How popular is the baby name Wolf 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 Wolf.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Wolf


Posts that Mention the Name Wolf

Name Quotes 81: Anne, Wendy, Charlie

It’s a new month — time for a new batch of name-related quotations!

From a write-up about Ryan Reynolds’ appearance on the Today show in mid-December:

After Hoda asked how he and Blake came up with the name of their third (a clever way to get the actor to publicly confirm what the name actually is), Reynolds quipped, “We haven’t yet! We’re gonna be original, and all the letters in her name are silent.” […] He continued, “I want to give her something to push against in life.”

From an article about the science of baby name trends (thank you, Uly!):

You can even see how the zeitgeist of the age affected American’s [sic] desire for novelty. As Matthew W. Hahn and Alexander Bentley found, the incidence of new, unusual names rose in the 20s, peaked around 1930, but then plummeted in the 40s and 50s. Then it shot up again in the 60s, before reversing and plummeting again in the late 70s. Why? If you wanted to engage in some armchair zeitgeist analysis, you could argue that this makes a crude sort of cultural sense: The “roaring 20s” and the 60s were both periods when significant subsets of the population treasured creative, rule-breaking behavior; the 50s and early 80s weren’t.

From an article announcing the cancellation of a TV series with a name-referencing title:

The Netflix and CBC drama Anne With an E, adapted from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables, has been cancelled after three seasons.

From an article about the weirdly common celebrity baby name Charlie Wolf:

Celebrity moms and dads are going wild for the animal-inspired baby name Charlie Wolf.

Zooey Deschanel and her estranged husband, Jacob Pechenik, kicked off the trendy moniker when they welcomed their baby boy in 2017.

[…]

Lauren Conrad and William Tell welcomed their second little one in October 2019 — and named him Charlie Wolf as well.

[…]

The following month, another Charlie Wolf arrived — or rather, Charles Wolfe.

(The third one was born to former Bachelor in Paradise contestants Evan Bass and Carly Waddell.)

From an article and a blog post about the naming of Wendy’s:

When it came to deciding what to call the chain, [Dave Thomas] tried out the names of all five of his children before he settled on the nickname for his daughter, Melinda, which was Wendy.

Before my dad left us [in 2002], we had a long conversation about him naming the restaurant Wendy’s. It was the first time we’d ever had this conversation. He said, “You know what? I’m sorry.” I asked him what he meant. He explained, “I should’ve just named it after myself, because it put a lot of pressure on you.”

From an article about the “-Mae” trend in Australia:

Marlie-Mae, Gracie-Mae, Mila-Mae… you may have noticed the trend.

Aussie celebs are giving their baby girls hyphenated names with a sweet, old-fashioned sound. The Bachelor’s Matty J and Laura Byrne went for Marlie-Mae, Bachelor In Paradise’s Simone Ormesher and partner Matt Thorne chose Gracie-Mae, while Married at First Sight’s Davina Rankin and boyfriend Jaxon Manuel decided on Mila-Mae.

[…]

Although these names might sound American – think Elly May Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies – this is actually a huge British trend that seems to be just taking off in Australia.

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

Name Facts from Finland

Some factoids about Finnish baby names, gathered from a pair of articles published late last year:

  • The pool of names in Finland has more than doubled since the 1980s. In the ’80s, about 50,000 names were in use; currently, about 120,000 names are in use.
  • Gender-neutral names that became gender-specific over time include Rauha (“peace”), Sulo (“grace”), and Lenny.
  • Gender-specific names that switched from one gender to the other over time include Tuisku (“flurry”) and Lumi (“snow”).
  • Speaking of Lumi, more than 450 baby girls have been named Lumikki (“snow white”) since the 1800s.
  • “[N]ames with the letter ‘r’ in them are out of fashion because a Finnish ‘r’ is hard to pronounce internationally. With the exception of the boy’s name Väinö, names with umlauts are also dwindling in popularity.” Quote from Minna Saarelma-Paukkala, Director of the University of Helsinki’s Almanac Office, which owns the rights to all of Finland’s name day lists.
    • The Almanac Office’s Name Day Search form covers not only various cultures, but also pets: dogs, cats, and horses!
  • Recently rejected baby names include Alcapone, Ammu (“shoot”), Enikko, Fafnir, Fosforos, Marj-Linn, Monck, Paulii, Poon, Topelius, Tuhka (“ash”), Weicca, and Wolf.
  • A law that went into effect earlier this year allows Finnish parents to give their children a maximum of four first names. (Previously the max was three.)

Sources: Diversity of children’s names expanding in Finland, Finland loosens name law, but most still prefer classics

Rawr! Here Come the Bears…

bear, baby name, boy name

The name Bear was just barely being used before adventurer Bear Grylls (birth name: Edward Grylls) came to our attention via the TV series Man vs. Wild (2006-2011).

Since then, usage has increased steadily — both among regular folks and among celebrities:

  • 2017: English musician Liam Payne had son Bear Grey
  • 2017: English musician Howard Donald had son Dougie Bear
  • 2013: English actress Kate Winslet had son Bear Blaze
  • 2011: American actress Alicia Silverstone had son Bear Blu
  • 2010: English chef Jamie Oliver had son Buddy Bear Maurice

In the U.S., the baby name Bear is currently sitting just outside the top 1,000:

  • 2016: 186 baby boys named Bear [rank: 1,055th]
  • 2015: 134 baby boys named Bear [rank: 1,311th]
  • 2014: 131 baby boys named Bear [rank: 1,327th]
  • 2013: 84 baby boys named Bear [rank: 1,730th]
  • 2012: 79 baby boys named Bear [rank: 1,845th]
  • 2011: 85 baby boys named Bear [rank: 1,728th]

The England and Wales data for 2016 isn’t out yet, but Bear entered the top 1,000* there in 2015:

  • 2015: 36 baby boys named Bear in E/W [rank: 859th]
  • 2014: 19 baby boys named Bear in E/W [rank: 1,330th]
  • 2013: 15 baby boys named Bear in E/W [rank 1,546th]
  • 2012: 19 baby boys named Bear in E/W [rank 1,319th]
  • 2011: 7 baby boys named Bear in E/W [rank 2,650th]

But this data only accounts for first names. The principal usage for Bear could be happening under the radar, with middles. Two of the celebs above used Bear as a middle, and so did this Canadian couple who hit on a bear on the way to the delivery room. And don’t forget American actress Zooey Deschanel, who didn’t opt for Bear, but did give her kids the animal-middles Otter and Wolf.

Do you like Bear as a baby name? How high do you think it will climb on the U.S. charts?

P.S. Other Bear- names in the data lately include Bearett, Bearon, and Bearick.

*I assigned rankings to the E/W names the same way the SSA assigns rankings — breaking ties by assigning rank in alphabetical order.

Could “Unicorn” Become a Baby Name?

could unicorn become a baby name?

The baby name Unicorn: Ridiculous? Inevitable? Both?

I’m not asking because I think Unicorn should become a baby name. I’m asking because I think there’s an outside chance that it could see some usage this year, thanks to the sudden trendiness of unicorns.

The word “unicorn” is being used to market all manner of colorful, sparkly products at the moment. In fact, Google searches for “unicorn” hit an all-time high last month.

The word has also acquired some positive associations over the last few years. According to Elizabeth Segran of Fast Company, “unicorn” is now being used to denote uniqueness (e.g., unicorn startup, unicorn boyfriend) and also to signify anything “happy, fun-loving, and cute.”

So if this unicorn fad lasts long enough, and if American parents are daring enough, do you think we could see a Unicorn or two in the birth announcements this year?

For the record, Unicorn has been used as a name in the U.S. before, but only a handful of times. The youngest I found was a male born in the ’90s with the middle name Unicorn.

Mythical creature names (like Phoenix, Griffin, and Dragon) — not to mention real-life creature names (like Bear, Fox, Wolf, and Wren) — are on the rise right now. So what are the odds that we’ll see some some baby Unicorns in 2017?

Source: The Unicorn Craze, Explained