How popular is the baby name Erin 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 Erin.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Erin


Posts that Mention the Name Erin

Name Quotes #98: Judith, Xochitl, Rajaonina

From an article about famous people reclaiming their names in The Guardian:

Earlier this year, the BBC presenter formerly known as Ben Bland changed his surname to Boulos to celebrate his maternal Sudanese-Egyptian heritage.

[…]

The Bland name had masked important aspects of his identity that he had downplayed as a child, not wanting to be seen as in any way “different”, including his Coptic faith, Boulos said. “Every name tells a story – and I want mine to give a more complete picture of who I am.”

Boulos’s grandparents, who came to Britain in the 1920s, had chosen the surname Bland because they feared using the Jewish-Germanic family name “Blumenthal”. “They decided on the blandest name possible — literally — to ensure their survival,” he wrote.

(Two more quotes on name-reclaiming were in last month’s quote post.)

Actress Camila Mendes [vid] talking about her name on The Late Late Show With James Corden in 2017:

So my name is Camila Mendes, and there’s a singer called Camila Cabello, and a singer called Shawn Mendes. And people seem to think my Twitter is a fan account for that relationship.

From the book I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (2015) by Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo:

Babies were baptized with new and strange names, particularly in the 1920s, names taken from the titles of various socialist experiments (for instance, in Tabasco with Garrido Canaval, who established socialist baptisms), and as a result of the emergence of the radio and the indigenist turn of the city’s language. Masiosare became a boy’s name (derived from a stanza of the national anthem: “Mas si osare un extraño enemigo…”), but also Alcazelser (after the popularity of Alka-Seltzer), Xochitl, Tenoch, Cuauhtémoc, Tonatihu (the biblically named Lázaro Cárdenas named his son Cuauhtémoc).

From a Good Morning America article about ’90s sitcom Saved by the Bell:

The names of characters came from people [executive producer Peter] Engel knew growing up.

“I knew a guy named Screech Washington. He was a producer. I said I’m not going to hire him, but I’m going to steal your name,” he said. “Slater was a kid who was in my son’s kindergarten class, Zack was named after my dear, dear friend, John DeLorean. […] His son’s name was Zack. Lisa Turtle was a girl I knew and Mr. Belding, Richard Belding, had been my cranky editor when I worked at Universal.”

From the book Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood (2004) by Robert S. Birchard:

DeMille interviewed Gloria Stuart for the part of the high school girl [in This Day and Age], Gay Merrick, and said she was “extremely enthusiastic,” and he also considered Paramount contract player Grace Bradley, but ultimately he selected a former model who called herself Mari Colman. In April 1933 Colman won a Paramount screen test in a New York beauty competition, and DeMille was apparently delighted by the innocent image she projected.

In a comic sequence in David O. Selznick’s 1937 production of A Star Is Born, the studio’s latest discovery, Esther Blodgett, is given a new name more in keeping with her status as a movie starlet. As This Day and Age was getting ready to roll, Mari Colman was subjected to the same treatment as DeMille and Paramount tested long lists of potential screen names. Among the suggestions were Betty Barnes, Doris Bruce, Alice Harper, Grace Gardner, Chloris Deane, and Marie Blaire. Colman herself suggested Pamela Drake or Erin Drake. On May 15, Jack Cooper wrote DeMille that he had tried several names on seventeen people. Eleven voted for the name Doris Manning; the other six held out for Doris Drake. Somehow, the name ultimately bestowed upon her was Judith Allen. DeMille and Paramount had high hopes for Allen, and she was even seen around town in the company of Gary Cooper, one of the studio’s biggest stars.

From an academic paper by Denis Regnier called “Naming and name changing in postcolonial Madagascar” (2016):

Nowadays, most names borne by individuals in Madagascar are a particular mix of foreign names (mainly Christian, French, or British but sometimes Muslim) and Malagasy names. This is because the spread of the Christian faith in the nineteenth century resulted in people increasingly giving names from the Bible to their children. These biblical names were often modified to follow the phonological and morphological rules of the Malagasy language (e.g., John becomes Jaonina or Jaona), and often the honorific particle Ra-, the word andriana (lord), or both were added to them (e.g., Rajaonina and Randrianarijaona). While at the beginning of Christian evangelization most people still had, in traditional Malagasy fashion, only one name, progressively the most common structure of names became “binomial,” as Gueunier calls it (Gueunier 2012, 197). In this case, a Christian name (or other foreign name) is often juxtaposed to a Malagasy name, although sometimes both names are of Malagasy origin or, more rarely, both names are foreign.

And let’s end with a related quote about Madagascar’s very long names:

Names were reduced in length when French colonization began in 1896 — the shortest names today include Rakotoarisoa, Rakotonirina, Andrianjafy or Andrianirina, and tend to have around 12 characters minimum.

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (E)

The SS Earl Dalhausie

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with E-names…

  • Earl Dalhousie:
    • Lydia Dalhousie Woodhard, born in 1873
    • Sydney Dalhousie Smith, born in 1873
    • Ellen Dalhousie Gare, born in 1874
    • Selina Dalhousie Baker, born in 1875
    • Emily Dalhousie Hunter, born in 1875
    • Francis Louisa Dalhousie Reed, born in 1878
    • Percy Dalhousie Wiltshire, born in 1878
    • Matilda Dalhousie Cormie, born in 1879
  • Earl Derby:
    • William Earl Derby Rimmington, born in 1879
  • Earl Granville:
    • Granville Campbell Speed, born in 1879
    • William John Granville Cathrope, born in 1880
    • Granville Williams, born in 1881
    • John Granville Tymms, born in 1883
    • John Granville Richards, born in 1883
    • John Granville Flint, born in 1883
  • Earl of Zetland:
    • Helen Zetland Clark, born in 1875
    • John Whiting Zetland Hamilton, born in 1875
  • Earl Percy:
    • Florence Percy Jarrold, born in 1876
  • Edinburgh:
    • Elizabeth Edinburgh Cockayne, born in 1875
    • Edith Edinburgh Marriott, born in 1875
  • Edward Oliver:
    • Edward Neptune White, born in 1858
  • Elderslie:
    • Josephine Elderslie McGrath, born in 1887
  • Ellen Stuart:
    • John Calvert Stuart Defries, born in 1870
  • Elliot:
    • James Lyle Elliot Mackay, born in 1879
  • Ellora:
    • Mary Ellora McEwan, born in 1879
    • Ellora Mary Little, born in 1883
  • Elysia:
    • Catello Elisio Martingano, born in 1886
  • Erin:
    • Erine Andersen, born in 1881
  • Essex:
    • John Essex McQueen, born in 1863
    • Charlotte Essex Mead, born in 1863
    • Henry Essex Hamilton, born in 1863
    • Helen Essex Percy, born in 1863
    • Sarah Essex Mulholland, born in 1869
    • Wilhelmina Essex, born in 1870
    • Alfred Essex Jackson, born in 1874
  • Ethiopia:
    • Ethiopia M. Prokop, born in 1880
    • Ethiopia Murray Drabeck, born in 1883
  • Etna:
    • Margaret Etna Hugg, born in 1865
  • Euterpe:
    • Minnie McGahey Euterpe Pearson, born in 1874
    • Selina Euterpe Robinson, born in 1874

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Popular Baby Names in Ireland, 2019

According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were — yet again! — Emily and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Emily, 452 baby girls
  2. Grace, 426
  3. Fiadh, 334
  4. Sophie, 330
  5. Hannah, 321
  6. Amelia, 315
  7. Ava, 313 (tie)
  8. Ellie, 313 (tie)
  9. Ella, 292
  10. Mia, 289

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 677 baby boys
  2. James, 534
  3. Noah, 502
  4. Conor, 427
  5. Daniel, 399
  6. Adam, 345
  7. Liam, 334
  8. Tadhg, 318
  9. Luke, 317
  10. Charlie, 316

Jack has been the top boy name since 2007 (with the exception of 2016) and Emily has been the top girl name since 2011.

In the girls’ top 10, Hannah returned and Emma dropped out.

In the boys’ top 10, Liam and Tadhg (pronounced tyeg, like the first syllable of “tiger”) replaced Harry and Michael.

The fastest-rising names in the top 100 in terms of numbers of babies were:

  • Éabha (+57 baby girls), Caoimhe (+36), Molly (+32), Erin (+31), Sadhbh (+31)
  • Rían (+69 baby boys), Bobby (+50), Senan (+46), Darragh (+38), Tadhg (+38), Theo (+38)

And the fastest-rising in terms of rank were:

  • Alexandra (+25 spots), Heidi (+20), Hollie (+20), Bonnie (+19), Éabha (+19)
  • Odhrán (+41 spots), Odhran (+39), Eli (+37), Kayden (+30), Ruairí (+27)

Source: Irish Babies’ Names 2019 – CSO


What turned Sway into a baby name?

sway, gone in 60 seconds, movie, character
Angelina Jolie as Sara “Sway” Wayland

The word Sway popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2001:

  • 2003: 14 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Sway
  • 2002: 12 baby girls named Sway
  • 2001: 8 baby girls named Sway [debut]
  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted

For a long time I assumed the main influence was MTV personality Sway Calloway. But, while I still think Sway had an influence on male usage, I’ve since discovered a much better explanation for the 2001 debut as a female name.

One of the main characters in the 2000 car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was mechanic-slash-bartender Sara “Sway” Wayland (played by Angelina Jolie). She was the love interest of protagonist Randall “Memphis” Raines (played by Nicolas Cage), who was tasked with stealing 50 specific, expensive cars inside of 72 hours.

The film didn’t get great reviews, but I do remember appreciating the fact that each of the 50 cars was assigned a feminine code-name:

Mary, Barbara, Lindsey, Laura, Alma, Madeline, Patricia, Carol, Daniela, Stefanie, Erin, Pamela, Olga, Anne, Kate, Vanessa, Denise, Diane, Lisa, Nadine, Angelina, Rose, Susan, Tracey, Rachel, Bernadene, Deborah, Stacey, Josephine, Hillary, Kimberley, Renee, Dorothy, Donna, Samantha, Ellen, Gabriela, Shannon, Jessica, Sharon, Tina, Marsha, Natalie, Virginia, Tanya, Grace, Ashley, Cathy, Lynn, Eleanor

So, how do you feel about the name Sway? If you were having a baby girl, would you be more likely to name her something modern, like Sway, or something traditional, like Sara or Susan?

Sources: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia, Talk:Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia

Name Quotes #60: Kelvin, Reese, Nyadak

Benedict Cumberbatch quote

A Benedict Cumberbatch quote from a recent episode [vid] of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

I think England is the only place that makes people named Benedict Cumberbatch.

From an article about a Swedish woman who changed her son’s name because of a botched tattoo:

Local newspaper, Blekinge Läns Tidning, reported that 30-year-old Johanna Giselhäll Sandström had requested a tattoo of her children’s names, Nova and Kevin.

The tattoo artist didn’t ask the woman to check the spelling, which resulted in a tattoo that read: ‘Nova and Kelvin’.

[…]

After discovering the process of removing tattoos isn’t an easy one, Sandström began to realise the name was growing on her, so she opted for a less painful solution to the problem.

“We decided to rename the boy,” she said.

From a Slate essay about unusual Mormon names by Haley Swenson:

By now, I’ve heard all the jokes about Utah names, but what I haven’t heard is a unified theory of just why the Mormon people of Utah are so inclined to create them. I humbly offer two hypotheses.

The first is my historical-cultural theory—that the penchant for invented names among Mormons lies in its very foundation: It goes all the way back to its founder, Joseph Smith, who had to come up with the names of hundreds of figures to populate the faith’s foundational text that he wrote, the Book of Mormon.

[…]

My second theory is more sociological. […] [I]f you’re a Mormon kid in Utah, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. A differently spelled name or a new name altogether might be a reasonable way to firm up a sense of individuality from the first day. Why bring yet another Erin into the world when you can introduce an Aeryn, or better yet, an Aroarin?

From an article about the pregnancy of Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand:

Ardern told More FM she and partner Clarke Gayford had a list of baby names that wasn’t getting any shorter and had no favourites.

Picking a name wasn’t going well, she said.

“It’s one of those things where Clarke is absolutely convinced it will come to us as soon as it arrives.

“I think we’ll be sleep deprived and probably angry at each other so I don’t think that’s the best time to choose.”

From an article about a girl named after Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:

When Renee Cupp became pregnant with her daughter, she toyed around with a few names. For a while, Lily was the front runner, until she and her husband had the idea to name their second child after their favorite chocolate and peanut butter candy. So, eight years ago, the couple printed the name Reese Eve Cupp on their daughter’s birth certificate.

Although the correct pronunciation of the candy is “Rees-IS,” Cupp tells PEOPLE that she has always pronounced it “Rees-EES,” which is a common inflection of the popular chocolate brand, thus the addition of her daughter’s middle initial.

[Little Reese E. Cupp won the company’s $10,000 fan contest a few weeks after this post went up. Not only that, but, “as a tribute to the most outrageous fan’s family, Reese’s will proclaim today [June 14, 2018] ‘Reese E. Cupp Day,’ and even pronounce the product Reese-EE for one day only.”]

From an article about drug naming trends in The Times (via ANS):

[Dr. Pascaline Faure] said that a clear trend was for names ending in “a” associated with femininity, as in “Maria”, or an “o”, which is masculine, as in “Mario”. “This is turning a drug into a sort of mate. It can be a girlfriend, with women’s attributes, or a boyfriend, with male ones,” she said.

From the essay “Why We Didn’t Name Our Son After His Grandfather, a Holocaust Survivor” by Jasmine Smith in Kveller:

I want my son, who is almost 2, to feel the history of his ancestors as something joyful and not heavy. I want him to recognize all the improbable elements that had to align; all the miracles that kept his grandfathers alive through their difficult lives long enough to create the families that would lead to his birth. I hope that, by giving him the gift of an unburdened name, he will be able to create a life that is equally as incredible as his grandfathers’ — a life that is already miraculous just by existing.

From an interview with fashion model Nyadak “Duckie” Thot:

In Melbourne, Australia, where she was born and raised in a culturally traditional Sudanese household with her mom, dad and six siblings, her peers at school couldn’t pronounce her real name, and it got to an unbearable point. […] Of course, neither name was something commonly found amongst Australian citizens. As she explains, both the words “Nyadak” and “Thot” are, in fact, Nuer, a South Sudanese language that’s native to the Nuer tribe. “Oh yeah,” she says wryly after noticing my surprised facial expression. “Many people don’t know I come from a tribe.”