How popular is the baby name Lee 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 Lee.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Lee


Posts that Mention the Name Lee

Where did the baby name Draven come from in 1994?

The character Eric Draven (played by Brandon Lee) from the movie "The Crow" (1994).
Eric Draven from “The Crow

The name Draven first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1994. Rather unusually, it debuted for both genders in the very same year:

Boys named DravenGirls named Draven
1996163 (rank: 853rd)16
1995182 (rank: 797th)16
199454*9*
1993..
1992..
*Debut

Here’s a visual:

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

Where did the name Draven come from?

The dark movie The Crow, which was released in May of 1994.

The film was set in “some decaying urban hell […] where armed gangs prowl the alleyways and common people are driven inside to merely survive.”

The main character was resurrected rock star Eric Draven. He and his fiancée had been murdered by gang members the night before their wedding. Exactly one year later, Eric rose from the dead to avenge their deaths.

The Crow starred actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee. Sadly, Brandon was fatally wounded by a prop gun during filming. He died in March of 1993. The same year, usage of the compound name Brandonlee more than tripled:

  • 1995: 12 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1994: 11 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1993: 20 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1992: 6 baby boys named Brandonlee
  • 1991: unlisted

What are your thoughts on the baby name Draven?

Sources:

(Other dual-gender debuts include Chaffee, Dasani, Dondi, Illya, Rikishi, and Sundown.)

Baby name story: Tex

Saxophone player Tex Beneke (1914-2000)
Tex Beneke (in 1947)

Tex Vertmann was born in Estonia in the mid-1970s. The very American-sounding first name “Tex” is unusual in Estonia — how did he come to have it?

Vertmann said his parents used to spend the best moments of their life together at the cinema, watching all kinds of foreign movies that had either been left behind by the Germans or bought by the Soviet Union from the U.S.

Estonia was part of the USSR from 1940 to 1991, and for several years during WWII it was occupied by Nazi Germany.

Among these were the Italian film “Return to Sorrento” and “Waterloo Bridge” […] But Vertmann’s parents just adored “Sun Valley Serenade,” in which the famous Glenn Miller conducted his orchestra.

These films were released in 1945, 1940, and 1941, respectively.

The name of one of Miller’s band players, the tenor-sax, was Tex Beneke. Vertmann remembered [his] parents also liked the Miller song “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” which begins with the line “Hello Tex!” That’s how Vertmann got his very original name in the times of “deep socialism.”

The movie Sun Valley Serenade, which starred Sonja Henie, includes a sequence in which Texas-born Gordon Lee “Tex” Beneke both sings and whistles “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” The lyrics begin: Hi there Tex, whatchu say?

Americans of the early 1940s (but not the 1970s!) would have agreed with the Vertmanns about the song: a whopping 1.2 million copies of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” were sold by early 1942.

In recognition of this accomplishment, Miller’s record label presented him with a framed, gold-plated copy of the single — the very first gold record. This paved the way for RIAA-issued gold records in the late 1950s.

Sources:

Popular baby names in Estonia, 2021

Estonia

According to Eesti Statistika, the most most popular baby names in Estonia last year were Mia and Robin.

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

Girl Names

  1. Mia
  2. Sofia
  3. Emily
  4. Hanna
  5. Nora
  6. Emma
  7. Eva
  8. Alisa
  9. Marta
  10. Lenna

Boy Names

  1. Robin
  2. Oliver
  3. Mark
  4. Sebastian
  5. Hugo
  6. Henri
  7. Rasmus
  8. Martin
  9. Miron
  10. Kristofer

In the girls’ top 10, Hanna and Nora replaced Saara and Maria.

In the boys’ top 10, Mark, Henri, Martin, Miron, and Kristofer replaced Jakob, Oskar, Aron, Artur, and Robert.

The press release also mentioned some of the ways in which Estonian pop culture has influenced Estonian baby names recently. Here’s the English translation:

The name Stefan quickly began to spread last year. Famous people’s name choices can also create trends — Miss Rubi Rahula already has 24 namesakes today. In the last three years, 22 girls have been named Eia and 43 have been named Jete since the great Christmas film screened in 2018. Last year, nine fans of the Revenge Office named their child Lumilee, Lumi Lee or Lumi-Lee.

And here’s some context:

  • Singer Stefan Airapetjan won the first season (March-May, 2020) of the Estonian version of the Masked Singer (2020-).
  • Rubi Rahula (b. 2017) is the daughter of Estonian celebrity (?) couple Anni and Tomi Rahula, whose 2018 book Tule meie juurde (English: Come to us) detailed their struggles with infertility.
  • Eia and Jete were characters in the Estonian children’s adventure film Eia’s Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm (2018).
  • The character Lumi-Lee Aigo was introduced in 2021 on the Estonian comedy-crime TV show “Revenge Office” (2009-).

In 2020, the top names in Estonia were Sofia and Robin.

Source: Eestis sai taas enim lapsi nimeks Robin või Mia

Popular baby names in College Station (Texas), 2021

college station

According to the government of College Station, the most popular baby names in the Texas city last year were Adalyn/Olivia/Sophia (3-way tie) and Liam.

Here are College Station’s top 3 girl names and top 3 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Adalyn, Olivia, and Sophia, 21 each (3-way tie)
  2. Camilla, 17
  3. Emma, 16

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 19 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 16
  3. Elijah, 15

My source noted that, among the girls, there were “several Paisleys, along with Paislee, Paisleigh, Paizley and Pai’slyn.” Other girl names were “Ella, Bella, Della and Stella, along with Arabella, Celestabella, Isabella and Mirabella.”

Among the boys, there was “Ayden, Brayden, Hayden, Jayden, Kayden, Rayden and Zayden. Also Braxton, Daxton, Jaxton, Paxton and Zaxton.”

And one baby got the very Texas-y name Brazos. The word literally means “arms” in Spanish, and could refer to the area in general (e.g, Brazos County, Brazos Valley) or to the Brazos River itself, which was dubbed the Río de los Brazos de Dios (translation: “River of the Arms of God”) by early explorers. Most of the usage of Brazos as a baby name has occurred in Texas specifically.

The 3 most popular middle names in College Station last year were…

  • Girls: Rose, Grace, Marie
  • Boys: James, Lee, Alexander

In 2020, the top two names in College Station were Olivia and Noah.

P.S. Pro quarterback Kyle Trask was named after Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, which is located in College Station.

Sources: 2021’s most-popular baby names — and media’s hot takes on them, SSA
Image: TAMU Campus by Aggie0083 under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Where did the baby name Terrea come from in the early 1950s?

Terrea Lea album Folk Songs (1956).
Terrea Lea album from 1956

Usage of the unisex name Terry was rising fast for both genders during the ’40s and ’50s, but I think the debuts of Terrea and Terria in the early ’50s had a more specific explanation than the trendiness of Terry.

Girls named TerreaGirls named Terria
195610†
[9 born in CA]
18
1955.10
1954915
1953616
1952.17*
19516.
19505*
[all born in CA]
.
1949..
1948..
*Debut, †Peak usage

I think the influence was Missouri-born folksinger Terrea Lea, who was closely associated with the Southern California folk scene starting in the early ’50s — long before folk music became trendy in the U.S. in the mid-’60s.

Terrea Lea was born Bette June Nutz in Liberty, Missouri, in 1922. I’m not sure how she chose her stage name or when she started using it, but she was being mentioned as “Terrea Lea” in Billboard magazine by mid-1950 and was appearing on television, performing on radio, and putting out singles by 1951. In April of 1951, Billboard described her as “local TV folk chirper billed as the fem[inine] Burl Ives.”

Her own Terrea Lea Show could be heard on the East Coast radio by 1952, but the newspapers often misspelled her name (e.g., “Terria Lea,” “Terrea Lee”) in the broadcast schedules. Typos like these, combined with the fact that the shows were (of course) audio only, probably account for why the name Terria was the top debut name of 1952.

terrea lea, name
Misspelling in Billboard, 1952

In 1956 and 1957, Terrea Lea put out her first two full-length albums. In late 1958, she and some friends opened a coffee house in West Hollywood called The Garret. (The name was inspired by Puccini’s La bohème.) She regularly performed there, and it was frequented by popular folk singers of the day, including Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. The Garret existed until 1971.

There’s a website dedicated to The Garret, and the guest book includes six comments from people named after Terrea Lea. They are: Terra Lea, Terrea Lee, Terrea Lea (b. 1954, Calif.), Terrea Lea (b. 1951, Oregon), and Terria Leigh. Another comment is from someone whose son has the middle name Garret.

What are your thoughts on the name Terrea?

Sources: