Where did the baby name Grantland come from in 1930?

Sportswriter Grantland Rice (1880-1954)
Grantland Rice

The surname name Grantland first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1930:

  • 1932: unlisted
  • 1931: unlisted
  • 1930: 6 baby boys named Grantland [debut]
  • 1929: unlisted
  • 1928: unlisted


I think the reason is famous sportswriter Grantland Rice, who was known for his “evocative, heroic writing style.”

He began covering sports during the first decade of the 1900s, initially working at various newspapers in the South (including the Nashville Tennessean and the Atlanta Journal).

In the 1910s, Rice moved to New York City and started a column called “The Sportlight” at the New York Tribune. His influential column would go on to become nationally syndicated in 1930 — which could be the reason the name Grantland debuted in the data that year specifically.

He was born Henry Grantland Rice in Tennessee in 1880. His middle name was his mother Beulah’s maiden name.

The surname Grantland comes from an English place name that may represent a combination of the Old English personal name Granta and the Old English word land, which (in this case) referred to owned or cultivated land.

What are your thoughts on Grantland as a first name?

P.S. Another sportswriter who influenced U.S. baby names was Perian Conerly


Image (Grantland Rice on tel/mic) from Library of Congress

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