How popular is the baby name Louise 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 Louise.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Louise


Posts that Mention the Name Louise

Baby born into Lear family, named Shanda

chandelier

Self-taught inventor and businessman William P. “Bill” Lear (1902-1978) is best remembered as the founder of Learjet, the first company to manufacture compact business jets.

In the world of baby names, though, he has an entirely different claim to fame: He named a daughter Shanda to create the pun-name Shanda Lear (read: chandelier).

So, what’s the story?

Bill met his fourth wife, Moya Olsen, in the mid-1930s. They met through Moya’s father, vaudeville comedian John “Ole” Olsen.

They had their first date (drinks at the Stork Club) in 1938, and tied the knot in early 1942.

Bill, who already had three children (Mary Louise, William, and Patti) from previous marriages, went on to have four more children with Moya.

Their first was a boy named John, born in December of 1942.

Their second, born in 1944, was a girl — and she was indeed named Shanda. Years later, Moya recounted:

My father said if you have a girl, her name has to be Shanda. S-H-A-N-D-A. Shanda Lear. And if it’s a boy, you name it Gonda and if you’re not sure, it’s Lava.

Their last two children were named David (b. 1948) and Tina (b. 1954).

During an interview in 2007, Shanda Lear mentioned her name while describing her father, who she said was a “quixotic, outspoken and charismatic man who had a great sense of humor. He thought it was quite funny naming me Shanda Lear.”

What are your thoughts on this name?

Sources:

Image by Fabio Tura from Unsplash

Popular baby names in Belgium, 2021

Belgium

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Noah.

Here are Belgium’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 580 baby girls
  2. Emma, 500
  3. Louise, 455
  4. Mila, 435
  5. Alice, 416
  6. Camille, 403
  7. Lina, 394
  8. Sofia, 359
  9. Ella, 352
  10. Juliette, 346
  11. Nora, 342
  12. Mia, 325
  13. Marie, 317
  14. Lucie, 314
  15. Anna, 303
  16. Jade, 296
  17. Elena, 281
  18. Eva, 280
  19. Julia, 279
  20. Noor, 263
  21. Nina, 256
  22. Léa, 252
  23. Victoria, 249
  24. Chloé, 244
  25. Alix, 235
  26. Lou, 232
  27. Elise, 220
  28. Zoé, 215
  29. Giulia, 212
  30. Ellie, 210 (tie)
  31. Luna, 210 (tie)
  32. Liv, 209
  33. Renée, 207
  34. Amélie, 204
  35. Inaya, 202
  36. Rose, 194
  37. Charlotte, 191
  38. Jeanne, 188 (tie)
  39. Lily, 188 (tie)
  40. Lena, 187
  41. Sara, 176
  42. Manon, 171
  43. Julie, 170
  44. Mona, 160
  45. Alba, 159
  46. Livia, 155
  47. Billie, 154 (tie)
  48. Sophia, 154 (tie)
  49. Amira, 146
  50. Clara, 144 (tie)
  51. Stella, 144 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 627 baby boys
  2. Arthur, 584
  3. Louis, 558
  4. Liam, 537
  5. Jules, 526
  6. Adam, 474
  7. Lucas, 426
  8. Gabriel, 422
  9. Victor, 416
  10. Oscar, 336
  11. Leon, 310
  12. Mathis, 294 (tie)
  13. Mohamed, 294 (tie)
  14. Finn, 289
  15. Léon, 275
  16. Matteo, 264
  17. Lewis, 251
  18. Hugo, 245
  19. Nathan, 238
  20. Luca, 234
  21. Elias, 225
  22. Raphaël, 223
  23. Théo, 221
  24. Amir, 217 (tie)
  25. Eden, 217 (tie)
  26. Rayan, 209
  27. Lou, 208
  28. Milo, 205
  29. Yanis, 204
  30. Achille, 201
  31. Otis, 194
  32. Sacha, 191 (tie)
  33. Vic, 191 (tie)
  34. Felix, 190
  35. Marcel, 187
  36. Basile, 185
  37. Aaron, 179
  38. Léo, 178
  39. Maurice, 174
  40. Alexander, 173
  41. Maël, 171
  42. Emiel, 168 (tie)
  43. Georges, 168 (tie)
  44. Jack, 167 (tie)
  45. William, 167 (tie)
  46. Emile, 163 (tie)
  47. Vince, 163 (tie)
  48. Samuel, 161
  49. Gaston, 159
  50. Oliver, 158

If Leon and Léon had been counted as a single name, their combined total (585) would have been enough to edge Arthur (584) out of second place on the boys’ list.

And the gender-neutral name Lou managed to pop up on both lists in nearly the same spot: 26th for girls, 27th for boys.

Map of the three regions of Belgium
Belgium’s three regions

The top baby names within each of Belgium’s three regions were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
Flanders
(57.6% of the population)
Language: Dutch
1. Olivia, 328
2. Ella, 303
3. Marie, 275
4. Mila, 266
5. Nora, 261
1. Noah, 399
2. Arthur, 321
3. Jules, 311
4. Leon, 288
5. Louis, 284
Wallonia
(31.8% of pop.)
Language: French/German
1. Emma, 204
2. Olivia, 203
3. Louise, 190
4. Alice, 188 (tie)
5. Lucie, 188 (tie)
1. Gabriel, 266
2. Louis, 235
3. Liam, 233
4. Arthur, 208
5. Jules, 191
Brussels-Capital
(10.6% of pop.)
Languages: Dutch/French
1. Lina, 89
2. Sofia, 83
3. Emma, 60 (tie)
4. Nour, 60 (tie)
5. Olivia, 49
1. Mohamed, 118
2. Adam, 112
3. Gabriel, 82
4. Amir, 70
5. Noah, 62

And here’s a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum — names that were given to just 5 babies each in Belgium last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Anabia, Believe, Caro, Dea, Elaïa, Fallone, Gaby, Heike, Iluna, Jennifer, Kessy, Lyssia, Mahsa, Nihal, Otice, Puck, Queen, Ramla, Siloé, Toos, Vlera, Wassila, Yseult, ZuriAloys, Brandon, Celle, Doruk, Erion, Fedde, Gustav, Hazar, Ilyass, Jip, Karsten, Lothar, Maksim, Nellis, Obi, Paulin, Qays, Riff, Silvio, Tille, Vidar, Wiebe, Yavuz, Zjef

(I’m a little surprised that as many as 5 baby girls in Belgium got the English word “believe” as their first name. I wonder if something specific was influencing that usage…?)

This time around, Belgium also highlighted the girl and boy names that saw the largest increases and decreases in usage over the last decade (2011-2021). The top 5 in each category were…

  • Girl names
    • Largest increases: Alba, Ellie, Ellis, Alya, Cilou
    • Largest decreases: Lisa, Laura, Julie, Lotte, Anaïs
  • Boy names
    • Largest increases: Georges, Lio, Gaston, Otis, Lyam
    • Largest decreases: Maxime, Thomas, Simon, Wout, Nathan

Finally, here’s a link to Belgium’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare.

Sources: First names for boys and girls | STATBEL, Demographics of Belgium – Wikipedia

Map: Adapted from Regions of Belgium by Ssolbergj under CC BY 3.0.

Popular baby names in Paris, 2021

Paris, Eiffel Tower

According to Paris Data, the most popular baby names in the capital of France last year were Louise and Gabriel.

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

Girl Names

  1. Louise, 217 baby girls
  2. Alma, 207
  3. Emma, 178
  4. Chloé & Adèle, 151 each (2-way tie)
  5. Anna, 150
  6. Olivia, 142
  7. Jeanne & Eva, 138 each (2-way tie)
  8. Rose, 133
  9. Gabrielle, 131
  10. Alice, 129

Boy Names

  1. Gabriel, 357 baby boys
  2. Adam, 250
  3. Louis, 245
  4. Raphaël, 233
  5. Arthur, 227
  6. Noah, 191
  7. Isaac, 187
  8. Joseph & Mohamed, 178 each (2-way tie)
  9. Léon, 171
  10. Léo, 166

And here’s a selection of names from lower down in the rankings (which includes all names given to at least five babies per gender, per year).

Parisian Girl NamesParisian Boy Names
Garance (53 girls), Nelya (30), Ysée (23), Jennah (23), Nava (15), Athénaïs (12), Calypso (8), Alizée (5), Mazarine (5)Henri (42 boys), Kylian (25), Dario (14), Archibald (11), Zéphyr (11), Pacôme (8), Tancrède (8), Enguerrand (7), Orphée (6)

In 2020, the top two names in Paris were also Louise and Gabriel.

Sources: Liste des prénoms – Paris Data, Découvrez le top 10 des prénoms donnés en 2021 à Paris

Popular baby names in France, 2020

France

According to France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the most popular baby names in the country in 2020 were Jade (pronounced zhad) and Léo.

Here are France’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Jade, 3,814 baby girls
  2. Louise, 3,811
  3. Emma, 3,478
  4. Alice, 2,987
  5. Ambre, 2,746
  6. Lina, 2,731
  7. Rose, 2,664
  8. Chloé, 2,574
  9. Mia, 2,458
  10. Léa, 2,429

Boy Names

  1. Léo, 4,496 baby boys
  2. Gabriel, 4,415
  3. Raphaël, 3,970
  4. Arthur, 3,800
  5. Louis, 3,795
  6. Jules, 3,551
  7. Adam, 3,386
  8. Maël, 3,292
  9. Lucas, 3,245
  10. Hugo, 3,129

In the girls’ top 10, Mia replaced Mila.

The boys’ top 10 includes the same 10 names, but in a different order.

In 2019, the top two names in France were Emma and Gabriel.

Source: Classement des prénoms en France depuis 1900 – Insee

The Judd family of Hawaii

The Judd family of Hawaii on the 1940 U.S. Census
The Judd family on the 1940 U.S. Census

Hawaiian couple Raymond and Anna Judd had at least 8 children during the 1920s and 1930s.

On the 1940 U.S. Census, their children are listed as Raymond Jr., Louise, James, Maxwell, Lydia, Lehua, Reginald, and Nayland.

But their full names were really…

  • Raymond Murray Laniolaikapikoihiihilauakea (b. 1922)
  • Louise Julia Kalaninuiahilepalepa (b. 1923)
  • James Haulukaokeahienaena (b. 1924)
  • Maxwell Winfred Kuuleimamoulukapaehuokalani (b. 1927)
  • Lydia Anna Haleakala (b. 1928)
  • Marvelle Pauline Kaualililehua “Lehua” (b. 1930)
  • Reginald Wilhelm Kananinoheaokuuhomeopuukaimanaalohilohinokeaweaweulamakaokalani (b. 1936)
  • Nayland Clayton Kaleinaonalani (b. 1938)

At least two of these names ended up making the news.

The one that popped up in papers worldwide was Reginald’s Hawaiian name, which had 63 letters and was said to mean “the beautiful aroma of my home at sparkling diamond hill is carried to the eyes of heaven.” I don’t know how accurate this definition is, but I could find some of the corresponding Hawaiian words — like pu’u (meaning “hill”), kaimana (“diamond”), ‘alohilohi (“sparkling”), and maka (“eyes”) — in the name.

Clipping from the Daily Examiner in Australia (Oct. 12, 1936).
Daily Examiner (Australia), 1936

A decade earlier, Maxwell’s Hawaiian name was also in the news — at least locally.

Clipping from the Honolulu Advertiser (Jan. 12, 1927).
Honolulu Advertiser, 1927

I couldn’t find a translation of Maxwell’s Hawaiian name, or translations for any of the other Hawaiian names. (In fact, I’m not even 100% sure about the spellings of those names.) Regardless, here are some observations…

  • Raymond’s Hawaiian name, Laniolaikapikoihiihilauakea, seems to refer to the ‘ihi’ihilauakea — a fern endemic to Hawaii.
  • James’s Hawaiian name, Haulukaokeahienaena, seems to refer to a raging fire: ke (“the”), ahi (“fire”), ‘ena’ena (“glowing, red-hot, raging”).
  • Lydia’s Hawaiian name, Haleakala, was the middle name of her grandmother (Louise Haleakala, b. 1879) and the first name of her great-grandmother (Haleaka, b. 1847). The word means “house of the sun” and refers to the volcano on Maui.
  • Marvelle’s nickname, Lehua, from her Hawaiian name Kaualililehua, refers to the Lehua plant.

What are your thoughts on these names?

Sources: