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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Regan


Posts that Mention the Name Regan

Character Names in King Lear

king leir, king lear, daughters, names

When we think of King Lear, we think of the famous William Shakespeare play, which was written in the very early 1600s.

But the story of the legendary king of Britain predates Shakespeare by centuries. The first written account we know of comes from The History of the Kings of Britain (circa 1136 A.D.) by British cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth.

In Will’s version, the king is named Lear and the three daughters are named Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. But in Geoff’s version, the king is Leir and the daughters are Gonorilla, Regau and Cordeilla. And in the dozens of versions of the story published in between, the names are rendered all sorts of ways:

  • Lear: Leare, Leier, Leir, Leire, Leïr, Leyr, Leyre, Leyrius, Leyrus, Leÿr, Lhyr, Lier, Leirius, Llur, Llyr, Lur, Lyer, Lyr
  • Goneril: Agornille, Condril, Conorel, Corneill, Garonilla, Genoril, Genorilla, Geronilla, Gonerell, Gonerill, Gonerilla, Gonoreille, Gonorell, Gonorelle, Gonorild, Gonorilde, Gonoril, Gonorill, Gonorilla, Gonorille, Gonoryll, Gonorylla Gonorylle, Gordonilla, Gorgonilla, Gornoille, Gornoylle, Gornorilla, Gornorille, Gornylle, Goriorilla, Goronilla
  • Regan: Ragaie, Ragan, Ragana, Ragau, Ragaw, Regau, Regault, Regina, Regnault, Rigan, Rogan, Rugau, Rygan
  • Cordelia: Chordaila, Chordalia, Chordeila, Chordeylla, Cordaila, Cordeila, Cordeilla, Cordeil, Cordeile, Cordeill, Cordeilla, Cordeille, Cordela, Cordell, Cordella, Cordelle, Cordeyl, Cordeyll, Cordeylla, Cordeylle, Cordiel, Cordil, Cordila, Cordile, Cordilla, Cordille, Cordoil, Cordoilla, Cordoille, Cordoylla, Cordyla, Cordylle, Coredil, Gordaila, Gordalia, Gordeil, Gordeila, Gordeilla, Gordeille, Gordeylla, Gordille, Gordoille, Gordoylle, Gordylle

Interesting how Shakespeare’s “Goneril” and “Cordelia” are easy to differentiate, but certain earlier versions of the two names were quite similar. Modern academics associate them with the Latin words gonos, meaning “genitals,” and cordis, meaning “heart.”

Sources:

  • Charlton, H. B. Shakespearian Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948.
  • Perrett, Wilfrid. The Story of King Lear from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Shakespeare. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1904.

Image: King Lear and Daughters

Shakespearean Makeovers for the Top 20 Baby Girl Names

Wish the top 20 names had a more Elizabethan ring to them? Well, wish no more!

I did my best to match each of the most popular baby girl names with similar-sounding names from Shakespeare:

Modern Names Shakespearean Names
Emily Emilia, Othello; Winter’s Tale; Two Noble Kinsmen
Aemelia, Comedy of Errors
Hermione, Winter’s Tale
Isabella Isabella, Measure for Measure
Dionyza, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Ursula, Much Ado About Nothing
Volumnia, Coriolanus
Emma Anne, Merry Wives of Windsor; Henry VIII; Richard III
Ava Viola, Twelfth Night
Valeria, Coriolanus
Madison Miranda, The Tempest
Rosaline, Love’s Labor’s Lost; Romeo and Juliet
Regan, King Lear
Sophia Phebe, As You Like It
Bianca, Othello; Taming of the Shrew
Julia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Olivia Olivia, Twelfth Night
Octavia, Antony and Cleopatra
Ophelia, Hamlet
Lavinia, Titus Andronicus
Abigail Imogen, Cymbeline
Agrippa, Antony and Cleopatra; Coriolanus
Margaret, Much Ado About Nothing
Hannah Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well; Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hermia, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Helen, Troilus and Cressida; Cymbeline
Elizabeth Elizabeth, Henry VI; Richard III
Eleanor, Henry VI; King John
Addison Adriana, Comedy of Errors
Diana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Desdemona, Othello
Rosalind, As You Like It
Samantha Tamora, Titus Andronicus
Katherina, Taming of the Shrew
Paulina, Winter’s Tale
Ashley Audrey, As You Like It
Portia, Merchant of Venice; Julius Caesar
Luciana, Comedy of Errors
Alyssa Nerissa, Merchant of Venice
Jessica, Merchant of Venice
Cressida, Troilus and Cressida
Mia Maria, Twelfth Night; Love’s Labor’s Lost
Marina, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Mariana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Measure for Measure
Chloe Hero, Much Ado About Nothing
Cordelia, King Lear
Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra
Natalie Nell, Henry IV; Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Perdita, Winter’s Tale
Lucetta, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Sarah Silvia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Celia, As You Like It
Alexis Alice, Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Thaisa, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing
Grace Blanche, King John
Gertrude, Hamlet

These are by no means equivalents, of course. Some of my “matches” don’t match at all. But I did as well as I could using about three-quarters of all the female characters mentioned by Shakespeare.

And, if you were curious about the names Dionyza and Thaisa, as I was, they seem to be based on Dionysus and Thaïs.

Halloween Baby Names, Hollywood-Style – Freddy, Jason, Carrie, Regan

Seeking a spooky baby name? Maybe some scary movie characters will inspire you…

Boy Names:

  • Charles Lee “Chucky” Ray from Child’s Play (1988) and four sequels
  • Damien Thorn from The Omen (1976) and two sequels
  • Frederick Charles “Freddy” Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and seven sequels
  • Hannibal Lector from The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and four sequels/prequels
  • Henry Evans from The Good Son (1993)
  • Isaac Chroner from Children of the Corn (1984)
  • Jack Torrance from The Shining (1980)
  • Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th (1980) and nine sequels
  • Norman Bates from Psycho (1960)
  • Max Cady from Cape Fear (1962/1991)
  • Michael Myers from Halloween (1978) and six sequels

Girl Names:

  • Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction (1987)
  • Annie Wilkes from Misery (1990)
  • Carol Anne Freeling from Poltergeist (1982) and two sequels
  • Carietta “Carrie” White from Carrie (1976)
  • Charlene “Charlie” McGee from Firestarter (1984)
  • Nurse Mildred Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  • Regan Teresa MacNeil from The Exorcist (1973)
  • Rhoda Penmark from The Bad Seed (1956)
  • Samara Morgan from The Ring (2002)