How popular is the baby name Ruby 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 Ruby.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ruby


Posts that Mention the Name Ruby

New Gemstone Baby Names

We’re very familiar with gemstone baby names names like Ruby, Opal and Jade. But you probably haven’t met anyone (yet?) who has one these names on their birth certificate…

  • Citrine: Citrine debuted in the SSA data in 2019. Citrine is an orange-y variety of quartz. It’s one of the birthstones for November.
  • Kyanite: Kyanite debuted in 2019 as well. Kyanite is typically blue, and its name is related to the color word “cyan.”
  • Lazuli: Lazuli, part of the rock name lapis lazuli (which translates to “stone of azure”), debuted in 2016.
  • Malachite: Malachite debuted in 2017. Malachite is a green-banded mineral. Its name refers to the leaves of the mallow plant.

These join the many gem-names — Amethyst, Angelite, Beryl, Celestine, Diamond, Emerald, Garnet, Jasper, Larimar, Obsidian, Olivine, Onyx, Sapphire, Topaz, Turquoise, etc. — that have previously appeared in the SSA data. (Not to mention the rock names Coal, Flint, Granite, Shale, and Slate.)

I’m sure Citrine and Kyanite won’t be the last of the names in this category to emerge in the data, though, because there are just so many other nicely-named minerals and rocks out there. Some examples…

  • Agate: a banded, colored quartz with a name that happens to look and sound similar to Agatha.
  • Alexandrite: a color-changing variety of chrysoberyl named after Alexander II of Russia. It’s one of the birthstones for June.
  • Ametrine: a type of quartz with zones of purple and yellow/orange; a mix of amethyst and citrine.
  • Carnelian: a red variety of quartz. Its name can be traced back to the Latin word conus, the name of a type of berry.
  • Peridot: a green gemstone with a name of unknown origin. It’s the birthstone for August.
  • Selenite: a type of gypsum. Its name comes from the ancient Greek word for “moon,” selene. (If you’ve ever watched metaphysical content on YouTube, you’ve probably seen a selenite wand before…)
  • Tourmaline: a gem that comes in a wide variety of colors. It’s one of the birthstones for October.

Which gem/mineral/rock name do you think we’ll spot next in the U.S. baby name data?

Top Baby Names in Northern Territory, 2019

According to the government of Northern Territory, Australia, the most popular baby names in NT in 2019 were Grace and Oliver.

Here are Northern Territory’s top 10+ girl names and top 10+ boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Grace, 15 baby girls
  2. Mia, 14 (tie)
  3. Olivia, 14 (tie)
  4. Charlotte, 13 (tie)
  5. Isla, 13 (tie)
  6. Aria, 12 (tie)
  7. Ruby, 12 (tie)
  8. Chloe, 11 (4-way tie)
  9. Harper, 11 (4-way tie)
  10. Isabella, 11 (4-way tie)
  11. Matilda, 11 (4-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 20 baby boys
  2. William, 18
  3. Michael, 15
  4. Jack, 13 (3-way tie)
  5. Liam, 13 (3-way tie)
  6. Lucas, 13 (3-way tie)
  7. Noah, 11 (tie)
  8. Thomas, 11 (tie)
  9. Daniel, 10 (5-way tie)
  10. Elijah, 10 (5-way tie)
  11. Jacob, 10 (5-way tie)
  12. Joshua, 10 (5-way tie)
  13. Logan, 10 (5-way tie)

Notably, Grace — the #1 girl name — wasn’t even in the top ten in 2018.

Source: Popular Baby Names – NT.gov.au

Popular Baby Names in NWT, 2019

According to Cabin Radio, the most popular* baby names in the Canadian territory of Northwest Territories in 2019 were Zoey and Elias/John/Joseph/Michael (4-way tie).

Here are Northwest Territories’ top girl names and top boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Zoey (4 girls)
  2. Emily, Hazel, Kinsley, Lily (3 girls each)
  3. Adeline, Alexandra, Amelia, Anastasia, Ashley, Aurora, Blair, Edie, Ella, Evelyn, Everly, Helena, Josie, Lexie, Lilah, Madeline, Madison, Miley, Myla, Nevaeh, Neve, Ruby, Ruth, Sadie, Serenity, Sofia, Sophie, Victoria, Willa (2 girls each)

Boy Names

  1. Elias, John, Joseph, Michael (3 boys each)
  2. Aiden, Benjamin, Bodhi, Carter, Charles, David, Dominic, Dylan, Edward, Elliott, Felix, Hudson, Iverson, Jack, Jeremiah, Jimmy, Jonah, Joshua, Lennox, Levi, Mackenzie, Maverick, Nate, Nathan, Nicholas, Noah, Riel, Theo, Timothy, Walker, Wesley (2 boys each)

In 2018, the top names in NWT were Carter, John, Olivia, and Peyton (with 4 babies each). In 2015, the top names were Abigail and Liam. And in 2020, the very first baby born in NWT was named Axel.

Sources: Zoey is the NWT’s most popular baby name of 2019, The NWT’s top baby names of 2018

*These rankings only cover NWT births through early December.

The Arrival of Arbadella

Amos ‘n’ Andy baby-naming contest ad, 1936

The similar names Arbadella and Arbedella both debuted in the SSA baby name data in 1936, and both saw peak usage the following year:

ArbadellaArbedella
19408 baby girlsunlisted
19397 baby girlsunlisted
193812 baby girls5 baby girls
193733 baby girls [peak]9 baby girls [peak]
19366 baby girls [debut]6 baby girls [debut]
1935unlistedunlisted

What was the influence?

The radio serial Amos & Andy — one of the very first situation comedies. The initial version of the show (1928-1943) aired for 15 minutes, five days per week, and was the most popular radio program in the nation in the late 1920’s and early 30’s. In fact, the show’s “popularity ensured the success of radio broadcasting as a form of mass entertainment.”

The show “was based on the model of minstrel shows, [and] thus based on racial stereotypes.” The main characters — African-American men named Amos Jones and Andy Brown — were played by white radio performers Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll.

In an episode that aired during October of 1936, Amos and his wife Ruby welcomed their first child, a baby girl. The baby wasn’t named right away — instead, the show’s sponsor, Pepsodent Tooth Paste, held a baby-naming contest.

The contest was advertised in newspapers nationwide. The ads noted that the judges would consider “originality, uniqueness, and suitability” when making their decision, and also offered some name-choosing prompts, such as:

  • “…you might think “Amanda” would be a suitable name because it contains so many of the letters of both “Amos” and “Andy.””
  • “…remember, too, the baby’s maternal grandmother is named Lillian.”

Thousands of prizes were offered, including a $5,000 grand prize. Here’s the full list (and what the prizes would be worth in today’s dollars):

  • 1st: $5,000 in baby bonds (equivalent to $92,183.93 in 2020)
  • 2nd: $1,000 in baby bonds ($18,436.79)
  • 3rd: $100 baby bond to each of 10 winners ($1,843.68)
  • 4th: $50 baby bond to each of 100 winners ($921.84)
  • 5th: $25 baby bond to each of 720 winners ($460.92)
  • 6th: $2 cash to each of 2000 winners ($36.87)

The contest closed in mid-November. The winning name, Arbadella — suggested by Mrs. Joseph L. Smith of Ohio — was announced in mid-December. (The second-place name, Ladicia Ann, was suggested by 12-year-old Indiana boy Urcel D. Miller.)

The late-in-the-year announcement of the winning name accounts for why the baby name Arbadella (and spelling variant Arbedella) debuted in the data in 1936, but saw even higher usage in 1937.

After welcoming Arbadella, Amos and Ruby went on to have two more children: Amos, Jr., and Amosandra. Neither of these fictional babies had a discernible impact on U.S. baby names, though.

What are your thoughts on the name Arbadella? Do you like it?

Sources/Tools:

P.S. Norita was also a contest-winning name of the 1930s…

P.P.S. In the early 1950s, The Amos ‘n Andy Show aired on television. This time around, the characters were played by African-American actors. Despite good ratings, the show was cancelled after two years due to pressure from the NAACP.

Name Quotes 83: Bek, Frankie, Monarch

monarch, bear, california, flag,

From article in which musician Beck talks about his first name:

He was born on July 8, 1970, as Bek David Campbell. He and his brother later took their mother’s maiden name, Hansen, and Beck added the “c” to his first name, with the hope that it might help people pronounce it properly. “I still got Brock, Breck, Beak,” he said. “I remember leaving a meeting with some record executives, and one said, ‘Very nice to meet you, Bic.'”

From Orlando Bloom’s Instagram post about fixing the Morse Code spelling of his son’s name (Flynn) in his forearm tattoo:

••-••-••-•—•-• finally dot it right! How do you make a mistake like that?

From an article about the naming of lesbian and bisexual characters:

The nice thing about having an internal database of LGBTQ+ women and non-binary television characters is that you can get really, truly obsessive about various patterns in the data. Like, for example, what queer characters are often named.

[According to the article, some of the top names for queer female TV characters are Nicole/Nikki/Nico, Franky/Frankie, Alex, and Susan. “Some minor abundances: Debs, Deborahs and Debbies. Quite a few more-than-expected Ginas, Naomis and, most oddly, Ruby.” “We are, however, suspiciously low on Marys.”]

Speaking of Frankie…from an article about the popularity of the name Frankie in Australia:

Obviously, there’s a lot of love for Frankie right now. But the interesting thing is that Australian parents love Frankie a lot more than anyone else. Frankie has been among the top 50 girls’ names in Australia for the past couple of years, while not even making the top 100 in either the UK or the US.

From a video in which Emma Thompson talks about “posh” English slang [vid]:

“Pip pip” is “bye-bye.” […] Like, for instance, when I was born, yonks ago, on the BBC, on the world service, there would be the pip, pip, pip. So that’s the “pips.” And you say pip, pip. And I was known as “pip Emma” because I was born as the pips were sounding.

[The pips were used to mark the start of each hour. “Pip Emma” is also the way to say “p.m.” in RFC WWI signalese. I’m not sure if Emma Thompson was likewise born in the afternoon/evening, though.]

From an article about the bear on the California state flag:

[William Randolph] Hearst put the bear on display [in 1889] in Golden Gate Park and named him Monarch. At more than 1,200 pounds, Monarch was the largest bear ever held captive.

[…]

Taking a cue from the Sonoma revolt in 1846 [after which a flag featuring a bear was created to represent the captured region], the state again decided to make the California Grizzly the flag’s focal point. Only this time they wanted a bear that actually looked like a bear.

Illustrators used the recently deceased Monarch as the model for the bear on our state flag.

[Newspaper magnate Hearst took the name “Monarch” from the tagline of the San Francisco Examiner, the “Monarch of the Dailies.”]

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.