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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Molly

Number of Babies Named Molly

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Molly

Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Round 2)

We started with 64 name-songs in round 1, and now we have 32 going into round 2. Here are the match-ups:

Group 1

Match Song Song
#1 Denise” (1963) by Randy & The Rainbows vs. Carol” (1957) by Chuck Berry
#2 Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens vs. Anna (Go to Him)” (1962) by Arthur Alexander
#3 Barbara Ann” (1961) by The Regents vs. Claudette” (1958) by The Everly Brothers
#4 Donna” (1958) by Ritchie Valens vs. Cathy’s Clown” (1960) by The Everly Brothers

Which song is better? (1 of 16)

  • "Carol" by Chuck Berry (58%, 7 Votes)
  • "Denise" by Randy & The Rainbows (42%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (2 of 16)

  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (58%, 7 Votes)
  • "Anna (Go to Him)" by Arthur Alexander (42%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (3 of 16)

  • "Barbara Ann" by The Regents (80%, 8 Votes)
  • "Claudette" by The Everly Brothers (20%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (4 of 16)

  • "Donna" by Ritchie Valens (55%, 6 Votes)
  • "Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Group 2

Match Song Song
#1 Good Golly Miss Molly” (1956) by Little Richard vs. Hit the Road Jack” (1961) by Ray Charles
#2 Just Like Eddie” (1963) by Heinz vs. Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie” (1958) by Eddie Cochran
#3 Hello Mary Lou” (1961) by Ricky Nelson vs. Johnny Angel” (1962) by Shelley Fabares
#4 Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry vs. Hey Paula” (1962) by Paul & Paula

Which song is better? (5 of 16)

  • "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles (79%, 11 Votes)
  • "Good Golly Miss Molly" by Little Richard (21%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 14

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Which song is better? (6 of 16)

  • "Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie" by Eddie Cochran (70%, 7 Votes)
  • "Just Like Eddie" by Heinz (30%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (7 of 16)

  • "Hello Mary Lou" by Ricky Nelson (73%, 8 Votes)
  • "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares (27%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Which song is better? (8 of 16)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (80%, 12 Votes)
  • "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula (20%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Group 3

Match Song Song
#1 Lucille” (1957) by Little Richard vs. Oh Julie” (1958) by The Crescendos
#2 Maybellene” (1955) by Chuck Berry vs. Nadine” (1964) by Chuck Berry
#3 Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets vs. Louie Louie” (1957) by Richard Berry
#4 Marlena” (1963) by The Four Seasons vs. (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” (1961) by Elvis Presley

Which song is better? (9 of 16)

  • "Lucille" by Little Richard (100%, 13 Votes)
  • "Oh Julie" by The Crescendos (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 13

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Which song is better? (10 of 16)

  • "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry (64%, 7 Votes)
  • "Nadine" by Chuck Berry (36%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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Which song is better? (11 of 16)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (75%, 9 Votes)
  • "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry (25%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (12 of 16)

  • "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley (55%, 6 Votes)
  • "Marlena" by The Four Seasons (45%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Group 4

Match Song Song
#1 Ride on Josephine” (1960) by Bo Diddley vs. Tall Paul” (1959) by Annette Funicello
#2 Sandy” (1963) by Dion vs. Ruby Ann” (1962) by Marty Robbins
#3 Wake Up Little Susie” (1957) by The Everly Brothers vs. Susie Q” (1957) by Dale Hawkins
#4 Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion vs. Sheila” (1962) by Tommy Roe

Which song is better? (13 of 16)

  • "Ride on Josephine" by Bo Diddley (67%, 6 Votes)
  • "Tall Paul" by Annette Funicello (33%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Which song is better? (14 of 16)

  • "Sandy" by Dion (60%, 6 Votes)
  • "Ruby Ann" by Marty Robbins (40%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (15 of 16)

  • "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers (54%, 7 Votes)
  • "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins (46%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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Which song is better? (16 of 16)

  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (82%, 9 Votes)
  • "Sheila" by Tommy Roe (18%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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…Polls for this round close on Monday night. The Sweet 16 round starts on Tuesday morning.


Name-Song Tournament: 1950s & 1960s (Round 1)

Time for another tournament!

A few years ago, we held a fun 1980s name-song tournament. (Come on, Eileen, you must remember!) This year, let’s go back even further — let’s check out songs with names in the titles from the early rock and roll era (late ’50s and early ’60s).

I’ll explain more about the tournament at the bottom of the post. For now, I’ll just forewarn you that each link opens a video in a new page so that you don’t lose your place on this page, which is pretty long.

Group 1

Match Song Song
#1 Denise” (1963) by Randy & the Rainbows vs. Deserie” (1957) by The Charts
#2 Carol” (1957) by Chuck Berry vs. Dede Dinah” (1958) by Frankie Avalon
#3 Fannie Mae” (1959) by Buster Brown vs. Eddie My Love” (1956) by The Teen Queens
#4 Diana” (1957) by Paul Anka vs. Anna (Go to Him)” (1962) by Arthur Alexander
#5 Barbara Ann” (1961) by The Regents vs. Dusty” (1964) by The Rag Dolls
#6 Claudette” (1958) by The Everly Brothers vs. Bobby’s Girl” (1962) by Marcie Blane
#7 Donna” (1958) by Ritchie Valens vs. Donna the Prima Donna” (1963) by Dion
#8 Be-Bop-A-Lula” (1956) by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps vs. Cathy’s Clown” (1960) by The Everly Brothers

Which song is better? (1 of 32)

  • "Denise" by Randy & the Rainbows (56%, 5 Votes)
  • "Deserie" by The Charts (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Which song is better? (2 of 32)

  • "Carol" by Chuck Berry (80%, 8 Votes)
  • "Dede Dinah" by Frankie Avalon (20%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Which song is better? (3 of 32)

  • "Eddie My Love" by The Teen Queens (88%, 7 Votes)
  • "Fannie Mae" by Buster Brown (13%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Which song is better? (4 of 32)

  • "Anna (Go to Him)" by Arthur Alexander (56%, 5 Votes)
  • "Diana" by Paul Anka (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Which song is better? (5 of 32)

  • "Barbara Ann" by The Regents (63%, 5 Votes)
  • "Dusty" by The Rag Doll (38%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Which song is better? (6 of 32)

  • "Claudette" by The Everly Brothers (57%, 4 Votes)
  • "Bobby's Girl" by Marcie Blane (43%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (7 of 32)

  • "Donna" by Ritchie Valens (71%, 5 Votes)
  • "Donna the Prima Donna" by Dion (29%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (8 of 32)

  • "Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers (56%, 5 Votes)
  • "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Group 2

Match Song Song
#1 Good Golly Miss Molly” (1956) by Little Richard vs. Katy Too” (1961) by Johnny Cash
#2 Hit the Road Jack” (1961) by Ray Charles vs. Jimmy Boy” (1963) by The Girlfriends
#3 Jacqueline” (1958) by Bobby Helms vs. Just Like Eddie” (1963) by Heinz
#4 Lana” (1961) by The Velvets vs. Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie” (1958) by Eddie Cochran
#5 Hello Mary Lou” (1961) by Ricky Nelson vs. Jim Dandy” (1956) by LaVern Baker
#6 Johnny Angel” (1962) by Shelley Fabares vs. Judy’s Turn to Cry” (1963) by Lesley Gore
#7 Johnny B. Goode” (1958) by Chuck Berry vs. Hats off to Larry” (1961) by Del Shannon
#8 Hey Paula” (1962) by Paul & Paula vs. Jenny, Jenny” (1956) by Little Richard

Which song is better? (9 of 32)

  • "Good Golly Miss Molly" by Little Richard (100%, 6 Votes)
  • "Katy Too" by Johnny Cash (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (10 of 32)

  • "Hit the Road Jack" by Ray Charles (100%, 6 Votes)
  • "Jimmy Boy" by The Girlfriends (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (11 of 32)

  • "Just Like Eddie" by Heinz (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Jacqueline" by Bobby Helms (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (12 of 32)

  • "Jeannie Jeannie Jeannie" by Eddie Cochran (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Lana" by The Velvets (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (13 of 32)

  • "Hello Mary Lou" by Ricky Nelson (71%, 5 Votes)
  • "Jim Dandy" by LaVern Baker (29%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (14 of 32)

  • "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Judy's Turn to Cry" by Lesley Gore (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (15 of 32)

  • "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry (100%, 6 Votes)
  • "Hats off to Larry" by Del Shannon (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (16 of 32)

  • "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Jenny, Jenny" by Little Richard (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Group 3

Match Song Song
#1 Lucille” (1957) by Little Richard vs. Oh Rose Marie” (1959) by The Fascinators
#2 Mary Ann” (1956) by Ray Charles vs. Oh Julie” (1958) by The Crescendos
#3 Maybellene” (1955) by Chuck Berry vs. Little Latin Lupe Lu” (1963) by The Righteous Brothers
#4 Nadine” (1964) by Chuck Berry vs. Little Diane” (1962) by Dion
#5 Oh! Carol” (1959) by Neil Sedaka vs. Peggy Sue” (1957) by Buddy Holly and The Crickets
#6 Louie Louie” (1957) by Richard Berry vs. Mickey’s Monkey” (1963) by The Miracles
#7 Marlena” (1963) by The Four Seasons vs. My Girl Josephine” (1960) by Fats Domino
#8 (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” (1961) by Elvis Presley vs. Long Tall Sally” (1956) by Little Richard

Which song is better? (17 of 32)

  • "Lucille" by Little Richard (100%, 7 Votes)
  • "Oh Rose Marie" by The Fascinators (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (18 of 32)

  • "Oh Julie" by The Crescendos (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Mary Ann" by Ray Charles (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (19 of 32)

  • "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry (80%, 4 Votes)
  • "Little Latin Lupe Lu" by The Righteous Brothers (20%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (20 of 32)

  • "Nadine" by Chuck Berry (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Little Diane" by Dion (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (21 of 32)

  • "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets (100%, 5 Votes)
  • "Oh! Carol" by Neil Sedaka (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (22 of 32)

  • "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Mickey's Monkey" by The Miracles (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (23 of 32)

  • "Marlena" by The Four Seasons (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "My Girl Josephine" by Fats Domino (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Which song is better? (24 of 32)

  • "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" by Elvis Presley (60%, 3 Votes)
  • "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard (40%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Group 4

Match Song Song
#1 Venus” (1959) by Frankie Avalon vs. Ride on Josephine” (1960) by Bo Diddley
#2 Sandy” (1959) by Larry Hall vs. Tall Paul” (1959) by Annette Funicello
#3 Sandy” (1963) by Dion vs. Ruby Baby” (1956) by The Drifters
#4 Ronnie” (1964) by The Four Seasons vs. Ruby Ann” (1962) by Marty Robbins
#5 Wake Up Little Susie” (1957) by The Everly Brothers vs. Sally, Go ‘Round the Roses” (1963) by The Jaynetts
#6 Sherry” (1962) by The Four Seasons vs. Susie Q” (1957) by Dale Hawkins
#7 Runaround Sue” (1961) by Dion vs. Venus in Blue Jeans” (1962) by Jimmy Clanton
#8 Sheila” (1962) by Tommy Roe vs. Susie Darlin’” (1958) by Robin Luke

Which song is better? (25 of 32)

  • "Ride on Josephine" by Bo Diddley (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Venus" by Frankie Avalon (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (26 of 32)

  • "Tall Paul" by Annette Funicello (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Sandy" by Larry Hall (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (27 of 32)

  • "Sandy" by Dion (57%, 4 Votes)
  • "Ruby Baby" by The Drifters (43%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (28 of 32)

  • "Ruby Ann" by Marty Robbins (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Ronnie" by The Four Seasons (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (29 of 32)

  • "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers (57%, 4 Votes)
  • "Sally, Go 'Round the Roses" by The Jaynetts (43%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (30 of 32)

  • "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins (71%, 5 Votes)
  • "Sherry" by The Four Seasons (29%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which song is better? (31 of 32)

  • "Runaround Sue" by Dion (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Venus in Blue Jeans" by Jimmy Clanton (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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Which song is better? (32 of 32)

  • "Sheila" by Tommy Roe (67%, 4 Votes)
  • "Susie Darlin'" by Robin Luke (33%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 6

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…And that’s it for now! Round 2 will start on Friday.

Here’s the full tournament schedule:

  • Round 1 (64 songs to 32): Vote March 12-15
  • Round 2 (32 to 16): Vote March 16-19
  • Sweet 16 (16 to 8): Vote March 20-22
  • Elite Eight (8 to 4): Vote March 23-25
  • Final Four (4 to 2): Vote March 26-27
  • Championship (2 to 1): Vote March 28-29
  • Winner (1): Announced on March 30

Polls close at 11:59 PM (Mountain Time) on the last day of each round.

And finally, in case you’re wondering how I chose the groups and the pairings: The groups are alphabetical (A to F, G to L, L to P, and R to W). To rank the songs within each group, I used that “total” number of Google search results as a proxy for popularity. Then I created match-ups in true March Madness style: first vs. last, second vs. second-to-last, and so forth.

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2016

Which girl names increased the most in popularity from 2015 to 2016? Which ones decreased the most?

The SSA likes to answer this question by analyzing ranking differences within the top 1,000. I like to answer it by looking at raw number differences that take the full list into account. So let’s check out the results using both methods…

Girl Names: Biggest Increases, 2015 to 2016

baby names, girl names, more popular

Rankings

1. Kehlani, +2,487 spots — up from 3,359th to 872nd
2. Royalty, +618 spots — up from 1,150th to 532nd
3. Saoirse, +465 spots — up from 1,448th to 983rd
4. Ophelia, +396 spots — up from 976th to 580th
5. Aitana, +368 spots — up from 917th to 549th
6. Itzayana, +356 spots — up from 1,125th to 769th
7. Alessia, +348 spots — up from 1,175th to 827th
8. Kaylani, +301 spots — up from 1,056th to 755th
9. Avianna, +298 spots — up from 751st to 453rd
10. Nalani, +294 spots — up from 1,280th to 986th

Kehlani and Kaylani were influenced by singer/songwriter Kehlani Parrish. (Kehlani was the top debut name of 2015, and variant Khelani debuted impressively in 2016.)

Royalty was influenced by the R&B singer Chris Brown, whose daughter (b. 2014) and 7th album (2015) were both called Royalty.

Saoirse was influenced by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan — perhaps specifically by those American talk show appearances in which she talked to the hosts (Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert, etc.) about how to pronounce her name. Plus there was that widely circulated Ryan Gosling quote on the same topic (“It’s Ser-sha, like inertia”).

Alessia was influenced by singer/songwriter Alessia Cara.

Raw Numbers

1. Adeline, +1,700 baby girls — up from 2,403 to 4,103
2. Charlotte, +1,649 baby girls — up from 11,381 to 13,030
3. Riley, +1,390 baby girls — up from 5,720 to 7,110
4. Adaline, +971 baby girls — up from 902 to 1,873
5. Amelia, +864 baby girls — up from 9,838 to 10,702
6. Luna, +849 baby girls — up from 2,796 to 3,645
7. Emilia, +804 baby girls — up from 2,215 to 3,019
8. Camila, +765 baby girls — up from 5,271 to 6,036
9. Nova, +754 baby girls — up from 1,518 to 2,272
10. Evelyn, +708 baby girls — up from 9,352 to 10,060

Adeline and Adaline were influenced, at least initially, by the movie The Age of Adaline (2015).

Other names that saw raw number increases in the 200+ range included Eleanor, Teagan, Kinsley, Scarlett, Everly, Quinn, Aria, Remi, Harper, Penelope, Thea, Claire, Rowan, Hazel, Ruby, Blake, Aurora, Ivy, Harley, Eloise, Willow, Elena, Josephine, Alice, Blakely, Saylor, Nora, Leia, Iris, Margot, Isla, Freya, Samara, Joy, Zara, Eliana, Joanna, and Malia.

Girl Names: Biggest Decreases, 2015 to 2016

baby names, girl names, less popular

Rankings

1. Caitlin, -542 spots — down from 609th to 1,151st
2. Caitlyn, -462 spots — down from 598th to 1,060th
3. Katelynn, -402 spots — down from 652nd to 1,054th
4. Kaitlynn, -381 spots — down from 994th to 1,375th
5. Neriah, -344 spots — down from 943rd to 1,287th
6. Bryanna, -276 spots — down from 783rd to 1,059th
7. Kiley, -275 spots — down from 898th to 1,173rd
8. Yaritza, -271 spots — down from 935th to 1,206th
9. Denise, -210 spots — down from 993rd to 1,203rd
10. Kaelyn, -203 spots — down from 521st to 724th

caitlyn jenner, magazine coverCaitlin, Caitlyn, Katelynn, and Kaitlynn, were negatively influenced by Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner), who appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in mid-2015 with the headline “Call me Caitlyn.”

This reminds me of what happened a few decades ago to Hillary — another name that was strongly associated for a time with a female who wasn’t conforming to gender norms. Perhaps tellingly, the name Bruce wasn’t hit nearly as hard. Jenner did fall of the charts, though.

Raw Numbers

1. Sophia, -1,311 baby girls — down from 17,381 to 16,070
2. Alexa, -1,289 baby girls — down from 6,049 to 4,760
3. Madison, -1,090 baby girls — down from 10,072 to 8,982
4. Emma, -1,001 baby girls — down from 20,415 to 19,414 (…but still the #1 name overall)
5. Aubrey, -869 baby girls — down from 7,376 to 6,507
6. Isabella, -852 baby girls — down from 15,574 to 14,722
7. Emily, -840 baby girls — down from 11,766 to 10,926
8. Kylie, -753 baby girls — down from 4,149 to 3,396
9. Alexis, -744 baby girls — down from 3,406 to 2,662
10. Abigail, -672 baby girls — down from 12,371 to 11,699

Other names that saw raw number drops in the 200+ range included Kaitlyn, Avery, Allison, Alyssa, London, Kaylee, Sofia, Katelyn, Kimberly, Zoey, Mia, Chloe, Kendall, Taylor, Sadie, Khloe, Mackenzie, Hannah, Peyton, Addison, Samantha, Ashley, Olivia, Gabriella, Brianna, Lauren, Anna, Brooklyn, Morgan, Jocelyn, Sydney, Natalie, Victoria, Makayla, Zoe, Hailey, Payton, Brooke, Annabelle, Trinity, Keira, Adalyn, Jordyn, Kayla, Molly, Audrey, Faith, Madelyn, Lillian, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Makenzie, Paige, Aaliyah, Paisley, Nevaeh, Elizabeth, Amy, and Jessica.

Interesting how certain like-names went in opposite directions last year. Leia, Alessia, and Adaline rose; Leah, Alyssa, and Adalyn fell.

Do you have any other explanations/guesses about any of the names above? If so, please comment!

(In 2015, the big winners were Alexa and Alaia, and the big losers were Isabella and Isis.)

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2015 to 2016, Emma and Noah Remain Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2016

Name Quotes #48 – Tasha, Tiberius, Mi Mi

Time for more name-related quotes!

From a recent E! Online interview with Jordan Peele [vid], who spoke about choosing a baby name:

We definitely want pick a name that has a certain positivity that will counter this barbaric, negative time that we’re in right now.

From the 2008 New York Times obituary of illustrator/author Tasha Tudor:

Starling Burgess, who later legally changed both her names to Tasha Tudor, was born in Boston to well-connected but not wealthy parents. Her mother, Rosamond Tudor, was a portrait painter, and her father, William Starling Burgess, was a yacht and airplane designer who collaborated with Buckminster Fuller. […] She was originally nicknamed Natasha by her father, after Tolstoy’s heroine in “War and Peace.” This was shortened to Tasha. After her parents divorced when she was 9, Ms. Tudor adopted her mother’s last name.

(Her four kids were named Seth, Bethany, Thomas, and Efner (female). One of Tudor’s books was called Edgar Allan Crow (1953).)

On the new scientific name of Australia’s “Blue Bastard” fish:

Queensland Museum scientist Jeff Johnson, who identified the species from photos taken last year by a Weipa fisherman, has formally christened it Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus – a direct Latin translation of the colloquial name anglers bestowed on a fish famously difficult to land.

Caeruleo is blue and nothus is bastard. That was the origin of the name applied by fishermen for many years and I thought, why should I argue with that? It seemed like a perfect name [to] me,” Johnson told Guardian Australia.

“I wondered what the reviewers of the paper would say about it but they both agreed it was quintessentially Australian and we should go ahead.”

From the book My Life as a List: 207 Things about My (Bronx) Childhood (1999) by Linda Rosenkrantz (of Nameberry!):

Before I was born, my mother had decided to name me either Laurel or Lydia, names that appealed to her artistic temperament. But then somehow, while under the scrim of anesthesia, she was convinced by my father’s sisters to make me a lackluster Ruth, in honor of their recently deceased mother, Rose. And so my birth certificate read Ruth Leila, a name I was never, ever called by my mother, either of my father’s sisters or anyone else.

(Here’s more in Linda’s post The Story of How I Got Hooked on Names.)

On the names of the Mordvins, an indigenous group in Russia:

While walking along some river bank, not far from the Volga line, we might encounter some pleasant people called Kvedor, Markva, Valdonya and Nekhot and not realise that in Russian they would be Fyodor, Marfa, Svetlana and Mefody aka Theodore, Martha, Svetlana and Methodius.

This sort of phenomenon happens because of the Finno-Ugric special phonetic and secret lore. Any sound which is not familiar to their native tongue will be changed and adapted to suit the native tastes.

From an article in the Tampa Bay Times about transgender name changes:

[E]arlier this year in Augusta, Ga., Superior Court Judge J. David Roper declined to change the name of a college student from Rebeccah Elizabeth to Rowan Elijah Feldhaus.

“I don’t know anybody named Elijah who’s female,” the judge said, according to a court transcript. “I’m not going to do that. I’ve never heard of that. And I know who Elijah was, one of the greatest men who ever lived.”

Months later, he ruled similarly in the case of a transgender man who wanted to legally become Andrew Baumert, the name by which he said everyone already knew him. The judge refused. “My policy has been that I will not change a name from an obviously female to an obviously male name, and vice versa,” he said.

NPR writer Lateefah Torrence on choosing a baby name:

Having grown up in a working-class world, Frank is sensitive to names that he finds “pretentious” while as the outsider black kid, I worry about names that sound “too white.” I must admit that I have mostly rolled my eyes at his unease with my never-ending list of suggestions from world mythology and literature. He suggests Molly; I counter with Aziza. He brings William to the table; I suggest Tiberius.

(Lateefah was also featured in last month’s quote post.)

From a 1958 article in The Atlantic on Burmese Names by Mi Mi Khaing:

One or more of a Burmese child’s names is almost certain to show the day on which he was born–a survival from our belief that human destiny is linked with the stars. Certain letters of the alphabet are ascribed to each day, so that a “Thursday’s child” would have one name beginning with our P, B, or M.

Burmese is a monosyllabic language, and each part of our names is an actual word that means something, or even several things, depending on how it is pronounced. Thus I am “Little Mother” (Mi Mi) “Branch of the Tree” (Khaing) (though “khaing” can also mean “firm”) […] [a] merchant I know was aptly named “Surmounting a Hundred Thousand,” while the Rector of Rangoon University, Dr. Htin Aung, is “Distinguished and Successful.”

Being so handsomely named is not embarrassing, however, because we become so used to our names, and those of our friends, that we only think of the person and remember their names by their sound.