How popular is the baby name Terry 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 Terry.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Terry


Posts that Mention the Name Terry

Babies Named for Famous Kings

king solomon image

A few months ago, I got an email from a reader who’d spotted an obituary for a man named “King David.” Even more intriguing, King David’s father’s name was “King Solomon.” The reader wondered what other famous kings had inspired similar first/middle name combinations.

Historical records reveal that, long before the name King became trendy in the 2000s, hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of people in America were given the first name “King.”

While most that I saw had middle names that didn’t create a special pairing (e.g., King Clyde, King Terry), a good number did have middle names that — whether intentionally or not — turned the pairing into the name of some historical, biblical, or legendary king.

Here are some of the pairings I spotted, plus links to a few examples:

King Alfred
King Arthur
King Asa
King Charles
King Edward
King Frederick
King George
King Henry
King Hezekiah
King James
King Josiah
King Louis
King Olaf
King Oscar
King Richard
King Saul

Several of these (Kingarthur, Kingcharles, Kingdavid, Kingjames, Kingjosiah, and Kingsolomon) also appear as compound names in the SSA data.

Do like the recent King-as-a-first-name trend? Why or why not?

The Baby Name “Raven”

comic, terry and the pirates, 1941, raven sherman, baby name
The death of Raven Sherman (1941)

The name Raven has been given to babies of both genders for decades, but I find its female usage particularly interesting because girl-name Raven has gotten three distinct boosts from popular culture so far.

The first boost happened in 1941, when Raven debuted as a girl name in the data. (It had already popped up a few times as a boy name.)

Year Female usage Male usage
1943 5 babies 7 babies
1942 5 babies 5 babies
1941 6 babies [debut] .
1940 . .

In October of that year, in the comic strip Terry and the Pirates by Milton Caniff, a female character named Raven Sherman died in a dramatic and memorable sequence.

Raven, “a WASP clearly modeled on Katharine Hepburn” according to one source, was an American heiress who was working at a camp for war refugees in China. She was pushed off a moving truck, died of her injuries, and was buried on an isolated Chinese hillside. “Caniff was flooded with flower deliveries, mock memorial services, petitions of condolence signed by disparate groups as factory workers and entire colleges, as well as a lot of irate letters.”

(Terry and the Pirates also influenced the names Normandie and Merrily.)

The second pop culture boost happened in the 1970s:

Year Female usage Male usage
1978 342 babies
[rank: 533rd]
25 babies
1977 299 babies
[rank: 579th]
20 babies
1976 100 babies 10 babies
1975 17 babies 9 babies
1974 15 babies 12 babies

In 1976, the soap opera The Edge of Night introduced a female character named Raven Swift (first played by Juanin Clay, then played by Sharon Gabet). She was described as “the show’s delightful young vixen-heroine” in The Soap Opera Encyclopedia. The character remained on the show until it was canceled in 1984.

(The soap also influenced the names Teal and Laurieann.)

And the most recent (and biggest) pop culture boost happened in the early 1990s:

Year Female usage Male usage
1992 2,016 babies
[rank: 152nd]
89 babies
1991 2,026 babies
[rank: 150th]
53 babies
1990 1,758 babies
[rank: 166th]
62 babies
1989 476 babies
[rank: 495th]
27 babies
1988 327 babies
[rank: 612th]
19 babies

It went on to peak at 139th in 1993.

The reason? Actress Raven-Symoné, who first found fame as a four year old when she started playing Olivia (Denise’s step-daughter) on the The Cosby Show in 1989. The compound name Ravensymone debuted in the data in 1990, and the spelling variant Ravensimone followed in 1991. (Her Disney Channel show That’s So Raven didn’t come along until much later.)

What are your thoughts on the name Raven? Would you use it?

Sources:

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 5

baby names that add up to 5, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “5.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “5” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “5,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

5 via 14

The following baby names add up to 14, which reduces to five (1+4=5).

  • “14” girl names: Ida, Adah, Caia, Becca, Dia, Adi, Abbi, Ala, Edda, Kc
  • “14” boy names: Ahad, Adi, Kc, Dj, Dade, Jd, Jac, Bach, Dee, Acai

5 via 23

The following baby names add up to 23, which reduces to five (2+3=5).

  • “23” girl names: Mia, Alia, Cara, Aila, Adela, Addie, Edie, Laia, Jaci, Mai
  • “23” boy names: Caleb, Adem, Acen, Coda, Han, Adael, Cane, Emad, Mj, Aadhi

5 via 32

The following baby names add up to 32, which reduces to five (3+2=5).

  • “32” girl names: Emma, Bella, Lena, Sage, Eve, Avah, Lara, Rhea, Veda, Giana
  • “32” boy names: Leo, Lane, Reed, Sage, Dash, Aldo, Avi, Leif, Jakai, Elan

5 via 41

The following baby names add up to 41, which reduces to five (4+1=5).

  • “41” girl names: Amelia, Abigail, Isla, Amaya, Adelaide, Evie, Mira, Jayda, Dream, Saige
  • “41” boy names: Amir, King, Nico, Elian, Alijah, Duke, Clay, Kye, Madden, Jadiel

5 via 50

The following baby names add up to 50, which reduces to five (5+0=5).

  • “50” girl names: Sofia, Adeline, Lyla, Kayla, Elise, Mariah, June, Elsie, Haven, Lexi
  • “50” boy names: Ezra, Paul, Colt, Brady, Marco, Frank, Kasen, Drew, Landen, Donald

5 via 59

The following baby names add up to 59, which reduces to five (5+9=14; 1+4=5).

  • “59” girl names: Kaylee, Melanie, Brianna, Briella, Kendall, Makenna, Carly, Renata, Janelle, Lillie
  • “59” boy names: Jayden, Jason, Ismael, Zaiden, Bowen, Jonas, Mohamed, Rayan, Zaire, Kellen

5 via 68

The following baby names add up to 68, which reduces to five (6+8=14; 1+4=5).

  • “68” girl names: Olivia, Sophia, Valeria, Juliana, Morgan, Blakely, Izabella, Madeleine, Cataleya, Kaydence
  • “68” boy names: Benjamin, Brandon, Carlos, Kyrie, Zander, Killian, Ricardo, Eduardo, Cruz, Derrick

5 via 77

The following baby names add up to 77, which reduces to five (7+7=14; 1+4=5).

  • “77” girl names: Caroline, Samantha, Vivian, Alyssa, Molly, Juliet, Harlow, Kelsey, Coraline, Braelyn
  • “77” boy names: Jameson, Ryker, Ashton, Kenneth, Kameron, Fernando, Braylen, Scott, Marvin, Fletcher

5 via 86

The following baby names add up to 86, which reduces to five (8+6=14; 1+4=5).

  • “86” girl names: Skylar, Jordyn, Mckenzie, Paisleigh, Hunter, Saoirse, Alyson, Ellison, Bryleigh, Julianne
  • “86” boy names: Hunter, Santiago, Arthur, Johnny, Cyrus, Rodrigo, Tommy, Terry, Skylar, Jordyn

5 via 95

The following baby names add up to 95, which reduces to five (9+5=14; 1+4=5).

  • “95” girl names: Kinsley, Peyton, Kimberly, Bristol, Promise, Joslyn, Rowyn, Brynnlee, Yvonne, Estefany
  • “95” boy names: Everett, Peyton, Gregory, Huxley, Wesson, Viktor, Abdulrahman, Yousif, Hussein, Summit

5 via 104

The following baby names add up to 104, which reduces to five (1+0+4=5).

  • “104” girl names: Yaretzi, Tinsley, Rosalyn, Whitney, Sterling, Violetta, Emmylou, Huntleigh, Jesslyn, Giulietta
  • “104” boy names: Sterling, Marcellus, Quintin, Braxtyn, Truett, Shaquille, Michelangelo, Sebastion, Trevyn, Weylyn

5 via 113

The following baby names add up to 113, which reduces to five (1+1+3=5).

  • “113” girl names: Roselyne, Primrose, Brittney, Constanza, Sumayyah, Emersynn, Tziporah, Ivyrose, Augustina, Anavictoria
  • “113” boy names: Salvatore, Cristofer, Woodrow, Bryston, Alexandros, Jaxstyn, Greysyn, Athanasius, Braxston, Antonius

5 via 122

The following baby names add up to 122, which reduces to five (1+2+2=5).

  • “122” girl names: Roselynn, Zerenity, Krislynn, Rosslyn, Chrislynn, Scotlynn, Jacquelynn, Marylynn, Kaytlynn, Sincerity
  • “122” boy names: Chukwuemeka, Righteous, Dimitrius, Ebubechukwu, Xzayvian, Antavious, Kenechukwu, Ayomiposi, Joanthony, Stetsyn

5 via 131

The following baby names add up to 131, which reduces to five (1+3+1=5).

  • “131” girl names: Brookelynn, Brooklynne, Monserrath, Kerrington, Roosevelt, Temiloluwa, Oluwaseun, Amythyst
  • “131” boy names: Cristopher, Roosevelt, Wellington, Hutchinson, Maximillion, Tryston, Imisioluwa, Christoper, Temiloluwa

5 via 140

The following baby names add up to 140, which reduces to five (1+4+0=5).

  • “140” girl names: Marymargaret, Summerlyn, Marycatherine, Evelynrose, Maryevelyn, Quinnlynn, Testimony, Violetrose
  • “140” boy names: Dontavious, Markanthony, Fitzwilliam, Prometheus

5 via 149

The boy name Montavious adds up to 149, which reduces to five (1+4+9=14; 1+4=5).

What Does “5” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “5” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “5” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“5” (the pentad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “They called the pentad ‘lack of strife,’ not only because aether, the fifth element, which is set apart on its own, remains unchanging, while there is strife and change among the things under it, from the moon to the Earth, but also because the primary two different and dissimilar kinds of number, even and odd, are as it were reconciled and knitted together by the pentad”
  • “The pentad is the first number to encompass the specific identity of all number[s], since it encompasses 2, the first even number, and 3, the first odd number. Hence it is called ‘marriage,’ since it is formed of male and female.”
  • “The pentad is highly expressive of justice, and justice comprehends all the other virtues […] it is a kind of justice, on the analogy of a weighing instrument.” (i.e., It is the central number in the row of numbers from 1 to 9.)
  • “Because it levels out inequality, they call it ‘Providence’ and ‘justice’ (division, as it were) […] Likewise, it is called ‘nuptial’ and ‘androgyny’ and ‘demigod’ – the latter not only because it is half of ten, which is divine, but also because in its special diagram it is assigned the central place. And it is called ‘twin’ because it divides in two the decad, which is otherwise indivisible […] and ‘heart-like’ because of the analogy of the heart being assigned the center in living creatures.”
  • “Nature separated each of the extremities of our bodily part (I mean, the extremities of our feet and hands) in a five-fold way, into fingers and toes.”

“5” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Five – a change imminent, ever, in the activities of whatever influence with which it may be associated” (reading 261-14).
  • “Five – as seen, a change” (reading 5751-1).
  • “Five always active – and double the two, and one – or three and two, which it is the sum of. Hence, as is questioned here, no factor is more active than would be that of a five…in any activity. Five being the active number” (reading 137-119).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “5” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 23, 50, 77, 131) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “23” reminds you of chromosomes and genetics, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 5, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Name Quotes #75: Ossie, Rishabh, Sharona

Time for another batch of name quotes!

From the novel I Shall Wear Midnight (2010) by Terry Pratchett:

[T]he coach door opened again and one dainty good touched the flint. It was her: Angelica or Letitia or something else out of the garden; in fact Tiffany knew full well it was Letitia, but surely she could be excused just a tiny touch of nasty in the privacy of her own head? Letitia! What a name. Halfway between a salad and a sneeze.

From an article about black names and stereotypes:

Names do matter, and sometimes they say something whether we want them to or not. Just the other day, a caller from Arizona, after a long conversation about a column, commented that my name, Bob Ray, “must be a redneck Texas name.” He obviously didn’t know my race.

Even a mistake in a name can stick with you for a lifetime, as my late friend Ossie Davis discovered. Ossie, a great actor and director who died in 2005 at 87, was born in Georgia. When the nurse asked his parents for a name, his mother said, “R.C.” The nurse wrote “Ossie” on the birth certificate, he said.

From an article about using diacritical marks in baseball players’ names:

Until recently, most sportswriting has omitted diacritical marks. The reason for that isn’t out of disrespect or wanton cruelty. Rather, it is because of educational chauvinism and ignorance. […] Many schools don’t teach the use of diacritical marks — mine didn’t — so it is implicitly chauvinist. Names without diacritical marks are normal, according to these institutions. We graduate from these schools having learned this. Then some of us become sportswriters who retrofit people’s names to fit what we were taught. Sportswriting by and large omitted those accents from players’ names until very recently, including here. Sportswriters rarely asked players how to properly write and pronounce their names. Unsurprising, given the past and current demographics of sportswriters.

I say all of that to point out that our failure to use diacritical marks isn’t necessarily malicious, just ignorant.

(The article also linked to a PDF listing players’ preferences concerning their own names.)

From an article about German parents opting for Jewish baby names:

Non-Jewish parents in Germany are picking names straight out of the Hebrew Bible for their newborns, and they might not even know it.

[…]

But few non-Jewish parents actually know the meaning of such names — they just like how they sound, according to Frauke Rüdebusch, a linguist with the Society for the German Language, which has put out an annual list since 1977.

[…]

According to Rüdebusch, a survey done several years ago showed that most people chose names based on how they sounded rather than their origin.

From an article about an 11-year-old golfer in Minnesota named after the Ryder Cup:

With a name like Ryder, practicing golf at a young is no accident. Ryan Carlson says, yes, his son’s name is inspired by the Ryder Cup, but he didn’t expect he’d be such a natural. Shortly after he began to walk, Ryder began swinging a plastic golf club, quickly learning how to hit balls.

From an article about baby names by a writer named Josanne:

In my case it can be mildly tiring because I am constantly having to explain that there is no “i” in Josanne, (simply because the most common spelling and pronunciation is Josianne) – one person had even asked me if I was sure I was spelling it right and asked me to check my own ID card. True story.

From an article about names in India:

Intuitively, most Indians recognise that names like “Shubham” and “Rishabh” are younger and more modern, while those like “Om” and “Shashi” are older.

A quote about jazz musician Red Norvo from the book American Musicians II: Seventy-One Portraits in Jazz (1986) by Whitney Balliett:

Norvo isn’t my real name. I was born Kenneth Norville, in Beardstown, Illinois, in three thirty-one oh-eight. […] I got the name Norvo from Paul Ash, in vaudeville. He could never remember my name when he announced me. It would come out Norvin or Norvox or Norvick, and one night it was Norvo. Variety picked it up and it stuck, so I kept it.

(Red also had a strong opinion about the name of his instrument: “Please don’t call it a vibraphone. I play the vibraharp, a name coined by the Deagan Company, which invented the instrument in 1927 and still supplies me with mine.”)

From an interview with Emilia Clarke, following the Game of Thrones finale:

Q: I would guess that [the parents who] named [their daughters] Khaleesi in the spirit of empowerment. And yet the character has taken this rather dark turn.

A: I know! It doesn’t take away from her strength, though — it doesn’t take away from her being an empowered woman.

I think that, when you see the final episode, they’ll see there is a beginning and a middle and an end to her as a character. I think that there are people that will agree with her, because she’s a human being.

And Khaleesi is a beautiful name. [Laughs] It’ll all be forgotten in a minute! You know, and people will just go, “Oh, what an unusual name, how fabulous,” and the child will say, “Yes, yes. My parents just really liked the name.”

From an article about Sharona Alperin, who inspired the 1979 song “My Sharona”:

The cover art of the single “My Sharona” actually features Alperin posing in a revealing tank top and tight jeans. For some time, she was famous in her own right. […] “I remember going on tour, and seeing sometimes people dress up. And I’d say, ‘What are you dressed up as?’ And they would say, ‘Sharonas.’

From the book Edgar Cayce on Vibrations: Spirits in Motion (2007) by Kevin J. Todeschi:

[T]he readings suggest that the soul often has an impact upon the consciousness of the parents as they are in the process of naming their offspring. In addition to that, the readings contend that an individual’s name may carry some similarity from one incarnation to the next, as the name often embodies the overall vibration and consciousness of the individual.

From an article about the 2001 Japanese movie Spirited Away:

The characters’ names reflect who they are

Boh means little boy or son, Kamaji means old boiler man, Yubaba means bathhouse witch, and Zeniba means money witch. The heroine Chihiro means a thousand fathoms or searches, while her worker name, Sen, just means thousand.

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