How popular is the baby name Guido in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Guido.

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Popularity of the baby name Guido

Posts that mention the name Guido

Where did the baby name Caesare come from in 1981?

The character Caesare from the movie "The Idolmaker" (1980)
Caesare from “The Idolmaker”

The rare name Caesare first appeared in the U.S. baby name data — for both genders, notably — in 1981:

  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: 27 baby boys and 5 baby girls named Caesare
  • 1981: 6 baby boys and 5 baby girls named Caesare [dual-gender debut]
  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: unlisted

The following year, Caesare reached its highest-ever usage. Also in 1982, we see an increase in the number of baby boys with similar names:


(Chezarae and Chazaray were both one-hit wonders.)

What was influencing all of these names?

A movie called The Idolmaker, which was released in November of 1980.

The main character, Vincent Vacarri (played by Ray Sharkey), worked as a talent manager in New York City in the late 1950s. (The character was based on real-life Philadelphia talent manager Bob Marcucci, who discovered and developed both Frankie Avalon and Fabian.)

One of Vinnie’s protégés was teenage busboy Guido (played by Peter Gallagher), who had no discernible talent. Vinnie renamed Guido “Caesare” (pronounced CHEZ-uh-ray, similar to the English pronunciation of Désirée) and got to work transforming him into a star.

Caesare became “an unwilling Trilby to Vinnie’s Svengali,” according to one reviewer.

The name Caesare in lights, from the movie "The Idolmaker" (1980)
“Caesare” in lights

The name Caesare — which was occasionally shortened to “Chez” in the movie — is a spelling variant of the name Cesare, the Italian form of Caesar.

What are your thoughts on the name Caesare? (How would you spell it?)

P.S. Other dual-gender debuts include Chaffee, Dasani, Dondi, Illya, Khaalis, Rikishi, Shilo, Sundown, and Tavares.


Images: Screenshots of The Idolmaker

Babies named Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes mask

Did you know that November 5 is Guy Fawkes Night in Great Britain?

The holiday commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, an attempt by a group of English Catholics to assassinate England’s King James I. (Guy Fawkes wasn’t the leader of the group, but he had military experience, so he was in charge of setting up the explosives.)

The would-be mass murderers planned to blow up the new King James I and his entire parliament in assembly at the Palace of Westminster on 5 November. They dug a tunnel from a nearby rented house, piled up enough gunpowder beneath the palace to send it into the sky in flames, but when Fawkes was caught down there with the barrels and kindling, the failed assassin went down in popular memory as a demon to be ritually burned by Protestant crowds on smoky Autumn evenings.

Sounds like Guy was rather disliked, right? (Well, at least until the movie V for Vendetta came along and turned Fawkes-the-demon into “an icon of dissidence and defiance.”)

Despite this, a handful of parents named their babies after Guy Fawkes. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they were making a statement (i.e., they disliked the royals, or the government, or Protestants). Maybe their sons were born on November 5 (though none of the birth dates I found matched up). Maybe they were simply familiar with the name and liked it.

Most of the babies named Guy Fawkes were born in England, but I found several in the U.S. as well.

One example: Guy Fawkes Petch, born in Surrey, England, circa 1888. According to the London Gazette, he was working for the Post Office in 1913:

Man Named Guy Fawkes Petch

Another example: Guy Fawkes Matheny, born in Oregon. He was youngest son of Jasper Newton Matheny (1834-1893), one of the founders of Spokane, Washington.

On April 10, 1870, a son, Guy Fawkes Matheny, was born, thirteen years younger than his elder brother Lee. Guy was sometimes called Guido, as had been the famous English conspirator Guy Fawkes, for whom he apparently was named.

Where does the name Guy come from? It’s a Norman French version of the Germanic name Wido, which was based on either widu, “wood,” or wid, “wide.” In England, the name “was common until the time of Guy Fawkes,” then “revived in the 19th century.”

P.S. We have Guy Fawkes to thank for the word “guy.”


Image: Day 309 – NoVember The Fifth by Simon James under CC BY-SA 2.0.