How popular is the baby name Bruce 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 Bruce.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bruce


Posts that Mention the Name Bruce

Where did the baby name Gotham come from in 2015?

Title of the TV series "Gotham" (2014-2019)
“Gotham”

The name Gotham first emerged in the U.S. baby name data in 2015:

  • 2017: 37 baby boys named Gotham
  • 2016: 50 baby boys named Gotham
  • 2015: 46 baby boys named Gotham [debut]
  • 2014: unlisted
  • 2013: unlisted

It was the most impressive boy-name debut of the year, in fact.

Where did it come from?

The Batman-based TV series Gotham (2014-2019), which was set during Bruce Wayne’s teenage years.

The main protagonist wasn’t Bruce Wayne, though — it was Gotham City police detective (and future commissioner) James Gordon. In the very first episode, Jim met 12-year-old Bruce soon after Bruce’s parents had been murdered.

So…why is Batman set in a place called Gotham City?

“Gotham City” was first identified as Batman’s place of residence in the comic book Batman #4 (Winter 1940), which was actually published in January of 1941. Here’s how Batman co-creator Bill Finger chose the name:

Originally I was going to call Gotham City, Civic City. Then I tried Capital City, then Coast City. Then, I flipped through the phone book and spotted the name Gotham Jewelers and said, ‘that’s it,’ Gotham City. We didn’t call it New York because we wanted anybody in any city to identify with it. Of course, Gotham is another name for New York.

Why is Gotham another name for New York City?

It’s a tradition that was kicked off by writer Washington Irving, who referred to the city as Gotham in an 1807 issue of Salmagundi — a short-lived satirical magazine that lampooned NYC culture and politics.

He choose that name because of the medieval folktales about the English village of Gotham, the residents of which had a reputation for idiocy. (According to the tales, though, they were simply feigning madness in order to thwart King John.)

The name of the village (which is located in Nottinghamshire) is pronounced GOAT-um, and is derived from the Old English words gat, meaning “goat,” and ham, meaning “home.”

Getting back to the TV show, though…

The character Azrael from the TV series "Gotham" (2014-2019)
Azrael from “Gotham

Toward the end of season 2, corrupt mayor Theo Galavan — who’d been killed mid-season by Jim Gordon — was resurrected as “Azrael” by mad scientist Hugo Strange.

Azrael was only featured in two mid-2016 episodes of Gotham, but he is likely the reason why the rising usage of the baby name Azrael accelerated that particular year:

  • 2018: 150 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2017: 132 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2016: 113 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2015: 64 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2014: 56 baby boys named Azrael

Azrael, the name of the angel of death in both Islamic and Judeo-Christian tradition, is derived from the ancient Hebrew words ‘azar, meaning “to help,” and ‘el, meaning “God.”

Which name do you think is cooler: Gotham or Azrael?

Sources:

P.S. Ever wonder how Bruce Wayne was named? Here’s Bill Finger’s explanation: “Bruce Wayne’s first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock…then, I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.”

Where did the baby name Cybill come from in 1972?

Actress Cybill Shepherd in the movie "The Last Picture Show" (1971).
Cybill Shepherd in “The Last Picture Show

The name Cybill first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1972, and it saw peak usage the very next year:

  • 1974: 10 baby girls named Cybill
  • 1973: 31 baby girls named Cybill [peak]
  • 1972: 8 baby girls named Cybill [debut]
  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Actress Cybill Shepherd, whose first two movies — The Last Picture Show (1971) and The Heartbreak Kid (1972) — were box-office successes.

The name has disappeared from the data — that is, fallen below five instances of usage per year — several time since then. But it has also returned twice, and those returns can be attributed to other notable moments in Cybill Shepherd’s career.

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

The name first returned in 1985 thanks to the successful comedy-drama TV series Moonlighting (1985-1989), which co-starred Shepherd and Bruce Willis as private detectives.

It returned a second time in 1995 with the sitcom Cybill (1995-1998), which starred Shepherd as a struggling actress in her 40s. (She said in her autobiography, “I’d given my name and much of my identity to the series, blurring the line between real life and fiction.”)

The name Cybill is pronounced like the name Sibyl — the word used in ancient Greece to refer to a female prophet — but the unique spelling has personal significance: “Cybill” was coined (several days after Shepherd was born) by combining the names of her grandfather, Cy, and her father, Bill.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Cybill?

Sources:

Where did the baby name Draven come from in 1994?

The character Eric Draven (played by Brandon Lee) from the movie "The Crow" (1994).
Eric Draven from “The Crow

The name Draven first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1994. Rather unusually, it debuted for both genders in the very same year:

Boys named DravenGirls named Draven
1996163 (rank: 853rd)16
1995182 (rank: 797th)16
199454*9*
1993..
1992..
*Debut

Here’s a visual:

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

Where did the name Draven come from?

The dark movie The Crow, which was released in May of 1994.

The film was set in “some decaying urban hell […] where armed gangs prowl the alleyways and common people are driven inside to merely survive.”

The main character was resurrected rock star Eric Draven. He and his fiancée had been murdered by gang members the night before their wedding. Exactly one year later, Eric rose from the dead to avenge their deaths.

The Crow starred actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee. Sadly, Brandon was fatally wounded by a prop gun during filming. He died in March of 1993. The same year, usage of the compound name Brandonlee more than tripled:

  • 1995: 12 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1994: 11 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1993: 20 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1992: 6 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1991: unlisted

What are your thoughts on the baby name Draven?

Sources:

(Other dual-gender debuts include Chaffee, Dasani, Dondi, Illya, Rikishi, and Sundown.)

Baby name story: Konti

Actress Lenore Konti Bushman (sitting beside John Wayne) in the movie "Red River Range" (1938).
Lenore Konti Bushman in “Red River Range

Hungarian sculptor Isidore Konti emigrated to the United States in the early 1890s. He became known for creating large-scale sculptures for international expositions, such as the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

Konti had a “fatherly interest in the welfare of the young artists around him,” and,

…in 1908 and 1909, he hired a destitute young actor, Francis X. Bushman, to model and assist around the studio, later encouraging “Bushie” to travel with a performing company. Konti regularly sent Bushman’s young wife and children money to live on, as he did Bushman himself. Early in 1909, the Bushmans named their new baby daughter “Konti.”

Francis X. Bushman — who was named after the Catholic saint Francis Xavier — went on to become one of the biggest silent film stars of the 1910s. He was billed as “the Handsomest Man in the World” and known for his physique. (He was a Bernarr Macfadden follower.)

He and his wife Josephine had five children — Ralph, Josephine, Virginia, Lenore, and Bruce — and Lenore’s middle name was indeed Konti.

Lenore went on to appear in a handful of films during the 1920s and ’30s. (In the image above, she’s sitting beside John Wayne.)

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P.S. Exposition-related baby names we’ve talked about include Eulalia, Louisiana Purchase, and Louis Francis.