How popular is the baby name Dirk 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 Dirk.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Dirk


Posts that Mention the Name Dirk

Baby name story: Albert Dirk Thomas Franklin

Liberation of the Netherlands, 1945
Liberation of the Netherlands, 1945

The Netherlands were occupied by German forces for most of WWII.

During that time, many Dutch Jews went into hiding. The Bouwman family of Haarlem, for instance, was split up between two homes: Parents Mozes and Sophie Bouwman hid with one family, while their children Lion and Koosje hid with another.

In early 1944, Sophie discovered that she was pregnant. Registering a baby would have been dangerous, both for her and for the family sheltering her, so a plan was hatched: a nearby childless couple (Vivian and Catherine Rowe) would stage a fake pregnancy, and, when Sophie gave birth, the Rowes would take the baby in and pretend it was their own.

On September 2, 1944, Sophie — being “attended by a doctor and nurses sworn to secrecy” — welcomed a baby boy.

The child was named Albert Dirk in honor of the two men who had helped the Bouwmans find a home for their other two children.

As planned, over the next couple of days, the baby was smuggled out of the hospital and transported (via bicycle) to the home of the childless couple.

On September 4, the Rowes “joyfully announced the birth of a son, whom they named Thomas Franklin.” Notably, they took care of him through the hunger winter of 1944-45, “selling many of their personal possessions in order to buy food for him.”

Finally, in May of 1945, the war ended. They baby could be returned to his parents.

As an expression of gratitude, the Bouwmans added the name the Rowes had given him to his original name.

Though I couldn’t find any official records for the baby, at least one family tree website suggests that he was indeed given all four names: Albert Dirk Thomas Franklin Bouwman.

Sources:

Image: Allied planes over Holland – Nationaal Archief

Contrarian baby names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

corn

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

The first incubator baby was named Edith

baby incubator

On September 7, 1888 — 128 years ago today — an incubator (or “hatching cradle”) was used for the first time in the U.S. to treat a premature baby.

That baby’s name? Edith Eleanor McLean.

She was born at the State Emigrant Hospital on Ward’s Island in New York City. She arrived two months early and weighed just 2 pounds, 7 ounces.

How did the names Edith and Eleanor do on the U.S. baby name charts in 1888? Edith was the 29th most popular baby girl name in the country that year, and Eleanor ranked 128th.

Update, 9/2022: According to correspondence received by Dirk de Klein of the blog History of Sorts, Edith’s name was later changed to Myrtle Eleanor, intriguingly. (In 1888, the baby name Myrtle ranked 35th.)

Source: Accardo, Pasquale. The Medical Almanac: A Calendar of Dates of Significance to the Profession of Medicine. New York: Springer, 1992.

80+ Hidden gems: Rare baby boy names

gemstone

Want a boy name that’s not popular, but also not unheard of?

I looked through all the names at the bottom of SSA’s 2011 mega-list and found a bunch of hidden gems:

  1. Alaric (48 baby boys)
  2. Alban (12)
  3. Aldous (11)
  4. Aldric (7)
  5. Alphonse (20)
  6. Archibald (14)
  7. Astor (5)
  8. Augustin (50)
  9. Balthazar (13)
  10. Barclay (6)
  11. Barnabas (8)
  12. Bartholomew (19)
  13. Booker (22)
  14. Chadwick (34)
  15. Cyril (41)
  16. Clancy (14)
  17. Claude (44)
  18. Clement (34)
  19. Crispin (21)
  20. Darcy (15)
  21. Dirk (40)
  22. Doyle (10)
  23. Ernst (6)
  24. Ferdinand (20)
  25. Garrick (42)
  26. Giles (20)
  27. Gregor (14)
  28. Griffith (18)
  29. Grover (9)
  30. Gustaf (7); Gustav (29)
  31. Horatio (10)
  32. Hubert (46)
  33. Ignatius (49)
  34. Isidore (7)
  35. Kermit (6)
  36. Lambert (6)
  37. Laird (17)
  38. Laurence (48)
  39. Laurent (9)
  40. Leander (48)
  41. Leith (7)
  42. Lemuel (50)
  43. Lowell (29)
  44. Maxfield (22)
  45. Newton (14)
  46. Nicanor (8)
  47. Norbert (9)
  48. Norris (21)
  49. Ogden (13)
  50. Orson (33)
  51. Osborn (5); Osborne (7)
  52. Oswald (18)
  53. Pascal (25)
  54. Percival (13)
  55. Peregrine (9)
  56. Piers (16)
  57. Regis (10)
  58. Remis (11)
  59. Roscoe (47)
  60. Rudolph (44)
  61. Rufus (39)
  62. Rupert (8)
  63. Sanford (6)
  64. Seymour (6)
  65. Sherman (40)
  66. Sinclair (8)
  67. Tavish (16)
  68. Thane (48)
  69. Tobiah (14)
  70. Walton (14)
  71. Warner (48)
  72. Watson (42)
  73. Webster (8)
  74. Weldon (27)
  75. Werner (11)
  76. Wilbert (42)
  77. Wilbur (20)
  78. Winfield (7)
  79. Winfred (7)
  80. Winslow (10)
  81. York (5)
  82. Zebulon (25)
  83. Zeno (13)

(In some cases, a different spelling of the name is more popular than what’s shown here. For instance, Laurence is rare, but Lawrence is moderately popular.)

Like any of these?

Spot any other good names at the end of the list?

(Here’s the girls’ list.)

Edgar Allan Poe names: Lenore, Ligeia, Prospero

Writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
Edgar Allan Poe

The godfather of Gothic fiction, Edgar Allan Poe, was born 202 years ago today.

He may have been master of the macabre, but he wrote widely — far beyond horror. His other works fall into genres such as humor/satire, science fiction, detective fiction, and adventure fiction.

To celebrate Poe’s birthday, let’s check out some of the character names he used in his short stories, poetry, and longer works:

Girl Names

  • Ada, from the poem “Tamerlane” (1827)
  • Alessandra, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Annabel Lee, from the poem “Annabel Lee” (1849)
  • Annie, from the poem “For Annie” (1849) and the short story “Landor’s Cottage” (1849)
  • Arabella, from the short story “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839)
  • Berenice, from the short story “Berenice” (1835)
  • Camille, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Eleonora, from the short story “Eleonora” (1842)
  • Ermengarde, from the short story “Eleonora” (1842)
  • Estelle, from the short story “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1842)
  • Eugenie, from the short stories “The Spectacles” (1844) and “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” (1845)
  • Eulalie, from the poem “Eulalie – A Song” (1845)
  • Evangeline, from the poem “Evangeline” (1848)
  • Fanny, from the poem “Fanny” (1833)
  • Grettel, from the short story “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall” (1835)
  • Helen, from the poems “To Helen” (1831) and “To Helen” (1849)
  • Ianthe, from the poem “Al Aaraaf” (1829)
  • Isabel, from the poem “Fairy-Land” (1829)
  • Jacinta, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Jane, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Kate, from the short story “Three Sundays in a Week” (1841)
  • Kathleen, from the short story “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839)
  • Lalage, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Lenore, from the poems “Lenore” (1843) and “The Raven” (1845)
  • Ligeia, from the poem “Al Aaraaf” (1829) and the short story “Ligeia” (1838)
  • Madeline, from the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839)
  • Marian, from the short story “The Oblong Box” (1844)
  • Marie, from the short story “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1842)
  • Miranda, from the short story “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839)
  • Morella, from the short story “Morella” (1835)
  • Pauline, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Psyche, from the short story “A Predicament” (1838)
  • Rowena, from the short story “Ligeia” (1838)
  • Stephanie, from the short story “The Spectacles” (1844)
  • Tabitha, from the piece “How to Write a Blackwood Article” (1838) and the short story “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839)
  • Ulalume (rhymes with tomb), from the poem “Ulalume” (1847)
  • Una, from the short story “The Colloquy of Monos and Una” (1841)
  • Zanthe, from the poem “Al Aaraaf” (1829)
"The Cask of Amontillado" illustration by Harry Clarke
“The Cask of Amontillado”

Boy names

  • Adolphe, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Adolphus, from the short story “The Spectacles” (1844)
  • Alberto, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Alexander, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Alexandre, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Alfonzo, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Andrew, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Angelo, from the poem “Al Aaraaf” (1829)
  • Arthur, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) and the short story “Some Words with a Mummy” (1845)
  • Auguste, from the short stories “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1842), and “The Purloined Letter” (1844)
  • Augustus, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) and the short story “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains” (1844)
  • Baldazzar, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Barnabas, from the short story “Thou Art the Man” (1844)
  • Benito, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Charles, from the short story “Thou Art the Man” (1844)
  • Cornelius, from the short story “The Oblong Box” (1844)
  • Dirk, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838)
  • Egaeus, from the short story “Berenice” (1835)
  • Emmet, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838)
  • Ernest, from the short story “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” (1845)
  • Ethelred, from the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839)
  • Fortunato, from the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846)
  • Frank, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Frederick, from the short story “Metzengerstein” (1832)
  • Gordon, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838)
  • Hans, from the short story “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall” (1835)
  • Henri, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Isidore, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Israfel, from the poem “Israfel” (1831)
  • Jacques, from the short story “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (1842)
  • James, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • John, from the short story “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839) and the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Jules, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Julius, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Jupiter, from the short story “The Gold-Bug” (1843)
  • Meredith, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Napoleon, from the short story “The Spectacles” (1844)
  • Paul, from the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Pedro, from the short story “The Oval Portrait” (1842)
  • Peter, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) and the short story “The Business Man” (1840)
  • Pierre, from the short story “Bon-Bon” (1832), the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840), and the short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841)
  • Poindexter, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Politian, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Prospero, from the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842)
  • Richard, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838)
  • Robert, from the novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) and the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840)
  • Roderick, from the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839)
  • Rupert, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Tamerlane, from the poem “Tamerlane” (1827)
  • Theodore, from the short story “The Man That Was Used Up” (1839)
  • Toby, from the unfinished novel The Journal of Julius Rodman (1840) and the short story “Never Bet the Devil Your Head” (1841)
  • Ugo, from the play Politian (1835)
  • Victor, from the short story “The Spectacles” (1844)
  • William, from the short stories “William Wilson” (1839), “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), and “The Gold-Bug” (1843)
  • Zoilus, from the short story “Shadow – A Parable” (1835)

Though they aren’t character names, Raven and Poe could be added to this list as well, as both are closely associated with Edgar Allan Poe. And both are bird-related, incidentally: the surname Poe can be traced back to the Middle English word for “peacock.”

Which of the above names do you like best? Which would you considering using in real life?

Sources:

[Latest update: 10/2022]