How popular is the baby name David 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 David.

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Popularity of the Baby Name David


Posts that Mention the Name David

Popular baby names in Switzerland, 2021

switzerland

Last year, the country of Switzerland welcomed 89,644 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Mia and Noah.

Here are Switzerland’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021…

Girl Names

  1. Mia, 467 baby girls
  2. Emma, 416
  3. Elena, 322
  4. Lina, 315
  5. Mila, 307
  6. Emilia, 303
  7. Sofia, 298
  8. Olivia, 279
  9. Nora, 270
  10. Alina, 260
  11. Anna, 259
  12. Lea, 256
  13. Lia, 255
  14. Lara, 251
  15. Lena, 243
  16. Julia, 241
  17. Ella, 240
  18. Elin, 238
  19. Laura, 233
  20. Malea, 231
  21. Nina, 225
  22. Leonie, 220
  23. Giulia, 213
  24. Sophia, 211
  25. Chiara, 208
  26. Alice, 203
  27. Elina, 197 (tie)
  28. Valentina, 197 (tie)
  29. Luna, 195
  30. Luana, 193
  31. Livia, 191
  32. Sara, 187 (tie)
  33. Sophie, 187 (tie)
  34. Yara, 176
  35. Eva, 174
  36. Emily, 171
  37. Aurora, 170
  38. Amelia, 167
  39. Ava, 160 (3-way tie)
  40. Juna, 160 (3-way tie)
  41. Zoé, 160 (3-way tie)
  42. Elisa, 155
  43. Alea, 147
  44. Melina, 146 (tie)
  45. Victoria, 146 (tie)
  46. Jana, 144
  47. Hana, 141
  48. Maria, 140
  49. Mara, 137
  50. Charlotte, 136

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 559 baby boys
  2. Liam, 391
  3. Matteo, 385
  4. Luca, 368
  5. Gabriel, 327
  6. Leon, 315
  7. Elias, 303
  8. Louis, 272
  9. Lio, 270
  10. Nino, 258
  11. Leo, 256
  12. Leonardo, 248
  13. Samuel, 243
  14. Leano, 229
  15. Ben, 227
  16. David, 226
  17. Julian, 218
  18. Diego, 206
  19. Aaron, 204 (tie)
  20. Elia, 204 (tie)
  21. Lian, 201
  22. Levi, 199
  23. Finn, 197
  24. Nico, 192
  25. Robin, 185
  26. Elio, 183 (tie)
  27. Mateo, 183 (tie)
  28. Malik, 179
  29. Levin, 178
  30. Arthur, 177
  31. Tim, 176
  32. Luan, 175
  33. Alessio, 170 (tie)
  34. Jonas, 170 (tie)
  35. Nael, 169
  36. Adam, 168
  37. Lenny, 162
  38. Dario, 159
  39. Benjamin, 157 (tie)
  40. Milo, 157 (tie)
  41. Laurin, 156
  42. Leandro, 154
  43. Emil, 153
  44. Lucas, 152
  45. Noé, 148
  46. Luis, 147
  47. Alexander, 146
  48. Mattia, 144 (tie)
  49. Nathan, 144 (tie)
  50. Gian, 143 (tie)
  51. Jan, 143 (tie)

Home to more than 8.5 million people, Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Here are the top baby names among the speakers of each of these languages:

Girl NamesBoy Names
German speakers
(62.3% of the population)
1. Mia, 343
2. Emilia, 277
3. Emma, 272
4. Lina, 261
5. Elena, 256
1. Noah, 385
2. Matteo, 293
3. Luca, 288
4. Leon, 287
5. Lio, 266
French speakers
(22.8% of pop.)
1. Emma, 125
2. Alice, 108
3. Olivia, 104
4. Mia, 95
5. Eva, 93
1. Gabriel, 165
2. Noah, 149
3. Liam, 139
4. Arthur, 116
5. Lucas, 98
Italian speakers
(8.0% of pop.)
1. Sofia, 30
2. Mia, 26
3. Noemi, 24
4. Alice, 23
5. Aurora, 22
1. Leonardo, 44
2. Alessandro, 30
3. Liam, 24
4. Noah, 23
5. Tommaso, 20
Romansh speakers
(0.5% of pop.)
1. Luana/Mia/Nora, 3 (tie)
2. Andrina/Anuk/Bigna/Melody/Valentina, 2 (tie)
1. Luca/Lucas/Manuel/Nico, 3 (tie)
2. Andrin/Elio/Fabio/Flurin/Jon/Leon/Noah/Valerio, 2 (tie)

And here’s a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum — names that were given to just 2 babies each in Switzerland in 2021:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Annigna, Bignia, Cinzia, Dragana, Eirini, Flutra, Gresa, Hermine, Ishana, Jonida, Kari, Lamia, Milijana, Nangsel, Orela, Philia, Rialda, Sidona, Tylia, Umay, Vilja, Yua, ZayleeAtréju, Boiken, Cuno, Dorijan, Elvedin, Floki, Gionatan, Hristijan, Iori, Jasha, Klodian, Lendrit, Maurizio, Namkha, Orik, Pieter, Roland, Senna, Toivo, Urs, Viliam, Ylano, Zejn

Finally, here’s a link to Switzerland’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Prénoms des nouveau-nés – Office fédéral de la statistique, Languages of Switzerland – Wikipedia

Popular baby names in Spain, 2021

spain

Last year, the country of Spain welcomed nearly 163,000 baby girls and almost 174,000 baby boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Lucia and Martin.

Here are Spain’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021…

Girl Names

  1. Lucia, 3,643 baby girls
  2. Martina, 3,042
  3. Sofia, 2,998
  4. Maria, 2,696
  5. Valeria, 2,390
  6. Julia, 2,363
  7. Paula, 2,050
  8. Emma, 2,033
  9. Daniela, 1,866
  10. Carla, 1,811
  11. Alma, 1,772
  12. Olivia, 1,732
  13. Sara, 1,708
  14. Carmen, 1,696
  15. Vega, 1,666
  16. Mia, 1,663
  17. Lara, 1,627
  18. Alba, 1,561
  19. Noa, 1,542
  20. Lola, 1,533
  21. Valentina, 1,434
  22. Chloe, 1,415
  23. Claudia, 1,380
  24. Jimena, 1,375
  25. Aitana, 1,246
  26. Laia, 1,116
  27. Vera, 1,069
  28. Abril, 1,067
  29. Alejandra, 1,060
  30. Ana, 1,047
  31. Triana, 1,043
  32. Candela, 1,041
  33. Adriana, 996
  34. Manuela, 962
  35. Elena, 959
  36. Carlota, 931
  37. Ines, 895
  38. Blanca, 888
  39. Marina, 868
  40. Marta, 813
  41. Lia, 790
  42. Victoria, 782
  43. Nora, 764
  44. Zoe, 752
  45. Rocio, 747
  46. Alicia, 723
  47. Clara, 718
  48. Gala, 707
  49. Luna, 685
  50. Ariadna, 673

Vega, which ranked 15th, is the Spanish word for “meadow.” As a given name, it’s a reference to the Marian title La Virgen de la Vega. (The word is also featured in the name of the famous Nevada city of Las Vegas — “the meadows.”)

Boy Names

  1. Martin, 3,459 baby boys
  2. Hugo, 3,339
  3. Mateo, 3,270
  4. Leo, 2,837
  5. Lucas, 2,810
  6. Manuel, 2,587
  7. Daniel, 2,520
  8. Alejandro, 2,513
  9. Pablo, 2,276
  10. Enzo, 2,007
  11. Alvaro, 1,941
  12. Mario, 1,792
  13. Adrian, 1,781
  14. Diego, 1,598
  15. Thiago, 1,567
  16. Bruno, 1,485
  17. Oliver, 1,452
  18. David, 1,441
  19. Alex, 1,438
  20. Marco, 1,413
  21. Gonzalo, 1,364
  22. Marcos, 1,349
  23. Nicolas, 1,315
  24. Antonio, 1,303
  25. Izan, 1,279
  26. Miguel, 1,275
  27. Javier, 1,267
  28. Luca, 1,216
  29. Liam, 1,198
  30. Gael, 1,127
  31. Marc, 1,095
  32. Dylan, 1,044
  33. Juan, 1,036
  34. Angel, 1,035
  35. Carlos, 992
  36. Jose, 988
  37. Gabriel, 960
  38. Sergio, 907
  39. Eric, 862
  40. Jorge, 849
  41. Dario, 832
  42. Adam, 818
  43. Samuel, 811
  44. Hector, 784
  45. Rodrigo, 762
  46. Iker, 750
  47. Pau, 735
  48. Jesus, 723
  49. Guillermo, 706
  50. Jaime, 705

Home to more than 47 million people, Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities (including two island groups) and two autonomous cities (both located on the northern coast of Africa).

Map of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain
Spain’s 17 autonomous communities

The top baby names within each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities last year were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Andalusia
(18.0% of the population)
1. Maria, 970
2. Lucia, 821
3. Martina, 667
4. Carmen, 623
5. Lola, 614
1. Manuel, 1,165
2. Hugo, 823
3. Martin, 801
4. Alejandro, 780
5. Pablo, 654
Catalonia
(16.2% of pop.)
1. Julia, 469
2. Martina, 423
3. Mia, 403
4. Emma, 400
5. Lucia, 379
1. Marc, 439
2. Nil, 439
3. Pol, 438
4. Jan, 422
5. Leo, 420
Madrid (community)
(14.3% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 712
2. Sofia, 576
3. Martina, 463
4. Olivia, 437
5. Paula, 394
1. Mateo, 654
2. Martin, 593
3. Lucas, 552
4. Alejandro, 530
5. Daniel, 500
Valencia (community)
(10.7% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 378
2. Sofia, 368
3. Martina, 324
4. Maria, 270
5. Valeria, 265
1. Martin, 408
2. Mateo, 375
3. Marc, 354
4. Hugo, 336 (tie)
5. Lucas, 336 (tie)
Galicia
(5.7% of pop.)
1. Sofia, 170
2. Noa, 162
3. Martina, 140
4. Lara, 137
5. Valeria, 129
1. Mateo, 276
2. Martin, 261
3. Hugo, 198
4. Leo, 176
5. Lucas, 168
Castile and León
(5.0% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 171
2. Sofia, 139
3. Valeria, 126
4. Martina, 121
5. Daniela, 116
1. Martin, 187 (tie)
2. Mateo, 187 (tie)
3. Hugo, 157
4. Lucas, 147
5. Daniel, 146
Canary Islands
(4.7% of pop.)
1. Martina, 131
2. Lucia, 113
3. Sofia, 109
4. Valeria, 86
5. Chloe, 83
1. Mateo, 152
2. Hugo, 124
3. Thiago, 114
4. Leo, 112
5. Lucas, 93
Basque Country
(4.6% of pop.)
1. Ane, 149
2. Laia, 135
3. June, 121
4. Nahia, 113
5. Maddi/Malen, 97 (tie)
1. Markel, 155
2. Martin, 143
3. Julen, 141
4. Oihan, 131
5. Jon, 118
Castilla-La Mancha
(4.3% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 206
2. Valeria, 172
3. Martina, 149
4. Sofia, 144
5. Maria, 143
1. Martin, 217
2. Hugo, 200
3. Mateo, 199
4. Lucas, 172
5. Daniel, 155
Murcia
(3.2% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 173
2. Maria, 167
3. Sofia, 143
4. Valeria, 133
5. Martina, 122
1. Hugo, 177
2. Pablo, 152
3. Alejandro, 129
4. Martin, 125
5. Leo, 122
Aragon
(2.8% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 125
2. Martina, 80 (tie)
3. Valeria, 80 (tie)
4. Vega, 78
5. Sofia, 74
1. Martin, 112 (tie)
2. Mateo, 112 (tie)
3. Hugo, 108
4. Lucas, 93
5. Leo, 88
Balearic Islands
(2.6% of pop.)
1. Martina, 93
2. Julia, 90
3. Emma, 75
4. Maria, 66
5. Lucia, 64
1. Marc, 146
2. Pau, 95
3. Hugo, 90
4. Lucas, 63
5. Marti, 62
Extremadura
(2.2% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 114
2. Martina, 101
3. Maria, 83 (tie)
4. Valeria, 83 (tie)
5. Paula, 81
1. Manuel, 129
2. Martin, 104
3. Alvaro, 94
4. Hugo, 92
5. Daniel, 84
Asturias
(2.1% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 62
2. Valeria, 57
3. Martina, 53
4. Lara, 46
5. Sofia, 44
1. Martin, 83
2. Mateo, 68
3. Lucas, 64
4. Hugo, 57
5. Marco, 50
Navarre
(1.4% of pop.)
1. Nahia, 37
2. Ane, 36 (tie)
3. Irati, 36 (tie)
4. Lucia, 35
5. Martina, 34
1. Martin, 48
2. Mateo, 46
3. Julen, 37
4. Hugo, 36 (tie)
5. Leo, 36 (tie)
Cantabria
(1.2% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 48
2. Sofia, 41
3. Martina, 40
4. Vega, 36
5. Valeria, 35
1. Mateo, 60
2. Martin, 53
3. Hugo, 47
4. Leo, 46
5. Lucas, 44
La Rioja
(0.7% of pop.)
1. Lucia, 28
2. Sofia, 26
3. Martina, 21
4. Julia, 19
5. Carmen/Maria/Valeria, 16 (tie)
1. Martin, 33 (tie)
2. Mateo, 33 (tie)
3. Daniel, 26 (tie)
4. Hugo, 26 (tie)
5. Pablo, 22

The top baby names within each of Spain’s two autonomous cities (in Africa) were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Melilla
(0.2% of the population)
1. Amira, 15
2. Nour, 9
3. Noha, 8
4. Malak/Maryam/Tasnim, 7 (tie)
1. Amir, 20
2. Adam, 15
3. Mohamed, 14
4. Imran, 13
5. Maher, 12
Ceuta
(0.2% of pop.)
1. Amira, 10
2. Jimena, 6 (tie)
3. Zaira, 6 (tie)
4. Martina/Noor/Suyud, 5 (tie)
1. Mohamed, 17
2. Amir, 13
3. Akram, 9
4. Maher, 8 (tie)
5. Omar, 8 (tie)

Finally, here’s a link to Spain’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Apellidos y nombres más frecuentes – INEbase, Population of Spain in 2022, by autonomous community – Statista, Spain – Wikipedia
Map: Adapted from Autonomous communities of Spain no names by Habbit under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Baby born into Lear family, named Shanda

chandelier

Self-taught inventor and businessman William P. “Bill” Lear (1902-1978) is best remembered as the founder of Learjet, the first company to manufacture compact business jets.

In the world of baby names, though, he has an entirely different claim to fame: He named a daughter Shanda to create the pun-name Shanda Lear (read: chandelier).

So, what’s the story?

Bill met his fourth wife, Moya Olsen, in the mid-1930s. They met through Moya’s father, vaudeville comedian John “Ole” Olsen.

They had their first date (drinks at the Stork Club) in 1938, and tied the knot in early 1942.

Bill, who already had three children (Mary Louise, William, and Patti) from previous marriages, went on to have four more children with Moya.

Their first was a boy named John, born in December of 1942.

Their second, born in 1944, was a girl — and she was indeed named Shanda. Years later, Moya recounted:

My father said if you have a girl, her name has to be Shanda. S-H-A-N-D-A. Shanda Lear. And if it’s a boy, you name it Gonda and if you’re not sure, it’s Lava.

Their last two children were named David (b. 1948) and Tina (b. 1954).

During an interview in 2007, Shanda Lear mentioned her name while describing her father, who she said was a “quixotic, outspoken and charismatic man who had a great sense of humor. He thought it was quite funny naming me Shanda Lear.”

What are your thoughts on this name?

Sources:

Image by Fabio Tura from Unsplash

Common Amish names: Jacob, Malinda, Benuel, Naomi

Amish man in a buggy

Which names are the most common among the Amish?

The simplest answer is “Biblical names,” but that’s not the full answer.

Because certain Biblical names are preferred over others, and Biblical names aren’t used exclusively.

Plus, the prevalence of a name could vary depending upon the specific Amish settlement you’re talking about.

I’ve gathered about 100 of the most common Amish names below. Before we get into specifics, though, here’s a bit of background on the Amish…

Who are the Amish?

The Amish are an Anabaptist group that intentionally maintain a degree of separation from the wider world. They wear plain clothing, eschew modern conveniences (like cars), and partake in traditional occupations such as farming, carpentry, blacksmithing, and (for women) homemaking.

The Anabaptist movement began in Europe in the 1520s, at the time of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptists were particularly known for the practice of adult baptism. They were also opposed to war, and they believed in the separation of church and state.

Considered radicals, the Anabaptists were widely persecuted.

In 1693, the Swiss branch of the Anabaptist movement (a.k.a., the Swiss Brethren) experienced a schism. Those who followed reformer Jacob Amman came to be known as the Amish, whereas those who did not came to be known as the Mennonites (after Dutchman Menno Simons, one of the original Anabaptist leaders).

In the early 1700s, many Amish (and Mennonites) immigrated to the New World — specifically to the Province of Pennsylvania, which had been founded upon the principle of religious freedom.

Today, over 367,000 Amish live in the U.S., and roughly two-thirds of them reside in three states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

Amish men and women.

Common Amish names

The most comprehensive source of Amish names I came across was also the oldest, so let’s go through all the sources chronologically.

In 1960, researcher Elmer L. Smith published data on the most common male and female names among the Amish of southeastern Pennsylvania from 1890 to 1956.

The 1,337 Amish males in the study shared a total of just 72 different first names. Over a quarter of the males had one of the top three names (John, Amos, or Jacob), and over 81% had one of the top 20 names.

The 1,356 Amish females in the study shared even fewer first names: only 55. Over a quarter of the females had one of the top three names (Mary, Sarah, or Annie), and over 88% had a top-20 name.

According to Smith’s research, these were the 20 most common names per gender (plus their frequency of usage):

Amish female namesAmish male names
1Mary, 10.0%John, 11.9%
2Sarah, 7.9%Amos, 7.3%
3Annie, 9.1%*Jacob, 6.5%
4Katie, 7.1%David, 6.4%
5Lizzie, 6.4%Samuel, 6.2%
6Rebecca, 6.1%Christian, 6.1%
7Fannie, 5.3%Daniel, 5.5%
8Barbara, 5.1%Benjamin, 3.8%
9Rachel, 5.1%Levi, 3.7%
10Lydia, 4.9%Aaron, 3.1%
11Emma, 3.8%Jonas, 3.0%
12Malinda, 3.5%Elam, 2.8%
13Susie, 3.2%Stephen, 2.8%
14Sadie, 2.5%Isaac, 2.5%
15Leah, 1.9%Henry, 2.4%
16Hannah, 1.5%Jonathan, 1.8%
17Naomi, 1.4%Eli, 1.7%
18Mattie, 1.3%Gideon, 1.6%
19Lavina, 1.1%Moses, 1.5%
20Arie, 1.1%Joseph, 1.1%
*Annie was ranked below Sarah in the research paper, but this seems to be a typo, given the percentages.

Smith also wrote the following:

Other given names for males may reflect the important place the martyred forefathers hold in the minds of the sect members. The given name Menno is frequently found; this honors Menno Simmons [sic] an early leader of the plain sects. Ammon is also quite common, and is traced to Jacob Amman for whom the Amish sect is named; otherwise given names are from the Bible.

(Menno, a form of the Dutch name Meine, can be traced back to the Old High German word magan, meaning “strength.” The occupational surname Amman(n), which was derived from the German word amtmann, originally referred to someone employed as an official or administrator.)

A couple of years after Smith’s study came out, Dr. William Schreiber (a professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio) published a book about the Amish of east-central Ohio. In one paragraph, he mentioned some of the names he’d encountered:

One learns here that the good old biblical names are still common with the Amish but are in competition with modern or more euphonious ones. The names of the children of large families are often a study in contrasts. In one family there are, for example, Benjamin, Samuel, Isaac, Stephen, John, Israel, Christ, Barbara, Mary, Hannah, Annie, Mattie, and Lizzie. Another family has chosen these names for its children: Sarah, Lizzie, Samuel, Benjamin, John, Annie, Marie, Daniel, David, Enos, Sylvia, and Malinda. Then there are three Amish brothers named Isaac, Levi, and Elmer. One wonders how Vesta, Delila, Dena, Saloma, Drusilla, or Verba, or boys’ names like Junie, Venus, or Aquilla came into strict Christian families?

Speaking of east-central Ohio, Barbara Yoder Hall — who was born in 1940 and grew up with ten siblings in the Amish community of Holmes County — recalled in her book Born Amish (1980) the following first names:

First names for girls are usually Cora, Mattie, Annie, Lizzie, Barbara, Fannie, Katie, Mary, Naomi, Emma, Jemima, Ella, Sarah, Levina and Mandy.

First names for boys are John, Mose, Ferdinand, Dannie, Sam, Amos, Albert, Emanual, Levi, Rudy, Enos, Eli, Jacob and Joseph.

Amish men in a wagon.

Now for a pair of sources from the digital age…

The website Amish America, run by Erik Wesner (who is not Amish, but has visited Amish communities in 15 different states), lists the following names as being common among the Amish. He found many of the male names in Raber’s Almanac, which “contains a listing of Amish church ministers,” while many of the female names came from various church directories.

Common Amish female namesCommon Amish male names
Elizabeth
Emma
Fannie
Hannah
Katie
Linda
Lizzie
Lovina/Lavina
Martha
Mary
Miriam
Naomi
Rebecca
Ruby
Ruth
Sadie
Sarah
Waneta
Abram
Amos
Atlee
Eli
Elmer
Harley
Isaac
Jacob
John
Lavern
Leroy
Mark
Melvin
Mervin
Samuel
Vernon
Wayne
Willis

Some of Erik’s commentary…

  • Eli: “You see a lot of Elis among Amish, but not many Elijahs.”
  • Leroy: “Seems to be more common in Midwestern communities.”
  • Lizzie: “Lizzie is a popular form in some Pennsylvania communities.”
  • Naomi: “Amish, at least in Lancaster County, pronounce this ‘Nay-oh-mah.'”
  • Ruby: “Quite a few Rubies in northern Indiana.”
  • Vernon: “[P]retty common in places like northern Indiana and Holmes County, Ohio.”

Finally, according to the blog Amish Heritage, written by a woman named Anna (who grew up Amish in Pennsylvania), common Amish names include…

Common Amish female namesCommon Amish male names
Amanda
Anna/Annie
Barbara
Betty
Clara
Edna
Elizabeth
Esther
Fannie
Hannah
Lavina
Lena
Lydia
Malinda
Martha
Mary
Miriam
Naomi
Priscilla
Rachel
Rebecca
Ruth
Sadie
Sarah
Susie
Aaron
Abner
Abram
Amos
Benuel
Christian/Christ
Daniel
David
Eli
Elmer
Emmanuel
Henry
Isaac
Jacob
John
Jonas
Leroy
Lloyd
Mark
Melvin
Mervin
Moses
Omar
Paul
Samuel
Steven/Stephen
Vernon

Both websites noted that some Amish communities (particularly New Order Amish communities) have recently started giving their children less traditional first names.


So how do these lists square with what we’ve observed in the U.S. baby name data?

It’s hard to tell with historically popular names like Mary and John, but we can see some interesting things when we focus on relatively rare names.

For instance, the names Atlee, Benuel, Delila, Dena, Lavina, Menno, Saloma, and Willis have all been mentioned recently in my posts about names with a high degree of state specificity (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). As you’d expect, they were associated with the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and/or Indiana. (Benuel, in fact, has only ever appeared in the Pennsylvania data — going all the way back to the 1940s.)

Several of the other names — including Amos, Elam, Fannie, Malinda, and Mervin — saw higher usage in Pennsylvania than in any other state in 2021.

I was surprised that none of my sources listed the name Barbie. Most of them mentioned Barbara (one of them was even named Barbara), and all of them included nicknames (like Lizzie). But Barbara’s diminutive form was curiously absent — even though most of its usage occurs in Pennsylvania:

Girls named Barbie, U.S.Girls named Barbie, Penn.
20213722 (59%)
20202617 (65%)
20193320 (61%)
20182113 (62%)
20172916 (55%)
20162814 (50%)

Rhoda and Mahlon are two more names that I somewhat expected to see.

Ammon is a very interesting case, because the name also has significance to an entirely different religious group: the Mormons. (The Book of Mormon features two prominent figures named Ammon.) From the 1910s to the 1960s, the name Ammon — much like Benuel — only appeared in the Pennsylvania data. Since the 1980s, though, the state with the largest number of baby boys named Ammon has been Utah.


What are your thoughts on the first names used by the Amish? Which of the above do you like the most?

And, for anyone out there with close ties to an Amish family/community: What other names would you add to this list?

P.S. This post is dedicated to my delightful commenters alex and Andrea. :)

Sources:

Images by Chris Chow from Unsplash, Amyd from Pixabay, and Clark Young from Unsplash

Most-changed baby names in the U.S. (2017-2022)

signs

The Washington Post recently published a pair of articles about babies whose names had been changed.

The first article mentioned that, according to SSA data, nearly 30,000 babies in the U.S. had had their names changed from January 2017 to March 2022.

The second article dug a little deeper, revealing the names that ranked highest on either side of the name-change spectrum: most-abandoned and most-adopted.

Most-abandoned baby namesMost-adopted baby names
1. Issac [sic]
2. Chole [sic]
3. Aiden
4. Conner
5. Elliot
6. Michael
7. James
8. Isabella
9. Sophia
10. David
1. Isaac
2. Chloe
3. Sebastian
4. William
5. Olivia
6. Michael
7. Elijah
8. Matthew
9. Connor
10. Jonathan

The top two names on both lists — Issac/Isaac and Chole/Chloe — clearly represent spelling corrections.

And my guess is that at least a portion of the boys named “Conner” had their names changed to the more common spelling “Connor.” (Connor has been a top-100 boy name since the early 1990s.)

My favorite thing about these rankings, though? The fact that Michael managed to balance itself out by ranking #6 on both lists. :)

(Thank you to Ellyn for letting me know about the WaPo articles!)

Sources:

Image by Javier Allegue Barros from Unsplash