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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Oak

Number of Babies Named Oak

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Oak

Name Quotes #62: Alice, Donna, Shachar

Ready for another batch of name-related quotes gathered from all over the place?

Let’s start with Liberian midwife Alice Sumo:

…[S]he was both surprised and delighted when quickly babies were named after her.

“I said ‘oh wow’ because with some of them I didn’t even know that they had named the baby after me! When you go to the market everybody is called Alice of Alex or Ellis. The last time I counted it was 862 Alices but now it has increased to 1,000 plus!

“To me the name Alice is an action name. Alice people are active people, they are caring people, they are loving people. A, the first letter in the alphabet. A for action.”

From Jack Burton’s article about songwriters Harry and Albert Von Tilzer in the April 9, 1949, issue of Billboard magazine:

After a season of tanbark and tinsel, Harry caught on with a traveling repertoire company, playing juvenile roles, singing songs of his own composing, and abandoning the family name of Gumm for a more glamorous and professional moniker. He took his mother’s maiden name of Tilzer and added “Von” for a touch of class. This switch in nomenclature proved to be the keystone of a songwriting dynasty which was destined to make history in Tin Pan Alley with the turn of the century.

The family’s surname was originally Gumbinsky. The phrase “tanbark and tinsel” refers to the circus; Harry was part of a traveling circus for a time as a teenager.

From an article about names in Israel by Abigail Klein Leichman:

I figured [Forest Rain’s] parents must have been hippies or Native Americans. In mainstream American culture, it is unusual to name children after elements of nature. How many people do you know named Rainbow, Lightning, Juniper Bush, Boulder, Valley, Oak, Prairie, Wellspring, or Wave?

In Israel, such names are extremely commonplace. If Forest Rain translated her name to Ya’ara Tal, no Israeli would think it exotic in the least. The words mentioned above translate to the everyday Hebrew names Keshet, Barak, Rotem, Sela, Guy, Alon, Bar, Ma’ayan, and Gal.

Another difference is that many modern Israeli names are unisex. You often cannot tell by name alone if someone is male or female. Tal, Gal, Sharon, Noam (pleasant), Shachar (Dawn), Inbar (amber), Inbal (bell), Neta (sapling), Ori (my light), Hadar (splendor), Amit (friend), and myriad other common names are used for either gender.

From an essay in which birder Nicholas Lund contemplates naming his baby after a bird (found via Emily of Nothing Like a Name):

Eventually Liz asked me to think about why I was pushing for this, and whether a birdy name was in the best interests of our kid. Did he need to carry on my own birding legacy? She was right. My son may very well grow up to love birds—I really hope he does—but he also might not. It should be his choice and not mine. If my dad had named me after some of his hobbies, you’d be calling me Carl Yastrzemski Lund or Rapala Lure Lund, and then I’d have to live with that.

From Nelson Mandela’s 1994 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom:

Apart from life, a strong constitution, and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. In Xhosa, Rolihlahla literally means “pulling the branch of a tree”, but its colloquial meaning more accurately would be “troublemaker.” I do not believe that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future, but in later years, friends and relatives would ascribe to my birth name the many storms I have both caused and weathered.

From an Irish newspaper article about the CSO disregarding fadas in Irish baby names:

The CSO recently unveiled its Baby Names of Ireland visualisation tool recently published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) tool allowing users to check the popularity of names officially registered in Ireland. However, it does not allow for names with the síneadh fada or other diacritical marks that denote pronunciation or meaning.

[…]

“Our language, while having a special status afforded it in the Constitution has been progressively marginalised to the fringes of bureaucracy.

“It behoves the Central Statistics Office above all other institutions to be correct in all matters it reports. This is where historians will first go to research,” [author Rossa Ó Snodaigh] said.

From an essay by Donna Vickroy about the difficulty of being named Donna in 2018:

[L]ately people ask “Vonna”? or “Dana?” or “What?” Maybe the whole language movement has taken a toll.

Still, with its solid D beginning, short O solidified by double Ns and that ubiquitous feminine A at the end, Donna is — and should continue to be — easy to understand, pronounce, spell.

And yet, the struggle is real. Donna appears to be aging out.

From an Atlas Obscura article about a disgruntled former 7-Eleven owner:

The owner, Abu Musa, named his new convenience store “6-Twelve,” a one-up of the 7-Eleven name, which references the chain’s original operating hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Musa’s store operates from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

For lots more name quotes, click that link.

Name Quotes for the Weekend #9

From a Chicago Parent article about name pronunciation:

Here’s the story behind my daughter’s name – the name no one can pronounce: When it came to naming our daughter, her father insisted on naming her Amalasunta, after the ancient Queen of the Visigoths. “No, nope, that won’t work,” I said, standing firm, “No one will ever be able to pronounce that!” And so we settled on Chiara. It means light and fair; the perfect name for our little blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter.

Well, as it turns out, no one seems to be able to pronounce that, either.

From a Clutch article about things non-black people should know about black women:

Look, all Black folk don’t have multi-hypenate names. We have Janes, Marys and Beths too. And somehow our single syllabic sisters learn how to pronounce names like La’Taquisha, Marquaysa, Taiwanas, etc. You know what our secret is? Lean closer.

WE ASK.

I’m a four syllable girl with an uncommon name (in the States.) I know it’s a challenge to pronounce and I am never offended by anyone asking, “how do I pronounce your name?” However, I am offended when you, a stranger, butchers it without care or tries to nickname me like we’re friends. Take the time to learn my name and maybe, I’ll offer my nickname to help you out.

From a Kashmir Life article about baby naming practices:

While some Muslims follow the astrological concept adopted by Sharif and Khan, others rubbish the concept as superstitious and faulty. Fatima Wani, a 66 year old woman says, “I was named Fatima by my father following two of my elder sisters with the same name who died soon after their birth. But my father rubbished any superstitious belief of a doomed name and preferred to give me the same name, Fatima, as of my two late sisters. And look, I am alive and talking to you now.”

From a Deadline Hollywood article about Quvenshané Wallis:

In a way, however, both of Quvenzhané’s parents are with her every time someone speaks her unusual first name (pronounced Kwe-VAWN-zhan-ay). The first part combines elements of her teacher mother’s first name, Qulyndreia, and her truck driver father’s first name, Venjie. Her mother says that Zhané is the Swahili word for “fairy,” although no direct translation can be found on an Internet search. Qulyndreia Wallis says her own name means “to you with love.” The rest of the kids include Venjie Jr., 15; brother Vejon, 13; and sister Qunyquekya, 19.

According to several sources, the Swahili word for “fairy” is jini — reasonably close to Zhané, actually.

From a Slate article about the papal conclave:

From early on, many popes changed their names to honor Christian saints or earlier popes, and to show their Christian faith by abandoning pagan names (such as Gerbert). Starting around 1000, the practice became formalized, but the choice of a new name was somewhat political, and popes were often influenced by other church officials. In the 13th century, popes started to choose their names independently. The use of numbers began in the 6th century, when the second Pelagius took the suffix “junior.” (He’s now referred to as Pelagius II.)

From a Stir post about the pros and cons sharing baby names pre-birth:

The pros of the share-nothing route is that you can blithely stick to your guns and not be dissuaded by friends’ grimaces, underwhelmed shrugs, or regrettable “sounds-like-a-stripper-to-me”-type comments. The bad part is … the same. You get no feedback! And making arguably one of the most important decisions of your life in a vacuum can be tough. Would you want to pick your wedding dress without your friends around to tell you that a mermaid silhouette is really not for you?

[…]

By telling other people you get to hear how it sounds when you say it and see if you’re still committed to it even if — and especially if — you have to defend it. No doubt some comments will be ridiculous, have nothing to do with you (ex. “I went to day camp with a girl called X and she threw up on the bus every day”), and/or possibly freak you out (ex. “That was my ex’s name. He was a cutter.”). Still, if you love the name despite the insults, isn’t that a great way to tell if it’s The One?

From a(nother) Stir post about “Teen Mom” Leah Messer and her new baby Adalynn:

[S]he is spending the whole week correcting every media report out there on how to spell the baby’s name. Whoops!

The problem started when US Weekly spelled the little girl’s name with two “d”s instead of one, and just spiraled from there. Leah has had to turn to social media to make the correction.

Sounds like the Teen Mom just got a taste of what happens when you decide you need your baby’s name to be insanely “unique.”

From a Baby Names in the News post about using a win-win approach for baby naming:

Shared Goals to Consider:

  • Would you both like to wind up with a name that reflects well on your child?
  • Would you both like to find a name your child will enjoy and want to keep?
  • Would you both be willing to screen a name under consideration for “user-friendliness” to make sure that it won’t be too hard to spell or pronounce, will be versatile, won’t create uncomfortable gender confusion, will make a positive impression, and won’t come across as dated, archaic, weird or embarrassing?
  • Would you both be willing to pick a middle name that provides a reasonable “fallback” in case the first name doesn’t work out for some reason?
  • Would you both agree that the selected name must be one that both parents like a lot and look forward to using?
  • Finally, would you both promise not to argue on behalf of (or worse, insist on) any names your partner doesn’t like?

By agreeing that the most important goals of the name search are to find a name that both parents and the child will enjoy using and to not argue about names one partner doesn’t like, you can happily start looking for a name that will be chosen based on collaboration and consensus.

From Summer Pierre’s blog post about her name:

I grew up in what I have learned since then, is considered an ALTERNATIVE environment. I went to a hippie school, and my classmates had names that included Andromeda, Boreas, Vitali, Oak, and Rolly (pronounced Role-e) (hi guys!). Considering the roll call, I was kind of the “Jane Smith” of the group. However, regardless of the pillows on the floor, and meetings where we had to discuss our feelings, I still got teased on the playground and called names. None of them were season-based. They were things that rhymed with my name–names that STILL make me cringe and feel bad. Names like “Bummer” and “Dumber.”

[…]

Then, I moved to the East Coast. East coast people find it a very funny name. This morning, as it would happen, two co-workers discussed my name in front of me, and one said, “I didn’t think it was your real name.” I get that a lot. Maybe it’s because there aren’t any hippies left here. I know the cultural consciousness happened on the east coast, because I’ve met people that had hippies for parents, but it seems that east coast hippies have moved on to academic postings or documentary filmmakers, and they seem to name their kids Amos or Noah, and not after seasons or other natural occurrences.

From a Multiple Mayhem Mamma post on the ridiculousness of “stolen” baby names:

The reality of the situation is that none of us has “dibs” on a name. As with any other intangible objects, names exist within the confines of our minds and, while a particular name can indeed evoke certain emotions (we all have a visceral reaction to the name of the childhood bully who taunted us, or similar), it does not belong to a particular person or family. To that end, it cannot be “stolen” or otherwise pilfered, despite protestations to the contrary.

From a Daily Mail article about a new species of dinosaur that’s been named after a little girl:

Palaeontologists announced this week that fossilised remains found on a stretch of Isle of Wight beach in 2008 had been finally identified as a new species of flying dinosaur.

The remains were discovered by Daisy Morris, who, now aged nine, has amassed a collection of fossils and animal remains so extensive it led one expert to describe her bedroom as ‘resembling a natural history museum.’

[…]

And when it came to naming the creature, the experts looked to its young finder for inspiration, officially dubbing it Vectidraco Daisymorrisae.

The Latin elements in Vectidraco translate to “Wight” (vectis) and “dragon” (draco).