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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Keith

Number of Babies Named Keith

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Keith

Name Quotes for the Weekend #32

Thana, cover of LIFE, 1947

Happy Friday! Here’s another batch of random, name-related quotes to end the week…

From the description of the December 15, 1947, cover of LIFE magazine:

Among the prettiest showgirls in New York’s nightclubs are (from left) brunette Dawn McInerney, red-haired Thana Barclay and blond Joy Skylar who all work in the Latin Quarter. […] Thana, also 22, was named after her mother’s favorite poem Thanatopsis. She is married to a song plugger named Duke Niles and owns a dachshund named Bagel.

The poem “Thanatopsis” was written by William Cullen Bryant. The word itself means “a view or contemplation of death.” In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the god of death.

From the All Music Guide to Hip-hop by Vladimir Bogdanov:

Ginuwine was born in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1975, with the unlikely name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (after D.C.-born Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor).

Elgin Baylor, born in 1934, was named after the Elgin National Watch Company. (He’s on my Long List of Unusual Real Names.)

From “The Art Of Knowing When Less Is More” by Greg Dawson, published in the Orlando Sentinel in 1997:

Fellow immigrants…Here is proof that we need that national “conversation about race” urged by President Clinton: Last week in a whimsical moment I argued that official hurricane names are too “white bread” (like Greg) and don’t reflect America’s ethnic stew. To make my point I looked at the births page of the Sentinel for names that you never see attached to a hurricane — names such as Attaliah, Desjambra, Ofori. A reader called to complain about the “white bread” line and added, “A lot of those names aren’t even American.”

“Excuse me,” I said, “but they were born in this country. They’re just as American as you and me.”

“You know what I mean,” he said.

Yes, unfortunately, I think I do.

From The Making of Cabaret by Keith Garebian, regarding the name of English actress Valerie Jill Haworth, who was born on Victory over Japan Day (Aug. 15, 1945):

The initials of her baptismal names (Valerie Jill) were in honor of her birth on VJ Day.

Related: American actress Robin Vee Strasser was born on Victory in Europe Day.

A quote from Freddie Prinze, Jr., in the documentary Misery Loves Comedy (sent to me by Anna of Waltzing More Than Matilda):

“When you’re a Junior you’re pretty much just a statue to what went before.”

From “My Daughter Will Be Named Ruby Daffodil” in US magazine article

Back when Drew Barrymore was only 20 years old, she already had a name picked out for her future child.

During an interview with Rolling Stone in June 1995, Barrymore opened up about her relationship at the time with Hole musician Eric Erlandson.

[…]

“I never thought I’d have a sense of family until I had my own kids. I want two: a boy and a girl,” she revealed. “My daughter will be named Ruby Daffodil.”

Today she has two daughters, neither of whom are named Ruby Daffodil. The first was named Olive and the second Frankie.

From “The History Of How “Cow Poop” Became A Real-Life Japanese Family Name” by Mami of the blog Tofugu:

There are some Japanese family names that are so ridiculous that I’m forced to believe that someone was playing some kind of horrible family prank when they named themselves. Cow Poop (Ushikuso), Horse-Butt (Umajiri), and Boar-Crotch (Inomata/Imata) are actual people in Japan. If they wanted a memorable name, they’ve certainly achieved it, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up with a name like that as a child.

From the “Name Wisely” section of “8 Tips for Creating Great Stories” by Hugh Hart of Fast Company:

Fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman stresses the importance of a good name in describing the genesis of his American Gods protagonist. “There’s a magic to names, after all,” he says. “I knew his name [needed to be] descriptive. I tried calling him Lazy, but he didn’t seem to like that, and I called him Jack, and he didn’t like that any better. I took to trying every name I ran into on him for size, and he looked back at me from somewhere in my head unimpressed every time. It was like trying to name Rumpelstiltskin.”

He finally discovered the name, Shadow, in an Elvis Costello song. (American Gods will be on TV soon…will we soon be seeing more babies named Shadow?)


Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Carol & Todd

A reader named Carol is expecting her first child next month. Here’s what she writes:

We are having our first child, a boy, in February. We’ve decided his middle name will be Philip, after my Dad.

With the middle and last names already being kind of wordy and long (Philip Underhill) I’m leaning towards a simple first name. I like Kyle probably the best so far. Cole is nice and simple. Or Carter, Carson, Owen, Nathan, Nolan, Gavin.

I don’t want a name too weird, or too common. Something in between.

Any other names to suggest? Thanks for your help :)

In her email, Carol mentioned that she’s active and outdoorsy, and that she and her husband Todd love “anything to do with nature – and getting out there and enjoying it.” Her site, Tarol’s Webpage, features sections on backpacking, fire lookouts, even bear encounters (!). She works for the U.S. Forest Service (and she notes: “No, we aren’t going to name our boy Forest, lol”).

I like all of the names on the shortlist, especially the one-syllable options (Kyle, Cole). In fact, I think Carol’s favorite is my favorite as well.

Carol mentioned she wanted something not “too weird, or too common.” None of the current favorites are weird, but I did want to point out that a couple (Nathan, Gavin) are pretty popular right now, and others (Owen, Carter) could be headed that way:

Name 2008 2009 2010
Nathan 13,214 babies 12,077 babies 11,269 babies
ranked 21st ranked 26th ranked 27th
Gavin 11,727 babies 10,710 babies 9,551 babies
ranked 30th ranked 33rd ranked 37th
Owen 7,788 babies 8,115 babies 8,136 babies
ranked 58th ranked 51st ranked 47th
Carter 7,051 babies 8,157 babies 8,101 babies
ranked 65th ranked 50th ranked 48th
Carson 5,121 babies 4,981 babies 5,064 babies
ranked 89th ranked 86th ranked 80th
Cole 5,378 babies 5,258 babies 4,562 babies
ranked 85th ranked 82nd ranked 89th
Nolan 3,147 babies 3,427 babies 3,666 babies
ranked 131st ranked 122nd ranked 104th
Kyle 4,688 babies 4,157 babies 3,539 babies
ranked 97th ranked 100th ranked 107th

I don’t want to dissuade anyone from using the names Nathan and Gavin — on the contrary, I like both very much — but I didn’t want the names’ current popularity to come as a surprise later on.

As far as suggestions go, I wrote up a long list and then boiled it down to these five favorites:

Chase (rank: 66th)
This was the very first name that came to mind. It’s simple and youthful, and it just sounds active. Which is what I imagine the son of two nature-lovers will turn out to be. :)

Lance (rank: 445th)
I like this one for the same reasons I like Chase, and I also like the consonance of the L’s in “Lance Philip Underhill.”

Sawyer (rank: 173rd)
Again, a youthful feel, thanks no doubt to Tom Sawyer. Plus, surname-names are stylish right now.

Reed (380th) or Reid (291st)
A simple name with an outdoorsy association, though the fact that there are two popular spellings could cause confusion.

Nash (rank: 612th)
A bit quirky, but it’s simple and strong-sounding, and its etymology connects it to nature (it originally denoted someone who lived near “an ash” [tree]).

Some runners-up: Glenn, Jack, Keith, Kevin, Max, Tate, Roscoe, Wyatt.

Which of the names above are your favorites for Carol and Todd’s firstborn son? What other names would you suggest?

Betting on Celebrity Baby Names – Nicole Kidman & Angelina Jolie

Think you know what Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban will be naming their baby? You can put money on it over at Paddy Power:

Odds
10 to 1
12 to 1
14 to 1
20 to 1
25 to 1
33 to 1
40 to 1
50 to 1
66 to 1
100 to 1
250 to 1
Names
Anthony, Janelle
Nick/Nicholas, Keith
Shannon, Nicole
Robbie/Robert
Jude, Sean, Aoife, Lyle
Edna, Ewan, Beth, Sydney, Russell, Hope, Hugh
Rachel, Nara, Daralis, Brad, Courtney, Dylan
Kevin, Erin, Clyde, Baz, Angelina
Kylie, Virginia, Satine, Perth, London, Holly
Cupid, Jackson, Madonna, Honolulu, Prince, Ireland, Princess
Katie, Suri, Tom, Maverick

And if you think you’ve got the scoop on what Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will be naming their next baby, you can go make a bet at Bodog:

Odds
5 to 1
9 to 1
10 to 1
11 to 1
12 to 1
13 to 1
15 to 1
20 to 1
30 to 1
Names
Marchelina
Shani
Etta, Gabriel, Sarah, Sari
Salama
Amani, Bradley, Jane
Alvin, Daren
Aaron
William
Jon

Personally, I don’t like the way both betting sites roll two issues — gender and name — into a single question. This forces you to bet on both, and hence you need to get both right to actually win.

Ignoring this sketchiness, though…if you were going to gamble on the baby names above, where would you put your money?

One-Syllable Boy Names – Cruz, George, Nash, Royce, Zane

Like baby names that are short and sweet? Here are over 100 one-syllable boy names:

Ace
Beau, Bo
Ben
Blaine, Blayne, Blane
Blaise, Blaze
Blake
Brad
Brent
Brett
Brock
Brooks
Bruce
Bryce, Brice
Cade
Cale
Carl
Case
Cash
Chad
Chance
Charles
Chase
Chaz
Chris
Clark
Clay
Cole
Colt
Craig
Cruz
Dale
Dane
Dax
Dean
Drake
Drew
Dwayne
Earl
Finn
Floyd
Flynn
Frank
Gage, Gauge
George
Glenn
Graham
Grant
Guy
Hank
Hayes
Heath
Hugh
Jace, Jayce, Jase
Jack
Jake
James
Jax
Jay
Jess
Jett
Joe, Jo
Joel
John, Jon
Josh
Juan
Jude
Kade
Kai
Kale
Kane
Karl
Kash
Keith
King
Knox
Kole
Krish
Kyle
Lance
Lane, Layne, Laine
Lee, Leigh
Lex
Lloyd
Lorne
Luke
Lyle
Mark, Marc
Max
Mike
Moe
Myles, Miles
Nash
Neil
Nick
Noel
Paul
Pierce
Prince
Quinn
Ralph
Ray, Rey
Reece, Reese, Rhys
Reid, Reed
Rex
Rhett
Ross
Roy
Royce
Sam
Saul
Scott
Sean, Shawn, Shaun
Seth
Shane
Steve
Stone
Tate
Todd
Tom, Thom
Trace
Trent
Trey
Tripp
Troy
Ty
Van
Vance
Vaughn
Vince
Wade
Wayne
Will
Zack, Zach, Zac
Zane, Zain, Zayne
Ziv
Zvi

Have any favorites?

P.S. Here are the most popular 1-syllable boy names of 2012, 2011 and 2010.

Baby Name Needed – Pros and Cons of Keefe?

A reader named John recently commented:

Just stumbled on your site on a quest to name our second son, who is now a week old. Have you ever heard of the boy’s name Keefe? We like it but think it is just too rare, and he will forever be correcting people who think he has a lisp or will assume it is “Keith”. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

I think you’re right to be concerned about the potential Keefe/Keith confusion. The first few times I said Keefe out loud, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was saying Keith incorrectly.

Once I got used to Keefe, though, I began to appreciate it. The name is simple, distinctive, masculine, and has a cool definition (it’s derived from caomh, a Gaelic word meaning ‘gentle’ or ‘kind’).

My only other worry with Keefe is that it rhymes with brief, chief, grief, thief, and several other words that could inspire schoolyard taunting (e.g. “Where’s the beef, Keefe?”).

I definitely don’t think Keefe’s drawbacks make the name unusable, but I do think that pairing a unique name like this with a more common middle (something that could be used as a backup, if necessary) would be wise.

I hope this helps, John!