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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Therese

Number of Babies Named Therese

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Therese

Catholic Names to Watch – Teresa and Fatima

children of fatima, lucia, francisco, jacinta, 1917The baby names Teresa and Fatima might see higher usage in 2016 and 2017, respectively, thanks to Catholic influence.


On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa will officially be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

Mother Teresa’s religious name honors St. Thérèse de Lisieux, but she opted for the Spanish spelling “Teresa” when she took her religious vows (back in 1931) because another nun in the convent was already using the name “Thérèse.”

Her birth name was Anjezë, an Albanian form of Agnes, which can be traced back to the Ancient Greek word hagnos, meaning “pure, chaste.”


Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions seen by three shepherd children (Lúcia, Francisco, and Jacinta) near the town of Fátima, Portugal.

The place name Fátima is based on the Arabic personal name Fatimah, meaning “to wean.”

If the usage of Fatima does rise in the U.S. in 2017, I’ll be curious to see how much of that increase comes from states with large Portuguese populations (like Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island).

Which of the two do you prefer?

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The 14 Children of the Dionne Family

The Dionne Quintuplets — the first set of quints known to survive infancy — were born in Ontario, Canada, on May 28, 1934. But identical sisters Yvonne, Annette, Cecile, Emilie and Marie weren’t the only children in the Dionne family. Over the course of 20 years, parents Oliva-Edouard and Elzire Dionne had a total of 14 children — 6 before the quints, 3 after.

dionne family
Most of the Dionne family

Here are the names and birth years of all 14:

  1. Ernest (1926)
  2. Rose (1928)
  3. Therese (1929)
  4. Leo (1930)
  5. Daniel (1932)
  6. Pauline (1933)
  7. * Yvonne (1934)
  8. * Annette (1934)
  9. * Cecile (1934)
  10. * Emilie (1934)
  11. * Marie (1934)
  12. Oliva Jr. (1936)
  13. Victor (1938)
  14. Claude (1946)

Which of these names do you like most?

Sources: Dionne Quintuplets – Wikipedia, The Story of the Dionne Quintuplets

110+ Hidden Gems: Rare Baby Girl Names

gemstoneWant a girl name that’s not popular, but also not made-up?

I looked through the names at the bottom of SSA’s 2011 mega-list and found a bunch of hidden gems:

  1. Alberta (9 baby girls)
  2. Alexandrina (6)
  3. Amity (28)
  4. Apollonia (21)
  5. Augusta (31)
  6. Augustina (15)
  7. Avelina (34)
  8. Bernadine (6)
  9. Bertha (45)
  10. Bettina (8)
  11. Blanche (6)
  12. Bryony (5); Briony (16)
  13. Carlotta (20)
  14. Celestina (19)
  15. Celestine (7)
  16. Cicely (14)
  17. Claribel (19)
  18. Clarice (37)
  19. Clarity (17)
  20. Claudette (9)
  21. Claudine (9)
  22. Clementina (7)
  23. Constantina (5)
  24. Coretta (5)
  25. Corinna (37)
  26. Cornelia (17)
  27. Damiana (10)
  28. Davida (10)
  29. Delphine (26)
  30. Dinah (44)
  31. Dolores (39)
  32. Dorothea (15)
  33. Edwina (8)
  34. Eloisa (42)
  35. Enid (15)
  36. Ernestina (5)
  37. Eugenia (29)
  38. Eugenie (8)
  39. Eulalia (25)
  40. Euphemia (5)
  41. Evita (13)
  42. Fabiana (47)
  43. Faustina (21)
  44. Flavia (12)
  45. Floriana (6)
  46. Florina (6)
  47. Georgette (24)
  48. Gertrude (16)
  49. Gloriana (22)
  50. Golda (34)
  51. Goldie (37)
  52. Heloise (8)
  53. Henrietta (34)
  54. Hilda (40)
  55. Imelda (23)
  56. Io (9)
  57. Ione (26)
  58. Isidora (13)
  59. Jeanne (39)
  60. Josette (27)
  61. Junia (17)
  62. Linnaea (12)
  63. Lucette (7)
  64. Lucienne (43)
  65. Lucilla (12)
  66. Marietta (22)
  67. Maude (9)
  68. Mavis (38)
  69. Minerva (38)
  70. Nanette (8)
  71. Nell (32)
  72. Nella (38)
  73. Nicola (30)
  74. Nicoletta (19)
  75. Nicolina (29)
  76. Odette (48)
  77. Olympia (22)
  78. Orla (28); Orlagh (6)
  79. Phillipa (10)
  80. Philomena (41)
  81. Phyllis (20)
  82. Rhoda (28)
  83. Romana (6)
  84. Rosabella (46)
  85. Rosalba (17)
  86. Rosaline (20)
  87. Rosella (26)
  88. Rosetta (25)
  89. Rosette (5)
  90. Rosina (17)
  91. Rowena (15)
  92. Rubina (5)
  93. Rue (13)
  94. Sebastiana (5)
  95. Seraphine (19)
  96. Sigrid (15)
  97. Stephania (32)
  98. Sybilla (5)
  99. Talulla (5)
  100. Therese (47)
  101. Thomasina (6)
  102. Thora (19)
  103. Tova (43)
  104. Ulyssa (8)
  105. Ursula (25)
  106. Vashti (16)
  107. Verity (38)
  108. Violetta (46)
  109. Vita (36)
  110. Wanda (23)
  111. Winifred (30)
  112. Winona (20)
  113. Xanthe (7)
  114. Zenaida (36)
  115. Zenobia (22)
  116. Zillah (9)
  117. Zipporah (41); Tzipporah (12)

(In some cases, a different spelling of the name is more popular than what’s shown here. For instance, Isidora is rare, but Isadora is more common.)

Like any of these?

Did you spot any other great end-of-the-list names?

See the boys’ list, or check out the Rare Baby Names page.

Confirmation Name Needed for Convert

One of my readers — a married mom of four — is looking for a confirmation name. She’s in RCIA and will be confirmed next Easter. Here’s what she says:

So many of my “classmates” are choosing particular saints because they feel a connection to these people. I was not raised in a religious family so I don’t have these same relationships and want to be sure to choose a saint that I will have a true relationship with. Possibly a convert?!

Here’s something else she mentioned: “I feel like these saints are such devout people, how could I ever have something in common…my own faith doesn’t even compare…”

The latter statement immediately brought to mind St. Therese of Lisieux, who said something similar: “I’ve always wished that I could be a saint. But whenever I compared myself to the saints there was always this unfortunate difference–they were like great mountains, hiding their heads in the clouds, and I was only an insignificant grain of sand, trodden down by all who passed by.” Her little way is based on the idea of accepting one’s imperfections and finding holiness in the everyday.

As far as converts go, how about…

  • St. Margaret Clitherow, who was brought up as a Protestant. She was arrested and later martyred for allowing Mass to be celebrated in her home. She refused to enter a plea at trial — doing so would have endangered her husband and children — and was therefore pronounced guilty and crushed to death.
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was raised in an Episcopalian home. She was married, had five children, and founded both the first congregation of religious sisters in the U.S. and also the first free Catholic school in the U.S. (both of these in Maryland).
  • St. Edith Stein, who was originally Jewish, and then an atheist, before becoming Catholic. She took the name Teresia Benedicta when she joined the Carmelites. She was an intellectual who earned a doctorate of philosophy working alongside the likes of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. She was later killed at Auschwitz.

There’s also St. Monica — not a convert, though she prayed for the conversion of her husband and eldest son. That son ended up becoming the one and only St. Augustine of Hippo. (Here’s more on the etymology of Monica.)

What other saints do you think this reader should look into? (I stuck to females, but you don’t have to.)

Girl Names that Can Be Shortened to Izzy?

A friend of mine announced her pregnancy a few weeks ago (congrats, E!). She doesn’t know the gender of the baby yet, but if it’s a girl, she thinks she’d like to use the name Isabella.

The problem? Isabella has been one of the most popular baby names in the nation for almost a decade now. My friend is still prepared to use it, but she’s also wondering what else is out there.

What she likes most about Isabella is the nickname Izzy, so I thought I’d help her out by coming up other girl names that can be shortened to Izzy. Some of these may be a stretch, but this is a brainstorm so anything goes. :)

Part of the same name-family, but not as popular as Isabella.

Isabella and Isidora aren’t related (the former is based on Elizabeth, the latter on Isis) but they sound like they could be.

Elizabeth or Lizette
Why not lop the L off Lizzy and make it Izzy?

French name that can be traced back to a Germanic word meaning “pledge.” Popularized recently by model Gisele, but still outside the top 100.

Desiree (Désirée)
French name meaning “desired.”

Zipporah (Tzipora, Tzipporah, etc.)
Hebrew name meaning “bird.”

Italian name derived from the ancient Greek word for “order.”

Louisa or Louise
Derived from Ludwig, comprised of elements meaning “fame” and “war.”

Eloise (Éloïse) or Heloise (Héloïse)
Might come from the Germanic name Helewidis, comprised of elements meaning “hale” and either “wide” or “wood.”

Therese (Thérèse)
Unknown etymology, though perhaps based on the name of a Greek island.

Arabic name meaning “powerful.”

Hebrew name meaning “joyful.”

Can you think of any other girl names that can be shortened to Izzy?

Baby Name Needed for Olivia and Marie’s Sister

Lise is expecting her third little girl and would like some name suggestions. Her first two daughters are named Olivia and Marie. She says:

We have a long last name so it has to be easy to spell. Also we speak French and would like the name to be easy to pronounce in French and English.

Here are a few names that I thought might work:


Which of the above do you like best with Olivia and Marie? What other names would you suggest to Lise?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Cecily’s Sister

A reader named Baccara has a daughter named Cecily. She’s expecting a second baby girl in May, and she’d like some name suggestions. She writes:

To give you an idea of our style, we like feminine names. We also tend to gravitate towards more unusual names, or at least ones that are not trendy.

Here are three names she and her husband are considering:

  • “Charlotte has always been a contender (during both pregnancies), although its popularity is now becoming somewhat of a deterrent.”
  • Camilla. “However, after reading your December post on sibling names, I am concerned that both names are too overtly similar (first initial, number of syllables) to work well together.”
  • Adele, though Baccara’s “husband is concerned with it having a religious affiliation (Hebrew).”

Their surname is a one-syllable N-name, so short names and names that end with n are out.

First, a couple of thoughts:

Cecily and Camilla do have the same first letter and number of syllables. But they don’t start with the same sound, and they don’t have the same rhythm. So I agree that they’re similar, but I don’t know if they’re too close. I think they might work pretty well together, in fact.

I also like Adele with Cecily. The name isn’t Hebrew in origin, though. It’s based on the Germanic word adal, meaning noble. (The first half of Adelaide comes from the same place.) I’m not aware of the name Adele being strongly associated with religion. (Am I overlooking something?)

Here are some other names that I think sound good with Cecily:


(I omitted Amelia, Evelyn, Vanessa and Victoria because I thought they might be too trendy/popular for Baccara’s taste.)

Which of the names above do you like best with Cecily? What other name suggestions would you offer to Baccara?

UPDATE – Scroll down to find out what the baby was named!