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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Wanda

Number of Babies Named Wanda

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Wanda

Popular and Unique Baby Names Scotland, 2017

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2017 were Olivia and Jack.

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

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 512 baby girls
2. Emily, 460
3. Isla, 395
4. Sophie, 370
5. Amelia, 321
6. Jessica, 318
7. Ava, 294
8. Ella, 290
9. Charlotte, 280
10. Aria, 254

Boy Names
1. Jack, 486 baby boys
2. Oliver, 380
3. James, 368
4. Lewis, 356
5. Logan, 324
6. Noah, 318
7. Harris, 299
8. Alexander, 297
9. Leo, 289
10. Harry, 282

In the girls’ top 10, Aria replaces Lucy (now 11th).

In the boys’ top 10, Harris replaces Charlie (now 14th).

In 2016, the top two names were the same.

And here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Scotland last year:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Auristelle, Bella-Caledonia, Carcy, Debbie, Elpiniki, Fernie, Ghzal, Hanwen, Isatou, Jumana, Kuma, Larch, Magdiel, Nettle, Oreli, Paupi-Anais, Rebbl, Sibianca, Tuppence, Ultra-Violet, Verdie, Wanda, Xenia, Yana-River, Zacharoula-Electra Amazon, Bzhyar, Cakrawala, Daro, Ernie, Findhorn, Ghillie, Harley-David, Isoa, Jhy, Kestrel, Little-One, Magnus-Ailig, Nimbus, Orlo, Peter-Gabriel, Reeco, Sochisth, Talisker-Brett, Uisdean, Vasco, Wulff, Xane, Ythan, Zeth

Bella-Caledonia could be a reference to Bella Caledonia, the Scottish pro-independence magazine. And Yana-River happens to be the name of a real pace: the Yana River in Russia.

Source: Most popular names in Scotland, Scotland’s newest baby names are inspired by the constitutional question and Star Wars


Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter S

soava
Soava Gallone
On the hunt for a rare girl name with a retro feel?

Here’s a big batch of uncommon female S-names that are associated in some way with early cinema (i.e., each is either a character name or an actress name).

For those that have had enough usage to appear in the national data, I’ve included links to popularity graphs.

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Saba
Saba Raleigh was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in England in 1867. Her birth name was Isabel Pauline Ellissen. Saba was also a character played by actress Myrta Bonillas in the film The Claw (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Saba.

Sabel
Sabel Jackson was a character played by actress Wynne Gibson in the film Nothing But the Truth (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Sabel.

Sabra
Sabra de Shon was an actress who appeared in one film in 1915. She was born in Massachusetts in 1850. Sabra was also a character name in multiple films, including Cimarron (1931) and A Man Betrayed (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Sabra.

Sada
Sada was a character played by actress Anna May Wong in the film The Devil Dancer (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sada.

Sadi
Sadi Bronson was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film The Great Moment (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Sadi.

Sagrario
Sagrario was a character played by actress Nydia Westman in the film Cradle Song (1933).

Sahande
Sahande was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Law of the Lawless (1923).

Sahki
Sahki was a character played by actress Verna Mersereau in the short film The Dance of Death (1914).

Saidee
Saidee McCall was a character played by actress Carmel Myers in the film The Last Hour (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Saidee.

Saina
Saina was a character played by actress Olive Borden in the film Yellow Fingers (1926).

Sairy
Sairy Ann was a character played by actress Dorothy Gish in the film Children of the Feud (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Sairy.

Salita
Salita was a character played by actress Velma Whitman in the film Turning the Table (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Salita.

Salka
Salka Steuermann was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine) in 1889. Her birth name was Salomea Steuermann.

Sallie
Sallie McPherson was a character played by actress Wanda Hawley in the film Double Speed (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Sallie.

Sallyann
Sallyann Weatharby was a character played by actress Arlene Dahl in the film A Southern Yankee (1948).

Salomy
Salomy was a character name in multiple films, including Salomy Jane (1914) and Wild Girl (1932).

Salti
Salti was a character played by actress Beatie Olna Travers in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).

Samanthy
Samanthy was a character name in multiple films, including The Uneven Balance (short, 1914) and The Lonesome Heart (1915).

Samaran
Samaran was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film Fool’s Paradise (1921).

Sanchia
Sanchia Percival was a character played by actress Dorinea Shirley in the film Open Country (1922).

Sari
Sari Maritza (SHA-ree MAR-ee-tsa) was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s. She was born in China in 1910. Her birth name was Patricia Detering-Nathan. Sari was also a character name in multiple films, including The Virgin of Stamboul (1920) and The Stolen Bride (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sari.

Sarie
Sarie McCoy was a character played by actress Aline MacMahon in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Sarie.

Sarissa
Sarissa was a character played by actress Eugenia Gilbert in the film The Man from Downing Street (1922).

Sarita
Sarita was a character played by actress Teddy Sampson in the film The Pretty Sister of Jose (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Sarita.

Saturnia
Madame Saturnia was a character played by actress Ethel Griffies in the film Castle in the Desert (1942).

Savina
Savina Grove was a character played by actress Alma Rubens in the film Cytherea (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Savina.

Saxon
Saxon Roberts was a character played by actress Myrtle Stedman in the film The Valley of the Moon (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Saxon (which debuted in the data the year The Valley of the Moon came out).

Schatzi
Schatzi Sutro was a character played by actress Joan Blondell in the film The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932).

Scheherazade
Scheherazade was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Arabian Nights (1942).

Scylla
Scylla was a character played by actress Fritzi Ridgeway in the short film Where Glory Waits (1917).

Scholastica
Sister Scholastica was a character played by actress Celeste Holm in the film Come to the Stable (1949).

Seena
Seena Owen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Washington in 1894. Her birth name was Signe Auen.

  • Usage of the baby name Seena.

Seessel
Seessel Anne Johnson was a child actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1920.

Semadar
Semadar was a character played by actress Angela Lansbury in the film Samson and Delilah (1949).

Semphronia
Semphronia Benson was a character played by actress Justine Cutting in the film A Self-Made Widow (1917).

Sephora
Sephora was a character played by actress Helena D’Algy in the film Confessions of a Queen (1925).

September
September was a character name in multiple films, including A Bum Mistake (1914) and Good Sport (1931).

Sequin
Sequin was a character played by actress Yvonne De Carlo in the film River Lady (1948).

Serama
Serama was a character played by actress Gladys Brockwell in the film Conscience (1917).

Shalmar
Princess Shalmar was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Road to Morocco (1942).

Shamrock
Shamrock O’Day was a character played by actress Edith Roberts in the film Saturday Night (1922).

Sharlee
Sharlee Evans was a character played by actress Winifred Greenwood in the short film In the Shuffle (1916).

Sheba
Sheba Miller was a character played by actress Alice White in the film Playing Around (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Sheba.

Sheelah
Sheelah Delayne was a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film A House Divided (1919).

Shelah
Shelah Fane was a character played by actress Dorothy Revier in the film The Black Camel (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Shelah.

Sherida
Sherida was a character played by actress Phyllis Thaxter in the film The Sign of the Ram (1948).

Sherin
Sherin was a character played by actress Kathleen Key in the film A Lover’s Oath (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Sherin.

Shireen
Shireen was a character played by actress Virginia Brown Faire in the film Omar the Tentmaker (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Shireen (which debuted in the data the year after Omar the Tentmaker came out).

Shirlene
Shirlene May was a character played by actress Gale Robbins in the film The Barkleys of Broadway (1949).

Shona
Shona Royale was a character played by actress Annette Kellerman in the film Venus of the South Seas (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Shona.

Shosho
Shosho was a character played by actress Anna May Wong in the film Piccadilly (1929).

Sibby
Sibby was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film Aggie Appleby Maker of Men (1933).

Sibley
Sibley was a character played by actress Patricia Roc in the film The Farmer’s Wife (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Sibley.

Sibyle
Sibyle Fane was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the film Hicksville to Broadway (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Sibyle.

Sidonie
Sidonie Du Val was a character played by actress Marie Doro in the film The Lash (1916).

Sieglinde
Sieglinde Lessing was a character played by actress June Lang in the film Music in the Air (1934).

Signa
Signa Herrick was a character played by actress Peggy Hyland in the film The Girl with No Regrets (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Signa.

Signe
Signe Hasso was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1970s. She was born in Sweden in 1910.

  • Usage of the baby name Signe.

Sigrid
Sigrid Holmquist was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Sweden in 1899. Sigrid was also a character name in multiple films, including Transatlantic (1931) and I Remember Mama (1948).

  • Usage of the baby name Sigrid.

Silda
Silda was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film The Exquisite Sinner (1926).

Silk
Silk Cantrell was a character played by actress Adele Mara in the film Traffic in Crime (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Silk.

Silver
Silver was a character played by actress Wynne Gibson in the film The Devil is Driving (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Silver.

Silvery
Silvery was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film The Strange Story of Sylvia Gray (1914).

Simonetta
Simonetta was a character played by actress Loretta Young in the film Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928).

Simplicity
Simplicity was a character played by actress Maxine Elliott Hicks in the film Lovers’ Lane (1924).

Sinfi
Sinfi Lovell was a character played by actress Mary Dibley in the film Aylwin (1920).

Singoalla
Singoalla was a character played by actress Viveca Lindfors in the film The Wind Is My Lover (1949).

Sisseretta
Sisseretta Simpkin was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the film The Gay Old Bird (1927).

Sissie
Sissie Flynn was an actress who appeared in one film in 1932.

  • Usage of the baby name Sissie.

Sitahbai
Sitahbai was a character played by actress Doraldina in the film The Naulahka (1918).

Slade
Slade Kinnicott was a character played by actress Una Merkel in the film Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935).

Smyrna
Smyrna was a character played by actress Martha Sleeper in the film Should Sailors Marry? (short, 1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Smyrna.

Soava
Soava Gallone was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Poland in 1880. Her birth name was Stanislawa Winawerowna.

Sofonisba
Sofonisba was a character played by actress Italia Almirante-Manzini in the film Cabiria (1914).

Soledad
Soledad Jiménez was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Spain in 1874.

Solveig
Solveig was a character played by actress Myrtle Stedman in the film Peer Gynt (1915).

Sombra
Sombra was a character played by actress Carol Forman in the film serial The Black Widow (1947).

Sonora
Sonora Cassidy was a character played by actress Marjorie Main in the film The Harvey Girls (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Sonora.

Sookey
Sookey was a character played by actress Heather Angel in the film Self Made Lady (1932).

Sophronia
Sophronia was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the film Lend Me Your Name (1918). It was also a character (nicknamed Phronsie) in the Little Peppers films of the early ’40s.

Sophy
Sophy was a character name in multiple films, including Old Wives for New (1918) and The Peace of Roaring River (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Sophy.

Sophya
Aunt Sophya was a character played by actress Lucy Beaumont in the film Resurrection (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sophya.

Sourna
Sourna was a character played by actress Manora Thew in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).

Soya
Soya was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film Rocking Moon (1926).

Spangles
Spangles was a character played by actress Fern Andra in the film Spangles (1928).

Spring
Spring Byington was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Colorado in 1886.

  • Usage of the baby name Spring.

Squabina
Squabina was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the short film The Mystery of a Taxicab (1914).

St. Clair
St. Clair Van Tassel was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film The Untamed Lady (1926).

Stacia
Stacia de Napierkowska was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1920s. She was born in France in 1886. Her birth name was Renée Claire Angèle Élisabeth Napierkowski.

  • Usage of the baby name Stacia.

Stacie
Stacie Kanares was a character played by actress Ella Raines in the film Enter Arsene Lupin (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Stacie.

Stancia
Stancia was a character played by actress Mary Doran in the film Their Mad Moment (1931).

Starlight
Starlight was a character name in multiple films, including In the Long Ago (short, 1913) and The Iron Trail (short, 1913).

Starlina
Starlina was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Red Wagon (1933).

Stascha
Stascha was a character played by actress Marlene Dietrich in the film Three Loves (1929).

Steena
Steena Iverson was a character played by actress Dot Farley in the short film Mrs. Gay Life’s Visitors (1911).

Steenie
Steenie was a character played by actress Dorothy Kelly in the short film Rip Van Winkle (1912).

Steffi
Steffi Duna was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Hungary in 1910. Her birth name was Stephanie Berindy.

  • Usage of the baby name Steffi.

Stephana
Stephana Martin was a character played by actress Ruth Stonehouse in the short film The Romance of an American Duchess (1915).

Sterlita
Sterlita Peluffo was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s.

Sucal
Sucal Hurrin was a character played by actress Belle Chrystall in the film Poison Pen (1939).

Sudan
Sudan Ainger was a character played by actress Stephanie Bachelor in the film Secrets of Scotland Yard (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Sudan.

Suellen
Suellen O’Hara was a character played by Evelyn Keyes in the film Gone with the Wind (1939).

Sugar
Sugar was a character name in multiple films, including Sleepytime Gal (1942) and The Magnificent Rogue (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Sugar.

Sultana
Sultana was a character played by actress Gypsy Rose Lee in the film Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937).

Sul-Te-Wan
Madame Sul-Te-Wan was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Kentucky in 1873. Her birth name was Nellie Conley.

Sumurun
Sumurun was a character played by actress Jenny Hasselquist in the film Sumurun (1920).

Sunbeam
Sunbeam was a character played in multiple films, including The Sunbeam (short, 1912) and The Coming of Sunbeam (short, 1913).

Sunday
Sunday Wilshin was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in England in 1905. Her birth name was Sundae Mary Aline Horne-Wilshin.

  • Usage of the baby name Sunday.

Sunnie
Sunnie O’Dea was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1918. Her birth name was Martha Bonini.

  • Usage of the baby name Sunnie.

Sunya
Sunya Ashling was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film The Love of Sunya (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sunya.

Suretta
Suretta Brenton was a character played by actress Patricia Dane in the film I Dood It (1943).

Suzel
Suzel was a character played by actress Simone Bourday in the film In Old Alsace (1933).

Suzette
Suzette was a character name in multiple films, including as Daring Hearts (1919) and Man and Maid (1925).

Svea
Svea Nord was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film The Source (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Svea.

Swana
Grand Duchess Swana was a character played by actress Ina Claire in the film Ninotchka (1939).

Swifty
Swifty Forbes was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film Prodigal Daughters (1923).

Sydell
Sydell Dowling was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

  • Usage of the baby name Sydell.

Sylvaine
Sylvaine was a character played by actress Lilyan Tashman in the film The Matrimonial Bed (1930).

Sylvina
Sylvina was a character played by actress Elisabeth Bergner in the film Stolen Life (1939).

Symphorosa
Princess Symphorosa was a character played by actress Billie Bennett in the film One Romantic Night (1930).

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So which of the above names do you like best?

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: W

willette kershaw
Willette Kershaw (1882-1960)
Time for more unusual female names from old films!

Here’s something I didn’t know until recently: many (most?) of the “Indian maiden” characters in early movies had names starting with W. As a result, about half of the names below refer to Native American characters specifically. I’m not sure how many of these Native American names are legit, though. If you can verify any of them, please leave a comment.

Wah-na-gi
Wah-na-gi was a character played by actress Anita King in the film The Squaw Man’s Son (1917).

Wahnah
Wahnah was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film Kidnapped by Indians (1914).

Wah-tah
Princess Wah-tah was a character played by actress Yvonne De Carlo in the film The Deerslayer (1943).

Wah-ta-wah
Wah-ta-wah was a character played by actress Aline Goodwin in the film serial Leatherstocking (1924).

Wahtonka
Wahtonka was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film Dakota (1945).

Wahtunka
Wahtunka was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film Brought to Justice (1914).

Walmura
Walmura was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film The Fate of a Squaw (1914).

Walpurga
Walpurga was a character played by actress Mrs. A. C. Marston in the short film On the Heights (1914).

Wamba
Wamba was a character name in multiple films, including Wamba, a Child of the Jungle (short, 1913) and Justice of the Far North (1925).

Wambi
Wambi was a character played by actress Lule Warrenton in the short film The Queen of Jungle Land (1915).

Wana
Wana was a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film The Indian Maid’s Sacrifice (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Wana.

Wanama
Wanama was a character played by actress Armida in the film Jungle Goddess (1948).

Wanana
Wanana was a character played by actress Marie Walcamp in the short film A Daughter of the Redskins (1914).

Wanda
Wanda Hawley was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1895. Wanda McKay was an actress who appeared in films mainly in the 1940s. She was born in Oregon in 1915. Wanda was also a character name in multiple films, including The One-Way Trail (1920) and Men Are Such Fools (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Wanda.

Wandi
Wandi was a character played by actress Mary Gale Fisher in the film One Million B.C. (1940).

Wanoka
Wanoka was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the film Grey Eagle’s Last Stand (1914).

Wan-o-mee
Wan-o-mee was a character played by actress Evelyn Axzell in the film The Hell Cat (1918).

Warda
Warda Lamont was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

  • Usage of the baby name Warda.

Watuma
Watuma was a character played by actress Phyllis Gordon in the film The Werewolf (1913) — possibly the first-ever werewolf film.

Wauteka
Wauteka was a character played by actresses May Foster and Lule Warrenton in the short film The Brand of His Tribe (1914).

Wawina
Wawina was a character played by actress Mona Darkfeather in the short film The War Bonnet (1914).

Wenda
Wenda was a character played by actress Myrtle Tennehill in the short film When the Mind Sleeps (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Wenda.

Wendie
Wendie Holmes was a character played by actress Marjorie Riordan in the film Parachute Nurse (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Wendie.

Werta
Werta was a character played by actress Dorothy Dwan in the film The Devil Bear (1929).

Wetona
Wetona was a character played by actress Norma Talmadge in the film The Heart of Wetona (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Wetona.

Wilda
Wilda Lanning was a character played by actress Frances Robinson in the film Forbidden Valley (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Wilda.

Wildeth
Wildeth Christie was a character played by actress Fay Wray in the film Shanghai Madness (1933).

Wildflower
Wildflower was a character played by Mona Darkfeather in the short film Indian Fate (1914).

Willametta
Willametta was a character played by actress Margaret Hamilton in the film Meet the Stewarts (1942).

Willette
Willette Kershaw was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Missouri in 1882.

Willowbud
Willowbud was a character played by actress Marin Sais in the short film The Big Horn Massacre (1913).

Willowdean
Willowdean French was a character played by actress Leila Hyams in the film Summer Bachelors (1926).

Wilma
Wilma was a character name used in multiple films, including Woman-Proof (1923) and Three Cheers for Love (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Wilma.

Winona
Winona was a character name used in multiple films, including An Indian Ambuscade (short, 1914) and Reckless Courage (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Winona.

Wowkle
Wowkle was a character played by actress Anita King in the film The Girl of the Golden West (1915), by Neola May in The Girl of the Golden West (1930), and by Ynez Seabury in The Girl of the Golden West (1938). The film was based on the play The Girl of the Golden West (1905) by David Belasco, who found the name Wowkle in the writings of ethnographer Stephen Powers, who claimed the name meant “fox” among the Nisenan of California.

Wyllis
Wyllis Hyde was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film The Argument (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Wyllis.

Wynne
Wynne Gibson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in New York in 1898. Wynne was also a character played by actress Anita Louise in the film Lady Tubbs (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Wynne.

Wynona
Wynona was a character name used in multiple films, including Wynona’s Vengeance (1913) and The Woman from Warren’s (short, 1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Wynona.

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Which of the above names do you like best?

Should We Name Hurricanes to Maximize Donations?

hurricaneIn 2008, psychologists Jesse Chandler, Tiffany M. Griffin, and Nicholas Sorensen published a study showing that people who shared an initial with a hurricane name were over-represented among hurricane relief donors. So, for instance, people with R-names donated significantly more than other people to Hurricane Rita relief efforts. (This is an offshoot of the name-letter effect.)

A few years later, marketing professor Adam Alter came up with an interesting idea: Why not use this knowledge to try to maximize donations to hurricane relief efforts? He explained:

In the United States, for example, more than 10% of all males have names that begin with the letter J-names like James and John (the two most common male names), Joseph and Jose, Jason, and Jeffrey. Instead of beginning just one hurricane name with the letter J each year (in 2013, that name will be Jerry), the World Meteorological Organization could introduce several J names each year. Similarly, more American female names begin with M than any other letter–most of them Marys, Marias, Margarets, Michelles, and Melissas–so the Organization could introduce several more M names to each list.

I think his idea is a good one overall. It wouldn’t cost much to implement, but could potentially benefit many hurricane victims.

I would go about choosing the names differently, though.

Repeating initials multiple times within a single hurricane season would be unwise, for instance. It would cause confusion, which would undermine the reason we started naming hurricanes in the first place (“for people easily to understand and remember” them, according to the WMO).

But optimizing the name lists using data on real-life usage? That would be smart.

I might even try optimizing based on demographics. Baby boomers are particularly generous donors, so maybe we should choose letters (or even names) with that generation in mind?

The baby boomers were born from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, so here are the top initials for babies born in 1956 (60 years ago):

Top first letters of baby names, 1956, U.S.

Here are two possible lists of hurricane names using the above letters. I stuck with the WMO’s conventions: 21 names total, alternating genders, and no retired names.

Mid-century style Modern style
Janice
Danny
Rebecca
Martin
Cindy
Scott
Lori
Kenneth
Brenda
Patrick
Theresa
Gerald
Angela
Eugene
Wanda
Vincent
Nancy
Howard
Francine
Ira
Olga
Jasmine
Dominic
Rylee
Matthew
Charlotte
Sebastian
Lucy
Kingston
Bella
Preston
Trinity
Grayson
Ava
Eli
Willow
Victor
Nora
Hunter
Fiona
Isaac
Olivia

And here’s another point: we wouldn’t want to assign these names in order. While the official hurricane season lasts a full six months — June to November — most hurricane activity happens in August, September and October:

Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years (NOAA)

To really optimize, we’d want to reserve the top initials/names for the stronger mid-season hurricanes, which tend to do the most damage. So we could start the season using mid-list names, then jump to the top of the list when August comes around and go in order from that point forward (skipping over any mid-list names that had already been used).

What are your thoughts on assigning hurricane names with disaster relief in mind? Do you think it could work? What strategy/formula would you use to select relief-optimized hurricane names?

Sources: In the “I” of the storm: Shared initials increase disaster donations, Smart Hurricane Names: A Policy Intervention that Costs Almost Nothing but Should Attract Billions of Dollars in Aid, Tropical Cyclone Programme – WMO
Image: Tropical Cyclone Climatology – National Hurricane Center – NOAA

P.S. While J, D and R were the top initials 60 years ago, today’s top initials are A, J and M.

Names of the Boston Duck Boats

I’m in Boston right now visiting family, and earlier this week some of us went on a Duck Tour for the first time. The tour was pretty good — I’m on the fence about whether or not I’d recommend it to others — but one thing I did like was finding this list of duck boat names in the pamphlet they gave us:

Boston duck boats
Names of the Boston duck boats
  • Annie Aquarium
  • Arborway Alex
  • Back Bay Bertha
  • Beacon Hilda
  • Beantown Betty
  • Charlie River
  • Commonwealth Curley
  • Copley Squire
  • Dorchester Dottie
  • Espla Nadia
  • Faneuil Holly
  • Fenway Fanny
  • Frog Pond Lily
  • Haymarket Hannah
  • Kenmore Karla
  • Liberty Teresa
  • Longfellow Bridget
  • Miss Emma Science
  • Molly Molasses
  • North End Norma
  • Old Gloria
  • Olga Ironsides
  • Penelope Pru
  • Red Sox Nathan
  • South End Sara
  • Symphony Hal
  • Tub of the Hub
  • Waterfront Wanda

I especially like Espla Nadia and Molly Molasses — the first for the wordplay (a take on “Esplanade”) the second for the historical reference (the Great Molasses Flood).

Which of the above do you like best?