How popular is the baby name Lance 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 Lance.

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Popularity of the baby name Lance

Posts that mention the name Lance

What gave the baby name Cadel a nudge in the early 2010s?

Australian cyclist Cadel Evans
Cadel Evans

Last week, the Los Angeles Times profiled a 12-year-old girl named Evan Kim who ran the Ventura Marathon and placed second among all females with a time of 2 hours and 58 minutes.

How did she come to have the (typically male) name Evan?

Born into a family of athletes in 2012, she was named after Cadel Evans, the cyclist who won the Tour de France the year prior.

Cadel (pronounced kuh-DEL) Evans is the only Australian to have ever won the Tour de France. I don’t know how many other U.S. babies were named “Evan” after Evans, but dozens were named Cadel:

  • 2013: 10 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2012: 19 baby boys named Cadel [peak usage]
  • 2011: 17 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2010: 12 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2009: 12 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2008: 14 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2007: 14 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2006: 8 baby boys named Cadel
  • 2005: 6 baby boys named Cadel [debut]
  • 2004: unlisted

In fact, usage of the name tracks with Cadel Evans’ Tour de France career: He first participated in 2005, he placed second in both 2007 and 2008, and he finally won in 2011.

His first name is a simplified spelling of the Welsh name Cadell, which can be traced back to the Old Welsh word cat, meaning “battle.” (One of Evans’ great-grandfathers immigrated to Australia from Wales.)

What are your thoughts on the name Cadel? (How about on Evan as a girl name?)

P.S. Another young runner we’ve talked about is Nasiya Jobe, and another professional cyclist we’ve talked about is Lance Armstrong.


Image: Adapted from CadelEvans by troye owens under CC BY-SA 2.0.

What brought the baby name Lancer back in 1968?

The characters Johnny Madrid Lancer and Scott Lancer from the TV series "Lancer" (1968-1970).
Johnny Madrid and Scott from “Lancer

The name Lancer returned to the U.S. baby name data (after a long absence) in 1968, and two years later it reached peak usage:

  • 1971: 17 baby boys named Lancer
  • 1970: 31 baby boys named Lancer [peak]
  • 1969: 19 baby boys named Lancer
  • 1968: 10 baby boys named Lancer
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted

What brought it back?

A TV western called Lancer (1968-1970), logically enough.

It was set in the 1870s, and the main characters were adult half-brothers named Johnny Madrid (played by James Stacy) and Scott (played by Wayne Maunder). They shared a father, but were otherwise unalike: Johnny was a gunfighter and drifter from Mexico; Scott was an educated Civil War veteran from New England.

They met for the first time in the first episode, when their father, Murdoch Lancer, summoned them to his 100,000-acre ranch in California and offered them each one-third of the ranch in exchange for help protecting the land and livestock from bandits.

Title of the TV series "Lancer" (1968-1970)

The series only lasted two seasons, but was popular enough to during that time to affect several other baby names as well.

The Lancer-like name Lance saw a sharp rise in usage while the show was on the air:

  • 1971: 3,180 baby boys named Lance [rank: 98th]
  • 1970: 4,166 baby boys named Lance [rank: 76th] (peak)
  • 1969: 3,030 baby boys named Lance [rank: 103rd]
  • 1968: 1,995 baby boys named Lance [rank: 144th]
  • 1967: 1,804 baby boys named Lance [rank: 152nd]
Graph of the usage of the baby name Lance in the U.S. since 1880.
Usage of the baby name Lance

The name Johnny, which was generally declining in usage during the second half of the 20th century, saw a brief turnaround in 1969 and 1970:

  • 1971: 3,939 baby boys named Johnny [rank: 74th]
  • 1970: 4,440 baby boys named Johnny [rank: 65th]
  • 1969: 4,217 baby boys named Johnny [rank: 67th]
  • 1968: 4,053 baby boys named Johnny [rank: 69th]
  • 1967: 4,170 baby boys named Johnny [rank: 70th]
Graph of the usage of the baby name Johnny in the U.S. since 1880.
Usage of the baby name Johnny

And the name Scott, which was about to experience a similar slide, saw increased usage for several years before its decline began:

  • 1971: 30,919 baby boys named Scott [rank: 10th]
  • 1970: 28,588 baby boys named Scott [rank: 12th]
  • 1969: 28,668 baby boys named Scott [rank: 12th]
  • 1968: 26,029 baby boys named Scott [rank: 14th]
  • 1967: 25,537 baby boys named Scott [rank: 16th]
Graph of the usage of the baby name Scott in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Scott

But there’s more to the story on Scott. See how the usage popped up even higher in 1971? That extra uptick has a separate explanation, which we’ll get to in a few days…

Sources: Lancer – TV Western – Six-gun Justice, SSA

Where did the baby name Nedenia come from in 1960?

Actress Dina Merrill on the cover of LIFE magazine (Jan. 1960)
Dina Merrill

In 1960, the name Nedenia showed up in the U.S. baby name data for the first and only time:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 9 baby girls named Nedenia [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Actress and socialite Dina Merrill, whose real name was Nedenia Hutton.

Often compared to Grace Kelly. Merrill was most famous in the late ’50s and early ’60s. In 1960 specifically, she could be seen in the movies The Sundowners and BUtterfield 8. (When Merrill appeared on the game show What’s My Line? in August of 1960, one of the panelists remarked: “I must say that Miss Merrill has had more publicity than I think any actress in America in the course of the last year.”)

I think a more precise explanation, though, is “She Has Too Much Money” — an article with an eye-catching title that ran in Parade (the nationally distributed Sunday newspaper magazine) in March of 1959. It primarily focused on Dina’s wealth, but divulged Dina’s full legal name at the time, Nedenia Hutton Rumbough, in the second paragraph.

Nedenia Hutton was born in 1923 to Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and stockbroker Edward Francis Hutton. Her birth name was an elaboration of her father’s nickname, Ned. (Her stage surname, Merrill, was borrowed from another well-known stockbroker: Charles E. Merrill.)

Do you like the name Nedenia?

P.S. Through her father’s family, Nedenia was related to Barbara Hutton, mother of Lance Reventlow.


Image: Clipping from the cover of Life magazine (11 Jan. 1960)

Where did the baby name Myzel come from in 2003?

myzel, television, baby name, 2000s

The rare name Myzel debuted impressively in the U.S. baby name data in 2003:

  • 2005: unlisted
  • 2004: 5 baby boys named Myzel
  • 2003: 20 baby boys named Myzel [debut]
  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A TV commercial.

Specifically, one of the four 2003 Nike shoe commercials that were built around the tagline, “There’s more fast out there.”

Three of the commercials featured professional athletes, but the fourth featured 14-year-old actor Myzel Robinson confidently rattling off all the people/things he’d race, and beat:

I’ll race my coach. I’ll race my dog. I’ll race any dog. I’ll race your dog. Pick the animal, I’ll race it and beat it. I’ll race you, your cousin, your auntie, your mom, your dad, your nephew, your nieces, whoever. You name somebody, and I’ll race ’em. I’ll race an all-American, all-state, world-class athlete. Point him out to me. I’ll race Lance Armstrong on his bike — 100 meters. 200 meters. Anybody. Anywhere. Anytime. Put ’em next to me, you say ‘go,’ I’ll race ’em. And I’ll beat ’em.”

His full name is on the screen for the first few seconds of the commercial:

Do you like the name Myzel?