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

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 Reba

Number of Babies Named Reba

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Reba

A Woman (and Many Babies) Named Fancy

woman called fancy, frank yerby, 1951

In 1952, the baby name Fancy appeared on the SSA’s baby name list for the very first time with seven baby girls:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: 7 baby girls named Fancy [debut]
  • 1951: unlisted

What was the cause?

Frank Yerby’s book A Woman Called Fancy, which was the 5th best-selling book of 1951.

Set in the late 19th century Georgia, the historical romance follows Fancy Williamson, a woman from out of town, who rises “from poverty to prominence” among well-to-do Augustans. “Like all Yerby’s novels, A Woman Called Fancy presents a protagonist who is an outcast but achieves success in an alien culture.”

(A secondary influence could have been the romantic comedy film Goodbye, My Fancy, released in mid-1951 and starring Joan Crawford.)

About twenty years later, the name was given a second boost on the charts by Bobbie Gentry’s Fancy (1969). Here’s a bit of the song:

You know I mighta been born just plain white trash,
but Fancy was my name.

And about twenty years after that, Reba McEntire’s 1990 cover of Fancy gave the name yet another boost. The name saw its highest usage ever (36 baby girls) in 1991.

Interesting fact: Frank Yerby’s novel The Foxes of Harrow (1946) — another historical romance set in the South — was the first novel by an African-American to sell more than a million copies.

Sources: A Woman Called Fancy – Oxford Reference, Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States in the 1950s


Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Julianne

A reader named Reba e-mailed me a few days ago with this request:

I need a middle name to go with Julianne. My last name sounds like Mean.

Because the first name is long and the last name is short, I decided to focus on length and rhythm in the search for potential middles.

My first thought was that an amphibrachic name would sound particularly good:

Bianca
Cassandra
Cecilia
Felicia
Francesca
Letitia
Lucinda
Odetta
Pandora
Priscilla
Regina
Sabrina
Samantha
Theresa

Next, I liked 4-syllable names of various rhythms:

Alexandra
Dorothea
Eleanora
Elizabeth
Fabiola
Henrietta
Gabriella
Sophronia
Veronica
Victoria

Finally, I thought an iambic name might work:

Danielle
Estelle
Louise
Michelle
Patrice
Yvette

Do you like any of the above? What other names would you suggest?