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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Simon

Number of Babies Named Simon

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Simon

Man Renames Himself “Bacon Double Cheeseburger”

painted-burgerA 33-year-old London man, formerly called Simon Smith, officially changed his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger in late February.

He admitted that the decision was “the culmination of probably too many drinks in the pub,” but doesn’t regret it. He now signs all his work emails “B. D. Cheeseburger.”

His fiancée Isabella, on the other hand, is not pleased with the change. He says she’s “fairly reluctant about marrying a Cheeseburger.”

Notably, a record-breaking 85,000 people changed their name in the UK last year.

Louise Bowers, of the UK Deed Poll Service, said: “One man changed his name to Happy Birthday. It gave us a chuckle but if that is what they want to do, it’s their choice.”

She added: “Some people simply don’t like their original name — we’ve changed Cock to Cox and Smellie to Smiley.”

If you’re a UK resident ready for a name change, the process is both easy and inexpensive — just make a deed poll, which is free, then “enroll” the new name at the Royal Courts of Justice, which costs £36 (in U.S. dollars, a bit over $50).

Sources: Meet Mr Bacon Double Cheeseburger, North London man changes name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger by deed poll, ‘Why I changed my name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger’


Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1866

providenceLast month we looked at the top Providence names of 1867, so today let’s check out the rankings from the year before — 1866.

First, some stats:

  • 1,633 babies were babies were born in Providence in 1866, by my count. (The number given by the author of the document is 1,632.)
  • 1,457 of these babies (707 girls and 750 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 176 babies got blank spaces.
  • 234 unique names (123 girl names and 108 boy names) were shared among these 1,457 babies.

And here’s some extra information I forgot to mention in the last post: In 1860, the city of Providence was home to 29.0% of Rhode Island’s population. In 1870, it was home to 31.7% of the population. So each of these 3 sets of rankings (1866, 1867, 1868) ought to account for roughly 30% of the residents of the state.

Now, on to the names…

Top 5

The top 5 girl names and boy names of 1866 were, unsurprisingly, very similar to the top names of 1867.

Top Baby Girl Names Top Baby Boy Names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. George
5. Thomas

The girls’ top 5 is identical, while the boys’ top 5 includes Thomas instead of George.

Girl Names

As expected, Mary was the front-runner by a huge margin. And, while there were dozens of Catherines, and a single Catharine, there weren’t any Katherines.

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 43
  3. Ellen, 40
  4. Margaret, 37
  5. Sarah, 36
  6. Elizabeth, 32
  7. Alice, 18
  8. Annie, 15
  9. Anna & Eliza, 14 each (2-way tie)
  10. Clara, 13
  11. Ann, 11
  12. Carrie, Emma, Jane & Susan, 10 each (4-way tie)
  13. Grace & Ida, 9 each (2-way tie)
  14. Esther, Martha & Minnie, 7 each (3-way tie)
  15. Anne & Julia, 6 each (2-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Charlotte, Cora, Harriet, Jennie, Joanna, Maria & Rosanna, 5 each (8-way tie)
  17. Amelia, Bridget, Ella, Frances, Hattie, Lydia, Nellie & Theresa, 4 each (8-way tie)
  18. Abby, Emily, Florence, Josephine, Laura, Lillian, Lizzie, Louise & Marion, 3 each (9-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amy, Augusta, Deborah, Edith, Etta, Eva, Fannie, Georgianna, Hannah, Henrietta, Honora, Isabel, Isabella, Lottie, Lucy, Mabel, Marietta, Maud & Teresa, 2 each (20-way tie)
  20. Almira, Annette, Bertha, Catharine, Cedelia, Celia, Christina, Delia, Diana, Dora, Dorcas, Eldora, Eleanor, Elsie, Emeline, Etherine, Eugenie, Evangeline, Fanny, Flora, Geneva, Georgia, Gracie, Helen, Helena, Imogene, Janette, Jessie, Kate, Lena, Louisa, Lucia, Lucinda, Madelina, Marian, Marsalin, May, Millie, Mina, Mini, Minna, Neatah, Nettie, Phebe, Rebecca, Rosa, Roselia, Rosetta, Ruth, Sophia, Stella, Susanna, Susannah, Tillie & Winnifred, 1 each (55-way tie)

Boy Names

John had an even more commanding lead in 1866 than in 1867.

  1. John, 109 baby boys
  2. William, 78
  3. James, 62
  4. George, 44
  5. Thomas, 41
  6. Charles, 36
  7. Edward, 28
  8. Joseph, 27
  9. Frederick, 20
  10. Henry, 18
  11. Frank, 17
  12. Michael, 15
  13. Francis, 14
  14. Daniel, 13
  15. Albert, Patrick & Robert, 12 each (3-way tie)
  16. Walter, 11
  17. Arthur, Peter & Samuel, 8 each (3-way tie)
  18. Alfred, Harry, Louis & Stephen, 7 each (4-way tie)
  19. Martin, 6
  20. Matthew, 5
  21. Christopher, Clarence, Herbert, Howard & Hugh, 4 each (5-way tie)
  22. Benjamin, Eugene, Ira & Jeremiah, 3 each (4-way tie)
  23. Aaron, Alvin, Arnold, Earl, Edgar, Elisha, Freddie, Harrison, Lewis, Marcus, Nicholas, Philip, Richard & Timothy, 2 each (14-way tie)
  24. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Alanson, Alden, Ambrose, Antonio, August, Augustavus*, Augustus, Bartholomew, Bernard, Bradford, Byron, Chauncey, Clinton, David, Duncan, Eben, Ebenezer, Edwin, Elias, Elliott, Ethan, Everett, Ezra, Ferdinand, Frederic, Fullerton, Gilbert, Gwynn, Harold, Herman, Isaac, Jesse, Josiah, Lauriston, Luther, Manuel, Marks, Maurice, Miles, Mortimer, Oliver, Olney, Oscar, Otto, Rana, Rectol, Salisbury, Shamball, Simon, Terence, Theodore, Victor, Willard, Willie & Wilton, 1 each (58-way tie)

(I didn’t combine any variant spellings, but I did lump the abbreviated names Chas., Benj., and Fred’k in with Charles, Benjamin and Frederick.)

*Does Augustavus = Augustus + Gustav, I wonder?

Twins

I counted 19 pairs of twins born in Providence in 1866. I didn’t notice any triplets this year. (All of these names have already been accounted for above.)

Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g)
Edgar & Oscar
Edward & James
Francis & James
James & John
John & Thomas
(blank) & (blank)
Frederick & Alice
John & Alice
Samuel & Sarah
Stephen & Annie
(blank) & Catherine
Agnes & Anna
Eldora & Ellen
Eliza & Mary
Elizabeth & Julia
Frances & Mary
Josephine & Mary
Mary & Sarah
Theresa & (blank)

I’ll try to finish/post the final set of rankings before the end of the year.

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence During the Year 1866. Providence: Hammond, Angell & Co., 1867.

The Baby Name Saford, a Hillbilly One-Hit Wonder

In 1941, Saford debuted on the U.S. baby name charts with 11 baby boys — enough to make it the top boy name debut of the year.

Clayton and Saford Hall in in 1940
Clayton and Saford Hall in 1940
Never to be seen on the list again, Saford was also the top one-hit wonder name of 1941, and it’s tied for 9th on the list of most popular one-hit wonder boy names of all time.

So what’s the story behind this mysterious name?

The state-by-state data offers a big clue about the origin of Saford:

  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: 11 baby boys named Saford
    • 9 born in Virginia specifically
  • 1940: unlisted

The name Saford was inspired by Saford Hall, a member of the pre-bluegrass musical duo the Hall Twins. The other member was Saford’s identical twin brother, Clayton. Saford played the fiddle, Clayton played the banjo, and both boys could sing.

Clayton and Saford were born in rural Patrick County, Virginia, in 1919. They were the last of 10 children. Their older siblings were named Lee, Roxie, Thamon, Mack, Romie, Samson, Simon and Asa.

Ralph Berrier, Jr. — a journalist who happens to be Clayton’s grandson — wrote about the twins in his book If Trouble Don’t Kill Me. Here’s how he describes them on his website (which also includes recordings of several performances from the early ’40s):

The Hall twins rose from mountain-bred poverty to pickin’ and yodelin’ all over the airwaves of the South in the 1930s and 1940s, opening shows for the Carter Family, Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers, and even playing the most coveted stage of all: the Grand Ole Opry.

They played the Grand Ole Opry twice, in 1941 and in 1942, as part of Roy Hall and His Blue Ridge Entertainers. (They weren’t related to Roy.)

This is exactly when we see the unusual name Saford pop up on the baby name charts for the first and only time. I’ve even found a Virginia baby named Saford Clayton, though he wasn’t born until 1944.

The name Clayton was already being given to hundreds of U.S. babies per year in the early ’40s, but usage does seem to rise in both Virginia and North Carolina in 1942.

Just as their musical careers were beginning to take off, though, the brothers were drafted. Saford was sent to North Africa and Europe, and Clayton was sent to the South Pacific.

The Hall twins survived WWII, and they continued playing music after returning to the States, but they were never able to achieve the same level of musical success. Saford passed away in 1999, Clayton in 2003.

Sources:

Name Quotes for the Weekend #28

Keira Knightly quote about  her misspelled name

From an interview with Keira Knightley in Elle (UK):

Keira also revealed that she was never intended to be called Keira.

‘I was meant to be named “Kiera”, after a Russian ice skater who was on the TV one day. My dad fancied her and nicked her name for me. But it was my mum who went to register my birth, and she accidentally spelled “ei” instead of “ie” because my mum’s crap at spelling.

‘Apparently, when she came back he said: “WHAT THE F*CK? You’ve spelt her name wrong!” What were they going to do, though? Once it’s on the piece of paper, it’s on the piece of paper. And that’s me. A spelling error.’

From There’s Something About Nutella (about the French parents who tried to name their baby Nutella) by lawyer Wes Anderson:

If only the parents lived in the United States, then they may likely have realized their dream. While many European countries place various restrictions on baby names, American parents may generally use a trademark as a personal name, so long as it is a word mark and both parents consent to the name. Brand loyalty may have some limits abroad, but the courts on our shores would hardly object to baby Nutella.

From Parents seek unique names for their children in The Japan News:

Under the Family Registration Law, about 3,000 kanji can be used for a person’s name, including joyo kanji (kanji designated for common use) and kanji exclusively used for people’s names. Hiragana and katakana can be used as well. However, there are no rules regarding how a kanji character should be read in a name or how long the name can be.

In recent years, more and more variations are showing up in children’s names with nonstandard pronunciations apparently becoming prominent. For example, the kanji “kokoro” (heart) is often read “ko” these days, while “ai” (love) is read “a.”

[…]

At one kindergarten in Kanagawa Prefecture, teachers write down the phonetic readings of all the new pupils’ names on the roll before the entrance ceremony to check how they should be read.

“It’s a shock for parents to hear their children’s names read out incorrectly,” a staff member of the kindergarten said.

Tamago Club, a magazine for expecting mothers published by Benesse Corp., is calling on readers to avoid names whose kanji readings are too different from the norm.

From the book The Leonardo DiCaprio Album by Brian J. Robb:

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles on 11th November 1974 to burnt-out hippie parents who named him after the Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci. His mother, German-born Irmelin Idenbirken chose her son’s name after feeling him kicking in the womb as she stood in front of a Da Vinci painting in the Uffizi Gallery in Venice, Italy.

From Why We Like Boys Better Than Girls (Or At Least Their Names) by Laura Wattenberg:

Our modern naming age sees lots of names flowing around the gender divide. Some traditional male names, like Micah and Riley, are showing up more and more on the girls’ side. Other names with no traditional gender link, like word names, place names, and surnames, are flipping back and forth or remaining unisex. But even in this fluid, creative naming culture, I challenge you to find a traditionally female name that is given to boys. Much as a reference to running or fighting “like a girl” is taken as an insult, so do we shrink from any hint of girliness in our boys’ names. As a result, the move toward androgyny in baby names turns out to look an awful lot like masculinization.

[…]

Names have enormous symbolic power. They send messages. What message would it send to girls if the women of the U.S. Supreme Court were named Raymond, Simon and Elliot instead of Ruth, Sonia and Elena? Just as we may wish for a future where “running like a girl” means “running as fast and long as you can,” I’m rooting for a future where a little Leia is considered just as bold and confident as a girl dressed — or named — like Han.

From the Survivor Wiki page about Neleh Davis, the runner-up from Survivor: Marquesas (2002):

Neleh Dennis was born in Heber City, Utah, and is one of eight siblings (five brothers, Tom, John, Devin, Nathan, and Landon, and two sisters, McKenna and Robyn). She was named after her maternal grandmother, Helen. Same name, only spelled backwards.

From an interview with Dax Shepard [vid] on Ellen:

Ellen: Where does the name Delta come from, was that something you had thought of before?

Dax: So Delta actually–it was a joke, because our first daughter’s name is Lincoln, which is very masculine, so a friend of mine teasingly texted me, “Oh great, what’s this one gonna be, Navy Seal? Delta Force? Green Beret?” And I was reading this text out loud to Kristen, I’m like, “Oh listen to how funny this is, Steve said, what if we named her Delta Force” and I was like…Delta! Delta Bell Shepard, that’s it! And that’s it.

Want to see quote posts #1 through #27? Check out the quote post category. Have a nice weekend, all!

Baby Named for Lifesaving Doctor

Sharon and Simon Guy of England nearly lost their second child, a boy named Dylan, when he was born prematurely in 2011. They credit Dr. Rebecca Sands with saving his life.

So when they welcomed their third child, a baby girl, on New Year’s Day this year they decided to name her Rebekah in honor of Dr. Sands, “to show just how grateful we are.”

(Their oldest child is a girl named Emily.)

Source: Shirebrook New Year baby named after lifesaving doctor

Popular Baby Names in Sweden, 2014

According to data from Statistics Sweden, the most popular baby names in Sweden in 2014 were Elsa and Lucas.

Here are Sweden’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Elsa, 850 baby girls
2. Alice, 806
3. Maja, 732
4. Agnes, 673
5. Lilly, 646
6. Olivia, 626
7. Julia, 610
8. Ebba, 603
9. Linnea, 594
10. Molly, 579
1. Lucas, 860 baby boys
2. William, 851
3. Oscar, 805
4. Oliver, 754
5. Liam, 728
6. Elias, 721
7. Hugo, 696
8. Vincent, 641
9. Charlie, 634
10. Alexander, 630

Though they didn’t make it obvious, the names above actually represent combined spellings.

So do you think Elsa, which ranked 3rd in 2013, hit #1 last year thanks to the movie Frozen? Here are the numbers for Elsa (that spelling only) over the last 5 years:

  • 2014: 841 babies named Elsa in Sweden
  • 2013: 762
  • 2012: 750
  • 2011: 716
  • 2010: 719

Sweden also puts out lists of baby names that are rising the fastest…

Rising girl names Rising boy names
1. Luna
2. Elisa
3. Celine
4. Elise
5. Amelia
1. Ebbe
2. Harry
3. Loui
4. Dante
5. Otto

…and falling the fastest.

Falling girl names Falling boy names
1. Minna
2. Ronja
3. Emma
4. Svea
5. Ella
1. Simon
2. Olle
3. Anton
4. Jonathan
5. Milo

Could the rise of Elisa and Elise be attributable to Elsa?

Source: Name Statistics – Statistics Sweden

Do You Like the Name Rhenen?

North Carolina couple Simon and Aletha Arkley spent some time in the Netherlands as missionaries. While there, they took a short vacation to the town of Rhenen [pron. RAY-nen, roughly].

The town must have made a big impression on them, because when they welcomed a daughter on February 18, 2014, they named her Rhenen.

Do you like Rhenen as a baby name? Do you think it works better for girls or for boys?

Source: Amerikaans echtpaar vernoemt dochter naar Utrechtse stad Rhenen (via Vernoeming.nl)