How popular is the baby name Ruth 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 Ruth.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ruth


Posts that Mention the Name Ruth

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (U, V, W)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with U-, V-, and W-names…

  • Umbria:
    • Umbria Alva Marie Lindh, born in 1889
  • Utopia:
    • Daniel Utopia Thomson Sullivan, born in 1874
  • Valetta:
    • Maggie Valetta Riddock, born in 1887
  • Valiant:
    • Valiant (surname unknown), born in 1980
  • Varuna:
    • Varuna Rowe Kennedy, born in 1874
  • Venture:
    • Avis Cygnet Venture Hilliard, born in 1892
  • Verum:
    • Mary Verum Parry, born in 1863
  • Victory:
    • Victoria Gibbon Baird, born in 1863
    • Jane Frances Victoria Mosley, born in 1883
    • Victory Elcoate Dowle, born in 1884
  • Viscata:
    • Elizabeth Sofia Viscata Drummond, born in 1865
  • Voltaic:
    • Elizabeth Moore Voltaic Boyle, born in 1889
  • Waikato:
    • Ruth Waikato Eswick, born in 1875
  • Waimate:
    • Annie Rose Waimate James, born in 1874
  • Wainsfell:
    • Eliza Wainsfell Trescoth, born in 1863
    • Hugh Wainsfell Garbride, born in 1863
  • Wairoa:
    • William Wairoa Joss Diffey, born in 1877
    • Joseph Wairoa Hill, born in 1879
  • Waitangi:
    • Alexander Waitangi Danks, born in 1876
    • William George Waitangi Connelly, born in 1877
    • Priscilla Waitangi Rundle, born in 1878
  • Waitara:
    • Emily Waitara Morgan, born in 1876
    • James Waitara Jenkins, born in 1877
    • Anne Waitara Adcock, born in 1879
    • Waitara Sarah Clark, born in 1879
  • Walmer Castle:
    • Charles Walmer Bud, born in 1859
    • Jane Walmer Fergusson, born in 1880
  • Waroonga:
    • Mary Waroonga Cook, born in 1883
    • Rose Waroonga Buchanan, born in 1883
    • Alice Waroonga Poffley, born in 1883
    • Elizabeth Waroonga Brown, born in 1883
    • Margaret Waroonga McLaughlin, born in 1885
    • Emily Waroonga Griffiths, born in 1887
    • Emily Waroonga Finlay, born in 1887
    • David Waroonga Griffiths, born in 1887
  • Warren Hastings:
    • Taylor Hedley Warren Hastings Henley, born in 1863
  • Warwick:
    • Ellen Mary Warwick Bourke, born in 1874
    • Warwick Temperley Skinner, born in 1874
    • Warwick Sexton Clifford Timmins, born in 1879
    • James Warwick Davis, born in 1879
    • Annie Warwick Chappell, born in 1884
    • Warwickina Shields, born in 1884
  • Wellesley:
    • Charles James Wellesey Taylor, born in 1858
  • Wellington:
    • David Cowan Wellington McColl, born in 1876
    • George Edward Wellington Duncan, born in 1878
    • Harry Cowan Wellington Haworth, born in 1879
    • William Wellington Chaplin, born in 1882
    • Ida Wellington Cowan, born in 1884
  • Western Monarch:
    • Thomas Western Radcliffe, born in 1876
  • Westmeath:
    • May Westmeath Wright, born in 1884
  • Westminister:
    • Mary Westminster Lucas, born in 1956
  • Wimmera:
    • George Wimmera Bennett, born in 1874
  • Windsor Castle:
    • Bertha Windsor Schultz, born in 1881
  • Winifred:
    • Winifred Hascher, born in 1881
  • Wishart:
    • Emma Wishart Willard, born in 1874
    • Emma Edith Wishart Brown, born in 1874
    • Daisy Constance Wishart Layard, born in 1874
  • Wisconsin:
    • Francis Owen Wisconsin O’Donald, born in 1879
    • Sarah Wisconsin Whitehead, born in 1879
    • Wisconsin Beardall, born in 1880
    • Jennie Wisconsin Cottrell, born in 1882
    • Wisconsin Ward, born in 1883
    • Wisconsin Wolfer, born in 1886
    • Elizabeth Wisconsin Hanlon, born in 1886
    • James Wisconsin Goodall, born in 1886
    • Johanna Wisconsin Cunningham, born in 1887
    • Edward Wisconsin Cothom, born in 1887
  • Wistow:
    • Wistow Tapp, born in 1885
  • W. J. Pirrie (now part of a marine sanctuary):
    • Nora Pirrie Duckworth, born in 1886
  • Wyoming:
    • Wyoming Grainger, born in 1880
    • Wyoming Liddle, born in 1883

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Rexall baby names: Juneve, Jonteel, Cara Nome

juneve, cosmetics, 1924, baby name, brand name
Juneve advertisement, circa 1924

The United Drug Company — a cooperative of dozens of independently-owned drugstores — was founded by businessman Louis K. Liggett in Boston in 1902.

The affiliated drug stores soon began selling medicines and other products under the brand name Rexall. (Eventually, “Rexall” became the name of thousands of drug stores across the U.S. and Canada.)

Rexall products included perfumed toiletries — talcum power, complexion powder, cold cream, vanishing cream, toilet soap, toilet water, etc. — plus the perfumes themselves. And, interestingly, some of the fragrance names had a small influence on U.S. baby names.

I don’t know precisely when each fragrance was put on the market, so I’ll just list them alphabetically…

Cara Nome

This is a fun one to start with because the fragrance name actually refers to a name.

United Drug’s Cara Nome fragrance was introduced around 1918 and saw its best sales in the 1920s. The Italian name, which translates to “dearest name,” was apparently inspired by an aria called “Caro nome che il mio cor” from the Verdi opera Rigoletto. (In case you’re wondering, the “caro nome” being referred to in the song is Gualtier.)

I found several people in the records named Cara Nome or Caranome:

  • Betty Cara Nome Patesel, b. 1923 in Indiana
  • Cara Nome Schemun, b. circa 1926 in North Dakota
  • Cara Nome Grable, b. 1929 in Michigan
  • Caranome Haag, b. circa 1931 in Wisconsin
  • Caranome Vollman, b. circa 1932 in Nebraska
  • Caranome Stiffey, b. circa 1933 in Pennsylvania
  • Caranome Fox, b. circa 1936 in Oklahoma
  • Caranome Cody, b. 1936 in Tennessee

In Italian, nome is pronounced noh-may (2 syllables). I don’t know how any of the people above pronounced their names, though.

Jeanice

Bouquet Jeanice, introduced around 1913, was one of United Drug’s earliest fragrances. It wasn’t on the market under the name “Bouquet Jeanice” very long, though, because the name was changed to “Bouquet Laurèce” (see below) in late 1915 due to a trademark dispute.

Still, the baby name Jeanice managed to debut in the U.S. baby name data during that short span of time, in 1915:

  • 1917: 11 baby girls named Jeanice
  • 1916: 11 baby girls named Jeanice
  • 1915: 7 baby girls named Jeanice [debut]
  • 1914: unlisted
  • 1913: unlisted

A lot of Jean-names had appeared in the data up to this point, but none of them ended with an “-s” sound.

Jonteel

United Drug introduced Jonteel products in late 1917 and marketed them heavily with full-page color advertisements in major women’s magazines (like Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Ladies’ Home Journal).

French names (or French sounding names) were all the rage for cosmetics at the time, and the name Jonteel — presumably based on the French word gentil, meaning “kind, courteous” — fit the trendy perfectly. (In fact, the name that was originally proposed “by a copywriter working for United Drug’s advertising manager” was Caresse-Jonteel, but the “Caresse” part was ultimately dropped.)

I found several people in the records with the name Jonteel:

Juneve

Juneve, pronounced “June Eve,” wasn’t one of United Drug’s more successful scents. It was introduced in 1923, seems to have been off the market entirely by 1928.

Despite this, it popped up on quite a few birth certificates. Here are the Juneves I found that were born during that window of time:

  • Juneve Key, b. December 1923 in Missouri
  • Mary Juneve Jones, b. 1924 in Utah
  • Juneve Black, b. circa 1924 in Kansas
  • Juneve Alsaida Foreman, b. 1924 in Michigan
  • Juneve Jura, b. circa 1924 in Illinois
  • Frances Juneve Smith, b. 1924 in Texas
  • Juneve Carlson, b. circa 1925 in Wisconsin
  • Juneve Massad, b. circa 1925 in Oklahoma
  • Juneve George, b. circa 1925 in Texas
  • Juneve Abraham, b. circa 1925 in Kansas
  • Clara Juneve Morris, b. 1925 in Texas
  • Juneve Friedrick, b. circa 1925 in Texas
  • Ruth Juneve Dehut, b. circa 1925 in Nebraska
  • Juneve Babcock, b. 1925 in Oregon
  • Juneve Gibbs, b. circa 1926 in North Carolina
  • Joyce Juneve Gutzmann, b. 1926 in Minnesota
  • Juneve Hodges, b. circa 1927 in Oklahoma
  • Juneve Malouf, b. circa 1927 in Texas
  • Juneve Fuller, b. 1927 in California
  • Gwendolyn Juneve Gepford, b. 1928 in Oklahoma
  • Juneve Malstrom, b. circa 1928 in Minnesota

The name Juneve also appeared a single time in the U.S. baby name data, the year after the scent was introduced:

  • 1926: unlisted
  • 1925: unlisted
  • 1924: 5 baby girls named Juneve [debut]
  • 1923: unlisted
  • 1922: unlisted

Laurece

Bouquet Laurèce was the new name for Bouquet Jeanice (see above). Advertisements for Bouquet Laurèce started appearing in the papers in late 1915, but I could find no mention of the scent after 1917, so apparently it was only on the market for a couple of years. But that was enough for the name Laurece to become a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: unlisted
  • 1917: 6 baby girls named Laurece [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: unlisted

Shari

United Drug introduced a scent called Shari in early 1926 with ads featuring copy like this:

Shari is something new in toilet goods. Shari appeals to most every woman and tends to add to personal loveliness. The distinctive fragrance of Shari perfume incorporated in the following beauty aids (now on sale at all our stores) will be the cause of their use on thousands of dressing tables during 1926.

Shari products proved popular, and the scent was on the market all the way until the early 1940s.

The baby name Shari debuted in the SSA data in 1927 and — like the Shari products themselves — gained momentum over the years that followed.

  • 1929: 10 baby girls named Shari
  • 1928: 8 baby girls named Shari
  • 1927: 9 baby girls named Shari [debut]
  • 1926: unlisted
  • 1925: unlisted

(Similar names like Sharon and Sherry were also slowly picking up steam in the 1920s. All three names would go on to see peak usage in the middle decades of the 20th century.)

Violet Dulce

United Drug’s Violet Dulce fragrance was introduced in the early 1910s — even earlier than Bouquet Jeanice. The name Violet was already relatively popular for newborns at that time, but I did find a single example of a newborn with the first-middle combo “Violet Dulce”:

  • Violet Dulce Starr, b. 1913 in Washington state

Rexall

Finally, I’ll mention that the baby name Rexall has popped up in the data a handful of times (1910s-1950s), though the usage doesn’t seem to follow any patterns.

How was the word coined? Here’s the story:

[Liggett] asked Walter Jones Willson, his office boy and an amateur linguist, to invent the brand name. It had to be short, distinctive, original, and easy to pronounce; it also had to look good in type and meet the legal requirements for a trademark. Willson submitted a long list of coined words, including “Rexal,” to Liggett, who added another “l.” Since “rex” was the Latin word for king, the new name supposedly meant “king of all.” (According to another explanation, “Rexall” stood for “RX for all.”)

Before settling upon “Rexall,” Liggett had considered using “Saxona” as the name of the brand.


Do you like any of the perfume names above? Would you give any of them to a modern-day baby?

Sources:

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (N)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with N-names…

  • Nackato:
    • Frederick Nackato Dickens, born in 1875
    • Ruth Nackato Bowick, born in 1875
  • Neckar:
    • Petrine Jeanette Hugo Neckar Walls, born in 1887
  • Nemesis:
    • Nemesis Louise Catherine Dupont, born in 1877
  • Nestor:
    • Nestorina Misonsnile, born in 1889
  • Nestorian:
    • Mary Nestorian Cowan, born in 1890
  • Neva:
    • Alice Neva Landham, born in 1886
  • Nevada:
    • Elizabeth Nevada West, born in 1872
    • William Nevada Webster, born in 1873
    • Nevada Atlantic Larsen, born in 1878
    • Mary Nevada Berry, born in 1881
    • Victoria Nevada Johnson, born in 1881
    • Marie Nevada McPhie, born in 1884
    • Nevada Christensen, born in 1887
  • Neville:
    • Gerald Neville Hemsworth, born in 1869
  • Niagara:
    • Fanny Elizabeth Niagara Pickard, 1875
  • Nile:
    • Nilena Thompson, born in 1866
    • Michelina Nilina Derosty, born in 1877
  • Nineveh:
    • Amelia Tabitha Nineveh Johns Adams, born in 1877
    • Nineveh Sydney, born in 1879
  • Norfolk:
    • Lilian Norfolk Beeching, born in 1880
  • Noronha:
    • Alice Noronha Yealland, born in 1878
  • Norseman:
    • Emily Norseman Stepp, born in 1866
  • North:
    • Adelaide North Hossack, born in 1875
  • Northam:
    • John Northam Davies, born in 1876
  • Northampton:
    • James Northampton Maughan, born in 1880
    • Ethel Northampton Jeffrey, born in 1882
    • William Northampton Irvine, born in 1882
  • Northumberland:
    • James Northumberland Byrne, born in 1873
  • Nourmahal:
    • Ellen Nourmahal Morrison, born in 1874
  • Nova Scotian:
    • Charles Nova Scotian Kuseley, born in 1860
    • Sarah Nova Scotia Keating, born in 1858
  • Nubian:
    • Edith Nubian Benwell Wootten, born in 1882
    • Nubian Jane Fisher, born in 1882
  • Nugget:
    • William Nugget Morant, born in 1860
    • Frederick Nugget Hurricks, born in 1860
  • Nyanza:
    • James Fisher Nyanza Allt, born in 1873

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2020

Which of the names in the 2020 pop culture baby name game saw higher usage last year?

The following names increased in usage from 2019 to 2020. They’re ordered by relative size of increase.

NameActionIncrease’19 to ’20 usageSugg. by
Dalettdebuted2,250%, at least? to 94 baby girlsalex
Ehlaniincreased2,100%5 to 110 baby girlsalex
Alessiincreased418%11 to 57 baby girlsLeah
Gianninaincreased400%5 to 25 baby girlsalex
Breonnaincreased211%9 to 28 baby girls
Kobeincreased199%502 to 1,500 baby boys
Aalamre-emerged175%, at least? to 11 baby boys
Raddixdebuted150%, at least? to 10 baby boys
Azulaincreased142%26 to 63 baby girls
Avaniincreased133%101 to 235 baby girlsalex
Giannaincreased129%3,412 to 7,826 baby girls
Ahmaudincreased100%12 to 24 baby boys
Catoriincreased85%13 to 24 baby girlsalex
Doveincreased70%30 to 51 baby girlsKM & Leah
Rueincreased68%41 to 69 baby girls
Zaiaincreased60%35 to 56 baby girlsalex
Mykaincreased57%53 to 83 baby girlsalex
Kataraincreased54%41 to 63 baby girls
Chadwickincreased50%20 to 30
Rellre-emerged50%, at least? to 6 baby girlsLeah
Zukoincreased47%15 to 22 baby boys
Bryantincreased46%271 to 395 baby boys
Tenilleincreased40%5 to 7 baby girlsEmily A
Nayaincreased39%256 to 356 baby girlsalex
Kamalaincreased38%13 to 18 baby girls
Onyxincreased38%321 to 442 baby boys
Steelincreased31%35 to 46 baby boysalex
Joseyincreased31%16 to 21 baby boysalex
Duaincreased29%72 to 93 baby girls
Radleyincreased28%53 to 68 baby boysalex
Charliincreased24%594 to 735 baby girls
Lyraincreased24%431 to 534 baby girls
Kamiyahincreased23%333 to 409 baby girls
Sovereignincreased23%13 to 16 baby girlsalex
Shaiincreased22%98 to 120 baby boysLeah
Yaraincreased21%362 to 439 baby girls
Dorotheaincreased21%47 to 57 baby girlsRandi & KM
Bettyincreased20%161 to 194 baby girlsRandi
Riverincreased17%2,361 to 2,771 baby boys
Estyincreased16%58 to 67 baby girls
Sakaiincreased14%21 to 24 baby boysalex
Creedincreased12%257 to 288 baby boysalex & Leah
Lovellaincreased11%18 to 20 baby girls
Huxleyincreased10%469 to 518 baby boysalex
Daisyincreased9%1,729 to 1,877 baby girls
Isaiasincreased8%580 to 625 baby boys
Adonisincreased8%1,539 to 1,663 baby boysalex
Amalaincreased5%20 to 21 baby girls
Ivyincreased3%3,675 to 3,794 baby girlsRandi
Zealandincreased3%30 to 31 baby boysalex
Milanincreased3%
13%
662 to 683 baby boys
397 to 449 baby girls
alex
Marjorieincreased2%203 to 208 baby girlsRandi
Augustincreased1%2,376 to 2,403 baby boysEmily A

The following names did not increase in usage from 2019 to 2020. These names saw equal usage, less usage, or weren’t in the data at all.

Ammika, Anaia, Casme, Corona, Crozier, Desz, Divinity, Doja, Domhnall, Estee, George, Gervonta, Giveon, Greta, Hamilton, Ice, Jack, James, Kaori, King, Kraken, Larriah, Laura, Lenin, Liberty, Lynika, McGivney, Nakova, Neowise, Raditz, Rayshard, Robinette, Rona, Rumble, Ruth, Saphir, Slash, Tacoda, Tchalla, Theodosia, Tianwen, Wednesday, Wenliang, Willa, Willow, Win, Zaya

And here are the late bloomers — names that were part of the 2019 game, but didn’t rise/debut until 2020.

  • Donna increased by 20%.
  • Nipsey debuted with 7 baby boys.
  • Luce returned to the data with 7 baby girls.
  • Maleficent returned to the data with 5 baby girls.
  • Miren returned to the data with 5 baby girls.

Finally, regarding our theories about how Covid might have affected 2020’s names…I didn’t notice anything definitive. For instance, both Gheba and Skizzo mentioned “prestige” names (e.g., King, Legend, Major, Messiah and Royal). What I found was that some went up, some went down. Same with the modern virtue names (e.g., Courage, Honor, Brave, Bravery, Freedom).

What are your thoughts on these results? Which name surprised you the most?

[Disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated. Others were influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. In all cases, I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence.]

Famous Female Names from 1916

Over at The Public Domain Review, I found a collection of 51 novelty playing cards — several incomplete decks, mixed together — from 1916 that feature the images and names of popular movie actresses from that era.

Below are all the first names from those cards, plus where those names happened to rank in the 1916 baby name data. (Two-thirds of them were in the top 100, and over 95% fell inside the top 1,000.)

  • Anita (ranked 151st in 1916)
  • Anna (7th)
  • Beatriz (1,281st)
  • Bessie (56th)
  • Blanche (89th)
  • Clara (39th)
  • Cleo (180th)
  • Constance (213th)
  • Dolores (146th)
  • Dorothy (3rd)
  • Edith (28th)
  • Ella (81st)
  • Ethel (25th)
  • Fannie (116th)
  • Florence (14th)
  • Geraldine (94th)
  • Gertrude (35th)
  • Grace (26th)
  • Helen (2nd)
  • Julia (46th)
  • June (86th)
  • Kate (346th)
  • Kathlyn (731st)
  • Lenore (340th)
  • Lillian (16th)
  • Louise (18th)
  • Mabel (65th)
  • Marguerite (78th)
  • Mary (1st)
  • May (190th)
  • Mildred (6th)
  • Myrtle (58th)
  • Nellie (61st)
  • Norma (111th)
  • Olive (132nd)
  • Ormi (4,982nd)
  • Pauline (33rd)
  • Pearl (57th)
  • Ruth (5th)
  • Viola (59th)
  • Violet (83rd)
  • Vivian (77th)
  • Wanda (138th)

Which of the names above do you like best?

Source: Moriarty Playing Cards (1916) – The Public Domain Review