How popular is the baby name Robert in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Robert and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Robert.
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When I do historical research, I sometimes come across the name “Lettice.” It always reminds me of lettuce, the leafy salad green, but of course that’s not the source.
The source is Letitia (Lætitia), which comes from Latin and means “joy” or “gladness.” In England during the Middle Ages, various forms/spellings of Letitia emerged, and one of those forms was Lettice.
English noblewoman Lettice Knollys (b. 1543) was an early Lettice. Her husband Robert Dudley was close to — and had nearly become the husband of — Queen Elizabeth (before his marriage to Lettice).
Later Lettices include English actress Lettice Fairfax (b. 1876), English writer Lettice Cooper (b. 1897), and English socialite Lettice Lygon (b. 1906).
A modern example would be English violinist Lettice Rowbotham (vid), who introduced herself on Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago by saying: “I’m Lettice, like the salad.”
The name Lettice is more common overseas than it is in the U.S., but it does see usage here — enough to have popped up in the SSA’s dataset several times (as recently as 1969).
What do you think of the baby name Lettice? Would you use it?
In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.
My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.
In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.
So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.
Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames
Surname starts with:
Potential full initials (& example combo):
A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.) A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.) A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.) A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.) B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.) E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.) G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.) I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.) I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.) I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.) I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.) K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.) L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.) M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.) N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.) O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.) O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.) U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.) U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.) J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.) L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.) R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.) S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.) S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.) T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.) Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.) M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.) N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.) V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.) Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.) R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.) T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.) Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.) A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.) E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.) F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.) I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.) J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.) L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.) M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.) M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.) R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.) S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.) Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.) D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.) G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.) H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.) L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.) M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.) M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.) M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.) S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.) S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.) V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.) W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.) Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.) D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.) J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.) J.I.M. (James Irvin M.) K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.) L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.) P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.) R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.) S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.) S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.) T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.) T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.) T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.) D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.) D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.) J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.) L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.) M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.) P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.) R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.) R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.) T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.) G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.) I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.) J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.) J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.) K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.) M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.) R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.) R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.) S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
The baby name Eydie debuted in the U.S. data in 1954:
1960: 27 baby girls named Eydie
1959: 37 baby girls named Eydie
1958: 50 baby girls named Eydie [peak]
1957: 23 baby girls named Eydie
1956: 11 baby girls named Eydie
1955: 10 baby girls named Eydie
1954: 5 baby girls named Eydie [debut]
Where did it come from?
Pop singer Eydie Gormé.
She was most famous during in the 1960s: her biggest hit was “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (1963), and she won a Grammy for “If He Walked Into My Life” (1966).
But she first came to people’s attention when she started making regular TV appearances in 1953 on the The Tonight Show, originally hosted by Steve Allen. She often performed with her husband, Steve Lawrence.
Eydie was born Edith Garmezano in New York City in 1928. (Her husband’s birth name was Sidney Liebowitz.) Her family — parents Nessim and Fortune, siblings Robert and Corene — later shortened the surname to Gormé. She adopted the stage name Edie when she started singing, but was so frequently called “Eddie” that she decided to add a Y to emphasize the correct pronunciation (ee-dee).
The inspiration? Hoby Gilman, the main character of the TV western Trackdown (1957-1959).
Hoby, played by actor Robert Culp, was a Texas Ranger who spent his days tracking down bad guys in post-Civil War Texas. “[Culp’s] Hoby Gilman was a cooler character than other deadpan Western cowboys. Culp…imbued Hoby with a hipness that was ahead of the time but which presaged the Sixties yet to come.”
Notably, Trackdown “was given official approval from the (modern day) Rangers and the state of Texas.”
The character originated on an episode of Zane Grey Theatre in May of 1957. A mere five months later, a whole series based on Hoby had emerged. (A whopping five episodes of Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre were developed into subsequent TV shows. Impressive.)
Robert Culp went on to co-star with Bill Cosby in I Spy from 1965 to 1968. His character, named Kelly, gave a temporary boost to the male usage of Kelly, which peaked for boys in 1967/1968.
In yesterday’s post on Cindylou, we talked about how the name Cindy was at peak trendiness in 1957.
But even that trendiness can’t quite explain the magnitude of the 1957 debut of Sindee, which tied with Maverick in terms of usage:
1959: 9 baby girls named Sindee
1958: 9 baby girls named Sindee
1957: 32 baby girls named Sindee [debut]
On-trend Sindee might have debuted that year anyway, but it wouldn’t have hit as high without the national news coverage of Sindee Roberta Neilson, born in January to Suzanne and Robert Neilson of Hartsdale, New York. Her birth was notable because it was Mrs. Neilson’s eighth caesarean section delivery — not technically a record at the time, but still a “very rare” occurrence.
Mrs. Neilson had a ninth C-section in 1959. Six of her nine babies lived past birth, but the only other names I could track down were Sherry and Suzanne (who is holding the camera in that photo).
What are your thoughts on the name Sindee? Do you like that spelling?
Baby Makes History; Child Is Woman’s 8th Delivered by Caesarean Section.” New York Times 11 Jan. 1957: 13.