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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Popularity of the Baby Name Robert

Number of Babies Named Robert

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Robert

Classics on the Decline: Paul, Jesse, Frank

boy names falling out of fashion

A few weeks back, a reader named Caitlin emailed me a cool list of well-known names that were decreasing in usage. Her list included:

  • Andrew, now ranked 40th — lowest ranking since 1963
  • Michael, now ranked 12th — lowest ranking since 1942
  • David, now ranked 23rd — lowest ranking since 1924

She also generously told me that I could share her findings (thank you Caitlin!).

The names that intrigued me most were the “lowest ever” names: names that had been in the data since 1880, but that saw their lowest usage ever (in terms of rankings) in 2017. Three of the boy names on her list — Paul, Richard, Robert — were “lowest ever” names, so I decided start with these and search for others.

I checked hundreds of potential candidates. Many (like Andrew, Michael, and David) hit a low in 2017, but it wasn’t their all-time low. Many others (like Stanley, Alvin, and Clarence) hit a low recently, but not as recently as 2017.

In the end, I was able to add 15 names to the list:

  • Allen. Ranked 401st in 2017; peak was 71st in the 1940s/1950s.
  • Dennis. Ranked 544th in 2017; peak was 16th in the 1940s.
  • Edgar. Ranked 353rd in 2017; peak was 51st in the 1880s.
  • Edwin. Ranked 332nd in 2017; peak was 52nd in the 1910s/1920s.
  • Frank. Ranked 373rd in 2017; peak was 6th in the 1880s/1890s.
  • Gerald. Ranked 824th in 2017; peak was 19th in the 1930s.
  • Glenn. Ranked 1,288th in 2017; peak was 55th in the 1960s.
  • Herman. Ranked 2,347th in 2017; peak was 44th in the 1880s/1890s.
  • Jerome. Ranked 857th in 2017; peak was 93rd in the 1930s.
  • Jesse. Ranked 186th in 2017; peak was 37th in the 1980s.
  • Lloyd. Ranked 1,570th in 2017; peak was 51st in the 1910s.
  • Martin. Ranked 281st in 2017; peak was 62nd in the 1960s.
  • Marvin. Ranked 559th in 2017; peak was 44th in the 1930s.
  • Paul. Ranked 225th in 2017; peak was 12th in the 1910s/1930s.
  • Raymond. Ranked 293rd in 2017; peak was 14th in the 1910s.
  • Richard. Ranked 175th in 2017; peak was 5th in the 1930s/1940s.
  • Robert. Ranked 65th in 2017; peak was 1st in the 1920s/1930s/1950s.
  • Wayne. Ranked 816th in 2017; peak was 29th in the 1940s.

Interestingly, all 18 have spent time in the top 100. And one, Robert, is still in the top 100. (How long before Robert is out of the top 100, do you think?)

A handful of girl names also saw their lowest-ever rankings in 2017. I’ll post that list next week…

Dolly Parton’s Dozen

Dolly Parton album coverCountry singer Dolly Parton was born to parents Avie Lee and Robert Lee Parton in Tennessee 1946. She was the fourth of a dozen children: six boys and six girls. The names of all twelve, in order, are:

  1. Willadeene
  2. David Wilburn
  3. Coy Denver
  4. Dolly Rebecca
  5. Bobby Lee
  6. Stella Mae
  7. Cassie Nan
  8. Randel “Randy” Huston
  9. Larry Gerald
  10. Estel Floyd (twin)
  11. Freida Estelle (twin)
  12. Rachel Ann

Things that have since been named after Dolly include a cloned sheep, a celebrity baby, and a Tennessee amusement park.

Source: A Mother’s Love & Inspiration – Avie Lee Parton

Baby Names for Tea Lovers (Namestorm #17)

baby names for tea lovers

We haven’t done a Namestorm in a long time! The last one we did was for coffee lovers, so let’s follow that up with one for tea lovers.

Here are some tea-inspired baby names for all the tea lovers out there:

Camellia
The Camellia genus gives us not only flowers, but also tea: the Camellia sinensis plant is our primary source of tea. The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus in honor of Czech missionary and botanist Georg Joseph Kamel (1661-1706).

Thomas

  • Thomas Garway was the first person sell tea in London, in 1657.
  • Thomas Twining founded Twinings of London in the early 1700s.
  • Thomas Lipton founded Lipton Tea in the 1890s.
  • Thomas Sullivan of New York inadvertently invented teabags in 1907 when he distributed tea samples in loosely woven silk bags and people started using the bags to brew the tea.

Catherine (or Catarina)
Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza popularized tea-drinking among the British nobility in the mid-1600 upon her marriage to King Charles II in 1662. (FYI: The borough of Queens in New York City was named during Catherine’s tenure, so it was presumably named for her.)

Robert
Britain was obsessed with tea by the 1800s, but China controlled the tea trade. So in the late 1840s, the British East India Company sent Scottish botanist Robert Fortune (1812-1880) to China to learn the secrets of Chinese tea production and to smuggle tea plants and seedlings out of the country and take them to India.

Jasmine
Jasmine tea is a blend made with green tea and jasmine blossoms.

Grey (or Earl) (or Earl Grey)
Earl Grey tea is a blend made with black tea and oil of bergamot (a type of citrus fruit). It existed as far back as the 1880s and is thought to be named after former British Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.

Nanette
The famous song “Tea for Two” comes from the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette. It’s a duet sung during Act II by characters Nanette and Tom.

What other baby names with a tea association can you come up with?

The Beginning of Broderick

broderick crawford, willie stark, all the kings men
Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark
The first name Roderick has been in use for centuries, but the similar name Broderick is relatively new. It debuted in the U.S. data in 1950:

  • 1953: 29 baby boys named Broderick
  • 1952: 25 baby boys named Broderick
  • 1951: 25 baby boys named Broderick
  • 1950: 30 baby boys named Broderick [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted

The man who inspired this debut? Veteran actor Broderick Crawford. His portrayal of corrupt politician Willie Stark in the drama All the King’s Men, released nationally in early 1950, turned him into a star overnight. He won the Best Actor award at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes that year.

The movie was based on the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. The story was inspired by the rise and fall of notorious Louisiana politician Huey P. Long.

Crawford’s birth name was William Broderick Crawford; Broderick was his mother’s maiden name. There are two possible etymologies for the surname Broderick:

  • The Gaelic surname Ó Bruadair, meaning “descendant of Bruadar.” The origin of Bruadar is either Norse or Irish — sources disagree.
  • The Welsh surname ap Rhydderch, meaning “son of Rhydderch.” The definition of Rhydderch is “reddish brown.”

Do you like the name Broderick? Do you like it more or less than Roderick?

Sources:

Name Quotes #59: Braam, Reality, Ji-young

It’s the first Monday of the month! That means it’s time for another batch of name-related quotes from all over the web (and elsewhere). Enjoy!

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From an article (“Q is for Curiosity”) in the July 1950 issue of Radio and Television Mirror:

For the record, Robert Q. Lewis has no middle name. He decided, one day six years ago, to stick in that Q and see if people would be curious about it. They were. Now he’s stuck with it.

Somewhere in every conversation with strangers the question comes up, “Why the Q?” The answer varies from time to time, his favorite being “Quackpot.”

From an article about speedskater KC Boutiette (found via Abby):

His 2 1/2-year-old son is named Braam, the Dutch word for a burr that develops when skates are being sharpened.

One of Boutiette’s best friends had named his dog Braam.

“That’s the coolest name ever,” Boutiette said. “So I named my son after a dog and a burr on a speedskate.”

From an article about South Korean novel Kim Ji-young, Born in 1982:

Written by author Cho Nam-ju, the book follows the life of its protagonist, named Kim Ji-young, a South Korean woman born in 1982. Her name, Ji-young, was one of the most common baby names for girls in the country back in the 1980s.

Like her name, her life is far from extraordinary. Like most Korean women born in the ‘80s, she attends university, gets a job, gets married and becomes a stay-at-home mother.

From an article about fashion designer Arnold Scaasi:

Despite the Savile Row–worthy tailoring, Scaasi was not British, nor was he Italian, though his surname was meant to make you think so—in reality it was Issaacs spelled backward.

From the NYT obituary of jazz drummer Zutty Singleton:

Mr. Singleton, who was born in Bunkie, La., on May 14, 1898, was named Arthur James. He acquired the nickname Zutty (Zoot-ee), a Creole patois word, for “cute,” when he was an infant.

From an article (“Names In News Become Names For Children”) in the November 24, 1963, edition of the Indianapolis Star:

Soviet parents are tending to name their children after currently fashionable personalities. During and after Fidel Castro’s tour of Russia, scores of boy babies were given the not-so-Russian-sounding name of Fidel. The Moscow Statistics Bureau has reported 55 young Fidels in Moscow alone. Later, with woman cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in orbit, half the newly born girls in Moscow were named in her honor.

From an article about NSA contractor Reality Winner:

It was Ronald who named Reality. The deal had been that Billie got to name their first — Brittany — but their second was his to choose. He noticed, on a T-shirt at their Lamaze class, the words I COACHED A REAL WINNER. He wanted a success story and felt that an aspirational name would increase his chances of producing one. Billie did not object; a deal is a deal.

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.