Popular baby names in Puerto Rico, 2022

Puerto Rico

The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, and has about 3.2 million residents.

What were the most popular baby names in Puerto Rico last year? Valentina and Liam.

Here are Puerto Rico’s top 50+ girl names and top 50+ boy names of 2022:

Girl Names

  1. Valentina, 202 baby girls
  2. Emma, 138
  3. Victoria, 121
  4. Luna, 117
  5. Aurora, 116
  6. Amaia, 104
  7. Catalina, 101
  8. Mia, 99
  9. Milena, 95
  10. Gianna, 89
  11. Isabella, 88
  12. Mikaela, 82
  13. Camila, 77
  14. Sofia, 67
  15. Amalia, 66
  16. Amanda, 59
  17. Amelia, 58
  18. Sophia, 57
  19. Amira, 55
  20. Alaia, 52 (3-way tie)
  21. Leah, 52 (3-way tie)
  22. Paula, 52 (3-way tie)
  23. Ainhoa, 49 (tie)
  24. Elena, 49 (tie)
  25. Ainara, 45 (tie)
  26. Antonella, 45 (tie)
  27. Gia, 44
  28. Alanna, 43
  29. Valeria, 41
  30. Kamila, 39 (tie)
  31. Stella, 39 (tie)
  32. Alana, 36
  33. Gabriela, 35
  34. Andrea, 34 (tie)
  35. Brianna, 34 (tie)
  36. Nahiara, 33
  37. Mariana, 32
  38. Ana, 29 (tie)
  39. Lia, 29 (tie)
  40. Marina, 28 (3-way tie)
  41. Mila, 28 (3-way tie)
  42. Paulette, 28 (3-way tie)
  43. Kailani, 27
  44. Adriana, 25 (tie)
  45. Amahia, 25 (tie)
  46. Anahia, 24
  47. Amaya, 23 (3-way tie)
  48. Cataleya, 23 (3-way tie)
  49. Katalina, 23 (3-way tie)
  50. Ariana, 22 (7-way tie)
  51. Chloe, 22 (7-way tie)
  52. Liah, 22 (7-way tie)
  53. Nahia, 22 (7-way tie)
  54. Nayla, 22 (7-way tie)
  55. Paulina, 22 (7-way tie)
  56. Samara, 22 (7-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 269 baby boys
  2. Thiago, 254
  3. Noah, 253
  4. Mateo, 186
  5. Sebastian, 184
  6. Lucas, 152
  7. Dylan, 145
  8. Ian, 128
  9. Nicolas, 103
  10. Ethan, 98
  11. Jayden, 94
  12. Adrian, 91
  13. Jacob, 82 (tie)
  14. Matias, 82 (tie)
  15. Angel, 77
  16. Fabian, 69
  17. Elias, 68
  18. Diego, 65
  19. Gael, 64
  20. Matteo, 63
  21. Eithan, 62 (tie)
  22. Elian, 62 (tie)
  23. Mauro, 57 (tie)
  24. Milan, 57 (tie)
  25. Isaac, 56 (tie)
  26. Luis, 56 (tie)
  27. Aaron, 53
  28. Gian, 48
  29. Daniel, 47
  30. Alan, 45 (tie)
  31. Julian, 45 (tie)
  32. Damian, 43
  33. Gabriel, 41 (tie)
  34. Jose, 41 (tie)
  35. Isaias, 40
  36. Matthew, 40
  37. Leonardo, 39
  38. Alejandro, 38 (3-way tie)
  39. Carlos, 38 (3-way tie)
  40. Evan, 38 (3-way tie)
  41. Caleb, 37
  42. Eliam, 36 (tie)
  43. Nathan, 36 (tie)
  44. Enzo, 33 (3-way tie)
  45. Keyden, 33 (3-way tie)
  46. Zabdiel, 33 (3-way tie)
  47. Juan, 32 (3-way tie)
  48. Kaleb, 32 (3-way tie)
  49. Ryan, 32 (3-way tie)
  50. Andres, 30 (tie)
  51. Kayden, 30 (tie)

In 2021, the top names in Puerto Rico were also Valentina and Liam.

And what were the most popular baby names in all the other U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands) combined last year? Luna and Jayden.

Sources: Popular Names by Territory – SSA, Puerto Rico – Wikipedia

Image by PatrickSweeney from Pixabay

What brought the baby name Theodosia back in 2016?

Image from "Hamilton" Broadway poster
Poster for “Hamilton

The old-fashioned name Theodosia, which dropped out of the U.S. baby name data after 2006, popped back up again a decade later:

  • 2018: 11 baby girls named Theodosia
  • 2017: 11 baby girls named Theodosia
  • 2016: 6 baby girls named Theodosia
  • 2015: unlisted
  • 2014: unlisted

The fact that name Hamilton saw overall peak usage the same year leads me to believe that the influence in both cases was the hip-hop musical Hamilton, by actor/playwright/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The massively popular show opened off-Broadway in early 2015, moved to Broadway mid-year, and ended up winning 11 statuettes at the Tony Awards in mid-2016.

The musical portrayed Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, as he grew “[f]rom bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, [and] loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy.”

One of Hamilton‘s memorable songs, “Dear Theodosia” (pronounced thee-uh-DOH-zhuh), was a touching ballad performed by the characters Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton for their newborn children, Theodosia and Philip.

Here’s the song:

The lyrics begin:

Dear Theodosia, what to say to you?
You have my eyes, you have your mother’s name.

Young Theodosia Burr was indeed named after her mother, Theodosia Bartow, who was, in turn, named after her father, Theodosius Bartow. Their shared name can be traced back to the ancient Greek words theos, meaning “god,” and dosis, meaning “a giving.” (Interestingly, dosis is the root of the modern word dose, which refers to an amount of medicine taken at one time.)

What are your thoughts on the name Theodosia? Would you use it? (How about Hamilton?)

Sources: Dear Theodosia – Genius, Dear Theodosia – Wikipedia, Hamilton (musical) – Wikipedia, Hamilton – Playbill, Lin-Manuel Miranda – Britannica, Behind the Name, SSA

Name quotes #120: Abba, Barbara, Charisma

double quotation mark

Here’s the latest batch of name-related quotes…

In a 2013 interview with OK! magazine, actress Charisma Carpenter was asked whether or not she was named after an Avon fragrance:

That is absolutely true! I don’t know if you’ve smelled it, it’s awful. I was born in an era where Avon was very much the thing. My grandmother brought my mother, as a gift, this perfume. The story is I went without a name for about a week and then my grandmother brought this perfume (named Charisma) and my mom and my dad settled on that name. They had met me, they had heard the name of the perfume and I guess it just clicked.

From a 2017 interview [vid] with professional basketball player Isaiah Thomas (who was, at that time, a star player for the Boston Celtics):

My dad is from Los Angeles, California. He’s a big Laker fan. And he made a wager that if the Detroit Pistons beat the Lakers [in the 1989 Finals] he’d name his son Isiah Thomas. […] My mom, she grew up in church, and she liked the name but she wanted it spelled the biblical way, that’s why my name is spelled slightly different than the older Isiah Thomas.

(Thomas was born in February, but the Finals weren’t until June. Sports Illustrated clarifies that the bet was made before the birth — and well before the Finals — but that, by the time the baby arrived, Thomas’ father had “had warmed to the idea of his very own Isiah.”)

From the same interview [vid], former Detroit Pistons player Isiah Thomas getting a kick out hearing his own name being chanted at the Boston Garden:

It’s so beautiful [laughs]. I love it. I love it that, you know, and even though they’re not chanting my name, to hear them chant “MVP” and they’re talking about Isaiah Thomas in the Boston Garden — it’s just awesome.

(Here’s some background on the Pistons-Celtics rivalry.)

A name story from the recent Washington Post article “What’s in a name?” by John Kelly:

When Barbara Zigli was young, she never bothered to ask her parents why they named her Barbara. Much later, she learned that Saint Barbara is the patron saint of miners.

“My mother’s father was a coal miner, so I asked her if that was why they named me Barbara,” wrote Barbara, of Arlington.

There was a long pause, then Barbara’s mother said, “Uh, yeah, that’s it.”

Barbara was immediately suspicious. “No, really, mom,” she demanded. “Why did you name me Barbara?”

“Promise me you won’t get mad,” Barbara’s mother said. “You’re named after Miss Barbara on [the TV show] ‘Romper Room.'”

From a 2016 Boston Magazine article about Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA, who was born in 1969 and named Robert Fitzgerald Diggs after the Kennedy brothers Robert and John Fitzgerald:

The Kennedy brothers really had a big effect on my mother. She loved what they stood for, that’s why she named her son after them. I think the ideas that they possessed and tried to put into our country, whether it’s the idea of man achieving the high glory of reaching the moon or the glory of trying to help spread civil liberties to the people, fulfill the promise of our Constitution. Those type of things, I think, are always admirable. My mother was really touched by that and she named me after them.

From a recent article in the Mirror about a woman named Abba after Swedish supergroup Abba:

When I was a child, everyone would question my name and make comments about it. They’d get confused by how it’s spelt – it’s the same as the band.

I’ve never come across anyone else named Abba and I love how unique it is. I always get asked ‘Abba like the band?’ when I say it.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Babies named for Theodosia Burr

American socialite Theodosia Burr (1783-1813)
Theodosia Burr

We’ve all heard of early American politician Aaron Burr, but not as many of us know about his daughter, Theodosia — a well-educated socialite whose mysterious disappearance in early 1813 kept Americans intrigued for decades.

On the last day of 1812, 29-year-old Theodosia set sail from South Carolina (where she lived with her husband, Joseph Alston, the newly elected governor) to New York, to visit her father.

She was never seen again.

Presumably her ship was wrecked in a storm off Cape Hatteras, and all aboard were lost at sea.

No one knew for sure, though, and this left room for a number of alternative theories (many of which involved pirates).

These theories were printed and re-printed in the newspapers and other publications for decades to come. For instance, the following illustration of Theodosia being forced to walk the plank (by pirates, of course) was published in a California newspaper in 1906 — almost a century after her disappearance.

Theodosia walking the plank

Thanks to these recurring stories, dozens (possibly hundreds?) of baby girls were named “Theodosia Burr” during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some examples…

Her most famous namesake was Theodosia Burr Goodman, born in Ohio in 1885, who went on to become silent film actress Theda Bara.