How popular is the baby name James 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 James.

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Popularity of the Baby Name James


Posts that Mention the Name James

Name Story: Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong photo

Chinese-American movie star Anna May Wong was born “Wong Liu Tsong” in Los Angeles in 1905.

Here’s what she had to say about her birth name in 1926:

I was named Wong Lew Song, which means Frosted Yellow Willows. A rather unusual name, isn’t it. Most Chinese children have names, which, interpreted into English, sound rather attractive, though they wouldn’t do for everyday use. They are all right in poetry, but I wouldn’t want to be called Frosted Yellow Willows by my acquaintances. It sounds altogether too quaint for a modern Chinese girl.

Here’s what she had to say about her American name and her stage name in 1928:

I was educated in Los Angeles. […] Our family did not live in the Chinese quarter but on Figueroa Street, where our neighbors were Americans and we were called by our English names. The doctor who brought me into the world named me ‘Anna’; my Chinese name is Tsong. When I was old enough to begin to think about a career, I added ‘May’ to ‘Anna,’ partly because we [daughters] all had four-letter names and I wanted to be different, and partly because it made a prettier signature.

(Her siblings’ American names were Lulu, James, Mary, Frank, Roger, and Richard.)

And, finally, here’s something funny I spotted in a newspaper about the 1924 movie Thief of Bagdad, which featured Wong:

The Mongol slave, a part that required emotional subtlety and balance, was played by Anna May Wong, a Chinese girl, educated in America. Her Chinese name is Lew Wong Song [sic], and means two yellow willows. When the picture was being filmed Miss Wong almost walked out on her job because an enthusiastic press agent misunderstood the translation of her name and published it as “two yelling widows.”

I saw several versions of this “two yelling widows” story, but never managed to track down the press agent’s original mis-translation.

Sources:

Popular & Unique Baby Names in Idaho, 2018

According to Idaho Vital Statistics, the most popular baby names in the state in 2018 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are Idaho’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 107 baby girls
  2. Emma, 92
  3. Harper, 88
  4. Charlotte, 83
  5. Evelyn, 82
  6. Amelia, 77
  7. Hazel, 62
  8. Ava, 60
  9. Abigail, 58
  10. Lily, 56 (tied with #11, Sophia)

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 127 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 114
  3. William, 93
  4. Hudson, 83 (tie)
  5. Henry, 83 (tie)
  6. James, 82
  7. Owen, 79
  8. Jackson, 78
  9. Wyatt, 77
  10. Lincoln, 75

In the girls’ top 10, Hazel and Lily replace Elizabeth and (technically) Sophia.

In the boys’ top 10, Hudson, Owen, and Wyatt replace Samuel, Mason, and Logan. Notably, Hudson didn’t even make Idaho’s top 25 in 2017.

Speaking of 2017…the top two names that year were Emma and Oliver.

And now, some of Idaho’s unusual baby names:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Amerikis, Anomaly, Aquamarine, Atlyss, Azkadealliya, Buttercup, Cansas, Ellexy, Gift, Glacier-Dawn, Ingeborg, Jonnacie, Kc, Livingston, Naivee, Netanya, Neverr, Onnicka, Phynixx, Reminatrix, Silentbird, Stormageddon, Sufia, Violetjade, YggdrasilAnarchy, Banx, Bekan, Boss, Combat, Derexx, Geremi, Given, Gnash, Grizzly, Jj, Jrue, Krush, Lighten, Lukasza, Prentiss, Rhun, Skeigh, Thackery, Timber, Trynitee, Tytanium, Ugutz, Wisely

Possible explanations/associations for a couple of the above:

Source: Annual Reports – Idaho Vital Statistics

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Iowa, 2017 & 2018

iowa state seal, iowa baby names,

I publish a set of name rankings every week, but I don’t post many U.S. state-released rankings anymore. Why? Because the SSA’s yearly dataset always includes a state-by-state breakdown, and the SSA’s data tends to be basically equivalent to what each state releases.

Except for…Iowa! I totally forgot last year to check up on Iowa, the only state I know of to release full sets of baby name data. (Bravo, Iowa!) The last Iowa rankings I posted were for 2016, so, in this post, to catch up, I’ll be covering two years at once.

First up, 2017.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the most popular baby names in the state in 2017 were Emma and Oliver.

Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names, 2017

  1. Emma, 175 baby girls
  2. Harper, 172
  3. Olivia, 168
  4. Evelyn, 158
  5. Charlotte, 157
  6. Ava, 139
  7. Amelia & Nora, tied, 127 each
  8. Sophia, 94
  9. Scarlett, 92
  10. Elizabeth, 90

Boy Names, 2017

  1. Oliver, 219 baby boys
  2. Henry, 181
  3. Liam, 179
  4. Lincoln, 160
  5. William, 155
  6. Owen & Wyatt, tied, 151 each
  7. Noah, 135
  8. James, 129
  9. Logan, 124
  10. Benjamin, 118

In the girls’ top 10, Scarlett and Elizabeth replace Addison and Grace. (The SSA’s data for 2017 was similar, but had Harper in first place.)

In the boys’ top 10, James and Logan replace Jackson.

And here are some of the names bestowed just once in Iowa in 2017:

Unique Girl Names, 2017Unique Boy Names, 2017
Adelheid Brunnhilde, Bergamot, Chancelline, Dellaveene, Exaucee Nitocris, Focus, Graxceldie, Hawthorne, Ixamara, Jeggsley, Kalaivani, Lahpoe, MellowBelle, Nyantut, Onolinne, Prairie, Quebella, Rieslyn, Shelter, Tracieux, Vjosa, Wave, Yatzlimar, Zealie-MarieAknowlegde, Bray Ole, Carefree, Dovahkiin, Essolabina, Frantzley, Gamachis, Helgenberger, Igneous, JayDrek, Kellz, Lyrics, Mattavion, Nimalan, Oracle, Power, Quintelle, Rinidi, Salix, Thwin, Vindrix, Wattney, Yaeger, Zollie

Possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:

Now, on to 2018…

The most popular baby names in the state in 2018 were Evelyn and Oliver. Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names, 2018

  1. Evelyn, 167 baby girls
  2. Harper, 158
  3. Charlotte, 155
  4. Emma, 153
  5. Olivia, 142
  6. Amelia, 126
  7. Ava, 119
  8. Sophia, 113
  9. Nora, 106
  10. Isabella, 103

Boy Names, 2018

  1. Oliver, 183 baby boys
  2. Henry, 176
  3. Liam, 174
  4. William, 170
  5. Owen, 161
  6. Wyatt, 143
  7. Noah, 137
  8. Lincoln, 130
  9. Jackson, 124
  10. Hudson, 120

In the girls’ top 10, Isabella replaces Scarlett and Elizabeth. (Yet again: the SSA’s rankings were similar, but had Harper in first place.)

In the boys’ top 10, Jackson and Hudson replace James, Logan, and Benjamin.

And here are some of the names bestowed just once in Iowa in 2018:

Unique Girl Names, 2018Unique Boy Names, 2018
Avocent, Brklyn, Currence, Dacheline, Ever-After, Frisquette, Granuaile, Hallow, Izanami, Jariahlexa, Kelaviene, Lotus Lou, Mighty, Neshbly, Opry, Plu, Qori, Rexha, Samadhi, Tamber, Ventica, Wildly, Ylsy, Ziggy-GreyActs Gabriel, Braveheart, Corvinus, Drinian, Evenir, Flynnigan, Gypsum, Him-Henry, Isidore, Jongroor, Kipden, Liamko, Mastajabu, Nuke, Ordie, Paddington, Questan, Rolex, Safe Haven, Thrusher, Vhett, Wrecker, Ychiari, Zallard

Possible explanations/associations for some of the above:

I posted even more of Iowa’s unique baby names — for both 2017 and 2018 — over on Patreon, if you’re interested.

Sources: Top Baby Names – Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal, frisquette – Wiktionary

Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2019

According to the Netherlands’ Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Emma and Noah.

Here are the Netherlands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names (“Meisjesnamen”)

  1. Emma, 731 baby girls
  2. Mila, 671
  3. Sophie, 645
  4. Zoë, 644
  5. Julia, 630
  6. Tess, 596
  7. Sara, 593
  8. Anna, 586
  9. Evi, 530
  10. Saar, 516

Boy Names (“Jongensnamen”)

  1. Noah, 785 baby boys
  2. Daan, 717
  3. Lucas, 672
  4. Levi, 654
  5. Sem, 624
  6. Finn, 596
  7. Liam, 583
  8. James, 576
  9. Milan, 541
  10. Luuk, 533

In the girls’ top 10, Evi and Saar (a short form of Sarah) replace Eva and Noor/Nora.

In the boys’ top 10, Liam and James replace Bram and Mees.

In 2018, the top two names were Julia and Lucas.

Sources: De populairste meisjesnamen van 2019, De populairste jongensnamen van 2019