How popular is the baby name Orbit 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 Orbit.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Orbit

Posts that Mention the Name Orbit

41 Pun Names for April Fools’ Day (4/1)

pun names for april fool's day, gravestonesI can’t play a prank on you for April Fools’ Day, but I can give you a list of personal names that seem like pranks.

Except, they’re not.

All of the below are legit first & last names that belonged to real people — often multiple people. (In parentheses is a rough estimate of how many I’ve come across so far.)

Which one do you think is the worst?

  1. Alma Mater (several)
  2. April Showers (dozens)
  3. Bear Trapp (one)
  4. Candy Cane (several)
  5. Cliff Hanger (several)
  6. Constant Agony (two)
  7. Constant Craps (one)
  8. Crystal Ball (dozens)
  9. Death Knox (one)
  10. Drew Peacock (dozens)
  11. Gettysburg Battle (one)
  12. Gold Mine (two)
  13. Green Bean (several)
  14. Hazel Nut/Nutt (dozens)
  15. Ima Hogg (one)
  16. Jed I Knight (one)
  17. London England (dozens)
  18. Mud Brown (three)
  19. Never Fail (two)
  20. Norman Conquest (two)
  21. North West (hundreds)
  22. Nude Mann (one)
  23. Orbit Moon (one)
  24. Orchestra Harp (one)
  25. Paris France (several)
  26. Preserved Fish (one)
  27. Pullman Carr (several), one with the middle name Palace, as in the Pullman Palace Car Company.
  28. Rainy Day (one)
  29. River Bottom (one)
  30. Rocky Mountain (dozens)
  31. Sandy Beach (dozens)
  32. Sea Shore (several)
  33. Seymour Butts (two) — not just a Bart Simpson prank call!
  34. Silence Bellows (one)
  35. Soda Popp (one)
  36. Strong Beer (one)
  37. Tell No Lyes (several)
  38. Ten Million (one), who had a daughter named Decillian Million.
  39. Timber Wood* (one), who has a sister named Drift Wood.
  40. Truly Wright (several)
  41. Tu Morrow (one)

Some of the above are also on my Unusual Name Combinations list.

Finally, don’t forget about the best April Fools’ Day name of all time, April Fool Harris!

*Reminded of this one by @jessiejensen – thanks!

[Images from Find a Grave: Constant Craps © Tonya Sapp Hames; Crystal Kay Ball © Connie Lagasse Russell; Never McNeil Fail, Sr © P Black-Avitts; Pullman P Carr © Emily; Rocky D. Mountain © Bobbi Janes; Seymour Butts © suscat.]

43 Unique Noun-Names

I’m fascinated by personal names that, out of context, don’t appear to be names at all. Especially when said names are created from everyday nouns and proper nouns — places, foods, animals, objects, brands, ideas, events, institutions, organizations, qualities, phenomena, and so forth.

My fascination kicked into high gear after I wrote about noun-names earlier this year. Ever since, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for noun-names.

So far, I’ve collected hundreds. But it’s going to take me a while to blog about all of them. In the meanwhile, I thought I’d list some of the strangest ones I’ve already talked about:

  1. Bandit
  2. Cape Cod
  3. Captivity
  4. Celerie (celery)
  5. Danger
  6. Eclipse
  7. Emancipation Proclamation
  8. Emirates
  9. Eiffel Tower
  10. Facebook
  11. Fourth
  12. Freeway
  13. Funeral
  14. Golden Palace
  15. Halloween
  16. Helsinki
  17. Jeep
  18. Joker
  19. Key West
  20. Knuckles
  21. Legal Tender
  22. Metallica
  23. Oleomargarine
  24. Opera House
  25. Orbit
  26. Peaches
  27. Pebbles
  28. Peppermint
  29. Prohibition
  30. Rainbow
  31. Shotgun
  32. Skylab
  33. Soccer City
  34. Sou’Wester
  35. Strawberry
  36. Suffrage
  37. Tahiti
  38. Trooper
  39. Tsunami
  40. Union Jack
  41. Vick Vaporup (Vicks VapoRub)
  42. Wilmot Proviso
  43. Zeppelin

Did I skip any good ones? Let me know in the comments!


Later additions…

  1. Sputnik, 10/4
  2. Nintendo, 10/22
  3. Annexation, 10/25
  4. Windchime, 11/9
  5. Oregon Territory, 11/22
  6. Gold Dust, 11/29

Baby Born Day of Orbit Named Orbit

On the day John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth (February 20, 1962) a baby boy was born in Ogden, Utah, to Mr. and Mrs. H. Ray Hill.

He was named Orbit.

(In fact, hundreds of U.S. babies have been named orbit over the years. Two particularly memorable Orbits are Glenn Orbit Reeves, born on 2/20/1962 in Texas, and Orbit Paul Moon, born on 3/10/1902 in Iowa.)

Source: “Utah Parents Name Arrival Orbit.” Florence Times 27 Feb. 1962, section 2: 8.

Babies Named for Mercury Astronauts

I’ve got a few more astronaut names for today. Yesterday’s astronauts were from the Apollo program, but today’s are from the earlier Mercury program (1959-1963), which was the nation’s first human spaceflight program.

alan shepard
Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard
The first American (and second human) in space was Alan Shepard. He piloted a sub-16-minute suborbital flight on May 5, 1961. (Yuri Gagarin’s flight on April 12 had been an orbital flight lasting 108 minutes.)

At 11:42 am, “an hour and eight minutes after Shephard’s [sic] rocket took off,” a baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. William J. Mann of Middletown, New York. The boy was named Alan Shepard Mann.

“I had thought of the name myself,” said Mr. Mann. “Then so many friends called and suggested it that we decided to name the baby Alan Shepard. My wife had already picked out a name, Ralph Luppon, but she agreed too that under the circumstances it was the only thing to do.”

John Glenn
John Glenn

John Glenn
The first American to orbit the Earth and the third American (and fifth human) in space was John Glenn. He traveled around the Earth three times during a nearly 5-hour flight on February 20, 1962.

Here are just a few of the babies born on Feb. 20 and named in honor of John Glenn:

  • John Glenn Donato, baby boy, born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Donato of Burbank, California.
  • John Glenn Guntle, baby boy, born at 2:42 p.m., “just one minute before astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. landed Tuesday in the Atlantic Ocean after his third orbit of the earth,” to Mr. and Mrs. Larry Guntle of Dowagiac, Michigan.
  • John Glenn Fortner, baby boy, born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fortner of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • Glenn John Ashley Mertz, baby boy, born “as astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. re-entered the atmosphere” to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ashley Mertz of Freeport, New York.
  • Jonna Glyn Morse, baby girl, born at 10:50 a.m., “while Col. Glenn was still in orbit,” to Mr. and Mrs. Sidney L. Morse of Los Angeles, California.
  • Late addition: Glenn Orbit Reeves.

John Glenn didn’t move the needle on the baby name John, but baby name Glenn spiked in usage in 1962.


  • “Astronaut’s Name Given New Babies.” Los Angeles Times 25 Feb. 1962: GB2.
  • “It Took Week for Famous Name to Stick.” Spartanburg Herald 28 Feb. 1962: 1.
  • “Middletown Infant May Be First Namesake of Spaceman.” Evening News [Newburgh, NY] 6 May 1961: 1.
  • “Name Fame.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 23 Feb. 1962: 1.
  • “Tots Named for Glenn.” Meriden Record 21 Feb. 1962: 8.