How popular is the baby name Melania in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Melania and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Melania.
It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.
Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.
- Addison – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Adonis – movie Creed (suggested by Becca)
- Ali – death of Muhammad Ali
- Aroldis – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
- Auli’i – movie Moana
- Bernie – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (suggested by elbowin)
- Bison – new national mammal & Dakota Access pipeline protests
- Boomer – son of Michael Phelps
- Bowie – musician David Bowie
- Canaan – son of Oprah Winfrey
- Clark – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Cohen – death of Leonard Cohen
- Creed – movie Creed (suggested by Julie and Becca)
- Cub – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Cubby – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Cyrus – TV miniseries Roots
- Dexter – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
- Doris – movie Hello, My Name Is Doris
- Emayatzy – TV miniseries Roots
- E’myri – TV miniseries Roots
- Esperanto – number of speakers (suggested by elbowin)
- Greyson – son of JWoww
- Hamilton – musical Hamilton
- Harriet – Harriet Tubman, chosen to appear on $20 bill
- Hillary – presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
- Ingwen – Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan (suggested by elbowin)
- Ivanka – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
- Jikan – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
- Jonbenet – anniversary of the death of JonBenet Ramsey
- Juno – NASA space probe
- Jupiter – NASA space probe
- Lorca – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
- Luna – daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
- Keanu – Key & Peele movie Keanu
- Kizzy – TV miniseries Roots
- Kunta – TV miniseries Roots
- Lyanna – TV show Game of Thrones
- Malachi – TV miniseries Roots
- Melania – wife of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
- Maui – movie Moana
- Moana – movie Moana
- Monica – Puerto Rican Olympian Monica Puig (I’m curious about the rankings in Puerto Rico specifically; Monica fell out of the top 100 in PR after 2002.)
- Mountain – daughter of actress Jena Malone
- Mowgli – movie The Jungle Book
- Muhammad – death of Muhammad Ali
- Murray – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
- Ode – daughter of actress Jena Malone
- Omran – Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh
- Onyx – daughter of Alanis Morissette
- Phiona – movie Queen of Katwe
- Paisley – death of Prince
- Prince – death of Prince (suggested by elbowin)
- Queen – TV show Queen Sugar & movie Queen of Katwe
- Regé-Jean – TV miniseries Roots
- Rio – location of the 2016 Summer Olympics
- Rykiel – death of Sonia Rykiel (suggested by elbowin)
- Sanders – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
- Simone – gymnast Simone Biles & daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
- Solace – daughter of Alanis Morissette
- Sully – movie Sully
- Teresa – canonization of Mother Teresa
- Tiffany – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
- Trump – president-elect Donald Trump
- Tulip – movie Storks
- Valor – son of JWoww
- Wilder – death of Gene Wilder (suggested by m4yb3_daijirou)
- Wrigley – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Zephyr – U.S. House of Rep. (NY) candidate Zephyr Teachout, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. (She was born in Washington state, where Zephyr is particularly popular.)
- Zobrist – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
I’ll post the results next May, when the SSA releases the 2016 baby name data. If you don’t want to miss the results post, please subscribe!
Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011: #1 & #2, 2010.
California mom-to-be Natasha Hill, the woman who was supposed to be getting $5,000 for allowing strangers to name her unborn baby via Belly Ballot, isn’t really pregnant.
She isn’t even really named “Natasha Hill.”
Her name is Natasha Lloyd, and she’s an actress who was hired by the website’s founder to help drum up publicity.
Yep–the whole thing was a hoax. The folks at Today.com were the ones to figure it out.
When TODAY Moms first reported on the contest, some readers were incredulous; they couldn’t believe a real mom would do such a thing. Now it appears they were right.
Except…they weren’t. Several “real moms” (and dads) have done this very thing. For-profit baby naming schemes are ridiculous, sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re not legit.
Here are all the for-profit baby names (and attempted for-profit baby names) I can think of:
- 1990s: Pixy, $500
- 2000: Iuma, $5,000 or music downloads
- 2001: Baby Black, auction failed*
- 2002: Baby Armstrong, auction failed*
- 2002: Baby Johnston, unknown*
- 2004: Dot/Dorothy, pizza party (failed?)
- 2005: GoldenPalace.com, $15,000
- 2008: Baby Partin, unknown
- 2008: Brooklyn, pizza party (failed?)
- 2009: Baby Drummond, auction failed
- 2009: Benito/Rachele, $1,940
- 2010: Melania, website rewards points
- 2011: Israeli baby, unknown
- 2011: Dovahkiin, video games
- 2013: New Jersey baby, sale failed
- NEW 2015: Quinoa, food
*I never blogged about these three, so here are the details:
- In 2001, Jason Black and Frances Schroeder of New York tried to auction off the name of the their third child (first son) via Yahoo and eBay. They were aiming for a corporate sponsor, so the bidding started at $500,000. No one bid. They ended up naming the baby Zane Black.
- In 2002, Bob and Tracy Armstrong from Florida tried to auction off the name of their baby (gender unknown) via eBay. After eBay pulled the auction for the third time, they decided not to try again.
- In 2002, Heather and Steve Johnston of Washington state tried to auction off the name of their baby boy via eBay. The bidding started at $250,000. I found no follow-up stories, so I imagine the auction was either pulled or unsuccessful.
Video games on one end, $15,000 on the other…such wildly different values placed on baby names. Kinda fascinating, isn’t it?
Sources: $5,000 online baby-name contest revealed as hoax, Mom crowdsources baby name for $5,000
P.S. More hoaxes here.
If you were having a daughter, and you had to name her either Mildred or Melania, which would it be?
Toronto couple Robert and Rommy Alpinelli are naming their firstborn via Facebook. The baby girl, due in a matter of days, will be given whichever name has the the most votes when Rommy goes into labor.
Right now, the top contenders are Aria and Melania. (The middle name will be Lauren.)
The contest is being sponsored by FabFind. The person who submits the winning name will win 25,000 rewards points from the site. The Alpinelli family will also receive rewards points.
To submit a name or cast a vote, log in to Facebook and go to the FabFind page. Anyone can play, but to win the prize you’ll have to be a Canadian resident living outside of Quebec.
Sources: Woman polls Facebook to choose baby’s name, Couple lets Facebook choose baby’s name
UPDATE, 12/9 – Baby Melania (2,862 votes) was born on Tuesday, December 7. In total, almost 3,000 baby names were submitted and about 20,000 people from all over the world cast votes.
Source: Baby’s name chosen by Facebook vote
Many of us have ancestors who traveled by sea. But few of us know the names of the ships that conveyed our ancestors from place to place. That’s too bad, because some of these vessels had names like:
M. F. Elliott
Malcolm Baxter Jr
Margaret May Riley
Marie di Giorgio
Marion G. Douglas
Mary G. Maynard
Maurice R. Thurlow
Myron C. Taylor
All of the above are actual ship names. These particular ships arrived at Ellis Island in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They could inspire some great baby names, couldn’t they?
Of course, performing genealogical research and then combing through passenger manifests is tedious business. And, even then, there’s no guarantee that the ship names you find in your family tree will be appropriate baby names.
But if you do put the time in, you might just discover a name that not only appeals to you, but is symbolic of your family, of overcoming hardship, of starting a new life. A name like that would certainly give your child a cool story to tell one day.
Theresa, Joan, Monica, Clare…if you’re thinking about female saint names, these are probably some of the first names that come to mind.
But what if you’re looking for a name that’s a little less ordinary?
Well, things get tricky. Many other female saint names range from unstylish (e.g. Agnes, Gertrude) to basically unusable (e.g. Sexburga, Eustochium).
But some lady-saints do have cool, unusual names. To prove it, I’ve gone through the entire Roman Martyrology (and a few other sources) and collected sixty names that I think might appeal to modern parents. Here they are, ordered by feast day:
- St. Geneviève, Frankish, 6th century. Feast day: January 3.
- St. Talida, Egyptian, 4th century. Feast day: January 5.
- St. Genoveva Torres Morales, Spanish, 20th century. Her name is the Spanish form of Geneviève. Feast day: January 5.
- St. Marciana, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: January 9.
- St. Savina, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: January 30.
- St. Marcella, Roman, 5th century. Feast day: January 31.
- St. Viridiana, Italian, 13th century. Feast day: February 1.
- St. Cinnia, Irish, 5th century. In Irish, the letter C is always hard (i.e. pronounced like a K). Feast day: February 1.
- Sts. Maura, various places and centuries. Feast days include February 13, May 3, and November 30.
- St. Belina, French, 12th century. Feast day: February 19.
- St. Romana, Roman, 4th century. She may be merely legendary. Feast day: February 23.
- Bl. Villana de’Botti, Italian, 14th century. Feast day: February 28.
- St. Foila, Irish, 6th century. Also recorded as Faile and Faoile (possibly pronounced FWEE-la), her name may mean seagull in certain dialects. Feast day: March 3.
- St. Fina, Italian, 13th century. Her full name may have been Serafina. Feast day: March 12.
- St. Maria Gemma Umberta Pia Galgani, Italian, 1878-1903. Feast day: April 11.
- St. Vissia, Roman, 3rd century. Feast day: April 12.
- St. Domnina, Roman, 1st century. Feast day: April 14.
- St. Anthia, Roman, 2nd century. Feast day: April 18.
- St. Zita, Italian, 13th century. Patroness of maids and domestic servants. Dante wrote her into his Inferno [Canto XXI, line 38] during the early 1300s. Feast day: April 27.
- St. Tertulla, Numidian, 3rd century. Feast day: April 29.
- St. Henedina, Roman, 2nd century. Feast day: May 14.
- Sts. Basilla, various places and centuries. Feast days include May 17, May 20, and August 29.
- St. Emmelia, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: May 30.
- St. Melosa, Greek, unknown century. Feast day: June 1.
- Sts. Melania, both Roman, both 5th century. Melania the Elder is the paternal grandmother of Melania the Younger. Feast days: June 8 and December 31.
- Sts. Julitta, both Anatolian, both 4th century. Julitta is a diminutive of Julia. Feast days: June 16 and July 30.
- Sts. Marina, various places and centuries. Feast days include June 18, July 17, and July 18.
- St. Demetria, Roman, 4th century. Feast day: June 21.
- St. Lucina, Roman, 1st century. Feast day: June 30. (Several other saints were also named Lucina.)
- Sts. Cyrilla, one Egyptian, 4th century, the other Roman, 3rd century. Feast days: July 5 and October 28.
- St. Triphina, Breton, 6th century. Feast day: July 5.
- St. Sunniva, Irish (but associated with Norway), 10th century. The name has become moderately popular in Norway within the past decade or so. Feast day: July 8.
- St. Severa, Frankish, 7th century. Feast day: July 20. (Several other saints were also named Severa.)
- St. Liliosa, Spanish, 9th century. Feast day: July 27.
- St. Serapia, Roman, 2nd century. She was a slave belonging to St. Sabina (below). Feast day: July 29.
- St. Clelia Barbieri, Italian, 19th century. Feast day: July 13.
- Bl. Kateri Tekakwitham, Mohawk, 17th century. Kateri is a Mohawk rendering of the name Catherine. Feast day: July 14.
- St. Kinga, Polish, 13th century. Also known as Cunegunda and Kunigunda, she is the patroness of Poland and Lithuania. Feast day: July 24.
- Sts. Lucilla, both Roman, both 3th century. Feast days: July 29 and August 25.
- St. Seraphina, unknown location, 5th century. Feast day: July 29.
- St. Serena, Roman, 3rd century. Likely a legendary saint. Feast day: August 16.
- St. Sabina, Roman, 2nd century. One of her slaves was St. Serapia (above). Feast day: August 29.
- St. Ammia, Anatolian, 3rd century. Feast day: August 31.
- St. Verena, Egyptian (but associated with Switzerland), 3rd century. Feast day: September 1.
- St. Rosalia, Italian, 12th century. In Palermo, a festino is held every July 15th in her honor. Feast day: September 4.
- St. Melitina, Greek, 2nd century. Feast day: September 15.
- Sts. Aurelia, one possibly Italian, unknown century, the other Austrian, 11th century. Feast days: September 25 and October 15.
- St. Lioba, English (but associated with Germany), 8th century. Also known as Leoba, Liobgetha, and Leobgytha. Feast day: September 28.
- St. Flavia, Roman, unknown century. Feast day: October 5th.
- St. Flaviana, possibly Frankish, unknown century. Feast day: October 5.
- St. Galla, Roman, 6th century. Her name is likely based on the Latin word gallus, meaning either Gaulish (if capitalized) or rooster (if uncapitalized). Feast day: October 5.
- St. Saula, possibly British, possibly 4rd century. Or, she could be legendary. Associated with St. Ursula. Feast day: October 20.
- St. Cilinia, Frankish, 5th century. Feast day: October 21.
- St. Alodia, Spanish, 9th century. Feast day: October 22.
- St. Cyrenia, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: November 1.
- St. Carina, Anatolian, 4th century. Feast day: November 7.
- St. Apphia, Anatolian, 1st century. Feast day: November 22.
- St. Attalia, Austrian, 8th century. Feast day: December 3.
- St. Asella, Roman, 5th century. Feast day: December 6.
- St. Anysia, Greek, 4th century. Feast day: December 30.
Of all the names in the series, only four (Maura, Marina, Serena, and Carina…see any trends?) currently rank among the the top 1,000 baby names in the nation. Eleven others ranked in previous years, but not in 2007.
Did you see any names you liked?
More importantly, did I miss any good ones?
Update, 2016: Here are a few more…
- St. Hyacintha Mariscotti (Italian: Giacinta), 17th century. Feast day: January 30.
- St. Humility, 13th century. Feast: March 22.
- St. Maravillas de Jesús, 20th century. (Maravillas means “wonders” in Spanish.) Feast day: December 11.