How popular is the baby name Paul 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 Paul.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Paul


Posts that Mention the Name Paul

Popular Baby Names in Paris, 2019

According to Paris Data, the most popular baby names in Paris, France, in 2019 were Louise and Gabriel.

Here are the city’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Louise, 223 baby girls
  2. Jeanne, 195
  3. Emma, 180 (tie)
  4. Alice, 180 (tie)
  5. Chloé, 177
  6. Alma, 152
  7. Anna, 142
  8. Charlotte, 140
  9. Joséphine, 133 (tie)
  10. Adèle, 133 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Gabriel, 371 baby boys
  2. Adam, 292
  3. Arthur, 282
  4. Raphaël, 272
  5. Louis, 271
  6. Mohamed, 213
  7. Victor, 187
  8. Léon, 181
  9. Paul, 180
  10. Isaac, 174 (tie)
  11. Joseph, 174 (tie)

In the girls’ top 10, Alma, Joséphine and Adèle replace Rose, Léa, and Inès. (Notably, Joséphine jumped from 30th place — 97 baby girls — all the way into the top 10.)

In the boys’ top 10, Léon and Isaac/Joseph replace Alexandre and Gaspard.

Finally, here’s a selection of names from elsewhere in the 2019 Paris data (which, like the SSA data, includes all names given to at least five babies per year).

Parisian Girl NamesParisian Boy Names
Apolline (80 girls), Garance (60), Aminata (55), Isaure (40), Castille (37), Ysée (29), Sixtine (17), Athénaïs (15), Prune (14), France (6), Ombeline (6)Octave (79 boys), Balthazar (37), Djibril (30), Aurélien (22), Hippolyte (21), Corentin (10), Matisse (9), Zéphyr (7), Tancrède (7), Enguerrand (6), Kaïss (5)

Source: Liste des prénoms – Paris Data

The Two Debuts of Durelle

durelle alexander, singer, 1930s, radio
Radio Guide, Sept. 1936

You could say that the name Durelle debuted in the U.S. baby name data twice — first as a girl name in the ’30s, next as a boy name in the ’50s.

The name’s very first appearance in the data was in 1936:

  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: 5 baby girls named Durelle
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 6 baby girls named Durelle
  • 1936: 12 baby girls named Durelle
  • 1935: unlisted

This initial influence here was female entertainer Durelle Alexander, who was born in Texas in 1918.

She’d started out as a child actor, then re-emerged during her teen years as a vocalist associated primarily with bandleader Paul Whiteman. She sang on the radio, made recordings, and toured with Whiteman’s orchestra (and several others) before getting married in 1939 and retiring from the music business.

Around that time, the name Durelle dropped off the charts entirely…

boxing, yvon durelle, archie moore
Yvon Durelle vs. Archie Moore, Dec. 1958

…But, about two decades later, the name reemerged on the boys’ side of the list:

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: 6 baby boys named Durelle
  • 1957: unlisted

It was the year that French Canadian boxer Yvon Durelle, the “Fighting Fisherman,” challenged American boxer Archie Moore for the World Light Heavyweight title. By all accounts it was a sensational match, with each man knocking the other down multiple times before Moore finally prevailed in the 11th round.

The fight not only made Durelle a legend in Canada, but it “was one of the first to be broadcast coast-to-coast on American television.” This wide exposure of the surname Durelle — and the unmistakably masculine association — is what boosted the name back into the data, but as a boy name. The uncommon name Yvon also saw peak usage in 1958/1959.

I’m not sure about the origin (coining?) of Durelle Alexander’s first name, but Yvon Durelle’s surname can be traced back to the Old French word dur, meaning “hard(y).”

Do you like the name Durelle more as a girl name or as a boy name?

Sources:

  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Rayno, Don. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music, 1930-1967. Vol. 2. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009.
  • Sares, Ted. “Back from the Brink of Defeat: Archie Moore v. Yvon Durelle.” Bad Left Hook 20 Oct. 2010.

P.S. Durelle saw peak usage (as a boy name) in 1985 thanks to Star Search contestant Durell Coleman.

Name Quotes 82: Rosebud, Pirate, Habakkuk

From an article about the Mad About You reboot:

On the original show, Theresa was portrayed by Burnett as a bit overbearing. But, she always brought extra love…and helped them name their daughter Mabel. When Jamie and Paul Buchman (Paul Reiser) couldn’t decide on a name for their baby, Theresa proclaimed that “Mothers Always Bring Extra Love,” an homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura explain Ritchie’s middle name. The Buchman’s decide to call their daughter Mabel.

The conversation between Rob Petrie (dad) and Ritchie Rosebud Petrie (son) referenced above, from the 1962 Dick Van Dyke episode “What’s in a Middle Name?” [vid]:

Rob: …and there’s no reason to look so sad, your middle name isn’t really Rosebud.

Ritchie: Yes it is, my birth certificate says it’s Rosebud.

Rob: Yes it does, but do you know why?

Ritchie: No, but I wish it was ‘Jim.’

[…]

Rob: So you see, Ritch, actually, your middle name is Robert, Oscar, Sam, Edward, Benjamin, Ulysses, David. And, the initials to all of your middle names spells…

Ritchie: Rosebud!

(The seven names were suggestions from various family members. To see the scene and hear the full explanation, click the link to the video.)

From the 2018 children’s book Who Is Pele? by James Buckley, Jr.:

Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born on October 23, 1940, in the tiny village of Três Corações (say: TRACE kor-ah-SOYS), Brazil. Even in 1940, there were many parts of the world that did not have electricity. Most of southeastern Brazil was one of those areas. In honor of their village finally getting electricity, Edson’s parents named their first son after the American inventor Thomas Edison.

From a BBC interview with Billie Eilish:

Q: Hello Billie Eilish… Have I pronounced that right?

A: Yes! It’s eye-lish, like eyelash with a lish.

Q: Your family name is O’Connell, though, so is that a stage name?

It is my middle name. So I’m Bille Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell.

Q: Pirate! That’s an amazing name.

Pretty weird, right? Pirate was going to be my middle name but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad. Then Baird is my mother’s name.

From an NPR interview with Leonardo DiCaprio:

My father tells me that they were on their honeymoon at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, I believe. They were looking at a da Vinci painting, and allegedly I started kicking furiously while my mother was pregnant. And my father took that as a sign, and I suppose DiCaprio wasn’t that far from da Vinci. And so, my dad, being the artist that he is, said, “That’s our boy’s name.”

From a Christianity Today article called “Sorry, James and David: Silas and Obadiah Are Today’s Trending Baby Names“:

Looking forward, there’s plenty more space for creativity with highly unique but still highly religious names. Of the 2,606 biblical names I track in my ongoing research, only 811 ever had a year with more than 4 baby boys or girls given that name. We haven’t yet seen kids named Abijam or Paltiel, nor have we seen name fads for Philetus or Berechiah. Even notably faithful biblical figures like Ehud, Elkanah, Habakkuk, Hilkiah, and Jehonadab have been passed over.

If you ever come across an interesting name-related quote (or article), please let me know!

Popular Baby Names in Austria, 2018

According to Statistics Austria, the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Anna and Paul.

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

Girl Names

  1. Anna – used for 869 baby girls (2.1%)
  2. Emma
  3. Laura
  4. Marie
  5. Lena (2-way tie)
  6. Mia (2-way tie)
  7. Emilia
  8. Sophia
  9. Johanna
  10. Valentina

Boy Names

  1. Paul – used for 830 baby boys (1.9%)
  2. David
  3. Jakob
  4. Maximilian
  5. Felix
  6. Elias
  7. Alexander
  8. Lukas
  9. Leon
  10. Tobias

In the girls’ top 10, Valentina replaces Sophie.

In the boys’ top 10, Leon replaces Jonas.

And in 2017, the two top names in the country were Anna and Maximilian.

Source: First Names of newborn babies 2018

The First Appearance of Pepi

five fathers of pepi, ira avery, book, 1950s

The peppy name Pepi first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1956:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby boys named Pepi [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

What put it there?

“The Five Fathers of Pepi” — a mid-1956 episode of the live anthology TV show The United States Steel Hour.

The episode told the story of a group of men (Giorgio, Benozzo, Jacopo, Carlo, and Vittore) in an Italian town who were raising a war orphan named Pepi.

Pepi, a young orphan, has been adopted by five men of a town on the Italian riviera. Both the “fathers” and the boy are very happy about this arrangement, until the arrival of a wealthy American couple threatens the pleasant state of affairs. The Americans become interested in Pepi and consider adopting him themselves, legally. When they fail to be discouraged by various ruses, the “fathers” feel there is only one thing left to do and it is up to Giorgio, the “bachelor father,” to act quickly.

Giorgio was played by a young Paul Newman, described by a contemporary source as the “outstanding talent of stage, screen and television, who has skyrocketed to stardom during the past year.”

The story, written by Ira Avery, had been published in book form in mid-1955. Interestingly, though, Avery had originally created it as a television script for a 1952 episode of The Philco Television Playhouse.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Pepi? (It’s a pet form of Giuseppe, the Italian form of Joseph.)

Sources: