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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Merit

Number of Babies Named Merit

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Merit

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:


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?

How Do You Feel About Your Name, Merit?

“I can’t imagine having another name” says Merit, a 16-year-old from the U.S. “I’d give it a 10 out of 10!”

How did Merit get her unique name?

I’d almost died when I was born–I was three months premature and weighed four pounds and had a hole in my heart–and my parents had tried for so long to have a kid that I was going to be their one and only (and I am!)–and so they said that I survived on “my own merit.”

Merit’s name came directly from the word merit, which is derived from the Latin word meritum and can be defined as “character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem.” Her name has never ranked among the most popular U.S. baby names.

What does Merit like about her name?

Well, nobody forgets my name easily. People stop me all the time to tell me that it’s pretty and unique; my grade has close to 700 people in it, but the librarian remembers me and always asks me to tell her the story of how I got it. I think it’s good, too, because it has a definite meaning in the real world. It’s not “trendy” and it’s not hard to pronounce.

What does Merit not like about her name?

People think “Merit” is short for “Meredith”…or they hear incorrectly and think my name is “Mary.”

Thanks so much, Merit!