How popular is the baby name Joe 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 Joe.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Joe


Posts that Mention the Name Joe

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2020

Happy birthday, Elvis!

It’s hard to put into words just how bizarre 2020 was.

Despite this…people still had babies in 2020, and people still paid attention to pop culture in 2020. (In fact, thanks to quarantine, many people probably paid a lot more attention to pop culture than usual last year.) So, let’s put the seriousness of 2020 aside for a second and kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Of course, “pop culture” includes not just things like movies and music and social media, but also anything that was in the news — including COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the U.S. presidential election.

Which baby names will see higher usage — or appear for the very first time — in the 2020 SSA baby name data thanks to pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas (plus some context):

  • Aalam, DJ Khaled’s baby
  • Ahmaud, shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
  • Amala, Doja Cat album
  • Azula, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (made available on Netflix in mid-2020)
  • Breonna, shooting of Breonna Taylor
  • Bryant, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Casme, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Catori, Chris Brown’s baby (suggested by alex)
  • Chadwick, death of Chadwick Boseman
  • Charli, singer Charli XCX
  • Corona, coronavirus
    • Not to mention the brand new Daddy Yankee song “Corona” [vid]…
  • Crozier, naval captain Brett Crozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Daisy, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s baby
  • Desz, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Doja, singer Doja Cat
  • Domhnall, Irish actor on (canceled) HBO series Run
  • Dua, singer Dua Lipa
  • Esty, character on the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox
  • George, killing of George Floyd
  • Gianna, death of Gianna Bryant
  • Greta, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg
  • Isaias, hurricane
  • Jack, death of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s unborn baby
  • Kamala, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
  • Kamiyah, character in the Lifetime movie Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story*
  • Kaori, Kevin Hart’s baby
  • Katara, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Kobe, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Kraken, NHL expansion team (Seattle)
  • Larriah, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Laura, hurricane
  • Lenin, Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez (suggested by elbowin)
  • Liberty, Meghan McCain’s baby
  • Lovella, singer Matt Bellamy’s baby
  • Lynika, death of Lynika Strozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Lyra, Ed Sheeran’s baby
  • McGivney, beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney
  • Neowise, comet (suggested by elbowin)
  • Onyx, Iggy Azalea’s baby
  • Raddix, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s baby
  • Rayshard, shooting of Rayshard Brooks
  • River, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara’s baby
  • Robinette, President-elect Joseph Robinette Biden (suggested by elbowin)
  • Rona, coronavirus
  • Rue, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert’s baby
  • Rumble, model Lucky Blue Smith’s baby
  • Ruth, death of RBG
  • Sovereign, Usher’s baby
  • Tchalla, death of Chadwick Boseman (who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther)
  • Wenliang, Chinese doctor Li Wenliang (suggested by elbowin)
  • Willa, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s baby
  • Win, Ciara and Russell Wilson’s baby
  • Yara, actress Yara Shahidi
  • Zuko, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (here’s one Zuko from 2020)

Some of the names from the 2019 game could be applicable to the 2020 data as well.

Also, feel free to zoom out and consider name trends this year. Here are a few ways in which baby-naming may have been influenced by our collective experience of COVID-19, for instance:

  • “In my opinion this unprecedented situation will affect naming towards something “bolder” or “more badass” baby names and so you’ll probably see a spike of certain names like King, Major or Royal.” (Gheba)
  • “I’d bet on the rise of virtue names, or at least modern version of virtue names, like Brave/Bravery, Courage, Honor, etc. And I’d say names like Legend, Messiah, Legacy, Major, King, will probably rise some more too.” (Skizzo)
  • “I think it will also affect which media influence names this year. Eg we’ll miss out on names inspired by Olympic athletes, but might see even more from Netflix and YouTube.” (Clare)

What other names (or name trends) should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Just remember to make a note of the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the results as soon as I can after the SSA releases the 2020 data (in May of 2021, hopefully).

*Did you know that the actress who played Kamiyah in that Lifetime movie is named Rayven Symone Ferrell? Certainly a nod to Raven-Symoné

Name Quotes 87: Kamala, Simon, Genghis

From a recent CNN article about how to pronounce Sen. Kamala Harris’s name:

Harris wrote in the preface of her 2019 memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” “First, my name is pronounced ‘comma-la,’ like the punctuation mark. It means ‘lotus flower,’ which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom.

From a 1982 Washington Post article about actors Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill:

Lucie Arnaz, whose illustrious pedigree is evident in her name, and actor Laurence Luckinbill were Simonized several years ago.

He was on Broadway doing Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two.” She was on Broadway doing Neil Simon’s “They’re Playing Our Song.” They met at Joe Allan’s, the famous Broadway restaurant, and started seeing each other entr’acte.

[…]

Twenty months ago, they had a son, whom they named…Simon.

From a 2015 Indian Express article in which Rebel Wilson talks about her name:

A little girl named Rebel sang at my parents’ wedding. My mum is really big on theme names like that – my sisters are called Liberty and Annachi, and my brother is Ryot. I did pretty well in comparison. I love it.

You can’t be a shrinking violet if you have a name like Rebel. It gives me an edge and helps me not give in to my fears. I try to live that way.

From a 1998 BBC article about All Saint singer Melanie Blatt:

Melanie and her boyfriend, musician Stuart Zender [of Jamiroquai], revealed in a magazine interview that they intend to name their daughter Lily Ella [sic]: Lily after the first flowers he bought her during their courtship and Ella after the music legend Ella Fitzgerald.

(Technically, her name is Lilyella.)

From a case study (pdf) of Amtrak’s automated customer service representative, “Julie,” launched in 2001:

Julie became popular with callers and even garnered national acclaim through blogs, YouTube videos, and as an answer on the TV quiz game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Her persona was even featured on Saturday Night Live. “I’ve been surprised about how attached people have gotten to Amtrak Julie,” says the woman who provides the voice of Julie, Julie Stinneford. “I find it funny. Because they’re not really talking to me. They’re talking to a computer.”

From a 2019 NPR interview with musical duo (and identical twins) Tegan and Sara, who originally called themselves “Sara and Tegan”:

We changed the name only because we had a manager [who] gave us one good piece of advice during that time. He said, “When people say ‘Sara and Tegan,’ it all blends together into one word and they don’t know what you’re saying. But if you say ‘Tegan and Sara,’ you have to enunciate. So I think you should switch your names around.” So we did.

From a recent Crunchyroll article about parents who named their son Asta after the anime character (Black Clover):

We came up with that name early on but had other names we considered like Natsu, Sora, Roxas, and Yuki.

From a 2007 Times Colonist [Victoria, British Columbia] article about unusual baby names:

The time was when naming a baby Conan or Calamity could doom a kid to years of schoolyard drubbings, but if Genghis Charm Usher’s experience is any indication, the times are changing.

Genghis, 13, can’t recall any friction caused by his unusual name, pointing out “that you don’t have to have a weird name to get teased.”

[…]

“I love my name. Once they get my name, they don’t forget it,” he says.

U.S. Girl Names 2019: Popular, Rising, Falling, Debuts

Name nerds rejoice! Finally, four months after Mother’s Day, the U.S. Social Security Administration has decided to release the latest batch (2019) of baby name data!

First off, here’s the link to the SSA’s popular names page and to the SSA’s downloadable data page.

I’m going to summarize the data in just two posts this year — one for girls, one for boys. Let’s start with the ladies…

Here are the most popular girl names overall:

  1. Olivia, 18,451 baby girls
  2. Emma, 17,102
  3. Ava, 14,440
  4. Sophia, 13,714
  5. Isabella, 13,306
  6. Charlotte, 13,138
  7. Amelia, 12,862
  8. Mia, 12,414
  9. Harper, 10,442
  10. Evelyn, 10,392

These same ten names were in the 2018 top ten as well.

The girl names that saw the largest increases in usage in terms of absolute numbers of babies were…

  1. Alaia, increased by 1,072 babies
  2. Everleigh, 1,054
  3. Luna, 838
  4. Emilia, 716
  5. Willow, 653
  6. Isla, 615
  7. Violet, 570
  8. Amelia, 508
  9. Hazel, 493
  10. Arya, 492

The girl names that saw the largest increases in usage in terms of relative numbers of babies were…

  1. Yalitza, increased by 1490%
  2. Alita, 554%
  3. Dayleen, 527%
  4. Jenaiah, 450%
  5. Amiri, 417%
  6. Theo, 343%
  7. Mazikeen, 319%
  8. Kamoura, 317%
  9. Seylah, 317%
  10. Kairo, 283%

Yalitza was no doubt influenced by Roma (2018) actress Yalitza Aparicio, and Mazikeen comes from the character Mazikeen Smith in the TV series Lucifer.

Here are the girl names that debuted most impressively in the 2019 data:

  1. Adeya, debuted with 22 baby girls
  2. Kayslin, 20
  3. Malaynah, 18
  4. Chevel, 17
  5. Kulture, 17
  6. Kaavia, 15
  7. Sakani, 15
  8. Ahveya, 14
  9. Akyli, 14
  10. Jhazelle, 14

Some explanations…

  • Adeya, Kulture and Kaavia are all celebrity babies: Adeya is the daughter of Kehlani, Kulture is the daughter of Cardi B and Offset, and Kaavia is the daughter of Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade.
  • Kayslin and Chevel come from two contestants (Kayslin Victoria and Chevel Shepherd) on The Voice.
  • Malaynah is a young female rapper (who earned a coveted IG repost from the aforementioned Cardi B in 2018).
  • Sakani was likely inspired by Sekani, the name of a character (a little boy) in the 2018 film The Hate U Give.
  • Akyli must come from Akyli Maze, one of the children of Joe Lee and Alena Maze — YouTube influencers who create content under the name MAZELEE. (The baby name Mazelee debuted last year as well — not surprising at all, given how close it is to the popular Paisley.)

The girl names that saw the largest decreases in usage in terms of absolute numbers of babies were…

  1. Emma, decreased by 1,655 babies
  2. Isabella, -1,211
  3. Alexa, -1,069
  4. Mila, -845
  5. Madison, -794
  6. Avery, -775
  7. Victoria, -767
  8. Addison, -743
  9. Abigail, -742
  10. Elizabeth, -716

The girl name that saw the largest decrease in usage in terms of relative numbers of babies was Anifer (-86%), and the girl name that saw the steepest drop off the list was Marionna (from 21 babies in 2018 to fewer than 5 in 2019).

If you can explain any of the rises (or drops), please leave a comment!

Update, 9/6/2020: Here are the boy names!

The Arrival of L’Tanya

L'Tanya Griffin, 1950s, fashion designer, baby name
L’Tanya Griffin w/ daughter L’Tanya.

In the late ’40s, long before the name Tanya (a diminutive of Tatiana) reached peak trendiness in the ’70s, some specific Tanya-based names started debuting:

YearLatanya usageLatonia usageLtanya usage
1955
1954
1953
1952
1951
1950
1949
1948
1947
1946
67 baby girls
31 baby girls
24 baby girls
12 baby girls
9 baby girls
13 baby girls
7 baby girls
6 baby girls
7 baby girls [debut]
.
10 baby girls
9 baby girls
8 baby girls
6 baby girls
8 baby girls
.
.
6 baby girls
5 baby girls [debut]
.
32 baby girls
22 baby girls
11 baby girls
5 baby girls
.
5 baby girls
9 baby girls [debut]
.
.
.

Latanya and Latonia first appeared in ’47. Ltanya followed in ’49. Latonya popped up in 1951, and other variants appeared later, including the intriguing LaTanga.

What influenced the usage of these names?

My guess is Hollywood-based African-American fashion designer L’Tanya Griffin.

She started to become famous during the second half of the ’40s. Her name began appearing newspapers around 1946, and it was often spelled “LaTanya” and “La Tanya.” (Her birth name was Julia Bernice Hilbert, incidentally.)

In mid-1949, a specific event made L’Tanya Griffin front-page news: Her estranged husband Earl tried to assault her with a beer can full of lye at racetrack in Atlantic City. She was uninjured, but her friend Marshall Miles (former manager of boxer Joe Louis) and several other people suffered first degree burns. Worst off was Earl himself, as the lye had splashed back into his face. It got into his eyes and blinded him (not permanently, turns out).

L’Tanya was at the height of her fashion-fame during the 1950s. She was even on the cover of Jet in mid-1954. The magazine sometimes ran pictures of her young daughter L’Tanya as well.

I’m not sure what became of L’Tanya Griffin after her fame waned in the ’60s, but I did discover that one of the babies named “LaTanya” in 1949 was none other than Samuel L. Jackson’s wife LaTanya Richardson.

Do you like the name L’Tanya?

Sources:

  • “Acid Toss by Hubby Backfires.” New York Age 20 Aug. 1949: 1.
  • “Fashions by L’Tanya” Ebony Aug. 1947: 24.
  • Kirkham, Pat and Shauna Stallworth. “”Three Strikes Against Me”: African American Women Designers.” Women Designers in the USA, 1900-2000: Diversity and Difference, ed. by Pat Kirkham, The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 2000, pp. 123-144.
  • LaTanya Martinique, Los Angeles, California, ca. 1945
  • “Lye Hurled at Pretty Designer.” Pittsburgh Courier 20 Aug. 1949: 1.

Image: © 1954 Jet

Names in the News: Luca, Indica, X AE A-Xii

Some recent baby names from the news…

Indica: A baby girl born in the U.S. (in Baltimore?) in February of 2020 was named Indica, after the strain of cannabis. Indica has an older sister named SaTiva, after another strain of cannabis. (Metro)

Luca: A baby boy born in Ohio in December of 2019 was named Luca in honor of Dr. Luca Vricella, the pediatric cardiac surgeon who’d operated on Luca’s late older brother, Jack. (IndeOnline)

Ranvijay: A baby boy born in India in March of 2020 was named Mohammad Ranvijay, middle name in honor of police officer Ranvijay Singh, who’d helped the baby’s father attend the birth during lockdown. (NDTV)

Smokey: A baby boy born in New South Wales, Australia, in November of 2019 — while the Gospers Mountain fire was burning — was named Smokey. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas: The baby boy born in England in April of 2020 to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee, Carrie Symonds, was named Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas — Wilfred after Boris’s grandfather, Lawrie after Carrie’s grandfather, and Nicholas after Dr. Nicholas Price and Prof. Nicholas Hart, “the two doctors that saved Boris’s life last month.” (The Guardian)

Wyatt: The baby boy born in April of 2020 to news anchor Anderson Cooper was named Wyatt after Anderson’s late father, Wyatt Cooper. (PinkNews)

X AE A-Xii: The baby boy born in California in May of 2020 to entrepreneur Elon Musk and musician Grimes was initially named X Æ A-12. (The “A-12” part refers to the Lockheed A-12 aircraft.) On the birth certificate, though, is an altered version of the name: X AE A-Xii. (BBC, People)

P.S. Speaking of both Smokey and the ligature Æ (pronounced “ash”)…the first baby koala born at the Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales following the New South Wales bushfires was named Ash. (CNN)