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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Shadow

Number of Babies Named Shadow

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Shadow

Name Quotes for the Weekend #32

Thana, cover of LIFE, 1947

Happy Friday! Here’s another batch of random, name-related quotes to end the week…

From the description of the December 15, 1947, cover of LIFE magazine:

Among the prettiest showgirls in New York’s nightclubs are (from left) brunette Dawn McInerney, red-haired Thana Barclay and blond Joy Skylar who all work in the Latin Quarter. […] Thana, also 22, was named after her mother’s favorite poem Thanatopsis. She is married to a song plugger named Duke Niles and owns a dachshund named Bagel.

The poem “Thanatopsis” was written by William Cullen Bryant. The word itself means “a view or contemplation of death.” In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the god of death.

From the All Music Guide to Hip-hop by Vladimir Bogdanov:

Ginuwine was born in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1975, with the unlikely name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (after D.C.-born Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor).

Elgin Baylor, born in 1934, was named after the Elgin National Watch Company. (He’s on my Long List of Unusual Real Names.)

From “The Art Of Knowing When Less Is More” by Greg Dawson, published in the Orlando Sentinel in 1997:

Fellow immigrants…Here is proof that we need that national “conversation about race” urged by President Clinton: Last week in a whimsical moment I argued that official hurricane names are too “white bread” (like Greg) and don’t reflect America’s ethnic stew. To make my point I looked at the births page of the Sentinel for names that you never see attached to a hurricane — names such as Attaliah, Desjambra, Ofori. A reader called to complain about the “white bread” line and added, “A lot of those names aren’t even American.”

“Excuse me,” I said, “but they were born in this country. They’re just as American as you and me.”

“You know what I mean,” he said.

Yes, unfortunately, I think I do.

From The Making of Cabaret by Keith Garebian, regarding the name of English actress Valerie Jill Haworth, who was born on Victory over Japan Day (Aug. 15, 1945):

The initials of her baptismal names (Valerie Jill) were in honor of her birth on VJ Day.

Related: American actress Robin Vee Strasser was born on Victory in Europe Day.

A quote from Freddie Prinze, Jr., in the documentary Misery Loves Comedy (sent to me by Anna of Waltzing More Than Matilda):

“When you’re a Junior you’re pretty much just a statue to what went before.”

From “My Daughter Will Be Named Ruby Daffodil” in US magazine article

Back when Drew Barrymore was only 20 years old, she already had a name picked out for her future child.

During an interview with Rolling Stone in June 1995, Barrymore opened up about her relationship at the time with Hole musician Eric Erlandson.


“I never thought I’d have a sense of family until I had my own kids. I want two: a boy and a girl,” she revealed. “My daughter will be named Ruby Daffodil.”

Today she has two daughters, neither of whom are named Ruby Daffodil. The first was named Olive and the second Frankie.

From “The History Of How “Cow Poop” Became A Real-Life Japanese Family Name” by Mami of the blog Tofugu:

There are some Japanese family names that are so ridiculous that I’m forced to believe that someone was playing some kind of horrible family prank when they named themselves. Cow Poop (Ushikuso), Horse-Butt (Umajiri), and Boar-Crotch (Inomata/Imata) are actual people in Japan. If they wanted a memorable name, they’ve certainly achieved it, but I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up with a name like that as a child.

From the “Name Wisely” section of “8 Tips for Creating Great Stories” by Hugh Hart of Fast Company:

Fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman stresses the importance of a good name in describing the genesis of his American Gods protagonist. “There’s a magic to names, after all,” he says. “I knew his name [needed to be] descriptive. I tried calling him Lazy, but he didn’t seem to like that, and I called him Jack, and he didn’t like that any better. I took to trying every name I ran into on him for size, and he looked back at me from somewhere in my head unimpressed every time. It was like trying to name Rumpelstiltskin.”

He finally discovered the name, Shadow, in an Elvis Costello song. (American Gods will be on TV soon…will we soon be seeing more babies named Shadow?)

Baby Names from ‘American Gods’?

Neil Gaiman’s award-winning book American Gods is going to be made into a TV series. Here’s a quick synopsis, courtesy of Nerdist:

For those of you who haven’t read the novel, American Gods centers around a war brewing between old and new gods; the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world, who are now steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity, and drugs. The lead character, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesday is a con man who is in reality one of the older gods on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.

I don’t know when the show will be on the air (2016?) but Shadow’s name is already being thrown around a lot on social media, thanks to the #CastingShadow social media campaign.

Do you think we’ll see an uptick in the number of babies named Shadow the year the show comes out?

(At least two other Gaiman character names, Coraline and Yvaine, saw increased usage after the books Stardust and Coraline were made into movies.)

Source: Starz Greenlights Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Television Series

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Idaho, 2010

The state of Idaho recently released its 2010 annual report, and the report includes some baby names.

First, here are Idaho’s most popular baby names of 2010. (More or less the same as what SSA has listed for Idaho that year.)

Popular Boy Names Popular Girl Names
1. William (119)
2. Samuel (116)
3. Logan (115)
4. Ethan (101)
5. Jacob (95)
6. Aiden (92)
7. Mason (89)
8. Noah (82)
9. Alexander (81)
10. James (79)
1. Olivia (122)
2. Emma (103)
3. Sophia (99)
4. Ava (88)
5. Abigail (85)
6. Elizabeth (83)
7. Emily (78)
8. Isabella (77)
9. Ella (71)
10. Addison & Brooklyn (65 each)

Now on to the bizarre stuff!

In the report, Idaho included a selection of unique names:

Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Bear, Character, Dagger, Freighter, Genghis, Hatchet, Hemi, Ice-T, Jethreaux, Justify, King Tiberius, Laugh, Nightsky, Permisius, Raysyn, Ripken, Saw, Scythe, Skeeter, Sourish, Theory, Truth, W’dbin, Wisdom, Zytareon Arrehli, Aoife, Balou, Bronwyn, Dawnlight, Dixi, Espn, Hickory, Kalifornia, Koal, Legacy, Little Noah, Meeka Bella, Mhyrrauzhe, Moneeq, Moserratt, Omolola, Oo, Rootsy, Saphron, Sparkle, Sunset, Tietsie, Virtue, Xoko

Some thoughts:

  • Nightsky and Dawnlight need a playdate. (Just like Thunder and Lightning.)
  • Mhyrrauzhe = Mirage?
  • My first impulse with “Oo” was to pronounce it “uh-oh.” (Uh-oh indeed, if that’s actually how you say it!)

Since Idaho’s annual reports for 2006-2010 are all available online, lets look at the selections of unique names from years past, shall we?


Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
“Champion” Reese, Civic, Cougar, Domonique, Eleven, Evol, Hopper, Huckleberry, Irish, Jah Kobi, Jaxxon, Kastle, K-Den, Major Jack, Nixon, Noall, Oz, Pledger, Reef, Sabyr, Shade, Shadow, Skeet, Taft, Zebedee Arlington, August Star, Beatriz, Byrkli, Charm, Clarixxa, Daiquiri, Fayte, Goldie-Moon, Gyzzelle, Jubilee, Kanyon, Lala, Love, Montana, Nirvana, Pepper, Prairie, Poppy, Soul, Tottie, Tundra, Zipporah


Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Adjrick, Andronicus, Arrow, Blazer, Brayke, Buzz, Casino, Chamillionaire, Dacx, Driggs, Gamble, Heman, Klete, Kodiak, Kroten, Krue, Link, Mitt, Pheonix, Ransom, Rodee, Silynce, Summit, Zzyzx Angelic, Beautifull, Boisen, Byainett, Calloway, Celestial, Ecstacy, Eeleceya, Hadies, Heaven, Infiniti, Integrity, Jewleah, Kaskade, Kozmo, Maplejo, Mishalyn, Remmington, Season, Symphony, Thyme, Ugonna, Xerenity, Zepplyn


Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Aodhan, Braestyn, Buell, Champ, Dazryn, Elisjsha, Enveus, Grimsley, Hayze, Holdem, Kamero, Kay-Sin, Khonnerk, Lowgin, Makaijden, Mickyle, Nykolaus, Painter, Praze, Sander, Shadrack, Solo, Space, Tlaloc, Trackin Arbor, Auktober, Blessin, Brizzbin, Brookenzie, Cabella, Clarity, Denym, Eos, Epiphany, Honesty, Kwincee, Lavender, Lybburtie, Miami, Modiesty-Star, Mysticque, Peaches, Perfect, Rebel-Ann, Seattle, Shy, Uneike, Vegas, Zoigh
  • Casino and Gamble in 2008, Holdem and Vegas in 2007…do I detect a pattern here?


Unique Boy Names Unique Girl Names
Akhilles, Backtash, Blend, Bronco, Chalk, College, Colquohn, Daily, Gid, Hampton, Howdy, Jameraquoi, Karona, Lake, Packer, Polo, Razor, Rythmik, Sacramento, Spur, Trask, Tucson, Winn, Wracer, Xzavvyer Allyvia, Anakalia, Aptisam, Aveda, Blayde, Bristol, Cedee, Dorcas, Fall, Heziachiah, Kalispell, Klowie, Lexington, Little Summers, Navy, Northstar, Nutaliay Harmoney, Pennilane Meadow, Phaedra, Russia, Tacheranai, Tragen, Tsunami, Viktoriya, Yochabelle

P.S. In the 2006-2009 reports, the heading of the unique names section was “Selected Unique Names, Yewneek Spellings.” For 2010, it was lengthened to “Selected Unique Baby Names, Yewneek Baybee Spellings.” I happen to love these headings, but aren’t they a bit snarky for an official state document…?

Unisex Baby Names – Even Splits of 2009

Hundreds of unisex names were given to both baby boys and baby girls last year. But only 65 were split evenly between the two genders, according to SSA data.

Name Boys Girls Total
Michel 55 55 110
Michal 48 48 96
Storm 43 43 86
Haydyn 32 32 64
Avry 27 27 54
Adi 26 26 52
Indiana 26 26 52
Kemani 26 26 52
Clarke 22 22 44
Riyan 20 20 40
Samar 17 17 34
Amori 16 16 32
Bradie 13 13 26
Carlisle 12 12 24
Oluwadamilola 12 12 24
Angell 11 11 22
Eaden 11 11 22
Maika 11 11 22
Nur 11 11 22
Chesley 10 10 20
Dacoda 10 10 20
Mattia 10 10 20

Fewer than 20 babies total: Agam, Aidynn, Amadi, Armahni, Arrington, Ecko, Elim, Elyah, Grae, Jarae, Jasyiah, Jiayi, Keighan, Kumari, Lakshya, Lanny, Lean, Mako, Marcelle, Money*, Nyel, Oluwanifemi, Oluwatomisin, Omega, Phynix, Psalm, Qamar, Rayen, Reyhan, Ryian, Santanna, Shadow, Shyler, Siah, Sinclair, Skiler, Starling, Stellar, Thanh, Ugonna, Windsor, Yali, Yareth

*I’m pleased that Money made the list. There may be a gender-based income gap in the U.S., but at least men and women are named Money in equal measure. That has to count for something, right?