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

The Emergence of Jolie

red foley, jolie blon, song, baby name, 1940s
Red Foley

These days, main association for the name Jolie, from the French word for “pretty,” is actress Angelina Jolie (who single-handedly turned Maleficent into a baby name a few years ago). But Angie — though she’s certainly influenced the usage of the name recently — didn’t put the name on the map in the late ’40s:

  • 1952: 22 baby girls named Jolie
  • 1951: 19 baby girls named Jolie
  • 1950: 26 baby girls named Jolie
  • 1949: 6 baby girls named Jolie
  • 1948: 9 baby girls named Jolie
  • 1947: 7 baby girls named Jolie [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted

In 2006, name expert Cleveland Kent Evans noted that the name “was first brought to the attention of Americans by Jolie Gabor…the mother of actresses Eva and Zsa Zsa Gabor.” I don’t think this is wrong — I think Jolie Gabor may account for some of the usage of the name during the ’50s — but I also don’t think it’s right, as Zsa Zsa wasn’t terribly famous in ’40s. (The name Zsa Zsa first appeared in the data in 1957.)

My guess on the 1947 debut of Jolie is the song “New Jolie Blonde” by country singer Red Foley. That, plus a couple of the similar songs: “New Pretty Blonde (Jole Blon)” by Aubrey “Moon” Mullican and “(Our Own) Jole Blon” by Roy Acuff. All three saw heavy play on juke boxes in 1947, according to Billboard. Red’s rendition, which featured the “Jolie” spelling in the title, was the most successful.

The song is ultimately based on the old (pre-1900) Cajun song “Jole Blon.” In 1946, Cajun fiddler Harry Choates came out with an updated version of the song that saw moderate success. Other performers then followed Harry’s lead with their own versions.

(According to one source, the title of the version by Harry Choates was initially misspelled jolie blonde, “thus forever altering the song title among Anglophone audiences,” but I haven’t seen any evidence of this misspelling, so I doubt it would have had much impact. The Choates version was only ever called “Jole Blon” in Billboard magazine, for example.)

What do you think of the baby name Jolie?

Sources:

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.)

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-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

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