How popular is the baby name Petrichor 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 Petrichor.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Petrichor

Posts that Mention the Name Petrichor

Baby Names from Obscure Sorrows?

Ever heard of the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows? It’s a blog written by John Koenig, who invents words and gives them melancholic definitions in order “to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for.”

I discovered the site via Merriam-Webster’s 10 Perfectly Cromulent Words, which features the Obscure Sorrows word Vellichor (“the strange wistfulness of used bookstores”). It’s a made-up word, but it’s been getting traction online, so…does Vellichor qualify as a “real” word now?

And let’s take it a step further: Vellichor sounds like Petrichor, which has seen usage as a baby name. So could Vellichor also become a baby name?

If so, could other Obscure Sorrows words become baby names too? Here are some of Koenig’s coinages that may have onomastic potential:

  • Opia, “the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye”
  • Tangency, from a “moment of tangency,” which is “a glimpse of what might have been”
  • Fitzcarraldo, “an image that somehow becomes lodged deep in your brain” and “grows into a wild and impractical vision”
  • Sonder, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”

Could you imagine any of the words above morphing into human names?

Baby Name Battle: Petrichor vs. Tesseract

Time for a baby name battle!

First off, yes: Petrichor and Tesseract are both legit human names now. I found baby girls named Petrichor and Tesseract in the 2016 Alberta data and 2017 Quebec data, respectively.

Both names are inventive, unusual, and incredibly geeky.

So…if you were having a daughter, and you had to name her either Petrichor or Tesseract, which would it be?

I'd go for...

View Results

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If you have a specific reason why, tell us in the comments!

Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2016

According to data released on June 16th by the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the province in 2016 were (again) Olivia and Liam.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 292 baby girls
2. Emma, 249
3. Sophia, 215
4. Ava, 207
5. Emily, 187
6. Charlotte, 180
7. Amelia, 172
8. Abigail, 171
9. Chloe, 166
10. Aria, 137

Boy Names
1. Liam, 277 baby boys
2. Benjamin, 252
3. Lucas, 247
4. Oliver, 230
5. Noah, 228
6. William, 213
7. Ethan, 205
8. Jack, 197
9. Lincoln, 192
10. Owen, 189

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Ella and Avery (there was a tie for 7th in 2015).

In the boys’ top 10, Jack, Lincoln, and Owen replace Mason, Logan, and Alexander.

And here’s a sampling of names from the other end of the list. Each of these was given to a single baby in Alberta last year:

  • Unique Girl Names: Airadessa, Bitel-Shishai, Caitlove, Deslie, Evadelle, Finity, Griffiella, Huldah, Ibex, Jananya, Kemdirim, Lobna, Mavie, Niniola, Olanna, Petrichor, Qudsia, Riversong, Savindee, Toscana, Ulanah, Valissa, Wesla, Xyryl, Yagana, Zedrina
  • Unique Boy Names: Addrick, Barristan, Cazzwell, Dino, Erasmus, Fifth, Grayer, Hansel, Igzy, Jonesy, Kayvence, Lenroy, Mahalaleel, Noyan, Orson, Penn, Quayde, Redsky, Salumu, Tinotenda, Umber, Vanden, Wally, Xanjoe, Yan, Zeaston

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen Petrichor used as a baby name! Petrichor is that pleasant, earthy scent associated with rainfall. The word was coined by Australian scientists in the ’60s by combining the ancient Greek words petra (“stone”) and ichor (the fluid that flowed in the veins of the gods).

I wonder if there’s any chance that Petrichor will become a trendy nature name one day. What do you think?

Sources: Frequency and Ranking of Baby Names by Year and Gender – Open Government (Alberta), Alberta’s top baby names for 2016