How popular is the baby name Kathy in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Kathy and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Kathy.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kathy

Number of Babies Named Kathy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kathy

Name Quotes #50: Rocket, Lenore, Heloise

clueless, quote, cher, dionne

Clueless character Cher on the similarity between her name and that of her best friend Dionne:

We were both named after great singers of the past who now do infomercials.

(Dionne’s name comes from Dionne Warwick.)

From a 2007 interview in People with film director Robert Rodriguez (whose kids are named Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue, and Rhiannon):

Asked about his children’s unusual names, Robert attributes them to side effects he sustained from his college years when he subjected himself to medical tests to make extra money.

“Rocket is the first one. And once you name your first kid Rocket, you can’t name your next kid Marty. Racer, Rebel, Rogue…I’m just gonna blame this on the medical experiments. But they do have regular middle names in case they don’t want to start their own wrestling team.”

(An Australian celebrity named Lara Bingle has two sons named Rocket and Racer…perhaps in homage to Robert Rodriguez?)

From Incomplete birth certificates create a bureaucratic morass by Andrew Ryan in the Boston Globe:

A generation ago — when more families had six or more children — babies without official first names were surprisingly common. Overwhelmed new parents would leave the hospital without completing birth certificate paperwork.

But what once seemed like a quaint oddity becomes a serious inconvenience in a world of identity theft and terrorism. Today, governments demand birth certificates.

As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, vital statistics offices — including at Boston City Hall — continue to receive a trickle of people whose birth certificates carry no first name. Boston officials estimated that in the 1950s, roughly 1 of every 25 birth certificates lacked a first name.

From the 1970 obituary of actress Lenore Ulric in the New York Times:

Born in the little town of New Ulm, Minn., in 1892, the daughter of Franz Xavier Ulrich, an Army hospital steward, Miss Ulric (she dropped the H from her last name) used to say that she was predestined for the stage. Her father gave her the name of Lenore because of his fondness for Poe’s poem, “The Raven,” and her childhood was devoted to theatrical yearnings.

(She played Wetona on stage in 1916.)

Name expert Kunio Makino, as quoted in What to call baby? by Tomoko Otake in The Japan Times:

“I think people who come up with bizarre names for their children tend to feel that they couldn’t live the life they wanted to, and they feel that they have been hindered by many rules and restrictions. The only freedom they have at their disposal, they think, is the right to name their child.”

From Hi, My Name Is Héloïse by Héloïse Chung (formerly Kathy Bryant):

I leaned toward names made of calm, feminine sounds that never sounded like someone was yelling at you. The harsh K in Kathy conjured up my mother’s words for me: kigibe, keoji, shikkeuro. Korean for girl, beggar, and shut up. But I still wasn’t ready. I switched from Kathy to “Kate,” which felt like a small step, but not one nearly big enough.

[…]

Once the universe gave me the OK, a little space seemed to open up for the name to find me. And so it was that Héloïse fluttered into my head one day, devastatingly perfect. I’m not sure exactly where it came from. Perhaps some derivation of Luisita (a friend) or Elio (a boy I used to babysit). I guess I have a thing for L names. I honed it, trying it with and without the H and with and without the diacritics. I didn’t want them to be an affectation. Is it gauche to use French spelling if you don’t even speak French? Eff it, I went with the French.

From Why and how Ontarians change their names in the 21st century by Eric Andrew-Gee in The Globe and Mail:

Some change their names by truncation, some by hyphenation, others by amalgamation, others by invention. Some changes are banal, done for everyday reasons – a divorce, a marriage, a mistransliteration (an imprecise conversion from one alphabet to another) – while others are poignant, playful, even poetic.

When I asked people about their choice while reporting this story, virtually no one was glib. Many would go on and on, grateful to talk about a decision that cuts to the marrow of who they are. Others became tearful and, in some cases, shuddered audibly at the sound of their birth names. Some even declined to discuss the subject.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.


Interesting Baby Name Analysis

I only recently noticed that Behind the Name, one of my favorite websites for baby name definitions, has a page called United States Popularity Analysis — a “computer-created analysis of the United States top 1000 names for the period 1880 to 2012.”

The page has some interesting top ten lists. Here are three of them:

Most Volatile

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Elvis
2. Brooks
3. Santiago
4. Lincoln
5. Ernie
6. Wyatt
7. Quincy
8. Rogers
9. Alec
10. Dexter
1. Juliet
2. Lea
3. Justine
4. Martina
5. Felicia
6. Delilah
7. Selina
8. Lonnie
9. Magdalena
10. Katy

Biggest Recoveries

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Silas
2. Isaiah
3. Caleb
4. Emmett
5. Jordan
6. Josiah
7. Harrison
8. Ezra
9. Jason
10. Jesus
1. Ella
2. Stella
3. Sadie
4. Sophie
5. Isabella
6. Lily
7. Hannah
8. Isabelle
9. Sophia
10. Lilly

Biggest Flash-in-the-Pans

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Dewey
2. Woodrow
3. Dale
4. Barry
5. Rick
6. Greg
7. Roosevelt
8. Shannon
9. Kim
10. Darrin
1. Debra
2. Lori
3. Tammy
4. Pamela
5. Tracy
6. Cheryl
7. Beverly
8. Dawn
9. Diane
10. Kathy

I wonder what the formulas were. I’d love to try the same analysis on the SSA’s full list, using raw numbers instead of rankings. Wonder how much overlap there’d be…

Car Crash Baby Named Charity?

In mid-1961, Isaac Reed of Miami rear-ended the car in front of him while driving his wife, Ethel, to the hospital to give birth to their 10th child.

By the time cops tracked him down, he had a new baby girl. So patrolman Bob Rossman decided not to give Reed a traffic ticket.

In appreciation, Reed told Rossman he would name the baby girl “Charity.”

But…did he?

Doesn’t look like it. According to Isaac Reed’s Miami Times obituary, he had 12 children in total, and his eight daughters were named Bertha, Barbara, Deborah, Sharon, Cassandra, Kathy, Katrina and Carol.

Sources:

  • “Kerplunk–A Baby.” Daytona Beach Morning Herald 11 Aug. 1961: 3.
  • Kohn, Ray. “Hard to Win.” Fort Scott Tribune 11 Aug. 1961: 2.

Baby Born in Car, Named After College

Nathan and Kathy Brewer didn’t make it to St. Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, in time for the birth of their son on 31 Dec. 2010.

Instead, the baby boy was born in their Toyota Camry, which they’d hastily parked in the center median close to the campus of Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

They considered naming the baby Cam for Camry and Otto for “auto” before settling on Asher Behrend Brewer.

Sources: Pa. baby named for nearby college after car birth, Behrend: Baby named after campus

Baby Name Needed for Ethan’s Little Sister

A reader named Kathy is expecting a baby girl in December. She’d like some help coming up with a name. She writes:

I have a 25 month old named Ethan. I have loved that name but am sad to see it’s become so popular. I would like suggestions for a feminine, unique girl name if you have some.

Kathy does like the name Ava, but feels it’s too popular to use.

She also mentions that the baby will be of German/Irish extraction and have a 2-syllable surname that starts with an h (think Hofler).

Ethan and Ava are short, simple, traditional names. But they both happen to be very popular right now. So I looked for girl names that have a similar profile, but that aren’t quite as popular (i.e. none are top 20).

Alice
Amy
Anna
Clara
Cora
Elsa
Gemma
Heidi
Ivy
Laura
Leah
Lucy
Lydia
Marie
Mary
Naomi
Paula
Ruth
Sarah
Susan

Now, Kathy did use the word “unique” in her e-mail. None of the above names could be described as unique. In fact, I don’t think any baby name is unique in a literal sense. But here are some names that weren’t popular enough to make the top 1,000 in 2009.

Anja
Audra
Flora
Jill
Judy
Marla
Petra
Sonja

Which of these names do you like best with Ethan? What other names would you suggest to Kathy?