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, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Michael.

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 Michael


Posts that Mention the Name Michael

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 Source of Shakira

shakira, baby name, movies, 1970s
Shakira in Dec. 1975

These days, when you say the name Shakira, most people think of the Colombian singer (“Hips Don’t Lie”) who became famous in the U.S. in the early 2000s. In fact, the name saw peak usage in 2002 thanks to her.

But the name Shakira first caught the attention of America’s expectant parents decades earlier:

  • 1973: 74 baby girls named Shakira
  • 1972: 20 baby girls named Shakira
  • 1971: 7 baby girls named Shakira
  • 1970: 12 baby girls named Shakira [debut]
  • 1969: unlisted

Why?

Because of Shakira Baksh (later known as Shakira Caine).

She was born and raised in British Guiana to Muslim Indian parents who had relocated from the Kashmir region of British India.

In 1967, she won the Miss Guyana contest and placed third in the Miss World contest in London. Following that, she became a London-based model and actress.

In early 1970, she was mentioned (and pictured) in a short article in the “Youth Notes” section of Parade magazine (the Sunday newspaper magazine distributed in U.S. papers nationwide). Here’s the piece in full:

Ever since Diahann Carroll hit it big in the “Julia” TV series, television producers the world ever have been scouting for other talented black beauties to star in a weekly program.

In England, Shakira Baksh, 22, who came to London from Guyana in 1967 as contender in the Miss World beauty contest, has just been signed in a new and as yet unfilled weekly series.

The objective in starring Shakira is to attract a large share of the non-white TV audience.

And, right on cue, we see her name debut in the data.

Shakira Baksh married Michael Caine, star of Alfie, in early 1973. (He first spotted her in a Maxwell House commercial, believe it or not. Here’s the story of how they met [vid].) They appeared together in the 1975 movie The Man Who Would Be King together (along with Sean Connery, whose eyebrow is in the photo above) and on the cover of People together in 1976.

The name Shakira is Arabic and means “thankful” or “grateful.”

Sources:

“Dark Shadows” Baby Names

aristede, dark shadows, soap opera. 1960s, baby name
Aristede and The Dancing Girl

The rare name Aristede appeared in the U.S. baby name data just twice, debuting in 1969:

  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: 5 baby boys named Aristede
  • 1969: 17 baby boys named Aristede
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: unlisted

The source?

The Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-1971). Dark Shadows was never one of the most popular soaps on TV, but it did have a dedicated following, particularly while the “1897 Flashback” storyline was airing from February 1969 to November 1969.

One character who appeared regularly during 1969 was Aristede (played by Michael Stroka). Aristede was a strange young man who was a servant to the warlock Count Andreas Petofi. His curved dagger also had a name: “The Dancing Girl.”

Aristede’s name can be traced back to the ancient Greek word aristos, meaning “best.”

…But we can’t stop with Aristede, because other Dark Shadows characters influenced American baby names as well!

For instance, another character introduced during the “1897 Flashback” was a boy named Jamison Collins. We see a corresponding rise in the usage of the name Jamison in 1969:

  • 1971: 175 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 628th]
  • 1970: 195 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 577th]
  • 1969: 121 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 713th]
  • 1968: 35 baby boys named Jamison
  • 1967: 30 baby boys named Jamison

In fact, actor David Selby, who played werewolf character Quentin Collins (Jamison’s uncle), named his real-life son Jamison Selby (b. 1969) after the character.

Another storyline was the “1795 Flashback” that aired from November 1967 to April 1968. Two primary characters during that period were well-to-do Josette du Pres and servant-girl Angelique (who was also a witch!).

The name Josette saw its highest-ever usage in 1968:

  • 1971: 219 baby girls named Josette [rank: 696th]
  • 1970: 297 baby girls named Josette [rank: 593rd]
  • 1969: 294 baby girls named Josette [rank: 576th]
  • 1968: 502 baby girls named Josette [rank: 420th]
  • 1967: 182 baby girls named Josette [rank: 728th]
  • 1966: 48 baby girls named Josette

And the name Angelique saw a significant increase in usage in 1968 as well:

  • 1971: 820 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 323rd]
  • 1970: 941 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 301st]
  • 1969: 624 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 371st]
  • 1968: 764 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 314th]
  • 1967: 186 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 717th]
  • 1966: 142 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 838th]

Have you ever seen an episode of Dark Shadows? If so, what did you think?

Sources: Aristede – Dark Shadows Wiki, 1897 – Dark Shadows Wiki, Jamison Collins – Dark Shadows Wiki, ‘Dark Shadows’ Remembered: 6 Surprising Facts About TV’s Only Horror Soap Opera

The Entrance of Towana

towana, name, movie,
Towana from Wolf Call (1939)

The name Towana first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1940:

  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: 5 baby girls named Towana [debut]
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The film Wolf Call (1939), which featured a female character named Towana (played by actress Movita).

The protagonist of the movie was spoiled New York City playboy Michael Vance. His father sent him to the remote Canadian Northwest to evaluate a family-owned radium mine (and also to change his ways). While there, he fell in love with native girl Towana, whose name he didn’t quite get when they first met:

Towana: “I am Towana”
Michael: “Towana? What’s that?”
Towana: “It’s a name.”

What are your thoughts on the name Towana?

Top Baby Names in Smaller U.S. Territories, 2018

According to the SSA, the most popular baby names in the U.S. territories of Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa — all four regions combined — in 2018 were Olivia and Sophia (tied) and Lucas and William (tied).

Here are the top girl names and top boy names for the four regions:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 12 (tie)
  2. Sophia, 12 (tie)
  3. Isabella, 10 (tie)
  4. Mia, 10 (tie)
  5. Angela, 9
  6. Emily, 8 (tie)
  7. Iris, 8 (tie)
  8. Faith, 7
  9. Amelia, 6 (5-way tie)
  10. Amy, 6 (5-way tie)
  11. Aria, 6 (5-way tie)
  12. Luna, 6 (5-way tie)
  13. Sarah, 6 (5-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Lucas, 19 baby boys (tie)
  2. William, 19 (tie)
  3. Aiden, 18
  4. Daniel, 16
  5. Kevin, 15
  6. David, 14
  7. Michael, 13
  8. Evan, 12
  9. Elijah, 11 (6-way tie)
  10. Eric, 11 (6-way tie)
  11. Jason, 11 (6-way tie)
  12. Jayden, 11 (6-way tie)
  13. Liam, 11 (6-way tie)
  14. Ryan, 11 (6-way tie)

In 2017, the top names were Amy/Olivia and Kevin.

Source: Popular Baby Names by Territory (SSA)