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.

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 Peter


Posts that Mention the Name Peter

The Baby Named Astralabe

Here’s the story of an unusual baby name that was bestowed way back in 12th-century Paris.

The parents were French philosopher and theologian Peter Abelard and his brilliant student, Héloïse d’Argenteuil. They started their infamous love affair (“one of the best known love tragedies of history,” according to Britannica*) in the year 1115, and in 1118 they welcomed their only child, a son.

Because he was illegitimate, it fell upon Héloïse to do the naming, and she chose Astralabe — after the Astrolabe, a sophisticated navigational device being used at that time in the Islamic world (which included much of Spain). Astrolabes coud “locate and predict the positions and risings of the sun, moon, planets, and stars.”

In Catholic France, where most babies were named after saints, “Astralabe” was a highly unconventional choice. (One science writer, in 2008, compared Héloïse’s choice to “a woman in a sci-tech backwater today naming her son iPod.”)

Abelard and Héloïse soon married and legitimized Astralabe, but that didn’t stop Héloïse’s outraged relatives from attacking and castrating Abelard. Both went into religious life, though they technically remained married. No one is certain what became of Astralabe, but name-based evidence (a “Canon Astralabe” at Nantes cathedral circa 1150, for instance) suggests that he entered the church as well.

The word “astrolabe” is ultimately derived from the ancient Greek compound noun astrolabos organon, meaning “star-taking instrument.” Astrolabos is made up of the elements astron, meaning “star,” and lambanien, meaning “to take.”

Sources:

*The encyclopedia, not this person.

The Names of Freddie Mercury’s Cats

freddie mercury, cat

Freddie Mercury loved cats and owned quite a few. His partner of seven years, Jim Hutton, said that “Freddie treated the cats like his own children.”

So what were the names of his many cats? Freddie’s assistant Peter Freestone (who worked for the Queen singer from 1979 until the end of his life) could remember the names of 10 of them:

  • Dorothy
  • Tiffany
  • Tom
  • Jerry
  • Delilah
  • Goliath
  • Lily
  • Miko
  • Oscar
  • Romeo

All but one — purebred Tiffany, a gift from Freddie’s former fiancée Mary Austin — came from shelters.

But Mercury’s favorite wasn’t Tiffany. It was Delilah. He wrote the song “Delilah” on the album Innuendo (1991) just for her. The lyrics even include a string of meows.

Which of the cat names above is your favorite?

Source: Let’s talk about Freddie Mercury’s cats, the highlight of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Name Quotes #64: Lulu, Lisa, Leisel, Tiahleigh

name quote, Lulu Alice Craig

From the 1900 book Glimpses of Sunshine and Shade in the Far North (which described Klondike Gold Rush stampeders camping at Lake Lindeman in British Columbia) by Lulu Alice Craig:

“[W]e wandered through this little city of tents of twelve to fifteen thousand people, finding interest in reading the names on the tents which represented many if not all parts of the world.”

(This quote was on display at the NPS museum in Skagway, Alaska.)

From an article about Lisa Brennan, Steve Jobs’s first daughter:

Lisa repeatedly tried to get [Steve] Jobs to tell her that the Lisa Macintosh computer was named after her but he refused to confirm it.

It was only when she was 27 and on holiday at a villa in the South of France owned by U2 singer Bono that Jobs finally came clean.

Over lunch Bono asked Jobs about the early years of Apple and whether or not he named the Lisa after his daughter. Jobs said: ‘Yeah, it was.’

Lisa was shocked and told Bono: ‘That’s the first time he’s said yes. Thank you for asking’.

From an article about athletes with strange middle names:

With a first name as iconic as Kobe Bryant’s, who needs a middle name with an interesting story? Well, Kobe Bryant does. His middle name — Bean — is a touching tribute to his father, Joe Bryant. Because of his high energy and ability to jump (guess Kobe must have inherited that particular skill), his father was nicknamed “Jellybean.” Luckily, Kobe’s parents didn’t go for the full candy-coated name and instead just dubbed him Kobe Bean Bryant.

From an article about Beatrix Potter finding character names via headstones:

The names for Beatrix Potter’s much-loved cast of animal characters may have come from ageing headstones.

Peter Rabbett, Jeremiah Fisher, Mr Nutkins, Mr Brock and Mr McGregor have all been found on stones at Brompton cemetery, west London, near where Miss Potter lived from 1863 to 1913. This seems to confirm local rumours that have circulated for years about the source of the names of her characters.

From an article about the name of Olympic swimmer Leisel Jones:

“Leisel was a very rare name when I was born in 1985… When I was born actually, my doctor said to my mum ‘you cannot call her Leisel because that’s not a name… You’re going to regret that one day,'” the Olympic swimmer said.

“And they absolutely did.”

The 32-year-old also went on to say having a unique name isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when no one can spell it right.

“The only problem with my name is it’s spelt L-E-I-S-E-L — and everyone spells it wrong. Everyone spells it as L-I-E-S-E-L,” she said.

“So that is a bit painful, it’s a bit annoying. But I do love my name and I love that it’s different.”

From the 2003 book Exploring Twins: Towards a Social Analysis of Twinship by Elizabeth A. Stewart:

“[I]n such cultures as those of the UK and the US the implication of twinship in the broader realities of social structure is clearly indicated by the link between the ‘naming’ process for twins and class differences: higher socio-economic groups tend to choose more separate, less ‘twinsy’ names for their children, emphasizing values of and possibilities for individuation and autonomy, whereas the greater tendency for lower-class groups to actively emphasize and encourage unitary ‘twinness’, whether through naming, dress or referencing (as in the ‘twins’ as a social and linguistic unit) may well reflect values of familial solidarity and fewer opportunities for individual social advancement.”

From an article about the parenting approaches of Millennials vs. Gen Xers:

Millennial parents are picking baby names based on available domain names, a new study claims.

[…]

According to the research, as many as one in five millennial parents said they changed or seriously considered changing their baby’s name based on what domain names were free at the time.

From an article about the drama that ensued after a baby was named after murdered Australian girl Tiahleigh Palmer:

The grandmother of a new baby named after murdered schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer insists the name was meant as a tribute to the dead girl.

Tiahleigh’s furious mother Cyndi Uluave unleashed on a young couple whose baby was born last Friday, and named Tiahleigh, claiming it was disrespectful to use the name of her daughter who was killed in 2015.

[…]

‘Who names their baby after a dead girl? This wasn’t their name to use,’ she said.

(In response to “who names their baby after a dead girl”: JonBenet, Rainell, Roni Sue, Sherianne…)

According to Cyndi, she created the unique name “Tiahleigh” by combining the names Tiarna and Lee and then playing around with the spelling.

To see more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2017

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Olivia and Jack.

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

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 512 baby girls
2. Emily, 460
3. Isla, 395
4. Sophie, 370
5. Amelia, 321
6. Jessica, 318
7. Ava, 294
8. Ella, 290
9. Charlotte, 280
10. Aria, 254

Boy Names
1. Jack, 486 baby boys
2. Oliver, 380
3. James, 368
4. Lewis, 356
5. Logan, 324
6. Noah, 318
7. Harris, 299
8. Alexander, 297
9. Leo, 289
10. Harry, 282

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Lucy (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Harris replaces Charlie (now 14th).

In 2016, the top two names were the same.

And here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Auristelle, Bella-Caledonia, Carcy, Debbie, Elpiniki, Fernie, Ghzal, Hanwen, Isatou, Jumana, Kuma, Larch, Magdiel, Nettle, Oreli, Paupi-Anais, Rebbl, Sibianca, Tuppence, Ultra-Violet, Verdie, Wanda, Xenia, Yana-River, Zacharoula-Electra Amazon, Bzhyar, Cakrawala, Daro, Ernie, Findhorn, Ghillie, Harley-David, Isoa, Jhy, Kestrel, Little-One, Magnus-Ailig, Nimbus, Orlo, Peter-Gabriel, Reeco, Sochisth, Talisker-Brett, Uisdean, Vasco, Wulff, Xane, Ythan, Zeth

Bella-Caledonia could be a reference to Bella Caledonia, the Scottish pro-independence magazine. And Yana-River happens to be the name of a real pace: the Yana River in Russia.

Sources: Most popular names in Scotland, Scotland’s newest baby names are inspired by the constitutional question and Star Wars

Name Quotes #57: Gage, Ciku, Abigail Fortitude

George Clooney explaining why he and his wife Amal named their twins Alexander and Ella (People):

“[We] didn’t want to give them one of those ridiculous Hollywood names that don’t mean anything,” George told Paris Match in an interview published Saturday. “They’ll already have enough difficulty bearing the weight of their celebrity.”

Summary of a recent study on the practice of naming winter storms (WBIR):

The researchers presented their subjects with three mock tweets about an upcoming winter storm — either using names like “Bill,” “Zelus,” or no name at all — then asked them about their perceptions of the storm’s potential severity.

It turned out that the survey participants were equally likely to show concern for the storm regardless of whether common names such as Bill were used, rather than uncommon names, such as Zelus. This was a surprise to Rainear, who thought that more “Americanized” names might make people more wary.

On the origin of the name of the Slinky (New York Times):

[N]ext month the Toy Manufacturers of America will induct Betty James, 82, the retired toy maker who gave the Slinky its name, into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Mrs. James came up with the name after deciding that Slinky best described the sound of a metal spring expanding and collapsing. Slinky, of course, meaning sort of stealthily quiet. Mrs. James did not have sexy evening wear in mind; it was 1943, after all, and there was a war.

On changing name trends in Kenya (SDE Kenya):

It is so 1980 for modern Kenyan parents to name their children after biblical figures. Ati names like Grace, Hannah, Sarah, Magdalene or Jane for their daughters is now a no-no. For sons, naming them Abednego or Adonijah sounds like a bad Sunday school dream.

[…]

Names like Peter and Paul, Esther and Lois were fashionable in their grandparents’ time and today, girls are named Tasha, Tanya or Tiffany, while boys go by cooler ones like Cy, Kyle, Declan and Sherwin.

…The article also mentioned that many traditional names now have modernized forms:

  • Wangui -> Kui
  • Waithiageni -> Sheni
  • Wanjiku -> Ciku
  • Wanjiru -> Ciru
  • Wambui -> Foi
  • Wacera -> Cera

“Modern parents have no qualms having them appear like that in official documents. Welcome to baby names in 21st century Kenya.”

Onomastician Cleveland Kent Evans vs. the baby name Gage (Washington Post):

But right now, Evans is pondering the sudden, explosive rise of the male first name Gage. From out of nowhere. There’s no record of this name, nothing in the texts, nothing anywhere. And yet just in the last couple of years, it’s been popping up all around the country.

[…]

Finally, he asked his students at Bellevue College near Omaha. One student got the reference immediately: “Emergency!” he said. Meaning the short-lived 1970s TV series, of course. Turns out there was a character named John Gage on that show, and he was generally addressed as Gage.

[…]

Incredibly, “Emergency!,” which aired opposite “60 Minutes” for four years, was exceedingly popular among elementary-school children.

One mom’s positive experience with revealing her son’s name during pregnancy (Popsugar)

One reason why people don’t reveal the baby’s name is to ward off other people’s opinions. I could tell there were a couple of my friends who didn’t like the name, but just like I didn’t get pregnant to please them, I’m wasn’t going to change his name for them either. Most people that I talked to had enough common sense to keep their opinions to themselves. Even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t have changed a thing.

My son’s name […] is special to me. I didn’t stop feeling that way once I told it to people — if anything, it made the pregnancy a whole lot easier.

From the script for Mother Is a Freshman (1949), about a 35-year-old widow, Abigail, who starts attending the college that her daughter Susan goes to:

Abigail: I mean about the Abigail Fortitude Memorial Scholarship.
Susan: The one they give to any girl whose first two names are Abigail Fortitude?
Abigail: Yes.
Susan: Clara Fettle says no one’s applied for it since 1907, and there’s zillions piling up.
Abigail: And you never told me!
Susan: Of course not.
Abigail: It never occurred to you that my first names are Abigail Fortitude–that I’ve had to put up with them all my life!
Susan: I know, Mom. It must have been awful.
Abigail [struck by thought]: Maybe that’s why my mother gave me those names. Maybe she know about the scholarship.

…Turns out the scholarship had been set up by Abigail’s grandmother, also named Abigail Fortitude.

*

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.