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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Tori

Number of Babies Named Tori

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Tori

Middle-Earth Baby Names – Arwen to Samwise

J. R. R. Tolkien’s 3-part The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) was first published in the mid-1950s.

The trilogy started becoming popular in the U.S. in the 1960s, and this is when we first see LOTR character names popping up on the SSA’s baby name list.

It became very popular when director Peter Jackson turned it into three successful movies (released in 2001, 2002 and 2003).

How did the movies influence the names? Let’s check it out…


Arwen debuted on the SSA’s list in 1968.

  • 2000: 9 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2001: 12 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2002: 41 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2003: 117 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2004: 166 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2005: 149 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2006: 96 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2007: 98 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2008: 86 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2009: 81 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2010: 79 baby girls named Arwen
  • 2011: 73 baby girls named Arwen

The name Arwen means “noble maiden” in the fictional language Quenya (which Tolkien based largely on Finnish and Latin).


Aragorn debuted on the SSA’s list in 1970.

  • 2000: not listed
  • 2001: not listed
  • 2002: 5 baby boys named Aragorn
  • 2003: 5 baby boys named Aragorn
  • 2004: 14 baby boys named Aragorn
  • 2005: 9 baby boys named Aragorn
  • 2006-2011: not listed

The name Aragorn means “revered king” in the fictional language Sindarin (based largely on Welsh).


Eowyn debuted on the SSA’s list in 1973.

  • 2000: 5 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2001: 12 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2002: 7 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2003: 22 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2004: 64 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2005: 69 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2006: 64 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2007: 55 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2008: 50 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2009: 55 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2010: 51 baby girls named Eowyn
  • 2011: 50 baby girls named Eowyn

The name Eowyn means “horse joy” in the fictional language Rohirric (based on Old English).


It’s never been on the SSA’s list, but I know of one in England.

The name Frodo is an English translation of Frodo’s real name, Maura, which means “wise” or “experienced” in the fictional language Westron.


Galadriel debuted on the SSA’s list in 1969.

  • 2000: 10 baby girls named Galadriel
  • 2001: 7 baby girls named Galadriel
  • 2002: 7 baby girls named Galadriel
  • 2003: 15 baby girls named Galadriel
  • 2004: 11 baby girls named Galadriel
  • 2005: not listed
  • 2006: 5 baby girls named Galadriel
  • 2007-2011: not listed

The name Galadriel means “maiden crowned with a radiant garland” in Sindarin.


Gandalf was on the SSA’s list in 1970 only (5 babies named Gandalf that year).

The name Gandalf means “wand-elf” in Westron and other Mannish languages.


Legolas was on the SSA’s list in 2003 only (7 babies named Legolas that year).

The name Legolas is based on the name Laegolas, which means “greenleaf” in Sindarin.


Pippin was on the SSA’s list in 2009 only (5 babies named Pippin that year). has been on the SSA’s list twice, in 2009 and in 2012 (12 babies named Pippin total).

Pippin is a nickname for Peregrin. The name Peregrin, which means “traveller” or “pilgrim,” is an English translation of Pippin’s Westron name, Razanur.


Samwise debuted on the SSA’s list in 2002.

  • 2000: not listed
  • 2001: not listed
  • 2002: 6 baby boys named Samwise
  • 2003: 6 baby boys named Samwise
  • 2004: 5 baby boys named Samwise
  • 2005: not listed
  • 2006: not listed
  • 2007: not listed
  • 2008: not listed
  • 2009: 5 baby boys named Samwise
  • 2010-2011: not listed

The name Samwise is an English translation of Sam’s real name, BanazĂ®r, which means “halfwise” or “simple” in Westron.

Update, 5/19/15: Commenter elbowin just clued me in to the fact that Thorin is now on the rise, thanks to a character featured in the more recent Hobbit movie trilogy (2012 to 2014).


Thorin debuted on the SSA’s list in 1968.

  • 2009: 18 baby boys named Thorin
  • 2010: 11 baby boys named Thorin
  • 2011: 27 baby boys named Thorin
  • 2012: 31 baby boys named Thorin
  • 2013: 73 baby boys named Thorin
  • 2014: 112 baby boys named Thorin

The name Thorin is based on the Old Norse Þorinn, which means “bold one.”

P.S. Tori Amos’s daughter’s also has a Tolkien-inspired name.

Bates Family: Tennessee Couple with 19 Kids

A couple of weeks ago, Gil and Kelly Jo Bates of Lake City, Tennessee, welcomed their 19th child.

Here are the names and ages of all 19:

  1. Zachary Gilvin, called “Zach,” 23
  2. Michaella Christian, called “Michael,” 22 (Per Kelly: “We actually pronounced Michaella like the male version Michael with “uh” sound on the end (thus the two “L’s”).”)
  3. Erin Elise, 20
  4. William Lawson, called “Lawson,” 19
  5. Kenneth Nathaniel, called “Nathan,” 18
  6. Alyssa Joy, 17
  7. Tori Layne, 16
  8. Trace Whitfield, 15
  9. Carlin Brianne, 13
  10. Josie Kellyn, 12
  11. Katie Grace, 11
  12. Jackson Ezekiel, 9
  13. Warden Justice, 8
  14. Isaiah Courage, 7
  15. Addallee Hope, 5 (Touching explanation of the spelling of her name, per their About Our Family page: “The double letters in her name remind us that God gave her a second chance in life when she was born with complications that caused her breathing and her heart to stop.”)
  16. Ellie Bridget, 4
  17. Callie-Anna Rose, 2
  18. Judson Wyatt, 1
  19. Jeb Colton, newborn

Have any favorites?

P.S. They also have a dog named Johnny and a cat named Kitty.

Sources: Gil and Kelly Bates Welcome Baby No. 19, America’s largest family, the Bates, on miracle 19th child who survived after failing to breathe on his own at birth

Tori Amos’s Daughter Has Tolkien Name

I just learned that singer Tori Amos’s only child, 10-year-old Natashya (nn Tash), has the middle name Lórien.

The middle was inspired by Lothlórien, the fictional Elvish kingdom featured in J. R. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

I’ve seen plenty of Tolkien character names used as baby names, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a Tolkien place name used that way.

Source: The Dent

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Eli’s Little Sister

A reader named Liz, who already has a son named Eli, is now expecting a baby girl. Here’s her dilemma:

I love Caroline, my husband loves Marley, obviously we have different tastes and can’t seem to meet in the middle. I would like to use Ruth or Ellen for a middle name.

My first thought–and I’m sure Liz and her husband have already considered this: What about names like Madeleine, Marlene, and Marilyn? They have the feel of Caroline, but allow for the nickname Marley. (They don’t quite work with the middle name Ellen, though.)

There’s also the possibility of using Mary (or something similar) as a first name, Ellen as a middle, and Marley as a nickname for the combination.

My second thought: If popularity is an issue, they might want to be wary of Marley. It’s not too popular right now, but it’s steadily climbing the charts…and the movie Marley & Me could be what launches it into “trendy” territory.

Ok, enough thinking…it’s name time! On the left are formal names with fun nicknames; on the right are names that (by themselves) seem to be a good compromise between classic and cute.

Antonia (Toni, Nia)
Beatrix (Bea, Trixie)
Clarissa (Rissa)
Georgina (Gina, Gigi)
Josephine (Josie, Phina)
Matilda (Mattie, Tilda)
Miriam (Miri)*
Paulina (Paula, Lina)
Penelope (Penny, Nelle)
Theresa (Tess/a, Rese/a)
Victoria (Vickie, Tori)

*I know, I know…also a recent movie name. I don’t think Zack and Miri Make a Porno is quite as widely known as Marley & Me, though.

What other ideas would you offer to Liz?

Baby Name Needed – Name for Kai’s Little Sister

A reader named Anna would like a few baby name suggestions:

I’m expecting my second child, a girl, in April, and she’ll be half-English and half-Japanese. We already have a son named Kai, and we are trying to find a name that, like Kai’s, sounds good in both languages.

So far, they’ve come up with Sara, Ema, Naomi and Maya.

My first thought was to look for Japanese names that resemble familiar English names. Here’s what I found:

  • Ami, which looks like a variant of Amy.
  • Emi, which looks like a nickname for Emily or Emma.
  • Erika, which happens to match Erika.
  • Hana, which looks like a streamlined version of Hannah.
  • Kimi, which looks like it’s based on Kim.
  • Mari, Mariko, Marika and similar names containing Mari-, which is close to Mary.
  • Marina, which starts with Mari- and also happens to match Marina.
  • Megumi, which could be shortened to Meg.
  • Miki, which looks like a feminized version of Mickey.
  • Noa, which looks like the male name Noah…though there is a female in the Bible with the H-less version.
  • Suzu, Suzume, Suzuna, and other Su- names that could be shortened to Sue or Susie.

English names that are stylistically similar to Japanese names might also work well. Names like Mara, Nora, Dara, Dora, Tara, Tori and Una fit the pattern, for instance.

What other names can you come up with for Anna?

Baby & Name Are 4-Letter Words

[Welcome! Looking for 4-letter names? Try Girl Names with 4 Letters and Boy Names with 4 Letters.]

Ok, maybe “baby” and “name” aren’t four-letter words in that sense…but they do literally contain four letters.

In terms of four-letter baby names, what’s on top right now?

For girls, the most popular 4-letter names are Emma and Ella. Another trend I’m seeing is word names like Lily, Jade, Ruby, Iris and Sage. It also seems that trendy names (Jada, Kyra, Kyla, Kira, Maya, Zoey) are starting to trump traditional names like Mary and Sara, but not all traditional names (Anna, Leah, Lucy and Nora are still going strong).

For boys, biblical names are huge–both the classics (John, Adam, Mark and Paul) and the up-and-comers (Abel, Saul, Levi, Noah, Ezra and Jude). Modern monosyllabic names (Gage, Cade, Jace, Zane, Cole) and names with an exotic flair (Ivan, Axel, Gael, Amir, Omar, Liam, Raul) are also making headway.

Finally, for both genders, nickname-names (Kate, Abby, Nina and Tori for girls; Tony, Alex, Jake and Andy for boys) are moderately popular.