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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Pearl

Number of Babies Named Pearl

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Pearl

Miss Zane Grey

According to a newspaper article from 1911, many people assumed that Zane Grey was a woman because of his first name:

Zane Grey, who is spending the summer at Cottage Point, Lackawaxen, Pa., complains that his unusual first name is the cause of much misunderstanding and that he has received numerous letters addressed to “Miss” Zane Grey and requests for the lady’s photograph.

But “Zane” wasn’t his actual first name. It was his middle name, taken from his mother’s maiden name.

His full name at birth was Pearl Zane Grey. He was born in early 1872 in the Ohio town of Zanesville, which was named after his maternal ancestor Ebenezer Zane.

The name “Pearl” is usually considered feminine, but it seems to have been used for males in Zane’s family; he had a male cousin named Pearl. He disliked the name and dropped it when he began his writing career.

Various sources claim the name “Pearl” was chosen because, around the time of Zane’s birth, newspapers were describing Queen Victoria’s mourning attire as pearl gray. (He was born a few weeks after the tenth anniversary of Prince Albert’s death.) I did some research, though, and couldn’t find a single American newspaper from that era that mentioned pearl gray in association with the queen.

What are your thoughts on the name Zane? Do you view it as masculine or feminine?

P.S. The Zane Grey-inspired television show Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater (1956-1961) gave rise to five (!) other TV shows. These spin-offs were behind several baby name debuts, including Hoby.

Source: “Authors and their work.” Sun [New York] 14 Jul. 1911: 7.

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: O

orchid, gloria swanson, movie, 1926Want a rare girl name with a retro feel?

Here’s a list of uncommon, feminine O-names associated with the earliest decades of cinema.

For those that saw enough usage to register in the national data set, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

Enjoy!

*

O Yama
O Yama was a character played by actress Florence Lawrence in the short film The Heart of O Yama (1908).

Oceola
Oceola was a character played by actress Dolly Larkin in the film Her Atonement (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Oceola (which debuted in the data in 1913).

Odile
Odile was a character name in the films The Rat (1925) and The Rat (1937), both of which were based upon the same stage play.

  • Usage of the baby name Odile.

Ohati
Ohati was a character played by actress Anna May Wong in the film A Trip to Chinatown (1926).

Ojira
Princess Ojira was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film A Princess of Bagdad (1913).

Okalana
Queen Okalana was a character played by actress Anne Revere in the film Rainbow Island (1944).

Ola
Ola Humphrey was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in California in 1874. Her birth name was Pearl Ola Jane Humphrey. Ola was also a character played by actress Lucy Fox in the film What Fools Men Are (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Ola.

Olago
Olago was a character played by actress Sarah Padden in the film Man of Two Worlds (1934).

Olala
Olala Ussan was a character played by actress Billie Dove in the film The Thrill Chaser (1923).

Olalla
Olalla was a character name in the films The Wandering Jew (1923) and The Wandering Jew (1933), both of which were based upon the same stage play.

O-Lan
O-Lan was a character played by actress Luise Rainer in the film The Good Earth (1937), which was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name by Pearl S. Buck. Rainer won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1937 for playing O-Lan.

Olana
Olana was a character played by actress Marie Walcamp in the short film Olana of the South Seas (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Olana.

Oleander
Oleander Tubbs was a character played by actress Helen Chandler in the film Mr. Boggs Steps Out (1938).

Olette
Olette was a character played by actress Peggy Hyland in the film The Sixteenth Wife (1917).

Olivetta
Olivetta was a character name in multiple films, including The Long Arm of the Law (short, 1911) and 13 Washington Square (1928).

Olivette
Olivette was a character played by actress Olive Borden in the film The Monkey Talks (1927).

Ollante
Ollante was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film The Jungle Child (1916).

Olympe
Olympe Bradna was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in France in 1920. Her birth name was Antoinette Olympe Bradna. Olympe was also a character name in multiple films, including New Lives for Old (1925) and Camille (1936).

Oma
Oma Tuthill was a character played by actress Mayre Hall in the film The Battle of Ballots (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Oma.

Ona
Ona Munson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Oregon in 1903. Her birth name was Owena Elizabeth Wolcott. Ona was also a character played by actress Gail Kane in the film The Jungle (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Ona.

Onda
Onda was a character played by actress Marie Walcamp in the short film Onda of the Orient (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Onda.

Oneta
Oneta was a character played by actress Anna May Wong in the film The Desert’s Toll (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Oneta.

Opitsah
Opitsah was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film Opitsah: Apache for Sweetheart (1912). Despite the title, the word opitsah isn’t Apache — it’s Chinook Jargon for “knife,” but it can also denote a “lover” or “sweetheart.”

Ora
Ora Carew was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Utah in 1893. Ora was also a character name in multiple films, including Sparrow of the Circus (short, 1914) and Her Supreme Sacrifice (short, 1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Ora.

Orchid
Orchid was a character name in multiple films, including Fine Manners (1926), starring Gloria Swanson, and Gangs of New York (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Orchid (which debuted in the data in 1926).

Oriole
Oriole Hartley was a character played by actress Nanci Price in the film The Girl in the Show (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Oriole.

Orlean
Orlean was a character played by actress Evelyn Preer in the film The Homesteader (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Orlean.

Ormi
Ormi Hawley was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Massachusetts in 1889. Her birth name was Ormetta Grace Hawley.

  • Usage of the baby name Ormi (which debuted in the data in 1916).

Orry
Orry Baxter was a character played by actress Jane Wyman in the film The Yearling (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Orry.

Osa
Osa Massen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Denmark in 1914. Her birth name was Aase Iverson Madsen.

  • Usage of the baby name Osa.

Osprey
Osprey Bacchus was a character played by actress Helen Jerome Eddy in the film A Very Good Young Man (1919).

Ottilie
Ottilie Van Zandt was a character played by actress Ethel Shannon in the film Maytime (1923).

Ottima
Ottima was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film Pippa Passes; or, The Song of Conscience (1909).

Ottola
Ottola Nesmith was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1889. She was named after her father, Capt. Otto Nesmith.

Ouida
Ouida Bergère was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in 1886. Her birth name was Eunie Branch. The name Ouida was invented by English author Ouida (b. 1839), whose birth name was Marie Louise Ramé.

  • Usage of the baby name Ouida.

Oulaid
Oulaid was a character played by actress Mary Alden in the film The Tents of Allah (1923).

Ozma
Ozma was a character name in multiple films, including The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908) and The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914).

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Q

queenie, movie, 1921It’s the next batch of under-the-radar girl names from old movies! We’re on Q, so the list is short:

Queenie
Queenie Leonard was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in England in 1905. Her birth name was Pearl Walker. Queenie was also a character name in multiple films, including Dad’s Knockout (short, 1918) and Queenie (1921).

Querida
Princess Querida was a character played by actress Carmen Miranda in the film Greenwich Village (1944).

Quirentia
Anna Quirentia Nilsson, often called “Anna Q.,” was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Sweden in 1888 (on March 30, the feast day of Quirinus of Neuss).

Quita
Quita was a character played by actress Lule Warrenton in the film Rose of Nome (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Quita.

Quinetrea
Quinetrea was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the film The Reincarnation of Karma (1912).

…Which of these five Q-names do you like best?

Top 50 Nature Names for Baby Girls

Nature is waking up again! Let’s celebrate by checking out which nature names are the most popular for baby girls right now. Ironically the top 50 list below includes all the seasons except for “Spring,” but it does feature lots of springtime things: flowers, birds, trees…

nature names, girl names, top 50, baby names,

For this list I stuck to names that are also correctly spelled English words. This means that I skipped names that are non-English words (like Stella and Luna) and alternative spellings of words (like Brooke and Briar). I should also mention that several of the above (including Rowan, Robin, and Clementine) do have more than one etymology to choose from.

Here are links to the popularity graphs:

1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50
Lily
Violet
Hazel
Autumn
Ruby
Willow
Jasmine
Jade
Ivy
Rose
Daisy
Summer
Iris
Olive
Rowan
Amber
River
Ember
Aspen
Sage
Magnolia
Meadow
Wren
Ivory
Laurel
Sky
Clementine
Dahlia
Juniper
Raven
Holly
Savanna
Rosemary
Winter
Crystal
Azalea
Pearl
Jewel
Heather
Robin
Diamond
Poppy
Opal
Sunny
Coral
Emerald
Clover
Pepper
Sapphire
Amethyst

Which nature name(s) do you like best?

P.S. Nature names that didn’t quite make the top 50 included Stormy, Zinnia, Sandy, and Acacia.

Baby Nearly Named After Police Officer

On July 30, 1946, Los Angeles police officer Harry Dowty helped a pregnant woman named Edith Runfola deliver a baby girl.

According to the LA Times, Edith “said she [would] name the baby Harriet in honor of Officer Dowty.”

But what do the records say? The California Birth Index shows that Edith’s daughter got the first name Josephine and middle name Katherine. No mention of “Harriet.”

Did Edith change her mind? Did her husband veto “Harriet”? We shall never know…

But we do know the names of Edith’s other children. The article listed the 10 born before Josephine and the California Birth Index revealed that at least two more came along after:

  • Florence
  • Pearl
  • Ruby
  • Willie
  • Hazel
  • Marie
  • Daniel
  • Grace
  • Edith
  • Kenneth
  • Josephine (and not Harriet)
  • Jack
  • Helena

Source: “Police Officer Assists at Birth of Baby Girl.” Los Angeles Times 31 Jul. 1946: A1.