How popular is the baby name Salome in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Salome and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Salome.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Salome

Number of Babies Named Salome

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Salome

Names from Central Burying Ground in Boston

Boston’s Central Burying Ground was established in 1756, so it’s newer than the other Boston cemeteries I’ve blogged about (King’s Chapel, Granary, and Copp’s Hill). Nevertheless, it still contains some pretty interesting names:

  • A: Aderline, Alford, Alona, Alpheus, Alsendorf, Annjulett, Antice, Anstice, Arodi, Artemis, Asadel
  • B: Barstow, Barzillia, Belcher, Benaset
  • C: Calista, Christeena, Clarena, Clarentine, Cumming
  • D: Dolley
  • E: Ede, Elbridge, Elhanah, Eliakim, Emely
  • F: Fletcher, Freelove
  • G: Giles, Gilman, Gustavus
  • H: Hannahretta, Hawkes, Hepzibah, Hermione, Hezekiah, Hitty
  • I: Ichabod, Ignatius, Iphigenia
  • J: Jaazaniah, Jennet
  • K: Keziah
  • L: Lendall, Llewlwyn, Loms, Lot, Lyman
  • M: Manasseh, Mansfred, Marayanna, Marston, Mayday, Mehitable, Micajah, Milla, Mindwell, Minerva
  • N: Nabby, Nahum
  • O: Orvilla
  • P: Pamelia, Percival, Phebee, Philander, Pliny
  • R: Rodolth, Rosalinda, Rosamund, Ruhamah
  • S: Sally, Salome, Seiba, Shubael, Shubel, Sibley, Silence, Silvanus, Sophronia, Sukey, Sylvanus
  • T: Tamer, Ternon, Theophilus, Tristam, Tryphena
  • V: Vivia
  • W: Waverly, Wentworth, Worham, Winthrop
  • Z: Zabiah, Zebiah, Zeal, Zephaniah, Zilpah

I bet Vivia would appeal to modern parents looking for an alternative to Olivia and/or Vivian.

Which of the above do you like best? How about least?

Source: Gravestone Inscriptions and Records of Tomb Burials in the Central Burying Ground (1917) by Ogden Codman

How to Pronounce French Names – Anaïs, Étienne, Guillaume, Hélène

how to pronounce French names like anais, etienne, helene, guillaume

At first glance, Guillaume always looks like gobbledygook to me. It’s the French form of William — that much I know — but it takes a few seconds for me to remember that it’s pronounced ghee-ohm, not not gwill-awm or gwee-awm.

And it’s not just Guillaume that trips me up. I find many other French names (Étienne, Edwige, Anaïs, etc.) equally tricky to pronounce.

So for those of us who struggle with French names, here are some simplified rules of French pronunciation, plus names to illustrate each rule.

This list is far from comprehensive, and my pronunciations are just approximations, but hopefully my fellow non-French speakers out there will find it helpful nonetheless.

Rules of French Pronunciation + French Names

The vowel combination “AU” is pronounced like a long o.

  • Paul, in French, is pronounced pohl.
  • Margaux, a French form of Margaret, is pronounced mar-goh.

The letter combination “CH” is typically pronounced sh.

  • Charles, in French, is pronounced shahrl.

The six consonants “D,” “P,” “S,” “T,” “X” and “Z,” when at the end of a word, are typically silent.

  • Arnaud, the French form of Arnold, is pronounced ar-noh.
  • Denis, the French form of Dennis, is pronounced de-nee (remember the Blondie song?).
  • Lucas, in French, is pronounced loo-kah.
  • Louis, in French, is pronounced loo-ee (think Louis Vuitton).

They’re not always silent, though. Here are some exceptions:

  • Alois, the French form of Aloysius, is pronounced ah-loh-ees.
  • Anaïs, a French form of Anna, is pronounced ah-nah-ees.
  • David, in French, is pronounced dah-veed.

The pronunciation of “Ë” (E with a trema) is like the e in the English word “bet.”

  • Gaël and Gaëlle are pronounced gah-el or gai-el.
  • Joël and Joëlle are pronounced zhoh-el.
  • Maël and Maëlle are pronounced mah-el or mai-el.
  • Noël and Noëlle are pronounced noh-el.

The pronunciation of “É” (E with an acute accent) is somewhere between the ee in “see” and the e in “bet.”

  • Noé, the French masculine form of Noah, is pronounced noh-ee.
  • Salomé, in French, is pronounced sah-loh-mee.

The consonant “G” is soft (zh) when followed by “E” or “I” but hard (gh) otherwise.

  • Georges, the French form of George, is pronounced zhorzh.
  • Guy, in French, is pronounced ghee.

The consonant “H” is silent.

  • Hélène, the French form of Helen, is pronounced eh-lehn.

The vowel “I,” and the forms Ï, and Î, are all pronounced ee.

  • Loïc, a French form of Louis, is pronounced loh-eek.

The consonant “J” is pronounced zh.

  • Jacques, the French form of Jacob, is pronounced zhahk.

The letter combination “LL” is typically pronounced like an l.

  • Achille, the French form of Achilles, is pronounced ah-sheel.
  • Lucille, the French form of Lucilla, is pronounced loo-seel.

But in some cases “LL” is pronounced like a y.

  • Guillaume, the French form of William, is pronounced ghee-yohm or ghee-ohm.

The vowel combination “OI” is pronounced wah.

  • Antoine, the French form of Antony, is pronounced an-twahn.
  • Grégoire, the French form of Gregory, is pronounced gre-gwahr.

The vowel combination “OU” is pronounced oo.

  • Lilou is pronounced lee-loo.

The consonant “R,” when at the end of a word, is typically pronounced.

  • Clair, the French masculine form of Claire, is pronounced kler.
  • Edgar, in French, is pronounced ed-gahr.

When the “R” is preceded by an “E,” though, it is not pronounced.

  • Gauthier, the French form of Walter, is pronounced goh-tee-yay or goh-tyay (remember Gotye?).
  • Olivier, the French form of Oliver, is pronounced oh-lee-vee-yay or oh-lee-vyay (think Laurence Olivier).

The letter combination “TH” is typically pronounced like a t (which makes sense, since “H” is silent).

  • Thibault, the French form of Theobald, is pronounced tee-boh.

The letter combination “TI” is sometimes pronounced like an s or sy.

  • Laëtitia is pronounced lay-tee-sya.

The consonant “W” is pronounced like a v.

  • Edwige, the French form of Hedwig, is pronounced ed-veezh.

And finally, just a few more French names that I tend to have trouble with.

  • Anatole is pronounced ah-nah-tohl.
  • Étienne, the French form of Stephen, is pronounced eh-tyen.
  • Geoffroy, the French form of Geoffrey, is pronounced zho-fwah.
  • Ghislain and Ghislaine are pronounced either ghee-len or zheez-len.
  • Ignace, the French form of Ignatius, is pronounced ee-nyas.


Those aren’t too hard, right?

That’s what I tell myself…and then I come across Guillaume in the wild and my mind goes blank all over again. :)

If you know French and would like to add to the above (either another rule of pronunciation or a more precise pronunciation for a particular name) please leave a comment.

If you’re not a French speaker, here’s my question: Which French name gives you the most trouble?

Sources: Beginning French Pronunciation, French e, è, é, ê, ë – what’s the difference?, Google Translate

P.S. Interested in seeing how popular the French names above are in the U.S.? Here are some popularity graphs: Alois, Achille, Anaïs, Anatole, Antoine, Arnaud, Clair, Denis, Edwige, Étienne, Gaël, Gaëlle, Georges, Grégoire, Guillaume, Guy, Hélène, Ignace, Jacques, Laëtitia, Lilou, Loïc, Lucille, Maël, Maëlle, Margaux, Noé, Olivier, Salomé, Thibault.

Baby Name Needed – What Do You Think of Phineas?

A reader named Virginia is expecting a baby in September. For a boy, she’d selected the name Phineas. She liked “that it was unusual without being bizarre,” and that it started with ph. But now she’s not so sure about the name:

All was fine and dandy until I read an article about violence in the Bible. It vaguely mentioned Phineas as a name from the Bible used as a talisman by white supremacists. What!?!

That was a shock to me too. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Phineas Priesthood is “a violent credo of vengeance that has gained some popularity among white supremacists and other extremists in recent years.” I’d never heard of the Phineas Priesthood before–not even when Julia Roberts named her son Phinnaeus a few years ago.

Virginia doesn’t want to give up her favorite name, but she also “can’t live with such an association,” so she was hoping for some name suggestions. Other names she’s considering include Joel and Samuel (for boys) and Sigrid, Phoebe, Elisabeth, and Anne (for girls). All are family names.

First, a few thoughts:

  • I doubt many people are aware that white supremacists use Phineas as a code word. It’s an odious association, but maybe it’s also obscure enough that it’s not worth worrying about…?
  • I really like Sigrid and Phoebe–they’re both significant and unusual. Especially Sigrid. (Phoebe is being used more and more every year, so it might not be unusual for long.)

And now, name suggestions. Here are some unusual-but-not-bizarre boy names that I think Virginia might like:


And some girl names:


What other names would you suggest to Virginia? (And, what’s your take on the Phineas dilemma?)

Update: The baby has arrived! Click here to learn the baby’s name.

Girl Names for Parents Who Don’t Like Girl Names

Some parents see names like Angelina, Isabella, and Olivia and think, “I’m not going to bother weeding through these dainty little sissy-names on the off chance I find a good one. Forget it. I’m gonna flip ahead to the boy names.”

What these parents might not realize, though, is that there are plenty of strong, non-frilly girl names out there. Here are three types I’ve come up with:

Girl Names with Boyish Nicknames
A boy name wrapped in a girl name — the best of both worlds. Most of the full names below are based on boy names, so they simply shorten to the same pet forms.

Alex – Alexandra
Andy – Andrea, Miranda
Bernie – Bernadette
Cal – Calista, Calla
Clem – Clementine
Dan – Danielle
Ernie – Ernestine
Frank – Frances
Gerry – Geraldine
Gus – Augusta
Jack – Jacqueline
Jo – Josephine, Johanna
Max – Maxine
Mo – Monique, Maureen
Nick – Nicole, Monica, Veronica
Rick – Erica
Rob – Roberta
Sal – Salome, Sarah
Tony – Antonia
Will – Wilhelmina

Girl Names with Lots of Consonants
Girl names with at least as many consonants as vowels tend to sound much more serious than vowel-laden girl names. Especially if they end with a consonant (or a consonant-sound).


*Technically, these names have more vowels than consonants. But it doesn’t sound like they do, and that’s the important part.

Girl Names with Unusual Letters/Sounds
Unusual things command your attention. They may seem odd, but, because they stand out, they also tend to seem bold.


What other types of girl names would you add to this list?

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Elle

Patience and her husband are expecting a baby girl in June. They plan to name her Elle, but they’re having a tough time choosing a middle name:

My maiden name is Lewis, and my husband’s middle name is Louis. […] I don’t like Louise…but it would be cool to play on the similarity of our names for her middle name. Then again I don’t know how I feel about: Elle L. Wagner.

(Their real surname isn’t Wagner, but it does start with a W and have two syllables.)

I’m not too sure about “Elle L.” either. Putting a name and a letter that sound exactly alike side-by-side will probably cause a lot of confusion. Also, Elle followed by any L-name is going to be tricky to say aloud.

Unfortunately, though, many Louis-derived female names start with L. Most of those that don’t (e.g. Clovia, Aloysia) are fairly exotic. The only two I’d consider are Gia and Gina, which are distant cousins of Louis via the Italian Luigia.

A compound name might work. Marylou, Marylouisa, Annalou, Annalouisa…any short-ish name could be the first element, and a Louis-based name could be the second. Length would be an issue, but Elle is quite short, so I think a longer middle wouldn’t be too much of a burden.

The only other idea I had was to look at names that have consonants in common with Lewis and Louis, such as:


None of the above are in the Louis family, but they could be seen as “tribute” names in a sense.

What other ideas would guys offer to Patience?

Baby Names in Brussels – Gabriel, Lina, Mel-Gibson, Vlinder

In 2007, the most popular names in Brussels (the capital of both Belgium and the European Union) were:

Boys Girls
  1. Mohamed (235)
  2. Adam (169)
  3. Rayan (84)
  4. Nathan (81)
  5. Gabriel (66)
  6. Amine (62)
  7. Ayoub (58, tie)
  8. Mehdi (58, tie)
  9. Lucas (56)
  10. Anas (54)
  1. Lina (94, tie)
  2. Sarah (94, tie)
  3. Aya (86)
  4. Yasmine (71)
  5. Rania (70, tie)
  6. Sara (70, tie)
  7. Salma (69)
  8. Imane (63)
  9. Ines (56)
  10. Clara (49)

According to Brussel, the number of births between 2002 and 2007 rose by 8.4% for boys and 9.2% for girls, but the total number of different names increased by 17.0% and 20.7%, respectively. Very interesting…

And what about the unique names? They included:

Boys Girls
Adonis, Arafat, Aristote, Aristoteles, Babaloluwa, Beau-Luccio, Blade, Blij, Bonheur, Boy, Broes, C-jay, Christ-Yehochua, Devo, Diesel, Dieumerci, Dike, Doedoe, Elegast, Ensor, Euro, Exaucé, Faithwins, Fox-Anthony, Goodwill, Grimm, Harley-Davidson, Jazz, Jean-Public, Jefken, Joyeux, Kennedy, Kyuss, Lancelot, Lion, Lowie-Viktoor, Maddox, Mekongo-Willy, Mel-Gibson, Merlijn, Moon, Mouhamadousaikou, Mozes, Muhammed-Ali, Odd, Okay, Precieux, Prodige, Quossay, Ridder, Rocco, Serafin, Sky, Spencer-Cash, Stier, Strong, Sufjan, Sunday, Sunny, Synphorien, Thoth, Thörgal, Trésor, Vangelis, Volkan, Vos, Welcome, Wens, Wolf Alaska, Allégresse, Babbe, Babel, Babsi, Bambi, Beertje, Believe, Berin, Beste, Bilitis, Blue, Camus-Salomé, Charisma, Choupette, Condoleezza, Cozmo, Creator, December, Destinée, Destiny, Diva, Echo, Elf, Elie-Blue, Ella-Blue, Enola-Jane, Exaucée, Exocée, Ezel, Fidelité, Glorieuse, Glory, Godwill, Hallelujah, Honesty, Harmonie, Ijoux, India-Summer, Joyful, Kadiatoudiallo, Kikie, Lorelei, Lucrecia-Shanice, Luu-Ly, Lux, Mackenzie, Magnificat, Magnolia, Mammelow, Man, Marvelous, Meadow, Melody, Merel, Missie, Missy, Muze, Nanouk, Netje, Pixie, Salvatrice, Santana, Sherilyn-Morissette, Summer, Sun, Sway, Trinity, Venus, Victory, Vlinder, Winter, Zonne

(I believe the above were culled from records covering the entire country, not just Brussels.)

Sources: Algemene Directie Statistiek, Mohamed tops baby name list in Brussels, and Belgian Baby Names 2007 (Thank you, Luke!)