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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Portia

Number of Babies Named Portia

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Portia

Name Quotes for the Weekend #18

bruno mars name quote

From an MTV interview with Bruno Mars, birth name Peter Gene Hernandez:

TWU: Bruno Mars is a world away from your name, so where did that come from?

Bruno Mars: My father and my mother. There was a wrestler in their day called Bruno San Martino and he was a very heavy-set wrestler and I guess when I was a kid I was a real chubby, chunky kid. Everyone calls me Bruno; they don’t ever call me Peter, that was just my government name.

From an article by Conor Grennan called 8 Rules for Naming Your Future Child:

As for me, I was named Conor in 1974 (the Irish spelling of that name, with one ‘n’) by my Irish father and worldly mother, at a time when that name didn’t exist as a first name. I got the same question every day: Is Conor your first name or your last name? And one memorable day in Kindergarten I came home crying, furious at my father because the other kids had made fun of my unusual name.

So my father, the Irish poet Eamon Grennan, told me the story of the first Conor — Conor mac Nessa, the legendary Irish king. He told me how Conor was born the same day as Christ himself, how he became king when he was just 7 years old (“That’s in two years, lad!”) and how he became the greatest ruler in the history of Ulster.

I still hated my name. But those stories, that meaning, made it a little easier to bear. It told me that my parents weren’t just punishing me. It told me that they knew what they were doing. That they had been purposeful in their choice. That they had named me — the goofy, red-haired, ill-mannered, walking-temper-tantrum of a boy — after a King.

From an Indiana University press release called Copycats pave the way to problem-solving success:

People were more likely to imitate popular choices, particularly those choices that are on the upswing, a dynamic Goldstone and his IU colleague Todd Gureckis had documented earlier in an observational study of baby names in 130 years of U.S. Social Security records. People likewise choose names that have “positive momentum” in their popularity. For baby names, over 130 years, the United States has shifted from a society in which decreases in popularity in one year are likely to be followed by increases in popularity in the next year (and vice versa) to one in which increases are likely to be followed by increases, and decreases by decreases.

From an 2005 interview with Portia de Rossi in The Advocate:

Advocate: When did you become Portia?

Portia: When I was 15, I changed it legally. In retrospect, I think it was largely due to my struggle about being gay. Everything just didn’t fit, and I was trying to find things I could identify myself with, and it started with my name.

I picked Portia because I was a Shakespeare fan [Portia is the character in The Merchant of Venice who famously declaims, “The quality of mercy is not strain’d / It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.”]. De Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more than Amanda Rogers. When you live in Australia, Europe is so far away and so fascinating, so stylish and cultured and sophisticated.

From an essay on “outrageous baby names” by Kiri Blakeley:

As for my own story, family lore has it that my mom wanted to name me Kama Sutra, after the famous Indian sex positions book. Was my mother under the effects of some kind of drug after she pushed me out of her loins and chose this name? I have no idea. I just thank the nurses who supposedly said “no” and took me out of the room until she came up with something slightly more suitable. And I ended up with a weird one anyway.

From the book Christian Names in Local and Family History by George Redmonds:

Other regional concentrations worth noting are Edith in Dorset, Felice and Petronille in Staffordshire and Amice in Leicestershire, but a close examination of the evidence reveals significant small ‘clusters’ right down the list. Typical of these are Goda (East Anglia), Godelena (Kent) and Osanne, the last of these found only in Spalding in Lincolnshire. It derives from ‘Hosanna’, a Hebrew word used as an appeal to God for deliverance, which was adopted into Christian worship as a more general expression of praise. We are familiar with it through the Bible and it occurs as ‘osanne’ in Chaucer’s Tale of the Man of Lawe: ‘Mary I mene, doghter to Seint Anne, Bifore whos child aungeles singe oscanne’. Less well known is its use as a baptismal name from the twelfth century, possibly to commemorate a birth on Palm Sunday. The earliest examples have been noted in Dorset and Herefordshire and it occurred often enough to serve as a by-name. Typical of these are ‘Reginaldus filius Osanna’, in the pipe roll of 1180, and Richard Osan of Shelley in 1277.

From How (Not) To Name Your Baby by Samantha Cappuccino-Williams:

On a related note, if you’re going to be “that guy” and give your kid an effed up name, don’t also be the guy who refuses to share the name because you’re afraid of negative commentary or feedback. As soon as someone tells me they’re not sharing baby names, I assume the name they picked sucks or will scare people–and they know it. When you pick a name for your kid–good or bad–own it. Don’t be a puss about it. If someone begins to pooh-pooh your name, cut them off. Who cares if the biggest moron in their high school was Skippy, or the biggest douche was Biff? That’s their experience, not yours. Who cares if your coworkers think Maroon Marmalade is a terrible name as long as you love it. Most people know better than to slam your baby name anyway. Everyone is so damn sensitive nowadays. But on the bright side of the unwanted commentary, someone might actually have a helpful tidbit about your name that you should know before legally assigning it to your child. Like, “Adam Samuel Samsonite? Soooo…his initials will be ASS?” Oh hell no. Thanks for pointing that out, Friend.

Want more? Here’s the Name Quotes category.

Baby Name Needed for Sister of Liam and Brenna

Readers Tracie and Hugh Roarty, who are expecting a baby girl in August, would like a few baby name suggestions.

We have an almost 5 year old son and 3 year old daughter. Their names are Liam Robert and Brenna Kelly. My husband and I are both of Irish American descent. I had loved the name Liam since I was a child (am a bit shocked at how popular it is becoming now!). Their middle names are both family names.

Tracie, Hugh, Liam and Brenna currently live in Belgium, but they’ll be moving back to the U.S. before the baby arrives. They keep track of their travels at Belgian Bloggin, where Tracie recently announced her pregnancy. Tracie mentioned that Brenna would like to name the baby Rapunzel, while Liam would simply like to use the name Brenna again. :)

We have decided that we do not want another very Irish name (I feel like it will start to sound like we wish we lived in Ireland – if that makes sense?).

The names I have been drawn to so far are Margot and Valerie – both French I believe. I think it is the European influence on me. I like that these names are easily recognizable but not extremely popular.

The middle name would be either Patricia or Claire (our mothers names). For the two names so far we like Margot Patricia or Valerie Claire.

I love both Margot and Valerie.

Here are some other names I think Tracie and Hugh might like as well:


Which of the above do you like best for Liam and Brenna’s baby sister? What other names would you suggest?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Cecily’s Sister

A reader named Baccara has a daughter named Cecily. She’s expecting a second baby girl in May, and she’d like some name suggestions. She writes:

To give you an idea of our style, we like feminine names. We also tend to gravitate towards more unusual names, or at least ones that are not trendy.

Here are three names she and her husband are considering:

  • “Charlotte has always been a contender (during both pregnancies), although its popularity is now becoming somewhat of a deterrent.”
  • Camilla. “However, after reading your December post on sibling names, I am concerned that both names are too overtly similar (first initial, number of syllables) to work well together.”
  • Adele, though Baccara’s “husband is concerned with it having a religious affiliation (Hebrew).”

Their surname is a one-syllable N-name, so short names and names that end with n are out.

First, a couple of thoughts:

Cecily and Camilla do have the same first letter and number of syllables. But they don’t start with the same sound, and they don’t have the same rhythm. So I agree that they’re similar, but I don’t know if they’re too close. I think they might work pretty well together, in fact.

I also like Adele with Cecily. The name isn’t Hebrew in origin, though. It’s based on the Germanic word adal, meaning noble. (The first half of Adelaide comes from the same place.) I’m not aware of the name Adele being strongly associated with religion. (Am I overlooking something?)

Here are some other names that I think sound good with Cecily:


(I omitted Amelia, Evelyn, Vanessa and Victoria because I thought they might be too trendy/popular for Baccara’s taste.)

Which of the names above do you like best with Cecily? What other name suggestions would you offer to Baccara?

UPDATE – Scroll down to find out what the baby was named!

A Rose by Any Other Name – Burnaby, Natali, Zelda Lloyd

Sure, a rose by just any other name would not smell as sweet. But what if the name were as cool as “Madame Azélie Imbert” or “Victor Emmanuel”?

Other intriguing rose names I found in the database include:

Abraham Darby
Admired Miranda
Betty Uprichard
Clementina Carbonieri
Cyril Fletcher
Dagmar Spath
Dainty Bess
Edna Marie
Fiona’s Affection
Fraulein Octavia Hesse
Gentle Hermione
Ghislaine de Feligonde
Hawaiian Queen Martha
Henry Bennett
Ida Belle
Imperatrice Eugenie
Jan and Rick
Kaitlyn Ainsley
Konigin Beatrix
Lady Duncan
Mrs Erskine Pembroke Thom
Noble Antony
Oskar Cordell
Our Terry
Phyllis Bide
Proud Titiana
Queen Margrethe
Rex Anderson
Sharifa Asma
Smokey Joe
Tara Allison
Uncle Walter
Uwe Seeler
Victoria’s Song
Whisper Louise
Wise Portia
Xavier Olibo
Yolande d’Aragon
Young Quinn
Zelda Lloyd
Zephirine Drouhin

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably now wondering: So how can I name a cultivar of my very own?

Well, just grab your credit card and get in touch with a company that hybridizes roses. Some charge as little as several thousand dollars; others ask for as much as $75,000 to name a rose.

If you don’t have that kind of money lying around, and you happen to live in British Columbia, you may be able to name a rose for free. Just submit a name to the GardenWise Name a Rose contest before the end of August.

Baby Names Needed – Girl Names for Adopted Twins

A reader named Zoe is adopting twin girls and needs help choosing their names:

What I like are classic names that are NOT common. I also like names that are not easily given nicknames, as I want my daughters to use their full, formal names.

Her top two picks (first & middle) are currently Veronica Sophia and Lydia Nicole. (Sophia and Nicole are both family names.) She also likes Sabrina, Amelia, Vanessa, Cecilia, AnnaSophia, and similar names.

Personally, I love Zoe’s current favorites and think she should stick with them. :) But, just in case, here are some other classic, not-too-common, hard-to-shorten girl names she might like:


What other suggestions would you offer Zoe?

Shakespearean Makeovers for the Top 20 Baby Girl Names

Wish the the top 20 names had a more Elizabethan ring to them? Well, wish no more!

I did my best to match each of the most popular baby girl names with similar-sounding names from Shakespeare:

Modern Names Shakespearean Names
Emily Emilia, Othello; Winter’s Tale; Two Noble Kinsmen
Aemelia, Comedy of Errors
Hermione, Winter’s Tale
Isabella Isabella, Measure for Measure
Dionyza, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Ursula, Much Ado About Nothing
Volumnia, Coriolanus
Emma Anne, Merry Wives of Windsor; Henry VIII; Richard III
Ava Viola, Twelfth Night
Valeria, Coriolanus
Madison Miranda, The Tempest
Rosaline, Love’s Labor’s Lost; Romeo and Juliet
Regan, King Lear
Sophia Phebe, As You Like It
Bianca, Othello; Taming of the Shrew
Julia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Olivia Olivia, Twelfth Night
Octavia, Antony and Cleopatra
Ophelia, Hamlet
Lavinia, Titus Andronicus
Abigail Imogen, Cymbeline
Agrippa, Antony and Cleopatra; Coriolanus
Margaret, Much Ado About Nothing
Hannah Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well; Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hermia, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Helen, Troilus and Cressida; Cymbeline
Elizabeth Elizabeth, Henry VI; Richard III
Eleanor, Henry VI; King John
Addison Adriana, Comedy of Errors
Diana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Desdemona, Othello
Rosalind, As You Like It
Samantha Tamora, Titus Andronicus
Katherina, Taming of the Shrew
Paulina, Winter’s Tale
Ashley Audrey, As You Like It
Portia, Merchant of Venice; Julius Caesar
Luciana, Comedy of Errors
Alyssa Nerissa, Merchant of Venice
Jessica, Merchant of Venice
Cressida, Troilus and Cressida
Mia Maria, Twelfth Night; Love’s Labor’s Lost
Marina, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Mariana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Measure for Measure
Chloe Hero, Much Ado About Nothing
Cordelia, King Lear
Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra
Natalie Nell, Henry IV; Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Perdita, Winter’s Tale
Lucetta, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Sarah Silvia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Celia, As You Like It
Alexis Alice, Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Thaisa, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing
Grace Blanche, King John
Gertrude, Hamlet

These are by no means equivalents, of course. Some of my “matches” don’t match at all. But I did as well as I could using about three-quarters of all the female characters mentioned by Shakespeare.

And, if you were curious about the names Dionyza and Thaisa, as I was, they seem to be based on Dionysus and Thaïs.