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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sydney

Number of Babies Named Sydney

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Sydney

The Trio in Rio – Leila, Liina, Lily

Next Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, 30-year-old identical (and alliterative) triplets Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik of Estonia are expected to run the women’s marathon. This will make the “Trio in Rio,” as they call themselves, the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics.

In comparison, about 200 sets of twins have competed in the Olympics over the years. Here are some of the Olympic twins with similarly alliterative names:

  • Åke & Arne (Sweden) [not technically alliterative; see JJ’s comment]
  • Catarina & Christina (Sweden)
  • Darius & Donatas (Lithuania)
  • Darrin & Dan (USA)
  • Dennis & Duane (USA)
  • Dionísio & Domingos (Portugal)
  • Jean-Jacques & Jean-Marc (France)
  • Jodie & Julie (Canada)
  • Jules & Julian (Belgium)
  • Katalin & Krisztina (Hungary)
  • Katrine & Kristine (Norway)
  • Lívia & Lucia (Slovakia)
  • Madeline & Margaret (Puerto Rico)
  • Marianne & Mildred (Netherlands)
  • Sandy & Sonia (Zimbabwe)
  • Malcolm “Mal” & Melville “Mel” (Jamaica)
  • Mark & Michael (Canada)
  • Maureen & Melanie (Netherlands)
  • McJoe & McWilliams (Puerto Rico)
  • Mikuláš & Miloslav (Slovakia)
  • Pascal & Patrick (France)
  • Paula & Peta (Bermuda)
  • Paulo Miguel & Pedro Miguel (Portugal)
  • Pavol & Peter (Slovakia)
  • Randolph & Robert (USA)
  • Rhoda & Rhona (Canada)
  • Ricardo & Rodrigo (Chile)
  • Sharon & Shirley (Canada)
  • Stanley & Sydney (Great Britain)
  • Tami & Toni (USA)
  • Terry & Tom (USA)
  • Valeriy & Volodymyr (Ukraine)
  • Valj & Vita (Ukraine)
  • Veronika & Viktoriya (Belarus)
  • Vida & Vidette (South Africa)
  • Zlatko & Zoran (Yugoslavia)

You can see a full list of Olympic twins in the OlympStats post Twins at the Olympics.

Have you been tuning in to the Olympics? If so, have you spotted any interesting names so far?


Popular Baby Names in Yukon, 1991-2010

Ever wonder what the top baby names in Yukon are?

Me too, so I looked them up.

Turns out the sparsely populated Canadian territory — which is next door to Alaska, larger than California, and home to only about 34,000 people — releases baby name lists that cover 5 years at a time. So let’s roll the four most recent lists (i.e., 20 years of popular names) into a single post, shall we?

According to the Yukon Bureau of Statistics, the most popular baby names were…

  • Ashley/Brittany/Samantha and Michael from 1991 to 1995,
  • Emily and Alexander from 1996 to 2000,
  • Emily and Logan from 2001 to 2005, and
  • Madison and James from 2006 to 2010.

Here are Yukon’s top ten girl names for each five-year period:

Girl Names
1991-1995
Girl Names
1996-2000
Girl Names
2001-2005
Girl Names
2006-2010
1. Ashley, 14
2. Brittany, 14
3. Samantha, 14
4. Kayla, 13
5. Sarah, 13
6. Emily, 12
7. Jessica, 12
8. Heather, 10
9. Megan, 9
10. Nicole, 9
1. Emily, 15
2. Samantha, 14
3. Sarah, 14
4. Hannah, 11
5. Jessica, 11
6. Taylor, 10
7. Emma, 9
8. Erin, 8
9. Jasmine, 8
10. Sydney, 8
1. Emily, 13
2. Hannah, 12
3. Emma, 11
4. Madison, 10
5. Olivia, 10
6. Alyssa, 7
7. Sarah, 7
8. Brooke, 6
9. Jessica, 6
10. Morgan, 6
[11. Taylor, 6]
1. Madison, 11
2. Olivia, 9
3. Brooklyn, 8
4. Emma, 8
5. Lily, 8
6. Mia, 8
7. Avery, 7
8. Chloe, 7
9. Isabelle, 7
10. Sophie, 7

And here are Yukon’s top ten boy names for each five-year period:

Boy Names
1991-1995
Boy Names
1996-2000
Boy Names
2001-2005
Boy Names
2006-2010
1. Michael, 28
2. Ryan, 19
3. Cody, 18
4. Kyle, 18
5. Matthew, 18
6. Joshua, 17
7. Tyler, 16
8. James, 15
9. Daniel, 14
10. David, 14
[11. Logan, 14]
1. Alexander, 17
2. Brandon, 16
3. Joshua, 16
4. Jacob, 15
5. Matthew, 14
6. Andrew, 13
7. Benjamin, 13
8. David, 12
9. William, 12
10. Jordan, 11
[11. Kyle, 11]
[12. Tyler, 11]
1. Logan, 12
2. Ethan, 11
3. Andrew, 10
4. Daniel, 10
5. James, 10
6. Joshua, 10
7. Tristan, 10
8. Cameron, 9
9. Jacob, 9
10. Adam, 8
[11. Christopher, 8]
[12. Cole, 8]
[13. Liam, 8]
[14. Michael, 8]
[15. Nathan, 8]
[16. Nicholas, 8]
1. James, 11
2. Liam, 10
3. Logan, 10
4. Gabriel, 9
5. Jacob, 9
6. Matthew, 9
7. Noah, 9
8. Ryan, 7
9. Alexander, 7
10. Daniel, 7
[11. Oliver, 7]
[12. Samuel, 7]
[13. William, 7]

Finally, some data on unique baby names in Yukon:

  • 78.8% of the 586 girl names and 70.9% of the 478 boy names bestowed from 2001 to 2005 were used only once.
  • 79.7% of the 601 girl names and 71.9% of the 559 boy names bestowed from 2006 to 2010 were used only once.

Sources: Yukon Baby Names 2001-2005 [pdf], Yukon Baby Names 2006-2010 [pdf]

Goodbye, Gertrude…Again

Last month I spotted an article about the decline of certain old-fashioned baby names in the UK.

(The first two words in the title were “Goodbye Gertrude.” Wait a minute, I thought. Hasn’t the UK already said goodbye to Gertrude? Hm.)

Anyway…

The article, drawing from a recent Ancestry.co.uk study, listed baby names that are now “extinct,” “endangered,” and “at risk” in the UK.

  • Extinct Baby Names (no longer on the England & Wales baby name list)
    • Cecil, Rowland, Willie
    • Bertha, Blodwen*, Fanny, Gertrude, Gladys, Margery, Marjorie, Muriel
  • Endangered Baby Names (fallen in prevalence by 99% since 1905)
    • Clifford, Horace, Harold, Leslie, Norman
    • Doris, Edna, Ethel, Hilda, Marion, Phyllis
  • At-Risk Baby Names (fallen in prevalence by 98% since 1905)
    • Arnold, Bernard, Clarence, Cyril, Ernest, Fred, Herbert, Percy, Roland, Sydney, Trevor, Walter
    • Ann, Dorothy, Eveline, Freda, Gwendoline, Irene, Jane, Janet, Jennie, Lilian, Lizzie, Margaret, Mary, Maud, Mildred, Nellie, Rhoda, Winifred

I wonder how Derek fared in their study.

The article also mentioned that, over the years, some names have been outpaced by their diminutive forms — Alfred by Alfie, Frederick by Freddie, Archibald by Archie, Charles by Charlie, Alexandra by Lexi, Sophia by Sophie, Eleanor by Ellie, and so forth.

*Blodwen is Welsh for “white flowers.” The Breton form is Bleuzen, in case you were wondering.

Sources: Goodbye Gertrude, hello Lexi: records show UK demise of some baby names, Cecil, Bertha and Gertrude — Britain’s ‘Endangered’ Names Revealed

Letter by Letter: Popular Baby Girl Names, 2013

popular baby girl names, letter by letter, in 2013

Wondering what the most popular K-names for baby girls are? How about R-names?

Below are the 10 most popular girl names for each letter, A through Z. (The parenthetical notations show how the current rankings differ from the 2012 rankings.)

The four new #1 names that emerged in 2013 were Charlotte, which replaced Chloe, Delilah, which replaced Destiny, Harper, which replaced Hannah, and Lillian, which replaced Lily.

A-Names

1. Ava, 15129 baby girls
2. Abigail, 12313
3. Avery, 9121
4. Amelia, 7979 (was 6th)
5. Aubrey, 7927
6. Addison, 7677 (was 4th)
7. Audrey, 5567 (was 11th)
8. Allison, 5405 (was 9th)
9. Anna, 5315 (was 7th)
10. Aaliyah, 5195 (was 8th)

Out of the top 10: Alexis, now ranked 13th.

B-Names

1. Brooklyn, 6837 baby girls
2. Bella, 4135 (was 3rd)
3. Brianna, 3869 (was 2nd)
4. Bailey, 2993
5. Brooke, 2736
6. Brielle, 2674
7. Brooklynn, 2140
8. Brynn, 1478
9. Brynlee, 1175 (was 11th)
10. Bianca, 1048

Out of the top 10: Briana, now ranked 13th.

C-Names

1. Charlotte, 9232 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Chloe, 8714 (was 1st)
3. Camila, 5127 (was 4th)
4. Claire, 4626 (was 3rd)
5. Caroline, 3955
6. Cora, 2569 (was 7th)
7. Clara, 2486 (was 6th)
8. Catherine, 1840
9. Cecilia, 1430
10. Callie, 1404

Charlotte became the new #1 C-name in 2013.

D-Names

1. Delilah, 2324 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Destiny, 2277 (was 1st)
3. Daisy, 1620
4. Daniela, 1433
5. Delaney, 1265 (was 7th)
6. Danielle, 1220 (was 5th)
7. Diana, 1171 (was 6th)
8. Daniella, 1090 (was 9th)
9. Dakota, 1074 (was 8th)
10. Daphne, 770

Delilah became the new #1 D-name in 2013.

E-Names

1. Emma, 20788 baby girls
2. Emily, 13044
3. Elizabeth, 9345
4. Ella, 8370
5. Evelyn, 7616
6. Ellie, 3739
7. Eva, 3386
8. Eleanor, 2986
9. Eliana, 2584 (was 10th)
10. Elena, 2371 (was 9th)

F-Names

1. Faith, 3349 baby girls
2. Fiona, 1625
3. Finley, 1089 (was 3rd)
4. Fatima, 1036 (was 4th)
5. Francesca, 711 (was 6th)
6. Fernanda, 583 (was 5th)
7. Felicity, 493 (was 8th)
8. Farrah, 451 (was 7th)
9. Frances, 401
10. Freya, 279 (was 13th)

Out of the top 10: Faye, now ranked 11th.

G-Names

1. Grace, 7296 baby girls
2. Gabriella, 5173
3. Genesis, 4280
4. Gianna, 3416
5. Gabrielle, 2188
6. Gracie, 1924
7. Giselle, 1559
8. Genevieve, 1445 (was 9th)
9. Gabriela, 1438 (was 8th)
10. Georgia, 1250 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Giuliana, now ranked 11th.

H-Names

1. Harper, 8222 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Hannah, 7222 (was 1st)
3. Hailey, 4994
4. Hadley, 2807
5. Hazel, 2039
6. Hayden, 1674 (was 7th)
7. Harmony, 1602 (was 8th)
8. Haley, 1396 (was 6th)
9. Hope, 1359
10. Heaven, 982 (was 11th)

Harper became the new #1 H-name in 2013.

Out of the top 10: Haylee, now ranked 11th.

I-Names

1. Isabella, 17490 baby girls
2. Isabelle, 2729
3. Isabel, 2317
4. Ivy, 2079 (was 5th)
5. Isla, 1900 (was 6th)
6. Izabella, 1769 (was 4th)
7. Iris, 1238
8. Itzel, 697 (was 9th)
9. Imani, 622 (was 8th)
10. Isis, 496

J-Names

1. Julia, 3715 baby girls
2. Jocelyn, 3133 (was 3rd)
3. Jasmine, 3024 (was 2nd)
4. Jade, 2570
5. Jordyn, 2371
6. Juliana, 2085 (was 7th)
7. Josephine, 1996 (was 8th)
8. Jessica, 1935 (was 6th)
9. Jayla, 1822 (was 10th)
10. Julianna, 1685 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Jennifer, now ranked 11th.

K-Names

1. Kaylee, 5079 baby girls
2. Kylie, 4003 (was 3rd)
3. Kennedy, 3932 (was 6th)
4. Katherine, 3693
5. Khloe, 3654 (was 2nd)
6. Kayla, 3236 (was 5th)
7. Kimberly, 3084
8. Kendall, 2504
9. Kaitlyn, 2361
10. Katelyn, 2126

L-Names

1. Lillian, 7017 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Lily, 6935 (was 1st)
3. Layla, 6440
4. Leah, 5554
5. Lucy, 3914
6. London, 3430 (was 7th)
7. Lauren, 3330 (was 6th)
8. Lydia, 3220
9. Liliana, 2597 (was 10th)
10. Lilly, 2586 (was 9th)

Lillian became the new #1 L-name in 2013.

M-Names

1. Mia, 13066 baby girls
2. Madison, 10529
3. Mackenzie, 3990 (was 6th)
4. Madelyn, 3908 (was 4th)
5. Maya, 3783 (was 3rd)
6. Mila, 3661 (was 13th)
7. Melanie, 3455
8. Madeline, 3348 (was 10th)
9. Makayla, 3258 (was 5th)
10. Morgan, 3094 (was 8th)

Out of the top 10: Molly, now ranked 11th.

N-Names

1. Natalie, 7430 baby girls
2. Nevaeh, 4716
3. Nora, 3482 (was 4th)
4. Naomi, 3400 (was 3rd)
5. Nicole, 3325
6. Natalia, 2613
7. Norah, 1715
8. Nina, 1100
9. Noelle, 1066 (was 10th)
10. Nyla, 1025 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Nadia, now ranked 11th.

O-Names

1. Olivia, 18256 baby girls
2. Olive, 1086
3. Oakley, 272
4. Ophelia, 184
5. Opal, 123
6. Oaklee, 110 (was 9th)
7. Olyvia, 100 (was 6th)
8. Oriana, 75 (was 16th)
9. Octavia, 73 (was 8th)
10. Orianna, 68 (was 17th)

Out of the top 10: Olga, now ranked 13th, and October, now 20th.

(Oriana/Orianna probably got a boost from Ariana.)

P-Names

1. Peyton, 4539 baby girls
2. Penelope, 4258 (was 6th)
3. Paisley, 3584 (was 4th)
4. Piper, 3159 (was 2nd)
5. Payton, 2597 (was 3rd)
6. Paige, 2560 (was 5th)
7. Presley, 1619
8. Paris, 1229
9. Parker, 1195 (was 10th)
10. Phoebe, 1050 (was 9th)

Q-Names

1. Quinn, 2634 baby girls
2. Quincy, 128
3. Queen, 126
4. Queenie, 37 (was 5th)
5. Quetzalli, 36 (was 4th)
6. Quorra, 35
7. Quinley, 31 (was 9th)
8. Quinlan, 29 (was 7th)
9. Quincey, 28 (was 8th)
10. Quetzaly, 26 (was 14th)

Out of the top 10: Quinlyn, now ranked 12th.

R-Names

1. Riley, 4902 baby girls
2. Ruby, 3269 (was 3rd)
3. Reagan, 3020 (was 2nd)
4. Rylee, 2878
5. Rachel, 2271 (was 6th)
6. Reese, 2052 (was 5th)
7. Rebecca, 1773
8. Ryleigh, 1709
9. Rose, 1407
10. Raelynn, 1109 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Raegan, now ranked 11th.

S-Names

1. Sophia, 21075 baby girls
2. Sofia, 9108
3. Samantha, 6453
4. Savannah, 5192
5. Scarlett, 5031 (was 8th)
6. Sarah, 4635 (was 5th)
7. Sadie, 4614 (was 12th)
8. Serenity, 4412 (was 7th)
9. Stella, 3880
10. Skylar, 3764 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Sophie, now ranked 11th, and Sydney, now 12th.

T-Names

1. Taylor, 4108 baby girls
2. Trinity, 2895
3. Tessa, 1313
4. Teagan, 1211
5. Tatum, 970
6. Talia, 902 (was 7th)
7. Tiffany, 699 (was 6th)
8. Tatiana, 548 (was 9th)
9. Tiana, 540 (was 8th)
10. Tenley, 514

U-Names

1. Unique, 144 baby girls
2. Unknown, 57 (was 3rd) [not a name; used when a name is unknown]
3. Uma, 56 (was 2nd)
4. Una, 39
5. Uriah, 32 (was 6th)
6. Ursula, 29 (was 5th)
7. Unity, 20
8. Umaiza, 14
9. Urvi, 14 (was 12th)
10. Ulani, 12 (was 13th)

Out of the top 10: Urijah, now ranked 11th, and Uriyah, now 13th.

V-Names

1. Victoria, 7155 baby girls
2. Violet, 3895
3. Vivian, 2629 (was 4th)
4. Valentina, 2542 (was 6th)
5. Vanessa, 2085 (was 3rd)
6. Valerie, 1862 (was 7th)
7. Valeria, 1807 (was 5th)
8. Vivienne, 1124 (was 9th)
9. Veronica, 947 (was 8th)
10. Vera, 715 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Viviana, now ranked 11th.

W-Names

1. Willow, 2055 baby girls
2. Whitney, 477
3. Winter, 418 (was 5th)
4. Willa, 404 (was 3rd)
5. Wendy, 394 (was 4th)
6. Wren, 332
7. Wynter, 264
8. Whitley, 170
9. Waverly, 107 (was 10th)
10. Winnie, 105 (was 9th)

X-Names

1. Ximena, 1951 baby girls
2. Xiomara, 166
3. Xochitl, 115
4. Xitlali, 69
5. Xena, 67 (was 6th)
6. Xenia, 57 (was 7th)
7. Xitlaly, 47 (was 5th)
8. Xyla, 42
9. Xaria, 30 (was 10th)
10. Xoey, 26 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Xochilt, now ranked 11th.

Y-Names

1. Yaretzi, 1044 baby girls
2. Yareli, 430
3. Yamileth, 335 (was 5th)
4. Yasmin, 326 (was 3rd)
5. Yaritza, 301 (was 4th)
6. Yesenia, 237
7. Yaretzy, 228 (was 11th)
8. Yara, 207 (was 10th)
9. Yamilet, 200 (was 14th)
10. Yoselin, 196 (was 7th)

Out of the top 10: Yuliana, now ranked 11th, and Yazmin, now 13th.

Z-Names

1. Zoey, 7187 baby girls
2. Zoe, 5920
3. Zara, 625 (was 4th)
4. Zariah, 567 (was 3rd)
5. Zuri, 563 (was 6th)
6. Zoie, 427 (was 5th)
7. Zariyah, 347 (was 8th)
8. Zaniyah, 346 (was 9th)
9. Zaria, 328 (was 10th)
10. Zion, 324 (was 7th)

Here are the 2012 rankings, if you want to check them out.

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names

Starlet Names from the Early 1900s

Ever heard of the WAMPAS Baby Stars?

They were young actresses on the cusp of movie stardom back in the 1920s and 1930s.

WAMPAS baby stars 1928

About 13 Baby Stars were selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers every year from 1922 to 1934 (minus 1930 and 1933).

Some of those young women did indeed achieve stardom. Among the Baby Stars were Clara Bow (’24), Mary Astor (’26), Joan Crawford (’26), Fay Wray (’26) and Ginger Rogers (’32).

I thought the names of the Baby Stars — the oldest of whom were born in the final years of the 1800s, the youngest of whom were born in the mid-1910s — would make an interesting set. But I wanted birth names, not stage names, so I tracked down as many birth names as I could. Here’s the result, sorted by frequency (i.e., seven women were named Dorothy).

  • 7: Dorothy
  • 6: Helen
  • 4: Elizabeth
  • 3: Frances, Ruth, Virginia
  • 2: Anita, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Clara, Doris, Dorothea, Eleanor, Evelyn, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Hazel, Jacqueline, Katherine, Laura, Louise, Lucille, Margaret, Maria, Marian, Marie, Marion, Mary, Patricia, Violet
  • 1: Adamae, Alberta, Alma, Anne, Audrey, Augusta, Blanche, Carmelita, Caryl, Constance, Derelys, Dolores, Duane, Edna, Eleanor, Ena, Enriqueta, Ethel, Ethlyne, Evalyn, Flora, Gisela, Gloria, Gretchen, Hattie, Helene, Ina, Ingeborg, Jacquiline, Jean, Joan, Jobyna, Josephine, Juanita, Julanne, Kathleen, Kathryn, Kitty, Launa, Laurette, Lena, Lenore, Lilian, Lola, Lu Ann, Lucile, Madeline, Marceline, Martha, Mildred, Myrna, Natalia, Natalie, Nellie, Neoma, Olive, Olivia, Patsy, Rita, Rochelle, Rose, Sally, Suzanne, Sidney, Toshia, Vera, Vina

And here are the leftover stage names:

  • 5: Sally
  • 4: Mary
  • 3: Joan, June
  • 2: Betty, Jean, Judith, Pauline
  • 1: Alice, Bessie, Boots, Claire, Colleen, Dolores, Dorothy, Elinor, Evelyn, Fay, Frances, Gigi, Ginger, Gladys, Gloria, Gwen, Iris, Janet, Joyce, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Lila, Lina, Lois, Lona, Loretta, Lucille, Lupe, Marian, Molly, Mona, Natalie, Patricia, Sue

(Often stage names were the real-life middle names of these women.)

Finally, a few interesting details:

  • Jobyna is Jobyna Ralston, named for actress Jobyna Howland, daughter of a man named Joby Howland. Jobyna debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1927.
  • Derelys is Derelys Perdue. “Perdue’s boss, future presidential father Joseph P. Kennedy, insisted on changing her name to the more palatable Ann Perdue.” She sued, but lost, and her career never recovered. Derelys was a one-hit wonder on the SSA’s baby name list in 1924.
  • Sidney is Sidney Fox, a female who had the name Sidney/Sydney long before the name became trendy for girls.
  • Lina is Lina Basquette, who I mentioned in last week’s name quote post.
  • One of the Marys is Mary Astor, who went on to give her daughter a Hawaiian name.

Which of the above names do you like best? Why?

Source: Derelys Perdue – Biography – Movies & TV – NYTimes.com

The “Most Regional” Baby Names in the U.S.

FlowingData recently used SSA data to determine the most regional baby names in the U.S. and create some very cool maps.

The analysis reveals the 10 “most regional” girl names and boy names for each decade-year since 1950, and also for 2012. Here are the lists for 2010 and 2012:

Girl Names, 2010 Boy Names, 2010 Girl Names, 2012 Boy Names, 2012
1. Daisy
2. Alexandra
3. Annabelle
4. Julia
5. Presley
6. Paige
7. Mya
8. Cadence
9. Charlotte
10. Lexi
1. Santiago
2. Theodore
3. Josiah
4. Ryker
5. Connor
6. Colby
7. Justin
8. Ryan
9. Jaxon
10. Jake
1. Ayla
2. Delilah
3. Sydney
4. Aubree
5. Stephanie
6. Juliana
7. Aria
8. Tessa
9. Natalie
10. Abigail
1. Santiago (again)
2. Nicolas
3. Josiah (again)
4. Aidan
5. Lane
6. Elias
7. Braylon
8. Gabriel
9. Dalton
10. Jose

Ryker, 4th on the 2010 boys’ list, is one I’ve been wondering about ever since I noticed it was the 12th most popular boy name in Utah last year.

Baby Name Ryker, Regional Popularity, 2010
© FlowingData
Here’s more detail on Ryker’s popularity in Utah:

  • 2012: 168 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 12th)
  • 2011: 154 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 19th)
  • 2010: 136 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 26th)
  • 2009: 151 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 24th)
  • 2008: 129 baby boys named Ryker in Utah (ranked 37th)

And here are the numbers for Idaho:

  • 2012: 51 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 32nd)
  • 2011: 49 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 41st)
  • 2010: 53 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 33rd)
  • 2009: 53 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 36th)
  • 2008: 34 baby boys named Ryker in Idaho (ranked 84th)

So far I don’t have a good theory about what made Ryker so popular in Utah/Idaho. Blogger Jessie Jensen tells me Ryker fits well with the region’s mix-n-match name trend, but I still wonder if some initiating event (sports? religion?) didn’t jump-start things for Ryker say in the 2003-2008 range. Anyone have a guess?

P.S. While we’re talking Utah mysteries, Claire is another name I’ve been wondering about. It ranked 10th there last year. (Also 12th in D.C. and 20th in MN.) Any ideas on Claire?

Some Unusual Names – Saba, Mareli, Marella, Marmary

While putting together Monday’s post on Louvima, I found a few other interesting names in Notes & Queries, so I thought I’d do a follow-up post.

Mr. Cuthbert Bede, the person who started the N&Q conversation on Louvima, actually had more to say about unusual names. Here’s the rest of his letter:

It may be remembered that Sydney Smith invented a new name, Saba, for his daughter (‘Memoirs,’ vol. i p. 22). I once invented a name, Mareli, which was intended as an amalgam of the names Mary Elizabeth. I did this for the purposes of a little story, in which the father of the baby girl has asked two wealthy maiden aunts to be the two godmothers; and he proposes to call the baby Mary Elizabeth; after the respective Christian names of the two aunts. Miss Mary Ricketts consents to this, and promises to give her godchild a handsome present. Miss Elizabeth Meagrim will do the same, provided that the baby is named Elizabeth Mary instead of Mary Elizabeth. Miss Ricketts will no yield; and at the last the father finds a way out of the difficulty by inventing the amalgam Mareli, with which combination the two aunts are satisfied. This little tale was published in a six-shilling volume, ‘The Curate of Cranston, with other Prose and Verse,’ by Cuthbert Bede (Saunders, Otley & Co., 1862). In the obituary of the Times, April 2, 1870, appeared the following;–

“On the 30th ult. at Eastbourne Priory, near Midhurst, Mary Elizabeth (Mareli), third daughter of Francis and Martha Tallant, in her ninth year.”

I conclude that the parents had read my story, and called their child Mareli as a pet name.

The next month, two responses were printed. One was from J. M. Cowper:

Cuthbert Bede’s note on this name reminds me of similar Christian names I have met with while preparing the registers of St. Alphage, Canterbury, for the press. In 1706 Louina Backer was baptized, where probably u=v. If so the name is Lovina. In 1730 Lovevina Cooper was christened, and in 1769 I find a Levina Cramp. Possibly the whole of these may be variants of Lavinia. If not, the first and second go far to prove that Sir Francis Knollys has narrowly escaped “appropriating” an invention of the last century.

The other was from E. Venables:

“Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt.” If Cuthbert Bede coined the name Mareli for one of his fictitious heroines, a very similar name was coined for a real person long before his facile and amusing pen began to be exercised. A lady well known to visitors of Ventnor thirty or forty years ago, the wife of Rev. J. Noble Coleman, incumbent of St. Catherine’s Church, bore the name “Marella,” which was evidently formed in the same way by the combination of portions of two Christian names. I can mention another example. When dining, five-and-thirty years back, wich that excellent archaeologist and accurate editor the late H. T. Riley, I met a young lady who, to my surprise, answered to the name “Marmary.” Asking my host whether I had heard the name aright, he told me that the young lady had been so called after two godmothers, one of whom was named Martha, and the other Mary, her own name combining the two.

Here’s a little more information on Saba: She was born in 1802 and her father, Sydney Smith, was a well-known clergyman and writer. According to a biography of Sydney Smith, Saba was a place-name picked out of the Bible (Psalm 72:10). The name “was bestowed on her in obedience to her father’s conviction that, where parents were constrained to give their child so indistinctive a surname as Smith, they ought to counterbalance it with a Christian name more original and vivacious.”

Sources:

  • Bede, Cuthbert. “Louvima, a New Christian Name.” Notes & Queries 7 Jul. 1888: 6.
  • Cowper, J. M. “Louvima, a New Christian Name.” Notes & Queries 4 Aug. 1888: 97.
  • Russell, George W. E. Sydney Smith. London: Macmillan, 1905.
  • Venables, E. “Louvima, a New Christian Name.” 4 Aug. 1888: 97-98.