How popular is the baby name Michele 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 Michele.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Michele


Posts that Mention the Name Michele

Popular baby names in Liechtenstein, 2020

liechtenstein

The tiny country of Liechtenstein — located in the Alps, between Austria and Switzerland — welcomed 188 baby girls and 165 baby boys in 2020. According to Liechtenstein’s Office for Statistics (Amt für Statistik), the most popular baby names in the German-speaking microstate were Sofia and Maximilian/Oscar (tie).

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

Girl Names

  1. Sofia/Sophia, 7 baby girls
  2. Laura, 5
  3. Hanna/Hannah, 4
  4. Amélie/Amelie, Anna, Annika, Emma, Julia, Lina, Mia, Nina, Noemi, Nora, Sophie, and Valentina, 3 each [12-way tie]
  5. Alya, Amelia, Elena, Elisa/Eliza, Ella, Emilia, Estelle, Klara, Lara, Leonie, Letizia, Luisa, Malia/Maliyah, Mara, Melissa, Mina, Naomi, Noelia, and Paula, 2 each [19-way tie]

Boy Names

  1. Maximilian and Oscar/Oskar, 4 baby boys each [tie]
  2. Laurin, Leo, Lian/Lyan, Luis/Louis, Noah/Noa, and Theo, 3 each [6-way tie]
  3. Gustav, Henri, Ivan/Iwan, Lenny, Leon, Leopold, Matteo, Max, Muhamed/Muhammed, Nico, Nino, Noel, and Thiago/Tiago, 2 each [13-way tie]

(Lian, one of the 2nd-place boy names, is a German short form of Julian or Kilian.)

Liechtenstein also released the single-use baby names of 2020, which is very cool. All the names not accounted for above are in the table below:

Unique girl names (98)Unique boy names (113)
Adea, Adriana, Ahlam, Aitana, Alejna, Alenia, Alina, Ally, Alya-Su, Amina, Amy, Anastasia, Anely, Annalena, Anna-Rosa, Anouk, Aria, Ariana, Aslihan, Aurora, Bissan, Carolina, Cecilia, Chiara, Clea, Cora, Darija, Elenia, Elina, Elizabeta, Elizan, Elna, Eltea, Emanuela, Esîlya, Fabia, Farah, Fatima, Fjella, Georgie-Gisele, Gioia, Giulia, Helena, Ida, Ilenia, Iris, Irma, Ivy, Jamie, Joleen, Joya, Juna, Kaia, Katharina, Keysi, Ksenija, Lena, Leonor, Lilian, Liyana, Loredana, Lorena, Luana, Luena, Maeva, Malak, Maria, Maria-Luisa, Marie, Melina, Merle, Mia-Sophie, Miira, Mila, Mira, Naila, Natalia, Nayeli, Nelia, Nika, Riva, Rivanna, Romy, Ronja, Salima, Samira, Sandrina, Senada, Soley, Tajra, Teresa, Tina, Valérie, Viviana, Xoawa, Yara, Yesim, ZeynepAaron, Adrián, Aidan, Ajan, Alessandro, Alonso, Alp, Anas, Aril, Armon, Arthur, Aurel, Aurelio, Benedikt, Benjamin, Benno, Bruno, Christian, Christoph, Clark, Curdin, Cyano, Damiano, Danilo, Dante, Davide, Dominik, Eduardo, Elija, Elvis, Emanuel, Emil, Emilian, Emilio, Enes, Erian, Erion, Fabian, Federico, Finn, Gabriele, Giuliano, Hamza, Hazar, Hendrick, Jamie, Jan, Jari, Jeremias, Jérôme, Johannes, Jonah, Jonas, Jorel, Julian, Kentse, Kiano, Konstantin, Lauri, Leart, Levin, Liam, Liandro, Linus, Lio, Lionel, Lorent, Luan, Macgyver, Mahir, Majiid, Marco, Marius, Martim, Massimo, Mats, Maurice, Michael, Michele, Mike, Mikyas, Milan, Nael, Nando, Nawin, Neo, Nick, Nicolas, Niklas, Oliver, Omer, Paul, Philomeno, Pierangelo, Raffi, Ragnar, Redford, Rico, Ruben, Samuel, Sebastian, Tenzin, Tino, Tobias, Umut, Valentino, Valerio, Victor, Vito, Yakup, Yanis, Yuusuf, Zeno

Finally, since this is the first time I’m posting rankings for Liechtenstein, let’s throw in the country’s top baby names for the two previous years:

  • In 2019: Emma (9) and a four-way tie between Fabio, Leon, Matteo and Paul (4 each).
  • In 2018: Valentina (7) and a three-way tie between Ben, Leon, and Samuel (4 each).

Sources: Vornamenstatistik – Amt für Statistik (AS), Liechtenstein – Wikipedia, Behind the Name

Contrarian baby names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

corn

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

The 11 children of Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory and family on the cover of Ebony magazine (Oct. 1971)
Dick Gregory and family

Dick Gregory was an African-American comedian and civil rights activist.

He and his wife Lillian were also the parents of 11 children:

  1. Michele
  2. Lynne
  3. Richard, Jr. (1963) – died as a baby
  4. Pamela Inte (1964) – twin
  5. Paula Gration (1964) – twin
  6. Stephanie (1965)
  7. “Gregory” – no official first name
  8. Christian
  9. Miss
  10. Ayanna (1971)
  11. Yohance (1973)

Those last two births are notable because they inspired other parents to use Ayanna and Yohance, and the resultant upticks in usage made Ayanna and Yohance the top baby name debuts of 1971 and 1973, respectively.

Dick Gregory (1932-2017) with his wife Lillian and newborn baby Ayanna
Dick Gregory with wife Lillian & baby Ayanna

Ayanna

  • 1973: 177 baby girls named Ayanna
  • 1972: 343 baby girls named Ayanna
  • 1971: 194 baby girls named Ayanna [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

Dick and Lillian Gregory found the name Ayanna in Jet magazine, which claimed Ayanna was a female name from East Africa meaning “beautiful flower.”

This information probably came from The Book of African Names (1970) by Chief Osuntoki. Name expert Dr. Cleveland Evans says Osuntoki was “half right” about Ayanna:

Ayana is a name used for both males and females in Ethiopia, but its meaning is uncertain. Ayyanaw is a male Amharic name meaning “we saw him.” Ayana is an Oromo word for the spirits believed to mediate between the high god, Waka, and human beings in the ancient indigenous religion of the Oromos, but it’s unclear if either of those is related to the common Ethiopian name. ln any event, it’s easy to see how parents looking through Osuntoki’s book would seize upon Ayanna as one of the few names included that fit in well with the look and sound of American names of the time.

Yohance

  • 1975: 13 baby boys named Yohance
  • 1974: 23 baby boys named Yohance
  • 1973: 44 baby boys named Yohance [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted

A 1973 issue of Jet states that Dick and Lillian found the name Yohance (pronounced yoh-HAHN-seh) in a book called Names from Africa, and that Yohance “means “God’s gift” in the Hausa language of Nigeria.”

The only sources I’ve found that mention Yohance are baby name books, so I’m not entirely convinced that Yohance is a legitimate Hausa name. Some of the books claim Yohance is a form of John, but an online Hausa bible I found translates John as “Yahaya” — similar, but not quite the same.

Gregory

One of Dick Gregory’s children is named Gregory — just Gregory. Like Tifft and Gatewood, Gregory doesn’t have a first name. Here’s the explanation:

My oldest son, Gregory, has just one name. His birth certificate does not read “Gregory Gregory,” but rather simply “Gregory.” In the American system, whose computers, bureaucracy and institutional requirements demand two names to function, my son Gregory is a symbol of independence of the built-in entanglements which predetermine the destiny of the “two-namers” in a controlled society.

Miss

One of Dick Gregory’s daughters is named Miss, making her full name “Miss Gregory.” Here’s why:

At the time of her birth, racial hangups in the United States made it difficult for some white folks to call a black woman “Miss” and a black man “Mister.” So to be on the safe side, my wife and I named our daughter Miss. All her life, anyone who calls her by her proper name will have to say, “Miss Gregory.”

Inte & Gration

The middle names of Dick Gregory’s twins Paula and Pamela are “Inte” and “Gration.” Dick wrote in his memoir:

On March 18, 1964, one year and three days after Richard Jr. was born, Lil gave birth to Paula and Pam. We gave them the middle names of Inte and Gration so they would always remember the sacrifice their mother had made while they were still in the womb.

Lillian’s sacrifice was that she’d been jailed for attempting to dine at a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia. (She went to the restaurant knowing she’s be arrested; her intent was the draw attention to the fight for civil rights.)

Sources:

  • “African Names for Your Children.” Jet 16 Sep. 1971: 14.
  • “All in a Name.” Jet 11 Nov. 1971: 33.
  • “Dick Gregory, Wife’s 10th Child Given African Name.” Jet 9 Aug. 1973: 16.
  • Evans, Cleveland Kent. The Great Big Book of Baby Names. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, 2006.
  • Gregory, Dick and Sheila P. Moses. Callus on My Soul: A Memoir. New York: Kensington, 2000.
  • Gregory, Dick. Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat. New York: Harper Collins, 1974.

Images: © 1971 Ebony; © 1971 Jet

French baby names: Heloise, Lancelot, Quitterie, Victor

rainy Paris

While cleaning out my bookmarks the other day, I rediscovered this post on French names from francophile blog Polly-Vous Francais. It contrasts the names found in the birth and death announcements of a French newspaper. Here’s a sampling:

Male BirthsMale DeathsFemale BirthsFemale Deaths
Anselme
Edouard
Guillaume
Hipployte
Hugo
Lancelot
Louis
Timothée
Victor
Vladimir
Albert
Emile
Gabriel
Jacques
Jean
Paul
Pierre
Roger
Vincent
Yves
Anaïs
Béatrix
Héloïse
Hermine
Irène
Margaux
Mathilde
Noémie
Quitterie
Violaine
Andrée
Denise
Gilberte
Gladys
Huguette
Jacqueline
Jeanne
Marguerite
Marie
Michèle

Which set do you like better — birth announcement names or death announcement names?

Image by edmondlafoto from Pixabay

Popular baby names in Malta, 2007

malta

Malta seems to be having some trouble tallying baby names. According to the island’s National Statistics Office, these were the top boy names of 2007:

  1. Luke/Luca, 98 baby boys
  2. Matthew/Matteo/Matthias, 88
  3. Jake, 56
  4. Julian, 40
  5. John/Gianni/Jean/Juan/Sean, 38
  6. Nicholas/Nikolai & Aiden, 37 (tie)
  7. Kieran, 35
  8. Isaac, 34
  9. Andrew/André/Andrea & Zack, 33 (tie)
  10. Nathan/Nathaniel, 32
  11. Jeremy/Jerome & James/Jamie & Jayden, 31 (tie)
  12. Daniel & Gabriel & Miguel, 29 (tie)
  13. Liam, 28
  14. Alexander/Alessandro/Alejandro & Neil, 26 (tie)
  15. Michael/Mikiel/Mikail/Michele & Carl/Carlo/Karl & Kyle, 24 (3-way tie)
  16. Benjamin & Thomas/Tommaso, 20 (tie)
  17. Christian/Kristian, 18
  18. Mark/Marc/Marco, 17
  19. Dejan & Denzel, 16 (tie)
  20. Kayden, 13

There’s nothing wrong with the list itself. But problems begin when you try to compare this list with the 2006 list.

For instance, in 2006, 49 boys were named Michael or Michele. A year later, there’s no way to tell if either of these names has became more or less popular — all we know is that 24 boys were named Michael, Michele Mikiel or Mikail, and that 29 boys were named Miguel specifically.

And that’s just the beginning. Between 2006 and 2007, Nicholas became Nicholas/Nikolai, Thomas became Thomas/Tommaso, and James became James/Jamie. Alexander became Alexander/Alessandro/Alejandro, while (accent-less) Andre became Andrew/André/Andrea. All of these odd groupings make it impossible to draw conclusions about how the popularity level of a specific name has changed over time.

I am also suspicious about spelling. Aidan (#6) and Jaydon (#19) from the 2006 list seemed to morph into Aiden (#6) and Jayden (#11) in 2007.

Finally — and this may be nit-picky — I dislike how Jeremy and Jerome were lumped together. The names may look alike, but they are unrelated.

I have issues with the girl names as well:

  1. Maria/Mariah, 73 baby girls
  2. Martina, 47
  3. Julia/Giulia, 42
  4. Christina/Kristina/Christine/Christa, 41
  5. Elisa/Eliza/Elizabeth, 39
  6. Sarah, 36
  7. Emma & Maya, 34 (tie)
  8. Nicole/Nicola/Nicolette, 31
  9. Amy & Jasmine/Yasmine, 30 (tie)
  10. Michela/Michelle, 29
  11. Katrina/Katie & Shania, 27 (tie)
  12. Aaliyah & Hayley & Jade, 21 (tie)
  13. Alexandra/Alessandra/Alessia, 20
  14. Francesca & Ylenia, 19 (tie)
  15. Kylie, 18
  16. Kaya, 17
  17. Emily & Kayleigh, 16 (tie)
  18. Kelsey & Leah & Rihanna & Thea, 15 (4-way tie)
  19. Ella & Elena & Kiera & Kyra, 14 (4-way tie)
  20. Hannah, 13

Between 2006 and 2007, Julia became Julia/Giula, Nicole became Nicole/Nicola/Nicolette, Jasmin (sans e) became Jasmine/Yasmine, and Elisa/Eliza became Elisa/Eliza/Elisabeth. Michela went from being grouped with Michaela to being grouped with Michelle.

And, as with the boys, I don’t think spelling stayed consistent. Hailey (#10, 2006) became Hayley (#12, 2007) and Kaylie (#17, 2006) became Kayleigh (#17, 2007).

Malta, you’re driving me crazy! I hope the top names of 2008 are listed more logically, i.e., using name-groupings that have been used before.

Source: Naming Babies: 2007 [pdf]