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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rise

Number of Babies Named Rise

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Rise

Babies Named for Instagram Filters?

instagram, filters, baby names

I started posting on Instagram recently. Though I haven’t used the filters much, seeing them in the app reminded me of something: Babycenter.com claimed, back in late 2015, that Instagram filter names were influencing baby names. And the clickbaity claim was (of course) picked up by various media outlets: Time, People, Vanity Fair, US Weekly, TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.

But the BabyCenter.com folks (who still think Gollum is a baby name, amazingly) weren’t basing their claims on any sort of real-life baby name usage data. They were apparently just making assumptions based on their own website metrics.

In any case…it’s now 2019, and we do have access to usage data for 2015 (not to mention 2016, and 2017). So let’s use this data to determine whether or not their claim is true.

I analyzed the data for 44 names in total: 43 from filters — most current, several retired — plus the name “Lux,” which technically refers to a photo enhancement tool, not a filter. Zeroing in on usage from 2010 (the year Instagram was launched) to 2017, I noticed that…

  • 28 filter names did not see higher usage as baby names:
    • 20 had no SSA data to work with (1977, Crema, Charmes, Clarendon, Dogpatch, Early Bird, Gingham, Ginza, Hefe, Inkwell, Lo-Fi, Mayfair, Nashville, Poprocket, Skyline, Slumber, Stinson, Sutro, Toaster, X-Pro II)
    • 6 saw a decrease in usage (Aden, Brannan, Brooklyn, Kelvin, Reyes, Sierra)
    • 2 saw little/no change in usage (Ludwig, Rise)
  • 16 filter names did see higher usage as baby names:

So which, if any, of the 16 names above increased in usage because of Instagram?

Some of them, like trendy Hudson and Willow, were already on the rise by 2010. So it’s hard to know if these names were influenced at all by recent pop culture, let alone the app specifically. (Though that Juno-jump does seem significant.)

Others are associated with more than just a filter. Vesper was a Bond Girl, for instance, and Juno was a movie. So, even if Instagram was a factor, it was one of several. (BabyCenter.com’s original write-up from 2015 doesn’t even acknowledge this, e.g., “The Instagram-inspired name Lux…”)

In terms of filters actually influencing names, I think the strongest case can be made for Amaro. It wasn’t already on the rise in 2010, it did become more popular in the Instagram era, and the filter itself (as opposed to the Italian liqueur after which the filter was named) does seem to be the primary pop culture association these days.

On the other hand, Clarendon — despite being the first filter you see inside the app and, accordingly, the most-used filter overall — saw no corresponding uptick in usage on birth certificates, which is telling. (Though perhaps “Amaro” hits a stylistic sweet spot that “Clarendon” misses.)

My verdict? I’d say it’s possible that a handful of Instagram filters influenced real-life baby name usage…but I definitely wouldn’t declare that naming babies after filters was/is some sort of “hot trend,” as BabyCenter.com did.

What are your thoughts on all this? Have you ever met a baby named after an Instagram filter?

Sources: Hottest baby name trends of 2015, Photoshop Actions for Instagram’s “Lost” filters, Five New Filters – Instagram, Instagram adds new Lark, Reyes, and Juno filters, Instagram Introduces New Filter, The 10 Most Used Instagram Filters, Study: The most popular Instagram filters from around the world

Mystery Monday: The Baby Name “September”

Here’s a good mystery name to post in September: September.

The name September — just like the name Staria from a couple of weeks ago — debuted in 1955 with 20 baby girls:

  • 1958: 7 baby girls named September
  • 1957: 24 baby girls named September
  • 1956: 15 baby girls named September
  • 1955: 20 baby girls named September [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

Where did it come from? I don’t know.

At first I thought the movie September Affair (or the associated song, “September Song”) might have something to do with it, but the timeline is off. Plus, I feel like September would need to be used as a character name (or a stage name?) to recast it as a potential baby name in the eyes of expectant parents.

But, as usual, word-names are particularly hard to figure out. The origins of Memory and Treasure are still obscure, for instance. (They’re not impossible to solve, though! Check out Rise, or Strange.)

Any ideas about what happened in 1955 (or late 1954) to make people see September as more than month name?

The Rise of Risë (ree-sah)

rise stevens, carmen, opera, the met
Risë Stevens as Carmen

This one took me years to figure out.

The curious name Rise debuted in the Social Security Administration data in 1942:

  • 1944: 13 baby girls named Rise
  • 1943: 7 baby girls named Rise
  • 1942: 15 baby girls named Rise [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted

“Rise”? Huh.

Rise was the 4th-most-popular debut name that year, and not far behind (in 7th place) was the somewhat similar Risa:

  • 1944: 12 baby girls named Risa
  • 1943: 5 baby girls named Risa
  • 1942: 12 baby girls named Risa [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted

Later in the ’40s, names like Reesa and Rissa popped up. And in the ’50s, names like Riesa and Reisa appeared. So there was definitely a minor Ris– trend going on in the mid-20th century, with “Rise” being the unlikely top variant.

But because “Rise” is also a vocabulary word, I had no luck pinning down the source. (It’s ridiculously hard to research word-names on the internet. I’m still stumped on Memory and Treasure.) Eventually I gave up.

Years later, as I was grabbing an image for the Finesse post, the answer landed right in front of me in the form of a cigarette ad:

Risë Stevens, Camels cigarettes, advertisement, 1953
Risë Stevens in a Camels ad © LIFE 1953

The full-page advertisement for Camels from a 1953 issue of LIFE magazine featured a “lovely star of the Metropolitan Opera” named Risë Stevens. I knew right away that this glamorous-looking lady — and her umlaut! — was the solution to the “Rise” puzzle.

Mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens was born Risë Steenberg in New York City in 1913. Her first name is pronounced “REE-sah” or “REE-suh.” Here’s how she explained it:

“It’s Norwegian; it was my grandmother’s name and my great-grandmother’s name. In school I was called everything but Rise; I was called Rose; I was called Rise {rhyming with “eyes”}; I was called Risé {rhyming with “play”}; even Teresa. In school, it was terrible; I would have arguments with the teachers. I would say, ‘I should know how to pronounce my own name.'”

One source suggested that Risë is related to the Latin word risus, meaning “laughter.”

So what was an opera singer doing in an national advertising campaign? Shouldn’t those be reserved for Hollywood stars? Well, turns out she was a Hollywood star — at least for a time. She sang professionally from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, but in the early 1940s she gave acting a shot.

Her first film, released in late 1941, was the musical The Chocolate Soldier. Notice how her umlaut was left off the movie poster:

chocolate soldier, musical, film, 1941, rise stevens

This film accounts for the 1942 debut of both “Rise” and the phonetic respelling Risa.

Risë Stevens ultimately left Hollywood and returned to the opera — and she managed to bring at least a portion of her movie audience with her:

“I probably would never have reached that vast public had I not done films,” she said. “At least, I won a lot of people over to opera.”

This explains why Risë Stevens, often called the greatest Carmen of her generation, was being featured in advertisements and on television talk shows more than a decade later. And why her unique name therefore saw peak usage in the 1950s.

If you want to know more about Risë (and hear her sing!) here’s a Risë Stevens Tribute video created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

P.S. Risë Stevens had a granddaughter named Marisa — a combination of the names of her grandmothers, Maria and Risë. Risë Stevens’ son told her that he went with the -a ending instead of the ending because he was “not going to put her through what you’ve been through.”

Sources:

Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2013

Alberta’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a couple of weeks ago.

According to data from Service Alberta, the most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Liam.

© Service Alberta
© Service Alberta

Here are Alberta’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia, 293 baby girls
2. Emma, 271
3. Emily, 249
4. Sophia, 241
5. Ava, 198
6. Avery, 172
7. Abigail, 164
8. Charlotte, 156
9. Chloe, 156
10. Lily, 156
11. Ella, 152
12. Isabella, 144
13. Hannah, 138
14. Amelia, 132
15. Brooklyn, 126
16. Madison, 123
17. Sadie, 118
18. Grace, 115
19. Mia, 115
20. Elizabeth, 111
1. Liam, 310 baby boys
2. Lucas, 254
3. Ethan, 244
4. Noah, 234
5. Logan, 225
6. Benjamin, 222
7. William, 217
8. Jacob, 204
9. Mason, 198
10. Carter, 192
11. Alexander, 185
12. Jack, 177
13. Nathan, 177
14. Samuel, 170
15. Owen, 168
16. Oliver, 164
17. Hunter, 162
18. Jackson, 156
19. James, 156
20. Jaxon, 155

Lucas rose from 7th place in 2012 to 2nd place last year, and Noah rose from 10th to 4th. Meanwhile, Jacob fell from 3rd to 8th and Mason fell from 5th to 9th.

Usage of Sadie more than doubled from 51 baby girls in 2012 to 118 in 2013. (Sadie shot up in the U.S. last year as well.)

Here are some of the more unusual names I spotted on the list:

Unusual Girl Names Unusual Boy Names
Avexis, Azkadellia, Beatle, Blissannie, Caliber, Calyannabella, Dignity, Ecclesia, Edgely, D’Or, Emathyst, Emma-Tiger, Fra’Oll, Freixelyne, Glamour, Hannaneh, Izumi, Jilmil, Kayyo, Kree-Dance, Klarybel, Koket, Lava, Lootii, Lszybelle, Maple, Maquinna, Mòrag-Elizabeth, Nebraska, Qori, Shanaekqaheart, Slash, Solomiya, Taynjerine, Thiingdong, Trudith, Venelope, Vyllain, Winter-Wray, Zxianne Aerlwilliam, Aidence, Arismendy, Bemba, Blacker, Brenver, Buffalochild, Chrysogonus, Cooch, Crisxander, Dentley, Dulee’O, Ezzekielle, Godbless, Goodluck, Grady-Best, Gurmn, Hurricane, Isaiah-Ron-Kurt, Jax-Jude, Jet-Lee, Jixxr, Kairaratjo, Klutch, Kris-n, Linclon, Mambo, Mickdam, Neepin-Neepsy, Noah-Niño, Phyo, Sun-Rise, Sunstar, Thunderheart, Trigger, Unitus-Judah, Whiskeyjack, Wintersky, Zancent

If marshmallow peeps could magically come alive, I think “neepin-neepsy” is the sound they would make. (Also “peep,” of course.)

Jamie Dirom of the Calgary Herald went through all of the available Alberta lists (1980 to 2013) and found even more great ones, including:

  • Arson, Coco-Janelle, Codeine, Dancingeaglewhistle, Deemon, Invincible, Itty, Lethal, Nytewolf, Oreo, RocRock, Selphie, Sensimillia, Soda, Tiramisu

Tiramisu! If that exists, there has to be a Cheesecake out there somewhere…

Here are my posts on Alberta’s top names from 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Alberta baby names 2013 list reveals kids called Kindle, Lava, Daenarys and Peeta, but Olivia, Liam still tops, Unique? Not so unique: 101 unusual Alberta baby names

The Top Baby Name Debuts, 1881 to Today

baby names, debut names, name list

Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.

Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.

Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing pop culture explanations. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.

Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)

  • 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
  • 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
  • 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
  • 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
  • 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
  • 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
  • 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
  • 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
  • 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
  • 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
  • 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
  • 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
  • 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
  • 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
  • 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
  • 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
  • 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
  • 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
  • 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
  • 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
  • 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
  • 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
  • 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
  • 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
  • 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
  • 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
  • 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
  • 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
  • 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
  • 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
  • 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
  • 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
  • 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
  • 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
  • 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
  • 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
  • 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
  • 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
  • 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
  • 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
  • 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
  • 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
  • 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
  • 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
  • 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
  • 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
  • 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9

This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)

Now back to the list:

I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!

*If you ignore the Great Baby Name Glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.