How popular is the baby name Celeste 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 Celeste.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Celeste


Posts that Mention the Name Celeste

Popular and unique baby names in Uruguay, 2020

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According to Uruguay’s Dirección Nacional de Identificación Civil (DNIS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2020 were Emma and Juan. (Though, if the two renderings of Maria — accented “María” and unaccented “Maria” — were combined, Maria would easily be the #1 girl name.)

Here are Uruguay’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 682 baby girls
  2. María, 564
  3. Julieta, 495
  4. Martina, 477
  5. Isabella, 400
  6. Catalina, 383
  7. Maria, 378
  8. Sofía, 372
  9. Emilia, 368
  10. Delfina, 320

Boy Names

  1. Juan, 861 baby boys
  2. Mateo, 611
  3. Felipe, 460
  4. Lorenzo, 408
  5. Thiago, 354
  6. Santino, 347
  7. Lucas, 334
  8. Dante, 330
  9. Lautaro, 327
  10. Benjamín, 315

I’ve never looked at rankings for Uruguay before, so I don’t have past rankings to compare these to. But here are some of the names from lower down on the list (which, like a couple of other sets of rankings* we’ve seen lately, wasn’t two gender-specific lists but a single list that combined both genders).

  • 83 babies were named Celeste, which is the nickname (El Celeste, “the sky-blue”) of Uruguay’s national soccer team.
  • 11 were named Edinson, which is the first name of Uruguayan soccer player Edinson Cavani.
  • 8 were named Nairobi, which is a female character from the popular Spanish-language TV series La casa de papel (English title: Money Heist).
  • 2 were named Tabaré, which was the first name of Uruguayan president Tabaré Vázquez (who both left office and passed away in 2020).

Finally, here’s a selection Uruguay’s single-use baby names of 2020:

Atahualpa, Brislady, Crisbely, Duckenson, Elubina, Fritznel, Garibaldi, Hartmut, Izpabelli, Juanfer, Khantuta, Leovisnel, Missber, Norquides, Olgalisy, Pierangely, Quinto, Roismerl, Szabolcs, Tonatiuh, Tonantzín, Urumana, Viorky, Wanderson, Xilianny, Yusnavi, Zolanch

Some possible explanations/associations:

  • Atahualpa – the last emperor of the Inca
  • Garibaldi – 19th-century Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi
  • Pierangely – Italian actress Pier Angeli
  • Tonatiuh – Nahua (Aztec) sun deity
  • Tonantzín – Nahuatl honorific title meaning “our mother”

Sources: Diógenes, Luc, Coromoto: mirá los nombres más raros y más populares de Uruguay en 2020, Los nombres más raros y más populares de Uruguay en el 2020

*New Brunswick‘s 2021 rankings, Manitoba‘s 2020 rankings.

Five-name Friday: Girl name for Celeste’s sister

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It’s time for another Five-Name Friday request!

Celeste needs a name for her baby sister that like hers, has a softness that counters our consonant-heavy last name. We like traditional but uncommon names (no top 100, preferably not even in the top 200+) that would work in English as well as romance languages, and we don’t particularly like nicknames.

Can you come up with five solid baby name suggestions for this person?

Here are the rules:

  • Be independent. Choose your five names before looking at anyone else’s comment.
  • Be sincere. Stick to legit recommendations you would offer a real-life friend.
  • Five names total in your comment, please. If you go over, I will delete the extras.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

Baby girl with 24 given names

In late 1946, a baby girl was born to Paul Henning of Denver, Colorado. He’d heard of a man in Seattle who had 17 given names* and, impressed, decided that his own daughter’s name should be even longer. So she ended up with 24 given names.

Henning’s daughter–Mary Ann Bernadette Helen Therese Juanita Oliva Alice Louise Harriet Lucille Henrietta Celeste Corolla Constance Cecile Margaret Rose Eugene Yvonne Florentine Lolita Grace Isabelle Henning–was baptized in St. Elizabeth’s church Sunday.

If you were asked to cut this name down to just a first and a middle, using the names already listed, which two would you choose?

*The Seattle man, known as William Cary, had recently died. He’d been born in the mid-1860s and his 17 names had come from the surnames of officers in his father’s Civil War regiment.

Sources:

  • “What’s in Name? This Baby Given 24 for a Starter.” Milwaukee Journal 11 Nov. 1946: 1.
  • “Man With 17 Names Dies in Seattle.” Abilene Reporter-News 1 Nov. 1946: 33.

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse: Helios, Mahina, Blake

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse

On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have (or conceive!) a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that perhaps isn’t as obvious as Eclipse itself).

So what are your options?

Names with “celestial” associations

A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…

“Sun” namesElio, Haruko, Helios, Hinata, Ravi, Samson, Sol, Solaris, Soleil, Solfrid, Solveig, Sunniva, Sunny, Surya
“Star” namesAsteria, Astra, Astraea, Estelle, Citlali, Hoshi, Seren, Star, Starla, Stella, Tara
“Moon” namesChandra, Dawa, Luna, Mahina, Moon, Qamar, Selena, Selene
“Earth” namesAvani, Eartha, Gaia, Tierra, Tlaloc
“Sky” namesAkash, Alya, Celeste, Celestine, Ciel, Lani, Miku, Sky, Skyla, Skylar, Sora

Names with “dark” associations

The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. You could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…

“Shadow” namesShade, Shadow, Umbra, Zillah
“Dark” or “Black” namesBlake, Charna, Ciar, Ciara, Ciaran, Dubhan, Duff, Jett, Krishna, Melanie, Raven, Sullivan
“Night” namesLayla, Lilith, Miyako, Nisha, Nyx, Rajnish

I think Blake and Sullivan are particularly intriguing choices.

The English surname Blake can come from either of two similar Middle English words that happen to have opposite definitions: blac, meaning “black,” or blac, meaning “wan, pale, white, fair.” So it manages to encapsulate the concepts of both darkness and lightness — two key elements of an eclipse.

And the Irish surname Sullivan, “descendant of Súileabhán,” is based on the Gaelic personal name Súileabhán, meaning “little dark eye” — which sounds a lot like a poetic description of an eclipse.

Name combos with both “celestial” and “dark” associations

You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…

  • Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
  • Jett Samson: “black” and “sun”
  • Ciaran Sol: “black” and “sun”
  • Melanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
  • Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)

Names (or name combos) featuring the letters “S” and “E”

This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…

Sela
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Selma
Seraphina
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Serenity
Sean
Sebastian
Sefton
Sergio
Seth
Severino

Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…

Sabrina Eden
Sydney Elise
Sarah Evangeline
Susanna Elizabeth
Simon Elijah
Spencer Ellis
Shane Everett
Samuel Edward

Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?

Sources:

Update, 5/15/2018: The baby name Eclipse debuted in the 2017 SSA data! The name Moon also more than tripled in usage last year.

Name quotes #39: Tessa, Delia, Uzoamaka

From “The Eyes Have It,” an interview with Orange Is the New Black actress Uzoamaka “Uzo” Aduba, who was asked whether she ever considered changing her name:

When I started as an actor? No, and I’ll tell you why. I had already gone through that. My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means “The road is good.” Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”

[There’s a Tchaikovsky in Brazil.]

From an article about a woman named Cinderella in the Irish Independent:

“I’d been living as Eva my whole life until I found out my name was Evangeline Cinderella. Of course this was the most amazing news as a seven year old girl and unfortunately I told everybody. I’ve paid for it ever since. People have always remembered,” she said.

From the essay “The name shame of Axl, Anakin, Arya…” by Gene Weingarten (via Name News):

To consult this list [the SSA’s Change in Popularity list] is to dip your toe into the fetid waters of cheesy celebrity worship. Consider this: One of the skyrocketing names is … “Anakin.” Yes, people are giving their baby boys a name invented specifically to sound non-human, for a character in another galaxy far, far away, one who grows up to become Darth Vader, an evil overlord who wants to enslave the universe. (There have been plenty of Darths, too.)

[Here’s more on Darth.]

From the video “Instrument: Celeste” featuring keyboardist Elizabeth Burley of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London:

I’ve got a celeste here today to show you how that works. As you’ll see it looks a little bit like an upright piano, but it’s actually a lot different. Although it’s operated by a keyboard, inside, instead of strings, it’s a set of…metal chime bars. They’re suspended over wooden resonating boxes, and when I press a key, a hammer hits the chime bar to make the sound, like on a piano the hammer would hit the string. The name celeste…it’s a French name meaning “heavenly,” and it does make a very heavenly sound, as you’ll hear.

From a blog post about electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire at Open Culture:

With her buttoned-up style, work with the UN, and name like a plucky character in a certain English wizard series, Delia Derbyshire may not seem a likely pioneer of experimental electronic music.

From the blog post “What’s in a Name?” by theology professor/social activist Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre:

Today, no one calls me Brother Mike. Nonetheless, if the first act of liberation is self naming, why do I still insist on spelling my surname the way those who had power over me taught me? I have no doubt the reader is probably wondering what’s the big deal? Just spell my name correctly. What they fail to recognize is the power of the colonizing process, and the difficulty to reclaim identity. So as I tag my name to my liberationist works I am reminded with each upper case letter how far I still need to go to claim my own liberation. The struggle, la lucha, continues, even in the letters of my name.

From the article “What Your Conference Room Names Say About Your Company Culture” by Ekaterina Walter:

At Sprinklr, our conference rooms are named after the company’s values. Honesty, Passion, Perseverance, Humility, Character, Courage, and Integrity are just some of the names you will encounter. My personal favorites are Awesomeness and 1+1=3. When I asked our founder, Ragy Thomas, why the leadership team chose to name conference rooms in this way, he said: “It would be kind of hard to be arrogant in a room named Humility, wouldn’t it? Or give up in a room named Perseverance, don’t you think?”

From the New York Times article “Jens and Vita, but Molli? Danes Favor Common Names” (2004) about Denmark’s Law on Personal Names, which was “initially designed to bring order to surnames”:

Then in the 1960’s, a furor erupted over the first name Tessa, which resembled tisse, which means to urinate in Danish. Distressed over the lack of direction in the law, the Danish government expanded the statute to grapple with first names. Now the law is as long as an average-size book.

[Among the baby names rejected in Denmark: Anus, Pluto, and Monkey. Among those accepted: Leica, Benji, Jiminico, and Fee.]