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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sara

Number of Babies Named Sara

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Sara

Royal Baby Name: Farah

farah diba, 1959, iran, queen
Farah Diba on the cover of LIFE, 1959

The last Shah of Iran had three wives — first Fawzia, second Soraya, and finally Farah: Farah Diba, who was a 21-year-old commoner when she married the king in Tehran at the very end of 1959.

The Arabic name Farah, which means “joy,” appeared for the first time in the SSA’s baby name data the next year:

  • 1964: 11 baby girls named Farah
  • 1963: 13 baby girls named Farah
  • 1962: 14 baby girls named Farah
  • 1961: 12 baby girls named Farah
  • 1960: 19 baby girls named Farah [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted

The couple went on to have four children: Reza (the male heir the Shah had been waiting for), Farahnaz, Ali-Reza, and Leila.

Reza never got a chance to rule Iran, though, because the royal family was forced to flee during the Iranian Revolution at the end of the 1970s. By the time the Shah died of cancer in 1980, the new leader of the country was Ayatollah Khomeini.

The similar name Farrah first appeared in the data in the late ’60s. It would go on to see a dramatic spike in usage in 1976-1977 thanks to Farrah Fawcett (whose name at birth was actually Ferrah).

Another similar name, Fara, predates both Farah and Farrah on the charts. Fara has been in the U.S. data since the 1910s. (Other unexpected Sara- and Clara-clones from that era include Flara, Gara, Para, and Nara.)

Do you like the name Farah? Which spelling do you prefer?

P.S. The male names Reza and Alireza started appearing in the U.S. data in the ’60s and ’70s, respectively.


Name Quotes #47 – Hiroko, Jaxon, Joule

Welcome to this month’s quote post!

From “Modern baby names have gone too far” (in the Telegraph) by Tom Ough:

Yes: Jaxon. This name is a bad name — an atrocious name. It is an elision of “Jack’s” and “son”, the join clumsily Sellotaped by an X which would find a better home in a bad action film than in a child’s name. (Young readers called Xerxes: forgive me, then promise never to watch your parents’ copy of 300.)

The babies lumbered with ‘Jaxon’ are victims of poor taste rather than sons of men called Jack: if any name is a bastardisation, this is it.

From “The untold stories of Japanese war brides” (in the Washington Post) by Kathryn Tolbert:

They either tried, or were pressured, to give up their Japanese identities to become more fully American. A first step was often adopting the American nicknames given them when their Japanese names were deemed too hard to pronounce or remember. Chikako became Peggy; Kiyoko became Barbara. Not too much thought went into those choices, names sometimes imposed in an instant by a U.S. officer organizing his pool of typists. My mother, Hiroko Furukawa, became Susie.

How did it feel to be renamed for someone in the man’s past, a distant relative or former girlfriend? My mother said she didn’t mind, and others said it made their lives easier to have an American name.

On the origin of the name “Lolo” from the Lolo National Forest website:

“Lolo” probably evolved from “Lou-Lou”, a pronunciation of “Lawrence,” a French-Canadian fur trapper killed by a grizzly bear and buried at Grave Creek.

The first written evidence of the name “Lolo” appears in 1831 when fur trader John Work refers in his journal to Lolo Creek as “Lou Lou.”

In an 1853 railroad survey and map, Lieutenant John Mullan spelled the creek and trail “Lou Lou.” However, by 1865 the name was shortened to Lolo and is currently the name of a national forest, town, creek, mountain peak, mountain pass and historic trail in west central Montana.

From an article about historical name trends in England:

The establishment of the Church of England coincided with the publication in 1535 of the first modern English translation of both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. The Protestant reform movement stressed the central importance of the Bible, and the new English translations meant that many more people could read the Bible themselves. In turn, it also meant that they had access to the large stock of names from the Old Testament – from Aaron to Zechariah, and Abigail to Zipporah. These names had the added attraction that they were much less associated with Catholicism than many New Testament names. As a result, Old Testament names became much more common during the late-16th century and 17th century, especially among girls.

NPR writer Lateefah Torrence on the name of her daughter Dalia Joule Braun-Torrence:

Post-delivery, Frank and I were still unsure of her name. In the few days before her birth, we had narrowed our girl name list down to Aziza and Dalia.

[…]

We looked into her tiny face and asked, “Dalia?” Our little girl stared at us inquisitively. I think she may have been thinking, “Obviously.” We then asked, “Aziza?” — she turned away from us, and we knew our Dalia was here.

From the book Cajun Country (1991) by Barry Jean Ancelet, Jay Dearborn Edwards, and Glen Pitre:

[A] few years ago the Lafourche Daily Comet ran an obituary for eighty-two-year-old Winnie Grabert Breaux. The article listed Winnie’s brothers and sisters, living and dead: Wiltz, Wilda, Wenise, Witnese, William, Willie, Wilfred, Wilson, Weldon, Ernest, Norris, Darris, Dave, Inez and Lena.

(According to Winnie’s Find a Grave profile, “Wiltz” is Wilson, “Witnese” is Witness and “Weldon” is Wildon. Here’s a recent post on Cajun nicknames.)

From “JFK’s legacy in Bogotá lives on 55-years later” (in The City Paper) by Andy East:

It was Dec. 17, 1961, and nearly one-third of Bogotá’s 1.5 million inhabitants had turned out on a sunny Sunday afternoon for one reason: to catch a glimpse of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. The massive outpouring was the largest reception the U.S. leader ever had.

[…]

The historic visit, which lasted only 14 hours, would change the lives of thousands of families and have a profound impact on the city that is still visible 55 years later.

[…]

In the immediate years after Kennedy’s visit, the most popular baby names registered at baptisms in Ciudad Kennedy were John, Fitzgerald (Kennedy’s middle name), Jacqueline and Kennedy.

(Here’s a recent post about U.S. babies named for JFK.)

From “Old people names of the future” by Sara Chodosh:

Perhaps the strongest trend in recent years hasn’t been certain names, it’s been a diversity of names. […] The plethora of names has weakened individual trends; we haven’t had a strong female name trend since the ’90s. And without a significant number of babies with a particular name, we may stop associating certain names with certain generations.

For more, check out the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2016

According to data released by Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) in mid-January, the most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2016 were Anna and Daan.

Here are the Netherlands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Anna, 665 baby girls
2. Emma, 664 (tie)
2. Tess, 664 (tie)
4. Sophie, 644
5. Julia, 639
6. Zoë, 558
7. Evi, 557
8. Mila, 549
9. Sara, 542
10. Eva, 526

Boy Names
1. Daan, 681 baby boys
2. Noah, 679
3. Sem, 663
4. Lucas, 651
5. Jesse, 645
6. Finn, 640
7. Milan, 630
8. Max, 617
9. Levi, 597
10. Luuk, 595

On the girls’ list, Anna replaces Emma as the #1 name and Evi replaces Lotte in the top 10.

And on the boys’ list? All kinds of drama! Liam, which rose very quickly over the last few years to reach the top spot in 2015, not only lost that top spot to Daan, but dropped out of the top 10 entirely (!), replaced by Max. Liam now ranks unlucky 13th.

And what about unique names in the Netherlands? Here are a whole bunch, each used just once last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Aimée-Amélie
Alien
Alouette
Annephine
Anthillia
Aprilmoon
Aunorin
Ayudissa
Bardot
Bellefien
Berfu
Berilinci
Bixx
Blue-Ivy
Cacharell
Carovienne
Cephei
Cleodie
Coco-Chloè
Comfort
Cortana
Daxana
Daylite
Dimphey
Djoody
Dorka
Ecrin Ans
Egberdina
El’genneallèe
Eliflina
Emily-Vespii
Fairlychiona
Farangis
Faten
Faybe
Floore
Foxx
Frozan
Gigi-Ice
Gilviëntelly
Gynniva
Hillegonda
Indivancely
Ismini
Jochempje
Joomony
Kicky
Kricheliënne
Lammerdina
Lemon
Lilly-Phylou
Marryth
Medellín
Medusa
Meritxell
Nawprisca
Ot
Peggy-Sue
Pidoux
Pippilotta
Pluk
Ponyo
Quby
Quvenshané
Raidiënsheanix
Riva-Beaugeane
Ro-Quennety
Rover
Safrinza
Sensabelle
Seven
Sharvienshelly
Shomookh
Similiza
Ska
Smadar
Spogmay
Stin-cay
Swendelyn
Sybrecht
Tanzilla
Tippie-Tipper
Tulp
Umm
Utopia
Valexiane
Vellizar
Vilouella
Wesseldina
Xee’D
Yesmae
Yf
Ypie
Yucki
Zeltia
Zwanny
Aizeyosabor
Alain-Rainièr
Alaith
Alpcan
Amazing
Andrianiaina
Apache
Avestan
Bentivolio
Boef (“crook”)
Bonifacius
Bowdy
C-cayden
Casey-Chase
Chyrome
Cimarrón
Cornelis-Wilhelmus
Criff
D’Har-Chenoo
Daex
Dandy
Day-sravencio
Depp
Diablo
Digentley
Divinepraise
Djesco
Dubbele
Earlysean
Exegese
Ferdixon
Fince
Floki
G-Wendley
Gantulga
Ghevently
Ginuwine
Givenchy
Guevara
Guswently
Haliltalha
Heavenly-ion
Hunk
Iody
Jaap-Joost
Jacquill
Jill-Qiano
Jinx
Kainoa
Kiff
King-Maldive
Laiphanara
Largo
Marcus-Aurelius
Mcnelly
Mees-Senn
Motomichi
Mowgli
Mylox
Myway
Niamh
Ntsinzi
Oovy
Phat
Pit
Poppy
Pux
Q’ZHN
Quintyliano
Rafflow
Ridge
Rowinio
S’Lienio
Scato
Sergiovanni
Sicco
Solve
Splinther
Stork
Sunnery
T’cxzayneau
Tamonry
Taverdu
Thaividley
Trelawny
Typhoon
Vishnu
Wagdy
Wart
Xuze
Ymt
Yucca
Zbigniew
Zhyphienyoh
Zjurvendell
Zweder

At first I thought Sergiovanni might be an epic mash-up of Sergio and Giovanni, but then I found out that it’s just an Italian surname — Giovanni prefixed by ser, an occupational word for a notary.

Sources: De populairste kindernamen, Daan and Anna top the list of most popular Dutch baby names

Popular Baby Names in Israel, 2015

According to data released earlier this week by Israel’s Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS), the top three most popular baby names in the country overall in 2015 were:

  1. Mohammed
  2. Yosef (used for male babies — both Muslim and Jewish)
  3. Ariel (used for Jewish babies — both male and female)

The top baby names for Jewish babies specifically were Noa and Noam:

Girl Names (Jewish)
1. Noa
2. Tamar
3. Maya
4. Avigayil/Avigail/Abigail
5. Talya/Talia
6. Adele
7. Shira
8. Ayala/Ayela
9. Yael
10. Sarah/Sara

Boy Names (Jewish)
1. Noam
2. David
3. Ori/Uri
4. Ariel
5. Eitan
6. Yosef
7. Itai/Itay
8. Yonatan
9. Daniel
10. Moshe

The CBS also reported that the boy names Dror, Yagel/Yigal, and Alroi/Elroi/Elroy each saw a sharp rise in usage in 2015.

The top baby names for Muslim babies specifically were Maryam and Mohammad:

Girl Names (Muslim)
1. Maryam/Miryam/Mariam
2. Sha’im
3. Jana/Janah
4. Lin
5. Lian/Layan
6. Alin/Aline
7. Sa’ara

Boy Names (Muslim)
1. Mohammad
2. Ahmed
3. Yosef
4. Omar
5. Adam
6. Jud/Jod
7. Abed
8. Ali
9. Amir
10. Ibrahim

The 2012 rankings for Israel are pretty similar.

Sources: Mohammad & Noa 2015’s most common names for newborns, Most popular Jewish names: Noam for a boy and Noa for a girl, What were the most popular names for boys and girls in 2015?

Popular Baby Names in Italy, 2015

A few weeks ago, Italy finally released baby name rankings for 2015. According to the data from Istat (Istituto nazionale di statistica), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Sofia and Francesco.

Here are Italy’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sofia, 7,191 baby girls
2. Aurora, 6,687
3. Giulia, 6,222
4. Giorgia, 4,099
5. Alice, 3,845
6. Martina, 3,743
7. Emma, 3,690
8. Greta, 3,676
9. Chiara, 3,516
10. Anna, 3,322
1. Francesco, 8,763 baby boys
2. Alessandro, 6,708
3. Mattia, 6,402
4. Lorenzo, 6,389
5. Leonardo, 6,144
6. Andrea, 6,047
7. Gabriele, 5,469
8. Matteo, 4,941
9. Tommaso, 4,386
10. Riccardo, 4,351

In the girls’ top 10, Anna replaces Sara, and Alice jumps from 10th to 5th.

The boys’ top 10 is essentially the same, the biggest move being Mattia rising from 6th to 3rd.

Francesco has been on top since 2001, but it became even more popular in 2013 after Pope Francis was elected.

Here are a few more names from within the top 50:

  • Girl names: Ginevra (12th), Gaia (13th), Ludovica (32nd), Ilaria (46th)
  • Boy names: Nicolò (22nd), Simone (24th), Gioele (37th), Nicola (46th)

Nicolò is pronounced nee-ko-LO, whereas Nicola is pronounced nee-KO-lah. The feminine versions of the name are Nicoletta and Nicolina.

Finally, here are the top baby names among foreigners (mainly from Romania, Morocco, Albania and China) living in Italy:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sara
2. Sofia
3. Aurora
1. Adam
2. Youssef
3. Rayan

Intriguingly, Kevin was ranked 8th for boys and 1st (!) among both the Albanians and the Chinese. I mentioned Kevinismus in last week’s Senga post and already it’s coming to mind again…

Sources: How many babies are named…? – Istat, These are the most popular Italian baby names, Births and fertility among the resident population (pdf)