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 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

Popular Baby Names in England and Wales, 2013

The top baby names in England and Wales were announced last week.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the most popular baby names last year were Amelia and Oliver.

Here are England and Wales’ top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Amelia, 5570 baby girls
2. Olivia, 4598
3. Emily, 4049
4. Ava, 3575
5. Isla, 3526
6. Jessica, 3507
7. Poppy, 3422
8. Isabella, 3246
9. Sophie, 3013
10. Mia, 2993
11. Ruby, 2948
12. Lily, 2883
13. Grace, 2799
14. Evie, 2767
15. Sophia, 2764
16. Ella, 2722
17. Scarlett, 2643
18. Chloe, 2401
19. Isabelle, 2287
20. Freya, 2266
1. Oliver, 6,949 baby boys
2. Jack, 6,212
3. Harry, 5,888
4. Jacob, 5,126
5. Charlie 5,039
6. Thomas, 4,591
7. Oscar, 4,511
8. William, 4,268
9. James, 4,236
10. George, 4,202
11. Alfie, 4,138
12. Joshua, 3,973
13. Noah, 3,830
14. Ethan, 3,572
15. Muhammad, 3,499
16. Archie, 3,265
17. Leo, 3,264
18. Henry, 3,248
19. Joseph, 3,225
20. Samuel, 3,188

There were some big moves on the boys’s side: Oscar rose from 17th to 7th, while Riley plummeted from 8th to 21st. (Here are the biggest moves overall for boy names and girl names.)

New to the top 20 are Scarlett, Archie, Henry and Joseph. They replace Charlotte, Riley, Daniel and Max.

One thing I found interesting? Freya wasn’t on the England top 20. It also wasn’t on the Wales top 20. And yet still it managed to rank 20th on the combined top 20. Very sneaky, Freya.

Here are some of last year’s rare baby names, each given to between 3 and 10 babies (inclusive):

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Akvile, Alaska, Alphonsa, Andromeda, Arena, Arizona, Atlantis, Belinay, Bellatrix, Blousey, Boadicea, Boglarka, Bonnie-Blue, Boo, Boux, Charm, Cressida, Crystal-Rose, Daenerys, Delphie, Disney, Duru, Edwina, Ellery, Eloghosa, Enfys, Enlli*, Eos, Ernestine, Esila, Evan, Frayer, Freshta, Fausta, Garance, Gelila, Gemini, Gerda, Glorious, Halo, Honour, Io, Iole, Ionie, Iseult, Isla-Belle, Izna, Lava, Lleucu, Llinos, Llio, Loveday, Loxy, Mafalda, Man, Maple, Miami, Migle, Milda, Misk, Mirabella, Mirren, Myfi, Myrtle, Nandi, Nephele, Nma, Ottoline, Pebbles, Popi, Purity, Quorra, Quratulain, Rory, Ruby-Tuesday, Salsabeel, Sehrish, Sequoia, Sibel, Sobia, Solveig, Sundus, Tiggi, Tiggy, Tirion, Tulsi, Vespa, Vogue, Yiyi Alaric, Bramwell, Cavalli, Ceirion, Denley, Diesel, Diggory, Drin, Eesaa, Eyoel, Fiachra, Finlo, Fyfe, Ghyll, Greatness, Gruff, Hanzala, Haoyu, Heathcliff, Henley-John, Ho, Hocine, Innis, Iori, J, Jai-Jai, Jay-J, Jaygo, Johnboy, Jonjoe, Kebba, Kelly, Khizr, King-David, Klevis, Lebron, Liutaruas, Llyr, Lochie, Messi, Mortimer, Nebi, Nimrod, Noman, Olti, Omarion, Orpheus, Osgar, Oska, Perseus, Ptolemy, Qi, Rhythm, Rozh, Rhon, Sandor, Shady, Shaquille, Sheriff, Shko, Soul, Swayley, T, Tiger, Tirath, Tobenna, Toprak, Tuguldur, Tylah, Tyrion, Ugnius, Viggo, Wentworth, Winter, Wolf, Wolfgang, Wren, Yanky, Yug, Zeus, Zsombor

*Enlli, which debuted last year, comes from the name of the Welsh island Ynys Enlli (called Bardsey Island in English). The island name is usually translated as “island of the current,” with ynys meaning “island,” and enlli meaning “current.” You can hear the proper pronunciation of Ynys Enlli at Forvo.

Finally, all of my previous posts on the popular (and unique) baby names in England and Wales: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.

Source: Baby Names, England and Wales, 2013 – ONS

American Gladiator Names vs. Real-Life Baby Names

american gladiators trading card
I had no idea American Gladiators trading cards existed before I wrote this post.
Ready for a game?

The original American Gladiators TV show (1989-1996) featured 32 American Gladiators and 31 mostly-tough-sounding Gladiator names. (Why 31? Because “Lace” was used twice.) Here are the 31 names:

  1. Atlas
  2. Blaze
  3. Bronco
  4. Cyclone
  5. Dallas
  6. Diamond
  7. Elektra
  8. Gemini
  9. Gold
  10. Havoc
  11. Hawk
  12. Ice
  13. Jade
  14. Jazz
  15. Lace
  16. Laser
  17. Malibu
  18. Nitro
  19. Rebel
  20. Sabre
  21. Siren
  22. Sky
  23. Storm
  24. Sunny
  25. Tank
  26. Thunder
  27. Titan
  28. Tower
  29. Turbo
  30. Viper
  31. Zap

The short-lived American Gladiators remake (2008) featured 20 new gladiators and 18 new tough-sounding gladiator names. (Why 18? Because Siren and Titan were recycled from the original.) Here are the 18 new names:

  1. Beast
  2. Crush
  3. Fury
  4. Hellga
  5. Hurricane
  6. Jet
  7. Justice
  8. Mayhem
  9. Militia
  10. Panther
  11. Phoenix
  12. Rocket
  13. Stealth
  14. Steel
  15. Toa
  16. Venom
  17. Wolf
  18. Zen

So here’s the game: Try to guess what percentage of the 31 original Gladiator names and what percentage of the 18 new Gladiator names have appeared on at least one of the SSA’s annual baby name lists. (To appear on a list, a name has to be given to at least 5 U.S. babies in a single year.)

Come up with your guesses before reading on!

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Ok, here are the answers.

Of the 31 original American Gladiator names, 23 have appeared on an SSA list: Atlas, Blaze, Bronco, Dallas, Diamond, Elektra, Gemini, Gold, Havoc, Hawk, Jade, Jazz, Lace, Malibu, Rebel, Sabre, Siren, Sky, Storm, Sunny, Tank, Thunder and Titan. That’s 74%.

Of the 18 remake American Gladiator names, 9 have appeared on an SSA list: Fury, Jet, Justice, Phoenix, Rocket, Steel, Toa, Wolf and Zen. That’s exactly 50%.

How close did you get to 74% and 50%?