How popular is the baby name Magdalena in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Magdalena and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Magdalena.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Magdalena

Number of Babies Named Magdalena

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Magdalena

The Introduction of Tisa

my girl Tisa, movie, 1940s, baby nameThe cute name Tisa first appeared in the U.S. Social Security Administration’s baby name dataset in the late ’40s:

  • 1951: 6 baby girls named Tisa
  • 1950: 5 baby girls named Tisa
  • 1949: 11 baby girls named Tisa
  • 1948: 15 baby girls named Tisa [debut]
  • 1947: unlisted

What gave the name a boost that year?

The long-forgotten movie My Girl Tisa, which was set in New York City in the early 1900s. It followed a Hungarian immigrant named Tisa Kepes (played by Lilli Palmer, herself a German immigrant) whose aim was to earn enough money to bring her father to the United States.

Leonard Maltin called the film “sincere but uninspiring.”

So is Tisa a legitimate Hungarian name? Good question. It doesn’t seem to be a traditional female name, but there’s a well-known river that runs through Hungary called the Tisza. So perhaps this one is a modern creation along the lines of the Irish name Shannon (inspired by the River Shannon).

The name Tisa saw its highest usage (and even popped into the top 1,000 for a year) in 1970, when Theresa Magdalena “Tisa” Farrow — sister of newly famous Mia Farrow — decided to try acting and appeared in her first film, the low-budget counter-culture drama Homer (1970).

Source: My Girl Tisa (1948) – TCM


Olivia Twenty, Named for $20

Children’s book author Roald Dahl, who was named after Roald Amundsen and who also created the Fifinella gremlin, was born in Wales in 1916.

He married American actress Patricia Neal in 1953 and they had a total of five children together.

Their first baby was named Olivia Twenty. Why?

Olivia Twenty was born in New York on April 20, 1955, and named after her mother’s favorite Shakespearean heroine, the date of her birth, and the fact that Roald had $20 in his pocket when he came to visit Pat in the hospital.

And their second child, originally called Chantal Sophia, ended up getting a name change:

A few days after Chantal had been christened, Roald realized her name rhymed with Dahl and renamed her Tessa.

The last three three Dahl children were named Theo Matthew, Ophelia Magdalena, and Lucy Neal. My guess is that Ophelia is another Shakespeare reference, and that Sophia and Magdalena came from Dahl’s mother, Sofie Magdalene. I’m not sure what inspired the other names.

[Sadly, Olivia Twenty died of the measles in 1962, before a reliable measles vaccine had been developed.]

Source: Sturrock, Donald. Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010.

Interesting Baby Name Analysis

I only recently noticed that Behind the Name, one of my favorite websites for baby name definitions, has a page called United States Popularity Analysis — a “computer-created analysis of the United States top 1000 names for the period 1880 to 2012.”

The page has some interesting top ten lists. Here are three of them:

Most Volatile

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Elvis
2. Brooks
3. Santiago
4. Lincoln
5. Ernie
6. Wyatt
7. Quincy
8. Rogers
9. Alec
10. Dexter
1. Juliet
2. Lea
3. Justine
4. Martina
5. Felicia
6. Delilah
7. Selina
8. Lonnie
9. Magdalena
10. Katy

Biggest Recoveries

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Silas
2. Isaiah
3. Caleb
4. Emmett
5. Jordan
6. Josiah
7. Harrison
8. Ezra
9. Jason
10. Jesus
1. Ella
2. Stella
3. Sadie
4. Sophie
5. Isabella
6. Lily
7. Hannah
8. Isabelle
9. Sophia
10. Lilly

Biggest Flash-in-the-Pans

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Dewey
2. Woodrow
3. Dale
4. Barry
5. Rick
6. Greg
7. Roosevelt
8. Shannon
9. Kim
10. Darrin
1. Debra
2. Lori
3. Tammy
4. Pamela
5. Tracy
6. Cheryl
7. Beverly
8. Dawn
9. Diane
10. Kathy

I wonder what the formulas were. I’d love to try the same analysis on the SSA’s full list, using raw numbers instead of rankings. Wonder how much overlap there’d be…

Popular Baby Names in Bulgaria, 2013

Bulgaria’s top baby names of 2013 were released last month.

According to preliminary data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI), the most popular baby names last year were Viktoria and Georgi.

Here are Bulgaria’s top 19 girl names and top 19 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Viktoria (2.9% of baby girls)
2. Nikol (2.7%)
3. Maria (2.4%)
4. Alexandra (1.7%)
5. Gabriela (1.5%)
6. Raya (1.2%)
7. Yoana (1.2%)
8. Simona
9. Elena
10. Dariya
11. Teodora
12. Siyana
13. Mihaela
14. Gergana
15. Magdalena
16. Bozhidara
17. Monika
18. Ivayla
19. Karina
1. Georgi (3.55% of baby boys)
2. Alexandar (3.1%)
3. Martin (2.9%)
4. Ivan (2.4%)
5. Dimitar (2.1%)
6. Nikola (2.1%)
7. Nikolay (2.0%)
8. Viktor
9. Kristiyan
10. Kaloyan
11. Boris
12. Teordor
13. Bozhidar
14. Petar
15. Stefan
16. Alex
17. Ivaylo
18. Mihail
19. Angel

Source: Most popular baby names in Bulgaria – Georgi, Viktoria

Baby Names in Cursive – Clarabelle, Jefferson, Mercedes, Rebecca

I wrote a letter to a friend not long ago, and the act of writing something longhand (which I rarely do anymore) made me wonder: which baby names can be written in cursive without lifting the pen from the page?

Turns out that many names can be written this way–so long as they don’t contain letters that need crossing/dotting (t, i, x, j) and don’t start with a tricky capital (such as W, which doesn’t connect to the letters that follow, or H, which itself requires more than one stroke).

Here are some examples of names that can be written in script with one continuous line of ink.

  • 3 letters: Ava, Moe, Ned, Rob, Ula
  • 4 letters: Cleo, Elmo, Jada, Rhys, Zane
  • 5 letters: Carla, Jesse, Nancy, Ryder, Yosef
  • 6 letters: Edward, Jazmyn, Morgan, Nelson, Ursula
  • 7 letters: Charles, Eleanor, Jeffrey, Malcolm, Rebecca
  • 8 letters: Alphonso, Emmanuel, Mercedes, Mohammad, Randolph
  • 9 letters: Cleveland, Esperanza, Jefferson, Magdalena, Rosabelle
  • 10 letters: Alessandra, Alessandro, Clarabella, Clarabelle, Jacquelynn

…For more onomastic trivia, try this list of baby names that can be typed one-handed on a QWERTY keyboard.