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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Welfare

Number of Babies Named Welfare

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Welfare

Name Quotes for the Weekend #23

River Phoenix quote about his name

River Phoenix, as quoted in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1995:

When I was in first grade everyone made fun of my name, of course. I think it’s kind of a big name to hold up when you’re nine years old. It seemed goofy.

(His birth name? River Bottom.)

From “Name Trouble” at Futility Closet:

In 2004, Sara Leisten of Gothenburg, Sweden, sought to name her baby Superman (Staalman) because he was born with one arm outstretched. A judge blocked her effort, claiming the child would be ridiculed in later life. Swedish MPs pointed out that the law is inconsistent, as the names Tarzan and Batman are allowed.

From “How to Choose Your Very Bad Blog Name” by Tammy Soong:

I like my name — I mean, it’s my name, so the choice is to either like it or go through some massive identity overhaul to get rid of it. But it has definitely been a source of…issues. As a kid, every adult I ran into would — no joke — break into the theme song from a 1960’s TV show called (you guessed it) “Tammy.” That sort of thing never freaks out little kids.

When I got married, it only got worse. My husband’s last name was Thunder, thus giving me the option of becoming “Tammy Thunder.” Tammy Thunder from Reno. I could’ve just opened my own strip joint and been rolling in it by now if it weren’t for, you know, my dignity.

From an 11 Freunde tweet about German soccer player and World Cup-winner Mario Götze:

Dieser Moment, in dem du dachtest: Wenn er den macht, nenne ich meinen Sohn Mario.

(Translation: “This moment, in which you thought: If he makes it, I call my son Mario.”)

From the movie Despicable Me 2:

Gru: Goodnight Margo…whoa, hold your horses. Who are you texting?
Margo: My friend Avery.
Gru: Avery. Avery? Is that a girl’s name or a boy’s name?
Margo: Does it matter?
Gru: No, no, it doesn’t matter…unless it’s a boy!

(Gru’s first name is Felonious, btw.)

From “Choosing a Baby Name in France According to French Customs” by french mamma:

American names are no longer popular, as they were overused in the 1990s. In fact, some American names are considered to indicate the child comes from a lower class family. There goes some of my top choice baby names!

(Found via The Art of Naming.)

From “Long Division” by Darryle Pollack:

“If you get the name, then I get to choose the new couch for the family room.”

A few minutes went by and the deal was officially sealed. A few weeks went by and Howard selected the couch for the family room. A few years went by and the marriage ended. I can’t say the naming negotiation caused our split, but it sure didn’t help.

On the other hand the negotiation was worth it from my side. I never did like that couch in the family room, but our son just turned 26 and he’s definitely a Daniel.

From “Names & Faces” by Michael Blowen, in an October 1991 issue of the Boston Globe:

France has ordered its civil registrars — dedicated functionaries whose duties include officially recording the names of newborns — to stop refusing to accept names for infants that float outside the Judeo-Christian mainstream. Anything goes now; parents can name their kids whatever they want. A registrar says he recently accepted the name “Peripherique.” Another reports that a jobless couple named their child “Assedic” — the acronym for Association for Employment in Industry and Commerce, which hands out unemployment benefits.

(Périphérique means “beltway.” Assédic reminds me of Welfare.)

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

Brazilian Baby Names

The LA Times published an interesting article on Brazilian baby names several years ago (1999). Here are some highlights:


Brazilian parents who like creative spellings tend to gravitate toward the letters K, W and Y because — at the time the article was written — these letters were not technically part of Brazilian Portuguese.

[In 2009, Brazil enacted spelling reforms that officially added K, W and Y to the alphabet. I’m not sure if this has made them any less desirable for baby names.]

Examples of creative spellings: Tayane (Diana), Kerolyne (Carolina).


Sometimes, parents choose names inspired by Jogo do Bicho (“the animal game” or “the animal lottery”). This is “a kind of urban numbers game based on superstitions that imbue animals and dates with good luck.”

Example of an animal lottery name: Antonio Treze de Junio de Mil Novecentos e Dezesette (June 13, 1917).


There are distinct class differences when it comes to naming:

  • In Rio’s favelas (slums), “Edson, Robson, Anderson and Washington are favorite first names […] partly because of the percussive “on” sound and partly because American-sounding names are seen as cool and classy.”
  • Many lower-middle-class parents go for more elaborate names. The Rio registrar explaining these class differences said that, “[b]y seeking status, some cross the line into silliness.” He gave examples like Siddartha, Michael Jackson, Concetta Trombetta Diletta and Marafona (synonym for prostitute).
  • Many wealthy and upwardly mobile parents stick to simple, classic names.


“Brazilian law forbids names that could expose children to ridicule,” but the law is rarely enforced. For instance, the following made it through…

  • Antonio Morrendo das Dores (Dying of Pain)
  • Barrigudinha (Little-Bellied Girl)
  • Ben Hur
  • Colapso Cardiaco (Cardiac Collapse)
  • D’Artagnan
  • Flavio Cavalcanti Rei da Televisao (King of Television)
  • Nausea
  • Nostradamus
  • Onurb (flip of surname, Bruno)
  • Onurd (brother of Onurb, above)
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Skylab
  • Tchaikovsky Johannsen Adler Pryce Jackman Faier Ludwin Zolman Hunter Lins (goes by “Tchai”)
  • Waterloo
  • Welfare (He said he was named after his father. “My grandfather’s name was Moacir, which in the Tupi Guarani indigenous language means Bad Omen. So he named my father Welfare, because it meant well-being, which was the opposite. And there was a famous English soccer player in Sao Paulo named Harry Welfare.”)
  • Xerox

Do you know anyone from Brazil with an interesting name or name story?