How popular is the baby name Merritt 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 Merritt.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Merritt


Posts that Mention the Name Merritt

Top gender-neutral baby names of 2021: Parker, River, Charlie

snail

Looking for baby names that work for both genders?

Actually, let me rephrase that: Do you want to see which names are being given to sizeable numbers of baby boys and baby girls in the U.S. right now?

I wanted to ask the question in a more specific way because I think the details matter. Names can be gender-neutral in theory, but that doesn’t mean they’re being given to babies of both genders in practice.

It’s the difference between Evelyn and Everest.

Gender identity is a big topic of conversation these days, so it’s not surprising that an ever-growing number of parents are searching for baby names that aren’t strongly associated with one gender or the other.

To know what’s happening with baby names in real life, though, we need to focus on the data. That’s why I didn’t consider anything but data when I created the list below.

These names were culled from the 2021 U.S. baby name data (provided by the U.S. Social Security Administration). Each one saw usage that was at least one-third female and at least one-third male, making all of them relatively gender-neutral among today’s newborns.

Top gender-neutral baby names

Let’s start with a quick rundown of the 20 most popular gender-neutral baby names in the U.S. right now:

  1. Parker
  2. River
  3. Charlie
  4. Blake
  5. Hayden
  6. Emerson
  7. Amari
  8. Finley
  9. Remington
  10. Phoenix
  11. Oakley
  12. Dakota
  13. Tatum
  14. Rory
  15. Ari
  16. Alexis
  17. Armani
  18. Remy
  19. Reign
  20. Milan

Now here’s the same list again, but this time around I’ve added more information: data, rankings, popularity graphs, and definitions.

Parker (#1)

Last year, the name Parker was given to 6,229 babies. Of these babies, 2,406 (38.63%) were girls and 3,823 (61.37%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Parker placed 115th for girls and 93rd for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Parker in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Parker

Parker is an English surname that originally referred to someone who was employed as the keeper of a hunting park.

River (#2)

Last year, the name River was given to 5,317 babies. Of these babies, 1,862 (35.02%) were girls and 3,455 (64.98%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, River placed 151st for girls and 110th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name River in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name River

River, the English word that refers to a flowing body of water, was derived from the Latin word ripa, meaning “riverbank” or “seashore.”

Charlie (#3)

Last year, the name Charlie was given to 4,190 babies. Of these babies, 2,202 (52.55%) were girls and 1,988 (47.45%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Charlie placed 127th for girls and 189th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Charlie in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Charlie

Charlie is a diminutive of the male name Charles, which ultimately comes from the Germanic name Karl, which meant “freeman” (i.e., not a serf or slave).

Interestingly, Charlie is a top-10 name for boys in some regions (like New Zealand and Ireland) and a top-10 name for girls in others (like Quebec).

Blake (#4)

Last year, the name Blake was given to 3,337 babies. Of these babies, 1,497 (44.86%) were girls and 1,840 (55.14%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Blake placed 199th for girls and 205th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Blake in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Blake

Blake is an English surname that can be traced back to either of two Old English words that happen to have opposite meanings — one being “black,” the other being “white.”

Hayden (#5)

Last year, the name Hayden was given to 3,283 babies. Of these babies, 1,096 (33.38%) were girls and 2,187 (66.62%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Hayden placed 290th for girls and 176th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Hayden in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Hayden

Hayden is an English surname that originally referred to someone from one of several different like-named locations. In many cases, the place names were made up of elements meaning “hay” and “hill.” (Depending upon the location, though, the first element sometimes meant “fence enclosure,” and the second element sometimes meant “valley.”)

Emerson (#6)

Last year, the name Emerson was given to 2,952 babies. Of these babies, 1,729 (58.57%) were girls and 1,223 (41.43%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Emerson placed 167th for girls and 279th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Emerson in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Emerson

Emerson is an English surname that originally referred to the son of someone named Emery.

Amari (#7)

Last year, the name Amari was given to 2,880 babies. Of these babies, 972 (33.75%) were girls and 1,908 (66.25%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Amari placed 333rd for girls and 199th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Amari in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Amari

Amari is a modern name that doesn’t seem to have a specific origin or meaning.

Finley (#8)

Last year, the name Finley was given to 2,705 babies. Of these babies, 1,407 (52.01%) were girls and 1,298 (47.99%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Finley placed 211th for girls and 265th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Finley in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Finley

Finley is based on the Gaelic name Fionnlagh, which is made up of elements meaning “white” and “warrior.”

Remington (#9)

Last year, the name Remington was given to 2,475 babies. Of these babies, 890 (35.96%) were girls and 1,585 (64.04%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Remington placed 348th for girls and 231st for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Remington in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Remington

Remington is an English surname that originally referred to someone from the town of Rimington, in Lancashire. (It’s also an American gun brand.)

Phoenix (#10)

Last year, the name Phoenix was given to 2,454 babies. Of these babies, 1,032 (42.05%) were girls and 1,422 (57.95%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Phoenix placed 308th for girls and 248th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Phoenix in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Phoenix

Phoenix, the word that refers the mythological bird that rises from its own ashes, was derived from an ancient Greek word meaning “crimson” or “purple.”

Oakley (#11)

Last year, the name Oakley was given to 2,292 babies. Of these babies, 1,524 (66.49%) were girls and 768 (33.51%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Oakley placed 193rd for girls and 403rd for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Oakley in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Oakley

Oakley is an English surname that originally referred to someone from one of several different like-named locations. In all cases, the place names were made up of elements meaning “oak” and “clearing.”

Dakota (#12)

Last year, the name Dakota was given to 2,090 babies. Of these babies, 1,147 (54.88%) were girls and 943 (45.12%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Dakota placed 270th for girls and 344th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Dakota in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Dakota

Dakota, the name of a Native American tribe, means “friendly” or “allied” in the Siouan language of the Dakota people.

Tatum (#13)

Last year, the name Tatum was given to 1,959 babies. Of these babies, 1,125 (57.43%) were girls and 834 (42.57%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Tatum placed 279th for girls and 385th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Tatum in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Tatum

Tatum is an English surname that originally referred to the homestead of someone named Tata.

Rory (#14)

Last year, the name Rory was given to 1,919 babies. Of these babies, 789 (41.12%) were girls and 1,130 (58.88%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Rory placed 396th for girls and 295th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Rory in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Rory

Rory is an Anglicized form of the Irish name Ruaidhri, which is made up of elements meaning “red” and “king.”

Ari (#15)

Last year, the name Ari was given to 1,598 babies. Of these babies, 649 (40.61%) were girls and 949 (59.39%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Ari placed 478th for girls and 342nd for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Ari in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Ari

Ari has several potential definitions, including: “lion” in Hebrew, “brave” in Armenian, and “eagle” in Icelandic.

Alexis (#16)

Last year, the name Alexis was given to 1,569 babies. Of these babies, 940 (59.91%) were girls and 629 (40.09%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Alexis placed 341st for girls and 472nd for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Alexis in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Alexis

Alexis comes directly from the ancient Greek (male) name Alexis, which meant “helper” or “defender.”

Armani (#17)

Last year, the name Armani was given to 1,540 babies. Of these babies, 661 (42.92%) were girls and 879 (57.08%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Armani placed 469th for girls and 369th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Armani in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Armani

Armani is an Italian surname that originally referred to the child of someone named Armano. (It’s also an Italian fashion brand.)

Remy (#18)

Last year, the name Remy was given to 1,451 babies. Of these babies, 550 (37.90%) were girls and 901 (62.10%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Remy placed 550th for girls and 357th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Remy in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Remy

Remy, written Rémy in French, is based on the Latin name Remigius, which meant “oarsman.”

It’s interesting that both Remy and Remington are on this list. Remy is a stand-alone name…but it could also be used as a nickname for Remington.

Reign (#19)

Last year, the name Reign was given to 1,338 babies. Of these babies, 884 (66.07%) were girls and 454 (33.93%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Reign placed 349th for girls and 608th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Reign in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Reign

Reign is an English word that can be traced back to the Latin word regnum, meaning “royal power” or “kingdom.”

Milan (#20)

Last year, the name Milan was given to 1,278 babies. Of these babies, 452 (35.37%) were girls and 826 (64.63%) were boys.

In terms of rankings, Milan placed 655th for girls and 388th for boys.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Milan in the U.S.
Usage of the baby name Milan

Milan is a Slavic name based on the element milu, meaning “dear, sweet.” (It’s also a city in northern Italy.)

More gender-neutral baby names

What other gender-neutral names made the cut?

Here are the names that were used a bit less often than the twenty above…

Number of babies*Percent girlsPercent boys
Shiloh1,24561.69%38.31%
Legacy1,08666.30%33.70%
Salem97062.99%37.01%
Briar95562.20%37.80%
Denver94138.68%61.32%
Skyler93058.92%41.08%
Drew91337.13%62.87%
Jamie84748.41%51.59%
Bellamy81245.44%54.56%
Justice81246.92%53.08%
Azariah79447.23%52.77%
Layne76143.63%56.37%
Chandler75839.97%60.03%
Ocean67345.77%54.23%
*Male and female usage added together

All of the above ranked among both the top 1,000 girl names and the top 1,000 boy names last year. Two of the below (Robin and Landry) did as well.

Number of babies*Percent girlsPercent boys
Quincy65333.38%66.62%
Murphy61065.25%34.75%
Tru60836.02%63.98%
Kingsley59437.71%62.29%
Robin54653.11%46.89%
Amiri50234.46%65.54%
Landry48955.01%44.99%
Ira46535.91%64.09%
Kacey42548.94%51.06%
Joey42441.75%58.25%
Campbell41450.72%49.28%
True40553.09%46.91%
Everest38534.55%65.45%
Arden38558.70%41.30%
Harlem37937.20%62.80%
Shea37963.85%36.15%
Sol37563.47%36.53%
Bowie37036.76%63.24%
*Male and female usage added together

Most of the above appeared in at least one top-1,000 list last year. The exceptions were Kacey, Campbell, True, Arden, Shea, and Sol.

None of the names from this point onward reached the top 1,000 for either gender.

Number of babies*Percent girlsPercent boys
Hollis36245.03%54.97%
Yael34839.37%60.63%
Joan34045.59%54.41%
Laken31556.19%43.81%
Gentry30245.36%54.64%
Lux29636.15%63.85%
Sidney29355.29%44.71%
Kasey28456.34%43.66%
Kadence28066.43%33.57%
Ever27840.65%59.35%
Camdyn27036.67%63.33%
Jael27048.15%51.85%
Dominique26033.46%66.54%
Montana26057.69%42.31%
Kodi25856.20%43.80%
Ramsey25447.24%52.76%
Perry25342.69%57.31%
Storm24557.14%42.86%
Ashtyn24360.91%39.09%
Honor24047.92%52.08%
Kit23344.64%55.36%
Brighton23246.98%53.02%
Isa22733.48%66.52%
Armoni21050.00%50.00%
Merritt20860.58%39.42%
Jupiter20662.62%37.38%
Arrow20338.42%61.58%
Laine20363.55%36.45%
Jules20143.78%56.22%
*Male and female usage added together

Here are the gender-neutral baby names that saw overall usage ranging from 100 to 199 babies (in descending order):

Yuri, Arie, Ridley, Kobi, Jean, Channing, Linden, Shannon, Indiana, Marlo, Taylin, Divine, Cypress, Iman, Daylin, Aris, Wynn, Jelani, Halston, Rumi, Camari, Jackie, Austen, Azari, Issa, Lake, Huntley, Amen, Loren, Eastyn, Sora, Everette, Timber, Kaylen, Johnnie, Nikita, Ryver, Lexington, Reilly, Hudsyn, Charleston, Aven, Akari, Koi, Dru, Lou, Kylar, Payson, Finlee, Cove, Halen, Bryar, Royale, Tracy, Eliyah, Larkin, Amarii, Mecca, Britton, Emari, Nazareth, Kamani, Valentine, Ellington, Tenzin, Ryley, Kaidence, and Kirby.

And, finally, here are the gender-neutral names that saw overall usage ranging from 50 to 99 babies (in descending order):

Soul, Gracen, Daelyn, Wisdom, Conley, Arley, Evren, Rogue, Rhythm, Peace, Mykah, Blue, Masyn, Lowen, Golden, Callaway, Phoenyx, Blu, Lael, Rainn, Tommie, Bleu, Jadyn, Alexi, Bennie, Lennix, Choyce, Amaree, Atley, Rei, Crimson, Tristyn, Maeson, Declyn, Honest, Ilya, Amory, Rawlings, Jianni, Jensyn, Teigen, Lynden, Weslee, Maze, Graycen, Zaelyn, Paxtyn, Tennessee, Davey, Marvel, Joud, Rhylan, Deniz, Azure, Davy, Desi, Rhen, Breeze, Arlie, Harlo, Roux, Riven, Lakota, Airam, Denym, Jae, Tayler, Bostyn, Adair, Ciel, Namari, Kodie, Quinlan, Salah, Drue, Kamoni, Kayan, Jordin, Carrington, and Sakari.


Most of the names above don’t have a long history of usage in the U.S., so they aren’t anchored one gender or the other — making them good options for expectant parents who want names that work for both genders.

Note that many fall into a handful of categories, including: nature names, place names, surnames, color names, and virtue names. It may be worthwhile to focus on categories like these as you continue your search, as they’ll tend to naturally contain a good proportion of gender-neutral names.

If you’d like to see popularity graphs for any of the names in this post, check below for the long list of tags. Each tag is a name, so just find the name you’re interested in and click through. The graph will need a moment to load — it’s grabbing a lot of data — but it will allow you to see at a glance the name’s current gender-balance (and make an informed guess about its near-future gender-balance, given the current trajectories).

Sources:

Top image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

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

Popular baby names in Casper (Wyoming), 2020

In 2020, the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper welcomed 892 babies. The names of about 620 of these babies were shared online via the hospital’s website. A few days ago, the hospital “mined those announcements for our most popular names list for 2020,” finding that the most frequently occurring names for girls was Paisley and for boys was Jackson.

I don’t usually post rankings from non-governmental sources, but, in this case, there were just so many names in comparison to the size of the city (about 58,000 residents) that I decided to go ahead and publish the full list…

10 babies named:

  • Jackson (Jaxen, Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon)

7 babies named:

  • Logan
  • Oliver
  • Paisley (Paizlee, Paizleigh)

6 babies named:

  • Adaline (Adeline, Adalyn, Adalynn, Addilynn)
  • Amelia (Emelia, Emilia)
  • Emma
  • Grayson
  • Reilly (Rieleigh, Riely, Riley, Ryleigh)
  • Sawyer

5 babies named:

  • Cooper
  • Everlee (Everleigh, Everly)
  • Oakleigh (Oakley)
  • Theodore

4 babies named:

  • Addison (Addyson)
  • Asher
  • Ava
  • Benjamin
  • Caysen (Kasen, Kason)
  • Charlie (Charlee, Charles)
  • Everette
  • Isabella (Izabella, Izzabella)
  • Kinsleigh (Kinsley)
  • Nathan
  • Wyatt

3 babies named:

Adrian, Alexander, Ashton (Ashtyn), Aspen, Aurora, Bennett, Blake (Blayke), Bristol, Brixley (Brixleigh, Brixli), Brooklyn, Carter, Christian, David, Declan (Deklynn), Elijah, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellie, Ethan, Ezra, Grace, Hunter, Holden, Jack, Layla, Leo, Liam, Lyla (Lilah), Lincoln, Lorenzo, Lydia, Lyra, Mason, Noah, Olivia, Owen, Richard, Rilynn (Ryelin, Ryelynn), Rowan (Rowen), Ryker, Skyla, Sophia (Sofia)

2 babies named:

Aiden/Aidyn, Allison/Alyson, Amara, Annabelle, Arya, Aubriella, Averie/Avery, Barrett, Bentley, Bodhi/Bodie, Braxton, Bryar/Bryor, Brynlee, Caroline, Carson/Karson, Catherine/Katherine, Colt, Colten/Colton, Damian, Daniel, Daxton, Dayton, Dylan, Eli, Eliana, Elliot, Emerson/Emersyn, Emery/Emory, Evelyn, Finley, Gabriella, Gentry, Harmony, Harper, Harrison, Haven/Hayven, Hayden, Hazel, Hazely/Hazleigh, Henry, Hudson, Ian, Isaac, Isaiah, Islah/Islla, Jasper, Jaxtyn, Jayden, Joel, Julian, Julius, Justin, Kaiser/Kaizer, Kamara, Kaysen/Kayson, Kellen, Kennedi/Kenydee, Kenzlee/Kenzleigh, Kinley/Kynleigh, Kyran/Kyren, Leighton/Leyten, Lenix/Lennox, Levi, Lorelai/Lorelei, Madeline/Madelyn, Malachi, Malaya/Maleah, Maria/Meriah, Maverick, Maya, Mila, Miles, Millie, Naomi, Natalia, Nevaeh, Parker, Paul, Penelope, Rachael/Rachel, Rae/Rey, Raylan, Ronan, Ryder, Samantha, Samuel, Sara/Sarah, Savanna/Savannah, Scarlett, Sebastian, Silas/Sylias, Skylar/Skyler, Spencer, Sydney/Sidney, Tenslee/Tensley, Theo, Weston/Westin, Violet, Zachary, Zoey

1 baby named:

  • Abel, Abraham, Ace, Adam, Adonis, Aeris, Adrian, Aiden, Aksel, Aleassia, Alexandria, Alianna, Allen, Ambrose, Amias, Amiya, Anderson, Angel, Anika, Annalynn, Annie, Anson, Antonina, Archer, Ariella, Ariya, Armando, Arrow, Ashlyn, Athena, Aubree, August, Augustus, Avaianna, Aynslee, Azariah, Azayla
  • Bailey, Baylor, Beau, Becklynn, Bella, Berklie, Bethany, Bonnie, Bradley, Braitton, Branson, Brantley, Braxley, Brayden, Braylee, Brennan, Brexton, Brian, Briggson, Brittany, Brixon, Brock, Broden, Bronx, Brooks, Brylee, Burke
  • Caelan, Cain, Callie, Callum, Calvin, Cameron, Cannon, Carilina, Case, Cash, Charisma, Chasyn, Chloe, Christopher, Ciella, Claire, Cody, Colby, Collyn, Colter, Cree, Crew, Cullen, Cuyler
  • Dailyn, Dakota, Dani, Dean, Delilah, Destin, Diesel, Divine, Douglas, Draco, Draeden
  • Ebony, Eccho, Edison, Eleanor, Elias, Elivia, Ellen, Ellis, Ember, Emily, Emmanuel, Emmie, Emmitt, England, Etta, Evan, Evander, Ezmae
  • Felix, Francis, Fredrick, Freya
  • Genevieve, George, Gideon, Graham, Grey, Griffin
  • Hodassah, Haddie, Hadley, Hailey, Harlan, Harley, Harlow, Harris, Harvey, Hayes, Hendrix, Henleigh
  • Icelynn, Ily, Isabelle, Isaias, Ivan, Ivy, Iylah
  • Jaden, Jaime, Jalin, James, Jameson, Jase, Javier, Jayce, Jaycee, Jayson, Jeremiah, Jessica, Jessie, Jett, JJ, Joanna, John, Jojo, Jolie, Jonah, Jonathan, Josephine, Josie, Joyce, Jude, Julie, June
  • Kade, Kaelyn, Kaiden, Kaii, Kaleah, Kamari, Kambry, Kambryn, Kamdyn, Kane, Karalynn, Kaspian, Kaylee, Kaylynn, Keaton, Keenston, Keira, Kenai, Kendrey, Kevin, Keylin, Khaos, Kieran, Killian, Kimber, Kimora, Kit, Klarke, Kodah, Koen, Kolby, Kole, Korah, Korbyn, Koy, Kyara, Kyden, Kylie, Kyson
  • Lainey, Lakelyn, Lance, Laramie, Laura, Layne, Legend, Lennon, Leopold, Lillian, Lilliean, Lillyanna, Lily, Lola, Londyn, Lorraine, Luca, Lucius, Luke, Lynlee, Lyvie
  • Macie, Macklin, Maddison, Maddox, Mae, Maevelyn, Maggie, Maisey, Mandy, Marceline, Margaret, Mario, Marisa, Marisol, Marleigh, Mary, Mateo, Matthias, Mavis, Maxwell, Mazikeen, Mckenzie, Meadow, Melia, Melody, Merrik, Merritt, Meyer, Mia, Michael, Michelle, Miklo, Milo, Mira, Montana, Myra
  • Nancy, Nash, Natalie, Nathaneil, Naylin, Nehemiah, Nicholas, Nolen, Nora, Nova, Nylin
  • Oaks, Onyx, Oraya, Orian, Orin, Ostara
  • Paxton, Persephone, Presley, Pyper
  • Quincy
  • Rableen, Raeleah, Raven, Reed, Relik, Remi, Remington, Renato, Revi, Rhett, Riatta, Riggs, Rodolfo, Rogan, Roman, Rosalee, Rosemarie, Rowdy, Roxas, Roy, Ruby, Ryann, Ryatt, Ryott
  • Sadie, Sage, Sandra, Saphira, Seraphina, Serenah, Serenity, Shadow, Shelby, Sheridan, Shyanne, Simon, Skadi, Skylynn, Solveig, Sophie, Sorin, Stella, Sterling, Stetley, Storey, Sturgis, Sutton, Sylar, Sylvia
  • Tala, Talia, Tareyn, Tate, Tavin, Taylee, Teagan, Tennyson, Tess, Tessin, Theotis, Thomas, Tillie, Tinlee, Titan, Tobin, Travis, Trenton, Trexton, Tripp, Turner
  • Vada, Vanessa, Vera, Vincent
  • Walker, Watson, Waylon, Westley, Wilder, Wiley, William
  • Xavier, Xia, Xililah, Ximena
  • Yianeli
  • Zachariah, Zaydin, Zayne, Zeppelin, Zinnia, Zoe

Source: Casper’s most popular baby names, 2020 – Wyoming Medical Center (via archive.org)

Where did the baby name Ryder come from in 1960?

The character Ryder Smith from the movie "Where the Boys Are" (1960)
Ryder Smith from “Where the Boys Are

The baby name Ryder became trendy in the early 21st century, thanks in large part to actress Kate Hudson naming her son Ryder in early 2004.

But Ryder wasn’t new to the data at that point. It first showed up in the early 1960s:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: 7 baby boys named Ryder
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 6 baby boys named Ryder [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted

The source? Looks to be Where the Boys Are, which was actually three things: a bestselling novel published in early 1960, a successful movie released in late 1960, and the movie’s title track, which peaked at #4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in early 1961.

The book focused on a group of four co-eds — Merritt, Tuggle, Melanie, and Angie — from a Midwestern college. For spring break, they decided to escape winter and head to the sunny beaches of Ft. Lauderdale. Because that’s where the boys were, of course. And the “boy” that main character Merritt eventually fell for was an Ivy Leaguer named Ryder Smith.

The book was a comedy, but also included realistic depictions of the behaviors and attitudes of teenagers in the early ’60s. The Saturday Review called it “[b]oth good comedy and first-rate social anthropology.”

The author, Glendon Swarthout, was an English professor at Michigan State University. In the late 1950s, when he was in his early 40s, he learned about the tradition of going to Fort Lauderdale for spring break (which had begun with collegiate swimmers in the 1930s). He tagged along with his students one year, and soon after wrote a book inspired by the experience.

The movie Where the Boys Are, which was a watered-down version of the book, was out by late December. It featured a cast of relatively unknown actors. The most famous face in the film was that of singer Connie Francis, who played Angie (and also sang the title track).

Merritt was played by Dolores Hart, and the character clearly had an influence on the usage of Merritt as a girl name:

  • 1963: 12 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1962: 13 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1961: 17 baby girls named Merritt
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

Merritt’s love interest, Ryder, was played by “a young, preternaturally tan George Hamilton.” Her friend Melanie was played by Yvette Mimieux, who’d appeared on the big screen as Weena earlier the same year.

Thanks to the book and (especially) the movie, spring break grew from a minor phenomenon into the “cultural rite of passage” that it is today. The number of American college students flooding into Fort Lauderdale every spring swelled from about 15,000 before the book came out to about 370,000 by the mid-1980s.

The trendiness of Fort Lauderdale as a spring break destination peaked in the ’80s, but the trendiness of Ryder (as a boy name) didn’t peak until the mid-2010s:

  • 2018: 3,000 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 131st]
  • 2017: 3256 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 122nd]
  • 2016: 3,883 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 102nd]
  • 2015: 4,154 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 98th]
  • 2014: 4,103 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 95th]
  • 2013: 3,785 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 103rd]
  • 2012: 3,814 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 100th]
  • 2011: 3,706 baby boys named Ryder [rank: 108th]

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

Sources: How an MSU Professor Helped Popularize Spring Break into a National Rite of Passage, Where the Boys Are (1960) – Emanuel Levy, Spring Break – Time

Numerology & baby names: Number 4

Baby names with a numerological value of 4

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “4.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “4” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “4,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

4 via 13

The following baby names add up to 13, which reduces to four (1+3=4).

  • “13” girl names: Cai, Eh, Ece, Gea
  • “13” boy names: Cade, Cai, Al, Eh, Cj, Jc, Dace, La

4 via 22

The following baby names add up to 22, which reduces to four (2+2=4).

  • “22” girl names: Lia, Kaia, Ila, Giada, Ali, Hala, Aicha, Bibi, Lee, Adel
  • “22” boy names: Ali, Lee, Dale, Hadi, Bane, Mace, Akai, Adel, Boe, Agam

4 via 31

The following baby names add up to 31, which reduces to four (3+1=4).

  • “31” girl names: Blake, Demi, Kara, Macie, Miah, Aliah, Janae, Delia, Haddie, Gina
  • “31” boy names: Jacob, Blake, Kaleb, Cash, Kane, Ahmed, Koda, Taj, Gian, Cedar

4 via 40

The following baby names add up to 40, which reduces to four (4+0=4).

  • “40” girl names: Maya, Lola, Angela, Kiara, Megan, Alaya, Linda, Maleah, Kenia, Hailee
  • “40” boy names: David, Diego, Camden, Jude, Zaid, Neil, Lucca, Allan, Boden, Abner

4 via 49

The following baby names add up to 49, which reduces to four (4+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “49” girl names: Emilia, Athena, Jayla, Logan, Kyla, Harlee, Karen, Dallas, Aliza, Milan
  • “49” boy names: Logan, Luke, Aaron, Jose, Ayden, Milo, Adriel, Dallas, Milan, Bruce

4 via 58

The following baby names add up to 58, which reduces to four (5+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “58” girl names: Lily, Arianna, Liliana, Natalia, Daisy, Josie, Nicole, Ariella, Aniyah, Ryan
  • “58” boy names: Ryan, Nathan, Miles, Jesse, Holden, Hayes, Pedro, Albert, Kieran, Isaias

4 via 67

The following baby names add up to 67, which reduces to four (6+7=13; 1+3=4).

  • “67” girl names: Gabriella, Michelle, Ruth, Lyric, Paislee, Kaliyah, Aurelia, Jessie, Brylee, Jillian
  • “67” boy names: Julian, Dominic, Miguel, Bradley, Jensen, Jaylen, Brycen, Julio, Cullen, Marcelo

4 via 76

The following baby names add up to 76, which reduces to four (7+6=13; 1+3=4).

  • “76” girl names: Kinley, Emory, Lorelei, Rory, Hayley, Addisyn, Emmeline, Ansley, Kathleen, Kataleya
  • “76” boy names: Thomas, Emmett, Dawson, Jeremy, Louis, Rory, Dexter, Nixon, Jerry, Sylas

4 via 85

The following baby names add up to 85, which reduces to four (8+5=13; 1+3=4).

  • “85” girl names: Anastasia, Gracelyn, Brinley, Ainsley, Madisyn, Aubrielle, Tinley, Paityn, Sevyn, Finnley
  • “85” boy names: Steven, Donovan, Kayson, Franklin, Finnley, Boston, Ulises, Korbyn, Zackary, Jovanni

4 via 94

The following baby names add up to 94, which reduces to four (9+4=13; 1+3=4).

  • “94” girl names: Willow, Genevieve, Harmony, Evangeline, Alessandra, Antonella, Bernadette, Kinsleigh, Emberlyn, Aislynn
  • “94” boy names: Braxton, Jaxtyn, Brayson, Everest, Reynaldo, Trevon, Jiovanni, Sebastien, Alexandro, Gregorio

4 via 103

The following baby names add up to 103, which reduces to four (1+0+3=13).

  • “103” girl names: Princess, Scarlette, Roslyn, Merritt, Nicolette, Rosemarie, Justyce, Valkyrie, Violett, Xitlaly
  • “103” boy names: Greyson, Solomon, Yisroel, Zeppelin, Marquise, Merritt, Perseus, Tiberius, Jaxston, Tyrus

4 via 112

The following baby names add up to 112, which reduces to four (1+1+2=4).

  • “112” girl names: Brooklyn, Emmersyn, Victory, Weslynn, Divinity, Odyssey, Reighlynn, Zeplynn, Kopelynn, Houston
  • “112” boy names: Stetson, Valentino, Guillermo, Houston, Zayvion, Brooklyn, Augustin, Hawthorne, Ollivander, Trayson

4 via 121

The following baby names add up to 121, which reduces to four (1+2+1=4).

  • “121” girl names: Persephone, Courtney, Tiaraoluwa, Kierstyn, Zonnique, Amarachukwu, Morrison, Cortlynn, Estrellita, Ivylynn
  • “121” boy names: Courtney, Morrison, Kristofer, Christofer, Quintus, Aloysius, Trysten, Christophe, Trustin, Zymarion

4 via 130

The following baby names add up to 130, which reduces to four (1+3+0=4).

  • “130” girl names: Oluwatoni, Mariaguadalupe, Monzerrat, Viktoriya, Christionna, Constantina
  • “130” boy names: Wynston, Prynceton, Xzayvier, Souleymane, Washington, Oluwaseyi, Oluwatoni, Juventino, Ugochukwu, Oluwakorede

4 via 139

The following baby names add up to 139, which reduces to four (1+3+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “139” girl names: Gwyndolyn, Oluwadamilola, Anuoluwapo, Christopher, Quetzally, Mariavictoria, Kymberlynn
  • “139” boy names: Christopher, Kristopher, Martavious, Fitzpatrick, Oluwadamilola

4 via 148

The following baby names add up to 148, which reduces to four (1+4+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “148” girl names: Oluwateniola, Marykatherine, Moyinoluwa, Oluwatobiloba
  • “148” boy names: Oluwatobiloba, Michaelanthony

4 via 157

The boy name Marquavious adds up to 157, which reduces to four (1+5+7=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 166

The boy name Muhammadyusuf adds up to 166, which reduces to four (1+6+6=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 175

The unisex names Kosisochukwu adds up to 175, which reduces to four (1+7+5=13; 1+3=4).

What Does “4” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “4” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “4” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“4” (the tetrad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “Anatolius reports that it is called ‘justice,’ since the square (i.e., the area) […] is equal to the perimeter”
  • “It is the prerequisite of the general orderliness of the universe, so they everywhere called it a ‘custodian of Nature.'”
  • “Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad”
  • “The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body).”
  • Examples of things that are divided into four parts:
    • “four traditional seasons of the year — spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
    • “four elements (fire, air, water and earth)”
    • “four cardinal points”
    • “four distinguishing points – ascendant, descendant, mid-heaven and nadir”
    • “Some say that all things are organized by four aspects – substance, shape, form and principle.”

“4” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “In four, it makes for the greater weaknesses in the divisions…four being more of a division and weakness” (reading 261-15).
  • “In four, we find that of a division – and while a beauty in strength, in the divisions also makes for the greater weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “4” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 22, 49, 76, 103) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 4, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).