How popular is the baby name Josef 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 Josef.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Josef


Posts that Mention the Name Josef

The Baby Name Miroslava

miroslava, actress, 1950
Miroslava on the cover of LIFE, 1950

Right at the start of the Cold War, the curiously Russian-sounding name Miroslava debuted on the U.S. baby name charts:

  • 1957: 10 baby girls named Miroslava (7 in Texas)
  • 1956: 6 baby girls named Miroslava
  • 1955: 16 baby girls named Miroslava (8 in Texas, 6 in New York)
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 6 baby girls named Miroslava
  • 1952: 6 baby girls named Miroslava
  • 1951: 5 baby girls named Miroslava [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Czechoslovakian-born Mexican actress Miroslava Šternová, who gave Hollywood a shot in the early 1950s.

She was born in Prague in 1925. When the Germans overtook Czechoslovakia in 1939, her family (which was Jewish) fled. By 1941, they had resettled in Mexico.

Miroslava, billed mononymously, began appearing in Mexican films in the mid-1940s. She was introduced to American audiences in the matador movie The Brave Bulls (1951). Long before the movie came out, Miroslava appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine in July of 1950.

But her Hollywood career didn’t take off, perhaps due in part to her heavy accent. Her one other U.S. film was Stranger on Horseback, which was released in March of 1955 — a few weeks after Miroslava committed suicide at the age of 29.

The name Miroslava, used in various Slavic countries (including Russia), is made up of elements meaning “peace” and “glory.”

(Another Slavic feminine name that debuted on the U.S. charts during the Cold War? Svetlana, inspired by the daughter of Josef Stalin…)

Sources: Miroslava – Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, Miroslava (actress) – Wikipedia, Miroslav – Behind the Name
Image: © 1950 LIFE

Stalin’s Daughter Influences U.S. Baby Names

Svetlana and Stalin
Svetlana and Stalin
The Russian name Svetlana, which is derived from the Slavic word svet, meaning “light,” debuted on the U.S. baby name list in 1967:

  • 1970: 8 baby girls named Svetlana
  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 11 baby girls named Svetlana
  • 1967: 10 baby girls named Svetlana [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted

This was the year that Josef Stalin’s only daughter, Svetlana, defected to the United States.

Her defection from the Soviet Union, which attracted worldwide attention, was the most high-profile since Rudolf Nureyev’s defection in 1961.

Weirdly, her name also led her to a marriage several years later:

The widow of Frank Lloyd Wright, the great architect, invited Svetlana to stay with her. She herself had had a daughter Svetlana, killed in a car crash. She felt a mystical connection to this new and famous Svetlana. Her own Svetlana had been married to Wesley Peters, the architect’s senior apprentice. Mrs. Wright wanted the new Svetlana to meet Peters and like him. She did. They were married in three weeks.

The marriage only lasted 20 months, though.

What do you think of the name Svetlana?

Source: Stalin’s Daughter, Her Own Woman

Update, 8/9/16: Though I don’t have data to back it up, TIME says “thousands” of babies in Russia were named after Svetlana:

Svetlana Stalina, the daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, was born on February 28, 1926. Though brutal to the Russian public, Stalin was said to fawn over his daughter; she became a celebrity on the order of Shirley Temple in Russia, with thousands of babies named in her honor.

Source: Stalin’s Daughter Lana Peters – Time

Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2014

According to data from Malta’s National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups in Malta in 2014 were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.

Here are Malta’s top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
  1. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 97 baby girls
  2. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 72
  3. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 70
  4. Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 69
  5. Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 46
  6. Maya/Mia/Myah, 44
  7. Lea/Leah/Leia, 42
  8. Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 41
  9. Amy/Aimee, 39
    • Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 37 [tie]
    • Anna/Hannah/Ann, 37 [tie]
  1. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 98 baby boys
  2. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 97
  3. Jacob/Jake, 77
  4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 59
  5. Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53
    • Liam/William, 51 [tie]
    • John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 51 [tie]
  6. Benjamin/Ben, 51
    • Kaiden/Kayden/Kai ,46 [tie]
    • Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 46 [tie]
  7. Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 45
  8. Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 40

Down in 15th place on the boys’ side is “Yannick/Yan” — both are versions of John, and yet they’re not part of the John group, which is tied for 6th.

Speaking of strange things…

The current Maltese birth registration system does not allow for Maltese fonts, which essentially means that names with ċ such as Ċikku or Ċensa; with a ġ such as Ġorġ or Ġanna; and with a ż such as Liża or Ġużi, are out – or at least will be recorded without the essential dots which distinguish the Maltese phonetical sound.

I’ve seen governments (e.g., NWT, California) make excuses about not being able to render minority/ethnic names properly on birth certificates, but I’ve never heard of a country that couldn’t render names from its own national language.

Oh, Malta.

Here are the 2013, 2012, 2009, 2007 and 2006 rankings.

Sources: Naming Babies – National Statistics Office – Malta, Luke and Elena remain most popular names given to newborns, ‘Dotty’ system bars patriot baby names

Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2013

Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.

According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.

Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
  1. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
  2. Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
  3. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
  4. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
  5. Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
  6. Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
  7. Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
  8. Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
  9. Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
    • Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
    • Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
    • Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
  10. Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
  11. Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
    • Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
    • Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
  12. Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
    • Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
    • Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
  13. Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
    • Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
    • Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
    • Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
    • Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
    • Nina, 17 (0.9%)
    • Faith, 17 (0.9%)
  14. Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
    • Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
    • Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
    • Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
    • Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
  1. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
  2. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
  3. Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
  4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
    • John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
    • Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
  5. Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
    • Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
    • Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
  6. Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
  7. Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
  8. Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
  9. Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
  10. Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
    • Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
    • Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
  11. Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
    • Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
    • Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
  12. Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
  13. Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
    • Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
    • Adam, 24 (1.1%)
    • Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
    • Noah, 23 (1.1%)
    • James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
    • Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
    • Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)

Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.

Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.

Sources: NSO – Naming Babies: 2013, Quality and Amporn top the list of unusual names

Most Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2012

The most popular baby names in Malta were released back in May.

According to the National Statistics Office, the country’s top names (or name groups, actually) were Matthew/Matthias/Matteo for boys and Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina for girls.

Here are Malta’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina, 98 baby girls
2. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 91
3. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 67
4. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 54
5. Maya/Mia/Myah, 47
6. Lea/Leah/Leia, 46
7. Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 45
8. Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 44
9. Chloe/Khloe, Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 39 each [2-way tie]
10. Amy/Aimee, 37
11. Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34
12. Martina/Martine, 32
13. Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 30
14. Jade/Giada, 28
15. Anna/Hannah/Ann, 27
16. Amber/Amberley, Sophia/Sophie, 24 each [2-way tie]
17. Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, Chanel/Shanelle, 23 each [2-way tie]
18. Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 21
19. Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, Faith, 19 each [3-way tie]
20. Aaliyah/Alaya, 18
1. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 101 baby boys
2. Jacob/Jake, 98
3. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 87
4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 58
5. Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 56
6. John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 50
7. Aiden/Ayden, 47
8. Nathan/Nathaniel, 45
9. Isaac/Izaak, Liam/William, 43 each [2-way tie]
10. Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 42
11. Benjamin/Ben, 40
12. Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 39
13. Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 36
14. Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 35 each [2-way tie]
15. Daniel/Dan/Danil, 30
16. Yannick/Yan, Jack/Jackson/Jacques, Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 each [3-way tie]
17. Mason/Maison, Kyle/Kail, Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 28 each [3-way tie]
18. James/Jamie/Jayme, 26
19. Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24
20. Julian/Julien/Guiliano, Denzel/Danzel/Denzilee, 22 each [2-way tie]

The 98 baby girls of the Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina group represent 4.8% of all baby girls born in Malta in 2012, and the 101 baby boys of the Matthew/Matthias/Matteo group represent 4.6% of all baby boys.

I have three earlier Malta lists (2006, 2007, 2009) here at NBN, but there are even more (2002 through 2012, inclusive) at the NSO website — use the link below.

Source: Naming Babies: 2012 (NSO)