How popular is the baby name Mark 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 Mark.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mark


Posts that Mention the Name Mark

The Revitalization of Laura

Laura movie poster, 1940s

In the early 1880s, Laura was a top-20 name in the United States. From the mid-1880s onward, though, the name slowly sank in popularity. It even slipped out of the top 100 for a decade. But then, in 1945, Laura suddenly changed directions and started rising:

  • 1947: 5,051 baby girls named Laura [rank: 74th]
  • 1946: 4,478 baby girls named Laura [rank: 75th]
  • 1945: 3,589 baby girls named Laura [rank: 77th]
  • 1944: 2,243 baby girls named Laura [rank: 119th]
  • 1943: 2,391 baby girls named Laura [rank: 117th]
  • 1942: 2,409 baby girls named Laura [rank: 115th]

What happened in the mid-1940s to change the fate of Laura?

The one-two punch of the 1944 film noir Laura and — probably more importantly — the 1945 hit song “Laura,” which was created from the film’s theme song.

The movie starred Gene Tierney as the title character, Laura Hunt, who was believed to have been murdered for most of the film. The police detective looking into the murder, Mark McPherson (played by Dana Andrews), slowly became obsessed with Laura over the course of the investigation.

The film’s theme song, composed by David Raksin, lent “a haunted, nostalgic, regretful cast to everything it play[ed] under,” according to Roger Ebert. Here’s what it sounds like:

After the film was released, lyricist Johnny Mercer was asked to add words to the tune. His lyrics described Laura “through a series of elusive attributes: a face in the misty light, footsteps down the hall, a floating laugh, and as a woman on a passing train.”

Once there were words, various singers began recording and releasing their own versions of “Laura.” Five of these renditions reached top-10 status on the pop charts during 1945; the one sung by Woodrow “Woody” Herman (below) ended up selling more than a million copies.

The song has since become a jazz standard.

Fifteen years later, in the summer of 1960, the teenage tragedy song “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson reached #7 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. This second Laura-song gave the name an extra boost from 1959 to 1960.

And did you notice that intriguing dip in usage from 1965 to 1967? There’s a reason for that, too, but I’ll save the explanation for tomorrow’s post

Sources: Laura (1944) – TCM.com, Laura (1945) – Jazz Standards, Laura (1945 song) – Wikipedia, Laura movie review – Roger Ebert, Tell Laura I Love Her – Songfacts.com

The Debut of Dizzy

baseball card, 1930s, dizzy dean, baby name

The unlikely name Dizzy was being used often enough in the 1930s to register in the U.S. baby name data for three years straight:

  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 5 baby boys named Dizzy
  • 1936: 6 baby boys named Dizzy
  • 1935: 8 baby boys named Dizzy [debut]
  • 1934: unlisted

So what’s the deal with Dizzy?

It came from professional baseball pitcher Dizzy Dean. He’s best remembered for his very successful 1934 season with the St. Louis Cardinals. It was “one of the memorable performances by any pitcher in history,” capped off by a World Series win over the Detroit Tigers. “Along with the aging Babe Ruth, “Dizzy” Dean was considered baseball’s major drawing card during the Depression years of the 1930s.”

His birth name wasn’t Dizzy, though. “Dizzy” was a nickname he’d acquired in the Army.

He was born in Arkansas with the name Jay Hanna Dean. His given names came from railroad magnate Jason “Jay” Gould (1836-1892) and Ohio politician Mark Hanna (1837-1904). But Dean gave reporters a different birth name: Jerome Herman (which was the name of a childhood friend who had died young). He also gave reporters various incorrect birthplaces and birthdates, claiming later: “I was helpin’ the writers out. Them ain’t lies; them’s scoops.”

Source: “Dizzy” Dean (1910–1974) – Encyclopedia of Arkansas

The One-Hit Wonder Name Loleatta

Loleatta Holloway album
It’s pronounced “Lolita.”

The baby name Loleatta appeared just once in the U.S. data, in the late 1970s:

  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 5 baby girls named Loleatta
  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Disco singer Loleatta Holloway (whose first name is pronounced “Lolita”). She’d been putting out music since the early ’70s, but her first big hits — “Dreamin’,” “Hit and Run,” and “Ripped Off” — each reached the #3 position on the U.S. dance charts during 1977.

She scored her first #1 dance hit a few years later with “Love Sensation” (1980), which was later memorably sampled on another #1 hit, “Good Vibrations” (1991) by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

What are your thoughts on the name Loleatta?

Source: Loleatta Holloway – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2019

According to Eesti Rahvusringhääling (Estonian Public Broadcasting), the most popular baby names in Estonia in 2019 were Mia and Robin.

Here are the country’s top 10 girl names and top 11 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Mia
  2. Sofia
  3. Emily
  4. Lenna
  5. Marta
  6. Hanna
  7. Alice
  8. Elise
  9. Maria
  10. Saskia

Boy Names

  1. Robin
  2. Sebastian
  3. Hugo
  4. Oliver
  5. Mattias
  6. Rasmus
  7. Kristofer
  8. Mark
  9. Oskar
  10. Martin
  11. Robert

The last set of rankings I posted for Estonia was the 2014 rankings, which had Sofia and Rasmus at the top.

Source: Robin and Mia most popular baby names in 2019