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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Tony

Number of Babies Named Tony

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Tony

Sierra Leonean Babies Named After Tony Blair

Kosovo isn’t the only place in the world where babies have been named after Tony Blair. There’s also the West African country of Sierra Leone:

[Blair’s] decision [in 2000] to send in British troops at the height of a brutal civil war is widely seen by Sierra Leoneans themselves as the critical moment in their country’s salvation. It turned the tide in the conflict and helped bring an end to an 11-year nightmare.

In 2010, The Guardian noted that “nine and ten year-old boys called Tony Blair are not uncommon now in Sierra Leone.”

One of these babies, Tony-Blair Kamara, was born in 2001 in the capital city of Freetown. His father said that he “would not be here speaking to you [if not for] all these risks Tony Blair took, because it was a political risk intervening where you know some of your troops will die.”

Sources: Sierra Leone: Tony Blair Born in Freetown, ‘I would not be speaking to you if it weren’t for the risks Blair took’, Free healthcare for Sierra Leone – and a whole lot of Tony Blairs

The Kosovar Albanian Babies Named Tonibler

Tony Blair in Kosovo, with namesakes, 2010
Tony Blair & namesakes (in suits)
During the Kosovo conflict of the late 1990s, Yugoslav and Serbian forces under Slobodan Milošević persecuted ethnic Albanians — killing thousands and driving out hundreds of thousands.

After NATO became involved in 1999, thanks in large part to pressure from UK prime minister Tony Blair, the conflict was eventually resolved.

More than a few thankful Kosovan Albanian parents proceeded to named their sons “Tonibler,” “Toni,” and “Bler” in honor of Mr. Blair. Some examples:

  • Tonibler Dajaku
  • Tonibler Gashi (born in 2001)
  • Bler Podrimaj
  • Tonibler Sahiti (born in May of 1999)
  • Bler Thaqi (born in August of 1999)

When Blair visited Kosovo in 2010, he was “told that his name was ‘quite common’ in the country” and got a chance to meet nine of his namesakes.

Sources: Meet the Kosovan Albanians who named their sons after Tony Blair, Namesakes welcome Tony Blair during Kosovo visit, Kosovo conflict – Britannica

Good Advice for Choosing an English Name

Apple, Chlorophyll, Icarus, Kinky, Melon, Omicron, Smacker, Swallow, Winsome, Yoyo…the English names chosen by (or assigned to) native Chinese speakers are often not so great.

And, in many cases, they’re later regretted. Here’s what a Hong Kong business student Fragile Chan had to say about his English name:

“I started using ‘Fragile’ when I was 14,” he says. “I first encountered the word in my English class and I chose it as my name because I liked how it’s pronounced.”

Chan says his name makes it easy for others to remember him and it’s an easy conversation-starter when he meets new people. But in his experience, having an uncommon name isn’t always pleasant.

“I am tired of explaining my name to others when I need to introduce myself. Some people even mock me for having a ‘fragile heart’,” he says. Now Chan has decided to change his name to Nathan. “I would like to be less weird in formal situations,” he says.

One U.S. entrepreneur has created a site called Best English Name, which helps Chinese students choose more appropriate English names. Site-suggested names include “Davis, Max, Eli, and Riley” for males and “Elody, Ava, Jolie, and Ellie” for females. These are a lot better than Kinky and Melon, and style-wise they’re fairly appropriate for current teenagers.

But I think the best advice out there comes from Philip Guo’s blog post How to choose an English name, because it can be applied to any age group.

His main recommendation? Go to the SSA’s website, find the top 100 names for your birth year, and choose one from the list for your gender. He says:

You must choose your name from one of these 100 names. Even if you randomly choose a name (for your gender, of course), then congratulations, I guarantee that you have chosen a better name than most of your friends who tried to be creative!

So a 15-year-old student (b. 2001) can choose from names like:

  • Isabel, Katie, Mia, Sophia, Zoe
  • Aidan, Chase, Isaiah, Jack, Noah

But a 40-year-old business-person (b. 1976) can choose from names that might be a better fit for his/her generation, such as:

  • Amy, Dana, Monica, Tina, Wendy
  • Chad, Dennis, Peter, Shane, Tony

Best of all, every top 100 list includes names appropriate for people of various ages. For example, these names were on both the 1976 and the 2001 lists:

  • Anna, Elizabeth, Michelle, Natalie, Sarah
  • Adam, David, John, Nathan, Victor

Guo’s other recommendations include ignoring name definitions entirely and sticking to the exact version of the name found in the top 100. He also suggests choosing a name that sounds somewhat like one’s birth name, e.g., the English name Shawn would work well for a Chinese man named Sheng.

Do you have any other good advice for people (Chinese people in particular) seeking English names?

Sources: Students with unusual names: ‘at least no one forgets us’, Laowai Entrepreneur Wants to Rid China of English “Stripper Names”, Popular Baby Names – SSA

Stickers with Names from the ’60s

In 1969, dozens of “Mod Generation” stickers — each of which featured a drawing of a young person and a name — were distributed inside packs of Topps chewing gum.

(The outfits and hairstyles seem a lot more hippie than mod to me, but oh well.)

Female names used on the stickers include Alice, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Connie, Diane, Donna, Dotty, Ellen, Esther, Fay, Frances, Gloria, Helen, Jackie, Joan, Judy, Lois, Marie, Mary, Millie, Minda, Nancy, Natalie, Phyllis, Rose, Shelly and Susan.

Mod Generation Sticker BettyMod Generation Sticker DonnaMod Generation Sticker Minda

Male names used on the stickers include Barry, Bert, Bill, Charlie, Chris, Dave, Don, Fred, George, Herb, Irv, Jerry, Joe, John, Larry, Louis, Michael, Paul, Pete, Ray, Richard, Roy, Teddy and Tony.

Mod Generation Sticker IrvMod Generation Sticker LarryMod Generation Sticker Terry

While of these female and male names do you like most? How about least?

Source: 1969: “Mod Generation” Stickers, Mod Generation – 1969

The Baby Name Kaleena

Kaleena in Love, Sidney
Love, Sidney characters Laurie, Sidney, and Patti
In October of 1981, NBC began airing a sitcom called Love, Sidney. It was the first show on American TV with a gay lead character (although Sidney’s homosexuality was largely downplayed).

Actors Tony Randall, Swoosie Kurtz and 8-year-old Kaleena Kiff played the three main characters Sidney, Laurie and Patti. Despite the ground-breaking nature of Randall’s character, it was Kiff who made the biggest impression on TV viewers (if you go by the baby name charts, at least).

The baby name Kaleena went from being given to fewer than 5 baby girls in 1980 to being given to dozens, then hundreds, of baby girls over the next few years:

  • 1986: 79 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1985: 82 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1984: 101 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1983: 341 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1982: 270 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1981: 41 baby girls named Kaleena [debut]
  • 1980: unlisted (fewer than 5 baby girls)

The name Kalina also got a boost in the early ’80s.

Kaleena was fifth-highest debut of 1981, after Fallon, Toccara, Nastassia and Falon. Sixth through tenth were Yalitza, Natassia, Yuliana, Shiona, and a 5-way tie between Dynasty, Jadyn, Laiza, Shambrica and Tijwana.

What are your thoughts on the name Kaleena?

P.S. A name-related tweet from Kaleena Kiff herself: “Everyone on our set is called Fergus, Angus, or Fraser. I must be shooting in Glasgow. #LegendofBarney” That hashtag refers to the upcoming movie The Legend of Barney Thomson, which is set in Scotland and features a character by the name of Cemolina (played by Emma Thompson).

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2012

Here are the results of the 2012 pop culture baby name game!

Below are all the names we came up with and how they fared on the charts last year.

First up, the names that made the biggest gains. (Some of these were on their way up anyway, so I’ll leave it to you guys to interpret just how much each one was/was not helped along by pop culture events.)

Liam, +3286

  • 2012: 16687 baby boys named Liam
  • 2011: 13401 baby boys named Liam

Lincoln, +726

  • 2012: 2882 baby boys named Lincoln
  • 2011: 2156 baby boys named Lincoln

Dominic, +725

  • 2012: 6140 baby boys named Dominic
  • 2011: 5415 baby boys named Dominic

Penelope, +647

  • 2012: 2510 baby girls named Penelope
  • 2011: 1863 baby girls named Penelope

Ivy, +469

  • 2012: 1677 baby girls named Ivy
  • 2011: 1208 baby girls named Ivy

Arya, +367

  • 2012: 754 baby girls named Arya
  • 2011: 387 baby girls named Arya

Luna, +262

  • 2012: 1404 baby girls named Luna
  • 2011: 1142 baby girls named Luna

Louis, +132

  • 2012: 1049 baby boys named Louis
  • 2011: 917 baby boys named Louis

Trayvon, +123

  • 2012: 178 baby boys named Trayvon
  • 2011: 55 baby boys named Trayvon

Adele, +99

  • 2012: 559 baby girls named Adele
  • 2011: 460 baby girls named Adele

Olive, +87

  • 2012: 847 baby girls named Olive
  • 2011: 760 baby girls named Olive

Zayn, +83

  • 2012: 131 baby boys named Zayn
  • 2011: 48 baby boys named Zayn

Selena, +64

  • 2012: 1043 baby girls named Selena
  • 2011: 979 baby girls named Selena

Anastasia, +59

  • 2012: 918 baby girls named Anastasia
  • 2011: 859 baby girls named Anastasia

Grey, +59

  • 2012: 184 baby boys named Grey
  • 2011: 125 baby boys named Grey

Toby, +32 / +59

  • 2012: 93 baby girls and 349 baby boys named Toby
  • 2011: 61 baby girls and 290 baby boys named Toby

Melissa +57

  • 2012: 1761 baby girls named Melissa
  • 2011: 1704 baby girls named Melissa


  • 2012: 1081 baby boys named Lorenzo
  • 2011: 1027 baby boys named Lorenzo

Jubilee, +52

  • 2012: 155 baby girls named Jubilee
  • 2011: 103 baby girls named Jubilee

London, +22 / +32

  • 2012: 3179 baby girls and 482 baby boys named London
  • 2011: 3157 baby girls and 450 baby boys named London

Viola, +28

  • 2012: 162 baby girls named Viola
  • 2011: 134 baby girls named Viola

Renesmee, +26

  • 2012: 59 baby girls named Renesmee
  • 2011: 33 baby girls named Renesmee

Lovely, +26

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lovely
  • 2011: 56 baby girls named Lovely

Sarina, +26

  • 2012: 194 baby girls named Sarina
  • 2011: 168 baby girls named Sarina

McKayla, +25

  • 2012: 399 baby girls named McKayla
  • 2011: 374 baby girls named McKayla

Berenice, +20

  • 2012: 109 baby girls named Berenice
  • 2011: 129 baby girls named Berenice

Rue, +19

  • 2012: 32 baby girls named Rue
  • 2011: 13 baby girls named Rue

Selina, +18

  • 2012: 242 baby girls named Selina
  • 2011: 224 baby girls named Selina

Kateri, +16

  • 2012: 58 baby girls named Kateri
  • 2011: 42 baby girls named kateri

Merida, +15 at least

  • 2012: 19 baby girls named Merida [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Merida

Pepper, +15

  • 2012: 132 baby girls named Pepper
  • 2011: 117 baby girls named Pepper

Rooney (for girls), +15

  • 2012: 21 baby girls named Rooney
  • 2011: 6 baby girls named Rooney

Hugo, +13

  • 2012: 630 baby boys named Hugo
  • 2011: 617 baby boys named Hugo

Primrose, +12 at least

  • 2012: 16 baby girls named Primrose [re-entered list]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Primrose

Lisbeth, +11

  • 2012: 82 baby girls named Lisbeth
  • 2011: 71 baby girls named Lisbeth

Blue, +3 / +9

  • 2012: 10 baby girls and 20 baby boys named Blue
  • 2011: 7 baby girls and 11 baby boys named Blue

Romney, +9

  • 2012: 16 baby boys named Romney
  • 2011: 5 baby boys named Romney

Cassadee, +8

  • 2012: 13 baby girls named Cassadee
  • 2011: 5 baby girls named Cassadee

Katniss, +8 at least

  • 2012: 12 baby girls named Katniss [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Katniss

Niall, +8

  • 2012: 42 baby boys named Niall
  • 2011: 34 baby boys named Niall

Octavia, +7

  • 2012: 79 baby girls named Octavia
  • 2011: 72 baby girls named Octavia

Arrietty, +6 at least

  • 2012: 10 baby girls named Arrietty [debut]
  • 2011: ? baby girls named Arrietty

Loki, +6

  • 2012: 77 baby boys named Loki
  • 2011: 71 baby boys named Loki

Names that went up by 5 or fewer:

  • Beretta
  • Harry
  • Hawk (though Hawkeye debuted)
  • Joss (for boys)
  • Mavis
  • Maxwell (for girls)
  • Mitt
  • Tennessee

Names that went down:

  • Avila
  • Carly
  • Destinee
  • Django
  • Elizabeth
  • Felix
  • Gabrielle
  • Kindle
  • Missy
  • Ryan
  • Sparkle
  • Thor
  • Tony
  • Whitney

Names still not on the SSA’s list:

  • Altaluna
  • Azealia
  • Carlyrae
  • Dev (for girls)
  • Essined
  • Fury
  • Hildegard
  • Hulk
  • Lidislay
  • Quvenzhane
  • Shemekia
  • Stratos
  • Tika
  • Vanellope
  • Whedon
  • Yolo

Did any of these surprise you?

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who played!

Name Spotting in Toronto, Canada

Toward the end of July I spent a week in Toronto. I spotted a few interesting names while there.

In the Royal Ontario Museum I found these:

Hannah Jarvis painting Marie-Zoe Persillier painting

On the left are Hannah Jarvis and her daughters Maria Lavinia and Augusta Honoria. They were painted by American artist James Earl around 1791.

On the right is Marie-Zoé Persillier dite Lachapelle. She was likely painted by Canadian artist Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy around 1845.

Both were in the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada.


Also in the ROM I saw an installation of 32 drawings called “Beethoven 1-32” by German artist Jorinde Voigt.

the name Jorinde

I don’t know the etymology of her first name — perhaps it’s related to George? — but I do know that “Jorinde and Joringel” is a German fairy tale.


Lining the walls of local landmark Honest Ed’s were hundreds of old posters and photographs, including these two:

Urylee Leonardos photo Sonyke Cortidou photo

Urylee Leonardos (1910-1986) was a singer/actress on Broadway. I have no idea who Sonyke Cortidou was.


While walking Queen Street East just before the Beaches Jazz Festival StreetFest started, I found a billboard full of kids’ names.

kids names

Here are all the names I managed to get photos of:

Juliette, Chris, Jaya, Eric, Rain, Vishal, Dylan, Chantelle, Isabelle, Ashana, Julia, Arooba, Mien, Anamol, Iksa, Selena, Kyle, Sarah, Xuanji, Neha, Lasya, Elisha, Daneille, Danny, Ukasa, Huzaifa, Suchana, Manasa, Anuja, Mehul, Matteo, Wyatt, Ashanae, Emma, Tony, Helena, Lindsay, Chloe, Elizabeth, Erica, Matthew, Jarvis, Stephanie, Emi, Arujala, Lisa, Judy, Mateo, Zaccai, Bronwyny, Ervie, Mckayla, Taylor, Griffin, Callam, Mattas, Michelle, Dain, Aileen, Apurva, Aayush, Gloria, Josh, Deborah, Akshata

Which of the above do you like best?