How popular is the baby name Nicola in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Nicola and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Nicola.
Years ago I posted about Livonia, a baby both born on and named after a Pullman car. Recently I wondered: What other Pullman car names would have made good baby names?
So I downloaded a big spreadsheet of over 12,000 Pullman car names from The Pullman Project and was slightly surprised to see that thousands of them could have been baby names, if we allow for the splitting of compound car names (like Fort Miley, Glen Norman, Meredith College, and West Willow).
Here are a handful of examples. On the left are relatively common/familiar names, and on the right are some unexpected choices.
|Alana, Archer, Arnold
||Adriatha, Arundel, Arvonia
|Baxter, Becket, Bradley
||Bantry, Bellonia, Besco
|Calvin, Catalina, Clyde
||Cadesia, Clarnie, Clymer
|Dana, Deborah, Dwight
||Darlow, Dathema, Dodona
|Edith, Eileen, Elmo
||Edminster, Emalinda, Etherley
|Finley, Flavia, Floyd
||Fithian, Flaxton, Florilla
|Gary, Georgette, Grayson
||Gavarnie, Gilia, Gloxinia
|Harper, Harriet, Hector
||Harista, Humela, Hythe
|Iona, Isabella, Ivan
||Irvona, Isleta, Ixion
|Jessica, Jordan, Julia
||Jacelia, Jathniel, Justitia
|Kara, Keith, Kenneth
||Keinath, Kenia, Kittson
|Laurel, Lewis, Linden
||Lauveta, Leolyn, Lysander
|Madison, Marco, Maude
||Mardonia, Mayence, Morganza
|Nicola, Noel, Nora
||Narinda, Nasby, Norlina
|Olivia, Omar, Otis
||Oaklyn, Olanda, Oxus
|Parker, Perry, Philippa
||Penlyn, Pipila, Pixley
|Rebecca, Riley, Ronald
||Rexis, Risley, Ruxton
|Sarah, Scott, Susanne
||Salphrona, Sarver, Sibley
|Thora, Tracy, Tyler
||Tascott, Tilden, Tisonia
|Vanessa, Vernon, Victoria
||Varick, Vinora, Vivita
|Wesley, Wilson, Wren
||Welby, Wescott, Wexford
Which of the names above do you like best?
A few weeks ago, Italy finally released baby name rankings for 2015. According to the data from Istat (Istituto nazionale di statistica), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Sofia and Francesco.
Here are Italy’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:
1. Sofia, 7,191 baby girls
2. Aurora, 6,687
3. Giulia, 6,222
4. Giorgia, 4,099
5. Alice, 3,845
6. Martina, 3,743
7. Emma, 3,690
8. Greta, 3,676
9. Chiara, 3,516
10. Anna, 3,322
1. Francesco, 8,763 baby boys
2. Alessandro, 6,708
3. Mattia, 6,402
4. Lorenzo, 6,389
5. Leonardo, 6,144
6. Andrea, 6,047
7. Gabriele, 5,469
8. Matteo, 4,941
9. Tommaso, 4,386
10. Riccardo, 4,351
In the girls’ top 10, Anna replaces Sara, and Alice jumps from 10th to 5th.
The boys’ top 10 is essentially the same, the biggest move being Mattia rising from 6th to 3rd.
Francesco has been on top since 2001, but it became even more popular in 2013 after Pope Francis was elected.
Here are a few more names from within the top 50:
- Girl names: Ginevra (12th), Gaia (13th), Ludovica (32nd), Ilaria (46th)
- Boy names: Nicolò (22nd), Simone (24th), Gioele (37th), Nicola (46th)
Nicolò is pronounced nee-ko-LO, whereas Nicola is pronounced nee-KO-lah. The feminine versions of the name are Nicoletta and Nicolina.
Finally, here are the top baby names among foreigners (mainly from Romania, Morocco, Albania and China) living in Italy:
Intriguingly, Kevin was ranked 8th for boys and 1st (!) among both the Albanians and the Chinese. I mentioned Kevinism in last week’s Senga post and already it’s coming to mind again…
Sources: How many babies are named…? – Istat, These are the most popular Italian baby names, Births and fertility among the resident population (pdf)
Businessman Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca was born in Pennsylvania in 1924 to Italian immigrants Nicola “Nick” Iacocca and Antonietta Perrotta. Lee Iacocca went on to become the president of Ford Motor Company from 1970 to 1978 and the CEO of Chrysler Corporation from 1978 to 1992.
Where did the first name Lido come from?
Before his marriage, Nick and one of Antoinette’s brothers had visited Venice, Italy, enjoying the grand and beautiful Lido Beach. To Nick, the spot was perfect. So was his new son, hence the name Lido.
And what drove Lido Iacocca to shorten his already-short first name to “Lee”?
Early on in his career…
“As part of my job, I had to make a lot of long-distance calls. In those days, there was no direct dialing, so that you always had to go through operators. They’d ask for my name, and I’d say “Iacocca.” Of course, they had no idea how to spell it, so that was always a struggle to get that right. Then they’d ask for my first name and when I said “Lido,” they’d break out laughing. Finally I said to myself: “Who needs it?” and I started calling myself Lee.”
Which name do you prefer, Lido or Lee?
- Collins, David R. Lee Iacocca: Chrysler’s Good Fortune. Ada, OK: Garrett Educational Corp, 1992.
- Iacocca, Lee and William Novak. “Iacocca: An Autobiography”
Reader’s Digest Jul. 1985: 79.
Canadian academic Sacvan Bercovitch has an interesting first name. How did he get it? The story begins with his parents:
Bercovitch is the son of Alexander Bercovitch and Bryna Avrutik, Jews born in the Ukraine in the 1890s who grew up during a time of deep poverty, social upheaval, and periodic pogroms.
Alexander and Bryna, both “idealistic communists,” ended up having three children:
Circumstances took them to Moscow, where their first daughter, Sara (later Sylvia) was born; then to Ashkhabad, Turkestan, where their second daughter, Ninel (Lenin spelled backwards), was born. In 1926 they emigrated to Montreal with their two daughters, helped by Bryna’s brothers, who had preceded her. In October 1933 their son Sacvan (his name an amalgamation of Sacco and Vanzetti) was born.
Sacco and Vanzetti, of course, refers to the Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were convicted of murder (perhaps wrongly) and sentenced to death in the 1920s.
Thoughts on Sacvan?
(This one is reminding me of the Swedish baby named Alfred Zola Labori Dreyfus.)
- “Bercovitch, Sacvan.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. 2007.
- Looby, Christopher. “Scholar and Exegete.” Early American Literature 39.1 (2002): 1-9.
Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.
According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:
- Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
- Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
- Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
- Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
- Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
- Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
- Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
- Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
- Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
- Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
- Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
- Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
- Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
- Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
- Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
- Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
- Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
- Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
- Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
- Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
- Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
- Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
- Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
- Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
- Nina, 17 (0.9%)
- Faith, 17 (0.9%)
- Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
- Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
- Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
- Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
- Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
- Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
- Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
- Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
- Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
- John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
- Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
- Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
- Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
- Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
- Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
- Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
- Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
- Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
- Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
- Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
- Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
- Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
- Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
- Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
- Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
- Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
- Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
- Adam, 24 (1.1%)
- Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
- Noah, 23 (1.1%)
- James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
- Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
- Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)
Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.
Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.
Sources: NSO – Naming Babies: 2013, Quality and Amporn top the list of unusual names