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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Susan


Posts that Mention the Name Susan

The Inception of Sway

sway, gone in 60 seconds, movie, character
Angelina Jolie as Sara “Sway” Wayland

The word Sway popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2001:

  • 2003: 14 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Sway
  • 2002: 12 baby girls named Sway
  • 2001: 8 baby girls named Sway [debut]
  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted

For a long time I assumed the main influence was MTV personality Sway Calloway. But, while I still think Sway had an influence on male usage, I’ve since discovered a much better explanation for the 2001 debut as a female name.

One of the main characters in the 2000 car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was mechanic-slash-bartender Sara “Sway” Wayland (played by Angelina Jolie). She was the love interest of protagonist Randall “Memphis” Raines (played by Nicolas Cage), who was tasked with stealing 50 specific, expensive cars inside of 72 hours.

The film didn’t get great reviews, but I do remember appreciating the fact that each of the 50 cars was assigned a feminine code-name:

Mary, Barbara, Lindsey, Laura, Alma, Madeline, Patricia, Carol, Daniela, Stefanie, Erin, Pamela, Olga, Anne, Kate, Vanessa, Denise, Diane, Lisa, Nadine, Angelina, Rose, Susan, Tracey, Rachel, Bernadene, Deborah, Stacey, Josephine, Hillary, Kimberley, Renee, Dorothy, Donna, Samantha, Ellen, Gabriela, Shannon, Jessica, Sharon, Tina, Marsha, Natalie, Virginia, Tanya, Grace, Ashley, Cathy, Lynn, Eleanor

So, how do you feel about the name Sway? If you were having a baby girl, would you be more likely to name her something modern, like Sway, or something traditional, like Sara or Susan?

Sources: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia, Talk:Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia

Name Quotes 83: Bek, Frankie, Monarch

monarch, bear, california, flag,

From article in which musician Beck talks about his first name:

He was born on July 8, 1970, as Bek David Campbell. He and his brother later took their mother’s maiden name, Hansen, and Beck added the “c” to his first name, with the hope that it might help people pronounce it properly. “I still got Brock, Breck, Beak,” he said. “I remember leaving a meeting with some record executives, and one said, ‘Very nice to meet you, Bic.'”

From Orlando Bloom’s Instagram post about fixing the Morse Code spelling of his son’s name (Flynn) in his forearm tattoo:

••-••-••-•—•-• finally dot it right! How do you make a mistake like that?

From an article about the naming of lesbian and bisexual characters:

The nice thing about having an internal database of LGBTQ+ women and non-binary television characters is that you can get really, truly obsessive about various patterns in the data. Like, for example, what queer characters are often named.

[According to the article, some of the top names for queer female TV characters are Nicole/Nikki/Nico, Franky/Frankie, Alex, and Susan. “Some minor abundances: Debs, Deborahs and Debbies. Quite a few more-than-expected Ginas, Naomis and, most oddly, Ruby.” “We are, however, suspiciously low on Marys.”]

Speaking of Frankie…from an article about the popularity of the name Frankie in Australia:

Obviously, there’s a lot of love for Frankie right now. But the interesting thing is that Australian parents love Frankie a lot more than anyone else. Frankie has been among the top 50 girls’ names in Australia for the past couple of years, while not even making the top 100 in either the UK or the US.

From a video in which Emma Thompson talks about “posh” English slang [vid]:

“Pip pip” is “bye-bye.” […] Like, for instance, when I was born, yonks ago, on the BBC, on the world service, there would be the pip, pip, pip. So that’s the “pips.” And you say pip, pip. And I was known as “pip Emma” because I was born as the pips were sounding.

[The pips were used to mark the start of each hour. “Pip Emma” is also the way to say “p.m.” in RFC WWI signalese. I’m not sure if Emma Thompson was likewise born in the afternoon/evening, though.]

From an article about the bear on the California state flag:

[William Randolph] Hearst put the bear on display [in 1889] in Golden Gate Park and named him Monarch. At more than 1,200 pounds, Monarch was the largest bear ever held captive.

[…]

Taking a cue from the Sonoma revolt in 1846 [after which a flag featuring a bear was created to represent the captured region], the state again decided to make the California Grizzly the flag’s focal point. Only this time they wanted a bear that actually looked like a bear.

Illustrators used the recently deceased Monarch as the model for the bear on our state flag.

[Newspaper magnate Hearst took the name “Monarch” from the tagline of the San Francisco Examiner, the “Monarch of the Dailies.”]

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: C (Part 1)

Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from old films (1910s through 1940s).

I’ve split the list of C-names in two, and the second half will be posted in a few weeks.

Cabiria
Cabiria was a character played by actress Lidia Quaranta in the film Cabiria (1914).

Caecilia
Caecilia was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film The Honeymoon (1930).

Calalou
Calalou was a character played by actress Hattie Peters in the film White Youth (1920).

Calanthe
Calanthe was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film Damon and Pythias (1914).

Cally
Cally was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Slim (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Cally.

Calpurnia
Calpurnia was a character played by actress Gertrude Michael in the film Cleopatra (1934).

Capria
Capria was a character played by actress Kathlyn Williams in the short film The Survival of the Fittest (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Capria.

Caprice
Caprice was a character played by actress Carmen Phillips in the short film The Pipes o’ Pan (1914).

Carreen
Carreen O’Hara was a character played by Ann Rutherford in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Caricia
Caricia was a character played by actress Barbara Bedford in the film The Broken Mask (1928).

Carita
Carita was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film Tin Gods (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Carita.

Carlina
Carlina was a character played by actress Charlotte Burton in the film At the Potter’s Wheel (1914).

Carlita
Carlita was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Flirting with Fate (1938).

Carlotta
Carlotta was a character name in multiple films, including The Laugh that Died (1915) and Dinner at Eight (1933).

Carmel
Carmel Myers was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1970s. She was born in California in 1899.

  • Usage of the baby name Carmel.

Carmelita
Carmelita Geraghty was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Indiana in 1901. Carmelita was also a character name in multiple films, including Carmelita’s Revenge (1914) and The Magnificent Fraud (1939).

Carmencita
Carmencita was the dancer who appeared in the short film Carmencita (1894). Carmencita was also a character name in multiple films, including Man from God’s Country (1924) and Adventurous Knights (1935).

Carmina
Carmina was a character name in multiple films, including The Drop of Blood (1913) and In Gay Madrid (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Carmina (which debuted in the data in 1914).

Carminella
Carminella was a character played by actress Madame Pilar-Morin in the short film Carminella (1910).

Carney
Carney was a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film Daughter of the Tong (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Carney.

Carola
Carola was a character name in multiple films, including College Holiday (1936) and Dangerous Partners (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Carola.

Carole

  • Carole Lombard was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Indiana in 1908. Her birth name was Carol Jane Peters.
  • Carole Landis was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in Wisconsin in 1919. Her birth name was Frances Lillian Mary Ridste.

Carole was also a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film Ann Carver’s Profession (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Carole.

Carolyne
Carolyne Wright was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

Carroll
Carroll Sherridan was a character played by actress Irene Ware in the film Happiness C.O.D. (1935).

Cary
Cary Whipple was a character played by actress Virginia Brissac in the film Three’s a Crowd (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Cary.

Caryl
Caryl Lincoln was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in California in 1903. Caryl was also a character name in multiple films, including Caryl of the Mountains (1914) and Fighting Destiny (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Caryl.

Cassy
Cassy Cara was a character played by actress Pauline Frederick in the film The Paliser Case (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Cassy.

Castelene
Princess Castelene was a character played by actress Fania Marinoff in the short film The Unsuspected Isles (1915).

Catana
Catana Perez was a character played by actress Jean Peters in the film Captain from Castile (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Catana (which debuted in the data in 1948).

Catterina
Catterina was a character played by actress Sylvia Sidney in the film Thirty-Day Princess (1934).

Cecile
Cecile was a character name in multiple films, including Camille (1915) and Honeymoon Deferred (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Cecile.

Cecy
Cecy Acuña was a character played by actress Leslie Brooks in the film You Were Never Lovelier (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Cecy.

Cédrien
Cédrien was a character played by actress Dale Fuller in the film Volcano! (1926).

Ceinwen
Ceinwen was a character played by actress Ann E. Todd in the film How Green Was My Valley (1941).

Celestine
Celestine was a character name in multiple films, including Dancing Man (1934) and I Want a Divorce (1940).

Celida
Celida was a character played by actress Doris Kenyon in the film The Feast of Life (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Celida.

Celie
Celie Sterling was a character played by actress Eileen Percy in the film Some Liar (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Celie.

Celimena
Celimena Moore was a character played by actress Emily Fitzroy in the film Bobbed Hair (1925).

Celinda
Celinda was a character played by actress Virginia Brown Faire in the film The Temptress (1926).

Cella
Cella Stuart was a character played by actress Sunday Wilshin in the film An Obvious Situation (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Cella.

Cenci
Cenci Prohaska was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Waltz Time (1945).

Cerise
Cerise was a character played by actress Patsy De Forest in the short film A Day on the Force (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Cerise.

Cesca
Cesca was a character name in multiple films, including Scarface (1932) and Tortilla Flat (1942).

Chaddie
Chaddie Green was a character played by actress Dorothy Devore in the film The Prairie Wife (1925).

Chadyeane
Chadyeane Fairfax was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film Born Rich (1924).

Chala
Chala was a character played by actress Amalia Rivera in the film The Tents of Allah (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Chala.

Chameli
Chameli Brentwood was a character played by actress Aileen Pringle in the film The Tiger’s Claw (1923).

Charisse
Cyd Charisse was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1970s. She was born in Texas in 1922. Her birth name Tula Ellice Finklea.

Charmaine
Charmaine was a character name in multiple films, including What Price Glory? (1926) and Those Three French Girls (1930).

Charmian
Charmian was a character name in multiple films, including Queenie of the Nile (1915) and Mister Dynamite (1925).

Charmion
Charmion was a character name in multiple films, including The Darling of the Rich (1922) and Cleopatra (1934).

Charmis
Charmis Graham was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film The Ugly Duckling (1920).

Cheema
Cheema was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Panama Lady (1939).

Cheeta
Cheeta was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film River’s End (1940).

Cherie
Cherie was a character name in multiple films, including The Destroyer (1915) and Her Man o’ War (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Cherie.

Cherokee
Cherokee Lansing was a character played by actress Susan Hayward in the film Tulsa (1949).

Cherry
Cherry was a character name in multiple films, including The Silver Horde (1930) and As Good as Married (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Cherry.

Cheryl
Cheryl Walker was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in California in 1918.

  • Usage of the baby name Cheryl.

Chichita
Chichita was a character played by actress Elsie Ferguson in the film The Avalanche (1919).

Chilita
Chilita was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the short film Mike and Jake in Mexico (1913).

China
China Valdés was a character played by actress Jennifer Jones in the film We Were Strangers (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name China.

Chinta
Chinta was a character played by actress Cora Drew in the film The Moral Law (1918).

Chiquita
Chiquita Hart was a character played by actress Carmen Miranda in the film Something for the Boys (1944).

Chita
Chita was a character name in multiple films, including Flaming Love (1925) and Girl from Havana (1940).

Chonita
Chonita Alvarado was a character played by actress Edith Storey in the film The Tarantula (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Chonita (which debuted in the data in 1917).

Chook-Ra
Chook-Ra was a character played by actress Edith Roberts in the film The Son of the Wolf (1922).

Christabel
Christabel was a character name in multiple films, including Robin Hood (1912) and A Man of Honor (1919).

Christiane
Christiane Mandelys was an actress who appeared in films in the early 1900s. She was born in France in 1873.

Chulita
Chulita was a character played by actress Frances Drake in the film The Trumpet Blows (1934).

Chyra
Chyra was a character played by actress Nina Quartero in the film One Stolen Night (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Chyra.

Which of the above do you like best?

Name Quotes 78: Brene, Neal, SanDeE*

The name SanDeE* from LA Story (1991).
SanDeE* from LA Story

From the 1991 movie LA Story, a conversation between Harris (played by Steve Martin) and SanDeE* (played by Sarah Jessica Parker):

H: What was your name again?

S: SanDeE*

H: I’m sorry, Sandy, Sandy… It’s a nice name. Everybody has such weird names now, it’s like Tiffany with a P-H-I, and instead of Nancy it’s Nancine. [He begins to write her name down.]

S: Big S, small A, small N, big D, small E, big E.

H: What?

S: Big S, small A, small N, big D, small E, big E. [She grabs his hand and writes directly on it.] Big S, small A, small N, big D, small E, big E. Then there’s a little star at the end.

Anna Wintour recently talking about her new puppy, named Finch [vid]:

She’s called Finch because we call all of our dogs after characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. So we have had a Scout, a Radley, and a Harper. And let me tell you, they are not happy about Finch’s arrival.

From a 1995 interview with R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe, whose paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister:

Well, Methodism was started by John Wesley, who was, in his way, a really radical guy who believed in a lot of individual responsibility. It’s not the kind of religion that’s right around your throat. Actually, I was named after him, John Michael Stipe.

From an article about Lara Prescott, author of the new book The Secrets We Kept, a fictional account of the dangers of publishing Doctor Zhivago in the 1950s:

You could say she was born to write this historical novel: Prescott’s mother named her after the doomed heroine from her favorite movie, the 1965 adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s epic.

A non-edited tweet from Cardi B, whose sister’s name is Hennessy:

Fun fact :Always wanted a daughter and I always used to say imma name her HennyLynn. It’s a cute mix of my sisters name but then I started calling my sister HennyLynn then it became one of the nicknames I gave my sister so it woulda been weird naming my daughter that .

From an article about a Georgia man whose name, Neal, came from a POW bracelet:

His father, the late John Carpenter, was an aircraft mechanic in the Navy and was deployed overseas at the time. He arrived home in time for his son’s birth. When it became necessary to scramble and find a boy’s name, John Carpenter looked down at the POW/MIA bracelet he was wearing.

The engraved name was Neal Clinton Ward Jr. He had been listed as Missing in Action since June 13, 1969. An airman, his plane had been shot down over Laos in the jungles of Southeast Asia, nine days before his 24th birthday.

The Carpenters named their son Neal Ward Carpenter.

(Neal’s mom had been convinced the baby would be a girl. Neal said: “I was going to be April Michelle, and that’s all there was to it.”)

Research professor and author Brené Brown on her unique name:

Growing up, every time we drove from San Antonio to Houston, going to Stuckey’s — all these places where you buy monogrammed shirts and glasses — I was so put out because there was never a “Brené.” So I think I made up in my head that it was French. And then I hitchhiked across Europe after high school and I got to France and I was like, “Je suis Brené!” And they were like, “What kind of name is that?” They’d never heard of it. My parents just made it up. I had a whole narrative in high school — “When I bust out of this suburban Spring, Texas, high school I’m going to go back to France where my people are!” But, no, it’s not French — it’s south side San Antonio.

Marketing expert Seth Godin’s take on the best middle name ever:

It’s not Warren or Susan or Otis or Samuel or Tricia.

It’s “The.”

As in Attila The Hun or Alexander The Great or Zorba The Greek.

When your middle name is ‘The’, it means you’re it. The only one. The one that defines the category. I think that focus is a choice, and that the result of appropriate focus is you earn the middle name.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Reba McEntire’s Siblings

Oklahoma-born country singer Reba McEntire is one of four siblings:

  • Alice, b. 1951
  • Del Stanley, “Pake” (rhymes with rake), b. 1953
  • Reba Nell, b. 1955
  • Martha Susan, “Susie,” b. 1957

Reba was named after her maternal grandmother, but the story of Pake’s nickname is a bit more interesting. Here’s how their mother Jacqueline starts the story:

Our oldest daughter, Alice, was named “Pedro Joe” long before her birth. Her father, Clark [veteran rodeo cowboy and inductee in the Rodeo Hall of Fame], would often write home on the road because we didn’t have a phone.

He’d say, “How is Pedro Joe?” and, if I knew where he was going to be, I’d write back to the next rodeo he was entering and tell the prospective father that he was just fine. Well, when the baby came, she was a little girl. End of Pedro Joe.

The same thing happened with their second child, who was called “Pecos Pete” or “Pake” before he was born. In his case, though, the name was retained. The formal name his parents chose for him was Del Stanley (after rodeo stars Del Haverty and Stanley Gomez), but the birth certificate reads: “Del Stanley (Pake).”

The McEntire’s in utero nicknaming tradition wasn’t carried on with Reba or Susie.

Pake went on to have three daughters: Autumn (born on the first day of autumn), Calamity (named after frontierswoman Calamity Jane), and Chism (named after cattle baron John Chisum).

Sources:

P.S. Want more country music-related names? Here are Dolly Parton’s siblings.