How popular is the baby name Walter 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 Walter.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Walter


Posts that Mention the Name Walter

Bridgewater’s Water Bridge

Barton Aqueduct (1793) by G. F. Yates

England’s canal era (from the 1760s to the 1830s) was kicked off by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater*, who’d commissioned the construction of the Bridgewater Canal (1761) from his coal mines in Worsley to the city of Manchester.

The most notable feature of his canal was the stone aqueduct across the River Irwell at Barton-upon-Irwell. It was the first navigable aqueduct in England, and it allowed the horse-towed canal boats to cross the river at an elevation of nearly 40 feet. (This engineering feat even attracted tourists, who came to marvel at the boats on the aqueduct floating over the boats on the river.)

My favorite part of this story? The name of the canal, Bridgewater, just happens to mirror the description of canal’s most notable feature, the water bridge, which itself happens to bridge water. What fun coincidences. :)

Sources:

*The dukedom took its name from the town of Bridgwater in Somerset. The settlement was originally called Brigge/Brugge/Brigga — “bridge.” After the Norman Invasion, the land on which the settlement stood was given to Norman knight Walter of Douai, so the settlement became known as Brugge-Walter/Brigge-Walter — “Walter’s bridge.” This later evolved into Bridgwater.

Name Quotes #74: Chandler, Snehalatha, Teddy Jack

From the TV show Friends, a quote from character Chandler Bing:

You know, I can handle it. Handle’s my middle name. Actually it’s the, uh…the middle part of my first name.

From Cosmopolitan, a quote about the name of Cardi B’s sister Hennessy:

Yes, she’s named after the alcohol and yes, the story’s amazing.

While Bacardi is not Cardi B’s real name, Hennessy is most definitely her sister’s original moniker. Why? Because her father showed up drunk on Hennessy when she was born and insisted on naming her after his drink of choice.

From Rolling Stone, a quote about a baby named after a Gary Busey character:

[Leon] Russell’s son Teddy Jack, who was named after a Busey character from a regional TV show he performed on named Teddy Jack Eddy, produced Busey’s new project, his first solo release.

From the book Welty: A Life in Literature (1987), a quote from author Eudora Welty:

When I first began writing I didn’t realized the importance of names. I would just name characters anything. And then I realized how much it mattered, for cadence, and, for example, how families name their children in a kind of pattern, you know, everybody’s name beginning with B.

From the book Here at The New Yorker (1975) by Brendan Gill:

Indeed, there are writers remembered not for their novels but for their names: Mazo de la Roche, Ouida, Warwick Deeping.

From WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio, a quote about the history of Phalanx Station:

Phalanx Station was named after the local Trumbull Phalanx Company, which was not a business but a utopian community. […] It failed but the name remained. It became Phalanx Station after a railroad led the community southeast to Jefferson County, Ohio in the late 19th century. That failed, too, but again the name remained.

From Stuff.co.nz, a quote about a bright orange seagull with a fitting name:

Staff at the Buckinghamshire, England [animal] hospital say the gull somehow got curry or turmeric all over his feathers, which prevented him from flying properly. The bird, named Vinny after the popular Indian dish Vindaloo curry, put up a fight but eventually let the staff scrub his feathers.

From Best Life, a quote about Waverly, one of the most common town names in America:

Many of the 18 places in the United States called Waverly are named after Sir Walter Scott’s 1814 novel, Waverley. Not only is Waverly, Nebraska…named after the novel, but many of the city’s street names were also taken from characters within it.

(Here are more of the places named Waverly.)

From NDTV in India, a quote about names in the family of MA Sneha, the Tamil Nadu woman who is officially caste-less and religion-less:

In a country where a person’s name can denote his/her caste or religion, Sneha and her husband K. Parthibaraja have named their three daughters with a mix of Buddhist, Christian and Muslim names – Aadhirai Nasreen, Aadhila Irene and Aarifa Jessy.

[…]

Sneha’s two younger sisters have Muslim and Christian names – Mumtaj Suriya and Jennifer.

“My father-in-law PV Anandakrishnan and mother-in-law Manimozhi are both advocates, and belonged to different castes. They were rationalists and Leftists. Sneha was named after a Telangana girl Snehalatha died in police custody,” Parthibaraja told IANS.

The initials before Sneha’s name – MA – denote the first letter of her parents’ names.

From Vox, a quote about celebrities trying to trademark names:

The biggest celebrities started registering trademarks for their names around the same time publicity rights and likeness rights came into play, Clark says. One of the first pop stars to protect her name and likeness was Madonna in the 1980s, and one of the most influential trademark cases involving a celebrity name was the 1998 battle between Elvis Presley’s estate and a dive bar in Houston called The Velvet Elvis. (It is now called The Velvet Melvin.)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

What Would You Name the Catfish-Riding Boy?

little boy, large catfish, old photo, texas, 1940s

This might be my favorite photo on the entire internet.

The shot, which depicts a playful little Texas boy pretending to ride a dead catfish on someone’s front porch, was taken by photographer Neal Douglass in April of 1941.

The Portal to Texas History calls it “Mrs. Bill Wright; Boy Riding Catfish.” So I’m guessing that “Mrs. Bill Wright” was the boy’s mother. But there’s no other identifying information, so I don’t know the boy’s name, nor do I have any way of tracking it down.

So let’s turn this into a name game!

First, let’s suppose our little catfish-rider was not named “Bill” (or “William,” or “Willie,” etc.) after his father. With that rule in place, here are the questions:

  • What do you think Mrs. Bill Wright named her son?
  • What would you have named him?

Just for reference, popular names for Texas newborns in the late ’30s included:

Albert
Arthur
Carl/Charles
Clarence
Daniel
David
Don/Donald
Edward/Eddie
Ernest
Frank
Fred
Gary
Gene/Eugene
George
Gerald
Harold
Henry
Jack
James
Jerry
Jesse
Jesus
Jimmie/Jimmy
Joe/Joseph
John/Johnny
Jose
Juan
Kenneth
Larry
Louis
Manuel
Melvin
Paul
Raymond
Richard
Robert/Bobby
Ronald
Roy
Thomas/Tommy
Walter

For extra credit, what do you think the boy named his catfish? And, what would you have named his catfish? ;)

(If you like this game, here’s a similar one from years ago: What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?)

Sir Walter Raleigh’s Sons: Damerei, Walter, Carew

sir walter raleighSir Walter Raleigh, the English gentleman and New World explorer, didn’t have a whole bunch of kids — just three sons. But two of those three sons had rather unusual names:

  • Damerei, born in 1592
  • Walter, born in 1593
  • Carew, baptized in 1605

Walter’s name is easy enough to figure out…but where do “Carew” and “Damerei” come from?

Carew was a surname that could be found on both sides of the family tree, coincidentally — both in Walter Raleigh’s family and in the family of his wife, Elizabeth.

Damerei was based on the surname D’amerie, which was supposedly a surname in Walter Raleigh’s tree that connected him to Henry I. (This was according to a historian Raleigh had hired, probably for the very purpose of cooking up some noble/royal ancestry.)

Which of these three names do you like most?

Sources:

Two Annabelles, 101 Years Apart

two Annabelles
Annabelle (4) & Annabelle (105)
In Spring Park, Minnesota, a 4-year-old named Annabelle has become friends with a 105-year-old named Annabelle.

The daycare that young Annabelle attends is attached to the assisted living community where the older Annabelle lives. The daycare group hangs out with the assisted living group once a week.

Annabelle was the 99th most popular name for baby girls four years ago (2012). It was the 309th most popular name 105 years ago (1911).

What other name(s) would you most want to see featured in adorable intergenerational human interest stories like this one? I’d vote Walter, or maybe Violet.

Source: Meet two best friends, 101 years apart
Image: © Fox