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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Valentina

Number of Babies Named Valentina

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Valentina

Top Baby Names in Malta, 2015

Malta’s top baby names of 2015 have been out for months now, but the latest data still isn’t available on the government’s Naming Babies page, so I can’t give you the official rankings.

The best I can do is this quote from a recent Times of Malta article:

Amy, Ella, Leah, Maya, Valentina, Emma, Martina, Jade, Julia, Elisa and Elena are among the most popular for girls […] Luca, Matthias, Adam, Ben, Benjamin, Beppe, Alexander, Thomas, Zack, Liam, Luke and Noah are among the most popular for boys.

The article also mentioned many of the less common names bestowed in Malta in 2015, including:

  • Ajson
  • Alix (the Maltese version of Alex)
  • Bitania
  • Carleshian
  • Delyth (“which in Welsh means neat and pretty, but when read with a Maltese pronunciation it means, err, murder”)
  • Ebtisam
  • Izz
  • Jack Daniel (similar to this guy)
  • Kelzen
  • Massa (“after Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Formula One driver”)
  • Massabielle
  • Mixhal (the Maltese version of Michelle)
  • Neymar
  • Roksanda
  • Rancy
  • Shaznolee
  • Thisseanne
  • Tenishia (“after the internationally renowned Maltese DJ duo”)
  • Vuk
  • Xemx (the Maltese word for “sun,” pronounced shemsh)
  • Zashielle
  • Zeshinzer

Malta’s top names of 2014 were Elena and Luke (more or less).

Source: Hi, Jack Daniel, It’s me, Xemx – Malta’s list of baby names


Which Baby Names Can Be Split in Two?

baby names split in two

In 1916, the London Globe mentioned twins named Jere and Miah:

There lived for many years in the village of Twerton, Bath, one named Miah. He was born a twin, and his parents thriftily divided the predestined name of Jeremiah between them, the other babe being christened Jere.

What other names could we divide into two usable mini-names like this?

Here are a few ideas to kick things off…

Abigail, Abi + Gail
Anastasia, Ana + Stasia
Calista, Cal + Ista
Drusilla, Dru + Silla
Elizabeth, Eliza + Beth
Mozelle, Mo + Zelle
Valentina, Valen + Tina
Alexander, Alex + Ander
Christopher, Chris + Topher
Denzel, Den + Zel
Donovan, Dono + Van
Joseph, Jo + Seph
Rexford, Rex + Ford
William, Wil + Liam

…what others can you think of?

Source: “Some Odd Christian Names.” Bee [Earlington, KY] 8 Dec. 1916: 8.

Letter by Letter: Popular Baby Girl Names, 2013

popular baby girl names, letter by letter, in 2013

Wondering what the most popular K-names for baby girls are? How about R-names?

Below are the 10 most popular girl names for each letter, A through Z. (The parenthetical notations show how the current rankings differ from the 2012 rankings.)

The four new #1 names that emerged in 2013 were Charlotte, which replaced Chloe, Delilah, which replaced Destiny, Harper, which replaced Hannah, and Lillian, which replaced Lily.

A-Names

1. Ava, 15129 baby girls
2. Abigail, 12313
3. Avery, 9121
4. Amelia, 7979 (was 6th)
5. Aubrey, 7927
6. Addison, 7677 (was 4th)
7. Audrey, 5567 (was 11th)
8. Allison, 5405 (was 9th)
9. Anna, 5315 (was 7th)
10. Aaliyah, 5195 (was 8th)

Out of the top 10: Alexis, now ranked 13th.

B-Names

1. Brooklyn, 6837 baby girls
2. Bella, 4135 (was 3rd)
3. Brianna, 3869 (was 2nd)
4. Bailey, 2993
5. Brooke, 2736
6. Brielle, 2674
7. Brooklynn, 2140
8. Brynn, 1478
9. Brynlee, 1175 (was 11th)
10. Bianca, 1048

Out of the top 10: Briana, now ranked 13th.

C-Names

1. Charlotte, 9232 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Chloe, 8714 (was 1st)
3. Camila, 5127 (was 4th)
4. Claire, 4626 (was 3rd)
5. Caroline, 3955
6. Cora, 2569 (was 7th)
7. Clara, 2486 (was 6th)
8. Catherine, 1840
9. Cecilia, 1430
10. Callie, 1404

Charlotte became the new #1 C-name in 2013.

D-Names

1. Delilah, 2324 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Destiny, 2277 (was 1st)
3. Daisy, 1620
4. Daniela, 1433
5. Delaney, 1265 (was 7th)
6. Danielle, 1220 (was 5th)
7. Diana, 1171 (was 6th)
8. Daniella, 1090 (was 9th)
9. Dakota, 1074 (was 8th)
10. Daphne, 770

Delilah became the new #1 D-name in 2013.

E-Names

1. Emma, 20788 baby girls
2. Emily, 13044
3. Elizabeth, 9345
4. Ella, 8370
5. Evelyn, 7616
6. Ellie, 3739
7. Eva, 3386
8. Eleanor, 2986
9. Eliana, 2584 (was 10th)
10. Elena, 2371 (was 9th)

F-Names

1. Faith, 3349 baby girls
2. Fiona, 1625
3. Finley, 1089 (was 3rd)
4. Fatima, 1036 (was 4th)
5. Francesca, 711 (was 6th)
6. Fernanda, 583 (was 5th)
7. Felicity, 493 (was 8th)
8. Farrah, 451 (was 7th)
9. Frances, 401
10. Freya, 279 (was 13th)

Out of the top 10: Faye, now ranked 11th.

G-Names

1. Grace, 7296 baby girls
2. Gabriella, 5173
3. Genesis, 4280
4. Gianna, 3416
5. Gabrielle, 2188
6. Gracie, 1924
7. Giselle, 1559
8. Genevieve, 1445 (was 9th)
9. Gabriela, 1438 (was 8th)
10. Georgia, 1250 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Giuliana, now ranked 11th.

H-Names

1. Harper, 8222 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Hannah, 7222 (was 1st)
3. Hailey, 4994
4. Hadley, 2807
5. Hazel, 2039
6. Hayden, 1674 (was 7th)
7. Harmony, 1602 (was 8th)
8. Haley, 1396 (was 6th)
9. Hope, 1359
10. Heaven, 982 (was 11th)

Harper became the new #1 H-name in 2013.

Out of the top 10: Haylee, now ranked 11th.

I-Names

1. Isabella, 17490 baby girls
2. Isabelle, 2729
3. Isabel, 2317
4. Ivy, 2079 (was 5th)
5. Isla, 1900 (was 6th)
6. Izabella, 1769 (was 4th)
7. Iris, 1238
8. Itzel, 697 (was 9th)
9. Imani, 622 (was 8th)
10. Isis, 496

J-Names

1. Julia, 3715 baby girls
2. Jocelyn, 3133 (was 3rd)
3. Jasmine, 3024 (was 2nd)
4. Jade, 2570
5. Jordyn, 2371
6. Juliana, 2085 (was 7th)
7. Josephine, 1996 (was 8th)
8. Jessica, 1935 (was 6th)
9. Jayla, 1822 (was 10th)
10. Julianna, 1685 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Jennifer, now ranked 11th.

K-Names

1. Kaylee, 5079 baby girls
2. Kylie, 4003 (was 3rd)
3. Kennedy, 3932 (was 6th)
4. Katherine, 3693
5. Khloe, 3654 (was 2nd)
6. Kayla, 3236 (was 5th)
7. Kimberly, 3084
8. Kendall, 2504
9. Kaitlyn, 2361
10. Katelyn, 2126

L-Names

1. Lillian, 7017 baby girls (was 2nd)
2. Lily, 6935 (was 1st)
3. Layla, 6440
4. Leah, 5554
5. Lucy, 3914
6. London, 3430 (was 7th)
7. Lauren, 3330 (was 6th)
8. Lydia, 3220
9. Liliana, 2597 (was 10th)
10. Lilly, 2586 (was 9th)

Lillian became the new #1 L-name in 2013.

M-Names

1. Mia, 13066 baby girls
2. Madison, 10529
3. Mackenzie, 3990 (was 6th)
4. Madelyn, 3908 (was 4th)
5. Maya, 3783 (was 3rd)
6. Mila, 3661 (was 13th)
7. Melanie, 3455
8. Madeline, 3348 (was 10th)
9. Makayla, 3258 (was 5th)
10. Morgan, 3094 (was 8th)

Out of the top 10: Molly, now ranked 11th.

N-Names

1. Natalie, 7430 baby girls
2. Nevaeh, 4716
3. Nora, 3482 (was 4th)
4. Naomi, 3400 (was 3rd)
5. Nicole, 3325
6. Natalia, 2613
7. Norah, 1715
8. Nina, 1100
9. Noelle, 1066 (was 10th)
10. Nyla, 1025 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Nadia, now ranked 11th.

O-Names

1. Olivia, 18256 baby girls
2. Olive, 1086
3. Oakley, 272
4. Ophelia, 184
5. Opal, 123
6. Oaklee, 110 (was 9th)
7. Olyvia, 100 (was 6th)
8. Oriana, 75 (was 16th)
9. Octavia, 73 (was 8th)
10. Orianna, 68 (was 17th)

Out of the top 10: Olga, now ranked 13th, and October, now 20th.

(Oriana/Orianna probably got a boost from Ariana.)

P-Names

1. Peyton, 4539 baby girls
2. Penelope, 4258 (was 6th)
3. Paisley, 3584 (was 4th)
4. Piper, 3159 (was 2nd)
5. Payton, 2597 (was 3rd)
6. Paige, 2560 (was 5th)
7. Presley, 1619
8. Paris, 1229
9. Parker, 1195 (was 10th)
10. Phoebe, 1050 (was 9th)

Q-Names

1. Quinn, 2634 baby girls
2. Quincy, 128
3. Queen, 126
4. Queenie, 37 (was 5th)
5. Quetzalli, 36 (was 4th)
6. Quorra, 35
7. Quinley, 31 (was 9th)
8. Quinlan, 29 (was 7th)
9. Quincey, 28 (was 8th)
10. Quetzaly, 26 (was 14th)

Out of the top 10: Quinlyn, now ranked 12th.

R-Names

1. Riley, 4902 baby girls
2. Ruby, 3269 (was 3rd)
3. Reagan, 3020 (was 2nd)
4. Rylee, 2878
5. Rachel, 2271 (was 6th)
6. Reese, 2052 (was 5th)
7. Rebecca, 1773
8. Ryleigh, 1709
9. Rose, 1407
10. Raelynn, 1109 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Raegan, now ranked 11th.

S-Names

1. Sophia, 21075 baby girls
2. Sofia, 9108
3. Samantha, 6453
4. Savannah, 5192
5. Scarlett, 5031 (was 8th)
6. Sarah, 4635 (was 5th)
7. Sadie, 4614 (was 12th)
8. Serenity, 4412 (was 7th)
9. Stella, 3880
10. Skylar, 3764 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Sophie, now ranked 11th, and Sydney, now 12th.

T-Names

1. Taylor, 4108 baby girls
2. Trinity, 2895
3. Tessa, 1313
4. Teagan, 1211
5. Tatum, 970
6. Talia, 902 (was 7th)
7. Tiffany, 699 (was 6th)
8. Tatiana, 548 (was 9th)
9. Tiana, 540 (was 8th)
10. Tenley, 514

U-Names

1. Unique, 144 baby girls
2. Unknown, 57 (was 3rd) [not a name; used when a name is unknown]
3. Uma, 56 (was 2nd)
4. Una, 39
5. Uriah, 32 (was 6th)
6. Ursula, 29 (was 5th)
7. Unity, 20
8. Umaiza, 14
9. Urvi, 14 (was 12th)
10. Ulani, 12 (was 13th)

Out of the top 10: Urijah, now ranked 11th, and Uriyah, now 13th.

V-Names

1. Victoria, 7155 baby girls
2. Violet, 3895
3. Vivian, 2629 (was 4th)
4. Valentina, 2542 (was 6th)
5. Vanessa, 2085 (was 3rd)
6. Valerie, 1862 (was 7th)
7. Valeria, 1807 (was 5th)
8. Vivienne, 1124 (was 9th)
9. Veronica, 947 (was 8th)
10. Vera, 715 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Viviana, now ranked 11th.

W-Names

1. Willow, 2055 baby girls
2. Whitney, 477
3. Winter, 418 (was 5th)
4. Willa, 404 (was 3rd)
5. Wendy, 394 (was 4th)
6. Wren, 332
7. Wynter, 264
8. Whitley, 170
9. Waverly, 107 (was 10th)
10. Winnie, 105 (was 9th)

X-Names

1. Ximena, 1951 baby girls
2. Xiomara, 166
3. Xochitl, 115
4. Xitlali, 69
5. Xena, 67 (was 6th)
6. Xenia, 57 (was 7th)
7. Xitlaly, 47 (was 5th)
8. Xyla, 42
9. Xaria, 30 (was 10th)
10. Xoey, 26 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Xochilt, now ranked 11th.

Y-Names

1. Yaretzi, 1044 baby girls
2. Yareli, 430
3. Yamileth, 335 (was 5th)
4. Yasmin, 326 (was 3rd)
5. Yaritza, 301 (was 4th)
6. Yesenia, 237
7. Yaretzy, 228 (was 11th)
8. Yara, 207 (was 10th)
9. Yamilet, 200 (was 14th)
10. Yoselin, 196 (was 7th)

Out of the top 10: Yuliana, now ranked 11th, and Yazmin, now 13th.

Z-Names

1. Zoey, 7187 baby girls
2. Zoe, 5920
3. Zara, 625 (was 4th)
4. Zariah, 567 (was 3rd)
5. Zuri, 563 (was 6th)
6. Zoie, 427 (was 5th)
7. Zariyah, 347 (was 8th)
8. Zaniyah, 346 (was 9th)
9. Zaria, 328 (was 10th)
10. Zion, 324 (was 7th)

Here are the 2012 rankings, if you want to check them out.

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names

Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2013

Which girl names increased/decreased the most in popularity from 2012 to 2013?

Below are two versions of each list. My version looks at raw number differences and takes all 19,114 girl names on the 2013 list into account. The SSA’s version looks at ranking differences and covers roughly the top 1,000 girl names.

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Sadie, +2,031 babies (2,583 to 4,614)
  2. Aria, +1,862 (3,223 to 5,085)
  3. Charlotte, +1,773 (7,459 to 9,232)
  4. Penelope, +1,732 (2,526 to 4,258)
  5. Sofia, +1,300 (7,808 to 9,108)
  6. Mia, +1088 (11,978 to 13,066)
  7. Harper, +1046 (7,176 to 8,222)
  8. Mila, +1027 (2,634 to 3,661)
  9. Olivia, +1003 (17,253 to 18,256)
  10. Scarlett, +994 (4,037 to 5,031)
  11. Kendra, +913 (800 to 1,713)
  12. Avery, +818 (8,303 to 9,121)
  13. Ariana, +816 (3,568 to 4,384)
  14. Evelyn, +751 (6,865 to 7,616)
  15. Amelia, +746 (7,233 to 7,979)
  16. Jaylah, +683 (676 to 1,359)
  17. Nicole, +679 (2,646 to 3,325)
  18. Paisley, +671 (2,913 to 3,584)
  19. Valentina, +642 (1,900 to 2,542)
  20. Violet, +629 (3,266 to 3,895)
  21. Eleanor, +618 (2,368 to 2,986)
  22. Nora, +600 (2,882 to 3,482)
  23. Kennedy, +555 (3,377 to 3,932)
  24. Caroline, +547 (3,408 to 3,955)
  25. Alexia, +530 (1,283 to 1,813)
  1. Daleyza, +3,130 spots (3,715th to 585th)
  2. Marjorie, +735 (1,645th to 910th)
  3. Lennon, +700 (1,623rd to 923rd)
  4. Jurnee, +571 (1,467th to 896th)
  5. Everleigh, +538 (1,403rd to 865th)
  6. Everly, +524 (907th to 383rd)
  7. Henley, +478 (1,309th to 831st)
  8. Freya, +395 (1,303rd to 908th)
  9. Neriah, +392 (1,346th to 954th)
  10. Oakley, +340 (1,268th to 928th)
  11. Mabel, +338 (1,045th to 707th)
  12. Hadlee, +326 (1,215th to 889th)
  13. Gwyneth, +297 (1,183rd to 886th)
  14. Emerie, +294 (1,234th to 940th)
  15. Dallas, +292 (902nd to 610th)
  16. Saige, +282 (931st to 649th)
  17. Azalea, +269 (900th to 631st)
  18. Hunter, +266 (1,196th to 930th)
  19. Kaidence, +266 (1,245th to 979th)
  20. India, +240 (1,212th to 972nd)
  21. Rosie, +235 (1,118th to 883rd)
  22. Juniper, +227 (875th to 648th)
  23. Jaylah, +226 (460th to 234th)
  24. Saylor, +217 (1,123rd to 906th)
  25. Kora, +216 (974th to 758th)

Check out Sadie! I wasn’t expecting to see that name here. Unlike Penelope, which I was expecting to see here.

Harper, Aria, Charlotte — still going strong. And Paisley’s back, though the rise has slowed: 3rd in 2012, 18th in 2013.

Does anyone have a theory on Jaylah?

(The SSA broadened the scope of their analysis this year — top 500 to top 1,000 — which is great, but it makes direct comparisons between this year’s list and last year’s impossible.)

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Isabella, -1,536 babies (19,026 to 17,490)
  2. Sophia, -1,170 (22,245 to 21,075)
  3. Lily, -998 (7,933 to 6,935)
  4. Chloe, -914 (9,628 to 8,714)
  5. Hailey, -903 (5,897 to 4,994)
  6. Alyssa, -900 (5,069 to 4,169)
  7. Sophie, -851 (4,561 to 3,710)
  8. Madison, -831 (11,360 to 10,529)
  9. Ella, -794 (9,164 to 8,370)
  10. Ashley, -776 (4,689 to 3,913)
  11. Brianna, -748 (4,617 to 3,869)
  12. Taylor, -739 (4,847 to 4,108)
  13. Khloe, -645 (4,299 to 3,654)
  14. Nevaeh, -629 (5,345 to 4,716)
  15. Alexis, -591 (5,332 to 4,741)
  16. Emily, -562 (13,606 to 13,044)
  17. Sarah, -523 (5,158 to 4,635)
  18. Kaylee, -521 (5,600 to 5,079)
  19. Kayla, -512 (3,748 to 3,236)
  20. Zoe, -501 (6,421 to 5,920)
  21. Makayla, -498 (3,756 to 3,258)
  22. Addison, -482 (8,159 to 7,677)
  23. Vanessa, -463 (2,548 to 2,085)
  24. Samantha, -454 (6,907 to 6,453)
  25. Natalie, -450 (7,880 to 7,430)
  1. Litzy, -825 spots (597th to 1422nd)
  2. Geraldine, -412 (990th to 1,402nd)
  3. Marisa, -389 (978th to 1,367th)
  4. Taraji, -382 (859th to 1,241st)
  5. Adley, -370 (735th to 1,105th)
  6. Jazzlyn, -343 (955th to 1,298th)
  7. Maritza, -304 (840th to 1,144th)
  8. Izabelle, -299 (984th to 1,283rd)
  9. Jaqueline, -246 (905th to 1,151st)
  10. Abbie, -226 (791st to 1,017th)
  11. Kenia, -221 (643rd to 864th)
  12. Larissa, -219 (857th to 1076th)
  13. Perla, -216 (452nd to 668th)
  14. Haylie, -213 (894th to 1,107th)
  15. Kendal, -208 (851st to 1,059th)
  16. Ryann, -204 (790th to 994th)
  17. Jayde, -201 (784th to 985th)
  18. Carissa, -199 (958th to 1,157th)
  19. Jessa, -197 (991st to 1,188th)
  20. Meghan, 196 (883rd to 1,079th)
  21. Jakayla, -186 (933rd to 1,119th)
  22. Saanvi, -183 (901st to 1,084th)
  23. Kaitlin, -180 (838th to 1,018th)
  24. Brisa, -179 (912th to 1,091st)
  25. Kyndal, -178 (981st to 1,159th)

Newbie losers on the left-hand side include Sophia (still the #1 name despite the decrease), Lily, Hailey and Sophie.

Winners/losers in years past:

  • 2012: Harper/Chloe, or Arya/Dulce
  • 2011: Harper/Isabella
  • 2010: Sophia/Madison

Source: Change in Popularity from 2012 to 2013

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Twin Sister

A reader named Ayelet is expecting twins. She and her husband won’t be finding out the babies’ genders ahead of time, so they’d like to be prepared with two boy names and two girl names.

So far they’ve got August and Dominic for the boy names and Celia for one of the girl names. Once they select a second girl name they’ll be all set.

They’d like something that isn’t common (i.e. outside of the top 500). They’re considering Aliyah, Angelie, Aurelia, Eva, Isla, Juliet and Valentina, but Aliena is the current favorite:

The name we love is Aliena. She is a character in Ken Follett’s novel “The Pillars of the Earth,” which is set in twelfth-century England. But we can’t get past the “alien” in the name. I have an Alienor in my family tree, so I thought about going the Eleanor route, but I don’t like that spelling; I think I’m in love with that “Ali” sequence.

The baby’s surname will start and end with the letter n, like Nelson.

First, about Aliena. It’s a pretty name, but I’d also be worried about that “alien” association. I don’t know if I’d risk it as a first name, but it might work well as a middle.

The only alternative I can come up with is Eliana, which is an (unrelated) anagram of Aliena. But it’s ranked 193rd and climbing, so it might be a bit too popular.

Here are some other possibilities. None of these are currently in the top 500, and the ones with asterisks have a-l-i sequences.

Adina
Antonia
Amity
Adele/Adeline
Anneliese
Beatrice
Catalina*
Callista
Coralie*
Corinna
Davina
Estella
Elsa
Eloise
Esme
Flavia
Ginevra
Gwendolyn
Helena
Irina
Isadora
Judith/Judy
Leona
Lavinia
Marina
Martina
Mara
Olive
Oriana
Odette
Paulina
Regina
Rosalie*
Rosaline*
Theresa
Vera
Viola
Verity
Venetia
Zinnia

Finally, there’s the option of simply feminizing one of the boy names. August could become Augusta or Augustina; Dominic could become Dominique or Dominica.

Which of the above girl names do you like best with August, Dominic and/or Celia? What other girl names would you suggest to Ayelet?

Namestorm 11 – Baby Names for Space Lovers

Captivated by the cosmos? You might enjoy this list of space-inspired baby names:

Robert (and Nell)
American physicist Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket (nicknamed Nell) in Auburn, Massachusetts on March 16, 1926.

Yuri
Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter space and return safely on April 12, 1961.

Alan
Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space on May 5, 1961.

Valentina
Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on 16 June 1963.

Alexey (and Eva)
Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov carried out the first EVA (extra-vehicular activity–in this case, a spacewalk) on March 18, 1965.

Edwin and Neil
Astronauts Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong become the first men to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Vladimir
Czechoslovak cosmonaut Vladimír Remek became the first Non-American, non-Soviet in space on 2 March 1978.

Sally
Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on 18 June 1983.

Svetlana
Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to perform a spacewalk on 25 July 1984.

Anna
Astronaut Anna Fisher became the first mother in space* on 8 November 1984.

Helen
British cosmonaut Helen Sharman became the first non-American, non-Soviet female in space on 18 May 1991.

Peggy
American biochemist Peggy Whitson became the first resident scientist of the International Space Station in 2002.

And now, a couple of questions:

  • Can you come up with any other space-related baby names?
  • What interests/activities should we namestorm about next?

*By “the first mother in space,” I mean the first woman with children to go into space, not the first woman to give birth in space.

Sources: Key Milestones in Space Exploration, Space Exploration Timeline, Wikipedia, Women in Space

Celebrities Who Have Chosen Great Baby Names

Do you think celebrities bestow strange baby names in order to give their careers a boost? That’s the impression I get sometimes. I’d never heard of soap star Ingo Rademacher before he named his son Peanut. I knew very little about M.I.A. before she came up with the name Ikhyd. And I hadn’t thought about Lisa Bonet in ages until she popped up with Nakoa-Wolf. Certainly these baby names helped introduce these celebs to a wider audience–if only for a short time.

I think it’s unfortunate that unusual celebrity baby names receive so much attention. Segments on Entertainment Tonight, pages in People Magazine, entire VH1 specials…not to mention all the blog buzz. (Yup, I’m guilty.) It’s a ridiculous amount of positive reinforcement for a practice that probably shouldn’t be encouraged.

So I thought I’d put together a list of celebrities who have given their children normal names, like Samuel and Christina–names you’ve heard before, names that would never make the headlines for being peculiar. So far, the list stretches back nearly 80 years and features more than 80 celebrities:

  • Mark Wahlberg named his children Ella, Michael, Brendan and Margaret.
  • Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughters Pearl and Lucille.
  • Colin Farrell named his sons James and Henry.
  • Julie Delpy named her son Leo.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick named their children James, Marion and Tabitha.
  • Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber named their sons Alexander and Samuel.
  • Salma Hayek named her daughter Valentina.
  • Amanda Peet named her daughter Frances.
  • Steve Zahn named his children Henry and Audrey.
  • Ricky Martin named his twin sons Matteo and Valentino.
  • Jack Black named his sons Samuel and Thomas.
  • Ewan McGregor named his biological daughters Clara and Esther.
  • Kate Winslet named her children Mia and Joe.
  • Julia Ormond named her daughter Sophie.
  • Natalie Merchant named her daughter Lucia.
  • Celine Dion named her son René-Charles.
  • Rachel Weisz named her son Henry.
  • Kellie Martin named her daughter Margaret.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard named their daughter Ramona.
  • Christian Bale named his daughter Emmeline.
  • Tina Fey named her daughter Alice.
  • Bill Paxton named his children James and Lydia.
  • Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy named their daughters Sofia and Georgia.
  • Chris O’Donnell named his children Lily, Christopher, Charles, Finley and Maeve.
  • Jodie Foster named her sons Charles and Christopher.
  • Dennis Quaid named his children Jack, Thomas and Zoe.
  • Warren Beatty and Annette Bening named their children Kathlyn, Benjamin, Isabel and Ella.
  • Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora named their daughter Ava.
  • Ed Harris named his daughter Lily.
  • Kenny G named his sons Max and Noah.
  • Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins named their sons Jack and Miles.
  • Phil Collins named his children Simon, Lily, Nicholas and Matthew.
  • Meryl Streep named her children Henry, Mary, Grace and Louisa.
  • Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love named their daughter Frances.
  • Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson named their sons Micheál and Daniel.
  • Kiefer Sutherland named his daughter Sarah.
  • Mel Gibson named his children Hannah, Edward, Christian, William, Louis, Milo, Thomas and Lucia.
  • Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates named their children Owen and Greta.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer named her biological son John.
  • Diane Lane named her daughter Eleanor.
  • Denzel Washington named his children John, Katia, Olivia and Malcolm.
  • Bette Midler named her daughter Sophie.
  • Michael Keaton named his son Sean.
  • Sigourney Weaver named her daughter Charlotte.
  • Tim Allen named his daughters Katherine and Elizabeth.
  • Harrison Ford named his children Benjamin, Willard, Malcolm and Georgia.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver named their children Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher.
  • Robert DeNiro named his sons Raphael, Elliott, Julian and Aaron.
  • Sophia Loren named her sons Carlo and Edoardo.
  • John Lennon named his sons John and Sean.
  • Bruce Lee named his children Brandon and Shannon.
  • Telly Savalas named his children Christina, Penelope, Candace, Nicholas, Christian and Ariana.
  • Paul McCartney named his children Mary, Stella, James and Beatrice.
  • Bing Crosby named his children Gary, Dennis, Phillip, Lindsay, Harry, Mary and Nathaniel.
  • Joan Rivers named her daughter Melissa.
  • Sean Connery named his son Jason.
  • Jack Lemmon named his children Christopher and Courtney.
  • Robert Redford named his children Scott, James, Shauna and Amy.
  • Bob Dylan named his biological children Jesse, Anna, Samuel, Jakob and Desiree.
  • Paul Newman named his children Scott, Susan, Stephanie, Elinor, Melissa and Claire.
  • John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy named their children Arabella, Caroline, John and Patrick.
  • Grace Kelly named her children Caroline, Albert and Stephanie.
  • William Holden named his sons Peter and Scott.
  • Robert Mitchum named his children James, Christopher and Petrina.
  • Kirk Douglas named his sons Michael, Joel, Peter and Eric.
  • Judy Garland named her children Liza, Lorna and Joseph.
  • James Stewart named his twin daughters Judy and Kelly.
  • James Cagney named his children James and Cathleen.
  • Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall named their children Stephen and Leslie.
  • Gregory Peck named his children Jonathan, Stephen, Carey, Anthony and Cecilia.
  • Elizabeth Taylor named her biological children Michael, Christopher and Elizabeth.
  • Alec Guinness named his son Matthew.
  • Deborah Kerr named her daughters Melanie and Francesca.
  • Betty Grable named her daughters Victoria and Jessica.
  • Henry Fonda named his biological children Jane and Peter.
  • Pablo Picasso named his children Paul, Maria, Claude and Paloma.
  • Vivien Leigh named her daughter Suzanne.
  • Marlene Dietrich named her daughter Maria.
  • Gary Cooper named his daughter Maria.

I know I’ve missed dozens of other famous people with well-named children. Who else can you come up with?