How popular is the baby name Sanford 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 Sanford.
“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go
against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem
sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “
contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the
great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got. Contrarian Baby Names: Girls
Contrarian Baby Names: Boys
Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make
Now some questions for you…
Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?
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 Haleakal? 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?
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
Update, 2/2017: Here’s a related name: Lolo, inspired by the Lolo National Forest. “Lolo” was probably derived from Lawrence (3rd quote).
The registrar of Providence, Rhode Island, published a series of documents listing all “of the names of persons deceased, born and married in the city of Providence” during years 1866, 1867 and 1868. The series may have been longer, but these are the only documents I could find online.
I’ve finally finished creating a set of rankings using one of the documents — 1867. But before we get to the rankings, here are some stats:
1,547 babies were born in Providence in 1867, going by the number of babies listed in the document itself. According to the document’s introduction, though, the number is 1,625. Not sure what to make of this discrepancy. 1,431 of these babies (713 girls and 718 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 116 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps they died young and never received a name. 254 unique names (141 girl names and 113 boy names) were shared among these 1,431 babies.
And now, on to the names…
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:
Top Baby Girl Names Top Baby Boy Names
Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed
three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.
Mary, 138 baby girls Catherine, 46 Ellen, 37 Margaret, 34 Sarah, 31 Annie, 19 Elizabeth, 16 Alice, 15 Florence, 14 Ann, Emma & Ida, 12 each (3-way tie) Minnie, 11 Harriet & Julia, 9 each (2-way tie) Anna, Caroline, Carrie, Jennie, Joanna & Louisa, 8 each (6-way tie) Cora & Eliza, 7 each (2-way tie) Agnes, Clara, Edith, Rosanna & Theresa, 6 each (5-way tie) Bertha, Grace, Hannah, Hattie, Jane, Lillian, Maria, Martha, Nellie & Susan, 5 each (10-way tie) Eleanor, Fannie, Gertrude, Helen, Isabella, Lucy & Rosa, 4 each (7-way tie) Anne, Bridget, Ella, Emily, Esther, Eva, Lizzie, Mabel, Matilda & Ruth, 3 each (10-way tie) Ada, Amelia, Charlotte, Dora, Eleanora, Elvira, Henrietta, Jessie, Josephine, Kate, Louise, Lydia, Maggie & Rosella, 2 each (14-way tie) Abby, Addie, Adelaide, Adelia, Almina, Almira, Amanda, Amey, Amy, Anastasia, Angelie, Annis, Antoinette, Augusta, Aurelia, Bethiah, Cecelia, Celia, Clarissa, Clementina, Corielynn, Cornelia, Drusilla, Effie, Emeline, Estella, Ethelin, Fanny, Florentina, Frances, Gelie, Genevieve, Georgiana, Georgianna, Helena, Honora, Irene, Isabel, Issie, Juliann, Julietta, Katie, Laura, Leah, Leonora, Lillie, Lillis, Lily, Lottie, Luella, Margaretta, Margery, Margret, Marietta, Maude, May, Millie, Myra, Nelly, Phebe, Robie, Rosalthe, Rose, Selina, Sophia, Susanna, Susannah, Vienna, Viola, Vira, Virginia & Winifred, 1 each (72-way tie) Boy Names
John, 87 baby boys William, 75 James, 64 Charles, 50 George, 45 Thomas, 40 Joseph, 30 Walter, 21 Edward, 16 Francis & Michael, 14 each (2-way tie) Patrick, 13 Arthur & Robert, 12 each (2-way tie) Frank, Frederick & Henry, 11 each (3-way tie) Albert, 9 Daniel & Peter, 8 each (2-way tie) David, Eugene, Howard & Samuel, 6 each (4-way tie) Alexander, Louis & Stephen, 5 each (3-way tie) Harry, Herbert, Hugh & Martin, 4 each (4-way tie) Carl, Edgar, Everett, Jeremiah & Willie, 3 each (5-way tie) Abraham, Alfred, Clarence, Cornelius, Dennis, Ernest, Ezra, Franklin, Freddie, Jacob, Jesse, Lewis, Luke, Nicholas, Philip, Sylvester, Theodore, Timothy, 2 each (18-way tie) Abner, Adam, Adolph, Amos, Andrew, Appleton, Archibald, Ashel, August, Benjamin, Benno, Bernard, Bertram, Burt, Byron, Clifford, Davis, Dexter, Dunlap, Edmund, Edwin, Elmer*, Embert, Forrest, Freddy, Gustav, Herman, Isaac, Jeffrey, Jerome, Josiah, Lucian, Malcolm, Matthew, Maurice, Milton, Nathan, Nehemiah, Nelson, Oren, Oscar, Otto, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Reginald, Richard, Sanford, Seth, Shirley, Sullivan, Terence, Theobald, Victor, Wanton, Warren, Weston, Wheelan, Wilford, 1 each (59-way tie)
*Elmer, who had the middle initial “E.,” was likely named after
Civil War casualty Elmer E. Ellsworth. Twins & Triplets
Twenty-one sets of twins and two sets of triplets were born in Providence in 1867. (All of these names were accounted for above — I just thought it’d be fun to check out the sibsets.)
Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g) Triplets
Abraham & George
Charles & George
Charles & John
Daniel & David
Dunlap & Frank
Eugene & Timothy
George & John
George & William
James & John
John & Martin
Albert & Harriet
Ashel & Ida
George & Grace
James & Mary
Maurice & Ann
Annie & Fannie
Annie & Mary
Ann & Ellen
Jennie & Minnie
Margaret & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Carl, (blank) & (blank)
James, Alexander & Sarah
I’ll post Providence’s
1866 and 1868 rankings as soon I get them done. Until then, here are two older posts featuring uniquely named Rhode Islanders: Aldaberontophoscophornia (b. 1812) and Idawalley (b. 1842).
Want a boy name that’s not common, but also not crazy?
I looked through all the names at the
bottom of SSA’s 2011 mega-list and found a bunch of hidden gems:
Alaric (48 baby boys) Alban (12) Aldous (11) Aldric (7) Alphonse (20) Archibald (14) Astor (5) Augustin (50) Balthazar (13) Barclay (6) Barnabas (8) Bartholomew (19) Booker (22) Chadwick (34) Cyril (41) Clancy (14) Claude (44) Clement (34) Crispin (21) Darcy (15) Dirk (40) Doyle (10) Ernst (6) Ferdinand (20) Garrick (42) Giles (20) Gregor (14) Griffith (18) Grover (9) Gustaf (7); Gustav (29) Horatio (10) Hubert (46) Ignatius (49) Isidore (7) Kermit (6) Lambert (6) Laird (17) Laurence (48) Laurent (9) Leander (48) Leith (7) Lemuel (50) Lowell (29) Maxfield (22) Newton (14) Nicanor (8) Norbert (9) Norris (21) Ogden (13) Orson (33) Osborn (5); Osborne (7) Oswald (18) Pascal (25) Percival (13) Peregrine (9) Piers (16) Regis (10) Remis (11) Roscoe (47) Rudolph (44) Rufus (39) Rupert (8) Sanford (6) Seymour (6) Sherman (40) Sinclair (8) Tavish (16) Thane (48) Tobiah (14) Walton (14) Warner (48) Watson (42) Webster (8) Weldon (27) Werner (11) Wilbert (42) Wilbur (20) Winfield (7) Winfred (7) Winslow (10) York (5) Zebulon (25) Zeno (13)
(In some cases, a different spelling of the name is more popular than what’s shown here. For instance, Laurence is rare, but Lawrence is moderately popular.)
Like any of these?
Spot any other good names at the end of the list?
girls’ list, or check out the Rare Baby Names page.
This Saturday’s lunar eclipse will be the
last total lunar eclipse until 2014, so I guess now is the time to post about people named Eclipse!
Below are people with Eclipse as either a first or a middle name. I’ve even matched a few with specific historical
solar eclipses listed on NASA’s website.
Emma Eclipse Earl, born in England on September 7, 1820, the day of a partial solar eclipse. William Moore Eclipse Reddall, born in England in 1820. Eclipse Mitchell, born in South Carolina circa 1828. Eclipse Sabourin, born in Quebec circa 1823. Eclipse Thomas, born in North Carolina in 1829. (Father of Eclipse J. Thomas, below.) Eclipse Northeast, born in England circa 1831. Charles Eclipse Bennett, born in England in 1836. Maria Eclipse Wilson, born in England in 1836. Augusta Caroline Eclipse Golden, born in England in 1837. Eclipse Scott, born in Virginia on May 26, 1854, the day of a partial solar eclipse. Eclipse Hilsden, born in England circa 1862. Eclipse J. Thomas, born in Georgia in 1867. (Son of Eclipse Thomas, above.) Eclipse Smith, born in Kentucky circa 1869. Eclipse Newton, born in Missouri circa 1871. Nina Eclipse Gain, born in Canada circa 1873. Luna Eclipse Hill, born in Texas on October 24, 1874. (Daughter of Luna Eclipse Weaver, birth date unknown.) Ida/Ada Eclipse Wade, born in Massachusetts in 1874. (I found records for both Ida and Ada — could be a misspelling, or could mean twins.) Eclipse Green, born in Mississippi in 1877. Lily Eclipse Monks, born in England circa 1878. Henry Eclipse Monheim, born in Utah on July 29, 1878, the day of a partial solar eclipse. Marvin Eclipse Wallace, born in Texas on July 29, 1878, the day of total solar eclipse. Sanford Eclipse Gantt, born in Texas on July 29, 1878, the day of a total solar eclipse. May Eclipse Glass, born in England circa 1890. Essie Eclipse McGill, born in Tennessee on January 29, 1892. Eclipse Blackman, born in Georgia circa 1898.
Eclipse Eley, born in Georgia circa 1900. Eclipse Ruth Green, born in Mississippi circa 1914. Vivian Eclipse Cubine, born in Oklahoma on May 2, 1920. Eclipse Deutschman, born in New York circa 1925. Eclipse De Marco, born in Rhode Island circa 1925. Angelina Eclipse Ramos, born in Hawaii on May 5, 1941. Jennifer Eclipse Kerr, born in Texas on July 6, 1982, the day of a total lunar eclipse. Kathleen Eclipse Hernandez, born in Texas on July 11, 1991, the day of a partial solar eclipse. Kathleen Eclipse Long, born in Texas on June 12, 1992.
And, in June of 2001, at least a few kids in southern Africa were given
eclipse-related names (like Eclipse Glasses, Annular and Totality) around the time of the total solar eclipse.
Image: Adapted from
Eclipse 2006 – Nkanfoa, Ghana 3 by Steve and Ruth Bosman under CC BY 2.0.