How popular is the baby name Lee 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 Lee.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Lee


Posts that Mention the Name Lee

Baby Names Influenced by the Movie “Giant”

giant, 1956, baby names, movie

One of last week’s post featured Glenna Lee McCarthy, whose father was famous Texas oil prospector and entrepreneur Glenn McCarthy (1907-1988).

Writer Edna Ferber fictionalized Glenn’s rags-to-riches life story in her novel Giant (1952) with the character Jett Rink.

The book was later made into a movie, which came out in October of 1956. Jett was played by James Dean, who had died in a car accident a month before the film premiered.

The other two main characters were Jordan “Bick” Benedict (played by Rock Hudson) and his wife Leslie Benedict (Elizabeth Taylor). Secondary characters included the Benedicts’ son Jordan, or “Jordy” (Dennis Hopper) and a neighbor named Vashti (Jane Withers).

The movie did well at the box office and was nominated for various Academy Awards, including a posthumous Best Actor nomination for Dean. It also gave a boost to several baby names:

Name1955195619571958
Leslie
(girl name)
4,401 babies
[rank: 99th]
4,386 babies
[rank: 104th]
6,100 babies
[rank: 77th]
6,008 babies
[rank: 79th]
Jett
(boy name)
5 babies14 babies24 babies17 babies
Jordan
(boy name)
105 babies
[rank: 713th]
101 babies
[rank: 734th]
207 babies
[rank: 540th]
184 babies
[rank: 568th]
Jordy
(boy name)
..5 babies
[debut]
.
Vashti
(girl name)
8 babies7 babies16 babies10 babies

Interestingly, the name Luz — which, like Jordan, was used for two different characters in the movie — saw a slight decline from 1956 to 1957.

Source: Giant (1956) – Wikipedia

One-Hit Wonder: Glenalee

glenna lee mccarthy, glenalee, baby name, 1950s

The baby name Glenalee was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. data in 1951. (In fact, it was tied for 1951’s top one-hit wonders of the year.)

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 9 baby girls named Glenalee
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

Where did it come from?

An oil heiress who eloped with a cobbler’s son!

The bride was 17-year-old Glenna Lee McCarthy, daughter of famous Texas oilman Glenn McCarthy. She was a student at Lamar High School in Houston at the time.

(Glenn McCarthy was one of the men who inspired Edna Ferber to write the novel Giant in 1952. It was later made into a film starring James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, and Rock Hudson.)

The groom was 19-year-old George Pontikes, son of a Greek cobbler. He had graduated from Lamar and was now attending Rice University, where he played football.

In early December, 1950, the pair ran off to Waco to be married by a justice of the peace. News of their elopement broke toward the end of the month — right around the time that Glenna’s older sister, Mary Margaret, was getting married in a much more traditional manner. (That must have been awkward.)

Glenna and George were in the news for several days straight at the very end of 1950. Many papers, including the New York Times, mistakenly called the bride “Glenalee McCarthy.” (Not all did, though, and the baby name Glenna saw peak usage in 1951 as a result.)

Papa Glenn McCarthy was unhappy about the elopement at first, but one paper reported that “trigger-tempered McCarthy” had “calmed down after [the] initial outburst of anger.” Perhaps he was quick to forgive because the situation was eerily familiar: He’d eloped with his own wife, the 16-year-old daughter of a wealthy oilman, back when he was a 23-year-old gas station attendant in 1930.

Do you like the name Glenalee (…even if it started out as a typo)?

Sources:

The Baby Name Colt

wayde preston, colt 45, television, 1950s
Christopher Colt

The baby name Colt has a distinctive popularity graph: usage begins in the 1950s, shoots up in the early 1980s, shoots up again in the early 2000s, and shoots up again in the late 2010s.

The initial usage was triggered by the TV Western Colt .45 (1957-1960), which was loosely based upon a 1950 film of the same name. The main character, Christopher Colt, was an undercover government agent posing as a pistol salesman. (The Colt .45 was a type of pistol that was particularly popular in the Old West.)

The name Colt debuted in the SSA’s data the year the show premiered:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 8 baby boys named Colt
  • 1958: 10 baby boys named Colt
  • 1957: 7 baby boys named Colt [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

The show may have given the name Christopher a boost as well, though it’s hard to tell, as the name was already on the rise in the late ’50s.

But the name that got the biggest boost from the show wasn’t Colt or Christopher — it was Wayde, from actor Wayde Preston, who played Christopher Colt. The name saw peak usage in 1959:

  • 1960: 135 baby boys named Wayde [rank: 674th]
  • 1959: 252 baby boys named Wayde [rank: 493rd]
  • 1958: 153 baby boys named Wayde [rank: 622nd]
  • 1957: 33 baby boys named Wayde
  • 1956: 15 baby boys named Wayde

But getting back to Colt…the name remained relatively rare until another show, The Fall Guy (1981-1986), introduced TV audiences to the character Colt Seavers, played by Lee Majors. This character wasn’t a gunslinger but a stuntman (who moonlighted as a bounty hunter).

The name jumped straight into the top 500 in 1982:

  • 1983: 351 baby boys named Colt [rank: 444th]
  • 1982: 344 baby boys named Colt [rank: 459th]
  • 1981: 20 baby boys named Colt
  • 1980: 9 baby boys named Colt

The next rise in usage was kicked off by football quarterback Daniel “Colt” McCoy, who had a successful college career at the University of Texas (2005-2009) before going pro in 2010.

  • 2009: 820 baby boys named Colt [rank: 369th]
    • 162 (19.8%) born in Texas
  • 2008: 500 baby boys named Colt [rank: 532nd]
    • 85 (17.0%) born in Texas
  • 2007: 428 baby boys named Colt [rank: 593rd]
    • 67 (15.7%) born in Texas
  • 2006: 212 baby boys named Colt [rank: 910th]
    • 38 (17.9%) born in Texas
  • 2005: 186 baby boys named Colt [rank: 943rd]
    • 21 (11.3%) born in Texas
  •  2004: 143 baby boys named Colt [outside top 1,000]
    • 13 (9.1%) born in Texas

And the most recent rise in usage seems to be attributable to the Netflix series The Ranch, which premiered in mid-2016 and stars Ashton Kutcher as a character named Colt Reagan Bennett.

So, going back to the beginning now….where did the name of the Colt .45 pistol come from?

The pistol was made by Colt’s Manufacturing Company of Connecticut. The company was named for founder Samuel Colt (1814-1862), whose English surname originated as “a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after asses and horses, or a nickname for an obstinate or frisky person.”

What do you think of the baby name Colt? (Do you like it as a standalone name, or do you prefer it as a nickname for Colton?)

Source: Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: A (part 1)

Looking for an under-the-radar girl name with a retro feel?

Check out this post and the rest of the “early cinema” series, featuring thousands of uncommon female names collected from old movies (1910s-1940s).

Many of these names have never appeared in the SSA data before. For those that have, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

Enjoy!

*

Abbasah
Abbasah was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film The Miracle (1912).

Acquanetta
Burnu Acquanetta, often credited simply as 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.

Adamae
Adamae Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1905.

  • Usage of the baby name Adamae.

Adda
Adda Gleason was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Illinois in 1888.

  • Usage of the baby name Adda.

Adorée
Adorée was a character name in multiple films, including A Maid of Belgium (1917) and The Auction Block (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Adoree.

Adraste
Adraste was a character played by actress Alice White in the film The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1928).

Adrea
Adrea Spedding was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the Sherlock Holmes film The Spider Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrea.

Adrean
Adrean Wainwright was a character played by actress Ruth Clifford in the film The Thrill Seekers (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrean.

Aelita
Aelita was a character played by actress Yuliya Solntseva in the film Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Aelita.

Afy
Aphrodite “Afy” Hallijohn was a character played by various actresses (such as Madge Kirby and Belle Bennett) in various movies called East Lynne, all based on the novel of the same name by Ellen Wood.

Aggie
Aggie was a character name in multiple films, including Her Better Self (1917) and Women Won’t Tell (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aggie.

Agia
Agia was a character played by actress Eugenie Forde in the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

Agostina
Agostina was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Children of Chance (1949).

Aho
Aho was a character played by actress Maude George in the film The Marriage Ring (1918).

Ailea
Ailea Lorne was a character played by actress Gertrude McCoy in the film series The Chronicles of Cleek (1913-1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Ailea.

Airleen
Airleen MacGregor was a character played by actress Adrienne Kroell in the short film The Laird’s Daughter (1912).

Aisla
Aisla Crane was a character played by actress Belle Chrystall in the film The Frightened Lady (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aisla.

Aissa
Aissa was a character played by actress Laura Winston in the film The Demon (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aissa.

Akanesi
Akanesi was a character played by actress Lily Phillips in the film The Adorable Savage (1920).

Alabam
Alabam Lee was a character played by actress Carole Lombard in the film Lady by Choice (1934).

Alaire
Alaire Austin was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Heart of the Sunset (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Alaire.

Alathea
Alathea Bulteel was a character played by actress Harriet Hammond in the film Man and Maid (1925).

Alatia
Alatia Marton was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Texas in 1894.

Alayne
Alayne Archer was a character played by actress Kay Johnson in the film Jalna (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Alayne.

Albany
Albany Yates was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Chad Hanna (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Albany.

Alberta
Alberta Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1904. Alberta was also a character played by actress Helene Chadwich in the film The Challenge (1916).

Albertine
Albertine was a character played by actress Sarah Padden in the film Assignment in Brittany (1943).

Albina
Albina was a character played by actress Kate Toncray in the film The Narrow Street (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Albina.

Albine
Albine was a character played by actress Polly Moran in the film The Passionate Plumber (1932).

Alcolma
Alcolma was a character played by actress Eva Moore in the film Chu-Chin-Chow (1923).

Alda
Alda was a character played by actress Katharine Alexander in the film Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alda.

Aldyth
Aldyth was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the short film The Last of the Saxons (1910).

  • Usage of the baby name Aldyth.

Alene
Princess Alene was a character played by actress Mary Charleson in the film serial The Road o’ Strife (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Alene.

Aleska
Aleska was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film Betta the Gypsy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleska.

Aleta
Aleta Doré was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1925. Aleta was also a character played by actress Lois Collier in the film Slave Girl (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleta.

Alexandrine
Alexandrine Zola was a character played by actress Gloria Holden in the film The Life of Emile Zola (1937).

Algeria
Algeria was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film The Walls of Jericho (1948).

Alida
Alida Valli, often credited simply as Valli, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 2000s. She was born in Italy in 1921. Her birth name was Alida Maria Laura Altenburger von Marckenstein-Frauenberg. Alida was also a character name in multiple films, including The Lure of Jade (1921) and Crimson Romance (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alida.

Aliette
Aliette Brunton was a character played by actress Isobel Elsom in the film The Love Story of Aliette Brunton (1924).

Aline
Aline MacMahon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1899. Aline was also a character name in multiple films, including Seeds of Wealth (short, 1913) and A Fool and His Money (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Aline.

Alis
Alis Porter was a character played by actress Vera Reynolds in the film The Million Dollar Handicap (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alis.

Alisande
Alisande La Carteloise was a character played by actress Rhonda Fleming in the film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949).

Alisia
Alisia Stafford was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Tide of Battle (1912).

  • Usage of the baby name Alisia.

Alita
Alita Allen was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Daring Youth (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Alita.

Alix
Alix was a character name in multiple films, including The Call of Home (1922) and The Little French Girl (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alix.

Alixe
Alixe was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Alixe; or, The Test of Friendship (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Alixe.

Alla
Alla Nazimova, often credited simply as Nazimova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1879. Her birth name was Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon. Alla was also a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Alla.

Allaine
Allaine Grandet was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Tyrant Fear (1918).

Allana
Allana was a character played by actress Constance Bennett in the film Son of the Gods (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Allana (which debuted in the data in 1930).

Allane
Allane Houston was a character played by actress Beverly Bayne in the film The Voice of Conscience (1917).

Allayne
Allayne was a character name in multiple films, including The Poison Pen (1919) and The Net (1923).

Allegheny
Allegheny Briskow was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Flowing Gold (1924).

Allene
Allene was a character name in multiple films, including Flattery (1925) and The Love Route (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Allene.

Allida
Allida Bederaux was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film Experiment Perilous (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Allida (which debuted in the data in 1945).

Allifair
Allifair McCoy was a character played by actress Gigi Perreau in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

Allisa
Allisa Randall was a character played by actress Mildred Harris in the film The Inferior Sex (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Allisa.

Allouma
Allouma was a character played by actress Violet MacMillan in the film The Dragoman (1916).

Alluna
Alluna was a character played by various actresses (such as Neola May and Sara Haden) in various movies called The Barrier, all based on the novel of the same name by Rex Beach.

Aloha
Aloha was a character played by actress Nina Campana in the film Honolulu Lu (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloha.

Alois
Alois was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film A Dog of Flanders (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Alois (which debuted in the data in 1915).

Aloisa
Aloisa Weber Lange was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Eternal Melodies (1940).

Aloma
Aloma was a character played by actresses Gilda Gray in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1926) and by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloma.

Alouette
Alouette DeLarme was a character played by actress Louise Glaum in the film A Law Unto Herself (1918).

Alta
Alta Wilton was a character played by actress Mona Barrie in the film A Tragedy at Midnight (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Alta.

Alva
Alva was a character name in multiple films, including Revenge (1918) and Friends of Lovers (1931)

  • Usage of the baby name Alva.

Alvah
Alvah Morley was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film If You Believe Me, It’s So (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvah.

Alvarez
Alvarez Guerra was a character played by actress Carmelita Geraghty in the film This Thing Called Love (1929).

Alvern
Alvern Adams was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Louisiana (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvern.

Alverna
Alverna was a character name in multiple films, including Mantrap (1926) and Untamed (1940).

Alvira
Alvira was a character name in multiple films, including The Scarlet Shadow (1919) and Along Came Auntie (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvira.

Alys
Alys was a character name in multiple films, including Cutie Plays Detective (short, 1913) and Ermine and Rhinestones (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alys.

Alysia
Alysia Potter was a character played by actress Billie Dove in the film Polly of the Follies (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alysia.

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Popular Baby Names in Gibraltar, 2018 & 2019

rock of Gibraltar

I recently discovered that Gibraltar, a 2.6-square mile British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of Spain, has its own baby name rankings!

According to the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the most popular baby names in Gibraltar in 2018 were Emma and James and in 2019 were Olivia and Ethan.

Here are all the names given to 3 or more babies in 2018 (during which a total of 402 babies were born):

Girl Names, 2018

  1. Emma, 5 baby girls
  2. Mia, 4
  3. Sophia, 4
  4. Aria, 3
  5. Ava, 3

Boy Names, 2018

  1. James, 6 baby boys
  2. Alexander, 5 (tie)
  3. Ethan, 5 (tie)
  4. Leo, 5 (tie)
  5. Logan, 5 (tie)
  6. Jack, 4 (five-way tie)
  7. Lucas, 4 (five-way tie)
  8. Michael, 4 (five-way tie)
  9. Noah, 4 (five-way tie)
  10. Ryan, 4 (five-way tie)
  11. Evan, 3 (six-way tie)
  12. Jamie, 3 (six-way tie)
  13. Jesse, 3 (six-way tie)
  14. Leon, 3 (six-way tie)
  15. Theo, 3 (six-way tie)
  16. Tiago, 3 (six-way tie)

(If you want to compare these to the equivalent rankings for England and Wales, there’s the link.)

The unique names bestowed just once in Gibraltar in 2018 include…

  • Girl names: Ainara, Daura, Diae, Nuria, Rharmaini
  • Boy names: Amitai, Cayetano, Mordechai, Shams, Tzion

And here are all the names given to 3 or more babies in 2019 (during which a total of 423 babies were born):

Girl Names, 2019

  1. Olivia, 9 baby girls
  2. Lucia, 6
  3. Robyn, 4 (tie)
  4. Sofia, 4 (tie)
  5. Ava, 3 (four-way tie)
  6. Celine, 3 (four-way tie)
  7. Lily, 3 (four-way tie)
  8. Maya, 3 (four-way tie)

Boy Names, 2019

  1. Ethan, 6 baby boys
  2. Jamie, 5 (tie)
  3. Thomas, 5 (tie)
  4. Jack, 4 (three-way tie)
  5. Leo, 4 (three-way tie)
  6. Oliver, 4 (three-way tie)
  7. Dylan, 3 (eight-way tie)
  8. George, 3 (eight-way tie)
  9. Jacob, 3 (eight-way tie)
  10. James, 3 (eight-way tie)
  11. Jayden, 3 (eight-way tie)
  12. Kian, 3 (eight-way tie)
  13. Theo, 3 (eight-way tie)
  14. Tyler, 3 (eight-way tie)

The unique names bestowed just once in 2019 include…

  • Girl names: Ilythia, Lamis, Mirtel, Sirine, Tais
  • Boy names: Brath, Dimitar, Haron, Levin-Lee, Theon

And I did find one more interesting thing: In May of 2017, local newspaper Panorama conducted a survey to determine “the most popular names among boys and girls aged 12” — so, kids born in or around the year 2005 — and came up with…

  1. Emma, 27 girls
  2. Amy, 22
  3. Arianne, 17
  1. Julian, 25 boys
  2. Liam, 19 (tie)
  3. Ryan, 19 (tie)

Sources: Gibraltar’s most popular baby names of 2018 revealed, Ethan and Olivia; Gibraltar’s most popular baby names of 2019, Gibraltar – Wikipedia, What are the most popular children’s names on the Rock?