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, see baby names similar to Paul and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Paul.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Paul

Number of Babies Named Paul

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Paul

Name Quotes #57: Gage, Ciku, Abigail Fortitude

George Clooney explaining why he and his wife Amal named their twins Alexander and Ella (People):

“[We] didn’t want to give them one of those ridiculous Hollywood names that don’t mean anything,” George told Paris Match in an interview published Saturday. “They’ll already have enough difficulty bearing the weight of their celebrity.”

Summary of a recent study on the practice of naming winter storms (WBIR):

The researchers presented their subjects with three mock tweets about an upcoming winter storm — either using names like “Bill,” “Zelus,” or no name at all — then asked them about their perceptions of the storm’s potential severity.

It turned out that the survey participants were equally likely to show concern for the storm regardless of whether common names such as Bill were used, rather than uncommon names, such as Zelus. This was a surprise to Rainear, who thought that more “Americanized” names might make people more wary.

On the origin of the name of the Slinky (New York Times):

[N]ext month the Toy Manufacturers of America will induct Betty James, 82, the retired toy maker who gave the Slinky its name, into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Mrs. James came up with the name after deciding that Slinky best described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing. Slinky, of course, meaning sort of stealthily quiet. Mrs. James did not have sexy evening wear in mind; it was 1943, after all, and there was a war.

On changing name trends in Kenya (SDE Kenya):

It is so 1980 for modern Kenyan parents to name their children after biblical figures. Ati names like Grace, Hannah, Sarah, Magdalene or Jane for their daughters is now a no-no. For sons, naming them Abednego or Adonijah sounds like a bad Sunday school dream.

[…]

Names like Peter and Paul, Esther and Lois were fashionable in their grandparents’ time and today, girls are named Tasha, Tanya or Tiffany, while boys go by cooler ones like Cy, Kyle, Declan and Sherwin.

…The article also mentioned that many traditional names now have modernized forms:

  • Wangui -> Kui
  • Waithiageni -> Sheni
  • Wanjiku -> Ciku
  • Wanjiru -> Ciru
  • Wambui -> Foi
  • Wacera -> Cera

“Modern parents have no qualms having them appear like that in official documents. Welcome to baby names in 21st century Kenya.”

Onomastician Cleveland Kent Evans vs. the baby name Gage (Washington Post):

But right now, Evans is pondering the sudden, explosive rise of the male first name Gage. From out of nowhere. There’s no record of this name, nothing in the texts, nothing anywhere. And yet just in the last couple of years, it’s been popping up all around the country.

[…]

Finally, he asked his students at Bellevue College near Omaha. One student got the reference immediately: “Emergency!” he said. Meaning the short-lived 1970s TV series, of course. Turns out there was a character named John Gage on that show, and he was generally addressed as Gage.

[…]

Incredibly, “Emergency!,” which aired opposite “60 Minutes” for four years, was exceedingly popular among elementary-school children.

One mom’s positive experience with revealing her son’s name during pregnancy (Popsugar)

One reason why people don’t reveal the baby’s name is to ward off other people’s opinions. I could tell there were a couple of my friends who didn’t like the name, but just like I didn’t get pregnant to please them, I’m wasn’t going to change his name for them either. Most people that I talked to had enough common sense to keep their opinions to themselves. Even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t have changed a thing.

My son’s name […] is special to me. I didn’t stop feeling that way once I told it to people — if anything, it made the pregnancy a whole lot easier.

From the script for Mother Is a Freshman (1949), about a 35-year-old widow, Abigail, who starts attending the college that her daughter Susan goes to:

Abigail: I mean about the Abigail Fortitude Memorial Scholarship.
Susan: The one they give to any girl whose first two names are Abigail Fortitude?
Abigail: Yes.
Susan: Clara Fettle says no one’s applied for it since 1907, and there’s zillions piling up.
Abigail: And you never told me!
Susan: Of course not.
Abigail: It never occurred to you that my first names are Abigail Fortitude–that I’ve had to put up with them all my life!
Susan: I know, Mom. It must have been awful.
Abigail [struck by thought]: Maybe that’s why my mother gave me those names. Maybe she know about the scholarship.

…Turns out the scholarship had been set up by Abigail’s grandmother, also named Abigail Fortitude.

*

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.


Popular Baby Names in Austria, 2016

According to data released by Statistics Austria, the most popular baby names in the country in 2016 were Anna (and variants) and Lukas (and variants).

Here are Austria’s top 10 girl name-groups and top 10 boy name-groups of 2016:

Girl Name-Groups
1. Anna (plus 20 variants, including Jannah) – 2,204 baby girls
2. Sophie (plus 12 variants, including Zofia) – 1,564
3. Maria (plus 36 variants, including Mery and Mirja) – 1,356
4. Emilia (plus 13 variants, including Emmelie) – 1,150
5. Elena (plus 39 variants, including Aljona and Ilona) – 981
6. Emma (zero variants) – 808
7. Sarah (plus 9 variants, including Saara) – 803
8. Lena (plus 7 variants, including Lenja) – 783
9. Laura (zero variants) – 645
10. Mia (plus 1 variant) – 639

Boy Name-Groups
1. Lukas (plus 11 variants, including Lucca) – 1,520 baby boys
2. David (plus 11 variants, including Dawood) – 989
3. Elias (plus 31 variants, including Elijah and Ilyaz) – 981
4. Jakob (plus 19 variants, including Tiago and Jacques) – 890
5. Maximilian (plus 8 variants) – 838
6. Alexander (plus 31 variants, including Alechandro and Eskandar) – 832
7. Paul (plus 6 variants, including Paulus) – 826
8. Jonas (plus 11 variants, including Yunus) – 823
9. Tobias (plus 2 variants) – 790
10. Felix (plus 2 variants) – 686

In the boys’ top 10, the Felix group replaced the Leon group. In the girls’ top 10, there were no replacements. Here are the 2015 name-group rankings, if you’d like to compare.

In terms of non-combined spellings, the top two names were Anna and David:

Girl Names
1. Anna, 998 baby girls
2. Emma, 808
3. Marie, 710
4. Lena, 678
5. Sophia, 652
6. Laura, 645
7. Mia, 639
8. Sophie, 625
9. Emilia, 592
10. Lea and Valentina (tie), 529 each

Boy Names
1. David, 938 baby boys
2. Maximilian, 829
3. Lukas, 805
4. Tobias, 789
5. Paul, 785
6. Elias, 774
7. Jakob, 756
8. Jonas, 731
9. Alexander, 695
10. Felix, 686

Sources: Anna and Lukas were the most popular baby names in 2016, Anna und Lukas waren auch 2016 wieder die beliebtesten Babynamen

Baby Girl with 24 Given Names

In late 1946, a baby girl was born to Paul Henning of Denver, Colorado. He’d heard of a man in Seattle who had 17 given names* and, impressed, decided that his own daughter’s name should be even longer. So she ended up with 24 given names.

Henning’s daughter–Mary Ann Bernadette Helen Therese Juanita Oliva Alice Louise Harriet Lucille Henrietta Celeste Corolla Constance Cecile Margaret Rose Eugene Yvonne Florentine Lolita Grace Isabelle Henning–was baptized in St. Elizabeth’s church Sunday.

If you were asked to cut this name down to just a first and a middle, using the names already listed, which two would you choose?

*The Seattle man, known as William Cary, had recently died. He’d been born in the mid-1860s and his 17 names had come from the surnames of officers in his father’s Civil War regiment.

Sources:

  • “What’s in Name? This Baby Given 24 for a Starter.” Milwaukee Journal 11 Nov. 1946: 1.
  • “Man With 17 Names Dies in Seattle.” Abilene Reporter-News 1 Nov. 1946: 33.

Fake Celebrity Baby Name: “god”

In the early 1970s, the Internet as we know it didn’t exist. But people back then were just as fascinated by scandalous celebrity baby names as they are today.

For example, in 1971, Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, both of the band Jefferson Airplane, welcomed a baby girl. Grace told the press that her daughter’s name was “god” with a small g:

“It’s a small ‘g’ because with a name like that you have to show some humility.”

The story was widely reported…but it wasn’t true. It was a rumor that Grace herself had concocted and started spreading well before the birth.

The baby’s real name was China.

China Kantner had a brief acting career, including a recurring role on the TV sitcom Home Improvement in the late ’90s as character Willow Wilson. In one episode Willow says, “My full name is Willow Branch Leaf Wilson. But I pruned it back.”

Sources:

Name Inspired by Door-to-Door Salesman

Alabamian Danny Pitts, who today works as a pastor, spent most of his childhood in an abusive home. He was taken in by the Pitts family in his teens, and soon after decided “that he wanted a new name, something to give him a fresh start.” So he and his adoptive mother began looking through a baby name book…

A knock on the door interrupted, and Ann Pitts got up to answer. The caller was an insurance salesman, who handed her his card and asked if she might be interested in a policy.

“She left him at the door and came over with his card. She said, ‘I like his name and how it is spelled — D-u-a-n-e,'” Danny Pitts recalled.

He said “Danny Duane Pitts” aloud, liked it and that was who he became.

I love how the name was essentially hand-delivered to them as they were searching. :)

Source: Smith, Melanie B. “Abused, rescued, adopted.” Decatur Daily 3 Sept. 2010.