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

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: H

Hulda, one of many rare female H-names names from early cinemaHere’s the next installment of rare female names — either actress names or character names — from very old movies (released from the 1910s to the 1940s).

Hagar
Hagar was a character name in multiple films, including Vampire of the Desert (short, 1913) and Code of the Wilderness (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Hagar.

Haidee
Haidee Wright was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in England in 1867. Her birth name was Ada Wright. Haidee was also a character name in multiple films, including In the Sultan’s Garden (short, 1911) and Monte Cristo (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Haidee.

Hammanda
Hammanda was a character played by actress Gale Henry in the short film Soup and Nuts (1916).

Hanifi
Hanifi was a character played by actress Alice Hollister in the short film An Arabian Tragedy (1912).

Hannerl
Hannerl was a character played by actress Mary Philbin in the film Love Me and the World Is Mine (1927).

Hanni
Hanni was a character played by actress Astrid Holm in the Danish film Lavinen (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Hanni.

Hanoum
Hanoum was a character played by actress Adda Gleason in the film Saved from the Harem (1915).

Hansi
Hansi Niese was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1875.

Haoli
Haoli Young was a character played by actress Gene Tierney in the film China Girl (1942).

Harriett
Harriett Bryant was a character played by actress Virginia Weidler in the film This Time for Keeps (1942).

Hassouna
Hassouna was a character played by actress Alla Nazimova in the film Eye for Eye (1918).

Hatatcha
Princess Hatatcha was a character played by actress Mai Wells in the film The Last Egyptian (1914).

Haydee
Haydee was a character played by actress Eleanor Phelps in the film The Count of Monte Cristo (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Haydee.

Hebe
Hebe was a character name in multiple films, including Beating the Odds (1919) and Fancy Dress (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Hebe.

Hedda
Hedda Hopper was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1885. Her birth name was Elda Furry. Hedda Nova was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Russia in 1899. Hedda was also a character name in multiple films, including A Self-Made Lady (short, 1918) and Servants’ Entrance (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Hedda.

Hedy
Hedy Lamarr was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1914. Her birth name was Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler. Hedy was also a character played by actress Ruth Hussey in the film Bedside Manner (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Hedy.

Hela
Hela Marcale was a character played by actress Marin Sais in the short film The Sheriff of Hope Eternal (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Hela.

Helaine
Helaine Frank was a character played by actress Leonora Corbett in the film Anything to Declare? (1938).

Helda
Helda McCabe was a character played by actress Arline Pretty in the film Stormswept (1923).

Helenita
Helenita was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Parisian Life (1936).

Helga
Helga was a character name in multiple films, including The Virtuoso (short, 1914) and The Viking (1928).

  • Usage of the baby name Helga.

Henny
Henny Porten was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1950s. She was born in Germany in 1890. Her birth name was Frieda Ulricke Porten.

  • Usage of the baby name Henny.

Henriette
Henriette was a character name in multiple films, including The Caillaux Case (1918) and Orphans of the Storm (1921).

Hepsabiah
Hepsabiah Hardlot was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the short film He Had ’em Buffaloed (1917).

Hepzibah
Hepzibah Pyncheon was a character played by various actresses (such as Mary Fuller and Margaret Lindsay) in various movies called The House of the Seven Gables, all based on the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Hermia
Hermia was a character name in multiple films, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1909) and Wood Love (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Hermia.

Heroica
Heroica was a character played by actress Claudia Coleman in the film The Warrior’s Husband (1933).

Hertha
Hertha was a character played by actress Barbara Kent in the film Flesh and the Devil (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Hertha.

Hester
Hester was a character name in multiple films, including Single Life (1921) and A Bill of Divorcement (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Hester.

Hettie
Hettie was a character played by actress Thelma Todd in the film Nevada (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Hettie.

Hetty
Hetty was a character name in multiple films, including The Open Gate (short, 1909) and Three O’Clock in the Morning (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Hetty.

Hezzie
Hezzie Jones was a character played by actress Hilda Vaughn in the film The Wedding Night (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Hezzie.

Hilda
Hilda Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Maryland in 1898. Hilda was also a character name in multiple films, including A Girl of the People (short, 1914) and The Top of New York (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Hilda.

Hildegarde
Hildegarde Withers was a character name in multiple films, including Murder on a Honeymoon (1935) and Forty Naughty Girls (1937).

Hildy
Hildegard “Hildy” Johnson was a character played by actress Rosalind Russell in the film His Girl Friday (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Hildy.

Hina
Hina was a character name in multiple films, including Aloma of the South Seas (1926) and Hawaii Calls (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Hina.

Hippolyta
Hippolyta was a character name in multiple films, including The Warrior’s Husband (1933) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935).

Hisham
Hisham was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film Samson and Delilah (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Hisham.

Hitia
Hitia was a character played by actress Mamo Clark in the film The Hurricane (1937).

Hitty
Hitty was a character name in multiple films, including The Veiled Woman (1922) and Sentimental Journey (1946).

Honey
Honey McNeil was a character played by actress Josephine Dunn in the film Love’s Greatest Mistake (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Honey.

Honore
Princess Honore was a character played by actress Alice Brady in the film The Gilded Cage (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Honore.

Honoria
Honoria was a character name in multiple films, including Runaway June (1915) and A Bit of Heaven (1928).

Honorine
Honorine was a character played by actress Jessie Ralph in the film Port of Seven Seas (1938).

Hopama
Hopama was a character played by actress Ethel Clayton in the film A Soul Without Windows (1918).

Hoppy
Hoppy Grant was a character played by actress Ilka Chase in the film No Time for Love (1943).

Hortense
Hortense was a character name in multiple films, including The Uplifters (1919) and Roar of the Dragon (1932).

Hortensia
Hortensia deVereta was a character played by actress Aileen Pringle in the film My American Wife (1922).

Huguette
Huguette was a character name in multiple films, including The Vagabond King (1930) and If I Were King (1938).

Hulda
Hulda was a character name in multiple films, including Hulda from Holland (1916) and Twelve Miles Out (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Hulda.

Huldah
Huldah was a character played by actress Kathlyn Williams in the film The Wanderer (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Huldah.

Hutin
Hutin Britton was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in England in 1876. Her birth name was Nelly Hutin Britton.

Hyacinth
Hyacinth was a character name in multiple films, including The Headleys at Home (1938) and Dead Reckoning (1947).

Hyla
Hyla Wetherill was a character played by actress Lucille Ricksen in the film The Galloping Fish (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Hyla.

Hylda
Hylda Hollis was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1891.

  • Usage of the baby name Hylda.

Hyllary
Hyllary Jones was a character played by actress Mary Astor in the film Thousands Cheer (1943).

*

Which of the above H-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter I

In need of an uncommon girl name with an old-fashioned feel?

Here’s the next installment in the early cinema series: a list of rare female I-names associated with the initial decades of the motion pictures (1910s to 1940s).

For those names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data, I’ve included links to popularity graphs.

*

Ianthe
Ianthe Dorland was a character played by actress Virginia Field in the film The Primrose Path (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Ianthe.

Idalene
Idalene Nobbin was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Wall Flower (1922).

Idina
Idina Bland was a character played by actress Fanny Ferrari in the film Passion’s Playground (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Idina.

Idy
Idy Peters was a character played by actress Irene Rich in the film They Had to See Paris (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Idy.

Ilani
Ilani was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Moonlight in Hawaii (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilani.

Ilanu
Ilanu was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Aloha (1931).

Ilda
Ilda was a character name in multiple films, including Rasputin, the Black Monk (1917) and Darkest Russia (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilda.

Ilka
Ilka Chase was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in New York in 1905. Ilka was also a character name in multiple films, including Ambassador Bill (1931) and The President’s Mystery (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilka.

Ilma
Ilma was a character name in multiple films, including The Game of Life (short, 1915) and The Seven Pearls (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilma.

Ilona
Ilona Massey was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Hungary in 1910. Ilona was also a character name in multiple films, including Ilona (1921) and The Stolen Bride (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilona.

Ilonka
Ilonka was a character played by actress Elena Verdugo in the film House of Frankenstein (1944).

Ilsa
Ilsa Lund was a character played by actress Ingrid Bergman in the film Casablanca (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilsa (which debuted in the data in 1943).

Ilse
Ilse Wagner was a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film The Match King (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilse.

Immada
Immada was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film The Rescue (1929).

Imogene
Imogene was a character name in multiple films, including Retribution (short, 1913) and They Won’t Forget (1937).

Imperia
Imperia was a character played by actress Phyllis Haver in the film Don Juan (1926).

Ina
Ina Claire was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1893. Ina was also a character played by actress Arlette Marchal in the film Forlorn River (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Ina.

Inah
Inah Dunbar was a character played by actress Ann Forrest in the film Her Decision (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Inah.

Inda
Independence “Inda” Palmer was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Ohio on July 4, 1853.

  • Usage of the baby name Inda.

Indora
Indora was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Devil’s Claim (1920).

Inga
Inga was a character played by actress Carol Dempster in the film Isn’t Life Wonderful (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Inga.

Iola
Iola was a character name in multiple films, including Iola’s Promise (short, 1912) and The Heart of a Lion (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Iola.

Iolante
Iolante was a character played by actress Maude Fealy in the short film King Rene’s Daughter (1913).

Iolanthe
Iolanthe McSwatt was a character played by actress Flora Finch in the short film There’s Music in the Hair (1913).

Ione
Ione Holmes was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in the U.S. in 1890. Ione was also a character name in multiple films, including The Flirt and the Bandit (short, 1913) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Ione.

Iphigenie
Iphigenie Castiglioni was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Austria-Hungary in 1895.

Iras
Iras was a character name in multiple films, including Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and Cleopatra (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Iras.

Irena
Irena was a character name in multiple films, including The Fall of the Romanoffs (1917) and Mark of the Vampire (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Irena.

Irenya
Irenya was a character played by actress Marjorie Daw in the short film The Unafraid (1915).

Irmingarde
Princess Irmingarde was a character played by actress Lillian Drew in the short film Every Inch a King (1914).

Isambeau
Isambeau was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film Joan the Woman (1916).

Ishya
Ishya was a character played by actress Burnu Acquanetta in the film Arabian Nights (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ishya.

Isobelle
Princess Isobelle was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film The Master Mummer (1915).

Isola
Isola was a character name in multiple films, including The Nightingale (1914) and Thunder Island (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Isola.

Isolla
Isolla was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film The Awakening of Donna Isolla (1914).

Istra
Princess Istra was a character played by actress Marguerite Courtot in the film Bound and Gagged (1919).

Ivis
Ivis was a character name in multiple films, including The Glorious Lady (1919) and Three Live Ghosts (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Ivis.

Izette
Izette was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the short film A Detective’s Strategy (1912).

*

Which of the above I-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

The 1951 Uptick in Dagmars

© 1951 Life

The name Dagmar (based on the Old Norse words dagr, meaning “day,” and mær, meaning “maid”) peaked in usage in the mid-1910s. But it returned for a secondary peak in 1951:

  • 1953: 16 baby girls named Dagmar
  • 1952: 21 baby girls named Dagmar
  • 1951: 28 baby girls named Dagmar
  • 1950: 18 baby girls named Dagmar
  • 1949: 15 baby girls named Dagmar

What gave it a boost that particular year?

An American actress known simply as Dagmar. She became one of television’s first stars — and its very first sex symbol — in 1951.

She was born Virginia Ruth Egnor in West Virginia in 1921. When she began modeling and acting in the 1940s, she adopted the stage name “Jennie Lewis.”

But that stage name was changed to “Dagmar” when she was hired to appear on NBC’s Broadway Open House (1950–51), which was the first late-night variety show on network television. The bosomy* actress was instructed by the show’s host, Jerry Lester, to “act dumb” on the air. Justin Peters of Slate described the Dagmar segments of Broadway Open House as “gleefully sexist and unfunny, yet somehow redeemed by Dagmar’s odd, icy sense of dignity.”

Dagmar soon became more popular than the host himself. Lester ended up quitting, and Dagmar hosted the show during its final month on the air.

Around the same time, she began appearing on other TV variety shows (like Texaco Star Theater and the Bob Hope Show). She even landed on the the cover of Life magazine.

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

*Fun fact: The two conical front bumper guards of various ’50s Cadillacs (and other GM cars) — originally modeled after artillery shells — came to be known as “Dagmar bumpers” or simply “Dagmars” in reference to the actress.

Sources:

More Top Baby Name Drops

A couple of weeks a go we checked out the list of top raw-number rises in the U.S. baby name data, so today let’s balance things out with the list of top raw-number drops.

Just remember that the SSA data doesn’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t reflect reality all that well.

Same format as usual: Girl names on the left, boy names on the right. Numbers represent single-year decreases in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, usage of the girl name Mary dropped by 146 babies and usage of the boy name William dropped by 1,008 babies.

  • 1881: Mary, -146; William, -1,008
  • 1882: Lulu, -34; Garfield, -78
  • 1883: Mary, -136; William, -911
  • 1884: Mina, -33; Albert, -61
  • 1885: Sarah, -94; William, -853
  • 1886: Nancy, -35; Grover, -361
  • 1887: Minnie, -157; John, -916
  • 1888: Dorothea, -24; Rudolph, -17
  • 1889: Emma, -203; William, -933
  • 1890: Mollie, -53; William, -278
  • 1891: Mary, -375; John, -821
  • 1892: Jennie, -26; Enoch & Irving, -16 each (tie)
  • 1893: Mary, -390; John, -990
  • 1894: Ruth, -286; Grover, -171
  • 1895: Laura, -87; Charles, -155
  • 1896: Jessie, -197; John, -182
  • 1897: Anna, -431; John, -589
  • 1898: Sophie, -49; Hobart, -63
  • 1899: Mary, -1,234; William, -1,314
  • 1900: Manila, -24; Dewey, -154
  • 1901: Mary, -3,572; John, -2,931
  • 1902: Sophie, -45; Manuel, -32
  • 1903: Mary, -211; William, -305
  • 1904: Lillie, -121; Leo, -83
  • 1905: Florence, -94; Alton, -138
  • 1906: Minnie, -173; Theodore, -146
  • 1907: Bessie & Alice, -85 each (tie); Austin, -27
  • 1908: Evelyn, -178; Theodore, -69
  • 1909: Mae, -154; Ernest, -115
  • 1910: Allie, -35; Delmar & Bruce, -24 each (tie)
  • 1911: Annie, -220; Willie, -405
  • 1912: Dessie, -20; Lawyer & Blas, -12 each (tie)
  • 1913: Carrie, -62; Emerson, -28
  • 1914: Tomasa, -27; Woodrow, -547
  • 1915: Juana, -32; Kermit, -79
  • 1916: Mollie, -88; Willard, -476
  • 1917: Edna, -204; Woodrow, -239
  • 1918: Rose, -215; Frederick, -103
  • 1919: Helen, -2,447; John, -3,029
  • 1920: Sophie, -234; Woodrow, -1,033
  • 1921: Gertrude, -449; Willie, -391
  • 1922: Helen, -2,314; Warren, -3,315
  • 1923: Helen, -1,017; George, -321
  • 1924: Elizabeth, -512; Warren, -1,231
  • 1925: Mary, -2,910; John, -1,878
  • 1926: Mary, -2,773; William, -1,358
  • 1927: Helen, -1,582; William, -479
  • 1928: Mary, -3,756; William, -2,360
  • 1929: Mary, -3,361; John, -1,652
  • 1930: Ruth, -1,079; Herbert, -2,187
  • 1931: Dorothy, -3,884; John, -4,026
  • 1932: Betty, -1,688; Robert, -1,255
  • 1933: Mary, -4,381; Robert, -5,052
  • 1934: Dorothy, -761; Franklin, -1,209
  • 1935: Betty, -2,408; Franklin, -1,543
  • 1936: Shirley, -7,202; Donald, -1,025

(From the SSA: “Note that many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.”)

  • 1937: Shirley, -8,337; Donald, -771
  • 1938: Shirley, -3,048; Donald, -1,207
  • 1939: Shirley, -3,320; Robert, -2,630
  • 1940: Shirley, -2,573; Donald, -962
  • 1941: Betty, -1,172; Wendell, -533
  • 1942: Deanna, -408; Billy, -352
  • 1943: Carole, -1,900; Douglas, -3,001
  • 1944: Barbara, -4,242; Robert, -4,008
  • 1945: Mary, -3,184; James, -2,497
  • 1946: Victoria, -280; Victor, -492
    • Top 5 boy-name drops of ’46, in order: Victor, Truman, Franklin, Delano, Roosevelt/Homer (tie)
  • 1947: Carole, -793; Richard, -369
  • 1948: Patricia, -5,144; Richard, -7,570
  • 1949: Linda, -5,192; Ronald, -2,026
  • 1950: Linda, -10,549; John, -1,642
  • 1951: Linda, -6,553; Larry, -1,016
  • 1952: Linda, -6,808; Larry, -2,224
  • 1953: Linda, -5,819; Larry, -3,081
  • 1954: Linda, -5,884; Dennis, -2,860
  • 1955: Mary, -4,830; Gary, -3,499
  • 1956: Deborah, -4,476; David, -4,588
  • 1957: Deborah, -7,778; Gary, -2,286
  • 1958: Cynthia, -8,311; James, -5,502
  • 1959: Debra, -4,166; Michael, -5,209
  • 1960: Debra, -4,626; Richard, -3,619
  • 1961: Donna, -5,468; Richard, -2,432
  • 1962: Mary, -4,163; Mark, -4,234
  • 1963: Linda, -3,754; Mark, -4,150
  • 1964: Lori, -5,280; Mark, -4,073
  • 1965: Mary, -6,709; John, -10,972
  • 1966: Karen, -7,431; John, -6,519
  • 1967: Lisa, -4,483; James, -3,495
  • 1968: Mary, -3,592; David, -3,058
  • 1969: Lisa, -4,494; Timothy, -3,153
  • 1970: Lisa, -6,077; David, -1,953
  • 1971: Lisa, -6,053; David, -8,650
  • 1972: Lisa, -5,357; John, -8,340
  • 1973: Lisa, -4,883; David, -5,267
  • 1974: Lisa, -2,889; Robert, -1,681
  • 1975: Jennifer, -4,926; Brian, -3,864
  • 1976: Michelle, -3,116; Scott, -1,571
  • 1977: Amy, -4,613; Scott, -1,541
  • 1978: Amy, -3,509; Jason, -4,027
  • 1979: Kelly, -1,686; Kevin, -1,373
  • 1980: Melissa, -2,420; Jason, -2,203
  • 1981: Melissa, -3,623; Jason, -6,268
  • 1982: Brooke, -2,183; Jeremy, -2,643
  • 1983: Jennifer, -2,767; Jason, -5,512
  • 1984: Jennifer, -3,784; Jason, -5,167
  • 1985: Jennifer, -7,903; Jason, -3,905
  • 1986: Jennifer, -6,474; Joshua, -4,655
  • 1987: Jennifer, -3,483; Jason, -3,054
  • 1988: Ashley, -4,873; Jason, -3,441
  • 1989: Jennifer, -3,888; Jason, -3,292
  • 1990: Tiffany, -2,555; Adam, -2,216
  • 1991: Brittany, -7,446; Christopher, -5,219
  • 1992: Jessica, -5,047; Michael -6,409
  • 1993: Chelsea, -4,885; Michael, -4,821
  • 1994: Ashley, -4,571; Michael, -5,089
  • 1995: Jessica, -4,175; Michael, -3,060
  • 1996: Jessica, -3,752; Michael, -3,043
  • 1997: Jessica, -3,142; Cody, -2,660
  • 1998: Jessica, -2,816; Christopher, -2,104
  • 1999: Brittany, -1,903; Austin, -2,710
  • 2000: Brittany, -2,760; Austin, -4,824
  • 2001: Hannah, -2,366; Brandon, -2,445
  • 2002: Taylor, -2,220; Jacob, -1,968
  • 2003: Ashanti, -1,983; Austin, -2,850
  • 2004: Hannah, -2,034; Zachary, -1,832
  • 2005: Alexis, -1,503; Jacob, -2,059
  • 2006: Emily, -2,540; Ryan, -1,557
  • 2007: Emily, -2,050; Joshua, -1,664
  • 2008: Hannah, -3,738; Christopher, -2070
  • 2009: Emily, -2,084; Anthony, -2,099
  • 2010: Madison, -2,059; Joshua, -2,219
  • 2011: Isabella, -3,032; Jacob, -1,783
  • 2012: Chloe, -1,361; Jacob, -1,370
  • 2013: Isabella, -1,536; Ethan, -1,494
  • 2014: Sophia, -2,657; Jayden, -1,834
  • 2015: Isabella, -1,523; Jase, -1,459
  • 2016: Sophia, -1,311; Logan, -1,697
  • 2017: Sophia, -1,281; Mason, -1,728
  • 2018: Emily, -1,125; Matthew, -1,747

I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and will write about others in the future. In the meanwhile, feel free to beat me to it! Comment below with the backstory on the fall of Shirley in the late ’30s, Linda in the early ’50s, etc.

More Top Baby Name Rises

Having déjà vu?

A couple of months ago, we looked at a long, year-by-year list of the top baby name rises. A month after that, we saw the corresponding list of top drops.

On that second post, Frank B. left a comment in which he asked about absolute rises and drops — because the lists only covered relative movement within the data. So I thought two more posts were in order: top raw-number rises, and top raw-number drops.

We’ll start with the rises again. Just keep in mind that the SSA numbers don’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t quite reflect reality.

Here’s the format: Girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the numbers represent single-year rises in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, the usage of the girl name Ethel increased by 155 babies and the usage of the boy name Chester increased by 106 babies.

  • 1881: Ethel, +155; Chester, +106
  • 1882: Mary, +1,229; John, +788
  • 1883: Bertha, +173; Grover, +71
  • 1884: Mary, +1,205; Grover, +675
  • 1885: Helen, +148; Willie, +36
  • 1886: Mary, +762; John, +270
  • 1887: Ethel, +208; Harold, +55
  • 1888: Mary, +1,866; William, +1,235
  • 1889: Ruth, +223; Russell, +52
  • 1890: Mary, +430; Charlie, +112
  • 1891: Ruth, +662; Theodore & Herbert, +34 (tie)
  • 1892: Mary, +1,471; John, +1,358
  • 1893: Esther, +558; Claude, +41
  • 1894: Marie, +437; John, +189
  • 1895: Anna, +385; James, +225
  • 1896: Helen, +369; William, +470
  • 1897: Thelma, +159; Dewey, +95
  • 1898: Mary, +994; Dewey, +957
  • 1899: Mildred, +188; Kenneth, +24
  • 1900: Mary, +3536; John, +2,840
  • 1901: Retha, +25; Theodore, +21
  • 1902: Mary, +1,350; John, +1,009
  • 1903: Dorothy, +371; Jack, +88
  • 1904: Mary, +687; John, +499
  • 1905: Mary, +1,105; Charles, +201
  • 1906: Alice, +581; Robert, +225
  • 1907: Mary, +1,211; James, +799
  • 1908: Mary, +1,085; William, +622
  • 1909: Helen, +813; James, +582
  • 1910: Mary, +3,589; John, +1,860
  • 1911: Dorothy, +1,551; John, +1,995
  • 1912: Mary, +7,910; John, +11,140
  • 1913: Mary, +4,342; John, +4,738
  • 1914: Mary, +8,705; John, +8,621
  • 1915: Mary, +12,842; John, +9,634
  • 1916: Mary, +3,246; Robert, +3,004
  • 1917: Mary, +2,847; Robert, +3,474
  • 1918: Dorothy, +3,179; Robert, +5,409
  • 1919: Betty, +1,304; Willie, +409
  • 1920: Mary, +5,141; Robert, +7,656
  • 1921: Betty, +3,618; Robert, +4,096
  • 1922: Betty, +3,259; Richard, +1,165
  • 1923: Betty, +5,097; Robert, +2,300
  • 1924: Betty, +4,605; Robert, +4,685
  • 1925: Gloria, +2,835; Richard, +2,034
  • 1926: Barbara, +1,917; Richard, +1,864
  • 1927: Mary, +2,787; Donald, +2,935
  • 1928: Dolores, +2,843; Herbert, +3,049
  • 1929: Joan, +3,806; Donald, +1,456
  • 1930: Joan, +3,812; Richard, +2,602
  • 1931: Joan, +3,633; Ronald, +1,086
  • 1932: Barbara, +4,514; Ronald, +4,411
  • 1933: Carol, +1,650; Franklin, +2,603
  • 1934: Shirley, +8,523; James, +3,124
  • 1935: Shirley, +19,514; David, +1,664
  • 1936: Carol, +2,785; Robert, +1,968

(From the SSA: “Note that many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.”)

  • 1937: Barbara, +3,230; David, +3,493
  • 1938: Judith, +4,729; James, +2,526
  • 1939: Judith, +5,748; David, +2,366
  • 1940: Linda, +7,657; John, +3,739
  • 1941: Linda, +5,355; James, +4,262
  • 1942: Linda, +7,882; James, +10,450
  • 1943: Linda, +6,831; James, +3,072
  • 1944: Cheryl, +5,092; Gary, +2,192
  • 1945: Linda, +3,065; Michael, +3,179
  • 1946: Linda, +11,239; Robert, +14,194
  • 1947: Linda, +46,978; David, +11,381
  • 1948: Deborah, +5,409; Mark, +2,503
  • 1949: Deborah, +7,953; Michael, +7,417
  • 1950: Deborah, +9,877; Michael, +5,220
  • 1951: Deborah, +12,954; Michael, +7,531
  • 1952: Debra, +9,782; David, +7,043
  • 1953: Debra, +10,015; Michael, +5,172
  • 1954: Debra, +9,029; Mark, +6,899
  • 1955: Debra, +4,653; David, +6,653
  • 1956: Karen, +6,843; Mark, +6,596
  • 1957: Cindy, +10,268; Mark, +4,020
  • 1958: Tammy, +5,618; Timothy, +4,011
  • 1959: Donna, +9,517; Mark, +4,260
  • 1960: Lisa, +8,013; Jeffrey, +2,564
  • 1961: Lisa, +8,983; Todd, +4,005
  • 1962: Lisa, +3,394; Scott, +6,790
  • 1963: Lisa, +9,951; Paul, +2,884
  • 1964: Dawn, +4,196; John, +3,900
  • 1965: Lisa, +5,990; Rodney, +5,013
  • 1966: Michelle, +10,937; Christopher, +3,228
  • 1967: Melissa, +4,114; Matthew, +2,778
  • 1968: Jennifer, +8,612; Matthew, +2,253
  • 1969: Jennifer, +6,858; Jason, +9,346
  • 1970: Jennifer, +12,455; Jason, +10,788
  • 1971: Jennifer, +10,626; Jason, +6,897
  • 1972: Jennifer, +6,820; Christopher, +3,954
  • 1973: Heather, +3,032; Jason, +9,236
  • 1974: Heather, +3,836; Jason, +8,082
  • 1975: Amanda, +5,177; Joshua, +2,968
  • 1976: Jamie, +8,306; Jeremy, +4,940
  • 1977: Jessica, +6,467; Joshua, +5,205
  • 1978: Crystal, +2,865; Nicholas, +10,274
  • 1979: Amanda, +11,406; Joshua, +5,921
  • 1980: Tiffany, +6,614; Justin, +9,355
  • 1981: Jessica, +8,602; Brandon, +6,048
  • 1982: Ashley, +5,971; Christopher, +8,995
  • 1983: Ashley, +18,435; Kyle, +4,161
  • 1984: Ashley, +5,478; Joshua, +3,551
  • 1985: Ashley, +8,242; Andrew, +4,252
  • 1986: Whitney, +5,699; Andrew, +3,682
  • 1987: Kayla, +5,917; Justin, +4,874
  • 1988: Brittany, +4,594; Justin, +3,545
  • 1989: Brittany, +10,969; Ethan, +3,162
  • 1990: Taylor, +3,188; Jordan, +5,257
  • 1991: Shelby, +6,703; Dylan, +5,349
  • 1992: Taylor, +4,696; Dylan, +5,298
  • 1993: Taylor, +6,318; Austin, +6,125
  • 1994: Alexis, +2,208; Austin, +5,616
  • 1995: Madison, +3,516; Austin, +2,714
  • 1996: Madison, +3,632; Noah, +3,360
  • 1997: Hannah, +1,993; Jacob, +2,237
  • 1998: Emma, +2,700; Noah, +4,137
  • 1999: Grace, +3,460; Seth, +1,718
  • 2000: Trinity, +2,803; Ethan, +3,783
  • 2001: Isabella, +2,587; Logan, +2,973
  • 2002: Isabella, +3,334; Ethan, +4,143
  • 2003: Emma, +6,170; Aidan, +3,108
  • 2004: Ava, +2,364; Aiden, +1,472
  • 2005: Ava, +4,959; Landon, +2,070
  • 2006: Addison, +4,595; Aiden, +2,492
  • 2007: Addison, +4,328; Jayden, +5,596
  • 2008: Peyton, +1,954; Aiden, +2,472
  • 2009: Isabella, +3,667; Liam, +2,582
  • 2010: Sophia, +3,680; Mason, +4,139
  • 2011: Harper, +2,032; Mason, +4,650
  • 2012: Harper, +2,496; Liam, +3,286
  • 2013: Sadie, +2,031; Jase, +3,410
  • 2014: Olivia, +1,308; Oliver, +2,116
  • 2015: Alexa, +1,786; Oliver, +2,181
  • 2016: Adeline, +1,700; Mateo, +1,516
  • 2017: Luna, +1,657; Logan, +2,748
  • 2018: Mila, +2,162; Theodore, +1,070

Some of these names I’ve written about already, and others I plan to write about in the future. If you can give explanations for any of those others right now, though, feel free! Just leave a comment…