How popular is the baby name Lloyd in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Lloyd and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Lloyd.
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A few weeks back, a reader named Caitlin emailed me a cool list of well-known names that were decreasing in usage. Her list included:
Andrew, now ranked 40th — lowest ranking since 1963
Michael, now ranked 12th — lowest ranking since 1942
David, now ranked 23rd — lowest ranking since 1924
She also generously told me that I could share her findings (thank you Caitlin!).
The names that intrigued me most were the “lowest ever” names: names that had been in the data since 1880, but that saw their lowest usage ever (in terms of rankings) in 2017. Three of the boy names on her list — Paul, Richard, Robert — were “lowest ever” names, so I decided start with these and search for others.
I checked hundreds of potential candidates. Many (like Andrew, Michael, and David) hit a low in 2017, but it wasn’t their all-time low. Many others (like Stanley, Alvin, and Clarence) hit a low recently, but not as recently as 2017.
In the end, I was able to add 15 names to the list:
Allen. Ranked 401st in 2017; peak was 71st in the 1940s/1950s.
Dennis. Ranked 544th in 2017; peak was 16th in the 1940s.
Edgar. Ranked 353rd in 2017; peak was 51st in the 1880s.
Edwin. Ranked 332nd in 2017; peak was 52nd in the 1910s/1920s.
Frank. Ranked 373rd in 2017; peak was 6th in the 1880s/1890s.
Gerald. Ranked 824th in 2017; peak was 19th in the 1930s.
Glenn. Ranked 1,288th in 2017; peak was 55th in the 1960s.
Herman. Ranked 2,347th in 2017; peak was 44th in the 1880s/1890s.
Jerome. Ranked 857th in 2017; peak was 93rd in the 1930s.
Jesse. Ranked 186th in 2017; peak was 37th in the 1980s.
Lloyd. Ranked 1,570th in 2017; peak was 51st in the 1910s.
Martin. Ranked 281st in 2017; peak was 62nd in the 1960s.
Marvin. Ranked 559th in 2017; peak was 44th in the 1930s.
Paul. Ranked 225th in 2017; peak was 12th in the 1910s/1930s.
Raymond. Ranked 293rd in 2017; peak was 14th in the 1910s.
Richard. Ranked 175th in 2017; peak was 5th in the 1930s/1940s.
Robert. Ranked 65th in 2017; peak was 1st in the 1920s/1930s/1950s.
Wayne. Ranked 816th in 2017; peak was 29th in the 1940s.
Interestingly, all 18 have spent time in the top 100. And one, Robert, is still in the top 100. (How long before Robert is out of the top 100, do you think?)
A handful of girl names also saw their lowest-ever rankings in 2017. I’ll post that list next week…
A man named Edward Lloyd founded a coffee house in London in the 1680s. Lloyd’s Coffee House was a meeting spot for London merchants and ship-owners, and soon became known as a place where ship-owners could obtain marine insurance. Many years later, this evolved into the famous insurance market Lloyd’s of London.
But going back to the marine insurance thing: “[F]or the past century or more, the name [Lloyd]…has been freely borrowed by maritime companies around the world in the belief that it added cachet.” And this is why the surname Lloyd — which is based on the Welsh word for “gray” — pops up so often in the names of shipping companies worldwide.
What are your thoughts on name Lloyd? Do you prefer it as a name for a baby, a coffee house, or a shipping company?
The James Michener novel Sayonara came out in 1953. Set during the Korean War, it told the story of U.S. airman Lloyd Gruver, stationed in Japan, who fell in love with a Japanese entertainer called Hana-ogi. (Her namesake is a historical courtesan; hana means “flower” and ogi means “fan”).
Originally, the book was going to be adapted into a stage production à la Michener’s South Pacific. With a musical in mind, Irving Berlin wrote a song called “Sayonara.”
Instead, the story was turned into a movie (starring Marlon Brando) a few years later, and so Irving Berlin’s song ended up on the soundtrack.
Both Sayonara the movie and “Sayonara” the song came out in late 1957. The film made a bigger splash than the song did, so it may have had more of an influence on baby names.
In March of 1958 the film won four Oscars, including one each for supporting actors Red Buttons (who played Joe Kelly) and Miyoshi Umeki (who played Katsumi).
Miyoshi Umeki, both a singer and an actress, was the first Asian performer to win an Academy Award. Her win drew attention to the Japanese name Miyoshi, which debuted in the data as well in 1958:
1965: 6 baby girls named Miyoshi
1964: 9 baby girls named Miyoshi
1963: 8 baby girls named Miyoshi
1962: 7 baby girls named Miyoshi
1959: 8 baby girls named Miyoshi
1958: 20 baby girls named Miyoshi [debut]
A few months later, Umeki appeared on the TV game show “What’s My Line?” Here’s how she signed her name:
Miyoshi was Umeki’s birth name, but at the start of her singing career in Japan, she used the stage name Nancy Umeki. She reverted to her Japanese name upon relocating to America, ironically.
It’s December! A month full of gatherings. Particularly family gatherings.
This is great news for expectant parents who want to find a family name, but haven’t had any luck with the obvious choices (like parent names and grandparents names). Family gatherings are the perfect place to dig a little deeper — for more names in the family tree, or for names that aren’t technically in the family tree, but that are strongly associated with your family in some other way.
All you have to do is start asking questions.
Essentially, you want to ask your older relatives about their personal history and best memories. This won’t just benefit you — it’ll make your relatives feel valued, it’ll make the occasion memorable for everyone, and it’ll keep the conversation focused (so that no one can veer off into, say, politics).
Here are some questions you could use. They’re geared toward uncovering important people, places, events, symbols, and other noun-y type things that might make good baby names. (If you have any other question ideas, leave a comment!)
Family Member Interview Questions
Where and when were you born? What’s your full name? Is there a story behind your name? What nicknames have you had, as a child and as an adult?
If you had siblings, what were their names/nicknames?
Where and when were they born? What are their full names? Is there a story behind their names? Did they have nicknames? What were they like? What is your fondest memory of them? (Did this happen at a particular place or event?) What other items, places, events, people, ideas, and so forth do you associate with them?
Aunts & Uncles
If you had aunts and uncles, what were their names/nicknames?
Where and when were they born? What are their names? Is there a story behind any of their names? Did they have nicknames? What is your fondest memory of them? (Did this happen at a particular place or event?) What other items, places, events, people, ideas, and so forth do you associate with them?
Do you remember your great-grandparents or any other older relatives? What were their names? What stories have come down to you about the ancestors you never met? (Do you have any famous ancestors?) What items, places, events, people, ideas, and so forth are associated with any of these ancestors?
What significant family friends do you remember? What other people have helped your family in some significant way?
What did your family do together? Think activities, traditions, locations, etc. What is your fondest family memory? (Did this happen at a particular place or event?) What special items in your home do you remember?
Personal Memories (childhood & teen years)
What did you like to do? Where did you like to spend time? Who were your good friends? What special places did you travel? What people (teachers, coaches, community members) were particularly helpful to you? What is your fondest childhood memory? What is your fondest memory of your teenage years? What other items, places, events, people, ideas, and so forth do you associate with these times in your life?
Personal Memories (adulthood)
What did you like to do? Where did you like to spend time? Who were your good friends? What special places did you travel? What people (friends, mentors, coworkers, community members) were particularly helpful to you? What is your fondest adulthood memory? What other items, places, events, people, ideas, and so forth do you associate with this time in your life?
What is/was his/her name? When and where did you meet? If you married, when and where did you marry? What is your fondest memory of him/her? (Did this happen at a particular place or event?) What other items, places, events, people, ideas, and so forth do you associate with this person/relationship?
Describe the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to you. Describe the time/place you remember feeling the most content and at peace. Which person (either friend or public figure) has had the biggest positive influence on your life?
As you take notes, remember to be open-minded. Try not to dismiss any name right away.
First, because many names have other forms. So you might not like Grandpa Ivan’s name, but “Ivan” could lead you to something you do like: Evan, Sean, Gianni, Johnny…
Second, any name could end up being associated with multiple family members, and hence have a greater overall significance than you would have expected. Maybe you’re not so sure about your mother-in-law’s maiden name, Lloyd…until you hear some hilarious story involving your own great-grandfather and an ill-fated fishing trip to a place called Lloyd’s Creek, which helps you see “Lloyd” in a whole new light.
If you end up finding a great baby name this year after talking with your relatives, come back and lets us know!