How popular is the baby name Memphis 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 Memphis.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Memphis


Posts that Mention the Name Memphis

The Inception of Sway

sway, gone in 60 seconds, movie, character
Angelina Jolie as Sara “Sway” Wayland

The word Sway popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2001:

  • 2003: 14 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Sway
  • 2002: 12 baby girls named Sway
  • 2001: 8 baby girls named Sway [debut]
  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted

For a long time I assumed the main influence was MTV personality Sway Calloway. But, while I still think Sway had an influence on male usage, I’ve since discovered a much better explanation for the 2001 debut as a female name.

One of the main characters in the 2000 car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was mechanic-slash-bartender Sara “Sway” Wayland (played by Angelina Jolie). She was the love interest of protagonist Randall “Memphis” Raines (played by Nicolas Cage), who was tasked with stealing 50 specific, expensive cars inside of 72 hours.

The film didn’t get great reviews, but I do remember appreciating the fact that each of the 50 cars was assigned a feminine code-name:

Mary, Barbara, Lindsey, Laura, Alma, Madeline, Patricia, Carol, Daniela, Stefanie, Erin, Pamela, Olga, Anne, Kate, Vanessa, Denise, Diane, Lisa, Nadine, Angelina, Rose, Susan, Tracey, Rachel, Bernadene, Deborah, Stacey, Josephine, Hillary, Kimberley, Renee, Dorothy, Donna, Samantha, Ellen, Gabriela, Shannon, Jessica, Sharon, Tina, Marsha, Natalie, Virginia, Tanya, Grace, Ashley, Cathy, Lynn, Eleanor

So, how do you feel about the name Sway? If you were having a baby girl, would you be more likely to name her something modern, like Sway, or something traditional, like Sara or Susan?

Sources: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia, Talk:Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 2

baby names that add up to 2, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “2.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “2” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “2,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

2 via 11

The following baby names add up to 11, which reduces to two (1+1=2).

  • “11” girl names: Adea, Fe
  • “11” boy names: Aj

2 via 20

The following baby names add up to 20, which reduces to two (2+0=2).

  • “20” girl names: Jade, Dana, Jia, Deja, Ara, Nada, Amada, Hiba, Ena, Jai
  • “20” boy names: Abel, Gage, Adan, Kace, Ean, Jai, Chace, Fahad, Jade, Able

2 via 29

The following baby names add up to 29, which reduces to two (2+9=11; 1+1=2).

  • “29” girl names: Aria, Diana, Alana, Nadia, Ann, Asha, Dania, Sia, Adina, Kacie
  • “29” boy names: Beau, Aidan, Dax, Khai, Isa, Kael, Alek, Lake, Sai, Abiel

2 via 38

The following baby names add up to 38, which reduces to two (3+8=11; 1+1=2).

  • “38” girl names: Sadie, Alaina, Paige, Amina, Nina, Aisha, Hanna, Cecelia, Jamie, Chaya
  • “38” boy names: Noah, Max, Bodhi, Jared, Jaime, Jamie, Jair, Amare, Isai, Deon

2 via 47

The following baby names add up to 47, which reduces to two (4+7=11; 1+1=2).

  • “47” girl names: Sarah, Rachel, Kamila, Hallie, Leona, Adley, Reina, Galilea, Myah, Leanna
  • “47” boy names: John, Isaiah, Adrian, Malachi, Legend, Omar, Cody, Shane, Damon, Callen

2 via 56

The following baby names add up to 56, which reduces to two (5+6=11; 1+1=2).

  • “56” girl names: Ivy, Norah, Charlie, Aliyah, Selena, Dylan, April, Elianna, Maisie, Emmy
  • “56” boy names: Lucas, Dylan, Nolan, Oscar, Charlie, Felix, Mario, Armani, Omari, Pierce

2 via 65

The following baby names add up to 65, which reduces to two (6+5=11; 1+1=2).

  • “65” girl names: Rylee, Isabelle, Eloise, Alondra, Carter, Kelly, Palmer, Bridget, Vienna, Chandler
  • “65” boy names: Carter, Andrew, Javier, Prince, Conor, Collin, Shawn, Uriel, Chandler, Dennis

2 via 74

The following baby names add up to 74, which reduces to two (7+4=11; 1+1=2).

  • “74” girl names: Aurora, Audrey, Madelyn, Melody, London, Marley, Daleyza, Zuri, Lucille, Margot
  • “74” boy names: Joshua, Easton, Jesus, Myles, Matteo, Messiah, Desmond, Muhammad, Ryland, Tony

2 via 83

The following baby names add up to 83, which reduces to two (8+3=11; 1+1=2).

  • “83” girl names: Evelyn, Violet, Margaret, Catherine, Emmalyn, Addilynn, Giovanna, Valery, Yuliana, Memphis
  • “83” boy names: Jonathan, Jaxson, Bentley, Memphis, Alonzo, Shepherd, Branson, Thatcher, Brysen, Judson

2 via 92

The following baby names add up to 92, which reduces to two (9+2=11; 1+1=2).

  • “92” girl names: Sydney, Kaitlyn, Mckinley, Oaklynn, Madilynn, Marilyn, Estrella, Sylvie, Heavenly, Rilynn
  • “92” boy names: Julius, Porter, Santino, Yusuf, Wilson, Salvador, Watson, Tyrell, Zakariya, Ozzy

2 via 101

The following baby names add up to 101, which reduces to two (1+0+1=2).

  • “101” girl names: Josephine, Christina, Jaylynn, Kristina, Brynley, Murphy, Sherlyn, Kiersten, Christian, Kylynn
  • “101” boy names: Christian, Tristan, Forrest, Kristian, Brentley, Murphy, Garrison, Jovanny, Marquez, Tyrion

2 via 110

The following baby names add up to 110, which reduces to two (1+1+0=2).

  • “110” girl names: Loyalty, Stormy, Sullivan, Sparrow, Amaryllis, Rozlyn, Kynsleigh, Paislynn, Brylynn, Justus
  • “110” boy names: Alexzander, Justus, Youssef, Tyshawn, Octavius, Joseluis, Loyalty, Torryn, Arlington, Suleyman

2 via 119

The following baby names add up to 119, which reduces to two (1+1+9=11; 1+1=2).

  • “119” girl names: Gwendolyn, Josselyn, Serinity, Carrington, Jessalynn, Pressley, Suttyn, Samyuktha, Pryncess, Sirenity
  • “119” boy names: Kingstyn, Treyvon, Aristotle, Tyberius, Carrington, Marcellous, Thorsten, Theodoros, Romulus, Grayston

2 via 128

The following baby names add up to 128, which reduces to two (1+2+8=11; 1+1=2).

  • “128” girl names: Kensington, Jazzlynn, Scottlyn, Yuritzi, Remmington, Oluwanifemi, Courtlyn, Josslynn, Mattilynn, Averyrose
  • “128” boy names: Remmington, Huckleberry, Vittorio, Kensington, Treyvion, Florentino, Quintrell, Patterson, Pratyush, Oluwanifemi

2 via 137

The following baby names add up to 137, which reduces to two (1+3+7=11; 1+1=2).

  • “137” girl names: Riverlynn, Savannahrose, Taylormarie
  • “137” boy names: Konstantin, Joseantonio, Kentavious, Toluwanimi

2 via 146

The following baby names add up to 146, which reduces to two (1+4+6=11; 1+1=2).

  • “146” girl names: Oluwadarasimi, Winterrose, Scarlettrose
  • “146” boy names: Oluwadarasimi, Jontavious

2 via 155

The following baby names add up to 155, which reduces to two (1+5+5=11; 1+1=2).

  • “155” boy names: Krystopher, Chrystopher, Muhammadmustafa

What Does “2” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “2” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “2” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“2” (the dyad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “The dyad is the first to have separated itself from the monad, whence also it is called ‘daring. ‘ For when the monad manifests unification, the dyad steals in and manifests separation.”
  • “Among the virtues, they liken it to courage: for it has already advanced into action. Hence too they used to call it ‘daring’ and ‘impulse.'”
  • “They also gave it the title of ‘opinion,’ because truth and falsity lie in opinion. And they called it ‘movement,’ ‘generation,’ ‘change,’ ‘division,’ ‘length,’ ‘multiplication,’ ‘addition,’ ‘kinship,’ ‘relativity,’ ‘the ratio in proportionality.’ For the relation of two numbers is of every conceivable form.”
  • “Apart from recklessness itself, they think that, because it is the very first to have endured separation, it deserves to be called ‘anguish,’ ‘endurance’ and ‘hardship.'”
  • “From division into two, they call it ‘justice’ (as it were ‘dichotomy’)”
  • “And they call it ‘Nature,’ since it is movement towards being and, as it were, a sort of coming-to-be and extension from a seed principle”
  • “Equality lies in this number alone…the product of its multiplication will be equal to the sum of its addition: for 2+2=2×2. Hence they used to call it ‘equal.'”
  • “It also turns out to be ‘infinity,’ since it is difference, and difference starts from its being set against 1 and extends to infinity.”
  • “The dyad, they say, is also called ‘Erato’; for having attracted through love the advance of the monad as form, it generates the rest of the results, starting with the triad and tetrad.”

“2” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Two – divided” (reading 261-14).
  • “Two – the combination, and begins a division of the whole, or the one. While two makes for strength, it also makes for weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “2” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 38, 47, 83, 101) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “101” reminds you of education and learning new things, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 2, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Baby Names Inspired by M&M’S

M&M'S baby names, candy baby names

What’s the best thing about Halloween? If you said the costumes, or the parties, or the history, or the carving of very elaborate jack-o’-lanterns…you’d be wrong. Because the correct answer is: the candy.

But, as funny as I think it would be to meet a kid named Twizzler, I don’t want people taking names from candy wrappers and putting them onto birth certificates. So let’s look at candy-inspired baby names in a slightly different way by focusing on a single brand with a simple name: M&M’S.

Did you know that M&M’S are the top-selling Halloween candy in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.? They’re the second-best seller in eight other states, and the third-best seller in three more.

More important for our purposes, though, is the fact that the brand name is essentially the same letter twice. So let’s check out baby names that similarly have two M’s, but two separate M’s. Because, if the candies won’t melt in your hand, the M’s shouldn’t meld in a name.

So here are over 20 baby names with two audibly distinct M’s, just like M&M’S candies:

  • Amram (m) – “exalted nation” in Hebrew.
  • Chrysanthemum (f) – flower name, from the ancient Greek words for “gold” and “flower.”
  • Jemima (f) – “dove” in Hebrew.
  • Kimimila (f) – “butterfly” in Lakota.
  • Leimomi (f) – “pearl lei” or “pearl child” in Hawaiian.
  • Malcolm (m) – “disciple of Saint Columba” in Scottish.
  • Mamie (f) – pet form of Mary or Margaret.
  • Maram (f) – “wish, desire” in Arabic.
  • Maximus, Maxima, Maximilian, etc. (m/f)- “greatest” in Latin.
  • Megumi (f) – Japanese name with various possible meanings, including “love, affection.”
  • Memphis (m/f) – “his beauty” in Egyptian.
  • Menachem (m) – “comforter” in Hebrew.
  • Mimi (f) – pet form of M-names like Mary and Maria.
  • Miriam (f) – original Hebrew form of Mary.
  • Maryam (f) – Arabic form of Maria.
  • Momoka (f) – Japanese name with various possible meanings, including “peach” + “fragrance.”
  • Montgomery (m) – English surname, from Norman French, meaning “Gumarich’s mountain.”
  • Mortimer (m) – English surname, from Old French, meaning “still water.”
  • Muhammad (m) – “praiseworthy” in Arabic.
  • Tomomi (f) – Japanese name with various possible meanings, including “friend” + “beautiful.”

Which of the M+M names above do you like best?

And, are you curious to know what the M’s in “M&M’S” actually stand for? Mars and Murrie, the surnames of Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie, the businessmen who created M&M’S back in the early 1940s. Forrest was the sons of Frank C. Mars (founder of Mars, Incorporated) and Bruce was the son of William F. R. Murrie (president of Hershey’s).

Sources: Top Halloween Candy by State [Interactive Map] – CandyStore.com, Memphis – Online Etymology Dictionary, Behind the Name

Name Quotes #44 – Jacksie, Memphis, Wyllis

Welcome to this month’s quote post!

From the book C.S. Lewis: An Examined Life by Bruce L. Edwards:

“[I]t was on one of these early holiday trips that Clive refused to be called by any other name than Jacksie, which was shortened to Jacks and then to Jack. He was either three or four years old when this name change occurred, as it was possibly in the summer of 1902 or 1903. […] Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, claimed that the reason he called himself Jacksie was due to his fondness for a small dog named Jacksie that had been killed.”

From “How To Cope With Your Video Game Inspired Name” by Sephiroth Hernandez, whose first name was inspired by the Final Fantasy VII villain:

You need to understand why your parents gave you that name. It’s because they lack common sense. It probably came from playing video games all the time.

[…]

Deep inside, you possess the ability to make more of your name than you think you could. You are cursed of course, but you are blessed with an understanding that few people have. Your name doesn’t define you. You define you. Just love yourself and love others. That’s all I can say.

(Sephiroth has been on the SSA’s list since 2004.)

Some baby naming advice from Steve Almond’s Heavy Meddle advice column:

Your instincts are spot on here: you’re the one who’s carrying the baby and will birth him. You and your husband will raise the baby. It is presumptuous for anybody who isn’t doing that honest labor to assume naming — or vetoing — rights, or really to do anything beyond offering suggestions.

From an interview with Dita Von Teese (born Heather Sweet) in Vogue:

I was just Dita for many years. I had seen a movie with an actress named Dita Parlo, and I thought, God, that’s such a cool name. I wanted to be known with just a simple first name–Cher, Madonna. Then when I first posed for Playboy, in 1993 or 1994, they told me I had to pick a last name. So I opened up the phone book at the bikini club [I worked in at the time]. I was with a friend and I was like, “Let’s look under a Von something.” It sounds really exotic and glamorous. So I found the name Von Treese and I called Playboy and said, “I’m going to be Dita Von Treese.” I remember so well going to the newsstand and picking up the magazine, and it said Dita Von Teese. I called them and they said, “Oh, we’ll fix it. We’ll fix it.” The next month, same thing: Dita Von Teese. I left it because I didn’t really care. I didn’t know I was going to go on to trademark it all over the world!

From a post about a man named San Francisco by blogger Andy Osterdahl:

Before anyone accuses me of making up a name to post here, I can assure you that Mr. Francisco was an actual person, and while he shares his name with the famed California city, isn’t believed to have had any connection with that area (despite the latter portion of his life being spent in the neighboring city of San Diego.)

From an article about the unusual names by Memphis Barker (found via Appellation Mountain):

That’s one thing about having an unusual name, your solidarity lies with the Apples and Philomenas. You can point and laugh with all the Johns and Garys, but the laugh is a little anxious. More of a squeak. It could all go wrong so quickly.

And finally, a bit about Wyllis Cooper (born Willis Cooper), creator of the late ’40s radio show Quiet, Please!:

It’s curios [sic] that when he left Hollywood, he also legally changed the spelling of his name from “Willis” to “Wyllis”. Radio Mirror magazine appears to be the first to mention it in 1940, saying “a numerologist advised him to change it” then Time magazine made a similar mention in 1941, but elaborated further that it was due to “his wife’s numerological inclinations”. Then in 1942 ‘Capital Times’ newspaper in Madison WI seemed to merge the two previous reports as: “a numerologist told his wife it should be spelled Wyllis and he’s done so ever since.”

[…]

Upon utilizing several present day numerology calculators found online, the results conclude that both spellings have virtually identical meanings in every respect.

Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles/blog posts lately? Let me know!