How popular is the baby name June 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 June.

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Popularity of the Baby Name June


Posts that Mention the Name June

Juneteenth as a baby name?

Birth certificate of June Tenth (?) Anderson (1930-1999)
June Tenth (?) Anderson, b. 1930

A year ago today, Juneteenth (a contraction of “June 19th”) became a federal holiday.

The holiday marks the date (in 1865) that U.S. Army officer Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas. The order reinforced the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued two and a half years earlier, by asserting that “all slaves are free.”

This mattered because Texas still had about 250,000 slaves. Why? Because “the state never had the large Union army presence necessary to enforce the proclamation.”

Intriguingly, a baby born in nearby Harris County, Texas, in 1930 — long after the Civil War was over — may have been named “Juneteenth.”

I first discovered her a few years ago, while doing research for a post about unusual names in Harris County. She was born into an African-American family on June 26th — a week after Juneteenth — but “June tenth” is the name that appears to be written on her birth certificate (above).

In later records, on the other hand, she’s consistently listed as “Juneteena” or “June Teena.” I even found her mentioned in a 1980s cookbook:

This is one of my personal favorites, the peach pie-cobbler from June Teena Anderson, one of the Panhandle’s finest cooks.

She died in 1999, and on her gravestone her name is written “June T. Anderson.”

It’s impossible to know the original intentions of her parents (who were named Allen and Margie Anderson, btw). But it does seem plausible — given their cultural heritage, their location, and the baby’s birth date — that they had wanted to name her Juneteenth.

What are your thoughts on this?

Sources:

Top one-syllable baby names in the United States, 2021

single tree

Which single-syllable names were the most popular in 2021?

I scanned the 2021 rankings for one-syllable names and found these:

Girl Names

  1. Grace (ranked 34th overall)
  2. Claire (59th)
  3. Quinn (80th)
  4. Jade (91st)
  5. Rose (116th)
  6. Maeve (124th)
  7. Sloane (143rd)
  8. Reese (147th)
  9. Faith (169th)
  10. June (175th)

(A little lower down were Sage, Ruth, and Blake.)

Boy Names

  1. James (ranked 5th overall)
  2. Jack (11th)
  3. John (27th)
  4. Luke (32nd)
  5. Kai (71st)
  6. Brooks (77th)
  7. Beau (94th)
  8. Jace (102nd)
  9. Chase (125th)
  10. Cole (132nd)

(A little lower down were George, Rhett, and Jude.)

These lists include the same names that appeared on the 2020 lists, but in both cases the names are in a slightly different order.

And, of course, here’s the usual disclaimer: I left out the borderline boy names (Owen, Wyatt, Charles, Miles/Myles, Ryan, Ian, Rowan, Gael) that can be pronounced with either one or two syllables, depending upon the accent of the speaker. Notably, all nine of these names ranked higher than both Chase and Cole.

For more single-syllable names, check out the one-syllable girl names and one-syllable boy names posts.

Where did the baby name Terrea come from in the early 1950s?

Terrea Lea album Folk Songs (1956).
Terrea Lea album from 1956

Usage of the unisex name Terry was rising fast for both genders during the ’40s and ’50s, but I think the debuts of Terrea and Terria in the early ’50s had a more specific explanation than the trendiness of Terry.

Girls named TerreaGirls named Terria
195610†
[9 born in CA]
18
1955.10
1954915
1953616
1952.17*
19516.
19505*
[all born in CA]
.
1949..
1948..
*Debut, †Peak usage

I think the influence was Missouri-born folksinger Terrea Lea, who was closely associated with the Southern California folk scene starting in the early ’50s — long before folk music became trendy in the U.S. in the mid-’60s.

Terrea Lea was born Bette June Nutz in Liberty, Missouri, in 1922. I’m not sure how she chose her stage name or when she started using it, but she was being mentioned as “Terrea Lea” in Billboard magazine by mid-1950 and was appearing on television, performing on radio, and putting out singles by 1951. In April of 1951, Billboard described her as “local TV folk chirper billed as the fem[inine] Burl Ives.”

Her own Terrea Lea Show could be heard on the East Coast radio by 1952, but the newspapers often misspelled her name (e.g., “Terria Lea,” “Terrea Lee”) in the broadcast schedules. Typos like these, combined with the fact that the shows were (of course) audio only, probably account for why the name Terria was the top debut name of 1952.

terrea lea, name
Misspelling in Billboard, 1952

In 1956 and 1957, Terrea Lea put out her first two full-length albums. In late 1958, she and some friends opened a coffee house in West Hollywood called The Garret. (The name was inspired by Puccini’s La bohème.) She regularly performed there, and it was frequented by popular folk singers of the day, including Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. The Garret existed until 1971.

There’s a website dedicated to The Garret, and the guest book includes six comments from people named after Terrea Lea. They are: Terra Lea, Terrea Lee, Terrea Lea (b. 1954, Calif.), Terrea Lea (b. 1951, Oregon), and Terria Leigh. Another comment is from someone whose son has the middle name Garret.

What are your thoughts on the name Terrea?

Sources:

Top one-syllable baby names, 2020

Which single-syllable names were the most popular in 2020?

I scanned the 2020 rankings (girl names and boy names) for one-syllable names and found these:

Girl Names

  1. Grace (ranked 28th overall)
  2. Claire (57th)
  3. Quinn (85th)
  4. Jade (97th)
  5. Rose (113th)
  6. Faith (136th)
  7. Reese (144th)
  8. Maeve (173rd)
  9. Sloane (181st)
  10. June (182nd)

Boy Names

  1. James (ranked 6th overall)
  2. Jack (21st)
  3. John (27th)
  4. Luke (31st)
  5. Brooks (91st)
  6. Kai (93rd)
  7. Jace (97th)
  8. Beau (109th)
  9. Chase (123rd)
  10. Cole (131st)

Please note that I intentionally left out names that could go either way (1-syllable or 2-syllable) depending upon one’s regional accent. I don’t think this made a difference on the girls’ side, but on the boys’ side I omitted a number of gray-area names (Owen, Wyatt, Charles, Ryan, Miles, Ian, Gael, Rowan, and Myles) that ranked higher than Cole.

For more names like these, check out the one-syllable girl names and one-syllable boy names posts.

Famous Female Names from 1916

Over at The Public Domain Review, I found a collection of 51 novelty playing cards — several incomplete decks, mixed together — from 1916 that feature the images and names of popular movie actresses from that era.

Below are all the first names from those cards, plus where those names happened to rank in the 1916 baby name data. (Two-thirds of them were in the top 100, and over 95% fell inside the top 1,000.)

  • Anita (ranked 151st in 1916)
  • Anna (7th)
  • Beatriz (1,281st)
  • Bessie (56th)
  • Blanche (89th)
  • Clara (39th)
  • Cleo (180th)
  • Constance (213th)
  • Dolores (146th)
  • Dorothy (3rd)
  • Edith (28th)
  • Ella (81st)
  • Ethel (25th)
  • Fannie (116th)
  • Florence (14th)
  • Geraldine (94th)
  • Gertrude (35th)
  • Grace (26th)
  • Helen (2nd)
  • Julia (46th)
  • June (86th)
  • Kate (346th)
  • Kathlyn (731st)
  • Lenore (340th)
  • Lillian (16th)
  • Louise (18th)
  • Mabel (65th)
  • Marguerite (78th)
  • Mary (1st)
  • May (190th)
  • Mildred (6th)
  • Myrtle (58th)
  • Nellie (61st)
  • Norma (111th)
  • Olive (132nd)
  • Ormi (4,982nd)
  • Pauline (33rd)
  • Pearl (57th)
  • Ruth (5th)
  • Viola (59th)
  • Violet (83rd)
  • Vivian (77th)
  • Wanda (138th)

Which of the names above do you like best?

Source: Moriarty Playing Cards (1916) – The Public Domain Review