorothea, Dorothy
  • Georgia, Georgina
  • Hannah – early form of Anna.
  • Iona – refers to an island in Scotland. (And might be derived from the Old Norse word for island.)
  • Irena
  • Junia – could be seen as a spin on June, though it’s a legit name in its own right.
  • Lisanne – same elements as Annelise, but reordered.
  • Nanette – French diminutive of Anne.
  • Rosa, Rosalia
  • Sophia, Sophie, maybe Sophronia
  • Vivian, Viviana

Combinations

Considering only names on the shortlist, I like the pairings Isla Annelise and Norah Annelise. (Though I wish the A-sounds at the end of Isla and Norah didn’t blend with the A of Annalise.)

Of all the names above, let’s see…I might go for Hannah Victoria, Annetta Theresa and Junia Analea.

Now it’s your turn: Of the names above, which are your favorites for the sister of Lilia Josephine? What other names would you add to the mix? What first/middle combinations would you suggest to Shana?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name that Goes with Abel

A reader named Bonny writes:

We are already decided on a boys’ name, but just can’t come up with a good girl’s name. Our firstborn is Abel Zachary. We want a girls’ name that doesn’t clash with Abel. So far we like these girls’ names: Evangelina, Arabella, Amethyst, Isabelle, Olivia, River, Violet. We want something uncommon, but not overly weird. We are stumped and just can’t decide on a girl’s name we really love that fits well with Abel.

I like most of the names on Bonny’s shortlist, but I don’t think many of them fit well with Abel.

To me, Abel is simple, unassuming, obviously biblical, and slightly rural/old-fashioned.

Amethyst and River strike me as being exotic and modern (though I’m sure Amethyst was used occasionally during the Victorian era). Both are gender-neutral names, while Abel is definitively masculine. And I’m slightly concerned that an unusual noun-name could make people think of Abel as able the adjective…you never know.

I like Evangelina, Isabelle, Arabelle and Olivia a little more with Abel, but to me they still sound too formal, too cosmopolitan. I’m not fond of the way Isabelle and Arabelle nearly rhyme with Abel. Finally, Olivia and Isabelle can no longer be described as “uncommon” since becoming trendy during the 1990s.

I do think Violet and Abel make a nice pair, though. Other names that I think fit well with Abel include:

Adina
Cara
Clara
Daria
Dinah
Edna
Eliza
Esther
Helah (the “e” is long)
Helen
Hester
Irene/Irena
Judith
Leona
Mara
Martha
Miriam
Pauline
Ruth
Selah (another long “e”)
Tabitha
Tamar/Tamara
Tirzah
Zillah

Which of the names above do you like best with Abel? What other names would you suggest to Bonny?

Update – The baby is here! Scroll down to see what name Bonny chose…

Huge List of Anagram Baby Names

anagram baby names

Looking for baby names with something in common? Perhaps for a set of twins or triplets? I’ve collected hundreds of anagram baby names for you.

2-Letter Anagram Baby Names

3-Letter Anagram Baby Names

4-Letter Anagram Baby Names

5-Letter Anagram Baby Names

6-Letter Anagram Baby Names

7-Letter Anagram Baby Names

8-Letter Anagram Baby Names

9-Letter Anagram Baby Names

10-Letter Anagram Baby Names

If you like the idea of anagrams but want to avoid sound-alike sets, I recommend anagrams with different numbers of syllables. Pairs like “Etta and Tate” and “Clay and Lacy” are a far more subtle than pairs like “Enzo and Zeno” and “Mary and Myra.”

(Here are some palindromic names from last month.)

Name in the News – Irena

Lech Kacyzinski, the president of Poland, would like Irena Sendler to receive the next Nobel Peace Prize.

Irena is a 97-year-old Polish woman who organized the rescue of 2,500 Jewish children during World War II. She (and about 20 helpers) smuggled the children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and placed them in convents, orphanages, and with other families.

The name Irena is a variant of the name Irene, which is derived from the Greek word for peace.