How popular is the baby name Arthur 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 Arthur.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Arthur


Posts that Mention the Name Arthur

What gave the baby name Madalynne a boost in 1921?

Newspaper photo of accused murderer Madalynne Obenchain (nee Conner).
Madalynne Obenchain (née Conner)

In 1921, the baby name Madalynne saw a curious spike in usage:

  • 1923: 8 baby girls named Madalynne
  • 1922: 25 baby girls named Madalynne
  • 1921: 39 baby girls named Madalynne
  • 1920: 10 baby girls named Madalynne [debut]
  • 1919: unlisted

Why?

Because of 28-year-old society beauty and femme fatale Madalynne Obenchain, who was accused of murder that year.

Born Madeline Connor in Wisconsin in 1893, she changed the spelling of her first name to “Madalynne” sometime before heading off to college at Northwestern University. There, at least two classmates fell in love with her. After college, while living in Los Angeles with her mother, she gained yet another admirer. The three men were:

  • Arthur C. Burch
  • J. Belton Kennedy
  • Ralph R. Obenchain

All three wanted to marry her. Finally, in 1919, she made her decision: it would be Obenchain (who was, by then, working as an attorney in Chicago).

But the marriage didn’t stop her from seeing Kennedy on the side. After a few months, Madalynne decided she preferred Kennedy, and her “extremely understanding husband allowed her to divorce him, gave her $80 a month in alimony and blank checks as needed.”

Madalynne and Kennedy had a tumultuous relationship, though, and Madalynne became frustrated by Kennedy’s refusal to commit. At some point in the summer of 1921, she wired Burch, who, himself recently divorced, “hopped on the next train [from Illinois] to Los Angeles to aid the woman he called his “goddess.””

On August 5, 1921, Kennedy “was found shot to death on the stairs of his cabin on Beverly Glen Boulevard, in a then-rustic neighborhood near the Los Angeles Country Club.”

A few days later, both Madalynne and Burch were charged with first-degree murder.

Obenchain, the generous ex-husband, left his job in Chicago to come to Madalynne’s defense.

Over the course of 16 months, five trials were held — two for Madalynne, three for Burch. The public — fascinated by the idea of these “cultivated, college-bred folk in the grip of overwhelming passions” — followed along via the newspapers.

Here’s one paper’s summary of the goings-on during Madalynne’s second trial (in July of 1922):

“Dream Girl” Accused of Perjury Plot! — Madalynne Obenchain, whose love brought death to one man, divorce to another and prison to a third, is now, during her own trial for murder, embroiled in charges of conspiracy by which it is said she tried to lure a fourth man to commit perjury that she might be free.

(This fourth guy to come under Madalynne’s spell was Paul Roman.)

All five of the trials ended in hung juries. “Legal experts interviewed at the time theorized that the male jurors who voted for acquittal in Madalynne’s trial were all in love with her.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Madalynne? (Do you like this spelling?)

Sources:

P.S. The debut of the name one year earlier may be due to unnamed baby girls born in 1920 finally being named “Madalynne” after Madalynne Obenchain became a fixture in the news in mid-1921. Delayed baby-naming wasn’t uncommon in the early 20th century.

Popular baby names in Belgium, 2021

Belgium

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Noah.

Here are Belgium’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 580 baby girls
  2. Emma, 500
  3. Louise, 455
  4. Mila, 435
  5. Alice, 416
  6. Camille, 403
  7. Lina, 394
  8. Sofia, 359
  9. Ella, 352
  10. Juliette, 346
  11. Nora, 342
  12. Mia, 325
  13. Marie, 317
  14. Lucie, 314
  15. Anna, 303
  16. Jade, 296
  17. Elena, 281
  18. Eva, 280
  19. Julia, 279
  20. Noor, 263
  21. Nina, 256
  22. Léa, 252
  23. Victoria, 249
  24. Chloé, 244
  25. Alix, 235
  26. Lou, 232
  27. Elise, 220
  28. Zoé, 215
  29. Giulia, 212
  30. Ellie, 210 (tie)
  31. Luna, 210 (tie)
  32. Liv, 209
  33. Renée, 207
  34. Amélie, 204
  35. Inaya, 202
  36. Rose, 194
  37. Charlotte, 191
  38. Jeanne, 188 (tie)
  39. Lily, 188 (tie)
  40. Lena, 187
  41. Sara, 176
  42. Manon, 171
  43. Julie, 170
  44. Mona, 160
  45. Alba, 159
  46. Livia, 155
  47. Billie, 154 (tie)
  48. Sophia, 154 (tie)
  49. Amira, 146
  50. Clara, 144 (tie)
  51. Stella, 144 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 627 baby boys
  2. Arthur, 584
  3. Louis, 558
  4. Liam, 537
  5. Jules, 526
  6. Adam, 474
  7. Lucas, 426
  8. Gabriel, 422
  9. Victor, 416
  10. Oscar, 336
  11. Leon, 310
  12. Mathis, 294 (tie)
  13. Mohamed, 294 (tie)
  14. Finn, 289
  15. Léon, 275
  16. Matteo, 264
  17. Lewis, 251
  18. Hugo, 245
  19. Nathan, 238
  20. Luca, 234
  21. Elias, 225
  22. Raphaël, 223
  23. Théo, 221
  24. Amir, 217 (tie)
  25. Eden, 217 (tie)
  26. Rayan, 209
  27. Lou, 208
  28. Milo, 205
  29. Yanis, 204
  30. Achille, 201
  31. Otis, 194
  32. Sacha, 191 (tie)
  33. Vic, 191 (tie)
  34. Felix, 190
  35. Marcel, 187
  36. Basile, 185
  37. Aaron, 179
  38. Léo, 178
  39. Maurice, 174
  40. Alexander, 173
  41. Maël, 171
  42. Emiel, 168 (tie)
  43. Georges, 168 (tie)
  44. Jack, 167 (tie)
  45. William, 167 (tie)
  46. Emile, 163 (tie)
  47. Vince, 163 (tie)
  48. Samuel, 161
  49. Gaston, 159
  50. Oliver, 158

If Leon and Léon had been counted as a single name, their combined total (585) would have been enough to edge Arthur (584) out of second place on the boys’ list.

And the gender-neutral name Lou managed to pop up on both lists in nearly the same spot: 26th for girls, 27th for boys.

Map of the three regions of Belgium
Belgium’s three regions

The top baby names within each of Belgium’s three regions were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Flanders
(57.6% of the population)
Language: Dutch
1. Olivia, 328
2. Ella, 303
3. Marie, 275
4. Mila, 266
5. Nora, 261
1. Noah, 399
2. Arthur, 321
3. Jules, 311
4. Leon, 288
5. Louis, 284
Wallonia
(31.8% of pop.)
Language: French/German
1. Emma, 204
2. Olivia, 203
3. Louise, 190
4. Alice, 188 (tie)
5. Lucie, 188 (tie)
1. Gabriel, 266
2. Louis, 235
3. Liam, 233
4. Arthur, 208
5. Jules, 191
Brussels-Capital
(10.6% of pop.)
Languages: Dutch/French
1. Lina, 89
2. Sofia, 83
3. Emma, 60 (tie)
4. Nour, 60 (tie)
5. Olivia, 49
1. Mohamed, 118
2. Adam, 112
3. Gabriel, 82
4. Amir, 70
5. Noah, 62

And here’s a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum — names that were given to just 5 babies each in Belgium last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Anabia, Believe, Caro, Dea, Elaïa, Fallone, Gaby, Heike, Iluna, Jennifer, Kessy, Lyssia, Mahsa, Nihal, Otice, Puck, Queen, Ramla, Siloé, Toos, Vlera, Wassila, Yseult, ZuriAloys, Brandon, Celle, Doruk, Erion, Fedde, Gustav, Hazar, Ilyass, Jip, Karsten, Lothar, Maksim, Nellis, Obi, Paulin, Qays, Riff, Silvio, Tille, Vidar, Wiebe, Yavuz, Zjef

(I’m a little surprised that as many as 5 baby girls in Belgium got the English word “believe” as their first name. I wonder if something specific was influencing that usage…?)

This time around, Belgium also highlighted the girl and boy names that saw the largest increases and decreases in usage over the last decade (2011-2021). The top 5 in each category were…

  • Girl names
    • Largest increases: Alba, Ellie, Ellis, Alya, Cilou
    • Largest decreases: Lisa, Laura, Julie, Lotte, Anaïs
  • Boy names
    • Largest increases: Georges, Lio, Gaston, Otis, Lyam
    • Largest decreases: Maxime, Thomas, Simon, Wout, Nathan

Finally, here’s a link to Belgium’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: First names for boys and girls | STATBEL, Demographics of Belgium – Wikipedia

Map: Adapted from Regions of Belgium by Ssolbergj under CC BY 3.0.

Popular and unique baby names in Quebec (Canada), 2021

Quebec

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province of Quebec last year were Emma and Noah.

Here are Quebec’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 521 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 519
  3. Alice, 508
  4. Florence, 498
  5. Charlie, 488
  6. Livia, 473
  7. Charlotte, 465
  8. Léa, 462
  9. Romy, 357
  10. Zoe, 344

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 717 baby boys
  2. William, 709
  3. Thomas, 645
  4. Léo, 622
  5. Liam, 618
  6. Jacob, 529
  7. Nathan, 519
  8. Arthur, 508
  9. Édouard, 499
  10. Félix, 484

In the girls’ top 10, Zoe replaced Clara.

In the boys’ top 10, Felix replaced Logan.

And here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Quebec last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Auxane, Beaulieu, Celtina, Dulcinee, Ephelina, Freticia, Gamaelle, Hestia, Isalie, Jophina, Kautjaq, Lasiala, Milaloup, Nausicaa, Oncy, Protea, Qulliq, Riziki, Sensitiva, Timmiak, Uzia, Violaine, Waapikun, Xeia, Yzea, ZoonaAmenzo, Blinken, Clydirk, Dawensky, Eliodore, Fritzner, Ghiss, Hulkson, Ikuagasak, Jackary, Kaulder, Lafleche, Mclovin, Nickford, Otsoa, Piponik, Qianli, Raynloc, Stratos, Trupt, Ulys, Vinicius, Wendrick, Xakhan, Yamsongo, Zoric

Some possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:

  • Beaulieu means “beautiful place” in French.
  • Kaulder was a character in the movie The Last Witch Hunter (2015).
  • McLovin was a name used on a fake ID in the movie Superbad (2007).
  • Milaloup looks like a combination of the name Mila and the French word loup, meaning “wolf.”
  • Nausicaa was a character in Homer’s Odyssey.
  • Qulliq refers to a seal-oil/whale blubber lamp used by the Inuit.
  • Timmiak refers to a duck or a goose in Inuktitut.

In 2020, the top names in Quebec were Olivia and Liam.

Sources: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Noah and Emma most popular baby names in Quebec in 2021

Babies named for Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

British politician Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

British soldier and politician Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, is best remembered for being the commander of the Anglo-allied army that (with the assistance of the Prussian Army) achieved victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Alexander I, the Czar of Russia, was to call him ‘Le vainqueur du vainqueur du monde‘, the conqueror of the world’s conqueror, and the world’s conqueror was, of course, Napoleon.

But, even before that, Wellesley had gained fame for his victories during the Peninsular War. And, afterward, he served as British Prime Minister (primarily from 1828 to 1830, but also for a few extra weeks in 1834).

Thousands of baby boys across the United Kingdom (and beyond) were named in his honor starting in the early 1810s. Some examples..

Interestingly, Wellesley wasn’t born with the surname Wellesley. He was originally a Wesley. Sometime in the late 1790s, “the Wesley family reverted to the old Anglo-Norman spelling of Wellesley.” Arthur first signed his name “Arthur Wellesley” in May of 1798 (while he was stationed in India).

Sources:

Popular baby names in Brazil, 2021

brazil

According to Brazil’s Transparência do Registro Civil (part of Arpen-Brasil), the most popular baby names in the country in 2021 were Helena and Miguel.

Here are the Brazil’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Helena, 21,890 baby girls
  2. Alice, 20,381
  3. Laura, 18,448
  4. Maria Alice, 14,677
  5. Valentina, 11,643
  6. Heloísa, 11,355
  7. Maria Clara, 10,980
  8. Maria Cecília, 10,850
  9. Maria Julia, 10,235
  10. Sophia, 10,163

Boy Names

  1. Miguel, 28,301 baby boys
  2. Arthur, 26,655
  3. Gael, 23,973
  4. Heitor, 22,368
  5. Theo, 19,853
  6. Davi, 18,304
  7. Gabriel, 17,159
  8. Bernardo, 15,935
  9. Samuel, 15,563
  10. João Miguel, 13,254

The swift rise of Gael is notable. In 2019, Gael wasn’t even in the boys’ top 50. But the name shot up to 10th place in 2020, then jumped to 3rd in 2021. (Anyone out there have any theories about the sudden trendiness of Gael in Brazil?)

In 2020, the top two names were also Helena and Miguel. In 2019, they were Enzo Gabriel and Maria Eduarda.

Sources: Miguel e Helena são os nomes mais registrados no Brasil em 2021; veja lista, Enzo? Valentina? Veja nomes mais comuns registrados em 2021