How popular is the baby name Ferdinand 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 Ferdinand.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ferdinand


Posts that Mention the Name Ferdinand

Popular baby names in Providence, RI, 1868

19th-century Providence, Rhode Island
19th-century Providence

Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.

Let’s start with some stats:

  • 1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
  • 1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
  • 284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.

And now, on to the names!

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:

Top baby girl namesTop baby boy names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Sarah
4. Ellen
5. Margaret
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

All Girl Names

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 39
  3. Sarah, 38
  4. Ellen, 31
  5. Margaret, 28
  6. Elizabeth, 25
  7. Alice, 24
  8. Anna, 20
  9. Ann, 16
  10. Emma, 14
  11. Eliza, 13
  12. Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
  13. Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
  14. Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
  15. Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
  17. Anne, Carrie, Hattie, Ida, Mabel & Nellie, 6 each (6-way tie)
  18. Eva, Joanna, Lydia & Rosanna, 5 each (4-way tie)
  19. Abby, Charlotte, Emily, Jessie, Josephine, Lillian, Lizzie, Louisa, Louise, Marion, Phebe, Rosella & Theresa, 4 each (13-way tie)
  20. Anastasia, Bertha, Edith, Gertrude, Isabella, Nettie, Pearl, Rebecca & Susanna, 3 each (9-way tie)
  21. Ada, Almira, Edna, Fannie, Flora, Frances, Helen, Henrietta, Inez, Laura, Lelia, Lillie, Lottie, Maud, Priscilla & Virginia, 2 each (16-way tie)
  22. Addie, Adelaide, Adelicia, Adeline, Agatha, Allene, Amanda, Amy, Angelica, Antoinette, Arabella, Augusta, Aurelia, B.*, Belle, Bessie, Betsey, Catharine, Celia, Claudia, Della, Eleanor, Eleanora, Estella, Estelle, Esther, Eudavelia, Eulalie, Evelyn, Francenia, Genevieve, Georgia, Honora, Imogene, Jesse, Juliette, Kate, Leonora, Lilla, Lillias, Lorena, Luella, Luetta, Magdalena, Marian, Marietta, Matilda, Mercy, Minerva, Miriam, Myra, Myrtis, Nanoan, Nora, Pauline, Reberta, Rhoda, Roberta, Rosa, Rose, Ruth, Sabrina, Sophia, Stella & Winifred, 1 each (65-way tie)

*What do you think the “B.” might have stood for?

All Boy Names

  1. John, 112 baby boys
  2. William, 68
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 52
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 37
  7. Frederick, 25
  8. Henry, 23
  9. Joseph, 22
  10. Edward, 19
  11. Daniel & Patrick, 18 each (tie)
  12. Robert, 17
  13. Frank, 16
  14. Francis, 15
  15. Walter, 13
  16. Michael, 11
  17. Albert, 10
  18. Arthur, 9
  19. Benjamin, Peter & Samuel, 7 each (3-way tie)
  20. Freddie, Harry, Herbert & Stephen, 6 each (4-way tie)
  21. Edwin, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin & Timothy, 5 each (5-way tie)
  22. Bernard, Edmund, Eugene, Louis, Philip & Richard, 4 each (6-way tie)
  23. Alfred, Augustus, Christopher, Eben, Horace, Howard, Hugh, Jeremiah, Matthew & Willard, 3 each (10-way tie)
  24. Abel, Barney, Byron, Dennis, Edgar, Ferdinand, Gilbert, Luke, Max, Nathaniel, Owen, Roger, Solomon & Victor, 2 each (14-way tie)
  25. Alden, Alexis, Allen, Alrick, Amos, Andrew, Ansel, Anson, Archibald, Asa, Ashby, Bartholomew, Calvin, Carlos, Clarence, Clark, Clarke, Clement, Clifford, Collyer, Crolander, Darius, David, Earl, Elisha, Ellis, Eri, Ernest, Erwin, Eusebe, Everett, Felix, Forrest, Foster, Franklin, Fred, Gardner, Jacob, Jason, Jerome, Jireh, Joaneto, Josiah, Jubal, Justin, Lawson, Lodovic, Louis, Lucien, Lyman, Major, Malachi, Manuel, Melbourne, Monroe, Morey, Morris, Myron, Nelson, Nicholas, Olney, Orville, Oscar, Pendleton, Ralph, Reuben, Rolfe, Rowland, Rufus, Simeon, Simon, Steven, Stewart, Theodore, Ulysses*, Volney, Warren, Whiting, Willie & Winchester, 1 each (80-way tie)

*Ulysses was likely named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, who was elected president in 1868.

Twins

Finally, nineteen sets of twins were born in Providence in 1868. (All of these twin names are accounted for in the rankings above.)

Girl-girl twinsGirl-boy twinsBoy-boy twins
Caroline & Harriet
Lucy & Lydia
Mary & Rosanna
Margaret & Mary
Lizzie & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Anne & Thomas
Emma & Charles
Florence & William
Hannah & Josiah
Ida & John
Isabella & John
Jennie & Horace
Charles & William
Francis & Robert
George & John
James & John
James & Stephen
(blank) & (blank)

Have any thoughts about these rankings, or any of the specific names above?

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of the Names of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence. Number three. Providence: Millard & Harker, 1870.

How did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar influence baby names?

sports, baby name, 1970s, kareem, unseld, basketball
Kareem & Wes Unseld

Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played with the Milwaukee Bucks from 1969 to 1974 and with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1975 to 1989. And, like player Hakeem Olajuwon, he underwent a name change during his career.

Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor, Jr., in New York City in 1947. Twenty years later he was a standout player on the UCLA varsity basketball team (1967-1969). During this time period, the name Alcindor started appearing in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1970: 9 baby boys named Alcindor
  • 1969: 7 baby boys named Alcindor
  • 1968: 7 baby boys named Alcindor [debut]
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted

It stuck around for four consecutive years, and might have stuck around even longer had Lew not changed his name upon converting to Islam in 1971.

In an essay about his conversion, he mentioned that “Alcindor was a French planter in the West Indies who owned my ancestors. […] Keeping the name of my family’s slave master seemed somehow to dishonor them.” So he “became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (meaning “the noble one, servant of the Almighty”).”

His name change had an immediate effect upon U.S. boy names:

YearKareemAbdulJabbarKareen
1974324812748
1973243852930
19723789877*36**
19714449..
19701243..

*Overall debut
**Gender-specific debut

In 1972, the usage of all three names — Kareem, Abdul, and Jabbar — increased. In fact, Jabbar was the top debut name of the year in 1972. The name Jabarr also popped up that year. Jabar, the best-guess phonetic version, arrived a year early.

Kareen, which had been charting a girl name, debuted impressively as boy name in ’72. And, in a nice show of symmetry, boy name Kareem debuted as a girl name the same year.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for twenty years, but it wasn’t until decades later, in the 2010s, that the tribute name Abduljabbar finally emerged in the data.

Source: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Wikipedia

P.S. Ahmad Rashad, father of Condola, is another public figure who adopted an Muslim name in the early ’70s.

Popular and unique baby names in Scotland, 2019

scotland

According to National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Olivia and Jack.

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

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 394 baby girls
  2. Emily, 388
  3. Isla, 364
  4. Sophie, 308
  5. Ella, 284
  6. Ava, 278
  7. Amelia, 275
  8. Grace, 272
  9. Freya, 260
  10. Charlotte, 243

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 449 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 359
  3. James, 345
  4. Charlie, 306
  5. Harris, 304
  6. Lewis, 280
  7. Leo, 278
  8. Noah, 272
  9. Alfie, 261
  10. Rory, 258

In girls’ top 10, Freya and Charlotte replaced Jessica (now 11th) and Aria (now 15th).

In the boys’ top 10, Charlie and Alfie replaced Alexander (now 11th) and Logan (now 13th). Charlie’s rise was significant; it shot up to 4th from 13th the year before.

The NRS press release mentioned that the popular British crime drama Peaky Blinders has given a boost to the baby names Cillian, Polly and Chester. (Polly and Chester are characters in the show; Cillian refers to star Cillian Murphy.) It also noted that Ezra has become more popular thanks to English singer/songwriter George Ezra.

Of the nearly 50,000 babies born in Scotland last year, more than 5,000 — over 10% — were given a one-of-a-kind first name. Here are some of the names bestowed just once in Scotland in 2019:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Alba-Nova, Argyle, Bramble, Calanais, Delphi, Endian, Evie-Peaches, Fritha, Gnoveriti, Grey, Harper-Lee, Isla-Dee, Janiba, Kavinila, Lumi, Mazikeen, Moksha, Nirbhana, Ooliana, Pichapak, Qaria, Quaintrelle, Roux, Salvina-Liza, Sanziana, Tefta, Thistle, Uendjipa, Vaticana, Wish, Xiorra, Yaldz, ZografiaAzmi, Bobby-Dylan, Coen-Knox, Dicaprio, Enxu, Ferdinand, Gurzack, Hanzala, Harbury, Iyvhn, Jonjo, Karamo, Leicester, Malachite, Milanox, Neo-Nova, Oroghene, Otter, Phenomenal, Qusai, Roag, Scirocco, Skandan, Swift, Theodore-Bear, Torcuil, Toviel, Udhay, Valdis, Wurrd, Xubin, Yug, Zalvadorro

And here are possible explanations/associations for some of the above:

  • Bobby-Dylan, American singer Bob Dylan
  • Calanais, a Scottish village and/or the standing stones nearby
  • Dicaprio, American actor Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Harper-Lee, American writer Harper Lee
  • Karamo, American TV personality Karamo Brown
  • Leicester, an English city and (more importantly) a professional soccer team
  • Malachite, a banded green stone
  • Mazikeen, a character from the TV show Lucifer
  • Moksha, the Hindu/Buddish cycle of rebirth (it was on the Baby Names from the East list)
  • Nirbhana, apparently a Gaelic-influenced Nirvana (another name from the East)
  • Quaintrelle, “a woman who is focused on style and leisurely pastimes”
  • Roag, a Scottish hamlet on the Isle of Skye
  • Sanziana, a Romanian word for either fairies or flowers
  • Scirocco, a Mediterranean wind and (more importantly) a car made by Volkswagen
  • Theodore-Bear, apparently an elongated form of “teddy bear”
  • Thistle, the national flower of Scotland (thank you to Clare for reminding me!)

In 2018, the top two names were the same.

Sources: Full list of names for 2019, Babies’ First Names, Quaintrelle – Wiktionary

Baby Names in the News: Tia, Gylfi, Bulbuli

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names (plus a funny name-change) collected from various news sites…

Bulbuli: Two baby girls born in Bangladesh during Cyclone Bulbul (Nov. 2019) were named Bulbuli after the storm. (Daily Star)

Dorian: A baby boy born in Florida during Hurricane Dorian (Sept. 2019) was named Tadashi Dorian, middle name to commemorate the storm. (CNN)

Evalina: A baby girl born with “a rare combination of life-threatening heart defects” at Evelina London Children’s Hospital in 2017 was named Evalina [sic] in honor of the care she received from hospital staff. (Mirror)

  • “The original Evelina Hospital for Sick Children opened in 1869 on Southwark Bridge Road, London. Funded by Austrian Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, it was built in memory of his wife, Evelina. Evelina had died three years earlier along with their son who was premature.” (NHS)

Gylfi: A baby boy born in Indonesia in November of 2017 was named Gylfi after Icelandic soccer player Gylfi Sigurðsson, who plays for Everton FC. (TWNews)

Kentut: In April of 2018, a 31-year-old Indonesian man legally changed his name from the single word Kentut (which means “fart”) to Ihsan Hadi. (BBC)

KVIIIlyn: A baby girl born in Queensland, Australia, circa 2016 was named KVIIIlyn — Kaitlyn, with the Roman numeral VIII (eight) in place of the “ait.” (Metro)

Malaysia: At least 74 people born in Malaysia have been named Malaysia, the earliest in 1962, “before Malaysia was officially formed,” and the most recent in 2017. (The Star)

Sambo: A baby boy born in Korea in November of 2019 — at the time of the Sambo world championships, to a father teaches martial arts — was named Sambo. (FIAS)

Sky: A baby girl born in an airport in North Carolina in November of 2019 — during what was supposed to have been a 20-minute layover between two legs of a flight from Florida to Pennsylvania — was named Sky. (WFLA; Travel+Leisure)

Tessa: A baby girl born in England in July of 2019 to Ella Mills (of Deliciously Ella) was named Skye Tessa Camilla, first middle name in honor of Ella’s late mother-in-law, Tessa Jowell. (Evening Standard)

Tia: A baby girl born in Norway in July of 2019 to Liverpool FC supporters was named Tia Louise — TIA being the acronym for “This is Anfield.” (Echo)

  • Tia’s older sister, born in early 2018, was named Ynwa Sofie — YNWA being the acronym for “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” (Echo)
  • The first Ynwa I discovered, also born in Norway, pronounces her name “yee-nwa.” The second pronounces her name “unn-wah.”

What gave the baby name Ileana a boost in 1926?

Princess Ileana (1909-1991)
Princess Ileana

About ninety years ago, the baby name Ileana saw a sudden spike in usage:

  • 1928: 8 baby girls named Ileana
  • 1927: 31 baby girls named Ileana
  • 1926: 44 baby girls named Ileana
  • 1925: 6 baby girls named Ileana
  • 1924: 6 baby girls named Ileana

In fact, Ileana was the fastest-rising baby name of 1926.

What drew attention to the name that year?

Princess Ileana of Romania, the youngest surviving child in the Romanian royal family.

Toward the end of 1926, 17-year-old princess Ileana (pronounced ee-LYA-nah, roughly) accompanied her mother, Queen Marie, and one of her brothers, Nicolae, on a tour of the United States (and Canada). The three of them were fixtures in the U.S. news for a number of weeks.

Prince Nicholas, Princess Ileana and Queen Marie in October of 1926
The Romanian royals upon arrival in the USA (Oct. 1926)

They left France on the night of October 12 aboard the SS Leviathan. En route to America, Princess Ileana, “brimful of enthusiasm,” told reporters that “she was looking forward to the purchase of an American automobile, having learned to drive before leaving Bucharest.”

They were greeted with a ticker tape parade upon their arrival in New York on October 18. The next day, they dined with President Coolidge at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Soon after, the royals and their entourage began a transcontinental journey aboard a luxury train (the Royal Roumanian) that was described as a “traveling palace.”

The train will follow closely the trail of Lewis and Clark on their 1803-06 historic expedition of the Northwest through the Red River Valley, through the Yellowstone Valley, will cross the American Rockies into the Inland Empire, to Spokane and to the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains.

Along the way, they hit a slew of cities — usually just briefly. Americans followed their every move, day by day, via the newspapers.

Their many stops included:

  • Niagara Falls on Oct. 26
  • North Dakota (where they watched a rodeo) on Nov. 1
  • Washington state (where they toured a lumber camp) on Nov. 4
  • Colorado (where they visited Buffalo Bill’s grave) on Nov. 10
  • Indiana (where they toured a steel mill) on Nov. 16

The media focused on the queen, of course, but Ileana and Nicolae were mentioned in nearly every article as well. (Though Ileana did become the primary focus on November 17 — the day she got into a minor car accident in Grant Park, Illinois.)

The royals had planned to visit several southern states as well, but Queen Marie decided to cut the trip short in mid-November upon hearing that the health of her husband, King Ferdinand, was failing. So they sailed out of New York and back to Europe at the earliest opportunity (aboard the RMS Berengaria on November 24).

The Romanian name Ileana is thought to be a variant of Elena/Helena. Incidentally, the most famous Romanian Ileana isn’t the princess, but the mythological figure Ileana Cosânzeana.

What are your thoughts on the name Ileana? Do you like it?

Sources:

Image: Photograph in San Pedro Daily News 1 Nov. 1926: 3.