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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Theodora

Number of Babies Named Theodora

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Theodora

Female Names in Texas, 1860

Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas, put together a neat list of female names using the 1860 census records for Smith County, Texas.

Here’s some background information, per Vicki:

Ninety per cent of the people had emigrated to the county within the preceding ten years, 95.8% born in the states of the future Confederacy, 1.8% in the border states, 1.6% in northern states, and 0.8% in foreign countries. Therefore, these name should be fairly representative of Southern female names in general, with the exception of Alamo, Texas, Texana, etc.

And now the names! Here are the names that appeared most frequently on the 1860 Smith County census:

Mary, 501
Sarah, 271
Martha, 247
Elizabeth, 218
Jane, 199
Ann, 198
Nancy, 176
Margaret, 98
Susan, 95
Frances, 94
Eliza, 74
Amanda, 65
Louisa, 61
Laura, 52
Lucinda, 50
Rebecca, 50
Emily, 49
Catherine, 48
Caroline, 41
Julia, 39
Anna, 31
Isabella, 28
Ellen, 26
Josephine, 25
Harriet, 24
Emmer, 22
Lucy, 22
Rachel, 22
Melissa, 18
Adeline, 17
Malinda, 17
Matilda, 16
Allice, 15
Mariah, 15
Virginia, 15
Minerva, 14
Ella, 13
Eveline, 13
Charlotte, 12
Cynthia, 10
Evaline, 10
Victoria, 10
Emeline, 9
Hannah, 9
Hellen, 9
Theodosia, 9
Angeline, 8
Eudora, 8
Eugenia, 8
Mahala, 8
Ophelia, 8
Permelia, 8
Dorotha, 7
Fannie, 7
Missouri, 7
Olive, 7
Samantha, 7
Tabitha, 7
Ada, 6
Charity, 6
Delilah, 6
Flora, 6
Georgia, 6
Tennessee, 6

Names in the 2-to-5 range:

  • 5: Clementine, Cyntha, Florence, Ida, Joannah, Narcissa, Priscilla, Serena, Texana, Texas
  • 4: Almeda, Amelia, Augusta, Celia, Clara, Cornelia, Dicy, Dora, Henrietta, Janetta, Louisiana, Louvenia, Lulah, Mollie, Parmelia, Penelope, Ruth, Susannah
  • 3: Alma, Amarillo, Angelina, Antonette, Carrie, Casandra, Christiana, Clarissa, Cora, Cordelia, Edna, Emma, Ester, Fanny, Irena, Jemima, Kesiah, Leona, Leonora, Lucretia, Lyddia, Manerva, Maranda, Morando, Mildred, Milly, Narcissus, Olevia, Piety, Rhoda, Sallie, Sefrona, Sophrona, Telulah, Zelida
  • 2: Abigal, Adaline, Adelia, Agnes, Alabama, Alcasarah, America, Amy, Annetta, Araminta, Armelia, Arrenia, Candis, Caledonia, Celina, Easter, Eller, Elvira, Epsey, Exer, Henryetta, Jaly, Judy, Leah, Luella, Madora, Malissa, Marsileet, Medorah, Melinda, Mattie, Minnie, Moranda, Nelly, Olivia, Priscella, Rhody, Roxana, Salena, Sirena, Sophia, Temperance, Viola, Willie

Finally, names that appeared only once:

Abbigal
Abi
Absaly
Adah
Adalade
Adaline
Addia
Adelade
Adella
Ader
Aimenetta
Alamanzer
Alamo
Alcisty
Alis
Allethia
Almanda
Alphine
Alsey
Althie
Alvarado
Alvira
Amarantha
Amarylles
Amazor
Ameda
Americus
Amira
Ansebell
Appy
Arabella
Arainetta
Aramintha
Aranda
Arcadia
Ardalla
Armedilla
Armel
Armelda
Arminda
Artele
Arvezene
Arvilla
Atha
Audella
Aurire
Azeline
Barbary
Belzora
Bendett
Bernessa
Bethania
Bethany
California
Callie
Camella
Camilla
Candas
Candice
Cansandra
Carrentha
Casandre
Castero
Cecily
Celistia
CerroGordo
Christana
Cicily
Claranda
Claricinda
Conzada
Darcus
Deannah
Debra
Delila
Delitha
Della
Delmar
Derinda
Deziah
Dicey
Dilla
Dilly
Disha
Dlia
Dola
Domaris
Dorothea
Dovy
Drucilla
Dulcena
Dyca
Eddie
Edith
Editha
Elander
Eleanor
Elisa
Ellenor
Elmina
Elsy
Elvy
Elwina
Elzina
Elzona
Emaline
English
Eunis
Euphema
Euphemia
Euratasa
Evy
Falby
Fenette
Fillmore
Flore
Florida
Fransina
Georgana
George Eller
Georgiana
Harmoner
Hazeltine
Heepsebeth
Heland
Hester
Hetty
Hilery
Hutoka
Idella
Imogenia
Indiana
Inez
Irine
Isabelle
Isadora
Jeannah
Jerusha
Jessie
Joana
Joicy
Joly
Judah
Judith
Juliett
June
Kasandre
Kasana
Keburah
Keturah
Lailah
Larresa
Larrissa
Laurena
Lavacca
Lela
Leora
Leuella
Levega
Levina
Lewella
Lilla
Lillian
Lilly
Lina
Livana
Livona
Lizza
Loreey
Loreta
Lourana
Lourena
Lourenia
Louretta
Louvena
Louvina
Lova
Lovena
Lucretice
Lurana
Lurena
Lutitia
Luvena
Lydda
Madella
Madosa
Malabry
Mariella
Marietta
Marinda
Marion
Marbre
Marcella
Marcena
Marg
Matta
McReudry
Medarah
Melbry
Melvina
Mercena
Milley
Millison
Minor
Missoura
Mitty
Molly
Morinua
Mouring
Mourmen
Mourning
Nannett
Narcisa
Nebraska
Neome
Neomia
Nicy
Nina
Nisse
Occo
Octavia
Oja
Oliva
Omino
Orpha
Oudelia
Paralee
Paralie
Parilee
Parolee
Parthena
Pauline
Pemelia
Pernetta
Pernisia
Petrona
Phebe
Pheby
Phereby
Philliss
Pleasant
Pope
Prascovia
Pricilla
Prudence
Recella
Resalla
Reozia
Resiah
Rhina
Rosana
Rosanna
Rosena
Sabra
Sabrina
Salina
Samaria
Saphona
Saphrona
Sareta
Sebrina
Sefrone
Seleta
Selethia
Selina
Shaby
Sharlotti
Silena
Sina
Sirena
Sobrina
Sofrona
Solona
Sonora
Sophier
Stacy
Surana
Tabetha
Taletha
Talitha
Telpha
Teressa
Texanah
Texanna
Theodora
Theressa
Tranquilla
Trephemia
Ululie
Vanburena
Vandalia
Varlinda
Vashti
Vasti
Verlinda
Vertula
Victora
Victorier
Vina
Vinolia
Violet
Vunavista
Wennyford
Wilford
Wilmouth
Wineford
Winerfred
Winnaford
Winnfred
Zarilla
Zeban
Zeleame
Zira
Zouley

See any names you like? Any that make you curious?

Here are some thoughts I had:

  • Location names were more common than I thought they’d be. Seven females named Missouri? Six named Tennessee? Huh.
  • I love that Emmer appeared 22 times, while Emma appeared a mere 3 times.
  • The Battle of Cerro Gordo (1847) inspired a handful of namesakes. Cerro gordo is Spanish for “fat hill.”
  • Hutoka: Or, The Maid of the Forest: a Tale of the Indian Wars (1846) by Osgood Bradbury inspired several hundred namesakes nationwide. The book claimed that the fictitious Native American name Hutoka meant “springing fawn.”
  • Martin Van Buren — no doubt the inspiration behind Vanburena — was president of the U.S. from 1837 to 1841.
  • I’m thinking Vunavista was based on buena vista, Spanish for “good view.”

Source: Female First Names in the 1860 Smith County, Texas, Census, via Vicki Betts


Name Quotes for the Weekend #7

From Proud Dereks: Readers lumbered with unfashionable names:

My great, great aunt was called Golingabeth. I can’t seem to convince my wife who is expecting to even consider this name. Graeme Fryer, Bray, Ireland

And another:

Our daughter’s name skipped more than a few generations. She’s named after the Babylonian goddess of war and sex, Ishtar. My son’s name is even more unusual, he’s called Till, a German boy’s name. German names seem much more unfashionable here than mere ancient gods and goddesses. Liz Jones, Wells, Somerset

And one more:

I bet my name has not featured in the lists at all for a good number of years. It is perhaps softer sounding than Jasper or Rupert but eminently searchable. It sometimes produces a titter in meetings where someone unknowingly uses the word bland rather something more anodyne. I have grown used to the name and it is rather distinctive so I do tend to be remembered. Though my real name is Charles Bland Tomkinson, I have always been called Bland. Bland Tomkinson

From a US News article about the death of former Mouseketeer Bonita Lynn Fields Elder:

Elder always went by the name Lynn, but she adopted the stage name “Bonnie” — a shortened version of her real first name — at the suggestion of the show’s producers because there was already a cast member, a boy, with the first name Lynn, her cousin said.

From the X-Factor’s “Meet Panda Ross” video [1:54 to 2:14]:

Simon Powell: So what’s your name?
Panda Ross: Panda.
Simon: What?
Panda: Panda. Like the bear.
Simon: That’s your real name?
Panda: That’s my real name.
Simon: Why were you called Panda?
Panda: My mom, well, she was kinda, you know, in jail when she had me, and her cellmate was a white lady, she was black, and so, they just kinda came up with the name.

From a Daily Mail article about Robbie Williams:

The Candy singer also spoke about celebrity baby names and how he and wife Ayda Fields chose their daughter’s moniker.

Robbie quipped: ‘We wanted to call her Teddy but that’s bordering on celebrity nonsense and we thought what if she doesn’t go into showbiz and needs a professional name, so Theodora is her professional name and Teddy is the name she goes by at home.’

And another:

The hit-maker revealed how he had once mixed up the name of Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, when the actress paid a visit to his house.

He remembered: ‘We were at my house in Los Angeles and the Coldplay boys had been over for a game of football and Gwyneth turned up. I was like, “Gwyneth Paltrow is in my house”, and as she walked towards me I kept saying in my head, “say something to Gwyneth Paltrow, say something to Gwyneth Paltrow” and I said, “Does Melon want some Apple?”‘

From Josh & Julie Korn: Digging for a CURE:

Hassane and Hussein are popular names for twins here in Niger. If you meet a Hassane or a Hussein, chances are they have a twin brother.

From a People article about Drew Barrymore’s recent appearance on Ellen:

Asked why she and her husband Will Kopelman chose Olive, the actress says it came from a book–though not one of baby-names.

“I was reading a book with my husband. I was three months pregnant, and they said, ‘Your baby is the size of an olive.’ And that was it. We never looked back.”

From an MTV article about the moms of Teen Mom 2:

And Kailyn? Well, turns out she was a huge Hanson fan (okay, who wasn’t?), and named Isaac after the eldest brother. “Do you remember, ‘Mmm Bop?'” she pleads to the other, seemingly clueless girls. They may not, but…oh, we remember.

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen/heard someone admit they named their kid after a member of Hanson.

Here are quote lists #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6.

How They Named the Baby (Poem)

I think it’s time for a poem.

Here’s one from the late 1800s called “How They Named the Baby.” It was first published in humor magazine Judge.

They talked of Medora, Aurora and Flora,
Of Mabel and Marcia and Mildred and May;
Debated the question of Helen, Honora,
Clarissa, Camilla, and Phyllis and Fay.

They thought of Marcella, Estella, and Bella;
Considered Cecilia, Jeanette, and Pauline;
Alicia, Adela, Annette, Arabella,
And Ethel and Eunice, Hortense and Irene.

One liked Theodora, another Leonora;
Some argued for Edith and some for Elaine;
For Madeline, Adeline, Lily and Lora;
And then, after all, they decided on Jane.

Which of the above names do you like most? How about least?

Baby Name Needed for the Sibling of Liam Isaac

A reader named Marg is expecting her second child (gender unknown) and would like some name suggestions. Her first is a boy named Liam Isaac. She says:

For a girls name I am really loving the name Eden, but don’t have a middle name for it yet?

But its really with the boys names that we are stuck. We live in Canada, but both come from families that have immigrated from Holland, and the dutch culture is a big part of our family and our traditions. We actually named Liam after my Opa, William, but wanted to shorten it to Liam.

Anyway, all that to say that we do like some Dutch names, such as Johan (which is already taken by a family member) Hendrik (ditto) and Theo. Theo we both actually REALLY like but it reminds us of two people that we really are not big fans of, and we’re not sure we can get over that.

My first thought was: Don’t give up on Theo! Not-so-hot name associations can sometimes be overridden when you give the name to a baby (who will mean a lot more to you than those two other people combined–a much stronger association). Doesn’t work for everyone, but has worked for some.

Because Liam is a take on William, maybe Henry for Hendrik, or Hans for Johan? I think “Liam and Henry” is especially cute.

Here are a few other boy names that might work (many are also found in Dutch):

Adam
Alexander/Alex
Benjamin
Caleb
Felix
Gabriel
Jacob
Jonas
Joseph
Max
Nathan
Nicholas
Noah
Owen
Paul
Philip/Filip
Robert/Robin
Samuel
Simon
Thomas

As far as middles for Eden go, I think I’d opt for something decidedly feminine:

Abigail
Amelia
Charlotte
Elizabeth
Felicia
Harriet*
Henrietta*
Johanna*
Katrina
Michelle
Olivia
Sabrina
Sophia
Theodora*

*Family-inspired

Which of the above names do you like best for Liam’s younger sibling? What other names would you suggest to Marg?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Genevieve’s Sister

A reader named Jen has a daughter named Genevieve Grace. She’s now expecting her second daughter and she’d like some baby name ideas. She writes:

[W]e are looking for another delicate, feminine, pretty name that is not over used, is traditional, and goes well with our last name. So far we like Penelope, but I don’t know if I’m sold on that or not.

The baby’s surname starts with D and has just one syllable, so Jen would like the baby’s first name to contain at least two syllables. (And end with something other than D, probably.)

Here are some names that I think might work:

Anastasia
Angeline
Aurelia
Beatrice
Cassandra
Clarice
Claudia
Clementine
Coralie
Cordelia
Cynthia
Eleanor
Eloise
Eugenia/Eugenie
Evangeline
Frances/Francesca
Harriet
Helena/Helen
Isadora
Johanna
Josephine
Letitia
Lucinda
Lydia
Marguerite
Marianne
Marlena
Meredith
Miriam
Oriana
Sophronia
Sylvia
Tatiana
Theodora
Theresa
Valencia
Venetia
Vivienne
Wilhelmina

Which of the above do you like best with Genevieve? What other girl names would you suggest to Jen?

How to Find a Boy Name that Won’t Become a Girl Name

Are there any boy names out there that aren’t at risk of becoming girl names?

This may not be the answer you want to hear, but: nope. There’s simply no way to guarantee that a boy name won’t suddenly become trendy for girls. (A movie mermaid was all it took for the name Madison — a name with the word “son” right in there — to become a girl name.)

No boy names are girl-proof, but some are certainly girl-resistant. Which ones? Here are five types I’ve come up with:

1. Boy names with unstylish elements, such as “bert” and “stan.” If a boy name isn’t fashionable enough to be popular for boys, it shouldn’t be too tempting to use for girls either.

Albert
Archibald
Bernard
Bertrand
Donald
Irwin
Gilbert
Leopold
Maynard
Rudolph
Stanford
Woodrow

2. Boy names with few vowels. They tend to sound more masculine than other names.

Bryant
Chad
Charles
Clark
Desmond
Grant
Kenneth
Mark
Ralph
Scott
Seth
Trent

3. Boy names with length. Most of today’s popular unisex names stop at two syllables.

Abraham
Alexander
Augustine
Balthazar
Benedict
Barnaby
Benjamin
Emmanuel
Ferdinand
Mortimer
Reginald
Sylvester

4. Boy names with hard endings, such as D, K and T. Many of the boy names being used by girls end with softer consonants like L, N and R.

Bennett
Caleb
Conrad
Craig
Derek
Emmett
Garrick
Isaac
Jared
Patrick
Stuart
Wyatt

5. Boy names with well-known feminine forms. If there’s a readily available girl-version, doesn’t it seem silly to use the masculine form for a female?

Brian (Brianna)
Carl (Carla)
Erik (Erika)
Gerald (Geraldine)
George (Georgia)
Henry (Henrietta)
Joseph (Josephine)
Martin (Martina)
Paul (Paula)
Robert (Roberta)
Theodore (Theodora)
Victor (Victoria)

As I mentioned, there’s never a guarantee. (A female Scrubs character is named Elliot — will that be the next to go? How about Blake, thanks to Blake Lively?) But I think boy names that fit into the above categories are relatively safe bets.

Are there any other types of names you’d add to the list?

Baby Name Needed – Name for Henry & Anneliese’s Little Sister

A reader named Jennifer is looking for a female name for her third child:

Our other children are named Henry and Anneliese. I would love to use the middle name Lynne but that is not set in stone.

Here are a few ideas:

Beatrix
Charlotte
Clara
Dorothy
Elizabeth
Greta
Josephine
Katharina/Katherine
Margaret
Marlene
Mathilde/Matilda
Miriam
Philippa
Ramona
Rosalind
Rosemary
Theodora/Theda
Susanna

Several of the above wouldn’t work too well with Lynne, but I think they all sound nice with both Henry and Anneliese.

What other names would you guys suggest?

Update: The baby is here! Scroll down to find out what name Jennifer chose.