How popular is the baby name Willow 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 Willow.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Willow


Posts that Mention the Name Willow

Popular Baby Names in Western Australia, 2018

According to Western Australia’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in Western Australia in 2017 were Ava and Charlotte (tied!) and Oliver.

Here are WA’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Ava and Charlotte, 186 baby girls each (tie)
  2. Mia, 171
  3. Olivia, 166
  4. Amelia, 151
  5. Isla, 149
  6. Harper, 142
  7. Grace, 135
  8. Chloe 125
  9. Willow, 124
  10. Zoe, 123

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 244 baby boys
  2. Jack, 223
  3. Noah, 200
  4. William, 176
  5. Leo, 155
  6. James, 147
  7. Thomas, 145
  8. Ethan, 143
  9. Logan & Charlie, 126 each (tie)
  10. Lucas, 125

In the girls’ top 10, Willow and Zoe replace Ella (now ranked 12th).

In the boys’ top 10, Leo replaces Liam (now ranked 20th).

The girls’ top 50 includes Imogen (36th), Freya (41st), and Billie (44th).

The boys’ top 50 includes Archer (28th), Arlo (31st), and Bodhi (46th).

In 2017, the top names were Isla and Oliver.

Source: Popular Baby Names – DOJ – Govt of Western Australia

Popular Baby Names in Tasmania, 2018

According to the Tasmanian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in Tasmania in 2018 were Charlotte and Oliver.

Here are Tasmania’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Charlotte
  2. Matilda
  3. Ava
  4. Olivia
  5. Grace
  6. Evie
  7. Ruby
  8. Willow
  9. Amelia
  10. Isla

Boy Names

  1. Oliver
  2. Henry
  3. William
  4. Noah
  5. Mason
  6. Jack
  7. Hudson
  8. Hunter
  9. James
  10. Leo

In the girls’ top 10, Grace, Willow, and Amelia replace Mia, Sophie, and Evelyn.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason, Hudson, James, and Leo replace Charlie, Thomas, Oscar, and Max.

In 2017, the top two names were the same.

Source: Tasmanian Top Baby Names

Popular Baby Names in Queensland, 2018

According to the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in the Australian state in 2018 were Charlotte and Oliver.

Here are Queensland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names
1. Charlotte, 408 baby girls
2. Ava, 350
3. Isla, 312
4. Olivia, 306
5. Amelia, 283
6. Mia, 261
7. Harper, 259
8. Willow, 253
9. Grace, 229
10. Evelyn, 225

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 510 baby boys
2. William, 417
3. Jack, 387
4. Noah, 373
5. Henry, 301
6. Harrison, 285
7. Thomas, 271
8. Leo, 260
9. Archer, 259
10. Theodore, 254

In the girls’ top 10, Willow replaces Ivy (now ranked 17th).

In the boys’ top 10, Leo, Archer and Theodore replace Hunter (now 11th), Hudson (12th), and James (17th).

In 2017, the top two names were the same.

Sources: Top 100 Baby Names, Charlotte reigns supreme: Queensland’s top baby names revealed

Name Quotes #69: Larry, Darryl, Darryl

larry, darryl, darryl, newhart, names

From the ’80s TV show Newhart:

“I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.”

From a 1936 newspaper article about movie actress Veda Ann Borg:

Miss Borg was given a new tag almost the minute she stepped into the studio. It was “Ann Noble.” […] Miss Borg contended that her own name is more descriptive of her personality than Ann Noble. The former model’s argument was convincing. She will be billed as Veda Ann Borg.

(Keavy, Hubbard. “Screen Life In Hollywood.” Wilkes-Barre Record 23 Apr. 1936: 19.)

From an Atlas Obscura article about Australian nicknaming conventions:

How in the world did we get from “Jeremy” to “Jezza”?

There is a rule for how this works. Names which have the letter R in them–Jeremy, Catherine, Sharon, Barry, Murray–are trouble for speakers of non-rhotic variations of English to abbreviate. Rhoticity is a linguistic term for describing when the letter is pronounced; in non-rhotic dialects of English, the sound will be discarded unless followed immediately by a vowel. The dialects of England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and, well, New England are all non-rhotic, which is why the word “car” sounds like “cah.”

This isn’t a problem in any of those names if they’re pronounced fully; there’s always a vowel after the R. But to truncate them would be difficult. Typically hypocoristic nicknames are formed by cutting everything but the first syllable and then either leaving that as-is or adding a vowel. That’s how “Daniel” becomes “Danno”: clip to the first syllable (“Dan”) and add a vowel. (The -o ending is most common for male names; -ie is more common for female names.)

From a press release about a newly discovered prehistoric shark:

The team, led by North Carolina State University’s Terry Gates, named the shark Galagadon nordquistae, a nod to its teeth, which have a stepped triangle shape like the spaceships in the 1980s video game Galaga, and to Karen Nordquist, the Field Museum volunteer who discovered the fossils.

From a 1976 article in People about pianist Lorin Hollander and his then-wife Cali:

Lorin now often finds himself babysitting while Cali campaigns against atomic power. Symbolically, not long ago she shed the name she’d “hated for 30 years” for one that sounded right. Margo became Cali. “I look at myself differently now,” she says firmly, “except people all across the country think Lorin has remarried.”

From a WPMU DEV blog post about the Wayback Machine digital archive:

The Wayback Machine was named to reference Mr. Peabody’s WABAC machine from the popular cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle. In the show, the machine was pronounced as “way back,” which is where the index got its name.

From a BBC article about unpopular baby names in the UK:

The name Clive was 44th most popular choice for boys in 1954 but dropped to 58th place in 1964, and has not been in the top 100 since.

Clive Tricker, 70, from Kesgrave in Suffolk, said the cultural references associated with his name were no longer current.

[…]

“I don’t really mind too much if it dies out because the less of us there are the more unique we are.

(Tricker specified that he was named after Clive of India because his grandfather had been stationed in India while he was in the Army.)

From a Mental Floss article about Ron Howard:

However, Howard did go out of his way to confirm one long-held belief about Willow: that two of the villains were named after famous film critics. The evil General Kael was named after the notoriously ruthless Pauline Kael and the two-headed monster Eborsisk was named after the iconic At the Movies duo of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

And, finally, a pair of snippets from a Colorado Public Radio article about Denver street names. First:

William McGaa [one of Denver’s founding officials] had a debaucherous reputation of his own, drinking and adulterating his way out of favor with the city’s elite. McGaa even named Wazee and Wewatta streets after two of his many wives, both Native American woman from local tribes.

(The settlement of Denver was named in late 1858. McGaa’s son, William Denver McGaa, was born in the settlement in March of 1859 and named after it. His mother was neither Wazee nor Wewatta, but a half-Native American woman named Jennie.)

Second, regarding Denver’s “double alphabetical” streets, which were renamed in 1904:

The pattern is a proper noun name, ideally British, followed by the name of a tree or plant. Albion and Ash, Bellaire and Birch, Clermont and Cherry.

The switch wasn’t without resistance from those wealthy neighborhoods. When Eudora Avenue became Fir Street, residents decried the name as “too plebeian.”

Want to see more blog posts like this one? Check out the name quotes category.

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