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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jesus

Number of Babies Named Jesus

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Jesus

Name Quotes #43 – Agnieszka, Shaniqua, Fire

"I love the Q. It's the most distinctive thing about me." Quote from stem cell scientist George Q. Daley.

From “I Love the Q,” a Harvard Medical School interview with stem-cell scientist George Q. Daley:

HMS: So you have five brothers and sisters?

DALEY: Yes. I was born fifth, and my middle name, Quentin, means “fifth-born.”

HMS: I was going to ask why you use the Q.

DALEY: I love the Q. It’s the most distinctive thing about me. Everybody asks, “What’s the Q stand for?”

From “Michael Caine’s Name Is Now Officially Michael Caine” by Jackson McHenry at Vulture:

Maurice Micklewhite is dead; long live Michael Caine. The legendary British actor has officially adopted the name you know and impersonate him by after getting fed up with increased airport security checks. “I changed my name when all the stuff started with ISIS and all that,” Caine told The Sun, going on to describe his experiences with security guards thusly: “He would say, ‘Hi Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d be giving him a passport with a different name on it. I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.”

From “Frond this way: Lady Gaga’s ferns” by Ben Guarino of Scienceline:

In a 2006 letter to Nature, Australian geneticist Ken Maclean highlights the pitfalls of fanciful names: “The quirky sense of humour that researchers display in choosing a gene name often loses much in translation when people facing serious illness or disability are told that they or their child have a mutation in a gene such as Sonic hedgehog, Slug or Pokemon.”

From “Translating Names” by Dariusz Galasiński

Translating names mostly goes one way. Somehow ‘we’ must translate our names into English, and ‘you’ don’t have to translate yours into Polish, Estonian, Romanian or Slovak. And that makes the translation much more political than linguistic. And if it is political, I go against!


And here is the main point of this post – it’s not linguistic, I’m afraid. Names are political. And I think it’s important to keep them. Michał, Agnieszka, Małgorzata, Paweł, Justyna…these are your names, don’t change them to Michael, Agnes, Margaret, Paul or Justine. If they care, they will learn, if they don’t — it’s their loss.

(Found via “What’s in a name? Introducing yourself in academia” by Marta Natalia Wróblewska, via Clare’s Name News.)

From “The Jody Grind” by Jody Rosen in Slate:

Could it be that we are best served by imperfect, not perfect, names? When a baby is saddled with a name, he is taught a first lesson about pitiless fate and life’s limitations–that there are aspects of the self that can never be self-determined, circumstances that must be stoically endured, and, hopefully, someday, made peace with. There are a goodly number of us who wear our names not like a precious spell but like a humbler workaday garment. Whatever you’re called–Jody or Sue or Moon Unit or Jermajesty or maybe even Anus–you can, if you’re lucky, reach that state of grace where you hardly notice your name is there at all. You wake up in the morning and slide right into it, like a well–broken-in pair of pantaloons.

From “What’s in a Name? Exhibit explores identity, prejudice” (about a pop-up art exhibition by Donna Woodley) in The Tennessean:

“The idea for this project came as I was typing names one day. I realized that the Microsoft Word program would indicate that some names were spelled incorrectly — a red wavy line would appear under them — but not others. I’d type a name like Elizabeth or Judy and there’d be no red line, which implied it was spelled correctly. Then I’d type a name like Shaniqua, LaQuisha, or other black women’s names I knew, and they would get a red line under them, like it was spelled wrong.”


“It made me wonder, does Microsoft have a diversity department?” said Woodley.

(Found via the ANS post Names exhibit in Nashville, TN explores identity and prejudice.)

From “Church won’t let me call my son ‘Jesus’” by Cate Mukei at Standard Digital Entertainment (Kenya):

The rights activist [Nderitu Njoka] said he just wanted to prove his deeply rooted Christian faith by naming his son ‘Jesus’.

‘After all, the name is common in Portugal, Spain, and Mexico which are God fearing. My call is to Christians to start naming their sons Jesus since by doing this they will be preaching gospel of Jesus Christ to the world without hypocrisy,” the letter says.

From Politics, Religion and…Baby Names by Tim Bradley:

Our oldest son Jay (who was almost two at the time) insisted on calling our baby-to-be “Baby Fire” while my wife was pregnant. It caught on and throughout my wife’s pregnancy, our families would ask, “How’s Baby Fire doing?” Although it seemed like a fitting name, we just dismissed it thinking “Fire” was too “out there” for anyone to be on board. But on the way to the hospital during the wee hours of the morning on July 4th, my wife and I decided that “Fire” as a middle name seemed appropriate. It will forever link our sons since it was Jay’s idea, and it captures the memories and emotions we felt throughout the pregnancy. There’s the July 4th fireworks tie-in as well. And let’s face it “Fire” as a middle name is only one step away from “Danger” as the coolest name ever.

From H. L. Mencken’s The American Language (1921):

The religious obsession of the New England colonists is also kept in mind by the persistence of Biblical names: Ezra, Hiram, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Elijah, Elihu, and so on. These names excite the derision of the English; an American comic character, in an English play or novel, always bears one of them.

For more quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Interesting Baby Name Analysis

I only recently noticed that Behind the Name, one of my favorite websites for baby name definitions, has a page called United States Popularity Analysis — a “computer-created analysis of the United States top 1000 names for the period 1880 to 2012.”

The page has some interesting top ten lists. Here are three of them:

Most Volatile

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Elvis
2. Brooks
3. Santiago
4. Lincoln
5. Ernie
6. Wyatt
7. Quincy
8. Rogers
9. Alec
10. Dexter
1. Juliet
2. Lea
3. Justine
4. Martina
5. Felicia
6. Delilah
7. Selina
8. Lonnie
9. Magdalena
10. Katy

Biggest Recoveries

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Silas
2. Isaiah
3. Caleb
4. Emmett
5. Jordan
6. Josiah
7. Harrison
8. Ezra
9. Jason
10. Jesus
1. Ella
2. Stella
3. Sadie
4. Sophie
5. Isabella
6. Lily
7. Hannah
8. Isabelle
9. Sophia
10. Lilly

Biggest Flash-in-the-Pans

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Dewey
2. Woodrow
3. Dale
4. Barry
5. Rick
6. Greg
7. Roosevelt
8. Shannon
9. Kim
10. Darrin
1. Debra
2. Lori
3. Tammy
4. Pamela
5. Tracy
6. Cheryl
7. Beverly
8. Dawn
9. Diane
10. Kathy

I wonder what the formulas were. I’d love to try the same analysis on the SSA’s full list, using raw numbers instead of rankings. Wonder how much overlap there’d be…

Religious Judge Orders Baby “Messiah” Renamed

Last week in Tennessee, the parents of 7-month-old Messiah DeShawn Martin went to court. They wanted to settle a dispute over their son’s surname.

While they were there, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew took it upon herself to change the child’s first name as well as his surname.


Because, in Ballew’s mind, “Messiah” is an off-limits baby name.

She told a Knoxville TV station that “the word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.”

By Bellow’s order, the baby is now named Martin DeShawn McCullough.

And his parents are not happy about it.

Nor is Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, who said that Judge Ballew’s religious beliefs ought to remain private.

“She does not have the right to impose that faith on others,” said Weinberg. “And that is what she did.”

Not only is Ballew overstepping her authority, but she’s also clearly not keeping up with the latest baby name trends.

Thousands of U.S. babies have been named Messiah since the turn of the century, and the name became especially trendy just last year, thanks to reality TV.

The baby’s mom is appealing Ballew’s order. The ACLU has reached out to offer assistance.

What are your thoughts on the case?

Sources: ACLU says TN judge can’t ban “Messiah” baby name, Judge Orders Baby’s Name Changed From ‘Messiah’

Unusual Name Combinations

Here are some unusual name combinations I’ve come across recently.

First Name + Middle Name

Gold and Silver

Above Hope Demmell
(female, married in 1619 in England)

Alma Mater Hughes
(female, born in 1887 in Texas)

American Queen Ingrain
(female, born circa 1894 in Alabama)

Americus Discoverer Le Ballister
(male, born in 1838 in Maine)

Apple Pie Bell
(male, born in 1886 in Georgia)

Apple Seed Powell
(female, gave birth in 1954 in Texas)

Atom Nucleus Blackwell
(male, born in 1983 in California)

Bacchus Naughty Orgill
(male, had a baby in 1841 in Jamaica)

Birds Eye Conrad
(male, born in 1871 in Indiana)

Biscuit Foot Cobbin
(female, born circa 1939 in Texas)

Bitter Jam McClellan
(female, born circa 1925 in Oklahoma)

Black Eye Wesley
(female, born in 1892 in Georgia)

Burger King Austin
(male, born circa 1856 in California)

Catfish Hunter Kay
(male, born in 1997 in Texas)

Cloudy Day Canaan
(male, born in 1885 in Pennsylvania)

Confederate American Kenner
(female, born in 1863 in Utah)

Country Dream Patterson
(female, born in 1987 in Texas)

Easter Daybreak Mullarkey
(female, born in 1891 in Scotland)

Egyptian Pyramid Wade
(male, born in 1993 in Texas)

Electric Music Sparks
(male, born circa 1896 in West Virginia)

Emancipator Lincoln Quinn
(male, born in 1889 in Mississippi)

Equal Rights Gotcher
(male, born circa 1865 in Arkansas)

Evening Star Babcock
(female, born in 1979 in California)

Gold and Silver Gadbury
(female, gave birth in 1909 in Texas)

Gold Dollar Davis
(female, born in 1893 in Virginia)

Gold Dust Fauntlery
(female, born circa 1903 in Arkansas)

Holly Berry Pharo
(female, born in 1880 in England)

Hush Vocal Bryant
(female, born circa 1914 in Oklahoma)

Ice Cream Goldsmith
(female, born circa 1871 in Alabama)

Ice Snow Franklin
(female, born in 1899 in Georgia)

Jelly Bean Carlton
(female, born in 1931 in Texas)

Jesus Mosquito Mansul
(male, born in 1953 in the Philippines – Mosquito was the mom’s surname)

Joy In Sorrow Godman
(female, married in 1614 in England)

Lemon Lime Clay
(male, divorced in 1992 in Florida)

Lucky Boy Turipa
(born in 1948 in New Mexico)

Magic Brilliance Carter
(born in 1987 in North Carolina)

Magic Enchantress Creamer
(born in 1974 in California)

Mint Julip Wilson
(male, born circa 1921 in Illinois)

Northern Pacific White
(male, born in Minnesota in 1872)

Nucleus Demon Johnson
(male, born in 1987 in Texas)

Obey The Lord Jenkins
(female, born circa 1904 Georgia – sister of Prase)

Ocean Wave Hamilton
(male, born in 1888 in Texas)

Orange Lemon Thomas
(male, born in 1859 in Ohio)

Panama Canal Caldwell
(female, born in 1912 in North Carolina)

Pearl Shell Adams
(female, born circa 1901 in Tennessee)

Penny Nickel Sutherland
(female, married in 1987 in Florida)

Prase The Lord Jenkins
(female, born circa 1903 in Georgia – sister of Obey)

Quiet Glow Kellough
(male, born in 1881 in Ohio)

Rasp Berry Nelson
(male, had a baby in 1954 in North Carolina)

Red Apple Thomas
(female, born circa 1885 in Iowa)

Remember Death Comper
(male, born in the late 1500s in England)

Rocky Mountain Kennedy
(male, born in 1884 in Arizona)

Rose Of The Sea McKay
(female, born in 1884 at sea aboard the Duke of Westminster steamship)

Salary Grab Hamrick
(male, born in 1880 in Illinois – a reference to the Salary Grab Act apparently)

Sanspariel Audacious Thomas Philpott
(male, born in 1892 in England)

Somebody Nobody Lord*
(male, married in 1992 in Nevada)
*This one is a name change. Don’t know what his birth name was.

South Pole Mitchell
(male, born circa 1908 in Georgia)

Star Spangled Banner Osborne
(male, born circa 1860 in Illinois)

Sterling Silver Slayden
(male, born in 1966 in Texas)

Summer Solstice Walker
(female, born in 2001 in Minnesota)

Superior Inches Brown
(male, born circa 1858 in Wisconsin)

Supreme Intelligence Thomas
(born in 1983 in New York)

Treasure Trove Kittenger
(female, born circa 1895 in West Virginia)

United States America Cook
(female, born in 1896 in Ohio)

Vernal Equinox Richardson
(female, born in 1898 in Texas)

Vice President Evans
(male, born circa 1918 in South Carolina)

Vocal Refrain Rose
(female, married in 1951 in West Virginia)

Washington Territory Stockand
(male, born circa 1869 in Washington Territory)

Yankee Doodle Norris
(male, born in 1910 in Tennessee)

Similar names from other posts: April Fool Harris, Acts of the Apostles Kennett, Aussie Trooper Kenna, Cash Money Smith, Christmas Carol Porter, Christmas Day Wagstaff, Christmas Eve Hayes, Dawn Siren Lingerman, Dee Day Edwards, Easter Lily Gates, Eclipse Glasses Banda, Eiffel Tower Sutherland, Emancipation Proclamation Coggeshall, Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey, Fearless Mentor Williams, Friday February Eleven Biddle, Harley Quinn Smith, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Legal Tender Coxey, Louisiana Purchase O’Leary, Luna Eclipse Hill, Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer, Nanda Devi Unsoeld, Oregon Territory Winters, Pitbull Shotgun Collier, States Rights Gist, Thursday October Christian, Union Jack Smart, Victory Pearl Harbor Moore.

First Name + Last Name

Superb Bullocks

American Born*
(female, born circa 1854 in Georgia)
*This is her married name. Not sure what her birth name was.

American Crook*
(female, born in 1836 in Tennessee)
*Another married name.

Bitter Apple
(female, born in 1874 in Tennessee)

Bitter Berry
(female, born in 1845 in Alabama)

Black Berry
(female, born circa 1925 in Washington)

Bum Dials
(male, born circa 1934 in Kentucky)

Cashmere Obedience
(male, born in 1907 in the Philippines)

Cheese Bologna
(male, born circa 1879 in Austria)

Continent Walker
(female, born in 1594 in England)

Copious Midgett
(male, born circa 1894 in North Carolina)

Cucumber Pickle
(male, born circa 1850 in Michigan)

Danger Dangervil
(born in 1943 in Florida)

Death Bugg
(male, born in 1746 in England)

Death Knox
(female, born circa 1927 in Mississippi)

Delicious Bacon
(female, born in 1895 in Georgia)

Dewdrop Trulove
(female, born circa 1933 in Mississippi)

Elder Berry
(male, born circa 1901 in Minnesota)

Every Evelyn
(female, born circa 1917 in Alabama)

Gold Mine
(male, born circa 1901 in Alabama)

Green Land
(male, born in 1886 in Tennessee)

Honorable Charming
(male, born circa 1782 in England)

Howdy Guy
(male, born in 1784 in England)

Ineeda Nunn
(female, born circa 1915 in North Carolina)

Larceny Luckydoo
(female, born circa 1914 in Arkansas)

London England
(male, born circa 1914 in Canada)

Magnetic Love
(female, born in 1912 in New York)

Many Moore
(female, born circa 1880 in Pennsylvania)

Married Young
(female, born circa 1923 in Tennessee)

Married  Young, born in Tennessee

Minnie Merrycats
(female, born circa 1880 in Utah)

Mud Brown
(born in 1877 in Wisconsin)

Much Moore
(female, born circa 1900 in Georgia)

Mustard Mustard
(female, born circa 1841 in Delaware)

Need Butler
(male, born circa 1933 in Pennsylvania)

Never Fail
(male, married in 1928 in Oklahoma)

Nude Mann
(male, born circa 1871 in Ohio)

Obedient Beard
(male, born circa 1852 in Indiana)

Odious Nutt
(male, born in 1879 in Texas)

One Moore
(male, born circa 1869 in Missouri – the youngest sibling in the family)

Orchestra Harp
(male, born in 1873 in Kentucky)

Phoebe Beebee
(female, born in 1876 in England)

Pullman Carr
(male, born circa 1906 in Illinois)

Scholastic Sauce
(female, born circa 1889 in Louisiana)

Scot Land
(born in 1959 in Wisconsin)

Sea Shore
(male, born circa 1892 in Kansas)

Silence Bellows*
(female, born in 1896 in New York)
*Another married name.

Slipper Wearing
(female, born circa 1873 in South Carolina)

Smart Strong
(male, born circa 1923 in Arkansas)

Smelly Cotton
(male, married in 1906 in Texas)

Some Moore
(male, born in 1850 in Virginia)

Square Kitchen
(born in 1909 in Illinois)

Strong Beer
(male, born in 1846 in Indiana)

Superb Bullocks
(female, gave birth in 1916 in Ohio)

Teaspoon Typhoon
(born in 1953 in Michigan)

Tender Shoulders
(female, born circa 1939 in Kentucky)

Village Millage
(male, born in 1872 in South Dakota)

Wiggle Messenger
(male, born in the 1700s in Massachusetts)

Similar names from other posts: Cole Sellar, Constant Agony, Dill Pickle, Gettysburg Battle, Lottery Lament, Norman Conquest, Orbit Moon, Sacred Mango, Soda Popp, Ten Million, Truly Wright, Wrigley Fields.

Middle Name + Middle Name

Country Cowboy

Beata Apple Tree Hitchens
(female, born circa 1845 in England)

Ernest Big Boy Sloan
(male, born circa 1896 in South Carolina)

Lorelei Pink Dragonfly Dunlap
(female, born in 1996 in Texas)

Mary-Francis Morning Star Adams
(female, born in 1929 in Texas)

Nephi United States Centennial Jensen
(male, born in 1876 in Utah)

Ngan Ha Milky Way T Tran
(female, born in 1976 in Texas)

Oscar Church Bell Kham
(male, born in 1983 in Texas)

Shawn Country Cowboy Cunningham
(male, born in 1978 in Texas)

Shawn Hugh Hefner Moore
(male, born in 1975 in Texas)

Sidney Sweet Apple Granger
(male, born circa 1880 in England)

Similar names from other posts: James Good Hope Sky Martin, John Hodge Opera House Centennial Gargling Oil Samuel J. Tilden Ten Brook, Louis Meadows Brook Verhayden, Isaiah Olive Branch Williams, Rose Mary Echo Silver Dollar Tabor.

First Name + Middle Name + Last Name

Little Bit Moore

Chevy Van Pickup
(male, born circa 1986 in Massachusetts)

Henry Ford Carr
(male, born in 1924 in Minnesota)

Jolly Jingle Bell
(male, born circa 1926 in Arkansas)

Little Bit Moore
(female, born circa 1924 in Tennessee)

South East West
(male, born circa 1932 in Oregon – an older brother was named North)

Sun Shine Summers
(female, born circa 1924 in Texas)

Supreme Knowledge Allah
(born in 2002 in Minnesota)

Tell No Lyes
(born in 1734 in England)

Similar names from other posts: Crimson Tide Redd, Happy New Year, Merry Christmas Easter, Trailing Arbutus Vines.

Which of these name combinations is your favorite?

I think I’d have to go with Married Young from the first + last list.

[P.S. For some of the above, I assumed the state where the person was issued a social security number was also the birth-state. I realize now that this isn’t always the case. Sorry about that. If you’ve found a mistake, feel free to correct me in the comments.]

Baby with Heart Defect Named Maria Corazon

Maria Corazon Rafael 1939
Maria Corazon Rafael
On August 7, 1939, a 7-pound baby girl was born in a maternity hospital in the Tondo slum district of Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Everything about the baby was normal except for one thing: she was born with her heart outside of her body.

As doctors debated what to do, they protected her tiny heart with a stemless cocktail glass.

She slept and ate normally, though her crib was lined with hot water bottles and she was fed with an eye-dropper. Whenever she cried, her exposed heart would beat faster.

Her mother, Esperanza Rafael, was told about her daughter’s condition several days after the birth. By then, a Catholic priest had already baptized her with the name María Corazón, Spanish for “Mary Heart.” (Typically the name María Corazón refers to the Virgin Mary, but in this case, of course, it also referred to the baby’s dire medical condition.)

Esperanza attributed her daughter’s malformation to her worship of a picture of the Sacred Heart, which features the exposed heart of Jesus Christ.

Visitors flocked to see María Corazón. One of these visitors was Aurora Quezón, wife of Philippine president Manuel Quezón. Another was Manila Mayor Juan Posadas, who “told doctors to spare no efforts to save the child … he would pay all expenses.”

María Corazón’s father, a 31-year-old mining company clerk and law student, turned down various commercial offers, including “a $10,000 offer by a Manila sportsman to take the baby to the New York World’s Fair by clipper plane.”

The doctors refused to risk María’s life by performing an operation, but they did bring in a movie camera to record the baby and her exposed heart.

The resultant film was to be donated to medical science, said Dr. Guillermo del Castillo, who delivered Maria, for study in the hope that some technique could be devised to correct such future abnormalities should it fail to aid its donor.

After living a total of 162 hours and 25 minutes, baby María Corazón died of bronchial pneumonia on August 14.


  • “Baby Born in Philippines With Heart Outside Body.” Milwaukee Journal 8 Aug. 1939: 6.
  • “Credits Worship for Baby With Heart Outside Body.” New London Evening Day 9 Aug. 1939: 9.
  • “News Summary.” Philippine Magazine. 36.9 (1939): 358.
  • “Operation on Baby Ruled Out.” Leader-Post 10 Aug. 1939: 5.
  • “Outside Heart Baby Dies After Living for Week in Hospital in Manila.” Evening Independent 14 Aug. 1939: 3.
  • People in The News.” LIFE Aug. 28, 1939: 20.
  • “Picture Held Reason for Malformation.” Leader-Post 9 Aug. 1939: 1.
  • Wilson, Richard C. “Child With Heart Outside Body Amazes Entire Medical Profession.” Bend Bulletin 10 Aug. 1939: 1.

How Many Jesuses Were There?

Slate published the Explainer’s Christmas Roundup a few days ago, and it includes some interesting facts about the name Jesus:

On Dec. 25, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Was the Messiah the first to have that name, or were there a lot of Jesuses running around back then?

Many people shared the name. Christ’s given name, commonly Romanized as Yeshua, was quite common in first-century Galilee. (Jesus comes from the transliteration of Yeshua into Greek and then English.) Archaeologists have unearthed the tombs of 71 Yeshuas from the period of Jesus’ death. The name also appears 30 times in the Old Testament in reference to four separate characters—including a descendent [sic] of Aaron who helped to distribute offerings of grain and a man who accompanied former captives of Nebuchadnezzar back to Jerusalem. (Read more on the name Jesus.)

The name Jesus/Jesús is common in the U.S. right now as well. It’s been given to thousands of babies per year since the ’70s, and it’s ranked among the top 100 boy names in the nation for two decades.

But the related name Joshua is even more common. It’s been given to tens of thousands of babies per year since the ’70s, and it’s ranked among the top 10 boy names in the nation for over three decades.

Hundreds of baby boys have also been named Yeshua within the last decade.