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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kurt

Number of Babies Named Kurt

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kurt

The Baby Name Ketti

ketti frings, look homeward angel

The name Ketti appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1959:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 8 baby girls named Ketti [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted

This was the year after writer Ketti Frings won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Look Homeward, Angel, which ran on Broadway from 1957 to 1959.

The play, set in North Carolina in the mid-1910s, is an adaptation of the 1929 Thomas Wolfe novel of the same name:

Concentrating on the last third of Wolfe’s story, the play vividly portrays Eugene Gant, his mother, who is obsessed by her material holdings and who maintains barriers against the love of her family, his father, a stonecutter imprisoned by his failures, and the brother who never breaks away.

The author was born Katherine Hartley in Ohio in 1909. In 1938 she married German lightweight boxer Kurt Frings, who who gave her the nickname “Ketti.” (Kurt went on to become a Hollywood agent representing stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz.)

Do you like Ketti as a nickname for Katherine?

Sources: Ketti Frings, Stage and Film Writer – NYTimes.com, Look Homeward, Angel – Samuel French, Inc.

P.S. In 1962, a singer named Ketty Lester (born Revoyda Frierson) had a hit on the charts called “Love Letters,” but it doesn’t look like the song influenced the usage of the baby name Ketty.


Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2013

Alberta’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a couple of weeks ago.

According to data from Service Alberta, the most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Liam.

© Service Alberta
© Service Alberta

Here are Alberta’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia, 293 baby girls
2. Emma, 271
3. Emily, 249
4. Sophia, 241
5. Ava, 198
6. Avery, 172
7. Abigail, 164
8. Charlotte, 156
9. Chloe, 156
10. Lily, 156
11. Ella, 152
12. Isabella, 144
13. Hannah, 138
14. Amelia, 132
15. Brooklyn, 126
16. Madison, 123
17. Sadie, 118
18. Grace, 115
19. Mia, 115
20. Elizabeth, 111
1. Liam, 310 baby boys
2. Lucas, 254
3. Ethan, 244
4. Noah, 234
5. Logan, 225
6. Benjamin, 222
7. William, 217
8. Jacob, 204
9. Mason, 198
10. Carter, 192
11. Alexander, 185
12. Jack, 177
13. Nathan, 177
14. Samuel, 170
15. Owen, 168
16. Oliver, 164
17. Hunter, 162
18. Jackson, 156
19. James, 156
20. Jaxon, 155

Lucas rose from 7th place in 2012 to 2nd place last year, and Noah rose from 10th to 4th. Meanwhile, Jacob fell from 3rd to 8th and Mason fell from 5th to 9th.

Usage of Sadie more than doubled from 51 baby girls in 2012 to 118 in 2013. (Sadie shot up in the U.S. last year as well.)

Here are some of the more unusual names I spotted on the list:

Unusual Girl Names Unusual Boy Names
Avexis, Azkadellia, Beatle, Blissannie, Caliber, Calyannabella, Dignity, Ecclesia, Edgely, D’Or, Emathyst, Emma-Tiger, Fra’Oll, Freixelyne, Glamour, Hannaneh, Izumi, Jilmil, Kayyo, Kree-Dance, Klarybel, Koket, Lava, Lootii, Lszybelle, Maple, Maquinna, Mòrag-Elizabeth, Nebraska, Qori, Shanaekqaheart, Slash, Solomiya, Taynjerine, Thiingdong, Trudith, Venelope, Vyllain, Winter-Wray, Zxianne Aerlwilliam, Aidence, Arismendy, Bemba, Blacker, Brenver, Buffalochild, Chrysogonus, Cooch, Crisxander, Dentley, Dulee’O, Ezzekielle, Godbless, Goodluck, Grady-Best, Gurmn, Hurricane, Isaiah-Ron-Kurt, Jax-Jude, Jet-Lee, Jixxr, Kairaratjo, Klutch, Kris-n, Linclon, Mambo, Mickdam, Neepin-Neepsy, Noah-Niño, Phyo, Sun-Rise, Sunstar, Thunderheart, Trigger, Unitus-Judah, Whiskeyjack, Wintersky, Zancent

If marshmallow peeps could magically come alive, I think “neepin-neepsy” is the sound they would make. (Also “peep,” of course.)

Jamie Dirom of the Calgary Herald went through all of the available Alberta lists (1980 to 2013) and found even more great ones, including:

  • Arson, Coco-Janelle, Codeine, Dancingeaglewhistle, Deemon, Invincible, Itty, Lethal, Nytewolf, Oreo, RocRock, Selphie, Sensimillia, Soda, Tiramisu

Tiramisu! If that exists, there has to be a Cheesecake out there somewhere…

Here are my posts on Alberta’s top names from 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Alberta baby names 2013 list reveals kids called Kindle, Lava, Daenarys and Peeta, but Olivia, Liam still tops, Unique? Not so unique: 101 unusual Alberta baby names

What Will Happen to the Name Lance?

Barbara's Baby Named Lance
Newspaper headline from March, 1936.
The baby name Lance started picking up steam in the U.S. in the late 1930s.

Why?

Because on February 24, 1936, American socialite and Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton and her Danish nobleman husband, Count Kurt von Haugwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, welcomed a baby boy and named him Lance.

What really gave the name a boost, though, was the couple’s divorce in 1938. Little Lance was mentioned in the news a lot that year.

  • 1939: 291 baby boys named Lance [rank: 322nd]
  • 1938: 267 baby boys named Lance [rank: 339th]
  • 1937: 70 baby boys named Lance [rank: 724th]
  • 1936: 72 baby boys named Lance [rank: 704th]
  • 1935: 41 baby boys named Lance

The name remained moderately popular during the second half of the 20th century. It even reached top-100 status in 1970 and 1971.

By the 1990s, though, it was in decline.

Then Lance Armstrong (b. 1971) came along, “winning” the Tour de France seven years in a row (1999 to 2005):

  • 2006: 1,001 baby boys named Lance [rank: 319th]
  • 2005: 1,253 baby boys named Lance [rank: 264th]
  • 2004: 1,161 baby boys named Lance [rank: 275th]
  • 2003: 1,166 baby boys named Lance [rank: 269th]
  • 2002: 1,232 baby boys named Lance [rank: 261st]
  • 2001: 1,285 baby boys named Lance [rank: 256th]
  • 2000: 1,221 baby boys named Lance [rank: 267th]
  • 1999: 1,003 baby boys named Lance [rank: 287th]
  • 1998: 880 baby boys named Lance [rank: 316th]
  • 1997: 918 baby boys named Lance [rank: 297th]

Lance Armstrong

Usage of the name Lance was buoyed temporarily by Armstrong, but as soon as his run was over, it started sinking again:

  • 2011: 574 baby boys named Lance [rank: 467th]
  • 2010: 602 baby boys named Lance [rank: 444th]
  • 2009: 638 baby boys named Lance [rank: 438th]
  • 2008: 749 baby boys named Lance [rank: 395th]
  • 2007: 825 baby boys named Lance [rank: 372nd]

Now that the Lance Armstrong’s reputation has been trashed, will the name Lance fall out of favor even faster?

UPDATE, 7/2014: In 2013, the name fell out of the top 500 for the first time since 1937.

  • 2013: 454 baby boys named Lance [rank: 570th]
  • 2012: 537 baby boys named Lance [rank: 495th]

P.S. Before you name your kid after a sports star

Baby Names Inspired by Clubs, Charities, Organizations

What clubs are you a member of? What charities do you support? What organizations have helped you (or someone you love) become a better person? Perhaps the story behind one of these groups could inspire a meaningful baby name.

Organization Founder(s)
Alcoholics Anonymous William Wilson
Robert Smith
American Red Cross Clara Booth
ASPCA Henry Bergh
Heifer International Dan West
Jane Addams Hull House Assoc. Jane Addams
Ellen Starr
Kiwanis Joseph Prance
Allen Browne
Knights of Columbus Michael McGivney
Lions Clubs International Melvin Jones
National Audubon Society George Grinnell
Outward Bound Kurt Hahn
Lawrence Holt
Peace Games Francelia Butler
RAINN Scott Berkowitz
Rotary Club Paul Harris
WWF Julian Huxley
Max Nicholson

The founder of the group would be the best place to start (if the group does indeed have a founder). But don’t stop there. Who were important early members of the group? Who helped popularize or expand the group? Who personally introduced you to the group and/or encouraged you to get involved?

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name that Goes with Gripe

A reader named Sarah writes:

We need help finding a boy name for a very challenging last name…Gripe. We tend to like classic names (Henry, Charles).

Ah, the surname-that-is-also-a-word. I know this one well: my married name is one of these. They can turn great first names into puns, insults, unpleasant phrases, and who knows what else. Names like Kurt, Will, Harry and Roman just won’t do with a surname like Gripe.

I think the key to dealing with a word-surname is to select a first name that does not call attention to that surname, in terms of either meaning or sound.

  • Meaning: Steer clear of first names that are words, that sound like words, or that have short forms that are similarly word-like. We want people to think of Gripe as a name, not as a verb or a noun. (I’d also keep away from A-names and I-names, which could turn into A. Gripe and I. Gripe on, say, a résumé. Not too helpful for making a good first impression.)
  • Sound: Avoid names with the same sounds as Gripe, especially those with a G, long I, or G-R combination. The repetition in Gregory Gripe, for instance, makes the name sound like it belongs to a character, not a human–and it’s easy to think of character names in an abstract, meaning-laden sort of way. (Think Holly Golightly.)

The names below seem to me to be good matches for Gripe:

Benjamin
Calvin
Daniel
David
Dennis
Dominic
Emmett
Ethan
James
Jesse
Joel
John
Jonathan
Joseph
Lucas
Malcolm
Nathan
Nicholas
Paul
Samuel
Sebastian
Stephen
Thomas
Timothy

Do you like any of the above? What other names would you suggest to Sarah?

Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down to see what name Sarah chose.