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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Morris

Number of Babies Named Morris

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Morris

Where Did the Baby Name Geddy Come From?

geddy lee, rush,
Geddy Lee of Rush, 2004

Last weekend, the Toronto Zoo announced that its three capybara pups would be named Geddy, Alex, and Neil in honor of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart — the three members of the legendary Canadian rock band Rush.

Vocalist Geddy Lee was born Gary Lee in Toronto in 1953 to parents Morris and Manya Weinrib, Holocaust survivors from Poland. Here’s how the name “Gary” morphed into the name “Geddy”:

“Okay, it’s like the same story of Leave it to Beaver. The story goes: my mother is Polish and she has a very thick accent. When I was about twelve years old, I had a friend who, whenever he heard my mother pronounce my name, he thought she was calling me, ‘Geddy.’ He started calling me ‘Geddy,’ and eventually, all of my friends started calling me ‘Geddy,’ and eventually my mother started to call me ‘Geddy,’ for real. And eventually, I changed my name legally to ‘Geddy,’ so that’s the story and that’s my name, Geddy.”

So have any human pups ever been named for Geddy Lee? Yup–so many that we can see them in the data. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, when Rush was a fixture on the Billboard charts, Geddy started appearing on the U.S. baby name charts:

  • 1984: 9 baby boys named Geddy
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: 14 baby boys named Geddy
  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 5 baby boys named Geddy [debut]
  • 1978: unlisted

Since then, at least 175 U.S. babies have been named Geddy.

And that’s how a Canadian prog rock band turned “Geddy” — a Polish mispronunciation of Gary — into an American baby name. :)

(Kinda reminds me of the mondegreen Kasara…)

If you were having a son, and you had to name him either Gary or Geddy, which would you choose? Why?

Sources: Toronto’s ‘capybaby’ triplets named after famous rock trio Rush, Geddy Lee: The Reluctant Rockstar (originally in Bass Frontiers Magazine)

P.S. Here’s that Leave it to Beaver story.


Names Popular During the Victorian Era

Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.

The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).

Victorian Era Female Names Victorian Era Male Names
  • Abigale / Abby
  • Ada
  • Adella
  • Agnes
  • Allie
  • Almira / Almyra
  • Alva
  • America
  • Amelia
  • Ann / Annie
  • Arrah
  • Beatrice
  • Bernice
  • Charity
  • Charlotte
  • Chastity
  • Claire
  • Constance
  • Cynthia
  • Dorothy / Dot
  • Edith
  • Edna
  • Edwina
  • Ella
  • Eleanor
  • Ellie
  • Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
  • Elvira
  • Emma
  • Esther
  • Ethel
  • Eudora
  • Eva
  • Fidelia
  • Frances / Fanny
  • Flora
  • Florence
  • Geneve
  • Genevieve
  • Georgia
  • Gertrude / Gertie
  • Gladys
  • Grace
  • Hannah
  • Hattie
  • Helen
  • Helene
  • Henrietta / Hettie / Ettie
  • Hester
  • Hope
  • Hortence
  • Isabell / Isabella
  • Jane
  • Jennie
  • Jessamine
  • Josephine
  • Judith
  • Julia
  • Juliet
  • Katherine / Kate
  • Laura
  • Leah
  • Lenora
  • Letitia
  • Lila
  • Lilly
  • Lorena
  • Lorraine
  • Lottie
  • Louise / Louisa
  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Lydia
  • Mahulda
  • Margaret / Peggie
  • Mary / Molly / Polly
  • Mary Elizabeth
  • Mary Frances
  • Martha
  • Matilda / Mattie
  • Maude
  • Maxine / Maxie
  • Mercy
  • Mildred
  • Minerva
  • Missouri
  • Myrtle
  • Nancy
  • Natalie
  • Nellie / Nelly
  • Nettie
  • Nora
  • Orpha
  • Patsy
  • Parthena
  • Permelia
  • Phoebe
  • Philomena
  • Preshea
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca / Becky
  • Rhoda / Rhody
  • Rowena
  • Rufina
  • Ruth
  • Samantha
  • Sally
  • Sarah
  • Sarah Ann
  • Sarah Elizabeth
  • Savannah
  • Selina
  • Sophronia
  • Stella
  • Theodosia / Theda
  • Vertiline / Verd
  • Victoria
  • Virginia / Ginny
  • Vivian
  • Winnifred / Winnie
  • Zona
  • Zylphia
  • Aaron
  • Abraham / Abe
  • Alan / Allen
  • Albert
  • Alexander
  • Alonzo
  • Ambrose
  • Amon
  • Amos
  • Andrew / Drew / Andy
  • Aquilla
  • Archibald / Archie
  • Arnold
  • Asa
  • August / Augustus / Gus
  • Barnabas / Barney
  • Bartholomew / Bart
  • Benjamin
  • Bennet
  • Benedict
  • Bernard
  • Bertram / Bert
  • Buford
  • Byron
  • Calvin
  • Cephas
  • Charles / Charley / Charlie
  • Christopher
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Clarence
  • Clement / Clem
  • Clinton / Clint
  • Cole
  • Columbus / Lom / Lum
  • Commodore Perry
  • Daniel / Dan
  • David
  • Edmund
  • Edward / Ned
  • Edwin
  • Eldon
  • Eli
  • Elijah
  • Elisha
  • Emmett
  • Enoch
  • Ezekiel / Zeke
  • Ezra
  • Francis / Frank
  • Franklin
  • Frederick / Fred
  • Gabriel / Gabe
  • Garrett
  • George
  • George Washington
  • Gideon
  • Gilbert / Gil
  • Granville
  • Harland
  • Harrison
  • Harold / Harry
  • Harvey
  • Henry / Hank
  • Hiram
  • Horace
  • Horatio
  • Hugh
  • Isaiah
  • Israel
  • Isaac / Ike
  • Isaac Newton
  • Jacob / Jake
  • James / Jim
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson / Jeff
  • Jedediah / Jed
  • Jeptha
  • Jesse
  • Joel
  • John / Jack
  • John Paul
  • John Wesley
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph / Josephus
  • Josiah
  • Joshua
  • Julian
  • Julius
  • Lafayette / Lafe
  • Lawrence / Larry
  • Leander
  • Les / Lester / Leslie
  • Lewis / Lew / Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Matthew
  • Marcellus
  • Mark
  • Martin
  • Martin Luther
  • Masheck
  • Maurice
  • Maxwell
  • Merrill
  • Meriwether
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • Michael / Mike
  • Micajah / Cage
  • Mordecai
  • Morgan
  • Morris
  • Nathaniel / Nathan / Nate / Nat
  • Newton / Newt
  • Nicholas / Nick
  • Nimrod
  • Ninian
  • Obediah
  • Octavius
  • Ora / Oral
  • Orville
  • Oscar
  • Owen
  • Paul
  • Patrick / Pat
  • Patrick Henry
  • Paul
  • Perry
  • Peter
  • Pleasant
  • Ralph
  • Raymond
  • Reuben
  • Robert / Bob
  • Robert Lee
  • Richard / Rich / Dick
  • Roderick
  • Rudolph
  • Rufus
  • Samuel
  • Sam Houston
  • Seth
  • Silas
  • Simon
  • Simeon
  • Stanley / Stan
  • Stephen
  • Thaddeus
  • Thomas / Tom
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore / Ted
  • Timothy / Tim
  • Ulysses
  • Uriah
  • Victor
  • Walter
  • Warren
  • Washington
  • Wilfred
  • William / Will / Bill / Billy
  • Willie
  • Zachariah
  • Zebulon
  • Zedock

Which female name and male name do you like best?

Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide

Names that Make Me Smile

Something fun for the end of the week! The following names never fail to brighten my day:

  • Archibald Constable (1774-1827) – Scottish publisher.
  • Cornthwaite Ommanney (1736-1801) – grandfather of Erasmus, below.
  • Cotton Tufts (1734-1815) – U.S. physician.
  • Endicott Peabody (1920-1997) – U.S. politician.
  • Erasmus Ommanney (1814-1904) – English explorer.
  • Fabiana Bravo (b. 1969) – Argentine opera singer.
  • Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) – Supreme Court justice.
  • Felix Kirk Zollicoffer (1812-1862) – U.S. politician.
  • Filippo “Lippo” Lippi (1406-1469) – Italian painter.
  • Fritz Zwicky (1898-1974) – Swiss astronomer.
  • Gillespie Montgomery (1920-2006) – U.S. politician.
  • Gonzaga Gonza (d. 1886) – Ugandan martyr.
  • Gustavus Vasa Fox (1821-1883) – U.S. politician.
  • Halifax Shackleton – 16-year-old girl born in Halifax, Yorkshire, according to the 1911 England and Wales census.
  • Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) – U.S. dancer.
  • Morris Ketchum Jesup (1830-1908) – U.S. banker.
  • Nellie Melba (1861-1931) – Australian opera singer.
  • Otto van Veen (1556-1629) – Dutch painter.
  • Simeon Solomon (1840-1905) – English painter.
  • Stirling Silliphant (1918-1996) – U.S. screenwriter.
  • Tranquilino Luna (1849-1892) – U.S. politician.
  • Wambly Bald (1902-1990) – U.S. writer/columnist.
  • Wynkyn de Worde (d. 1534) – French printer. (The surname refers to a location in France, not words on the page, but it’s a great name anyway.)

Do you have any favorite names?

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Henry

A reader named Rebecca needs help finding a middle name to go with Henry:

We are Jewish and had picked the name Greyson but my husband now thinks that is too “waspy” sounding. Whatever name we pick can’t start with a vowel. We love names that are old sounding — would love something like Simon but we can’t use that name.

Yup, many surname-names — especially those that are patronymic (e.g. Anderson), occupational (Tucker) or locational (Whitaker) — tend to rate pretty high on the WASPiness scale. :) Luckily, they’re also easy to avoid.

Here are some potential middles I came up with:

Benjamin
Charles
Clarence
David
Felix
Gideon
Graham
Jabez
Jasper
Jeremiah
Jonah
Jubal
Laban
Lemuel
Levi
Mattan
Morris
Nathan
Nathaniel
Philip
Samson
Samuel
Saul
Seth
Solomon
Tobiah
Walter

Do you guys like any of the above with Henry? What other suggestions would you offer Rebecca?

Double Names – Thomas Thomas, Lars Larsen, Gerald FitzGerald

I find it interesting that some people are given forenames that exactly match their surnames. A few historically significant examples include:

(Ford Madox Ford and Horst P. Horst don’t count. They were born Ford Hermann Hueffer and Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann.)

There are also many forename/surname sets out there that come close to matching, such as:

Aleksandr Aleksandrov
Anders Andersen
Antonis Antoniadis
Chamsulvara Chamsulvarayev
David Davidson
Donagh MacDonagh
Donald MacDonald
Dru Drury
Edward Edwards
Evan Evans
Filip Filipovic
Fiodar Fiodarau
Friðrik Friðriksson
Georgios Georgiadis
Gerald FitzGerald
Isaac Isaacs
Jens Jenssen
Jóhann Jóhannsson
John Johns
John Johnson
Konstantinos Konstantinou
Kristoffer Kristofferson
Lars Larsen
Ottiero Ottieri
Peter Peterson
Philip Phillips
Richard Rich
Richard Richards
Robert Roberts
Robin Robinson
Simone Simon
Stephanos Stephanopoulos
Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnsson
Swen Swenson
Thomas Thompson
Thomas Thompson
William Carlos Williams
William Williamson

Have you ever met someone whose first name and last name were identical (or nearly so)? Do you like these sorts of names?

Update – I just found out about Thomas McKean Thompson McKennan, 1794-1852, who served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior for a few weeks in 1850. This is as close to a double double as I’ve ever seen.