How popular is the baby name Roy 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 Roy.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Roy


Posts that Mention the Name Roy

Nellybelle – Possible Baby Name?

While researching various pop culture baby names from the 1950s, I happened to come across Nellybelle, the name of a non-human character on the The Roy Rogers Show (1951-1957).

Nellybelle was a jeep with a mind of her own. When she wasn’t driving herself around, she was being driven by Roy’s sidekick, Pat Brady. According to the New York Times, Pat made the name Nellybelle a “household word” with his catchphrase, “Whoa, Nellybelle!”

All that exposure inspired more than a few people to call their cars Nellybelle, but it didn’t have the same influence on baby names: the name-combo has never been bestowed often enough to register in the U.S. baby name data (which excludes names used fewer than 5 times per year).

That said, it has certainly seen usage as a first-middle set. Many dozens of females born in the U.S. in the 1800s and early 1900s were named “Nellie Belle” and “Nellie Bell,” according to records.

What are your thoughts on the name Nellybelle? Would you use it for a modern-day baby?

Source: Pat Brady, Film Cowboy, Dies; Roy Rogers’s Sidekick Was 57

What Would You Name the Catfish-Riding Boy?

little boy, large catfish, old photo, texas, 1940s

This might be my favorite photo on the entire internet.

The shot, which depicts a playful little Texas boy pretending to ride a dead catfish on someone’s front porch, was taken by photographer Neal Douglass in April of 1941.

The Portal to Texas History calls it “Mrs. Bill Wright; Boy Riding Catfish.” So I’m guessing that “Mrs. Bill Wright” was the boy’s mother. But there’s no other identifying information, so I don’t know the boy’s name, nor do I have any way of tracking it down.

So let’s turn this into a name game!

First, let’s suppose our little catfish-rider was not named “Bill” (or “William,” or “Willie,” etc.) after his father. With that rule in place, here are the questions:

  • What do you think Mrs. Bill Wright named her son?
  • What would you have named him?

Just for reference, popular names for Texas newborns in the late ’30s included:

Albert
Arthur
Carl/Charles
Clarence
Daniel
David
Don/Donald
Edward/Eddie
Ernest
Frank
Fred
Gary
Gene/Eugene
George
Gerald
Harold
Henry
Jack
James
Jerry
Jesse
Jesus
Jimmie/Jimmy
Joe/Joseph
John/Johnny
Jose
Juan
Kenneth
Larry
Louis
Manuel
Melvin
Paul
Raymond
Richard
Robert/Bobby
Ronald
Roy
Thomas/Tommy
Walter

For extra credit, what do you think the boy named his catfish? And, what would you have named his catfish? ;)

(If you like this game, here’s a similar one from years ago: What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?)

Old-Fashioned Double Names: Jimbob, Troydale, Earlray

old-fashioned double names

Last month I posted a long list of old-fashioned double names for girls, so this month let’s follow up with a similar list for boys.

To come up with these names, I used the same search method and focused on the same type of name: double names written as a single names in the records.

Pairings that didn’t seem “old fashioned” enough (like Williamjohn and Jamespaul) were omitted, but pairings that also happen to be surnames (like Gilroy and Aldean) were left alone for the most part.

Again I limited the search to 15 second names, but of course plenty of other pairings exist. (One I remember spotting was “Philherbert,” for instance.)

*

-Bob

Billbob, Billiebob, Billybob, Eddybob, Elbertbob, Jimbob, Jobbob, Joebob, Leebob, Norrisbob, Olybob, Raybob, Roybob, Tombob, Willbob, Williebob

-Dale

Alfreddale, Billydale, Carldale, Clemdale, Cliffdale, Dougdale, Dondale, Earldale, Genedale, Georgedale, Glendale, Harrydale, Henrydale, Jaydale, Joedale, Leedale, Lesterdale, Maxdale, Orveldale, Pauldale, Ralphdale, Raydale, Rexdale, Robertdale, Rondale, Royaldale, Roydale, Russeldale, Standale, Thomasdale, Troydale, Vandale, Verndale, Vernondale, Walterdale, Warrendale, Willdale

-Dean

Abedean, Albertdean, Aldean, Alfreddean, Arnolddean, Barrydean, Bertdean, Billydean, Bobbydean, Carldean, Cobydean, Coydean, Daviddean, Donalddean, Dondean, Eddean, Elbertdean, Elmerdean, Floyddean, Freddean, Genedean, Georgedean, Geralddean, Glendean, Harolddean, Harrydean, Howarddean, Jackdean, Jaydean, Jerrydean, Joedean, Leedean, Leodean, Lexdean, Maxdean, Ollydean, Raydean, Rexdean, Robdean, Rondean, Rothdean, Roycedean, Roydean, Rupertdean, Samydean, Teddean, Vernondean, Warrendean, Wendeldean

-Dell

Albertdell, Aldell, Bertdell, Carldell, Cecildell, Coydell, Drewdell, Freddell, Georgedell, Glendell, Harrydell, Jaydell, Jeddell, Jimdell, Joedell, Leodell, Lyndell, Maxdell, Pauldell, Raydell, Rexdell, Roydell, Samdell, Standell, Verndell, Wesdell, Wildell, Wilfdell, Willydell

-Jack

Abejack, Adolfjack, Aljack, Benjack, Bertjack, Billjack, Billyjack, Bobjack, Edgarjack, Elwinjack, Jimjack, Johnjack, Kennethjack, Leejack, Leroyjack, Monroejack, Pauljack, Rayjack, Ronjack, Rossjack

-Jim

Benjim, Billiejim, Thorvaldjim

-Joe

Aljoe, Alphonsejoe, Anthonyjoe, Artjoe, Benjoe, Billyjoe, Bobbyjoe, Carljoe, Chrisjoe, Danjoe, Douglasjoe, Edjoe, Frankjoe, Harrisjoe, Ivanjoe, Jackiejoe, Jimyjoe, Johnjoe, Nedjoe, Peterjoe, Rayjoe, Rochejoe, Royjoe, Sammyjoe, Teryjoe, Tomjoe, Valentinejoe, Vanjoe, Williejoe, Willjoe

-John

Adolfjohn, Albertjohn, Alfjohn, Alfredjohn, Aljohn, Altonjohn, Angusjohn, Anthonyjohn, Antonjohn, Archiejohn, Arthurjohn, Benjohn, Bernardjohn, Bertjohn, Carljohn, Casimirojohn, Casperjohn, Chesterjohn, Chrisjohn, Davidjohn, Deanjohn, Donaldjohn, Earljohn, Edmundjohn, Edwinjohn, Elmerjohn, Emanueljohn, Emiljohn, Erichjohn, Eugenejohn, Francisjohn, Fredjohn, Georgejohn, Gerritjohn, Gilesjohn, Groverjohn, Gusjohn, Hermonjohn, Howardjohn, Irwinjohn, Jackjohn, Jayjohn, Johnnyjohn, Leejohn, Leojohn, Lewisjohn, Lioneljohn, Louisjohn, Martinjohn, Nilsjohn, Oscarjohn, Ottojohn, Philjohn, Rexjohn, Royjohn, Samueljohn, Vernonjohn, Victorjohn, Vincentjohn, Walterjohn, Weldonjohn, Wiljohn, Willardjohn

-Lloyd

Aloislloyd, Charleslloyd, Davidlloyd, Gaylloyd, Jaylloyd, Johnlloyd, Leelloyd, Leroylloyd, Lewislloyd, Macklloyd, Martinlloyd, Reylloyd, Thomaslloyd, Williamlloyd

-Mack

Billmack, Burlmack, Charleymack, Chestermack, Colliemack, Conmack, Danmack, Deemack, Donmack, Eddiemack, Galemack, Georgemack, Glenmack, Joemack, Johnmack, Kylemack, Lannymack, Leemack, Leomack, Lonmack, Michaelmack, Raymack, Williemack, Willmack

-Paul

Alfredpaul, Alpaul, Antonpaul, Archiepaul, Arthurpaul, Carlpaul, Clauspaul, Clementpaul, Donpaul, Edwardpaul, Edwinpaul, Erhardpaul, Ernestpaul, Eugenepaul, Francispaul, Frankpaul, Georgepaul, Glenpaul, Gordonpaul, Haroldpaul, Harrypaul, Henrypaul, Hermanpaul, Homerpaul, Howardpaul, Jaypaul, Johnnypaul, Lawrencepaul, Leepaul, Leonpaul, Louispaul, Mauricepaul, Maxpaul, Morrispaul, Oscarpaul, Raphaelpaul, Raymondpaul, Raypaul, Ronaldpaul, Samuelpaul, Sanfordpaul, Stephenpaul, Tompaul, Vincentpaul, Wesleypaul, Willpaul

-Ralph

Alralph, Conralph, Edwardralph, Ernestralph, Henryralph, Horaceralph, Jamesralph, Johnralph, Josephralph, Leeralph, Lesterralph, Orsonralph, Thomasralph,

-Ray

Alfray, Alfredray, Alray, Artray, Barnyray, Benray, Bertray, Billyray, Bobbyray, Bobray, Carlray, Charlesray, Charleyray, Conray, Coyray, Danray, Deeray, Delbertray, Delray, Dennyray, Donaldray, Donray, Earlray, Edray, Elray, Eugeneray, Ferdray, Frankieray, Fredray, Generay, Georgeray, Glenray, Guyray, Howardray, Jayray, Jimray, Joeray, Johnray, Kennyray, Kenray, Leeray, Leoray, Maxray, Nedray, Paulray, Robertray, Robray, Ronray, Sammieray, Samray, Sidray, Thomasray, Vanray, Willieray, Willray, Wilmerray

-Roy

Alfroy, Alroy, Andrewroy, Benroy, Bertroy, Bobroy, Carlroy, Clayroy, Clemroy, Conroy, Deeroy, Delroy, Donroy, Earlroy, Ebertroy, Edroy, Elroy, Generoy, Gilroy, Glenroy, Hughroy, Jamesroy, Jayroy, Jedroy, Joeroy, Johnroy, Kenroy, Kimroy, Leeroy, Leighroy, Leoroy, Lesroy, Lewroy, Louisroy, Mackieroy, Maxroy, Melroy, Milroy, Ollieroy, Paulroy, Philroy, Rayroy, Rexroy, Robertroy, Robroy, Samroy, Timroy, Toddroy, Tomroy, Vanroy, Vernonroy, Walterroy, Williamroy, Willieroy, Wilroy, Zephroy

-Tom

Bentom, Carltom, Chestertom, Claytom, Clemtom, Edtom, Jimmytom, Jimtom, Joetom, Johntom, Williamtom, Willietom

*

Which of these old-fashioned double names do you like best? Would you consider using any of them for a modern-day baby boy?

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

Obama’s Mama: Stanley Ann

It’s election day!

While we wait for news about the next U.S. president, let’s talk about Stanley, the late mother of the current U.S. president.

Stanley Ann Dunham was born in 1942 to Stanley and Madelyn Dunham of Wichita, Kansas. According to most sources, her father had been hoping for a baby boy. When a baby girl arrived instead, he stubbornly decided to pass his name down regardless.

But Pulitzer-winning journalist David Maraniss has another theory: “The naming of Stanley Ann had less to do with the dictates of a presumptuous father than with the longing for sophistication of a starstruck mother.” He explains:

Since her teenage years as a moviegoer at the commodious Augusta Theatre, Madelyn had devoutly followed the film career of Bette Davis, her favorite actress. A new picture starring Davis and Olivia de Havilland reached Kansas during the summer of 1942, while Madelyn was pregnant. In the movie, In This Our Life, Davis and de Havilland played the two Timberlake sisters, each with a man’s name: Davis was Stanley and de Havilland was Roy.

In This Our Life, Bette Davis, Stanley
Bette Davis as Stanley in the movie In This Our Life

According to Maraniss, this is what inspired Madelyn to name the baby Stanley, and the fact that the baby’s father was also named Stanley was just a coincidence.

The movie In This Our Life was based on a Pulitzer-winning novel of the same name by author Ellen Glasgow. The 1941 novel is set in Glasgow’s home state of Virginia — one of the many states throughout the South in which family surnames were often bestowed upon baby girls (especially in families without many sons).

Stanley Ann Dunham “was teased mercilessly for her name” as a youngster, according to Barack Obama in his book Dreams from My Father. She ended up dropping “Stanley” and simply going by “Ann” as an adult.

Where did her father get his name? “His mother, an avid reader, named him in honor of one of her favorite historical characters, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the British newspaperman and adventurer who became famous probing the nether regions of interior Africa.”

Interestingly, Sir Henry Morton Stanley was born John Rowlands; he created the name “Henry Morton Stanley” for himself upon emigrating to America from England.

What do you think of the name Stanley for a baby girl?

Sources:

  • Maraniss, David. Barack Obama: The Story. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.
  • Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.