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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rio

Number of Babies Named Rio

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Rio

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2016

pop culture baby name game, 2016

It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.

Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.

  • Addison – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Adonis – movie Creed (suggested by Becca)
  • Ali – death of Muhammad Ali
  • Aroldis – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Auli’i – movie Moana
  • Bernie – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (suggested by elbowin)
  • Bison – new national mammal & Dakota Access pipeline protests
  • Boomer – son of Michael Phelps
  • Bowie – musician David Bowie
  • Canaan – son of Oprah Winfrey
  • Clark – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cohen – death of Leonard Cohen
  • Creed – movie Creed (suggested by Julie and Becca)
  • Cub – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cubby – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cyrus – TV miniseries Roots
  • Dexter – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Doris – movie Hello, My Name Is Doris
  • Emayatzy – TV miniseries Roots
  • E’myri – TV miniseries Roots
  • Esperanto – number of speakers (suggested by elbowin)
  • Greyson – son of JWoww
  • Hamilton – musical Hamilton
  • Harriet – Harriet Tubman, chosen to appear on $20 bill
  • Hillary – presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
  • Ingwen – Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan (suggested by elbowin)
  • Ivanka – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Jikan – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
  • Jonbenet – anniversary of the death of JonBenet Ramsey
  • Juno – NASA space probe
  • Jupiter – NASA space probe
  • Lorca – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
  • Luna – daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
  • Keanu – Key & Peele movie Keanu
  • Kizzy – TV miniseries Roots
  • Kunta – TV miniseries Roots
  • Lyanna – TV show Game of Thrones
  • Malachi – TV miniseries Roots
  • Melania – wife of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Maui – movie Moana
  • Moana – movie Moana
  • Monica – Puerto Rican Olympian Monica Puig (I’m curious about the rankings in Puerto Rico specifically; Monica fell out of the top 100 in PR after 2002.)
  • Mountain – daughter of actress Jena Malone
  • Mowgli – movie The Jungle Book
  • Muhammad – death of Muhammad Ali
  • Murray – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Ode – daughter of actress Jena Malone
  • Omran – Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh
  • Onyx – daughter of Alanis Morissette
  • Phiona – movie Queen of Katwe
  • Paisley – death of Prince
  • Prince – death of Prince (suggested by elbowin)
  • Queen – TV show Queen Sugar & movie Queen of Katwe
  • Regé-Jean – TV miniseries Roots
  • Rio – location of the 2016 Summer Olympics
  • Rykiel – death of Sonia Rykiel (suggested by elbowin)
  • Sanders – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
  • Simone – gymnast Simone Biles & daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
  • Solace – daughter of Alanis Morissette
  • Sully – movie Sully
  • Teresa – canonization of Mother Teresa
  • Tiffany – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Trump – president-elect Donald Trump
  • Tulip – movie Storks
  • Valor – son of JWoww
  • Wilder – death of Gene Wilder (suggested by m4yb3_daijirou)
  • Wrigley – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Zephyr – U.S. House of Rep. (NY) candidate Zephyr Teachout, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. (She was born in Washington state, where Zephyr is particularly popular.)
  • Zobrist – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series

I’ll post the results next May, when the SSA releases the 2016 baby name data. If you don’t want to miss the results post, please subscribe!

Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011: #1 & #2, 2010.


The Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament: Round 1a

80s name-song tournament, round 1a

Ready for a March Madness-inspired tournament that involves both names and ’80s music?

We’ll start with 40 songs from the ’80s that prominently feature given names — songs like “Jessie’s Girl,” “Oh Sherrie,” “Who’s Johnny” and “Dirty Diana” — and, over the next few weeks, we’ll whittle them down until we determine which song earns the title of Ultimate ’80s Name-Song.

Here’s the tournament schedule:

  • March 9-14: Round 1a. Starts with 20 songs. Ends with 4 winners.
  • March 16-21: Round 1b. Starts with 20 songs. Ends with 4 winners.
  • March 23-28: Round 2. Starts with 8 songs. Ends with 2 winners.
  • March 30-April 4: Final round.
  • April 6: Winner announcement.

Round 1 is so big that I had to split it up over two weeks. This week (1a) covers the first half of the ’80s. Next week (1b) covers the second half.

Each round begins early Monday and ends early Saturday, so you have exactly 5 days to submit your answers.

Ready? Let the battles begin!

The battles are over! Check below for the winners.

Battle 1

WINNER: “Bette Davis Eyes” (1981) by Kim Carnes

The contestants:

  • Bette Davis Eyes” (1981) by Kim Carnes
    • She got Greta Garbo standoff sighs, she’s got Bette Davis eyes
  • Charlotte Sometimes” (1981) by The Cure
    • All the sounds of Charlotte sometimes, into the night with Charlotte sometimes
  • 867-5309/Jenny” (1981) by Tommy Tutone
    • Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to? You give me somethin’ I can hold on to
  • Jessie’s Girl” (1981) by Rick Springfield
    • I wish that I had Jessie’s girl, where can I find a woman like that
  • Mickey” (1982) by Toni Basil
    • Oh Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine, you blow my mind, hey Mickey, hey Mickey

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Bette Davis Eyes" (1981) by Kim Carnes (43%, 23 Votes)
  • "Jessie's Girl" (1981) by Rick Springfield (36%, 19 Votes)
  • "867-5309/Jenny" (1981) by Tommy Tutone (30%, 16 Votes)
  • "Mickey" (1982) by Toni Basil (23%, 12 Votes)
  • "Charlotte Sometimes" (1981) by The Cure (11%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 53

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Battle 2

WINNER: “Come on Eileen” (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners

The contestants:

  • Come on Eileen” (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners
    • Come on Eileen, oh I swear what he means, at this moment, you mean everything
  • Gloria” (1982) by Laura Branigan
    • Gloria, I think they got your number, I think they got the alias, that you’ve been living under
  • Jack and Diane” (1982) by John Cougar Mellencamp
    • Little ditty ’bout Jack and Diane, two American kids growin’ up in the heartland
  • Rosanna” (1982) by Toto
    • All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see your eyes, Rosanna, Rosanna
  • Valerie” (1982) by Steve Winwood
    • Valerie, call on me, call on me, Valerie, come and see me, I’m the same boy I used to be

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Come on Eileen" (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners (54%, 27 Votes)
  • "Jack and Diane" (1982) by John Cougar Mellencamp (42%, 21 Votes)
  • "Rosanna" (1982) by Toto (30%, 15 Votes)
  • "Gloria" (1982) by Laura Branigan (22%, 11 Votes)
  • "Valerie" (1982) by Steve Winwood (10%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 50

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Battle 3

WINNER: “Billie Jean” (1983) by Michael Jackson

The contestants:

  • Rio” (1983) by Duran Duran
    • Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand
  • Billie Jean” (1983) by Michael Jackson
    • Billie Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
  • Oh Diane” (1983) by Fleetwood Mac
    • Love is like a grain of sand, slowly slippin’ through your hand, oh oh Diane
  • Joanna” (1983) by Kool and the Gang
    • Joanna, I love you, you’re the one, the one for me
  • Think of Laura” (1983) by Christopher Cross
    • Think of Laura but laugh don’t cry, I know she’d want it that way

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Billie Jean" (1983) by Michael Jackson (67%, 31 Votes)
  • "Rio" (1983) by Duran Duran (35%, 16 Votes)
  • "Joanna" (1983) by Kool and the Gang (22%, 10 Votes)
  • "Think of Laura" (1983) by Christopher Cross (15%, 7 Votes)
  • "Oh Diane" (1983) by Fleetwood Mac (13%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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Battle 4

WINNER: “Oh Sherrie” (1984) by Steve Perry

The contestants:

  • Sister Christian” (1984) by Night Ranger
    • Sister Christian oh the time has come, and you know that you’re the only one
  • Oh Sherrie” (1984) by Steve Perry
    • Oh, Sherrie, our love, holds on, holds on
  • William, It Was Really Nothing” (1984) by The Smiths
    • William, William, it was really nothing, it was your life
  • Frankie” (1985) by Sister Sledge
    • Hey Frankie, do you remember me? Frankie, do you remember?
  • Kayleigh” (1985) by Marillion
    • Kayleigh, is it too late to say I’m sorry?

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Oh Sherrie" (1984) by Steve Perry (48%, 25 Votes)
  • "Sister Christian" (1984) by Night Ranger (38%, 20 Votes)
  • "William, It Was Really Nothing" (1984) by The Smiths (19%, 10 Votes)
  • "Frankie" (1985) by Sister Sledge (13%, 7 Votes)
  • "Kayleigh" (1985) by Marillion (10%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 52

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Finally, please help me share this tournament post on social media! I’d love to get a lot of people participating. Thank you!

Distinctive Baby Names, State by State

Which baby names are the most disproportionately popular in each U.S. state?

Name blog Republic of Names has your answer — a bunch of cool lists of the most distinctive baby names by state. Here are some highlights for about half of the states.

In Alabama:

  • Crimson – Crimson Tide is the University of Alabama football team.
  • Krimson

In Alaska:

  • Aurora
  • Denali – Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska is North America’s highest peak.
  • McKinley

In Arizona:

  • Ariza
  • Helios
  • Nizhoni – Nizhóní is a Navajo word meaning “it/he/she is pretty/beautiful.”
  • Sedona – Sedona is a city in Arizona.

In California:

  • Eztli – Eztli is a Nahuatl (Aztec) word meaning “blood.”
  • Sissi

In Colorado:

  • Matix
  • Story
  • Trindon – Trindon Holliday played pro football in Colorado.
  • Zeppelin

In Florida:

  • Kervens
  • Woodley

In Idaho:

  • Ammon
  • Brigham
  • Hyrum

In Indiana:

  • Jolisa

In Iowa:

  • Kinnick – Kinnick Stadium is where the Iowa Hawkeyes football team plays.

In Kansas:

  • Creighton
  • Ignatius

In Louisiana:

  • Beaux
  • Jacques
  • Marigny – Foubourg Marigny is a New Orleans neighborhood.
  • Montreal

In Maine:

  • Baxter – Baxter is a state park in Maine.
  • Libby

In Mississippi:

  • Swayze

In Missouri:

  • Chancellor
  • Messiah

In Montana:

  • Tuff

In Nevada:

  • Berenice
  • Halo
  • Love

In North Carolina:

  • Chatham

In North Dakota:

  • Briggs
  • McCoy

In Oklahoma:

  • Gentry
  • Jentri
  • Jentry
  • Kutter
  • Tuck
  • Tuff

In Oregon:

  • Alder
  • Autzen – Autzen Stadium is where the Oregon Ducks football team plays.
  • Avenir – Avenir is a French word meaning “future.” It’s also on the Washington state list below. In fact, nearly two-thirds of last year’s Avenirs were born on the west coast: 10 in Washington, 7 in California, 5 in Oregon. Anyone know why?
  • Cedar
  • Forest
  • Maple
  • Opal
  • Pepper
  • Sequoia
  • Sol

In Tennessee:

In Texas:

  • Brazos – Brazos is a Spanish word meaning “arms.” The Brazos River in Texas was originally called Rio de los Brazos de Dios, or “River of the Arms of God.”

In Utah:

  • Korver – Kyle Korver played pro basketball in Utah.
  • Lesieli
  • Navy
  • Parley
  • Viliami

In Vermont:

  • Arlo
  • Juniper

In Washington, D.C.:

  • Egypt
  • Harlem

In Washington (state):

  • Avenir – see Oregon
  • Rio
  • Valkyrie
  • Zephyr

In West Virginia:

  • Remington

In Wisconsin:

  • Charisma
  • Croix
  • Ruthann

In Wyoming:

  • Temperance

See the original post for the rest. You might also be interested in checking out the “most regional” baby names in the US.

Once You Go Unique, Is There No Going Back?

Echo has four siblings: Clint (for Clint Eastwood), Milo, Disney (in tribute to Disney films) and Dali (after Salvador DalĂ­).

She’s also a mom. Her two children are Pharrell and Lovella. She says, “I had to carry on the tradition of unusual names–and I’m sure the rest of my family will do the same.”

Her comment made me curious. Are adults who grew up surrounded by unique names more likely to give their own children unique names?

Here are a couple of case studies:

  • Frank Zappa’s four children are Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet (after Ahmet Ertegun) and Diva. His grandkids are Mathilda, Zola and Ceylon.
  • Joaquin Phoenix’s sisters and (late) brother are River, Rain, Liberty and Summer. His nieces and nephews are Jonas, Rio, Indigo, Scarlette, Indiana and Atticus.

What are your thoughts?

Source: What’s in a name? Ask the Beavers

Baby Name Needed – Boy and Girl Names for Baby #1

A reader named Sarah is expecting her first baby in several months, and she’d like some baby name suggestions. These are the names she and her husband like so far (girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right).

Adelaide
India
Meeka
September
Summer
Banjo*
Benjamin (Benji)
Indiana
Indigo
Porter
Rio

I think they might also like…

Augusta
Bijou
Briar
Calliope
Clio
Daisy
Hazel
Juniper
Opal
Paisley
Piper
Saffron
Skye
Star
Thisbe
Thyme
Wren
Zinnia
Asher
Baron
Beckett
Caspian
Caesar
Cedar
Emery
Fox
Holland
Hunter
Jasper
Jett
Jude
Orion
Parker
Phoenix
Sawyer
Tristan

What other names would you suggest?

*In Australia, the name Banjo can be traced back to “Waltzing Matilda” poet Andrew “Banjo” Paterson (1864-1941).

Baby Name Needed – Unique, Water-Related Boy Name

A reader named Danielle wrote to me the other day. She is searching for a name for her second son. She says:

We love the beach, ocean, boating and water and would like something unique to go with that.

Her first son is named Landon Kai. (Kai is the Hawaiian word for “sea,” among other things.)

Dylan, Welsh for “great sea,” was the first name that came to mind. It’s fashionable, and I think it goes well with Landon. Popular variant spellings of Dylan include Dillon and Dillan.

Murdoch/Murdock and Murphy are also tied to the sea. Both can be traced back to the Gaelic name Murchadh, which means “sea warrior.” (Morgan might also be sea-related, depending on the etymology you trust.)

For something more avant garde, sea gods and goddesses with cool names include Lir/Llyr (Irish), Mazu (Chinese), Moana (Polynesian), Nereus and Triton (Greek).

Branching out to other bodies of water…Lincoln and Lachlan are both lake-related, while Kyle refers to a channel or strait. River has been used as name (so has Rio), and specific rivers have given rise to names such as Clyde, Jordan, Kelvin, Shannon and Trent.

The name Jonah is associated with the biblical tale about a prophet who is swallowed by a large fish. The name Ulysses is associated with the Odyseey, a Homeric poem featuring a long sea journey. (The former means “dove” in Hebrew, while the latter comes from a Greek verb meaning “to hate.”)

Finally, a short note to Danielle: Do you have any favorite beaches or bodies of water? Try taking a look at their names. (None will mean “water” or “beach,” but you’ll personally associate the name with those things.) For instance, beaches in my town have names like Gray, Parker and Wilbur. Beaches in nearby towns include Crosby, Ellis, Fisher, Glendon, Orrin and Ryder. And these don’t even cover all the local ponds, lakes, inlets, bays, and so forth.

Environmental Baby Names – Forrest, Rain, River, Sky

Today on Blog Action Day, thousands of bloggers from all over the world will be writing about environmental issues.

You may be wondering: How can baby names be linked to the environment?

Well, people name their children after family members (e.g. Uncle Joe), religious figures (St. Patrick), places (London), concepts (Hope)… things that matter to them, things they deem important enough to honor.

If you feel strongly about a certain environmental issue, why not do the same thing? There’s surely a baby name out there with a connection to that issue.

For instance, here are two environmental issues I’m personally concerned about and some baby names that remind me of them:

  • The sea ice that polar bears depend on is melting due to global climate change. Because of this habitat loss, polar bears may soon soon be considered a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Baby names that have to do with bears or ice include Bernard, Bjorn, Crystal, Dov, Orson, Osborn and Ursula.
  • Deforestation is occurring globally at an unprecedented rate. The loss of forests adversely affects biodiversity, wildlife, geography and climate. Baby names that have to do with forests or trees include Aspen, Forrest, Holly, Laurel, Linden, Silvester, Silvia, Tamar and Willow.

If you’re worried about the impact that dams have on the environment, you could think about River or Rio. If you feel it’s imperative that we protect the Great Barrier Reef, you could consider Coral or Coralie. If your pet cause is ozone depletion, try Sky; if it’s overfishing, maybe Ocean.

What issues mean the most to you? Leave me a comment and I’ll come up with a few related baby names…