How popular is the baby name Louise 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 Louise.

The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the baby name Louise

Posts that mention the name Louise

Where did the baby name Anfernee come from in 1992?

Basketball player Anfernee Hardaway
Anfernee Hardaway

The curious name Anfernee debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1992 and reached peak usage in 1996:

  • 1998: 102 baby boys named Anfernee
  • 1997: 171 baby boys named Anfernee [rank: 838th]
  • 1996: 300 baby boys named Anfernee [rank: 597th]
  • 1995: 246 baby boys named Anfernee [rank: 669th]
  • 1994: 84 baby boys named Anfernee
  • 1993: 42 baby boys named Anfernee
  • 1992: 21 baby boys named Anfernee [debut]
  • 1991: unlisted

This corresponds to the rise of Tennessee-born basketball player Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.

He played for two seasons at Memphis State before being selected third overall in the 1993 NBA draft.

As a professional, Anfernee spent his first six seasons with the Orlando Magic. During that time, he was voted an NBA All-Star four times in a row, from 1995 to 1998.

So how did he come to be called “Anfernee”? Here’s how his mother, Fae, explained it:

When I was in school at Lester High, there had been a boy named Anfernee. I always thought it was such a beautiful name. People think I don’t know how to spell Anthony. His nickname, Penny? That came from Mama. She called him Pretty, but in the country, that comes out ‘Pweddy.’ People just took it from there.

(Anfernee was raised largely by Fae’s mother, Louise, a former sharecropper.)

Among Anfernee Hardaway’s namesakes are baseball player Anfernee Grier (born in 1995), basketball player Anfernee Simons (b. 1999), and football players Anfernee Jennings (b. 1996) and Anfernee Orji (b. 2000).

What are your thoughts on the name Anfernee?


Image: Anfernee Hardaway trading card

Popular baby names in Monaco, 2023

Flag of Monaco
Flag of Monaco

In 2023, the Western European microstate of Monaco welcomed 804 babies — 388 baby girls and 416 baby boys. All of these babies were born in Monaco’s single public hospital, the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace (which was named after Grace Kelly).

Notably, though, only 229 them were born to residents of Monaco. The other 575 were born to non-residents, most of whom came from the nearby French communes of Menton, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, and Beausoleil.

So, what were the most popular names among the (mostly French) babies born in Monaco last year? Louise and Théo.

Here are Monaco’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2023:

Girl names

  1. Louise
  2. Chloé
  3. Emma
  4. Jade
  5. Chiara

Boy names

  1. Théo
  2. Gabriel
  3. Léo
  4. Leonardo
  5. Andrea

Last year’s newborns included “the latest member of the Grimaldi family” — a baby girl named Victoire, born in April to Louis Ducruet (the son of Princess Stéphanie, whose brother, Prince Albert, is the current head of state). The House of Grimaldi has been the reigning house of the Principality of Monaco since the late 13th century.

In 2022, the top names in Monaco were Emma and Leonardo.


Image: Adapted from Flag of Monaco (public domain)

What gave the baby name Madonna a boost in the mid-1980s?

Madonna's album "Like a Virgin" (1984)
Madonna album

From the early 1900s to the late 1960s, Madonna was one of the top 1,000 girl names in the United States. In terms of rankings, it was most popular in the 1930s; in terms of raw numbers of births, it was most popular in the ’50s and ’60s.

The name has been in decline ever since, but it did see a sudden spike in usage in 1985:

  • 1987: 61 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1986: 70 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1985: 146 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1984: 63 baby girls named Madonna
  • 1983: 23 baby girls named Madonna

In fact, it almost landed back inside the top 1,000 that year. (It ranked 1,033rd, just seven babies shy of 1,000th place.)

Here’s a visual:

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

What gave it a boost?

Mononymous pop superstar Madonna (birth name: Madonna Louise Ciccone).

The singer was born into a Catholic family in Michigan in 1958. She was named after her mother. (Her five siblings are named Anthony, Martin, Paula, Christopher, and Melanie.)

Madonna rose to fame in the mid-1980s with a string of catchy hits:

  • “Holiday,” which peaked at #16 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in January of 1984
  • “Borderline,” which peaked at #10 in June of 1984
  • “Lucky Star,” which peaked at #4 in October of 1984
  • “Like a Virgin,” which peaked at #1 for six weeks starting in December of 1984
  • “Material Girl,” which peaked at #2 in March of 1985
  • “Crazy for You,” which peaked at #1 in May of 1985
    • It was written for the movie Vision Quest, in which Madonna had a cameo.
  • “Angel,” which peaked at #5 in June of 1985
  • “Into the Groove,” which was never technically released as a single
    • It was featured in the movie Desperately Seeking Susan, in which Madonna had a leading role.
  • “Dress You Up,” which peaked at #5 in October of 1985

She also got a lot of exposure on MTV. One of her most memorable MTV moments was the suggestive “Like a Virgin” performance at the very first Video Music Awards (in September of 1984):

In 1991, during a Vanity Fair interview, Madonna posed the question: “How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna?”

Her name is based on the word madonna (which meant “my lady” in Old Italian). Today it’s associated with the Virgin Mary — hence its usage as a given name in Catholic families — but, centuries ago, it was simply a polite form of address similar to madame or milady. (Madonna’s first child, a daughter born in 1996, was also given a Virgin Mary-associated name: Lourdes.)

What are your thoughts on the name Madonna? Would you use it?


P.S. Coincidentally, the primary male characters in two of Madonna’s early movies — Vision Quest and Who’s That Girl — had nearly the same (rather uncommon) first name: Louden/Loudon.

Baby name story: Victoria Melita

Princess Victoria Melita (1876-1936)
Victoria Melita

In early 1874, Prince Alfred (son of Queen Victoria) married Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna (daughter of Czar Alexander II) in St. Petersburg. Their wedding “directly united the British and Russian royal families for the first time.”

(To mark the occasion, a London bakery invented the Marie biscuit, also known as the Maria cookie.)

Alfred and Maria ended up having five children: Alfred, Marie, Victoria Melita, Alexandra, and Beatrice.

Their third child was born in November of 1876 while her father, a Royal Navy officer, was stationed on the island of Malta (which was then part of the British Empire). The baby girl was named Victoria after her grandmother and Melita after the national personification of Malta, her birthplace.

Where does the name Melita come from?

Most of the time, it derives from the ancient Greek word meli, meaning “honey.” In the case of the allegorical figure, however, it came from the name of an ancient Maltese city.

Melita (or Melite) was the Roman name of the city. The Romans had taken the island from the Phoenicians during the Second Punic War. The Phoenicians’ original name for the city (founded in the 8th century B.C.) was Maleth, meaning “shelter.”

What are your thoughts on the name Melita?

P.S. Victoria Melita’s older sister, Marie, went on to marry the future king of Romania. (Americans became familiar with Marie and two of her children, Nicolae and Ileana, when the three of them toured the U.S. for several weeks in late 1926.) And Victoria Melita’s paternal uncle, the future Edward VII, was the father of Louise, Victoria and Maud, a.k.a., Louvima.

Sources: Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha – Wikipedia, The marriage of Prince Alfred and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna – The Royal Collection Trust, Early Inhabitants – Visit Malta
Image: Victoria Melita autograph card