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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Prodigy

Number of Babies Named Prodigy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Prodigy

What’s Wrong with U? (7 Usable U-Names)

u names, ursa, upton, upson, umber, ukiah, unity, union

What’s wrong with U?

No, I don’t mean you. I mean the letter U.

If 1 is the loneliest number, then U is definitely the loneliest letter. Because, ever since I started looking at first letter frequency in baby names, U has always been the least-used.

Currently just four U-names are in in the boys’ top 1,000, and exactly zero are in the girls’ top 1,000. And those four boy names — Uriel, Uriah, Ulises, and Urijah — make up a sizable chunk of what little U-usage there happens to be.

Does this anti-U trend signify something about modern society, do you think?

We’re more individualistic than ever before — some say more narcissistic. And we do see this individualism reflected in the rise of unusual names, particularly ones that glorify the self, like Amazing, Awesome, Celebrity, Epic, Famous, Gorgeous, Handsome, King, Messiah, President, and Prodigy.

So is this individualism also being reflected in first the letters/sounds we choose? After all, a handful of I-names (Isabella/Isabelle/Isabel, Isla, Isaac, Isaiah) have become prominent lately. So have a pair of “me” names (Mia, Mila).

Meanwhile, the humble U remains at the bottom of the heap. Is it because no one wants to open a name with a letter that reminds them of “you”?

Hm…

If you’re interested in giving U-names a boost, here are 7 under-the-radar options to consider:

Ursa

We’re all familiar with Ursula. She’s a sea-witch, a Bond girl, and a Catholic saint. In other words, Ursula has some strong associations.

Not so with Ursa, the word upon which Ursula was based. Ursa doesn’t have any strong human/character associations — just a couple of celestial ones: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.

Ursa is based on the Latin word ursus, meaning “bear.” (Bear is itself a trendy choice among celebs these days.) And even though four-letter, vowel-bounded girl names (like Emma, Ella, Aria, Isla, Ayla, and Elsa) are trendy right now, Ursa remains rare.

Upton & Upson

Many toponymic surnames — from Milton and Clifton 100 years ago to Easton and Ashton today — have gone on to become popular baby names. But not Upton and Upson, which are uncommon despite their optimistic sound (up!).

The surnames stem from any of several similar place names that, in most cases, can be traced back to a pair of Old English words meaning “upper, above” (in terms of either altitude or status) and “farm, settlement.”

The most famous Upton was muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair, whose best-known work, a 1906 exposé of the meatpacking industry called The Jungle, led to the passage of both the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act (which, eventually, gave rise to the FDA).

Umber

We all know an Amber. Maybe even an Ember. But how many of us know an Umber? Probably not many of us, as the name is so rare that it’s only appeared in the SSA data one time (in 1995, when 5 baby girls were named Umber).

You know how ombre hair color is fashionable right now? The words ombre and umber are related — both can be traced back to the Latin word umbra, meaning “shadow.”

Along with Ochre and Sienna, Umber is an “earth pigment” — a naturally occurring mineral used by humans since prehistoric times (i.e., for coloring cave walls, clothing, tools, even skin). The color ranges from brown to reddish-brown. Many famous historical artists, including Caravaggio and Rembrandt, used umber in their paintings.

Ukiah

(yoo-KYE-uh)

Uriah is a Biblical name. So are Josiah, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Obadiah, and many other names with that telltale “-iah” ending. Sounds like Ukiah should be part of this group, right? But it isn’t.

Ukiah is the name of a place in California. It’s based on Yokaya, which comes from Rancho Yokaya — the name of the mid-19th century Mexican land grant that encompassed what is now the Ukiah Valley. The word yokaya means “south valley” in the language of the Pomo people, the original inhabitants of the region.

In 1973, the California-based band The Doobie Brothers released a song about Ukiah.

Though Ukiah has always been rare as a baby name, usage has picked up slightly since the turn of the century.

Unity & Union

Unique is the most self-focused U-name I’m aware of. And now that thousands of people have been named Unique, well, the name just isn’t very unique anymore.

Want to really stand out in the world of baby names today? Choose a name that emphasizes the oneness of the whole as opposed to the oneness of the self.

The names Unity and Union could be seen as opposites of the name Unique. And yet all three are ultimately derived from the same Latin word: unus, meaning “one.”

Unity is given to a couple dozen baby girls per year these days, but Union hasn’t appeared in the SSA data since the 1920s.

*

Do you like any of the U-names above? What other U-names would you recommend?

Sources: Upston – Surname DB, Ukiah, California – Wikipedia


Overconfident Baby Names

Overconfident baby names like Classy, Epic, Majestic, Handsome and Einstein.

Overconfident Baby Names

The ones I’ve blogged about so far are Envy, Foxy, Suave and Unique.

Here are some of the baby names that didn’t make the cut: Aristotle, Artist, Boss, Brave, Couture, Czar, Dandy, Emperor, Fancy, Fantasy, Great, Hercules, Legacy, Ninja, Peerless, Pride, Pristine, Ritzy, Romeo, Royalty, Sassy.

If you know anyone who appreciates baby name humor, please share!

See also: Embarrassing Baby Names.

Could Selfie Become a Baby Name?

Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep Selfie
Meryl Streep and Hillary Rodham Clinton selfie
(Photo by Ron Sachs – Pool/Getty Images)
Selfie was declared the 2013 Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries back on November 19.

Why? Because the word selfie, which was coined in 2002, became extremely popular in 2013. According to the Oxford Dictionaries press release, “the frequency of the word selfie in the English language has increased by 17,000% since this time last year.”

This makes me wonder…did any parents name their babies Selfie in 2013?

Now, technically, the name Selfie already exists (e.g., Selfie Lee Borom, Selfie M. Moore). But all of the people I’ve found so far named Selfie were born long before the modern term selfie emerged.

Personally, I think there’s a decent chance that a baby or two got the name Selfie last year.

After all, Selfie sounds a lot like the stylish baby names Sophie (currently ranked 52nd) and Sofie (996th).

And, while a lot of people would be turned off by the explicit narcissism of the word, I’m sure others would not be bothered by it. How else could baby names like Awesome, Einstein, Epic, Goddess, Greatness and Prodigy have come to exist?

Would selfie make a good baby name?

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Do you think there’s a chance Selfie could debut on the SSA’s baby name list in 2013?

(For a name to appear on the national list, it needs to be given to at least 5 babies of either gender during a single calendar year.)

Source: Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013