How popular is the baby name Merritt 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 Merritt.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Merritt


Posts that Mention the Name Merritt

The Arrival of Ryder

ryder, baby name, movie, 1960s
Ryder Smith

The baby name Ryder became trendy in the early 21st century, thanks in large part to actress Kate Hudson naming her son Ryder in early 2004.

But Ryder wasn’t new to the data at that point. It first showed up in the early 1960s:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: 7 baby boys named Ryder
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 6 baby boys named Ryder [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted

The source? Looks to be Where the Boys Are, which was actually three things: a bestselling novel published in early 1960, a successful movie released in late 1960, and the movie’s title track, which peaked at #4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in early 1961.

The book focused on a group of four co-eds — Merritt, Tuggle, Melanie, and Angie — from a Midwestern college. For spring break, they decided to escape winter and head to the sunny beaches of Ft. Lauderdale. Because that’s where the boys were, of course. And the “boy” that main character Merritt eventually fell for was an Ivy Leaguer named Ryder Smith.

The book was a comedy, but also included realistic depictions of the behaviors and attitudes of teenagers in the early ’60s. The Saturday Review called it “[b]oth good comedy and first-rate social anthropology.”

The author, Glendon Swarthout, was an English professor at Michigan State University. In the late 1950s, when he was in his early 40s, he learned about the tradition of going to Fort Lauderdale for spring break (which had begun with collegiate swimmers in the 1930s). He tagged along with his students one year, and soon after wrote a book inspired by the experience.

The movie Where the Boys Are, which was a watered-down version of the book, was out by late December. It featured a cast of relatively unknown actors. The most famous face in the film was that of singer Connie Francis, who played Angie (and also sang the title track).

Merritt was played by Dolores Hart, and the character clearly had an influence on the usage of Merritt as a girl name:

  • 1963: 12 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1962: 13 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1961: 17 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

Merritt’s love interest, Ryder, was played by “a young, preternaturally tan George Hamilton.” Her friend Melanie was played by Yvette Mimieux, who’d appeared on the big screen as Weena earlier the same year.

Thanks to the book and (especially) the movie, spring break grew from a minor phenomenon into the “cultural rite of passage” that it is today. The number of American college students flooding into Fort Lauderdale every spring swelled from about 15,000 before the book came out to about 370,000 by the mid-1980s.

The trendiness of Fort Lauderdale as a spring break destination peaked in the ’80s, but the trendiness of Ryder (as a boy name) didn’t peak until the mid-2010s:

  • 2018: 3,000 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 131st]
  • 2017: 3256 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 122nd]
  • 2016: 3,883 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 102nd]
  • 2015: 4,154 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 98th]
  • 2014: 4,103 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 95th]
  • 2013: 3,785 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 103rd]
  • 2012: 3,814 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 100th]
  • 2011: 3,706 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 108th]

What are your thoughts on the name Ryder? Would you use it?

Sources: How an MSU Professor Helped Popularize Spring Break into a National Rite of Passage, Where the Boys Are (1960) – Emanuel Levy, Spring Break – Time

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 4

baby names that add up to 4, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “4.”

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 “4” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “4,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

4 via 13

The following baby names add up to 13, which reduces to four (1+3=4).

  • “13” girl names: Cai, Eh, Ece, Gea
  • “13” boy names: Cade, Cai, Al, Eh, Cj, Jc, Dace, La

4 via 22

The following baby names add up to 22, which reduces to four (2+2=4).

  • “22” girl names: Lia, Kaia, Ila, Giada, Ali, Hala, Aicha, Bibi, Lee, Adel
  • “22” boy names: Ali, Lee, Dale, Hadi, Bane, Mace, Akai, Adel, Boe, Agam

4 via 31

The following baby names add up to 31, which reduces to four (3+1=4).

  • “31” girl names: Blake, Demi, Kara, Macie, Miah, Aliah, Janae, Delia, Haddie, Gina
  • “31” boy names: Jacob, Blake, Kaleb, Cash, Kane, Ahmed, Koda, Taj, Gian, Cedar

4 via 40

The following baby names add up to 40, which reduces to four (4+0=4).

  • “40” girl names: Maya, Lola, Angela, Kiara, Megan, Alaya, Linda, Maleah, Kenia, Hailee
  • “40” boy names: David, Diego, Camden, Jude, Zaid, Neil, Lucca, Allan, Boden, Abner

4 via 49

The following baby names add up to 49, which reduces to four (4+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “49” girl names: Emilia, Athena, Jayla, Logan, Kyla, Harlee, Karen, Dallas, Aliza, Milan
  • “49” boy names: Logan, Luke, Aaron, Jose, Ayden, Milo, Adriel, Dallas, Milan, Bruce

4 via 58

The following baby names add up to 58, which reduces to four (5+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “58” girl names: Lily, Arianna, Liliana, Natalia, Daisy, Josie, Nicole, Ariella, Aniyah, Ryan
  • “58” boy names: Ryan, Nathan, Miles, Jesse, Holden, Hayes, Pedro, Albert, Kieran, Isaias

4 via 67

The following baby names add up to 67, which reduces to four (6+7=13; 1+3=4).

  • “67” girl names: Gabriella, Michelle, Ruth, Lyric, Paislee, Kaliyah, Aurelia, Jessie, Brylee, Jillian
  • “67” boy names: Julian, Dominic, Miguel, Bradley, Jensen, Jaylen, Brycen, Julio, Cullen, Marcelo

4 via 76

The following baby names add up to 76, which reduces to four (7+6=13; 1+3=4).

  • “76” girl names: Kinley, Emory, Lorelei, Rory, Hayley, Addisyn, Emmeline, Ansley, Kathleen, Kataleya
  • “76” boy names: Thomas, Emmett, Dawson, Jeremy, Louis, Rory, Dexter, Nixon, Jerry, Sylas

4 via 85

The following baby names add up to 85, which reduces to four (8+5=13; 1+3=4).

  • “85” girl names: Anastasia, Gracelyn, Brinley, Ainsley, Madisyn, Aubrielle, Tinley, Paityn, Sevyn, Finnley
  • “85” boy names: Steven, Donovan, Kayson, Franklin, Finnley, Boston, Ulises, Korbyn, Zackary, Jovanni

4 via 94

The following baby names add up to 94, which reduces to four (9+4=13; 1+3=4).

  • “94” girl names: Willow, Genevieve, Harmony, Evangeline, Alessandra, Antonella, Bernadette, Kinsleigh, Emberlyn, Aislynn
  • “94” boy names: Braxton, Jaxtyn, Brayson, Everest, Reynaldo, Trevon, Jiovanni, Sebastien, Alexandro, Gregorio

4 via 103

The following baby names add up to 103, which reduces to four (1+0+3=13).

  • “103” girl names: Princess, Scarlette, Roslyn, Merritt, Nicolette, Rosemarie, Justyce, Valkyrie, Violett, Xitlaly
  • “103” boy names: Greyson, Solomon, Yisroel, Zeppelin, Marquise, Merritt, Perseus, Tiberius, Jaxston, Tyrus

4 via 112

The following baby names add up to 112, which reduces to four (1+1+2=4).

  • “112” girl names: Brooklyn, Emmersyn, Victory, Weslynn, Divinity, Odyssey, Reighlynn, Zeplynn, Kopelynn, Houston
  • “112” boy names: Stetson, Valentino, Guillermo, Houston, Zayvion, Brooklyn, Augustin, Hawthorne, Ollivander, Trayson

4 via 121

The following baby names add up to 121, which reduces to four (1+2+1=4).

  • “121” girl names: Persephone, Courtney, Tiaraoluwa, Kierstyn, Zonnique, Amarachukwu, Morrison, Cortlynn, Estrellita, Ivylynn
  • “121” boy names: Courtney, Morrison, Kristofer, Christofer, Quintus, Aloysius, Trysten, Christophe, Trustin, Zymarion

4 via 130

The following baby names add up to 130, which reduces to four (1+3+0=4).

  • “130” girl names: Oluwatoni, Mariaguadalupe, Monzerrat, Viktoriya, Christionna, Constantina
  • “130” boy names: Wynston, Prynceton, Xzayvier, Souleymane, Washington, Oluwaseyi, Oluwatoni, Juventino, Ugochukwu, Oluwakorede

4 via 139

The following baby names add up to 139, which reduces to four (1+3+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “139” girl names: Gwyndolyn, Oluwadamilola, Anuoluwapo, Christopher, Quetzally, Mariavictoria, Kymberlynn
  • “139” boy names: Christopher, Kristopher, Martavious, Fitzpatrick, Oluwadamilola

4 via 148

The following baby names add up to 148, which reduces to four (1+4+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “148” girl names: Oluwateniola, Marykatherine, Moyinoluwa, Oluwatobiloba
  • “148” boy names: Oluwatobiloba, Michaelanthony

4 via 157

The boy name Marquavious adds up to 157, which reduces to four (1+5+7=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 166

The boy name Muhammadyusuf adds up to 166, which reduces to four (1+6+6=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 175

The unisex names Kosisochukwu adds up to 175, which reduces to four (1+7+5=13; 1+3=4).

What Does “4” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “4” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “4” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“4” (the tetrad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “Anatolius reports that it is called ‘justice,’ since the square (i.e., the area) […] is equal to the perimeter”
  • “It is the prerequisite of the general orderliness of the universe, so they everywhere called it a ‘custodian of Nature.'”
  • “Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad”
  • “The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body).”
  • Examples of things that are divided into four parts:
    • “four traditional seasons of the year — spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
    • “four elements (fire, air, water and earth)”
    • “four cardinal points”
    • “four distinguishing points – ascendant, descendant, mid-heaven and nadir”
    • “Some say that all things are organized by four aspects – substance, shape, form and principle.”

“4” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “In four, it makes for the greater weaknesses in the divisions…four being more of a division and weakness” (reading 261-15).
  • “In four, we find that of a division – and while a beauty in strength, in the divisions also makes for the greater weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “4” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 22, 49, 76, 103) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, 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 4, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

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

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Baby #3

A reader named Susan wrote to me a few weeks ago. She’s trying to come up with a name for her third child, which will be a boy. She says:

[The name] can’t rhyme or start with the same letters as our first two kids, Carter and Eleanor, nor can it end in “-son”, since the last name is Henderson.

The name should be “somewhat unusual, but not weird,” and hopefully sound good with Gardener and/or Richard (the top contenders for middle name).

Susan’s shortlist currently consists of Dashiell, Graham, Owen and Jasper. Here are some more names that might be of interest:

Alec
Beckett
Bennett
Brent
Desmond
Dominic
Drake
Finley
Garrett
Jerome
Keith
Lorcan
Lucian
Malcolm
Marlow
Matthias
Maxwell
Merritt
Miles
Milo
Monroe
Otis
Reid
Rhys/Reese
Roscoe
Royce
Ryland
Silas
Simon
Sinclair
Tavish
Tate
Theo
Tobias
Travis
Vance

What other names would you suggest?

Edit, 11/30 – Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Susan chose!