How popular is the baby name Kalel 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 Kalel.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kalel


Posts that Mention the Name Kalel

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Iowa, 2016

I love that the Social Security Administration releases so much baby name data to the public. But I’ve always had mixed feelings about that 5-baby threshold for inclusion. (Due to privacy concerns, the government doesn’t release names given to fewer than 5 babies per gender, per year.)

Part of me appreciates the threshold. For instance, I like that it adds significance to the pop culture-inspired debut names I’m always posting about, as these names had to hit a certain minimum level of usage in order to register in the data.

But the other part of me? The other part just really, really wants to see those rare/crazy names at the bottom of the list.

So I get excited when I find U.S. data from an official source that does go down to single-instance usage. Up until recently, I only knew about Sonoma County and Los Angeles County, but recently I discovered that Iowa (an entire state!) also releases down-to-1 baby name data. Yay!

But before we get to the rare names, let’s look at the state of Iowa’s top baby names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 203 baby girls
2. Emma, 181
3. Charlotte, 158
4. Harper, 156
5. Ava & Evelyn, 148 each (2-way tie)
6. Amelia, 125
7. Nora, 123
8. Sophia, 112
9. Addison, 101
10. Grace, 96

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 197 baby boys
2. Owen, 178
3. William, 174
4. Wyatt, 170
5. Henry, 165
6. Liam, 159
7. Noah, 149
8. Benjamin, 148
9. Jackson, 144
10. Lincoln, 123

  • In the girls’ top 10, Addison and Grace replaced Avery.
  • In the boys’ top 10, Benjamin and Lincoln replaced Mason and Elijah.
  • In 2015, the top two names were Emma and Liam.

(The SSA rankings for Iowa are similar, but not exactly the same. One notable difference on is that the SSA ranks Grayson 10th on the boys list, and puts Lincoln down in 13th.)

And now for the rarities!

Iowa’s website offers interactive baby name usage graphs that include all names bestowed at least once from 2000 to 2016. Here’s a sampling of rare baby names in Iowa (2000-2016 usage):

Girl NamesBoy Names
Arabia (1)
Bishop (1)
Currency (1)
Dream (3)
Eros (1)
Fairy (1)
Gatsby (1)
Heritage (1)
Irish (5)
Jasper (1)
KeyEssence (1)
Lisbon (1)
Michigan (1)
Nirvana (3)
Orchid (1)
PairoDice (1)
Qy (1)
Reminisce (1)
Scully (1)
Tear (1)
Unity (4)
Veruca (1)
Windy (2)
Xanadu (1)
Yawh (1)
Zinnia (1)
Arcade (1)
Banksy (1)
Cactus (1)
Denali (2)
Elvis (18)
Fonzy (1)
Galaxy (1)
Helium (1)
Indigo (2)
Jeep (3)
Kal-El (3)
Lightning (1)
Mowgli (1)
Notorious (1)
Opttimus (1)
Player (1)
Quest (3)
Racer (3)
Sanctify (1)
Tavern (1)
Universe (1)
Vegas (1)
Winner (4)
Xyn (1)
Young-Sky (1)
Zealand (1)

If you decide to dig through the data, leave a comment and let me know what you spot!

And if you’re friends with any expectant parents in Iowa, tell those lucky ducks that they have access to full sets of baby name rankings for their state. Either send them a link to this post or to one of the pages below…

Sources: Top Baby Names – Iowa Department of Public Health, Baby Names Popularity Over Time – Iowa Department of Public Health

Update, 2020: The above links no longer work; here’s an updated link to the Iowa baby names.

Popular Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2014

According to data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland in 2014 were Emily and Jack.

Here are NI’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl NamesBoy Names
1. Emily, 261 baby girls
2. Grace, 189
3. Sophie, 180
4. Amelia, 175
5. Ella, 172
6. Olivia, 152
7. Anna, 150
8. Lucy, 149
9. Sophia, 148
10. Eva, 146
1. Jack, 285 baby boys
2. James, 276
3. Daniel, 236
4. Charlie, 224
5. Harry, 193
6. Noah, 190
7. Oliver, 155
8. Ethan, 153
9. Jacob, 148
10. Thomas, 147

Olivia and Eva replaced Aoife and Jessica in the girls’ top 10.

Thomas replaced Matthew in the boys’ top 10.

Two names that made big jumps into the top 100 were Kian (171st to 78th) and Aria (218th to 89th).

Finally, here are some of the unusual names that were given to only 1 or 2 babies in Northern Ireland last year:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Aoifrie, Cobhlaith, Cuisle, Deirbhile, Enfys, Ermioni, Ezraelle, Flossie-Bo, Ionagh, Ionela, Labhaoise, Loveday, Maoiliosa, Maureen-Nevaeh, Narbflaith, Rimgaile, Saorfhlaith, Saylor-Doll, Tsz, Vogue, ZiniferAodh, Benji-Beau, Caoilte, Cavani, Connlaoth, Davog, Dualta, Epaphroditus, Feidhlim, Goldberg, Grantas, Jecstonio, Jeef, Kal-El, Laochra, Laoghaire, Mjtba, Peanut, Seachlann, Stanex, Theo-Thaddeus, Tucgan

Earlier rankings for Northern Ireland: 2013, 2012, 2007, 2006.

Sources: NISRA – Demography, Most popular NI baby names for 2014 are Jack and Emily

Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2013

Which boy names increased/decreased the most in popularity from 2012 to 2013?

We just looked at the girl names, so now let’s check out the boy names.

Below are two versions of each list. My version looks at raw number differences and takes all 13,958 boy names on the 2013 list into account. The SSA’s version looks at ranking differences and covers roughly the top 1,000 boy names.

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list)Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Jase, +3,410 babies (1,123 to 4,533)
  2. Jayceon, +1,658 (180 to 1,838)
  3. Jace, +1,649 (4,692 to 6,341)
  4. Oliver, +1,313 (5,896 to 7,209)
  5. Camden, +1,276 (2,592 to 3,868)
  6. Liam, +1,246 (16,756 to 18,002)
  7. Jaxon, +1,198 (6,281 to 7,479)
  8. Lincoln, +1,112 (2,898 to 4,010)
  9. Hunter, +890 (7,997 to 8,887)
  10. Silas, +882 (2,485 to 3,367)
  11. Noah, +815 (17,275 to 18,090)
  12. Ryker, +815 (1,647 to 2,462)
  13. Grayson, +805 (4,695 to 5,500)
  14. Lucas, +781 (10,670 to 11,451)
  15. Sebastian, +778 (6,717 to 7,495)
  16. Jaxson, +774 (3,644 to 4,418)
  17. Henry, +750 (8,052 to 8,802)
  18. Josiah, +748 (5,475 to 6,223)
  19. Jayce, +737 (1,906 to 2,643)
  20. Mateo, +715 (2,832 to 3,547)
  21. Easton, +680 (3,935 to 4,615)
  22. King, +656 (1,429 to 2,085)
  23. Ezra, +628 (2,080 to 2,708)
  24. Leo, +605 (2,868 to 3,473)
  25. Benjamin, +600 (12,773 to 13,373)
  1. Jayceon, +845 spots (1,051st to 206th)
  2. Milan, +650 (1,192nd to 542nd)
  3. Atlas, +614 (1,403rd to 789th)
  4. Jayse, +495 (1,469th to 974th)
  5. Duke, +429 (1,147th to 718th)
  6. Castiel, +418 (1,374th to 956th)
  7. Zayn, +410 (1,310th to 900th)
  8. Thiago, +374 (859th to 485th)
  9. Forrest, +340 (1,181st to 841st)
  10. Kyrie, +278 (868th to 590th)
  11. Lochlan, +263 (1,201st to 938th)
  12. Azariah, +247 (1,081st to 834th)
  13. Deacon, +232 (673rd to 441st)
  14. Gannon, +231 (1,074th to 843rd)
  15. Kalel, +222 (1,187th to 965th)
  16. Jase, +215 (304th to 89th)
  17. Harlan, +211 (1,067th to 856th)
  18. Jair, +199 (1,019th to 820th)
  19. Anson, +190 (1,158th to 968th)
  20. Magnus, +179 (1,137th to 958th)
  21. Enoch, +178 (1,014th to 836th)
  22. Harvey, +176 (792nd to 616th)
  23. Cassius, +172 (932nd to 760th)
  24. Stetson, +169 (1,119th to 950th)
  25. Yair, +162 (1,125th to 963rd)

Commenter Rita wrote up a great list of explanations for many of the above.

Josiah and Ryker were both featured in the regionally popular names post from a few months ago.

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list)Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Ethan, -1,494 babies (17,621 to 16,127)
  2. Jayden, -1,413 (16,069 to 14,656)
  3. Mason, -1,329 (18,920 to 17,591)
  4. Aiden, -1,313 (14,840 to 13,527)
  5. Ryan, -1,106 (10,914 to 9,808)
  6. Brayden, -1,099 (8,483 to 7,384)
  7. Christopher, -1,084 (11,849 to 10,765)
  8. Tyler, -1,084 (7,674 to 6,590)
  9. Justin, -1,040 (5,867 to 4,827)
  10. Jacob, -1,023 (18,999 to 17,976)
  11. Andrew, -998 (12,566 to 11,568)
  12. Anthony, -980 (13,144 to 12,164)
  13. Joshua, -907 (12,587 to 11,680)
  14. Gavin, -856 (8,235 to 7,379)
  15. Brandon, -834 (7,014 to 6,180)
  16. Jonathan, -833 (9,311 to 8,478)
  17. Evan, -806 (7,876 to 7,070)
  18. Nathan, -768 (10,388 to 9,620)
  19. Michael, -710 (16,076 to 15,366)
  20. Matthew, -691 (13,917 to 13,226)
  21. Angel, -679 (6,999 to 6,320)
  22. Jordan, -646 (7,774 to 7,128)
  23. Landon, -641 (9,320 to 8,679)
  24. Nicholas, -630 (7,708 to 7,078)
  25. Hayden, -588 (3,521 to 2,933)
  1. Austyn, -330 spots (899th to 1,229th)
  2. Masen, -299 (726th to 1,025th)
  3. Trevon, -287 (925th to 1,212th)
  4. Jaidyn, -276 (978th to 1,254th)
  5. Bently, -264 (638th to 902nd)
  6. Jarrett, -257 (991st to 1,248th)
  7. Brennen, -239 (765th to 1,004th)
  8. Devan, -211 (989th to 1,200th)
  9. Osvaldo, -204 (755th to 959th)
  10. Karsen, -203 (993rd to 1,196th)
  11. Jaeden, -189 (849th to 1,038th)
  12. Donte, -187 (912th to 1,099th)
  13. Brendon, -186 (801st to 987th)
  14. Yandel, -177 (976th to 1,153rd)
  15. Teagan, -171 (758th to 929th)
  16. Johann, -169 (942nd to 1,111th)
  17. Yehuda, -168 (900th to 1,068th)
  18. Jionni, -161 (869th to 1,030th)
  19. Trystan, -160 (975th to 1,135th)
  20. Kael, -155 (992nd to 1,147th)
  21. Giovanny, -155 (762nd to 917th)
  22. Camilo, -155 (839th to 994th)
  23. Braiden, -154 (605th to 759th
  24. Damari, -153 (874th to 1,027th)
  25. Aydan, -148 (702nd to 850th)

Eight -ayden names between both lists, eh?

And check out Mason — from the biggest winner in 2011 and 2010 to the 3rd-biggest loser in 2013. Fast to rise, fast to fall.

Winners/losers in years past:

  • 2012: Liam/Jacob, or Major/Braeden
  • 2011: Mason/Jacob
  • 2010: Mason/Joshua

Source: Change in Popularity from 2012 to 2013

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter

The Delayed Arrival of Kal-El

The name Kal-El — unlike the name Jor-El — did not debut in the U.S. baby name data following the release of the famous 1978 movie Superman. In fact, the name didn’t make its first appearance in the data until the mid-1990s.

Since then, though, the name has picked up steam. One thing that gave it a boost was Nicolas Cage choosing the name for his son, born in October of 2005. Another was the movie Superman Returns, released in mid-2006. Notice how the usage of Kal-El (rendered “Kalel” in the SSA data) more than doubled from 2005 to 2006:

  • 2007: 177 baby boys named Kalel
  • 2006: 161 baby boys named Kalel
  • 2005: 70 baby boys named Kalel
  • 2004: 53 baby boys named Kalel

Here’s Nicolas Cage explaining how he and his wife chose the name:

My wife wanted a unique name and originally I thought of the name Kyle and then she said, ‘No, something more unusual but beautiful.’ Then I remembered the old Superman comics… I wanted a name that stood for something good, was unique and American and that’s all three. I just thought it was a beautiful name and it had kind of a magical ring to it.

So far, peak usage of the name Kal-El was in 2014:

  • 2015: 243 baby boys named Kalel [rank: 896th]
  • 2014: 257 baby boys named Kalel [rank: 860th]
  • 2013: 208 baby boys named Kalel [rank: 963rd]
  • 2012: 152 baby boys named Kalel

The peak can be attributed to yet another Superman film: Man of Steel (2013), which focused on the character’s origin story. Here’s dialogue from the scene in which Clark Kent “meets” his father, Jor-El:

Jor-El: “To see you standing there having grown into an adult…if only Lara could have witnessed this.”
Clark: “Who are you?”
Jor-El: “I am your father, Kal, or at least a shadow of him. His consciousness. My name is Jor-El.”
Clark: “Kal? That’s my name?”
Jor-El: “Kal-El, it is.”

What are your thoughts on the name Kal-El? Would you use it?

Sources: Nicolas Cage Explains His Baby’s Name, Man of Steel (film) – Wikiquote

7 Unusual Baby Names in England and Wales, 2009

The latest batch of English baby names was released last week, and I’ve finally had time to peruse the whole thing (over 10,000 names in total). Here are a few of the interesting names I spotted:

  • T, given to 8 baby boys. The SSA doesn’t include one-letter names on the U.S. list, and I only know of one U.S. baby that may have been named T, so I’m curious about how many Ts we have over here. And whether any of them have the middle name Pain.
  • Leeloo, given to 3 baby girls. This was the name of the half-naked, orange-haired alien character played by Milla Jovovich in the The Fifth Element (1997). The U.S. list doesn’t include names given to fewer than 5 babies, which is a shame–just think of all the crazy names we’ll never see. (Also, Leeloo reminds me of Laa-Laa.)
  • Cobain, given to 3 baby boys. This one smells like teen spirit to me. And it reminds me that I started a post about ’90s alt-rock baby names ages ago that I ought to find and finish…
  • Siouxsie, given to 3 baby girls. Another music reference, this time to influential Brit rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Either that or specifically to vocalist Siouxsie Sioux.
  • Kal-el, given to 13 baby boys. I see Superman’s birth name as a real-life baby name so often nowadays that it doesn’t even seem unusual anymore. Also, notice the hyphen–something else the SSA excludes from the U.S. list.
  • Daisy-Boo, given to 4 baby girls. Just like Jamie Oliver’s second daughter. Makes me wonder how many babies named “Buddy-Bear” will pop up on the 2010 list.
  • Xanthe, given to 55 baby girls. Up from 18 a decade ago. This one surprised me, as only a handful of U.S. babies are named Xanthe every year. Is Xanthe on its way up in England? Is Xanthe the new Zoe? Hm.

Have you had a chance to scan the full list yet? (You can download the Excel files here.)