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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rocket

Number of Babies Named Rocket

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Rocket

Name Quotes #50: Rocket, Lenore, Heloise

clueless, quote, cher, dionne

Clueless character Cher on the similarity between her name and that of her best friend Dionne:

We were both named after great singers of the past who now do infomercials.

(Dionne’s name comes from Dionne Warwick.)

From a 2007 interview in People with film director Robert Rodriguez (whose kids are named Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue, and Rhiannon):

Asked about his children’s unusual names, Robert attributes them to side effects he sustained from his college years when he subjected himself to medical tests to make extra money.

“Rocket is the first one. And once you name your first kid Rocket, you can’t name your next kid Marty. Racer, Rebel, Rogue…I’m just gonna blame this on the medical experiments. But they do have regular middle names in case they don’t want to start their own wrestling team.”

(An Australian celebrity named Lara Bingle has two sons named Rocket and Racer…perhaps in homage to Robert Rodriguez?)

From Incomplete birth certificates create a bureaucratic morass by Andrew Ryan in the Boston Globe:

A generation ago — when more families had six or more children — babies without official first names were surprisingly common. Overwhelmed new parents would leave the hospital without completing birth certificate paperwork.

But what once seemed like a quaint oddity becomes a serious inconvenience in a world of identity theft and terrorism. Today, governments demand birth certificates.

As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, vital statistics offices — including at Boston City Hall — continue to receive a trickle of people whose birth certificates carry no first name. Boston officials estimated that in the 1950s, roughly 1 of every 25 birth certificates lacked a first name.

From the 1970 obituary of actress Lenore Ulric in the New York Times:

Born in the little town of New Ulm, Minn., in 1892, the daughter of Franz Xavier Ulrich, an Army hospital steward, Miss Ulric (she dropped the H from her last name) used to say that she was predestined for the stage. Her father gave her the name of Lenore because of his fondness for Poe’s poem, “The Raven,” and her childhood was devoted to theatrical yearnings.

(She played Wetona on stage in 1916.)

Name expert Kunio Makino, as quoted in What to call baby? by Tomoko Otake in The Japan Times:

“I think people who come up with bizarre names for their children tend to feel that they couldn’t live the life they wanted to, and they feel that they have been hindered by many rules and restrictions. The only freedom they have at their disposal, they think, is the right to name their child.”

From Hi, My Name Is Héloïse by Héloïse Chung (formerly Kathy Bryant):

I leaned toward names made of calm, feminine sounds that never sounded like someone was yelling at you. The harsh K in Kathy conjured up my mother’s words for me: kigibe, keoji, shikkeuro. Korean for girl, beggar, and shut up. But I still wasn’t ready. I switched from Kathy to “Kate,” which felt like a small step, but not one nearly big enough.

[…]

Once the universe gave me the OK, a little space seemed to open up for the name to find me. And so it was that Héloïse fluttered into my head one day, devastatingly perfect. I’m not sure exactly where it came from. Perhaps some derivation of Luisita (a friend) or Elio (a boy I used to babysit). I guess I have a thing for L names. I honed it, trying it with and without the H and with and without the diacritics. I didn’t want them to be an affectation. Is it gauche to use French spelling if you don’t even speak French? Eff it, I went with the French.

From Why and how Ontarians change their names in the 21st century by Eric Andrew-Gee in The Globe and Mail:

Some change their names by truncation, some by hyphenation, others by amalgamation, others by invention. Some changes are banal, done for everyday reasons – a divorce, a marriage, a mistransliteration (an imprecise conversion from one alphabet to another) – while others are poignant, playful, even poetic.

When I asked people about their choice while reporting this story, virtually no one was glib. Many would go on and on, grateful to talk about a decision that cuts to the marrow of who they are. Others became tearful and, in some cases, shuddered audibly at the sound of their birth names. Some even declined to discuss the subject.

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


Top Girl Name Debuts of 2014

The television-inspired Dalary was the top debut name for baby girls in 2014.

Of all the girl names appearing for the very first time on a Social Security Administration baby name list in 2014, the following were the most popular:

1. Dalary, 215 baby girls
2. Yazleemar, 28
3. Sunjai, 23
4. Hannaley, 21
5. Tauriel, 20
6. Naiovy, 17
7. Rynlee, 14
8. Abisai, 13
9. Arliz, 13
10. Everli, 13
11. Iselle, 13
12. Tessanne, 13
13. Eisele, 12
14. Aidana, 11
15. Aransa, 11
16. Huntlee, 11
17. Posy, 11
18. Tiwatope, 11
19. Xairexis, 11

And a handful from the 10-and-under group: Enzley, Sochi, Kaoir, Aketzaly, Everdeen, Jeyshangelise, Khaleesia, Yailenys/Yaileny, Espyn/Espen, Gabbanelli, Kimimela, Kween, Rocket, Ruoxi, Cove, Light, Madrona, Miamore/Miamour, Penrose, Synnove, Winslet, Ziggy, Believe, Bravery, Decker, Hastings, Katsumi, Knova, Luxanna, Mirajane, Nelliel, Penelopea, Poe, Taizley, Theophilia, Wimberley, Zoja, Zyelle.

Where do the names above come from? Here are some explanations:

  • Dalary – from the baby girl born on reality TV show “Larrymania” in late 2013. (Abby figured this one out right away!)
  • Yazleemar – from 2-year-old St. Jude patient Yazleemar, who was in Spanish-language TV commercials for the hospital.
  • Sunjai – from the dance reality TV show “Bring It.”
  • Hannaley – from actress Hannaley Suarez, host of “Suelta La Sopa” on Telemundo.
  • Tauriel – from the 2nd and 3rd films in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, released in 2013 and 2014. (elbowin called this one a while back!)
  • Naiovy – from Puerto Rican-American singer Ivy Queen, who welcomed baby girl Naiovy in late 2013.
  • Iselle – from Hurricane Iselle which hit Hawaii (as a tropical storm) in August of 2014.
  • Tessanne – from singer Tessanne Chin, who won The Voice at the end of 2013. (We added her name to Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2013, but forgot for 2014! Bah.)
  • Aransa – based on Aranza, from Mexican telenovela “Por siempre mi amor” (2013-2015).
  • Xairexis – from singer Xairexis Garcia of Spanish-language reality talent show “La Voz Kids.”
  • Sochi – from the Winter Olympics in Sochi. (Also mentioned in PCBNG ’13.)
  • Everdeen – from Hunger Games character Katniss Everdeen.
  • Winslet – from Kate Winslet…?

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?

Here are the girl name debuts for 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010.

U.S. Baby Names 2014: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths

The Baby Name Pharrell – Trendy Again?

Happy album, Pharrell WilliamsPharrell Williams rose to fame in 2003 with his first big hit, “Frontin’.” That year, the baby name Pharrell debuted impressively on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • 2013: 16 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2012: 10 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2011: 14 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2010: 18 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2009: 16 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2008: 19 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2007: 16 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2006: 37 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2005: 31 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2004: 44 baby boys named Pharrell
  • 2003: 67 baby boys named Pharrell [debut]
  • 2002: unlisted

Not only was the name Pharrell the top debut name of 2003, but it was also the 21st most popular debut name of all time on the boys’ list. (Variant Pharell had debuted the previous year.)

Pharrell Williams — who has a dad named Pharaoh and a son named Rocket, incidentally — has been on the scene ever since, but 2013 and 2014 were particularly big years for him, with the success of the songs “Blurred Lines” and “Happy” and his new gig as a judge on The Voice.

Usage of the name cooled off after 2003, but there was a slight increase in 2013. Do you think Williams’ ongoing exposure will boost the name even higher in 2014?

American Gladiator Names vs. Real-Life Baby Names

american gladiators trading card
I had no idea American Gladiators trading cards existed before I wrote this post.
Ready for a game?

The original American Gladiators TV show (1989-1996) featured 32 American Gladiators and 31 mostly-tough-sounding Gladiator names. (Why 31? Because “Lace” was used twice.) Here are the 31 names:

  1. Atlas
  2. Blaze
  3. Bronco
  4. Cyclone
  5. Dallas
  6. Diamond
  7. Elektra
  8. Gemini
  9. Gold
  10. Havoc
  11. Hawk
  12. Ice
  13. Jade
  14. Jazz
  15. Lace
  16. Laser
  17. Malibu
  18. Nitro
  19. Rebel
  20. Sabre
  21. Siren
  22. Sky
  23. Storm
  24. Sunny
  25. Tank
  26. Thunder
  27. Titan
  28. Tower
  29. Turbo
  30. Viper
  31. Zap

The short-lived American Gladiators remake (2008) featured 20 new gladiators and 18 new tough-sounding gladiator names. (Why 18? Because Siren and Titan were recycled from the original.) Here are the 18 new names:

  1. Beast
  2. Crush
  3. Fury
  4. Hellga
  5. Hurricane
  6. Jet
  7. Justice
  8. Mayhem
  9. Militia
  10. Panther
  11. Phoenix
  12. Rocket
  13. Stealth
  14. Steel
  15. Toa
  16. Venom
  17. Wolf
  18. Zen

So here’s the game: Try to guess what percentage of the 31 original Gladiator names and what percentage of the 18 new Gladiator names have appeared on at least one of the SSA’s annual baby name lists. (To appear on a list, a name has to be given to at least 5 U.S. babies in a single year.)

Come up with your guesses before reading on!

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Ok, here are the answers.

Of the 31 original American Gladiator names, 23 have appeared on an SSA list: Atlas, Blaze, Bronco, Dallas, Diamond, Elektra, Gemini, Gold, Havoc, Hawk, Jade, Jazz, Lace, Malibu, Rebel, Sabre, Siren, Sky, Storm, Sunny, Tank, Thunder and Titan. That’s 74%.

Of the 18 remake American Gladiator names, 9 have appeared on an SSA list: Fury, Jet, Justice, Phoenix, Rocket, Steel, Toa, Wolf and Zen. That’s exactly 50%.

How close did you get to 74% and 50%?