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

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 Rafferty

Number of Babies Named Rafferty

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Rafferty

Five-Name Friday: Boy Name Like Fraser, Rafferty

five name friday, boy name

You’re on the subway. The car is nearly empty, but across from you is a friendly woman who happens to be pregnant, and the two of you strike up a conversation. After a few minutes she starts gathering up her belongings — she has to get off at the next stop. While she does this she mentions that she and her spouse still can’t think of a name for their son. Then she tells you the gist of what they’re looking for:

We like names like Fraser, Keating, Rafferty, and Spencer. Would love suggestions for something similar — all that go with the last name Chen!

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name lover, and you could potentially give her dozens of suggestions. But the train is already slowing down, so you only have time to give her five baby name suggestions before the doors open.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with (which is what you’d be forced to do in real life) you get to press a magical “pause” button, brainstorm for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer her the best five names you can think of.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger on the subway?
  • Five names only! All names beyond the first five in your comment will be either deleted or replaced with nonsense words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

We like names like Fraser, Keating, Rafferty, and Spencer. Would love suggestions for something similar — all that go with the last name Chen!

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]

Name Quotes for the Weekend #40

Sting quote: Your parents name you, but they haven’t a clue who you are. Your friends nickname you because they know exactly who you are.

From a list of quotes by the musician Sting (a.k.a. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner):

Your parents name you, but they haven’t a clue who you are. Your friends nickname you because they know exactly who you are.

From a post about black names vs. white names at the blog Baby Making Machine:

My name is Jennifer. My siblings: Heather, Michael, Lauren, Kimberly. None of them are stereotypical names you’d hear on the Top 60 Ghetto Black Names list. They are, however, found in the most popular names of the year list. I didn’t want my daughter’s name on either. My mother’s reasoning for her decision was different than mine. She would say “do you want to get a job?” Which sounds harsh but some research shows “black-sounding” names on resumes don’t do as well next to the same resume holding a “white-sounding” names.

From a post called “Save Our Susans and Protect The Peter: The Ridiculous World of “Endangered” Names” at the blog Waltzing More Than Matilda:

If a name isn’t used much any more, no great calamity will result. Brangien and Althalos have been rarely used since the Middle Ages, but nobody has suffered as a result of Brangien deficiency, and no awful disaster has ensued from the loss of Althalos.

Furthermore, if we decided we’d like to see more of a particular name which has gone out of use, it costs no money or effort to bring it back. You simply slap the name onto your child’s birth certificate, and hey presto – you’ve got yourself a rare and beautiful specimen of an Althalos.

As long as we still know of a name’s existence from books and records, it is a potential baby name, no matter how many centuries or even millennia since it was last used.

From an article about Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) in NYC newspaper The Villager:

There is hardly an account of Greenwich Village in the ’20s in which she does not prominently figure. Yet her roots in the neighborhood preceded even her fame. The poet’s unusual middle name came from St. Vincent’s Hospital on 12th St. Millay’s uncle was nursed back to health there after a sailing accident, and her mother wished to show her gratitude by naming her first-born child after the place.

From an article called “Baby Names Can’t Be Stolen–but It’s Not Surprising That Some Parents Think They Can” in Slate:

This belief [in baby-name stealing] is ridiculous–after all, liking a name doesn’t give you ownership over it, and sharing a name with a friend or relative is, at worst, a mild nuisance. But the idea that names shouldn’t be stolen is not surprising. Over the past hundred years, naming has increasingly become an act of self-expression for parents, a way to assert their individuality rather than a sense of belonging in their community. With our names and selves so thoroughly intertwined, it stands to reason that parents would become increasingly protective of their children’s names.


As with so much of contemporary parenting, the drama surrounding name-stealing is ultimately more about the threat it poses to parent’s identities than their children’s. In practical terms, no child will be harmed by having the same name as a classmate or cousin. … Far more punishing than having the same name as another child is growing up in an environment where names are considered personal property and friendships end when someone “steals” one.

Jimmy Wales, in response to the Quora question: Is the name “Jimmy” unsuitable for an adult?

Interestingly, my actual name is Jimmy. Not James. I used to wonder the same thing, but decided – hey, I’m from Alabama, so people can get over themselves.

It has not seemed to hurt my career in any way, and may have helped as it (correctly, as it turns out) signals to people that I’m not stuffy.

From an article called “How baby names got so weird” in The Spectator:

Naming your child was once simple: you picked from the same handful of options everyone else used. But modern parents want exclusivity. And so boys are called Rollo, Emilio, Rafferty and Grey. Their sisters answer to Aurelia, Bartolomea, Ptarmigan or Plum. Throw in a few middle names and the average birth certificate looks like an earthquake under a Scrabble board.


They’ve forgotten about ‘eccentric sheep’ syndrome.

This is the process, identified by social anthropologist Kate Fox in her book Watching the English, whereby something meant as ‘evidence of our eccentricity and originality’ ends up as ‘conformist, conservative rule-following’. Fox applied it to clothes, but the same thing is happening with names. In an attempt to make their children stand out, parents are only helping them to blend in. When everyone’s a Marni or an Autumn or a Sky, the rebellion has nothing to register against.

(Incidentally, here’s a Ptarmigan.)

From an article about Medieval Pet Names at

In England we find dogs that were named Sturdy, Whitefoot, Hardy, Jakke, Bo and Terri. Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of King Henry VIII, had a dog named Purkoy, who got its name from the French ‘pourquoi’ because it was very inquisitive.

Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles/blog posts lately? Let me know!

Danger Is My Baby’s Middle Name

Danger - Baby's Middle Name

A pair of real-life “Danger is my middle name” babies have been featured in the news lately:

  • Rafferty Basil Danger Wills, born in January to Felicity and Sam Wills of England.
  • Stephen Danger James, born in January to Telita and Dean James of Australia.

But these aren’t the first dangerously named babies to make headlines. Here are some earlier examples:

  • Nash Edward Danger Gray, born in 2011 to Jon and Ruth Gray of Nevada.
  • Bodhi Danger Huxhagen, born in 2011 to Rowan and Belinda Huxhagen of Australia.
  • Billie Danger Lampard (girl) and Ridley Danger Lampard (boy), twins, born in 2010 to Amy and Glenn Lampard of Australia.
  • Radley Danger Chapple, born circa 2008 to Peppa and John Chapple of California.
  • Maxwell Danger Rogers, born in 2006 to Chloe Maxwell and Mat Rogers of Australia.
  • Broderick Danger Scott, born in 2006 to Sarah Wilner and Kevin Scott of California.
  • Jakob Danger Armstrong, born in 1998 to Adrienne and Billie Joe Armstrong of California.

And I’ve come across a few other examples that never made the news.

So, just how common is the middle name Danger?

The SSA doesn’t publish middle name data, so there’s no official set of numbers we can look at. Fellow baby name blogger Laura Wattenberg claimed last year that Danger was a “really popular middle name for boys right now.” I disagree — Danger is still uncommon/bizarre enough to be newsworthy, after all — but it does look like Danger has been picking up steam lately.

Would you ever consider (I mean seriously consider) giving your baby the middle name Danger?

Sources: Billie and Ridley Lampard given ‘Danger’ as middle name, Danger is his middle name, Danger is my middle name…no really, it is, Developer suing ‘Baywatch’ star, Real parents can give their children weird baby names just like the celebs, The boy with danger as a name, The new year brings first local baby, What’s in a (middle) name? Simple or creative, the choice challenges parents

P.S. There’s a guy in Florida named Danger Dangervil.

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name that Starts with R

A reader named Anna is expecting a baby boy. His middle name will be Anderson. She’d like his first name to begin with the letter R.

The baby’s father’s name is Rei, so I’m not sure if he and Anna are looking for another short R-name, but I threw a few in just in case:


I also added a handful of surnames, and avoided traditional forenames that end with -n and -nd (because they would run up against the An-/And- of Anderson.)

Do you like any of the above R-names with Anderson? What others would you suggest?