How popular is the baby name Norma in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Norma.

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Popularity of the baby name Norma

Posts that mention the name Norma

Popular and unique baby names in Sonoma County (California), 2023

Flag of California
Flag of California

Sonoma County is the northernmost county in the San Francisco Bay Area region.

Last year, Sonoma welcomed 4,463 babies. What were the most popular names among these babies? Olivia and Mateo.

Here are Sonoma’s top 50 girl names and top 50+ boy names of 2023:

Girl names

  1. Olivia, 20 baby girls
  2. Camila, 19 (tie)
  3. Mia, 19 (tie)
  4. Emily, 16 (3-way tie)
  5. Mila, 16 (3-way tie)
  6. Sophia, 16 (3-way tie)
  7. Aurora, 15 (4-way tie)
  8. Isabella, 15 (4-way tie)
  9. Sofia, 15 (4-way tie)
  10. Violet, 15 (4-way tie)
  11. Ava, 14 (3-way tie)
  12. Gianna, 14 (3-way tie)
  13. Isla, 14 (3-way tie)
  14. Charlotte, 13 (4-way tie)
  15. Emma, 13 (4-way tie)
  16. Lily, 13 (4-way tie)
  17. Luna, 13 (4-way tie)
  18. Avery, 12 (3-way tie)
  19. Harper, 12 (3-way tie)
  20. Maya, 12 (3-way tie)
  21. Leilani, 11 (tie)
  22. Scarlett, 11 (tie)
  23. Amelia, 10 (11-way tie)
  24. Daniela, 10 (11-way tie)
  25. Elena, 10 (11-way tie)
  26. Eliana, 10 (11-way tie)
  27. Josephine, 10 (11-way tie)
  28. Kennedy, 10 (11-way tie)
  29. Logan, 10 (11-way tie)
  30. Quinn, 10 (11-way tie)
  31. Ryan, 10 (11-way tie)
  32. Valentina, 10 (11-way tie)
  33. Victoria, 10 (11-way tie)
  34. Eleanor, 9 (6-way tie)
  35. Grace, 9 (6-way tie)
  36. Madison, 9 (6-way tie)
  37. Nora, 9 (6-way tie)
  38. Riley, 9 (6-way tie)
  39. Stella, 9 (6-way tie)
  40. Charlie, 8 (11-way tie)
  41. Emilia, 8 (11-way tie)
  42. Evelyn, 8 (11-way tie)
  43. Jade, 8 (11-way tie)
  44. Lainey, 8 (11-way tie)
  45. Natalie, 8 (11-way tie)
  46. Penelope, 8 (11-way tie)
  47. Poppy, 8 (11-way tie)
  48. Samantha, 8 (11-way tie)
  49. Sawyer, 8 (11-way tie)
  50. Valeria, 8 (11-way tie)

Boy names

  1. Mateo, 29 baby boys
  2. Noah, 27
  3. Liam, 22 (tie)
  4. Luca, 22 (tie)
  5. Oliver, 21 (tie)
  6. Sebastian, 21 (tie)
  7. Dylan, 20
  8. Leonardo, 19 (tie)
  9. Levi, 19 (tie)
  10. Anthony, 17 (3-way tie)
  11. Henry, 17 (3-way tie)
  12. Lucas, 17 (3-way tie)
  13. Benjamin, 16 (tie)
  14. Julian, 16 (tie)
  15. Emiliano, 15
  16. Ethan, 14
  17. Santiago, 13 (tie)
  18. Wyatt, 13 (tie)
  19. Angel, 12 (5-way tie)
  20. Cooper, 12 (5-way tie)
  21. Daniel, 12 (5-way tie)
  22. Matteo, 12 (5-way tie)
  23. Miles, 12 (5-way tie)
  24. Alexander, 11 (8-way tie)
  25. Christopher, 11 (8-way tie)
  26. Elias, 11 (8-way tie)
  27. Hudson, 11 (8-way tie)
  28. Jack, 11 (8-way tie)
  29. Leo, 11 (8-way tie)
  30. Matias, 11 (8-way tie)
  31. Thomas, 11 (8-way tie)
  32. Bennett, 10 (9-way tie)
  33. Damian, 10 (9-way tie)
  34. Elijah, 10 (9-way tie)
  35. Emilio, 10 (9-way tie)
  36. Ezra, 10 (9-way tie)
  37. Ian, 10 (9-way tie)
  38. Luka, 10 (9-way tie)
  39. Luke, 10 (9-way tie)
  40. William, 10 (9-way tie)
  41. Caleb, 9 (5-way tie)
  42. James, 9 (5-way tie)
  43. Jose, 9 (5-way tie)
  44. Luis, 9 (5-way tie)
  45. Parker, 9 (5-way tie)
  46. Adriel, 8 (16-way tie)
  47. Cameron, 8 (16-way tie)
  48. Colton, 8 (16-way tie)
  49. Connor, 8 (16-way tie)
  50. David, 8 (16-way tie)
  51. Dean, 8 (16-way tie)
  52. Diego, 8 (16-way tie)
  53. Gabriel, 8 (16-way tie)
  54. Isaac, 8 (16-way tie)
  55. Jesus, 8 (16-way tie)
  56. Lorenzo, 8 (16-way tie)
  57. Milo, 8 (16-way tie)
  58. River, 8 (16-way tie)
  59. Samuel, 8 (16-way tie)
  60. Theo, 8 (16-way tie)
  61. Thiago, 8 (16-way tie)

And here’s a sampling of the many names that were bestowed just once in Sonoma last year:

Unique girl namesUnique boy names
Ameyalli, Beliana, Colette, Delphie, Ellora, Fiadh, Gwendolyn, Honorae, Ilisapeci, Jessune, Khilana, Lucibell, Merari, Norma, Oriah, Pixel, Riyana, Soluna, Teteoinnan, Ume, Velexia, Wrenlee, Xochitl, Yetzi, ZantedechiaAriodante, Bruce, Canaan, Dovydas, Endrick, Favian, Gedaliah, Hewitt, Itztli, Jessiah, Kidder, Ledson, Miro, Nash, Orbelin, Paz, Rapha, Sigaserau, Tovius, Uniquo, Ventura, Wicahpi, Xolotl, Yoali, Zianni

Some possible explanations/influences for a few of the above:

  • Ameyalli means “spring, fountain” in Nahuatl.
  • Ariodante is the name of an opera (first performed in 1735) by George Frideric Handel.
  • Itztli refers to an “obsidian blade” in Nahuatl.
  • Teteoinnan is the name of a Nahua deity. (The name means “mother of the gods” in Nahuatl.)
  • Wicahpi means “star” in Lakota.
  • Xolotl refers to the “divine force of lightning and death” (among other things) in Nahuatl.
  • Zantedechia is one letter away from Zantedeschia, the name of a genus of flowering plants. (The calla lily is a member of this genus.) The genus was named after Italian physician/botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi (1773-1846).

Finally, here are Sonoma’s 2022 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Sonoma County Baby Names – Open Data, Sonoma County, Sonoma County Births by Year – Open Data, Sonoma County, Online Nahuatl Dictionary, Zantedeschia – Wikipedia

Image: Adapted from Flag of California (public domain)

Where did the baby name Klisha come from in 1983?

New Jersey high school student Klisha Buell (in 1983)
Klisha Buell, with ant colony

In 1983, the curious name Klisha was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted
  • 1983: 6 baby girls named Klisha [debut]
  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: unlisted

Where did it come from?

High school student Klisha Buell, who helped who develop a science experiment that involved sending a colony of ants into space aboard the Challenger in June of 1983.

Hundreds of students at two predominantly African-American high schools in Camden, New Jersey, worked together over several years to design and create all the components of the research project, which had two main objectives: to study the effects of weightlessness on ants, and (more broadly) to get minority students interested in science.

Students in science classes, doing research in entomology and astrophysics, designed the experiment. Students in drafting classes drew blueprints, and those in metal, wood and electrical shop classes put it together. Students developed flow charts and programs for the microprocessor that controlled cameras and the student-designed regulators for light and temperature. Journalism classes wrote newsletters and press releases. Art students painted murals of space scenes in the hallways.

Dozens of students attended the launch of the space shuttle Challenger at Cape Canaveral on June 18th. (It was the Challenger‘s second-ever mission. Not only was the ant colony on board, but so was America’s first female astronaut, Sally Ride.)

After the space shuttle returned, the ant colony and equipment were retrieved by several students. One of those students was Klisha Buell, who was often quoted in articles about the experiment. Her name was mentioned, for instance, in Ebony, in Jet, and on the front page of the New York Times.

Unfortunately, none the ants — including the queen, named Norma — survived the journey.

But the experiment was still considered a success. All of the student-designed equipment functioned perfectly over the course of the mission, and both schools saw evidence that their students had become more interested in science. One teacher mentioned that “enrollment in our science classes has gone up 50 percent.”

What are your thoughts on the name Klisha?

P.S. Sally Ride was the third woman in space; the first was Valentina Tereshkova. The Challenger went on to complete seven more missions before the tragic tenth mission, which involved high school teacher Christa McAuliffe.


Image: Clipping from Jet magazine (1 Aug. 1983)

Where did the baby name Junellen come from in 1947?

Junellen Hawthorne on the cover of "Calling All Girls" (November, 1944)
Junellen Hawthorne

The baby name Junellen has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just once so far, in 1947:

  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: 12 baby girls named Junellen [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A fashion model named Junellen Hawthorne.

Junellen was profiled in an article called “Model from Vermont” that was published in Parade, the nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, in March of 1947. The issue’s cover also featured a photo of Junellen (though not her name).

Junellen Hawthorne in Parade Magazine (March, 1947)
“Model from Vermont”

According to the article, 20-year-old Junellen Hawthorne lived part-time on her family’s farm in Vermont, and the other part of the time in New York City, where she worked as a fashion model for the John Robert Powers modeling agency (believed to be the world’s first modeling agency).

Junellen’s Parade photos were shot by photographer André de Dienes, who, about a year and a half earlier, had hired a 19-year-old named Norma Jeane Baker (the future Marilyn Monroe!) for her first modeling job.

So how did Junellen come to have her unusual first name? Her parents created it by combining their own names, Junior and Ellen. (Junellen was an only child.)

What are your thoughts on the name Junellen?


The 6 siblings of Burl Ives

Singer/actor Burl Ives (1909-1995)
Burl Ives

Grammy-winning singer and Oscar-winning actor Burl Ives was born in rural Illinois in 1909. His birth name? Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives.

I don’t know the story behind his unique given names, but I do know that his parents, Levi Franklin (“Frank”) and Cordellia (“Dellie”), gave several of their six other children interesting names as well:

  1. Audry Jane, b. 1899
  2. Artie Morris, b. 1901
  3. Clarence Estie, b. 1903
  4. Argola Marie, b. 1906
  5. Burl Icle Ivanhoe, b. 1909
  6. Lilburn Verger, b. 1914
  7. Norma, b. 1919

(During that area, the next-door state of Missouri had a community called Argola — I wonder if that’s where Argola Marie’s name came from…?)

Today, Burl Ives may be best remembered as the voice of Sam the Snowman in the 1964 stop-motion TV movie Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer — the longest-running Christmas special in history.

What are your thoughts on the first name Burl?

(And…did you know that Rudolph was almost named Reginald?)


Image: Burl Ives – LOC