How popular is the baby name Pharrell in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Pharrell and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Pharrell.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Pharrell

Number of Babies Named Pharrell

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Pharrell

Bae as a Baby Name?

Here’s something I noticed recently — the baby name Bae has been on the SSA’s list since 2012:

  • 2014: 10 baby girls named Bae
  • 2013: 8 baby girls named Bae
  • 2012: 5 baby girls named Bae [debut]
  • 2011: unlisted

Bae seems to be rising on the heels of Bay

  • 2014: 74 baby girls named Bay
  • 2013: 70 baby girls named Bay
  • 2012: 44 baby girls named Bay
  • 2011: 10 baby girls named Bay
  • 2010: 11 baby girls named Bay
  • 2009: unlisted

…but I do have to wonder about the influence of the slang term “bae” here.

After all, 2012 was the year the Bae Caught Me Slippin’ meme took off. And 2014 was the year “bae” went mainstream with a Pharrell song (“Come Get It Bae”) and several high-profile articles (in TIME, Esquire, and The Atlantic).

What do you think — is Bae simply a variant of Bay, or could it be a baby name inspired by internet slang (à la Ily)? Or is it a bit of both?

Source: “Bae” Watch: The Ascent of a New Pet Name by Neal Whitman


Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2014

Here are the results of Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2014!

Some of the names below were already on their way up, so I’ll leave it to you guys to decide just how much of an effect pop culture had on each one.

Hazel, +828

  • Up from 2,049 baby girls in 2013 to 2,877 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Elsa, +567

  • Up from 564 baby girls in 2013 to 1,131 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Frozen (2013).

Anna, +287

  • Up from 5,352 baby girls in 2013 to 5,639 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Frozen (2013).

Margaret, +168

  • Up from 1,765 baby girls in 2013 to 1,933 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the television show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Augustus, +153

  • Up from 346 baby boys in 2013 to 499 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Azalea, +139

  • Up from 443 baby girls in 2013 to 582 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: rapper Iggy Azalea.

Peter, +53

  • Up from 1,846 baby boys in 2013 to 1,899 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: Peter Pan (both the live-action TV event and the upcoming movie).

Robin (as a boy name specifically), +33

  • Up from 155 baby boys in 2013 to 188 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of Robin Williams.

Zarina, +32

  • Up from 42 baby girls in 2013 to 74 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Pirate Fairy (2014).

Benedict, +29

  • Up from 108 baby boys in 2013 to 137 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Annalise, +28

  • Up from 665 baby girls in 2013 to 693 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the television show How To Get Away With Murder.

Judith, +28

  • Up from 251 baby girls in 2013 to 279 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the television show The Walking Dead.

Kristoff, +25

  • Up from 7 baby boys in 2013 to 32 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Frozen (2013).

Shailene, +23

  • Up from 6 baby girls in 2013 to 29 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: actress Shailene Woodley, from the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Tauriel, debuted with 20

  • Debuted with 20 baby girls (the 5th highest debut!) in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: two of the Hobbit movies (2013 & 2014).

Amal, +17

  • Up from 69 baby girls in 2013 to 86 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: George Clooney’s marriage to Amal Alamuddin in 2014.

Odessa, +13

  • Up from 47 baby girls in 2013 to 60 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: rapper Dessa.
  • The name Dessa itself, though, actually decreased in popularity in 2014.

Scotlyn, +13
Scotland, +4 & +4

  • Scotlyn: Up from 50 baby girls in 2013 to 67 in 2014.
  • Scotland: Up from 8 baby girls and 32 baby boys in 2013 to 12 and 36 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the Scottish independence referendum.

Iselle, debuted with 13

  • Debuted with 13 baby girls (the 11th highest debut) in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: Hurricane Iselle.

Vale, re-entered with 12 & 8

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 12 baby girls and 8 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: a celebrity baby name (daughter of Savannah Guthrie).

Murphy (as a girl name specifically), +11

  • Up from 31 baby girls in 2013 to 42 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Interstellar (2014).

Mandela, +10

  • Up from 6 baby boys in 2013 to 16 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of Nelson Mandela.

Rosamund, re-entered with 9

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 9 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: actress Rosamund Pike.

Noni, re-entered with 8

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 8 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Beyond the Lights (2014).
  • But another character name, Kaz, decreased in popularity in 2014.

Ansel, +7

  • Up from 101 baby boys in 2013 to 108 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Fault in Our Stars (2014).

Kaiser, +7

  • Up from 62 baby boys in 2013 to 69 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: a celebrity baby name (son of Teen Mom Jenelle Evans).

Pharrell, +6

  • Up from 16 baby boys in 2013 to 22 in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: musician Pharrell Williams.

Madiba, debuted with 5

  • Debuted with 5 baby boys in 2014.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of Nelson Mandela.

Lucas, unknown in NYC specifically, +55 in NY state, +564 nationally

  • The New York City 2014 data isn’t out yet.
  • Up from 975 baby boys in 2013 to 1,030 in 2014, in New York state.
  • Up from 11,514 baby boys in 2013 to 12,078 in 2014, nationally.
  • Pop culture influence: Venmo’s “Lucas” Ads in the NYC subway.

Names that went up by 4 or fewer:

Names that went down:

Names still not on the SSA’s list in 2014:

  • Arendelle
  • Diren
  • Ellar
  • Ferguson
  • Floribeth
  • Idina
  • Keke
  • Lammily
  • Ledisi
  • Maleficent (despite the pro-Maleficent comments I’ve been getting)
  • Odeya
  • Peaches
  • Philae
  • Rust
  • Seanix
  • Sibel
  • Ska
  • Vitruvius
  • Wyldstyle

Did any of these surprise you?

I’m particularly surprised that Lupita Nyong’o has had no effect on the usage of her name so far.

P.S. Some of the names from the 2013 game that have started/continued to do well: Cressida (re-entered list in 2014), Finnick, Llewyn (the top debut name of 2014), Neymar, Nori, Primrose, Sochi (debuted in 2014), Tessanne (debuted in 2014) and Zoella.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2014

pop culture baby name game 2014

Every year on December 2 (happy birthday Britney Spears!) we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game. It’s not a “game” really, but more of a group brainstorm. Between today and next May, we try to guess which baby names saw increased usage in 2014 thanks to popular culture — music, movies, television, video games, sports, politics, current events, products/advertising, and so forth.

Here are all the 2014 predictions we’ve made so far. Many of the below come from longtime commenters elbowin and Julie — thanks you guys!

Which names would you add to this list? (Please remember to add a reason, so we all know the context!)

New Predictions as they come in:

  • Urban – from Diana (12/2)
  • Peter – from Abby (12/2)
  • Noni – from Becca (12/2)
  • Kaz – from Becca (12/2)
  • Murphy (for girls specifically) – from Becca (12/2)
  • Scotland/Scotlyn – from Becca (12/2)
  • Lupita – from Becca (12/2)
  • Benedict – from Becca (12/2)
  • Diem – from Becca (12/2)
  • Rosamund – from Becca (12/2)
  • Annalise – from Julie (12/2)
  • Azalea – from Gina (12/3)
  • Kaiser – from Gina (12/3)
  • Aman – from me (12/4)
  • Judith – from Dellitt (12/5)
  • Margaret – from jaime (12/6)
  • Vale – from Gwen (12/10)
  • Diren – elbowin (12/18)
  • Amal – from me (1/15)
  • Ledisi – from me (2/12)
  • Keke – 2/25

Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2013, 2012, 2011 #1, 2011 #2, 2010.

Will the Baby Name Idina Debut in 2014?

idina menzel
Idina Menzel
Speaking of Pharrell… “Happy” was up for Best Original Song at the Oscars earlier this year, but it lost to “Let It Go” from Frozen.

The movie version of “Let It Go” is sung by Idina Menzel, who has a very pretty first name. Pretty enough that I expected to see plenty of little pink dots on the Idina popularity graph…but when I checked, what did I see? Nothing. No graph at all.

This means that the name Idina was never given to more than 4 baby girls per year in the U.S. from 1880 all the way to 2013.* Surprising, isn’t it?

So if Rent and Wicked and a marriage to Taye Diggs weren’t enough to get Idina Menzel’s first name on the baby name charts, do you think the Oscar-winning “Let It Be” “Let It Go” will do the trick in 2014?

*Admittedly, the SSA data isn’t perfect.

The Baby Name Pharrell – Trendy Again?

Happy album, Pharrell WilliamsPharrell Williams rose to fame in 2003 with his first big hit, “Frontin’.” That year, the baby name Pharrell debuted impressively on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • 2013: 16 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2012: 10 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2011: 14 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2010: 18 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2009: 16 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2008: 19 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2007: 16 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2006: 37 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2005: 31 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2004: 44 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2003: 67 baby boys named Pharrell [debut]
  • 2002: unlisted

Not only was the name Pharrell the top debut name of 2003, but it was also the 21st most popular debut name of all time on the boys’ list. (Variant Pharell had debuted the previous year.)

Pharrell Williams — who has a dad named Pharaoh and a son named Rocket, incidentally — has been on the scene ever since, but 2013 and 2014 were particularly big years for him, with the success of the songs “Blurred Lines” and “Happy” and his new gig as a judge on The Voice.

Usage of the name cooled off after 2003, but there was a slight increase in 2013. Do you think Williams’ ongoing exposure will boost the name even higher in 2014?

Biggest Baby Name Debuts of All Time: Boys, 30 to 21

biggest baby name debuts of all time, boy names, 30 to 21

Time for the middle installment of the top boy name debuts.

From 30 to 21:

Kadeem, #30

  • Kadeem debuted with 52 baby boys in 1988.
    Inspired by Kadeem Hardison, an actor on the TV sitcom “A Different World.”

Diallo & Draven, 2-way tie for #29

  • Diallo debuted with 54 baby boys in 1971.
    Possibly inspired by Diallo Telli, though I’m not totally certain.
  • Draven debuted with 54 baby boys in 1994.
    Inspired by Eric Draven, a character in the movie The Crow.

Vadhir, #28

  • Vadhir debuted with 55 baby boys in 2010.
    Inspired by Vadhir Derbez, winner of the TV dance show “Mira Quien Baila 2010.”

Foch, #27

Mychal, #26

  • Mychal debuted with 59 baby boys in 1978.
    Inspired by basketball player Mychal George Thompson.

Tavares, #25

  • Tavares debuted with 60 baby boys in 1974.
    Inspired by The Tavares Brothers.

Toriano, #24

  • Toriano debuted with 62 baby boys in 1970.
    Inspired by singer Toriano “Tito” Jackson, a member of The Jackson 5.

Jionni, #23

  • Jionni debuted with 63 baby boys in 2011.
    Inspired by Jionni LaValle, boyfriend of reality TV star Snooki Polizzi.

Tajh, #22

  • Tajh debuted with 65 baby boys in 1989.
    Inspired by singer Tajh Abdulsamad, a member of The Boys.

Pharrell & Quindon, 2-way tie for #21

  • Pharrell debuted with 67 baby boys in 2003.
    Inspired by singer Pharrell Williams.
  • Quindon debuted with 67 baby boys in 1996.
    Inspired by Quindon Tarver, the boy who sang “When Doves Cry” in the movie William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.

More baby name debuts coming up tomorrow!

*The Top 50 Baby Name Debuts for Boys: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1*

The Top Baby Name Debuts, 1881 to Today

the top U.S. baby name debuts

Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.

Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.

Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing pop culture explanations. So not only is this a list of names, but it’s also a list of stories.

Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)

  • 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
  • 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
  • 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
  • 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
  • 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
  • 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
  • 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
  • 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
  • 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
  • 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
  • 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
  • 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
  • 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
  • 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
  • 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
  • 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
  • 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
  • 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
  • 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
  • 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
  • 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
  • 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
  • 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
  • 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
  • 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
  • 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
  • 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
  • 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
  • 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
  • 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
  • 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
  • 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
  • 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
  • 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
  • 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
  • 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
  • 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
  • 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
  • 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
  • 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
  • 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
  • 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
  • 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
  • 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
  • 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
  • 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
  • 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9

This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)

Now back to the list:

  • 1937: Deeann, 18; Gaynell, 11
  • 1938: Sonjia, 19; Daivd, 9
  • 1939: Thanna, 17; Brenda, 19
  • 1940: Sierra, 32; Willkie, 13
  • 1941: Jerilynn, 56; Saford, 11
  • 1942: Dwala, Gerilyn & Rise, 15; Mcarther, 23
  • 1943: Sharelle, 28; Howie, 10
  • 1944: Deatra, 29; Kipp, 9
  • 1945: Sherida, 26; Vickie, 10
  • 1946: Suzzette, 17; Sung & Tyronne, 8
  • 1947: Rory, 41; Eliezer, 11
  • 1948: Vickii, 30; Ridge, 10
  • 1949: Rainelle, 46; Ezzard, 21
  • 1950: Monalisa, 35; Broderick, 30
  • 1951: Debralee, 19; Cregg, 10
  • 1952: Terria, 17; Faron & Gevan, 12
  • 1953: Trenace, 32; Caster, 21
  • 1954: Corby, 39; Durk, 17
  • 1955: Shevawn, 36; Anothony & Erol, 10
  • 1956: Siobhan, 58; Trace, 17
  • 1957: Tierney, 46; Maverick, 32
  • 1958: Tamre, 63; Hoby, 30
  • 1959: Torey, 102; Rowdy, 22
  • 1960: Leshia, 76; Cully, 31
  • 1961: Lavoris, 36; Jefre, 21
  • 1962: Lafondra, 30; Thadd, 10
  • 1963: Phaedra, 70; Medgar, 25
  • 1964: Djuna, 198; Janssen, 16
  • 1965: Latrenda, 89; Illya, 35
  • 1966: Indira, 43; Jarred, 17
  • 1967: Cinnamon, 40; Clayt, 13
  • 1968: Laryssa, 67; Jemal, 47
  • 1969: Omayra, 42; Tige, 28
  • 1970: Shilo, 38; Toriano, 62
  • 1971: Ayanna, 194; Diallo, 54
  • 1972: Cotina, 109; Jabbar, 77
  • 1973: Yajaira, 55; Yohance, 44
  • 1974: Shalawn, 70; Nakia, 611
  • 1975: Azure, 121; Viet, 23
  • 1976: Tynisa, 79; Delvecchio, 27
  • 1977: Kizzy, 1,115; Levar, 523
  • 1978: Enjoli, 35; Mychal, 59
  • 1979: Chimere, 78; Jorel, 22
  • 1980: Lerin, 35; Tou, 33
  • 1981: Fallon, 232; Taurean, 90
  • 1982: Tyechia, 71; Eder, 48
  • 1983: Mallori, 35; Jonerik & Marquita, 20
  • 1984: Nastassja, 40; Eldra, 17
  • 1985: Sade, 392; Rishawn, 25
  • 1986: Myleka, 38; Cordero, 173
  • 1987: Jaleesa, 116; Teyon, 25
  • 1988: Jalesa, 77; Kadeem, 52
  • 1989: Alexandr*, 301; Christop*, 1,082 [Audreanna, 80; Khiry, 158]
  • 1990: Isamar, 446; Dajour, 26
  • 1991: Emilce, 30; Quayshaun, 93
  • 1992: Akeiba, 49; Devanta, 41
  • 1993: Rosangelica, 91; Deyonta, 37
  • 1994: Ajee, 185; Shyheim, 168
  • 1995: Yamilex, 130; Alize, 30
  • 1996: Moesha, 426; Quindon, 67
  • 1997: Erykah, 279; Cross, 43
  • 1998: Naidelyn, 78; Zyshonne, 26
  • 1999: Verania, 62; Cauy, 32
  • 2000: Kelis, 108; Rithik, 22
  • 2001: Yaire, 184; Jahiem, 155
  • 2002: Kaydence, 70; Omarian, 31
  • 2003: Trenyce, 88; Pharrell, 67
  • 2004: Eshal, 38; Jkwon, 100
  • 2005: Yarisbel, 30; Jayceon, 48
  • 2006: Lizania, 35; Balian, 24
  • 2007: Leilene, 81; Yurem, 206
  • 2008: Aideliz, 91; Yosgart, 72
  • 2009: Greidys, 186; Jeremih, 87
  • 2010: Tynlee, 42; Vadhir, 55
  • 2011: Magaby, 50; Jionni, 62
  • 2012: Kimbella, 52; Naksh, 28
  • 2013: Vanellope, 63; Jaceyon, 89
  • 2014: Dalary, 215; Llewyn, 38
  • 2015: Kehlani, 48; Gotham, 46

I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!

*If you ignore the Great Baby Name Glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.