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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Steve

Number of Babies Named Steve

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Steve

Name Quotes #64: Lulu, Lisa, Leisel, Tiahleigh

name quote, Lulu Alice Craig

From the 1900 book Glimpses of Sunshine and Shade in the Far North (which described Klondike Gold Rush stampeders camping at Lake Lindeman in British Columbia) by Lulu Alice Craig:

“[W]e wandered through this little city of tents of twelve to fifteen thousand people, finding interest in reading the names on the tents which represented many if not all parts of the world.”

(This quote was on display at the NPS museum in Skagway, Alaska.)

From an article about Lisa Brennan, Steve Jobs’s first daughter:

Lisa repeatedly tried to get [Steve] Jobs to tell her that the Lisa Macintosh computer was named after her but he refused to confirm it.

It was only when she was 27 and on holiday at a villa in the South of France owned by U2 singer Bono that Jobs finally came clean.

Over lunch Bono asked Jobs about the early years of Apple and whether or not he named the Lisa after his daughter. Jobs said: ‘Yeah, it was.’

Lisa was shocked and told Bono: ‘That’s the first time he’s said yes. Thank you for asking’.

From an article about athletes with strange middle names:

With a first name as iconic as Kobe Bryant’s, who needs a middle name with an interesting story? Well, Kobe Bryant does. His middle name — Bean — is a touching tribute to his father, Joe Bryant. Because of his high energy and ability to jump (guess Kobe must have inherited that particular skill), his father was nicknamed “Jellybean.” Luckily, Kobe’s parents didn’t go for the full candy-coated name and instead just dubbed him Kobe Bean Bryant.

From an article about Beatrix Potter finding character names via headstones:

The names for Beatrix Potter’s much-loved cast of animal characters may have come from ageing headstones.

Peter Rabbett, Jeremiah Fisher, Mr Nutkins, Mr Brock and Mr McGregor have all been found on stones at Brompton cemetery, west London, near where Miss Potter lived from 1863 to 1913. This seems to confirm local rumours that have circulated for years about the source of the names of her characters.

From an article about the name of Olympic swimmer Leisel Jones:

“Leisel was a very rare name when I was born in 1985… When I was born actually, my doctor said to my mum ‘you cannot call her Leisel because that’s not a name… You’re going to regret that one day,'” the Olympic swimmer said.

“And they absolutely did.”

The 32-year-old also went on to say having a unique name isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when no one can spell it right.

“The only problem with my name is it’s spelt L-E-I-S-E-L — and everyone spells it wrong. Everyone spells it as L-I-E-S-E-L,” she said.

“So that is a bit painful, it’s a bit annoying. But I do love my name and I love that it’s different.”

From the 2003 book Exploring Twins: Towards a Social Analysis of Twinship by Elizabeth A. Stewart:

“[I]n such cultures as those of the UK and the US the implication of twinship in the broader realities of social structure is clearly indicated by the link between the ‘naming’ process for twins and class differences: higher socio-economic groups tend to choose more separate, less ‘twinsy’ names for their children, emphasizing values of and possibilities for individuation and autonomy, whereas the greater tendency for lower-class groups to actively emphasize and encourage unitary ‘twinness’, whether through naming, dress or referencing (as in the ‘twins’ as a social and linguistic unit) may well reflect values of familial solidarity and fewer opportunities for individual social advancement.”

From an article about the parenting approaches of Millennials vs. Gen Xers:

Millennial parents are picking baby names based on available domain names, a new study claims.

[…]

According to the research, as many as one in five millennial parents said they changed or seriously considered changing their baby’s name based on what domain names were free at the time.

From an article about the drama that ensued after a baby was named after murdered Australian girl Tiahleigh Palmer:

The grandmother of a new baby named after murdered schoolgirl Tiahleigh Palmer insists the name was meant as a tribute to the dead girl.

Tiahleigh’s furious mother Cyndi Uluave unleashed on a young couple whose baby was born last Friday, and named Tiahleigh, claiming it was disrespectful to use the name of her daughter who was killed in 2015.

[…]

‘Who names their baby after a dead girl? This wasn’t their name to use,’ she said.

(In response to “who names their baby after a dead girl”: JonBenet, Rainell, Roni Sue, Sherianne…)

According to Cyndi, she created the unique name “Tiahleigh” by combining the names Tiarna and Lee and then playing around with the spelling.

To see more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

The Emergence of Eydie

eydie gorme, singer, 1950s
Eydie Gormé in 1954
The baby name Eydie debuted in the U.S. data in 1954:

  • 1960: 27 baby girls named Eydie
  • 1959: 37 baby girls named Eydie
  • 1958: 50 baby girls named Eydie [peak]
  • 1957: 23 baby girls named Eydie
  • 1956: 11 baby girls named Eydie
  • 1955: 10 baby girls named Eydie
  • 1954: 5 baby girls named Eydie [debut]
  • 1953: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Pop singer Eydie Gormé.

She was most famous during in the 1960s: her biggest hit was “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (1963), and she won a Grammy for “If He Walked Into My Life” (1966).

But she first came to people’s attention when she started making regular TV appearances in 1953 on the The Tonight Show, originally hosted by Steve Allen. She often performed with her husband, Steve Lawrence.

Eydie was born Edith Garmezano in New York City in 1928. (Her husband’s birth name was Sidney Liebowitz.) Her family — parents Nessim and Fortune, siblings Robert and Corene — later shortened the surname to Gormé. She adopted the stage name Edie when she started singing, but was so frequently called “Eddie” that she decided to add a Y to emphasize the correct pronunciation (ee-dee).

What are your thoughts on the name Eydie?

Sources: Eydie Gormé – Wikipedia, Winners – Best Female Pop Vocal Performance – Grammy.com, Singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84
Image: Radio-TV Mirror, Aug. 1954

Did Cindy-Lou Who Inspire a Debut?

seuss, grinch
Cindy-Lou Who
The compound first name Cindylou (probably written “Cindy Lou” by most people) first appeared in the Social Security Administration’s baby name data in 1957:

  • 1959: 10 baby girls named Cindylou
  • 1958: 6 baby girls named Cindylou
  • 1957: 7 baby girls named Cindylou [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: unlisted

In a sense, this debut isn’t too surprising. The name Cindy, already trendy, saw a massive jump in usage the same year:

  • 1959: 16,967 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 25th]
  • 1958: 16,582 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 25th]
  • 1957: 20,258 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 19th]
  • 1956: 9,989 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 37th]
  • 1955: 5,589 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 79th]

The spellings Cindie, Cindee, and Cindye also saw peak usage in 1957, as did the name Cynthia.

The cause was the catchy song “Cindy, Oh Cindy,” two versions of which reached the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1956 and early 1957. The one by Vince Martin and The Tarriers peaked at 12th, while the one by Eddie Fisher* peaked at 10th. Television audiences also heard the song: Perry Como sang it on his own show in November 1956, and Vince Martin sang it on The Steve Allen Show a month later.

Getting back to Cindylou, though…there are some possible outside influences for the debut of Cindylou specifically. The most intriguing is Cindy-Lou Who (“who was no more than two”) from the beloved Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which was published simultaneously in Redbook magazine and as a standalone book in December of 1957.

Now, Cindy-Lou was a minor character, and the story appeared late in the year — these are strikes against the theory. But, looking at vital records, there do seem to be a few extra people with the first-middle combo “Cindy Lou” born in December of 1957 as opposed to earlier in the year.

It’s likely that Dr. Seuss (or one of his editors) was influenced by the trendiness of the name Cindy that year…but did Cindy-Lou Who in turn give a bump to the name Cindylou? What are your thoughts on this?

*Later in 1957, Eddie Fisher’s wife, Debbie Reynolds, scored an even bigger hit with “Tammy.” Around the same time, their daughter, Carrie — who went on to play Princess Leia in Star Wars — had her first birthday.

P.S. The Buddy Holly song “Peggy Sue” (1957) was originally called “Cindy Lou,” incidentally.

Babies Named for TV Cougar Taneha

taneha, 1975, TV
Col. Steve Austin with Taneha

To younger people, “Steve Austin” is the (stone cold) professional wrestler. Back in the ’70s, though, that name belonged to an iconic TV cyborg.

The main character of The Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978) was former astronaut Col. Steve Austin, who acquired superhuman powers after being bionically rebuilt following a serious accident.

In an episode that aired early 1975, Steve’s goal was to track and capture the infamous “Taneha” — the last surviving member of a particular cougar species — before angry local ranchers could find him and kill him.

The same year, the baby name Taneha debuted in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 6 baby girls named Taneha
  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 5 baby girls named Taneha
  • 1976: 7 baby girls named Taneha
  • 1975: 24 baby girls named Taneha [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted

Though the cougar was male, the name only ever charted for baby girls.

I’m not sure how the writers came up with “Taneha” for the fictional cat, but the Oklahoma town of Oakhurst was originally known as Taneha. It was built on land formerly owned by the Creek, and sources say the name was based on a Creek word meaning “oil is below.”

Do you like the name Taneha?

Sources:

Name Quotes #44 – Jacksie, Memphis, Wyllis

Welcome to this month’s quote post!

From the book C.S. Lewis: An Examined Life by Bruce L. Edwards:

“[I]t was on one of these early holiday trips that Clive refused to be called by any other name than Jacksie, which was shortened to Jacks and then to Jack. He was either three or four years old when this name change occurred, as it was possibly in the summer of 1902 or 1903. […] Lewis’s stepson, Douglas Gresham, claimed that the reason he called himself Jacksie was due to his fondness for a small dog named Jacksie that had been killed.”

From “How To Cope With Your Video Game Inspired Name” by Sephiroth Hernandez, whose first name was inspired by the Final Fantasy VII villain:

You need to understand why your parents gave you that name. It’s because they lack common sense. It probably came from playing video games all the time.

[…]

Deep inside, you possess the ability to make more of your name than you think you could. You are cursed of course, but you are blessed with an understanding that few people have. Your name doesn’t define you. You define you. Just love yourself and love others. That’s all I can say.

(Sephiroth has been on the SSA’s list since 2004.)

Some baby naming advice from Steve Almond’s Heavy Meddle advice column:

Your instincts are spot on here: you’re the one who’s carrying the baby and will birth him. You and your husband will raise the baby. It is presumptuous for anybody who isn’t doing that honest labor to assume naming — or vetoing — rights, or really to do anything beyond offering suggestions.

From an interview with Dita Von Teese (born Heather Sweet) in Vogue:

I was just Dita for many years. I had seen a movie with an actress named Dita Parlo, and I thought, God, that’s such a cool name. I wanted to be known with just a simple first name–Cher, Madonna. Then when I first posed for Playboy, in 1993 or 1994, they told me I had to pick a last name. So I opened up the phone book at the bikini club [I worked in at the time]. I was with a friend and I was like, “Let’s look under a Von something.” It sounds really exotic and glamorous. So I found the name Von Treese and I called Playboy and said, “I’m going to be Dita Von Treese.” I remember so well going to the newsstand and picking up the magazine, and it said Dita Von Teese. I called them and they said, “Oh, we’ll fix it. We’ll fix it.” The next month, same thing: Dita Von Teese. I left it because I didn’t really care. I didn’t know I was going to go on to trademark it all over the world!

From a post about a man named San Francisco by blogger Andy Osterdahl:

Before anyone accuses me of making up a name to post here, I can assure you that Mr. Francisco was an actual person, and while he shares his name with the famed California city, isn’t believed to have had any connection with that area (despite the latter portion of his life being spent in the neighboring city of San Diego.)

From an article about the unusual names by Memphis Barker (found via Appellation Mountain):

That’s one thing about having an unusual name, your solidarity lies with the Apples and Philomenas. You can point and laugh with all the Johns and Garys, but the laugh is a little anxious. More of a squeak. It could all go wrong so quickly.

And finally, a bit about Wyllis Cooper (born Willis Cooper), creator of the late ’40s radio show Quiet, Please!:

It’s curios [sic] that when he left Hollywood, he also legally changed the spelling of his name from “Willis” to “Wyllis”. Radio Mirror magazine appears to be the first to mention it in 1940, saying “a numerologist advised him to change it” then Time magazine made a similar mention in 1941, but elaborated further that it was due to “his wife’s numerological inclinations”. Then in 1942 ‘Capital Times’ newspaper in Madison WI seemed to merge the two previous reports as: “a numerologist told his wife it should be spelled Wyllis and he’s done so ever since.”

[…]

Upon utilizing several present day numerology calculators found online, the results conclude that both spellings have virtually identical meanings in every respect.

Have you spotted any good name-related quotes/articles/blog posts lately? Let me know!