How popular is the baby name Orbit 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 Orbit.

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Popularity of the baby name Orbit

Posts that mention the name Orbit

41 Pun-names for April Fools’ Day (4/1)

painting of a smiling man

I can’t play a prank on you for April Fools’ Day, but I can give you a list of personal names that seem like pranks.

Except, they’re not.

All of the below are legit first & last names that belonged to real people — often multiple people. (In parentheses I’ve added rough estimates of how many instances I’ve come across so far.)

  1. Alma Mater (several)
  2. April Showers (dozens)
  3. Bear Trapp (one)
  4. Candy Cane (several)
  5. Cliff Hanger (several)
  6. Constant Agony (two)
  7. Constant Craps (one)
  8. Crystal Ball (dozens)
    • There’s also Krystal Ball, who ran for office in Virginia a few years back.
  9. Death Knox (one)
  10. Gettysburg Battle (one)
  11. Gold Mine (two)
  12. Green Bean (several)
  13. Hazel Nut/Nutt (dozens)
  14. Ima Hogg (one)
  15. Jed I Knight (one)
  16. London England (dozens)
  17. Mud Brown (three)
  18. Never Fail (two) — father and son
    • The son’s headstone offers context for the name by referencing 1 Corinthians 13: “Love never fails.”
  19. Norman Conquest (two)
  20. North West (hundreds)
  21. Nude Mann (one)
  22. Orbit Moon (one)
  23. Orchestra Harp (one)
  24. Paris France (several)
  25. Preserved Fish (several)
  26. Pullman Carr (several)
  27. Rainy Day (one)
  28. River Bottom (one)
  29. Rocky Mountain (dozens)
  30. Sandy Beach (dozens)
  31. Sea Shore (several)
  32. Seymour Butts (two) — not just a Bart Simpson prank call!
  33. Shanda Lear (one)
  34. Silence Bellows (one)
  35. Soda Popp (one)
  36. Strong Beer (one)
  37. Tell No Lyes (several)
  38. Ten Million (one)
    • He had a daughter named Decillian Million.
  39. Timber Wood (one)
    • He has a sister named Drift Wood.
  40. Truly Wright (several)
  41. Tu Morrow (one)
    • Daughter of actors Rob Morrow and Debbon Ayer (read: debonaire)

Which one do you think is the best? Or should I say, the worst?


Image: Falstaff (1921) by Eduard von Grützner

Baby born on day of Earth orbit, named Orbit

On the day John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth (February 20, 1962) a baby boy was born in Ogden, Utah, to Mr. and Mrs. H. Ray Hill.

He was named Orbit.

(In fact, hundreds of U.S. babies have been named orbit over the years. Two particularly memorable Orbits are Glenn Orbit Reeves, born on 2/20/1962 in Texas, and Orbit Paul Moon, born on 3/10/1902 in Iowa.)


  • “Utah Parents Name Arrival Orbit.” Florence Times 27 Feb. 1962, section 2: 8.

Image: The Earth seen from Apollo 17 (NASA)

Babies named for Mercury astronauts

Astronaut Alan Shepard (1923-1998)
Alan Shepard

NASA’s Mercury program (1959-1963) was the nation’s first human spaceflight program.

Six of the Mercury flights were manned — each by a single astronaut. The six astronauts, in order, were Alan Shepard, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Walter Schirra, and Gordon Cooper.

So far I’ve been able to track down namesakes for two of these men:

Alan Shepard

The first American (and second human) in space was Alan Shepard. He piloted a sub-16-minute suborbital flight aboard the Freedom 7 on May 5, 1961. (Yuri Gagarin‘s flight on April 12 had been an orbital flight lasting 108 minutes.)

At 11:42 am, “an hour and eight minutes after Shephard’s [sic] rocket took off,” a baby boy was born to Mr. and Mrs. William J. Mann of Middletown, New York. The boy was named Alan Shepard Mann.

“I had thought of the name myself,” said Mr. Mann. “Then so many friends called and suggested it that we decided to name the baby Alan Shepard. My wife had already picked out a name, Ralph Luppon, but she agreed too that under the circumstances it was the only thing to do.”

John Glenn

The first American to orbit the Earth and the third American (and fifth human) in space was John Glenn. He traveled around the Earth three times aboard the Friendship 7 during a nearly 5-hour flight on February 20, 1962.

Here are just a few of the babies born on Feb. 20 and named in honor of John Glenn:

  • John Glenn Donato, baby boy, born to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Donato of Burbank, California.
  • John Glenn Guntle, baby boy, born at 2:42 p.m., “just one minute before astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. landed Tuesday in the Atlantic Ocean after his third orbit of the earth,” to Mr. and Mrs. Larry Guntle of Dowagiac, Michigan.
  • John Glenn Fortner, baby boy, born to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fortner of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
  • Glenn John Ashley Mertz, baby boy, born “as astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. re-entered the atmosphere” to Mr. and Mrs. Louis Ashley Mertz of Freeport, New York.
  • Jonna Glyn Morse, baby girl, born at 10:50 a.m., “while Col. Glenn was still in orbit,” to Mr. and Mrs. Sidney L. Morse of Los Angeles, California.
  • Late addition: Glenn Orbit Reeves, baby boy, born in Texas.

We can see the influence of John Glenn’s flight in the U.S. baby name data, in fact.

For more names like these, check out yesterday’s post on baby names inspired by astronauts in the Apollo program.


  • About Project Mercury – NASA
  • “Astronaut’s Name Given New Babies.” Los Angeles Times 25 Feb. 1962: GB2.
  • “It Took Week for Famous Name to Stick.” Spartanburg Herald 28 Feb. 1962: 1.
  • “Middletown Infant May Be First Namesake of Spaceman.” Evening News [Newburgh, NY] 6 May 1961: 1.
  • “Name Fame.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 23 Feb. 1962: 1.
  • “Tots Named for Glenn.” Meriden Record 21 Feb. 1962: 8.