How popular is the baby name Aileen 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 Aileen.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Aileen

Posts that Mention the Name Aileen

Inconspicuous anagram baby names: Blake/Kaleb, Hale/Leah


I recently updated my old anagram baby names post to make it much more comprehensive. As I worked on it, though, I noticed that many of those sets of names had obvious similarities, such as the same first letters and/or the same rhythm.

So I thought I’d make a second, shorter list of anagram names that were less conspicuously similar. Specifically, I wanted the second list to feature sets of names with different first letters and different numbers of syllables.

And that’s what you’ll find below — pairs of anagram names that are relatively distinct from one another. So much so that, at first glance (or listen), some might not even strike you as being anagrammatic at all. :)

Click on any name to check out its popularity graph…

Most of the names above have a clear number of syllables, but a few do not. (I categorized them according to my own interpretation/accent.) So, if you’re interested in using any of these pairings, just remember to test the names out loud first!

Which of the pairs above do you like best?

Baby name story: Easkey

In the ’60s, hotel owner Mary Britton of Ireland came home from a trip to California with a couple of Malibu surfboards.

Her intention was to offer them to hotel guests, but instead her five sons […] took the boards to the waves, making the Britton boys some of the first pioneers of Irish surfing.

One of her sons, Barry, went on to have two daughters. Both of these daughters became surfers, and one was so successful that she turned pro.

The professional surfer, born in 1986, was named Easkey “after a famous surf break off the west coast of Ireland.”

The wave got its name from a nearby village, which in turn was named after the Easkey River. The river’s name comes from the Irish word iascaigh, which is based on the word iasc, meaning “fish.”

Together with her sister Becky-Finn, she grew up balanced on a surf board, more often than not riding the very wave that she is named after.

Perhaps younger sister Becky-Finn was named with the ocean in mind as well…?

P.S. Easkey Britton was the first female surfer to ride Aileen’s Wave, a famous break off the Cliffs of Moher. The wave wasn’t named after a person, but derived from an Anglicization of Aill na Searrach (meaning “cliff of foals”), the name of a nearby sea cliff.

Sources: Aileen’s – Ireland’s Perfect Wave, Bio – Easkey Britton, Easkey: surf’s new role model, Irishwoman Easkey Britton makes surf waves in Iran

Image by neico from Pixabay

51 Baby Names Banned in Saudi Arabia (Maybe)

Did Saudi Arabia really ban 51 baby names recently? I’m not sure.

Last week, the country’s Civil Affairs Department supposedly released a list of 51 unacceptable baby names — names that were either “not in line with social traditions,” “not appropriate in terms of religion,” or of Western origin.*

Over the weekend, though, a spokesperson from the Civil Affairs Department said that, while the department does regulate baby names, it didn’t release the list in question.

Here are the 51 (possibly) banned baby names:

Malak (“angel” in Arabic)
Abdul Ati
Abdul Nasser (“servant of the helper” in Arabic)
Abdul Mosleh
Emir (“prince” in Arabic)
Al-Mamlaka (“the kingdom” in Arabic)
Malika (“queen” in Arabic)
Mamlaka (“kingdom” in Arabic)
Basmalah (“in the name of God” in Arabic)
Rama (“pleasing” in Sanskrit; Hindu god)
Binyameen (Arabic form of Benjamin)
Abdul Nabi
Abdul Rasool (“servant of the messenger” in Arabic)
Jibreel (Arabic form of Gabriel)
Abdul Mo’een

*The Gulf News believes some of the names were included for political reasons — Abdul Nasser because of Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser, for instance, and Binyamin because of Israeli’s current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sources: Interior Ministry bans 51 baby names, Civil Affairs denies banning baby names, Why did Saudi Arabia ban 51 baby names?

Name-Spotting in Toronto, Canada

Toward the end of July I spent a week in Toronto. I spotted a few interesting names while there.

In the Royal Ontario Museum I found these:

Hannah Jarvis paintingMarie-Zoe Persillier painting

On the left are Hannah Jarvis and her daughters Maria Lavinia and Augusta Honoria. They were painted by American artist James Earl around 1791.

On the right is Marie-Zoé Persillier dite Lachapelle. She was likely painted by Canadian artist Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy around 1845.

Both were in the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada.


Also in the ROM I saw an installation of 32 drawings called “Beethoven 1-32” by German artist Jorinde Voigt.

the name Jorinde

I don’t know the etymology of her first name — perhaps it’s related to George? — but I do know that “Jorinde and Joringel” is a German fairy tale.


Lining the walls of local landmark Honest Ed’s were hundreds of old posters and photographs, including these two:

Urylee Leonardos photoSonyke Cortidou photo

Urylee Leonardos (1910-1986) was a singer/actress on Broadway. I have no idea who Sonyke Cortidou was.


While walking Queen Street East just before the Beaches Jazz Festival StreetFest started, I found a billboard full of kids’ names.

kids names

Here are all the names I managed to get photos of:

Juliette, Chris, Jaya, Eric, Rain, Vishal, Dylan, Chantelle, Isabelle, Ashana, Julia, Arooba, Mien, Anamol, Iksa, Selena, Kyle, Sarah, Xuanji, Neha, Lasya, Elisha, Daneille, Danny, Ukasa, Huzaifa, Suchana, Manasa, Anuja, Mehul, Matteo, Wyatt, Ashanae, Emma, Tony, Helena, Lindsay, Chloe, Elizabeth, Erica, Matthew, Jarvis, Stephanie, Emi, Arujala, Lisa, Judy, Mateo, Zaccai, Bronwyny, Ervie, Mckayla, Taylor, Griffin, Callam, Mattas, Michelle, Dain, Aileen, Apurva, Aayush, Gloria, Josh, Deborah, Akshata

Which of the above do you like best?