How popular is the baby name Karl 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 Karl.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Karl


Posts that Mention the Name Karl

Contrarian Baby Names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

contrarian baby names, uncool baby names

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

Arrr! Baby Names for Talk Like a Pirate Day

pirate baby

Avast! Did you know that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day?

“Arrr” itself doesn’t make a great name — even for pirates — but here’s the next best thing: over 120 names that feature the “ar”-sound.

Araminta
Arcadia
Arden
Aretha
Aria
Arianna
Arlene
Arlette
Artemis
Barbara
Barbie
Carla
Carlene
Carley
Carmel
Carmella
Carmen
Charlene
Charlotte
Charmaine
Darcy
Daria
Darla
Darlene
Gardenia
Harbor
Harlow
Harmony
Hildegarde
Karla
Katarina
Larisa
Mara
Marcella
Marcia
Margaret
Margot, Margaux
Maria
Mariah
Mariana
Marie
Marina
Mariska
Marissa
Marjorie
Marla
Marlena
Marlene
Marley
Marnie
Marta
Martha
Marva
Martina
Narcissa
Parthenia
Pilar
Rosario
Scarlett
Skylar
Starla
Arcadio
Archer
Archibald
Archie
Ari
Arlo
Arnold
Arsenio
Arthur
Balthazar
Barnaby
Barton
Bernard (…Bernarr?)
Carl
Carlisle
Carlton
Carson
Carter
Carver
Charles
Clark
Dario
Darius
Darwin
Edgar
Edward
Finbar
Garfield
Gerard
Gunnar
Hardy
Harley
Harper
Harvey
Howard
Karl
Lars
Larson
Lazarus
Leonard
Marcel
Marcellus
Mario
Marius
Marc, Mark
Marcus, Markus
Marlow
Marshall
Martin
Marvin
Nazario
Oscar
Parker
Richard
Stewart, Stuart
Ward
Warner
Warren
Warrick
Willard
Yardley

Which of the “ar”-names above do you like best? Did I miss any good ones?

(Image from Pixabay)

Additions, 9/20:

19 Impressive People Named Karl

The baby name Karl is based on a Germanic element meaning “man” or “freeman” (that is, someone who ranks above a slave, but not as high as a royal or a noble).

Here are a bunch of impressive people named Karl:

  1. Karl E. von Baer (1792-1876), Prussian-Estonian scientist and explorer. Discovered the mammalian ovum in 1826.
  2. Karl Benz (1844-1929), German engineer. Built the first automobile powered by an internal-combustion engine in 1885.
  3. Karl Drais (1785-1851), German inventor. Invented the Laufmaschine, also called the Draisine or dandy horse, in 1817.
  4. draisine illustration, karl drais
    The Draisine was invented by Karl Drais in 1817.
  5. Karl Deisseroth (1971-), American psychiatrist and bioengineer.
  6. Karl A. Folkers (1906-1997), American biochemist. Helped isolate vitamin B12 in 1948.
  7. Karl von Frisch (1886-1982), Austrian ethologist. Expert on honey bees.
  8. Karl Herzfeld (1892-1978), Austrian-American physicist.
  9. Karl G. Jansky (1905-1950), American physicist and radio engineer. Discovered cosmic radio waves in 1931.
  10. Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943), Austrian-American biologist and physician. Discovered three of the four major blood groups in 1900. Co-discovered the polio virus in 1908.
  11. Karl S. Lashley (1890-1958) American psychologist.
  12. Karl A. Menninger (1893-1990), American psychiatrist.
  13. Karl L. Nessler (1872-1951) German inventor. Invented the permanent wave in the early 1900s.
  14. Karl Pearson (1857-1936), English mathematician and statistician.
  15. Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), German astronomer.
  16. Karl O. Stetter (1941), German microbiologist.
  17. Karl Terzaghi (1883-1963), Austrian-American civil engineer.
  18. Karl Terzaghi (1883-1963), Austrian-American civil engineer. Founded soil mechanics.
  19. Karl Weierstrass (1815-1897), German mathematician.
  20. Karl Ziegler (1898-1973), German chemist.

Do you know of any other equally cool people named Karl?

The Baby Name Nydia

baby name nydiaThe eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. buried a number of nearby communities, including the now-famous ancient city of Pompeii.

The city was forgotten for centuries, rediscovered in 1599, forgotten again, then rediscovered a second time in 1748. Excavations finally began in the mid-1700s, and the rest of the world soon came to know of Pompeii and its sad fate.

After Russian painter Karl Bryullov visited the ruins in 1828, he was inspired to create The Last Day of Pompeii (1830-1833), which depicts the destruction of Pompeii as Vesuvius erupts in the background. The massive painting (which measures 15 feet high by 21 feet long) became extremely popular.

English writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton (of “It was a dark and stormy night” fame) saw the painting while it was on display in Italy. It inspired him to write the book The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), which also became extremely popular.

One of the book’s main characters is a blind slave-girl named Nydia (pronounced NID-ee-ah) who sells flowers to earn money for her owner.

She’s a memorable, tragic character who has since been portrayed in other works of art, most notably the sculpture Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii (see above) by American sculptor Randolph Rogers. Here’s a description:

[Nydia] struggles forward to escape the dark volcanic ash and debris of Mount Vesuvius as it erupts and buries the ancient city of Pompeii. Clutching her staff and cupping hand to ear, she strains for sounds of Glaucus (a nobleman with whom she has fallen desperately in love) and his fiancée Ione. Accustomed to darkness, blind Nydia uses her acute hearing to find the two, leading them to safety at the shore; but in the end, despairing of the impossibility of her love, she drowns herself.

In the book, Nydia tells Ione that she originally came from Greece:

“What is your name, fair girl?”
“They call me Nydia.”
“Your country?”
“The land of Olympus–Thessaly.”

Her name was not used in ancient times, though, and the author doesn’t offer any clues about how he coined this (ostensibly Greek) name. Many sources echo the theory that the name Nydia was based on the Latin word nidus, meaning “nest,” but this shouldn’t be interpreted as fact.

So…has the literary name Nydia ever been used as a real-life baby name?

Yes, but the name has never been very common. Here’s the number of U.S. baby girls that have been given the baby name Nydia since the turn of the century:

  • 2014: 27 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2013: 16 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2012: 26 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2011: 30 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2010: 31 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2009: 29 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2008: 52 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2007: 53 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2006: 52 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2005: 53 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2004: 62 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2003: 69 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2002: 69 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2001: 72 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2000: 82 baby girls named Nydia

While a handful of people were named Nydia prior to the publication of Bulwer-Lytton’s book, consistent usage of the name began only after the book came out. Usage was at its highest during the last quarter of the 20th century. Even then, though, the name never managed to earn a spot among the top 1,000 girl names in the nation. Usage has been in decline ever since. (The spelling Nidia has followed a similar trajectory.)

So, not only is Nydia a relatively young name that originates in literature, it’s also a relatively rare name that’s reminiscent of more familiar options (like Lydia and Nadia). So it might be particularly appealing to parents who like literature names and/or “sweet spot” names (that is, names that are uncommon but not unheard of).

What do you think of the baby name Nydia?

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Full Length view of Nydia by Mary Harrsch under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2013

Estonia’s top baby names of 2013 were published in the newspaper Postimees at the end of 2012.

The paper didn’t explicitly mention the source of the information (the Ministry of the Interior?) but reported that the country’s most popular names from January to November, 2013, were Maria and Rasmus.

Here are Estonia’s projected top 15 girl names and top 15 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maria**
2. Sofia
3. Laura
4. Anna**
5. Mia/Miia
6. Milana
7. Lisandra
8. Mirtel
9. Viktoria
10. Liisa
11. Arina
12. Darja
13. Aleksandra
14. Sandra
15. Adeele/Adele
1. Rasmus
2. Artjom**
3. Martin
4. Robin
5. Oliver
6. Markus
7. Nikita**
8. Romet
9. Sebastian
10. Sander
11. Kristofer
12. Robert
13. Oskar
14. Maksim
15. Daniel

**These names are particularly popular among Russian-speakers in Estonia.

Names that increased in popularity last year include Rasmus, Gregor and Mia.

Kevin, Kristjan and Kristina, on the other hand, decreased in popularity “significantly.”

Mirtel, 8th on the girls’ list, was rare until Estonian actress Mirtel Pohla came along.

The name Lenna was similarly uncommon until Estonian singer Lenna Kuurmaa hit the scene, and now Lenna is “quite popular,” though not in the top 15.

Robin, 4th on the boys’ list, is a curious one. It’s not an Estonian name, but simply the English male name Robin. And yet it’s trending in Estonia right now. (The last time Robin was trendy in the U.S. was a half century ago, and most of those baby Robins were female.) Could the inspiration be “Blurred Lines” singer Robin Thicke? I know it’s a long shot, but that’s all I can think of.

Postimees also published the following list of Estonia’s most popular baby names from 1992 to 2004. (They did say the Ministry of the Interior was the source for this one.)

Top Girl Names, 1992–2004 Top Boy Names, 1992–2004
1. Anna
2. Laura
3. Kristina
4. Maria
5. Diana
6. Sandra
7. Anastassia
8. Jekaterina
9. Karina
10. Alina
11. Kristiina
12. Aleksandra
13. Viktoria
14. Darja
15. Liis
16. Anastasia
17. Kätlin
18. Julia
19. Valeria
1. Martin
2. Sander
3. Aleksandr
4. Kristjan
5. Kevin
6. Nikita
7. Markus
8. Artur
9. Maksim
10. Karl
11. Dmitri
12. Daniil
13. Siim
14. Rasmus
15. Aleksei
16. Andrei
17. Artjom
18. Mihkel
19. Ilja

I’m guessing 2004 was picked as an endpoint because Estonia enacted a name law in early 2005 that regulates baby name orthography (to start weeding out foreign letters such as x, y and c). The full list has 677 names; at the bottom are names like Sirje, Raina, Raneli and Patricia.

Sources: And This Year’s Most Popular Baby Names Are…, These are the days of Rasmus, Artjom, Maria and Sofia