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.

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Popularity of the Baby Name John

Number of Babies Named John

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name John

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2017

Ireland’s rankings came out early this year! Typically we don’t see them until the start of June, but this year they were released at the end of February.

Anyway…according to Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Emily
2. Emma
3. Amelia
4. Grace
5. Sophie
6. Lucy
7. Hannah
8. Mia
9. Ava
10. Chloe

Boy Names
1. Jack
2. James
3. Daniel
4. Conor
5. Sean
6. Noah
7. Luke
8. Harry
9. Adam
10. Michael

In the girls’ top 10, Chloe replaces Lily.

In the boys’ top 10, Harry replaces Oisin.

Interesting factoid: “While there were 2,981 baby boys named John [the #1 boy name] 50 years ago, taken together the five most popular boys’ names in 2017 accounted for 2,765 baby boys.”

The names that saw the most growth in popularity — just within the top 100, I believe — were:

  • Girl names by…
    • Rank: Aoibhin (+81 spots), Nina (+41 spots), Hazel & Pippa (tie; +21 spots each)
    • Number of babies: Aoibhin (+57), Evie (+54), Sadie (+34)
  • Boy names by…
    • Rank: Theo (+33 spots), Jackson (+29 spots), Ruairi (+27 spots)
    • Number of babies: Luke (+45), Logan (+44), Harry (+36)

In 2016, the top two names were Emily and James.

Sources: Irish Babies’ Names 2017, Babies’ Names 2017 Tables, Jack and Emily most popular baby names in 2017


Name Quotes #57: Gage, Ciku, Abigail Fortitude

George Clooney explaining why he and his wife Amal named their twins Alexander and Ella (People):

“[We] didn’t want to give them one of those ridiculous Hollywood names that don’t mean anything,” George told Paris Match in an interview published Saturday. “They’ll already have enough difficulty bearing the weight of their celebrity.”

Summary of a recent study on the practice of naming winter storms (WBIR):

The researchers presented their subjects with three mock tweets about an upcoming winter storm — either using names like “Bill,” “Zelus,” or no name at all — then asked them about their perceptions of the storm’s potential severity.

It turned out that the survey participants were equally likely to show concern for the storm regardless of whether common names such as Bill were used, rather than uncommon names, such as Zelus. This was a surprise to Rainear, who thought that more “Americanized” names might make people more wary.

On the origin of the name of the Slinky (New York Times):

[N]ext month the Toy Manufacturers of America will induct Betty James, 82, the retired toy maker who gave the Slinky its name, into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Mrs. James came up with the name after deciding that Slinky best described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing. Slinky, of course, meaning sort of stealthily quiet. Mrs. James did not have sexy evening wear in mind; it was 1943, after all, and there was a war.

On changing name trends in Kenya (SDE Kenya):

It is so 1980 for modern Kenyan parents to name their children after biblical figures. Ati names like Grace, Hannah, Sarah, Magdalene or Jane for their daughters is now a no-no. For sons, naming them Abednego or Adonijah sounds like a bad Sunday school dream.

[…]

Names like Peter and Paul, Esther and Lois were fashionable in their grandparents’ time and today, girls are named Tasha, Tanya or Tiffany, while boys go by cooler ones like Cy, Kyle, Declan and Sherwin.

…The article also mentioned that many traditional names now have modernized forms:

  • Wangui -> Kui
  • Waithiageni -> Sheni
  • Wanjiku -> Ciku
  • Wanjiru -> Ciru
  • Wambui -> Foi
  • Wacera -> Cera

“Modern parents have no qualms having them appear like that in official documents. Welcome to baby names in 21st century Kenya.”

Onomastician Cleveland Kent Evans vs. the baby name Gage (Washington Post):

But right now, Evans is pondering the sudden, explosive rise of the male first name Gage. From out of nowhere. There’s no record of this name, nothing in the texts, nothing anywhere. And yet just in the last couple of years, it’s been popping up all around the country.

[…]

Finally, he asked his students at Bellevue College near Omaha. One student got the reference immediately: “Emergency!” he said. Meaning the short-lived 1970s TV series, of course. Turns out there was a character named John Gage on that show, and he was generally addressed as Gage.

[…]

Incredibly, “Emergency!,” which aired opposite “60 Minutes” for four years, was exceedingly popular among elementary-school children.

One mom’s positive experience with revealing her son’s name during pregnancy (Popsugar)

One reason why people don’t reveal the baby’s name is to ward off other people’s opinions. I could tell there were a couple of my friends who didn’t like the name, but just like I didn’t get pregnant to please them, I’m wasn’t going to change his name for them either. Most people that I talked to had enough common sense to keep their opinions to themselves. Even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t have changed a thing.

My son’s name […] is special to me. I didn’t stop feeling that way once I told it to people — if anything, it made the pregnancy a whole lot easier.

From the script for Mother Is a Freshman (1949), about a 35-year-old widow, Abigail, who starts attending the college that her daughter Susan goes to:

Abigail: I mean about the Abigail Fortitude Memorial Scholarship.
Susan: The one they give to any girl whose first two names are Abigail Fortitude?
Abigail: Yes.
Susan: Clara Fettle says no one’s applied for it since 1907, and there’s zillions piling up.
Abigail: And you never told me!
Susan: Of course not.
Abigail: It never occurred to you that my first names are Abigail Fortitude–that I’ve had to put up with them all my life!
Susan: I know, Mom. It must have been awful.
Abigail [struck by thought]: Maybe that’s why my mother gave me those names. Maybe she know about the scholarship.

…Turns out the scholarship had been set up by Abigail’s grandmother, also named Abigail Fortitude.

*

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

Popular Baby Names in Tennessee, 2017

According to Tennessee’s Office of Vital Records, the most popular baby names in the state in 2017 were Ava and William.

Here are Tennessee’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Ava
2. Olivia
3. Emma
4. Amelia
5. Harper
6. Isabella
7. Elizabeth
8. Charlotte
9. Ella
10. Abigail

Boy Names
1. William
2. Elijah
3. James
4. Noah
5. Liam
6. John
7. Mason
8. Jackson
9. Samuel
10. Grayson

In the boys’ top 10, Samuel and Grayson replace Michael, Benjamin, Aiden, Jacob and Carter (there were extra names on the previous list due to ties).

These rankings are based on provisional data.

In 2016, the top two names were Emma and William.

Source: Ava Ascends to Tennessee’s Top Baby Girl Name in 2017; William Wins for Boys

Popular Baby Names in Rhode Island, 2017

According to Rhode Island’s Health Department, the most popular baby names in the state in 2017 were Emma and Liam.

Here are Rhode Island’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Sophia
4. Charlotte
5. Isabella
6. Ava
7. Amelia
8. Mia
9. Aria
10. Abigail

Boy Names
1. Liam
2. Lucas
3. Noah
4. Julian
5. Mason
6. Benjamin
7. Matthew
8. Michael
9. Logan
10. Joseph

These rankings are based on provisional data covering most (but not all) of 2017.

Back in 1866 and 1867, the top two names in Providence (the capital of Rhode Island) were Mary and John.

Source: Emma, Liam top R.I. baby names in 2017

The 24 Children of Isaac Singer

isaac singer
Isaac Singer: businessman & baby-daddy
A reader got in touch recently to ask about several unusual names. One of them was “Vouletti,” which belonged to a daughter of Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-1875).

Isaac Singer is best remembered for his successful sewing machine manufacturing company, founded in 1851 and still going strong today. Also notable, though, is the fact that he had a total of 24 children with five different wives and mistresses.

With Maria Haley, he had two children:

  • William Adam (b. 1834)
  • Lillian C. (b. 1837)

With Mary Ann Sponsler, he had ten children:

  • Isaac Augustus (b. 1837)
  • Vouletti Theresa (b. 1840)
  • Fanny Elizabeth (b. 1841)
  • John Albert (b. circa 1843)
  • Jasper Hamet (b. 1846)
  • Julia Ann (b. circa 1847)
  • Mary Olivia (b. 1848)
  • Charles Alexander (1850-1852)
  • Caroline Virginia (b. 1857)
  • …plus one more

With Mary McGonigal, he had five children:

  • Ruth
  • Clara
  • Florence
  • Margaret
  • Charles Alexander (b. 1859)

With Mary E. Walters, he had one child:

  • Alice Eastwood (b. 1852)

With Isabella Eugenie Boyer (of France), he had six children:

  • Adam Mortimer (b. 1863)
  • Winnaretta Eugenie (b. 1865)
  • Washington Merritt Grant (b. 1866)
  • Paris Eugene (b. 1867) – Palm Beach developer, namesake of Singer Island
  • Isabelle Blanche (b. 1869)
  • Franklin Morse (b. 1870)

These are traditional names for the most part, which makes “Vouletti” all the more intriguing.

Vouletti Singer was born in 1840, married William Proctor in 1862, had three children, and died in 1913. Though her name was definitely spelled Vouletti — that’s the spelling passed down to various descendants, and the one used by her friend Mercedes de Acosta in the poem “To Vouletti” — I found it misspelled a lot: “Voulitti” on the 1855 New York State Census, “Voulettie” on the 1900 U.S. Census, “Voulettie” again in a Saturday Evening Post article from 1951.

So…where does it come from?

I have no clue. I can’t find a single person with the given name Vouletti who predates Vouletti Singer. I also can’t find anyone with the surname Vouletti. (There was a vaudevillian with the stage name “Eva Vouletti,” but she doesn’t pop up until the early 1900s.)

Theater could be a possibility, as Isaac Singer was an actor in his younger days. Perhaps Vouletti was a character name he was familiar with?

My only other idea is the Italian word violetti, which means “violet.” Her parents might have coined the name with this word in mind.

Do you have any thoughts/theories about the unusual name Vouletti?