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

Where did the baby name Diahn come from?

diahn
I believe Diahn is the one in the middle…?

The Diane-variant Diahn made appearances in the U.S. baby name data for five years straight during the 1960s:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 5 baby girls named Diahn
  • 1967: 9 baby girls named Diahn
  • 1966: 6 baby girls named Diahn
  • 1965: 21 baby girls named Diahn
  • 1964: 24 baby girls named Diahn [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted

The inspiration? Actress Diahn Williams. Her first major role was as one of the girls (Terry) in the single-season sitcom Harry’s Girls (1963-1964). The series, set in then-modern times, featured a small American vaudeville troupe that performed dance numbers in Europe (because acts like theirs had long since fallen out of favor in the United States).

Diahn continued to appear on various television shows until the mid-1970s, when she quit acting to become a lawyer.

In terms of spelling, do you prefer the unusual “Diahn” or the standard “Diane”?

Source: Harry’s Girls – Wikipedia

Our First Taste of Taffy…

taffy, baby name, comic
Taffy Tucker

…in the baby name data!

Taffy isn’t just a type of candy — it’s also a name, and it debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1943:

  • 1947: 12 baby girls named Taffy
  • 1946: 6 baby girls named Taffy
  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: 5 baby girls named Taffy
  • 1943: 6 baby girls named Taffy [debut]
  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: unlisted

Why?

Because of Taffy Tucker, a new character introduced in the Terry and the Pirates comic strip during 1942.

Titular character Terry Lee joined the military in 1942, and there he met new people, including Taffy Tucker, an Army nurse, and Flip Corkin, an Army flight instructor (who was also Taffy’s boyfriend).

Taffy Tucker was a “spunky, dedicated nurse, hardworking and tireless, cheerful and caring and always feminine.”

At one point in the storyline, Taffy was kidnapped by a Japanese agent. She was beaten up and left for dead deep in the interior of China. Thankfully, she was eventually rescued by Terry and Flip.

It took cartoonist Milton Caniff about three months to create the character:

[He] spent several days just worrying about a name for Taffy. Since he visualized her as a pert, snub-nosed girl from Georgia, he wanted a name with a typically Old South sound. He finally settled on Guinevere Marianne Tucker, nicknamed Taffy because of her candy-colored hair. She had to be short, because she was scheduled to fall in love with Flip Corkin, who is short, and she had to be blond [sic] for contrast with Flip, who is dark.

Caniff had modeled Taffy after a photo of real-life WWII military nurse Bernice Taylor of Kansas.

What do you think of Taffy as a baby name?

Sources:

P.S. The name Taffy got a slight boost around 1949 thanks to the film The Doctor and the Girl, in which the young Dr. Corday has a love interest named Evelyn “Taffy” Heldon who operates a taffy machine in a candy store.

P.P.S. Other Terry and the Pirates-inspired baby names include Normandie, Merrily, and Raven.

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).