How popular is the baby name Josefina 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 Josefina.
I finished reading The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos earlier this week. On the penultimate page, I spotted:
Floating on a sea of tender feelings, under a brilliant starlit night, he fell in love again: with Ana and Miriam and Verónica and Vívian and Mimi and Beatriz and Rosario and Margarita and Adriana and Graciela and Josefina and Virginia and Minerva and Marta and Alicia and Regina and Violeta and Pilar and Finas and Matilda and Jacinta and Irene and Jolanda and Carmencita and María de la Luz and Eulalia and Conchita and Esmeralda and Vívian and Adela and Irma and Amalia and Dora and Ramona and Vera and Gilda an Rita and Berta and Consuelo and Eloisa and Hilda and Juana and Perpetua and María Rosita and Delmira and Floriana and Inés and Digna and Angélica and Diana and Ascensión and Teresa and Aleida and Manuela and Celia and Emelina and Victoria and Mercedes and…
That’s 58 names. (Vívian’s in there twice, though. The total is 57 if you count Vívian only once.)
I think that’s the most names I’ve ever seen in a single sentence.
Mathematically speaking, it’s possible to construct 676 pairs of letters from a 26-letter alphabet. In terms of baby names, though, only a portion of these pairs can realistically be used to start a baby name.
If you look at each of the 6,692 names that have ever ranked among the most popular U.S. (1880-2006), you’ll notice that only 233 two-letter combinations have ever been used at the beginning of the names (e.g., “Na-” for Nancy, or “Ev-” for Evan).
So…what’s the most common pair of starting letters?
Ma– is the clear winner. It starts nearly twice as many names as Ja-, the second most common starting letter-pair.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of all the two-letter combinations that have started at least 100 ranked baby names:
- 331 “Ma-” names (Mark, Mandy, Matthias, Marylouise)
- 177 “Ja-” names (Jane, Jacob, Jaleesa, Jamarion)
- 174 “Al-” names (Alf, Alice, Alphonso, Albertina)
- 167 “De-” names (Dean, Della, Devontae, Demetria)
- 157 “Ka-” names (Karl, Katie, Kameron, Katharina)
- 144 “Sh-” names (Shane, Sherman, Shanice, Sheridan)
- 143 “Ca-” names (Cash, Cadence, Carmella, Casimiro)
- 139 “Da-” names (Dave, Daisy, Damarcus, Dayanara)
- 125 “El-” names (Elmo, Elyse, Elijah, Eleanora)
- 121 “Ro-” names (Ross, Roxie, Roosevelt, Rosalinda)
- 118 “Br-” names (Bruce, Brenda, Bryson, Brittany)
- 118 “Ch-” names (Chad, Chantal, Christopher, Christiana)
- 117 “La-” names (Lane, Laura, Lafayette, Lakeshia)
- 113 “Le-” names (Les, Leah, Leandra, Leopoldo)
- 102 “Je-” names (Jeff, Jewel, Jennifer, Jeremiah)
- 101 “Jo-” names (John, Joanna, Joshua, Josefina)
- 100 “Ar-” names (Art, Arla, Armani, Araceli)