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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mona

Number of Babies Named Mona

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mona

Starlet Names from the Early 1900s

Ever heard of the WAMPAS Baby Stars?

They were young actresses on the cusp of movie stardom back in the 1920s and 1930s.

WAMPAS baby stars 1928

About 13 Baby Stars were selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers every year from 1922 to 1934 (minus 1930 and 1933).

Some of those young women did indeed achieve stardom. Among the Baby Stars were Clara Bow (’24), Mary Astor (’26), Joan Crawford (’26), Fay Wray (’26) and Ginger Rogers (’32).

I thought the names of the Baby Stars — the oldest of whom were born in the final years of the 1800s, the youngest of whom were born in the mid-1910s — would make an interesting set. But I wanted birth names, not stage names, so I tracked down as many birth names as I could. Here’s the result, sorted by frequency (i.e., seven women were named Dorothy).

  • 7: Dorothy
  • 6: Helen
  • 4: Elizabeth
  • 3: Frances, Ruth, Virginia
  • 2: Anita, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Clara, Doris, Dorothea, Eleanor, Evelyn, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Hazel, Jacqueline, Katherine, Laura, Louise, Lucille, Margaret, Maria, Marian, Marie, Marion, Mary, Patricia, Violet
  • 1: Adamae, Alberta, Alma, Anne, Audrey, Augusta, Blanche, Carmelita, Caryl, Constance, Derelys, Dolores, Duane, Edna, Eleanor, Ena, Enriqueta, Ethel, Ethlyne, Evalyn, Flora, Gisela, Gloria, Gretchen, Hattie, Helene, Ina, Ingeborg, Jacquiline, Jean, Joan, Jobyna, Josephine, Juanita, Julanne, Kathleen, Kathryn, Kitty, Launa, Laurette, Lena, Lenore, Lilian, Lola, Lu Ann, Lucile, Madeline, Marceline, Martha, Mildred, Myrna, Natalia, Natalie, Nellie, Neoma, Olive, Olivia, Patsy, Rita, Rochelle, Rose, Sally, Suzanne, Sidney, Toshia, Vera, Vina

And here are the leftover stage names:

  • 5: Sally
  • 4: Mary
  • 3: Joan, June
  • 2: Betty, Jean, Judith, Pauline
  • 1: Alice, Bessie, Boots, Claire, Colleen, Dolores, Dorothy, Elinor, Evelyn, Fay, Frances, Gigi, Ginger, Gladys, Gloria, Gwen, Iris, Janet, Joyce, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Lila, Lina, Lois, Lona, Loretta, Lucille, Lupe, Marian, Molly, Mona, Natalie, Patricia, Sue

(Often stage names were the real-life middle names of these women.)

Finally, a few interesting details:

  • Jobyna is Jobyna Ralston, named for actress Jobyna Howland, daughter of a man named Joby Howland. Jobyna debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1927.
  • Derelys is Derelys Perdue. “Perdue’s boss, future presidential father Joseph P. Kennedy, insisted on changing her name to the more palatable Ann Perdue.” She sued, but lost, and her career never recovered. Derelys was a one-hit wonder on the SSA’s baby name list in 1924.
  • Sidney is Sidney Fox, a female who had the name Sidney/Sydney long before the name became trendy for girls.
  • Lina is Lina Basquette, who I mentioned in last week’s name quote post.
  • One of the Marys is Mary Astor, who went on to give her daughter a Hawaiian name.

Which of the above names do you like best? Why?

Source: Derelys Perdue – Biography – Movies & TV – NYTimes.com


Baby Name Needed for Sister of Liam and Brenna

Readers Tracie and Hugh Roarty, who are expecting a baby girl in August, would like a few baby name suggestions.

We have an almost 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter. Their names are Liam Robert and Brenna Kelly. My husband and I are both of Irish American descent. I had loved the name Liam since I was a child (am a bit shocked at how popular it is becoming now!). Their middle names are both family names.

Tracie, Hugh, Liam and Brenna currently live in Belgium, but they’ll be moving back to the U.S. before the baby arrives. They keep track of their travels at Belgian Bloggin, where Tracie recently announced her pregnancy. Tracie mentioned that Brenna would like to name the baby Rapunzel, while Liam would simply like to use the name Brenna again. :)

We have decided that we do not want another very Irish name (I feel like it will start to sound like we wish we lived in Ireland – if that makes sense?).

The names I have been drawn to so far are Margot and Valerie – both French I believe. I think it is the European influence on me. I like that these names are easily recognizable but not extremely popular.

The middle name would be either Patricia or Claire (our mothers names). For the two names so far we like Margot Patricia or Valerie Claire.

I love both Margot and Valerie.

Here are some other names I think Tracie and Hugh might like as well:

Alice
Carla
Caroline
Celeste
Claudia
Charlotte
Diana
Elise/Elisa
Gemma
Johanna
Julia
Marie/Maria
Marion
Matilda
Miranda
Mona
Nicole
Portia
Ramona
Rosalie
Sabine
Sara
Sylvie/Sylvia
Stephanie

Which of the above do you like best for Liam and Brenna’s baby sister? What other names would you suggest?

Names Needed for Twin Baby Girls

A reader named Grace would like some help naming her twin girls, due in a couple of months. She and her husband John already have three boys, Jackson, Samuel and Lucas.

So far, their favorite girl names are Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah. But they’re also considering a family name:

We would love to honor my mother, Denise Marie, but we despise both names. I would love some ideas on how to use that without actually using those names.

For the middle spots, they’re aiming for virtue names. They already have Honor picked out, and “[i]f there is another virtue name you would suggest so they both had one that would be great!”

Their last name is similar to Cawston.


On the current favorites…
I like all of the current favorites. The pairing I like best, though, is Juliet and Susannah. I just think they sound good together. I also like how they can both be shortened, just like the boys’ names — Jack, Sam, Luke, Jules & Sue (or Julie & Susie).

On incorporating Denise Marie…
One way to incorporate Denise Marie would be to find a name that features the sounds of both Denise and Marie (especially those D- and M-sounds). Names with these sounds include Madeline, Demetria, Dominique/Domenica, Damaris, Adamina, Amadea and Idamae.

Another approach would be to use initials — either the initials “D. M.” for one twin or a D-name for twin #1 and an M-name for twin #2. Some possibilities (beyond the names above) include Dahlia, Daisy, Damiana, Daphne, Dara, Delphine, Diana, Dina, Dora, Dorothy and Drusilla for D-names and Mara, Marian, Marlene, Martina, Mina, Mirabelle, Miranda, Miriam, Molly, Monica and Mona for M-names.

On virtuous middles…
My first thought was Mercy, because it sounds a lot like Marie. Other virtue names that might make nice middles are Amity, Charity, Clementine/Clemency, Hope, Joy, Patience, Peace/Pax, Temperance and Verity.


Now it’s your turn! Which of Juliet, Isla, Susannah and Norah do you like best for twins? What names can you come up with to honor Denise Marie? Which virtue names do you like best for middle names?

Baby Girls Named Mona Lisa

nat king cole, mona lisa, songMany of us probably don’t know anything about the 1950 movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.

But I bet most of us could hum a few bars of the film’s theme song, “Mona Lisa” [vid].

The song, performed by Nat King Cole, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1950. It was also the #1 song in the nation for eight weeks straight in mid-1950.

Not surprisingly, the song inspired dozens of expectant parents to name their baby girls Monalisa in 1950:

  • 1954: 6 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1953: 9 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1952: 7 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1951: 15 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1950: 35 baby girls named Monalisa [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted

Monalisa became the top baby name debut that year, and it’s been on the list ever since.

Even more impressive? The jump in the number of babies named Mona that year:

  • 1952: 950 baby girls named Mona
  • 1951: 1,106 baby girls named Mona
  • 1950: 1,087 baby girls named Mona
  • 1949: 513 baby girls named Mona
  • 1948: 455 baby girls named Mona

You can bet many of those babies were given the middle name Lisa. :)

The song refers to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa, a 16th-century portrait of Lisa Gherardini. Mona is a contraction of Madonna, Italian for “my lady,” and Lisa is a short form of Elisabetta, the Italian form of Elizabeth.

Pope Benedict Talks Baby Names

Pope Benedict XVI mentioned baby names over the weekend. Well, maybe not baby names–baptismal names is more precise. In any case, here’s what he said while baptizing a 21 infants in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday:

Every baptism should ensure that the child is given a Christian name, an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit will allow the person to blossom in the bosom of the Church. Do not give your children names that are not in the Christian calendar.

I’ve seen other church officials comment on this issue, but never the Pope himself. I wonder what sort of impact it will have on Catholic parents.

BONUS: Here are some interesting quotes I collected from news articles covering this story.

The first little examples of Mela (Italian for Apple) and Pesche (Peaches) are already up and walking, say the Italian newspapers, thanks to the decisions of Gwyneth Paltrow and Bob Geldof to pick names at the greengrocer.

Celebrity baby names in translation. Trippy.

Even leading politicians have chosen unusual names. The pugnacious Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa christened his three sons Geronimo, Lorenzo Cochis and Leonardo Apache.

Geronimo and Cochise were both Apache leaders.

[Names] banned in Portugal include Lolita, Maradona and Mona Lisa.

Diego Maradona (b. 1960) is a former pro soccer player from Argentina.

Another source mentioned something about a Sue Ellen trend in Italy during the 1980s, thanks to the popularity of American TV show Dallas, but I can’t locate the original article/link.

Sources: For heaven’s sake, Pope hopes to end trend for exotic names, Pope makes a plea to parents to give their children traditional names

P.S. Here’s more on the Catholic Church’s stance on names.

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Fourth Baby

A reader named Jennifer would like some name suggestions for her baby girl, due in August. The baby will have three older siblings: Theo, Adrian and Nora Juliet.

Jennifer’s top choice had been Daphne…until a friend used it. Here’s what she liked about Daphne:

[I]t is Greek/mythological (I like the meaning), it is not easily nicknamed, it is not too long, and it is “old” and “traditional” but not common and it sounds beautiful, different. The sound with the last name is very important.

Now, about that last name. It’s distinctive. It starts with an x (that sounds like a z), ends with an s, has 2 syllables (stress on the first), and is unmistakably Greek. I couldn’t find a great substitute, but an Italian name like Zino or Zappa would probably suffice.

Currently, Jennifer’s favorite names are Charlotte, Eve, Genevieve, Lydia and Phoebe. She’s also interested in names that don’t end with an a-sound.

Here are some possibilities:

Beryl
Bettina
Camille
Caroline
Cecily
Chloe
Clytie
Colette
Corinne/Corinna
Danielle
Diane
Dorothy
Emily
Esther
Evelyn
Hannah
Harriet
Helen/Helena
Ione
Irene
Julie
Katherine
Laurel
Leonie
Lisette
Lucia
Margaret
Marie
Mona
Monica
Odette
Pauline
Rachel
Renee
Rosalie
Selene/Selena
Sibyl
Sophie
Sylvie
Yvonne

Which of the above do you like best with Theo, Adrian and Nora? What other girl names would you suggest to Jennifer?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Baby #4

A reader named Lynn has three children named Aidan Michael, Sophie Alice and August Gabriel. She’s expecting her fourth baby in late September. She’s already picked out a boy name (Jude), but would like some help coming up with a girl name.

What is she looking for? “We love old names. We love names that aren’t duplicated in every classroom.” Right now, the top contenders are Lucy, Daisy and Celia.

She also notes that, when she chose Aidan for her eldest, the name wasn’t yet trendy. “It was an old-fashioned Irish saint! Now you seriously can’t swing a cat in our town without hitting a (non-Irish) Aidan.”

Here are a few girl names I think Lynn might like:

Cecile/Cecilia
Celeste
Clara
Coral
Corinne
Delia
Della
Edith
Eliza
Esther
Flora
Frances
Greta
Harriet
Helen
Irene
Josephine (Josie)
Louise/Louisa
Lucia
Margaret (Maggie)
Maura
Molly
Mona
Myra
Nicola
Norma
Opal
Orla
Pauline
Petra
Rhea
Rhona
Rosie
Theda
Thora
Vera

Some of the names in yesterday’s post on girl names that go with Edie might also work for Lynn’s family. (In fact, I used several again in this post.)

Which of the above do you like best with Aidan, Sophie and August? What other names would you suggest to Lynn?