How popular is the baby name Neil 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 Neil.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Neil


Posts that Mention the Name Neil

Baby name story: Handa

Puffins on Handa Island (Scotland)

English ornithologist Reynold Bray, “an Arctic explorer of considerable achievement and much promise,” was traveling through northern Canada with Scottish glaciologist Patrick Baird when he was lost at sea in 1938.

On 14 September, their engine broke down about 65 kilometres south of Igloolik and Baird waded ashore to get some water to make tea. But when he returned to shore after an hour’s hike inland, the tide was too high for his hip waders, so he called to Bray [to] use their collapsible dinghy to bring a line ashore. Bray tried, but took only a single oar with him and was swept away in heavy seas, never to be seen again.

A month earlier, on August 10, a baby girl had been born to Reynold’s wife Gillian back in England.

Notice was cabled to Bray at Churchill [in Manitoba] where he was waiting to embark upon what proved to be his last expedition. At his request the child was named Handa, after a bird island off the northwest coast of Scotland that he and Mrs. Bray had visited the previous May.

Handa Island’s Scottish Gaelic name, Eilean Shannda, is of mixed Gaelic/Norse etymology and means “island at the sandy river.” These days, Handa Island is a wildlife reserve.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Handa?

P.S. Pat Baird married Bray’s widow in early 1940, and they went on to have four more children: Neil (1941), Kirsty (1943), Elspeth (1947), and Anna (1948).

P.P.S. Handa Bray inherited Shere Manor Estate in Surrey in 1964. Currently, she is the fifteenth — and first female — Lord of the Manor.

Sources:

  • Birds of Nunavut, Vol. 1. Ed. by James M. Richards, Anthony J. Gaston. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 2018.
  • Explorer’s Baby Named After Island.” Geraldton Guardian and Express [Australia] 17 Jan 1939: 4.
  • Mr. Reynold Bray.” Nature 4 Mar. 1939.
  • Roberts, Thomas S., T. S. Palmer and W. L. McAtee. “Obituaries.” The Auk Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan., 1940), pp. 137-140.
  • Handa Island – Wikipedia

Image: Puffins by Donald Macauley under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Inconspicuous anagram baby names: Blake/Kaleb, Hale/Leah

letters

I recently updated my old anagram baby names post to make it much more comprehensive. As I worked on it, though, I noticed that many of those sets of names had obvious similarities, such as the same first letters and/or the same rhythm.

So I thought I’d make a second, shorter list of anagram names that were less conspicuously similar. Specifically, I wanted the second list to feature sets of names with different first letters and different numbers of syllables.

And that’s what you’ll find below — pairs of anagram names that are relatively distinct from one another. So much so that, at first glance (or listen), some might not even strike you as being anagrammatic at all. :)

Click on any name to check out its popularity graph…

Most of the names above have a clear number of syllables, but a few do not. (I categorized them according to my own interpretation/accent.) So, if you’re interested in using any of these pairings, just remember to test the names out loud first!

Which of the pairs above do you like best?

How did “The Real World” influence baby names?

“This is the true story…of seven strangers…picked to live in a loft…and have their lives taped…”

Several months ago, the cast of the inaugural season of MTV’s The Real World held a 6-day reunion in the very same NYC loft they shared back in 1992. The reunion — which was filmed, of course — is now airing as a series on the Paramount+ platform. (Here’s the trailer.)

When I was a teenager, I loved watching The Real World. (And I appreciated that the names of the cast members were always prominently displayed in the opening credits!) So I think now would be a great time to go back and see if any Real World cast member names had an influence on U.S. baby names.

First, let’s start with a comprehensive list of all the cast member names from each of RW‘s 33 (!) seasons…

  1. The Real World: New York (1992): Andre, Becky, Eric, Heather, Julie, Kevin, Norman
  2. The Real World: California (1993): Aaron, Beth (x2), David, Dominic, Glen, Irene, Jon, Tami
  3. The Real World: San Francisco (1994): Cory, Jo, Judd, Mohammed, Pam, Pedro, Puck, Rachel
  4. The Real World: London (1995): Jacinda, Jay, Kat, Lars, Mike, Neil, Sharon
  5. The Real World: Miami (1996): Cynthia, Dan, Flora, Joe, Melissa, Mike, Sarah
  6. The Real World: Boston (1997): Elka, Genesis, Jason, Kameelah, Montana, Sean, Syrus
  7. The Real World: Seattle (1998): David, Irene, Janet, Lindsay, Nathan, Rebecca, Stephen
  8. The Real World: Hawaii (1999): Amaya, Colin, Justin, Kaia, Matt, Ruthie, Teck
  9. The Real World: New Orleans (2000): Danny, David, Jamie, Julie, Kelley, Matt, Melissa
  10. The Real World: Back to New York (2001): Coral, Kevin, Lori, Malik, Mike, Nicole, Rachel
  11. The Real World: Chicago (2002): Aneesa, Cara, Chris, Keri, Kyle, Theo, Tonya
  12. The Real World: Las Vegas (2002-2003): Alton, Arissa, Brynn, Frank, Irulan, Steven, Trishelle
  13. The Real World: Paris (2003): Ace, Adam, Chris, Christina, Leah, Mallory, Simon
  14. The Real World: San Diego (2004): Brad, Cameran, Charlie, Frankie, Jacquese, Jamie, Randy, Robin
  15. The Real World: Philadelphia (2004-2005): Karamo, Landon, Melanie, M.J., Sarah, Shavonda, Willie
  16. The Real World: Austin (2005): Danny, Johanna, Lacey, Melinda, Nehemiah, Rachel, Wes
  17. The Real World: Key West (2006): Janelle, John, Jose, Paula, Svetlana, Tyler, Zach
  18. The Real World: Denver (2006-2007): Alex, Brooke, Colie, Davis, Jenn, Stephen, Tyrie
  19. The Real World: Sydney (2007-2008): Ashli, Cohutta, Dunbar, Isaac, KellyAnne, Parisa, Shauvon, Trisha
  20. The Real World: Hollywood (2008): Brianna, Brittini, Dave, Greg, Joey, Kimberly, Nick, Sarah, Will
  21. The Real World: Brooklyn (2009): Baya, Chet, Devyn, J.D., Katelynn, Ryan, Sarah, Scott
  22. The Real World: Cancun (2009): Ayiiia, Bronne, CJ, Derek, Emilee, Jasmine, Joey, Jonna
  23. The Real World: D.C. (2009-2010): Andrew, Ashley, Callie, Emily, Erika, Josh, Mike, Ty
  24. The Real World: New Orleans (2010): Ashlee, Eric, Jemmye, McKenzie, Preston, Ryan (x2), Sahar
  25. The Real World: Las Vegas (2011): Adam, Dustin, Heather (x2), Leroy, Michael, Nany, Naomi
  26. The Real World: San Diego (2011): Alexandra, Ashley, Frank, Nate, Priscilla, Sam, Zach
  27. The Real World: St. Thomas (2012): Brandon (x2), LaToya, Laura, Marie, Robb, Trey
  28. The Real World: Portland (2013): Anastasia, Averey, Jessica, Johnny, Joi, Jordan, Marlon, Nia
  29. Real World: Ex-Plosion (2014): Arielle, Ashley (x2), Brian, Cory, Hailey, Jamie, Jay, Jenna, Jenny, Lauren, Thomas
  30. Real World: Skeletons (2014-2015): Bruno, Jason, Madison, Nicole, Sylvia, Tony, Violetta
  31. Real World: Go Big or Go Home (2016): CeeJai, Chris, Dean, Dione, Dylan, Jenna, Kailah, Sabrina
  32. Real World Seattle: Bad Blood (2016-2017): Anika, Anna, Jennifer, Jordan, Kassius, Katrina, Kimberly, Mike, Orlana, Peter, Robbie, Theo, Tyara, Will
  33. The Real World: Atlanta (2019): Arely, Clint, Dondre, Justin, Meagan, Tovah, Yasmin

The names in boldface line up with a discernible increase in baby name usage. (Other Real World names may have affected baby names as well, but it can be hard to tell when, say, a name is already common, or already on the rise.)

Here are details on all the boldfaced names, plus two more influential RW names (from seasons 6 and 18) that didn’t even belong to primary cast members.

  • The name Jacinda (from season 4; 1995) saw peak usage in 1996.
  • The name Flora (5; 1996) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Kameelah (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Syrus (6; 1997) saw increased usage in 1997.
  • The name Jason (6; 1997) was probably not affected, but the name of Jason’s girlfriend, Timber, saw increased usage in 1998.
  • The name Amaya (8; 1999) saw sharply increased usage in 1999 and 2000.
  • The name Kaia (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Ruthie (8; 1999) saw increased usage in 1999.
  • The name Aneesa (11; 2002) saw peak usage in 2002.
  • The name Arissa (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2003.
  • The name Brynn (12; 2002-3) saw sharply increased usage in 2003.
  • The name Irulan (12; 2002-3) debuted in the data in 2003.
    • It looks like she was named after the fictional character Princess Irulan from Frank Herbert’s Dune books…?
  • The name Trishelle (12; 2002-3) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Mallory (13; 2003) saw increased usage in 2003 and 2004.
  • The name Cameran (14; 2004) saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Jacquese (14; 2004) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2004.
  • The name Johanna (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005.
  • The name Nehemiah (16; 2005) saw increased usage in 2005 and 2006.
  • The name Janelle (17; 2006) saw increased usage in 2006.
  • The name Svetlana (17; 2006) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Colie (18; 2006-7) both returned to the data and saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name Tyrie (18; 2006-7) saw peak usage in 2007.
  • The name of Tyrie’s girlfriend, Jazalle, debuted in 2007 and is a one-hit wonder so far.
  • The name Kellyanne (19; 2007-8) returned to the data in 2008.
  • The name Baya (21; 2009) saw sharply increased usage in 2009. In fact, Baya was one of the fastest-rising baby names of 2009.
  • The name Averey (28; 2013) saw peak usage in 2013.
  • The name Kassius (32; 2016-17) saw increased usage in 2017.

Of all the names above, which one(s) do you like most?

And, for all the Real World fans out there: which season(s) do you like most? :)

Source: The Real World (TV series) – Wikipedia

Name quotes #87: Kamala, Simon, Genghis

double quotation mark

From a recent CNN article about how to pronounce Sen. Kamala Harris’s name:

Harris wrote in the preface of her 2019 memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” “First, my name is pronounced ‘comma-la,’ like the punctuation mark. It means ‘lotus flower,’ which is a symbol of significance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface while its roots are planted firmly in the river bottom.

From a 1982 Washington Post article about actors Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill:

Lucie Arnaz, whose illustrious pedigree is evident in her name, and actor Laurence Luckinbill were Simonized several years ago.

He was on Broadway doing Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two.” She was on Broadway doing Neil Simon’s “They’re Playing Our Song.” They met at Joe Allan’s, the famous Broadway restaurant, and started seeing each other entr’acte.

[…]

Twenty months ago, they had a son, whom they named…Simon.

From a 2015 Indian Express article in which Rebel Wilson talks about her name:

A little girl named Rebel sang at my parents’ wedding. My mum is really big on theme names like that – my sisters are called Liberty and Annachi, and my brother is Ryot. I did pretty well in comparison. I love it.

You can’t be a shrinking violet if you have a name like Rebel. It gives me an edge and helps me not give in to my fears. I try to live that way.

From a 1998 BBC article about All Saint singer Melanie Blatt:

Melanie and her boyfriend, musician Stuart Zender [of Jamiroquai], revealed in a magazine interview that they intend to name their daughter Lily Ella [sic]: Lily after the first flowers he bought her during their courtship and Ella after the music legend Ella Fitzgerald.

(Technically, her name is Lilyella.)

From a case study (pdf) of Amtrak’s automated customer service representative, “Julie,” launched in 2001:

Julie became popular with callers and even garnered national acclaim through blogs, YouTube videos, and as an answer on the TV quiz game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Her persona was even featured on Saturday Night Live. “I’ve been surprised about how attached people have gotten to Amtrak Julie,” says the woman who provides the voice of Julie, Julie Stinneford. “I find it funny. Because they’re not really talking to me. They’re talking to a computer.”

From a 2019 NPR interview with musical duo (and identical twins) Tegan and Sara, who originally called themselves “Sara and Tegan”:

We changed the name only because we had a manager [who] gave us one good piece of advice during that time. He said, “When people say ‘Sara and Tegan,’ it all blends together into one word and they don’t know what you’re saying. But if you say ‘Tegan and Sara,’ you have to enunciate. So I think you should switch your names around.” So we did.

From a recent Crunchyroll article about parents who named their son Asta after the anime character (Black Clover):

We came up with that name early on but had other names we considered like Natsu, Sora, Roxas, and Yuki.

From a 2007 Times Colonist [Victoria, British Columbia] article about unusual baby names:

The time was when naming a baby Conan or Calamity could doom a kid to years of schoolyard drubbings, but if Genghis Charm Usher’s experience is any indication, the times are changing.

Genghis, 13, can’t recall any friction caused by his unusual name, pointing out “that you don’t have to have a weird name to get teased.”

[…]

“I love my name. Once they get my name, they don’t forget it,” he says.

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).