How popular is the baby name Mark 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 Mark.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mark


Posts that Mention the Name Mark

Popular baby names in New South Wales, 2021

new south wales

According to the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the most popular baby names in the Australian state last year were Amelia and Oliver.

Here are New South Wales’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Amelia
  2. Olivia
  3. Charlotte
  4. Isla
  5. Ava
  6. Mia
  7. Grace
  8. Chloe
  9. Ella
  10. Matilda

Boy Names

  1. Oliver
  2. Noah
  3. Jack
  4. Henry
  5. William
  6. Leo
  7. Lucas
  8. Theodore
  9. Levi
  10. Thomas

In the boys’ top 10, Theodore and Levi replaced Liam and Elijah.

In the girls’ top 10, Ella and Matilda replaced Sophia and Zoe. (“[I]t’s good to see Matilda waltzing up the charts,” quipped NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman.)

In 2020, the top names were also Amelia and Oliver.

Sources: Popular Baby Names | NSW Government, Matilda waltzes into the list of top baby names

What brought the baby name Breland back in 1984?

Boxer Mark Breland at the 1984 Summer Olympics
Mark Breland

The other day we talked about two girl names that were influenced by the 1984 Summer Olympics, so today let’s look at two boy names that were influenced by the same event.

The first is Breland, which appeared in the U.S. baby name data once in the 1920s, returned in 1984:

  • 1986: 9 baby boys named Breland
  • 1985: 11 baby boys named Breland
  • 1984: 10 baby boys named Breland
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

The man who brought it back was welterweight boxer Mark Breland, who won a gold medal at the Olympics after defeating South Korea’s Young-Su An.

The surname Breland could be either French or Norwegian. The French version was based on the Old French word brelenc, meaning “card table” (i.e., gambler), while the Norwegian version was a place name based on either bre, “glacier,” or breid, “wide.”

The name Tranel, like Ecaterina, was a one-hit wonder in the data in 1984:

  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: 8 baby boys named Tranel [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

The influence here was 21-year-old, 6′ 5″ athlete Tranel Hawkins, who competed in the 400-meter hurdles. He placed 6th overall, but might have done better if he hadn’t been assigned to Lane 1.

“Lane 1 is like the kiss of death,” Hawkins said.

Which name do you like more, Breland or Tranel?

Sources:

Baby same story: Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios

An ancient statue likely depicting the twins Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios.
Ancient statue of Cleopatra’s twins

In 40 B.C., Cleopatra VII (ruler of Egypt) and Mark Antony (co-ruler of the Roman Republic) welcomed fraternal twins, a boy and a girl.

The twins were named Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios — selene and helios being the Ancient Greek words for “moon” and “sun,” respectively — though their second names may not have been bestowed until they were around three, when they met their father for the first time (and he officially recognized them as his own).

Her surname (“the Moon”) — and that of her twin brother Alexander Helios (“the Sun”) — represents prophetic and allegorical concepts of the era in which she was born as well as her parents’ ambitious plans to create a new world order.

Both Cleopatra and Mark Antony committed suicide in 30 B.C. We don’t know what became of Alexander Helios after this, but Cleopatra Selene married Juba II of Mauretania and thereby became the queen of Mauretania until her death (circa 5 B.C.) — which, ironically, may have occurred right around the time of a lunar eclipse.

Sources:

  • Lorenzi, Rossella. “Faces of Cleopatra and Antony’s Twin Babies Revealed.” Live Science 21 Apr. 2012.
  • Roller, Duane W. “Cleopatra Selene.” Dictionary of African Biography, Vol. 2, ed. by Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 104-105.
  • Roller, Duane W. Cleopatra: A Biography. NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Roller, Duane W. Cleopatra’s Daughter: And Other Royal Women of the Augustan Era. NY: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Name Quotes #101: Nick, Nylic, Honeysuckle

Singer/rapper Lil Nas X talking about his birth name [vid], Montero Hill, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in early 2021:

Jimmy: So, where does Montero come from?

Nas: Ok, it’s slightly embarrassing, but not embarrassing. So my mom wanted the car, the Montero, you know? And she never got one…

Jimmy: What’s a Montero?

Nas: It’s a Mitsubishi. So, yeah, I’m named after a car.

From the 2004 book The Agassi Story, in which Andre Agassi‘s father, Emanoul, recounts renting a room on his first night in America (after emigrating from Armenia):

“Name?” asked the clerk.

Names are so important; they have so much to do with an individual’s personality, with what kind of person he or she becomes. Take the name Phil. Have you ever met a Phil who wasn’t easygoing? My oldest son is named Phil, Phillip, and that’s just what he is: Easygoing. Or consider the name Andre. It’s an aggressive name, a flamboyant name, and that’s just how my son Andre turned out to be.

So I thought a moment, and answered “Mike Agassi.” Mike was a simple name and I liked it. It sounded American. Honorable. More importantly, it was a name I could spell.

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 a 2013 article about actress Honeysuckle Weeks in the Independent:

With the names Honeysuckle Weeks and Charity Wakefield starring in the UK premiere production of These Shining Lives directed by Loveday Ingram, you can only imagine what rehearsals are like. It sounds as if they should all be in a Jilly Cooper novel – not a hard-hitting play about employees’ rights in the workplace.

From the book Strange Fascination (2012) by David Buckley, the story of how singer David Bowie (born David Jones) chose his stage name:

‘Bowie’, pronounced by the man himself and all his ‘die-hard’ fans to rhyme with ‘slowie’, as opposed to ‘wowie!’ as used by most ‘casual fans’ and chat-show presenters, was chosen for its connection with the Bowie knife. Jim Bowie (pronounced to rhyme with ‘phooey’) was a Texan adventurer who died at the Alamo in 1836, and carried a single-bladed hunting knife. Bowie’s description of why he chose the name is typically highly ambiguous. In the 70s, Bowie proclaimed that the knife signalled a desire to cut through lies to reveal hidden truths (a highly ironic comment, [given] Bowie’s capacity for deceit), while in a recent Radio 1 interview he said that he liked the connotations of a blade being sharpened from both sides, a signifier for all sorts of ambiguities. In fact, the Bowie knife has only one cutting edge, and is not double-bladed. This mistaken belief was held not just by Bowie, but by William Burroughs too. The choice of stage name nevertheless indicated a sense of being able to cut both ways, perfect for the pluralistic 60s. The name also derived, despite its association with Americana (a connection the English David was obviously happy about, his whole career musically being an English take on a largely American form), from a Scottish heritage, and Bowie quite liked that regional distinctiveness, too.

From a 2004 article about the usage of brand names as personal names in the Baltimore Sun:

When Virginia Hinton, a professor emeritus at Kennesaw State University, was researching a book on the history of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Milledgeville, Ga., she came across a girl named Nylic who was born around 1900. Nylic’s mother was an organist at the church, and her father was the local representative for the New York Life Insurance Co. — abbreviated NYLIC.

Popular baby names in Moscow, 2020

According to the Civil Registry of Moscow, the most popular baby names in the city last year were (again) Sofia and Alexander.

Here are Moscow’s top 6 girl names and top 6 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Sofia (Sofya), over 2,800 baby girls
  2. Maria, 2,200 baby girls
  3. Anna, 2,084
  4. Alisa, 1,729
  5. Viktoria, 1,705
  6. Polina, 1,603

Boy Names

  1. Alexander, over 2,500 baby boys
  2. Mikhail, 2,427 baby boys
  3. Maxim, 2,284
  4. Artyom, 1,827
  5. Mark, 1,666
  6. Ivan, 1,617

Less commonly bestowed names include Vesna, Dionysus, Iskra (“spark”), Lucifer, Venus-Veronica, Sever, Severina, and Yermak-Alexander. (Yermak could be a reference to the Russian folk hero Yermak Timofeyevich.)

Sources: From Mars to Zlatoslava and many more 2020 rare baby names