How popular is the baby name Roosevelt 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 Roosevelt.
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Just remember that the SSA data doesn’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t reflect reality all that well.
Same format as usual: Girl names on the left, boy names on the right. Numbers represent single-year decreases in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, usage of the girl name Mary dropped by 146 babies and usage of the boy name William dropped by 1,008 babies.
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and will write about others in the future. In the meanwhile, feel free to beat me to it! Comment below with the backstory on the fall of Shirley in the late ’30s, Linda in the early ’50s, etc.
“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.
I searched historical records for personal names including the word “snow,” and here’s some of what I spotted…
I found dozens of people named Snowball, including Snowball Craddock (female), born in 1915 in North Carolina. Here she is on the 1930 U.S. Census:
I found several people named Snowdrift, including Arthur Snowdrift Thornton (male), born in 1883 in Virginia.
I found dozens people named Snowflake, including Snowflake Reinke (female), born in 1907 in North Dakota. Here she is on the 1910 U.S. Census:
Notice how her older siblings have traditional names like Maria and Ludwig (their parents were immigrants from Germany) whereas she and her younger brother, “Theo. Roosevelt,” have much more creative/American names.
(By the way, did you that there’s a town in Arizona with the unlikely name Snowflake? The founders were a pair of Mormon pioneers named Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake.)
I found dozens people named Snowman, including Snowman W. Doe (male), born in 1924 in Massachusetts. Here he is on the 1930 U.S. Census:
I found several people named Snowstorm, including Snow Storm Stokes (male), born in 1906 in Arkansas.
The U.S. National Park Service has a birthday coming up!
When the NPS was created on August 25, 1916, there were only 35 national parks and monuments. (The world’s first, Yellowstone, had been established in 1872.)
Nowadays the agency oversees 411 units. These units are located in the 50 states and beyond, and include national monuments (82), national historic sites (78), national parks (59), national historical parks (50), national memorials (30), national battlefields (11), national seashores (10), national lakeshores (4), national scenic trails (3), and more.
Let’s celebrate the upcoming centenary with over 100 baby names that pay tribute to the national parks specifically:
The derivation of Kenai is unknown, but it could come from either Dena’ina Athabascan (“big flat” or “two big flats and river cut-back” or “trees and brush in a swampy marsh”), Russian (“flat barren land”), or Iniut (“black bear”).
Back in 1907, the baby name Theta debuted on the SSA’s baby name list, making the top 1,000 for the first and only time:
1909: 7 baby girls named Theta
1908: 6 baby girls named Theta
1907: 20 baby girls named Theta (rank: 868th) [debut]
Theta was not only the top debut name that year, but it was also one of the top debut names of the entire decade (tied with Rosevelt, a misspelling of Roosevelt that debuted in 1900 with 20 baby boys).
Here are the SSA and SSDI numbers side by side:
While neither set of data is perfect, both indicate that Theta saw increased usage in 1907. I can’t figure out why, though. Literature is often a good bet for this time period, but so far I’ve been unable to link Theta to a particular book or story.
Do you have any idea where Theta came from?
P.S. If you’d like to try a search and want to eliminate all the other Greek letters from your results, add this to your search string: