How popular is the baby name Rory 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 Rory.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rory


Posts that Mention the Name Rory

The First Appearance of Fiona

fiona, movie, 1940s, baby name
Fiona in the trailer for The Gay Sisters (1942)

The name Fiona — coined during the 18th century by Scottish poet James Macpherson, who based it on the Irish word fionn (“white, fair”) — is relatively common in the U.S. these days. Rank-wise, it’s been hovering around 200th place for the last few years.

But — like Siobhan, Maeve, Bronwen, and many other Celtic names — it didn’t arrive with the immigrants. Instead, it was introduced to America later on, via pop culture.

Fiona first popped up in the data in 1942, and it stuck around for several years:

  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: 7 baby girls named Fiona
  • 1943: 19 baby girls named Fiona
  • 1942: 9 baby girls named Fiona [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted

What boosted it onto the charts that initial time?

The movie The Gay Sisters, which came out in August of 1942. The main characters were the three Gaylord sisters/heiresses: Fiona, Evelyn, and Susanna. Fiona, the eldest sister, was played by popular actress Barbara Stanwyck (birth name Ruby Catherine Stevens). The film didn’t do well at the box office, but it clearly had an impact on expectant parents.

The movie was based on the book of the same name by Stephen Longstreet. Longstreet was also the writer behind Stallion Road, which was similarly made into a movie and introduced audiences to a woman named Rory (traditionally a male name) later in the ’40s.

Do you like the name Fiona? Would you use it?

Sources:

  • The Gay Sisters – TCM
  • Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2018

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 444 baby girls
  2. Emily, 423
  3. Isla, 383
  4. Sophie, 331
  5. Amelia, 312
  6. Ella, 295
  7. Ava, 292
  8. Grace, 286
  9. Aria, 272
  10. Jessica, 262

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 422 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 330
  3. James, 323
  4. Logan, 307
  5. Leo, 300
  6. Lewis, 298
  7. Alexander, 294 (tie)
  8. Harris, 294 (tie)
  9. Noah, 284
  10. Rory, 280

In the girls’ top 10, Grace replaces Charlotte (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Rory replaces Harry (now tied for 11th with Charlie).

Names inspired by Scottish islands include Arran (118 boys; ranked 47th), Iona (83 girls; ranked 56th), Ailsa (37 girls), Islay (11 girls), Coll (3 boys), Jura (3 girls), Gigha (1 girl), and Tiree (1 girl).

And here are some more baby names that, like Gigha and Tiree, were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Adora-Belle, Brora, Callumina, Cardi, Delarosa, Embla, Everlyn, Frankie-Nirvana, Gigi, Honey-Bee, Izna, Junu, Kindah, Lhotse, Milliemae, Niska, Omnia, Peculiar, Raffie, Swithy, Tiggy, Uljana, Veia, Winry, Xanthippe, Yvie, ZuzuAvrick, Baroque-Valentyne, Caisson, Camhanaich, Dome, Eck, Fitheach, Gighian, Haxton, Indio, Izzeldin, Jeddie, Kafka, Lucifer, Monder, Neelix, Ouff, Panashe, Reave, Svetozar, Thapish, Ual, Velyo, Wit, Xypher, Yogan, Zostera

Possible explanations for some of the above:

  • Cardi B, American rapper and singer
  • Embla, the first woman (according to Norse mythology)
  • Lhotse, the 4th-highest mountain in the world (means “south peak” in Tibetan)
  • Winry, a manga character from the Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Caisson, an ammunition chest or two-wheeled ammunition wagon (means “box” in French)
  • Camhanaich, the Scottish word for “break of day” or “twilight”
  • Fitheach, the Scottish word for “raven” (and also the title of a children’s adventure game show that premiered on the Scottish-language BBC Alba channel in 2018)
  • Kafka, Czech writer Franz Kafka
  • Neelix, a character from Star Trek: Voyager
  • Zostera, a type of sea grass

(I posted more of Scotland’s unique baby names over on Patreon.)

In 2017, the top two names were the same.

Sources: Most popular names in Scotland, Babies’ First Names, From A to Zidaneā€¦ unusual names of newborns revealed, 2018 baby names: Scots babies are Awesome and Adora-Belle

111 Minimalist Baby Names

minimalist, short, trendy, baby names

Years ago, I wrote a post with some naming tips for minimalists. But — as Abby of Appellation Mountain astutely pointed this out in her comment to that post — “minimalism” as applied to baby names could be about capturing a namestyle just as much as it could be about reflecting a lifestyle.

So today I’m giving minimalism another go. This time around, though, it’ll be a list of baby names that fall somewhere between short/simple and modern/stylish.

All of these names have made gains recently (Hank and Linus included!). For more details on usage, click through to see the popularity graphs.

  1. Ace
  2. Amal
  3. Amna
  4. Amos
  5. Ander
  6. Ansel
  7. Ari
  8. Arlo
  9. Asa
  10. Asher
  11. Aspen
  12. Atlas
  13. Avi
  14. Aziz
  15. Azra
  16. Beck
  17. Clio
  18. Colt
  19. Cora
  20. Dash
  21. Dax
  22. Dean
  23. Demi
  24. Eden
  25. Elon
  26. Ember
  27. Ender
  28. Enzo
  29. Esme
  30. Ever
  31. Ezra
  32. Felix
  33. Ford
  34. Fox
  35. Gaia
  36. Halo
  37. Hank
  38. Haven
  39. Hawk
  40. Honor
  41. Huck
  42. Hugo
  43. Idris
  44. Io
  45. Juno
  46. Kai
  47. King
  48. Koa
  49. Lane
  50. Lark
  51. Leo
  52. Lev
  53. Levi
  54. Linus
  55. Liv
  56. Loki
  57. Lola
  58. Lotus
  59. Luca
  60. Luna
  61. Lux
  62. Mia
  63. Milo
  64. Mina
  65. Mira
  66. Nala
  67. Nara
  68. Nash
  69. Neo
  70. Nico
  71. Nola
  72. Noor
  73. Nora
  74. Nova
  75. Ori
  76. Orla
  77. Orli
  78. Pax
  79. Reem
  80. Remy
  81. Rex
  82. Rio
  83. Riva
  84. Ronan
  85. Rory
  86. Rush
  87. Sage
  88. Sia
  89. Silas
  90. Sky
  91. Sol
  92. Soren
  93. Taj
  94. Tesla
  95. Thea
  96. Theo
  97. Thor
  98. Titan
  99. Titus
  100. Valor
  101. Vida
  102. West
  103. Zane
  104. Zelda
  105. Zen
  106. Zia
  107. Zion
  108. Ziv
  109. Ziva
  110. Zola
  111. Zora

What are your thoughts on minimalist-style baby names? Will you be using one? (Have you used one already?)

The Emergence of Macaulay

The baby name Macaulay debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1990.

The wildly successful Christmas comedy Home Alone, released at the end of 1990, starred child actor Macaulay Culkin as a little boy (Kevin McCallister) mistakenly left at home by himself for the holidays while his family went on vacation.

Thanks to the movie, Macaulay Culkin became a household name virtually overnight. In fact, he was soon being called “the biggest child star since Shirley Temple.”

Unsurprisingly, the year the movie came out, the unique name Macaulay began appearing in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1995: 12 baby boys named Macaulay
  • 1994: 5 baby girls + 25 baby boys named Macaulay
  • 1993: 23 baby boys named Macaulay
  • 1992: 36 baby boys named Macaulay [peak]
  • 1991: 10 baby girls + 16 baby boys named Macaulay
  • 1990: 5 baby boys named Macaulay [debut]
  • 1989: unlisted

Soon after, the variants Macauley, Mccauley, and Macauly (a one-hit wonder) popped up in the data as well.

Macaulay Culkin was born in 1980 and named for 19th-century English* historian Thomas Babington Macaulay. He was the third of seven children; his siblings are named Shane (m), Dakota (f), Kieran (m), Quinn (f), Christian (m), and Rory (m).

What are your thoughts on the baby name Macaulay? Do you like it better for boys or for girls?

Sources:

*Speaking of England…usage of Macaulay spiked in Britain in 1995, which was weirdly late. Anyone know why?

The Week of Int: Clint

western, television, clint walker, cheyenne bodie, cheyenne
Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie
Welcome to the Week of Int! “The week of what?” The Week of Int!

It’s a week of posts focusing on the four -int names that were popularized by fictional TV cowboys (or the actors who played them) during the late ’50s and early ’60s.

First up? Clint.

Clint was already seeing moderate usage in the early ’50s, but usage increased considerably in mid-1950s:

  • 1959: 482 baby boys named Clint (rank: 357th)
  • 1958: 474 baby boys named Clint (350th)
  • 1957: 398 baby boys named Clint (385th)
  • 1956: 258 baby boys named Clint (469th)
  • 1955: 115 baby boys named Clint (682nd)
  • 1954: 81 baby boys named Clint (803rd)
  • 1953: 106 baby boys named Clint (693rd)
  • 1952: 84 baby boys named Clint (767th)
  • 1951: 79 baby boys named Clint (793rd)
  • 1950: 60 baby boys named Clint (886th)

The reason for the rise? My money’s on Clint Walker, the actor who played the part of Cheyenne Bodie in the successful TV Western Cheyenne (1955-1963), which happened to be TV’s first hour-long Western.

Cheyenne Bodie was “a former frontier scout who drifts through the old West, traveling without any particular motivation from one adventure to another.”

The series was held together not so much by its premise as by its charismatic star, Clint Walker, who rose from obscurity to become one of the icons of the TV western. With his powerful physique and towering height, Walker commanded the small screen through sheer presence; his performance gained gravity simply from the way his body dominated the screen.

According to the Nielsen ratings, Cheyenne was a top-20 series for three seasons straight (1957-1958, 1958-1959, and 1959-1960).

The show also boosted the male usage of Cheyenne during the second half of the 1950s and through most of the 1960s.

But I should mention that Clint Walker and Cheyenne are only part of the story, as several other gun-slinging Clints also emerged around this time:

  • Clint Tollinger, a character played by Robert Mitchum in the movie Man with the Gun (1955).
  • Clint Reno, a character played by Elvis Presley in the movie Love Me Tender (1956).
  • Clint Travis, a character played by and Paul “Kelo” Henderson in the TV series 26 Men (1957-1959).

There was also a non-gun-slinging teenager named Clint in the short Micky Mouse Club serial The Adventures of Clint and Mac (most episodes aired in January of 1958).

The rise of Clint didn’t continue into the ’60s, despite a continued Clint presence in pop culture:

  • Clint Eastwood, the actor who played Rowdy Yates on the TV series Rawhide (1959-1966).
  • Clint McCoy, a character played by Rory Calhoun in the movie Young Fury (1965).

But usage picked back up in the ’70s. Clint saw peak popularity in 1980. These days, usage is roughly back down to pre-Cheyenne levels.

Do you like the name Clint? Would you use it for your baby boy?

Source: Cheyenne, U.S. Western – The Museum of Broadcast Communications