How popular is the baby name Jack 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 Jack.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jack


Posts that Mention the Name Jack

What turned Valiant into a baby name in the 1940s?

The characters Prince Valiant and Aleta (in 1945) from the comic strip "Prince Valiant" (1937-)
Prince Valiant and Aleta (in 1945)

Names like Brave and Warrior have surfaced in the U.S. baby name data over the last couple of decades, but Valiant first appeared way back in the 1940s:

  • 1949: 7 baby boys named Valiant
  • 1948: 5 baby boys named Valiant
  • 1947: 6 baby boys named Valiant [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted

Why?

My best guess is comic strip character Prince Valiant, who’d been familiar to newspaper readers for a decade by 1947.

Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur by Nova Scotian artist Harold “Hal” Foster is an action-adventure comic strip set in sixth-century England.

It is difficult to imagine the impact Foster’s “Prince Valiant” had on 1930s and 1940s popular culture. When “Prince Valiant” began, Superman’s debut in “Action Comics No. 1” was still over a year away. […] “Swipes” of Foster’s art can be found in the origin of Batman and in comics drawn by Jack Kirby, the co-creator of many of today’s movie heroes, including Captain America, the Avengers, the X-Men and Thor.

Other characters from the strip also influenced U.S. baby names.

The earliest example I’ve found is that of the maid Ilene, Prince Valiant’s first love. During 1938, Val fought rival suitor Prince Arn of Ord for her. The same year, the baby name Ilene saw a spike in usage:

  • 1940: 227 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 451st]
  • 1939: 283 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 397th]
  • 1938: 343 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 347th]
  • 1937: 248 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 412th]
  • 1936: 263 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 392nd]

Turns out neither suitor won — Ilene died in a shipwreck — but Arn and Val did end up becoming good friends.

Several years later, Valiant met Aleta, the grey-eyed queen of the Misty Isles. She became a central part of the storyline in the mid-1940s, and the characters finally got married in October of 1946.

As a result, the baby name Aleta saw a steep rise in usage from 1945 to 1947:

  • 1948: 227 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 551st]
  • 1947: 262 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 511th] – peak usage
  • 1946: 171 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 606th]
  • 1945: 102 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 737th]
  • 1944: 38 baby girls named Aleta
Graph of the usage of the baby name Aleta in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Aleta

Val and Aleta went on to welcome five children, 3 boys and 2 girls:

  1. Arn (who was named after Prince Arn of Ord) in 1947
  2. Karen (twin) in 1951
  3. Valeta (twin) in 1951
  4. Galan in 1962
  5. Nathan in 1982

The name Arn debuted in the data in 1949, and the name Valeta saw peak usage in 1952.

Interestingly, the three middle children were all named via contest:

After Val and Aleta’s twin girls were born, King Features held a contest to name them, but Foster reserved the right to select the winning entry. A young girl, Cindy Lou Hermann, sent in the winning names “Karen” and “Valeta” and visited Hal in Connecticut. For Val and Aleta’s fourth child, a boy who would become the king of the Misty Isles, John Hall won the competition with “Galen” after the Greek physician, Claudius Galen.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Valiant? (Would you use it?)

Sources:

Popular baby names in England and Wales (UK), 2021

London, England

Last year, England and Wales welcomed close to 625,000 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Olivia and Noah.

Here are England and Wales’ top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 3,649 baby girls
  2. Amelia, 3,164
  3. Isla, 2,683
  4. Ava, 2,576
  5. Ivy, 2,245
  6. Freya, 2,187
  7. Lily, 2,182
  8. Florence, 2,180
  9. Mia, 2,168
  10. Willow, 2,067
  11. Rosie, 2,028
  12. Sophia, 2,019
  13. Isabella, 2,010
  14. Grace, 1,992
  15. Daisy, 1,873
  16. Sienna, 1,869
  17. Poppy, 1,841
  18. Elsie, 1,840
  19. Emily, 1,797
  20. Ella, 1,756
  21. Evelyn, 1,729
  22. Phoebe, 1,678
  23. Sofia, 1,671
  24. Evie, 1,670
  25. Charlotte, 1,654
  26. Harper, 1,480
  27. Millie, 1,472
  28. Matilda, 1,437
  29. Maya, 1,433
  30. Sophie, 1,375
  31. Alice, 1,359
  32. Emilia, 1,353
  33. Isabelle, 1,304
  34. Ruby, 1,300
  35. Luna, 1,261
  36. Maisie, 1,229
  37. Aria, 1,202
  38. Penelope, 1,194
  39. Mila, 1,133
  40. Bonnie, 1,121
  41. Eva, 1,091
  42. Hallie, 1,070
  43. Eliza, 1,064
  44. Ada, 1,058
  45. Violet, 1,057
  46. Esme, 1,013
  47. Arabella, 1,012
  48. Imogen, 998
  49. Jessica, 997
  50. Delilah, 981

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 4,525 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 4,167
  3. George, 4,141
  4. Arthur, 3,766
  5. Muhammad, 3,722
  6. Leo, 3,465
  7. Harry, 3,089
  8. Oscar, 3,071
  9. Archie, 2,928
  10. Henry, 2,912
  11. Theodore, 2,889
  12. Freddie, 2,873
  13. Jack, 2,847
  14. Charlie, 2,674
  15. Theo, 2,514
  16. Alfie, 2,338
  17. Jacob, 2,319
  18. Thomas, 2,302
  19. Finley, 2,283
  20. Arlo, 2,154
  21. William, 2,093
  22. Lucas, 1,965
  23. Roman, 1,923
  24. Tommy, 1,901
  25. Isaac, 1,888
  26. Teddy, 1,875
  27. Alexander, 1,830
  28. Luca, 1,807
  29. Edward, 1,806
  30. James, 1,772
  31. Joshua, 1,737
  32. Albie, 1,729
  33. Elijah, 1,657
  34. Max, 1,650
  35. Mohammed, 1,619
  36. Reuben, 1,534
  37. Mason, 1,517
  38. Sebastian, 1,516
  39. Rory, 1,483
  40. Jude, 1,482
  41. Louie, 1,461
  42. Benjamin, 1,423
  43. Ethan, 1,398
  44. Adam, 1,367
  45. Hugo, 1,325
  46. Joseph, 1,307
  47. Reggie, 1,287
  48. Ronnie, 1,285
  49. Harrison, 1,254
  50. Louis, 1,240

Two of the names that saw marked increases in usage last year, Luca and Raya, were helped along by the animated films Luca (2021) and Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).

And the name Lilibet re-surfaced in the data (after a seven-year absence) with eight baby girls, no doubt thanks to the royal influence of Prince Harry’s daughter Lilibet, who was born in California in June of 2021.

Map of the nine regions of England
England’s nine regions

Home to nearly 56.5 million people, England is divided into nine regions. The top baby names within each of these regions last year were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
North East
(4.6% of the population)
1. Olivia, 167
2. Rosie, 137
3. Freya, 136
4. Isla, 135
5. Amelia, 129
1. George, 211
2. Oliver, 208
3. Noah, 188
4. Harry, 186
5. Charlie, 166
North West
(13.1% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 460
2. Isla, 373
3. Ava, 347
4. Amelia, 338
5. Ivy, 308
1. Muhammad, 875
2. Noah, 616
3. George, 603
4. Oliver, 584
5. Harry, 508
Yorkshire & the Humber
(9.7% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 298
2. Amelia, 272
3. Ava, 256
4. Isla, 230
5. Ivy, 222
1. Muhammad, 669
2. Noah, 449
3. Oliver, 415
4. George, 402
5. Arthur, 340
East Midlands
(8.7% of pop.)
1. Amelia, 288
2. Olivia, 281
3. Ava, 214
4. Isla, 206
5. Elsie/Mia, 200 (tie)
1. Oliver, 386
2. George, 378
3. Noah, 363
4. Harry, 302
5. Arthur, 298
West Midlands
(10.6% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 356
2. Amelia, 342
3. Isla, 234
4. Freya, 230
5. Ava, 228
1. Muhammad, 667
2. Noah, 447
3. Oliver, 378
4. Arthur, 362
5. George, 352
East
(11.2% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 478
2. Amelia, 371
3. Isla, 337
4. Ava, 323
5. Ivy, 281
1. George, 539
2. Noah, 499
3. Oliver, 497
4. Arthur, 464
5. Leo, 426
London
(15.6% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 459
2. Amelia, 455
3. Mia, 402
4. Sofia, 392
5. Maya, 383
1. Muhammad, 689
2. Noah, 626
3. Leo, 507
4. Adam, 429
5. Alexander, 407
South East
(16.5% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 615
2. Amelia, 546
3. Isla, 465
4. Ava, 454
5. Florence, 447
1. George, 729
2. Arthur, 701
3. Oliver, 693
4. Noah, 651
5. Henry, 609
South West
(10.1% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 360
2. Isla, 287
3. Florence, 277
4. Amelia, 259
5. Willow, 233
1. Arthur, 459
2. Noah, 410
3. George, 400
4. Oliver, 394
5. Oscar, 369

Wales, a separate country within the United Kingdom, is home to more than 3.1 million people. The top 10 names per gender in Wales last year were…

Girl Names (Wales)Boy Names (Wales)
1. Olivia, 173
2. Amelia, 164
3. Isla, 126
4. Freya, 114
5. Ivy 112 (tie)
6. Rosie, 112 (tie)
7. Ava, 110
8. Grace, 109
9. Lily, 107
10. Evie, 106
1. Noah, 275
2. Oliver, 213
3. Arthur, 186
4. Theo, 170
5. Leo, 168
6. Charlie, 156
7. Archie, 154
8. George, 152
9. Jack, 136
10. Oscar, 135

Welsh-origin names in that ranked within Wales’ top 100 included…

  • Girl names: Alys, Ffion, Seren, Eira, Mabli, Cadi, Eleri
  • Boy names: Osian, Elis, Macsen, Cai, Morgan, Gruffydd, Rhys

Now it’s time for a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum. Each of the rare names below was given to just 3 babies in England and Wales in 2021:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Avesta, Branwen, Callisto, Dwynwen, Elliw, Fenne, Gwenlli, Hestia, Isidora, Jogaile, Kerenza, Lubaba, Monia, Nepheli, Orzala, Petruta, Ruari, Siri, Thisbe, Uriella, Valley, Wilder, Xana, Yris, ZelalAudie, Buddy-Bear, Cuthbert, Deaglan, Emeric, Finlo, Glyndwr, Horace, Ibrar, Johnboy, Kerr, Leofric, Madoc, Nazar, Ovi, Porter, Ranulph, Sirius, Teifion, Urhan, Vladut, Warwick, Xion, Yavuz, Zuko
  • Dwynwen is the name of the Welsh patron saint of lovers. St. Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh version of St. Valentine’s Day, is celebrated on January 25th.
  • Glyndwr is a reference to Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr, who led the Welsh Revolt (1400-1415) against the Kingdom of England.
  • Teifion is based on the name of the River Teifi.

Finally, here’s a link to England and Wales’ 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

P.S. The ongoing rise of the baby name Mabel accelerated in the late 2010s thanks to mononymous English singer/songwriter Mabel — who just so happens to be the niece of Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Sources (all ONS):

Map: Adapted from English regions 2009 by Nilfanion and Dr Greg under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Baby names associated with orange: Saffron, Anatole, Keahi

small pumpkins

Halloween is right around the corner! Has the upcoming holiday made you curious about baby names associated with the color orange?

If so, you’re in luck — I’ve collected dozens of ideas for you in this post.

But, before we get to the names, let’s take a look at what the color orange represents…

Symbolism of orange

What does the color orange signify?

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

  • Warmth
  • Creativity
  • Adventure
  • Freshness
  • Happiness
  • Attraction
  • Success

It can also be associated with safety. A vivid reddish-orange — one that contrasts well with the blue of the sky — is used to make clothing and equipment highly visible in certain circumstances (e.g., at construction sites, during hunting season).

In Eastern cultures, orange is considered a sacred color. In Hinduism, for example, orange represents fire and, thereby, purity (as impurities are burned away by fire).

Top baby names associated with orange

To determine the top orange names, I first had to take into account the fact that certain names have a stronger connection to the color than other names. (I did this for the top purple names as well.)

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

  1. Autumn
  2. Ember
  3. Amber
  4. Blaze
  5. Marigold

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

Autumn

The word autumn refers to the season during which the leaves of deciduous trees turn various colors, including orange. Halloween — a holiday strongly associated with the color orange — is also celebrated during Autumn (at least in the Northern Hemisphere).

Autumn is currently the 66th most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

Ember

The word ember refers a glowing, slowly burning piece of solid fuel (like wood or coal). It’s often used in the plural to refer to the smoldering remains of a fire.

Ember is currently the 163rd most popular girl name in the nation.

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

Amber

The word amber refers to fossilized tree resin that is commonly used as a gemstone. By extension, the word also refers to the yellowish-orange color of this material.

The fossilized resin, which washes up on the seashore in the Baltic region, came to be called “amber” during the Middle Ages — likely due to an association with ambergris (a material produced by sperm whales that also washes up on the shore).

Amber is currently the 534th most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

Blaze

The vocabulary word blaze refers to a fire, particularly one that’s burning intensely. Blaze is also a homophone of the (more traditional) name Blaise, which ultimately derives from the Latin word blaesus, meaning “lisping.”

Blaze is currently the 775th most popular boy name in the nation. (Blaise ranks 999th.)

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

Marigold

The word marigold refers to any flowering plant of either the New World genus Tagetes or the Old World genus Calendula. By extension, it also refers to the yellowish-orange color of these flowers.

Marigold is currently the 1,022nd most popular girl name in the U.S.

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

More names associated with orange

Ready for the rest?

All the names below have an association with the color orange. The names range from common to uncommon, 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.

oranges
  • Aethon (also spelled Aithon) is derived from the ancient Greek word aithon, which means “burning, blazing.”
  • Alba is a feminine name meaning “dawn” in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, and other Romance languages.
  • Anatolios was an ancient Greek name derived from the word anatole, meaning “sunrise.”
    • Anatolius is the Latinized form of Anatolios.
    • Anatolia is a feminine form of Anatolius.
    • Anatole is the modern French masculine form of Anatolius.
    • Anatoliy is the modern Russian and Ukrainian masculine form of Anatolius.
  • Apricot fruits are yellowish-orange. Apricot trees are part of the genus Prunus.
  • Aurora, the Latin word for “dawn,” was the name of the Roman goddess of dawn.
  • Azar is a Persian gender-neutral name meaning “fire.”
  • Canna flowers are sometimes orange. The genus name Canna is derived from the Latin word canna, meaning “reed.”
  • Carnelian, a variety of the mineral chalcedony, is frequently orange. The name of the stone ultimately comes from the Latin word cornus, which refers to a type of berry, altered by the influence of the Latin word carneus, meaning “flesh-colored.”
  • Chrysanthemum (pronounced krih-SAN-thuh-muhm) flowers are often orange. The genus name Chrysanthemum is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words khrysos, meaning “gold,” and anthemon, meaning “blossom, flower.”
  • Citrine, a variety of the mineral quartz, is usually orange. The adjective citrine can be traced back to the Latin word citrus.
  • Clementine fruits are a cross between mandarin orange and sweet orange. They were named after French priest Clément Rodier, who discovered the cultivar while in Algeria. The name Clément is derived from the Latin word clemens, meaning “merciful.”
  • Copper is a metallic element with a lustrous orange-brown color.
  • Dahlia flowers are sometimes orange. The genus Dahlia was named in honor of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.
  • Dawn refers to the period of time in the early morning (before sunrise) when the sky begins to brighten with daylight. This light at dawn tends to have an orange hue. The word dawn can be traced back to the Old English verb dagian, meaning “to become day.”
  • Dysis, the ancient Greek word for “sunset,” was the name of the Greek goddess of the hour of sunset.
  • Eos, the ancient Greek word for “dawn,” was the name of the Greek goddess of dawn.
fire
  • Fajr is an Arabic feminine name meaning “dawn.”
  • Fiamma (pronounced FYAM-ma) is an Italian feminine name meaning “flame.”
  • Fox fur, if you’re talking about the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), is largely orange. The word fox is ultimately derived from a Proto-Indo-European word meaning “tail.”
  • Gladiola refers to Gladiolus, a genus of plants with flowers that are sometimes orange. The genus name, meaning “little sword” (a diminutive of the Latin word gladius, “sword”) refers to the shape of the leaves.
  • Helen is a form of the ancient Greek name Helene, which is likely based on the word helene, meaning “torch.” Also, plants of the genus Helenium have flowers that are sometimes orange. The genus was named in honor of Helen of Troy.
  • Honey can be orange. The Old English word for “honey” was hunig.
    • Meli was the ancient Greek word for “honey.”
  • Iskra is a feminine name meaning “spark” in Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, and other Slavic languages.
  • Jack is part of “Jack-o’-Lantern” — a term that, since the 1800s, has referred to a carved pumpkin used as a lantern during Halloween. It originated as “Jack of the lantern” in 17th-century England, where it was used as a generic term for any lantern-carrying night watchman.
  • June (besides being a month) is part of “Flaming June” — the name of the 1895 painting by Frederic Leighton. “Flaming June” features a red-headed woman wearing a diaphanous orange dress and sleeping by the sea (which reflects the golden rays of the setting sun).
The Frederic Leighton painting "Flaming June" (1895)
“Flaming June”
  • Keahi is a Hawaiian gender-neutral name meaning “the fire.”
  • Kealaula is a Hawaiian gender-neutral name that means “the light of early dawn” or “the sunset glow.” The literal definition is “the flaming road” (ala means “path, road,” and ula means “to flame”).
  • Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) have wings that are largely orange. They were named “monarch” in the 1800s, possibly in honor of England’s King William III, who was also the Prince of Orange. The word is derived from a combination of the ancient Greek words monos, meaning “alone,” and arkhos, meaning “ruler.”
  • Orange, of course, refers to the color orange. :) Orange fruits were introduced to Europe by the Moors in the 10th century. The word for the fruit, which can be traced back to Sanskrit, entered the English language (via French) in the late 14th century. The first recorded use of “orange” as a color name in English didn’t come along until the early 16th century.
    • This explains why many things that are clearly orange — like red hair, red foxes, and the robin redbreast — are called “red”: They were named long before the color-word “orange” entered the English language.
  • Orchid flowers are sometimes orange. Orchids are all members of the Orchidaceae family of plants.
  • Oriole is a type of bird that often has orange plumage. “Oriole” is the common name of birds in the genera Icterus and Oriolidae. The common name is derived from the Latin word aureolus, meaning “golden.”
  • Peach fruits are typically orange. Peach trees are part of the genus Prunus.
  • Pele, the Hawaiian word for “lava flow, volcano, eruption,” was the name of the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes.
  • Pyrrhos, meaning “flame-colored,” was an ancient Greek name derived from the word pyr, meaning “fire.”
    • Pyrrhus is the Latinized form of Pyrrhos.
    • Pyrrha is the feminine form of Pyrrhus.
  • Robin redbreast originally referred to the Old World songbird Erithacus rubecula, which has orange plumage on the face and breast. “Robin” is a Middle English diminutive of the name Robert.
  • Ruadh (pronounced roo-ah) means “red” or “red-haired” in Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
    • Roy is an Anglicized form of Ruadh.
  • Rufus derives from the Latin word rufus, meaning “red” or “red-haired.”
    • Rufino (masculine) and Rufina (feminine) are the modern Spanish forms of the Roman family name Rufinus, which was based on Rufus.
  • Rusty is an adjective referring to rust (iron oxide), which tends to be orange-brown.
Saffron robes of Theravada Buddhist monks in Thailand
Saffron robes (of Buddhist monks)
  • Saffron is a spice made from the styles and stigmas of Crocus sativus flowers. By extension, the word — which can be traced back to the Arabic name for the spice, za’faran — also refers to the deep yellowish-orange color of fabrics dyed with saffron.
  • Seville orange is a variety of bitter orange named after the Spanish city of Sevilla.
  • Shachar is a Hebrew gender-neutral name meaning “dawn.”
  • Shraga is an Aramaic masculine name meaning “candle.”
  • Shula is an Arabic feminine name meaning “flame.”
  • Smith is a surname that originally referred to a metalworker, such as a blacksmith or a farrier. When heated metal (like iron) comes out of a fire to be forged, it’s often glowing a yellowish-orange color. The smith in “blacksmith” is likely derived from the Old English verb smitan, meaning “to smite” or “to strike” (as with a hammer).
  • Sunrise and Sunset are times at which the sun appears reddish-orange. Particles in the Earth’s atmosphere scatter more short-wavelength light than long-wavelength light, so when the sun is low on the horizon — and traveling a longer distance through the atmosphere to reach your eyes — you’ll end up seeing less violet and blue, but more red and orange.
  • Tangerine fruits are orange. Tangerine trees are part of the genus Citrus.
  • Tawny is an adjective that refers to a brownish-orange color.
  • Tiger (Panthera tigris), the largest living species of cat, has fur that is mostly orange.
  • Tigerlily refers to “tiger lily,” the common name of several species of flowering plant in the genus Lilium — particularly the species Lilium lancifolium — that have showy orange flowers.
  • Ushas, the Sanskrit word for “dawn,” was the name of the Vedic (Hindu) goddess of dawn.
  • Valencia orange is a cultivar of sweet orange named after the Spanish city of València.
  • Zinnia flowers are sometimes orange. The genus Zinnia was named in honor of German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn. (Fun fact: An orange zinnia blossomed in space in early 2016!)
  • Zora is a feminine name meaning “dawn” in Serbian, Czech, Croatian, Bulgarian, and other Slavic languages.

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

Sources:

Images by Karalina S from Unsplash, Sheraz Shaikh from Unsplash, Ralph from Pixabay, and Evan Krause from Unsplash

Popular baby names in Belgium, 2021

Belgium

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Noah.

Here are Belgium’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 580 baby girls
  2. Emma, 500
  3. Louise, 455
  4. Mila, 435
  5. Alice, 416
  6. Camille, 403
  7. Lina, 394
  8. Sofia, 359
  9. Ella, 352
  10. Juliette, 346
  11. Nora, 342
  12. Mia, 325
  13. Marie, 317
  14. Lucie, 314
  15. Anna, 303
  16. Jade, 296
  17. Elena, 281
  18. Eva, 280
  19. Julia, 279
  20. Noor, 263
  21. Nina, 256
  22. Léa, 252
  23. Victoria, 249
  24. Chloé, 244
  25. Alix, 235
  26. Lou, 232
  27. Elise, 220
  28. Zoé, 215
  29. Giulia, 212
  30. Ellie, 210 (tie)
  31. Luna, 210 (tie)
  32. Liv, 209
  33. Renée, 207
  34. Amélie, 204
  35. Inaya, 202
  36. Rose, 194
  37. Charlotte, 191
  38. Jeanne, 188 (tie)
  39. Lily, 188 (tie)
  40. Lena, 187
  41. Sara, 176
  42. Manon, 171
  43. Julie, 170
  44. Mona, 160
  45. Alba, 159
  46. Livia, 155
  47. Billie, 154 (tie)
  48. Sophia, 154 (tie)
  49. Amira, 146
  50. Clara, 144 (tie)
  51. Stella, 144 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 627 baby boys
  2. Arthur, 584
  3. Louis, 558
  4. Liam, 537
  5. Jules, 526
  6. Adam, 474
  7. Lucas, 426
  8. Gabriel, 422
  9. Victor, 416
  10. Oscar, 336
  11. Leon, 310
  12. Mathis, 294 (tie)
  13. Mohamed, 294 (tie)
  14. Finn, 289
  15. Léon, 275
  16. Matteo, 264
  17. Lewis, 251
  18. Hugo, 245
  19. Nathan, 238
  20. Luca, 234
  21. Elias, 225
  22. Raphaël, 223
  23. Théo, 221
  24. Amir, 217 (tie)
  25. Eden, 217 (tie)
  26. Rayan, 209
  27. Lou, 208
  28. Milo, 205
  29. Yanis, 204
  30. Achille, 201
  31. Otis, 194
  32. Sacha, 191 (tie)
  33. Vic, 191 (tie)
  34. Felix, 190
  35. Marcel, 187
  36. Basile, 185
  37. Aaron, 179
  38. Léo, 178
  39. Maurice, 174
  40. Alexander, 173
  41. Maël, 171
  42. Emiel, 168 (tie)
  43. Georges, 168 (tie)
  44. Jack, 167 (tie)
  45. William, 167 (tie)
  46. Emile, 163 (tie)
  47. Vince, 163 (tie)
  48. Samuel, 161
  49. Gaston, 159
  50. Oliver, 158

If Leon and Léon had been counted as a single name, their combined total (585) would have been enough to edge Arthur (584) out of second place on the boys’ list.

And the gender-neutral name Lou managed to pop up on both lists in nearly the same spot: 26th for girls, 27th for boys.

Map of the three regions of Belgium
Belgium’s three regions

The top baby names within each of Belgium’s three regions were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Flanders
(57.6% of the population)
Language: Dutch
1. Olivia, 328
2. Ella, 303
3. Marie, 275
4. Mila, 266
5. Nora, 261
1. Noah, 399
2. Arthur, 321
3. Jules, 311
4. Leon, 288
5. Louis, 284
Wallonia
(31.8% of pop.)
Language: French/German
1. Emma, 204
2. Olivia, 203
3. Louise, 190
4. Alice, 188 (tie)
5. Lucie, 188 (tie)
1. Gabriel, 266
2. Louis, 235
3. Liam, 233
4. Arthur, 208
5. Jules, 191
Brussels-Capital
(10.6% of pop.)
Languages: Dutch/French
1. Lina, 89
2. Sofia, 83
3. Emma, 60 (tie)
4. Nour, 60 (tie)
5. Olivia, 49
1. Mohamed, 118
2. Adam, 112
3. Gabriel, 82
4. Amir, 70
5. Noah, 62

And here’s a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum — names that were given to just 5 babies each in Belgium last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Anabia, Believe, Caro, Dea, Elaïa, Fallone, Gaby, Heike, Iluna, Jennifer, Kessy, Lyssia, Mahsa, Nihal, Otice, Puck, Queen, Ramla, Siloé, Toos, Vlera, Wassila, Yseult, ZuriAloys, Brandon, Celle, Doruk, Erion, Fedde, Gustav, Hazar, Ilyass, Jip, Karsten, Lothar, Maksim, Nellis, Obi, Paulin, Qays, Riff, Silvio, Tille, Vidar, Wiebe, Yavuz, Zjef

(I’m a little surprised that as many as 5 baby girls in Belgium got the English word “believe” as their first name. I wonder if something specific was influencing that usage…?)

This time around, Belgium also highlighted the girl and boy names that saw the largest increases and decreases in usage over the last decade (2011-2021). The top 5 in each category were…

  • Girl names
    • Largest increases: Alba, Ellie, Ellis, Alya, Cilou
    • Largest decreases: Lisa, Laura, Julie, Lotte, Anaïs
  • Boy names
    • Largest increases: Georges, Lio, Gaston, Otis, Lyam
    • Largest decreases: Maxime, Thomas, Simon, Wout, Nathan

Finally, here’s a link to Belgium’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: First names for boys and girls | STATBEL, Demographics of Belgium – Wikipedia

Map: Adapted from Regions of Belgium by Ssolbergj under CC BY 3.0.

Popular baby names in Northern Ireland (UK), 2021

Northern Ireland

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland last year were Grace and Jack.

Here are the Northern Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Grace, 182 baby girls
  2. Emily, 150
  3. Fiadh, 149
  4. Olivia, 148
  5. Isla, 138
  6. Sophie, 128
  7. Aoife, 122
  8. Ella, 111
  9. Anna, 106
  10. Sophia, 102

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 193 baby boys
  2. Noah, 191
  3. James, 173
  4. Charlie, 155
  5. Oliver, 131
  6. Theo, 119
  7. Leo, 117
  8. Cillian, 116
  9. Finn, 115
  10. Harry, 114

In the girls’ top 10, Aoife and Anna replaced Amelia, Lucy and Freya. (Two replaced three because there was a tie for tenth last year.)

In the boys’ top 10, Leo replaced Thomas.

And on the other side of the spectrum…

Northern Ireland’s downloadable data only goes down to names given to 3 babies, technically, but this batch of data — like the 2020 batch — included two extra alphabetized sets of names at the end. I believe these sets of names were the ones given to 2 babies and 1 baby, respectively. With that theory in mind, here’s a sampling of names from the second set:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aodhla, Bediha, Caodhla, Darbie, Edera, Farbhlaidh, Gullandama, Harryanna, Izzy, Jersey, Khalessee, Lasairfhiona, Moya-Grace, Nollaig, Otter, Pupa, Qismina, Rozerin, Samhradh, Toireasa, Ugne, Venba, Wanda, Xanthe, Yarra, ZarkaAstraeus, Brogain, Chulainn, Dubhlainn, Edico, Finnian, Gerard-Og, Holiness, Iollan, Jefaldo, Kestrel, Laochrainn, Murdo, Nivonio, Orin, Padraic, Quevin, Riocht, Struan, Tuathal, Uisce, Vinny, Wai, Xayah, Yeats, Zeyue

Explanations/associations for some of the above…

  • Farbhlaidh – Irish for “overlord, ruler.”
  • Lasairfhiona – Irish for “flame of wine” — lasair meaning “flame,” fhíona meaning “of wine.” (The Irish word for “wine” is fíon.)
  • Nollaig – Irish for “Christmas.”
  • Samhradh – Irish for “summer.”
  • Chulainn – a reference to Cú Chulainn of Irish mythology.
  • Riocht – Irish for “kingdom.”
  • Tuathal – both a legendary conqueror of Ireland (Túathal Techtmar) and the Irish word for “counterclockwise.”
  • Uisce – Irish for “water.” (Also the word upon which “whiskey” was based!)
  • Yeats – a reference to W. B. Yeats, the Irish poet.

Finally, here are the 2020 rankings for Northern Ireland, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: Baby Names – NISRA, Irish Names and Surnames, Wiktionary