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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Vanessa


Posts that Mention the Name Vanessa

The Inception of Sway

sway, gone in 60 seconds, movie, character
Angelina Jolie as Sara “Sway” Wayland

The word Sway popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2001:

  • 2003: 14 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Sway
  • 2002: 12 baby girls named Sway
  • 2001: 8 baby girls named Sway [debut]
  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted

For a long time I assumed the main influence was MTV personality Sway Calloway. But, while I still think Sway had an influence on male usage, I’ve since discovered a much better explanation for the 2001 debut as a female name.

One of the main characters in the 2000 car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was mechanic-slash-bartender Sara “Sway” Wayland (played by Angelina Jolie). She was the love interest of protagonist Randall “Memphis” Raines (played by Nicolas Cage), who was tasked with stealing 50 specific, expensive cars inside of 72 hours.

The film didn’t get great reviews, but I do remember appreciating the fact that each of the 50 cars was assigned a feminine code-name:

Mary, Barbara, Lindsey, Laura, Alma, Madeline, Patricia, Carol, Daniela, Stefanie, Erin, Pamela, Olga, Anne, Kate, Vanessa, Denise, Diane, Lisa, Nadine, Angelina, Rose, Susan, Tracey, Rachel, Bernadene, Deborah, Stacey, Josephine, Hillary, Kimberley, Renee, Dorothy, Donna, Samantha, Ellen, Gabriela, Shannon, Jessica, Sharon, Tina, Marsha, Natalie, Virginia, Tanya, Grace, Ashley, Cathy, Lynn, Eleanor

So, how do you feel about the name Sway? If you were having a baby girl, would you be more likely to name her something modern, like Sway, or something traditional, like Sara or Susan?

Sources: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia, Talk:Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia

Baby Names from Hill Street Blues

Hill Street Blues, baby names, 1980s, television,

The police drama Hill Street Blues, which aired on NBC from 1981 to 1987, revolutionized the “cop show” TV genre. The series was the first of its kind to feature sequential storylines (vs. stand-alone episodes), an ensemble cast (vs. a single star), overlapping dialogue, hand-held camerawork, and more.

In fact, CNN went ahead and labelled Hill Street Blues “the most influential TV show ever.”

But it wasn’t just influential in the world of television. It also left its mark on American baby names. Hundreds of babies born in the ’80s got a Hill Street Blues-inspired baby name, such as…

Travanti

Actor Daniel J. Travanti, who played main character Capt. Frank Furillo, was nominated for the “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” Emmy five times in a row (1981 to 1985), winning twice (in ’81 and ’82). Also in 1982, the name Travanti debuted in the baby name data:

  • 1985: 14 baby boys named Travanti
  • 1984: 12 baby boys named Travanti
  • 1983: 8 baby boys named Travanti
  • 1982: 15 baby boys named Travanti [debut]
  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: unlisted

Taurean

Actor Taurean Blacque (born Herbert Middleton), who played Det. Neal Washington, was nominated for the “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” Emmy in 1982. (In fact, all five nominees for the award that year were HSB actors.) The name Taurean debuted in the data for both genders in 1981:

  • 1985: 143 baby boys named Taurean [rank: 745th]
  • 1984: 172 baby boys [rank: 659th] and 10 baby girls named Taurean
  • 1983: 231 baby boys [rank: 554th] and 17 baby girls named Taurean
  • 1982: 210 baby boys [rank: 593rd] and 7 baby girls named Taurean
  • 1981: 91 baby boys [rank: 944th] and 6 baby girls named Taurean [dual-debut]
  • 1980: unlisted

Taurean was the top boy-name debut of 1981, and the variants Taurian, Tauren, and Taureon all popped up in the data as well that year.

(And how did Herbert come up with the stage name “Taurean Blacque”? It’s “a combination of astrology and race with some fancy spelling thrown in.” He wanted a name he “could identify with and one that would stand out on a billboard.”)

Kiel

Actor Kiel Martin played Officer John “J.D.” LaRue. While the show was on the air, the baby name Kiel rose to peak usage among baby boys:

  • 1985: 221 baby boys [rank: 591st] and 5 baby girls named Kiel
  • 1984: 260 baby boys [rank: 534th] and 5 baby girls named Kiel
  • 1983: 277 baby boys [rank: 505th] and 8 baby girls named Kiel
  • 1982: 194 baby boys named Kiel [rank: 623rd]
  • 1981: 68 baby boys named Kiel
  • 1980: 9 baby boys named Kiel

Darylann

Actress Deborah Richter played recurring character Daryl Ann from 1982 to 1987 (but primarily during the last three years). In response, not only did the usage of the name Daryl for baby girls increase, but the name Darylann appeared for the first time:

  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: 7 baby girls named Darylann
  • 1987: 5 baby girls named Darylann [debut]
  • 1986: unlisted

Shirret

Actress Van Nessa L. Clarke played minor character Shirret Anders in a pair of back-to-back 1981 episodes. The same year, the baby name Shirret debuted in the data:

  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: 5 baby girls named Shirret [one-hit wonder]
  • 1980: unlisted

Have you ever met someone with a Hill Street Blues-inspired baby name?

Sources:

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 9

baby names that add up to 9, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “9.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “9” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “9,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

9

The following baby names add up to 9.

  • “9” boy names: Ace, Ed

9 via 18

The following baby names add up to 18, which reduces to nine (1+8=9).

  • “18” girl names: Lea, Ela, Gaia, Acacia, Addi, Naba, Bana, Anab, Dacia, Febe
  • “18” boy names: Can, Jag, Bao, Aban, Acie, Edi, Ale

9 via 27

The following baby names add up to 27, which reduces to nine (2+7=9).

  • “27” girl names: Leia, Aleah, Alma, Aya, Chana, Adele, Dalia, Elia, Amal, Emi
  • “27” boy names: Caden, Jake, Ahmad, Eddie, Koa, Cain, Cian, Jeff, Job, Angad

9 via 36

The following baby names add up to 36, which reduces to nine (3+6=9).

  • “36” girl names: Malia, Anika, Angie, Lina, Belle, Kiana, Erica, Halo, Maddie, Darla
  • “36” boy names: Chase, Reid, Caiden, Jay, Reece, Kase, Alden, Lian, Bilal, Kiaan

9 via 45

The following baby names add up to 45, which reduces to nine (4+5=9).

  • “45” girl names: Arya, Ariel, Remi, Fiona, Selah, Helena, Emelia, Kora, Briana, Emmie
  • “45” boy names: Elijah, Daniel, Cohen, Luka, Clark, Ty, Ariel, Enoch, Fox, Tadeo

9 via 54

The following baby names add up to 54, which reduces to nine (5+4=9).

  • “54” girl names: Bailey, Elliana, Alivia, Alayna, Regina, Carmen, Marlee, Zahra, Karina, Ariya
  • “54” boy names: Gabriel, Mateo, Gideon, Angelo, Devin, Gianni, Rocco, Kairo, Izaiah, Musa

9 via 63

The following baby names add up to 63, which reduces to nine (6+3=9).

  • “63” girl names: Brielle, Madeline, Noelle, Angelina, Olive, Miriam, Paris, Zariah, Fernanda, Hattie
  • “63” boy names: Matias, Emilio, Leonel, Nehemiah, Kylan, Roger, Jaziel, Otis, Caspian, Kaiser

9 via 72

The following baby names add up to 72, which reduces to nine (7+2=9).

  • “72” girl names: Aubrey, Sophie, Valerie, River, Magnolia, Mikayla, Jayleen, Holly, Everlee, Charley
  • “72” boy names: Cooper, River, Tanner, Darius, Mohammed, Jordy, Rocky, Dwayne, Kylian, Aubrey

9 via 81

The following baby names add up to 81, which reduces to nine (8+1=9).

  • “81” girl names: Brynlee, Vanessa, Jennifer, Malaysia, Tiffany, Xiomara, Sariyah, Tenley, Aubriella, Elisabeth
  • “81” boy names: Oliver, Hudson, Nicholas, Jamison, Lawrence, Samson, Nikolas, Rodney, Mustafa, Rogelio

9 via 90

The following baby names add up to 90, which reduces to nine (9+0=9).

  • “90” girl names: Autumn, Saylor, Skyler, Leighton, Evangelina, Bridgette, Paxton, Anderson, Kensleigh, Makinley
  • “90” boy names: Sebastian, Matthew, Theodore, Maxwell, Waylon, Paxton, Clayton, Anderson, Raymond, Skyler

9 via 99

The following baby names add up to 99, which reduces to nine (9+9=18; 1+8=9).

  • “99” girl names: Emersyn, Gracelynn, Priscilla, Grayson, Presleigh, Verity, Yoselin, Lillyann, Stormie, Jupiter
  • “99” boy names: Grayson, Cristobal, Rockwell, Kassius, Kingsten, Stuart, Jeronimo, Jupiter, Creighton, Coulson

9 via 108

The following baby names add up to 108, which reduces to nine (1+0+8=9).

  • “108” girl names: Journey, Roselyn, Violette, Rylynn, Emberlynn, Jacquelyn, Ellington, Stephany, Yatziri, Scotlyn
  • “108” boy names: Alessandro, Vincenzo, Cristiano, Journey, Fitzgerald, Truitt, Tyshaun, Courtland, Treshawn, Ellington

9 via 117

The following baby names add up to 117, which reduces to nine (1+1+7=9).

  • “117” girl names: Marguerite, Novalynn, Brookelyn, Zaylynn, Quinnley, Roslynn, Kynzleigh, Prestyn, Augustine, Krystina
  • “117” boy names: Augustine, Yitzchok, Maximillian, Trystan, Stockton, Treyton, Krystian, Prestyn, Shreyansh, Rustyn

9 via 126

The following baby names add up to 126, which reduces to nine (1+2+6=9).

  • “126” girl names: Brooklynn, Quinnlyn, Tennyson, Quinlynn, Stellarose, Marvelous, Veronique, Lillianrose
  • “126” boy names: Tennyson, Johnwilliam, Marvelous, Victoriano, Robertson, Royston, Artavious, Tavarious, Dionysus, Zygmunt

9 via 135

The following baby names add up to 135, which reduces to nine (1+3+5=9).

  • “135” girl names: Symphony, Kenzington, Syrenity, Sojourner
  • “135” boy names: Oluwadamilare, Thurston

9 via 144

The following baby names add up to 144, which reduces to nine (1+4+4=9).

  • “144” girl names: Yuritzy, Harleyquinn
  • “144” boy names: Constantino, Johnanthony, Oluwalonimi

9 via 153

The boy name Quintavius adds up to 153, which reduces to nine (1+5+3=9).

9 via 171

The following baby names add up to 171, which reduces to nine (1+7+1=9).

  • “171” girl names: Oluwatomisin
  • “171” boy names: Konstantinos, Oluwatimilehin

9 via 180

The unisex name Kamsiyochukwu adds up to 180, which reduces to nine (1+8+0=9).

What Does “9” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “9” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “9” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“9” (the ennead) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “It is by no means possible for there to subsist any number beyond the nine elementary numbers. Hence they called it ‘Oceanus’ and ‘horizon,’ because it encompasses both of these locations and has them within itself.”
  • “Because it does not allow the harmony of number to be dissipated beyond itself, but brings numbers together and makes them play in concert, it is called ‘concord’ and ‘limitation,’ and also ‘sun,’ in the sense that it gathers things together.”
  • “They also called it ‘Hyperion,’ because it has gone beyond all the other numbers as regards magnitude”
  • “The ennead is the first square based on an odd number. It too is called ‘that which brings completion,’ and it completes nine-month children, moreover, it is called ‘perfect,’ because it arises out of 3, which is a perfect number.”
  • “It was called ‘assimilation,’ perhaps because it is the first odd square”
  • “They used to call it […] ‘banisher’ because it prevents the voluntary progress of number; and ‘finishing-post’ because it has been organized as the goal and, as it were, turning-point of advancement.”

“9” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Nine – the change” (reading 261-14).
  • “Nine indicates strength and power, with a change” (reading 261-15).
  • “Nine making for the completeness in numbers; […] making for that termination in the forces in natural order of things that come as a change imminent in the life” (reading 5751-1).
  • “As to numbers, or numerology: We find that the number nine becomes as the entity’s force or influence, which may be seen in that whatever the entity begins it desires to finish. Everything must be in order. It is manifested in those tendencies for the expressions of orderliness, neatness. To be sure, nine – in its completeness, then – is a portion” (reading 1035-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “9” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 18, 63, 99, 144) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. For example, maybe your favorite sport is golf, which has 18 holes per game.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 9, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.