How popular is the baby name Andy 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 Andy.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Andy


Posts that Mention the Name Andy

Where did the baby name Charade come from?

charade, movie, 1960s

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word charade as “an empty or deceptive act or pretense.”

Given this rather unsavory meaning, it’s surprising that a handful of parents named their baby girls Charade in the 1960s:

  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: 5 baby girls named Charade
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 6 baby girls named Charade [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted

So what was the influence here?

That debut in 1964 can be attributed to the movie Charade and/or the movie’s theme song, also called “Charade.”

The movie was a romantic comedy/thriller starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant that came out in December of 1963 (less than a month after the Kennedy assassination). Here’s how TCM sums it up: “A beautiful widow tries to find her husband’s lost fortune while eluding the killers who want it themselves.”

(Interesting fact: The movie fell out of copyright immediately upon release because the word “copyright” was mistakenly omitted from the title screen.)

The song was a sad-sounding Parisian waltz composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Henry Mancini’s version reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February of 1963. Crooner Andy Williams also released a version that managed to reach the top 100 that year (but just barely — 100th place in January).

What are your thoughts on the baby name Charade?

Sources: Charade – Merriam-Webster, Charade (1963) – TCM.com, Charade (1963 song) – Wikipedia

What turned Nico (briefly) into a girl name?

In places like Italy and Spain, Nico (pronounced nee-ko) is a masculine name. It’s used most often for baby boys in the United States as well, but was trendier for girls from the late ’60s to the mid-’70s:

197611 baby girls named Nico18 baby boys named Nico
197512 baby girls named Nico10 baby boys named Nico
19748 baby girls named Nico9 baby boys named Nico
197318 baby girls named Nico14 baby boys named Nico
197215 baby girls named Nico14 baby boys named Nico
197122 baby girls named Nico15 baby boys named Nico
197019 baby girls named Nico12 baby boys named Nico
196918 baby girls named Nico11 baby boys named Nico
19687 baby girls named Nico10 baby boys named Nico
19677 baby girls named Nico [debut]7 baby boys named Nico

Why?

Because of mononymous singer Nico, who became famous during the late ’60s thanks to her performances in various Andy Warhol projects. She starred in the hit film Chelsea Girls (1966), for instance, and in 1967 she was featured on the albums The Velvet Underground & Nico and Chelsea Girl.

One factor that no doubt helped “Nico” catch on as a girl name (at least temporarily) was the trendiness of the name Nicole during the ’60s and ’70s. (I should mention that the late ’60s is also when the name Chelsea started taking off.)

Nico’s real name was Christa Päffgen. She began using her stage name (which was inspired by an ex-boyfriend named Nikos) while modeling as a teenager.

A few decades later, the male usage of “Nico” rose sharply thanks to the All My Children character Nico Kelly, who was on the soap opera from 1987 to 1989. In fact, Nico was the fastest-rising boy name of 1988. (The name of his girlfriend Cecily also saw much higher usage around that time.)

19909 baby girls named Nico266 baby boys named Nico [rank: 621st]
19898 baby girls named Nico314 baby boys named Nico [rank: 548th]
19885 baby girls named Nico96 baby boys named Nico [rank: 989th]
1987unlisted10 baby boys named Nico

What are your thoughts on the name Nico? Do you like it better as a girl name, or as a boy name?

Source: Nico – Wikipedia

P.S. A similar thing happened to the name Luka two decades later…

Where did the baby name Arbadella come from?

Amos ‘n’ Andy baby-naming contest ad, 1936

The similar names Arbadella and Arbedella both debuted in the SSA baby name data in 1936, and both saw peak usage the following year:

ArbadellaArbedella
19408 baby girlsunlisted
19397 baby girlsunlisted
193812 baby girls5 baby girls
193733 baby girls [peak]9 baby girls [peak]
19366 baby girls [debut]6 baby girls [debut]
1935unlistedunlisted

What was the influence?

The radio serial Amos & Andy — one of the very first situation comedies. The initial version of the show (1928-1943) aired for 15 minutes, five days per week, and was the most popular radio program in the nation in the late 1920’s and early 30’s. In fact, the show’s “popularity ensured the success of radio broadcasting as a form of mass entertainment.”

The show “was based on the model of minstrel shows, [and] thus based on racial stereotypes.” The main characters — African-American men named Amos Jones and Andy Brown — were played by white radio performers Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll.

In an episode that aired during October of 1936, Amos and his wife Ruby welcomed their first child, a baby girl. The baby wasn’t named right away — instead, the show’s sponsor, Pepsodent Tooth Paste, held a baby-naming contest.

The contest was advertised in newspapers nationwide. The ads noted that the judges would consider “originality, uniqueness, and suitability” when making their decision, and also offered some name-choosing prompts, such as:

  • “…you might think “Amanda” would be a suitable name because it contains so many of the letters of both “Amos” and “Andy.””
  • “…remember, too, the baby’s maternal grandmother is named Lillian.”

Thousands of prizes were offered, including a $5,000 grand prize. Here’s the full list (and what the prizes would be worth in today’s dollars):

  • 1st: $5,000 in baby bonds (equivalent to $92,183.93 in 2020)
  • 2nd: $1,000 in baby bonds ($18,436.79)
  • 3rd: $100 baby bond to each of 10 winners ($1,843.68)
  • 4th: $50 baby bond to each of 100 winners ($921.84)
  • 5th: $25 baby bond to each of 720 winners ($460.92)
  • 6th: $2 cash to each of 2000 winners ($36.87)

The contest closed in mid-November. The winning name, Arbadella — suggested by Mrs. Joseph L. Smith of Ohio — was announced in mid-December. (The second-place name, Ladicia Ann, was suggested by 12-year-old Indiana boy Urcel D. Miller.)

The late-in-the-year announcement of the winning name accounts for why the baby name Arbadella (and spelling variant Arbedella) debuted in the data in 1936, but saw even higher usage in 1937.

After welcoming Arbadella, Amos and Ruby went on to have two more children: Amos, Jr., and Amosandra. Neither of these fictional babies had a discernible impact on U.S. baby names, though.

What are your thoughts on the name Arbadella? Do you like it?

Sources/Tools:

P.S. Norita was also a contest-winning name of the 1930s…

P.P.S. In the early 1950s, The Amos ‘n Andy Show aired on television. This time around, the characters were played by African-American actors. Despite good ratings, the show was cancelled after two years due to pressure from the NAACP.

Numerology & baby names: Number 8

Baby names with a numerological value of 8

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “8.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “8” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “8,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

8

The following baby names add up to 8.

  • “8” girl names: Bea
  • “8” boy names: Abe

8 via 17

The following baby names add up to 17, which reduces to eight (1+7=8).

  • “17” girl names: Gia, Bo, Afia, Abida, Aana, Adiba, Cala, Kada, Beia
  • “17” boy names: Bo, Mac, Cam, Md, Jeb, Adeeb, Ibaad, Abie, Aabid, Ege

8 via 26

The following baby names add up to 26, which reduces to eight (2+6=8).

  • “26” girl names: Leah, Maci, Jana, Pia, Aahana, Brea, Dua, Gema, Cami, Anja
  • “26” boy names: Eli, Bode, Bear, Obed, Eben, Adil, Asaad, Mica, Baer, Mega

8 via 35

The following baby names add up to 35, which reduces to eight (3+5=8).

  • “35” girl names: Mila, Clara, Laila, Heidi, Alicia, Dahlia, Cadence, Hadlee, Carla, Cleo
  • “35” boy names: Liam, Cole, Eric, Jax, Kaden, Edgar, Jase, Abram, Kian, Makai

8 via 44

The following baby names add up to 44, which reduces to eight (4+4=8).

  • “44” girl names: Ariana, Faith, Hope, Keira, Helen, Jenna, Opal, Anais, Kiera, Erika
  • “44” boy names: Kaiden, Jayce, Abraham, Judah, Brian, Dante, Andy, Allen, Braden, Ray

8 via 53

The following baby names add up to 53, which reduces to eight (5+3=8).

  • “53” girl names: Julia, Eliza, Samara, Laura, Chelsea, Kendra, Reign, Rosa, Livia, Kori
  • “53” boy names: Gavin, Bryce, Kyle, Archer, Colin, Atlas, Khalil, Keith, Saul, Kamari

8 via 62

The following baby names add up to 62, which reduces to eight (6+2=8).

  • “62” girl names: Natalie, Leilani, Kylie, Sienna, Georgia, Arielle, Ariyah, Jordan, Danielle, Serena
  • “62” boy names: Mason, Josiah, Jordan, Ronan, Adonis, Callum, Briggs, Randy, Talon, Hassan

8 via 71

The following baby names add up to 71, which reduces to eight (7+1=8).

  • “71” girl names: Avery, Zoey, Adalynn, Jasmine, Finley, Lauren, Rowan, Gabrielle, Shelby, Octavia
  • “71” boy names: Samuel, Rowan, Rhett, Avery, Finley, Orion, Kyler, Mathias, Zayne, Emanuel

8 via 80

The following baby names add up to 80, which reduces to eight (8+0=8).

  • “80” girl names: Savannah, Alexandra, Cassidy, Emberly, Colette, Monroe, Cassandra, Stevie, Ensley, Cynthia
  • “80” boy names: Tyler, Bennett, Brooks, Alejandro, Spencer, Moises, Emmitt, Bryant, Jeremias, Giancarlo

8 via 89

The following baby names add up to 89, which reduces to eight (8+9=17; 1+7=8).

  • “89” girl names: Raelynn, Emerson, Summer, Alexandria, Felicity, Winter, Virginia, Ivory, Avalynn, August
  • “89” boy names: Wyatt, Wesley, August, Emerson, Titus, Travis, Garrett, Enrique, Mauricio, Quincy

8 via 98

The following baby names add up to 98, which reduces to eight (9+8=17; 1+7=8).

  • “98” girl names: Scarlett, Valentina, Allyson, Crystal, Jocelynn, Londynn, Kenzley, Julietta, Kynzlee, Justine
  • “98” boy names: Trevor, Jefferson, Marquis, Lazarus, Klayton, Zephyr, Britton, Giuseppe, Brexton, Kurtis

8 via 107

The following baby names add up to 107, which reduces to eight (1+0+7=8).

  • “107” girl names: Treasure, Dominique, Phoenyx, Charolette, Jourdyn, Winsley, Journeigh, Chrisette, Shukrona, Lynnley
  • “107” boy names: Preston, Dominique, Giovanny, Yousuf, Shourya, Phoenyx, Prosper, Norberto, Rayshaun, Ruston

8 via 116

The following baby names add up to 116, which reduces to eight (1+1+6=8).

  • “116” girl names: Royalty, Annistyn, Eternity, Suzette, Christianna, Graylynn, Ruqayyah, Jozlynn, Rhylynn, Christyn
  • “116” boy names: Cornelius, Stryker, Treyson, Royalty, Christiano, Prescott, Dimitrios, Burhanuddin, Maxemiliano, Josemiguel

8 via 125

The following baby names add up to 125, which reduces to eight (1+2+5=8).

  • “125” girl names: Tristyn, Rozalynn, Anjolaoluwa, Remingtyn, Skyelynn, Oliviarose, Sophiarose, Quintessa, Skylynne, Charlestyn
  • “125” boy names: Kyngston, Tristyn, Octavious, Oluwademilade, Trystin, Dontavius, Vishruth, Johnrobert, Johnpatrick, Prinston

8 via 134

The following baby names add up to 134, which reduces to eight (1+3+4=8).

  • “134” girl names: Willoughby
  • “134” boy names: Constantine, Massimiliano, Christensen, Juanantonio, Willoughby, Muhammadibrahim, Muzzammil

8 via 143

The following baby names add up to 143, which reduces to eight (1+4+3=8).

  • “143” girl names: Montserrat, Skylarrose, Monserratt, Oluwafifehanmi
  • “143” boy names: Kaitochukwu

8 via 161

The girl name Prosperity adds up to 161, which reduces to eight (1+6+1=8).

8 via 170

The boy name Josephanthony adds up to 170, which reduces to eight (1+7+0=8).

8 via 197

The girl name Moyosoreoluwa adds up to 197, which reduces to eight (1+9+7=17; 1+7=8).

What Does “8” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “8” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “8” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“8” (the octad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “They used to call the ogdoad [group of eight] ’embracer of all harmonies’ because of this marvellous attunement, or because it is the first to have been attuned and multiplied so as to be equal-times-equal-times-equal, which is a most lawful generation. So when they call it ‘Cadmean,’ they should be understood to be referring to the fact that, as all historians tell us, Harmonia was the wife of Cadmus.”
  • “The number 8 is the source of the musical ratios”
  • “All the ways in which it is put together are excellent and equilibrated tunings.”
  • “The ogdoad is called ‘safety’ and ‘foundation,’ since it is a leader, because two is a leader: the seed of the ogdoad is the first even number.”
  • “They used to call the ogdoad ‘mother, ‘ perhaps [because] even number is female”
  • “The eighth sphere encompasses the whole ‘ hence the saying ‘All is eight.'”

“8” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Eight – a money number” (reading 261-14).
  • “Eight indicates the commercial change” (reading 261-15).
  • “This brings eight as a vibration for the entity that means an awakening within the inner self to the new possibilities, the new opportunities within self that may make for not only carrying with it the abilities but the obligations of same as well. For to whom much is given in any manifested form, of him much is required” (reading 707-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “8” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 35, 44, 71, 143) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “35” (i.e., 35 mm format) reminds you of photography and film, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 8, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Name Quotes #66: Brenton, Jacob, Gene Autry

quotation marks

It’s the last batch of name quotes for 2018!

Let’s start with a line from the Blake Shelton country song “I’ll Name The Dogs”:

You name the babies and I’ll name the dogs

From an article about dog names in New Orleans:

New Orleans dogs are often the namesakes of the cuisine (Gumbo, Roux, Beignet, Po-Boy, Boudin); the Saints (Brees, Payton, Deuce); music (Toussaint, Jazz, Satchmo); streets (Clio, Tchoupitoulas, Calliope); neighborhoods (Pearl, Touro, Gert) and Mardi Gras krewes (Zulu, Rex, Bacchus).

From an article about the names of Scottish salt trucks (“gritters”):

At any given moment, the trucks are working away to keep Scotland’s roads safe, with their progress available for all to see on an online map [the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker], which updates in real time. But a closer look at this map, with its jaunty yellow vehicles, reveals something still more charming: An awful lot of these salt trucks have very, very good names. Gritty Gritty Bang Bang is putting in the hard yards near Aberuthven. Dynamic duo Ice Buster and Ice Destroyer are making themselves useful near Glasgow and Loch Lomond. Three trucks apparently hold knighthoods–Sir Salter Scott, Sir Andy Flurry, Sir Grits-a-Lot. At least two (Ice Queen and Mrs. McGritter) are female. Every one is excellent.

(Some of the other gritter names are: For Your Ice Only, Grits-n-Pieces, Grittalica, Grittie McVittie, Luke Snowalker, Plougher O’ Scotland, Ready Spready Go, Salty Tom, and Sprinkles.)

From an article about the name Brenton being trendy in Adelaide in the 1980s (found via Clare of Name News):

No doubt the popularity of the name Brenton interstate and in the US is down to the paddleboat TV drama All the Rivers Run, which starred John Waters as captain Brenton Edwards and Sigrid Thornton as Philadelphia Gordon.

The miniseries first ran on Australian television in October 1983 and was later broadcast on the American channel HBO in January 1984.

(Indeed, the name Brenton saw peak usage in the U.S. in 1984, and the name Philadelphia debuted the same year.)

From an article about baby-naming in New South Wales:

Once upon a time the list of top 100 names in a year used to capture nearly 90 per cent of the boys born, and three-quarters of girls. Now it’s less than half of either gender.

The reason is an explosion in variety, with multiculturalism and parents’ desire for individuality seeing the pool of baby names grow from 4252 in 1957 to 16,676 today. That’s 300% more names for only 30% more babies being born.

Professor Jo Lindsay from Monash University has researched naming practices in Australia and said parents today had more freedom and fewer family expectations than previous generations.

From an article about the 16-child Sullivan family of North Carolina:

They were, in order, Cretta in 1910, Leland in 1912, Rosa in 1913, Woodrow in 1916, Wilmar in 1918, Joseph in 1919, Dorothy in 1921 and Virginia in 1923.

The second wave included Irving in 1924, Blanche in 1925, C.D. in 1927, Geraldine in 1928, Marverine in 1930, Billy in 1932, Tom in 1934 and Gene in 1938.

[…]

Gene Autry Sullivan, the youngest of the children and the one who organizes the reunion each year, said he was told he was named after legendary cowboy movie star Gene Autry “because his parents had run out of names by then.”

(The post about Sierra includes a photo of Gene Autry.)

From an article about the challenges of growing up with an unfamiliar name:

Recently I was asked to give a talk to students at a mostly white school. I’d been in back-and-forth email contact with one of the teachers for ages. My full name, Bilal Harry Khan, comes up in email communication. I’d signed off all our emails as Bilal and introduced myself to him that way too. He had been addressing me as Bilal in these emails the entire time. But as he got up to introduce me to a whole assembly hall of teachers and students, he suddenly said, “Everyone, this is Harry.”

From an article about a college football team full of Jacobs (Jacob was the #1 name in the US from 1999 to 2012):

Preparing for the fall season, the offensive coordinator for University of Washington’s football team realized his team had a small problem. It went by the name Jacob.

The Pac-12 Huskies had four quarterbacks named Jacob or Jake (plus a linebacker named Jake and a tight end named Jacob).

From an article about Sweden’s even-stricter baby-naming laws:

The number of baby names rejected by Swedish authorities has risen since last summer, when the regulations were tightened.

The new law made it easier to go through a legal name change in some ways, including by lifting a ban on double-barrelled surnames, but regulations around permitted first names were tightened.

Some of the restrictions include names that are misleading (such as titles), have “extreme spelling”, or resemble a surname.