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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name John

Number of Babies Named John

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name John

The Week of Int: Vint

vint, restless gun, western, television
Vint
The baby name Vint debuted in the baby name data in 1958:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: 5 baby boys named Vint
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 9 baby boys named Vint
  • 1960: 15 baby boys named Vint
  • 1959: 35 baby boys named Vint
  • 1958: 21 baby boys named Vint [debut]
  • 1957: unlisted

The influence? Vint Bonner, the main character of the TV Western The Restless Gun (1957-1959).

Vint was a “freelance cowpoke” who traveled alone through the post-Civil War West. The character was played by John Payne, who had starred in Miracle on 34th Street a decade earlier. Payne say of the character: “If there’s such a think as a next-door neighbor in a Western that’s Vint Bonner.”

The series was based on a radio show (The Six Shooter, 1953-1954) in which the main character was named Britt Ponset. For TV, the character’s personality was slightly altered and his name was changed from “Britt” to “Vint” (…perhaps to make it sound more like Clint?).

Do you like the name Vint?

Sources:

  • Marill, Alvin H. Television Westerns: Six Decades of Sagebrush Sheriffs, Scalawags, and Sidewinders.. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011.
  • “TV Goes Wild Over Westerns.” LIFE 28 Oct. 1957: 99-106.

How Was Rudyard Kipling Named?

rudyard kipling, authorWhere did Bombay-born English writer Joseph Rudyard Kipling, most famous for The Jungle Book, get his memorable middle name?

His parents, John and Alice, got engaged in the summer of 1863 on the shores of Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, Staffordshire, England. Wedding planning finally started in late 1864, after John secured a job in India. The pair married in March of 1865, set off for India a month later, and welcomed Joseph Rudyard, nicknamed “Rud,” at the end of December.

Rudyard Lake had been created in 1799 by damming a brook. It was named for the surrounding settlement of Rudyard, which had existed since at least the early 11th century, when it was called Rudegeard (derived from a pair of Old English words meaning “shrub rue” and “enclosure”).

According to the SSA data, dozens of U.S. baby boys were named Rudyard during the 20th century. Do you like the name Rudyard? Would you consider giving it to a modern baby boy?

Sources:

The Hawaiian Name Haunani

from here to eternity, soundtrack, haunani, 1953

In 1953, the Hawaiian name Haunani saw high enough national usage* that it appeared for the first time in the SSA’s baby name data:

  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 6 baby girls named Haunani [debut]
    • 5 born in Hawaii specifically
  • 1952: unlisted

The soundtrack to From Here to Eternity — one of the top-grossing movies of not just 1953, but the entire decade — featured a song called “Haunani.” The song was composed by Hawaiian hapa-haole musician Randall Kimeona “Randy” Oness and performed by Danny Stewart and His Islanders.

Randy Oness had a daughter named Haunani (b. 1944) and, according to Honolulu Star-Bulletin entertainment columnist John Berger, the song “Haunani” was written specifically for her. The lyrics were originally in Hawaiian, but here’s an English version of “Haunani” sung by Alfred Apaka:

The Hawaiian name Haunani is composed of two elements: hau, meaning “ruler,” and nani, meaning “beauty” or “glory.” (“Hau” also happens to be a Hawaiian word for snow.)

Do you like the name Haunani? Do you like it more or less than Leimomi?

Sources:

*The minimum threshold for inclusion in the publicly available dataset is five U.S. babies per gender, per year.

Yet Another Baby Named for a Soccer Team

soccer-ballIn 1965, Peter and Pat O’Sullivan of Staffordshire, England, welcomed a baby girl.

Peter, who called himself a “fanatical Liverpool fan,” took it upon himself to give her the following name: Paula St. John Lawrence Lawler Byrne Strong Yeats Stevenson Callaghan Hunt Milne Smith Thompson Shankley Bennett Paisley O’Sullivan. Those 15 middle names honored 15 members of the Liverpool Football Club: 12 players, 1 team manager, 1 coach, and 1 trainer.

Pat said this: “The first I knew about it was when I saw the birth certificate, and I don’t mind saying I was furious. It’s a real shock to learn your baby’s been named after a whole football team.”

Finally, here are two earlier posts about English babies named after soccer teams: the Leeds United team in 1992 and the Burnley team in 2011. And I bet there are others out there…

Sources:

Name Quotes #53: DeVante, Ella, Buffalo

Time for some name quotes!

From a Movie Pilot interview with John Knoll, who came up with the name for Rogue One character Jyn Erso:

“My youngest daughter is Jane, and my wife is Jen, so [Jyn] is sort of mashup of them. And growing up my aunt was Aunt Ginny, [short] for Virginia, so there’s a little bit of that, too. It’s a mix up of a lot of my favorite women in my life.”

[Do you think Jyn will debut in the SSA data in 2017?]

From an A.V. Club review of the Black-ish episode “The Name Game,” in which characters argued about the name DeVante:

Dre’s point that names like Matthew, David, and Kevin don’t mean anything to him is fair. He wants to name his son after the actual culture and people he grew up around, and he hates the fact that when “something is black the world thinks that it’s bad.” Appeasing white culture with a name that has no cultural signifiers creates the type of internalized hatred that causes characters like Ruby and Charlie to respond so negatively to black names.

From a Telegraph essay by Sophia Money-Coutts about how absurd names build character:

But it’s enormously character building, being given an absurd name. It teaches you fortitude and tolerance because you will have to explain it 73 times a day. No use in labelling your children as George and Amal Clooney have just done. They’ve called their twins Ella and Alexander. I mean, they’re all right. Ella will probably grow up to be a florist or a yoga teacher and Alexander sounds like he might sell houses in Fulham. But what is life if you don’t grow up justifying your name to everyone you meet? Being called something silly means you can never take yourself too seriously.

From a Seattle Times article about what it’s like to share the name Alexa with the Amazon device:

Even though she’s never been on the receiving end of any commands or jokes, [Alexa] Wakefield remembers her first reaction to Alexa being, “How are they [Amazon] sort of allowed to use somebody’s name, like a more common name, as something like a robotic command,” she says, “It seems like a little bit of a violation.”

Later, she adds, “It’s placing your name in a subservient manner.”

These days, Wakefield says she’s learned to “look on the bright side.” “It’s sort of a feeling of pride,” she says, “Like a person named Alexa is very helpful!”

From a Cup of Jo post about offbeat middle names:

My friend gave her baby the middle name “Swift” because her labor was so quick.

Our friends chose the middle name “Buffalo” for their son because it was his dad’s nickname growing up. “It took my husband nine months to convince me,” my friend told me. “Then, in the middle of the night after signing the birth certificate, I had a mild panic attack at the hospital. Now I love it.”

From a Science of Us post about why it’s so hard to remember someone’s name:

There is a very simple reason why it’s so easy for the names of new acquaintances to slip right out of your head within moments of being introduced: Names are kind of meaningless. Memory experts say that the more pathways back to a memory you have, the easier it becomes to retrieve that memory, and this just doesn’t often happen naturally with names.

[…]

Sure, there may be family history or a great deal of sentimental meaning behind a person’s first name, but when you meet someone at a party, there’s no readily apparent reason why this guy should be named Mike and that guy should be named Max.

From an interview with CUNY business school student Janeflora Henriques:

When I was born, my oldest sister (who was a difficult child) insisted I be named “Florence” after a movie actress she idolized. My sister threatened consequences if I weren’t. On the other hand, the tradition of my tribe dictated that I be named after my dad’s eldest sister. Fearing whiplash from in-laws, my mother was wary to skip naming me after my aunt. At the same time, my mother was concerned about a daughter who said she would have nothing to do with me if I weren’t named Florence. So my mother shortened my aunt Jennifer’s name to “Jane” and Florence to “Flora” and gave me both.

From a Guardian article about extinct Hyoliths and their “helens”:

We all tend associate certain qualities to people’s names, usually on the basis of people we have known. Helen, for example, is a very sensible name. I associate it with practical, dependable people I have known. You can rely on a Helen. A quick look at the ONS data for girls’ names in England and Wales tells me that it reached a high point of number 8 in the list of baby names in both 1964 and 1974. It’s also the technical term for a hyolith appendage: a hyolithid has a pair of helens. I think this is utterly brilliant. The original paper from 1975 says “We term these … structures helens because the word has no functional connotations, and they were first described under the generic name Helenia by Walcott”. Really? Or did they know a Helen?

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.