How popular is the baby name Chris 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 Chris.

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Popularity of the baby name Chris

Posts that mention the name Chris

Name change: Chris to Augusten

Author Augusten X. Burroughs
Augusten X. Burroughs

Memoirist Augusten Xon Burroughs, best known for his 2002 book Running with Scissors, was born in 1965 with the name Christopher Richter Robison.

Why did he change his name?

Here’s what he told the New York Times in 2009:

Mr. Burroughs, who skipped college and most of high school, but did spend nine months at the Control Data Institute, he said, quoting its jingle — “Train for tomorrow’s future today!” — is something of a tech geek. Born Christopher Robison, he changed his name on his 18th birthday to Augusten Xon Burroughs, deriving his three new names thusly: Burroughs was once a manufacturer of mainframe computers; “xon” was computer-speak for “in a state of accepting input”; and “Augusten just sounded cool and modern,” he said.

A few years later, he described his choices in more detail in the book This Is How (2012):

Ending my life didn’t mean I had to die.

It meant I could change my name from Chris to something more alphabet-dominant and with numerous syllables, not just the measly one. Something with the subtle sheen of celebrity to it.


As far as last names were concerned, I could toss my father’s creaky old rundown Robison right into the trash pit. I could pick myself a brand-new last name.

Come to think of it, was there any reason whatsoever I could not name myself after the legendary Burroughs Series E 1400 Electronic Computing/Accounting Machine with magnetic striped ledger?

Here’s the Burroughs E 1400, which was released in 1966 — right around the time Burroughs was born, interestingly.


Image: Adapted from Burroughs in New York City, 2007 by David Shankbone under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Baby born on Virgin flight, named Virginia


British airline Virgin Atlantic was founded in 1984, but it wasn’t until March of 2004 that a baby was born on a Virgin flight.

She was born a month early to mother Abimbola Eduwa, who was traveling from Lagos to London. Abimbola went into labor an hour after takeoff, and the baby was born a mere ten minutes later — while the plane was soaring 30,000 feet above the Sahara desert.

The baby girl was named Virginia, after the airline. (As Abimbola’s husband Chris explained, “They said I should call her Virginia, I think we will. We usually pray for a name but Virginia is fine.”)

British billionaire Richard Branson, one of the founders of the airline, offered Virginia free flights until the age of 21. He also cheekily noted, “We have waited 20 years for our first Virgin birth.”


Image: Adapted from Air Canada Boeing 777-333ER by MarcusObal under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Baby name story: ChamberMaster

Baby ChamberMaster Mead
ChamberMaster Mead

On March 10, 2006, a baby boy was born to Chris Mead (the vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives) and his wife Laura.

The baby was named ChamberMaster Mead “after a software company that won the naming rights in a charitable auction mounted by his father.” (Chris hoped the auction would raise money for the ACCE’s scholarship fund.)

The highest-bidding company, ChamberMaster, “bought naming rights for two weeks, paying $375.”

After the two weeks were up, the baby’s name would be changed to John Douglass Mead.

Source: Zaslow, Jeffrey. “Meet John ‘Your Ad Here’ Smith.” Wall Street Journal 16 Mar. 2006.

[Here are more for-profit baby names.]

Where did the baby name Rissa come from in 1947?

The character Rissa Fortune from the movie "Time Out of Mind" (1947).
Rissa from “Time Out of Mind

Rissa has always been a logical nickname for Clarissa and other -rissa names. But it first appeared as an independent name in the U.S. baby name data in 1947:

  • 1949: 5 baby girls named Rissa
  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: 5 baby girls named Rissa [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted

This was the year the movie Time Out of Mind came out. One of the central characters was Clarissa “Rissa” Fortune, played by actress Ella Raines.

The protagonist was her brother, Chris, an aspiring composer/pianist who had to battle various things — his stern father, his spoiled wife, his own alcoholism — while trying to find his footing as an artist.

Do you like Rissa as a standalone name, or do you prefer it as a nickname for a -rissa name (like Clarissa, Nerissa, Marissa, or Larissa)?

P.S. I also mentioned Rissa in the Risë post.