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, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Robert.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Robert


Posts that Mention the Name Robert

The Debut of Delinah

The name Delinah popped up in the baby data twice in the late ’70s, and it was given to a relatively high number of baby girls both times.

  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: 21 baby girls named Delinah
  • 1977: 22 baby girls named Delinah [debut]
  • 1976: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Celebrity gossip. Robert Blake was at the peak of his fame while Baretta was on TV, and, during that time, his family was also in the spotlight. In 1977 specifically, Robert and his wife Sondra separated and nearly divorced. The news outlets covering the story were always sure to mention that the couple had two children: Noah (age 12) and Delinah (11).

Robert and Sondra managed to stay together for another few years, but the marriage finally ended in 1981.

Sources:

  • Armstrong, Lois. “Baretta’s Blake.” People 19 Sept. 1977.
  • Sasso, Joey. “Through Channels.” Garden City Telegram 24 Aug. 1977: 5.

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Alberta, 2019

baby names in Alberta, 2019

According to the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province in 2019 were Olivia and Noah.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 229 baby girls
  2. Charlotte, 188
  3. Sophia, 181
  4. Emma, 178
  5. Ava, 161
  6. Amelia, 159
  7. Emily, 150
  8. Abigail, 141
  9. Hannah, 137
  10. Elizabeth, 124

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 275 baby boys
  2. Liam, 234
  3. Oliver, 225
  4. Ethan, 213
  5. Jack, 198
  6. William, 185
  7. Lucas, 174
  8. Owen, 167
  9. Benjamin, 163
  10. Jacob, 162

In the girls’ top 10, Hannah returns and ousts Harper.

In the boys’ top 10, Owen replaces Logan, Alexander, and James. (It’s uneven because there were two ties in the 2018 top 10.)

Rare baby names that were bestowed just once in Alberta last year include…

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Anesidora, Aviendha, Brungus, Castrence, Calluna, Doxa, Eilish, Fitia-Jane, Giannajoe, Historia, Isleigh, Jennathul, Kriscilla, Kipper, Lilith-Luna, Loonskin, Maxeld, Neepin, Ovalah, Phoemella, Ruftael, Starbrit, Tenacious, Timely, Uzuvira, Verily, Waskway, Xanthal, Yuvleen, ZsanelleAbundance, Apollo-July, BlueJay, Couloir, Cousteau, Despot, Ellejon, Felix-Ivan, Gravity, Handsome-Jack, Humbly, Iguttaq, Iskotew, Jenzieland, Kitterick, Luxton, Maxjay, Nomatic, Ozmo, Pétain, Ranxel, Revic, Sprocket, Thundersky, Uael, Varis, Whirlwind, Xiron, Ylan-Maël, Zagger

Explanations and/or potential influences for a few of the above:

  • Aviendha was a character from Wheel of Time book series (1990-2013) by author Robert Jordan.
  • Waskway is the Cree word for “birch” or “birch tree.”
  • Couloir is the word for “a steep gully in alpine terrain” (from the French word for “corridor” or “hallway”).
  • Iguttaq is the Inuktitut word for “bumblebee.”
  • Iskotew is the Cree word for “fire.”
  • Nomatic is a company that creates minimalist travel products.
  • Revic (“revolutionary” + “optics”) is a company that makes rifle scopes.

(More of Alberta’s unique baby names can be found on my Patreon page!)

In 2018, the top two names in Alberta were Olivia and Liam.

Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Alberta reveals top baby names of 2019, Online Cree Dictionary, Couloir – Avalanche.org

The Rare Name Royalene

Royalene Hinkle

The rare name Royalene appeared in the SSA’s public dataset* for the first and only time in 1942:

  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: 5 baby girls named Royalene
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted

What boosted Royalene into the data that year?

My guess is 26-year-old murder victim Royalene Hinkle of Watseka, Illinois. (Sorry about the watermarked image — it was the best photo of her that I could find.)

In March of 1941, Royalene and her boyfriend were found shot to death at the home of Royalene’s maternal uncle, Robert Feister (with whom she lived).

Feister went on trial for the two murders that summer. Notably, he had two heart attacks in the middle of the proceedings, but survived both. He was eventually found guilty — he’d been “hoping he would inherit her $11,000 estate” — and given a life sentence.

The crime and ensuing court case kept the name Royalene in the papers for several months, and this ongoing exposure had enough of an influence on expectant parents to make “Royalene” a one-hit wonder the following year.

What are your thoughts on the name Royalene?

Sources:

  • “Farmer Is Guilty Of Killing Niece Punishment Set As Life Term.” Clarion-Ledger 21 Jul. 1941: 1.
  • Fiester Suffers Attack While Testifying.” Daily Illini 17 Jul. 1941: 2.
  • “Inquest in Lovers’ Deaths.” Alton Evening Telegraph 2 Apr. 1941: 12.
  • Mystery Solved

*The dataset only includes names given to five or more babies per year.

Name Quotes 84: Al, Gene, Sonatine

Welcome to the monthly quote post! There are a lot of celebrities in this one, so let’s start with…

Actor Emilio Estevez — who pronounces his surname ESS-teh-vez, instead of the Spanish way, ess-TEH-vezdiscussing his name [vid] on Talk Soup with Nessa in 2019:

So I was born on 203rd Street in South Bronx. And, at the time, my father had this very Hispanic-sounding last name. […] A lot people, a lot of these agents, and folks said, if you wanna work in this business, you gotta have a more Anglo-sounding name. Of course times have changed, but there was that moment where he was finally on Broadway — 1965, ’66 — and his father came from Dayton (he was from Spain, of course) and looked up on the marquee, and saw the three names that were starring in the play, and one of them was “Martin Sheen” and not his real name, Ramón Estévez. And my grandfather just looked up, and he just shook his head, and he was so disappointed. And my father saw that. And so when I began to get into this business, we had that conversation. And he said, don’t make the same mistake I did.

…A few sentences later, Estevez added:

I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me on the street and said, you know, just seeing your name on a poster, just seeing your name on screen, meant so much to me, you have no idea.

(Martin Sheen’s stage name was created from the names of CBS casting director Robert Dale Martin and televangelist archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.)

Singer Billy Idol, born William Broad, discussing his stage name [vid] with Karyn Hay on the New Zealand TV show Radio with Pictures in 1984:

Q: Why did you choose the name Billy Idol, especially in a time when [there’s] Johnny Rotten, Ret Scabies, you know?

A: Exactly, I mean that’s the point. That’s exactly the point. […] I thought, first of all, of course, of I-D-L-E, you know, idle. Cause this chemistry teacher when I was at school — I got 8 out of 100 for chemistry, I hated chemistry — so he wrote, “William is idle,” right? And I thought that was great to get 8 out of 10 [sic] for chemistry, cause I hated the hell out of it. So I thought that was respectable, so I thought it was worthwhile being called I-D-O-L, idol. Also, it’s good fun making fun of show business. I’m not into show business, I’m into rock ‘n’ roll.

Composer Bear McCreary’s baby name announcement from mid-2014:

Raya and I are proud to announce our greatest collaboration is finally here. 

Sonatine Yarbrough McCreary was born 6/2/14 and is filling our lives with joy, music… and poop.

(The musical term sonatina means “small sonata” in Italian. A sonata refers to a piece that is played — as opposed to a cantata, a piece that is sung.)

From an article about Amy Schumer legally changing her son’s name:

The I Feel Pretty star revealed her decision to change her 11-month-old son’s name on the newest episode of her podcast 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Tuesday. Schumer and her husband Chris Fischer named their first child Gene Attell Fischer, born May 5, with his middle name serving as a tribute to their good friend comic Dave Attell.

“Do you guys know that Gene, our baby’s name, is officially changed? It’s now Gene David Fischer. It was Gene Attell Fischer, but we realized that we, by accident, named our son ‘genital,'” Schumer told cohosts Rachel Feinstein, Bridget Everett, and Keith Robinson.

…More to the point, from Amy’s Instagram:

Oh, like you never named your kid Genital fissure!!!!!!!

Three quotes from a fantastic article in the NYT about Weird Al Yankovic (discovered via Nancy Friedman).

…On his Alfred-ness:

Although Alfred’s grades were perfect, and he could solve any math problem you threw at him, his social life was agonizing. Imagine every nerd cliche: He was scrawny, pale, unathletic, nearsighted, awkward with girls — and his name was Alfred. And that’s all before you even factor in the accordion.

…On how his surname turned him into an accordion player:

[The accordion] came from a door-to-door salesman. The man was offering the gift of music, and he gave the Yankovics a simple choice: accordion or guitar. This was 1966, the golden age of rock, the year of the Beatles’ “Revolver” and the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” and Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde.” A guitar was like a magic amulet spraying sexual psychedelic magic all over the world. So Yankovic’s mother chose the accordion. This was at least partly because of coincidence: Frankie Yankovic, a world-famous polka player, happened to share the family’s last name. No relation. Just a wonderful coincidence that would help to define Alfred’s entire life.

…On his Alfred-ness again:

The nickname “Weird Al” started as an insult. It happened during his first year of college. This was a fresh start for Alfred — a chance to reinvent himself for a whole new set of people. He had no reputation to live down, no epic humiliations. And so he decided to implement a rebrand: He introduced himself to everyone not as Alfred but as “Al.” Alfred sounded like the kind of kid who might invent his own math problems for fun. Al sounded like the opposite of that: a guy who would hang out with the dudes, eating pizza, casually noodling on an electric guitar, tossing off jokes so unexpectedly hilarious they would send streams of light beer rocketing out of everyone’s noses.

The problem was that, even at college, even under the alias of Al, Yankovic was still himself. He was still, fundamentally, an Alfred.

Comedian Kevin Hart on choosing baby names:

I wish I could say that I am the main guru, [but] I am awful when it comes to the names. That is not my expertise. […] I say the same thing every time. It’s either Kevin or Kevina. I got two names. That’s it. So if you never go with either one of those then I’m no good to you.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

The Baby Name Dellora

Miss Dellora Angell, newspaper photo, February 1919
Dellora (Feb. 1919)

The Dolores-like baby name Dellora appeared in the U.S. data for a total of six years, seeing peak usage in 1922:

  • 1925: unlisted
  • 1924: 8 baby girls named Dellora
  • 1923: 13 baby girls named Dellora
  • 1922: 14 baby girls named Dellora
  • 1921: 7 baby girls named Dellora
  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: 7 baby girls named Dellora
  • 1918: 5 baby girls named Dellora
  • 1917: unlisted

Much of this usage is attributable to heiress Dellora Angell (1902-1979) of St. Charles, Illinois.

Her name first started popping up in the newspapers in late 1918, upon the death of her maternal aunt, Dellora Gates. Aunt Dellora was the widow of wealthy industrialist John W. Gates, and she left the bulk of the Gates fortune to her last two close relatives: her brother Edward, and her teenage niece/namesake Dellora (the daughter of her deceased sister Lavern).

In the early 1920s, the newspapers began linking young Dellora to various suitors (e.g., a Brazilian physician named Vantini, an oil man named Campbell).

In late 1922, she finally got engaged to a childhood friend from St. Charles named Lester Norris, described as a “poor artist and son of the village undertaker.” (He was a newspaper cartoonist; he later became a businessman.)

They had a small wedding in March of 1923. After that, they rented a small apartment in St. Charles, where Dellora “began housekeeping, doing her own cooking and sewing, and having a lot of fun doing it.”

For several years the newspapers continued to report on Dellora’s growing family, and her unusual decision to live so simply:

The richest young woman in the world, who, from the number of her millions, and her youth and beauty, one would expect to find wintering at Cannes, moving with the seasons from one smart watering place to another and filling her wardrobe with Parisian gowns and jewels, lives quietly in a Middle Western town, wears gingham dresses, as she does own housework, and looks after her two babies herself.

(They went on to have a total of five children: Lavern, Lester*, Joann, Robert, and John.)

In the meanwhile, Dellora and Lester (and Dellora’s uncle, Edward) quietly gave back to the community of St. Charles. They funded/created a theater, a municipal center, a hospital (named “Delnor,” a contraction of Dellora Norris), a hotel, a community center, and made numerous other contributions and donations to schools, churches, and so forth. Today, Dellora’s name lives on in the name of the Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center.

What are your thoughts on baby name Dellora? Would you consider using it on a modern baby?

Sources:

  • “J. W. Gates’s Widow Dies at Age of 63.” New York Tribune 29 Nov. 1918: 12.
  • “Coming June Bride Is Worth at Least Million.” Riverside Daily Press 11 Jun. 1921: 1.
  • “Has Dellora Angell, $38,000,000 Heiress, Again Run Away From Love.” Evening World [New York] 18 Jul. 1922: 16.
  • “Heiress Engaged.” Riverside Daily Press 10 Nov. 1922: 1.
  • “Humble Life Preferred by Millionaire Bride.” Evening Star 16 Nov. 1923: 38.
  • “The Gates Heiress and Her “Love-In-a-Cottage”.” Ogden Standard Examiner 26 Jul. 1925: 22.
  • Szymczak, Patricia M. “The Legacy.” Chicago Tribune 15 Jan. 1989.

*In July of 1925, it was reported that baby Lester, born in April, was still nameless and “in lieu of a permanent name” was being called Skeezix after the comic strip character (see Clovia).