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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sandy

Number of Babies Named Sandy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Sandy

California Family with 22 Children

Story family of California in 1940 U.S. census
The Story family on the 1940 U.S. Census
Marion and Charlotte “Lottie” Story of Bakersfield, California, had at least 22 children — including five sets of twins — from 1922 to 1946. Seventeen of their kids are listed on the 1940 U.S. Census (at right).

I don’t know the names of all the Story children, but here are 20 of them: Jean, Jane, Jack, Jacqueline, June, Eileen, Clyde, Robert, James, Jeannette, Steve, Jerry, Terry (sometimes “Terrytown”), Charlotte, Scotty, Sherrie, Garry, Joanne, Frances (called Lidwina), and Monica (called Sandy).

Charlotte Story herself was one of a dozen children, born from 1899 to 1919. Her 11 siblings were named Pearl, George, Rhea, Hazel, Fern, Ira, Myrtle, Dorothy, Helen, Russell, and Viola.

And Charlotte’s mother Elsie was one of 13 children, born from 1865 to 1892. Her 12 siblings were named Edward, Levi, William, Frank, Rosa, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Archibald, Gertrude, and Emma.

So here’s the question: If you had to choose all of your own children’s names from just one of the sibsets above, which set would you pick? Why?

Sources: Charlotte M Lacount Story – Find A Grave, Elsie E Dubay LaCount – Find A Grave

The Trio in Rio – Leila, Liina, Lily

Next Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, 30-year-old identical (and alliterative) triplets Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik of Estonia are expected to run the women’s marathon. This will make the “Trio in Rio,” as they call themselves, the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics.

In comparison, about 200 sets of twins have competed in the Olympics over the years. Here are some of the Olympic twins with similarly alliterative names:

  • Åke & Arne (Sweden) [not technically alliterative; see JJ’s comment]
  • Catarina & Christina (Sweden)
  • Darius & Donatas (Lithuania)
  • Darrin & Dan (USA)
  • Dennis & Duane (USA)
  • Dionísio & Domingos (Portugal)
  • Jean-Jacques & Jean-Marc (France)
  • Jodie & Julie (Canada)
  • Jules & Julian (Belgium)
  • Katalin & Krisztina (Hungary)
  • Katrine & Kristine (Norway)
  • Lívia & Lucia (Slovakia)
  • Madeline & Margaret (Puerto Rico)
  • Marianne & Mildred (Netherlands)
  • Sandy & Sonia (Zimbabwe)
  • Malcolm “Mal” & Melville “Mel” (Jamaica)
  • Mark & Michael (Canada)
  • Maureen & Melanie (Netherlands)
  • McJoe & McWilliams (Puerto Rico)
  • Mikuláš & Miloslav (Slovakia)
  • Pascal & Patrick (France)
  • Paula & Peta (Bermuda)
  • Paulo Miguel & Pedro Miguel (Portugal)
  • Pavol & Peter (Slovakia)
  • Randolph & Robert (USA)
  • Rhoda & Rhona (Canada)
  • Ricardo & Rodrigo (Chile)
  • Sharon & Shirley (Canada)
  • Stanley & Sydney (Great Britain)
  • Tami & Toni (USA)
  • Terry & Tom (USA)
  • Valeriy & Volodymyr (Ukraine)
  • Valj & Vita (Ukraine)
  • Veronika & Viktoriya (Belarus)
  • Vida & Vidette (South Africa)
  • Zlatko & Zoran (Yugoslavia)

You can see a full list of Olympic twins in the OlympStats post Twins at the Olympics.

Have you been tuning in to the Olympics? If so, have you spotted any interesting names so far?

100+ Baby Names for 100 Years of the NPS

national park service 100th birthday (zion poster, 1938)The U.S. National Park Service has a birthday coming up!

When the NPS was created on August 25, 1916, there were only 35 national parks and monuments. (The world’s first, Yellowstone, had been established in 1872.)

Nowadays the agency oversees 411 units. These units are located in the 50 states and beyond, and include national monuments (82), national historic sites (78), national parks (59), national historical parks (50), national memorials (30), national battlefields (11), national seashores (10), national lakeshores (4), national scenic trails (3), and more.

Let’s celebrate the upcoming centenary with over 100 baby names that pay tribute to the national parks specifically:

  • Acadia for Acadia National Park.
  • Angel or Angela for Grand Canyon National Park’s Angel’s Window.
  • Arrow for the NPS emblem, the arrowhead.
  • Archer for Arches National Park.
  • Barbara for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Barbara Island.
  • Bathsheba for Hot Springs National Park’s Bathhouse Row.
  • Bay for any of the parks featuring a bay, such as Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Biscayne National Park, etc.
  • Benda or Bendrick for Big Bend National Park.
  • Bona for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Bona.
  • Bristol for Great Basin National Park’s bristlecone pines.
  • Bryce or Brycen for Bryce Canyon National Park.
  • Cadden or Caddie for Acadia National Park’s Cadillac Mountain.
  • Cade for Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cades Cove.
  • Canyon for any of the parks featuring a canyon, such as Grand Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, etc.
  • Capitola for Capitol Reef National Park or for Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan.
  • Carl or Carla for Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
  • Caven for Mammoth Cave National Park.
  • Cedar for Congaree National Park’s Cedar Creek.
  • Cinder for Lassen Volcanic National Park’s Cinder Cone.
  • Clark for Lake Clark National Park & Preserve.
  • Clifford or Clifton for Mesa Verde National Park’s Cliff Palace.
  • Cruz for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Cruz Island.
  • Delica for Arches National Park’s Delicate Arch.
  • Denali for Denali National Park & Preserve.
  • Denison for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Denison.
  • Domenica or Domenico for Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome.
  • Douglas for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Douglas.
  • Elias for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve.
  • Elliott for Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key.
  • Ever or Everly for Everglades National Park.
  • Faith for Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser.
  • Forest for Petrified Forest National Park.
  • Garland for Garland County, Arkansas, where Hot Springs National Park is located.
  • Gates for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve.
  • Guadalupe for Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
  • Gunnison for Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
    • The park was established in 1999, and Gunnison debuted on the baby name charts the very same year. Did one event cause the other?
  • Harding for Kenai Fjords National Park’s Harding Icefield.
  • Hassel for Virgin Islands National Park’s Hassel Island.
  • Jackson for Jackson Hole, where much of Grand Teton National Park is located.
  • Jarvis for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Jarvis.
  • Jefferson for Dry Tortugas National Park’s Fort Jefferson.
  • John for Virgin Islands National Park’s St. John Island.
  • Joshua for Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Kenai for Kenai Fjords National Park.
    • The derivation of Kenai is unknown, but it could come from either Dena’ina Athabascan (“big flat” or “two big flats and river cut-back” or “trees and brush in a swampy marsh”), Russian (“flat barren land”), or Iniut (“black bear”).
  • Kingston or Kingsley for Kings Canyon National Park.
  • Lake for any of the parks featuring lakes, such as Crater Lake National Park, Voyageurs National Park, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, etc.
  • Lamar for Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch.
  • Lata for the National Park of American Samoa’s Lata Mountain.
  • Lehman for Great Basin National Park’s Lehman Caves.
  • Lewis for Glacier National Park’s Lewis Range.
  • Livingston for Glacier National Park’s Livingston Range.
  • Manning for Saguaro National Park’s Manning Cabin.
  • Mara for Joshua Tree National Park’s Oasis of Mara.
    • In the Serrano language, Mara means “the place of little springs and much grass.”
  • Martin for Katmai National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Martin.
  • Maui, where Haleakalā National Park is located.
  • Mauna for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park’s Mauna Loa.
  • Miguel for Channel Islands National Park’s San Miguel Island.
  • Norris for Yellowstone National Park’s Norris Geyser Basin.
  • North for North Cascades National Park.
  • Olympia for Olympic National Park.
  • Parker, Parkyr, Parks, Park, or Parke as a tribute to all national parks.
  • Pele as a symbol of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
  • Prairie for any of the parks featuring a prairie, such as Badlands National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, etc.
  • Pratt for Guadalupe Mountains National Park’s Pratt Cabin.
  • Rainier for Mount Rainier National Park.
  • Ranger as a tribute to all national parks and park rangers.
  • Reef for Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Rhodes for Biscayne National Park’s Old Rhodes Key.
  • Rocky for Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Roosevelt for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
  • Rosa for Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Rosa Island.
  • Royale or Royal for Isle Royale National Park.
  • Sandy for Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.
  • Sanford for Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve’s Mt. Sanford.
  • Sequoia for Sequoia National Park.
  • Shenandoah for Shenandoah National Park.
  • Sherman for Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman Tree.
  • Sky or Skye for any of the parks featuring a night sky program, such as Big Bend National Park, Great Basin National Park, etc.
  • Talus for Pinnacles National Park’s talus caves.
  • Theodore for Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
  • Valley for any of the parks featuring a valley, such as Cuyahoga Valley, Death Valley, Kobuk Valley, etc.
  • Verda or Verdell for Mesa Verde National Park.
  • Virginia for Virgin Islands National Park.
  • Windy for Wind Cave National Park.
  • Wolfe for Arches National Park’s Wolfe Ranch.
  • Woodrow or Wilson for Woodrow Wilson, who signed the act that created the NPS.
  • Woodson or Woody for Redwood National and State Parks.
  • Yosemite for Yosemite National Park.
  • Zion for Zion National Park.

For all you national park lovers out there: What other park-inspired names can you come up with?

Sources: List of national parks of the United States – Wikipedia, History (U.S. National Park Service), NPS Site Designations (pdf), Kenai Fjords National Park Profile 2015 (pdf)

Image: Adapted from Zion National Park, Ranger Naturalist Service – LOC

41 Pun Names for April Fools’ Day (4/1)

pun names for april fool's day, gravestonesI can’t play a prank on you for April Fools’ Day, but I can give you a list of personal names that seem like pranks.

Except, they’re not.

All of the below are legit first & last names that belonged to real people — often multiple people. (In parentheses is a rough estimate of how many I’ve come across so far.)

Which one do you think is the worst?

  1. Alma Mater (several)
  2. April Showers (dozens)
  3. Bear Trapp (one)
  4. Candy Cane (several)
  5. Cliff Hanger (several)
  6. Constant Agony (two)
  7. Constant Craps (one)
  8. Crystal Ball (dozens)
  9. Death Knox (one)
  10. Drew Peacock (dozens)
  11. Gettysburg Battle (one)
  12. Gold Mine (two)
  13. Green Bean (several)
  14. Hazel Nut/Nutt (dozens)
  15. Ima Hogg (one)
  16. Jed I Knight (one)
  17. London England (dozens)
  18. Mud Brown (three)
  19. Never Fail (two)
  20. Norman Conquest (two)
  21. North West (hundreds)
  22. Nude Mann (one)
  23. Orbit Moon (one)
  24. Orchestra Harp (one)
  25. Paris France (several)
  26. Preserved Fish (one)
  27. Pullman Carr (several), one with the middle name Palace, as in the Pullman Palace Car Company.
  28. Rainy Day (one)
  29. River Bottom (one)
  30. Rocky Mountain (dozens)
  31. Sandy Beach (dozens)
  32. Sea Shore (several)
  33. Seymour Butts (two) — not just a Bart Simpson prank call!
  34. Silence Bellows (one)
  35. Soda Popp (one)
  36. Strong Beer (one)
  37. Tell No Lyes (several)
  38. Ten Million (one), who had a daughter named Decillian Million.
  39. Timber Wood* (one), who has a sister named Drift Wood.
  40. Truly Wright (several)
  41. Tu Morrow (one)

Some of the above are also on my Unusual Name Combinations list.

Finally, don’t forget about the best April Fools’ Day name of all time, April Fool Harris!

*Reminded of this one by @jessiejensen – thanks!

[Images from Find a Grave: Constant Craps © Tonya Sapp Hames; Crystal Kay Ball © Connie Lagasse Russell; Never McNeil Fail, Sr © P Black-Avitts; Pullman P Carr © Emily; Rocky D. Mountain © Bobbi Janes; Seymour Butts © suscat.]

The Name Brunonia

I don’t remember when I first came across author Brunonia Barry, but I do remember being instantly curious about her name.

My first guess was botanical. Maybe “brunonia” was some sort of brown flower? (Do brown flowers even exist?) And I did find an Australian herb called brunonia. (Not brown-colored, but discovered by botanist Robert Brown.)

Turns out the Australian herb wasn’t the answer, but there was indeed a “brown” connection. Here’s how Brunonia Barry explains her name:

Brunonia is my middle name. I was named by my grandfather who was an overly enthusiastic alumnus of Brown University. Evidently Brown in Latin is Brunonia. He loved his alma mater so much that he named his summer house, his canoe, and his cat Brunonia. Then he decided that all of his grandchildren should take Brunonia as their middle names. […] My first name is really Sandra, but my pen name is Brunonia in honor of my grandfather.

So why did Brunonia Barry use her middle name as her pen name?

She chose to use her middle name as her professional name because of the strength it conveyed; her husband points out that there are several “Sandy Barry”s returned on a Google search, but only one “Brunonia Barry”!

What do you think of the name Brunonia?

Sources: Author event: Brunonia Barry and The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry (Author of The Lace Reader), The Lace Reader: Questions for Brunonia Barry

P.S. Here’s an interesting NPR piece on how Brunonia self-published her book The Lace Reader.

Some Top Baby Names in New Jersey, 2013

According to New Jersey’s Asbury Park Press, “preliminary data from the state Department of Health has names like Michael and Matthew at the top of the 2013 list for boys, and Sophia and Isabella for girls.”

That preliminary data isn’t yet available at the NJ Department of Health website, but hopefully it will be soon.

According to the SSA, Sophia and Isabella ranked #1 and #2 for baby girls born in New Jersey in 2012. Michael and Matthew ranked #1 and #5.

Also from the source article, this interesting fact about baby names in New Jersey’s Monmouth County:

[R]oughly one-third of the top girls and boys names are Orthodox names, like Chana, Chaya, Esther, Rivka and Batsheva for the girls, and Moshe, Chaim and Yosef for the boys. The Monmouth list, in fact, varies markedly both from the statewide baby names, as well as the national list.

UPDATE, 12/8/2013: Just spotted a different article with the full New Jersey preliminary list. Here it is:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Mia
7. Emily
8. Madison
9. Sofia
10. Abigail
1. Michael
2. Matthew
3. Jacob
4. Liam
5. Joseph
6. Anthony
7. Ryan
8. Daniel
9. Ethan
10. Mason

And another interesting fact, this time about the name Sandy:

One gender-neutral name that has trended in the past year, however, did not get the surge experts were predicting some nine months after the biggest storm in New Jersey history.

“We had no babies named Sandy in July and August, when we might have been expecting that,” Waters said.

UPDATE, 5/4/2015: The actual 2013 list, from an article about the finalized 2014 list.

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Olivia
4. Emma
5. Ava
6. Mia
7. Emily
8. Sofia
9. Madison
10. Abigail
1. Michael
2. Matthew
3. Jacob
4. Joseph
5. Liam
6. Anthony
7. Daniel
8. Ryan
9. Alexander
10. Ethan

Sources: Michael, Isabella top list of N.J.’s most popular baby names, Top baby names in NJ for 2013: Michael Still No. 1, N.J.’s most popular baby names of 2014

Name Quotes for the Weekend #8

From Kim Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times:

Yes, some want unique names for their babies. Others are happy to choose traditional or family names with meaning. Either way, having labelled your kid for life, how about mums and dads concentrate on growing a human being who will stand out, make a difference and be loved for who they are, not for what they’re called.

From the American Name Society [pdf]:

“Malala” was chosen as the Personal Name of the Year. The first name of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for refusing to abandon her campaign for girls’ education, is now known worldwide as a symbol for women’s rights.

The overall Name of the Year was Sandy.

From’s Meg Matenaer, who named her first son Augustine:

When our oldest son Augustine was born, there was lots of confusion on the part of people asking what his name was. Either they misheard (“Justin? What a nice name.” or “Augustus?”) or they mispronounced it, especially if they were from a different faith tradition. Many a nurse has called for Augusteen across a crowded waiting room.

And named her second son Ignatius:

In the days following his birth, I tried not to worry about how other people perceived his name. Everyone had been very polite and remarked on what a beautiful or interesting name it was. No one actually said what they might have been thinking, “Are you serious?” Filling out the birth certificate paperwork, I tried to banish thoughts of how our little guy might grow up to hate us.

From Nina Badzin, writing for TC Jewfolk:

I speak from the experience of not waiting to announce my kids’ names. Of course after the birth of our first three children, my husband and I let approximately twenty-two seconds pass before broadcasting our name choices. But with our fourth child due in a few weeks, we’ve decided to hold out until the proper ceremony (we don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl) before telling anyone the name. Practically speaking, there’s something cool and uniquely private about forcing ourselves to rise above the fast-paced announce everything on Facebook three minutes after it happens culture.

From a Fortune article about finance guru Ramit Sethi:

Sethi says his name was originally supposed to be Amit, not Ramit. But when his parents realized that Amit Singh Sethi’s initials spelled out a profanity, they went back to the registrar and convinced him that he had erroneously dropped an “R.” “Like true immigrants, they didn’t request a name change, because that would be, like, $50,” he says.

From Elizabeth Walne of UK genealogy blog Your Local History:

Some first names can be very helpful in providing an approximate birth date for an individual if you are unsure. I once researched a family with sons Foch, Petain and Joffre – all Marshals of France during WWI, effectively ‘dating’ them to around 1914-18.

Another example with less specific dates is the girl’s name ‘Adelaide’ which became popular with Adelaide, wife of William IV (born 1792, crowned Queen Consort 1831 and died 1849) and then fell in popularity – but importantly for red herring purposes didn’t disappear completely – after the turn of the century.

From Melinda Ozongwu of This Is Africa (via A Mitchell):

These days it isn’t uncommon to meet young African parents who’ve succumbed to one naming trend or the other, naming their children after celebrities, for instance: the Blue Ivy’s and all the rest of it. It’s quite a new thing, as the form and parameters of African names have traditionally been fairly standard, unlike in the West where spellings of names change, new names get invented, names rise and fall in popularity from one year to the next and so on. Recently it seems that Africans are more likely to include popular English names as well as ‘trend’ names when naming their children. It must be quite frustrating for the older generation to see the younger generations opting out of using traditional names, especially so for those who were around during our countries’ liberation from colonialism, many of whom are proud traditionalists, and many of whom are already exhausted by the younger generation abridging and altering their culture in other ways.

From Bella Clarke of the blog Glitz and Pram:

Chose a middle name first. You might want a family name as a middle name, or have a name that you’ve always loved but don’t think it seems right as a forename. For some reason it’s a lot easier to decide on a middle name for your baby and I found that having this choice set in stone made it easier to eliminate some of my forename choices.

From Drew Magary of Deadspin:

I’m waiting for Utah parents to seize upon the W as the next replacement vowel. If you don’t think there’s a Jwcwlwnn in our future, you are dead wrong. Eventually, all American baby names will resemble some kind of old Welsh dialect.

Previously: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7