How popular is the baby name Mae 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 Mae.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mae


Posts that Mention the Name Mae

Where did the baby name Alprentice come from in 1970?

American activists John Huggins (1945-1969) and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter (1942-1969).
John Huggins and Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter

On January 17, 1969, on the campus of UCLA, a dispute broke out during a meeting of the African Student Union. The dispute turned violent and, ultimately, two members of the Black Panther Party — Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, 26, and John Huggins, 23 — were shot and killed by a member of a rival group, the black nationalist US Organization.

The next year, the rare name Alprentice appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data. It stayed there for a total of three years:

  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: 5 baby boys named Alprentice
  • 1971: 5 baby boys named Alprentice
  • 1970: 7 baby boys named Alprentice [debut]
  • 1969: unlisted

Both Carter and Huggins “had been accepted for UCLA’s “high potential” program for minority students who do not otherwise qualify academically for admission.”

In 2010, a plaque in memory of the men (“slain in the ongoing struggle for student empowerment and social justice”) was hung outside the classroom in which they were killed.

I’m not sure where Alprentice’s first name came from, but his nickname, “Bunchy,” was bestowed by one of his grandmother’s friends when he was a baby. Here’s how his mother, Nola Mae Carter, told the story:

“He was real plump when he was a baby, and she came and she started […] calling him Bunchy. And that’s how he got Bunchy” — like a bunch of greens.

Sources:

Image from the Sun-Telegram [San Bernardino, CA], 19 Jan. 1969, page 1.

Popular and unique baby names in Scotland (UK), 2021

scotland

According to the National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Olivia and Jack.

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

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 349 baby girls
  2. Emily, 318
  3. Isla, 317
  4. Freya, 270
  5. Ella, 259
  6. Amelia, 257
  7. Ava, 241
  8. Sophie, 238
  9. Grace, 235
  10. Millie, 216

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 382 baby boys
  2. Noah, 337
  3. Leo, 289
  4. Oliver, 284
  5. Harris, 273
  6. Finlay, 255
  7. Lewis, 254
  8. James, 252
  9. Rory, 247
  10. Alexander, 240

In the girls’ top 10, Millie replaced Lily.

In the boys’ top 10, Lewis replaced Archie.

The fastest-rising names in the girls’ top 100 were Lyla, Blake, and Rowan; the fastest-rising names in the boys’ top 100 were Carson, Struan, and Myles.

Other names that have seen higher usage recently include Maeva (influenced by Made in Chelsea actress Maeva D’Ascanio) and Connell (influenced by Normal People character Connell Waldron).

And what about the unique names?

Almost 12% of baby girls were given a name that no other girl was registered with in 2021. Almost 9% of boys had unique names for births last year.

Baby names bestowed just once in Scotland last year include…

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Arlo-Moon, Aquamarine, Boglarka, Bryar-Loch, Cleagh, Cocohuay, Dervla, Diadem, Ember-Willow, Estrid, Falluin, Floraidh, Ghillie, Gwenno, Hessa, Humna, Iolanthe, Ischia, Jahanara, Juaa, Ketaki, Knoxie, Linaz, Liola-Sky, Mharli-Mae, Myfanwy, Nardos, Nymeria, Ocean-Bleu, Otterly, Pannavee, Paris-Sarah, Quinnie, Ribhinn, Ruoyi, Salka, Stuti, Thyra, Tifa, Unsa, Velvetjane, Wilda, Xiylo, Ying, Zanna, ZarnishArziki, Athilan, Bligh, Bruar, Caladh, Ciurar, Domhnall, Doski, Eloim, Ezra’banx, Firth, Fury, Gilmar, Guyan, Hanzala, Harcus, Ieuan, Ivaylo, Jockie, Joris, Kairimui, Kallikrates, Linstrum, Lorenzo-Moon, Marric, Massinissa, Nakoah-Knox, Nimrod, Oputjo, Otter, Parnaj, Prokop, Quanders, Rascal, Rhue, Simanga, Somhairle, Torben, Trix, Uziah-Nova, Vakaris, Wrath, Xanthus, Yuveer, Zander-Blu, Zebedee

Here are possible explanations/associations for some of the above:

  • Diadem, a type of crown
  • Ischia, an island near Naples
  • Nymeria, a direwolf from Game of Thrones
  • Ribhinn, a Scottish-Gaelic word (rìbhinn) meaning “maiden, girl”
  • Tifa, a character from the Final Fantasy video games
  • Kallikrates, a 5th-century BC Greek architect
  • Masinissa, a 2nd-century BC Numidian king
  • Somhairle, a 12th-century Norse-Gaelic king

Finally, here are the 2020 rankings for Scotland, if you’d like to compare.

Source: Babies’ First Names 2021 – National Records of Scotland, Trends in baby names 2021 (PDF)

Babies named for Alla Nazimova

Actress Alla Nazimova in the movie "A Doll's House" (1922).
Alla Nazimova in “A Doll’s House

Russian-American silent film actress Alla Nazimova (pronounced nah-ZEE-moh-vah) was most popular in the U.S. in the late 1910s and early 1920s.

After becoming a theater star in Russia in the early 1900s, she moved to New York and made her Broadway debut in 1906. Then she successfully transitioned from stage to screen:

In the 1910s Nazimova became one of the first Broadway actresses to match and even surpass her stage success when she became a screen star, reportedly drawing the highest salary in Hollywood from Metro, and creating the type of European exotic with which Pola Negri and, in a different way, Garbo and Deitrich would later become identified.

She was often credited simply as “Nazimova.” Her film company, founded in 1917, was also named Nazimova:

"A Nazimova Production"

The name Nazimova has never surfaced in the U.S. baby name data, but I’ve found several dozen U.S. females named Nazimova. Most were born around the time the actress was at the height of her fame. Some examples…

  • Nazimova Ratleff (née Bordenave), b. 1917 in Louisiana
  • Nazimova Marvine Gatwood (née Edwards), b. 1919 in Ohio
  • Nazimova McKinley (née Hastings), b. 1920 in Indiana
  • Nazimova Goodale (née Hatcher), b. 1920 in Iowa
  • Nazimova Smith, b. circa 1920 in Louisiana
  • Nazimova Davis (née Ebright), b. circa 1920 in Louisiana
  • Nazimova Williams (née Tolbert), b. 1921 in Mississippi
  • Nazimova Dean (née Moore), b. 1921 in Oklahoma
  • Nazimova Sweeney (née Brunson), b. 1921 in Indiana
  • Nazimova Perry, b. 1922 in Pennsylvania
  • Dorothy Nazimova Shaffer (née Montgomery), b. 1922 in Texas
  • Nazimova Regina Fleming (née Jeanfreau), b. 1922 in Louisiana
  • Nazimova Cathrine Naleilehua Katz, b. 1922 in Hawaii
  • Nazimova Brunious (née Santiago), b. 1923 in Louisiana
  • Nazimova Lee (née Holland), b. 1923 in Georgia
  • Nazimova Mae Niedermeyer (née Beckett), b. 1924 in Iowa
  • Nazimova Anderson, b. 1925 in Texas

Alla Nazimova was born in Yalta in the late 1870s. Her birth name was Mariam Edez Adelaida “Alla” Leventon. Her stage surname, Nazimova, is said to have been inspired by the character Nadezhda Nazimova from a Russian novel called Children of the Streets.

What are your thoughts on Nazimova as a given name?

P.S. Nazimova’s goddaughter, Anne Frances “Nancy” Robbins, also became an actress — under the name Nancy Davis. Nancy married fellow actor Ronald Reagan in 1952, and went on to serve as First Lady of the United States during most of the 1980s.

Sources:

Maine family with 22 Children

children

Charles and Effie Dickey of Maine married in 1881 and went on to welcome 22 children — 14 girls, 8 boys — from the 1880s until the 1910s.

Here are the names of all the kids:

  1. Emma Mae (b. 1882)
  2. Ada Alice (b. 1883)
  3. Arthur Earness (b. 1884)
  4. Everlena Maude (b. 1885)
  5. Fannie Blossom (b. 1886)
  6. Nina Eudora (b. 1887)
  7. George Elwin (b. 1888)
  8. Fay Edna (b. 1889)
  9. Everett Onward (b. 1890)
  10. Merritt Carnot (b. 1891)
  11. Lema Inez (b. 1894)
  12. Margaret Ellen (b. 1896)
  13. Charles Loring (b. 1897)
  14. Effie Etta (b. 1898)
  15. Mildred Hortense (b. 1900)
  16. Ivan Thomas Nye (b. 1901)
  17. Floyd Merton (b. 1903)
  18. Arline Beatrice (b. 1904)
  19. Theodore Rayden (b. 1906)
  20. Jessie Alberta (b. 1908)
  21. Ila Pearl (b. 1909)
  22. Hilda Bernice (b. 1911)

I think it’s funny that they decided to name two of the children after themselves only after already having a dozen. Maybe they were running out of ideas at that point. :)

Which of the above is your favorite? (I’d have to go with #8’s middle, “Onward.” What an interesting choice.)

Sources: Descendants of 22 siblings plan Maine reunion, Effie Etta Estes Dickey (1866-1950) – Find a Grave

Babies named for the Eiffel Tower

Photo of the Eiffel Tower during the Paris Exposition (1889).
The Eiffel Tower in 1889

The Eiffel Tower was created by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exposition of 1889 (which marked the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution). It took more than two years to construct and was the tallest man-made structure in the world until 1930.

We’ve already talked about one person named Eiffel Tower, and, since then, I’ve found a second Eiffel Tower. If we do a records search for the name Eiffel, though, we find dozens more. “Eiffel” was never common enough in the U.S. to appear in the SSA data, but I see Eiffels as early as 1889 in the SSDI, and as early as 1887 (the year construction began*) in vital records.

Here are the best-documented, U.S.-born Eiffels I found from the last years of the 1880s and the first years of the 1890s. Two-thirds of them are female.

Did you know that Gustave Eiffel’s surname at birth was actually Bönickhausen?

In the early 1700s, Gustave’s ancestor Jean-Rene Bönickhausen relocated from a town in the mountainous Eifel region of Germany to the capital of France and began going by Eiffel (perhaps because it was easier to pronounce than Bönickhausen). So the official surname of this branch of the family tree became “Bönickhausen, dit Eiffel.” Gustave didn’t legally shorten it to Eiffel until 1879.

The word “Eifel” can be traced back to the Early Middle Ages, but the etymology is unknown.

What are your thoughts on Eiffel as a first name? Would you use it?

*The Eiffel Tower was being mentioned in the newspapers was early as mid-1886, but the name wasn’t set yet; it was being called things like “the Great Tower,” “the Tower of Paris,” and “the Eiffel Tall Tower.”

Sources:

Image: Eiffel Tower, with Fountain Coutan to left, looking toward Trocadéro Palace, Paris Exposition, 1889 – LOC