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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rae

Number of Babies Named Rae

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Rae

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.


Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

5 Curious Names – Darcy, Iyla, Manahil, Ruzgar, Tulisa

This is my last post on the 2013 England and Wales baby name list, I promise.

Here are five names from the list that made me curious enough to do some digging…


Darcy just keeps rising, doesn’t it? Wonder how high it will go. Two variants of the name are now in the top 100, and a third is just three spots away:

  • Darcey (651 baby girls) – ranks 84th
  • Darcy (588) – ranks 93rd
  • Darcie (540) – ranks 103rd

Lower down on the list there are 22 more variants (I’m including compound names here):

  • Darci (56), D’arcy (11), Darcee (9)
  • Darcie-Mae (22), Darcy-Mae (13), Darcie-Mai (11), Darcy-May (9), Darcie-May (7), Darcey-Mai (5), Darcey-Mae (4), Darcey-May (3), Darci-Mae (3)
  • Darcie-Rae (12), Darcey-Rae (3), Darcy-Rae (3)
  • Darcy-Leigh (9), Darcie-Leigh (8), Darcey-Leigh (4)
  • Darcey-Rose (6), Darcie-Rose (6), Darcy-Rose (3)
  • Darcie-Louise (3)

In total, 1,989 baby girls share these 25 versions of Darcy. If we could rank the entire group, it would fall between #24 Phoebe and #25 Millie on the 2013 list.

As Lou of Mer de Noms noted in a post about female names on the rise, dancer Darcey Bussell became a judge on the TV show Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. This explains why Darcey overtook the more traditional spelling Darcy that year.

And the name is still being used for boys, at least for now. Last year, more than 2 dozen baby boys were named Darcy.


The 5th most popular girl name in England and Wales right now is Isla, which is pronounced EYE-la. The –s– is silent, the same way the –s– is silent in the word “isle.”

But more and more parents are opting to simplify the name by respelling it Iyla. Watch how the number of baby girls named Iyla has been rising in the shadow of skyrocketing Isla:

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Isla 964 1,599 1,908 2,384 2,849 3,501 3,526
Iyla 9 22 33 46 72 118 137

I doubt Iyla will ever overtake the traditional version of the name, but you never know, alternative spellings sometimes catch on. Darcey is now ahead of Darcy, after all, and Zoey has been more popular than Zoe here in the U.S. since 2011.


Last year, two variants of this name entered the girls’ top 1,000 for the first time:

  • Manahil (52 baby girls) – ranks 750th
  • Minahil (47) – ranks 813th
  • Menahil (4)

And I found a fourth variant, Minaahil, on the list from 2012.

Manahil is an Arabic name that means “springs, fountains.” It’s the plural form of the word Manhal.


Ruzgar, given to 20 baby boys last year, comes from the Turkish word rüzgâr, meaning “wind.” You can hear the proper pronunciation of Rüzgâr at Forvo.


Usage of the name Tulisa plummeted last year, but that’s only part of the story. The name also increased in popularity markedly from 2009 to 2012:

  • 2013: 33 baby girls named Tulisa [out of the top 1,000 again]
  • 2012: 126 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 375th]
  • 2011: 86 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 494th]
  • 2010: 34 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 988th]
  • 2009: 6 baby girls named Tulisa [debut]
  • 2008: unlisted

What accounts for the steep rise and the even steeper drop?

English singer and television personality Tulisa (born Tula Paulinea Contostavlos). She became famous as a member of the hip hop group N-Dubz (2000-2011) and was a judge on the TV show The X Factor (2011-2012).

But 2013 was not a good year for Tulisa. First, she left television. Second, she was arrested on drug charges. These two things were enough to knock the baby name Tulisa out of the top 1,000.

Though the stage name is pronounced tu-lee-sa, her name was originally pronounced tu-litz-a and was used to distinguish her from her grandmother (and namesake) Tula. The Greek name Tula/Toula is a short form of any Greek feminine name ending with the diminutive –toula such as Aretoula, Fotoula, Kostoula, Kritoula, Margaritoula, Panagiotoula or Stamatoula.


Have you had a chance to scan the list? Which of the baby names there made you curious?


  • Gandhi, Maneka, and Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2004.
  • Smith, Sean. Tulisa. London: Simon & Schuster UK, 2012.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2012!

Britney Spears - Pop Culture Baby Name Game MascotHappy Birthday, Britney Spears!

And you guys know what happens every year on Brit’s birthday…we kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Which baby names have become more popular in 2012, thanks to popular culture?

We won’t have definitive answers until the SSA releases its next batch of data (in mid-2013). But 2012 is almost over, so we have all the information we need to start making guesses.

Some possibilities I’ve already blogged about:

Plus a few I forgot to blog about:

  • Blue, Ivy – Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter Blue Ivy, born way back in January. (Only 7 girls and 11 boys were named Blue in 2011. I have a feeling both of these numbers will be going up.)
  • Maxwell (for a girl) – Jessica Simpson’s daughter Maxwell, born in May.
  • Mitt, Romney – Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney

Want to play? Leave a comment with your name predictions and the pop culture event(s) you think gave those names a boost this year.

UPDATE, May 2013: Here are the results!

Will Babies Be Named for Carly Rae, Maybe?

By now we’ve all heard Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” (Just in case, here’s the video.)

The song has hit #1 on the pop charts in the U.S. and a number of other countries. Currently it’s the second-best selling single of 2012 after “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye.

But the pop charts don’t interest me as much as the baby name charts.

The name Carly entered the top 1,000 in 1973 thanks to another singer, Carly Simon. It peaked in the ’90s. Since then, it’s been sinking:

  • 2011: 1,264 babies named Carly
  • 2010: 1,435 babies named Carly
  • 2009: 1,506 babies named Carly
  • 2008: 1,682 babies named Carly

Based on records I’ve seen, at least a couple hundred of the babies named Carly since the ’70s were given the middle name Rae.

Do you think Carly Rae Jepsen will make the name Carly (and/or the combo Carly Rae) more popular in 2012?

Baby Named for Princess Zelda

zeldaA few months ago, Nintendo released Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a remake of the original Ocarina of Time from 1998.

Who did they feature in the commercials for the new Ocarina? None other than Robin Williams, who named his daughter, Zelda, for Princess Zelda from the series. (Zelda Williams was in the commercial, too.)

Here are the commercials: Zelda Ad #1 and Zelda Ad #2.

Robin bought his first Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and became “completely immersed.” “When my wife was pregnant, my son Zachary mentioned that Zelda would be the perfect name for his new little sister.” Robin and his wife agreed, so when the baby girl was born on 31 July 1989, she was named Zelda Rae.

Here’s Robin and Zelda discussing her name [another vid].

Were other parents inspired to use the name Zelda as well around this time? Perhaps a few, though the numbers stay fairly flat:

  • 1985: 13 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1986: 16 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1987: 12 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1988: 17 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1989: 19 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1990: 18 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1991: 22 baby girls named Zelda

How was Princess Zelda named? Game creator Shigeru Miyamoto explains: “Zelda was the name of the wife of the famous novelist Francis Scott Fitzgerald. She was a famous and beautiful woman from all accounts, and I liked the sound of her name. So I took the liberty of using her name for the very first Zelda title.”

[On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a fews ago, Robin stated that his son Cody is also named for a video game character, but didn’t mention which game/character. My guess would be Cody from Final Fight.]

Sources: In the Game: Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, Ocarina of Time 3D Commercial Stars Robin Williams, Robin Williams and Daughter Pitch Video Game She Was Named After