How popular is the baby name John 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 John.

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Popularity of the Baby Name John


Posts that Mention the Name John

Where did the baby name Crissangel come from in 2007?

Title of the TV series "Criss Angel Mindfreak" (2005-2010)
“Criss Angel Mindfreak”

The name Crissangel appeared for the first and only time in the U.S. baby name data in 2007:

  • 2009: unlisted
  • 2008: unlisted
  • 2007: 5 baby boys named Crissangel [debut]
  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: unlisted

The similar names Chrisangel and Crisangel also popped up in the early 2000s.

Where did these names come from?

Magician and illusionist Criss Angel, whose reality series Criss Angel Mindfreak aired on A&E from 2005 to 2010. The show, focused on street magic and stunts, had episodes with titles like “Shark Cage Escape,” “Mass Levitation,” “SUV Nail Bed,” and “Burning Man.”

Criss Angel was born in New York in 1967 as Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos. (He’s of Greek descent.) These days he primarily performs live shows in Las Vegas.

He also has three children with his wife, Shaunyl. Their names are:

  • Johnny Crisstopher, b. 2014
  • Xristos Yanni, b. 2019
  • Illusia Angelina, b. 2021

His sons’ names echo one another in that “Johnny” and “Yanni” are diminutives of John and Yiannis (a Greek equivalent of John), and “Crisstopher” and “Xristos” are both based on the ancient Greek word khristos (“anointed one”).

His daughter’s first name, Illusia, is clearly a reference to dad’s line of work.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Crissangel?

Sources: Criss Angel – Wikipedia, Criss Angel Mindfreak – IMDb, Behind the Name

Popular and unique baby names in Iowa, 2021

Iowa

The Midwestern state of Iowa welcomes roughly 40,000 babies per year.

Last year, the most popular baby names in the state were Charlotte and Oliver, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Charlotte, 174 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 148
  3. Amelia, 141
  4. Ava, 125
  5. Emma, 121
  6. Evelyn, 111
  7. Nora, 110
  8. Sophia, 108
  9. Willow, 101
  10. Eleanor & Harper, 99 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 207 baby boys
  2. Liam, 176
  3. Henry, 169
  4. Noah, 136
  5. Asher, 131
  6. Theodore, 129
  7. Hudson, 125
  8. Owen, 123
  9. Brooks, 122
  10. Jack, 120

The SSA’s rankings for Iowa are very similar, though, so…why bother posting Iowa’s own rankings?

Because the state also releases the rest of its baby name data (yay!), so we have a chance to see the names at the other end of the spectrum.

Over 3,600 girl names and over 2,800 boy names were bestowed just once in Iowa last year. Here’s a selection of Iowa’s unique baby names of 2021:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Amazingrace, Biftu, Celine D’Arc, DaRell, Endellion, Fiolla, Geranium, Hagia-Sophia, Heulwen, Isniin, Johovana, KipperMay, Libba, Mauslynn, Nardos, Onnova, Phyu, Qualoni, Rexha, Six, Tempo, Ulani, Villandry, Wintwar, Xhivani, Yolna, ZelleAdventurous, Biden Rafael, Conker, Divoc, Eastwood, Felty, Grimnir, Healer, Heritier, Isidoro, Judicael, Kenaniah, Lil Junior, McClane, Nightly, Oswalt, Pilot, Qua, Rensselaer, Senanu, Tchite, Utah, Veon, Winiga, XanLee, Yuepheng, Zelldean

Some thoughts on a few of the above…

  • Divoc is “Covid” spelled backwards.
  • Endellion is a Cornish place name. (Former UK PM David Cameron used this name a few years back.)
  • Hagia Sophia, which means “holy wisdom” in ancient Greek, refers to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
  • Heritier (héritier) means “heir” in French.
  • Isniin means “Monday” in Somali.
  • McClane is the surname of the main character (John McClane) in the Die Hard movies.
  • Villandry is a commune in central France.
  • Wintwar (Wint War) is a Burmese name. (A number of refugees from Myanmar live in Iowa.)
  • Zelle is a digital payments network (launched in 2017).

In 2020, the top two names in Iowa were Olivia and Oliver.

Sources: Top Baby Names – Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal, Iowa – Wikipedia, List of U.S. states and territories by population – Wikipedia, Wiktionary

Popular baby names in Austin (Texas), 2017

Austin, Texas

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a set of baby name data for Austin, Texas, for the year 2017. While it isn’t current, it does seem to be complete — so it includes hundreds of rare and single-use names (which are always fascinating!).

The data accounts for nearly 19,900 births (9,733 girls and 10,163 boys), and features nearly 6,100 names (3,431 given to girls, 2,656 given to boys).

According to this data, which comes from the City of Austin’s Open Data Portal, the top baby names in the capital of Texas five years ago were Emma and James.

Here are Austin’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 98 baby girls
  2. Isabella, 88
  3. Olivia, 84
  4. Mia, 81
  5. Evelyn, 77
  6. Sophia, 75
  7. Ava, 73
  8. Abigail, 59 (tie)
  9. Charlotte, 59 (tie)
  10. Emily, 58
  11. Camila, 56 (tie)
  12. Elizabeth, 56 (tie)
  13. Harper, 53
  14. Amelia, 52
  15. Penelope, 51 (tie)
  16. Sofia, 51 (tie)
  17. Scarlett, 46
  18. Ella, 45
  19. Avery, 43 (tie)
  20. Zoe, 43 (tie)
  21. Lillian, 41
  22. Layla, 40 (tie)
  23. Madison, 40 (tie)
  24. Eleanor, 39
  25. Victoria, 38
  26. Allison, 37
  27. Claire, 36 (3-way tie)
  28. Elena, 36 (3-way tie)
  29. Luna, 36 (3-way tie)
  30. Aria, 35 (tie)
  31. Chloe, 35 (tie)
  32. Ellie, 34 (tie)
  33. Katherine, 34 (tie)
  34. Samantha, 33
  35. Hannah, 30 (4-way tie)
  36. Hazel, 30 (4-way tie)
  37. Mila, 30 (4-way tie)
  38. Stella, 30 (4-way tie)
  39. Leah, 29
  40. Cora, 28 (5-way tie)
  41. Genesis, 28 (5-way tie)
  42. Grace, 28 (5-way tie)
  43. Natalie, 28 (5-way tie)
  44. Ximena, 28 (5-way tie)
  45. Clara, 27 (3-way tie)
  46. Eliana, 27 (3-way tie)
  47. Ruby, 27 (3-way tie)
  48. Audrey, 26 (tie)
  49. Sarah, 26 (tie)
  50. Alexa, 25 (3-way tie)
  51. Everly, 25 (3-way tie)
  52. Lily, 25 (3-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. James, 104 baby boys
  2. Noah, 85
  3. Daniel, 83
  4. Benjamin, 82
  5. William, 80
  6. Oliver, 75
  7. Liam, 74
  8. Alexander, 73
  9. Sebastian, 70
  10. Henry, 67
  11. Elijah, 66 (tie)
  12. Mateo, 66 (tie)
  13. Ethan, 65
  14. Jackson, 63
  15. Anthony, 61
  16. Jacob, 60
  17. Aiden, 59 (tie)
  18. Luke, 59 (tie)
  19. David, 58 (tie)
  20. Samuel, 58 (tie)
  21. John, 56
  22. Isaac, 55 (tie)
  23. Julian, 55 (tie)
  24. Michael, 54
  25. Charles, 53 (3-way tie)
  26. Jack, 53 (3-way tie)
  27. Matthew, 53 (3-way tie)
  28. Jose, 52 (tie)
  29. Joshua, 52 (tie)
  30. Wyatt, 50
  31. Aaron, 49 (4-way tie)
  32. Grayson, 49 (4-way tie)
  33. Joseph, 49 (4-way tie)
  34. Levi, 49 (4-way tie)
  35. Dylan, 48
  36. Hudson, 47
  37. Josiah, 46 (3-way tie)
  38. Logan, 46 (3-way tie)
  39. Santiago, 46 (3-way tie)
  40. Jayden, 45
  41. Nathan, 44
  42. Christopher, 43 (tie)
  43. Thomas, 43 (tie)
  44. Andrew, 42 (4-way tie)
  45. Gabriel, 42 (4-way tie)
  46. Luis, 42 (4-way tie)
  47. Owen, 42 (4-way tie)
  48. Lucas, 41
  49. Adrian, 40 (3-way tie)
  50. Axel, 40 (3-way tie)
  51. Christian, 40 (3-way tie)

On the girls’ list, Allison caught my eye. It ranked 26th in Austin in 2017, but 61st nationally the same year. Interesting.

Further down on the boys’ list was Austin itself, in 95th place — vs. 75th nationally — with 21 baby boys. Much further down was Texas, with 2 baby boys.

And now it’s time for the unique names!

One-of-a-kind names were given to 24% of the baby girls and 17% of the baby boys born in Austin in 2017. Here’s a sampling of the names that were bestowed just once:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aubrion, Autry, Blue Jay, Cadeau, Ceiba, Dulceluna, Eeriemoon, Fiza, Gilana, Holleen, Itzigueri, Jill, Kasleen, Lillabee, L’Oreal, Mauzie, Millioni, Nincye, Nobelina, Orchid, Princess Plethora, Qiwei, Roshnee, Scepter, Shanze, Thais, Tsumugi, Umutoni, Vyga, Wengiel, Xyzla, Ynafets, ZieglindAshton Alchimist, Bruges, Cayenne, Dalbus, Eames, Fenghua, Ganesh, Getsai, Hackett, Itzae, Jizael, Kavelli Kaine, Linnaeus, Linux, Mazoree, Mistral, Naranna, Nimbus, Olince, Penn, Qhing, Rigveda, Shooter, Syphax, Tavoric, Templar, Urfan, Vetri, Wajahat, Xavi, Yoonbin, Zaxton

Some possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:

  • Cadeau is the French word for “present, gift.”
  • Ceiba is a type of tree.
  • Tsumugi Shirogane is a character from the 2017 video game Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
  • Ynafets is “Stefany” spelled backwards.
  • Bruges is the capital of West Flanders (a province of Belgium).
  • Mistral is a strong late-winter wind in southern France.
  • The Rigveda is a sacred Hindu text.

I’ve never posted rankings for Austin before, but I have posted rankings recently for two nearby Texas cities: Houston (which is more than twice the size of Austin, population-wise) and College Station (which is about an eighth of the size of Austin).

Sources: From Aadhav to Zyva: 6,087 Names of Babies Born in Austin in 2017 | Open Data | City of Austin Texas, Wiktionary
Image by MJ Tangonan on Unsplash

Where did the baby name Gotham come from in 2015?

Title of the TV series "Gotham" (2014-2019)
“Gotham”

The name Gotham first emerged in the U.S. baby name data in 2015:

  • 2017: 37 baby boys named Gotham
  • 2016: 50 baby boys named Gotham
  • 2015: 46 baby boys named Gotham [debut]
  • 2014: unlisted
  • 2013: unlisted

It was the most impressive boy-name debut of the year, in fact.

Where did it come from?

The Batman-based TV series Gotham (2014-2019), which was set during Bruce Wayne’s teenage years.

The main protagonist wasn’t Bruce Wayne, though — it was Gotham City police detective (and future commissioner) James Gordon. In the very first episode, Jim met 12-year-old Bruce soon after Bruce’s parents had been murdered.

So…why is Batman set in a place called Gotham City?

“Gotham City” was first identified as Batman’s place of residence in the comic book Batman #4 (Winter 1940), which was actually published in January of 1941. Here’s how Batman co-creator Bill Finger chose the name:

Originally I was going to call Gotham City, Civic City. Then I tried Capital City, then Coast City. Then, I flipped through the phone book and spotted the name Gotham Jewelers and said, ‘that’s it,’ Gotham City. We didn’t call it New York because we wanted anybody in any city to identify with it. Of course, Gotham is another name for New York.

Why is Gotham another name for New York City?

It’s a tradition that was kicked off by writer Washington Irving, who referred to the city as Gotham in an 1807 issue of Salmagundi — a short-lived satirical magazine that lampooned NYC culture and politics.

He choose that name because of the medieval folktales about the English village of Gotham, the residents of which had a reputation for idiocy. (According to the tales, though, they were simply feigning madness in order to thwart King John.)

The name of the village (which is located in Nottinghamshire) is pronounced GOAT-um, and is derived from the Old English words gat, meaning “goat,” and ham, meaning “home.”

Getting back to the TV show, though…

The character Azrael from the TV series "Gotham" (2014-2019)
Azrael from “Gotham

Toward the end of season 2, corrupt mayor Theo Galavan — who’d been killed mid-season by Jim Gordon — was resurrected as “Azrael” by mad scientist Hugo Strange.

Azrael was only featured in two mid-2016 episodes of Gotham, but he is likely the reason why the rising usage of the baby name Azrael accelerated that particular year:

  • 2018: 150 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2017: 132 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2016: 113 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2015: 64 baby boys named Azrael
  • 2014: 56 baby boys named Azrael

Azrael, the name of the angel of death in both Islamic and Judeo-Christian tradition, is derived from the ancient Hebrew words ‘azar, meaning “to help,” and ‘el, meaning “God.”

Which name do you think is cooler: Gotham or Azrael?

Sources:

P.S. Ever wonder how Bruce Wayne was named? Here’s Bill Finger’s explanation: “Bruce Wayne’s first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot. Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name that would suggest colonialism. I tried Adams, Hancock…then, I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne.”