How popular is the baby name Merida 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 Merida.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Merida


Posts that Mention the Name Merida

Name Quotes 76: Haechan, Frieda, Taz

From a Fodor’s article about the German gummy factory Haribo Fabrikverkauf:

At first glance it may seem like the milchbären (milk bears) are simply traditional German gummy bears with a milky jacket slapped on the back. However, not only are the flavors slightly different — including lemon, orange, cherry, strawberry, apple, and raspberry — but these bears have actual names. This fruity, creamy crew includes Emma, Emil, Anton, Mia, Ben, and Frieda.

From a Life article (Jan. 18, 1943) about actor and comedian Zero Mostel:

Back in 1941 Zero was a struggling New York painter who specialized in portraits of strong-muscled workmen. He went by the name of Sam, which was his own (“Zero” is a press agent’s inspiration). […] On Feb. 16, 1942, the day that news of the fall of Singapore reached the U.S., “Zero” Mostel made his professional debut as a night-club funny man.

From the Seattle Times obituary of Hildegarde:

Hildegarde, the “incomparable” cabaret singer whose career spanned almost seven decades and who was credited with starting the single-name vogue among entertainers, has died. She was 99.

From a Tribune India article about cyclone names:

Mala, Helen, Nargis and Nilofer may sound like the names of yesteryear Bollywood actors, but they are, in fact, lethal cyclones that have brought violent winds, heavy rain and wreaked destruction.

As Cyclone Fani pounded the Odisha coast on Friday, the name, which was suggested by Bangladesh, also evoked curiosity.

Mritunjay Mohapatra, the additional director general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said Fani, pronounced as ‘Foni’, means a snake’s hood.

From a Teen Vogue interview with Zendaya, who explains how her name is pronounced:

Zendaya decided to break it down for viewers with a simple step-by-step guide: “Zen is the first syllable, then day, and then a.”

“I think a lot of people see my name and think it’s more fancy than it is,” she explained. “They think Zendaya like papaya. It’s just day.

From a WWI-era New York Herald article (May 7, 1918) called “Six Get Permission to Change Names”:

Frederick Michael Knopp, an orchestra leader, disliked his Teutonic sounding name and permission was granted him to change it to Blondell.

Another German name was eliminated by the grave of Justice Guy, who permitted Leon Mendelson, a dental student, to call himself Leon Delson.

Believing that Malcolm Sumner sounded better than Malcolm Sundheimer, the latter applied for and received permission to assume the more euphonious name.

From an AP News article about a baby deer named after a K-pop star:

Fans of the K-pop group NCT 127 donated money in January to name a baby pudu at the Los Angeles Zoo after one of its members, Haechan (HECH’-ehn). This week, the human Haechan got to meet his namesake, snapping selfies with the little deer at his enclosure.

From a BBC article about the danger of female-voiced AI assistants:

AI-powered voice assistants with female voices are perpetuating harmful gender biases, according to a UN study.

These female helpers are portrayed as “obliging and eager to please”, reinforcing the idea that women are “subservient”, it finds.

Particularly worrying, it says, is how they often give “deflecting, lacklustre or apologetic responses” to insults.

From a write-up of Demi Moore‘s 2017 Tonight Show appearance:

“[Demi Lovato is] from Texas and I’m from New Mexico, so our families say our names the same but we each individually pronounce it differently,” Moore said, noting she pronounces it “Deh-mee” while Lovato says “Dem-ee.”

So what are the origins of Moore’s name?

“In my case, my mother just found it on a cosmetic carton,” she told Fallon. “It means ‘half,’ and she didn’t know that, but she just liked it.”

From a Wired article called “Pixar Reinvents Big Hair for Brave“:

So in 2009 Chung’s team designed a new simulator named Taz, after the wild Looney Tunes character. It forms individual coils [of hair] around computer-generated cylinders of varying lengths and diameters. The resulting locks stretch out when Merida runs but snap back into place as soon as she stops.

From the 2013 book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896–2013 by Trina Robbins:

[A] male pseudonym seemed to be required for action strips, starting with Caroline Sexton who, in 1934, signed “C. M. Sexton” to Luke and Duke. From Cecilia Paddock Munson, who often signed her work either “Pad” or “Paddock Munson,” to Ramona “Pat” Patenaude, to Dale Messick and Tarpe Mills, the women of the 1940s seemed to believe at least in part upon having a male name.

From a Scottish dad who recently named his son Lucifer:

“I looked it up. Our first child born four years ago was going to be called Lucifer but she was a girl so we called her Lucy.

“I wasn’t too sure about Lucifer but eventually said, ‘I want this name’. It would have been even better if he was born on Halloween.”

(I’m actually more concerned about the similarity of the sibset Lucy/Lucifer than about the repercussions of Lucifer itself. Is that weird?)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

The Top One-Hit Wonder Baby Names Since 1880

one-hit wonders, baby names, history

The Social Security Administration’s annual baby name list only includes names given to 5 or more U.S. baby girls (or baby boys) per year.

Most rare names never make the list, but a select group have appeared a single time. I like to call these the one-hit wonder baby names.

One-hit wonders tend to pop up with a relatively low number of babies — 5 or 6 — but a handful are given to dozens of babies…only to disappear again the next year! Intriguing, no?

Below are the highest-charting one-hit wonder names for every year on record before 2013. (We won’t know which 2013 names are one-hit wonders until later lists come out.) The format is: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.”

  • 1880: none; Merida, 5
  • 1881: Zilpah, 9; Roll, 5
  • 1882: none; none
  • 1883: none; none
  • 1884: none; none
  • 1885: Lelie, 5; Ng & Sip, 5
  • 1886: Ottillie, 5; none
  • 1887: none; Pembroke, 5
  • 1888: Etelka & Pantha, 5; Bengiman, 5
  • 1889: Litta & Roxa, 5; Edw & Profit, 5
  • 1890: Modeste, 8; none
  • 1891: Dorilla & Euphemie, 5; Navajo, 5
  • 1892: none; Whitelaw & Wint, 5
  • 1893: Hedwige, 7; Pomp, 5
  • 1894: Onezia, 5; Bess, 5
  • 1895: Isal, 7; none
  • 1896: Phenie, 5; none
  • 1897: Phronie, 5; Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Maine, 9; Schley, 10
  • 1899: Pellie, 5; none
  • 1900: Henrettia & Ursule, 6; Bruster, 5
  • 1901: Kinnie, 5; none
  • 1902: Azema & Lelea, 5; none
  • 1903: Pheobie, 7; none
  • 1904: Berthal, 6; none
  • 1905: Mintha, 5; Pioet, 5
  • 1906: Nellda, Ocey & Clevia, 5; none
  • 1907: Leecy, Odra & Oklahoma, 5; Lanham, 6
  • 1908: Artena, Essye, Malvie & Oshie, 5; none
  • 1909: Argatha, 5; none
  • 1910: Leneve, 7; Capus, 5
  • 1911: Gaither, 6; Caro & Lavette, 5
  • 1912: Gustina, Iras, Leavy & Senona, 6; Edlow, 7
  • 1913: Nixola & Oleane, 6; Gaillard & Rumsey, 6
  • 1914: Vica, 8; Secondo, 9
  • 1915: Desda & Vonie, 8; Zygmond, 10
  • 1916: Alvene, Bleeker, Cloteen, Deelda, Duffie, Iota, Maggielean, Matrona, Mealie, Mishie, Ortrude, Sirkka, Truma, Valasta, Valesta, Valrea & Ysobel, 6; Hafford, 9
  • 1917: Florenz & Lutrelle, 9; Annis, Clermont, Loddie, Onslow, Rosswell & Runar, 7
  • 1918: Theophila, 10; Hobby, 9
  • 1919: Johnniemae, 9; Lorrain, 10
  • 1920: Dardenella, 9; Mosby, 9
  • 1921: Garnelle, 11; Ive, 9
  • 1922: Donaldine, 12; Crafton, 9
  • 1923: Giovina & Varena, 8; Arbon, Birchel & Wolcott, 7
  • 1924: Klyda, 10; Modell, 9
  • 1925: Ivaline & Valoyce, 8; Evell & Walford, 8
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Lafon & Nola, 9
  • 1927: Genena, Milarain & Seroba, 8; Dalhart, Junor, Maclyn & Mutsuo, 8
  • 1928: Boneva, Geane, Lenard, Loeda & Louvene, 7; Dormon, Hearman, Hover & Shoso, 7
  • 1929: Miladeen, 9; Edsol, 8
  • 1930: Earnease, Lunelle, Magnola & Rhoena, 6; Elice, 7
  • 1931: Dixianna & Vergean, 7; Leroyce, 7
  • 1932: Dolorese, 9; Mannon, 7
  • 1933: Garnieta, 8; Vondal, 7
  • 1934: Delaris, Derene, Ervene, Myrline & Rheata, 6; Cardis, Carloss, Cleophes, Dockie, Exie, Pettus & Shelvie, 6
  • 1935: Nerita, 14; Deuel, 8
  • 1936: Arolyn & Verilea, 7; Rolyn, 8
  • 1937: Noreda, 17; Seavy, 6
  • 1938: Clione, 16; Dall & Vallee, 6
  • 1939: Melsa, 9; Karrol, 7
  • 1940: Lindola, 13; Willkie, 13
  • 1941: Shirey, 7; Saford, 11
  • 1942: Arvina, Floranne, Kaaran & Roine, 6; Macarther, 10
  • 1943: Jerdine, 7; Deming, Dilworth, Eugne, Keener, Rhodell, Rothwell & Sammul, 5
  • 1944: Carolsue, 11; Condy, Hennry, Lemmon & Persell, 5
  • 1945: Diedri, 10; Kermon, 6
  • 1946: Darlia, 13; Cotis, Dowl, Lohn, Rouldph, Royace, Sherryl, Speedy & Trudy, 5
  • 1947: Junellen, 12; Brookie; 7
  • 1948: Gwyned, 9; Beasley, 6
  • 1949: Jerrilyne, 9; Bradbury, Bradfield, Buckey, Hubie, Jubentino, Kurth, Nickola, Varnum & Waynne, 5
  • 1950: Gladystine, 9; Cresenciano, Frosty & Thurnell, 6
  • 1951: Glenalee & Lynnis, 9; Bronnie & Marvine, 8
  • 1952: Charliss, 7; Gevan, 12
  • 1953: Judalon, 11; Credell, Larrey & Uldis, 7
  • 1954: Lilette & Ufemia, 7; Corneall, Danail, Derf, Luann & Michie, 6
  • 1955: Dainette, 14; Christophel, 9
  • 1956: Tirrell, 13; Auddie & Naymon, 7
  • 1957: Theonita, 17; Melivn, 7
  • 1958: Deedy & Lanor, 8; Brete, 7
  • 1959: Rapunzel, 9; Tomm, 8
  • 1960: Devy, 27; Andamo, 15
  • 1961: Shurla, 17; Jefre, 21
  • 1962: Perette, 16; Daphne & Schell, 7
  • 1963: Chrysanne, 12; Darrayl & Daryell, 8
  • 1964: Deeneen, 12; Deneen & Kenndy, 7
  • 1965: Timolyn, 9; Alfonson & Marichal, 8
  • 1966: Agena, 15; Alfy, 15
  • 1967: Malette, 20; Antal, 8
  • 1968: Ondina, 15; Berto, Christoopher, Deith, Mardi, Redginald & Yoram, 6
  • 1969: Dameron, 15; Shoan, 9
  • 1970: Dardi, 14; Cosmos, 9
  • 1971: Anjanet, 9; Demea, 12
  • 1972: Tyhessia, 17; Christerphor, 8
  • 1973: Desheila, 18; Chandar, 13
  • 1974: Charnissa, 32; Sirica, 8
  • 1975: Russchelle, 24; Darweshi, Tchalla & Unborn, 8
  • 1976: Norlisha, 16; Lebrone, 8
  • 1977: Kashka, 16; Ebay, 12
  • 1978: Kushana, 23; Quarterrio & Travolta, 11
  • 1979: Kitzie, 27; Dilanjan & Terdell, 13
  • 1980: Nykeba, 26; Kimario, 13
  • 1981: Tijwana, 18; Cetric & Dharmesh, 8
  • 1982: Ebelina, 11; Chachi & Chezarae, 9
  • 1983: Shadava, 25; Tio, 12
  • 1984: Meghaan, 36; Quisto & Ragene, 9
  • 1985: Miceala, 16; Sophan, 8
  • 1986: Shaquenta, 13; Sarith, 11
  • 1987: Condola & Shayeeda, 12; Calbe, 9
  • 1988: Armisha, 16; Nattiel, 10
  • 1989:
    • Alexandr, 301; Christop, 1082 (glitch names)
    • Cesilie, 10; Madeleine, 10 (non-glitch names)
  • 1990: Jakkia & Shawnic, 16; Pajtim, 13
  • 1991: Deangelis & Jeniqua, 13; Quaysean, 11
  • 1992: Caleesha, 17; Kendrae, 11
  • 1993: Solmaira, 15; Shanquille, 9
  • 1994: Mccaela, 20; Dontonio, 11
  • 1995: Shieda, 14; Jamiroquan, 13
  • 1996: Sidea, 13; Jervontae, 12
  • 1997: Dessiah & Jachai, 10; Versace, 10
  • 1998: Rosisela, 14; Tamija, 14
  • 1999: Ukari, 16; Tyreace, 9
  • 2000: Daebreon & Jadakiss, 13; Zaykeese, 13
  • 2001: Joharis, 12; Kya, 13
  • 2002: Eshanti, 27; Albieri, 12
  • 2003: Saribel, 22; Amareion, 12
  • 2004: Janayra, 12; Mikayla & Quanye, 11
  • 2005: Milenka, 13; Johnbenedict, 14
  • 2006: Sarela, 26; Sunel, 14
  • 2007: Aidsa & Madelis, 30; Joset, 11
  • 2008: Yaindhi, 29; Jometh, 23
  • 2009: Shastelyn, 34; Tyten, 11
  • 2010: Rossibell, 17; Coopar, 14
  • 2011: Jocell, 31; Maurkice, 13
  • 2012: Jeiza, 12; Chander, Drexton, Dristan, Elimelec, Hadeed, Khodee & Vardhan, 8
  • 2013: Jennicka, 15; Jaiceion, 11
  • 2014: Hannaley, 21; Zacardi, 11
  • 2015: Nadyalee, 17; Jersen, 21

See anything interesting?

Some of the above — Narice (1926), Saford (1941), Gevan (1952) and Jefre (1961) — are also on the top debuts list.

Lists of the most popular one-hit girl names and one-hit boy names of all time are coming tomorrow and Wednesday…

Update, 5/24/16 – Just revised the 2012 names and added the 2013 and 2014 names.

Update, 5/24/17 – Made some revisions and added the 2015 names.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2012

Here are the results of the 2012 pop culture baby name game!

Below are all the names we came up with and how they fared on the charts last year.

First up, the names that made the biggest gains. (Some of these were on their way up anyway, so I’ll leave it to you guys to interpret just how much each one was/was not helped along by pop culture events.)

Liam, +3286

  • 2012: 16687 baby boys named Liam
  • 2011: 13401 baby boys named Liam

Lincoln, +726

  • 2012: 2882 baby boys named Lincoln
  • 2011: 2156 baby boys named Lincoln

Dominic, +725

  • 2012: 6140 baby boys named Dominic
  • 2011: 5415 baby boys named Dominic

Penelope, +647

  • 2012: 2510 baby girls named Penelope
  • 2011: 1863 baby girls named Penelope

Ivy, +469

  • 2012: 1677 baby girls named Ivy
  • 2011: 1208 baby girls named Ivy

Arya, +367

  • 2012: 754 baby girls named Arya
  • 2011: 387 baby girls named Arya

Luna, +262

  • 2012: 1404 baby girls named Luna
  • 2011: 1142 baby girls named Luna

Louis, +132

  • 2012: 1049 baby boys named Louis
  • 2011: 917 baby boys named Louis

Trayvon, +123

  • 2012: 178 baby boys named Trayvon
  • 2011: 55 baby boys named Trayvon

Adele, +99

  • 2012: 559 baby girls named Adele
  • 2011: 460 baby girls named Adele

Olive, +87

  • 2012: 847 baby girls named Olive
  • 2011: 760 baby girls named Olive

Zayn, +83

  • 2012: 131 baby boys named Zayn
  • 2011: 48 baby boys named Zayn

Selena, +64

  • 2012: 1043 baby girls named Selena
  • 2011: 979 baby girls named Selena

Anastasia, +59

  • 2012: 918 baby girls named Anastasia
  • 2011: 859 baby girls named Anastasia

Grey, +59

  • 2012: 184 baby boys named Grey
  • 2011: 125 baby boys named Grey

Toby, +32 / +59

  • 2012: 93 baby girls and 349 baby boys named Toby
  • 2011: 61 baby girls and 290 baby boys named Toby

Melissa +57

  • 2012: 1761 baby girls named Melissa
  • 2011: 1704 baby girls named Melissa

Lorenzo,+54

  • 2012: 1081 baby boys named Lorenzo
  • 2011: 1027 baby boys named Lorenzo

Jubilee, +52

  • 2012: 155 baby girls named Jubilee
  • 2011: 103 baby girls named Jubilee

London, +22 / +32

  • 2012: 3179 baby girls and 482 baby boys named London
  • 2011: 3157 baby girls and 450 baby boys named London

Viola, +28

  • 2012: 162 baby girls named Viola
  • 2011: 134 baby girls named Viola

Renesmee, +26

  • 2012: 59 baby girls named Renesmee
  • 2011: 33 baby girls named Renesmee

Lovely, +26

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lovely
  • 2011: 56 baby girls named Lovely

Sarina, +26

  • 2012: 194 baby girls named Sarina
  • 2011: 168 baby girls named Sarina

McKayla, +25

  • 2012: 399 baby girls named McKayla
  • 2011: 374 baby girls named McKayla

Berenice, +20

  • 2012: 109 baby girls named Berenice
  • 2011: 129 baby girls named Berenice

Rue, +19

  • 2012: 32 baby girls named Rue
  • 2011: 13 baby girls named Rue

Selina, +18

  • 2012: 242 baby girls named Selina
  • 2011: 224 baby girls named Selina

Kateri, +16

  • 2012: 58 baby girls named Kateri
  • 2011: 42 baby girls named kateri

Merida, +15 at least

  • 2012: 19 baby girls named Merida [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Merida

Pepper, +15

  • 2012: 132 baby girls named Pepper
  • 2011: 117 baby girls named Pepper

Rooney (for girls), +15

  • 2012: 21 baby girls named Rooney
  • 2011: 6 baby girls named Rooney

Hugo, +13

  • 2012: 630 baby boys named Hugo
  • 2011: 617 baby boys named Hugo

Primrose, +12 at least

  • 2012: 16 baby girls named Primrose [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Primrose

Lisbeth, +11

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lisbeth
  • 2011: 71 baby girls named Lisbeth

Blue, +3 / +9

  • 2012: 10 baby girls and 20 baby boys named Blue
  • 2011: 7 baby girls and 11 baby boys named Blue

Romney, +9

  • 2012: 16 baby boys named Romney
  • 2011: 5 baby boys named Romney

Cassadee, +8

  • 2012: 13 baby girls named Cassadee
  • 2011: 5 baby girls named Cassadee

Katniss, +8 at least

  • 2012: 12 baby girls named Katniss [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Katniss

Niall, +8

  • 2012: 42 baby boys named Niall
  • 2011: 34 baby boys named Niall

Octavia, +7

  • 2012: 79 baby girls named Octavia
  • 2011: 72 baby girls named Octavia

Arrietty, +6 at least

  • 2012: 10 baby girls named Arrietty [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Arrietty

Loki, +6

  • 2012: 77 baby boys named Loki
  • 2011: 71 baby boys named Loki

Names that went up by 5 or fewer:

  • Beretta
  • Harry
  • Hawk (though Hawkeye debuted)
  • Joss (for boys)
  • Mavis
  • Maxwell (for girls)
  • Mitt
  • Tennessee

Names that went down:

  • Avila
  • Carly
  • Destinee
  • Django
  • Elizabeth
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Kindle
  • Missy
  • Ryan
  • Sparkle
  • Thor
  • Tony
  • Whitney

Names still not on the SSA’s list:

  • Altaluna
  • Azealia
  • Carlyrae
  • Dev (for girls)
  • Essined
  • Fury
  • Hildegard
  • Hulk
  • Lidislay
  • Quvenzhane
  • Shemekia
  • Stratos
  • Tika
  • Vanellope
  • Whedon
  • Yolo

Did any of these surprise you?

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who played!

Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2012!

Britney Spears - Pop Culture Baby Name Game MascotHappy Birthday, Britney Spears!

And you guys know what happens every year on Brit’s birthday…we kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Which baby names have become more popular in 2012, thanks to popular culture?

We won’t have definitive answers until the SSA releases its next batch of data (in mid-2013). But 2012 is almost over, so we have all the information we need to start making guesses.

Some possibilities I’ve already blogged about:

Plus a few I forgot to blog about:

  • Blue, Ivy – Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy, born way back in January. (Only 7 girls and 11 boys were named Blue in 2011. I have a feeling both of these numbers will be going up.)
  • Maxwell (for a girl) – Jessica Simpson’s daughter Maxwell, born in May.
  • Mitt, Romney – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney

Want to play? Leave a comment with your name predictions and the pop culture event(s) you think gave those names a boost this year.

UPDATE, May 2013: Here are the results!

Be on the Lookout for Merida in 2012

meridaHere’s one to put on your calendars.

In June of 2012 — exactly a year from now — Pixar is planning to release its 13th feature film, Brave. The movie is a fairy tale set in Scotland. The protagonist, a red-haired girl named Merida, is both a princess and an archer.

As far as I know, Merida is not a traditional Scottish name. Mairead, Murron, Morag…these are Scottish. I have no idea how Pixar came up with Merida, though. (Maybe they were vacationing in Mexico at the time?)

Anyway, the film looks cute. I have no doubt it will do well at the box office. And what happens then? First, a surge in the number of kids who want to take archery lessons. Second, and more importantly, bazillions of baby girls named Merida.

But that’s a long way off. Until then, let’s look at some of the U.S. data on this very rare name:

  • Best year? 1949, when 13 baby girls were named Merida.
  • Second-best year? 1957, when 12 baby girls were named Merida.
  • Most recent appearance on the SSA’s baby name list? 2002, with 5 baby girls named Merida.

Do you like the name Merida? Do you think it’s the sort of name that could really take off in the U.S.?