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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Murphy

Number of Babies Named Murphy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Murphy

Baby Names Inspired By Racists

racist baby names
Racist South Carolina politician Coleman Blease inspired 2 baby name debuts on the U.S. charts.
That headline makes me squirm a little, but it’s true: I’ve found a handful of baby names on the SSA’s list inspired by racists.

Racist politicians, to be specific.

Decades ago, these demagogues used race‑baiting as a way to win elections in the former Confederate states — the same states that have only recently started to pull down their Confederate flags in the wake of last month’s horrific Charleston church shooting.

In fact, the ongoing Confederate flag controversy is what reminded me to finally post about these names, as the names (just like the flag) can be seen as symbols of either “racism” or “southern pride” depending on your point of view.

(Please note that the SSA data below refers only to male usage, and that I’ve only included state data that refers to the state in question.)

Coleman Blease


White supremacist Coleman “Coley” Blease was a politician from South Carolina:

  • U.S. Senator from South Carolina, 1925-1931
  • South Carolina Governor, 1911-1915
  • South Carolina Senator, 1907-1909
  • South Carolina Representative, 1890-1894, 1899-1901

Here’s part of an article about a speech Blease delivered regarding the lynching of Willis Jackson in 1911:

“[Blease] stated that rather than use the office of governor in ordering out troops to defend a negro brute and require those troops to fire on white citizens, he would resign from the office to which he had been elected, and would have caught the train to Honea Path and led the mob.”

Of all the men listed here, Blease (rhymes with “please”) had the biggest impact on baby names, including not one but two SSA debuts. I’d call this impressive if it weren’t so disturbing.

The baby names Colie and Blease both debuted in 1911. Colie was the top debut on the national list that year, in fact. The names Coley, Cole, and Coleman also started seeing more usage in South Carolina around that time.

SSA Data Colie Coley Cole Coleman Blease
1917 13 (9 in SC) 19 (5 in SC) 19 (6 in SC) 110 (8 in SC) 9 (8 in SC)
1916 22 (13 in SC) 18 (7 in SC) 25 (10 in SC) 120 (10 in SC) 15 (14 in SC)
1915 21 (12 in SC) 21 (7 in SC) 26 (13 in SC) 116 (8 in SC) 17 (15 in SC)
1914 18 (15 in SC) 23 (10 in SC) 23 (12 in SC) 102 (12 in SC) 15 (14 in SC)
1913 16 (8 in SC) 15 (6 in SC) 19 (9 in SC) 75 (5 in SC) 20 (19 in SC)
1912 23 (21 in SC) 19 (9 in SC) 23 (11 in SC) 69 (15 in SC) 12 (all 12 in SC)
1911 16** (8 in SC) 9 (7 in SC) 10 (unlisted) 36 (unlisted) 8** (all 8 in SC)
1910 unlisted (unlisted) 7 (unlisted) 6 (unlisted) 40 (6 in SC) unlisted (unlisted)

**Debut on national list.

And, just to be thorough, here’s the SSDI data for these five names over the same time period. (As usual I’m only counting first names here, not middles.)

SSDI Data Colie Coley Cole Coleman Blease
1917 14 17 17 134 12
1916 25 29 28 144 9
1915 28 27 25 125 13
1914 27 40 33 147 13
1913 38 45 38 133 26
1912 69 65 57 138 29
1911 29 39 32 132 14
1910 19 38 19 124 8

If you do want to count middle names, though, Blease was much more common than the above number suggest, as many people got first-middle combos such as…

Theodore Bilbo


Theodore G. Bilbo was a politician from Mississippi:

  • U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1935-1947
  • Mississippi Governor, 1916-1920, 1928-1932
  • Mississippi Lt. Governor, 1912-1916
  • Mississippi State Senator, 1908-1912

Here’s a quote from Bilbo’s book Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization, published in 1947:

“The South stands for blood, for the preservation of the blood of the white race. To preserve her blood, the white South must absolutely deny social equality to the Negro regardless of what his individual accomplishments might be. This is the premise — openly and frankly stated — upon which Southern policy is based.”

The baby name Bilbo appeared on the SSA’s list during the 1910s and 1920s, and almost all of these Bilbos were born in the state of Mississippi:

  • 1916: 22 baby boys named Bilbo, 22 (100%) born in Mississippi
  • 1915: 17 baby boys named Bilbo, 17 (100%) born in Mississippi
  • 1914: 12 baby boys named Bilbo, 12 (100%) born in Mississippi
  • 1913: 8 baby boys named Bilbo, 8 (100%) born in Mississippi
  • 1912: 8 baby boys named Bilbo, 7 (88%) born in Mississippi
  • 1911: 9 baby boys named Bilbo, all 9 (100%) born in Mississippi
  • 1910: 7 baby boys named Bilbo [debut], 6 (86%) born in Mississippi [MS debut]
  • 1909: unlisted

According to the SSA data, peak usage was in 1916. According to the SSDI data, though, it was in 1911, with 45 babies getting the first name Bilbo that year.

Other namesakes, like Theodore Bilbo Crump (b. 1912 in Mississippi), got Bilbo as a middle name.

James Vardaman


James K. Vardaman, a.k.a. the “Great White Chief,” was another politician from Mississippi:

  • U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1913-1919
  • Mississippi Governor, 1904-1908
  • Mississippi Representative, 1890-1896

Here’s a quote from Vardaman (there were many to choose from, but this was the worst):

“If it is necessary every Negro in the state will be lynched; it will be done to maintain white supremacy.”

The rare baby name Vardaman is a 2-hit wonder that debuted in 1911:

  • 1912: unlisted
  • 1911: 8 baby boys named Vardaman [debut], 6 (75%) born in Mississippi [MS debut]
  • 1910: unlisted

According to the SSA data, peak usage was in 1911. But according to the SSDI data there were two peaks: one in 1911 (16 babies with the first name Vardaman) and and earlier one in 1903 (20 babies with the first name Vardaman, including one with the full name Vardaman Vandevender).

Also, randomly, I happened to see a Vardaman in a Mississippi phone book several years ago.

Other namesakes, like James Vardaman Womack (b. 1930 in Mississippi), got Vardaman as a middle name.

Thomas Heflin


J. Thomas “Cotton Tom” Heflin was a politician from Alabama:

  • U.S. Senator from Alabama, 1920-1931
  • U.S. Representative from Alabama, 1904-1920
  • Alabama Secretary of State, 1903-1904

Here’s a vignette about Heflin:

In 1908, while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he had shot and seriously wounded a black man who confronted him on a Washington streetcar. Although indicted, Heflin succeeded in having the charges dismissed. In subsequent home-state campaigns, he cited that shooting as one of his major career accomplishments.

The baby name Heflin was another 2-hit wonder. It debuted 1920:

  • 1921: unlisted
  • 1920: 5 baby boys named Heflin [debut], 5 (100%) born in Alabama [AL debut]
  • 1919: unlisted

Other namesakes, like Thomas Heflin Hamilton (b. 1913 in Alabama), got Heflin as a middle name.

Hoke Smith


M. Hoke Smith was a politician from Georgia:

  • U.S. Senator from Georgia, 1911-1921
  • Georgia Governor, 1911-1911
  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior, 1893-1896

Here are some quotes from Smith:

According to [Hoke] Smith, it would be “folly for us to neglect any means within our reach to remove the present danger of Negro domination.” He also approved the use of “any means” to purge elected African American officeholders.

Usage of the baby name Hoke began to peter out mid-century, but during the first half of the century (when it was making the U.S. national list regularly) most of the baby boys named Hoke were born in Georgia specifically:

  • 1916: 15 baby boys named Hoke, 9 (60%) born in Georgia
  • 1915: 15 baby boys named Hoke, 10 (67%) born in Georgia
  • 1914: 18 baby boys named Hoke, 11 (61%) born in Georgia
  • 1913: 12 baby boys named Hoke, 7 (58%) born in Georgia
  • 1912: 9 baby boys named Hoke, 8 (89%) born in Georgia
  • 1911: 9 baby boys named Hoke, 8 (89%) born in Georgia
  • 1910: 19 baby boys named Hoke, 16 (84%) born in Georgia [GA debut]
  • 1909: 10 baby boys named Hoke, unlisted in Georgia

Some of these namesakes, like Hoke Smith Rawlins (b. 1931 in Georgia), got Smith as a middle name.

Murphy Foster


Murphy J. Foster was a politician from Louisiana:

  • U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 1901-1913
  • Louisiana Governor, 1892-1900
  • Louisiana State Senator, 1880-1892

Here’s Foster (as governor) talking about the disfranchisement of blacks under the newly approved Louisiana Constitution:

“The white supremacy for which we have so long struggled at the cost of so much precious blood and treasure is now crystallized into the Constitution as a fundamental part and parcel of that organic instrument […] There need be no longer any fear as to the honesty and purity of our future elections.”

For at least half of the 20th century (from the 1910s to the 1960s) a significant proportion of the U.S. baby boys named Murphy were born in Louisiana specifically:

  • 1916: 69 baby boys named Murphy, 24 (35%) born in Louisiana
  • 1915: 61 baby boys named Murphy, 36 (59%) born in Louisiana
  • 1914: 51 baby boys named Murphy, 18 (35%) born in Louisiana
  • 1913: 28 baby boys named Murphy, 8 (29%) born in Louisiana
  • 1912: 41 baby boys named Murphy, 15 (37%) born in Louisiana
  • 1911: 18 baby boys named Murphy, 9 (50%) born in Louisiana
  • 1910: 14 baby boys named Murphy, 6 (43%) born in Louisiana [LA debut]
  • 1909: 15 baby boys named Murphy, unlisted in Louisiana

Some of these namesakes, like Murphy Foster Kirkman (b. 1886 in Louisiana), got Foster as a middle name.

…And the racist-inspired baby names don’t end there! Many other racist politicians from the South, even if they didn’t appreciably affect the baby name charts, still had an influence on baby names. Here are two examples:

Still other politicians, like 2-time Alabama Governor Bibb Graves, are borderline cases. Graves was a progressive politician, but he was initially elected with the help of the Klu Klux Klan, which he was a member of at the time (he later quit).

Finally, here’s the thing I’m most curious about: How did all of the namesakes accounted for above come to feel about their names in adulthood? Were they proud? Ashamed? A mix of both…?


Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2014

Here are the results of Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2014!

Some of the names below were already on their way up, so I’ll leave it to you guys to decide just how much of an effect pop culture had on each one.

Hazel, +828

  • Up from 2,049 baby girls in 2013 to 2,877 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Elsa, +567

  • Up from 564 baby girls in 2013 to 1,131 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Frozen (2013).

Anna, +287

  • Up from 5,352 baby girls in 2013 to 5,639 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Frozen (2013).

Margaret, +168

  • Up from 1,765 baby girls in 2013 to 1,933 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the television show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Augustus, +153

  • Up from 346 baby boys in 2013 to 499 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Azalea, +139

  • Up from 443 baby girls in 2013 to 582 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: rapper Iggy Azalea.

Peter, +53

  • Up from 1,846 baby boys in 2013 to 1,899 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: Peter Pan (both the live-action TV event and the upcoming movie).

Robin (as a boy name specifically), +33

  • Up from 155 baby boys in 2013 to 188 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of Robin Williams.

Zarina, +32

  • Up from 42 baby girls in 2013 to 74 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Pirate Fairy (2014).

Benedict, +29

  • Up from 108 baby boys in 2013 to 137 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Annalise, +28

  • Up from 665 baby girls in 2013 to 693 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the television show How To Get Away With Murder.

Judith, +28

  • Up from 251 baby girls in 2013 to 279 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the television show The Walking Dead.

Kristoff, +25

  • Up from 7 baby boys in 2013 to 32 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Frozen (2013).

Shailene, +23

  • Up from 6 baby girls in 2013 to 29 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: actress Shailene Woodley, from the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Tauriel, debuted with 20

  • Debuted with 20 baby girls (the 5th highest debut!) in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: two of the Hobbit movies (2013 & 2014).

Amal, +17

  • Up from 69 baby girls in 2013 to 86 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: George Clooney’s marriage to Amal Alamuddin in 2014.

Odessa, +13

  • Up from 47 baby girls in 2013 to 60 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: rapper Dessa.
  • The name Dessa itself, though, actually decreased in popularity in 2014.

Scotlyn, +13
Scotland, +4 & +4

  • Scotlyn: Up from 50 baby girls in 2013 to 67 in 2014.
  • Scotland: Up from 8 baby girls and 32 baby boys in 2013 to 12 and 36 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the Scottish independence referendum.

Iselle, debuted with 13

  • Debuted with 13 baby girls (the 11th highest debut) in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: Hurricane Iselle.

Vale, re-entered with 12 & 8

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 12 baby girls and 8 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: a celebrity baby name (daughter of Savannah Guthrie).

Murphy (as a girl name specifically), +11

  • Up from 31 baby girls in 2013 to 42 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Interstellar (2014).

Mandela, +10

  • Up from 6 baby boys in 2013 to 16 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of Nelson Mandela.

Rosamund, re-entered with 9

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 9 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: actress Rosamund Pike.

Noni, re-entered with 8

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 8 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Beyond the Lights (2014).
  • But another character name, Kaz, decreased in popularity in 2014.

Ansel, +7

  • Up from 101 baby boys in 2013 to 108 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Kaiser, +7

  • Up from 62 baby boys in 2013 to 69 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: a celebrity baby name (son of Teen Mom Jenelle Evans).

Pharrell, +6

  • Up from 16 baby boys in 2013 to 22 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: musician Pharrell Williams.

Madiba, debuted with 5

  • Debuted with 5 baby boys in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of Nelson Mandela.

Lucas, unknown in NYC specifically, +55 in NY state, +564 nationally

  • The New York City 2014 data isn’t out yet.
  • Up from 975 baby boys in 2013 to 1,030 in 2014, in New York state.
  • Up from 11,514 baby boys in 2013 to 12,078 in 2014, nationally.
  • Pop culture influence: Venmo’s “Lucas” Ads in the NYC subway.

Names that went up by 4 or fewer:

Names that went down:

Names still not on the SSA’s list in 2014:

  • Arendelle
  • Diren
  • Ellar
  • Ferguson
  • Floribeth
  • Idina
  • Keke
  • Lammily
  • Ledisi
  • Maleficent (despite the pro-Maleficent comments I’ve been getting)
  • Odeya
  • Peaches
  • Philae
  • Rust
  • Seanix
  • Sibel
  • Ska
  • Vitruvius
  • Wyldstyle

Did any of these surprise you?

I’m particularly surprised that Lupita Nyong’o has had no effect on the usage of her name so far.

P.S. Some of the names from the 2013 game that have started/continued to do well: Cressida (re-entered list in 2014), Finnick, Llewyn (the top debut name of 2014), Neymar, Nori, Primrose, Sochi (debuted in 2014), Tessanne (debuted in 2014) and Zoella.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2014

pop culture baby name game 2014

Every year on December 2 (happy birthday Britney Spears!) we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game. It’s not a “game” really, but more of a group brainstorm. Between today and next May, we try to guess which baby names saw increased usage in 2014 thanks to popular culture — music, movies, television, video games, sports, politics, current events, products/advertising, and so forth.

Here are all the 2014 predictions we’ve made so far. Many of the below come from longtime commenters elbowin and Julie — thanks you guys!

Which names would you add to this list? (Please remember to add a reason, so we all know the context!)

New Predictions as they come in:

  • Urban – from Diana (12/2)
  • Peter – from Abby (12/2)
  • Noni – from Becca (12/2)
  • Kaz – from Becca (12/2)
  • Murphy (for girls specifically) – from Becca (12/2)
  • Scotland/Scotlyn – from Becca (12/2)
  • Lupita – from Becca (12/2)
  • Benedict – from Becca (12/2)
  • Diem – from Becca (12/2)
  • Rosamund – from Becca (12/2)
  • Annalise – from Julie (12/2)
  • Azalea – from Gina (12/3)
  • Kaiser – from Gina (12/3)
  • Aman – from me (12/4)
  • Judith – from Dellitt (12/5)
  • Margaret – from jaime (12/6)
  • Vale – from Gwen (12/10)
  • Diren – elbowin (12/18)
  • Amal – from me (1/15)
  • Ledisi – from me (2/12)
  • Keke – 2/25

Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2013, 2012, 2011 #1, 2011 #2, 2010.

Boy Names Beyond the Top 1,000

[UPDATE: Check out the Popular Baby Names page to see lists of the top 2,000 since 2000!]

We’ve all seen the top 1,000 boy names of 2010 by now, but have you had a chance to look at the names beyond the top 1,000?

Here they are, down to the names that were given to 100 babies each last year. The 1,000th most popular boy name was Crew, given to 193 babies, and after Crew comes…

  • 193: Enoch, Maxton, Taj, Truman [all tied with Crew]
  • 192: Addison, Nikhil, Simeon
  • 191: Cassius, Elvis, Reuben
  • 190: Brenton, Maximillian
  • 189: Brecken, Eliezer, Eliseo, Elmer, Jovany, Kamren, Tyshawn
  • 188: Anton, Cristiano, Jovan, Jovanny, Miller, Shamar
  • 187: Augustine, Corban, Glenn, Milton
  • 186: Adolfo, Carlo, Dale, German, Zavion
  • 185: Boden, Bodie, Campbell, Garrison
  • 184: Emory, Harvey, Hendrix, Nixon, Siddharth, Yehuda
  • 183: Anish, Jamarcus, Juelz, Kyan, Ulysses
  • 182: Estevan, Isaak, Maddux
  • 181: Arlo, Braedyn, Ethen
  • 180: Dhruv, Nathanial, Thiago, Zeke
  • 179: Denzel, Dion, Gordon, Karsen, Mack, Marquise, Vladimir
  • 178: Braedon, Crosby, Ephraim, Graysen, Otto, Yisroel
  • 177: Andreas, Coby, Dariel, Dimitri, Geovanni, Immanuel, Jamel, Josh, Karl, Maksim
  • 176: Jarrett, Kohen, Langston, Rylen, Tremaine, Treyvon
  • 175: Kasey, Kenyon, Marques, Mustafa
  • 174: Cayson, Kalel, Nick, Reynaldo, Trevin
  • 173: Stone, Turner
  • 172: Briar, Lamont, Leif, Princeton
  • 171: Marcello
  • 170: Amos, Coen, Donavan
  • 169: Jesiah, Kayleb, Leeland, Shmuel
  • 168: Bernard, Chaz, Jacobi, Mikel, Rishi
  • 167: none
  • 166: Jayvon, Jericho, Lucien, Savion, Tyce
  • 165: Benton, Bowen, Kamarion, Kooper, Said, Yaakov
  • 164: Brennon, Eddy, Maison, Treyton
  • 163: Braylin, Fredrick, Keven, Nestor
  • 162: Abner, Reilly
  • 161: Bishop, Canaan, Gaven, Jaedyn, Jermiah, Mariano, Ryley, Thatcher
  • 160: Forrest, Haven, Jaylan, Keanu, Rocky
  • 159: Gino, Magnus, Nathen, Rigoberto
  • 158: Amarion, Jaren, Kelton, Lucca, Stephan, Vince
  • 157: Austyn, Harlan, Kylen
  • 156: Baylor, Chevy, Desean, Shiloh, Titan
  • 155: Kennedy
  • 154: Jaleel, Tayden
  • 153: Guy, Jai, Javen, Sammy, Vihaan
  • 152: Benny, Briggs, Haden, Jullian, Karim
  • 151: Brayson, Brysen, Callan, Colson
  • 150: Armaan, Domenic, Jarvis, Joan, Kyran, Tobin, Zyon
  • 149: Arian, Austen, Darrius, Landin
  • 148: Devonte, Kamdyn, Markell, Massimo, Zaden
  • 147: Jakub, Lachlan, Mordechai
  • 146: Cristobal, Ewan, Santana, Taven
  • 145: Ayan, Dashiell, Gonzalo, Jael, Jakari, Jariel, Javian, Syed
  • 144: Kye, Leyton, Marek, Viktor
  • 143: Dereck, Dewayne, Jamil, Jeremias, Kannon, Lenny, Milan, Shimon, Stetson
  • 142: Apollo, Aubrey, Clifford, Khalid, Mikah, Zyaire
  • 141: Anson, Darion, Norman, Phineas, Royal, Terence
  • 140: Ajay, Baron, Cornelius, Duke, Dwight, Neel
  • 139: Alexandre, Beck, Bernardo, Bilal, Britton, Gerard, Irving, Kaidyn, Tristyn, Zahir
  • 138: Arman, Aven, Drayden, Presley, Shayne
  • 137: Carmine, Dereon, Elvin, Guadalupe, Marquez, Miguelangel, Shlomo
  • 136: Cordell, Mikael, Nate, Sami, Vernon
  • 135: Alek, Corbyn, Coy, Ely, Jan, Kiptyn, Koby, Sabastian, Tevin, Travon
  • 134: Alexandro, Korbyn, Korey, Oakley
  • 133: Clyde, Izaac, Tavin, Tegan
  • 132: Karsten, Kyree, Raylan, Ridge, Zayd
  • 131: Aleksander, Benicio, Gus, Jet, Judson, Nazir, Sebastien
  • 130: Atreyu, Braulio, Colter, Emmet, Rico, Tiger
  • 129: Garret, Ira, Jaedon, Juancarlos, Keelan, Kent, Myron, Rashawn
  • 128: Aayden, Clint, Ishan, Lucius, Musa, Oskar, Perry, Torin
  • 127: Amar, Cian, Dallin, Denver, Donnie, Duane, Giovany, Landan
  • 126: Avi, Bryden, Cormac, Dandre, Dontae, Finnian, Jameer, Yariel, Zakary
  • 125: Courtney, Efren, Josef, Kalvin, Lloyd, Lonnie, Markel, Merrick, Zev
  • 124: Denis, Eamon, Foster, Gannon, Kalen, Keller, Louie, Tavion, Tylan, Wilmer, Xavion
  • 123: Deshaun, Geovanny, Kain, Luc, Marion
  • 122: Hagen, Tiago, Tzvi, Zakaria
  • 121: Alton, Bryton, Carlton, Carmello, Jaheim, Rayyan, Yaseen
  • 120: Coltin, Dash, Gian, Jahir, Jeancarlos, Nevin, Raheem, Sutton, Trae
  • 119: Aksel, Barry, Khamari, Kolt, Omarion, Otis, Yitzchok
  • 118: Brighton, Grayden, Jeshua, Maddix, Rickey, Shea, Talen, Trenten
  • 117: Brad, Caeden, Cy, Kallen, Kenji, Linus, Mikhail, Om, Oswaldo
  • 116: Adin, Azariah, Carsten, Cashton, Damarcus, Demari, Ever, Kaison, Lester, Maddex
  • 115: Ayush, Brandt, Chayce, Dan, Demarco, Deonte, Francesco, Izaak, Kipton, Mac, Pierson, Stephon
  • 114: Abhinav, Avraham, Carsyn, Earl, Faris, Gerson, Jayven, Johnpaul, Yoel
  • 113: Ahmir, Alexavier, Amani, Coleton, Dev, Evin, Obed, Osmar, Yahya
  • 112: Dyllan, Eliel, Jayshawn, Jeff, Jonatan, Jordin, Nikko
  • 111: Daryl, Harris, Jeremih, Jordy, Kurt, Neal, Tariq, Veer, Yash
  • 110: Achilles, Ares, Demario, Demetri, Dezmond, Gianluca, Ishmael, Jaziel, Kahlil, Karon, Youssef
  • 109: Broden, Deion, Don, Ethyn, Jaidon, Jimmie, Kegan, Kenton, Marko, Yovani
  • 108: Adler, Elan, Eliyahu, Fidel, Finnley, Jahmir, Kentrell, Rio, Tahj, Tye, Westley
  • 107: Antwon, Benito, Clifton, Diesel, Greysen, Khristian, Kurtis, Latrell, Ramses, Rick, Robin
  • 106: Braelyn, Canyon, Eian, Grey, Javien, Jaysen, Kaysen, Lyndon, Meir
  • 105: Axton, Bronx, Canon, Darin, Daveon, Ervin, Fred, Jancarlos, Jaxsen, Johnnie, Osiel, Rian, Tyron, Yasir, Zephaniah
  • 104: Athan, Chayse, Donnell, Emil, Hans, Jacen, Javeon, Kollin, Syncere, Trevion
  • 103: Brigham, Emir, Freddie, Heriberto, Wiley
  • 102: Constantine, Graeme, Keandre, Kiran, Kirk, Kyren, Murphy, Nikita
  • 101: Abdul, Geoffrey, Harlem, Hernan, Idris, Isac
  • 100: Anakin, Andrei, Dylon, Ford, Jacorey, Kaydin, Kelly, Lazaro, Patricio, Raymundo, Rowdy, Sahil, Shepherd, Zaylen

P.S. Here’s the 2009 version. And here’s the girls’ list for 2010.

Baby Name Needed – Masculine Name for Baby #3

A reader named Courteney is expecting her third baby and needs help with a name:

I love male names–really surnames for both male and female. I don’t like traditional but then again I don’t want it to SCREAM like we are trying to be different. Our other two girls are named Cadien and Killian. The middle name will be Wade no matter the sex.

This is a tricky one. Courteney’s daughters have very similar names…so should she stick to the pattern, or go with something entirely different?

I don’t know the answer, so I came up with two groups of suggestions. Names in the first group resemble Cadien and Killian:


Names in the second group are similar to Cadien and Killian in terms of style, but not (as much) in terms of sound:


Any of the above sound particularly good next to Cadien and Killian (and in front of Wade)? What other names can you think of?

*I heard from Courteney not long after I posted this…turns out Kennedy is already in use as Cadien’s middle name.

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Cian’s Little Brother

A reader named Jamie writes:

Cian Joseph is two years old, and will be welcoming a little brother in May. My husband is Irish, and so we’re sticking with names from that region. We know the middle name will be James, but we’re hitting a road block on first names. So far the only name we both like is Declan, but our super-Irish last name includes 2 K-sounds and ends in -lin. They sound a little funny together.

My first thoughts were Desmond and Diarmaid (Dermot), which are both similar to Declan. There’s also a saint named Donnan. Speaking of saints, how about:


Most of the above are spelled other ways as well, which is convenient (as some versions are easier to pronounce in English, while others are closer to the original Irish).

Historical Irish kings had names like Niall (Neil), Domnall (Donald) and Ruaidri (Rory).

Looking to surnames, there are options like Brady, Grady, Murphy and Nolan.

Do you think any of the above sound particularly good with James? What other names would you suggest?

Update, 6/07: Scroll down to the last comment to find out which name Jamie choseā€¦

Baby Name Needed – Unique, Water-Related Boy Name

A reader named Danielle wrote to me the other day. She is searching for a name for her second son. She says:

We love the beach, ocean, boating and water and would like something unique to go with that.

Her first son is named Landon Kai. (Kai is the Hawaiian word for “sea,” among other things.)

Dylan, Welsh for “great sea,” was the first name that came to mind. It’s fashionable, and I think it goes well with Landon. Popular variant spellings of Dylan include Dillon and Dillan.

Murdoch/Murdock and Murphy are also tied to the sea. Both can be traced back to the Gaelic name Murchadh, which means “sea warrior.” (Morgan might also be sea-related, depending on the etymology you trust.)

For something more avant garde, sea gods and goddesses with cool names include Lir/Llyr (Irish), Mazu (Chinese), Moana (Polynesian), Nereus and Triton (Greek).

Branching out to other bodies of water…Lincoln and Lachlan are both lake-related, while Kyle refers to a channel or strait. River has been used as name (so has Rio), and specific rivers have given rise to names such as Clyde, Jordan, Kelvin, Shannon and Trent.

The name Jonah is associated with the biblical tale about a prophet who is swallowed by a large fish. The name Ulysses is associated with the Odyseey, a Homeric poem featuring a long sea journey. (The former means “dove” in Hebrew, while the latter comes from a Greek verb meaning “to hate.”)

Finally, a short note to Danielle: Do you have any favorite beaches or bodies of water? Try taking a look at their names. (None will mean “water” or “beach,” but you’ll personally associate the name with those things.) For instance, beaches in my town have names like Gray, Parker and Wilbur. Beaches in nearby towns include Crosby, Ellis, Fisher, Glendon, Orrin and Ryder. And these don’t even cover all the local ponds, lakes, inlets, bays, and so forth.