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

Audie Murphy’s 11 Siblings

audie murphy, 1945, rifle
Audie Murphy and sister Nadine
© 1945 LIFE

Did you know that Audie Murphy — the soldier-turned-actor mentioned in yesterday’s post on Destry — was one of a dozen siblings? All 12 kids were born in Texas. Here are their first and middle names:

  1. Elizabeth Corine, b. 1910
  2. Charles Emmett, b. 1912
  3. Vernon C., b. 1916
  4. Ariel June, b. 1919
  5. Virginia Oneta, b. 1918
  6. J.W. (stillborn), b. 1920
  7. Audie Leon, b. 1925
  8. Richard Houston, b. 1926
  9. Eugene Porter, b. 1928
  10. Reta Fay, b. 1931 – later known as Verda Nadine (see pic)
  11. Willa Beatrice, b. 1933
  12. Joe Preston, b. 1935

Which of these combinations do you like best?

Source: Military Monday – Audie Leon Murphy – A Scrapbook of Me
Image: from page 94 of the July 16, 1945, issue of LIFE

What Would You Name the Catfish-Riding Boy?

little boy, large catfish, old photo, texas, 1940s

This might be my favorite photo on the entire internet.

The shot, which depicts a playful little Texas boy pretending to ride a dead catfish on someone’s front porch, was taken by photographer Neal Douglass in April of 1941.

The Portal to Texas History calls it “Mrs. Bill Wright; Boy Riding Catfish.” So I’m guessing that “Mrs. Bill Wright” was the boy’s mother. But there’s no other identifying information, so I don’t know the boy’s name, nor do I have any way of tracking it down.

So let’s turn this into a name game!

First, let’s suppose our little catfish-rider was not named “Bill” (or “William,” or “Willie,” etc.) after his father. With that rule in place, here are the questions:

  • What do you think Mrs. Bill Wright named her son?
  • What would you have named him?

Just for reference, popular names for Texas newborns in the late ’30s included:

Albert
Arthur
Carl/Charles
Clarence
Daniel
David
Don/Donald
Edward/Eddie
Ernest
Frank
Fred
Gary
Gene/Eugene
George
Gerald
Harold
Henry
Jack
James
Jerry
Jesse
Jesus
Jimmie/Jimmy
Joe/Joseph
John/Johnny
Jose
Juan
Kenneth
Larry
Louis
Manuel
Melvin
Paul
Raymond
Richard
Robert/Bobby
Ronald
Roy
Thomas/Tommy
Walter

For extra credit, what do you think the boy named his catfish? And, what would you have named his catfish? ;)

(If you like this game, here’s a similar one from years ago: What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?)

The Arrival of Amoreena

amoreena, music, baby name, 1971The pretty name Amoreena debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1971 and was used most often during the 1970s:

  • 1974: 10 baby girls named Amoreena
  • 1973: 17 baby girls named Amoreena
  • 1972: 15 baby girls named Amoreena
  • 1971: 14 baby girls named Amoreena
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The Elton John song “Amoreena.” It was never released as a single, but was featured on the album Tumbleweed Connection, “a loose concept record about the Old West written by two people [composer Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin] who had never even been to America.” The record came out in October of 1970.

According to one source, the song was a nod to Joe Cocker’s “Delta Lady” (1969). “Both songs paint lyrical images of a lusty country girl in a pastoral setting.”

So how did Bernie Taupin come up with the name?

No one knows. One theory is that it’s based on amor, which means “love” in several Latin-based languages (including Spanish).

But we do know that the wife of Ray Williams (Elton John’s first manager) was pregnant at the time, and that Taupin suggested “Amoreena” as a potential baby name. Amoreena Joanne Williams was born during the first half of 1970, months before the album was released.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Amoreena?

Sources:

P.S. More than a decade later, the Elton John song “Nikita” had a similar influence on the name Nikita.

Name Spotting: Malancthon

sign, colorado, names
Sign inside Garden of the Gods

My dad came out to visit us in Colorado recently. He loves geology, so we made sure to take him to several different places with impressive rocks/terrain.

One place we visited was Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. In this park we spotted the above sign, which described how the park got its name back in the 1850s:

As they looked over this area of cathedral-like rock spires, one man, Malancthon Beach, commented that the spot would be a great place for a beer garden someday. His friend, a poetic young man named Rufous Cable, replied that it was a place “fit for the Gods.”

It’s a cool story, but, to me, that first name “Malancthon” is way more interesting than the origin of the park name. Where did it come from?

My best guess is that Malancthon is a tribute to 16th-century German theologian Philipp Melanchthon, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname at birth was Schwartzerd (“black earth” in German), but as a young man he Latinized his name to the classical equivalent Melanchthon (“black earth” in Greek).

Civilian Conservation Corps, new deal
CCC Company 1848

We also saw some names at Red Rocks, which is both a park and a famous amphitheater.

The amphitheater was constructed from 1936 to 1941 by men in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program that existed during the Great Depression. One display included a photo of 124 of the men in the local CCC. Here are their first names, sorted by frequency:

  • 5: Joe, Raymond
  • 4: Charles
  • 3: Arthur, Clarence, Edward
  • 2: Bill, Byron, Carl, David, Earnest, Edwin, Everett, Jack, James, Leo, Maurice, William
  • 1: Aaron, Albert, Aldine, Alfonso, Allen, Alva, Amos, Ancelmo, Arleigh, Aubrey, Audrey, Barnett, Blaine, Calvin, Celestino, Charley, Claud, Claude, Clayton, Cleston, Dale, Damas, Dan, Darold, Dick, Don, Donald, Ed, Elden, Elias, Elipio, Emerson, Emilio, Eric, Ernest, Eston, Fares, Frank, Fred, Glenn, Grant, Gust, Guy, Horace, Hubert, Irvin, Jake, Jasper, Jesse, Jim, John, Jose, Kenneth, Lawrence, Leland, Leonard, Lester, Louis, Lyman, Manual, Marvin, Max, Merce, Noah, Norman, Orval, Pasqual, Paul, Pete, Richard, Rowland, Rudolfo, Russel, Russell, Sandeford, Trenton, Willard

…What interesting names have you spotted while out and about recently?

Name Quotes #64: Lulu, Lisa, Leisel, Tiahleigh

name quote, Lulu Alice Craig

From the 1900 book Glimpses of Sunshine and Shade in the Far North (which described Klondike Gold Rush stampeders camping at Lake Lindeman in British Columbia) by Lulu Alice Craig:

“[W]e wandered through this little city of tents of twelve to fifteen thousand people, finding interest in reading the names on the tents which represented many if not all parts of the world.”

(This quote was on display at the NPS museum in Skagway, Alaska.)

From an article about Lisa Brennan, Steve Jobs’s first daughter:

Lisa repeatedly tried to get [Steve] Jobs to tell her that the Lisa Macintosh computer was named after her but he refused to confirm it.

It was only when she was 27 and on holiday at a villa in the South of France owned by U2 singer Bono that Jobs finally came clean.

Over lunch Bono asked Jobs about the early years of Apple and whether or not he named the Lisa after his daughter. Jobs said: ‘Yeah, it was.’

Lisa was shocked and told Bono: ‘That’s the first time he’s said yes. Thank you for asking’.

From an article about athletes with strange middle names:

With a first name as iconic as Kobe Bryant’s, who needs a middle name with an interesting story? Well, Kobe Bryant does. His middle name — Bean — is a touching tribute to his father, Joe Bryant. Because of his high energy and ability to jump (guess Kobe must have inherited that particular skill), his father was nicknamed “Jellybean.” Luckily, Kobe’s parents didn’t go for the full candy-coated name and instead just dubbed him Kobe Bean Bryant.

From an article about Beatrix Potter finding character names via headstones:

The names for Beatrix Potter’s much-loved cast of animal characters may have come from ageing headstones.

Peter Rabbett, Jeremiah Fisher, Mr Nutkins, Mr Brock and Mr McGregor have all been found on stones at Brompton cemetery, west London, near where Miss Potter lived from 1863 to 1913. This seems to confirm local rumours that have circulated for years about the source of the names of her characters.

From an article about the name of Olympic swimmer Leisel Jones:

“Leisel was a very rare name when I was born in 1985… When I was born actually, my doctor said to my mum ‘you cannot call her Leisel because that’s not a name… You’re going to regret that one day,'” the Olympic swimmer said.

“And they absolutely did.”

The 32-year-old also went on to say having a unique name isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when no one can spell it right.

“The only problem with my name is it’s spelt L-E-I-S-E-L — and everyone spells it wrong. Everyone spells it as L-I-E-S-E-L,” she said.

“So that is a bit painful, it’s a bit annoying. But I do love my name and I love that it’s different.”

From the 2003 book Exploring Twins: Towards a Social Analysis of Twinship by Elizabeth A. Stewart:

“[I]n such cultures as those of the UK and the US the implication of twinship in the broader realities of social structure is clearly indicated by the link between the ‘naming’ process for twins and class differences: higher socio-economic groups tend to choose more separate, less ‘twinsy’ names for their children, emphasizing values of and possibilities for individuation and autonomy, whereas the greater tendency for lower-class groups to actively emphasize and encourage unitary ‘twinness’, whether through naming, dress or referencing (as in the ‘twins’ as a social and linguistic unit) may well reflect values of familial solidarity and fewer opportunities for individual social advancement.”

From an article about the parenting approaches of Millennials vs. Gen Xers:

Millennial parents are picking baby names based on available domain names, a new study claims.

[…]

According to the research, as many as one in five millennial parents said they changed or seriously considered changing their baby’s name based on what domain names were free at the time.

From an article about the drama that ensued after a baby was named after murdered Australian girl Tiahleigh Palmer:

The grandmother of a new baby named after murdered schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer insists the name was meant as a tribute to the dead girl.

Tiahleigh’s furious mother Cyndi Uluave unleashed on a young couple whose baby was born last Friday, and named Tiahleigh, claiming it was disrespectful to use the name of her daughter who was killed in 2015.

[…]

‘Who names their baby after a dead girl? This wasn’t their name to use,’ she said.

(In response to “who names their baby after a dead girl”: JonBenet, Rainell, Roni Sue, Sherianne…)

According to Cyndi, she created the unique name “Tiahleigh” by combining the names Tiarna and Lee and then playing around with the spelling.

To see more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.