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, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Kurt.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kurt


Posts that Mention the Name Kurt

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?

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’ play Look Homeward, Angel, which ran on Broadway from 1957 to 1959, was nominated for multiple Tony Awards and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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 talent 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?