How popular is the baby name Paula 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 Paula.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Paula


Posts that Mention the Name Paula

“Real World” Baby Names: Amaya, Baya, Brynn…

“This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a loft…and have their lives taped…”

Several months ago, the cast of the inaugural season of MTV’s The Real World held a 6-day reunion in the very same NYC loft they shared back in 1992. The reunion — which was filmed, of course — is now airing as a series on the Paramount+ platform. (Here’s the trailer.)

When I was a teenager, I loved watching The Real World. (And I appreciated that the names of the cast members were always prominently displayed in the opening credits!) So I think now would be a great time to go back and see if any Real World cast member names had an influence on U.S. baby names.

First, let’s start with a comprehensive list of all the cast member names from each of RW‘s 33 (!) seasons…

  1. The Real World: New York (1992): Andre, Becky, Eric, Heather, Julie, Kevin, Norman
  2. The Real World: California (1993): Aaron, Beth (x2), David, Dominic, Glen, Irene, Jon, Tami
  3. The Real World: San Francisco (1994): Cory, Jo, Judd, Mohammed, Pam, Pedro, Puck, Rachel
  4. The Real World: London (1995): Jacinda, Jay, Kat, Lars, Mike, Neil, Sharon
  5. The Real World: Miami (1996): Cynthia, Dan, Flora, Joe, Melissa, Mike, Sarah
  6. The Real World: Boston (1997): Elka, Genesis, Jason, Kameelah, Montana, Sean, Syrus
  7. The Real World: Seattle (1998): David, Irene, Janet, Lindsay, Nathan, Rebecca, Stephen
  8. The Real World: Hawaii (1999): Amaya, Colin, Justin, Kaia, Matt, Ruthie, Teck
  9. The Real World: New Orleans (2000): Danny, David, Jamie, Julie, Kelley, Matt, Melissa
  10. The Real World: Back to New York (2001): Coral, Kevin, Lori, Malik, Mike, Nicole, Rachel
  11. The Real World: Chicago (2002): Aneesa, Cara, Chris, Keri, Kyle, Theo, Tonya
  12. The Real World: Las Vegas (2002-2003): Alton, Arissa, Brynn, Frank, Irulan, Steven, Trishelle
  13. The Real World: Paris (2003): Ace, Adam, Chris, Christina, Leah, Mallory, Simon
  14. The Real World: San Diego (2004): Brad, Cameran, Charlie, Frankie, Jacquese, Jamie, Randy, Robin
  15. The Real World: Philadelphia (2004-2005): Karamo, Landon, Melanie, M.J., Sarah, Shavonda, Willie
  16. The Real World: Austin (2005): Danny, Johanna, Lacey, Melinda, Nehemiah, Rachel, Wes
  17. The Real World: Key West (2006): Janelle, John, Jose, Paula, Svetlana, Tyler, Zach
  18. The Real World: Denver (2006-2007): Alex, Brooke, Colie, Davis, Jenn, Stephen, Tyrie
  19. The Real World: Sydney (2007-2008): Ashli, Cohutta, Dunbar, Isaac, KellyAnne, Parisa, Shauvon, Trisha
  20. The Real World: Hollywood (2008): Brianna, Brittini, Dave, Greg, Joey, Kimberly, Nick, Sarah, Will
  21. The Real World: Brooklyn (2009): Baya, Chet, Devyn, J.D., Katelynn, Ryan, Sarah, Scott
  22. The Real World: Cancun (2009): Ayiiia, Bronne, CJ, Derek, Emilee, Jasmine, Joey, Jonna
  23. The Real World: D.C. (2009-2010): Andrew, Ashley, Callie, Emily, Erika, Josh, Mike, Ty
  24. The Real World: New Orleans (2010): Ashlee, Eric, Jemmye, McKenzie, Preston, Ryan (x2), Sahar
  25. The Real World: Las Vegas (2011): Adam, Dustin, Heather (x2), Leroy, Michael, Nany, Naomi
  26. The Real World: San Diego (2011): Alexandra, Ashley, Frank, Nate, Priscilla, Sam, Zach
  27. The Real World: St. Thomas (2012): Brandon (x2), LaToya, Laura, Marie, Robb, Trey
  28. The Real World: Portland (2013): Anastasia, Averey, Jessica, Johnny, Joi, Jordan, Marlon, Nia
  29. Real World: Ex-Plosion (2014): Arielle, Ashley (x2), Brian, Cory, Hailey, Jamie, Jay, Jenna, Jenny, Lauren, Thomas
  30. Real World: Skeletons (2014-2015): Bruno, Jason, Madison, Nicole, Sylvia, Tony, Violetta
  31. Real World: Go Big or Go Home (2016): CeeJai, Chris, Dean, Dione, Dylan, Jenna, Kailah, Sabrina
  32. Real World Seattle: Bad Blood (2016-2017): Anika, Anna, Jennifer, Jordan, Kassius, Katrina, Kimberly, Mike, Orlana, Peter, Robbie, Theo, Tyara, Will
  33. The Real World: Atlanta (2019): Arely, Clint, Dondre, Justin, Meagan, Tovah, Yasmin

The names in boldface line up with a discernible increase in baby name usage. (Other Real World names may have affected baby names as well, but it can be hard to tell when, say, a name is already common, or already on the rise.)

Here are details on all the boldfaced names, plus two more influential RW names (from seasons 6 and 18) that didn’t even belong to primary cast members.

  • The name Jacinda (from season 4; 1995) saw peak usage in 1996.
  • The name Flora (5; 1996) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Kameelah (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Syrus (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Jason (6; 1997) was probably not affected, but the name of Jason’s girlfriend, Timber, saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Amaya (8; 1999) saw sharply increased usage in 1999 and 2000.
  • The name Kaia (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Ruthie (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Aneesa (11; 2002) saw peak usage in 2002.
  • The name Arissa (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2003.
  • The name Brynn (12; 2002-3) saw sharply increased usage in 2003.
  • The name Irulan (12; 2002-3) debuted in the data in 2003.
    • It looks like she was named after the fictional character Princess Irulan from Frank Herbert’s Dune books…?
  • The name Trishelle (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Mallory (13; 2003) saw increased usage in 2003 and 2004.
  • The name Cameran (14; 2004) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Jacquese (14; 2004) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Johanna (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005.
  • The name Nehemiah (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005 and 2006.
  • The name Janelle (17; 2006) saw increased usage in 2006.
  • The name Svetlana (17; 2006) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Colie (18; 2006-7) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Tyrie (18; 2006-7) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name of Tyrie’s girlfriend, Jazalle, debuted in 2007 and is a one-hit wonder so far.
  • The name Kellyanne (19; 2007-8) returned to the data in 2008.
  • The name Baya (21; 2009) saw sharply increased usage in 2009. In fact, Baya was one of the fastest-rising baby names of 2009.
  • The name Averey (28; 2013) saw peak usage in 2013.
  • The name Kassius (32; 2016-17) saw increased usage in 2017.

Of all the names above, which one(s) do you like most?

And, for all the Real World fans out there: which season(s) do you like most? :)

Source: The Real World (TV series) – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2019

According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were (again) Lucia and Hugo.

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

Girl Names

  1. Lucia, 3,621 baby girls
  2. Sofia, 3,505
  3. Martina, 3,172
  4. Maria, 3,165
  5. Julia, 2,600
  6. Paula, 2,498
  7. Emma, 2,362
  8. Daniela, 2,315
  9. Valeria, 2,248
  10. Alba, 2,097

Boy Names

  1. Hugo, 3,536 baby boys
  2. Martin, 3,256
  3. Lucas, 3,185
  4. Mateo, 3,160
  5. Leo, 2,960
  6. Daniel, 2,958
  7. Alejandro, 2,937
  8. Pablo, 2,868
  9. Manuel, 2,460
  10. Alvaro, 2,279

Both top 10 lists include the same 10 names as the year before, but in a different order.

The top names in the Basque Country specifically were Ane and Markel. (Ane is a form of Anna, whereas Markel comes from the Roman name Martialis.)

And did you know that Spain has two autonomous cities on the coast of Africa? They’re Melilla and Ceuta. The top names in Melilla were Amira/Nour (tie) and Mohamed, while the top names in Ceuta were Yasmin and Amir/Mohamed (tie).

Sources: First name of newborns – INEbase, Markel – Behind the Name

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2018

According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Lucia and Hugo.

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

Girl Names

  1. Lucia, 4,004 baby girls
  2. Sofia, 3,701
  3. Martina, 3,534
  4. Maria, 3,533
  5. Paula, 2,847
  6. Julia, 2,738
  7. Emma, 2,623
  8. Valeria, 2,520
  9. Daniela, 2,503
  10. Alba, 2,350

Boy Names

  1. Hugo, 3,800 baby boys
  2. Lucas, 3,617
  3. Martin, 3,332
  4. Daniel, 3,223
  5. Pablo, 3,139
  6. Mateo, 3,100
  7. Alejandro, 3,000
  8. Leo, 2,651
  9. Alvaro, 2,495
  10. Manuel, 2,476

In the boys’ top 10, Leo replaces Adrian.

The girls’ top 10 includes the same names, but in a different order.

In 2017, the top names were Lucia and Lucas.

Source: What is the frequency of a first name of newborns? – INEbase

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2017

According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Lucia and Lucas.

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

Girl Names
1. Lucia, 4,410 baby girls
2. Sofia, 4,206
3. Maria, 3,874
4. Martina, 3,814
5. Paula, 3,085
6. Julia, 2,998
7. Daniela, 2,959
8. Valeria, 2,856
9. Alba, 2,678
10. Emma, 2,525

Boy Names
1. Lucas, 4,209 baby boys
2. Hugo, 4,141
3. Martin, 3,838
4. Daniel, 3,717
5. Pablo, 3,426
6. Alejandro, 3,220
7. Mateo, 3,124
8. Adrian, 2,841
9. Alvaro, 2,794
10. Manuel, 2,517

Lucas replaces Hugo as Spain’s #1 boy name.

In the boys’ top 10, Manuel replaces David.

In the girls’ top 10, Emma replaces Noa.

Finally, here are the 2016 rankings.

Sources: Nombres de los recién nacidos – INEbase, Lucía and Lucas, the most popular baby names in Spain in 2017

The Button-Nosed Baby Name Chata

Letter to Loretta

The name Chata made a modest debut in the U.S. baby name data in 1953:

  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 5 baby girls named Chata [debut]
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Very early television. “The Faith of Chata” was an episode from the first season of the anthology TV series Letter to Loretta, later renamed The Loretta Young Show. The episode aired in December of 1953.

The episode, set in a Mexican village, tells the story of a little girl called Chata who is gravely ill with pneumonia. (Chata’s mother Paula is played by Young.) After receiving an overnight vision of her patron saint, Santa Inés, Chata makes a miraculous recovery.

“Chata” is not a name, but an affectionate nickname. It comes from a Spanish term for “pug nose” or “button nose.” John Wayne’s second wife, Mexican actress Esperanza Baur, went by Chata for instance.

The child actress who played Chata was Nancy Gilbert, who several years later played another TV character (Calamity Jane) that also had an influence on baby names.

Sources: Nancy Gilbert – IMDb, Letter to Loretta (1953-1954) – Loretta Young Fan Website