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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Janice

Number of Babies Named Janice

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Janice

Baby Named for Police Officer

On the morning of August 23, police officer Natisha Lucas of Pearland, Texas, administered first aid to a newborn baby girl after the baby’s mother gave birth at home.

The thankful mother later named her daughter A’Miracle Natisha, middle name in honor of Lucas.

Here are some earlier posts about babies named for police officers:

Know of any others I’ve missed?

Sources: Newborn Baby girl Named After Pearland Officer who Saved Her Life, Pearland Police Department

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

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.

Two Too-Long Hawaiian Names?

Hawaiian news station KHON2 recently ran the stories of two people with extremely long Hawaiian names:

  • Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele

Her surname contains 36 letters and 19 syllables.

She was frustrated because Hawaiian driver’s licenses can only handle 35 characters. On her license, her last name gets cut off and her first and middle names don’t appear.

She won’t have to be frustrated long, though, because the Hawaiian government will be upgrading its computer systems later this year. Hawaiian licenses will soon be able to display first names up to 40 characters long, last names up to 40 characters long, middle names up to 35 characters long, and suffixes up to 5 characters long.

  • Hi’ileikawainohiamaikalohena Barton

Her first name contains 27 letters (plus an ‘okina) and 12 syllables.

She’s a baby girl whose Social Security card shows only about half of her first name. (The SSA cut-off is 15 letters.)

Ashley Barton, Hi’ileikawainohiamaikalohena’s mother, wants the full first name on the card. The Hilo Social Security Office told Ashley that her only option was to shorten the name. They suggested she split the name in two and use the second portion as a middle name.

No resolution so far, but KHON2 says they’ll “stay on top of it.”

Sources: Feds change baby’s name after it fails to fit on Social Security card, Long-named US woman celebrates government climb-down, State changing policy after woman’s name fails to fit on driver’s license

Mason Dixon – Good Baby Name?

An Ann Landers column from 1995 featured a letter from one Mrs. Dixon, whose husband wanted to name their child Mason. As in, Mason-Dixon.

“I’m afraid our son would be made fun of throughout his life,” Mrs. Dixon said. Ann agreed: “I’m on your side. To saddle a child with the name Mason Dixon would surely make him a lifelong butt of jokes.”

The reader responses printed a few months later, though, tended to be more supportive.

  • From Rose Rose: “I attribute my sense of humor to the fact that I had such an unusual name.”
  • From Mason Dickson: “Go for it. I’ve had a lot of fun with this name, and people always remember me.”
  • From Janice Mason Jarr, formerly Janice Mason Dixon: “No great improvement.”

Where do you stand on the name Mason Dixon — thumbs up or thumbs down?

(Similarly questionable names: River Bottom, Cole Sellar, Miller Lyte, Crimson Tide.)

Source: “Unusual name is just fine.” Portsmouth Daily Times 19 Jun. 1995: B4.

Wisconsin Family with 22 Children

Fred and Edith Schoville of Wisconsin had their first child in 1926, their last in 1952, and 20 in between. That’s a total of 22 children. All were single births.

Here are the names of the kids, plus as many of the birth years as I could verify.

1. Marjorie, b. 1926
2. Freddie (“Junior”) b. 1926
3. Lola, b. 1928
4. Betty, b. 1928
5. Marlin, b. 1932
6. Phyllis, b. 1933
7. Donna Mae, b. 1934
8. Annabelle, b. 1934
9. Patsy (girl)
10. Larry Lee, b. 1938
11. Janice
12. Sharon
13. Frederick (“Freddie”) b. 1941
14. Susan
15. Ronald (“Ronnie”)
16. Robert, b. 1945
17. Karen
18. Linda Lou, b. 1947
19. Gary
20. Charles, b. 1949
21. Steven, b. 1951
22. Randy, b. 1952

Which girl name is your favorite? How about boy name?


  • “Family Reunion.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 18 Apr. 1950: 7.
  • “Wisconsin Mother of 21 Children Isn’t Frightened by Cost of Living.” Telegraph-Herald 18 Mar. 1951: 1.

Baby Name Story – Janice

Just minutes after midnight on Valentine’s Day, 2010, Tabitha Finucan of Marlboro, New Jersey, gave birth to a baby girl in the back seat of a parked Chevrolet Blazer.

She did so with the help of Marlboro police officer Janice Shewan, who said she had been “waiting [her] whole career to deliver a baby.”

The baby was named Harmony Janice, middle name in honor of Officer Shewan.

Source: Whitley, Brian. “Marlboro police officer delivers Valentine’s Day baby.” Star-Ledger [Newark, NJ] 14 Feb. 2010.