How popular is the baby name Laurel in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Laurel and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Laurel.
Yesterday’s mention of Woolloomooloo reminded me of the Hepner triplets — Abby, Laurel, and Brindabella — born in California late last year. Brindabella refers to the Brindabella mountain range in Australia, which is where the triplets’ father is from:
Mr. Hepner, who grew up in Canberra, said he had spent a lot of time exploring the Brindabella Ranges. “They are an intimate part of my history and early appreciation for the natural world. It is also where we had our small wedding ceremony in 2007, on top of Mount Franklin,” he said.
I found out about the triplets via Waltzing More than Matilda. Here’s what Anna says about the origin of the word Brindabella:
The name Brindabella is said to mean “two hopping mice” in a local Aboriginal language. Hopping mice are native Australian mice with long tails, large ears and strong back legs; they can hop about just like a rabbit or a kangaroo. Another theory is that brindy brindy meant “water running over rocks”, and that Europeans added a -bella at the end, to suggest “beautiful”.
I have to admit that “Abby, Laurel and Brindabella” kinda reminds me of Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. :)
What do you think of the name Brindabella?
Source: Former Canberra resident’s identical triplets cause a sensation
Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.
Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.
Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing pop culture explanations. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.
Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)
- 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
- 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
- 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
- 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
- 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
- 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
- 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
- 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
- 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
- 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
- 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
- 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
- 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
- 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
- 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
- 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
- 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
- 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
- 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
- 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
- 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
- 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
- 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
- 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
- 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
- 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
- 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
- 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
- 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
- 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
- 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
- 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
- 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
- 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
- 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
- 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
- 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
- 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
- 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
- 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
- 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
- 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
- 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
- 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
- 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
- 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
- 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
- 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
- 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
- 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
- 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
- 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
- 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
- 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
- 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
- 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9
This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)
Now back to the list:
- 1937: Deeann, 18; Gaynell, 11
- 1938: Sonjia, 19; Daivd, 9
- 1939: Thanna, 17; Brenda, 19
- 1940: Sierra, 32; Willkie, 13
- 1941: Jerilynn, 56; Saford, 11
- 1942: Dwala, Gerilyn & Rise, 15; Mcarther, 23
- 1943: Sharelle, 28; Howie, 10
- 1944: Deatra, 29; Kipp, 9
- 1945: Sherida, 26; Vickie, 10
- 1946: Suzzette, 17; Sung & Tyronne, 8
- 1947: Rory, 41; Eliezer, 11
- 1948: Vickii, 30; Ridge, 10
- 1949: Rainelle, 46; Ezzard, 21
- 1950: Monalisa, 35; Broderick, 30
- 1951: Debralee, 19; Cregg, 10
- 1952: Terria, 17; Faron & Gevan, 12
- 1953: Trenace, 32; Caster, 21
- 1954: Corby, 39; Durk, 17
- 1955: Shevawn, 36; Anothony & Erol, 10
- 1956: Siobhan, 58; Trace, 17
- 1957: Tierney, 46; Maverick, 32
- 1958: Tamre, 63; Hoby, 30
- 1959: Torey, 102; Rowdy, 22
- 1960: Leshia, 76; Cully, 31
- 1961: Lavoris, 36; Jefre, 21
- 1962: Lafondra, 30; Thadd, 10
- 1963: Phaedra, 70; Medgar, 25
- 1964: Djuna, 198; Janssen, 16
- 1965: Latrenda, 89; Illya, 35
- 1966: Indira, 43; Jarred, 17
- 1967: Cinnamon, 40; Clayt, 13
- 1968: Laryssa, 67; Jemal, 47
- 1969: Omayra, 42; Tige, 28
- 1970: Shilo, 38; Toriano, 62
- 1971: Ayanna, 194; Diallo, 54
- 1972: Cotina, 109; Jabbar, 77
- 1973: Yajaira, 55; Yohance, 44
- 1974: Shalawn, 70; Nakia, 611
- 1975: Azure, 121; Viet, 23
- 1976: Tynisa, 79; Delvecchio, 27
- 1977: Kizzy, 1,115; Levar, 523
- 1978: Enjoli, 35; Mychal, 59
- 1979: Chimere, 78; Jorel, 22
- 1980: Lerin, 35; Tou, 33
- 1981: Fallon, 232; Taurean, 90
- 1982: Tyechia, 71; Eder, 48
- 1983: Mallori, 35; Jonerik & Marquita, 20
- 1984: Nastassja, 40; Eldra, 17
- 1985: Sade, 392; Rishawn, 25
- 1986: Myleka, 38; Cordero, 173
- 1987: Jaleesa, 116; Teyon, 25
- 1988: Jalesa, 77; Kadeem, 52
- 1989: Alexandr*, 301; Christop*, 1,082 [Audreanna, 80; Khiry, 158]
- 1990: Isamar, 446; Dajour, 26
- 1991: Emilce, 30; Quayshaun, 93
- 1992: Akeiba, 49; Devanta, 41
- 1993: Rosangelica, 91; Deyonta, 37
- 1994: Ajee, 185; Shyheim, 168
- 1995: Yamilex, 130; Alize, 30
- 1996: Moesha, 426; Quindon, 67
- 1997: Erykah, 279; Cross, 43
- 1998: Naidelyn, 78; Zyshonne, 26
- 1999: Verania, 62; Cauy, 32
- 2000: Kelis, 108; Rithik, 22
- 2001: Yaire, 184; Jahiem, 155
- 2002: Kaydence, 70; Omarian, 31
- 2003: Trenyce, 88; Pharrell, 67
- 2004: Eshal, 38; Jkwon, 100
- 2005: Yarisbel, 30; Jayceon, 48
- 2006: Lizania, 35; Balian, 24
- 2007: Leilene, 81; Yurem, 206
- 2008: Aideliz, 91; Yosgart, 72
- 2009: Greidys, 186; Jeremih, 87
- 2010: Tynlee, 42; Vadhir, 55
- 2011: Magaby, 50; Jionni, 62
- 2012: Kimbella, 52; Naksh, 28
- 2013: Vanellope, 63; Jaceyon, 89
- 2014: Dalary, 215; Llewyn, 38
- 2015: Kehlani, 48; Gotham, 46
I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!
*If you ignore the Great Baby Name Glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.
A reader named Jennifer would like some name suggestions for her baby girl, due in August. The baby will have three older siblings: Theo, Adrian and Nora Juliet.
Jennifer’s top choice had been Daphne…until a friend used it. Here’s what she liked about Daphne:
[I]t is Greek/mythological (I like the meaning), it is not easily nicknamed, it is not too long, and it is “old” and “traditional” but not common and it sounds beautiful, different. The sound with the last name is very important.
Now, about that last name. It’s distinctive. It starts with an x (that sounds like a z), ends with an s, has 2 syllables (stress on the first), and is unmistakably Greek. I couldn’t find a great substitute, but an Italian name like Zino or Zappa would probably suffice.
Currently, Jennifer’s favorite names are Charlotte, Eve, Genevieve, Lydia and Phoebe. She’s also interested in names that don’t end with an a-sound.
Here are some possibilities:
Which of the above do you like best with Theo, Adrian and Nora? What other girl names would you suggest to Jennifer?
Some parents see names like Angelina, Isabella, and Olivia and think, “I’m not going to bother weeding through these dainty little sissy-names on the off chance I find a good one. Forget it. I’m gonna flip ahead to the boy names.”
What these parents might not realize, though, is that there are plenty of strong, non-frilly girl names out there. Here are three types I’ve come up with:
Girl Names with Boyish Nicknames
A boy name wrapped in a girl name — the best of both worlds. Most of the full names below are based on boy names, so they simply shorten to the same pet forms.
Alex – Alexandra
Andy – Andrea, Miranda
Bernie – Bernadette
Cal – Calista, Calla
Clem – Clementine
Dan – Danielle
Ernie – Ernestine
Frank – Frances
Gerry – Geraldine
Gus – Augusta
Jack – Jacqueline
Jo – Josephine, Johanna
Max – Maxine
Mo – Monique, Maureen
Nick – Nicole, Monica, Veronica
Rick – Erica
Rob – Roberta
Sal – Salome, Sarah
Tony – Antonia
Will – Wilhelmina
Girl Names with Lots of Consonants
Girl names with at least as many consonants as vowels tend to sound much more serious than vowel-laden girl names. Especially if they end with a consonant (or a consonant-sound).
*Technically, these names have more vowels than consonants. But it doesn’t sound like they do, and that’s the important part.
Girl Names with Unusual Letters/Sounds
Unusual things command your attention. They may seem odd, but, because they stand out, they also tend to seem bold.
What other types of girl names would you add to this list?
Almost done, I promise. Here are names from the towns of Laurel and Colombia:
Nope, Hacksaw’s surname is not Duggan. (If only!)
In this batch I found two more Magnolias and about five more Toxies. I’m so curious about where Toxie comes from. (Not the Toxic Avenger, I hope.) Why are there so many people named Toxie in southeastern Mississippi? If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.
A reader named Ashley is searching for a middle name:
I love the first name Melody for a girl, however, I’m extremely picky and can’t find a middle name! Last name starts with N and is one syllable, and I don’t want to give her a middle name that starts with A or E and have her initials be MAN or MEN. I also do not want a name that could be abbreviated as Katie.
Ashley didn’t mention that she was going for any specific style of name, so I tried for a broad range:
Do you like any of these with Melody? What other middle names would you suggest?
A reader named Molly recently asked me for a few name suggestions:
I have identical twin girls named Charlotte Maiden and Dylan Rose. I am expecting another. I need a boy or a girl name that fits with these names but isn’t too much like them (ie. I don’t want Sadie, Charlotte and Dylan because then Dylan would be too much of an odd woman out). I also don’t want any names ending in -en, -in, -an, etc. because they are just getting too popular. Finally, I’d prefer the names not start w/ a C or a D. Appreciate the help!!
Charlotte and Dylan make a very interesting pair, I think. The former is decidedly feminine and has been popular in Europe (and elsewhere) for centuries; the latter is traditionally masculine and has been popular in the U.S. only since the 1960s (thanks to folksinger Bob Dylan).
Here are some names that might work with both of them…
Do you think any of these names sound particularly good with Charlotte and Dylan? What others would you suggest?
Update (1/30): Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Molly chose!