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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Laurel


Posts that Mention the Name Laurel

The Top Baby Name Drops, 1881 to Today

top baby name drops by year

We looked at the top baby name rises last month, so this month let’s look at the opposite: the top drops. That is, the baby names that decreased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next in the Social Security Administration’s data.

Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year slides in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Clementine dropped 68% and usage of the boy name Neil dropped 76%.)

  • 1881: Clementine, -68%; Neil, -76%
  • 1882: Malissa, -56%; Verne, -67%
  • 1883: Minna, -67%; Morton, -74%
  • 1884: Roxy, -62%; Ellsworth & Newt, -60%
  • 1885: Sina, -68%; Clarance, -74%
  • 1886: Cordia, Dicie & Johnie, -64%; Adelbert, -69%
  • 1887: Faith, -69%; Hardy, -73%
  • 1888: Diana & Hope, -63%; Connie, -55%
  • 1889: Zilpha, -71%; Wendell, -71%
  • 1890: Buena, -60%; Alvie, -69%
  • 1891: Odie, -65%; Pierce, -76%
  • 1892: Eudora, -67%; Maude, -58%
  • 1893: Lollie, -65%; Levy, -64%
  • 1894: Macy, -64%; Lindsay, -76%
  • 1895: Gina, Laurel & Pennie, -69%; Alvie & Urban, -65%
  • 1896: Dagmar, -75%; Talmage, -67%
  • 1897: Myrta & Ouida, -75%; Benton, -68%
  • 1898: Fae, -71%; Fate, -74%
  • 1899: Rosia, -80%; Fitzhugh, -79%
  • 1900: Irva, -74%; Dora, -69%
  • 1901: Leonore, -75%; Judge, -81%
  • 1902: Veva, -74%; Davis, -72%
  • 1903: Littie & Samantha, -67%; Hunter, -67%
  • 1904: Genie, -71%; Bessie & Reynold, -67%
  • 1905: Luberta, -75%; Randall, -67%
  • 1906: Dulcie, -75%; Patsy, -69%
  • 1907: Libbie, -71%; Geo, -59%
  • 1908: Aurore, -75%; Elden & Minor, -67%
  • 1909: Arnetta, -68%; Tracy, -75%
  • 1910: Lollie, -67%; Hadley, -64%
  • 1911: Nada, -72%; Shelton, -73%
  • 1912: Carla, -71%; Rosendo, -67%
  • 1913: Vassie, -67%; Auburn, -67%
  • 1914: Coy & Maryelizabeth, -64%: Hosey, -78%
  • 1915: Thomasine, -67%; Giacomo, -67%
  • 1916: Zudora, -75%; Remus, -72%
  • 1917: Athalie, -78%; Tatsuo, -82%
  • 1918: Theta, -74%; Lennis, -72%
  • 1919: Liberty, -83%; Foch, -84%
  • 1920: Veatrice, -77%; Pershing, -73%
  • 1921: Fidela & Theone, -70%; Cleven, -71%
  • 1922: Angelyn & Renata, -75%; Dail, -73%
  • 1923: Odilia, -83%; Ugo & Waino, -74%
  • 1924: Gladine, -71%; Masayuki, -72%
  • 1925: Williemae, -72%; Emitt, -72%
  • 1926: Patrice, -75%; Ann, -78%
  • 1927: Vila, -75%; Boston, -76%
  • 1928: Kazue, -79%; Shoji, -93%
  • 1929: Livia, -81%; Tatsuo, -82%
  • 1930: Ivalee, -71%; Deforest, -72%
  • 1931: Emaline, -76%; Audley, -75%
  • 1932: Zulema, -80%; Hale, -77%
  • 1933: Dessa, -78%; Burleigh, -79%
  • 1934: Nira, -81%; Overton, -71%
  • 1935: Claudean, -73%; Hester, -74%
  • 1936: Norita, -79%; Kenley, -79%
  • 1937: Adel & Berdine, -71%; Grace, -78%

The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does become more accurate in the late 1930s, 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…

  • 1938: Ever, -75%; Casimiro, -75%
  • 1939: Walda, -74%; Butler, -74%
  • 1940: Avalon & Ellouise, -75%; Jacque, -71%
  • 1941: Lassie, -71%; Faye & Lemar, -71%
  • 1942: Voncille, -75%; Meyer, -70%
  • 1943: Mahala, -76%; Ewing, -76%
  • 1944: Kyle, -77%; Griffith, -77%
  • 1945: Sherrianne, -74%; Ellwood, Kern & Pascal, -67%
  • 1946: Bettyjo, -71%; Adrien, -77%
  • 1947: Judye, -76%; Bernardino, -72%
  • 1948: Tilda, -78%; Saverio, -74%
  • 1949: Vickii, -77%; Alphonza, -75%
  • 1950: Ranelle, -78%; Agapito, -68%
  • 1951: Vallorie, -90%; Skippy, -72%
  • 1952: Laural, -76%; Edson, -74%
  • 1953: Annelle & Otilia, -72%; Gerrit, -70%
  • 1954: Trenace, -81%; Celso, -76%
  • 1955: Jyl, -79%; Garrie & Robet, -74%
  • 1956: Cerise, -79%; Orlin, -74%
  • 1957: Angelene, -77%; Ruby, -76%
  • 1958: Seneca, -80%; Darryel & Richerd, -72%
  • 1959: Elfrida, -82%; Dietrich, -75%
  • 1960: Jinny, -72%; Ardis, -74%
  • 1961: Perian, -91%; Cully, -84%
  • 1962: Chantay, -80%; Torin, -73%
  • 1963: Marnita, -82%; Isidore, -75%
  • 1964: Julann, -79%; Tandy, -75%
  • 1965: Tonjua, -90%; Jaimie, -86%
  • 1966: Charlet & Desi, -77%; Glennon, -74%
  • 1967: Jeryl, -83%; Haskell, -72%
  • 1968: Millette, -88%; Daneil, -77%
  • 1969: Lya, -81%; Athony, -73%
  • 1970: Cinamon, -77%; Aldrin, -77%
  • 1971: Chimene, -77%; Garet, -74%
  • 1972: Jurea, -83%; Rayvon, -77%
  • 1973: Dayatra, -86%; Keelan, -70%
  • 1974: Shondell, -78%; Efraim, -71%
  • 1975: Natonya, -78%; Imari, -76%
  • 1976: Okema, -87%; Nakia, -79%
  • 1977: Liberty, -79%; Tierre, -81%
  • 1978: Farrah, -78%; Quint, -77%
  • 1979: Danetta, -77%; Kinte, -84%
  • 1980: Vernee, -77%; Kendra, -75%
  • 1981: Santresa, -80%; Jerritt, -74%
  • 1982: Andres, -75%; Stavros, -78%
  • 1983: Tremaine, -81%; Nicanor, -75%
  • 1984: Tyechia, -81%; Jeris, -77%
  • 1985: Gricel, -89%; Duron, -76%
  • 1986: Celenia, -83%; Damiano, -76%
  • 1987: Tareva, -86%; Krystal, -75%
  • 1988: Jeree, -82%; Jammal, -80%
  • 1989: Neyva, -77%; Derrel, -76%
  • 1990: Catherin, -93%; Salvator, -88%
  • 1991: Tichina, -80%; Arsenio, -76%
  • 1992: Unnamed, -88%; Unnamed, -86% [2nd place: Emilce & Symba, -83%; Quayshaun, -80%]
  • 1993: Akeiba, -88%; Evelyn & Jawara, -71%
  • 1994: Kebrina, -86%; Farrell, -79%
  • 1995: Noheli, -84%; Ajee, -79%
  • 1996: Shatasha, -81%; Unknown, -77%
  • 1997: Hydia, -80%, Halston, -79%
  • 1998: Ajaysia, -77%; Jachai, -91%
  • 1999: Naidelyn, -86%; Denzil, -79%
  • 2000: Shanequa, -82%; Giovan, -75%
  • 2001: Berania, -78%; Devontre, -75%
  • 2002: Anallely, -86%; Nkosi, -72%
  • 2003: Jnaya, -88%; Tyheim, -81%
  • 2004: Nayzeth, -89%; Myzel, -75%
  • 2005: Nathaniel, -80%; Hannah, -87%
  • 2006: Babygirl, -86%; Infant, -91% [Counting legit names only: Mikalah, -82%; Jakyri, -79%]
  • 2007: Bethzy, -91%; Brasen, -83%
  • 2008: Lizania, -86%; Duvan, -79%
  • 2009: Aideliz, -88%; Kesan, -78%
  • 2010: Chastelyn, -95%; Yanixan, -87%
  • 2011: Samuel, -79%; Tiger, -80%
  • 2012: Thaily, -78%; Vadhir, -88%
  • 2013: Shanik, -88%; Oneil, -77%
  • 2014: Audris & Avalie, -80%; Sy, -73%
  • 2015: Rion, -83%; Rawley, -79%
  • 2016: Yazaira, -84%; Treysen, -79%
  • 2017: Brucha, -76%; Makana, -79%

(Did you catch the doubles? Alvie, Tatsuo, and Fae/Faye.)

Top drops aren’t quite as exciting as top rises, but certain ones become much more intriguing when you notice that they were also top rises:

  • Rose-then-dropped: Clarance, Lollie, Lindsay, Zudora, Tatsuo, Liberty, Norita, Vallorie, Krystal, Seneca, Nakia, Mikalah, Bethzy, Thaily
  • Dropped-then-rose: Clementine, Malissa, Diana, Alvie, Pierce, Judge, Rosendo

I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about a few of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it — leave a comment and let us know why you think any of these names saw dropped in usage when they did.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2018

pop culture baby name game 2018

It’s Elvis Presley’s birthday* — that means it’s time to kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

So how do you play the game? Simply brainstorm for baby names that could have gotten a boost in usage in 2018 thanks to the influence popular culture: movies, music, television, social media, video games, sports, politics, products, trends, etc.

Here are some names we can start with:

  • Araminta – movie, Crazy Rich Asians character
  • Astrid – movie, Crazy Rich Asians character
  • Avicii – music/news, the late Swedish DJ Avicii
  • Banks – celebrity baby (Hilary Duff)
  • Billion – celebrity baby (Rick Ross)
  • Braven – movie, Braven
  • Canon – celebrity baby (Stephen Curry)
  • Cardi – music, rapper Cardi B
  • Carson – sports, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (particularly in PA)
  • Carvena – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Chadwick – movie, Black Panther actor
  • Chevel – TV, The Voice contestant
  • Chicago – celebrity baby (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West)
  • Coco – movie, Coco
  • Cress – TV, Black Lightning actor
  • Crew – celebrity baby (Chip & Joanna Gaines)
  • Cullinan – car, Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Doria – news, royal wedding (Doria Ragland)
  • Dua – music, singer Dua Lipa
  • Elanese – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Ella Mai – music, singer Ella Mai
  • Garrix – music, DJ Martin Garrix
  • Gio – celebrity baby (Adam Levine)
  • Grayson – news, winter storm Grayson
  • Havana – music, song “Havana”
  • Hayes – celebrity babies (both Jessica Alba and Meghan King Edmonds)
  • Joji – music, singer Joji
  • Jumanji – movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Kaavia – celebrity baby (Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union)
  • Kane – music, singer Kane Brown**
  • Karamo – TV, Queer Eye expert
  • Keala – music/movie, singer/actress Keala Settle (“This Is Me”)
  • Kiki – music/dance, “In My Feelings” challenge
  • Mahomes – sports, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
  • Majeste – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Maquia – movie, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
  • Meghan – news, royal wedding (Meghan Markle)
  • Mera – movie, Aquaman character
  • Miles – celebrity baby (John Legend & Chrissy Teigen)
  • Nafessa – TV, Black Lightning actress
  • Nakia – movie, Black Panther character
  • Osaka – sports, U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka – suggested by elbowin
  • Qira (Qi’ra) – movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story character
  • Rami – movie, Bohemian Rhapsody actor
  • Ramirez – video game, Fortnite character (female)
  • Reileen – TV, Altered Carbon character
  • Sharaya – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Shuri – movie, Black Panther character
  • Storm – movie, A Wrinkle in Time actress
  • Stormi – celebrity baby (Kylie Jenner)
  • Swae – music, rapper Swae Lee
  • Takeshi – TV, Altered Carbon character
  • T’challa – movie, Black Panther character
  • True – celebrity baby (Khloe Kardashian)
  • Tully – movie, Tully
  • Velar – car, Range Rover Velar
  • Venom – movie, Venom
  • Villanelle – TV, Killing Eve character
  • Wade – movies, both Ready Player One and Deadpool 2 characters
  • Xolo – Web TV, Cobra Kai actor
  • Yanny – news, the Yanny/Laurel audio clip – suggested by elbowin
  • Zhavia – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Zaytoven – music, producer Zaytoven
  • Zaxai – TV, The Voice contestant
  • Zazie – movie, Deadpool 2 actress

What other names should be on this list? Let me know by commenting below. And don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the game results in May of 2019, a few days after the SSA releases the 2018 baby name data.

If you don’t want to miss the results post, just subscribe to NBN in some way so that you’ll be notified once it’s out.

*Elvis would have been 84 today.
**The first baby born in Richland County, OH, in 2019 was named after Kane Brown.

Baby Names from Pullman Cars?

pullman car, train,Years ago I posted about Livonia, a baby both born on and named after a Pullman car. Recently I wondered: What other Pullman car names would have made good baby names?

So I downloaded a big spreadsheet of over 12,000 Pullman car names from The Pullman Project and was slightly surprised to see that thousands of them could have been baby names, if we allow for the splitting of compound car names (like Fort Miley, Glen Norman, Meredith College, and West Willow).

Here are a handful of examples. On the left are relatively common/familiar names, and on the right are some unexpected choices.

Alana, Archer, Arnold Adriatha, Arundel, Arvonia
Baxter, Becket, Bradley Bantry, Bellonia, Besco
Calvin, Catalina, Clyde Cadesia, Clarnie, Clymer
Dana, Deborah, Dwight Darlow, Dathema, Dodona
Edith, Eileen, Elmo Edminster, Emalinda, Etherley
Finley, Flavia, Floyd Fithian, Flaxton, Florilla
Gary, Georgette, Grayson Gavarnie, Gilia, Gloxinia
Harper, Harriet, Hector Harista, Humela, Hythe
Iona, Isabella, Ivan Irvona, Isleta, Ixion
Jessica, Jordan, Julia Jacelia, Jathniel, Justitia
Kara, Keith, Kenneth Keinath, Kenia, Kittson
Laurel, Lewis, Linden Lauveta, Leolyn, Lysander
Madison, Marco, Maude Mardonia, Mayence, Morganza
Nicola, Noel, Nora Narinda, Nasby, Norlina
Olivia, Omar, Otis Oaklyn, Olanda, Oxus
Parker, Perry, Philippa Penlyn, Pipila, Pixley
Quincy Quarren
Rebecca, Riley, Ronald Rexis, Risley, Ruxton
Sarah, Scott, Susanne Salphrona, Sarver, Sibley
Thora, Tracy, Tyler Tascott, Tilden, Tisonia
Vanessa, Vernon, Victoria Varick, Vinora, Vivita
Wesley, Wilson, Wren Welby, Wescott, Wexford

Which of the names above do you like best?

Top 50 Nature Names for Baby Girls

Nature is waking up again! Let’s celebrate by checking out which nature names are the most popular for baby girls right now. Ironically the top 50 list below includes all the seasons except for “Spring,” but it does feature lots of springtime things: flowers, birds, trees…

nature names, girl names, top 50, baby names,

For this list I stuck to names that are also correctly spelled English words. This means that I skipped names that are non-English words (like Stella and Luna) and alternative spellings of words (like Brooke and Briar). I should also mention that several of the above (including Rowan, Robin, and Clementine) do have more than one etymology to choose from.

Here are links to the popularity graphs:

1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50
Lily
Violet
Hazel
Autumn
Ruby
Willow
Jasmine
Jade
Ivy
Rose
Daisy
Summer
Iris
Olive
Rowan
Amber
River
Ember
Aspen
Sage
Magnolia
Meadow
Wren
Ivory
Laurel
Sky
Clementine
Dahlia
Juniper
Raven
Holly
Savanna
Rosemary
Winter
Crystal
Azalea
Pearl
Jewel
Heather
Robin
Diamond
Poppy
Opal
Sunny
Coral
Emerald
Clover
Pepper
Sapphire
Amethyst

Which nature name(s) do you like best?

P.S. Nature names that didn’t quite make the top 50 included Stormy, Zinnia, Sandy, and Acacia.

Name Quotes #48 – Tasha, Tiberius, Mi Mi

Time for more name-related quotes!

From a recent E! Online interview with Jordan Peele [vid], who spoke about choosing a baby name:

We definitely want pick a name that has a certain positivity that will counter this barbaric, negative time that we’re in right now.

From the 2008 New York Times obituary of illustrator/author Tasha Tudor:

Starling Burgess, who later legally changed both her names to Tasha Tudor, was born in Boston to well-connected but not wealthy parents. Her mother, Rosamond Tudor, was a portrait painter, and her father, William Starling Burgess, was a yacht and airplane designer who collaborated with Buckminster Fuller. […] She was originally nicknamed Natasha by her father, after Tolstoy’s heroine in “War and Peace.” This was shortened to Tasha. After her parents divorced when she was 9, Ms. Tudor adopted her mother’s last name.

(Her four kids were named Seth, Bethany, Thomas, and Efner (female). One of Tudor’s books was called Edgar Allan Crow (1953).)

On the new scientific name of Australia’s “Blue Bastard” fish:

Queensland Museum scientist Jeff Johnson, who identified the species from photos taken last year by a Weipa fisherman, has formally christened it Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus – a direct Latin translation of the colloquial name anglers bestowed on a fish famously difficult to land.

Caeruleo is blue and nothus is bastard. That was the origin of the name applied by fishermen for many years and I thought, why should I argue with that? It seemed like a perfect name [to] me,” Johnson told Guardian Australia.

“I wondered what the reviewers of the paper would say about it but they both agreed it was quintessentially Australian and we should go ahead.”

From the book My Life as a List: 207 Things about My (Bronx) Childhood (1999) by Linda Rosenkrantz (of Nameberry!):

Before I was born, my mother had decided to name me either Laurel or Lydia, names that appealed to her artistic temperament. But then somehow, while under the scrim of anesthesia, she was convinced by my father’s sisters to make me a lackluster Ruth, in honor of their recently deceased mother, Rose. And so my birth certificate read Ruth Leila, a name I was never, ever called by my mother, either of my father’s sisters or anyone else.

(Here’s more in Linda’s post The Story of How I Got Hooked on Names.)

On the names of the Mordvins, an indigenous group in Russia:

While walking along some river bank, not far from the Volga line, we might encounter some pleasant people called Kvedor, Markva, Valdonya and Nekhot and not realise that in Russian they would be Fyodor, Marfa, Svetlana and Mefody aka Theodore, Martha, Svetlana and Methodius.

This sort of phenomenon happens because of the Finno-Ugric special phonetic and secret lore. Any sound which is not familiar to their native tongue will be changed and adapted to suit the native tastes.

From an article in the Tampa Bay Times about transgender name changes:

[E]arlier this year in Augusta, Ga., Superior Court Judge J. David Roper declined to change the name of a college student from Rebeccah Elizabeth to Rowan Elijah Feldhaus.

“I don’t know anybody named Elijah who’s female,” the judge said, according to a court transcript. “I’m not going to do that. I’ve never heard of that. And I know who Elijah was, one of the greatest men who ever lived.”

Months later, he ruled similarly in the case of a transgender man who wanted to legally become Andrew Baumert, the name by which he said everyone already knew him. The judge refused. “My policy has been that I will not change a name from an obviously female to an obviously male name, and vice versa,” he said.

NPR writer Lateefah Torrence on choosing a baby name:

Having grown up in a working-class world, Frank is sensitive to names that he finds “pretentious” while as the outsider black kid, I worry about names that sound “too white.” I must admit that I have mostly rolled my eyes at his unease with my never-ending list of suggestions from world mythology and literature. He suggests Molly; I counter with Aziza. He brings William to the table; I suggest Tiberius.

(Lateefah was also featured in last month’s quote post.)

From a 1958 article in The Atlantic on Burmese Names by Mi Mi Khaing:

One or more of a Burmese child’s names is almost certain to show the day on which he was born–a survival from our belief that human destiny is linked with the stars. Certain letters of the alphabet are ascribed to each day, so that a “Thursday’s child” would have one name beginning with our P, B, or M.

Burmese is a monosyllabic language, and each part of our names is an actual word that means something, or even several things, depending on how it is pronounced. Thus I am “Little Mother” (Mi Mi) “Branch of the Tree” (Khaing) (though “khaing” can also mean “firm”) […] [a] merchant I know was aptly named “Surmounting a Hundred Thousand,” while the Rector of Rangoon University, Dr. Htin Aung, is “Distinguished and Successful.”

Being so handsomely named is not embarrassing, however, because we become so used to our names, and those of our friends, that we only think of the person and remember their names by their sound.