How popular is the baby name Anselm 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 Anselm.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Anselm


Posts that Mention the Name Anselm

How did “Yentl” influence baby names in 1984?

The characters Avigdor and Yentl from the movie "Yentl" (1983).
Avigdor and Yentl from “Yentl

The Jewish names Yentl and Avigdor both debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1984:

Girls named YentlBoys named Avigdor
198611.
1985136
198412*5*
1983..
1982..
*Debut

Why?

Because both were featured in the 1983 musical film Yentl, which starred Barbra Streisand and Mandy Patinkin as students (Yentl and Avigdor) at a Jewish religious school in Poland in the early 1900s. Only males could attend the school, so Yentl had to dress and live as a young man, “Anshel,” in order to receive an education.

The film was based on a 1975 play which was, in turn, based on the short story “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy” (1963) by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

What do these names mean?

Yentl is a diminutive of Yente, which comes from the Yentille, the Yiddish version of the French name Gentille, meaning “noble, aristocratic.”

Avigdor is a Hebrew name derived from the expression avi Gedor, meaning “Gedor’s father.” The name Gedor means “wall.” (Avigdor was one of the by-names of Moses in the Talmud, the central text of Rabbinic Judaism.)

And Anshel, the name Yentl used while disguised as a male, is the Yiddish form of Anselm, a Germanic name made up of elements meaning “god” and “helmet, protection.”

What are your thoughts on these names?

Sources: Yentl (film) – Wikipedia, Behind the Name, The Name Avigdor | BH Open Databases,

Male names in the Domesday Book

I listed all the female names in the Domesday Book a while back, so today I thought I’d complete the project by listing all the male names.

The male names below appeared in the Open Domesday database just once, except where noted. (For the record, I overlooked entries in which one person’s name was used to refer to another person, e.g., “Aelfric’s uncle.”)

The most-mentioned name within each letter group is in bold.

If you make it all the way to the bottom, your reward is a top ten list. :)

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And now it’s time for the…

Top Ten Male Names

Which male were mentioned most often in the Domesday book? The #1 name was William, followed by Robert and Ralph:

1. William (166)
2. Robert (127)
3. Ralph (124)
4. Aelfric (88)
5. Alwin (76)
5. Hugh (76)
7. Roger (73)
8. Godwin (72)
9. Walter (64)
10. Godric (59)

Though the names in the book aren’t necessarily representative of name usage in England overall, it does make sense than William took the top spot. The Domesday Book was created a couple of decades after the Norman Invasion, at a time when the name William was very fashionable, thanks to William the Conqueror.

Older Siblings Vote for Baby’s Name

In early 1965, Marius and Anne Spada of Towaco, New Jersey, welcomed a baby boy — their 16th child. They didn’t give him a name, though. They had their older children vote on his name, pursuant to family tradition.

Of the 15 older children, 13 took part in the election. They were Anselm (19), Marie (18), Lucille (16), James (15), Jennifer (14), Victoria (13), twins Larry and Laurie (12), Patrick (9), Nicholas (8), Annette (7), Teresa (5) and Christopher (4). The two not taking part were Joseph (17) and Marius Jr. (2). Joseph was away on Army duty, and Marius Jr. was considered too young.

The parents had no say in the balloting. “We leave it entirely up to them,” Marius Sr. (44) told the papers. “I used to be able to sway the election, but I guess I’m too old now politically to carry much weight.”

The winning name was Dominick, with 11 votes. Marius Sr. explained that the name was inspired by “a priest, Father Dominick, who’s a friend of the family.” Runners-up were John and Anthony, with 1 vote each.

Source: “‘Decision of Lifetime’ Made by Youngsters.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 20 Jan. 1965: 27.