How popular is the baby name Peter 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 Peter.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Peter


Posts that Mention the Name Peter

How did Virna Lisi influence baby names in the 1960s?

Italian actress Virna Lisi (1936-2014)
Virna Lisi

When Italian actress Virna Lisi started appearing in American films in the mid-1960s, American audiences took notice.

How do we know? Well, the baby name Lisi appeared in the U.S. baby name data for the first time in 1965, and, the same year, the baby name Virna re-emerged in the data (after a decades-long absence) with its highest-ever usage.

Girls named VirnaGirls named Lisi
196721.
1966115
196538†8*
1964..
1963..
*Debut, †Peak usage

(It should be noted, of course, that Lisa was the #1 baby name in the nation from 1962 to 1969. No doubt this made the similar — but much rarer — name Lisi sound rather stylish during that decade.)

Virna Lisi was born Virna Lisa Pieralisi in Ancona, Italy, in 1936.

Her father had wanted to call her Siria (“Syria”), but that country’s colonial ruler, France, was at loggerheads with Mussolini and the births registrar accordingly refused to accept the name. The exasperated Pieralisi then made up Virna on the spot.

She started acting as a teenager in Italy, and her success in Italian films eventually led to a brief Hollywood career. She appeared in How to Murder Your Wife (1965) with Jack Lemmon, Not With My Wife You Don’t (1966) with Tony Curtis, and Assault on a Queen (1966) with Frank Sinatra.

But Lisi disliked her “sex symbol” image in America. So she decided to leave. She turned down the lead role in Barbarella, terminated her Hollywood contract, and returned to Europe to play a wider range of characters.

What are your thoughts on the names Virna and Lisi? Which one would you be more likely to use on a modern-day baby?

Sources:

P.S. Italian actress Anna Maria Pierangeli — better known as Pier Angeli — also had a surname that began with “Pier,” the Italian form of Peter.

Popular baby names in Peru, 2020

Peru

According to Peru’s National Registry of Identification and Civil Status (RENIEC), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Mia and Liam.

Peru released a single set of rankings that combined both genders, so here are Peru’s top 20 baby names overall for 2020:

  1. Liam, 4,179 babies
  2. Thiago, 3,398
  3. Dylan, 3,150
  4. Mia, 2,510
  5. Gael, 2,484
  6. Camila, 1,929
  7. Alessia, 1,856
  8. Luciana, 1,838
  9. Mateo, 1,837
  10. Zoe, 1,530
  11. Ian, 1,458
  12. Luis, 1,374
  13. Valentina, 1,335
  14. Aitana, 1,298
  15. Danna, 1,295
  16. Lucas, 1,248 (tie)
  17. Santiago, 1,248 (tie)
  18. Luana, 1,239
  19. Juan, 1,228
  20. Ariana, 1,213

I haven’t been able to track down Peru’s rankings for 2019, but in 2018 the top two names were the same.

RENIEC regularly tweets about Peru’s unusual baby names, so I can also tell you that, within the last few years, the country has welcomed babies named…

  • Lapadula (15 babies) + Gianluca Lapadula (4)
  • Peter Parker (5) + Spiderman (1)
  • Gareca (3)
    • after former Argentine soccer player Ricardo Gareca, who now manages Peru’s national team
  • Mark Zuckerberg (2)
  • Bo-derek (1) + Boderek (1)
  • Bad Bunny
  • Beethovena
  • Gremlins
  • Kardasham
  • Neilamstrong
  • Netflix
  • Philcollins
  • Pringles
  • Rafael Nadal

Finally, Peru has put together several cool online booklets (PDFs) highlighting the names and naming practices of various indigenous groups within the country, so here’s a sampling of names from each of the booklets…

  • Aimara names:
    • Amuyiri, “thinker”
    • Iqilla, “flower”
    • Phuyo, “bird feather”
    • Qhispi, “quartz, rock crystal, transparent object, mirror”
    • Thalutari, “calming, lulling”
  • Asháninkas names:
    • Chabaka, species of toucan
    • Kamore, “galaxy, milky way”
    • Manchori, “herbalist”
    • Sabaro, species of parrot
    • Yonamine, “act of looking at you”
  • Awajún names:
    • Esámat, “heal the wound”
    • Nanchíjam, “little bird that eats rice”
    • Púmpuk, owl species
    • Tíi, “hard as stone” (implies stoicism)
    • Úum, “blowgun”
  • Jaqaru names:
    • Kukiri, “pigeon, dove”
    • Nup’i, “the heat that is received from the sun’s rays”
    • Pajshi, “moon”
    • Qajsiri, “waterfall”
    • Waraja, “star”
  • Matsés names:
    • Badi
    • Chidopiu
    • Didu
    • Mëbu
    • Tamu
  • Quechua names:
    • Liwyaq, “lightning”
    • Qullqi, gold or silver metal
    • Waqra, “horn”
    • Willka, “sun”
    • Yaku, “water”
  • Shipibo-Konibo names:
    • Biri, “dazzling”
    • Kesin, “strip; fine and transparent banana fiber”
    • Panshin, “yellow”
    • Xeka, “vanilla”
    • Wasan, “puffin”
  • Wampís names:
    • Apaape, “elusive”
    • Chunchumanch, “snail”
    • Dekentai, “bruise” (implies strength)
    • Mamainkur, “yucca flower”
    • Pamau, “tapir”

Sources:

Baby name story: Frederica

Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815)
Battle of Waterloo

Peter McMullen of Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, was seriously wounded at the Battle of Waterloo while serving with the 27th Foot.

“Incredibly, his heavily pregnant wife Elizabeth was watching the battle nearby and, fearing her husband was dead, she rushed into the midst of bodies.” She found Peter still (barely) alive, and attempted to carry him off the active battlefield, despite her condition. As she did this, she was shot in the leg with a musket ball.

After the battle, both Peter and Elizabeth were taken to a hospital in Antwerp, where Peter lost both of his arms due to injuries.

They were then transported to a hospital in Chelsea. While recuperating at the English hospital, Elizabeth gave birth to a baby girl.

Prince Frederick — the Duke of York, and Commander-in-Chief of the British Army — heard about the couple, and visited them at the hospital. While there, he agreed to be the baby’s godfather. And so the newborn “was christened Frederica McMullen of Waterloo” in his honor.

Sources:

Top first letters of baby names in the U.S., 2021

Which first letters were the most and least popular for U.S. baby names in 2021?

Top first letters for girl names: A, E, M

For baby girls, the most-used first letter was A, followed by E and M. The least-used first letter was U.

Graph of first letter popularity for U.S. baby girl names, 2021

The most popular girl names per letter were…

  • A-names (over 273,100 baby girls): Amelia, Ava, Abigail, Avery, Aria, Aurora
  • B-names (over 49,300): Brooklyn, Bella, Brielle, Blakely, Bailey, Brianna
  • C-names (over 93,100): Charlotte, Camila, Chloe, Claire, Caroline, Cora
  • D-names (over 40,300): Delilah, Daisy, Diana, Daniela, Delaney, Dakota
  • E-names (over 155,300): Emma, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Ella, Emily
  • F-names (over 16,500): Freya, Faith, Finley, Fiona, Fatima, Frances
  • G-names (over 42,900): Gianna, Grace, Genesis, Gabriella, Genevieve, Georgia
  • H-names (over 54,900): Harper, Hazel, Hannah, Hailey, Hadley, Harmony
  • I-names (over 44,100): Isabella, Isla, Ivy, Iris, Isabelle, Isabel
  • J-names (over 73,500): Josephine, Jade, Julia, Josie, Juniper, Jasmine
  • K-names (over 89,100): Kinsley, Kennedy, Kaylee, Kehlani, Katherine, Kylie
  • L-names (over 115,300): Luna, Layla, Lily, Leah, Lucy, Lillian
  • M-names (over 143,500): Mia, Mila, Madison, Maya, Madelyn, Madeline
  • N-names (over 58,800): Nora, Nova, Naomi, Natalie, Natalia, Nevaeh
  • O-names (over 30,200): Olivia, Olive, Oakley, Oaklynn, Octavia, Ophelia
  • P-names (over 37,600): Penelope, Paisley, Piper, Peyton, Parker, Presley
  • Q-names (over 4,100): Quinn, Quincy, Queen, Quinley, Quetzalli, Quinnley
  • R-names (over 74,800): Riley, Ruby, Rylee, Raelynn, Rose, Remi
  • S-names (over 116,400): Sophia, Sofia, Scarlett, Stella, Savannah, Skylar
  • T-names (over 24,200): Taylor, Teagan, Trinity, Tatum, Tessa, Talia
  • U-names (over 600): Unique, Uma, Ulani, Una, Unknown, Unity
  • V-names (over 32,400): Violet, Victoria, Valentina, Vivian, Valerie, Valeria
  • W-names (over 14,700): Willow, Wren, Winter, Wynter, Willa, Wrenley
  • X-names (over 4,500): Ximena, Xiomara, Xyla, Xena, Xochitl, Xitlali
  • Y-names (over 7,600): Yaretzi, Yara, Yareli, Yasmin, Yamileth, Yuna
  • Z-names (over 29,100): Zoey, Zoe, Zuri, Zara, Zariah, Zelda

Top first letters for boy names: J, A, L

For baby boys, the most-used first letter was J, followed by A and L. The least-used first letter was U.

Graph of first letter popularity for U.S. baby boy names, 2021

The most popular boy names per letter were…

  • A-names (over 178,600 baby boys): Alexander, Asher, Aiden, Anthony, Andrew, Adrian
  • B-names (over 86,600): Benjamin, Brooks, Bennett, Beau, Bryson, Brayden
  • C-names (over 123,000): Carter, Charles, Caleb, Christopher, Cameron, Cooper
  • D-names (over 85,000): Daniel, David, Dylan, Dominic, Declan, Damian
  • E-names (over 108,700): Elijah, Ethan, Ezra, Elias, Ezekiel, Eli
  • F-names (over 20,500): Finn, Felix, Finley, Francisco, Fernando, Finnegan
  • G-names (over 53,500): Grayson, Gabriel, Greyson, Gael, Giovanni, George
  • H-names (over 50,000): Henry, Hudson, Hunter, Harrison, Hayden, Hayes
  • I-names (over 31,500): Isaac, Isaiah, Ian, Ivan, Israel, Ismael
  • J-names (over 202,800): James, Jack, Jackson, Jacob, John, Joseph
  • K-names (over 93,400): Kai, Kayden, Kingston, Kaiden, Kevin, King
  • L-names (over 133,400): Liam, Lucas, Levi, Logan, Leo, Luke
  • M-names (over 126,700): Mateo, Michael, Mason, Matthew, Maverick, Miles
  • N-names (over 57,400): Noah, Nathan, Nolan, Nicholas, Nathaniel, Nicolas
  • O-names (over 38,800): Oliver, Owen, Oscar, Omar, Orion, Odin
  • P-names (over 23,700): Parker, Patrick, Peter, Preston, Phoenix, Paxton
  • Q-names (over 3,100): Quinn, Quentin, Quincy, Quinton, Quintin, Quinten
  • R-names (over 82,800): Ryan, Roman, Robert, Rowan, River, Ryder
  • S-names (over 70,300): Sebastian, Samuel, Santiago, Silas, Sawyer, Steven
  • T-names (over 59,200): Theodore, Thomas, Thiago, Theo, Tyler, Tucker
  • U-names (over 2,500): Uriel, Uriah, Ulises, Ulysses, Uziel, Umar
  • V-names (over 11,000): Vincent, Victor, Valentino, Vincenzo, Vicente, Vihaan
  • W-names (over 49,100): William, Wyatt, Waylon, Wesley, Weston, Walker
  • X-names (over 7,200): Xavier, Xander, Xzavier, Xavion, Xavien, Xavian
  • Y-names (over 8,200): Yusuf, Yosef, Yehuda, Yousef, Yahir, Yisroel
  • Z-names (over 26,900): Zion, Zachary, Zayden, Zane, Zayn, Zander

Popular baby names in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1868

19th-century Providence, Rhode Island
19th-century Providence

Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.

Let’s start with some stats:

  • 1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
  • 1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
  • 284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.

And now, on to the names!

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:

Top baby girl namesTop baby boy names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Sarah
4. Ellen
5. Margaret
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

All Girl Names

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 39
  3. Sarah, 38
  4. Ellen, 31
  5. Margaret, 28
  6. Elizabeth, 25
  7. Alice, 24
  8. Anna, 20
  9. Ann, 16
  10. Emma, 14
  11. Eliza, 13
  12. Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
  13. Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
  14. Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
  15. Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
  17. Anne, Carrie, Hattie, Ida, Mabel & Nellie, 6 each (6-way tie)
  18. Eva, Joanna, Lydia & Rosanna, 5 each (4-way tie)
  19. Abby, Charlotte, Emily, Jessie, Josephine, Lillian, Lizzie, Louisa, Louise, Marion, Phebe, Rosella & Theresa, 4 each (13-way tie)
  20. Anastasia, Bertha, Edith, Gertrude, Isabella, Nettie, Pearl, Rebecca & Susanna, 3 each (9-way tie)
  21. Ada, Almira, Edna, Fannie, Flora, Frances, Helen, Henrietta, Inez, Laura, Lelia, Lillie, Lottie, Maud, Priscilla & Virginia, 2 each (16-way tie)
  22. Addie, Adelaide, Adelicia, Adeline, Agatha, Allene, Amanda, Amy, Angelica, Antoinette, Arabella, Augusta, Aurelia, B.*, Belle, Bessie, Betsey, Catharine, Celia, Claudia, Della, Eleanor, Eleanora, Estella, Estelle, Esther, Eudavelia, Eulalie, Evelyn, Francenia, Genevieve, Georgia, Honora, Imogene, Jesse, Juliette, Kate, Leonora, Lilla, Lillias, Lorena, Luella, Luetta, Magdalena, Marian, Marietta, Matilda, Mercy, Minerva, Miriam, Myra, Myrtis, Nanoan, Nora, Pauline, Reberta, Rhoda, Roberta, Rosa, Rose, Ruth, Sabrina, Sophia, Stella & Winifred, 1 each (65-way tie)

*What do you think the “B.” might have stood for?

All Boy Names

  1. John, 112 baby boys
  2. William, 68
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 52
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 37
  7. Frederick, 25
  8. Henry, 23
  9. Joseph, 22
  10. Edward, 19
  11. Daniel & Patrick, 18 each (tie)
  12. Robert, 17
  13. Frank, 16
  14. Francis, 15
  15. Walter, 13
  16. Michael, 11
  17. Albert, 10
  18. Arthur, 9
  19. Benjamin, Peter & Samuel, 7 each (3-way tie)
  20. Freddie, Harry, Herbert & Stephen, 6 each (4-way tie)
  21. Edwin, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin & Timothy, 5 each (5-way tie)
  22. Bernard, Edmund, Eugene, Louis, Philip & Richard, 4 each (6-way tie)
  23. Alfred, Augustus, Christopher, Eben, Horace, Howard, Hugh, Jeremiah, Matthew & Willard, 3 each (10-way tie)
  24. Abel, Barney, Byron, Dennis, Edgar, Ferdinand, Gilbert, Luke, Max, Nathaniel, Owen, Roger, Solomon & Victor, 2 each (14-way tie)
  25. Alden, Alexis, Allen, Alrick, Amos, Andrew, Ansel, Anson, Archibald, Asa, Ashby, Bartholomew, Calvin, Carlos, Clarence, Clark, Clarke, Clement, Clifford, Collyer, Crolander, Darius, David, Earl, Elisha, Ellis, Eri, Ernest, Erwin, Eusebe, Everett, Felix, Forrest, Foster, Franklin, Fred, Gardner, Jacob, Jason, Jerome, Jireh, Joaneto, Josiah, Jubal, Justin, Lawson, Lodovic, Louis, Lucien, Lyman, Major, Malachi, Manuel, Melbourne, Monroe, Morey, Morris, Myron, Nelson, Nicholas, Olney, Orville, Oscar, Pendleton, Ralph, Reuben, Rolfe, Rowland, Rufus, Simeon, Simon, Steven, Stewart, Theodore, Ulysses*, Volney, Warren, Whiting, Willie & Winchester, 1 each (80-way tie)

*Ulysses was likely named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, who was elected president in 1868.

Twins

Finally, nineteen sets of twins were born in Providence in 1868. (All of these twin names are accounted for in the rankings above.)

Girl-girl twinsGirl-boy twinsBoy-boy twins
Caroline & Harriet
Lucy & Lydia
Mary & Rosanna
Margaret & Mary
Lizzie & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Anne & Thomas
Emma & Charles
Florence & William
Hannah & Josiah
Ida & John
Isabella & John
Jennie & Horace
Charles & William
Francis & Robert
George & John
James & John
James & Stephen
(blank) & (blank)

Have any thoughts about these rankings, or about any of the specific names above?

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of the Names of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence. Number three. Providence: Millard & Harker, 1870.