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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Randolph

Number of Babies Named Randolph

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Randolph

The Trio in Rio – Leila, Liina, Lily

Next Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, 30-year-old identical (and alliterative) triplets Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik of Estonia are expected to run the women’s marathon. This will make the “Trio in Rio,” as they call themselves, the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics.

In comparison, about 200 sets of twins have competed in the Olympics over the years. Here are some of the Olympic twins with similarly alliterative names:

  • Åke & Arne (Sweden) [not technically alliterative; see JJ’s comment]
  • Catarina & Christina (Sweden)
  • Darius & Donatas (Lithuania)
  • Darrin & Dan (USA)
  • Dennis & Duane (USA)
  • Dionísio & Domingos (Portugal)
  • Jean-Jacques & Jean-Marc (France)
  • Jodie & Julie (Canada)
  • Jules & Julian (Belgium)
  • Katalin & Krisztina (Hungary)
  • Katrine & Kristine (Norway)
  • Lívia & Lucia (Slovakia)
  • Madeline & Margaret (Puerto Rico)
  • Marianne & Mildred (Netherlands)
  • Sandy & Sonia (Zimbabwe)
  • Malcolm “Mal” & Melville “Mel” (Jamaica)
  • Mark & Michael (Canada)
  • Maureen & Melanie (Netherlands)
  • McJoe & McWilliams (Puerto Rico)
  • Mikuláš & Miloslav (Slovakia)
  • Pascal & Patrick (France)
  • Paula & Peta (Bermuda)
  • Paulo Miguel & Pedro Miguel (Portugal)
  • Pavol & Peter (Slovakia)
  • Randolph & Robert (USA)
  • Rhoda & Rhona (Canada)
  • Ricardo & Rodrigo (Chile)
  • Sharon & Shirley (Canada)
  • Stanley & Sydney (Great Britain)
  • Tami & Toni (USA)
  • Terry & Tom (USA)
  • Valeriy & Volodymyr (Ukraine)
  • Valj & Vita (Ukraine)
  • Veronika & Viktoriya (Belarus)
  • Vida & Vidette (South Africa)
  • Zlatko & Zoran (Yugoslavia)

You can see a full list of Olympic twins in the OlympStats post Twins at the Olympics.

Have you been tuning in to the Olympics? If so, have you spotted any interesting names so far?


The Baby Name Nydia

baby name nydiaThe eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. buried a number of nearby communities, including the now-famous ancient city of Pompeii.

The city was forgotten for centuries, rediscovered in 1599, forgotten again, then rediscovered a second time in 1748. Excavations finally began in the mid-1700s, and the rest of the world soon came to know of Pompeii and its sad fate.

After Russian painter Karl Bryullov visited the ruins in 1828, he was inspired to create The Last Day of Pompeii (1830-1833), which depicts the destruction of Pompeii as Vesuvius erupts in the background. The massive painting (which measures 15 feet high by 21 feet long) became extremely popular.

English writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton (of “It was a dark and stormy night” fame) saw the painting while it was on display in Italy. It inspired him to write the book The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), which also became extremely popular.

One of the book’s main characters is a blind slave-girl named Nydia (pronounced NID-ee-ah) who sells flowers to earn money for her owner.

She’s a memorable, tragic character who has since been portrayed in other works of art, most notably the sculpture Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii (see above) by American sculptor Randolph Rogers. Here’s a description:

[Nydia] struggles forward to escape the dark volcanic ash and debris of Mount Vesuvius as it erupts and buries the ancient city of Pompeii. Clutching her staff and cupping hand to ear, she strains for sounds of Glaucus (a nobleman with whom she has fallen desperately in love) and his fiancée Ione. Accustomed to darkness, blind Nydia uses her acute hearing to find the two, leading them to safety at the shore; but in the end, despairing of the impossibility of her love, she drowns herself.

In the book, Nydia tells Ione that she originally came from Greece:

“What is your name, fair girl?”
“They call me Nydia.”
“Your country?”
“The land of Olympus–Thessaly.”

Her name was not used in ancient times, though, and the author doesn’t offer any clues about how he coined this (ostensibly Greek) name. Many sources echo the theory that the name Nydia was based on the Latin word nidus, meaning “nest,” but this shouldn’t be interpreted as fact.

So…has the literary name Nydia ever been used as a real-life baby name?

Yes, but the name has never been very common. Here’s the number of U.S. baby girls that have been given the baby name Nydia since the turn of the century:

  • 2014: 27 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2013: 16 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2012: 26 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2011: 30 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2010: 31 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2009: 29 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2008: 52 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2007: 53 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2006: 52 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2005: 53 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2004: 62 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2003: 69 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2002: 69 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2001: 72 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2000: 82 baby girls named Nydia

While a handful of people were named Nydia prior to the publication of Bulwer-Lytton’s book, consistent usage of the name began only after the book came out. Usage was at its highest during the last quarter of the 20th century. Even then, though, the name never managed to earn a spot among the top 1,000 girl names in the nation. Usage has been in decline ever since. (The spelling Nidia has followed a similar trajectory.)

So, not only is Nydia a relatively young name that originates in literature, it’s also a relatively rare name that’s reminiscent of more familiar options (like Lydia and Nadia). So it might be particularly appealing to parents who like literature names and/or “sweet spot” names (that is, names that are uncommon but not unheard of).

What do you think of the baby name Nydia?

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Full Length view of Nydia by Mary Harrsch under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Old-Fashioned Names…for Bicycles!

I spotted this amusing list of 35 Amazingly English Things To Do Before You Die a few days ago.

Six of the 35 things are tea-related, which didn’t surprise me. But one item on the list did surprise me:

9. Give a bicycle an old-fashioned name (eg. “Bertie”, “Gladys”, “Percy” or “Randolph”).

I had no idea that giving a bike an old-fashioned name was particularly English thing to do.

If you’re from England and you have a bike with an old-fashioned name, please comment and tell us more about this tradition. (Also please tell us your bike’s name!)

For the rest of us: if you were in England, and you had a bike, what would your bike’s old-fashioned name be?

For me…I think it depends upon the color. Kinda partial to Mazie, though.

P.S. Here’s some bike name inspiration.

Baby Name Needed – Libertarian Boy Name for First Baby

Last week, a reader named Julie sent me a fascinating e-mail:

My husband and I are trying to figure out what we want to name our first child. We have a girl’s name (Darby) but a boy would be a real problem.

The name he really really wants is Hayek (after 18th century economist – Friedrich Augustus Hayek – surely you’ve heard of him…no? really?).

He also likes “T”. Just the letter. Perfect because it works for a boy OR a girl.

His third option is Atlas from Atlas Shrugged.

I am not a fan of any of these. I am looking for a name that’s not super-traditional, but also isn’t on the Top 100 names list. I also think it’s unfair to give the child a name they constantly have to spell/pronounce/explain.

Our last name starts with an “M” and ends in a “ee” sound, so names that also end in the “ee” sound sing-songy.

Julie tried giving her husband the following list of names: Archer, Barrett, Campbell, Dexter, Dixon, Duncan, Everett, Felix, Fletcher, Flint, Ford, Gardner, Garrett, Gibson, Grady, Griffin, Holt, Langston, Leo, Lincoln, Marshall, Parker, Powell, Quentin, Tate, Weston, Zane. He didn’t care for any of them.

This is a tricky situation, but I think there’s a bright side. Julie and her husband seem to be looking at baby names from two different angles. Julie’s husband is focusing on significance, while Julie is more concerned about style. This is a good thing; I’m sure there are names out there that could satisfy both of them.

I think best way to tackle this would be to start with the more constrictive angle–significance. I’d say collect as many meaningful names as possible, then look for stylish names among them. That way, both parents get something they like.

I don’t know Julie’s husband, so I can’t say for certain what names he’d find meaningful. But I can make inferences based on his current top three. Here are some ideas:

1. Hayek

  • How about variants of Hayek’s first or middle name? Friedrich could be Frederick, Fred or Fritz. August could be Augustine, Gus or Austin.
  • Hayek chose the name Laurence Joseph Heinrich for his own son. Would any of those work?
  • I think many people will assume that Hayek was inspired by actress Salma Hayek. Is Julie’s husband okay with that association?
  • What other economists does Julie’s husband admire? Would any of their names work as a baby name?

2. T

  • I can’t say much about this one, but I wonder: Does it stand for anything? If there’s a story behind it, what other (more traditional) names could be teased out of that story?

3. Atlas

  • I think several characters in Atlas Shrugged would be good symbols of the book itself. (Even better than “Atlas,” which is more likely to make people think of myths or maps.)
    • John Galt. The name John probably won’t appeal to Julie, but what about Galt? (Galt isn’t far from Holt, which is on Julie’s list.)
    • Hank Rearden. Henry, like John, could be too popular/traditional for Julie’s tastes. But Rearden might work.
    • Dagny Taggart, the female protagonist. Taggart could be a cool name. Nickname could be Tag. (Or even T!)
    • Ellis Wyatt, Quentin Daniels and Hugh Akston are minor characters with good names. In fact, Quentin is already on Julie’s list. (Maybe Julie’s husband would like it more if he were reminded about the Rand reference?)
  • How about an author-inspired name? Randall, Randolph or even Rand itself.
  • What other writers and philosophers does Julie’s husband admire? Would any of their names (or character names) work as a baby name? What about other book titles?

Finally, if Julie and her husband can’t come to an agreement on the first name, I’d suggest a compromise using the middle name. Perhaps one of Julie’s names could come first, then Hayek or T or Atlas could come second.

What other ideas would you offer Julie?

First Baby Born to Orbiting Astronaut Named Tarali

On 17 June 2004, Mike Fincke became the first United States astronaut to welcome a child while in orbit. While he was aboard the International Space Station, his Assamese-American wife Renita gave birth to a baby girl back in Houston. They named the baby Tarali Paulina.

Fincke proudly informed Mission Control that Tara — the first two syllables of the name — means “star” in the Indian dialect of his wife’s family. Their son, who is not quite 3, is named Chandra, which means “moon.”

“My wife had already given me the moon, now she’s given me a star,” he said.

They have since had a third child, a daughter named Surya, whose name means “sun” in Assamese.

The second baby to be born to an American astronaut while in orbit was named Abigail Mae. She was born on 21 November 2009 to astronaut Randolph Bresnik and his wife Rebecca.

Sources:

Baby Names in Cursive – Clarabelle, Jefferson, Mercedes, Rebecca

I wrote a letter to a friend not long ago, and the act of writing something longhand (which I rarely do anymore) made me wonder: which baby names can be written in cursive without lifting the pen from the page?

Turns out that many names can be written this way–so long as they don’t contain letters that need crossing/dotting (t, i, x, j) and don’t start with a tricky capital (such as W, which doesn’t connect to the letters that follow, or H, which itself requires more than one pen-stroke to be formed correctly).

Here are some examples of names that can be written in script with one continuous line of ink.

  • 3 letters: Ava, Moe, Ned, Rob, Ula
  • 4 letters: Cleo, Elmo, Jada, Rhys, Zane
  • 5 letters: Carla, Jesse, Nancy, Ryder, Yosef
  • 6 letters: Edward, Jazmyn, Morgan, Nelson, Ursula
  • 7 letters: Charles, Eleanor, Jeffrey, Malcolm, Rebecca
  • 8 letters: Alphonso, Emmanuel, Mercedes, Mohammad, Randolph
  • 9 letters: Cleveland, Esperanza, Jefferson, Magdalena, Rosabelle
  • 10 letters: Alessandra, Alessandro, Clarabella, Clarabelle, Jacquelynn

…For more onomastic trivia, try this list of baby names that can be typed one-handed on a QWERTY keyboard.