How popular is the baby name Laura 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 Laura.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Laura


Posts that Mention the Name Laura

Name Quotes 82: Rosebud, Pirate, Habakkuk

From an article about the Mad About You reboot:

On the original show, Theresa was portrayed by Burnett as a bit overbearing. But, she always brought extra love…and helped them name their daughter Mabel. When Jamie and Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) couldn’t decide on a name for their baby, Theresa proclaimed that “Mothers Always Bring Extra Love,” an homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura explain Ritchie’s middle name. The Buchman’s decide to call their daughter Mabel.

The conversation between Rob Petrie (dad) and Ritchie Rosebud Petrie (son) referenced above, from the 1962 Dick Van Dyke episode “What’s in a Middle Name?” [vid]:

Rob: …and there’s no reason to look so sad, your middle name isn’t really Rosebud.

Ritchie: Yes it is, my birth certificate says it’s Rosebud.

Rob: Yes it does, but do you know why?

Ritchie: No, but I wish it was ‘Jim.’

[…]

Rob: So you see, Ritch, actually, your middle name is Robert, Oscar, Sam, Edward, Benjamin, Ulysses, David. And, the initials to all of your middle names spells…

Ritchie: Rosebud!

(The seven names were suggestions from various family members. To see the scene and hear the full explanation, click the link to the video.)

From the 2018 children’s book Who Is Pele? by James Buckley, Jr.:

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940, in the tiny village of Três Corações (say: TRACE kor-ah-SOYS), Brazil. Even in 1940, there were many parts of the world that did not have electricity. Most of southeastern Brazil was one of those areas. In honor of their village finally getting electricity, Edson’s parents named their first son after the American inventor Thomas Edison.

From a BBC interview with Billie Eilish:

Q: Hello Billie Eilish… Have I pronounced that right?

A: Yes! It’s eye-lish, like eyelash with a lish.

Q: Your family name is O’Connell, though, so is that a stage name?

It is my middle name. So I’m Bille Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell.

Q: Pirate! That’s an amazing name.

Pretty weird, right? Pirate was going to be my middle name but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad. Then Baird is my mother’s name.

From an NPR interview with Leonardo DiCaprio:

My father tells me that they were on their honeymoon at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I believe. They were looking at a da Vinci painting, and allegedly I started kicking furiously while my mother was pregnant. And my father took that as a sign, and I suppose DiCaprio wasn’t that far from da Vinci. And so, my dad, being the artist that he is, said, “That’s our boy’s name.”

From a Christianity Today article called “Sorry, James and David: Silas and Obadiah Are Today’s Trending Baby Names“:

Looking forward, there’s plenty more space for creativity with highly unique but still highly religious names. Of the 2,606 biblical names I track in my ongoing research, only 811 ever had a year with more than 4 baby boys or girls given that name. We haven’t yet seen kids named Abijam or Paltiel, nor have we seen name fads for Philetus or Berechiah. Even notably faithful biblical figures like Ehud, Elkanah, Habakkuk, Hilkiah, and Jehonadab have been passed over.

If you ever come across an interesting name-related quote (or article), please let me know!

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: B

bessie love, actress

Time for more unusual female names from old films!

This is the “B” installment, meaning that we are almost done with the series. (I’ve been going backwards since starting with Z in early 2017.)

For those names that saw enough usage to register in the national data set, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

*

Babbie
Babbie was a character played by actress Betty Compson in the film The Little Minister (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Babbie.

Babette
Babette was a character name in multiple films, including A Circus Romance (1916) and Babette (1917).

Babs
Babs was a character name in multiple films, including Blondie Goes to College (1942) and Ever Since Venus (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Babs.

Babsie
Babsie was a character played by actress Olympe Bradna in the film Souls at Sea (1937).

Babsy
Babsy was a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film Under Eighteen (1931).

Baclanova
Olga Baclanova, often credited simply as Baclanova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia in 1896.

Balu
Balu was a character played by actress Kathlyn Williams in the short film The Leopard’s Foundling (1914).

Bara
Bara was a character played by actress Edythe Sterling in the film The Ghost Wagon (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Bara.

Barah
Barah was a character played by actress Laura Woods Cushing in the short film The Rug Maker’s Daughter (1915).

Bartine
Bartine Burkett was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1980s. She was born in Louisiana in 1898.

Bathsheba
Bathsheba Everdene was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film Far from the Madding Crowd (1915).

Batooka
Batooka was a character played by actress Evelyn Selbie in the film A Cafe in Cairo (1924).

Bea
Bea Walters was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film Queen of the Night Clubs (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Bea.

Beata
Beata was a character played by actress Winifred Greenwood in the short film The Broken Window (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Beata.

Beatie
Beatie Olna Travers was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in England in 1885.

Beattie
Beattie was a character name in multiple films, including The Magistrate (1921) and Mothers Cry (1930).

Bebe
Bebe Daniels was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Texas in 1901. Her birth name was Phyllis Virginia Daniels.

  • Usage of the baby name Bebe.

Becka
Becka Lipvitch was a character played by actress Virginia Valli in the film East Side, West Side (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Becka.

Bedelia
Bedelia was a character name in multiple films, including A Trap to Catch a Burglar (1913) and Bedelia (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Bedelia (which saw peak usage in 1947).

Bee
Bee Haven was a character played by actress Alberta Vaughn in the film Uneasy Payments (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Bee.

Beebe
Beebe was a character played by actress Shirley Mason in the film Flame of Youth (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Beebe.

Begonia
Begonia Baggot was a character played by actress Bessie Love in the film Sons of the Sea (1941).

Bela
Bela was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Huntress (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Bela.

Belinha
Belinha De Rezende was a character played by actress Dolores del Rio in the film Flying Down to Rio (1933).

Belita
Belita was an actress and figure skater who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in England in 1923. Her birth name was Belita Gladys Olive Lyne Jepson-Turner.

  • Usage of the baby name Belita (which debuted in the data in 1943).

Belva
Belva McKay was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1904.

  • Usage of the baby name Belva.

Bendetta
Bendetta was a character played by actress Martha Mattox in the film The Man in Blue (1925).

Benita
Benita Hume was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in England in 1906.

  • Usage of the baby name Benita.

Benjamine
Benjamine Downey was a character played by actress Anna Murdock in the film The Richest Girl (1918).

Beppa
Beppa was a character played by actress Charlotte Burton in the short film Heart of Flame (1915).

Berengaria
Berengaria was a character played by actress Loretta Young in the film The Crusades (1935).

Bernarda
Bernarda was a character played by actress Martha Mattox in the film Torrent (1926).

Bernice
Bernice Allen was a character played by actress Judith Allen in the film Boots and Saddles (1937).

Bertalda
Bertalda was a character played by actress Marguerite Snow in the short film Undine (1912).

Bertha
Bertha Kalich was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine) in 1874. Bertha was also a character name in multiple films, including Fisher Folks (short, 1911) and Caravan (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Bertha.

Berthe
Berthe de Praslin was a character played by actress Ann Todd in the film All This, and Heaven Too (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Berthe.

Berthelda
Berthelda was a character played by actress Edna Maison in the film Undine (1916).

Berthine
Berthine Waller was a character played by actress Margaret Livingston in the film The Lady Refuses (1931).

Bertie
Bertie Pitcairn was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. Bertie was also a character played by actress Wanda Hawley in the film Let Women Alone (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Bertie.

Beryl
Beryl Mercer was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in England in 1876. Beryl Morhange was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1915. Beryl was also a character name in multiple films, including Only the Maid (short, 1915) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Beryl.

Berylune
Berylune was a character played by actress Lillian Cook in the film The Blue Bird (1918).

Bessie

  • Bessie Learn was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in California in 1888.
  • Bessie Love was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1980s. She was born in Texas in 1898. Her birth name was Juanita Horton.
  • Bessie Eyton was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1890.

Bessie was also a character name in multiple films, including Tomboy Bessie (short, 1912) and The False Alarm (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Bessie.

Betta
Betta was a character played by actress Marga Rubia Levy in the film Betta, the Gypsy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Betta.

Bettina
Bettina was a character name in multiple films, including Bettina’s Substitute (short, 1912) and The Woman in Red (1935).

Beulah
Beulah Bondi was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Illinois in 1889. Beulah was also a character name in multiple films, including Beulah (1915) and The Martyr Sex (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Beulah.

Bijou
Bijou was a character name in multiple films, including The Goat (1918) and Seven Sinners (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Bijou.

Billee
Billee was a character played by actress Ruth Roland in the short film When Men Wear Skirts (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Billee (which debuted in the data the year after When Men Wear Skirts came out).

Bina
Bina was a character played by actress Neva Gerber in the short film The Prodigal Widow (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Bina.

Binnie
Binnie Barnes was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was born in England in 1903. Binnie was also a character name in multiple films, including Children of Chance (1930) and Big House (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Binnie.

Birdie
Birdie was a character name in multiple films, including This Side of Heaven (1934) and A Stranger in Town (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Birdie.

Blanche
Blanche Friderici was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to 1930s. She was born in New York in 1878. Blanche Sweet was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1950s. She was born in Illinois in 1896. Blanche was also a character name in multiple films, including The War o’ Dreams (short, 1915) and The Wild Party (1923).

Blanchette
Blanchette was a character played by actress Marguerite Snow in the film The Patriot and the Spy (1915).

Blanny
Blanny Wheeler was a character played by actress May Allison in the film Fair and Warmer (1919).

Blanquette
Blanquette was a character played by various actresses (such as Madge Stuart and Margaret Lockwood) in various movies called The Beloved Vagabond, all based on the novel of the same name by William John Locke.

Bleuette
Bleuette Bernon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1890s to the 1900s. She was born in France in 1878. Her birth name was Léontine Ernestine Gauché.

Bliss
Bliss Milford was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in South Dakota in the late 1880s.

  • Usage of the baby name Bliss.

Blossom
Blossom was a character name in multiple films, including The Arizona Cat Claw (1919) and Alias Mary Smith (1932).

Blossy
Blossy Waveney was a character played by actress Olive Sloane in the film The Door That Has No Key (1921).

Bodil
Bodil Rosing was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Denmark in 1877. Bodil Ipsen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Denmark in 1889.

Bona
Bona was a character name in multiple films, including The Silken Spider (short, 1916) and The Wine Girl (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Bona.

Bonita
Bonita Granville was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1980s. She was born in Illinois in 1923. Bonita was also a character name in multiple films, including A Question of Seconds (1912) and Arizona (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Bonita.

Boots
Boots Mallory was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s. She was born in Louisiana in 1913. Her birth name was Patricia Mallory.

  • Usage of the baby name Boots.

Bricotte
Bricotte was a character played by actress Jacqueline Logan in the film Playing with Souls (1925).

Brida
Brida was a character played by actress Clara Blandick in the film Rockabye (1932).

Bridgeen
Bridgeen was a character played by actress Fay Tincher in the short film The Deceiver (1914).

Brigida
Brigida was a character played by actress Rosina Galli in the film Escape to Paradise (1939).

Brina
Brina was a character played by actress Neva Gerber in the short film The Mansard Mystery (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Brina.

Brita
Brita Kaurin was a character played by actress Signe Hasso in the film A Double Life (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Brita.

Bronwyn
Bronwyn was a character played by actress Anna Lee in the film How Green Was My Valley (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Bronwyn (which debuted in the data the year after How Green Was My Valley came out).

Brouquet
Brouquet was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the film In Love with Life (1934).

Buena
Buena Bent was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in England in 1890.

  • Usage of the baby name Buena.

Bunny
Bunny was a character played by Glenda Farrell in the film Merry Wives of Reno (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Bunny.

Bunty
Bunty Payne was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in England in 1912. Her birth name was Gladys Helena Pain. Bunty was also a character played by actress Ilka Chase in the film The Careless Age (1929).

Burahami
Burahami was a character played by actress Gladys Frazin in the film Kiss Me Sergeant (1932).

Buria
Buria was a character played by actress Maude Eburne in the film The Warrior’s Husband (1933).

Burnu
Burnu Acquanetta was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1990s. She was born in Wyoming in 1921. Her birth name was Mildred Davenport.

Butterfly
Butterfly McQueen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1980s. She was born in Florida in 1919. Her birth name was Thelma McQueen.

Byrdie
Byrdie May was a character played by actress Pearl White in the film McGuirk, the Sleuth (1912).

  • Usage of the baby name Byrdie.

Byrdine
Byrdine Zuber was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Illinois in 1886.

*

Which of the above B-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Name Quotes 81: Anne, Wendy, Charlie

It’s a new month — time for a new batch of name-related quotations!

From a write-up about Ryan Reynolds’ appearance on the Today show in mid-December:

After Hoda asked how he and Blake came up with the name of their third (a clever way to get the actor to publicly confirm what the name actually is), Reynolds quipped, “We haven’t yet! We’re gonna be original, and all the letters in her name are silent.” […] He continued, “I want to give her something to push against in life.”

From an article about the science of baby name trends (thank you, Uly!):

You can even see how the zeitgeist of the age affected American’s [sic] desire for novelty. As Matthew W. Hahn and Alexander Bentley found, the incidence of new, unusual names rose in the 20s, peaked around 1930, but then plummeted in the 40s and 50s. Then it shot up again in the 60s, before reversing and plummeting again in the late 70s. Why? If you wanted to engage in some armchair zeitgeist analysis, you could argue that this makes a crude sort of cultural sense: The “roaring 20s” and the 60s were both periods when significant subsets of the population treasured creative, rule-breaking behavior; the 50s and early 80s weren’t.

From an article announcing the cancellation of a TV series with a name-referencing title:

The Netflix and CBC drama Anne With an E, adapted from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables, has been cancelled after three seasons.

From an article about the weirdly common celebrity baby name Charlie Wolf:

Celebrity moms and dads are going wild for the animal-inspired baby name Charlie Wolf.

Zooey Deschanel and her estranged husband, Jacob Pechenik, kicked off the trendy moniker when they welcomed their baby boy in 2017.

[…]

Lauren Conrad and William Tell welcomed their second little one in October 2019 — and named him Charlie Wolf as well.

[…]

The following month, another Charlie Wolf arrived — or rather, Charles Wolfe.

(The third one was born to former Bachelor in Paradise contestants Evan Bass and Carly Waddell.)

From an article and a blog post about the naming of Wendy’s:

When it came to deciding what to call the chain, [Dave Thomas] tried out the names of all five of his children before he settled on the nickname for his daughter, Melinda, which was Wendy.

Before my dad left us [in 2002], we had a long conversation about him naming the restaurant Wendy’s. It was the first time we’d ever had this conversation. He said, “You know what? I’m sorry.” I asked him what he meant. He explained, “I should’ve just named it after myself, because it put a lot of pressure on you.”

From an article about the “-Mae” trend in Australia:

Marlie-Mae, Gracie-Mae, Mila-Mae… you may have noticed the trend.

Aussie celebs are giving their baby girls hyphenated names with a sweet, old-fashioned sound. The Bachelor’s Matty J and Laura Byrne went for Marlie-Mae, Bachelor In Paradise’s Simone Ormesher and partner Matt Thorne chose Gracie-Mae, while Married at First Sight’s Davina Rankin and boyfriend Jaxon Manuel decided on Mila-Mae.

[…]

Although these names might sound American – think Elly May Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies – this is actually a huge British trend that seems to be just taking off in Australia.

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

Name Quotes 80: Jamie, Imogen, John

Time for the latest batch of name-related quotations!

From a 1997 article in Jet magazine about how Jamie Foxx (born Eric Bishop) found success in comedy after changing his name:

Foxx, who was determined to make it as a stand-up comedian, went to Santa Monica “where nobody really knew who I was,” he reveals, “and changed my name to Jamie Foxx.” He remembers, “Three girls would show up and 22 guys would show up [at Amateur Night]. They had to put all the girls on who were on the list to break up the monotony. So when they look up and they see Tracey Green, Tracey Brown, and these unisex names I had written on the list, they picked Jamie Foxx. ‘Is she here?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, Brother, right over here man,'” Foxx said in a deep, macho voice. “I’d go up and do my thing with the Cosby and Tyson (impersonations), and they were like ‘Who is this Jamie Foxx kid?'”

From an opinion piece asking scientists to stop naming species after awful people:

There’s even a beetle named after Adolf Hitler, and specimens have become a collectible item among neo-Nazis to the point that it’s actually affecting wild populations of the species.

From an Eater article about the delicious pork product Spam:

Although lore behind the name Spam varies, [George A.] Hormel himself claimed the product was named for a combination of the words “spice” and “ham,” despite the fact that neither ingredient appears in Spam. The confusion has led some to speculate that Spam is an acronym for “Shoulder of Pork And Ham,” but company line gives Kenneth Daigneau, the brother of a Hormel VP, credit for naming the product. As Hormel tells it, he launched a naming contest for the new product during a New Year’s Eve party, when Daigneau spit out “Spam” as if “it were nothing at all,” Hormel told Gill. “I knew then and there that the name was perfect.”

From an article about Amazon Alexa’s influence on the baby name Alexa:

About 4,250 Alexas are turning five in the U.S. this year. One of them is Amazon’s.

The voice-computing technology that can now control more than 85,000 different devices debuted Nov. 6, 2014.

[…]

In 2015, the year after Amazon Alexa debuted, Alexa was the 32nd most popular female baby name in the U.S., bestowed upon 6,052 newborns that year, according to Social Security Administration data.

Alexa as a baby name has since declined in popularity.

From a DMNES blog post announcing the publication of “Names Shakespeare Didn’t Invent“:

In this article, we revisit three names which are often listed as coinages of Shakespeare’s and show that this received wisdom, though oft-repeated, is in fact incorrect. The three names are Imogen, the heroine of Cymbeline; and Olivia and Viola, the heroines of Twelfth Night. All three of these names pre-date Shakespeare’s use. Further, we show in two of the three cases that it is plausible that Shakespeare was familiar with this earlier usage.

From an article about a surname mash-up in Australia:

Sydney couple Courtney Cassar, 31, and Laura Sheldon, 29, welcomed daughter Lyla Jill last month, but rather than using a hyphen between their family names, they bestowed the ‘mashed-up’ moniker ‘Casseldon’ on their baby girl instead.

From a Fader article about musician/rapper (and snappy dresser) Fonzworth Bentley:

That man was Derek Watkins, but he’d become known to millions as Fonzworth Bentley. His moniker was inspired in part by Bootney Lee Farnsworth, the underdog boxer from the 1975 Sidney Poitier-directed movie Let’s Do It Again.

From an article about the most common names among students at Michigan’s conservative Hillsdale College, which has about 1,500 undergraduates:

The most popular names at Hillsdale are John, with 22 carrying the name; Hannah, appearing 20 times; and Andrew, Emma, and Jacob, which all appear 19 times. Other popular names include Jacob [sic], Michael, Joseph, Matthew, Nicholas, Sarah, and Emily.

Several of these names are popular nationwide, but Hillsdale bucks certain national trends. Many of these students are namesakes to biblical or family figures. 

[…]

The majority of Hillsdale students are between the ages of 18 and 22, with a large portion born in the early 2000s.

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