How popular is the baby name Preston 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 Preston.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Preston


Posts that Mention the Name Preston

Audie Murphy’s 11 Siblings

audie murphy, 1945, rifle
Audie Murphy and sister Nadine
© 1945 LIFE

Did you know that Audie Murphy — the soldier-turned-actor mentioned in yesterday’s post on Destry — was one of a dozen siblings? All 12 kids were born in Texas. Here are their first and middle names:

  1. Elizabeth Corine, b. 1910
  2. Charles Emmett, b. 1912
  3. Vernon C., b. 1916
  4. Ariel June, b. 1919
  5. Virginia Oneta, b. 1918
  6. J.W. (stillborn), b. 1920
  7. Audie Leon, b. 1925
  8. Richard Houston, b. 1926
  9. Eugene Porter, b. 1928
  10. Reta Fay, b. 1931 – later known as Verda Nadine (see pic)
  11. Willa Beatrice, b. 1933
  12. Joe Preston, b. 1935

Which of these combinations do you like best?

Source: Military Monday – Audie Leon Murphy – A Scrapbook of Me
Image: from page 94 of the July 16, 1945, issue of LIFE

Most Popular First Letters for Baby Names, 2016

What were the most popular first letters for baby names in 2016?

Here’s a chart showing the first letter breakdown for girl names:

first letter, girl names, baby names, 2016, chart

For girls, the most-used first letter was A, followed by M and E. The least-used first letter was U.

The three most-used girl names per letter last year were…

A: Ava, Abigail, Amelia
B: Brooklyn, Bella, Brianna
C: Charlotte, Chloe, Camila
D: Delilah, Daisy, Daniela
E: Emma, Emily, Evelyn
F: Faith, Finley, Fiona
G: Grace, Genesis, Gabriella
H: Harper, Hannah, Hazel
I: Isabella, Isabelle, Ivy
J: Julia, Josephine, Jade
K: Kennedy, Kaylee, Kylie
L: Lily, Lillian, Layla
M: Mia, Madison, Mila
N: Natalie, Nora, Naomi
O: Olivia, Olive, Oakley
P: Penelope, Paisley, Piper
Q: Quinn, Queen, Quincy
R: Riley, Ruby, Reagan
S: Sophia, Sofia, Scarlett
T: Taylor, Trinity, Teagan
U: Unique, Uma, Una
V: Victoria, Violet, Vivian
W: Willow, Willa, Winter
X: Ximena, Xiomara, Xena
Y: Yaretzi, Yareli, Yamileth
Z: Zoey, Zoe, Zara

Here’s the breakdown for boy names:

first letter, boy names, baby names, 2016, chart

For boys, the most-used first letter was J, followed by A and C. The least-used letter was U.

The three most-used boy names per letter last year were…

A: Alexander, Aiden, Anthony
B: Benjamin, Brayden, Bryson
C: Carter, Christopher, Caleb
D: Daniel, David, Dylan
E: Elijah, Ethan, Eli
F: Finn, Felix, Francisco
G: Gabriel, Grayson, Gavin
H: Henry, Hunter, Hudson
I: Isaac, Isaiah, Ian
J: James, Jacob, Jackson
K: Kevin, Kayden, Kingston
L: Liam, Lucas, Logan
M: Mason, Michael, Matthew
N: Noah, Nathan, Nicholas
O: Oliver, Owen, Oscar
P: Parker, Patrick, Preston
Q: Quinn, Quentin, Quincy
R: Ryan, Robert, Roman
S: Samuel, Sebastian, Sawyer
T: Thomas, Theodore, Tyler
U: Uriel, Uriah, Ulises
V: Vincent, Victor, Valentino
W: William, Wyatt, Wesley
X: Xavier, Xander, Xzavier
Y: Yusuf, Yosef, Yahir
Z: Zachary, Zayden, Zane

Finally, here are both genders side-by-side:

first letter, baby names, 2016, chart

Overall, the top first letter was A, followed by J and M. And the least popular letter was, of course, U.

Here’s last year’s post on the most and least popular first letters of 2015.

Should We Name Hurricanes to Maximize Donations?

hurricaneIn 2008, psychologists Jesse Chandler, Tiffany M. Griffin, and Nicholas Sorensen published a study showing that people who shared an initial with a hurricane name were over-represented among hurricane relief donors. So, for instance, people with R-names donated significantly more than other people to Hurricane Rita relief efforts. (This is an offshoot of the name-letter effect.)

A few years later, marketing professor Adam Alter came up with an interesting idea: Why not use this knowledge to try to maximize donations to hurricane relief efforts? He explained:

In the United States, for example, more than 10% of all males have names that begin with the letter J-names like James and John (the two most common male names), Joseph and Jose, Jason, and Jeffrey. Instead of beginning just one hurricane name with the letter J each year (in 2013, that name will be Jerry), the World Meteorological Organization could introduce several J names each year. Similarly, more American female names begin with M than any other letter–most of them Marys, Marias, Margarets, Michelles, and Melissas–so the Organization could introduce several more M names to each list.

I think his idea is a good one overall. It wouldn’t cost much to implement, but could potentially benefit many hurricane victims.

I would go about choosing the names differently, though.

Repeating initials multiple times within a single hurricane season would be unwise, for instance. It would cause confusion, which would undermine the reason we started naming hurricanes in the first place (“for people easily to understand and remember” them, according to the WMO).

But optimizing the name lists using data on real-life usage? That would be smart.

I might even try optimizing based on demographics. Baby boomers are particularly generous donors, so maybe we should choose letters (or even names) with that generation in mind?

The baby boomers were born from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, so here are the top initials for babies born in 1956 (60 years ago):

Top first letters of baby names, 1956, U.S.

Here are two possible lists of hurricane names using the above letters. I stuck with the WMO’s conventions: 21 names total, alternating genders, and no retired names.

Mid-century style Modern style
Janice
Danny
Rebecca
Martin
Cindy
Scott
Lori
Kenneth
Brenda
Patrick
Theresa
Gerald
Angela
Eugene
Wanda
Vincent
Nancy
Howard
Francine
Ira
Olga
Jasmine
Dominic
Rylee
Matthew
Charlotte
Sebastian
Lucy
Kingston
Bella
Preston
Trinity
Grayson
Ava
Eli
Willow
Victor
Nora
Hunter
Fiona
Isaac
Olivia

And here’s another point: we wouldn’t want to assign these names in order. While the official hurricane season lasts a full six months — June to November — most hurricane activity happens in August, September and October:

Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years (NOAA)

To really optimize, we’d want to reserve the top initials/names for the stronger mid-season hurricanes, which tend to do the most damage. So we could start the season using mid-list names, then jump to the top of the list when August comes around and go in order from that point forward (skipping over any mid-list names that had already been used).

What are your thoughts on assigning hurricane names with disaster relief in mind? Do you think it could work? What strategy/formula would you use to select relief-optimized hurricane names?

Sources: In the “I” of the storm: Shared initials increase disaster donations, Smart Hurricane Names: A Policy Intervention that Costs Almost Nothing but Should Attract Billions of Dollars in Aid, Tropical Cyclone Programme – WMO
Image: Tropical Cyclone Climatology – National Hurricane Center – NOAA

P.S. While J, D and R were the top initials 60 years ago, today’s top initials are A, J and M.

Letter by Letter: Popular Baby Boy Names, 2013

popular baby boy names, letter by letter, in 2013

Wondering what the most popular J-names for baby boys are? How about Q-names?

Below are the 10 most popular boy names for each letter, A through Z. (The parenthetical notations show how the current rankings differ from the 2012 rankings.)

The two new #1 names that emerged in 2013 were Hunter, which replaced Henry, and Thomas, which replaced Tyler.

A-Names

1. Alexander, 14771 baby boys
2. Aiden, 13527
3. Anthony, 12164
4. Andrew, 11568
5. Aaron, 7246
6. Adrian, 6802 (was 8th)
7. Austin, 6441
8. Angel, 6320 (was 6th)
9. Ayden, 6035
10. Adam, 5193

B-Names

1. Benjamin, 13373 baby boys
2. Brayden, 7384
3. Brandon, 6180
4. Blake, 5601
5. Bentley, 5344
6. Brody, 4302
7. Bryson, 3783
8. Bryce, 3335
9. Brantley, 3171 (was 13th)
10. Braxton, 3078

Out of the top 10: Bryan, now ranked 11th.

C-Names

1. Christopher, 10765 baby boys
2. Carter, 9512 (was 4th)
3. Caleb, 9500 (was 2nd)
4. Christian, 9261 (was 3rd)
5. Connor, 7058 (was 6th)
6. Charles, 6955 (was 7th)
7. Cameron, 6809 (was 5th)
8. Colton, 6442
9. Chase, 5504
10. Cooper, 4843

D-Names

1. Daniel, 14140 baby boys
2. David, 12226
3. Dylan, 10058
4. Dominic, 6277
5. Damian, 3945
6. Declan, 3097 (was 7th)
7. Diego, 2905 (was 6th)
8. Derek, 1865 (was 9th)
9. Devin, 1828 (was 8th)
10. Damien, 1603

E-Names

1. Ethan, 16127 baby boys
2. Elijah, 13626
3. Eli, 7867
4. Evan, 7070
5. Easton, 4615
6. Elias, 3472 (was 7th)
7. Eric, 3233 (was 6th)
8. Ezra, 2708 (was 10th)
9. Edward, 2679 (was 8th)
10. Emmanuel, 2377 (was 9th)

F-Names

1. Francisco, 1688 baby boys
2. Finn, 1440 (was 3rd)
3. Fernando, 1424 (was 2nd)
4. Felix, 1171 (was 5th)
5. Fabian, 1091 (was 4th)
6. Frank, 996
7. Finnegan, 605
8. Finley, 562 (was 10th)
9. Frederick, 549
10. Franklin, 545 (was 8th)

G-Names

1. Gabriel, 11112 baby boys
2. Gavin, 7379
3. Grayson, 5500
4. Giovanni, 2964
5. Greyson, 2630 (was 9th)
6. George, 2522 (was 7th)
7. Grant, 2401 (was 6th)
8. Gael, 2296 (was 5th)
9. Gage, 2131 (was 8th)
10. Graham, 1876 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Garrett, now ranked 12th.

H-Names

1. Hunter, 8887 baby boys (was 2nd)
2. Henry, 8802 (was 1st)
3. Hudson, 4628
4. Hayden, 2933
5. Harrison, 2491
6. Hector, 1248
7. Holden, 1198
8. Hugo, 653
9. Hayes, 411 (was 13th)
10. Harvey, 399 (was 15th)

Hunter became the new #1 H-name in 2013.

Out of the top 10: Harley, now ranked 11th, and Harper, now 14th.

I-Names

1. Isaac, 10005 baby boys
2. Isaiah, 7754
3. Ian, 5374
4. Ivan, 2846
5. Iker, 1612
6. Israel, 1457
7. Ismael, 741
8. Izaiah, 634
9. Ibrahim, 631 (was 10th)
10. Issac, 585 (was 9th)

J-Names

1. Jacob, 17976 baby boys
2. Jayden, 14656
3. James, 13416
4. Jackson, 12488 (was 6th)
5. Joseph, 12095
6. Joshua, 11680 (was 4th)
7. John, 10588
8. Jack, 8506 (was 9th)
9. Jonathan, 8478 (was 8th)
10. Jaxon, 7479 (was 13th)

Out of the top 10: Jordan, now ranked 12th.

K-Names

1. Kevin, 5892 baby boys
2. Kayden, 4386
3. Kaiden, 3076 (was 6th)
4. Kaleb, 2833 (was 3rd)
5. Kaden, 2606
6. Kyle, 2563 (was 4th)
7. Kenneth, 2159
8. Kingston, 2114 (was 9th)
9. King, 2085 (was 11th)
10. Kai, 1956 (was 8th)

Out of the top 10: Keegan, now ranked 11th.

L-Names

1. Liam, 18002 baby boys
2. Logan, 12270
3. Lucas, 11451
4. Luke, 9497 (was 5th)
5. Landon, 8679 (was 4th)
6. Levi, 7339
7. Lincoln, 4010 (was 8th)
8. Luis, 3976 (was 7th)
9. Leo, 3473
10. Leonardo, 2891

M-Names

1. Mason, 17591 baby boys
2. Michael, 15366
3. Matthew, 13226
4. Micah, 3631
5. Maxwell, 3607 (was 7th)
6. Mateo, 3547 (was 9th)
7. Max, 3492 (was 5th)
8. Miles, 3385 (was 6th)
9. Miguel, 2874 (was 8th)
10. Marcus, 2497

N-Names

1. Noah, 18090 baby boys
2. Nathan, 9620
3. Nicholas, 7078
4. Nolan, 4715 (was 5th)
5. Nathaniel, 4461 (was 4th)
6. Nicolas, 2109
7. Nehemiah, 919
8. Noel, 774
9. Nash, 596 (was 10th)
10. Nico, 561 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Nikolas, now ranked 11th.

O-Names

1. Owen, 8702 baby boys
2. Oliver, 7209
3. Oscar, 2225
4. Omar, 1873
5. Orion, 743
6. Orlando, 465
7. Odin, 447
8. Otto, 338 (was 10th)
9. Omari, 318 (was 8th)
10. Oakley, 288 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Osvaldo, now ranked 11th.

P-Names

1. Parker, 5622 baby boys
2. Preston, 2636
3. Patrick, 2566
4. Paul, 2017 (was 5th)
5. Peter, 1833 (was 6th)
6. Peyton, 1833 (was 4th)
7. Paxton, 1346
8. Pedro, 922
9. Phillip, 858
10. Phoenix, 775 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Pablo, now ranked 13th.

Q-Names

1. Quinn, 875 baby boys
2. Quentin, 722
3. Quinton, 479
4. Quincy, 416
5. Quintin, 248
6. Quinten, 161
7. Quinlan, 59
8. Quade, 34 (was 15th)
9. Quadir, 32 (was 10th)
10. Quran, 31 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Quincey, now ranked 11th, and Quin, now 13th.

R-Names

1. Ryan, 9808 baby boys
2. Robert, 6641
3. Ryder, 3750
4. Roman, 2858 (was 6th)
5. Richard, 2770 (was 4th)
6. Riley, 2531 (was 5th)
7. Ryker, 2462 (was 8th)
8. Rylan, 1882 (was 7th)
9. Ricardo, 1421
10. Reid, 1364 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Raymond, now ranked 11th.

S-Names

1. Samuel, 10957 baby boys
2. Sebastian, 7495
3. Silas, 3367 (was 7th)
4. Sawyer, 3142 (was 6th)
5. Santiago, 3015 (was 4th)
6. Steven, 2850 (was 3rd)
7. Sean, 2180 (was 5th)
8. Simon, 1592 (was 12th)
9. Seth, 1578 (was 8th)
10. Spencer, 1440

Out of the top 10: Stephen, now ranked 11th.

T-Names

1. Thomas, 6708 baby boys (was 2nd)
2. Tyler, 6590 (was 1st)
3. Tristan, 3970
4. Timothy, 3016
5. Theodore, 2397 (was 7th)
6. Tucker, 2220
7. Tanner, 2029 (was 5th)
8. Travis, 1571 (was 9th)
9. Trevor, 1520 (was 8th)
10. Trenton, 1319

Thomas became the new #1 T-name in 2013.

U-Names

1. Uriel, 567 baby boys
2. Uriah, 488
3. Urijah, 298
4. Ulises, 270
5. Ulysses, 164
6. Umar, 94 (was 7th)
7. Unknown, 85 (was 6th) [not a name; used when a name is unknown]
8. Uziel, 77
9. Uzziah, 51 (was 10th)
10. Usman, 39 (was 15th)

Out of the top 10: Usher, now ranked 11th.

V-Names

1. Vincent, 3829 baby boys
2. Victor, 2715
3. Vihaan, 426
4. Valentino, 329 (was 6th)
5. Vicente, 317 (was 4th)
6. Vincenzo, 285 (was 5th)
7. Van, 252 (was 8th)
8. Vaughn, 247 (was 9th)
9. Vance, 244 (was 7th)
10. Valentin, 237

W-Names

1. William, 16495 baby boys
2. Wyatt, 8490
3. Wesley, 2819
4. Weston, 2473
5. Waylon, 1190
6. Walter, 930
7. Walker, 833
8. Warren, 577
9. Wade, 483
10. Winston, 390 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Wilson, now ranked 11th.

X-Names

1. Xavier, 4933 baby boys
2. Xander, 1687
3. Xzavier, 420
4. Xavi, 217
5. Xavion, 81
6. Xaiden, 76
7. Xavian, 63
8. Xavior, 55
9. Xayden, 53
10. Xzander, 43 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Xavien, now ranked 11th.

Y-Names

1. Yahir, 570 baby boys
2. Yusuf, 414
3. Yosef, 328
4. Yousef, 249 (was 5th)
5. Yael, 243 (was 4th)
6. Yair, 206 (was 10th)
7. Yadiel, 202 (was 8th)
8. Yisroel, 179 (was 9th)
9. Yehuda, 174 (was 6th)
10. Youssef, 173 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Yandel, now ranked 14th.

Z-Names

1. Zachary, 5685 baby boys
2. Zayden, 2097 (was 3rd)
3. Zane, 1719 (was 2nd)
4. Zander, 1586 (was 5th)
5. Zion, 1514 (was 4th)
6. Zaiden, 956
7. Zachariah, 744
8. Zayne, 576 (was 9th)
9. Zackary, 463 (was 8th)
10. Zain, 360 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Zechariah, now ranked 11th.

Here are the 2012 rankings, if you want to check them out.

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names

Baby Names Inspired by Canada – Barrie, Markham, Mattawa

Here are some place names in Ontario, Canada that have inspired a few baby names:

  • Barrie (city)
  • Kingston (city)
  • Markham (large town)
  • Mattawa (river)
  • Orillia (city)
  • Preston (formerly a town, now a community in Cambridge)
  • York (community in Toronto)

Source: Toronto Star (I’m pretty sure Marilyn told me about the article originally.)

Update – I’ve recently found another. In September of 2007, a baby girl named Georgian Lima Russell was born to Steve and Gilliane Russell. Her first name was inspired by Georgian Bay, which is part of Lake Huron. Georgian’s mother was born and raised near the Bay, and her parents were married there. Georgian’s middle name comes from the capital of Peru. (Source: ParentCentral.ca)