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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Shepherd

Number of Babies Named Shepherd

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Shepherd

Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2016

Which boy names increased the most in popularity from 2015 to 2016? And which ones decreased the most?

The U.S. SSA likes to answer this question by analyzing ranking differences within the top 1,000. I prefer to answer it by looking at raw number differences, and to take the full list into account. So let’s check out the results using both methods…

Boy Names: Biggest Increases, 2015 to 2016

baby names, boy names, more popular

Rankings

1. Kylo, +2,368 spots — up from 3,269th to 901st
2. Creed, +370 spots — up from 1,352nd to 982nd
3. Benicio, +356 spots — up from 1,331st to 975th
4. Adonis, +307 spots — up from 701st to 394th
5. Fox, +288 spots — up from 1034th to 746th
6. Kye, +281 spots — up from 984th to 703rd
7. Hakeem, +256 spots — up from 1,161st to 905th
8. Shepherd, +242 spots — up from 1,105th to 863rd
9. Wilder, +238 spots — up from 961st to 723rd
10. Zayn, +222 spots — up from 643rd to 421st

Kylo was influenced by the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Creed and Adonis were influenced by the movie Creed (2015).

Hakeem was influenced by the TV show Empire (2015-). So was Bryshere, which debuted last year.

Wilder could have been influenced by either Gene Wilder or by boxer Deontay Wilder, or both. (Or neither.)

Zayn was influenced by British singer/songwriter Zain “Zayn” Malik.

Raw Numbers

1. Mateo, +1,516 baby boys — up from 5,010 to 6,526
2. Oliver, +1,340 baby boys — up from 11,635 to 12,975
3. Bryson, +1,239 baby boys — up from 3,094 to 4,333
4. Lincoln, +1,094 baby boys — up from 5,982 to 7,076
5. Benjamin, +899 baby boys — up from 13,670 to 14,569
6. Grayson, +735 baby boys — up from 7,887 to 8,622
7. Theodore, +723 baby boys — up from 4,136 to 4,859
8. Greyson, +704 baby boys — up from 3,591 to 4,295
9. Leo, +678 baby boys — up from 4,582 to 5,260
10. Maverick, +675 baby boys — up from 2,265 to 2,940

Other names that saw raw number increases in the 200+ range included Owen, Sebastian, Ezekiel, Lucas, Ezra, Leonardo, Santiago, Conor, Gael, Everett, Rhett, Jameson, Killian, Tobias, Arlo, Easton, Finn, Rowan, Elias, Asher, Calvin, Thiago, Bodhi, Legend, Lukas, River, Elliot, Harrison, Roman, Adriel, Paxton, Julian, Ace, Josiah, Waylon, Messiah, Nash, Ellis, Matias, George, Barrett, Connor, Wade, Kyrie, Milo, Amir, Bennett, Elliott, Silas, Matteo, and Axel.

Rowan is rising quickly for both boys and girls right now.

Kyrie, which was once given primarily to girls, is now being given primarily for boys thanks to basketball player Kyrie Irving.

Boy Names: Biggest Decreases, 2015 to 2016

baby names, boy names, less popular

Rankings

1. Jonael, -475 spots — down from 921st to 1,396th
2. Aaden, -239 spots — down from 784th to 1,023rd
3. Triston, -230 spots — down from 957th to 1,187th
4. Freddy, -222 spots — down from 993rd to 1,215th
5. Yaakov, -213 spots — down from 992nd to 1,205th
6. Braeden, -203 spots — down from 792nd to 995th
7. Chace, -202 spots — down from 935th to 1,137th
8. Brantlee, -176 spots — down from 777th to 953rd
9. Gannon, -173 spots — down from 533rd to 706th
10. Robin, -171 spots — down from 969th to 1,140th

The name Jonael got a lot of exposure in 2015 thanks to 11-year-old Puerto Rican singer Jonael Santiago, who won the 3rd season of La Voz Kids, which aired from March to June. It didn’t get as much exposure in 2016, which accounts for the drop in usage.

Raw Numbers

1. Logan, -1,697 baby boys (12,897 to 11,200)
2. Jacob, -1,498 baby boys (15,914 to 14,416)
3. Jayden, -1,455 baby boys (11,518 to 10,063)
4. Mason, -1,399 baby boys (16,591 to 15,192)
5. Ethan, -1,291 baby boys — down from 15,049 to 13,758
6. Aiden, -1,271 baby boys (13,429 to 12,158)
7. Alexander, -1,186 baby boys (14,507 to 13,321)
8. Jackson, -1,032 baby boys (12,242 to 11,210)
9. Brandon, -1,024 baby boys (5,100 to 4,076)
10. Blake, -951 baby boys (4,220 to 3,269)

blake, baby name, gender, switchUnlike Rowan, Blake is falling on the boys’ list, but rising on the girls’ list. In fact, the graph (right) makes a gender switch look inevitable. This is not something I would have anticipated a decade ago, before the emergence of Blake Lively.

Other names that saw raw number drops in the 200+ range included Landon, Caleb, Gavin, Anthony, Christopher, Andrew, David, Parker, Colton, Jase, Hunter, Brody, Brantley, Gabriel, Jonathan, Jordan, Tyler, Kevin, Nathan, Joshua, Carter, Daniel, Joseph, Dylan, Christian, Noah, Angel, Brayden, Iker, Chase, Nicholas, Austin, Dominic, Camden, John, Ayden, Michael, Colin, Bryan, Riley, Kyle, Hayden, Bradley, Nathaniel, Jake, Samuel, Luke, Cayden, Evan, Zachary, Steven, Kaden, Cooper, Marcus, Ryan, Tristan, Bryce, Ryder, Micah, Brady, Bentley, Kaleb, Levi, Alex, Conner, Jeremy, Isaac, Ian, Gage, Brian, Kayden, Jaden, Carlos, Sean, Jeremiah, Abel, Devin, Adrian, Giovanni, Garrett, and Adam.

Jase has seen a dramatic rise and fall over the last few years: big gains in 2012 and 2013, followed by big losses in 2014, 2015, and now 2016.

Similarly, Iker was on the rise for a while, with partcularly big leaps in 2011 and 2012, but usage is now on the wane.

Do you have any other explanations/guesses about any of the names above? If so, please leave a comment.

(In 2015, the big winners were Oliver and Riaan, and the big losers were Jase and Arnav.)

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2015 to 2016, Emma and Noah Remain Social Security’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2016


Baby Name Needed for Brother of Saylor and Clover

A couple of years ago, we helped reader Michelle brainstorm for a baby names for her second child, a baby girl named Clover. (Michelle already had a son named Saylor.)

I heard from Michelle not long ago, and she’s now expecting #3 (congrats!). The baby is a boy. So far, the favorite name is Caspian but…well, I’ll let Michelle explain:

we really like the name caspian. i like that it’s a literary character [like saylor’s middle name dorian] and even more so i like that it’s a ‘noun’ name so it matches saylor and clover. also being the name of a sea it matches saylor without being too matchy like the name anchor or navy or something.

so that’s the name that i keep going back to but i am having the hardest time with it being 3 syllables. i feel like it doesn’t flow that well- it feels long to me so i KNOW i would want to abbreviate it. and so then he would be cas, casp, or caspy or casper.. which i’m not crazy fond of any of these. plus then you lose the name… i don’t like naming a kid something knowing they will never really go by that name. so i’m looking for a name like caspian.. but looking for a 2 syllable name i guess! i prefer 2 but would use a 1 syllable name if we loved it.

other names we’ve looked at-

cannon- but i feel like it’s forgettable and sounds like a bunch of other names- caiden, cohen, etc.

shepherd- i do like this name. not sure how well it matches our kids but i think i like it?

sage- considering this as potential middle name tho it’s way more popular for a girl’s name now!

my husband suggested voyage today but i feel like that’s too out there/trying to be crazy. i’m open to virtue names but not many good boy ones. not a fan of loyal.

i’ve chewed on booker, shale, atlas and cedar but not feeling it…

a friend also suggested oxlee which is kinda cool but kinda a made up name which i’d rather have a real word.

basil is a family name and i like it but not enough i don’t think..

i’ve spent countless hours thinking and looking and considering… i want to find a name that isn’t in the top 1000 as well. for sure forget it if it’s in the top 500 [i do like the names kingston, river, maddox etc but do not like how trendy they are].. sorry i ramble. :)

so, should i just go with caspian and try to get used to saying 3 syllables all the time? do you have any other suggestions??

Some of my thoughts:

1. Caspian

If you know without a doubt that you’ll shorten it, and you don’t like (and won’t grow to like) any of the shortened versions, there’s no point in forcing it. Picking Caspian would be equivalent to picking a name you don’t like.

That said…when someone tells me he/she “keeps going back to” a particular baby name, I tend to see that as a sign.

Caspian may have 3 syllables, but it’s not that long–especially since the first syllable gets the most stress and the last gets the least. This makes it easy for the name to roll off the tongue.

We all know people with even longer names (e.g. Alexanders, Ariannas) who go by their full names. It’s not strange or outlandish or anything.

If you like Caspian that much, try testing it out. Call the baby Caspian for a week or two and challenge yourself not to shorten the name. Maybe it’ll be easier than you think. Much like picking up a new habit — you have to put in some effort at first, but once it sticks, you’re good.

2. A few more name ideas

All have 2 syllables and are not in the top 1,000 right now.

  • Ansel – Makes me think of nature/the outdoors, thanks to Ansel Adams.
  • Bering – From the sea and strait, both named for the explorer.
  • Canyon – More memorable than cannon, as it gives people a visual.
  • Crispin – Sounds a lot like Caspian.
  • Murray – From the name of Australia’s longest river.
  • Radley – From the character Arthur “Boo” Radley.
  • Rigel – From the star Rigel.

3. Your turn!

  • What are your thoughts on Caspian?
  • Which of the above names do you like best with Saylor and Clover?
  • What other names would you suggest to Michelle and her husband?

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1880s

The names below are “one-hit wonder” names that ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once — sometime during the 1880s.

This list is much longer than the 1940s and 1950s lists, but it’s also probably a lot less reliable. Why? Because the SSA‘s baby name data for the late 1800s and early 1900s is pretty skewed. As a result, a lot of random names (and misspellings) managed to rank among the statistical “top 1,000” during this period.

Girl Names

  • 1880 – Adina, Almyra, Chanie, Chrissie, Clemie, Cordella, Dayse, Delina, Delle, Elmire, Elzada, Estie, Fronnie, Lovisa, Lucina, Manerva, Manervia, Minervia, Neppie, Nolie, Orilla, Rillie, Sybilla, Tella, Thursa
  • 1881 – Achsah, Ala, Alabama, Amey, Chestina, Chloie, Crissie, Daisye, Dema, Dollye, Eithel, Mila, Senora, Siddie, Sylvania, Tiney, Zilpah
  • 1882 – Affie, Arah, Artelia, Birdella, Cathern, Cilla, Elizbeth, Fannye, Francina, Genevra, Iza, Jerusha, Loda, Lucetta, Lucindy, Luda, Mahalie, Modena, Nanna, Nelie, Olena, Sinda, Vicy
  • 1883 – Almina, Argie, Beatrix, Cappie, Caro, Cloe, Deetta, Dorathea, Ermine, Felicie, Icey, Junia, Lovey, Marianita, Mattye, Pearla, Simona
  • 1884 – Alzina, Annice, Georganna, Leala, Lurana, Milly, Nealy, Olivine, Oney, Savilla, Sussie, Theodocia, Violetta
  • 1885 – Aurilla, Dosia, Emmy, Essa, Ica, Ilma, Lolla, Medora, Octa
  • 1886 – Alwilda, Angele, Betha, Clytie, Ermina, Hilah, Louisiana, Metha, Oline, Pricilla
  • 1887 – Alwine, Anice, Clemma, Eppie, Gustie, Octavie, Orelia
  • 1888 – Francies, Margretta, Orra, Pairlee, Pallie
  • 1889 – Chessie, Erla, Herma, Lulah, Noemie

Boy Names

  • 1880: Agustus, Baldwin, Candido, Ceylon, Clemente, Firman, Friend, Hays, Hence, Hunt, Isam, Jabez, Obed, Rafe, Redden, Salomon, Sannie, Tilden
  • 1881 – Ambers, Cas, Casimiro, Dixon, Elonzo, Emry, Erving, Esequiel, Manly, Marius, Marrion, Mercer, Obe, Philo, Primus, Prosper, Pryor, Roll, Wiliam, Wing, York
  • 1882 – Alanzo, Alby, Alcee, Auguste, Caswell, Clabe, Ell, Greene, Hansford, Lone, Marsh, Pearley, Wenzel
  • 1883 – Blanchard, Bose, Charle, Emett, Grove, Hanson, Jep, Jeptha, Linzy, Lute, Milas, Thurlow
  • 1884 – Blain, Bowman, Bunk, Donaciano, Ebenezer, Ignatz, Odin, Oley, Osborn, Shep, Vollie
  • 1885 – Drury, Elon, Fielding, Fleet, Fount, Lark, Lim, Nim, North, Orvis, Reason, Virge, Worley, Zenas
  • 1886 – Acey, Algernon, Amasa, Amil, Calhoun, Colbert, Elby, Fuller, Ham, Lilburn, Lovett, Pratt, Ruffin
  • 1887 – Bliss, Dorr, Ethelbert, Gilford, Gilman, Graves, Hillery, Shepherd
  • 1888 – Benjman, Celestino, Hart, Hilmer, Le, Liston, Lott, Nils, Vere
  • 1889 – Abie, Alver, Anatole, Boone, Branch, Bush, Claiborne, Edw, Fed, Governor, Hjalmar, Levin, Redmond

Want more one-hit wonders? Here are…