How popular is the baby name Benhur 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 Benhur.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Benhur


Posts that Mention the Name Benhur

Interesting one-hit wonder names in the U.S. baby name data

tulips

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more.

2020s

  • (none yet)

2010s

2000s

1990s

1980s

1970s

1960s

1950s

1940s

1930s

1920s

1910s

1900s

  • (none yet)

1890s

As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add the names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

P.S. You might also be interested in this list of the top one-hit wonder baby names since 1880

[Latest update: 9/2022]

How did “Jeopardy!” influence baby names?

jeopardy, game show

Last week, Becca commented with some interesting Jeopardy! contestant names (e.g., Hobie, Dorcas) and mentioned J! Archive, which lists tens of thousands of Jeopardy! contestants going back to 1984, when the show premiered.

I skimmed through all the contestants from 1984 to 2015 (as we don’t have baby name data for 2016 yet) and spotted hundreds of unusual names. And it looks like at least two of them got a boost thanks to the show:

Alancia

The name Alancia was a one-hit wonder that popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 2000:

  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: 9 baby girls named Alancia [debut]
  • 1999: unlisted
  • 1998: unlisted

One-time player Alancia Wynn, a family practice physician from Virginia, was on Jeopardy! in October of 1999.

Brannon

The name Brannon saw an increase in usage in 1998:

  • 2000: 116 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1999: 118 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1998: 158 baby boys named Brannon [peak]
  • 1997: 113 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1996: 114 baby boys named Brannon

One-time player Brannon Denning, a graduate student from Connecticut, was on Jeopardy! in September of 1998. (Looks like Brannon Denning is now a law professor at Samford University.)

Alaric & Ezgi …?

These two names may have gotten a slight boost as well, though it’s hard to tell.

  • Alaric, in 2005. One-time player Alaric Smith was on the show in October of 2005.
  • Ezgi, in 2015. One-time player Ezgi Ustundag was on the show in October of 2015.

Ezgi is a female name that means “melody” in Turkish.

Anjali (false positive)

“Kids Week” contestant Anjali Tripathi was on the show in September of 1999. The same year, the baby name Anjali more than doubled in usage:

  • 2001: 222 baby girls named Anjali
  • 2000: 230 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1999: 202 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1998: 93 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1997: 80 baby girls named Anjali

But this was a suspiciously steep rise. And it was accompanied by the debut of an alternate spelling (Anjalie). And usage didn’t drop back to normal levels the next year, as one would expect. These facts pointed me to something more high-profile than a Jeopardy! contestant.

Turns out the very successful Hindi coming-of-age romantic comedy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had been released in 1998. The movie featured not one but two main characters named Anjali.

More names!

Here are the rest of the names that caught my eye, sorted by year:

  • 2015: Chandreyi, Dava-Leigh, Desta, Ezgi, Kynan, Mags, Praggya, Rook, Tiombi
  • 2014: Ben-Hur, Dinu, FeiFei, Gudrun, Ilissa, Kenesha, LaWanda, Leszek, Mariusz, Myfanwy, Osei, Shloka, Sirena
  • 2013: Arne, Berek, Diva, Kelton, Kinu, Nilai, Nishanth, Ramsin, Rhea, Salvo, Shuli, Sonrisa, Tahne, Twyla, Waymond, Xan, Yellowlees
  • 2012: Anshika, Benton, Bing, Deniz, Injee, Jessamine, Jia-Rui, Mithun, Pian, Shaanti,
    Vamsi, Vinayak
  • 2011: Bhibha, Boomie, Cosi, Gabor, Gitta, Idrees, Karawan, LuEllen, Milind, Raphie
  • 2010: Huat, Kemi, Marianthe, Raghuveer, Shaama, Surabhi
  • 2009: Ariella, Claxton, Cyn, Daphna, Drusha, Hayes, Henok, Jove, Lysette, Nirav, Ranjan, Seyi, Shyra, Tui (TOO-ee), Wright
  • 2008: Anurag, Babatope, Delano, Elza, Gilah, Kew, Murtaza, Naren, Srinivas, Vibin, Zia
  • 2007: Arlynda, Bethlehem, Clé, Haritha, Khoa, Kai-Ning, Kizzle, Lateefah, Lenzy, Marvene, Mehrun, Ssezi, Tigger, Toho, Tope
  • 2006: Dianisbeth, Iddoshe, Karmie, Lizard, Nemanja, Nissan, Oz, Ozgun, Papa, Pinki, Raena, Reda, Sioux, Tawney
  • 2005: Alaric, Corinth, Jayanth, Kem, Kingslea, LeeAundra, Ruchi, Ruvani, Vanamali
  • 2004: Denele, Kermin, M’Liss, Nithya
  • 2003: Alicen, Amasa, Eok, Freya, Nulty, Snowden, Vane
  • 2002: Anagha, Dileep, Gadi, Hikma, Jara, Kirik, Kunle, Manoj, Muzy (MYOO-zee), Omid, Quyen, Rafi, Seveen, Shasa, Tana, Umiko
  • 2001: Aki, Babu, Gosia, Marek, Mittie, Neha, Ulhas, Vinita
  • 2000: Akshai, Arrington, Celiane, Cinnamon, Iyesatu, Jeeks, Manx, Meri-Jane, Mitali, Sabin, Tarun
  • 1999: Ajuan, Alancia, Anjali, Chacko, Davine, Happy, Mihee, Seale, Wellington, Yancy, Yoni
  • 1998: Ardys, Brannon, Creswell, Kemp, Melizza, Sinan
  • 1998: Boze, Jolyn, Rokshana
  • 1997: Akiva, Atish, Breck, Brick, Davia, Girish, Mita, Murat, Pooja, Sahir, Tanis, Vartan, Zinie
  • 1996: Myretta, Rima, Ulf, Vandana
  • 1995: Albina
  • 1994: Graydon
  • 1993: Bronwyn, Ferris, Leif
  • 1991: India, Kareem
  • 1990: Ardwight, Avrom, Murdock, Peji
  • 1989: Darbi, Ouida
  • 1988: Blaze, Cigus, Doak, Scooter
  • 1987: JoFrannye
  • 1986: Chub, Zanete

Which of the above names do you like best?

P.S. Thanks again, Becca!

Popular and unique baby names in Portugal, 2015

Portugal

According to data from the Instituto dos Registos e Notariado (IRN), the most popular baby names in Portugal in 2015 were Maria and João.

Here are Portugal’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names

  1. Maria, 5,324 baby girls
  2. Leonor, 1,999
  3. Matilde, 1,889
  4. Beatriz, 1,268
  5. Carolina, 1,228
  6. Mariana, 1,205
  7. Ana, 1,060
  8. Inês, 1,001 (Agnes)
  9. Margarida, 989
  10. Sofia, 950

Boy Names

  1. João, 1,932 baby boys
  2. Martim, 1,778
  3. Rodrigo, 1,666
  4. Santiago, 1,632
  5. Francisco, 1,593
  6. Afonso, 1,439
  7. Tomás, 1,409
  8. Miguel, 1,271
  9. Guilherme, 1,187
  10. Gabriel, 1,143

In the boys’ top ten, Gabriel replaced Duarte (a version of Edward).

The girls’ top ten includes the same ten names.

At the other end of the spectrum, some of the baby names used only once last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Billca, Djenyfer, Excel, Foricusa, Hadriela, Hedviges, Iok, Jannatul, Joelma, Krutgna, Leninha, Lwezzy, Moana, Muen, Nayuca, Otchali, Otchaly, Ruixiao, Suncar, Svenya, Tchawi, Tesla, Txissola, Uhenia, Urwa, Valcikleny, WilfaniaAnass, Bambo, Barack, Ben-Hur, Cleidir, Creation, Cheikh, Djassy, Djemo, Duarth, Eurilucio, Fredynilson, Gonzaga, Guto, Habacuque, Hetwik, Lukenny, Man, Mojo, Neculai, Otchali, Petko, Ruzgyar, Skyllen, Tcherstney, Tuttondele, Vanilson

Here are the 2014 rankings for Portugal.

Source: No país da Maria e do João, a Luana e o Diego estão a ganhar terreno

Top boy name debuts of 2010

Below are the boy name debuts of 2010.

The “boy name debuts” are the boy names that never appeared on the Social Security Administration’s baby name list before 2010. That is, boy names that were never given to more than 5 baby boys in any single year on record (1880-2009).

  1. Vadhir, 55 baby boys – from actor Vadhir Derbez
  2. Jeffren, 28 – from soccer player Jeffrén
  3. Brees, 22 – from football player Drew Brees
  4. Neymar, 19 – from soccer player Neymar
  5. Dastan, 17 – from Prince of Persia character Dastan (h/t Julie)
  6. Kaisyn, 15
  7. Kiaan, 15
  8. Coopar, 14
  9. Khaidyn, 13
  10. Koli, 13 – from Biggest Loser contestant Koli Palu (h/t Angela)
  11. Miking, 12
  12. Oluwadarasimi, 12
  13. Avyan, 11
  14. Gurtaj, 11
  15. Yanuel, 11
  16. Hezeki, 10
  17. Jaxxen, 10
  18. Krosby, 10
  19. Riaan, 10 – Not a debut! My mistake.
  20. Rilynn, 10
  21. Robben, 10 – Another false positive.
  22. Weylyn, 10

Given to 9 baby boys:
Abem, Ayce, Aydain, Baze, Beckhem, Caysin, Haaziq, Jadyen, Jaedynn, Kyryn, Liel, Nox, Pistol, Poseidon, Raizo, Shaddix, Srihaas, Talent

Given to 8 baby boys:
Adrianno, Axil, Beckum, Benhur, Bentlei, Bradynn, Breaker, Child, Colsten, Devarsh, Farzan, Goodluck, Graesyn, Jaasir, Jahmell, Jairden, Jayrell, Khonor, Koldyn, Kyier, Makua, Ozil, Sahibdeep, Smayan, Teagyn, Tenor, Yoann, Zamaurion

Given to 7 baby boys:
Aceyn, Ahmire, Alameen, Arihaan, Aws, Ayiden, Baize, Bavly, Bemnet, Bentleigh, Bentlie, Braham, Cadian, Carmell, Cashmir, Cayvion, Chaysten, Cormari, Daimarion, Demire, Deriel, Devaj, Dradyn, Eastan, Elysia, Erdi, Feliks, Graysin, Guilian, Hastings, Izekiel, Jahniel, Jaizen, Jaydean, Jaydem, Jefren, Jemir, Jozyah, Jvontae, Kabel, Kartel, Kayston, Khloe, Kipten, Kiptin, Knolan, Lakhi, Lealan, Leim, Mauer, Mytrell, Navell, Nikkoli, Nyzair, Nyzere, Pragyan, Rajab, Rhyley, Riott, Roony, Ryerson, Shaemus, Shahzain, Silis, Skyden, Suheb, Suheyb, Suyog, Tayem, Traigh, Trax, Trelynn, Zaelon, Zameir, Zarious, Zevyn, Ziel

Given to 6 baby boys:
Aarib, Abdelrhman, Acheron, Ahanu, Ahian, Aidanjames, Alhasan, Alizander, Altay, Amiliano, Aoi, Arson, Ashdyn, Aviraj, Awesome, Aydric, Aymeric, Azarious, Bayze, Beowulf, Bodhin, Bohan, Brekkin, Breontae, Brom, Cadrian, Casden, Cena, Chezkel, Coreyion, Coyer, Cung, Daidrian, Demajae, Demilade, Derringer, Draeson, Draycen, Draysen, Dreydin, Eliason, Elnatan, Elyn, Ethanjohn, Ethanpaul, Finau, Gambit, Gersain, Hadin, Haruma, Haydar, Henos, Het, Ilyjah, Izaeh, Jacks, Jaetyn, Jagjot, Jahvel, Jaisal, Jakier, Jakov, Jankarlo, Javare, Jaydhen, Jaylaun, Jaymani, Jaymez, Jazavion, Jeckson, Jenzel, Jesai, Jette, Jexiel, Jiho, Jmir, Joacim, Josyiah, Juelez, Kahir, Kaigan, Kailo, Kajetan, Kaspian, Kavya, Kaycin, Kayeden, Kayro, Keair, Keating, Kevari, Kharter, Kojiro, Korrion, Krishang, Kristiano, Kyaw, Laderian, Lanxton, Laterrion, Lejend, Levii, Liamm, Liav, Lukyan, Macks, Mahsiah, Majok, Malyke, Marcjacob, Masonjames, Mekko, Mouctar, Myion, Nasri, Neer, Nidhish, Nikali, No, Noahh, Norbu, Nubaid, Paramveer, Paxtin, Phinn, Princejohn, Princton, Radford, Rawly, Rigg, Rylund, Samonte, Samvit, Serious, Seyon, Shloke, Shoumik, Siale, Sidak, Statham, Syedmuhammad, Syier, Syree, Tahan, Tamare, Taraj, Tesher, Traeshon, Traydon, Trezden, Trippton, Turki, Vishak, Xael, Xzayden, Xzayvian, Yadon, Yohel, Yosniel, Yuriah, Yuva, Zaedon, Zaevian, Zerrion, Zevi, Zhaiden, Zhayden, Zihan, Zuriah

Given to 5 baby boys (a few highlights from a much longer list):
Attis, Bhargava, Brookston, Eternal, Kingsolomon, Motley, Mykl, Sparrow, Yahweh, Zzyzx

(See the top girl name debuts of 2010.)

Which baby names are banned in Portugal?

Wondering which baby names are illegal in Portugal? (Sure you are!) The Portuguese government maintains an 80-page list of baby names–a mix of the permitted and the forbidden. Here are some of the names (and weirdly specific name combinations) Portuguese parents are not allowed to give their babies:

  • Aidan
  • Albuquerque
  • Allan Brett
  • Anouchka
  • Antoinette
  • Argo Demetrius
  • Ashanti
  • Ashley
  • Babilónia
  • Ben-Hur
  • Brunei
  • Bruce
  • Bryan
  • Charlotte
  • Cheyenne
  • Claret
  • Claude
  • Coltrane (jazz musician)
  • Brilhante (Portuguese for “brilliant”)
  • Britta Nórdica
  • Chianda Kady
  • Dmitri, Dmitriy, Dmitro
  • Do Sorriso
  • Douglas
  • Dylan
  • Farley
  • Faruk
  • Fraternidade
  • Giana Lai
  • Heidi
  • Hendrix
  • Imperatriz
  • Ivanhoe (19th-century novel)
  • Jaiantcumar
  • Jenny
  • Jimmy
  • Jivago (form of Zhivago)
  • Kathleen
  • Kennedy
  • Leeyang
  • Loïc
  • Logan
  • Mabel
  • Magnifica
  • Mar e Sol (Portuguese for “sea and sun”)
  • Marx
  • Mary Ann
  • Melbournia
  • Nazareth Fernandes
  • Nirvana
  • Olaf
  • Pablo
  • Piombina (Italian town Piombino)
  • Portugal
  • Rihanna
  • Rosa Luxemburgo
  • Samora Machel
  • Sandokan (fictional pirate Sandokan)
  • Satélite
  • Sayonara (Japanese for “goodbye”)
  • Tamagnini (Italian surname)
  • Trebaruna (Lusitanian deity)
  • Vasconcelos (Portuguese surname)
  • Viking
  • Virtuosa
  • Viterbo (Italian town)
  • Zingara (Italian for “gypsy”)

Some are foreign names/words, some are locations, some refer to pop culture, and so forth.

Many of the no-no names are simply in the wrong form (according to the government). For instance, parents can use…

  • Aarão, but not Aaron
  • Agata, but not Agatha
  • Baltasar, but not Baltazar
  • Daisi, but not Daisy
  • Dulce do Amparo, but not Dulce Amparo
  • Kévim, but not Kevin
  • Hervé, but not Hervê or Herve (reminds me of the Zöé controversy)
  • Maria de Lurdes, but not Maria de Lourdes
  • Martina, but not Martine
  • Mónica, but not Monique
  • Nuno, or Nuno de Santa Maria, or Nuno do Carmo (Carmelite), but not Nuno Álvares.

To see all the names for yourself, download the Lista de Nomes from the Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado.