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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Montgomery

Number of Babies Named Montgomery

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Montgomery

Baby Names Inspired by M&M’S

M&M'S baby names, candy baby names

What’s the best thing about Halloween? If you said the costumes, or the parties, or the history, or the carving of very elaborate jack-o’-lanterns…you’d be wrong. Because the correct answer is: the candy.

But, as funny as I think it would be to meet a kid named Twizzler, I don’t want people taking names from candy wrappers and putting them onto birth certificates. So let’s look at candy-inspired baby names in a slightly different way by focusing on a single brand with a simple name: M&M’S.

Did you know that M&M’S are the top-selling Halloween candy in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.? They’re the second-best seller in eight other states, and the third-best seller in three more.

More important for our purposes, though, is the fact that the brand name is essentially the same letter twice. So let’s check out baby names that similarly have two M’s, but two separate M’s. Because, if the candies won’t melt in your hand, the M’s shouldn’t meld in a name.

So here are over 20 baby names with two audibly distinct M’s, just like M&M’S candies:

  • Amram (m) – “exalted nation” in Hebrew.
  • Chrysanthemum (f) – flower name, from the ancient Greek words for “gold” and “flower.”
  • Jemima (f) – “dove” in Hebrew.
  • Kimimila (f) – “butterfly” in Lakota.
  • Leimomi (f) – “pearl lei” or “pearl child” in Hawaiian.
  • Malcolm (m) – “disciple of Saint Columba” in Scottish.
  • Mamie (f) – pet form of Mary or Margaret.
  • Maram (f) – “wish, desire” in Arabic.
  • Maximus, Maxima, Maximilian, etc. (m/f)- “greatest” in Latin.
  • Megumi (f) – Japanese name with various possible meanings, including “love, affection.”
  • Memphis (m/f) – “his beauty” in Egyptian.
  • Menachem (m) – “comforter” in Hebrew.
  • Mimi (f) – pet form of M-names like Mary and Maria.
  • Miriam (f) – original Hebrew form of Mary.
  • Maryam (f) – Arabic form of Maria.
  • Momoka (f) – Japanese name with various possible meanings, including “peach” + “fragrance.”
  • Montgomery (m) – English surname, from Norman French, meaning “Gumarich’s mountain.”
  • Mortimer (m) – English surname, from Old French, meaning “still water.”
  • Muhammad (m) – “praiseworthy” in Arabic.
  • Tomomi (f) – Japanese name with various possible meanings, including “friend” + “beautiful.”

Which of the M+M names above do you like best?

And, are you curious to know what the M’s in “M&M’S” actually stand for? Mars and Murrie, the surnames of Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie, the businessmen who created M&M’S back in the early 1940s. Forrest was the sons of Frank C. Mars (founder of Mars, Incorporated) and Bruce was the son of William F. R. Murrie (president of Hershey’s).

Sources: Top Halloween Candy by State [Interactive Map] – CandyStore.com, Memphis – Online Etymology Dictionary, Behind the Name


McCutcheon’s Baby Names: Nedra, Yetive, Gerane, Doraine…

The name “George Barr McCutcheon” probably doesn’t mean anything to you, right? But the name has become pretty familiar to me over the years, because George Barr McCutcheon — who wrote dozens of novels in the early 1900s — put several brand new baby names on the map during the early 20th century.

The Indiana-born writer lived from 1866 to 1928, and many of his books became bestsellers. Today, his best-remembered story is Brewster’s Millions, which has been adapted into a movie several times. The most memorable adaptation would have to be the 1985 version starring comedians Richard Pryor (as protagonist Montgomery Brewster) and John Candy.

So which baby names did McCutcheon introduce/influence? Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Nedra

nedraMcCutcheon’s novel Nedra (1905) was the 5th best-selling book of 1905. Though there’s a lady on the front cover, “Nedra” isn’t a female character, but the name of an island on which several of the characters are shipwrecked.

The next year, the name Nedra debuted on the baby name charts. In fact, it was the top debut name of 1906.

  • 1909: 14 baby girls named Nedra
  • 1908: 18 baby girls named Nedra
  • 1907: 10 baby girls named Nedra
  • 1906: 11 baby girls named Nedra [debut]
  • 1905: unlisted

SSDI data confirms that the name Nedra saw noticeably higher usage after the book was released.

One of these baby Nedras grew up to become actress Nedra Volz (b. 1908).

Yetive, Truxton, Gerane, Beverly

McCutcheon wrote six novels about the fictional Eastern European country of Graustark:

  • Graustark (1901) – the 9th best-selling book of 1901
  • Beverly of Graustark (1904) – the 6th best-selling book of 1904
  • Truxton King (1909) – the 6th best-selling book of 1909
  • The Prince of Graustark (1914) – the 10th best-selling book of 1914
  • East of the Setting Sun (1924)
  • The Inn of the Hawk and Raven (1927)

Several of these books were later made into movies and plays. The three Graustarkian names I’ve noticed on the charts are:

  • Yetive, inspired by the character Princess Yetive from the first two books. First appeared in the SSA data in 1911.
  • Truxton, inspired by Truxton King from the 3rd book. First appeared in the data in 1912.
  • Gerane, inspired by Gerane Davos from the final book. First appeared in the data 1928.

Plus there’s Beverly, which was used for a female character in Beverly of Graustark. The novel, along with a 1926 film adaptation, helped pull the once-gender-neutral name onto the girls’ side definitively. (Ironically, the actress who played Princess Yetive in a 1915 film adaptation of Graustark used the stage name Beverly Bayne.)

Here are some of Graustarkian names that did not make the charts: Ganlook, Grenfall, Dantan, Dannox, Marlanx, Bevra (the daughter of Beverly), Hedrik, and Pendennis.

Doraine

McCutcheon’s novel West Wind Drift (1920) is like his earlier book Nedra in that both stories involve a shipwreck and an island. In Nedra, “Nedra” is the name of the island; in West Wind Drift, “Doraine” is the name of the ship.

The year West Wind Drift came out, the name Doraine debuted in the baby name data.

  • 1923: 5 baby girls named Doraine
  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1921: 6 baby girls named Doraine
  • 1920: 11 baby girls named Doraine [debut]
  • 1919: unlisted

It was tied for 2nd-highest debut name that year. (#1 was Dardanella.)

Coincidentally, the shipwrecked characters in West Wind Drift have a debate at one point about using “Doraine” as baby name. They argue over whether or not they should give the name to an orphaned baby girl who had been born aboard the ship. Here’s the opinion of character Michael Malone: “We can’t do better than to name her after her birthplace. That’s her name. Doraine Cruise. It sounds Irish. Got music in it.”

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Have you ever a George Barr McCutcheon book? If so, do you remember any unusual character names? (If not, and you’d like to check him out, here are dozens of George Barr McCutcheon novels archived at Project Gutenberg.)

Sources: The Books of the Century: 1900-1999 – Daniel Immerwahr, George Barr McCutcheon – Wikipedia

Uncommon Baby Names in Oregon, 2012

Oregon’s Open Data website includes several tables of baby name data from 2012.

The most interesting thing about this data? It goes all the way down to names given to just three babies per year. (All the SSA baby name lists, on the other hand, have a five-baby cutoff.)

So here are some of the baby names that were bestowed in Oregon just three or four times in 2012:

Girl Names Boy Names
Amberly
Andromeda
Arianny
Damaris
Diem
Ellingon
Fern
Gaia
Io
Isela
Jubilee
Kahlan
Linnea
Lois
Lumen
Magali
Rue
Sahasra
Sanvi
Sayuri
Seven
Sinai
Siri
Sonora
Sparrow
Timber
Twyla
Van
Yara
Achilles
Alvin
Atlas
Atreyu
Bear
Briar
Calder
Carver
Clive
Dutch
Forest
Huck
Hyrum
Isley
Kainoa
Kincaid
Koa
Larry
Loki
Montgomery
Riot
Rogue
Summit
Tavish
Tiberius
Tor
Trapper
Van
Zephyr

The name Diem has been in the SSA data since the ’80s, but a lot of the recent usage was probably inspired by Danielle Michelle “Diem” Brown, who appeared on various MTV reality TV shows from 2006 to 2015. (She passed away in 2014 from ovarian cancer.) In her case, “Diem” was a nickname based on the initials “D.M.,” making this yet another girl name that can be spelled with the names of letters.

Sources: 2012 Boy Baby Names | Oregon transparency, 2012 Girl Baby Names | Oregon transparency

Popular Baby Names in Sonoma County, CA, 2015

Sonoma_CountyAccording to Sonoma County’s data site SoCo Data, the most popular baby names in 2015 were Ava and Olivia (tie) and Mateo and Daniel (tie).

Here are the county’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Ava and Olivia (tie), 28 baby girls
2. Camila, 25
3. Isabella, Mia and Emma (3-way tie), 23
4. Charlotte and Sophia (tie), 21
5. Alexa, 20
1. Mateo and Daniel (tie), 28 baby boys
2. Jackson, 27
3. Sebastian, 25
4. Benjamin, 24
5. Julian, Jayden and Noah (3-way tie), 22

In 2014, the top names in the county were Emma and Logan.

Of the 1,204 girl names bestowed last year, 811 (67%) were used just once. A smaller proportion of the 919 boy names — 549 (60%) — were bestowed once. Here are a few of those single-use names:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Amarilla, Antimony, Edelweiss, Ember, Fanny, Lluvia, Lovely Estrella, Mae Pearl, Magnolia, Nkirote, Reminisce, Rosalene, Rurapenthe*, Summit Attimus, Banyan, Cypress, Cyprus, Destry, Ernestor, Fogatia, Iknav, Montgomery, Mercury, Orion, Quintil, Thornhill, Zinley

*Looks like Rurapenthe is based on “Rura Penthe,” the name of a planetoid used as a Klingon penal colony (!) in the Star Trek universe. Its name is a nod to Rorapandi, a penal colony island in the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Rorapandi was invented by Disney; it did not appear in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Source: SoCo Data

Names from PEI & Maine – Sophus, Waldron, Grosvenor

Prudence on poison ivy signBack in June, while planning a family camping trip, I posted about the name Acadia. Now that we’re back from that camping trip, I have a few more names to talk about.

Prudence

For the first half of the trip we stayed at Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada. At our campground, the bilingual poison ivy signs emphasized the words “Caution” (in English) and “Prudence” (in French). Prudence is a vocabulary word in both languages, of course, but these signs gave me the impression that it’s more commonly used in French, which in turn made me wonder how French speakers feel about the name Prudence. Does it sound weird to them? (As weird as the name Caution would sound to English speakers?) Hm.

Sophus

While doing some genealogical research in one of PEI’s many graveyards, I came across the name Sophus. It belonged to Daniel Sophus Edmonds, 1877-1900. Sophus has the same root as the super-popular Sophia. Both come from the ancient Greek word for “wisdom.”

Hopewell

Halfway through the trip, while traveling back to the U.S. from Canada, we stopped at Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. As I was checking out the rock formations, I idly wondered how many people in the U.S. were named Hopewell. Not many, turns out. I found only a few dozen people named Hopewell, none born since 1980. The total might be as high as 100 if middle names are included.

Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, Canada
Hopewell Rocks at 1 pm on July 30, 2014
(halfway between low tide and high tide)

Waldron

For the second half of the trip we stayed at Acadia National Park in Maine. The park has hundreds of miles of hiking trails. One of the men who created and mapped these trails was Waldron Bates (1856-1909). He also developed a distinctive type of cairn, unique to Acadia, known as the Bates cairn. The name Waldron, while rare, has appeared a couple dozen times on the national baby name list.

Grosvenor

Acadia’s Jordan Pond Gate Lodge (1932), which resembles a 16th-century French hunting lodge, was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and designed by prominent New York architect Grosvenor “Grove” Atterbury. No doubt Grove’s given name was inspired by the surname Grosvenor, which comes from the French phrase le Gros Veneur, meaning “the chief huntsman.” Rockefeller later donated the Gate Lodge — and the 45 miles of rustic carriage roads it protected — to the park.

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These were probably the 5 most interesting names I spotted during the trip, but there were plenty of others. (Lucy, Maud, Montgomery, and Anne, for instance, were names I saw repeatedly at Green Gables on PEI.)

Have you taken a vacation this summer? If so, did you spot any interesting names while away?