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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Reed

Number of Babies Named Reed

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Reed

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Carol & Todd

A reader named Carol is expecting her first child next month. Here’s what she writes:

We are having our first child, a boy, in February. We’ve decided his middle name will be Philip, after my Dad.

With the middle and last names already being kind of wordy and long (Philip Underhill) I’m leaning towards a simple first name. I like Kyle probably the best so far. Cole is nice and simple. Or Carter, Carson, Owen, Nathan, Nolan, Gavin.

I don’t want a name too weird, or too common. Something in between.

Any other names to suggest? Thanks for your help :)

In her email, Carol mentioned that she’s active and outdoorsy, and that she and her husband Todd love “anything to do with nature – and getting out there and enjoying it.” Her site, Tarol’s Webpage, features sections on backpacking, fire lookouts, even bear encounters (!). She works for the U.S. Forest Service (and she notes: “No, we aren’t going to name our boy Forest, lol”).

I like all of the names on the shortlist, especially the one-syllable options (Kyle, Cole). In fact, I think Carol’s favorite is my favorite as well.

Carol mentioned she wanted something not “too weird, or too common.” None of the current favorites are weird, but I did want to point out that a couple (Nathan, Gavin) are pretty popular right now, and others (Owen, Carter) could be headed that way:

Name 2008 2009 2010
Nathan 13,214 babies 12,077 babies 11,269 babies
ranked 21st ranked 26th ranked 27th
Gavin 11,727 babies 10,710 babies 9,551 babies
ranked 30th ranked 33rd ranked 37th
Owen 7,788 babies 8,115 babies 8,136 babies
ranked 58th ranked 51st ranked 47th
Carter 7,051 babies 8,157 babies 8,101 babies
ranked 65th ranked 50th ranked 48th
Carson 5,121 babies 4,981 babies 5,064 babies
ranked 89th ranked 86th ranked 80th
Cole 5,378 babies 5,258 babies 4,562 babies
ranked 85th ranked 82nd ranked 89th
Nolan 3,147 babies 3,427 babies 3,666 babies
ranked 131st ranked 122nd ranked 104th
Kyle 4,688 babies 4,157 babies 3,539 babies
ranked 97th ranked 100th ranked 107th

I don’t want to dissuade anyone from using the names Nathan and Gavin — on the contrary, I like both very much — but I didn’t want the names’ current popularity to come as a surprise later on.

As far as suggestions go, I wrote up a long list and then boiled it down to these five favorites:

Chase (rank: 66th)
This was the very first name that came to mind. It’s simple and youthful, and it just sounds active. Which is what I imagine the son of two nature-lovers will turn out to be. :)

Lance (rank: 445th)
I like this one for the same reasons I like Chase, and I also like the consonance of the L’s in “Lance Philip Underhill.”

Sawyer (rank: 173rd)
Again, a youthful feel, thanks no doubt to Tom Sawyer. Plus, surname-names are stylish right now.

Reed (380th) or Reid (291st)
A simple name with an outdoorsy association, though the fact that there are two popular spellings could cause confusion.

Nash (rank: 612th)
A bit quirky, but it’s simple and strong-sounding, and its etymology connects it to nature (it originally denoted someone who lived near “an ash” [tree]).

Some runners-up: Glenn, Jack, Keith, Kevin, Max, Tate, Roscoe, Wyatt.

Which of the names above are your favorites for Carol and Todd’s firstborn son? What other names would you suggest?


Name Needed for Brother of Sadie and Cleo

A reader named Genevieve is due with her third child (first son) in two days, and she and her husband need some baby name ideas. She sent me tons of helpful information, so I’m simply going to paste the bulk of what she wrote below. [For all the skimmers out there, I’ve boldfaced both the current faves and the gist of the request.]

I’m Genevieve, he’s Will. We have two daughters, Isadora Ruby (5) and Clementine Luna (2 1/2), and call them Sadie and Cleo EXCLUSIVELY. Last name is McGuire*.

We chose our daughters’ names for the nicknames they gave us (we felt that Sadie and Cleo were much too insubstantial for full names), not because we loved Isadora and Clementine. In fact, we really don’t love or even like Isadora; we just adored Sadie too much and Isadora was the most realistic way to get to it. Clementine we do like, though. Middle names were just names we liked that sounded nice with the full names, and the middle name for this bub will be the same.

I actually still feel really guilty about giving our oldest daughter a full name neither of us like and isn’t really that appealing at all–Sadie doesn’t much like it either. My name’s Genevieve and growing up I would get so many lovely comments about it, which gave me a much-needed confidence and self-esteem boost in adolescence and beyond. I’m worried (sometimes I fret about it to the point of being sick) that no one will ever tell Sadie she has a gorgeous name, and I feel kind of awful about hoisting upon her Isadora, though I’m still ridiculously in love with her nickname.

So we’d like not to have a lingering sense of naming remorse with this bub.

Anyway. Enough back story.

With Bub, we’ve had an awful time with the naming process. Unlike Sadie and Cleo, we haven’t even found a nickname that we totally adore yet, much less a full name.

The name we’re thinking we love is Rex, but there are numerous problems with it.

–We have no idea how to get to Rex through a more substantial name, and if we can’t find one, Rex is off the list. Any ideas?
–Rex is seen as a dog name. Sadie is seen as a dog name. Cleo is seen as a cat name. There’s a accidental theme going on here, and my husband doesn’t like it. I’m actually pretty okay with it, though.
–When we’ve told a few select people that we’re thinking of naming the baby Rex, we’ve gotten cringing and obvious distaste, even though they tried to hide it. Now, I’m not going to let other people dictate what we name our baby, BUT I don’t want people (like our parents and close friends) really hating his name, because there’s a good chance he won’t like it either.

What do YOU think, Nancy? Is Rex just too odd? As an objective third party who just so happens to be a fabulous namer, your opinion is definitely needed on this one.

Other names on our list that we’re strongly considering:

Ned–Edmund, Edward–Not a huge fan at all of either full name, with those nasally
suffixes

Max–Maxwell, Maximilian–I kind of really love the alliteration, but hubby isn’t sure. Also the pet name theme thing again. Also popularity issues that are really, REALLY throwing me off here; I really didn’t like how popular Sadie was when we named her, though thankfully we’ve never even come across another Sadie yet, and Max is set to skyrocket up the charts.

Ned is Will’s favorite, Max is mine. But neither of them feel like The One.

I guess we’re looking for a spunky, fresh, fun nickname that goes with a respectable full name. Also, if there’s a name out there that’s spunky, fresh, and fun AND suitable for an adult professional, we’d love to hear it; the nickname thing isn’t mandatory at all. We’d rather not repeat first initials or have similar beginning or ending sounds.

If Bub had been a girl, we would have named her Penelope Isis and called her Piper; somewhat ironically, we’ve had this name in our back pockets since before we even started trying for a third baby. Sigh. Though we’re over the moon that Bub is a boy, a girl would have been so much easier to name. We’re tentatively set on having at least one more baby as well, so any name beginning with a P is also out.

*The real name is not McGuire, but it’s close.

Here are some of my thoughts. Apologies ahead of time for any rambling.

On Isadora…

This is off-topic, and also a moot point, but…I love the name Isadora. I can understand the remorse, but I’ve always thought of it as such an elegant, regal-sounding name. Right on par with Genevieve, in fact.

On Rex…

Dog name?
I’m sure many people do associate Rex with dogs. (Personally, I think of dinosaurs — far more awesome than dogs.) But I also think an association like this will matter less and less as time goes on, as more and more people use human names (e.g. Max, Jake, Sam, Bella, Daisy, Lucy, etc.) for their dogs/cats.

Family/friend dislike?
I think it’s nice to take other peoples’ opinions into consideration, but, as you said, he’s your baby, so pick the name you love. Doesn’t matter if you go with Rex, or Max, or Ned, or Enrique-Iglesias. They’ll love your son regardless. (In fact, they might like him more if his name were Enrique-Iglesias.)

Formal name?
My very first thought was Reginald. There’s no etymological connection between Reginald and Rex, but they look like they could be related, don’t they? Reginald comes from the Germanic name Reynold, not from Latin, but one source states that it was indeed “influenced by Latin regina ‘queen’.” And regina, of course, is based on rex, Latin for “king.”

My next thought was any Germanic name with the element ric, “ruler,” which is a lot like rex both in terms of sound and meaning. Some possibilities: Alaric, Emmerich, Eric, Frederick, Heinrich (even Henry?), Richard, Roderick.

Both Alexander and Xavier have the letters X and R. These are more of a stretch, though.

There’s also the possibility of making Rex out of the initials R and X — Robert Xavier, for example. Or even just an R-name (Raymond, Russell, etc.)

My take?
I like the name Rex–it’s a very strong, spunky name. Lots of personality. I especially like it as a nickname for something more traditional.

More importantly, though, it seems as though you guys both love it. And if that’s the case, don’t talk yourselves out of it! No need to make things more complicated. :) Just go with it and work on the full/formal name.

On Ned…

It sounds like Edmund or Edward would be like Isadora for you — something you’d end up regretting. Doesn’t seem worth it.

On Max…

You’re right about Max being popular — it made the top 100 for the first time ever in 2010, and could continue to climb. But, as you alluded to with Sadie, a lot depends upon your locality. There could be a ton of boys named Max in one town, none at all in another.

Also, keep in mind that today’s “popular” names aren’t as popular as they used to be, so the rankings are becoming less and less important/informative over time. For example, Max, ranked 98th right now, was given to 3,819 babies. Vincent, 98th in 1960 (50 years ago), was given to 4,384 babies. (And roughly the same number of baby boys were born in 1960 as in 2010.)

The effect is gets more pronounced the higher up the list you go. Today’s 20th most popular boy name, Joseph, was given to 13,657 babies. Fifty years ago, the the 20th most popular name, Brian, went to 21,994 (!) babies. Huge difference there.

Ok, now it’s time for some name suggestions. Here are the guidelines again:

  • “Spunky, fresh, fun nickname that goes with a respectable full name,” or
  • “A name out there that’s spunky, fresh, and fun AND suitable for an adult professional.”

No repeated first initials (S, C) or similar beginning or ending sounds, and no P-names (saving that for Penelope/Piper).

Here are some ideas to start us off:

Abe (Abraham)
Ash (Asher)
Ben (Bennett, Benjamin)
Dex (Dexter)
Duncan
Fritz (Frederick/Friedrich)
Gabe (Gabriel)
Gus (Augustine)
Gray (Grayson)
Hugh
Jack (John)
Jim (James)
Lex (Alexander)
Lou (Louis)
Raph, Rafe (Raphael)
Reed
Reece/Rhys
Tad (Thaddeus)
Tate
Trent
Van (Donovan, Evander)
Vaughn
Vin (Vince, Vincent)
Xan (Alexander)
Zack (Zachary)
Zeke (Ezekiel)

Now it’s your turn. What thoughts/advice do you have for Genevieve? Which of the above names do you like best with Sadie and Cleo? What other names would you suggest?

Names Needed for Baby Boy

A reader named Leigh will be having a baby boy within the next few weeks. She writes:

I am a teacher and have heard so many names that I don’t want to name our child. My husband and I really like the name Miles, however, there are many new baby boys in my friend circle, named Miles. I really like Emmett, but my husband is afraid he’ll be mocked because people might only know of his name from the Twilight series. We’re interested in two or three syllable strong, unique (not necessarily unusual) names. A current front runner is Anders, possibly Anders Gray Hollyard*. We also like the name Lars. I guess I’m finding we like names that end in s!

First name and possible middle name suggestions to go with Anders would be greatly appreciated.

*Their surname isn’t Hollyard, but a like-sounding two-syllable h-name.

A few thoughts on the current favorites:

  • Miles: The popularity of this one has been on the rise for years, so it makes sense that you’re hearing it more often. I’m sure this has already come up, but just in case: Have you considered Milo or Niles as alternatives? They both sound a lot like Miles, but they’re not nearly as popular (i.e. only 29 babies were named Niles in 2010).
  • Emmett: Personally, I associate this name with Emmitt Smith, not the fictional vampire. And I’m not even a sports fan. This Twilight craze will blow over one day (thankfully!) and, when it does, these vampire/werewolf associations will fade. Exception: Renesmee.
  • Anders: I really like this one. I especially like that it shortens to the nickname Andy, allowing anyone with this name to flip back and forth between formal/unusual and informal/familiar, depending on the occasion. Versatility is always a good thing.
  • Lars: I have a strong association with this one as well, though I’m not sure how many others have it — Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. So this one may prompt people to ask about the possible Metallica connection. Much cooler than a Twilight question, anyway.

Here are some other names, many with s-endings:

Adam
Boris
Clark
Curtis
Elliot
Ellis
Eric
Felix
Grant
James
Jasper
Jens
Joel
Levi
Linus
Lucas
Marcus
Marius
Matthias
Max
Neil
Nils
Oliver
Oscar
Peter
Reed
Thomas
Victor

As far as middle names for Anders go, I think Gray is great. I think a one-syllable name with a hard sound (that g) sounds good in that spot. Other names that fit this description are Brett, Craig, Drake, Frank, Grant, Jack, Kent, Mark and Paul.

Which of the above names do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Leigh?

Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down for the name (or just click here).

Boy Names Used as Girl Names in Pop Culture

Madison, Whitney, Ariel and Paris used to be boy names. Thanks to pop culture, all four are now considered girl names.

Madison became a girl name after Splash came out in 1984. The other three were basically unisex until Whitney Houston, The Little Mermaid and Paris Hilton made them unfashionable for boys.

In each case, all it took was one female–real or fictional–to tip the scales.

So maybe we should start keeping track of pop culture females that have male names. This might give us some clues about which male names will be the next to fall. Even better, it will help those expecting baby boys to avoid names that might not be considered boy names much longer.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Blake, actress on Gossip Girl.
  • Elliot, female character on Scrubs.
  • Leighton, actress on Gossip Girl.
  • Quinn, female character on One Tree Hill; female character on Glee.
  • Reed, female character on The O.C.
  • Remy, female character on House (though I don’t know if her name is ever used on the show).
  • Rory, female character on Gilmore Girls.

Blake, Elliot, Reed, Remy and their variants have never ranked among the top 1,000 girl names in the U.S. Leighton ranked for the first time in 2009 (at 669th). Rory has ranked three times since 2003 and Quinn has been on the list since 1995, but both are still more popular for boys.

There are also female TV characters named Addison (Grey’s Anatomy) and Peyton (One Tree Hill), but Addison has long been more popular for girls, and Peyton has been headed in that direction for years.

What others can you come up with?

One-Syllable Boy Names – Cruz, George, Nash, Royce, Zane

Like baby names that are short and sweet? Here are over 100 one-syllable boy names:

Ace
Beau, Bo
Ben
Blaine, Blayne, Blane
Blaise, Blaze
Blake
Brad
Brent
Brett
Brock
Brooks
Bruce
Bryce, Brice
Cade
Cale
Carl
Case
Cash
Chad
Chance
Charles
Chase
Chaz
Chris
Clark
Clay
Cole
Colt
Craig
Cruz
Dale
Dane
Dax
Dean
Drake
Drew
Dwayne
Earl
Finn
Floyd
Flynn
Frank
Gage, Gauge
George
Glenn
Graham
Grant
Guy
Hank
Hayes
Heath
Hugh
Jace, Jayce, Jase
Jack
Jake
James
Jax
Jay
Jess
Jett
Joe, Jo
Joel
John, Jon
Josh
Juan
Jude
Kade
Kai
Kale
Kane
Karl
Kash
Keith
King
Knox
Kole
Krish
Kyle
Lance
Lane, Layne, Laine
Lee, Leigh
Lex
Lloyd
Lorne
Luke
Lyle
Mark, Marc
Max
Mike
Moe
Myles, Miles
Nash
Neil
Nick
Noel
Paul
Pierce
Prince
Quinn
Ralph
Ray, Rey
Reece, Reese, Rhys
Reid, Reed
Rex
Rhett
Ross
Roy
Royce
Sam
Saul
Scott
Sean, Shawn, Shaun
Seth
Shane
Steve
Stone
Tate
Todd
Tom, Thom
Trace
Trent
Trey
Tripp
Troy
Ty
Van
Vance
Vaughn
Vince
Wade
Wayne
Will
Zack, Zach, Zac
Zane, Zain, Zayne
Ziv
Zvi

Have any favorites?

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