How popular is the baby name Ted in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Ted and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Ted.
Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Which female name and male name do you like best?
Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide
Keanu Reeves was born in Lebanon and raised mostly in Canada. But he has ties to Hawaii through his father, so that explains the Hawaiian first name.
What does Keanu mean?
According to A Dictionary of First Names, Keanu means “cool breeze blowing down from the mountains.”
Keanu literally means “the coolness” or “the cold.” Ke is “the” and anu is “cool,” “coolness,” or “cold.”
In fact, if you want to tell someone you’ve gotten a cold (i.e., gotten sick) in Hawaiian you say: “Ua loa’a au i ke anu.”
The name was used rarely in the U.S. — Hawaii included — until the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) came out. That’s when we start to see the baby name Keanu on the SSA’s national list:
- 1996: 280 boys and 23 girls with the name Keanu
- 1995: 356 boys and 31 girls with the name Keanu
- 1994: 195 boys and 13 girls with the name Keanu
- 1993: 102 boys and 13 girls with the name Keanu
- 1992: 105 boys and 12 girls with the name Keanu
- 1991: 71 boys and 15 girls with the name Keanu
- 1990: 8 boys with the name Keanu [debut]
- 1989: not listed
Usage peaked in 1995, right around the time the movie Speed (1994) was popular.
A reader named Abby is expecting a baby boy at the end of the year, and she’d like some helping coming up with his name. She writes:
His sister’s name is Adalaide Joy Foley* and we would like to use the middle name Bernard in honor of his grandfather who is no longer with us.
Abby also mentions that she likes names that are easily shortened. (Adalaide goes by the nickname Ada, for instance.)
Here’s what I came up with:
Dominic (Dom, Nic)
Frederick (Fred, Rick)
Roderick (Rod, Rick)
Theodore (Ted, Theo)
William (Will, Bill)
Do you think any of these go particularly well with Bernard? What other names would you suggest to Abby?
*The actual surname is not Foley, but it’s similar.
Update – The baby is here! Scroll down to see which name Abby chose.