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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Michael

Number of Babies Named Michael

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Michael

The Introduction of Topanga

baby name, television, topanga, 1990s, boy meets world,
Topanga

People who grew up in the ’90s know exactly why the place-name Topanga started popping up in the baby name data that decade:

  • 1999: 44 baby girls named Topanga
  • 1998: 48 baby girls named Topanga [peak]
  • 1997: 33 baby girls named Topanga
  • 1996: 11 baby girls named Topanga
  • 1995: 10 baby girls named Topanga
  • 1994: 5 baby girls named Topanga [debut]
  • 1993: unlisted

Topanga was the name of a character on the coming-of-age sitcom Boy Meets World, which premiered in September of 1993. The “Boy” at the center of the show was Cory Matthews, his love interest throughout the series was Topanga Lawrence (played by Danielle Fishel).

According to Fishel, show producer Michael Jacobs was the one who came up with her character’s name. He was driving down a highway in California when he got a phone call about naming the character. At that moment, he happened to be driving past the Topanga Canyon exit, so he said “Topanga” and it stuck.

The canyon’s modern name comes from the Gabrielino (or Tongva) word topa’nga. The “-nga” suffix indicates that it’s a place name, but the meaning of topa remains unknown.

Another name that may have gotten a boost from Boy Meets World is Morgan, the name of Cory’s little sister. It was already on the rise at that time, but from 1993 to 1994 the increase was higher than expected.

…And I’ll just randomly throw in one more name that was inspired by a geological feature: Cohutta, a 2014 debut inspired by MTV reality star Cohutta Lee Grindstaff, who was born in Georgia and named after the Cohutta Mountains. The place name Cohutta, originally Gahûtĭ, comes from the Cherokee word gahûtâ’yĭ, meaning “a shed roof supported on poles.”

Which place name works better as a baby name, do you think: Topanga or Cohutta?

Which one makes a better baby name?

View Results

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Sources:

  • Danielle Fishel poses for Maxim
  • Gudde, Erwin G. California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names. 4th ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee. New York: Dover, 1995.

Biggest Changes, Baby Boy Names, 2017

Which boy names increased the most in popularity from 2016 to 2017? And which ones decreased the most?

There are a few different ways to answer this question. The SSA, for instance, likes to look at ranking differences within the top 1,000. And I like to augment their list by looking at raw number differences across all the data.

So let’s look at increases first…

Boy Names: Biggest Increases, 2016 to 2017

Rankings

1. Wells, +504 spots
2. Kairo, +423
3. Caspian, +328
4. Nova, +323
5. Colson, +323
6. Kace, +315
7. Kashton, +302
8. Koa, +294
9. Gatlin, +282
10. Bjorn, +276

Wells was influenced by Wells Adams, a contestant from The Bachelorette. Nova may have been influenced by “all those Villanova Wildcats basketball fans naming their sons in celebration of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.”

Raw Numbers

1. Logan, +2,748 babies
2. Maverick, +1,751
3. Ezekiel, +1,350
4. Mateo, +1,181
5. Lincoln, +1,032
6. Theodore, +1,018
7. Matias, +643
8. Leo, +642
9. Jameson, +639
10. Rowan, +637

Other names that saw raw number increases in the 300+ range included Asher, Santiago, Ezra, Rhett, Waylon, and Legend.

And now let’s check out decreases…

Boy Names: Biggest Decreases, 2016 to 2017

Rankings

1. Riaan, -421 spots
2. Kylo, -245
3. Kolby, -195
4. Urijah, -189
5. Kamdyn, -189
6. Jamar, -163
7. Giovani, -160
8. Nickolas, -155
9. Chad, -155
10. Jair, -147

The higher they climb, the harder they fall: Riaan was the fastest-rising boy name of 2015, and Kylo was the fastest-rising boy name of 2016, and now they’re both plummeting in 2017.

Raw Numbers

1. Mason, -1,728 babies
2. Michael, -1,478
3. Ethan, -1,417
4. Jacob, -1,373
5. Daniel, -1,281
6. Andrew, -1,161
7. Gabriel, -1,124
8. Anthony, -1,049
9. Matthew, -994
10. Owen, -970

Other names that saw raw number drops in the (negative) 300+ range included Aiden, Jackson, Gavin, Ryder, Jase, Hudson, and Tristan.

Do you have any explanations for the name movement above? If so, please comment!

Sources: Change in Popularity, SSA, Emma and Liam Top Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2017

Popular Baby Names in the United States, 2017

According to the Social Security Administration, Emma and Liam were the most popular baby names in the United States in 2017.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 19,738 baby girls (same rank in 2016)
2. Olivia, 18,632 (same)
3. Ava, 15,902 (same)
4. Isabella, 15,100 (was 5th)
5. Sophia, 14,831 (was 4th)
6. Mia, 13,437 (same)
7. Charlotte, 12,893 (same)
8. Amelia, 11,800 (new)
9. Evelyn, 10,675 (new)
10. Abigail, 10,551 (was 8th)

Boy Names
1. Liam, 18,728 baby boys (was ranked 2nd in 2016)
2. Noah, 18,326 (was 1st)
3. William, 14,904 (same)
4. James, 14,232 (was 5th)
5. Logan, 13,974 (new)
6. Benjamin, 13,733 (same)
7. Mason, 13,502 (was 4th)
8. Elijah, 13,268 (was 9th)
9. Oliver, 13,141 (new)
10. Jacob, 13,106 (was 7th)

In the girls’ top ten, Amelia and Evelyn replace Harper (now 11th) and Emily (12th).

In the boys’ top ten, Logan and Oliver replace Michael (now 12th) and Ethan (14th).

In 2016, the top names were Emma and Noah.

Here’s more from the SSA’s press release:

Ensley was the fastest riser on the girls’ list, moving 1,461 spots to number 965, from number 2,426 in 2016. Spring has sprung, and Wells (meaning “spring”) had the biggest bloom in popularity for the boys, moving over 500 spots in 2017 from number 1,419 to 915. Perhaps his parents are fans of the hit TV show “The Bachelorette” where one of the popular contestants was named Wells. Does this mean more bachelors named Wells at future rose ceremonies?

In a clear nod to the popularity of the First Lady of the United States, new parents chose the name Melania at an increasing rate in 2017.

It looks like new parents are “Keeping up with the Kardashians” as the name Dream rose 840 spots in 2017. Fan or not, many people know Rob Kardashian and Angela White, aka Blac Chyna, named their daughter Dream in late 2016. For the boys, another fast riser was Nova, who may have gotten his popularity from all those Villanova Wildcats basketball fans naming their sons in celebration of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.

More posts on the new names coming soon!

Source: Emma and Liam Top Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2017

Baby Named for Michael Landon

Actress Melissa Gilbert is probably best known for portraying young Laura Ingalls Wilder on the TV series Little House on the Prairie (1974–1984). Her TV father, Charles, was played by actor Michael Landon.

In October of 1995, Melissa and her second husband welcomed a son (12 weeks early). He was named Michael Garrett — “Michael” in honor of Michael Landon, who had died of cancer in 1991, and “Garrett” in honor of the deceased teenage son of family friends.

Landon’s birth name was Eugene Maurice Orowitz. His nickname in primary school was “Ooogy.” He chose his stage name by flipping through a phone book.

Sources:

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter R

romola, name, cinema
Lillian Gish as Romola (1924)
Want an uncommon R-name for your baby girl? Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from very old films (1910s to 1940s)…

Radha
Radha was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film Less Than the Dust (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Radha.

Rafaela
Rafaela Ottiano was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Italy in 1888. Rafaela was also a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film The Bag of Gold (1912).

Raimunda
Raimunda was a character played by actress Eulalie Jensen in the film Passion Flower (1921).

Rainbow
Rainbow Halliday was a character played by actress Alice Calhoun in the film Rainbow (1921).

Rallah
Rallah was a character played by actress Leatrice Joy Gilbert in the film Kismet (1944).

Ramsay
Ramsay Ames was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in New York in 1919.

  • Usage of the baby name Ramsay.

Raquella
Raquella was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Under a Texas Moon (1930).

Rascha
Rascha was a character played by actress Dolores del Rio in the film Revenge (1928).

Rathia
Rathia was a character played by actress Clyne Dacia in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).

Rawnie
Margaret Adams, called “Rawnie,” was a character played by actress Rochelle Hudson in the film Rascals (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Rawnie (which debuted in the data the year Rascals came out).

Ray
Ray was a (female) character name in multiple films, including The Careless Age (1929) and Back Street (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Ray.

Rayma
Rayma was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the film A Son of the Sahara (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Rayma.

Reba
Reba was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the film Millionaires (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Reba.

Redora
Redora Bump was a character played by actress Ethel Wales in the film The Country Doctor (1927).

Reggie
Regina “Reggie” Van Maaster was a character played by actress Marsha Hunt in the film Seven Sweethearts (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Reggie.

Regi
Regi Allen was a character played by actress Carole Lombard in the film Hands Across the Table (1935).

Regine
Regine was a character played by actress Juliette Compton in the film The Wine of Life (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Regine.

Reine
Reine Davies was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in New York in 1883. Her birth name was Irene Douras.

  • Usage of the baby name Reine.

Reni
Reni Vonich was a character played by actress Dorothy Tree in the film Television Spy (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Reni.

Renie
Renie Mathis was a character played by actress Mabel Taliaferro in the film A Magdalene of the Hills (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Renie.

Reno
Reno Browne was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s. She was born in (Reno) Nevada in 1921. Her birth name Josephine Ruth Clarke. Reno was also a character played by actress Ethel Merman in the film Anything Goes (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Reno.

Resha
Resha was a character played by actress Ethel Ritchie in the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Resha.

Ressel
Ressel Orla was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Italy) in 1889.

Rethna
Rethna was a character played by actress Cleo Madison in the film Her Bitter Cup (1916).

Retta
Retta Barr was a character played by actress Rafaela Ottiano in the film The Last Gentleman (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Retta.

Rexy
Regina “Rexy” Gordon was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Counsellor at Law (1933).

Rheba
Rheba was a character name in multiple films, including You Can’t Take It with You (1938) and Junior Miss (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Rheba.

Rhoda
Rhoda was a character name in multiple films, including The Red, Red Heart (1918) and Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Rhoda.

Rhona
Rhona was a character played by actress Gladys Brockwell in the film The Sneak (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Rhona.

Ricca
Ricca Allen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Canada in 1863.

  • Usage of the baby name Ricca.

Richmiel
Richmiel Crumb was a character played by actress Seena Owen in the film Faint Perfume (1925).

Ricki
Ricki Woodner was a character played by actress Lucille Ball in the film Two Smart People (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Ricki.

Riette
Riette Van Orman was a character played by actress Leona Maricle in the film My Reputation (1946).

Rika
Countess Rika was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the Cecil B. DeMille film Triumph (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Rika.

Ril
Ril Lambeth was a character played by actress Martha Sleeper in the film West of the Pecos (1934).

Rilla
Rilla was a character played by actress Laura Oakley in the film The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Rilla.

Risa
Risa Bartlett was a character played by actress Gladys Hulette in the film Combat (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Risa.

Rissa
Clarissa “Rissa” Fortune was a character played by actress Ella Raines in the film Time Out of Mind (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Rissa (which debuted in the data the year Time Out of Mind came out).

Ritta
Ritta was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film The Great Experiment (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Ritta.

Ritzy
Ritzy was a character name in multiple films, including Ritzy (1927) and Thunderbolt (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Ritzy.

Riza
Riza was a character name in multiple films, including The Cat’s Pajamas (1926) and Prisoners (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Riza.

Robar
Robar was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the short film The Gypsy’s Brand (1913).

Robina
Robina Teele was a character played by actress Mae Busch in the film Souls for Sale (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Robina.

Robinetta
Robinetta Gale was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film The Contents of a Suitcase (1913).

Robinette
Robinette was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film The White Desert (1925).

Roby
Roby was a character played by actress Charlotte Burton in the film The Craving (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Roby.

Roma
Roma was a character name in multiple films, including Miss Nobody (1917) and Set Free (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Roma.

Romany
Romany was a character played by actress Marion Davies in the film Runaway Romany (1917).

Romo
Romo was a character played by actress Elizabeth Allan in the film Michael and Mary (1931).

Romola
Romola Remus was an actress who appeared in one film in 1908. She was born in Illinois in 1900. Romola was also a character played by actress Lillian Gish in the film Romola (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Romola.

Rona
Lady Rona was a character played by actress Nora Swinburne in the film Hornet’s Nest (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Rona.

Ronnie
Ronnie was a character name in multiple films, including The Exciters (1923) and That’s My Man (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Ronnie.

Rosabelle
Rosabelle Milford was a character played by actress Etta McDaniel in the film The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936).

Rosaleen
Rosaleen was a character played by actress Valia Venitshaya in the film A Gamble with Hearts (1923).

Rosamond
Rosamond was a character name in multiple films, including Rose of the World (1918) and The Great Impersonation (1921).

Rosamund
Lady Rosamund Godolphin was a character played by actress Enid Bennett in the film The Sea Hawk (1924).

Rosarita
Rosarita was a character name in multiple films, including Beauty in Chains (1918) and Bells of Rosarita (1945).

Roseanna
Roseanna McCoy was a character played by actress Joan Evans in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

Rosebud
Rosebud Doble was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film Budd Doble Comes Back (1913).

Rosetta
Rosetta was a character name in multiple films, including The Ordeal of Rosetta (1918) and Divorce in the Family (1932).

Rosette
Rosette was a character name in multiple films, including The Victory of Conscience (1916) and The Secret of Rosette Lambert (1920).

Rosina
Rosina Galli was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Italy in 1906. Rosina was also a character played by actress Jose Collins in the film The Last Stake (short, 1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Rosina.

Rosine
Rosine was a character name in multiple films, including The Man in the Moonlight (1919) and Fanatisme (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Rosine.

Rosita
Rosita Marstini was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in France in 1887. Rosita was also a character name in multiple films, including Hell’s Valley (1931) and Zoo in Budapest (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Rosita.

Rosny
Rosny Edwards was a character played by actress Doris Eaton in the film Tell Your Children (1922).

Roszika
Roszika “Rosie” Dolly was a character played by actress June Haver in the film The Dolly Sisters (1945).

Rowena
Rowena was a character name in multiple films, including The Romance of Rowena (short, 1913) and When Knights Were Bold (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Rowena.

Roxalanne
Roxalanne de Lavedan was a character played by actress Eleanor Boardman in the film Bardelys the Magnificent (1926).

Roxey
Roxey Moore was a character played by actress Betty Compson in the film God’s Country and the Man (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Roxey.

Royce
Dr. Royce Lee Stockman was a character played by actress Elissa Landi in the film Corregidor (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Royce.

Rozelia
Rozelia was a character played by actress Nina Mae McKinney in the film Pinky (1949).

Rozika
Rozika was a character played by actress Mary Nash in the film Arms and the Woman (1916).

Rubye
Rubye De Remer was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Colorado in 1892. Her birth name was Ruby Burkhardt.

  • Usage of the baby name Rubye.

Rue
Rue Carew was a character played by actress Marion Davies in the film The Dark Star (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Rue.

Ruthelma
Ruthelma Stevens was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Kansas in 1903.

Ruva
Ruva was a character played by actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan in the film Black Moon (1934).

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb