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.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Laurel

Number of Babies Named Laurel

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Laurel

The Baby Name Brindabella

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


The Top Baby Name Debuts, 1881 to Today

the top U.S. baby name debuts

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 not only is this a list of names, but 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.

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Fourth Baby

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:

Beryl
Bettina
Camille
Caroline
Cecily
Chloe
Clytie
Colette
Corinne/Corinna
Danielle
Diane
Dorothy
Emily
Esther
Evelyn
Hannah
Harriet
Helen/Helena
Ione
Irene
Julie
Katherine
Laurel
Leonie
Lisette
Lucia
Margaret
Marie
Mona
Monica
Odette
Pauline
Rachel
Renee
Rosalie
Selene/Selena
Sibyl
Sophie
Sylvie
Yvonne

Which of the above do you like best with Theo, Adrian and Nora? What other girl names would you suggest to Jennifer?

Girl Names for Parents Who Don’t Like Girl Names

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).

Adele*
Agnes
Alice
Ardith
Astrid
Blanche
Bridget
Brooke
Carmen
Claire*
Edith
Eleanor*
Elizabeth
Enid
Esther
Gertrude
Gretchen
Harriet
Helen
Hester
Imogene*
Ingrid
Jane
Janet
Jill
Joan
Judith
Katherine
Laurel
Mabel
Margaret
Marion
Maude*
Megan
Meredith
Nadine
Rachel
Ruth
Sibyl
Tamar

*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.

Beatrix
Beulah
Eugenia
Eunice
Gwyneth
Hazel
Izora
Maeve
Tirzah
Tallulah
Ursula
Violet
Winifred
Winona
Yolanda
Zelda
Zenobia
Zillah

What other types of girl names would you add to this list?

Phone Book Fishing in Mississippi, Part 5 – Calep, Jaston, Lifus, Twyler

Almost done, I promise. Here are names from the towns of Laurel and Colombia:

Adderene
Alphaeus
Alvernell
Ananeki
Annqunette
Antranetta
Apollonia
Artherine
Aulbra
Authorine
Avernell
Aydra
Bawana
Beazley
Beberly
Bernestine
Bonlitha
Bonzie
Braulio
Brazil
Burneva
Buzz
Calep
Canada
Candance
Cartreesce
Cashandra
Caze
Chalmus
Champ
Chenlinda
Chesterfield
Chinese
Chrisella
Cinderella
Clovia
Cloyce
Cluis
Colben
Commodore
Daffany
Dauville
Daytona
Delandoe
Delarris
Dimple
Doylton
Drenda
Dubbie
Dysheque
Ellawea
Ellewellyn
Engram
Erzeal
Euila
Eulalyn
Fabulous
Flautt
Flavous
Flozelle
Francella
Gatchel
Genetha
Gerabline
Geylon
Glenndean
Glindal
Gonazlo
Griseldi
Guella
Gwenetta
Hacksaw
Jaston
Johnlavelle
Katron
Kemauriyonne
Kermis
Kimsey
Kinshaska
Lachanta
Lampkin
LaRose
Lateetsha
Laudeen
Lendal
Letchia
Lifus
Loubertha
Lounett
Lourinia
Lozanie
Lucky
Macassa
Madeira
Maddielene
Maegel
Maggilon
Magnolia
Marshleane
Marydell
Maudean
Maudessa
Maudiez
Mayola
Mechia
Mentha
Minyawn
Modener
Munshicnda
Nanshay
Napoleon
Needa
Neithrobe
Nelvelita
Nelvis
Nig
Norphlete
Northa
Norwedia
Oceauna
Omega
Orad
Othojay
Ouida
Oriental
Pamalan
Parthenious
Phaedra
Philemon
Phlester
Preshia
Quavier
Quilla
Ramoth
Rattief
Rexall
Rischey
Rongela
Rosalva
Rothelle
Rundell
Ryakko
Samella
Saradel
Sediana
SeLynn
Sennett
Shamerica
Shandellyn
Spurgeon
Suzzanna
Sylennia
Taft
Teck
Tieyorka
Tiger
Timia
Tlinritta
Tommeaka
Tosca
Toxie
Trellis
Trubie
Twyler
Twillia
Tyrhonda
Ulysses
Verceal
Verisimo
Vianey
Vonsha
Vontella
Vonzene
Waldaryn
Wanilla
Weader Mae
Wynema
Wyvonne
Zadia Mae
Zakesjia
Zantanna
Zelatrica
Zeledra
Zellowain

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.

Baby Name Needed – Name for Baby #3

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…

Girls Boys
Alexis
Astrid
Avery
Bailey
Beatrice
Brooke
Ellery
Georgia
Gwyneth
Ingrid
Laurel
Meredith
Matilda
Margot
Maeve
Piper
Paige
Philippa
Phoebe
Ramona
Reese
Riley
Shelby
Skylar
Sydney
Willow
Adam
Asher
Anthony
Alec
Bennett
Bryce
Brady
Blake
Edgar
Eli
Everett
Frederick
Gareth
Garrett
Graham
Henry
Hugh
Jonas
Leo
Lucas
Maxwell
Micah
Roderick
Raymond
Spencer
Wesley

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!

Environmental Baby Names – Forrest, Rain, River, Sky

Today on Blog Action Day, thousands of bloggers from all over the world will be writing about environmental issues.

You may be wondering: How can baby names be linked to the environment?

Well, people name their children after family members (e.g. Uncle Joe), religious figures (St. Patrick), places (London), concepts (Hope)… things that matter to them, things they deem important enough to honor.

If you feel strongly about a certain environmental issue, why not do the same thing? There’s surely a baby name out there with a connection to that issue.

For instance, here are two environmental issues I’m personally concerned about and some baby names that remind me of them:

  • The sea ice that polar bears depend on is melting due to global climate change. Because of this habitat loss, polar bears may soon soon be considered a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Baby names that have to do with bears or ice include Bernard, Bjorn, Crystal, Dov, Orson, Osborn and Ursula.
  • Deforestation is occurring globally at an unprecedented rate. The loss of forests adversely affects biodiversity, wildlife, geography and climate. Baby names that have to do with forests or trees include Aspen, Forrest, Holly, Laurel, Linden, Silvester, Silvia, Tamar and Willow.

If you’re worried about the impact that dams have on the environment, you could think about River or Rio. If you feel it’s imperative that we protect the Great Barrier Reef, you could consider Coral or Coralie. If your pet cause is ozone depletion, try Sky; if it’s overfishing, maybe Ocean.

What issues mean the most to you? Leave me a comment and I’ll come up with a few related baby names…