How popular is the baby name Persephone 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 Persephone.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Persephone


Posts that Mention the Name Persephone

The Height of Coretta

Coretta Scott King © 1969 LIFE

The baby name Coretta was the fastest-rising baby name of 1968:

  • 1970: 146 baby girls named Coretta
  • 1969: 194 baby girls named Coretta
  • 1968: 336 baby girls named Coretta
  • 1967: 13 baby girls named Coretta
  • 1966: 16 baby girls named Coretta

The name also saw it’s highest-ever usage that year, as did the variant spelling Corretta. And another spelling, Koretta, appeared for the very first time in the data in 1968.

What was bringing all this attention to the baby name Coretta in 1968?

Coretta Scott King. She was the wife of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., until his assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. This event put Coretta and her children (Yolanda, Martin, Dexter, and Bernice*) in the national spotlight.

Not long after the death of her husband, Coretta took Martin’s place as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. She was instrumental in establishing the national holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day — which happens to be today.

Coretta Scott King was named in honor of her paternal grandmother, Cora. The name Cora is a Latinized form of the ancient Greek name Kore (“maiden”), one of the epithets of the goddess Persephone.

*Usage of the names Yolanda and Dexter increased markedly in 1968. The usage of Martin, which had been declining, saw an uptick that year. (Peak usage was in 1963, the year of MLK’s legendary “I have a dream” speech.) The usage of Bernice was seemingly unaffected by the assassination.

Incidentally, in her 1969 book My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King talked about the naming of her daughters Yolanda (nicknamed Yoki) and Bernice:

I chose the name Yolanda Denise, but my husband had reservations about it. He questioned whether people would call her Yolanda or would mispronounce the name. He was right. Her name is so frequently mispronounced that it bothered her when she was growing up.

There is a tendency among middle-class African Americans to give their children unusual names. Perhaps they are seeking elegance or some special identification. I fell victim to this custom, rather than following the sensible practice of naming the baby after a member of the family. Later Martin said, “If we ever have another baby girl, I’m going to give her a simple name like Mary Jane.”

When we did have another daughter, we called her Bernice Albertine, after her two grandmothers. Her name was not quite Mary Jane, but at least she was named for members of the family.

Sources: Coretta Scott King – Wikipedia, Cora – Behind the Name

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 4

baby names that add up to 4, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “4.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “4” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “4,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

4 via 13

The following baby names add up to 13, which reduces to four (1+3=4).

  • “13” girl names: Cai, Eh, Ece, Gea
  • “13” boy names: Cade, Cai, Al, Eh, Cj, Jc, Dace, La

4 via 22

The following baby names add up to 22, which reduces to four (2+2=4).

  • “22” girl names: Lia, Kaia, Ila, Giada, Ali, Hala, Aicha, Bibi, Lee, Adel
  • “22” boy names: Ali, Lee, Dale, Hadi, Bane, Mace, Akai, Adel, Boe, Agam

4 via 31

The following baby names add up to 31, which reduces to four (3+1=4).

  • “31” girl names: Blake, Demi, Kara, Macie, Miah, Aliah, Janae, Delia, Haddie, Gina
  • “31” boy names: Jacob, Blake, Kaleb, Cash, Kane, Ahmed, Koda, Taj, Gian, Cedar

4 via 40

The following baby names add up to 40, which reduces to four (4+0=4).

  • “40” girl names: Maya, Lola, Angela, Kiara, Megan, Alaya, Linda, Maleah, Kenia, Hailee
  • “40” boy names: David, Diego, Camden, Jude, Zaid, Neil, Lucca, Allan, Boden, Abner

4 via 49

The following baby names add up to 49, which reduces to four (4+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “49” girl names: Emilia, Athena, Jayla, Logan, Kyla, Harlee, Karen, Dallas, Aliza, Milan
  • “49” boy names: Logan, Luke, Aaron, Jose, Ayden, Milo, Adriel, Dallas, Milan, Bruce

4 via 58

The following baby names add up to 58, which reduces to four (5+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “58” girl names: Lily, Arianna, Liliana, Natalia, Daisy, Josie, Nicole, Ariella, Aniyah, Ryan
  • “58” boy names: Ryan, Nathan, Miles, Jesse, Holden, Hayes, Pedro, Albert, Kieran, Isaias

4 via 67

The following baby names add up to 67, which reduces to four (6+7=13; 1+3=4).

  • “67” girl names: Gabriella, Michelle, Ruth, Lyric, Paislee, Kaliyah, Aurelia, Jessie, Brylee, Jillian
  • “67” boy names: Julian, Dominic, Miguel, Bradley, Jensen, Jaylen, Brycen, Julio, Cullen, Marcelo

4 via 76

The following baby names add up to 76, which reduces to four (7+6=13; 1+3=4).

  • “76” girl names: Kinley, Emory, Lorelei, Rory, Hayley, Addisyn, Emmeline, Ansley, Kathleen, Kataleya
  • “76” boy names: Thomas, Emmett, Dawson, Jeremy, Louis, Rory, Dexter, Nixon, Jerry, Sylas

4 via 85

The following baby names add up to 85, which reduces to four (8+5=13; 1+3=4).

  • “85” girl names: Anastasia, Gracelyn, Brinley, Ainsley, Madisyn, Aubrielle, Tinley, Paityn, Sevyn, Finnley
  • “85” boy names: Steven, Donovan, Kayson, Franklin, Finnley, Boston, Ulises, Korbyn, Zackary, Jovanni

4 via 94

The following baby names add up to 94, which reduces to four (9+4=13; 1+3=4).

  • “94” girl names: Willow, Genevieve, Harmony, Evangeline, Alessandra, Antonella, Bernadette, Kinsleigh, Emberlyn, Aislynn
  • “94” boy names: Braxton, Jaxtyn, Brayson, Everest, Reynaldo, Trevon, Jiovanni, Sebastien, Alexandro, Gregorio

4 via 103

The following baby names add up to 103, which reduces to four (1+0+3=13).

  • “103” girl names: Princess, Scarlette, Roslyn, Merritt, Nicolette, Rosemarie, Justyce, Valkyrie, Violett, Xitlaly
  • “103” boy names: Greyson, Solomon, Yisroel, Zeppelin, Marquise, Merritt, Perseus, Tiberius, Jaxston, Tyrus

4 via 112

The following baby names add up to 112, which reduces to four (1+1+2=4).

  • “112” girl names: Brooklyn, Emmersyn, Victory, Weslynn, Divinity, Odyssey, Reighlynn, Zeplynn, Kopelynn, Houston
  • “112” boy names: Stetson, Valentino, Guillermo, Houston, Zayvion, Brooklyn, Augustin, Hawthorne, Ollivander, Trayson

4 via 121

The following baby names add up to 121, which reduces to four (1+2+1=4).

  • “121” girl names: Persephone, Courtney, Tiaraoluwa, Kierstyn, Zonnique, Amarachukwu, Morrison, Cortlynn, Estrellita, Ivylynn
  • “121” boy names: Courtney, Morrison, Kristofer, Christofer, Quintus, Aloysius, Trysten, Christophe, Trustin, Zymarion

4 via 130

The following baby names add up to 130, which reduces to four (1+3+0=4).

  • “130” girl names: Oluwatoni, Mariaguadalupe, Monzerrat, Viktoriya, Christionna, Constantina
  • “130” boy names: Wynston, Prynceton, Xzayvier, Souleymane, Washington, Oluwaseyi, Oluwatoni, Juventino, Ugochukwu, Oluwakorede

4 via 139

The following baby names add up to 139, which reduces to four (1+3+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “139” girl names: Gwyndolyn, Oluwadamilola, Anuoluwapo, Christopher, Quetzally, Mariavictoria, Kymberlynn
  • “139” boy names: Christopher, Kristopher, Martavious, Fitzpatrick, Oluwadamilola

4 via 148

The following baby names add up to 148, which reduces to four (1+4+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “148” girl names: Oluwateniola, Marykatherine, Moyinoluwa, Oluwatobiloba
  • “148” boy names: Oluwatobiloba, Michaelanthony

4 via 157

The boy name Marquavious adds up to 157, which reduces to four (1+5+7=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 166

The boy name Muhammadyusuf adds up to 166, which reduces to four (1+6+6=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 175

The unisex names Kosisochukwu adds up to 175, which reduces to four (1+7+5=13; 1+3=4).

What Does “4” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “4” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “4” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“4” (the tetrad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “Anatolius reports that it is called ‘justice,’ since the square (i.e., the area) […] is equal to the perimeter”
  • “It is the prerequisite of the general orderliness of the universe, so they everywhere called it a ‘custodian of Nature.'”
  • “Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad”
  • “The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body).”
  • Examples of things that are divided into four parts:
    • “four traditional seasons of the year — spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
    • “four elements (fire, air, water and earth)”
    • “four cardinal points”
    • “four distinguishing points – ascendant, descendant, mid-heaven and nadir”
    • “Some say that all things are organized by four aspects – substance, shape, form and principle.”

“4” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “In four, it makes for the greater weaknesses in the divisions…four being more of a division and weakness” (reading 261-15).
  • “In four, we find that of a division – and while a beauty in strength, in the divisions also makes for the greater weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “4” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 22, 49, 76, 103) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 4, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Poll: Name Pluto’s Two New Moons

Until a few years ago, dwarf planet Pluto had only three known moons: Charon, Nix and Hydra. In 2011 and 2012, two more moons were discovered. Astronomers would now like some help naming these two new moons.

“By tradition, the moons of Pluto have names associated with Hades and the underworld,” so the ballot options include Acheron, Alecto, Cerberus, Erebus, Eurydice, Hercules, Hypnos, Lethe, Obol, Orpheus, Persephone, Styx and Vulcan. Write-in suggestions may also be added to the ballot before it closes. (Vulcan was added after being suggested by none other than William Shatner, for instance.)

Right now, Styx and Cerberus are in the lead.

Vote here, up to once per day, until February 25.

The official picks — which may or may not match the public’s top two choices — “will be announced after their formal approval by the International Astronomical Union.”

Source: Astronomers Ask Public to Help Name Pluto’s New Moons

Girl Names Based on “Hester Jo” Needed

A reader named Q* contacted me a several years ago about choosing a name for her first daughter, Posy. Q is now expecting her second daughter (due in one week!) and would like some help naming baby #2.

I never wrote a post about Posy’s name, but I think a collective brainstorm is in order for baby #2.

The frontrunners so far are Gemma, Evie (“EH-vie”), Persephone (nn Sephie) and Belle, but Q says that “nothing has really grabbed us.”

Also, there’s this to think about:

We got some very sad news this weekend which is that our close family friend passed away. We would like to incorporate her name somehow in our daughter’s name.

Her name was Hester Jo. I don’t particularly like the name Hester Jo but we would really like to somehow honor her. I prefer Hestia or Hes or Esti to Hester, but none of these names really grab me, and the fact that our last name also ends in an “-er” sound doesn’t seem to mesh well with Hester.

Can you think of any creative ways to incorporate her name? I know that Hester means “star” so I was wondering if there are any other names meaning star or something similar that might be good. Or even matching the initials HJ?

The baby’s last name will be a 2-syllable T-name a lot like Tyler.

First, let me say that I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

I think it’s wonderful that you want to honor Hester Jo. I can understand why “Hester” might not sound so hot with a surname that ends with -er, though.

Hester comes from Esther, which we know of through the biblical Queen Esther. We don’t know for sure what her name means. Esther could be based on the Persian word for “star,” on the name of the goddess Ishtar, on a Median word for “myrtle,” or on something else entirely.

One H-name with a direct connection to the original Esther is Esther’s birth name, Hadassah, which is Hebrew for “myrtle.” It could shortened to a nickname like Hada or Dassah to make it sound a bit peppier, like Posy.

Speaking of nicknames, short forms of Hester and Esther are Hettie and Essie. These could also be bestowed as-is, just like Posy (which is a nickname for Josephine).

Essie reminds me of Vanessa, a name invented by Jonathan Swift. He based it on the name of a friend, Esther Vanhomrigh, and featured it in his poem “Cadenus and Vanessa.” (And Vanessa gives rise to nicknames like Vana and Nessa.)

In terms of star-names, I like Stella, Estella, and Estelle — really, anything in the Stella family (stella is Latin for “star”).

Another star-themed idea is the Scandinavian name Astrid, which doesn’t have an etymological connection to the prefix astro- (which is based on the ancient Greek astron, “star”) but looks/sounds like it does.

The name Johanna reminds me of Hester Jo a little — Jo in the front, followed by an H.

Other H-names, let’s see…Hazel, Honora (Nora), Heidi, Harriet, Helen, maybe even Hephzibah (nn Hepsie — Persephone/Sephie is on the table, so I had to throw this in!).

Out of this group, I like Hazel the best. It has a z-sound like Posy, and also a vegetation connection like Hester/Esther (possibly “myrtle”), Hadassah (definitely “myrtle”) and Posy (in the bouquet sense).

Now on to the current favorites…

I like them all, actually. I could see any of them in a sibset with Posy.

I’d be a little concerned about trendiness with both Gemma and Belle. Gemma’s been climbing the charts rather quickly in the last few years; you never know how high it could go. And Belle, not popular on its own, could get lost in a sea of girls with -bella names (Isabella is currently ranked #1, Bella #48, Isabelle #105, Annabelle #117, Izabella #140, etc.).

Sephie reminds me a lot of Posy — both are very rare and have an old-fashioned feel. But I don’t know how fair it is to give one daughter a name that is a nickname (i.e. 1 name) and the other a name that has a nickname (i.e. 2 names). If Posy had been Josephine (nn Posy), I would have been a lot more excited about Persephone (nn Sephie).

Finally, Evie. I have a feeling that most people pronounce it EE-vee, not EHV-ee, so correcting people could become a chore. Spelling it Evvie might help, though both names can be pronounced both ways, so the extra v may not make much of a difference.

Want to help Q name her daughter? Please leave a comment with your…

  • Ideas about how to incorporate the name Hester Jo (or the initials H. J.),
  • Opinions on the current favorites, and/or
  • Other helpful suggestions.

*Name edited out at Q’s request.