How popular is the baby name Anthony in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Anthony.

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Popularity of the baby name Anthony


Posts that mention the name Anthony

What gave the baby name Fabian a boost in 1959?

Fabian's single "Tiger" (1959)
Fabian single

According to the U.S. baby name data, the name Fabian leapt into the boys’ top 1,000 in 1959:

  • 1961: 158 baby boys named Fabian [rank: 629th]
  • 1960: 186 baby boys named Fabian [rank: 575th]
  • 1959: 160 baby boys named Fabian [rank: 611th]
  • 1958: 41 baby boys named Fabian
  • 1957: 48 baby boys named Fabian

Why?

Because of mononymous Italian-American singer Fabian (pronounced FAY-bee-an), who was born Fabian Anthony Forte in South Philadelphia in 1943.

Spotted at the age of 14 by talent manager Bob Marcucci, the good-looking teenager was taught how to sing, how to dress, and how to behave. He was being groomed as a teen idol, and it worked.

He attained stardom in 1959, the year his three most successful songs came out. “Turn Me Loose” and “Hound Dog Man” each peaked at #9 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart (in May and December, respectively). Between them came his biggest hit, “Tiger,” which reached the #3 spot for two weeks in July.

Fabian also performed on television dozens of times in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Notably, he made seven appearances on The Dick Clark Show. He was even the mystery guest on an episode of What’s My Line? in November of 1959.

The name Fabian comes (via Fabianus) from the Roman family name Fabius, which was based on the Latin word faba, meaning “bean.”

What are your thoughts on the name Fabian?

P.S. Two other male pop stars of the era, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell, were also Italian-Americans who hailed from South Philadelphia.

Sources:

What gave the baby name Madonna a boost in the mid-1980s?

Madonna's album "Like a Virgin" (1984)
Madonna album

From the early 1900s to the late 1960s, Madonna was one of the top 1,000 girl names in the United States. In terms of rankings, it was most popular in the 1930s; in terms of raw numbers of births, it was most popular in the ’50s and ’60s.

The name has been in decline ever since, but it did see a sudden spike in usage in 1985:

  • 1987: 61 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1986: 70 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1985: 146 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1984: 63 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1983: 23 baby girls named Madonna

In fact, it almost landed back inside the top 1,000 that year. (It ranked 1,033rd, just seven babies shy of 1,000th place.)

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Madonna in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Madonna

What gave it a boost?

Mononymous pop superstar Madonna (birth name: Madonna Louise Ciccone).

The singer was born into a Catholic family in Michigan in 1958. She was named after her mother. (Her five siblings are named Anthony, Martin, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie.)

Madonna rose to fame in the mid-1980s with a string of catchy hits:

  • “Holiday,” which peaked at #16 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in January of 1984
  • “Borderline,” which peaked at #10 in June of 1984
  • “Lucky Star,” which peaked at #4 in October of 1984
  • “Like a Virgin,” which peaked at #1 for six weeks starting in December of 1984
  • “Material Girl,” which peaked at #2 in March of 1985
  • “Crazy for You,” which peaked at #1 in May of 1985
    • It was written for the movie Vision Quest, in which Madonna had a cameo.
  • “Angel,” which peaked at #5 in June of 1985
  • “Into the Groove,” which was never technically released as a single
    • It was featured in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, in which Madonna had a leading role.
  • “Dress You Up,” which peaked at #5 in October of 1985

She also got a lot of exposure on MTV. One of her most memorable MTV moments was the suggestive “Like a Virgin” performance at the very first Video Music Awards (in September of 1984):

In 1991, during a Vanity Fair interview, Madonna posed the question: “How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna?”

Her name is based on the word madonna (which meant “my lady” in Old Italian). Today it’s associated with the Virgin Mary — hence its usage as a given name in Catholic families — but, centuries ago, it was simply a polite form of address similar to madame or milady. (Madonna’s first child, a daughter born in 1996, was also given a Virgin Mary-associated name: Lourdes.)

What are your thoughts on the name Madonna? Would you use it?

Sources:

P.S. Coincidentally, the primary male characters in two of Madonna’s early movies — Vision Quest and Who’s That Girl — had nearly the same (rather uncommon) first name: Louden/Loudon.

Where did the baby name Rajai come from in 1980?

Iranian politician Mohammad-Ali Rajai (1933-1981)
Mohammad-Ali Rajai

The name Rajai first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1980, and its usage increased in 1981:

  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: 13 baby boys named Rajai [peak usage]
  • 1980: 9 baby boys named Rajai [debut]
  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: unlisted

After that, though, it dropped out of the data again (and didn’t return until the early 2000s).

What was influencing the name in the early ’80s?

Iranian politician Mohammad Ali Rajai, who served briefly as Iran’s second president in 1981.

Rajai was born into poverty the early 1930s, and became politically active as a young man. He was involved in the Iranian Revolution (1978-79), which overthrew the monarchy (under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi*) and established an Islamic republic (under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini).

After Rajai was selected as Iran’s prime minister in August of 1980, his name started to pop up in the U.S. newspapers.

Those newspaper mentions became a lot more frequent the following summer. Rajai was elected president in late July, and he began his term in early August. But on August 30 — after less than a month in office — Rajai and many other government officials (including the new prime minister) were killed by a bomb blast in Tehran.

I haven’t been able to figure out the etymology of Rajai, but it could be related to the Arabic names Raja (meaning “hope”) and Rajiya (“hopeful”).

Interestingly, one of the 1980 babies named Rajai is former professional baseball player Rajai Davis (who played against Anthony Rizzo in 2016 World Series).

What are your thoughts on the baby name Rajai?

*Two of the Shah’s wives, Soraya and Farah, also had an influence on U.S. baby names…

Sources: Mohammad-Ali Rajai – Wikipedia, Mohammad Ali Raja’i – Britannica, Iranian Revolution – Wikipedia, Behind the Name, SSA
Image: Adapted from Banisadr & Rajai

Popular baby names in Gibraltar, 2022

Gibraltar

The British overseas territory of Gibraltar is a narrow peninsula jutting out from the southern coast of Spain.

Though the official language of Gibraltar is English, most Gibraltarians also speak Spanish. (In fact, the mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English spoken by locals has its own name: Llanito.)

Last year, Gibraltar welcomed 364 babies — “almost a baby for every day of 2022.” There were 179 baby girls and 185 baby boys.

And what were the most popular names among these babies? Sienna and Elijah/Leo (tie).

Here are Gibraltar’s top girl names and top boy names of 2022:

Girl Names

  1. Sienna, 6 baby girls
  2. Ava and Lucia, 5 each (tie)
  3. Emily, Isabella, and Valentina, 4 each (3-way tie)
  4. Amelia, Chloe, Isla, Lauren, and Lily, 3 each (5-way tie)
  5. Charlotte, Eliza, Elsie, Gabriella, India, Luna, Mia, Robyn, Sophie, Thalia, and Tiana, 2 each (11-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Elijah and Leo, 5 baby boys each (tie)
  2. Noah, Oliver, Theo, and Thomas, 4 each (4-way tie)
  3. Jamie, Lewis, Lucas, and Thiago, 3 each (4-way tie)
  4. Amir, Arthur, Erik, Freddie, Gabriel, Hugo, Isaac, Jack, Jacob, James, Jason, Joseph, Kai, Liam, Logan, Louie, Luca, Mason, Matthew, Niall, Nico, Ryan, Theodore, and Zayn, 2 each (24-way tie)

The rest of the names were each bestowed once. (Except for Riley, which was bestowed twice overall — once for each gender.)

Unique girl names (120)Unique boy names (93)
Ada, Adeline, Adelyn, Ahriella, Alba, Alessandra, Alis, Alisha, Aliyanna, Alona, Amaya, Amelie-Rae, Amira, Ana, Andie, Anna, Aoife, April, Arabella, Ari, Aria, Ariana, Arianna, Arieya, Aris, Aubrey, Avery, Cali, Callie, Celeste, Cipbelynn, Cora, Daisy, Daisy-Ray, Dayana, Elise, Ellen, Emma, Esme, Estella, Evelyn, Fae, Farah, Faye, Fern, Florence, Haley, Harlequin, Hayley, Ines, Jessie, Josephine, Josie, Julia, Kairo, Kennan, Kian, Killian, Kyel, Kylo, Kate, Katie, Kyla, Kythea, Layan, Layla, Leah, Leticia, Lina, Lottie, Maeva, Maia, Manuela, Margaret, Margot, Mariam, Matilde, Maya, Mayra, Melianne, Mila, Millie, Molly, Neriah, Nora, Nylah-Mae, Poppy, Presley, Quinn, Radhika, Raya, Renaelia, Rhianne, Riley, Roeeya, Rose, Ruby, Rumi, Sara, Savannah, Selina, Shannah, Siera, Snow, Sophia, Stella, Summer, Talia, Tasnim, Thea, Tillie, Willow, Winter, Yael, Yara, Yasmin, Yui, Zahra, Zaphyr, ZoeAbdurhman, Abel, Airam, Alaa, Alfie, Alfred, Andrei, Anthony, Archie, Ariel, Asher, Ashton, Austin, Axton, Bear, Benas, Bowie, Bradley, Cairo, Carlos, Charlie, Cody, Crislee, Dante, Domenico, Dominic, Dylan, Elias, Elis, Emilian, Emilio, Ethan, Evan, Finley, Frankie, Gary, Gian, Graham, Haroun, Henry, Hudson, Imram, Iyad, Jake, Jax, Jay, Jayce, Jayden, Jesse, Jonah, Joud, Leigh, Louis, Luis, Luke, Manuel, Marco, Mattia, Maxwell, Michael, Millel, Nassim, Nathan, Neo, Nicholas, Nicolas, Nilan, Noa, Nuveshshing, Nyan, Nyle, Oscar, Otis, Otto, Ray, Rayan, Remy, Riley, Rocco, Romeo, Samy, Scott, Sebastian, Shane, Stephen, Teo, Tommy, Tyler, Wael, Yaqub, Zachary, Zack, Zuhayr

Finally, here are Gibraltar’s 2021 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

P.S. Did you know that John Lennon and Yoko Ono got married in Gibraltar in March of 1969?

Sources:

Image by Michal Mrozek from Unsplash