How popular is the baby name Penny 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 Penny.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Penny


Posts that Mention the Name Penny

Why Were So Many Caroles Born in 1942?

carole lombard, baby name, 1940s
Carole Lombard

Ever wonder why the baby name Carole — already on the rise in the ’30s and ’40s — saw such a big jump in usage in 1942 specifically?

  • 1944: 6270 baby girls named Carole
  • 1943: 6506 baby girls named Carole
  • 1942: 8409 baby girls named Carole*
  • 1941: 4964 baby girls named Carole
  • 1940: 4788 baby girls named Carole

At that time, there were two famous movie actresses named Carole: Carole Lombard and Carole Landis.

Lombard was the funny one — the “world’s champion attractive screwball,” according to Life magazine — while Landis was more of a traditional Hollywood starlet.

The main cause of that 1942 spike was no doubt the sudden death of Carole Lombard, who was the highest paid actress of her time. She had finished a successful War Bonds promotion tour in the Midwest in mid-January and was flying back to California when her plane crashed into the side of the Mount Potosi in Nevada (near Vegas). All 22 people on board were killed.

Was it just an accident? Or, given that the U.S. had been attacked at Pearl Harbor just a month earlier, was it something even darker? Had Lombard, the war-effort activist, been sabotaged by German spies?

But we can’t discount the influence of Landis entirely. It just so happens that, the same year, we see the surname Landis bubble up for the first time in the girls’ data:

Year Female usage Male usage
1945 5 baby girls 28 baby boys
1944 (unlisted) 13 baby boys
1943 6 baby girls 22 baby boys
1942 5 baby girls [debut] 13 baby boys
1942 (unlisted) 20 baby boys

Sadly, Carole Landis died later the same decade of an apparent suicide.

So…how did each actress get her stage name?

  • Lombard, born Carol Jane Peters in 1908, chose “Carole” at the suggestion of a numerologist and “Lombard” because it was the surname of a friend.
  • Landis, born Frances Lillian Mary Ridste in 1919, “clearly borrowed from Carole Lombard, the first Hollywood star to spell her name that way.” She said she found Landis in the San Francisco telephone directory.

What are your thoughts on the name Carole? Would you use it?

*One of those 1942 Caroles was Carole Jones, later known as actress Carol Lynley. And a 1943 Carole was Carole Penny Marshall, later known as actress/director Penny Marshall.

Sources:

  • Busch, Noel F. “A Loud Cheer for the Screwball Girl.” Life 17 Oct. 1938: 48-50, 62-64.
  • Gans, Eric Lawrence. Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl. Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 2008.

Popular Dog Names in Lancaster County, PA, in 2014

According to data from the Lancaster County Treasurer’s Office, the most popular dog names in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 2014 were Bella, Molly and Buddy.

Here are Lancaster County’s top 50+ dog names of 2014:

1. Bella, 578 dogs
2. Molly, 576
3. Buddy, 551
4. Daisy, 545
5. Max, 456
6. Maggie, 418
7. Bailey, 351
8. Lucy, 336
9. Sophie, 289
10. Rosie, 286
11. Chloe, 278
12. Sadie, 263
13. Toby, 250
14. Charlie, 246
15. Tucker, 241
16. Jack, 236
17. Rocky, 231
18. Buster, 228
19. Ginger, 225
20. Bear, 223
21. Harley, 222
22. Cooper, 221
23. Lily, 216
24. Riley, 209
25. Zoey, 202 [tie]
26. Abby, 202 [tie]
27. Duke, 200
28. Shadow, 197
29. Teddy, 193
30. Lucky, 183
31. Rusty, 181
32. Misty, 180
33. Jake, 179
34. Princess, 177
35. Roxy, 174
36. Gracie, 169 [tie]
37. Lady, 169 [tie]
38. Sandy, 165
39. Lilly, 163
40. Dixie, 151 [tie]
41. Trixie, 151 [tie]
42. Cody, 147 [tie]
43. Coco, 147 [tie]
44. Penny, 145
45. Mia, 143
46. Pepper, 140
47. Zoe, 137
48. Hunter, 134
49. Sammy, 132
50. Bandit, 131 [tie]
51. Ruby, 131 [tie]

The names above account for nearly a quarter of the 51,000 dogs registered in Lancaster County in 2014.

As usual these days, a lot of the trendiest dog names also happen to be trendy baby names.

Source: Top dog names in Lancaster County: No Fido or Levi

Popular Baby Names on Prince Edward Island, 2013

Prince Edward Island’s top baby names of 2013 were announced recently.

According to provisional data from PEI’s vital statistics office, the most popular baby names in the province are Brooklyn and Liam.

Between January 1 and December 6, a total of 1,255 babies were born on the island and 746 different baby names were registered. Here are several hundred of those names, grouped by usage:

Girl Names Boy Names
  • Given to 9 baby girls: Brooklyn (#1)
  • 8: Olivia
  • 7: Ellie, Madison
  • 6: Claire, Ella, Emma, Lydia, Sophia
  • 5: Alexis, Callie, Julia, Lauren, Mackenzie, Sophie
  • 4: Abigail, Amelia, Ava, Charlotte, Layla, Lily, Sadie, Summer, Victoria
  • 3: Alexa, Anna, Annie, Aria, Aubree, Danica, Elizabeth, Felicity, Grace, Hannah, Harper, Jessica, Jordyn, Keira, Kinsley, Lexi, Lucy, Madelyn, Molly, Mya, Paisley, Peyton, Piper, Quinn, Sarah, Scarlett, Stella, Tessa, Violet
  • 2: Aaralyn, Adalyn, Aleah, Alice, Alyson, Amy, Anabelle, Averie, Avery, Ayla, Brooke, Brooklynn, Casey, Charlie, Elle, Elly, Emersyn, Evelyn, Fiona, Georgia, Gracie, Hailey, Isabella, Isla, Izabella, Jaelyn, Kate, Katherine, Kathryn, Kayla, Kyleigh, Leah, Lylah, Macie, Maggie, Marley, Mary, Meredith, Mila, Nevaeh, Paige, Rebekah, Ruby, Ryleigh, Samantha, Savannah, Selena, Serena, Serenity, Taylor, Zoey
  • 1 (a small selection): Adalay, Aislinn, Arista, Avalon, Avurri, Bonnie, Brae-Lynn, Brantley, Breagh, Brenya, Carling, Daelynn, Dawsyn, Ellavine, Elliet, Ellowyn, Erda, Felix, Georgie, Iola, Iona, Ivy, Jayla, Jozee, Keiannah, Khloey, Lewyn, Maeryn, Mataya, Meah, Merleah, Misk, Myrissa, Nahala, Naiomee, Penny, Primrose, Reenie, Rilynn, Ronnie, Rora, Soraya, Theia, Zadie
  • Given to 11 baby boys: Liam (#1)
  • 10: Hunter
  • 9: Connor, Jack
  • 8: Cohen, Jaxon, John
  • 7: Landon, Owen, William
  • 6: Benjamin, Caleb, Henry, Lucas, Mason, Noah
  • 5: Alex, Alexander, Carter, Charlie, David, Jackson, James, Jase, Joseph, Wyatt
  • 4: Austin, Camden, Cameron, Emmett, Griffin, Harrison, Hudson, Jace, Jonah, Kingston, Lincoln, Marcus, Nash, Nathan, Oliver, Parker, Ryan, Ryder, Seth, Xavier
  • 3: Charles, Clark, Cooper, Daniel, Drake, Dylan, Edward, Eli, Elijah, Emerson, Evan, Felix, Gabriel, Gavin, Gus, Isaac, Isaiah, Jacob, Jax, Jonathan, Joshua, Kai, Kaiden, Malcolm, Michael, Nathaniel, Riley, Sawyer, Thomas, Tristan
  • 2: Antonio, Beau, Beckett, Brayden, Caden, Casey, Cash, Clarke, Dawson, Declan, Dominic, Drew, Elliot, Elliott, Ethan, Ezra, Gage, Grayson, Hayden, Jaxson, Jayden, Kole, Levi, Logan, Luke, Matthew, Morgan, Nate, Nicholas, Nolan, Peter, Ryker, Rylan, Sebastian, Simon, Tanner, Taylor, Theo, Turner, Ty, Tye
  • 1 (a small selection): Abel, Aeros, Attwood, Blaiz, Boe, Canaan, Clive, Davud, Draeson, Fynn, Hadwin, Haitao, Jaece, Jedrek, Kessel, Montgomery, Neeko, Odell, Reethym, Rigon, Sudta, Toffer, Tylan, Wesdon, Zyler

I’m not sure when the finalized version of PEI’s 2013 list will be released, but I’ll be on the lookout for it. (Update, 1/8/2015: The 2014 list for PEI just came out, and it included a link to the 2013 data…which is exactly the same as the above. So it looks like PEI doesn’t release finalized lists.)

Sources: Brooklyn, Liam 2013’s most popular baby names in Prince Edward Island, The Most Popular Baby Names in P.E.I. for 2013

How Many Twins Get Matchy-Matchy Names?

In a comment on last week’s twin name post, Erin said she’d “love to see some kind of analysis on what percentage of twins are given names that are/aren’t matchy-matchy.”

I do know of one analysis like this. It’s 50 years old, so it’s not exactly up-to-date, but these were the findings:

  • 79% of twins overall had similar names
    • 90% of identical twins had similar names
    • 75% of fraternal twins had similar names

Name researcher Robert Plank published “Names of Twins” in the journal Names way back in 1964. This study was mentioned by H. Edward Deluzain in the essay “Names and Personal Identity” in 1996:

Robert Plank, who studied names of twins, discovered that the names fit into three patterns and that the names in two of the patterns show unmistakable similarity. The most common pattern, which occurred in 62% of the cases Plank studied, was the use of names that begin with the same letter. This included such names as Richard and Robert (Ricky and Robby), Joseph and Judith (Joey and Judy), Louise and Louisa, as well as such names as Paul and Paula and Patrick and Patricia. The second pattern involved names that had different first letters but where similar in sound, rhythm, or rhyme. Such sets of names as Tracy and Stacy, Billy Joe and Penny Sue accounted for 17% of the sets of names. Finally, Plank found that only 21% of the sets of names were different enough from one another to be considered dissimilar. Identical twins, who are always of the same sex and who look so much alike people have trouble telling them apart, fare worse than fraternal twins in the similarity of their names. For, as Plank found, almost 90% of the identical twins had similar names compared to roughly only 75% of the fraternals.

Have any of you seen more recent research on similar/dissimilar names for twins?

Baby Names for Coffee Lovers (Namestorm #16)

baby names for coffee lovers

I’m posting on Sunday instead of Monday this week. Why? Because today (September 29) is International Coffee Day, and I thought it would be fun to celebrate by brainstorming for baby names for coffee lovers.

Here are some coffee-inspired names I’ve come up with so far…

Kaldi

Legend has it that an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi discovered the coffee plant during the 9th century. After watching his goats become lively after eating coffee berries, he tried the berries himself, then told some local monks about the plant. The story has inspired many coffee shop owners to name their establishments “Kaldi’s Coffee” and the like.

Clement

Another legend has it that, around the year 1600, Pope Clement VIII gave coffee his official papal approval. Coffee was new to Europe, and Catholic clerics wanted it banned because they associated it with Islam. But Clement tried it and liked it, and his thumbs-up made coffee acceptable (and, soon, very popular) in Europe.

Penny

Thousands of coffeehouses opened in England during the second half of the 17th century. During the 18th century, they came to be called Penny Universities because, for the one-penny price of cup of coffee, a person could learn a great deal from the many political, commercial and philosophical discussions going on inside. Like the Kaldi legend, this story has inspired many coffee shop owners to use the name “Penny University.”

Boston; Griffin

The U.S. would have been a tea-drinking nation if not for the Boston Tea Party, which made tea drinking unpatriotic. After that historic 1773 rebellion against the King George’s tea tax, Americans switched over to coffee and never looked back. The specific location of the Tea Party was Griffin’s Wharf (which no longer exists).

Gabriel

French naval officer Gabriel de Clieu transported (maybe smuggled?) a single coffee plant from Louis XIV’s royal garden to the French colony of Martinique in 1720. The trip across the Atlantic was arduous, but both he and the plant arrived intact. Fifty years later, Martinique boasted over 18 million coffee plants — all progeny of Gabriel’s original.

Francisco

Colonel Francisco de Melo Palheta of Brazil traveled to French Guiana in 1727, ostensibly to help settle a border dispute. He ended up obtaining coffee seedlings for Brazil (the real objective of his mission, likely) in a rather sneaky way: within a bouquet of flowers. Brazil went on to become the world’s largest coffee producer.

Johann; Elisabeth/Lieschen

In the 1730s, composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the “Coffee Cantata,” in which a young woman, Lieschen, argues with her father about her coffee addiction. She sings lines like “Coffee, I must have coffee” while he tries to force her to break her habit. Here’s the Coffee Cantata in English. The name Lieschen is based on Lies, pronounced LEES, a diminutive of Elisabeth (the German form of Elizabeth).

What other baby names for coffee lovers can you come up with?

Sources: Coffee @ Nationalgeographic.com, History of Coffee – National Coffee Association, History of Coffee – Wikipedia

P.S. If you liked this, you might also like the namestorms for chocolate and beer.

Update, 5/2017: How about Ariosa? It was America’s first national coffee brand.