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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ronald

Number of Babies Named Ronald

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Ronald

Baby Names from Pullman Cars?

pullman car, train,Years ago I posted about Livonia, a baby both born on and named after a Pullman car. Recently I wondered: What other Pullman car names would have made good baby names?

So I downloaded a big spreadsheet of over 12,000 Pullman car names from The Pullman Project and was slightly surprised to see that thousands of them could have been baby names, if we allow for the splitting of compound car names (like Fort Miley, Glen Norman, Meredith College, and West Willow).

Here are a handful of examples. On the left are relatively common/familiar names, and on the right are some unexpected choices.

Alana, Archer, Arnold Adriatha, Arundel, Arvonia
Baxter, Becket, Bradley Bantry, Bellonia, Besco
Calvin, Catalina, Clyde Cadesia, Clarnie, Clymer
Dana, Deborah, Dwight Darlow, Dathema, Dodona
Edith, Eileen, Elmo Edminster, Emalinda, Etherley
Finley, Flavia, Floyd Fithian, Flaxton, Florilla
Gary, Georgette, Grayson Gavarnie, Gilia, Gloxinia
Harper, Harriet, Hector Harista, Humela, Hythe
Iona, Isabella, Ivan Irvona, Isleta, Ixion
Jessica, Jordan, Julia Jacelia, Jathniel, Justitia
Kara, Keith, Kenneth Keinath, Kenia, Kittson
Laurel, Lewis, Linden Lauveta, Leolyn, Lysander
Madison, Marco, Maude Mardonia, Mayence, Morganza
Nicola, Noel, Nora Narinda, Nasby, Norlina
Olivia, Omar, Otis Oaklyn, Olanda, Oxus
Parker, Perry, Philippa Penlyn, Pipila, Pixley
Quincy Quarren
Rebecca, Riley, Ronald Rexis, Risley, Ruxton
Sarah, Scott, Susanne Salphrona, Sarver, Sibley
Thora, Tracy, Tyler Tascott, Tilden, Tisonia
Vanessa, Vernon, Victoria Varick, Vinora, Vivita
Wesley, Wilson, Wren Welby, Wescott, Wexford

Which of the names above do you like best?


The Premiere of Piper

piper laurieDid you know that tens of thousands of baby girls have been named Piper within the last few years?

These young Pipers have 84-year-old actress Piper Laurie to thank for putting their name on the map in the first place.

Piper Laurie’s breakout role was in the 1950 film Louisa (which also starred future president Ronald Reagan). One year later, the name Piper popped up for the very first time in the SSA data:

  • 1956: 38 baby girls named Piper
  • 1955: 31 baby girls named Piper
  • 1954: 36 baby girls named Piper
  • 1953: 40 baby girls named Piper
  • 1952: 35 baby girls named Piper
  • 1951: 11 baby girls named Piper [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted

Piper Laurie wasn’t born “Piper Laurie,” though. She was born Rosetta Jacobs. Here’s how she got her stage name:

Ted told me one evening that he had thought of a good professional name for me and handed me a scrap of yellow paper with “piper laurie” written on it. He’d not capitalized it, so it looked strange. I didn’t care for it because it didn’t seem to be a name. He couldn’t explain how he’d thought of it; he said it just came to him! I had used a variety of professional names by then. In those days it was understood that Rosetta Jacobs was not a name that could be used professionally. Everyone advised us so. Not because of its ethnicity, I never thought of it as such, but because it didn’t sound like Lana or Cary and was hard to remember.

(Ted Radin was Laurie’s first agent. “Lana” and “Cary” refer to Lana Turner and Cary Grant.)

The name “Piper” was given to several dozen babies per year from the ’50s through the ’80s. Usage started to increase in the mid-1990s, but the TV show Charmed (1998-2006) is what really gave it a boost. The name broke into the top 1000 in 1999, reached the top 500 two years later, and has been in the top 100 since 2012.

How high do you think Piper will climb?

Do you think the recent Pixar short Piper (starring an adorable baby sandpiper) will have a discernible influence on usage in 2016?

Source: Laurie, Piper. Learning to Live Out Loud: A Memoir. New York: Crown Archetype, 2011.

Popular Boy Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

How has the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names changed over time (if at all) among the most popular baby names in the U.S.?

This question popped into my head recently, so I thought I’d take a look at the data. We’ll do boy names today and girl names tomorrow.

First, let’s set some parameters. For these posts, “Biblical” names are personal names (belonging to either humans or archangels) mentioned in the Bible, plus all derivatives of these names, plus any other name with a specifically Biblical origin (e.g., Jordan, Sharon, Genesis). The “most popular” names are the top 20, and “over time” is the span of a century.

For boy names, the ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names has basically flipped over the last 100 years. Here’s a visual — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and a borderline name (which I counted as non-Biblical) is in the orange cell:

Popular boy names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular boy names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Adam, Alexander, Andrew, Austin (via Augustus), Benjamin, Daniel, David, Elijah, Ethan, Jack (via John), Jackson (via John), Jacob, James, Jason, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Joshua, Justin (via Justus), Lucas, Mark, Matthew, Michael, Nathan, Nicholas, Noah, Paul, Stephen, Steven, Thomas, Timothy, Zachary
  • Non-Biblical names: Aiden, Albert, Anthony, Arthur, Billy, Brandon, Brian, Charles, Christopher, Dennis, Donald, Dylan, Edward, Eric, Frank, Gary, George, Harold, Harry, Henry, Jayden, Jeffrey, Kenneth, Kevin, Larry, Liam, Logan, Louis, Mason, Raymond, Richard, Robert, Ronald, Ryan, Scott, Tyler, Walter, William
  • Borderline name: Jerry (can be based on the Biblical name Jeremy/Jeremiah or on the non-Biblical names Jerome, Gerald, Gerard)
    • It felt strange putting an overtly Christian name like Christopher in the non-Biblical category, but it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible, so…that’s where it goes.

      Here are the year-by-year tallies:

      Year Top 20 names
      given to…
      # Biblical # Non-Biblical
      1914 40% of baby boys 5 (25%) 15 (75%)
      1924 43% of baby boys 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
      1934 43% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1944 47% of baby boys 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
      1954 46% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1964 42% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1974 38% of baby boys 11 (55%) 9 (45%)
      1984 36% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      1994 27% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2004 19% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)
      2014 14% of baby boys 14 (70%) 6 (30%)

      But there’s a huge difference between sample sizes of 40% and 14%, so let’s also take a look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 42% of male births.

      By my count, last year’s top 100 boy names were half Biblical, half non-Biblical:

      Biblical names (49) Non-Biblical names (51)
      Noah, Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel, Elijah, Benjamin, Matthew, Jackson (via John), David, Lucas, Joseph, Andrew, Samuel, Gabriel, Joshua, John, Luke, Isaac, Caleb, Nathan, Jack (via John), Jonathan, Levi, Jaxon (via John), Julian (via Julius), Isaiah, Eli, Aaron, Thomas, Jordan, Jeremiah, Nicholas, Evan, Josiah, Austin (via Augustus), Jace (via Jason), Jason, Jose, Ian, Adam, Zachary, Jaxson (via John), Asher, Nathaniel, Justin (via Justus), Juan Liam, Mason, William, Logan, Aiden, Jayden, Anthony, Carter, Dylan, Christopher, Oliver, Henry, Sebastian, Owen, Ryan, Wyatt, Hunter, Christian, Landon, Charles, Connor, Cameron, Adrian, Gavin, Robert, Brayden, Grayson, Colton, Angel, Dominic, Kevin, Brandon, Tyler, Parker, Ayden, Chase, Hudson, Nolan, Easton, Blake, Cooper, Lincoln, Xavier, Bentley, Kayden, Carson, Brody, Ryder, Leo, Luis, Camden

      (Christian, Angel, Xavier, Dominic…all technically non-Biblical, despite having strong ties to Christianity.)

      50%-50% isn’t quite as extreme as 70%-30%, but it’s still noticeably more Biblical than 1914’s 25%-75%.

      Do any of these results surprise you?

Don Ameche’s Rhyming Children

In yesterday’s post about the name Drene, I mentioned actor/entertainer Don Ameche.

Don, born Dominic Felix Amici in 1908, married his wife Honoré in 1932. They had six children:

  • Dominic
  • Ronald
  • Thomas
  • Lawrence
  • Barbara (adopted)
  • Cornelia (adopted)

The kids were known by nicknames, though, and most of those nicknames were perfect rhymes:

  • Donnie
  • Ronnie
  • Tommie
  • Lonnie
  • Bonnie
  • Connie

What do you think about a sibset with rhyming nicknames: yea or nay? (Does it depend upon the size of the sibset?)

Source: Houseman, Victoria. Made in Heaven: The Marriages and Children of Hollywood Stars. Chicago: Bonus Books, 1991.

Mouseketeer Names – Annette, Dennis, Margene, Ronnie

Annette Funicello, the most popular member of the original Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959), passed away a couple of days ago.

Seeing her name in the news made me think about the other original Mouseketeers, most of whom were born in the early to mid-1940s (making them teens in the late 1950s). If you’re looking for a baby name reminiscent of sock hops and soda fountains, the first batch of Mouseketeers is not a bad place to start:

  1. Annette Funicello (b. 1942)
  2. Billie Beanblossom (b. 1944)
  3. Bonita “Bonnie” Lynn Fields (b. 1944)
  4. Bonni Lou Kern (b. 1941)
  5. Bronson Scott* (b. 1947)
  6. Charles “Charlie” Laney (b. 1943)
  7. Cheryl Holdridge (b. 1944) – who went on to marry Lance Reventlow
  8. Carl “Cubby” O’Brien (b. 1946)
  9. Dallas Johann (b. 1944)
  10. Darlene Gillespie (b. 1941)
  11. Dennis Day (b. 1942)
  12. Joseph Richard “Dickie” Dodd (b. 1945)
  13. Don Agrati (b. 1944)
  14. Donald “Don” Underhill (b. 1941)
  15. Doreen Tracey (b. 1943)
  16. Eileen Diamond (b. 1943)
  17. John “Johnny” Crawford (b. 1946)
  18. John Joseph “Jay-Jay” Solari (b. 1943)
  19. (John) Lee Johann (b. 1942)
  20. Judy Harriet (b. 1942)
  21. Karen Pendleton (b. 1946)
  22. Larry Larsen (b. 1939)
  23. Linda Hughes (b. 1946)
  24. Leonard “Lonnie” Burr (b. 1943)
  25. (Lowrey) Lynn Ready* (b. 1944)
  26. Margene Storey (b. 1942)
  27. Mark Sutherland (b. 1944)
  28. Mary Espinosa (b. 1945)
  29. Mary Sartori (b. 1943)
  30. Mickey Rooney, Jr. (b. 1945)
  31. Michael “Mike” Smith (b. 1945)
  32. Nancy Abbate (b. 1942)
  33. (William) Paul Petersen (b. 1945)
  34. Robert “Bobby” Burgess (b. 1941)
  35. Ronald “Ronnie” Steiner (b. 1942)
  36. Sharon Baird (b. 1942)
  37. Sharyn “Sherry” Alberoni (b. 1946)
  38. Timothy “Tim” Rooney (b. 1947)
  39. Thomas “Tommy” Cole (b. 1941)

*Bronson Scott was a girl; Lynn Ready was a boy.

Which of the above names are your favorite(s)?

Sources: Girl next door Annette Funicello dies at 70, The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show