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

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

Baby Name Needed – Name Dilemma for Callie Rae

A reader named Kelsey writes:

I’m having my little girl Callie in October. Her last name will either be Perrin or McCann. I already have the middle name Rae picked out, but I’d love a second one because I feel a second one would sound better. Names starting with “A” sound best but unfortunately it would make her initials spell CRAP or CRAM or even CRAMP if we give her both last names. What last name do you think would sound best & what second middle names do you suggest (if any)?

Please, please avoid the initials CRAP, CRAM, CRAMP, and CRAPM at all costs. Initials like that may adversely affect Callie’s self-esteem. Definitely not worth it.

Because surnames are far more important than middle names, I’d suggest settling on a surname before trying to tackle anything else. I love the spunky sound of “Callie McCann,” but, ideally, a surname should be chosen not for sound but for how well it symbolizes the family.

Once the surname is known, figuring out what to do about the middle name(s) will be a lot easier.

I like “Callie Rae” as-is, but I feel like Rae isn’t working for Kelsey on some level. One way to fix this would be to add a second middle, but another way would be to look for an alternative to Rae — perhaps something a bit longer. How about names that contain the sound of Rae, such as:


But if Rae is non-negotiable, I think I would try for a second middle that starts with consonant. (I wouldn’t want the full set of initials to resemble any sort of word, just in case!) Here are a few ideas:


What other ideas/suggestions do you have for Kelsey?

One-Syllable Girl Names – Bree, Hope, Jill, Paige, Tess

Want a baby name that’s short & sweet? Here are over 100 one-syllable girl names:

Anne, Ann
Blair, Blaire
Blake, Blayke
Bree, Brie
Brooke, Brook
Brynn, Bryn, Brynne
Claire, Clare, Clair
Drew, Dru
Faith, Fayth
Faye, Fay, Fae
Gail, Gayle, Gale
Grace, Grayce
Jade, Jayde, Jaide
Jane, Jayne
Jean, Jeanne
Jen, Jenn
Joy, Joi, Joie
Kay, Kaye
Laine, Lane, Layne
Leigh, Lee
Lynn, Lynne, Lyn
Mae, May
Maude, Maud
Nelle, Nell
Neve, Niamh
Noor, Nour
Paige, Payge
Reece, Reese
Rayne, Rain, Raine
Sage, Saige
Shea, Shae, Shay
Skye, Sky
Sloane, Sloan
Star, Starr
True, Tru

See any you like?

P.S. Here are the most popular 1-syllable girl names of 2012, 2011 and 2010.