How popular is the baby name Vesper 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 Vesper.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Vesper


Posts that Mention the Name Vesper

Babies Named for Instagram Filters?

instagram, filters, baby names

I started posting on Instagram recently. Though I haven’t used the filters much, seeing them in the app reminded me of something: Babycenter.com claimed, back in late 2015, that Instagram filter names were influencing baby names. And the clickbaity claim was (of course) picked up by various media outlets: Time, People, Vanity Fair, US Weekly, TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.

But the BabyCenter.com folks (who still think Gollum is a baby name, amazingly) weren’t basing their claims on any sort of real-life baby name usage data. They were apparently just making assumptions based on their own website metrics.

In any case…it’s now 2019, and we do have access to usage data for 2015 (not to mention 2016, and 2017). So let’s use this data to determine whether or not their claim is true.

I analyzed the data for 44 names in total: 43 from filters — most current, several retired — plus the name “Lux,” which technically refers to a photo enhancement tool, not a filter. Zeroing in on usage from 2010 (the year Instagram was launched) to 2017, I noticed that…

  • 28 filter names did not see higher usage as baby names:
    • 20 had no SSA data to work with (1977, Crema, Charmes, Clarendon, Dogpatch, Early Bird, Gingham, Ginza, Hefe, Inkwell, Lo-Fi, Mayfair, Nashville, Poprocket, Skyline, Slumber, Stinson, Sutro, Toaster, X-Pro II)
    • 6 saw a decrease in usage (Aden, Brannan, Brooklyn, Kelvin, Reyes, Sierra)
    • 2 saw little/no change in usage (Ludwig, Rise)
  • 16 filter names did see higher usage as baby names:

So which, if any, of the 16 names above increased in usage because of Instagram?

Some of them, like trendy Hudson and Willow, were already on the rise by 2010. So it’s hard to know if these names were influenced at all by recent pop culture, let alone the app specifically. (Though that Juno-jump does seem significant.)

Others are associated with more than just a filter. Vesper was a Bond Girl, for instance, and Juno was a movie. So, even if Instagram was a factor, it was one of several. (BabyCenter.com’s original write-up from 2015 doesn’t even acknowledge this, e.g., “The Instagram-inspired name Lux…”)

In terms of filters actually influencing names, I think the strongest case can be made for Amaro. It wasn’t already on the rise in 2010, it did become more popular in the Instagram era, and the filter itself (as opposed to the Italian liqueur after which the filter was named) does seem to be the primary pop culture association these days.

On the other hand, Clarendon — despite being the first filter you see inside the app and, accordingly, the most-used filter overall — saw no corresponding uptick in usage on birth certificates, which is telling. (Though perhaps “Amaro” hits a stylistic sweet spot that “Clarendon” misses.)

My verdict? I’d say it’s possible that a handful of Instagram filters influenced real-life baby name usage…but I definitely wouldn’t declare that naming babies after filters was/is some sort of “hot trend,” as BabyCenter.com did.

What are your thoughts on all this? Have you ever met a baby named after an Instagram filter?

Sources: Hottest baby name trends of 2015, Photoshop Actions for Instagram’s “Lost” filters, Five New Filters – Instagram, Instagram adds new Lark, Reyes, and Juno filters, Instagram Introduces New Filter, The 10 Most Used Instagram Filters, Study: The most popular Instagram filters from around the world

Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2017

According to the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the province in 2017 were Olivia and Noah.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 236 baby girls
2. Emma, 215
3. Charlotte, 187
4. Ava, 184 (tie)
5. Sophia, 184 (tie)
6. Emily, 159
7. Abigail, 154
8. Amelia, 149
9. Isabella, 141
10. Aria, 129

Boy Names
1. Noah, 250 baby boys
2. Liam, 244
3. Benjamin, 229
4. Logan, 226
5. Lucas, 216
6. William, 213
7. Ethan, 192
8. Oliver, 190
9. Jack, 189
10. Jacob, 178

In the girls’ top 10, Isabella replaces Chloe.

In the boys’ top 10, Logan and Jacob replace Lincoln and Owen.

Rare baby names that were bestowed just once in Alberta last year included:

  • Unique Girl Names: Apphia, Bluebird, Caragana, Dalida, Ejona, Feni, Gurmehak, Hillvilah, Ipsha, Jadassa, Kairaluchi, Lemon, Minadora, Nicou, Otito, Plamedie, Qylie, River-Moon, Sembina, Thywill, Urcula, Viris, Widd, Xybelle, Yorkabel, Zyanne
  • Unique Boy Names: Aldrex, Brew, Caffrey, Doc, Etro, Floribert, Grizzly, Hark, Iorveth, Jomart, Kemfon, Luxiano, MavErick, Nitorious-Shyne, Omeshen, Parx, Quintas, Roam, Sights, Tesla, Uzuvira, Vesper, Wolfram, Xax, Yemi, Zoltan

In 2016, the top two names were Olivia and Liam.

Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Noah, Olivia were Alberta’s most popular baby names in 2017

Name Quotes #58: Vesper, Ailsa, Kikkan

"Vesper. I do hope you gave your parents hell for that."

From the 2006 movie Casino Royale, James Bond commenting about Vesper Lynd’s first name:

‘Vesper.’ I do hope you gave your parents hell for that.

About the choosing of Ailsa, the first name of the daughter of gold-medal winning Olympic curler Joe Polo:

Both her parents were curlers, members of a tight-knit sport where an intense reverence for the game tends to bleed over into the players’ personal lives. And so it was only natural that Joe and Kristin Polo decided to name their future daughter Ailsa, after the Scottish island where the granite that makes curling rocks is mined.

About the coining of Kikkan, the first name of gold-medal winning Olympic cross-country skier Kikkan Randall:

After Randall’s birth on Dec. 31, 1982, Ronn wanted to name her Kikki, after Kiki Cutter, the first American skier, male or female, to win a rase in a World Cup event, a slalom in 1968. Deborah preferred Meghan. They compromised on Kikkan.

(Kiki Cutter = Christina “Kiki” Cutter.)

From an article about unusual names by Felicity “Flic” Everett:

When I was eight, I changed my name. Until then, I was called Johanna Louise, because my youthful parents, huge Bob Dylan fans, had named me after his mystical 1966 ballad, Visions of Johanna. In mid-70s south Manchester, sadly, the mysticism was somewhat lost. I hated explaining my name […] and thought it sounded clunky and earthy, when I longed to be ethereal and balletic.

From an essay about ethnic names by Australian-born Turkish author Dilvin Yasa

“Have you ever considered changing your name to something more ‘white’?” asked a literary agent the other day. “It’s been my experience that authors with strong, Anglo names tend to do better at the cash registers than those who have ethnic or even Aboriginal names.”

[…]

“Leave your name as it is!” [Jane Palfreyman] wrote. “I can tell you that their names have affected the popularity of Anh Do*, Christos Tsiolkas, Kevin Kwan or Munjed Al Muderis – and indeed may well have contributed to their success.”

*Misspelled “Ahn Do” in the original text.

From an article called “Restore Yamhill!” in the March 30, 1917, issue of The New York Sun:

The City Commission of Portland, Ore., has succumbed to an attack of mock elegance and under its influence has erased from the map the excellent, juicy and meaningful name of Yamhill street, substituting for it the commonplace and sordid Market street.

[…]

Yamhill is ancient, respectable, typical, historic. Alexander Henry, a fur trader of the Northwest Company, traversing the then unknown Willamette country, met at Willamette Falls, January 10, 1814, seven “ugly, ill formed Indians” leading a horse. They were of the Yamhela tribe, as Henry spelled it in his diary, the name being derived from the Yamhela, or yellow river.

From an article about Rose Collom in True West Magazine:

Rose was the perfect name for the Grand Canyon’s first official botanist, because self-taught Rose Collom blossomed when exposed to the state’s flora.

Rose discovered several varieties of plants previously unknown, and each was named after her.

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.