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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mars

Number of Babies Named Mars

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mars

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2015

Here are the results of Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2015!

Quick disclaimer: Some of these names were already on the rise. Others were likely influenced by multiple pop culture events/people (not just the one listed). So I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence for yourself.

Adaline, +737 [ranked 11th on the list of raw-number increases for girl names]

  • Up from 164 baby girls in 2014 to 901 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Age of Adaline (2015).

Abel, +659 [ranked 12th on the list of raw-number increases for boy names]

  • Up from 2,557 baby boys in 2014 to 3,216 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: singer Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye (stage name The Weeknd).

Finn, +301 [ranked 47th on the list of raw-number increases for boy names]

  • Up from 1,580 baby boys in 2014 to 1,881 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Taya, +180

  • Up from 93 baby girls in 2014 to 273 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie American Sniper (2014).

Lucille, +142

  • Up from 970 baby girls in 2014 to 1,112 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of B. B. King (whose guitars were all called “Lucille”).

Margot, +126

  • Up from 377 baby girls in 2014 to 503 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: actress Margot Robbie.

Atticus, +106

  • Up from 852 baby boys in 2014 to 958 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the book Go Set a Watchman (2015).

Canaan, +104

  • Up from 179 baby girls in 2014 to 283 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the news of Oprah Winfrey’s son, Canaan.

Hakeem, +87

  • Up from 72 baby boys in 2014 to 159 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Annalise, +78

  • Up from 699 baby boys in 2014 to 777 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show How to Get Away with Murder (2014-).

Lola, +57

  • Up from 1,386 baby girls in 2014 to 1,443 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Arlo, +54

  • Up from 518 baby boys in 2014 to 572 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Carter, +53

  • Up from 10,674 baby boys in 2014 to 10,727 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: unsure (suggested in the comments).

Carli, +36

  • Up from 110 baby girls in 2014 to 146 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Carli Lloyd.

Margo, +36

  • Up from 152 baby girls in 2014 to 188 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Paper Towns (2015).

Bjorn, +35

  • Up from 63 baby boys in 2014 to 98 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Vikings.

Roland, +32

  • Up from 437 baby boys in 2014 to 469 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie By The Sea (2015).

Taraji, +30

  • Up from 200 baby girls in 2014 to 230 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Adonis, +29

  • Up from 327 baby boys in 2014 to 356 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Creed (2015).

Sullivan (as a boy name), +29

  • Up from 631 baby boys in 2014 to 660 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: actor Sullivan Stapleton.

Joy, +28

  • Up from 692 baby girls in 2014 to 720 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Inside Out (2015).

Kylo, +27

  • Up from 8 baby boys in 2014 to 35 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Alex (as a girl name), +25

  • Up from 160 baby girls in 2014 to 185 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Alex Morgan.

Rebel, +25 (as a girl name), -3 (as a boy name)

  • Up from 58 baby girls in 2014 to 83 in 2015.
  • Down from 48 baby boys in 2014 to 45 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the Confederate flag debate.
  • Update, 5/12/16: The state-by-state data was just released. Of the 83 baby girls named Rebel, 12 were born in Texas, 9 in California, 8 in Arkansas and 6 in Oklahoma. Of the 45 boys, 7 were born in Texas and 5 in Tennessee.

Meghan, +24

  • Up from 214 baby girls in 2014 to 238 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Meghan Klingenberg.

Lucious, +18

  • Up from 19 baby boys in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Christie, +15

  • Up from 31 baby girls in 2014 to 46 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Christie Rampone.

Tobin (as a girl name), re-entered with 14

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 14 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Tobin Heath.

Alessia, +13

  • Up from 200 baby girls in 2014 to 213 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: singer Alessia Cara.

Lyon, +13

  • Up from 29 baby boys in 2014 to 42 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Kelsea, +12

  • Up from 35 baby girls in 2014 to 47 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: country singer Kelsea Ballerini.

Gigi, +11

  • Up from 27 baby girls in 2014 to 38 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: model Gigi Hadid.

Ragnar, +11

  • Up from 19 baby boys in 2014 to 30 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Vikings.

Rollo, re-entered with 10

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 10 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Vikings.

Max (as a girl name), +9

  • Up from 14 baby girls in 2014 to 23 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: Maxima “Max” Chan Zuckerberg, daughter of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

Poe, re-entered with 9

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 9 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Denali, +8 (as a boy name) and +7 (as a girl name)

  • Up from 20 baby boys in 2014 to 28 in 2015.
  • Up from 55 baby girls in 2014 to 62 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the renaming of Denali.

Bindi, re-entered with 8

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 8 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: Dancing with the Stars contestant Bindi Irwin.

Eilis, re-entered with 6

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 6 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Brooklyn (2015).

Trai, re-entered with 6

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 6 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Becky, +5

  • Up from 53 baby girls in 2014 to 58 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Becky Sauerbrunn.

Bernie, +5

  • Up from 6 baby boys in 2014 to 11 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Saint, +5

  • Up from 32 baby boys in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: Saint West, son of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Serra, +5

  • Up from 12 baby girls in 2014 to 17 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the canonization of Junipero Serra.

Taron, +4

  • Up from 31 baby girls in 2014 to 35 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: actor Taron Egerton.

Names that went down:

Names not on the SSA’s list in 2015:

  • Aslaug
  • Bryshere
  • Cookie
  • Dameron
  • DuVernay
  • Empire
  • Furiosa
  • Halsey
  • Jeralean
  • Junipero
  • Jussie
  • Lagertha
  • Rey (as a girl name)
  • Sonoya
  • Trump

Did any of these surprise you?

P.S. Some of the names from the 2014 game that have started/continued to do well: Hazel, Amal, Tauriel, and Wyatt (as a girl name). Elsa and Anna, on the other hand, both saw drops in usage.


Name Quotes for the Weekend #25

elton john quote about the name reginald

From an interview with Elton John on Larry King Live:

Well, I was making a record, and I had to choose a name, because they said, you know, you can’t make a record under the name of Reg Dwight, because it’s never going to — you know, it’s not attractive enough. And I agreed with that, and I couldn’t wait to change my name anyway, because I’m not too fond of the name of Reginald. It’s a very kind of ’50s English name.

So I picked Elton because there wasn’t — nobody seemed to have the name Elton. And I picked John to go with it. And it was — it was done on a bus going from London Heathrow back into the city. And it was done very quickly. So I said, oh, Elton John. That’s fine.

From The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography by Lois Potte:

Though contemporary sonneteers populated their world with lovers called Astrophil, Parthenophil, Stella, Delia, and Idea, the only names that appear in Shakespeare’s sonnets are Adonis, Helen, Mars, Saturn, Philomel, Eve, Cupid, Diana, and Time — and the one non-mythological figure, the author, “Will.”

From An Apology to Every (White) Girl Named Becky by Dara T. Mathis:

Black people commonly use the term “Becky” when referring to generic white women. It has a slight negative connotation (airheadedness), but white women don’t have to do anything to deserve the title.

Clearly, this is as problematic as sexual stereotypes against any demographic of people. Women fight on a daily basis not to be objectified, but this portrayal takes it further and assigns white women a role to which they may not ascribe.

Despite my dislike for using a proper name as a slur, it took an actual person to bring it home to me. After my tweet, a white colleague nicknamed Becky told me about how she’s been forced to use Rebecca instead. A group of black men were catcalling her down a sidewalk and she was doing her best to ignore them. One of them yelled out, “Hey Becky!” That’s her name: she automatically swung her head around. But this had the opposite effect of validating the men’s impression that she was a Becky, not a woman named Becky. They laughed. She laughed, too, because…it is kinda funny.

But I stopped laughing quickly. I had never thought about the implications of people using your name as a stereotype against you. Where can you run to escape that?

From a post about unusual personal names at Futility Closet:

A memo to every parent who’s ever lived: Giving your kid a special name does not make him special. It never has. It never will.

You know what I mean. It’s one thing to give yourself a screwy moniker. Body-modification enthusiasts have changed their names to Swirly Wanx Sinatra, Grenade Bee of Death, and RooRaaah Mew Crumbs, among other things, and there’s a U.S. Army Ohio National Guard firefighter who named himself Optimus Prime. That’s fine, you’re the one who has to live with it.

It’s worse when you inflict a harebrained epithet on a newborn, who will have to drag it through life like a neon hairshirt.

From a post about Ameribella cheese at Cheese Notes:

Originally named Arabella, this cheese underwent a slight name change recently; as Leslie told me, it’s always been named after Matthew’s great grandmother, whose name was America Arabella. To honor her, they combined her two names and came up with the Ameribella, which also has the unique quality of honoring this cheese’s American terroir and Italian origins.

(I discovered Ameribella via the Baby Name Pondering post Cheesy Baby Names.)

From an article by Kerry Parnell in The Daily Telegraph:

[W]hen I was born and my parents proudly announced my name to the family, my great-grandma was disgusted and informed them Kerry was a dog’s name.

She never wavered from this conviction until one day, when I was about five, we visited her to see her new poodle puppy.

“What’s his name?” I asked. “Kerry,” she replied, stony faced. There was a long, awkward silence and no one ever mentioned it again.

Ironically, great-grandma went by the name of “Pete”, which, unless I am very much mistaken, is a man’s name.

One day, I vow, I will get a dog just so I can call it Pete, for revenge.

Have you read anything interesting about names lately? Please send me the link so I can add it to a future quote post! Email me, Tweet me, or just leave a comment below.

Baby Names Inspired by Les Miserables

Les Miserables - CosetteThe latest film version of Les Misérables comes out on December 25.

The movie(s) and the musical are based on Victor Hugo’s book Les Misérables, which is set in France in the early 1800s–not long after the French Revolution.

The story is full of characters with interesting (dare I say enticing?) French names. Will any of them become trendy baby names once the movie is out? Perhaps!

Here are six likely contenders:

Cosette

  • Character: Cosette [ko-ZET]
  • Etymology: Unknown. Hugo may have based Cosette on the French word chosette, a diminutive of chose, “thing,” hence, “little thing.” He calls attention to the similarity between Cosette and chosette in this passage, in which Jean Valjean talks to Gavroche:

    “The letter is for Mademoiselle Cosette, is it not?”

    “Cosette?” Gavroche grumbled; “yes, I think it is that absurd name.”

    “Well,” Jean Valjean continued, “you have to deliver the letter to me; so give it here.”

    […]

    “Here it is.”

    And he handed the paper to Jean Valjean.

    “And make haste, Monsieur Chose, since Mamselle Chosette is waiting.”

  • Interesting fact: Cosette’s real name is Euphrasie, the French form of Euphrasia, meaning “good cheer” in Ancient Greek. Neither Euphrasie nor Euphrasia has ever appeared on the SSA’s baby name list.
  • Popularity graph for Cosette (and spelling variant Cozette).

Éponine

  • Character: Éponine Thénardier
  • Etymology: Éponine is based on the name Epponina, which belonged to the loyal wife of Julius Sabinus, a Roman officer who rebelled against the Roman Empire. Hugo says Éponine’s mother discovered the name (and the name of Éponine’s sister, Azelma) while reading romance novels:

    [T]he female Thénardier was nothing but a coarse, vicious woman, who had dabbled in stupid romances. Now, one cannot read nonsense with impunity. The result was that her eldest daughter was named Eponine; as for the younger, the poor little thing came near being called Gulnare; I know not to what diversion, effected by a romance of Ducray-Dumenil, she owed the fact that she merely bore the name of Azelma.

  • Popularity graph for Eponine.

Fantine

  • Character: Fantine
  • Etymology: Unknown. Hugo says this about the origin of both Fantine and her name:

    Fantine was one of those beings who bloom, so to speak, out of the dregs of the people. Issuing from the lowest depths of the social darkness, she had on her forehead the stamp of the anonymous and the unknown. She was born at M—- on sur M—-. Of what parents? Who could say? She had never known either father or mother. She called herself Fantine. Why Fantine? She had never been known by any other name. At the period of her birth the Directory was still in existence. She had no family name, as she had no family; and no Christian name, as the church was abolished. She accepted the name given her by the first passer-by, who saw her running barefooted about the streets. She received a name as she received the water from the clouds on her head when it rained. She was called Little Fantine. No one knew any more.

  • Popularity graph for Fantine (…currently none, as the name is too rare to have ever appeared on the SSA’s baby name list).

Jean

  • Character: Jean Valjean
  • Etymology: Jean [ZHAWN] is the French form of John, which is ultimately derived from a Hebrew name meaning “God is gracious.”
  • Popularity graph for Jean.

Marius

  • Character: Marius Pontmercy
  • Etymology: Uncertain, though the name Marius “may be connected with Mars, the name of the god of war, or perhaps mas, maris ‘virile’.”
  • Popularity graph for Marius.

Valjean

  • Character: Jean Valjean
  • Etymology: Hugo says the surname is a contraction of voilà Jean:

    Jean Valjean came from a poor peasant family of Brie. He had not learned to read in his childhood. When he reached man’s estate, he became a tree-pruner at Faverolles. His mother was named Jeanne Mathieu; his father was called Jean Valjean or Vlajean, probably a sobriquet, and a contraction of voilà Jean, “here’s Jean.”

  • Popularity graph for Valjean.

Which of these names is most likely to take off in 2013, do you think?

Sources:

  • Éponine – Wikipedia
  • Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Roche, Isabel. Character and Meaning in the Novels of Victor Hugo. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2006.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game #2 Results

Britney Spears - Pop Culture Baby Name Game MascotIn Pop Culture Baby Name Game #2, we tried to predict which baby names would see increased usage in 2011, thanks to popular culture.

Here’s how we did. The numbers are all from 2010 and 2011, respectively. (Check out Harper & Bentley!)

  • Adele – yes, rose from 286 to 453 baby girls
  • Atlantis – nope, fell from 16 to 7 baby girls
  • Alaina – yes, rose from 1,490 to 1,985 baby girls
  • Alaric – yes, rose from 40 to 48 baby boys
  • Amy – nope, fell from 2,275 to 2,177 baby girls
  • Arya – yes, rose from 273 to 386 baby girls (& from 87 to 110 baby boys)
  • Arabella – yes, rose from 826 to 934 baby girls
  • Aria – yes, rose from 898 to 1,964 baby girls
  • Arthur – yes, rose from 725 to 888 baby boys
  • Bear – yes, rose from 53 to 85 baby boys
  • Bentley – yes rose from 3761 to 5535 baby boys (& from 231 to 285 baby girls)
  • Betty – yes, rose from 130 to 163 baby girls
  • Bran – yes, rose from 5 to 7 baby boys
  • Cairo – yes, rose from 45 to 91 baby boys, and 5 to 12 baby girls
  • Casey – nope, fell from 483 to 463 baby girls (& from 705 to 635 baby boys)
  • Caylee – yes, rose from 565 to 692 baby girls
  • Charlie (girl name) – yes, rose from 664 to 848 (pop culture reference: Disney’s Good Luck Charlie)
  • Crosby – yes, rose from 180 to 301 baby boys
  • Edith – yes, rose from 325 to 350 baby girls
  • Egypt – yes, rose from 100 to 112 baby girls, and 5 to 11 baby boys
  • Ezra – yes, rose from 1439 to 1735 baby boys (& from 88 to 101 baby girls)
  • Florence – nope, fell from 75 to 73 baby girls (I’m surprised by this!)
  • Flynn – yes, rose from 81 to 208 baby boys
  • Gabrielle – nope, fell from 3,128 to 2,601 baby girls
  • Harper – yes, Harper rose from 2,624 to 4,636 baby girls (& from 339 to 399 baby boys)
  • Harvey – yes, rose 184 to 243 baby boys
  • Hattie – yes, from 157 to 253 baby girls
  • Haven – yes, rose from 447 to 504 baby girls (but fell from 164 to 133 baby boys)
  • Jace – yes, rose from 2,669 to 3,689 baby boys
  • Kate – yes, rose from 1,485 to 1,774 baby girls
  • Kez – nope, off the list both years
  • Khal – nope, off the list both years
  • Libya – yes, rose from off-the-list (fewer than 5) to 7 baby girls
  • Maci – yes, rose from 1,351 to 1,725 baby girls
  • Mars – yes, rose from 14 to 23 baby boys
  • Maxton – yes, 193 to 208 baby boys
  • Mobley – nope, off the list both years
  • Monroe – yes, rose from 93 to 141 baby girls
  • Mylo – yes, rose from 33 to 57 baby boys
  • Nicki – yes, rose from 9 to 21 baby girls
  • Octavia – no, fell from 88 to 72
  • Perry – yes, rose from 32 to 40 baby girls, and 129 to 146 baby boys
  • Pippa – yes, Pippa rose from 16 to 69 baby girls (& Philippa from 25 to 53)
  • Raylan – yes, rose from 132 to 326 baby boys
  • Rue – yes, rose from 9 to 13 baby girls
  • Siri – nope, Siri fell from 111 to 103 baby girls
  • Sparrow – yes, rose from 5 to 11 baby boys (but fell from 32 to 31 baby girls)
  • Spring – yes, rose from 11 to 16 baby girls
  • Steve – yes, rose from 279 to 324 baby boys
  • Tim – nope, fell from 65 to 48 baby boys
  • Tunisia – nope, off the list both years
  • William – yes, rose from 16,979 to 17,151 baby boys

I know I missed a few, but we’ll discuss them all eventually I’m sure. :)

Here are the results to PCBNG #1.

The Mysterious Nerine

While we’re mulling over the case of Laquita, I’ll throw out another mystery baby name: Nerine.

Nerine was on the SSA’s baby name list for four sequential years:

  • 1921: unlisted
  • 1920: 6 baby girls named Nerine
  • 1919: 13 baby girls named Nerine
  • 1918: 17 baby girls named Nerine
  • 1917: 43 baby girls named Nerine (the #1 debut name for girls)
  • 1916: unlisted

A variant, Nerene, popped up on the SSA’s list in 1917 and 1918 as well:

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: 7 baby girls named Nerene
  • 1917: 11 baby girls named Nerene [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted

What else can I tell you about Nerine? Well, it’s a flower name based on the word Nereid, a form of Nereus. It’s also the name of a consort of Mars, Nerine/Nerio (different etymology).

But I have no idea what made it fashionable in 1917. I can’t find a pop culture explanation, and usage of Norene/Noreen/Norine didn’t spike that year, so there wasn’t any piggybacking involved.

Thoughts?

Welsh Family with Unusual Names – Romeo, Isis, Achilles, Caesar

There’s a family in Cardiff, Wales with children named:

  1. Romeo Casanova Valentino (age 12)
  2. Venus Valentine (11)
  3. Angel Aphrodite (10)
  4. Isis Ise (3)
  5. Achilles Spartacus Mars (2)
  6. Caesar Augustus Constantine (due in 4 weeks)

The parents are Tony and Elaine Romaeo (making son #1 “Romeo Romaeo,” of course). Elaine had this to say about the names:

We knew we wanted to give our children unusual names from the start. My husband used to be a male stripper and his stage name was Romeo so we decided to call our first son after the three greatest lovers of the world.

I think that about sums it up. :)

Source: Our children are gods, legends and great lovers, South Wales Echo

Edit (3/22): BBC News has just published a piece on the family: Mythology inspires six baby names