How popular is the baby name Lionel 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 Lionel.

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Popularity of the baby name Lionel


Posts that mention the name Lionel

Where did the baby name Jheri come from in the 1980s?

Michael Jackson's Jheri curl hairstyle on the cover of the 1982 album "Thriller"
Michael Jackson’s Jheri curl

The Jerry-like name Jheri appeared regularly in the U.S. baby name data from 1980 until the mid-1990s:

  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: 7 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1994: 11 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1993: 10 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1992: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1991: 12 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1990 9 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1989: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1988 10 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1987 12 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1986: 9 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1985: 13 baby girls named Jheri (peak usage)
  • 1984: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1982: 12 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1981: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1980: 6 baby girls named Jheri (debut)
  • 1979: unlisted

Why?

Because of the Jheri curl, a hairstyle featuring loose, glossy curls that was trendy among African-Americans primarily during the 1980s. Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Rick James, and other famous men and women of the era sported Jheri-curled hair.

Where did the style come from?

The “curl” originated with hairdresser/entrepreneur Jheri Redding, who developed a chemical process to make straight hair curly. Salons started offering the Jheri Kurl (as it was often spelled in advertisements) in the early 1970s.

Then, African-American hairdresser/entrepreneur Willie Lee Morrow adapted the process for African-American hair. His two-step method involved straightening the hair before adding a looser curl. (He also introduced “curl activator” to add moisture to the style.) Salons began offering Morrow’s California Curl in the late 1970s.

Some salons, in fact, offered both perms:

Newspaper advertisement for California Curl and Jheri Kurl (Feb. 1979)
(Feb. 1979)

Finally, African-American entrepreneur Comer Cottrell made Morrow’s perm both less expensive and more widely available by developing the do-it-yourself Curly Kit.

His kits were advertised heavily in Jet magazine throughout 1980:

Magazine advertisement for Curly Kit (Aug. 1980)
(Aug. 1980)

In mid-1981, Forbes magazine declared the Curly Kit “the biggest single product ever to hit the black cosmetics market.” Numerous copycat kits (with names like Classy Curl, S-Curl, and Super Curl) soon followed.

Despite the crucial contributions of Morrow and Cottrell, though, it was Jheri Reddings’s distinctive first name — associated with the curl since the start — that became the generic term for the style.

So, where did “Jheri” come from?

Redding coined it himself.

He was born Robert William Redding on a farm in Illinois in 1907. He became a licensed cosmetologist after noticing, during the Depression, that hairdressers were still being paid well.

Redding was an innovative marketer — he introduced the concept of “pH balanced” shampoos, for instance — and he created the eye-catching name for himself at some point before 1950, because he’s listed as “Jheri R Redding” on the 1950 U.S. Census:

Jheri Redding on 1950 U.S. Census

He launched his first company, Jheri Redding Products, six years later.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Jheri?

Sources:

  • Johnston, David Cay. “Jheri Redding Is Dead at 91; A Hair Products Entrepreneur.” New York Times 21 Mar. 1998: A-13.
  • Folkart, Burt A. “Jheri Redding; Beauty Products Pioneer.” Los Angeles Times 18 Mar. 1998.
  • Mack, Toni. “Caution + Daring = 82% Returns.” Forbes 8 Jun. 1981: 101-103.
  • Byrd, Ayana and Lori Tharps. Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2002.
  • Ford, Tanisha C. Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2019.
  • Moore, Jennifer Grayer. Fashion Fads Through American History: Fitting Clothes Into Context. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015.
  • SSA

Images: Clipping from Chula Vista Star-News (25 Feb. 1979); clipping from Jet magazine (14 Aug. 1980); clipping of the 1950 U.S. Census

Popular baby names in Liechtenstein, 2021

Flag of Liechtenstein
Flag of Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein, one of the smallest countries in Europe, is located in the Alps (sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland).

Last year, Liechtenstein welcomed 375 babies — 181 girls and 194 boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Emilia/Frida/Mia (3-way tie) and Elias.

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

Girl Names

  1. Emilia, Frida/Frieda, and Mia, 4 baby girls each (3-way tie)
  2. Emma, Melina, and Sophia/Sofia, 3 each (3-way tie)
  3. Alicia, Alina, Anna, Aria, Ariana/Arianna, Aurora, Chiara, Elea, Elin, Emily, Hannah, Helena, Jana, Ladina, Leonie, Lina, Mara, Maria, Milena, Mina, and Noelia, 2 each (21-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Elias/Elyas, 7 baby boys
  2. Louis/Luis, 6
  3. Leo, 5
  4. Noah and Paul, 4 each (tie)
  5. Leano, Luca, Mattia, Nelio, Raphael/Rafael, and Valentin, 3 each (6-way tie)
  6. Benedict/Benedikt, Benjamin, Eliah/Elijah, Eric/Erik, Gion, James, Janik, Julian, Lenny, Levin, Lionel, Lucas/Lukas, Mael, Matteo, Maximilian, Nicklas/Niklas, Oliver, and Ömer, 2 each (18-way tie)

The rest of the names were bestowed just once:

Unique girl names (118)Unique boy names (114)
Ada, Adora, Aflah, Aida, Aileen, Akila, Alessia, Alexandra, Alia, Alizée, Alma, Amalia, Ambra, Amela, Amélie, Amina, Amra, Ana, Aniko, Anila, Anina, Annika, Antonia, Asalia, Ava, Aynara, Calissa, Carla, Carmen, Catalina, Cecilia, Céline, Charlotte, Clea, Darja, Désirée, Diana, Diona, Dorothea, Dua-Lea, Ela, Elena, Elenia, Eleonora, Elif, Elina, Eline, Elise, Ena, Evi, Finja, Gabriella, Gea, Grace, Hailey, Haley, Hava, Heidi, Hindiya, Hylkije, Ina, Jara, Johanna, Josepa, Josephine, Julia, Juliana, Juna, Künkyi, Lailah, Lanah, Lara, Lea, Leila, Lelle, Lena, Leni, Lia, Liara, Lillia, Lily, Lorena, Lounah, Luisa, Malea, Marie, Maya, Mayte, Medina, Mejra, Melissa, Meryem, Mila, Mirella, Mona, Nadine, Naima, Nayla, Nevia, Niva, Nóra, Nurcan, Patrizia, Romina, Ronja, Rosa, Ruby, Sarah, Saskia, Serena, Siena, Svea, Theresia, Yara, Ylvie, Zana, Zeyneb, ZoeAaron, Adrian, Ajan, Akira, Alessio, Alexis, Ali, Alparslan, Alvaro, Ammar, Anton, Arion, Arjen, Aron, Arthur, Aurel, Aurelio, Ayman, Azad, Benno, Björn, Byron, Conradin, Dario, Dayan, Din, Eddie, Ediz, Elliot, Elvis, Emanuel, Emiel, Emil, Emilian, Erlis, Felix, Finn, Florian, Francesco, Gabriel, Gael, Grégory, Gustav, Henrik, Henry, Jakob, Jan, Jari, Jemin, Jonas, Joris, Julius, Juri, Justin, Karl, Kenan, Kian, Korab, Kunga, Laurin, Leandro, Leon, Levi, Liam, Lian, Liano, Linard, Lino, Lio, Louie, Luar, Mailo, Maleo, Malik, Marcelo, Matin, Matti, Mauro, Max, Metehan, Mikkel, Milo, Miro, Musab, Nathan, Neo, Nevio, Nils, Noam, Noar, Noel, Norden, Quentin, Richard, Rocco, Romeo, Rron, Samuel, Sandro, Santiago, Sava, Tenzin, Theo, Tiago, Tim, Timéo, Timo, Tobia, Vinzenz, Vitus, Xaver, Yakari, Yannick, Yannis

Some thoughts on a few of the above…

  • Künkyi and Tenzin are Tibetan.
  • Nevia and Nevio are Italian. They derive from the Roman family name Naevius, which was based on the Latin word naevus, meaning “birthmark” or “mole (on the body).”
  • Rron is an Albanian. It was created from the word rronj, a dialectal form of rroj, which means “to live, to survive.”

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

Source: Neugeborenennamen 2021 – Statistikportal Liechtenstein

Image: Adapted from Flag of Liechtenstein (public domain)

Quotes about the names of athletes

Hockey player Troy Terry and former football player Troy Aikman
Troy Terry and Troy Aikman

From an early 2023 Anaheim Ducks video in which former football player Troy Aikman addresses his namesake, hockey player Troy Terry (b. 1997):

How cool are we to have the name Troy, first of all. Now I know why your parents named you Troy, so it makes me feel really proud. But what makes me feel even prouder is the fact that the Ducks organization has given me the honor to let you know that, for the second consecutive year, you my friend are an NHL All-Star.

Basketball star Wardell Stephen Curry II is typically addressed as Stephen (pronounced STEFF-in) or Steph (steff), but…

If you really, really know me, and you want to get under my skin a little bit, you go with Wardell. So there’s three options there. There’s Stephen, which is — I kind of know what the relationship is. If you go Wardell, that means we go way back.

Speaking of Steph Curry’s name…in 2013, the then-up-and-coming the Golden State player signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour instead of Nike in part because of a pair of name-related blunders:

The pitch meeting, according to Steph’s father Dell, who was present, kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as “Steph-on” […] “I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before,” says Dell Curry. “I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised that I didn’t get a correction.”

It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant’s name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials. “I stopped paying attention after that,” Dell says. Though Dell resolved to “keep a poker face,” throughout the entirety of the pitch, the decision to leave Nike was in the works.

From a 2016 article about Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was named, in part, after Ronald Reagan, president of the United States at the time of his birth [in 1985] and his father’s favorite actor. “My parents named me after him because they both liked this name and thought it sounded strong,” he tells me. “I know that my father admired him.”

From a 2013 ESPN interview with football player Frostee Rucker:

How did you get the name Frostee?

“My pop [Len] was a DJ while he was in the military and they called him DJ Frost because they said he was cold on the spins. [They called him] Frost, Frostee all that. No matter what he named me they were going to call me Little Frost anyway, so they named me Frostee.”

[…]

What was it like growing up named Frostee?

“It sucked growing up really because kids at Christmas time and teachers, and me being African American, it just didn’t all come together but about [the] time I came to high school it became a household name in Orange County (Calif.).

“It’s just benefited [me] from then. It’s always caught peoples’ eye in the paper and they wanted to know more. So I don’t know if I’ll name my kid that if I ever have one but at the same time being unique isn’t bad either.”

From a 2013 ESPNW article about tennis-playing sisters Alicia “Tornado” and Tyra Hurricane Black:

“We’re always going to be compared, but we’re the Black sisters not the Williams sisters,” [mom Gayal Black] said.

[…]

“Alicia got her name ‘Tornado’ when she was 3 and playing out of her mind,” she said. “We couldn’t believe how amazing she was and we knew then we had a champion. When the next one was born, we knew she could do it, too, and so her [legal] name is Tyra Hurricane.”

But raising champions was only a part of the strategy.

“I have a marketing degree . . . and I knew I needed to do something for them to stand out, and we thought it was cute,” Gayal said. “[Tornado didn’t like her name] a few years ago. Kids tease you. But now they understand it’s marketing and it’s very big to say a storm blew through the US Open.

Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan
“Ivan Ivan Ivan” (typo)

From a 2022 article in Sporting News about young Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan:

Ivan Ivan, a Czechia forward who has the same first and last name, took the hockey world by storm last December when he was on the team’s roster at the canceled World Juniors. While a graphic from December stating that his name was Ivan Ivan Ivan caused a stir, it’s unfortunately just Ivan Ivan.

(“Ivan Ivan” is a reduplicated name.)

From the 2015 essay “Why I converted to Islam” by basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor):

The transition from Lew to Kareem was not merely a change in celebrity brand name — like Sean Combs to Puff Daddy to Diddy to P. Diddy — but a transformation of heart, mind and soul. I used to be Lew Alcindor, the pale reflection of what white America expected of me. Now I’m Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the manifestation of my African history, culture and beliefs.

[…]

The adoption of a new name was an extension of my rejection of all things in my life that related to the enslavement of my family and people. Alcindor was a French planter in the West Indies who owned my ancestors. My forebears were Yoruba people, from present day Nigeria. Keeping the name of my family’s slave master seemed somehow to dishonor them. His name felt like a branded scar of shame.

[…]

Some fans still call me Lew, then seem annoyed when I ignore them. They don’t understand that their lack of respect for my spiritual choice is insulting. It’s as if they see me as a toy action figure, existing solely to decorate their world as they see fit, rather than as an individual with his own life.

From a 2014 11 Freunde tweet about World Cup-winning German soccer player Mario Götze:

Dieser Moment, in dem du dachtest: Wenn er den macht, nenne ich meinen Sohn Mario.

…Translation:

This moment, in which you thought: If he makes it, I call my son Mario.

From a 2016 Wall Street Journal article “How Many Mets Fans Name Their Babies ‘Shea’?“:

You’re not a real Mets fan unless you name your kid Shea.

Over the weekend, David Wright and his wife, Molly, had a baby girl. Her name: Olivia Shea Wright. Clearly, Wright has a fondness for the stadium where his Mets career began. So much so that he made his daughter part of a decades-old trend that seems to ebb and flow along with the success of the team.

(Shea Stadium was the home of the New York Mets from 1964 to 2008.)

From an article about roller derby skater names:

Some other things we noticed: 10 percent of the list falls into the “Tech & Geek” category, which includes names inspired by Computing (“Paige Not Found,” “Syntax Terror,” “Ctrl Alt Defeat”) fonts (“Crimes New Roman,” “Give ‘Em Hell Vetica”); Chemistry (“Carmen Die Oxide,” “ChLauraform”); and Philosophy (“Blockem’s Razor”).

From a 1998 obituary of surfer Rell Sunn:

There seemed to be a bit of destiny attached. Her middle name, Ka-polioka’ehukai, means Heart of the Sea.

“Most Hawaiian grandparents name you before you’re born,” she says. “They have a dream or something that tells them what the name will be.” Hawaiians also have a knack for giving people rhythmic, dead-on nicknames, and for young Rell they had a beauty: Rella Propella.

“My godmother called me that because I was always moving so fast,” says Rell. “To this day, people think my real name is Rella. Actually I was born Roella, a combination of my parents’ names: Roen and Elbert. But I hated it, and no one used it, so I changed it to Rell.”

From a 2017 interview [vid] with professional basketball player Isaiah Thomas (who was, at that time, a star player for the Boston Celtics):

My dad is from Los Angeles, California. He’s a big Laker fan. And he made a wager that if the Detroit Pistons beat the Lakers [in the 1989 Finals] he’d name his son Isiah Thomas. […] My mom, she grew up in church, and she liked the name but she wanted it spelled the biblical way, that’s why my name is spelled slightly different than the older Isiah Thomas.

(Thomas was born in February, but the Finals weren’t until June. Sports Illustrated clarifies that the bet was made before the birth — and well before the Finals — but that, by the time the baby arrived, Thomas’ father had “had warmed to the idea of his very own Isiah.”)

From the same interview [vid], former Detroit Pistons player Isiah Thomas getting a kick out hearing his own name being chanted at the Boston Garden:

It’s so beautiful [laughs]. I love it. I love it that, you know, and even though they’re not chanting my name, to hear them chant “MVP” and they’re talking about Isaiah Thomas in the Boston Garden — it’s just awesome.

(Here’s some background on the Pistons-Celtics rivalry.)

From a recent article in the Akron Beacon Journal about rookie football player Isaiah Thomas:

Thomas, 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, was named after the Hall of Fame basketball player Isiah Thomas. The Detroit Pistons star was his father’s favorite player and his mother loved the name because of what it represents in the Bible.

His dad wanted Thomas to be a basketball player, and Thomas said he won two state championships at Memorial High School in Tulsa. But there was never any debate over which sport Thomas would play.

From an article about athletes with strange middle names:

With a first name as iconic as Kobe Bryant’s, who needs a middle name with an interesting story? Well, Kobe Bryant does. His middle name — Bean — is a touching tribute to his father, Joe Bryant. Because of his high energy and ability to jump (guess Kobe must have inherited that particular skill), his father was nicknamed “Jellybean.” Luckily, Kobe’s parents didn’t go for the full candy-coated name and instead just dubbed him Kobe Bean Bryant.

From a late 2021 article about college football by AP journalist Stephen Hawkins:

Cincinnati cornerback Coby Bryant […] changed his number for the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Cotton Bowl against No. 1 Alabama on Friday.

Yes, Bryant is named after the late NBA great, even with the different spelling of the first name.

For the playoff game, Bryant switched from the No. 7 he had worn throughout his Cincinnati career to No. 8, one of the two numbers the basketball Hall of Fame player wore while winning five NBA titles over his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“My parents loved Kobe Bryant and my brother does too,” the Bearcats cornerback said. “So I was named for Kobe Bryant. It’s just spelled differently”

From an article about the name of Olympic swimmer Leisel Jones:

“Leisel was a very rare name when I was born in 1985… When I was born actually, my doctor said to my mum ‘you cannot call her Leisel because that’s not a name… You’re going to regret that one day,'” the Olympic swimmer said.

“And they absolutely did.”

The 32-year-old also went on to say having a unique name isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when no one can spell it right.

“The only problem with my name is it’s spelt L-E-I-S-E-L — and everyone spells it wrong. Everyone spells it as L-I-E-S-E-L,” she said.

“So that is a bit painful, it’s a bit annoying. But I do love my name and I love that it’s different.”

From an article about a college football team full of Jacobs (Jacob was the #1 name in the US from 1999 to 2012):

Preparing for the fall season, the offensive coordinator for University of Washington’s football team realized his team had a small problem. It went by the name Jacob.

The Pac-12 Huskies had four quarterbacks named Jacob or Jake (plus a linebacker named Jake and a tight end named Jacob).

From a 2015 article about British professional boxer Tyson Fury in The Guardian:

Yep, he is named after Mike Tyson, and yep, Tyson Fury is a perfect name for a boxer. Fury was born prematurely and only weighed one pound. “The doctors told me there was not much chance of him living,” said his father, John Fury. “I had lost two daughters in the same way who had been born prematurely. They told me there was not much hope for him. It was 1988, Mike Tyson was in his pomp as world heavyweight champion, and so I said, ‘Let’s call him Tyson’. The doctors just looked at me and smiled.”

From an ESPN article about MMA fighter Ilima-Lei Macfarlane:

She was named after the official island flower of Oahu — the ilima — recognizable for its delicate yellow petals.

“It was considered a flower for royalty,” Macfarlane said during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, “because it would take hundreds of flowers to make a lei, they’re so paper thin.”

From an article that asks, “Where did all the Bobs in baseball go?

By the turn of the century, the Bob-to-Rob transition had been essentially complete. No Major Leaguer has gone by Bob since journeyman reliever Bob Howry retired in 2010. There are dozens of Robs, Robbys and Bobbys currently in the Minors working their way up the ladder, but no Bobs to be found.

From an article about an 11-year-old golfer in Minnesota named after the Ryder Cup:

With a name like Ryder, practicing golf at a young is no accident. Ryan Carlson says, yes, his son’s name is inspired by the Ryder Cup, but he didn’t expect he’d be such a natural. Shortly after he began to walk, Ryder began swinging a plastic golf club, quickly learning how to hit balls.

From the book Becoming Something: The Story of Canada Lee (2004) by Mona Z. Smith:

Canada Lee was born in New York City on March 3, 1907, and christened with the mellifluous if somewhat daunting name of Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata.

[…]

The first time the leather-lunged [fight announcer Joe] Humphries got ready to introduce Lee, he looked down at his notes and saw a peculiar name: “Canegata, Lee.” Flummoxed by those alien syllables, Humphries tossed away the card with a snort and introduced the young fighter as “Canada Lee.”

Everybody liked the transmogrification, including Lee, and it stuck.

From the Mental Floss article “18 Athletes Going to Sochi Alone“:

If you do a Google search for the name Bruno Banani, you will get the German underwear company of that name. But it’s also the name of the first Winter Olympian from Tonga. Born Fuahea Semi, the Tongan rugby player and luger went by Bruno Banani to court sponsorship from the company. It was part of a deal endorsed by the Tongan royal family to enable the athlete to afford training in Germany with the world’s best lugers. The company insinuated that the name was just a coincidence that led to the sponsorship, but that story unraveled quickly. It wasn’t “just” a hoax; Semi legally changed his name to Bruno Banani. The International Olympic Committee decided that even though using a sponsor’s name is in bad taste, Banani is the name on his passport, so he will be the lone athlete representing Tonga at Sochi in the luge event.

From a 2018 interview with basketball player LeBron James [vid]:

I still regret giving my 14-year-old my name […] When I was younger, obviously, I didn’t have a dad. So, my whole thing was, like, whenever I have a kid, not only is he gonna be a junior, but I’m gonna do everything that this man didn’t do. They’re gonna experience things that I didn’t experience, and the only thing I can do is give them the blueprint, and it’s up to them to take their own course.

(LeBron, Jr., is nicknamed “Bronny” — no doubt to differentiate son from father, but perhaps also to take some of the pressure off. Here’s a post about how LeBron James has affected baby names over the years.)

From a 1987 Sports Illustrated interview with basketball player Fennis Dembo:

With apologies to World B. Free, Shaquille O’Neal and, yes, even God Shammgod, when it comes to staking a claim to basketball’s alltime name, Fennis Dembo enjoys Jordanlike distance from the pretenders. “I’m always a bit stunned that people still remember me,” says Fennis, whose mother, Clarissa, selected his name, along with that of his twin sister, Fenise, as a declaration that after 11 children, her childbearing days were finis. “I tried to set up an E-mail account, but two other guys–basketball fans, I guess–were already using my name in their address.”

From a newspaper article about soccer player Diego Maradona’s influence on baby names in Naples in July of 1984, soon after he’d joined S.S.C. Napoli:

Maternity hospitals reported another 30 new-born babies named Diego Armando, raising the count to 140 so far.

(Maradona died in November of 2020. Soon after, the Naples city council unanimously voted to change the name of the city’s stadium from “Stadio San Paolo” to “Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.” (CBS Sports))

From an article in The Athletic about babies being named after St. Louis Blues players:

When St. Louisans Alyssa and Dan Hoven call out the name of their 3-year-old son in public, the heads around them instinctively turn.

“Oh my God yeah, so many times,” Alyssa said. “If we’re out to eat, we’ll be like, ‘Vladi’ or ‘Vlad,’ and people are like, ‘Did you name him after Vladimir Tarasenko?’ It starts a ton of conversations, and when we tell them ‘Yes, we did,’ they get all excited and scream, ‘Let’s go Blues!'”

From a 2016 article about babies being named after Maple Leafs players in the Toronto Sun:

Leaf great Ron Ellis still exchanges Christmas cards with a man who was named Ron Ellis Lucas in his honour for his play during the 1960s.

From an interview with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Kyle Trask at Rivals.com:

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask returns Saturday to his home state of Texas, where he will play on the field he was named after.

His parents both went to Texas A&M, so he grew up an Aggies fan.

[…]

His father, Michael Trask, and mother, Melissa Charba, both attended the school in the late 1980’s. When they welcomed their second son on March 6, 1998, his first name came from A&M’s football stadium.

“My mom and dad were Aggies, so they named me after Kyle Field,” Trask revealed Monday. “My whole family is full of Aggies.”

From a 2014 article about high school basketball player Terance Mann in the Boston Globe:

The inevitable question that the Tilton School’s 6-foot-5-inch, 190-pound shooting guard has heard countless times before: Are you named after that Terence Mann?

“Most people think it’s from the movie ‘Field of Dreams,'” which featured a character portrayed by actor James Earl Jones, explained the junior, who, when not attending the boarding school in New Hampshire, lives in Lowell with his mother, Daynia La-Force, and 15-year-old brother, Martin. “But my grandma’s name is Terancia, and they named me after her.”

From an article about professional baseball player Nick Solak in the Dallas News:

Nick Solak is named after a sports bar.

[…]

Back in the 1980s, Nick’s Sports Page sat on the triangular plot of land where Chicago Road and Lincoln Avenue intersected in Dolton, Ill., one of those working-class suburbs on the South Side of Chicago. The exterior featured shaker shingles, chocolate-stained diagonal sheathing and baseball bats for door handles. On Feb. 5, 1985, it hosted Carlton Fisk Night, where patrons could meet the White Sox catcher, whose work ethic screamed South Sider, even if he actually grew up in New England.

Nobody recalls if South Siders Mark Solak or Roseann, née Pawlak, took home Fisk’s autograph, but they did take home each other’s phone numbers. Four years later, they were married. And when they were about to start a family in 1995, Nick — OK, officially, Nicholas — was the clear choice for a boy. They both liked the name. Plus, it had sentimental value as a nod to their South Side roots.

From an interview with Brazilian soccer player Oleúde José Ribeiro (translated from Portuguese):

Q: But, after all, is your name, Oleúde, inspired by Hollywood or not?

A: No, no, it was just a brilliant idea from my parents (laughs). Like it or not, this story always helped me, it drew the attention of reporters… the late Luciano do Valle always asked listeners to guess my name, saying that it was the capital of cinema, it had a lot of impact at the time. This Hollywood thing has become a legend, but it has nothing to do with it.

From an October 2022 episode of the Merloni, Fauria & Mego podcast, Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (born in 1999) answering a question about whether or not his mom had a crush on Bailey Salinger from Party of Five when she chose to name him after the character:

Her and my dad I guess were together, so I can’t — I don’t think she’ll publicly say she had a crush on him. … I think she said that she liked that he was the main character, I guess she was pregnant with me at the time, so … I guess that’s how I got the name.

From a post about distance swimmer Diana Nyad at the blog Having a Word:

On August 31 2013, record-breaking long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, aged 64, became the first person ever to swim the 110 miles of open water from Havana, Cuba, to Florida. She swam this distance in 53 hours and without the aid of a shark cage.

While this is a truly impressive feat of endurance and determination (this was her fifth attempt), what struck me was that with a name like Nyad she couldn’t have done anything else.

Nyad sounds like naiad – naiads in Greek mythology were water nymphs or spirits. That’s cute, I thought. Then I noticed that naiad is an anagram of her first name – Diana. Cue dramatic chords So, could this just be coincidence or is something else in play?

From an MLB.com article recounting how Jeter Downs met Derek Jeter:

So the man named after Derek Jeter by his baseball-crazed mother — even though his father is a Red Sox fan — had never actually met Derek Jeter?

It finally happened last week in a random encounter on a road in South Florida — sort of.

“This last week, I was driving, me and my brother were driving to go to [the] train,” said Downs. “We’re in traffic. My brother sees this Range Rover pulling up. He was like, ‘Oh my God, is that Jeter?’ He honks and I wave at him.

“I’m doing training with Raul Ibanez, [Jeter’s former teammate]. I called Raul and said, ‘Tell [Derek] Jeter that the kid he was waving at was Jeter [Downs].’ So then he told him that and it was pretty cool that I met him that way.”

From a recent Miami Herald article about high school football player Rowdy Beers:

There’s buzz about Beers at FIU [Florida International University].

The buzz started when Panthers coach Mike MacIntyre announced on Dec. 21 that FIU had signed the player with “the best name in college football.”

That would be 6-5, 225-pound tight end and Colorado native Rowdy Beers, who is from Littleton, which is nine miles south. of downtown Denver.

[…]

“As a kid,” Beers said, “any time I told my name to a new authority figure, they thought I was being disrespectful.”

[…]

Beers, who was named after three-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines, had right shoulder surgery on Dec. 29 but is expected to be ready by mid-May.

(Rowdy Beers also has three R-named siblings: Rocky, Raegan, and Rylie. Rowdy Gaines, however, is only nicknamed “Rowdy.” He was born Ambrose Gaines IV in 1959 — the year the baby name Rowdy debuted in the U.S. baby name data thanks to Rawhide.)

From an article about brothers Cale and Taylor Makar, both of whom play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche:

Cale was named after Cale Hulse, who played for the Calgary Flames when [their father] Gary was doing some business with the team. Taylor is named after Colonel George Taylor of the Planet of the Apes movies, a take charge guy, portrayed by Charlton Heston, who was thrust into a leadership role. (Just for the record, Heston’s politics and ardent support of the National Rifle Association are not shared by the Makar family. “Oh my god, that’s the opposite of us,” Gary said.)

[Another source clarifies that Cale’s first name is short for Caleb. Cale noted in this interview [vid] that he was nearly named “Kurt Russell Makar, after the actor. […] I dodged a bullet there, I think.”]

From the book Why Soccer Matters (2015) by late soccer legend Pelé (born Edson Arantes do Nascimento):

When Dondinho met my mother, Celeste, he was still performing his mandatory military service. She was in school at the time. They married when she was just fifteen; by sixteen she was pregnant with me. They gave me the name “Edson” — after Thomas Edison, because when I was born in 1940, the electric lightbulb had only recently come to their town. They were so impressed that they wanted to pay homage to its inventor. It turned out they missed a letter — but I’ve always loved the name anyway.

(“Dondinho” was the nickname of Pelé’s father, João Ramos do Nascimento.)

…and, regarding the nickname Pelé:

Growing up, I hated that damn nickname. After all, it was a garbage word that meant nothing. Plus, I was really proud of the name Edson, believing it was an honor to be named after such an important inventor.

(The nickname did come in handy, though. He “started thinking of “Pelé” almost as a separate identity” in order to cope with his sudden celebrity. “Having Pelé around helped keep Edson sane,” he said.)

From an interview with Australian surfer Kyuss King in Stab Magazine:

Yeah, music is definitely a massive part of my life, from listening to it to playing it! And metal is 100% at the top of my genre — there’s nothing like headbanging to some chunky riffs. Yeah, I was named after the band Kyuss. It was my dad’s favorite band through the ’90s. Funny story, my dad actually had the song Green Machine blasting in the hospital while my mum was in labor with me haha. I guess I kinda came into the world to that kind of music.

From a 2022 article about baseball player Zebulon Vermillion in the New York Post:

Zebulon Vermillion, as he has to explain to just about everyone he meets, was born in Vail, Colo., not too far from the Rocky Mountains and a summit known as Pikes Peak. His parents, the outdoorsy type, read that the apex was named after Zebulon Pike, and it stuck with them.

Vermillion’s last name is Nordic and middle name — Cassis — French, after a fishing port in Southern France. His mother, who is trilingual, loves the city.

From an article about Dutch soccer player Denzel Dumfries, who helped the Netherlands knock the U.S. out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament:

[Denzel Dumfries] was named after none other than no-nonsense movie icon Denzel Washington, star of films such as “Remember The Titans,” “Training Day” and “Courage Under Fire.”

“I don’t have [any] connection with the United States, but, yes, I was named after Denzel Washington,” Dumfries said. “My parents gave me that name. I am incredibly proud of it, because Denzel Washington is a really strong personality who voices his views on certain issues, and I am incredibly proud to be named after someone like that.”

From an article about 2014 MLB Draft names, regarding pitcher Blaze Tart:

If you name your child “Blaze,” he’s destined for one of only two career paths: baseball pitcher or American Gladiator.

(In case you’re wondering, Blaze is indeed an American Gladiator name.)

And finally, a bevy of B-names from basketball player Bradley Beal’s “About Brad” page:

Born on June 28, 1993, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, by Bobby and Besta Beal, there was little doubt that Brad would eventually be an athlete. Both parents played sports for Kentucky State — Bobby was a football player, Besta a basketball player.

[…]

There were four other people in Brad’s family who were instrumental in his development as an athlete, and ultimately, as a young man. His two older brothers, Bruce and Brandon, and his younger brothers, the twins Byron and Bryon.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

[Latest update: Oct. 2023]

Popular baby names in Argentina, 2020 & 2021

Flag of Argentina
Flag of Argentina

According to data from Argentina’s Registro Nacional de las Personas (RENAPER), the most popular baby names in the country in both 2020 and 2021 were Emma and Mateo.

First, here are Argentina’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names, 2020

  1. Emma, 7,966 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 5,409
  3. Martina, 5,236
  4. Isabella, 5,214
  5. Alma, 4,620
  6. Catalina, 4,099
  7. Mia, 4,084
  8. Ambar, 3,730
  9. Victoria, 3,722
  10. Delfina, 3,574

Boy Names, 2020

  1. Mateo, 7,750 baby boys
  2. Bautista, 5,237
  3. Juan, 5,125
  4. Felipe, 4,785
  5. Bruno, 4,440
  6. Noah, 4,428
  7. Benicio, 4,225
  8. Thiago, 3,772
  9. Ciro, 3,663
  10. Liam, 3,516

And, second, here are Argentina’s provisional 2021 rankings (which cover the year up to November 16):

Girl Names, 2021 (provisional)

  1. Emma, 5,201 baby girls
  2. Olivia, 3,958
  3. Alma, 3,579
  4. Martina, 3,475
  5. Isabella, 3,447
  6. Catalina, 3,025
  7. Mia, 2,651
  8. Roma, 2,389
  9. Sofía, 2,317
  10. Emilia, 2,316

Boy Names, 2021 (provisional)

  1. Mateo, 5,166 baby boys
  2. Bautista, 3,783
  3. Felipe, 3,673
  4. Noah, 3,563
  5. Juan, 3,381
  6. Liam, 3,114
  7. Benicio, 2,952
  8. Bruno, 2,821
  9. Thiago, 2,611
  10. Lorenzo, 2,256

My source article noted that the 2020 boys’ rankings included the names of all three of Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi’s sons: Thiago, Mateo, and Ciro.

It also noted that the girl name Roma was rarely used in the country until actress Dalma Maradona — daughter of Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona — welcomed her own daughter, Roma, in March of 2019. The next year, the name jumped to 15th place on the girls’ list. The year after that, it entered the top 10.

Finally, the name Lautaro — the Hispanicized version of Leftraru that we saw in the rankings for next-door neighbor Chile last week — ranked within Argentina’s top 20 in both 2020 and 2021. The name’s trendiness in Argentina right now probably has less to do with the original Lautaro (a 16th-century Mapuche warrior from Chile) and more to do with Argentine soccer player Lautaro Martínez.

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Flag of Argentina (public domain)