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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mercy

Number of Babies Named Mercy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mercy

Names Popular During the Victorian Era

Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.

The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).

Victorian Era Female Names Victorian Era Male Names
  • Abigale / Abby
  • Ada
  • Adella
  • Agnes
  • Allie
  • Almira / Almyra
  • Alva
  • America
  • Amelia
  • Ann / Annie
  • Arrah
  • Beatrice
  • Bernice
  • Charity
  • Charlotte
  • Chastity
  • Claire
  • Constance
  • Cynthia
  • Dorothy / Dot
  • Edith
  • Edna
  • Edwina
  • Ella
  • Eleanor
  • Ellie
  • Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
  • Elvira
  • Emma
  • Esther
  • Ethel
  • Eudora
  • Eva
  • Fidelia
  • Frances / Fanny
  • Flora
  • Florence
  • Geneve
  • Genevieve
  • Georgia
  • Gertrude / Gertie
  • Gladys
  • Grace
  • Hannah
  • Hattie
  • Helen
  • Helene
  • Henrietta / Hettie / Ettie
  • Hester
  • Hope
  • Hortence
  • Isabell / Isabella
  • Jane
  • Jennie
  • Jessamine
  • Josephine
  • Judith
  • Julia
  • Juliet
  • Katherine / Kate
  • Laura
  • Leah
  • Lenora
  • Letitia
  • Lila
  • Lilly
  • Lorena
  • Lorraine
  • Lottie
  • Louise / Louisa
  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Lydia
  • Mahulda
  • Margaret / Peggie
  • Mary / Molly / Polly
  • Mary Elizabeth
  • Mary Frances
  • Martha
  • Matilda / Mattie
  • Maude
  • Maxine / Maxie
  • Mercy
  • Mildred
  • Minerva
  • Missouri
  • Myrtle
  • Nancy
  • Natalie
  • Nellie / Nelly
  • Nettie
  • Nora
  • Orpha
  • Patsy
  • Parthena
  • Permelia
  • Phoebe
  • Philomena
  • Preshea
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca / Becky
  • Rhoda / Rhody
  • Rowena
  • Rufina
  • Ruth
  • Samantha
  • Sally
  • Sarah
  • Sarah Ann
  • Sarah Elizabeth
  • Savannah
  • Selina
  • Sophronia
  • Stella
  • Theodosia / Theda
  • Vertiline / Verd
  • Victoria
  • Virginia / Ginny
  • Vivian
  • Winnifred / Winnie
  • Zona
  • Zylphia
  • Aaron
  • Abraham / Abe
  • Alan / Allen
  • Albert
  • Alexander
  • Alonzo
  • Ambrose
  • Amon
  • Amos
  • Andrew / Drew / Andy
  • Aquilla
  • Archibald / Archie
  • Arnold
  • Asa
  • August / Augustus / Gus
  • Barnabas / Barney
  • Bartholomew / Bart
  • Benjamin
  • Bennet
  • Benedict
  • Bernard
  • Bertram / Bert
  • Buford
  • Byron
  • Calvin
  • Cephas
  • Charles / Charley / Charlie
  • Christopher
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Clarence
  • Clement / Clem
  • Clinton / Clint
  • Cole
  • Columbus / Lom / Lum
  • Commodore Perry
  • Daniel / Dan
  • David
  • Edmund
  • Edward / Ned
  • Edwin
  • Eldon
  • Eli
  • Elijah
  • Elisha
  • Emmett
  • Enoch
  • Ezekiel / Zeke
  • Ezra
  • Francis / Frank
  • Franklin
  • Frederick / Fred
  • Gabriel / Gabe
  • Garrett
  • George
  • George Washington
  • Gideon
  • Gilbert / Gil
  • Granville
  • Harland
  • Harrison
  • Harold / Harry
  • Harvey
  • Henry / Hank
  • Hiram
  • Horace
  • Horatio
  • Hugh
  • Isaiah
  • Israel
  • Isaac / Ike
  • Isaac Newton
  • Jacob / Jake
  • James / Jim
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson / Jeff
  • Jedediah / Jed
  • Jeptha
  • Jesse
  • Joel
  • John / Jack
  • John Paul
  • John Wesley
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph / Josephus
  • Josiah
  • Joshua
  • Julian
  • Julius
  • Lafayette / Lafe
  • Lawrence / Larry
  • Leander
  • Les / Lester / Leslie
  • Lewis / Lew / Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Matthew
  • Marcellus
  • Mark
  • Martin
  • Martin Luther
  • Masheck
  • Maurice
  • Maxwell
  • Merrill
  • Meriwether
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • Michael / Mike
  • Micajah / Cage
  • Mordecai
  • Morgan
  • Morris
  • Nathaniel / Nathan / Nate / Nat
  • Newton / Newt
  • Nicholas / Nick
  • Nimrod
  • Ninian
  • Obediah
  • Octavius
  • Ora / Oral
  • Orville
  • Oscar
  • Owen
  • Paul
  • Patrick / Pat
  • Patrick Henry
  • Paul
  • Perry
  • Peter
  • Pleasant
  • Ralph
  • Raymond
  • Reuben
  • Robert / Bob
  • Robert Lee
  • Richard / Rich / Dick
  • Roderick
  • Rudolph
  • Rufus
  • Samuel
  • Sam Houston
  • Seth
  • Silas
  • Simon
  • Simeon
  • Stanley / Stan
  • Stephen
  • Thaddeus
  • Thomas / Tom
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore / Ted
  • Timothy / Tim
  • Ulysses
  • Uriah
  • Victor
  • Walter
  • Warren
  • Washington
  • Wilfred
  • William / Will / Bill / Billy
  • Willie
  • Zachariah
  • Zebulon
  • Zedock

Which female name and male name do you like best?

Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide


Popular Baby Names in Idaho, 2012

Idaho’s most popular baby names of 2012 were announced a year and a half late, as usual.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the state’s top names two years ago were Sophia for girls and Liam for boys.

Here are Idaho’s top 25 girl names and top 25 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Sophia (115 baby girls)
2. Olivia (113)
3. Emma (100)
4. Ava (79)
5. Abigail (76)
6. Elizabeth (71)
7. Chloe (69)
8. Emily (62) – tie
9. Zoey (62) – tie
10. Brooklyn (61)
11. Hannah* (60)
12. Madison (57)
13. Ella (56) – tie
14. Isabella (56) – tie
15. Lily (56) – tie
16. Avery (54)
17. Grace (51)
18. Amelia (50) – tie
19. Evelyn (50) – tie
20. Hailey* (48)
21. Ellie (46) – tie
22. Natalie (46) – tie
23. Charlotte* (45) – tie
24. Paisley* (45) – tie
25. Addison (44)
1. Liam (133 baby boys)
2. William (94)
3. Mason (81)
4. Jacob (79)
5. Michael* (78) – tie
6. Samuel (78) – tie
7. Wyatt (77)
8. Logan (76)
9. Ethan (75)
10. Carter (73)
11. Hunter (72)
12. Aiden (71)
13. Benjamin (69) – tie
14. Jackson (69) – tie
15. Gabriel (68)
16. Andrew (67)
17. Henry* (66) – tie
18. Noah (66) – tie
19. Cooper* (65) – tie
20. Elijah (65) – tie
21. David* (64)
22. Isaac (63)
23. Alexander* (57) – tie
24. Jayden (57) – tie
25. Joseph* (57) – tie
26. Owen (57) – tie

*New to the top 25 since 2011.

Idaho’s annual report also includes a section called “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings,” which is rather awesome.

Here are the handpicked oddballs of 2012:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Alixathymia, Aunastasha, Beloved, Blessing, Britannica, Burdyn, Challyss, Echkoe, Exodus, Harlequinn, Idalyz, Killary, Lulubell, Lyrica, Mercy, Miracle, Mystic, Noble, Oasis, Pearadice, Savvy, Secret, Sunshyne, Theory, Versailles Adamant, Arsin, Awesome, Cactus, Captain, Chipper, Cross, Denym, Dually, Dynamic, Falchion, Glacier, Kasteel, Kazys, Krozlee, Lock, Mehdiullah, Mogley, Natavious, Nyte, Peregrin, Pilot, Torque, Truce, Wild

Thoughts:

  • Alixathymia – Part name, part medical condition.
  • Adamant – Synonym for stubborn. Or an Adam Ant reference. Or both.
  • Burdyn – “Burden”? Really?
  • Cactus – A nature name I’ve never seen before.
  • Dually – Rosamund Pike should pick this for kid #2. (Her firstborn is “Solo.”)
  • Falchion – A type of sword. (Do they talk about falchions on Game of Thrones?)
  • Glacier – There’s a Glacier in Quebec as well.
  • Killary – This would make a great roller derby name! So would Hellga the American Gladiator name.
  • Truce – Nice to see a name that promotes cooperation/peace instead of conflict/anger (like Rebel, Fury, Rage, Rowdy, Savage, and so on). Truce reminds me of Armistice. Speaking of armistice…
  • Versailles – It’s a pretty word, but what percentage of Americans can spell it correctly? Or even pronounce it?

And, since I never wrote about the Idaho baby names of 2011, I’ll throw in the unique names from that year as well:

Unique Girl Names (2011) Unique Boy Names (2011)
Asma, Ajla, Bandana, Birdie, Candelaria, Cinderella, Courage, Disney-Gin, Elphaba, Jerzi, Kaymin, Khryztale, Kyraeveryn, November, Rainbow, Rockee, Rogue, Ropeer, Satchel, Soliscity, Temperenz, Thunder, Trypzee, Winter, Xxoie Adakiss, Aegis Orion, Beauxdarin, Bluesky, Cinch, Coyote, Dagr, Deevo, Diggory, Doc, Eighthin, Flint, Gator, General, Iron, Jayger, John-Wayne, Khryztian, Maverik, Pistol, Pragedis, Rifle, Riot, Slate, Wilderness

Thoughts:

  • Adakiss – Not quite as bad as Addtakizz.
  • Dagr, Pistol, Rifle, Riot – More weaponry & violence. Lovely.
  • Deevo – Inspired by Devo? Perhaps. (Two references to ’80s music in a single post? Yup.) You must whip it

Finally, here are earlier lists of Idaho’s unique baby names (2006 through 2010).

Source: Vital Statistics Annual Report

List of Female Names from 1888

female names, 1888

A while ago I found a book called “A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names” that was published in Toronto in 1888.

I won’t post any of the poems, which are all pretty cheesy, but author George J. Howson does include an intriguing selection of names. He notes that he wrote acrostics for “all the most popular feminine christian names of the day, and many more that, while not in common use, are known to exist in actual life.”

Here’s the list:

Abigail
Ada
Adelaide
Adelle
Adeline
Addie
Aggie
Agnes
Alberta
Alecia
Aletha
Alfretta
Alice
Allie
Alma
Almeda
Almira
Alta
Althea
Alvira
Alzina
Amanda
Amelia
Amy
Ann
Anna
Annabell
Annas
Annette
Angelia
Angeline
Annie
Athaliah
Athelia
Augusta
Aura
Avis
Barbara
Beatrice
Bell
Bella
Berdie
Bertha
Bertie
Bessie
Beulah
Blanche
Bridget
Calista
Carrie
Carlotta
Cassie
Catherine
Cecilia
Cela
Celia
Celicia
Celis
Charlotte
Chloe
Christie
Christine
Clara
Clarissa
Cleanthe
Clementina
Constance
Cora
Cordelia
Corinne
Cornelia
Cynthia
Cyrena
Debbie
Delia
Della
Diana
Diantha
Dinah
Dollie
Dora
Dorcas
Dorinda
Dorothy
Edith
Edna
Effie
Ella
Eleanor
Eleanora
Electa
Ellen
Elfie
Eliza
Elma
Elsie
Emma
Emmeline
Emily
Ena
Erma
Estelle
Esther
Ethel
Ethelind
Ettie
Eugenie
Eula
Eunice
Euphemia
Euretta
Eva
Evalina
Eveline
Evelyn
Fannie
Felicia
Flora
Florence
Floss
Frances
Frank
Gay
Georgie
Georgina
Geraldine
Gertie
Gracie
Hagar
Hannah
Harriet
Hattie
Helen
Helena
Henrietta
Hulda
Ida
Irene
Isabel
Isabella
Isadora
Jane
Janet
Janie
Jeannette
Jemima
Jennet
Jennie
Jessie
Jerusha
Joanna
Josephine
Josie
Julia
Kate
Kathleen
Katie
Keziah
Lany
Laura
Leah
Leila
Lena
Lera
Lettie
Levina
Levinia
Libbie
Lida
Lilian
Lillie
Lizzie
Lola
Lora
Lorretta
Lottie
Lou
Louisa
Louise
Lucinda
Lucretia
Lucy
Luella
Lula
Lulu
Lydia
Mabel
Madelaine
Maggie
Malvina
Mamie
Marcella
Margaret
Maria
Marilla
Marion
Mary
Marsena
Martha
Mattie
Maud
Maudie
May
Melinda
Mellissa
Mercy
Mertie
Mildred
Millie
Mina
Minerva
Minnie
Mintha
Miranda
Mollie
Muriel
Myra
Myrtle
Nancy
Naomi
Nellie
Nettie
Nina
Nora
Ollie
Olive
Olivia
Ormanda
Ophelia
Pauline
Pearl
Phoebe
Phyllis
Priscilla
Prudence
Rachel
Rebecca
Rhoda
Robena
Rosa
Rosabel
Rosalie
Rosalind
Rosamond
Rose
Ruby
Ruth
Sabina
Sadie
Sally
Samantha
Sarah
Selina
Sophia
Sophronia
Stella
Susanna
Susie
Sybil
Teresa
Theodocia
Theresa
Tillie
Una
Verna
Victoria
Vida
Viola
Violet
Wilhelmina
Winifred
Zuba

Have any favorites?

Hulda/Huldah is one I like. It’s one of those names that I always see on old New England gravestones but never come across in real life. Wonder when that one will become stylish again.

BTW, has anyone ever seen a good name acrostic? Like, one that’s actually well-written and/or thought-provoking? Because I don’t think I ever have.

Source: A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names by George J. Howson

The Baby Named Federal Constitution

Jonathan and Patience Sprague of Douglas, Massachusetts, welcomed a baby boy on October 16, 1790.

They named him Federal Constitution Sprague.

Why?

Well, he was born a year after the U.S. Constitution went into effect. (It had been was created in 1787 and ratified in 1788.)

Federal Constitution

As one source put it, “Federal Constitution Sprague evidently had a father to whom the new nation meant something. He was interested evidently in the document for which he named his son.”

Yes, evidently. :)

None of Federal Constitution’s 13 siblings, nine full siblings and four half-siblings, got a name as notable (or as patriotic) as his:

  1. Sarah
  2. Nehemiah
  3. Mercy
  4. Federal Constitution
  5. Amy
  6. Daniel
  7. Preserved
  8. Lee
  9. Patience
  10. Jonathan, Jr.
  11. Almira
  12. Philinda
  13. Elias
  14. Emeline

F.C. ended up having a dozen children, ten from his first marriage and two from his second, but didn’t pass his unique name down to any of them:

  1. Amy
  2. Edward
  3. Nathan
  4. William
  5. Lafayette
  6. Betsey
  7. James
  8. Philander (twin)
  9. Philinda (twin)
  10. Elias
  11. Newton
  12. Della

I’ve also found a handful of other people named Constitution (or some variation thereof). Most were born in France in the 1790s, around the time France adopted several new constitutions during the French Revolution. Several other Constitutions were from countries in South America. One was born in New South Wales in 1855, the year of the New South Wales Constitution Act.

Sources:

  • Crane, Ellery Bicknell. Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts. New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1907.
  • Sprague, Augustus B. R. Genealogy in part of the Sprague Families in America. Worcester, MA: Augustus B. R. Sprague, 1902.

Image: Archives.gov

Names Needed for Twin Baby Girls

A reader named Grace would like some help naming her twin girls, due in a couple of months. She and her husband John already have three boys, Jackson, Samuel and Lucas.

So far, their favorite girl names are Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah. But they’re also considering a family name:

We would love to honor my mother, Denise Marie, but we despise both names. I would love some ideas on how to use that without actually using those names.

For the middle spots, they’re aiming for virtue names. They already have Honor picked out, and “[i]f there is another virtue name you would suggest so they both had one that would be great!”

Their last name is similar to Cawston.


On the current favorites…
I like all of the current favorites. The pairing I like best, though, is Juliet and Susannah. I just think they sound good together. I also like how they can both be shortened, just like the boys’ names — Jack, Sam, Luke, Jules & Sue (or Julie & Susie).

On incorporating Denise Marie…
One way to incorporate Denise Marie would be to find a name that features the sounds of both Denise and Marie (especially those D- and M-sounds). Names with these sounds include Madeline, Demetria, Dominique/Domenica, Damaris, Adamina, Amadea and Idamae.

Another approach would be to use initials — either the initials “D. M.” for one twin or a D-name for twin #1 and an M-name for twin #2. Some possibilities (beyond the names above) include Dahlia, Daisy, Damiana, Daphne, Dara, Delphine, Diana, Dina, Dora, Dorothy and Drusilla for D-names and Mara, Marian, Marlene, Martina, Mina, Mirabelle, Miranda, Miriam, Molly, Monica and Mona for M-names.

On virtuous middles…
My first thought was Mercy, because it sounds a lot like Marie. Other virtue names that might make nice middles are Amity, Charity, Clementine/Clemency, Hope, Joy, Patience, Peace/Pax, Temperance and Verity.


Now it’s your turn! Which of Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah do you like best for twins? What names can you come up with to honor Denise Marie? Which virtue names do you like best for middle names?

Baby Name Needed for the Sister of Copeland

A reader named Lisa is expecting her second daughter a couple of weeks and needs some name assistance. Her first daughter is Copeland Rhine. Lisa’s main predicament is this:

[H]ow do I find a strong unique vintage name for this second precious girlie that will not wilt next to a strong name like Copeland Rhine?

And here are some other questions and points Lisa brought up:

  • “Our goal is not to have their names competing for placement but complimenting each other.”
  • “We do not want to be boxed in on unisex or surname first names.”
  • “I have been gravitating towards Sojourner Bliss or Sojourner Mercy (Sophie for short) but that is all I have and my husband is not sold on it nor on a stronger masculine name.”
  • “My husband really loves Evangeline yet he is not wanting to use it because it is becoming so popular. We both love the idea of Evie as a nickname.”
  • “I really want to honor three people in my family but all three would not wish their name on anyone: Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine. Are there any derived names that I could use?” [Other family names she mentioned are Cornelia, Josephine, Ester, Rosemary, Carmelita, Trinia (Trijntje), Johannes, Sophia, Evelientje, Alice (called Ollie), Francis, Felicia and Blanche.]

The baby’s surname will be a 2-syllable name that starts with D and also includes a z-sound. It’s somewhat similar to De Souza.

So the challenge is to find “strong unique vintage” names that work with Copeland, but that won’t lock Lisa’s family into surnames or unisex names. And to try to get a family connection in there as well.

I think Evangeline is a great idea, actually. It’s strong, vintage, and neither a surname nor a unisex name. And both Lisa and her husband like the nickname Evie. Seems like the only thing holding them back is the popularity.

Yes, Evangeline has become slightly popular recently. It’s been back in the top 1,000 since 2006. But let’s put that into context. Over 2,000,000 baby girls were born last year, and only 735 of them were named Evangeline. That’s a very small percentage. (But if it’s really that bothersome, there’s always Evangelina, which is still well out of the top 1,000.)

I’m not a big fan of Sojourner. It’s strong, and unique, and not a surname…but it’s not feminine, and it’s not what I’d call vintage, even if Sojourner Truth was a well-known 19th-century woman. I’d worry about teasing, especially with a noun-middle like Bliss or Mercy. And I think naming a third child (of either gender) after Copeland and Sojourner would be tricky.

Sophie seems like it would be an awkward nickname for Sojourner. It’s so different from Sojourner that it strikes me as more of a cover-name than a nickname–as if Sojourner were just too strong or strange to work as an everyday name.

Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine…the most interesting way I could think of to combine them was to look for names that feature their first letters (L, G, L) such as Nigella, Allegra and Gillian.

Here are a few other name ideas that came to mind:

Acacia
Adelaide
Amandine
Anais
Anneliese
Antonia
Aquila
Artemis
Astrid
Augusta
Aurelia
Aurora
Damaris
Delphina
Demetria
Freya
Ginevra
Harriet
Honora
Imogen
Ione
Isadora
Leocadia
Lucasta
Lucretia
Melosa
Merit
Mehetabel
Minerva
Morgana
Muriel
Nelle
Penelope
Petra
Sophronia
Sunniva
Theodosia/Theda
Thora
Venetia
Vera

Some are related to the family names Lisa mentioned (e.g. Adelaide/Alice, Sophronia/Sophia).

Which of the above names do you like best for the sister of Copeland? What other names would you suggest to Lisa?