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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Prairie

Number of Babies Named Prairie

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Prairie

Name Quotes #62: Alice, Donna, Shachar

Ready for another batch of name-related quotes gathered from all over the place?

Let’s start with Liberian midwife Alice Sumo:

…[S]he was both surprised and delighted when quickly babies were named after her.

“I said ‘oh wow’ because with some of them I didn’t even know that they had named the baby after me! When you go to the market everybody is called Alice of Alex or Ellis. The last time I counted it was 862 Alices but now it has increased to 1,000 plus!

“To me the name Alice is an action name. Alice people are active people, they are caring people, they are loving people. A, the first letter in the alphabet. A for action.”

From Jack Burton’s article about songwriters Harry and Albert Von Tilzer in the April 9, 1949, issue of Billboard magazine:

After a season of tanbark and tinsel, Harry caught on with a traveling repertoire company, playing juvenile roles, singing songs of his own composing, and abandoning the family name of Gumm for a more glamorous and professional moniker. He took his mother’s maiden name of Tilzer and added “Von” for a touch of class. This switch in nomenclature proved to be the keystone of a songwriting dynasty which was destined to make history in Tin Pan Alley with the turn of the century.

The family’s surname was originally Gumbinsky. The phrase “tanbark and tinsel” refers to the circus; Harry was part of a traveling circus for a time as a teenager.

From an article about names in Israel by Abigail Klein Leichman:

I figured [Forest Rain’s] parents must have been hippies or Native Americans. In mainstream American culture, it is unusual to name children after elements of nature. How many people do you know named Rainbow, Lightning, Juniper Bush, Boulder, Valley, Oak, Prairie, Wellspring, or Wave?

In Israel, such names are extremely commonplace. If Forest Rain translated her name to Ya’ara Tal, no Israeli would think it exotic in the least. The words mentioned above translate to the everyday Hebrew names Keshet, Barak, Rotem, Sela, Guy, Alon, Bar, Ma’ayan, and Gal.

Another difference is that many modern Israeli names are unisex. You often cannot tell by name alone if someone is male or female. Tal, Gal, Sharon, Noam (pleasant), Shachar (Dawn), Inbar (amber), Inbal (bell), Neta (sapling), Ori (my light), Hadar (splendor), Amit (friend), and myriad other common names are used for either gender.

From an essay in which birder Nicholas Lund contemplates naming his baby after a bird (found via Emily of Nothing Like a Name):

Eventually Liz asked me to think about why I was pushing for this, and whether a birdy name was in the best interests of our kid. Did he need to carry on my own birding legacy? She was right. My son may very well grow up to love birds—I really hope he does—but he also might not. It should be his choice and not mine. If my dad had named me after some of his hobbies, you’d be calling me Carl Yastrzemski Lund or Rapala Lure Lund, and then I’d have to live with that.

From Nelson Mandela’s 1994 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom:

Apart from life, a strong constitution, and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla. In Xhosa, Rolihlahla literally means “pulling the branch of a tree”, but its colloquial meaning more accurately would be “troublemaker.” I do not believe that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future, but in later years, friends and relatives would ascribe to my birth name the many storms I have both caused and weathered.

From an Irish newspaper article about the CSO disregarding fadas in Irish baby names:

The CSO recently unveiled its Baby Names of Ireland visualisation tool recently published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) tool allowing users to check the popularity of names officially registered in Ireland. However, it does not allow for names with the síneadh fada or other diacritical marks that denote pronunciation or meaning.

[…]

“Our language, while having a special status afforded it in the Constitution has been progressively marginalised to the fringes of bureaucracy.

“It behoves the Central Statistics Office above all other institutions to be correct in all matters it reports. This is where historians will first go to research,” [author Rossa Ó Snodaigh] said.

From an essay by Donna Vickroy about the difficulty of being named Donna in 2018:

[L]ately people ask “Vonna”? or “Dana?” or “What?” Maybe the whole language movement has taken a toll.

Still, with its solid D beginning, short O solidified by double Ns and that ubiquitous feminine A at the end, Donna is — and should continue to be — easy to understand, pronounce, spell.

And yet, the struggle is real. Donna appears to be aging out.

From an Atlas Obscura article about a disgruntled former 7-Eleven owner:

The owner, Abu Musa, named his new convenience store “6-Twelve,” a one-up of the 7-Eleven name, which references the chain’s original operating hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Musa’s store operates from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

For lots more name quotes, click that link.

100+ Baby Names for 100 Years of the NPS

national park service 100th birthday (zion poster, 1938)The U.S. National Park Service has a birthday coming up!

When the NPS was created on August 25, 1916, there were only 35 national parks and monuments. (The world’s first, Yellowstone, had been established in 1872.)

Nowadays the agency oversees 411 units. These units are located in the 50 states and beyond, and include national monuments (82), national historic sites (78), national parks (59), national historical parks (50), national memorials (30), national battlefields (11), national seashores (10), national lakeshores (4), national scenic trails (3), and more.

Let’s celebrate the upcoming centenary with over 100 baby names that pay tribute to the national parks specifically:

  • Acadia for Acadia National Park.
  • Angel or Angela for Grand Canyon National Park’s Angel’s Window.
  • Arrow for the NPS emblem, the arrowhead.
  • Archer for Arches National Park.
  • Barbara for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Barbara Island.
  • Bathsheba for Hot Springs National Park’s Bathhouse Row.
  • Bay for any of the parks featuring a bay, such as Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Biscayne National Park, etc.
  • Benda or Bendrick for Big Bend National Park.
  • Bona for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Bona.
  • Bristol for Great Basin National Park’s bristlecone pines.
  • Bryce or Brycen for Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Cadden or Caddie for Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain.
  • Cade for Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cades Cove.
  • Canyon for any of the parks featuring a canyon, such as Grand Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, etc.
  • Capitola for Capitol Reef National Park or for Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan.
  • Carl or Carla for Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
  • Caven for Mammoth Cave National Park.
  • Cedar for Congaree National Park’s Cedar Creek.
  • Cinder for Lassen Volcanic National Park’s Cinder Cone.
  • Clark for Lake Clark National Park & Preserve.
  • Clifford or Clifton for Mesa Verde National Park’s Cliff Palace.
  • Cruz for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Cruz Island.
  • Delica for Arches National Park’s Delicate Arch.
  • Denali for Denali National Park & Preserve.
  • Denison for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Denison.
  • Domenica or Domenico for Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome.
  • Douglas for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Douglas.
  • Elias for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.
  • Elliott for Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key.
  • Ever or Everly for Everglades National Park.
  • Faith for Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser.
  • Forest for Petrified Forest National Park.
  • Garland for Garland County, Arkansas, where Hot Springs National Park is located.
  • Gates for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve.
  • Guadalupe for Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
  • Gunnison for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
    • The park was established in 1999, and Gunnison debuted on the baby name charts the very same year. Did one event cause the other?
  • Harding for Kenai Fjords National Park’s Harding Icefield.
  • Hassel for Virgin Islands National Park’s Hassel Island.
  • Jackson for Jackson Hole, where much of Grand Teton National Park is located.
  • Jarvis for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Jarvis.
  • Jefferson for Dry Tortugas National Park’s Fort Jefferson.
  • John for Virgin Islands National Park’s St. John Island.
  • Joshua for Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Kenai for Kenai Fjords National Park.
    • The derivation of Kenai is unknown, but it could come from either Dena’ina Athabascan (“big flat” or “two big flats and river cut-back” or “trees and brush in a swampy marsh”), Russian (“flat barren land”), or Iniut (“black bear”).
  • Kingston or Kingsley for Kings Canyon National Park.
  • Lake for any of the parks featuring lakes, such as Crater Lake National Park, Voyageurs National Park, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, etc.
  • Lamar for Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch.
  • Lata for the National Park of American Samoa’s Lata Mountain.
  • Lehman for Great Basin National Park’s Lehman Caves.
  • Lewis for Glacier National Park’s Lewis Range.
  • Livingston for Glacier National Park’s Livingston Range.
  • Manning for Saguaro National Park’s Manning Cabin.
  • Mara for Joshua Tree National Park’s Oasis of Mara.
    • In the Serrano language, Mara means “the place of little springs and much grass.”
  • Martin for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Martin.
  • Maui, where Haleakalā National Park is located.
  • Mauna for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s Mauna Loa.
  • Miguel for Channel Islands National Park’s San Miguel Island.
  • Norris for Yellowstone National Park’s Norris Geyser Basin.
  • North for North Cascades National Park.
  • Olympia for Olympic National Park.
  • Parker, Parkyr, Parks, Park, or Parke as a tribute to all national parks.
  • Pele as a symbol of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
  • Prairie for any of the parks featuring a prairie, such as Badlands National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, etc.
  • Pratt for Guadalupe Mountains National Park’s Pratt Cabin.
  • Rainier for Mount Rainier National Park.
  • Ranger as a tribute to all national parks and park rangers.
  • Reef for Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Rhodes for Biscayne National Park’s Old Rhodes Key.
  • Rocky for Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Roosevelt for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
  • Rosa for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Rosa Island.
  • Royale or Royal for Isle Royale National Park.
  • Sandy for Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.
  • Sanford for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Sanford.
  • Sequoia for Sequoia National Park.
  • Shenandoah for Shenandoah National Park.
  • Sherman for Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman Tree.
  • Sky or Skye for any of the parks featuring a night sky program, such as Big Bend National Park, Great Basin National Park, etc.
  • Talus for Pinnacles National Park’s talus caves.
  • Theodore for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
  • Valley for any of the parks featuring a valley, such as Cuyahoga Valley, Death Valley, Kobuk Valley, etc.
  • Verda or Verdell for Mesa Verde National Park.
  • Virginia for Virgin Islands National Park.
  • Windy for Wind Cave National Park.
  • Wolfe for Arches National Park’s Wolfe Ranch.
  • Woodrow or Wilson for Woodrow Wilson, who signed the act that created the NPS.
  • Woodson or Woody for Redwood National and State Parks.
  • Yosemite for Yosemite National Park.
  • Zion for Zion National Park.

For all you national park lovers out there: What other park-inspired names can you come up with?

Sources: List of national parks of the United States – Wikipedia, History (U.S. National Park Service), NPS Site Designations (pdf), Kenai Fjords National Park Profile 2015 (pdf)

Image: Adapted from Zion National Park, Ranger Naturalist Service – LOC

Update, 2/2017: Here’s a related name: Lolo, inspired by the Lolo National Forest. “Lolo” was probably derived from Lawrence (3rd quote).

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Idaho, 2010

The state of Idaho recently released its 2010 annual report, and the report includes some baby names.

First, here are Idaho’s most popular baby names of 2010. (More or less the same as what SSA has listed for Idaho that year.)

Popular Boy Names Popular Girl Names
1. William (119)
2. Samuel (116)
3. Logan (115)
4. Ethan (101)
5. Jacob (95)
6. Aiden (92)
7. Mason (89)
8. Noah (82)
9. Alexander (81)
10. James (79)
1. Olivia (122)
2. Emma (103)
3. Sophia (99)
4. Ava (88)
5. Abigail (85)
6. Elizabeth (83)
7. Emily (78)
8. Isabella (77)
9. Ella (71)
10. Addison & Brooklyn (65 each)

Now on to the bizarre stuff!

In the report, Idaho included a selection of unique names:

Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Bear, Character, Dagger, Freighter, Genghis, Hatchet, Hemi, Ice-T, Jethreaux, Justify, King Tiberius, Laugh, Nightsky, Permisius, Raysyn, Ripken, Saw, Scythe, Skeeter, Sourish, Theory, Truth, W’dbin, Wisdom, Zytareon Arrehli, Aoife, Balou, Bronwyn, Dawnlight, Dixi, Espn, Hickory, Kalifornia, Koal, Legacy, Little Noah, Meeka Bella, Mhyrrauzhe, Moneeq, Moserratt, Omolola, Oo, Rootsy, Saphron, Sparkle, Sunset, Tietsie, Virtue, Xoko

Some thoughts:

  • Nightsky and Dawnlight need a playdate. (Just like Thunder and Lightning.)
  • Mhyrrauzhe = Mirage?
  • My first impulse with “Oo” was to pronounce it “uh-oh.” (Uh-oh indeed, if that’s actually how you say it!)

Since Idaho’s annual reports for 2006-2010 are all available online, lets look at the selections of unique names from years past, shall we?

2009:

Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
“Champion” Reese, Civic, Cougar, Domonique, Eleven, Evol, Hopper, Huckleberry, Irish, Jah Kobi, Jaxxon, Kastle, K-Den, Major Jack, Nixon, Noall, Oz, Pledger, Reef, Sabyr, Shade, Shadow, Skeet, Taft, Zebedee Arlington, August Star, Beatriz, Byrkli, Charm, Clarixxa, Daiquiri, Fayte, Goldie-Moon, Gyzzelle, Jubilee, Kanyon, Lala, Love, Montana, Nirvana, Pepper, Prairie, Poppy, Soul, Tottie, Tundra, Zipporah

2008:

Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Adjrick, Andronicus, Arrow, Blazer, Brayke, Buzz, Casino, Chamillionaire, Dacx, Driggs, Gamble, Heman, Klete, Kodiak, Kroten, Krue, Link, Mitt, Pheonix, Ransom, Rodee, Silynce, Summit, Zzyzx Angelic, Beautifull, Boisen, Byainett, Calloway, Celestial, Ecstacy, Eeleceya, Hadies, Heaven, Infiniti, Integrity, Jewleah, Kaskade, Kozmo, Maplejo, Mishalyn, Remmington, Season, Symphony, Thyme, Ugonna, Xerenity, Zepplyn

2007:

Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Aodhan, Braestyn, Buell, Champ, Dazryn, Elisjsha, Enveus, Grimsley, Hayze, Holdem, Kamero, Kay-Sin, Khonnerk, Lowgin, Makaijden, Mickyle, Nykolaus, Painter, Praze, Sander, Shadrack, Solo, Space, Tlaloc, Trackin Arbor, Auktober, Blessin, Brizzbin, Brookenzie, Cabella, Clarity, Denym, Eos, Epiphany, Honesty, Kwincee, Lavender, Lybburtie, Miami, Modiesty-Star, Mysticque, Peaches, Perfect, Rebel-Ann, Seattle, Shy, Uneike, Vegas, Zoigh
  • Casino and Gamble in 2008, Holdem and Vegas in 2007…do I detect a pattern here?

2006:

Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Akhilles, Backtash, Blend, Bronco, Chalk, College, Colquohn, Daily, Gid, Hampton, Howdy, Jameraquoi, Karona, Lake, Packer, Polo, Razor, Rythmik, Sacramento, Spur, Trask, Tucson, Winn, Wracer, Xzavvyer Allyvia, Anakalia, Aptisam, Aveda, Blayde, Bristol, Cedee, Dorcas, Fall, Heziachiah, Kalispell, Klowie, Lexington, Little Summers, Navy, Northstar, Nutaliay Harmoney, Pennilane Meadow, Phaedra, Russia, Tacheranai, Tragen, Tsunami, Viktoriya, Yochabelle

P.S. In the 2006-2009 reports, the heading of the unique names section was “Selected Unique Names, Yewneek Spellings.” For 2010, it was lengthened to “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings.” I happen to love these headings, but aren’t they a bit snarky for an official state document…?