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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Noel


Posts that Mention the Name Noel

The Coming of Keir

The baby name Keir debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1963.

The compact name Keir first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the early 1960s:

  • 1968: 28 baby boys named Keir
  • 1967: 6 baby boys named Keir
  • 1966: 12 baby boys named Keir
  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Keir
  • 1964: 21 baby boys named Keir
  • 1963: 13 baby boys named Keir [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted

The spelling Kier debuted as well.

What was the influence?

Actor Keir Dullea, whose first big movie role was the a lead part in the offbeat romance David and Lisa (1962). He ended up winning a Golden Globe for “Most Promising Newcomer – Male” in early 1963.

He went on to appear in other movies, none more successful than Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which he played another David: astronaut David Bowman, who spoke the classic line, “Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.”

His full name is pronounced KEER duh-LAY, which is easy to remember if you think of the Noel Coward witticism, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow.” I’m not sure how his parents came up with the name Keir, but it could be an Anglicized form of the Irish name Ciar, which means “black.”

(Keir was also on TV a lot, and once appeared in an episode of the short-lived show Channing — just like Joan Hackett, whose character Djuna Phrayne had a big impact on the baby name Djuna.)

Do you like the name Keir?

Source: Keir Dullea – Wikipedia

The Beginning of Buff

mike wallace, buff cobb, 1950s, television

Here’s a curious one: Buff. It appeared in the SSA data in the middle of the 20th century as both a boy name and a girl name — but slightly more often as a girl name. The female usage was entirely in the 1950s:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 5 baby girls named Buff
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 6 baby girls named Buff
  • 1955: 15 baby girls named Buff
  • 1954: 10 baby girls named Buff
  • 1953: 6 baby girls named Buff
  • 1952: 5 baby girls named Buff [debut]
  • 1951: unlisted

What was the influence here?

An actress with an intriguingly gender-neutral name: Buff Cobb.

She was born Patrizia Chapman in Italy in 1927 to American parents. When she decided in her teens to become a film star, she created the stage name “Buff Cobb” from her mother’s nickname, Buffy, and her maternal grandfather’s surname, Cobb. (He was writer/humorist Irvin Cobb.)

While Buff’s film career didn’t pan out, she did tour with a company putting on Noël Coward’s play Private Lives in the late ’40s. During a stop in Chicago, she was interviewed for a radio show by a young reporter named Mike Wallace — most famous today for his work as a 60 Minutes correspondent from 1968 to 2006.

She and Mike got married in 1949 and began co-hosting a Chicago radio show, which led to two New York City TV shows (both live):

  • Mike and Buff (1951-1953), originally entitled Two Sleepy People, one of television’s first talk shows. “[T]he couple would engage in heated debate over a different topic each day, then try to settle their differences after interviewing experts.” One of Mike’s catchphrases on the show was: “Smarten up, Buff!” The show was sponsored by Pepsi and guests included Harry Belafonte and Mickey Spillane.
  • All Around the Town (1951-1952), an interview show typically broadcast from different parts of New York City.
mike and buff

A year after Mike and Buff was cancelled, the real Mike and Buff were also cancelled — they divorced in 1954. Buff appeared regularly on just one more TV show after that: the ’50s game show Masquerade Party, from 1953 to 1955. Usage of the (female) name Buff was highest during these years.

Do you like the name Buff for a baby girl? Do you like it more or less than Buffy and Buffie (both of which also debuted during the first half of the ’50s)?

Sources:

Image: Clipped from page 12 of the December 1952 Radio-TV Mirror.

Popular Baby Names in Finland, 2018

According to the Population Register Centre of Finland (Väestörekisterikeskus), the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Eevi and Eeli.

Here are Finland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Eevi, 304 baby girls
  2. Sofia, 265
  3. Venla, 252
  4. Ella, 248
  5. Aino, 247
  6. Aada, 244
  7. Helmi, 237
  8. Emma, 230
  9. Olivia, 227
  10. Isla, 224

Boy Names

  1. Eeli, 404 baby boys
  2. Elias, 388
  3. Leo, 365
  4. Oliver, 330
  5. Eino, 317
  6. Väinö, 281
  7. Onni, 278
  8. Leevi, 245
  9. Niilo, 214
  10. Noel, 207

In the girls’ top 10, Olivia and Isla replace Lilja, Elli, and Enni. (Two replace three because there was a tie for 10th last year.)

In the boys’ top 10, Eeli — which wasn’t even in the top 10 in 2017 — replaces Eetu. My best guess on the sudden popularity of Eeli is young hockey player Eeli Tolvanen (EY-leh TOLL-vah-nen).

Among Finland’s Swedish-speakers (between 5% and 6% of the total population) the top baby names were Saga and William.

And in 2017, the top names in Finland overall were Aino and Leo.

Sources: Eevi ja Eeli ovat vuoden 2018 suosikkinimet, Nimet – Väestörekisterikeskus, Etunimitilasto 2018 suomenkieliset (PDF)

Popular Baby Names in Finland, 2017

According to data from the Population Register Centre of Finland (Väestörekisterikeskus), the most popular baby names in Finland in 2017 were Aino and Leo.

Here are Finland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Aino, 319 baby girls
2. Eevi, 312
3. Emma, 311
4. Sofia, 302
5. Aada, 272
6. Ella, 259
7. Lilja, 253
8. Helmi, 251
9. Elli, 249
10. Enni and Venla, 247 each (tied)

Boy Names
1. Leo, 414 baby boys
2. Elias, 389
3. Eino, 331
4. Väinö, 316
5. Onni, 313
6. Leevi, 289
7. Niilo, 271
8. Oliver, 263
9. Eetu, 255
10. Noel, 253

In the girls’ top 10, Lilja and Enni replace Pihla and Emilia. The #1 name, Aino, comes from a Finnish word meaning “only one.”

The boys’ top 10 contains the same names, but in a different order.

In 2016, the top names were Sofia and Onni.

Among the minority (about 6%) of Swedish speakers in Finland, the top baby names were Ellen and William.

Sources: De populäraste förnamnen av finskspråkiga barn som föddes år 2017 (PDF), De populäraste förnamnen av svenskspråkiga barn som föddes år 2017 (PDF), Name Service – PRC, Nordic Names Wiki