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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name William

Number of Babies Named William

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name William

Popular Baby Names in Finland, 2017

According to data from the Population Register Centre of Finland (Väestörekisterikeskus), the most popular baby names in Finland in 2017 were Aino and Leo.

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

Girl Names
1. Aino, 319 baby girls
2. Eevi, 312
3. Emma, 311
4. Sofia, 302
5. Aada, 272
6. Ella, 259
7. Lilja, 253
8. Helmi, 251
9. Elli, 249
10. Enni and Venla, 247 each (tied)

Boy Names
1. Leo, 414 baby boys
2. Elias, 389
3. Eino, 331
4. Väinö, 316
5. Onni, 313
6. Leevi, 289
7. Niilo, 271
8. Oliver, 263
9. Eetu, 255
10. Noel, 253

In the girls’ top 10, Lilja and Enni replace Pihla and Emilia. The #1 name, Aino, comes from a Finnish word meaning “only one.”

The boys’ top 10 contains the same names, but in a different order.

In 2016, the top names were Sofia and Onni.

Among the minority (about 6%) of Swedish speakers in Finland, the top baby names were Ellen and William.

Sources: De populäraste förnamnen av finskspråkiga barn som föddes år 2017 (PDF), De populäraste förnamnen av svenskspråkiga barn som föddes år 2017 (PDF), Name Service – PRC, Nordic Names Wiki

The Beginning of Broderick

broderick crawford, willie stark, all the kings men
Broderick Crawford as Willie Stark
The first name Roderick has been in use for centuries, but the similar name Broderick is relatively new. It debuted in the U.S. data in 1950:

  • 1953: 29 baby boys named Broderick
  • 1952: 25 baby boys named Broderick
  • 1951: 25 baby boys named Broderick
  • 1950: 30 baby boys named Broderick [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted

The man who inspired this debut? Veteran actor Broderick Crawford. His portrayal of corrupt politician Willie Stark in the drama All the King’s Men, released nationally in early 1950, turned him into a star overnight. He won the Best Actor award at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes that year.

The movie was based on the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. The story was inspired by the rise and fall of notorious Louisiana politician Huey P. Long.

Crawford’s birth name was William Broderick Crawford; Broderick was his mother’s maiden name. There are two possible etymologies for the surname Broderick:

  • The Gaelic surname Ó Bruadair, meaning “descendant of Bruadar.” The origin of Bruadar is either Norse or Irish — sources disagree.
  • The Welsh surname ap Rhydderch, meaning “son of Rhydderch.” The definition of Rhydderch is “reddish brown.”

Do you like the name Broderick? Do you like it more or less than Roderick?

Sources:

Character Names in King Lear

king leir, king lear, daughters, names

When we think of King Lear, we think of the famous William Shakespeare play, which was written in the very early 1600s.

But the story of the legendary king of Britain predates Shakespeare by centuries. The first written account we know of comes from The History of the Kings of Britain (circa 1136 A.D.) by British cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth.

In Will’s version, the king is named Lear and the three daughters are named Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. But in Geoff’s version, the king is Leir and the daughters are Gonorilla, Regau and Cordeilla. And in the dozens of versions of the story published in between, the names are rendered all sorts of ways:

  • Lear: Leare, Leier, Leir, Leire, Leïr, Leyr, Leyre, Leyrius, Leyrus, Leÿr, Lhyr, Lier, Leirius, Llur, Llyr, Lur, Lyer, Lyr
  • Goneril: Agornille, Condril, Conorel, Corneill, Garonilla, Genoril, Genorilla, Geronilla, Gonerell, Gonerill, Gonerilla, Gonoreille, Gonorell, Gonorelle, Gonorild, Gonorilde, Gonoril, Gonorill, Gonorilla, Gonorille, Gonoryll, Gonorylla Gonorylle, Gordonilla, Gorgonilla, Gornoille, Gornoylle, Gornorilla, Gornorille, Gornylle, Goriorilla, Goronilla
  • Regan: Ragaie, Ragan, Ragana, Ragau, Ragaw, Regau, Regault, Regina, Regnault, Rigan, Rogan, Rugau, Rygan
  • Cordelia: Chordaila, Chordalia, Chordeila, Chordeylla, Cordaila, Cordeila, Cordeilla, Cordeil, Cordeile, Cordeill, Cordeilla, Cordeille, Cordela, Cordell, Cordella, Cordelle, Cordeyl, Cordeyll, Cordeylla, Cordeylle, Cordiel, Cordil, Cordila, Cordile, Cordilla, Cordille, Cordoil, Cordoilla, Cordoille, Cordoylla, Cordyla, Cordylle, Coredil, Gordaila, Gordalia, Gordeil, Gordeila, Gordeilla, Gordeille, Gordeylla, Gordille, Gordoille, Gordoylle, Gordylle

Interesting how Shakespeare’s “Goneril” and “Cordelia” are easy to differentiate, but certain earlier versions of the two names were quite similar. Modern academics associate them with the Latin words gonos, meaning “genitals,” and cordis, meaning “heart.”

Sources:

  • Charlton, H. B. Shakespearian Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1948.
  • Perrett, Wilfrid. The Story of King Lear from Geoffrey of Monmouth to Shakespeare. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1904.

Image: King Lear and Daughters

Popular Baby Names in Tasmania, 2017

According to the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in Tasmania in 2016 were Charlotte and Oliver.

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

Girl Names
1. Charlotte
2. Evie
3. Ava
4. Isla
5. Mia
6. Sophie
7. Ruby
8. Olivia
9. Matilda
10. Evelyn

Boy Names
1. Oliver
2. Jack
3. Henry
4. William
5. Noah
6. Charlie
7. Hunter
8. Thomas
9. Oscar
10. Max

In the girls’ top 10, Ruby, Olivia, and Evelyn replace Grace, Lucy, and Amelia.

In the boys’ top 10, Henry, Hunter, Oscar, and Max replace Logan, James, Mason, and George.

In 2016, the top names were the same.

Source: Tasmanian Top Baby Names

Most Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2017

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2017 were (again) Emma and William.

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

Girl Names
1. Emma, 614 baby girls
2. Lea, 554
3. Alice, 512
4. Olivia, 483
5. Florence, 482
6. Charlotte, 425
7. Charlie, 420
8. Rosalie, 384
9. Beatrice, 369
10. Zoe, 349

Boy Names
1. William, 710 baby boys
2. Logan, 671
3. Liam, 629
4. Noah, 573
5. Jacob, 571
6. Thomas, 561
7. Raphael, 498
8. Nathan, 496
9. Leo, 494
10. Alexis, 461

The girls’ top 10 contains the same names as in 2016, but in a different order.

In the boys’ top 10, Raphael and Leo replace Felix (now 13th) and Gabriel (now 16th)

Some of the baby names used just once last year include:

  • Girls: Amberina, Benitha, Cassily, Delya, Elpis, Felia, Gwenia, Hajrah, Isalia, Jecolia, Kindia, Lagertha, Mimsy, Nolka, Odaluna, Posie, Rinnah, Sharbella, Tesseract*, Ujarak, Vitalina, Wathahontha, Ysoo, Zanaelle
  • Boys: Arjo, Braveman, Clermont, Daxon, Ebbo, Floyd, Gideon, Holyver, Izai, Joah, Kephry, Lelio, Majorik, Nelligan, Orelsan, Plume, Ricardy, Syphax, Tayze, Uapeshkuss, Valerian, Witghy, Yanrick, Zarrar

This is the first time I’ve seen the geometry term “tesseract” used as a baby name. As Wikipedia puts it, “the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square.” It’s a hypercube, basically. The word was coined in the 1880s from the Greek words tessera, “four,” and aktis, “ray.” Definitely an unusual name…though it does conveniently shorten to Tess.

Source: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Tesseract – Wikipedia