How popular is the baby name Barnett 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 Barnett.

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Popularity of the baby name Barnett

Posts that mention the name Barnett

Name-spotting: Malancthon

sign, colorado, names
Sign inside Garden of the Gods

We visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs recently and, inside this park, we spotted a “What’s In a Name?” sign that described how the park got its name back in the 1850s:

As they looked over this area of cathedral-like rock spires, one man, Malancthon Beach, commented that the spot would be a great place for a beer garden someday. His friend, a poetic young man named Rufous Cable, replied that it was a place “fit for the Gods.”

It’s a cool story, but, to me, that first name “Malancthon” is way more interesting than the origin of the park name. Where did it come from?

My best guess is that Malancthon is a tribute to 16th-century German theologian Philipp Melanchthon, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname at birth was Schwartzerd (“black earth” in German), but as a young man he Latinized his name to the classical equivalent Melanchthon (“black earth” in Greek).

CCC Company 1848, Camp SP-13-C, Morrison, Colorado

We also saw some names at Red Rocks, which is both a park and a famous amphitheater.

The amphitheater was constructed from 1936 to 1941 by men in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program that existed during the Great Depression. One display included a photo of 124 of the men in the local CCC. Here are their first names, sorted by frequency:

  • 5: Joe, Raymond
  • 4: Charles
  • 3: Arthur, Clarence, Edward
  • 2: Bill, Byron, Carl, David, Earnest, Edwin, Everett, Jack, James, Leo, Maurice, William
  • 1: Aaron, Albert, Aldine, Alfonso, Allen, Alva, Amos, Ancelmo, Arleigh, Aubrey, Audrey, Barnett, Blaine, Calvin, Celestino, Charley, Claud, Claude, Clayton, Cleston, Dale, Damas, Dan, Darold, Dick, Don, Donald, Ed, Elden, Elias, Elipio, Emerson, Emilio, Eric, Ernest, Eston, Fares, Frank, Fred, Glenn, Grant, Gust, Guy, Horace, Hubert, Irvin, Jake, Jasper, Jesse, Jim, John, Jose, Kenneth, Lawrence, Leland, Leonard, Lester, Louis, Lyman, Manual, Marvin, Max, Merce, Noah, Norman, Orval, Pasqual, Paul, Pete, Richard, Rowland, Rudolfo, Russel, Russell, Sandeford, Trenton, Willard

…What interesting names have you spotted while out and about recently?

Where did the baby name Decca come from in 1956?

Decca advert from the of 1955.

In the mid-1950s, the name Decca was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby girls named Decca [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

The reason?

My guess is the famous record company Decca. I don’t have a specific reason why it would have emerged in the data in that particular year, but around that time they were putting out popular artists like Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Tex Williams, Buddy Holly, and Bill Haley (of “Rock Around the Clock” fame).

The American branch of the British record company Decca was launched in 1934. The British company was created in 1929, but not from scratch — it began as a piece of a much older music company that had been sold off.

The older company was called Barnett Samuel and Sons (est. 1832). It was a family business that originally made musical instruments like banjos and pianos. Only in 1914 did the company begin making portable gramophones under the trade name “Decca,” which one of the Samuels had coined by taking the easy-to-pronounce word Mecca and changing it to Decca, using the “D” from Dulcephone (another of the company’s disk-playing products).

The Decca label is still around today — it’s part of Universal Music Group — but it’s nowhere near as prevalent as it used to be.

What do you think of “Decca” as a baby name?

Sources: Decca Records – Wikipedia, Barnett Samuel and Sons – Grace’s Guide, Explanation of the Word “Decca” – G&S Discography
Image from the Dec. 31, 1955, issue of Billboard.