How popular is the baby name Bing 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 Bing.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bing


Posts that Mention the Name Bing

Where did the baby name Kirsten come from?

Opera singer Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962).
Kirsten Flagstad

The name Kirsten first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1937:

  • 1939: 16 baby girls named Kirsten
  • 1938: 14 baby girls named Kirsten
  • 1937: 10 baby girls named Kirsten
  • 1936: unlisted
  • 1935: unlisted

The reason?

Norwegian opera singer Kirsten (pronounced keer-sten) Flagstad, who became famous in America in the mid-1930s, particularly for playing Wagnerian roles (like Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, and Brünnhilde in Die Walküre). People would have been able to hear her on 1930s radio shows like Kraft Music Hall (NBC) with Bing Crosby and The Ford Sunday Evening Hour (CBS).

Her first name is the Norwegian form of Christina. (She also had an interesting middle name, Malfrid, which is made up of Old Norse elements meaning “ore” and “beautiful.”)

Do you like the name Kirsten?

Sources: Kirsten Flagstad – Wikipedia, Malfrid – Nordic Names Wiki

What gave the baby name Leilani a boost in 1937?

The baby name Leilani — which means both “heavenly flowers” and “royal child” in Hawaiian — is very close to entering the U.S. top 100 for the first time.

It’s been making appearances in the top 1,000, though, for quite a while — starting way back in the 1930s:

  • 1939: 98 baby girls named Leilani [rank: 689th]
  • 1938: 101 baby girls named Leilani [rank: 685th]
  • 1937: 81 baby girls named Leilani [rank: 758th]
  • 1936: 8 baby girls named Leilani
  • 1935: 9 baby girls named Leilani

What gave it that initial boost?

The song “Sweet Leilani” from the film Waikiki Wedding (1937), which starred Bing Crosby. Crosby’s rendition of the song became one of the top songs of 1937, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in March of 1938.1

The song hadn’t been created with the movie in mind, though. It had been composed by songwriter Harry Owens several years earlier.

Owens, originally from Nebraska, became the musical director of the orchestra at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel2 in Waikiki in 1934. He and his wife were living on Oahu when they welcomed their first child, a baby girl, in October. The day after Leilani Katherine was born, Owens wrote “Sweet Leilani” for her.

What are your thoughts on the Hawaiian name Leilani?

1A few years later, Crosby scored another hit with “Sierra Sue.”

2The Royal Hawaiian Hotel “was fashioned in a Spanish-Moorish style, popular during the period and influenced by screen star Rudolph Valentino.”

Where did the baby name Sierra come from?

Gene Autry singing "Sierra Sue"
Singing “Sierra Sue”

Back in 1940, the baby name Sierra debuted in the U.S. baby name data rather impressively. It was the top newbie name of the year, in fact.

  • 1942: 13 baby girls named Sierra
  • 1941: 24 baby girls named Sierra
  • 1940: 32 baby girls named Sierra [debut]
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted

What was behind the debut?

“Sierra Sue,” a song that was a #1 hit in 1940 for Bing Crosby. A version by The Glenn Miller Orchestra also charted the same year.

The song was actually an updated version of an older song written by Joseph B. Carey (a “blind San Francisco organist”) in 1916. Carey died in 1930, and in 1939 the Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. sheet music company secured the rights to the song from Carey’s widow. The song “was probably revived because of the popularity of other western-style songs in the late ’30s.”

And, yes, a large number of the babies named Sierra in 1940 also had the middle name “Sue.” :) Here’s a Sierra Sue who was born in Kansas in 1940.

The Spanish word sierra, which refers to a mountain range, can be traced back to the Latin word serra, meaning “saw.”

In November of the next year, a movie called Sierra Sue starring Gene Autry was released. Here’s the scene in which Gene sings the title song:

Decades later, in 1985, usage of the name began to rise rapidly thanks to soap opera character Sierra Estaban from As the World Turns. Sierra was a top-100 name from 1993 to 2004, peaking in 1999 at 49th (just below Jordan, just above Sara).

Do you like the name Sierra?

Sources:

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!

Unique Baby Names in Quebec, 2012

One thing I love about Quebec? Their yearly baby name list includes all baby names.

Not just names given to 5 or more babies, like the U.S. list. Not just names given to 3 or more babies, like the England and Wales list.

Every single name. Regardless of whether the name was given to hundreds of babies or just one.

Privacy: Who needs it! :)

Here are some stats on all those Quebec names:

  • 7,921 boy names total
    • 6,107 (77%) of them were given to 1 baby boy
    • 7121 (90%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby boys*
  • 9,074 girl names total
    • 6,686 (74%) of them were given to 1 baby girl
    • 8058 (89%) of them were given to 1, 2, 3 or 4 baby girls*

*So, if the names given to 5+ babies in Quebec account for only about 10% of the names on the full list, and we assume baby name distribution in the U.S. is similar, the “full” U.S. lists should contain over 140,000 boy names and over 190,000 girl names.

Here are some of Quebec’s unique names (used only once):

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aghogho Elise
Alphee
Aoua
Apphia
Arnautilik Louisa
Aupale
Auphelie
Ayagutaq
Becky Tillikasak
Berlidia
Brunette
Cloud
Cloudine Mae
Cocolo
Delphine Eleonore
Desneiges
Euphelie
Evodine Ntshila
Feenix
Felixia
Fella
Fenixia
Feriel Nouara
Fihagarra
Flechanne
Flechelle
Fleurange
Franstevia
Fritzmaelle Deborah
Garrissa
Grace Nono Dipita
Iakohontsiio
Iakoteraswiioshton
Iaohseranawen
Ibtihel
Ichnekanoron
Idonia
Iehwatsirahnira’ts
Ietohrhuostha
Iotenhariio
Ipena Alexa
Iphigenie
Itohan
Justinique
Katsitsenhawitha
Kayla de la Caridad
Kelo-Meteore
Knoxia
Lady-Snider
Latt Hemlyss
Livia Mbombo
Ludgy
Lumen Pascale
Lyora Lyssandre
Maatiwaaytaabinukwaa
Maisie Inuusiq
Maniphone
Maori
Mar Mar
Mardochee Widlyka
Mavourneen
Mavrixe
Mennishkuess
Mewefca
Myrianna Pishumuss
Myrrhielle
Nancy Silaggi
Necerine
Nephthalia Elani
Oriana
Oriella
Orlanel Keriane Elsa
Orlguine
Ossossohou
Ouassila
Ouerdia
Paglianie Stacy
Perpetua
Prielle Tehora
Qilabuk
Qiluqi
Qods
Qullik
Qupanuaq
Ralphine
Roldyanna
Romance
Rosemaelle-Esperance
San San Jessica
Scotia
Sevim
Shellsea
Shyness
Sila Grey
Sombriddy
Stephanie Daystar
Stevia
Stherlyn’s
Sublime
Tally-Ann Uapikuniss
Teiakotshennonnihat
Teieronhiathe Tha
Teietsitsen Tons
Thalia Sgrolma
Thaliamenie
Thea Daphnee
Tiewennaie Na’s
Tillikasak
Trickcy
Tsubaki-Constance
Vinuki Sethlini
Vithusha
Vithushana
Wazberly
Wildana
Willfalya Gladaelle
Wilthalia
Windflower
Woodaelle
Wylianna
Xxxxxxxalaniq O’oka
Yvedianah
Zaely Hyacinthia
Agape Enrique
Aws
Brudginel-Bryan
Chedly
Chivens
Christian Braveheart
Chromeo
Cliffordson
Darling Jose
Darvens Moteler
Davinnsly
Delivrance
Dykxon
Ecclesiaste
Enbo
Fackel
Favour-Fane
Folly
Fougnigue
Fred-Eden
Ghemsley Nollens
Gia-Uy
Godly Christian
Heaven Theophile
Hichembentaiba
Ittulaaq
Judley
Kahrhata’kehshon
Kendley-Wilgenson
Kenny S. Phacoly
Klyf
Kylliam
Lafleche William
Lamartiniere Junior
Lewandowski
Lord-Lee Treasure
Manhattan-Zola
Manic
Mardochee
Milliam
Mortadha
Neo-Phoenix
Nyrlberson
Olmo Centeotl
Pat-Leo
Perseus Koperqualuk
Po Bing
Polycarpe Riley
Quincy-Herby
Quindlley
Rahontsawaks
Rahontsiiostha
Raiden Jethro
Ra’kerenhat’atie
Rakhmondzhon
Rallendi
Ramzi Nizar
Rani’ Konhra Katste
Raniehtenha Wi
Rarennisa’s
Rarennonni
Ratanakpich
Ricci Smily
Rocky Junior
Rolmerson
Ronikonrahniron
Roolens
Roque
Roweniente
Salomon Ghandi
Sebastian Berry-D
Shaquille-Shanqi
Shelby-Christ
Success
Sunny Skye
Sunny-James
Tchy
Tebly
Thominhdy
Tiesto
Toly-Jos
Tristar
Trooper
Tsikahnawakeniate H
Uqitatuq
Uqittuk
Utshimass
Victor-Sam Ikuagasak
Vuyolwethu
Wa’kenhrawakon
Widolph-Tristan
William-Promedi
Winner
Wynn Oscar
X-Zaylen
Yanga
Ylai Santiago
Yohann Tresors
Ywisnavin
Zack Browndly
Zion-Lee Eliott

I had my eye out for Inuit names in particular.

Among the girl names given to two babies last year, I spotted both Chaya Mushka and Katniss.

P.S. Here are the most popular baby names in Quebec for 2012.