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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Prince

Number of Babies Named Prince

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Prince

Popular Baby Names in South Africa, 2015

According to data released last October by Statistics South Africa, the most popular baby names in the country in 2015 were Precious and Junior.

Here are South Africa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Precious, 6,598 baby girls
2. Princess, 4,762
3. Angel, 4,684
4. Amahle, 3,998
5. Minenhle, 3,347
6. Thandolwethu, 3,204
7. Melokuhle, 2,997
8. Blessing, 2,919
9. Faith, 2,906
10. Lesedi, 2,851

Boy Names
1. Junior, 10,743 baby boys
2. Blessing, 5,819
3. Gift, 4,898
4. Bandile, 4,078
5. Prince, 3,721
6. Siyabonga, 3,713
7. Melokuhle, 3,513
8. Lethabo, 3,280
9. Banele, 2,864
10. Samkelo, 2,748

The new #1 girl name, Precious, is also new to the top 10. (It replaces former #1 Iminathi, which dropped out of the top 10.) The top boy name is still the placeholder name Junior.

Most of the names above are brand new to the rankings, which is a bit suspicious. But I’m inclined to think that these 2015 rankings are more trustworthy than the 2014 rankings, as the raw numbers are much higher this time around.

At least five of the names above are from the isiZulu language. Here’s what they mean:

  • Amahle means “the beautiful ones”
  • Bandile means “they have extended in number”
  • Minenhle means “good/lovely day”
  • Siyabonga means “we are grateful”
  • Thandolwethu means “our love”

Sources: Most popular baby names in South Africa revealed, Top 10 most popular baby names for boys and girls in South Africa, Naming in Zulu – African Studies Center (Penn)


Names in the News: Wrigley, Donald, Vaibhavi

Three recent baby name stories from the news:

  • Wrigley: The first Chicago-area baby born in 2017 was a baby girl with a Chicago Cubs-inspired name: Wrigley Rose. She arrived 12 minutes after midnight.
  • Donald Trump: In August of 2016, a baby boy born in Kisumu, Kenya, was named Donald Trump after the U.S. presidential nominee (now president-elect). His older brothers are Robert Kelly (after an American comedian) and Prince Charles.
  • Vaibhavi: In August of 2016, a baby girl born in Uttar Pradesh, India, was named Vaibhavi upon the suggestion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The baby’s mother had written to Modi asking for a name, and Modi telephoned a week later to recommend Vaibhavi, as it contained letters from the names of both parents, Bharat and Vibha.

In December, Narendra Modi indirectly named a baby Khazanchi, or “treasurer.”

Sources: Little Wrigley among suburbs’ first 2017 babies, Kisumu Couple Names Baby Donald Trump and the Internet Can’t Cope, Young UP couple become celebrity of sorts after PM Modi names their daughter

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2016

pop culture baby name game, 2016

It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.

Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.

  • Addison – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Adonis – movie Creed (suggested by Becca)
  • Ajax – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Alessia – singer Alessia Cara (suggested by Ebony)
  • Ali – death of Muhammad Ali
  • Angel (f) – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Angel Dust – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Aroldis – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Auli’i – movie Moana
  • Barron – son of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by Andrea)
  • Bebe – singer Bleta “Bebe” Rexha (suggested by Ebony)
  • Bernie – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (suggested by elbowin)
  • Bison – new national mammal & Dakota Access pipeline protests
  • Boomer – son of Michael Phelps
  • Bowie – musician David Bowie
  • Broncs – son of Mackenzie McKee (late suggestion by me)
  • Camila – singer Camila Cabello (suggested by Ebony)
  • Canaan – son of Oprah Winfrey
  • Clark – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cohen – death of Leonard Cohen
  • Creed – movie Creed (suggested by Julie and Becca)
  • Cub – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cubby – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cyrus – TV miniseries Roots
  • Curiosity – Mars rover (suggested by elbowin)
  • Daya – singer Daya (suggested by Ebony)
  • Dexter – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Dopinder – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Doris – movie Hello, My Name Is Doris
  • Dory – movie Finding Dory (suggested by Randi)
  • Dream – latest Kardashian baby (late suggestion by me)
  • Eleven – TV show Stranger Things (late suggestion by me)
  • Elle – singer Elle King (suggested by Ebony)
  • Emayatzy – TV miniseries Roots
  • E’myri – TV miniseries Roots
  • Esperanto – number of speakers (suggested by elbowin)
  • Francis – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Greyson – son of JWoww
  • Halsey – singer Halsey (suggested by Ebony)
  • Hamilton – musical Hamilton
  • Harriet – Harriet Tubman, chosen to appear on $20 bill
  • Hillary – presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
  • Ingwen – Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan (suggested by elbowin)
  • Ivanka – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Jikan – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
  • Jonbenet – anniversary of the death of JonBenet Ramsey
  • Juno – NASA space probe
  • Jupiter – NASA space probe
  • Lorca – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
  • Luna – daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
  • Keanu – Key & Peele movie Keanu
  • Kizzy – TV miniseries Roots
  • Kunta – TV miniseries Roots
  • Lyanna – TV show Game of Thrones
  • Maga – Trump hashtag #MAGA (late suggestion by me)
  • Malachi – TV miniseries Roots
  • Melania – wife of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Maui – movie Moana
  • Moana – movie Moana
  • Monica – Puerto Rican Olympian Monica Puig (I’m curious about the rankings in Puerto Rico specifically; Monica fell out of the top 100 in PR after 2002.)
  • Mountain – daughter of actress Jena Malone
  • Moushumi – TV show The Voice (late suggestion by me)
  • Mowgli – movie The Jungle Book
  • Muhammad – death of Muhammad Ali
  • Murray – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Ode – daughter of actress Jena Malone
  • Omran – Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh
  • Onyx – daughter of Alanis Morissette
  • Phiona – movie Queen of Katwe
  • Paisley – death of Prince
  • Prince – death of Prince (suggested by elbowin)
  • Queen – TV show Queen Sugar & movie Queen of Katwe
  • Regé-Jean – TV miniseries Roots
  • Rihanna – singer Rihanna (suggested by Ebony)
  • Rio – location of the 2016 Summer Olympics
  • Rykiel – death of Sonia Rykiel (suggested by elbowin)
  • Sanders – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
  • Simone – gymnast Simone Biles & daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
  • Solace – daughter of Alanis Morissette
  • Sully – movie Sully
  • Teresa – canonization of Mother Teresa
  • Tiffany – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Trump – president-elect Donald Trump
  • Tulip – movie Storks
  • Valor – son of JWoww
  • Vanessa – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Wade – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Wilder – death of Gene Wilder (suggested by m4yb3_daijirou)
  • Wilson – TV show Deadpool (suggested by Elizabeth)
  • Wrigley – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Zephyr – U.S. House of Rep. (NY) candidate Zephyr Teachout, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. (She was born in Washington state, where Zephyr is particularly popular.)
  • Zobrist – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series

I’ll post the results next May, when the SSA releases the 2016 baby name data. If you don’t want to miss the results post, please subscribe!

Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011: #1 & #2, 2010.

100 Years Ago, Were Black Names Beneficial?

© Cook, Logan, and Parman
© Cook, Logan, and Parman

In generations past, was it advantageous for a black man to have a distinctively black name?

Yes, according to a study published recently in the journal Explorations in Economic History.

Researchers Lisa D. Cook, Trevon D. Logan, and John M. Parmanc analyzed over 3 million death certificates from Alabama, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina from 1802 to 1970. They looked specifically at the life expectancy of men with the following distinctively black names:

  • Abe, Abraham
  • Alonzo
  • Ambrose
  • Booker
  • Elijah
  • Freeman
  • Isaac
  • Isaiah
  • Israel
  • King
  • Master
  • Moses
  • Percy
  • Perlie, Purlie, Pearlie
  • Presley, Presly
  • Prince
  • Titus

What did they find?

That black men with these names lived more than a full year longer (on average) than other black men. In fact, according to the abstract, “[a]s much as 10% of the historical between-race mortality gap would have been closed if every black man was given a black name.”

So what’s behind this beneficial effect?

It’s hard to say, but Lisa D. Cook believes that the black men with Biblical names specifically could have been “held to a higher standard in academic and other activities […] and had stronger family, church or community ties,” and that this could have played a part in their relative longevity.

Studies of modern black names, in contrast, regularly find that such names are a hindrance in the workplace, in academia, etc. My most recent post about this is: Men with “Black” Names Seen as Aggressive, Low Status.

Sources: What’s in a name? In some cases, longer life, The mortality consequences of distinctively black names (abstract)

Baby Names Inspired by Prince

prince album controversy cover
Prince’s 1981 album Controversy

I recently read something about Prince and Apollonia, and it reminded me I hadn’t yet blogged about Prince and Apollonia. So here we go…

Prince

Prince — his real first name — was born in Minnesota in 1958. His full legal name is Prince Rogers Nelson. The “Prince Rogers” part comes from his father, who was a jazz musician with the stage name Prince Rogers (real name: John Nelson).

Prince’s albums started coming out in the late ’70s: For You (1978), Prince (1979), Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and so forth.

Did Prince’s musical career affect the usage of the baby name Prince?

Yes:

  • 1986: 150 baby boys named Prince
  • 1985: 195 baby boys named Prince
  • 1984: 206 baby boys named Prince
  • 1983: 167 baby boys named Prince
  • 1982: 137 baby boys named Prince
  • 1981: 146 baby boys named Prince
  • 1980: 131 baby boys named Prince
  • 1979: 92 baby boys named Prince
  • 1978: 73 baby boys named Prince
  • 1977: 59 baby boys named Prince
  • 1976: 65 baby boys named Prince

Usage of the name Prince, which had been relatively steady for decades, started to rise right away. It hit a high point in 1984, the year Purple Rain (both the album and the movie) came out. After that, usage declined. (Perhaps Prince had become a little too famous at that point?)

Apollonia

Speaking of Purple Rain the movie…it earned Prince’s co-star Apollonia Kotero (born Patricia Apollonia Kotero) a Razzie nomination for “Worst New Star” in 1984.

Apollonia was part of a girl group, Apollonia 6, that Prince had put together. (Their one single, “Sex Shooter,” was also featured in Purple Rain and nominated for a Razzie.)

Did Apollonia influence the usage of the baby name Apollonia?

Yes:

  • 1988: 15 baby girls named Apollonia
  • 1987: 29 baby girls named Apollonia
  • 1986: 53 baby girls named Apollonia
  • 1985: 67 baby girls named Apollonia
  • 1984: 28 baby girls named Apollonia
  • 1983: unlisted

The name had charted a few times before, back in the early 1900s, but Prince’s protégé Apollonia put it back on the map in 1984. She also gave variants Apolonia and Appollonia a boost.

Vanity

Speaking of girl groups with the number 6 in their names…Vanity 6 was another female trio put together by Prince. It was nearly the same as Apollonia 6, but had a different lead singer: Denise Katrina “Vanity” Matthews.

Vanity left the band in 1983 after just 2 years, but continued putting out music as a solo artist during the ’80s.

Did Vanity influence the usage of the baby name Vanity?

Yes:

  • 1989: 102 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1988: 116 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1987: 89 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1986: 76 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1985: 103 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1984: 45 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1983: 56 baby girls named Vanity
  • 1982: 5 baby girls named Vanity [debut]
  • 1981: unlisted

Vanity debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1982 and its peak year was 1988.

Camille

Did you know Prince had a female alter-ego named “Camille” for a time?

In fact, Camille was going to be the name of a 1986 album by his alter-ego Camille, but the project was scrapped. (The songs were going to be sung with altered vocals.)

If the album Camille had come out that year, though, what affect do you think it would have had on the trajectory of the baby name Camille?

Rejected Baby Names in Victoria, Australia

We know what Victoria’s most popular baby names were last year, but what about the names that got rejected?

The Australian state gave a thumbs down to the following in 2013:

  • Anarchy
  • Fireman Sam (a Welsh cartoon character)
  • Honest Mary
  • Glory Hallelujah New Covernant (sic)
  • Lord
  • Prince
  • Princess
  • Princess Diana
  • Tit
  • Wonderful Beautiful

Among the odd-but-approved baby names? Jazz, Pepper, Reef and Texan.

(Tit reminds me of Atit, which is a one-hit wonder on the U.S. list.)

Source: Royalty and religion among Victoria’s banned baby names

Popular and Unique Names in Alberta, 2011

I saw a lot of news last week about baby names in Alberta, Canada. The news didn’t focus on the Alberta’s most popular names of 2011, which happen to be these:

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Liam
2. Ethan
3. Mason
4. Lucas
5. Jacob
6. Benjamin
7. Alexander
8. Noah
9. William
10. Logan
1. Olivia
2. Sophia
3. Emma
4. Emily
5. Ava
6. Chloe
7. Abigail
8. Lily
9. Brooklyn
10. Sophie

…but on Alberta’s unique names, which is something that I’ve been writing about for years (literally: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).

The official list of Albertan baby names isn’t ready yet, but preliminary data is available via the Edmonton Journal. Here are some oddball names I spotted on the Journal’s list:

Boy Names Girl Names
Crevance, Dawnwalker, Dybry, Flourish, Goliath, Jheizzller, Knowledge-Tree*, Lefarius, Llord-Xedric, Madrid, Matt-Dainon, Moo, Moxon, Nzoputa, Princelife, Pure, Spyder, Mskr, Tata-peh, Wanderingspirit, Wisherlee, Vedder April-May, Chaz-a-rae, Cupid, Dayleigh, Dazzelyn, Duffni, Eirachloe, Evolet, Glennizelle, Gobza, Laker-Lynn, Mississippi, Nomalisa, Phetlunda, Psanatcsakor, Q’Tyyr’N, Rainejewelle, Sheamus, Starr-shine, Thespina, Thipphaphone, Vylet, Xyza, Zxyvian

*I’m guessing at the last letter; I think it was cut off.

Many of the news articles also claimed that baby names in Alberta had been inspired by royals William and Kate, who visited Canada last July. This could be true — there were a few more Princes and Dukes than usual in 2011:

  • 2011: 199 Williams, 50 Kates, 8 Princes, 6 Princesses, 9 Dukes, 0 Duchesses
  • 2010: 184 Williams, 44 Kates, 5 Princes, 5 Princesses, 0 Dukes, 0 Duchesses
  • 2009: 198 Williams, 67 Kates, 5 Princes, 2 Princesses, 2 Dukes, 0 Duchesses
  • 2008: 178 Williams, 68 Kates, 4 Princes, 0 Princesses, 3 Dukes, 0 Duchesses
  • 2007: 185 Williams, 67 Kates, 5 Princes, 1 Princess, 3 Dukes, 0 Duchesses

The names Kate and William didn’t move too much, though.