How popular is the baby name Eric 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 Eric.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Eric


Posts that Mention the Name Eric

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.)

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 names associated with purple: Violet, Tyrian, Zi

plums

Looking for baby names that are associated with purple — including baby names that mean “purple”?

If so, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve collected dozens of options for you in this post.

Before we get to the names, though, let’s take a quick look at what the color purple represents…

Symbolism of purple

What does the color purple signify?

In Western cultures in particular, purple can be symbolic of:

  • Royalty
  • Nobility
  • Wisdom
  • Luxury
  • Imagination
  • Mystery
  • Spirituality

The color came to be identified with royalty and nobility during ancient times. In those days, creating purple dye for fabric was laborious and time-consuming, so the dye was very expensive. As a result, only the wealthy could afford to wear purple-colored clothing.

Top baby names associated with purple

Determining the top names in a category isn’t difficult when you’re working with a well-defined category, like PH names. When it comes to names that have a connection to the color purple, however, we need to account for the fact that certain names have a stronger connection than others.

With that in mind, here are the top baby names that have an obvious association with the color purple:

  1. Violet
  2. Iris
  3. Violeta
  4. Violette
  5. Amethyst

Now here are the same five names again, but this time around I’ve added some details (including definitions, rankings, and popularity graphs).

Violet

The word violet refers to any flowering plant of the genus Viola — particularly the fragrant species Viola odorata — or to any similar-looking flowering plant. By extension, it also refers to the bluish-purple color of these flowers.

Violet is currently the 35th most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

Iris

The word iris can refer to several things, including flowering plants of the genus Iris, the name of which comes from the ancient Greek word for “rainbow.” The showy blooms of these plants come in a variety of colors (as the name suggests), though we often think of irises as being shades of purple.

For instance, did you know that all of the irises in Vincent van Gogh’s various paintings were once purple? His irises now appear blue only because the red pigment he used to create the purple has faded over time.

Iris is currently the 107th most popular girl name in the nation.

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

Violeta

The name Violeta is a form of Violet used in Spanish, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and other languages.

Violeta is currently the 893rd most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

Violette

The name Violette is a form of Violet used in French.

Violette is currently the 1,033rd most popular girl name in the nation.

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

Amethyst

The word amethyst refers to a purple variety of the mineral quartz. (The ancient Greeks thought that amethyst — perhaps due to its wine-like color — would prevent drunkenness, so they called it amethustos, meaning “not intoxicating.”) By extension, the word also refers to the purple color of these crystals.

Amethyst will only form in quartz that: (a) contains trace amounts of iron, and (b) is exposed to low-level gamma radiation. The radiation will oxidize the iron, and thereby change the crystal’s color from clear to purple.

Amethyst is currently the 1,148th most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

More names associated with purple

Ready for the rest?

All the names below are associated with the color purple. The names range from traditional to unusual, and their associations range from strong to slight.

Those that have been popular enough to appear in the U.S. baby name data are linked to their corresponding popularity graphs.

purple flowers (Aubrieta)
Aubrieta
  • Amaranth flowers are sometimes purple. The genus name Amaranthus is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words amarantos, meaning “unfading,” and anthos, meaning “flower.”
  • Aster flowers are often purple. The genus name Aster, derived from the ancient Greek word aster, meaning “star,” is a reference to the shape of the flower head.
  • Aubrieta flowers are commonly purple. The genus Aubrieta was named in honor of French botanical artist Claude Aubriet.
  • Banafsha is a Persian feminine name meaning “violet.”
  • Betony flowers are usually purple. “Betony” is the common name of plants in the genus Stachys.
  • Bíbor (pronounced BEE-bor) is a Hungarian masculine name based on the word bíbor, meaning “purple.”
    • Bíborka is a feminine form of Bíbor.
  • Bora is a Korean feminine name meaning “purple.” (Though the name has appeared in the U.S. data, this probably reflects the usage of the identical Albanian name, which means “snow.”)
  • Fjóla (pronounced FYOH-lah) is an Icelandic and Faroese feminine name meaning “violet.”
    • Fjólar is the masculine form of Fjóla.
  • Gladiola refers to Gladiolus, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes purple. The genus name, meaning “little sword” (a diminutive of the Latin word gladius, “sword”) refers to the shape of the leaves.
The Jimi Hendrix album "Are You Experienced" (1967)
Jimi Hendrix album
  • Haze (besides being a vocabulary word) is part of “Purple Haze” [vid] — the title of the song by Jimi Hendrix. “Purple Haze” was the opening track of the iconic album Are You Experienced (1967).
  • Heather flowers are usually purple. “Heather” is the common name of plants in the genus Calluna.
  • Honesty (besides being a vocabulary word) is the common name of the plant species Lunaria annua, which has flowers that are frequently purple. The common name is likely a reference to the translucence of the seed pods.
  • Hyacinth flowers are often purple. The genus Hyacinthus was named for the plant’s association with the myth of Hyacinthus (who was one of the lovers of Apollo in Greek mythology).
    • Giacinta is the Italian feminine form of Hyacinth.
    • Giacinto is the Italian masculine form of Hyacinth.
    • Jacinta is the Spanish and Portuguese feminine form of Hyacinth.
    • Jacinto is the Spanish and Portuguese masculine form of Hyacinth.
  • Ianthe, which means “violet flower,” is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words ion, meaning “violet,” and anthos, meaning “flower.”
    • Iantha is a variant of Ianthe.
  • Iole (pronounced IE-oh-lee) is based on the ancient Greek word ion, meaning “violet.” In Greek myth, Iole was one of Heracles’ many objects of desire.
    • Iola is a variant of Iole.
  • Ione (pronounced ie-OH-nee) is also based on the ancient Greek word ion, meaning “violet.”
    • Iona could be considered a variant of Ione, though more often it’s a reference to the Scottish island of Iona.
  • Jacaranda flowers are purple. The genus name Jacaranda is derived from a Tupi-Guarani word meaning “fragrant.”
  • Lavender flowers are typically purple. “Lavender” is the common name of plants in the genus Lavandula. The genus name is derived from the Latin word lividus, meaning “bluish,” and/or the Latin word lavare, meaning “to wash” (due to aromatic lavender being used in washing and bathing).
  • Lilac flowers are frequently purple. “Lilac” is the common name of plants in the genus Syringa.
    • Lila is the Swedish form of Lilac, though the name also has other possible meanings (e.g., “play” in Sanskrit, “night” in Arabic).
    • Liila is the Finnish form of Lilac.
  • Lupine flowers are often purple. The genus name Lupinus is derived from the Latin word lupinus, meaning “wolfish” (from lupus, “wolf”).
  • Magenta is a reddish-purple color. A French chemist first synthesized magenta-colored dye in the late 1850s, and the color was eventually named “Magenta” in honor of the French-Sardinian victory at the Battle of Magenta (1859).
  • Murasaki is a Japanese feminine name meaning “purple.” Originally it referred to the gromwell plant, the root of which was used to make purple dye.
  • Orchid flowers are sometimes purple. Orchids are all members of the Orchidaceae family of plants.
  • Phoenix refers to the mythical bird, but the name of that bird was based on the ancient Greek word phoinix, meaning “purple” or “crimson.”
  • Plum fruits are commonly purple. Plum trees are part of the genus Prunus.
  • Porphyrios was an ancient Greek name derived from the word porphyra, meaning “purple dye, purple.”
    • Porphyrius is the Latinized form of Porphyrios.
    • Porfirio is the modern Spanish masculine form of Porphyrius.
    • Porfiria is the modern Spanish feminine form of Porphyrius.
    • Porfiriy is the modern Russian masculine form of Porphyrius.
  • Purple, which can also be traced back to the ancient Greek word porphyra, is rarely used as a given name…though I did spot a girl named Purple in Los Angeles’ baby name data a few years back.
rebeccapurple
  • Rebecca is part of “rebeccapurple” — the name of the shade of purple with the hex value #663399. The color name pays tribute to Rebecca Meyer, the daughter of web design pioneer Eric Meyer. Rebecca, whose favorite color was purple, passed away on her 6th birthday (in mid-2014). The biblical name Rebecca is ultimately derived from the Semitic root r-b-q, meaning “to tie” or “to secure.”
  • Sigalit is a Hebrew feminine name meaning “violet.”
  • Sumire (pronounced soo-mee-reh) is a Japanese name that can mean “violet,” depending upon the kanji being used to write the name.
  • Temenuzhka is a Bulgarian feminine name meaning “violet.”
  • Thistle flowers are usually purple. “Thistle” is the common name of various prickly plants, most of which are in the Asteraceae family.
  • Twila may be based on the English word “twilight.” During twilight, the sky can turn various shades of purple.
    • Twyla is a variant of Twila.
  • Tyrian (pronounced TEE-ree-uhn) is part of “Tyrian purple” — the name of the expensive purple dye used during ancient times that I mentioned earlier. The source of the dye was a type of sea snail found in the Mediterranean, near the city of Tyre (now part of Lebanon). The city name can be traced back to the Hebrew word tsor, meaning “rock,” as the settlement was originally built upon a rocky formation.
twilight
  • Verbena flowers are sometimes purple. The genus name Verbena is derived from the Latin word verbena, which referred to the leaves, twigs, and branches of specific plants (like laurel, olive, and myrtle) that were used during religious ceremonies.
  • Vernonia flowers are typically purple. The genus Vernonia was named in honor of English botanist William Vernon.
  • Viola is based on the Latin word viola, meaning “violet.” In fact, the genus Viola includes many (though not all) violet flowers.
    • Ibolya is a Hungarian form of Viola.
    • Violia is an elaboration of Viola.
    • Violanda is another elaboration of Viola.
    • Viorica is a Romanian form of Viola.
  • Violett is a variant of Violet.
  • Violetta is an Italian and Hungarian form of Violet.
  • Wisteria (pronounced wuh-STEE-ree-uh) flowers are frequently light purple. The genus Wisteria was named in honor of American physician and anatomist Caspar Wistar.
  • Yolanda may have been derived from the medieval European feminine name Violante, which was based on the Latin word viola, “violet.”
    • Yolande is the French form of Yolanda.
    • Jolanda is the Dutch form of Yolanda.
    • Iolanda is the Portuguese and Italian form of Yolanda.
    • Iolanthe may be a variant of Yolanda influenced by the name Ianthe.
  • Yukari is a Japanese feminine name that can mean “purple,” depending upon the kanji being used to write the name.
    • Yukariko is a Japanese name that can include the element Yukari.
  • Zi (third tone) is a Chinese name that can mean “purple,” depending upon the character being used to write the name.
    • Ziming is a Chinese name that can include the element Zi.
    • Ziyang is another Chinese name that can include the element Zi.
  • Zinnia flowers are sometimes purple. The genus Zinnia was named in honor of German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn.

Can you think of any other names that have a connection to the color purple?

Sources:

First, second, and last images by congerdesign from Pixabay, Hans from Pixabay, and Chapman Chow from Unsplash

Name quotes #106: Amitabh, Chapel, Kit

double quotation mark

Ready for another batch of name quotes? Here we go!

From a 2012 interview with Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington, who didn’t learn that his real name was Christopher until he was 11:

It was very strange, I went to school, and I remember that you had to do these tests to find out what set you’re in — how clever you are. I put down “Kit Harington,” and they looked at me like I was completely stupid, and they said, “No, you’re Christopher Harington, I’m afraid.” It was only then I learnt my actual name. That was kind of a bizarre existential crisis for an 11-year-old to have, but in the end I always stuck with Kit, because I felt that’s who I was. I’m not really a “Chris.”

From the article “What your name says about your age” (2016) in The Hindu:

Movie stars seem to have an impact on naming conventions too. The median [age of women named] Raveena, Karishma, Twinkle and Kajol are between 20 and 23 today, which, given the two movie stars’ debuts in the early 90s, makes sense. The median Aishwarya is 21, which is roughly how many years ago Ms. Rai Bachchan won the Miss World title.

Among men, there has been a sharp rise in the popularity of Shahrukh and Sachin, both peaks coinciding with their debuts on film screens and the cricket field respectively. Amitabh is declining in popularity after hitting a peak among those who were born in the mid 70s.

From the RTÉ article “What Irish children’s names reveal about us” (2022) by Dr. Dylan Connor :

In a recent study, we turned name analytics toward one of Ireland’s big historical questions: why were the Irish so reluctant to follow couples elsewhere in reducing the size of their families?

[…]

We found something surprising. Many of our prior expectations were confirmed: professionals had fewer children than laborers, families were smaller in cities, and Catholics had more children than Protestants. The single strongest indicator that a couple had a large family, however, was whether or not they picked traditional and common names for their children. When parents chose names like Patrick, Mary and John, they typically had more children. Parents with fewer children relied more on uncommon names like Eric, Sam, Hazel and Irene. Irrespective of religion, naming was linked to family size and the pattern even held for the Irish in America.

Irish couples were particularly likely to buck trends as they were exposed to cities. Urban couples were not only the first to sharply curtail childbearing, but were also more likely to experiment with new and unusual names. This was a sharp departure from large rural Irish families, where successive generations were named after parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Actor Josh Brolin’s explanation of his daughter’s name, Chapel Grace (b. 2020):

Everywhere we have traveled the one place Kathryn and I always found a great solace in were chapels. Not being particularly religious, but a God feeling heavily inundating our lives, chapels have always been the sanctuaries where we felt most connectedly free to give thanks. Chapel Grace is, to us, a manifestation of that celestial feeling that was always felt as we meandered and knelt.

Finally, two unrelated quotes from a 2008 Mental Floss article about undesirable names. Here’s the first:

In June 2001, a total solar eclipse was about to cross southern Africa. To prepare, the Zimbabwean and Zambian media began a massive astronomy education campaign focused on warning people not to stare at the Sun. Apparently, the campaign worked. The locals took a real liking to the vocabulary, and today, the birth registries are filled with names like Eclipse Glasses Banda, Totality Zhou, and Annular Mchombo.

And here’s the second:

When Napoleon seized the Netherlands in 1810, he demanded that all Dutchmen take last names, just as the French had done decades prior. Problem was, the Dutch had lived full and happy lives with single names, so they took absurd surnames in a show of spirited defiance. These included Naaktgeboren (born naked), Spring int Veld (jump in the field), and Piest (pisses). Sadly for their descendants, Napoleon’s last-name trend stuck, and all of these remain perfectly normal Dutch names today.

How did “The Real World” influence baby names?

“This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a loft…and have their lives taped…”

Several months ago, the cast of the inaugural season of MTV’s The Real World held a 6-day reunion in the very same NYC loft they shared back in 1992. The reunion — which was filmed, of course — is now airing as a series on the Paramount+ platform. (Here’s the trailer.)

When I was a teenager, I loved watching The Real World. (And I appreciated that the names of the cast members were always prominently displayed in the opening credits!) So I think now would be a great time to go back and see if any Real World cast member names had an influence on U.S. baby names.

First, let’s start with a comprehensive list of all the cast member names from each of RW‘s 33 (!) seasons…

  1. The Real World: New York (1992): Andre, Becky, Eric, Heather, Julie, Kevin, Norman
  2. The Real World: California (1993): Aaron, Beth (x2), David, Dominic, Glen, Irene, Jon, Tami
  3. The Real World: San Francisco (1994): Cory, Jo, Judd, Mohammed, Pam, Pedro, Puck, Rachel
  4. The Real World: London (1995): Jacinda, Jay, Kat, Lars, Mike, Neil, Sharon
  5. The Real World: Miami (1996): Cynthia, Dan, Flora, Joe, Melissa, Mike, Sarah
  6. The Real World: Boston (1997): Elka, Genesis, Jason, Kameelah, Montana, Sean, Syrus
  7. The Real World: Seattle (1998): David, Irene, Janet, Lindsay, Nathan, Rebecca, Stephen
  8. The Real World: Hawaii (1999): Amaya, Colin, Justin, Kaia, Matt, Ruthie, Teck
  9. The Real World: New Orleans (2000): Danny, David, Jamie, Julie, Kelley, Matt, Melissa
  10. The Real World: Back to New York (2001): Coral, Kevin, Lori, Malik, Mike, Nicole, Rachel
  11. The Real World: Chicago (2002): Aneesa, Cara, Chris, Keri, Kyle, Theo, Tonya
  12. The Real World: Las Vegas (2002-2003): Alton, Arissa, Brynn, Frank, Irulan, Steven, Trishelle
  13. The Real World: Paris (2003): Ace, Adam, Chris, Christina, Leah, Mallory, Simon
  14. The Real World: San Diego (2004): Brad, Cameran, Charlie, Frankie, Jacquese, Jamie, Randy, Robin
  15. The Real World: Philadelphia (2004-2005): Karamo, Landon, Melanie, M.J., Sarah, Shavonda, Willie
  16. The Real World: Austin (2005): Danny, Johanna, Lacey, Melinda, Nehemiah, Rachel, Wes
  17. The Real World: Key West (2006): Janelle, John, Jose, Paula, Svetlana, Tyler, Zach
  18. The Real World: Denver (2006-2007): Alex, Brooke, Colie, Davis, Jenn, Stephen, Tyrie
  19. The Real World: Sydney (2007-2008): Ashli, Cohutta, Dunbar, Isaac, KellyAnne, Parisa, Shauvon, Trisha
  20. The Real World: Hollywood (2008): Brianna, Brittini, Dave, Greg, Joey, Kimberly, Nick, Sarah, Will
  21. The Real World: Brooklyn (2009): Baya, Chet, Devyn, J.D., Katelynn, Ryan, Sarah, Scott
  22. The Real World: Cancun (2009): Ayiiia, Bronne, CJ, Derek, Emilee, Jasmine, Joey, Jonna
  23. The Real World: D.C. (2009-2010): Andrew, Ashley, Callie, Emily, Erika, Josh, Mike, Ty
  24. The Real World: New Orleans (2010): Ashlee, Eric, Jemmye, McKenzie, Preston, Ryan (x2), Sahar
  25. The Real World: Las Vegas (2011): Adam, Dustin, Heather (x2), Leroy, Michael, Nany, Naomi
  26. The Real World: San Diego (2011): Alexandra, Ashley, Frank, Nate, Priscilla, Sam, Zach
  27. The Real World: St. Thomas (2012): Brandon (x2), LaToya, Laura, Marie, Robb, Trey
  28. The Real World: Portland (2013): Anastasia, Averey, Jessica, Johnny, Joi, Jordan, Marlon, Nia
  29. Real World: Ex-Plosion (2014): Arielle, Ashley (x2), Brian, Cory, Hailey, Jamie, Jay, Jenna, Jenny, Lauren, Thomas
  30. Real World: Skeletons (2014-2015): Bruno, Jason, Madison, Nicole, Sylvia, Tony, Violetta
  31. Real World: Go Big or Go Home (2016): CeeJai, Chris, Dean, Dione, Dylan, Jenna, Kailah, Sabrina
  32. Real World Seattle: Bad Blood (2016-2017): Anika, Anna, Jennifer, Jordan, Kassius, Katrina, Kimberly, Mike, Orlana, Peter, Robbie, Theo, Tyara, Will
  33. The Real World: Atlanta (2019): Arely, Clint, Dondre, Justin, Meagan, Tovah, Yasmin

The names in boldface line up with a discernible increase in baby name usage. (Other Real World names may have affected baby names as well, but it can be hard to tell when, say, a name is already common, or already on the rise.)

Here are details on all the boldfaced names, plus two more influential RW names (from seasons 6 and 18) that didn’t even belong to primary cast members.

  • The name Jacinda (from season 4; 1995) saw peak usage in 1996.
  • The name Flora (5; 1996) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Kameelah (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Syrus (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Jason (6; 1997) was probably not affected, but the name of Jason’s girlfriend, Timber, saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Amaya (8; 1999) saw sharply increased usage in 1999 and 2000.
  • The name Kaia (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Ruthie (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Aneesa (11; 2002) saw peak usage in 2002.
  • The name Arissa (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2003.
  • The name Brynn (12; 2002-3) saw sharply increased usage in 2003.
  • The name Irulan (12; 2002-3) debuted in the data in 2003.
    • It looks like she was named after the fictional character Princess Irulan from Frank Herbert’s Dune books…?
  • The name Trishelle (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Mallory (13; 2003) saw increased usage in 2003 and 2004.
  • The name Cameran (14; 2004) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Jacquese (14; 2004) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Johanna (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005.
  • The name Nehemiah (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005 and 2006.
  • The name Janelle (17; 2006) saw increased usage in 2006.
  • The name Svetlana (17; 2006) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Colie (18; 2006-7) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Tyrie (18; 2006-7) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name of Tyrie’s girlfriend, Jazalle, debuted in 2007 and is a one-hit wonder so far.
  • The name Kellyanne (19; 2007-8) returned to the data in 2008.
  • The name Baya (21; 2009) saw sharply increased usage in 2009. In fact, Baya was one of the fastest-rising baby names of 2009.
  • The name Averey (28; 2013) saw peak usage in 2013.
  • The name Kassius (32; 2016-17) saw increased usage in 2017.

Of all the names above, which one(s) do you like most?

And, for all the Real World fans out there: which season(s) do you like most? :)

Source: The Real World (TV series) – Wikipedia