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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Martin

Number of Babies Named Martin

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Martin

Classics on the Decline: Paul, Jesse, Frank

boy names falling out of fashion

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…

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2017

According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Lucia and Lucas.

Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Lucia, 4,410 baby girls
2. Sofia, 4,206
3. Maria, 3,874
4. Martina, 3,814
5. Paula, 3,085
6. Julia, 2,998
7. Daniela, 2,959
8. Valeria, 2,856
9. Alba, 2,678
10. Emma, 2,525

Boy Names
1. Lucas, 4,209 baby boys
2. Hugo, 4,141
3. Martin, 3,838
4. Daniel, 3,717
5. Pablo, 3,426
6. Alejandro, 3,220
7. Mateo, 3,124
8. Adrian, 2,841
9. Alvaro, 2,794
10. Manuel, 2,517

Lucas replaces Hugo as Spain’s #1 boy name.

In the boys’ top 10, Manuel replaces David.

In the girls’ top 10, Emma replaces Noa.

Finally, here are the 2016 rankings.

Source: Nombres de los recién nacidos – INEbase, Lucía and Lucas, the most popular baby names in Spain in 2017

Name Quotes #61: Madeleine, Tim, Clara

It’s the first Monday of the month, so it’s time for some name quotes!

From a Vice interview with Jeff Goldblum:

Vice: Amazing. That’s Charlie Ocean right?

Jeff: Yeah that’s Charlie Ocean! And then our other son [with wife Emilie Livingston, a Canadian aerialist, actress, and former Olympian] who’s now 11 months old is River Joe.

Vice: Any musical streaks in either of them yet?

Jeff: I’ve always sat at the piano these last couple years with Charlie Ocean and he kinda bangs around. But I must say, River Joe, when I play or we put on music, boy he’s just standing up at this point, but he rocks to the music and bounces up and down. He seems to really like it so maybe he’s musical. I’d like to play with them.

(I am fascinated by the fact that the boys aren’t simply Charlie and Joe. Clearly the water aspect of each name requires emphasis every time.)

From the essay Forgetting the Madeleine, written by pastry chef Frances Leech:

In reality, I was named for two grandmothers: Jenny Frances and Lucy Madeleine. However, when I introduce myself at baking classes, I lie.

“My parents named me after the most famous pastry in French literature.”

It is a good name for a pâtissier, a pastry chef, and a good story to tell. The mnemonic sticks in my students’ minds, and after three hours and four cakes made together, they remember me as Madeleine and not Frances. Stories make for powerful anchors, even when the truth is twisted for dramatic effect.

From an article about chef Auguste Escoffier, who named his dishes after the rich and famous:

Escoffier came up with thousands of new recipes, many of which he served at London’s Savoy Hotel and the Paris Ritz. Some were genuine leaps of ingenuity, others a twist on a classic French dish. Many carry someone else’s name. In early dishes, these are often historical greats: Oeufs Rossini, for the composer; Consommé Zola, for the writer; Omelette Agnès Sorel, for the mistress of Charles VII. Later on, however, Escoffier made a habit of giving dishes the handles of people who, in their day, were virtual household names: An entire choir of opera singers’ names are to be found in Escoffier’s cookery books. The most famous examples are likely Melba toast and Peach Melba, for the Australian opera singer Nellie Melba, though there are hundreds of others.

An essay about the plight of people named Tim, by Tim Dowling:

A lot of baggage comes with the name Tim. I have not forgotten Martin Amis’s 20-year-old description of Tim Henman as “the first human being called Tim to achieve anything at all”. More recently Will Self wrote: “There’s little doubt that your life chances will be constrained should your otherwise risk-averse parents have had the temerity to Tim you.” This was in a review of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, the many faults of which Self put down to founder Tim Martin never being able “to escape the fact of his Timness”.

[…]

Amis and Self believe the poor showing of Tims is the result of nominative determinism: the name Tim carries expectations of inconsequentiality that anyone so christened will eventually come to embody. Gallingly, research suggests they may be right.

From an article about Spanish babies being named after soccer players’ babies:

This was clearly shown when Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s first son Thiago was born to partner Antonella Roccuzzo in November 2012. That year the name Thiago did not appear in the Top 100 boys names given to babies in Spain, according to Spain’s National Statistics Agency [INE].

[…]

Something similar happened when Mateo Messi was born in Sep 2015. In just 12 months Mateo climbed from 14th to 9th most popular name among Spanish parents. Ciro Messi, born in March this year, will surely see the originally Persian name break into the top 100.

From an article about UC Berkeley student (and mom) Natalie Ruiz:

Doe Library’s North Reading Room became Ruiz’s haven. “It was one of the few quiet places where I felt I could focus,” she says. “That season of my life was extremely dark; I didn’t know if I’d make it to graduation, or how I could possibly raise a baby at this time.”

One day at the library, she noticed light shining down on her growing belly, right over the university seal on her T-shirt and the words “fiat lux.” She and Blanchard had considered Lillian or Clara as baby names, but now the choice was made.

“I felt my daughter kick, and it occurred to me that clara in Spanish means ‘bright,’ and I imagined the way that this baby could and would be the bright light at the end of this dark season,” says Ruiz, who gave birth to Clara on May 15, 2014.

From an interview with entrepreneur Eden Blackman:

For many entrepreneurs, starting a business often feels like bringing new life into the world. It’s not every day though, that your endeavours result in a baby named in your honour.

“That’s the pinnacle for me, it’s simply mind-blowing,” says Eden Blackman, founder of online dating business Would Like to Meet and namesake of young Eden, whose parents met on the site several years ago. “That is amazing and quite a lot to take on but it’s a beautiful thing.”

From the article Do You Like Your Name? by Arthur C. Brooks (found via Nameberry):

I cringe a little whenever I hear someone say my name, and have ever since I was a child. One of my earliest memories is of a lady in a department store asking me my name and bursting out laughing when I said, “Arthur.”

Before you judge that lady, let’s acknowledge that it is actually pretty amusing to meet a little kid with an old man’s name. According to the Social Security Administration, “Arthur” maxed out in popularity back in the ’90s. That is, the 1890s. It has fallen like a rock in popularity since then. I was named after my grandfather, and even he complained that his name made him sound old. Currently, “Arthur” doesn’t even crack the top 200 boys’ names. Since 2013, it has been beaten in popularity by “Maximus” (No. 200 last year) and “Maverick” (No. 85).

One thing I constantly hear from people I meet for the first time is, “I imagined you as being much older.” I don’t take this as flattery, because at 54, I’m really not that young. What they are saying is that they imagined someone about 100 years old.

To see more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in Bulgaria, 2017

According to Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute, the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Viktoria and Aleksandar.

Here are Bulgaria’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Viktoria, 741 baby girls
2. Maria, 718
3. Nikol, 682
4. Raia, 508
5. Aleksandra, 483
6. Sofia, 463
7. Daria, 447
8. Simona, 391
9. Gabriela, 380
10. Yoana, 378

Boy Names
1. Aleksandar, 1,116 baby boys
2. Georgi, 1,009
3. Martin, 804
4. Dimitar, 687
5. Ivan, 668
6. Nikola, 640
7. Daniel, 623
8. Boris, 615
9. Kaloyan, 599
10. Viktor, 562

The girls’ top 10 includes the same 10 names as the year before, but in a different order.

In the boys’ top 10, Boris replaces Nikolay.

The top two names were the same in 2016.

Sources: Names in Bulgaria in 2017 (preliminary data), Names in Bulgaria in 2017 (PDF)

Searching for “Glen Eden”

Atlas Obscura recently published an article about a man named Glen Eden Einbinder who has been collecting things bearing his first and middle names for more than 25 years.

His collection consists of “Glen Eden” postcards, bottle tops, newspaper clippings, leaflets, photographs, drink coasters, clothing, and more. The items represent various places: the Glen Eden nudist resort in California, the Glen Eden wool company in Georgia, the Glen Eden summer camp in Wisconsin, etc.

Though the two [names] together conjure up some pleasant idyll–Glen as a woodland valley, Eden as a garden–he didn’t realize the connection until he started to come across the huge volume of places that share his name.

Reader Becca pointed me to the article (thank you, Becca!) and asked about other people with this specific first-middle combo.

According to SSA data, at least 125,035 U.S. baby boys (and 1,348 U.S. baby girls) have been named single-N-Glen since 1880. So how many of these American single-N-Glens have the middle name Eden (besides Glen Eden Einbinder)?

A handful do, though I could only find definitive proof of two of them:

  • Glen Eden Hawkes (1907-1979) of Idaho
  • Glen Eden Franklin (b. 1918) of North Carolina

I also found several international Glen Edens, like these two:

  • Glen Eden Davis (1925-2003) of New South Wales, Australia
  • Glen Eden Flintoff (b. 1898) of Ontario, Canada

And there were plenty of near-misses. I found people named double-N-Glenn Eden (example), first-last Glen Eden (example), and first-last double-N-Glenn Eden (example). Plus people with first names like Gleneden, Glenedene, and Glenedena (example).

And how was Glen Eden Einbinder himself named?

Glen…is somehow related to the initials of his ancestors, with the “G” perhaps coming from a Great-Aunt Gussie. And Eden comes from the Jack London book Martin Eden, which his father was reading when Einbinder was born.

Do you have any thoughts on the combo “Glen Eden”?

P.S. This article reminded me of a documentary called The Grace Lee Project, in which an Asian-American filmmaker named Grace Lee interviews a bunch of other Asian-American women also named Grace Lee. (I think I first heard about it via Nancy Friedman.)