How popular is the baby name Nils 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 Nils.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nils


Posts that Mention the Name Nils

The Last Intellectual to Latinize His Name?

Rudolf Clausius, originally Rudolf Gottlieb

German physicist and mathematician Rudolf Clausius (1822-1888) was one of the founders of the science of thermodynamics.

Another interesting thing about Rudolf Clausius? He was born Rudolf Gottlieb.

I couldn’t find a concrete explanation for the name change, but I did find this in a college physics book: “Born with the name Rudolf Gottlieb, he adopted the classical name of Clausius, which was a popular thing to do in his time.”

(Clausius is based on the Latin clausus, meaning “closed, shut off.” Some sources say Clausius is an alternate name for Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings and endings.)

Yes, many historical European scholars/artists did adopt Latinized names. Astronomer Tycho Brahe was born Tyge Ottesen Brahe. Artist Jheronimus (Hieronymus) Bosch was born Jeroen van Aken. Violin maker Antonius Stradivarius was born Antonio Stradivari. Map maker Gerardus Mercator was born Gerard de Cremer.

But these folks lived during the 1400s, 1500s and 1600s. It was trendy for Renaissance thinkers, who embraced Classical philosophies and attitudes, to Latinize their names. (Wikipedia has a long list of Latinized names coined during the Renaissance if you want more examples.)

Rudolf Clausius, on the other hand, lived during the 1800s. I can’t think of any other public figure who adopted a Latinized name as late as the mid-19th century.

Was Rudolf Clausius the last European intellectual to Latinize his name? Or do other outliers exist?

(At first I thought Carl Linnæus (1707-1778) might fit the bill, but his surname was the legitimate family name, coined by his father Nils before Carl was born. It’s based on the Småland dialect word “linn,” meaning “linden tree,” in reference to a stately linden tree on the family property.)

Sources:

Name quotes #30: Jaime, Kirra, Aoife

From a letter written by Mr. Rogers to a fan named Jason in 1987:

You asked me what my middle name is. When you care about people, you want to know more about them. My middle name is McFeely. I was named after my Grandfather McFeely. That’s the name we decided to use for the man who does the deliveries on our television visits.

From “What’s In A Child’s Name” by Rich Cromwell:

Before Aoife, we were never big on meaningful names, on names that represented something. With Greer and Scout, we just went with ones that were right for the moment, oblivious to what serendipity had in store. With Aoife, there was a purpose, a reason. And if when she curses us for it, we have a story to tell her. A story she can tell. She may not immediately appreciate it, but in time she will.

From the about page of blogger ShezCrafti (a.k.a. Jaime):

I was named after Jaime Sommers, The Bionic Woman. True story. My mom was a huge fan and evidently watched a lot of it while pregnant with me. But these days it’s cooler to tell people I spell it like Jaime Lannister.

(The “ShezCrafti” handle comes from the Beastie Boys song “She’s Crafty.”)

From an essay called “Your Kid is a Little Asshole” by Nils Parker:

Most of the little girls were what you’d expect from the affluent suburbs of a major American city. They were cute, thin, predominantly blond, with WASPy names that were so white they were practically invisible.

From an article about Christmas Day babies (same place I found EFC):

Weighing in at 6lb 14oz Kirra Smith was born at 5.09am to the delight of Ella and her mum Claire, 42, and dad Richard, 46, from Neston.

Gazing at her new-born, Claire, a speech and language therapist, said: “Yes. Ella wished for a sister and now she has got one. It was a shock as she was not due until January 6 but this is very special and I will never forget this Christmas.”

Kirra’s unusual name was inspired by Kirra Beach on Australia’s Gold Coast where Richard likes to surf when visiting Claire’s ex-pat mum Triana, 65, who flew over to be at the birth.

From an article called “The newest species of catfish is named after Greedo from Star Wars” by Elahe Izadi:

“We were trying to figure out what the characteristics on it were,” he said. “We share a lab with some arachnologists, and one of them looked at it and said, ‘You know, that looks like that guy from Star Wars.'”

[Jonathan] Armbruster and his colleagues figured out the arachnologist had been referring to Greedo. “As soon as we heard that, we knew what the species would be,” Armbruster said.

From an article called “I’m a Princess and don’t you dare forget it!” by Charlotte Oliver (thank you to Clare of Name News for this one!):

At university, I accrued the ear-splitting nickname Choliver, until I simply refused to respond. And while my favourite, Carlotta, worked when I lived in Mexico — mostly with Mojito in hand and salsa on the stereo — I soon realised it caused something of a stink when I returned to the UK. Like a very English John, who replies: “Ay, no papi, call me Juan.”

From an Amy Schumer stand-up act from 2011 (3:18-3:48):

I have this one friend Sabina, though, we’ve been friends forever. She’s gorgeous. She’s a Ford model, she’s dating a professional athlete. And that name Sabina, that’s one of those annoying names you have to be really hot to pull off, right? … You can’t have a bum knee and a lazy eye and be like, “I’m Sabina!”

[….]

If you’re really hot you can be like, I’m Gorgonzola, whut.”

(For the record, I have yet to find a person legally named Gorgonzola.)

Popular and unique baby names in Quebec (Canada), 2014

According to data from the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ), the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2014 were Lea and William.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl NamesBoy Names
1. Lea, 575 baby girls
2. Emma, 569
3. Olivia, 508
4. Florence, 482
5. Chloe, 472
6. Alice, 459
7. Zoe, 422
8. Rosalie, 410
9. Charlie, 386
10. Charlotte, 369
1. William, 773 baby boys
2. Thomas, 733
3. Felix, 711
4. Liam, 695
5. Nathan, 672
6. Jacob, 611
7. Alexis, 594
8. Logan, 593
9. Olivier, 582
10. Samuel, 579

Charlotte replaced Juliette in the girls’ top 10, and Logan replaced Gabriel in the boys’ top 10.

The biggest moves within the top 10 were the fall of Samuel (down 7 spots) the rises of both Chloe and Thomas (up 5 spots each).

Quebec is one of the wonderful places that releases all of its baby name data (yay!) so now let’s check out some of the names at the other end of the spectrum.

The following names were bestowed only once in Quebec last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Aberdeen, Acacia, Alghalia, Allegresse, Alimata, Alypier, Amorelle Simo, Anabia, Aonnhi Io, Armiella Sylene, Astoria, Ausalie, Auxanne, Ayqut, Balsam, Berangere, Brunaica, Bremellia, Cassou, Coumba, Coramely, Cydra, Dahlianne, Delnaz, Edmaelle, Ejona, Eliabelle, Elielle, Eliora, Elisapie, Elowen, Eluvia, Ember, Eolie, Eunicia, Fedaelle, Felune, Greyelle, Hyzalie, Inuluk, Isatis*, Izalee, Janabelle, Jedia, Juniper, Kalixie, Kazelly, Koubrah, Lessika Sibi, Leocadie, Lilafee, Lilwenn Sage, Losokola Victoria, Lysea, Lysmee, Macdara, Massylia, Mavie, Mayura, Mazaly, Mervedie Hope, Miaphee, Mijanie, Moon, Myrannie, Nauralie, Neelamy, Nektaria, Nephthalie, Nima, Nourcine, Nuunia, Oonq, Orkida, Orzala, Ozia, Phiji, Poeme, Prunille, Quinn Logan, Quppiak, Ralph-Emma, Rivlynca, Rizelane, Rosemma, Runa, Saby-Lina, Sauriane, Sensylia, Sheltoina Nissie, Sherodie Norah, Siella, Sillija, Siska, Sonoma, Spring Kimberly, Stratus, Sylenad, Syrianne, Tassadit, Taurie, Taurielle, Tillia, Toltzy, Tshiala, Twiggy, Upoma, Velesie, Venba, Yaralee Phedianie, Yebga Johanne, Yolbie, ZazylAlarik, Asher Zelig, Ateronhiahere, Audric, Avigdor, Benjamin Rebel, Carther, Carlvin, Charvey, Clyvens, Curry-Tianlang, Dannic, Darwin, Detroit, Dillis Della Mcnjiss, Dimaben, Donadel Theo, Dzoti-Dylan, Ednershley Josue, Eluann, Enxu, Eudovic Nicanor, Exode Baelo, Faucher-Levasseur, Fenryr, Fulgence, Fundy, Glennfrey, Glory-Honneuramons, Godlycharacter, Gonzalo Kai Fei, Harley Davidson, Heliodore, Hugolin, Imix, Jayssijay, Joelvino, Jusipi, Kaherahere, Kallytrie, Karmany Alain, Kerfala, Klooff, La Fleche, Leith, Leolo, Lowry Nessi, Madden-Steeve, Malorik, Markernald, Maverix, Maxange, Med Reda, Maydenlee, Micipsa, Monzonto Bertinel, Mor Talla, Mordechai Max, Namory, Neven, Nick-Jovi, Nils, Noeliam*, Nowlan, Ossimbo, Providence Nathanael, Renzo, Rozzel Emmanuel, Savio, Sederi, Sphinx Jones, Syphax, Taliby, Tauren, Techeley, Thymote, Trencely, Turic, Tylian, Valliant-Bob, Vanguard, Vyber Biao, William-Wallace, Willie Ittuk, Y Rambo, Xquenda, Yansyl, Yartine, Yizo, York, Yulrick, Zacchaeus Righteous, Zeegar, Zineddine Zidane, Zino

*Isatis is a genus of Old World plants/herbs that includes woad (Isatis tinctoria).

**Noeliam might be a mashup of Noel + Liam. Maybe his parents are big Oasis fans?

Here are Quebec’s top baby names of 2013, 2012, 2009, and 2006, if you’d like to compare.

Source: RRQ – List of Baby Names in Québec

Boy names with one syllable: Colt, Wynn, Dax, Zane

Looking for a boy name that’s short and to-the-point? Something that might work particularly well as a middle name?

Check out this list of several hundred one-syllable boy names. (And click on any name to see its popularity graph!)

Please note that I did include names in the gray area between one syllable and two syllables. The deciding factor on these particular names (such as Charles, Miles, and Noel) will be your own interpretation/accent, so be sure to test the names out loud before making any final decisions.

Many of these names also happen to be unisex, so they appear on the One-Syllable Girl Names list as well.

What’s your favorite one-syllable boy name?

[Latest Update: June 2021]

Baby names that reached the U.S. top 1,000 just once

Many baby names have only managed to rank among the most popular in the U.S. a single time.

Here are all of the top 1,000’s single-appearance names so far (1880-2005), grouped by decade. If I’ve written an explanatory post about the name, I’ve added a link to the post.

(Please note that the rankings from earliest decades are based on data that isn’t very reliable. So, most of those names didn’t make the top 1,000 for any particular reason — they’re mostly just statistical anomalies.)

1880s

Girl Names, 1880-89 Boy Names, 1880-89
Adina, Almyra, Chanie, Chrissie, Clemie, Cordella, Dayse, Delina, Delle, Elmire, Elzada, Estie, Fronnie, Lovisa, Lucina, Manerva, Manervia, Minervia, Neppie, Nolie, Orilla, Rillie, Sybilla, Tella, Thursa, Achsah, Ala, Alabama, Amey, Chestina, Chloie, Crissie, Daisye, Dema, Dollye, Eithel, Mila, Senora, Siddie, Sylvania, Tiney, Zilpah, Affie, Arah, Artelia, Birdella, Cathern, Cilla, Elizbeth, Fannye, Francina, Genevra, Iza, Jerusha, Loda, Lucetta, Lucindy, Luda, Mahalie, Modena, Nanna, Nelie, Olena, Sinda, Vicy, Almina, Argie, Beatrix, Cappie, Caro, Cloe, Deetta, Dorathea, Ermine, Felicie, Icey, Junia, Lovey, Marianita, Mattye, Pearla, Simona, Alzina, Annice, Georganna, Leala, Lurana, Milly, Nealy, Olivine, Oney, Savilla, Sussie, Theodocia, Violetta, Aurilla, Dosia, Emmy, Essa, Ica, Ilma, Lolla, Medora, Octa, Alwilda, Angele, Betha, Clytie, Ermina, Hilah, Louisiana, Metha, Oline, Pricilla, Alwine, Anice, Clemma, Eppie, Gustie, Octavie, Orelia Francies, Margretta, Orra, Pairlee, Pallie, Chessie, Erla, Herma, Lulah, Noemie Agustus, Baldwin, Candido, Ceylon, Clemente, Firman, Friend, Hays, Hence, Hunt, Isam, Jabez, Obed, Rafe, Redden, Salomon, Sannie, Tilden, Ambers, Cas, Casimiro, Dixon, Elonzo, Emry, Erving, Esequiel, Manly, Marius, Marrion, Mercer, Obe, Philo, Primus, Prosper, Pryor, Roll, Wiliam, Wing, York, Alanzo, Alby, Alcee, Auguste, Caswell, Clabe, Ell, Greene, Hansford, Lone, Marsh, Pearley, Wenzel, Blanchard, Bose, Charle, Emett, Grove, Hanson, Jep, Jeptha, Linzy, Lute, Milas, Thurlow, Blain, Bowman, Bunk, Donaciano, Ebenezer, Ignatz, Odin, Oley, Osborn, Shep, Vollie, Drury, Elon, Fielding, Fleet, Fount, Lark, Lim, Nim, North, Orvis, Reason, Virge, Worley, Zenas, Acey, Algernon, Amasa, Amil, Calhoun, Colbert, Elby, Fuller, Ham, Lilburn, Lovett, Pratt, Ruffin, Bliss, Dorr, Ethelbert, Gilford, Gilman, Graves, Hillery, Shepherd, Benjman, Celestino, Hart, Hilmer, Le, Liston, Lott, Nils, Vere, Abie, Alver, Anatole, Boone, Branch, Bush, Claiborne, Edw, Fed, Governor, Hjalmar, Levin, Redmond

1890s

Girl Names, 1890-99 Boy Names, 1890-99
Ethie, Fleeta, Jessye, Jetta, Sibbie, Idabelle, Lulla, Olar, Sylva, Versa, Allena, Cannie, Cliffie, Clotilda, Elmyra, Josefita, Lurena, Elfreda, Adel, Alleen, Trilby, Zela, Zeta, Manilla, Vara, Irva Almus, Conard, Guilford, Neely, Polk, Rance, Red, Algot, Alphons, Barnard, Burk, Berkley, Iverson, Job, Powell, Vick, Burleigh, Con, Ebert, Murdock, Nolen, Willaim, Aubra, Avon, Bolden, Link, Thorwald, Alston, Audy, Donat, Emmons, Erby, Esley, Hebert, Hezzie, Hughey, Oddie, Vinton, Zed, Alwin, Evander, Gaither, Grafton, Guthrie, Ovila, Acy, Aloys, Arthor, Boysie, Cam, Hale, Lisle, Offie, Silver, Virgel, Willy, Dabney, Adams, Arba, Collie, Ewart, Gladstone, Schley, Shafter, Baker, Bynum, Colvin, Elizah, Griffith

1900s

Girl Names, 1900-09 Boy Names, 1900-09
Luvinia, Dagny, Ethyle, Augustina, Girtha, Edris, Vernia, Beadie, Ilda, Neola, Orma, Vela, Clydie, Rosabelle, Theta, Arnetta, Clementina, Launa, Azalee, Macel Goebel, Tallie, Ancil, Buren, Erland, Esco, Mathews, Pate, Doll, Ivor, Victoriano, Beckham, Lenon, Ozzie, Teddie, Arbie, Council, Duard, Harm, Severo, Tobie, Fredie, Graydon, Jiles, Benard, Harrold, Delmus, Delphin, Gilmer, Ogden, Oland, Samie, Esker, Levie, Robley, Othel

1910s

Girl Names, 1910-19 Boy Names, 1910-19
Arietta, Loree, Blanchie, Felice, Maebell, Orene, Cleone, Lahoma, Rosaria, Idamae, Lavelle, Michelina, Victory, Haruko Amerigo, Gennaro, Hymen, Melbourne, Geno, Gilmore, Saverio, Arvo, Berlin, Gerhardt, Hughes, Tatsuo, Orvin, Foch, Laddie, Metro, Therman

1920s

Girl Names, 1920-29 Boy Names, 1920-29
Arlyne, Venice, Vernelle, Enriqueta, Lorrayne, Ailene, Illa, Kazuko, Felicitas, Joline, Sydell Harden, Shoji, Fidencio

1930s

Girl Names, 1930-39 Boy Names, 1930-39
Charlsie, Belia, Thomasina, Monna, Nira, Marcelina, Darlyne, Shirleyann, Vernetta, Larae, Jonell, Noreta, Noretta, Shelvie, Helaine, Dotty, Karel Derl, Darl, Orlin, Marland, Darwyn, Delwin, Harlon, Ronal

1940s

Girl Names, 1940-49 Boy Names, 1940-49
Phyliss, Jerrilyn, Carlyn, Rozanne, Michaele, Lyndia, Regena, Shirleen Wendel, Wilkie, Eusebio, Lucky, Cornel

1950s

Girl Names, 1950-59 Boy Names, 1950-59
Rhona, Sharleen, Debera, Ellyn, Jacqulyn, Pandora, Doretta, Denese, Valinda, Debroah, Jeryl, Melodee, Sheilah, Sheryll, Gaylene, Kathey, Nilda, Lanita, Perri, Tambra, Tari Danniel, Deryl, Erasmo, Mikeal, Kennard, Rahn, Ricci, Kem

1960s

Girl Names, 1960-69 Boy Names, 1960-69
Jeanmarie, Daneen, Denine, Djuana, Djuna, Caprice, Denita, Inger, Sonji, Sunday, Tatia, Wende, Melissia, Cinnamon Dwyane, Tal, Destry, Anthoney, Jemal

1970s

Girl Names, 1970-79 Boy Names, 1970-79
Dyan, Tisa, Treena, Camisha, Keena, Brande, Tamisha, Pepper, Chaka, Shandra, Torie, Corie, Kamilah, Shawnna, Shawnte, Ariane, Kindra, Somer, Sharee Abelardo, Diallo, Jabbar, Mauro, Toma, Kareen, Dimitrios, Hakim, Jerimy, Torry, Amin, Demetric, Kinte, Kunta, Shalon, Hasan

1980s

Girl Names, 1980-89 Boy Names, 1980-89
Renada, Tai, Evita, Joi, Latoyia, Martine, Nereida, Tashina, Cristen, Jenilee, Tenika, Dwan, Grisel, Shenna, Teela, Shira, Violeta, Britta, Cherrelle, Kyrie, Sable, Shardae, Sharde, Sharday, Shatara, Diandra, Grecia, Jalissa, Taja, Alexandr, Audriana, Audrianna, Brittnay, Christin, Elizabet, Katherin, Stephani Horacio, Adalberto, Marchello, Hung, Huy, Trumaine, Tavaris, Cordaro, Joseluis, Brantley, Geraldo, Christop, Alexande

1990s

Girl Names, 1990-99 Boy Names, 1990-99
Alannah, Kanesha, Ieshia, Miesha, Miriah, Shaquana, Tiesha, Brianda, Shaniece, Shawnee, Coraima, Crysta, Deyanira, Jasmyne, Kalene, Kaylene, Shannen, Adilene, Clarisa, Meranda, Nohely, Iridian, Keanna, Daijah, Jaycie, Yamilex, Baylie, Julisa, Micayla, Yulisa, Yulissa, Shae, Kyara, Tatyanna Mykel, Dijon, Keifer, Colter, Davonta, Devaughn, Khari, Shyheim, Tyrin, Damarcus, Dustyn, Rashaan, Keion, Raquan, Coleton, Jajuan, Keandre, Kenan, Christion, Jacquez, Jelani, Miguelangel, Tavian, Tyrik, Arman, Tyreese, Tyreke

2000s (so far)

Girl Names, 2000-05 Boy Names, 2000-05
Dariana, Maiya, Neha, Yamilet, Beyonce, Dafne, Keila, Mikaila, Nallely, Nayely, Taina, Kiya, Rianna, Arly, Karyme, Gwyneth, Heidy, Treasure, Anneliese, Arleth, Jolette, Mikalah, Montserrat Dayne, Daunte, Jaheem, Jaquez, Lisandro, Luc, Osbaldo, Yousef, Ajay, Jahir, Mordechai, Andon, Jayvon, Koda, Trenten, Adin, Damari, Makhi

P.S. Here’s a list of the names that reached the top 1,000 just twice.