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

Even More Greenlandic Names

This is the last post about Greenland, I promise. :)

The following names were too rare to make the “5+” list that I drew from to create Tuesday’s post, but they all have such fascinating definitions that I couldn’t leave them out of this unintentional series of Greenlandic names.

  • Aloruttaq (m) means “soleless one.” Mythology name. The character was an orphan who had no boots. He later acquired boots and was able to become a hunter.
  • Avaavak (m) means “one who has a tendency to fall and hit the back of the head.” One of several Greenlandic names based on the word avaaq, “the back of the head.”
  • Igaq (f) means “cooking utensil.”
  • Iggiaq (m) means “throat.”
  • Kaataq (m/f) means “hammer.”
  • Kamik (m/f) means “boot” — specifically, “soft boot made of reindeer or sealskin.”
  • Kamillannguaq (m) means “little bootless one.” Mythology name similar to Aloruttaq, above.
  • Kaneq (f) means “rime,” “frost crystals.”
  • Kapiseq (m) means “rain coat made of intestines.”
  • Kapitak (m) means “kayak jacket of sealskin.”
  • Kassoq (m/f) means “floating piece of transparent ice.”
  • Katsuana (m) is based on the word katsuaq, meaning “biceps.”
  • Kaugunnaq (m) means “one who had been buried (or caved) in between rocks.” Mythology name:

According to a legend, a man was hunting auks on a mountain and was buried between rocks in a landslide. Although he survived inside a cavity, he subsequently died of starvation. A powerful shaman came by and liberated the body and brought it to the shore, where he resuscitated him by conferring a new name by saying: “Kaugunnaq iterit!” (O Thou Who Hast Been Caved in by the Rocks, revive!”) and the man began to breathe again, and came back to be among the living.

  • Kujaaq (m) means “keel (of a kayak).”
  • Magserannguaq (m/f) is based on the word massippoq, meaning “rising half up from horizontal position.”

The Greenlandic author Karl Siegstad explains that the name means ‘Flower which is raised up by the heat of the sun, whilst small pieces of ice are still above it.’

  • Maqqioq (m) means “the one uttering/singing healing formulas.”
  • Masik (m/f) means “gill.” It also refers to the curved crossbeam on the deck of a kayak, because of the similarity in shape.
  • Milliaq (m) means either “umbilical cord” or “a piece of skin or cloth under food (as a mat).”
  • Nakatsileq (f) refers to talent as a marksman or a weapon-thrower, from the root word nakataq, meaning “object set up for throwing stones at” or “gun sight.”
  • Nasaq (m) means “hat.”
  • Oqaq (m) means “tongue.”
  • Paajuk (m) means “oarsman,” “paddler.”
  • Pualut (m) means “mittens.”
  • Puiaq (m/f) means “crop” (part of a bird’s digestive system).
  • Qajuuttaq (m) means “ladle,” “spoon.”
  • Qinoq (f) means “brash ice” or “ice sludge.”
  • Qulitsaq (m) refers to “a man’s overcoat of caribou skin with the hairs inward.”
  • Qutuk (m/f) means “collarbone.”
  • Serminnguaq (f) is based on the word sermeq, meaning “glacier.”
  • Sikunnguaq (m) is based on the word siku, meaning “sea ice.”
  • Teqqiaq (m) means “brim on a cap,” “eye-shade tied around head,” “tent roof.”
  • Tuilik (m) literally means “the one with shoulders,” in reference to a water-proof sealskin jacket used in kayaking.
  • Tukkujaq (f) means “sleepover,” from the proto-Eskimo root word *tukku, meaning “be rich,” “host,” “stay at someone’s house.”
  • Tulimaaq (m) means “rib.”
  • Upaluk (f) means “surprise” (but also “unprepared”). It may have been used for unexpected children.

Which of those definitions do you like best?

Sources: Oqaasileriffik, Nordic Names

Popular Baby Names in Greenland

According to Statistics Greenland, the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Inuk & Norsaq (boy names) and Ivaana & Malu (girl names).

The year before, in 2017, the top baby names were Inuk and Pipaluk.

Greenland doesn’t release top-10 lists every year, but does occasionally put out a name report. The most recent, published in mid-2011, includes top-10 lists for five recent decades…

Top Baby Names in Greenland, 1960s

Girl Names (1961-1970) Boy Names (1961-1970)
1. Ane
2. Marie
3. Karen
4. Sofie
5. Johanne
6. Kristine
7. Margrethe
8. Dorthe
9. Else
10. Anna
1. Hans
2. Jens
3. Karl
4. Lars
5. Peter
6. Niels
7. Ole
8. Kristian
9. Jørgen
10. Johan

Top Baby Names in Greenland, 1970s

Girl Names (1971-1980) Boy Names (1971-1980)
1. Ane
2. Karen
3. Marie
4. Dorthe
5. Johanne
6. Mette
7. Naja*
8. Susanne
9. Anna
10. Sofie
1. Hans
2. Karl
3. Jens
4. Peter
5. Lars
6. Niels
7. Thomas
8. Jakob
9. Martin
10. Knud

*Naja means “younger sister (of a male)” in Greenlandic.

Top Baby Names in Greenland, 1980s

Girl Names (1981-1990) Boy Names (1981-1990)
1. Ane
2. Johanne
3. Marie
4. Karen
5. Paninnguaq*
6. Sofie
7. Louise
8. Anna
9. Nivi*
10. Naja
1. Hans
2. Karl
3. Jens
4. Malik*
5. Peter
6. Lars
7. Kristian
8. Ole
9. Thomas
10. Niels

*Paninnguaq means “little daughter,” Nivi means “girl, maiden,” and Malik means “wave.”

Top Baby Names in Greenland, 1990s

Girl Names (1991-2000) Boy Names (1991-2000)
1. Paninnguaq
2. Ane
3. Nivi
4. Naja
5. Ivalu*
6. Pipaluk*
7. Sofie
8. Sara
9. Marie
10. Camilla
1. Malik
2. Hans
3. Karl
4. Jens
5. Peter
6. Kristian
7. Lars
8. Aputsiaq*
9. Inunnguaq*
10. Nuka*

*Ivalu means “sinew,” Pipaluk means “little possession,” Aputsiaq means “snow flake,” Inunnguaq means “little person/human being,” and Nuka means “younger brother (of a male).”

Top Baby Names in Greenland, 2000s (first decade)

Girl Names (2001-2010) Boy Names (2001-2010)
1. Ivaana*
2. Pipaluk
3. Nivi
4. Paninnguaq
5. Ivalu
6. Naasunnguaq*
7. Julie
8. Ane
9. Isabella
10. Kimmernaq*
1. Malik
2. Aputsiaq
3. Minik*
4. Hans
5. Inunnguaq
6. Kristian
7. Nuka
8. Salik*
9. Peter
10. Inuk* and Ivik* (tied)

*Ivaana means “brood egg,” Naasunnguaq means “little flower,” Kimmernaq means “lingonberry,” minik is a glue-like whale oil that is used as a sealing for skin boats, Salik means “the cleanser,” Inuk means “human being” — Inunnguaq from the ’90s list is a diminutive form of Inuk — and Ivik means “(blade of) grass.”

The recent rise of Salik can be traced back to the 1980s:

In the beginning of the ’80s the artist Keld Hansen published a series of children’s books about a boy named Salik, who lived in Greenland in the 1600s. In that same period, Peter Berliner, a psychologist, did a series of radio programs where the main character was named Salik. Statistics Greenland depicted a rise in the number of boys names immediately after that.

The 2011 report includes many other Greenlandic names as well, but I’ll put those into a separate post a few days from now. Until then, which of all the above names do you like best?

P.S. Almost forgot to define Malu and Norsaq from the first sentence! Malu is a short form of Marie-Louise, and a norsaq is a harpoon-throwing stick.

Sources: Statistics Greenland, Greenland in Figures 2018 (PDF), Greenland in Figures 2019 (PDF), Names in Greenland as of 1 July 2011 (PDF), Nordic Names, Search Names – Oqaasileriffik

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?