How popular is the baby name Patrick 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 Patrick.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Patrick


Posts that Mention the Name Patrick

Where did the baby name Cymande come from in 1973?

Cymande's self-titled debut album (1972).
Cymande album

The unique name Cymande has shown up in the U.S. baby name data just once so far, in the early 1970s:

  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 9 baby boys named Cymande [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted

Why?

Because of the influence of eclectic British funk band Cymande, made up of nine Caribbean-born, London-based musicians. The band “weld[ed] together the diverse strands of reggae and Rastafarian rhythms with funk, soul, R&B, jazz, rock, African music and West Indian folk.”

Their first album, the self-titled Cymande (1972), featured their biggest single: “The Message,” which reached 48th on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in March of 1973.

So where did the name “Cymande” come from?

Many sources repeat the claim that it was derived from a Calypso word meaning “dove” (the band’s emblem). That’s not quite the story, though. Two of the band members discussed the origin of the name with Rolling Stone in 2016:

[Steve] Scipio: The dove represents peace and love and for us, with our Caribbean heritage, it’s also connected with a very popular calypso song [“Dove and Pigeon”] that had a dove as a central character.

[Patrick] Paterson: The hook was “coo-coo-coo-coo-fan-cy-mandy.”

Scipio: “Fan-cy-mandy!” That’s where we got the name, Cymande from.

The song “Dove and Pigeon” [vid] was written by Tobagonian musician Lord Nelson and released in 1963. The line they’re referencing is hard to make out (one music blogger transcribed it “coo coo coo-coo bansimande”), but the last three syllables sound like see-mahn-dee.

At the start of the 1974 Cymande song “Promised Heights” [vid], one of the band members pronounces the band name sih-mahn-day (roughly).

What are your thoughts on the name Cymande?

Sources: Cymande, London’s Greatest Funk Band, on Return to Stage, Interview: British Funk Icons Cymande, Cymande “The Message” Chart History – Billboard, Dove and Pigeon (song) – Guanaguanare: The Laughing Gull

Top first letters of baby names in the U.S., 2021

Which first letters were the most and least popular for U.S. baby names in 2021?

Top first letters for girl names: A, E, M

For baby girls, the most-used first letter was A, followed by E and M. The least-used first letter was U.

Graph of first letter popularity for U.S. baby girl names, 2021

The most popular girl names per letter were…

  • A-names (over 273,100 baby girls): Amelia, Ava, Abigail, Avery, Aria, Aurora
  • B-names (over 49,300): Brooklyn, Bella, Brielle, Blakely, Bailey, Brianna
  • C-names (over 93,100): Charlotte, Camila, Chloe, Claire, Caroline, Cora
  • D-names (over 40,300): Delilah, Daisy, Diana, Daniela, Delaney, Dakota
  • E-names (over 155,300): Emma, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Ella, Emily
  • F-names (over 16,500): Freya, Faith, Finley, Fiona, Fatima, Frances
  • G-names (over 42,900): Gianna, Grace, Genesis, Gabriella, Genevieve, Georgia
  • H-names (over 54,900): Harper, Hazel, Hannah, Hailey, Hadley, Harmony
  • I-names (over 44,100): Isabella, Isla, Ivy, Iris, Isabelle, Isabel
  • J-names (over 73,500): Josephine, Jade, Julia, Josie, Juniper, Jasmine
  • K-names (over 89,100): Kinsley, Kennedy, Kaylee, Kehlani, Katherine, Kylie
  • L-names (over 115,300): Luna, Layla, Lily, Leah, Lucy, Lillian
  • M-names (over 143,500): Mia, Mila, Madison, Maya, Madelyn, Madeline
  • N-names (over 58,800): Nora, Nova, Naomi, Natalie, Natalia, Nevaeh
  • O-names (over 30,200): Olivia, Olive, Oakley, Oaklynn, Octavia, Ophelia
  • P-names (over 37,600): Penelope, Paisley, Piper, Peyton, Parker, Presley
  • Q-names (over 4,100): Quinn, Quincy, Queen, Quinley, Quetzalli, Quinnley
  • R-names (over 74,800): Riley, Ruby, Rylee, Raelynn, Rose, Remi
  • S-names (over 116,400): Sophia, Sofia, Scarlett, Stella, Savannah, Skylar
  • T-names (over 24,200): Taylor, Teagan, Trinity, Tatum, Tessa, Talia
  • U-names (over 600): Unique, Uma, Ulani, Una, Unknown, Unity
  • V-names (over 32,400): Violet, Victoria, Valentina, Vivian, Valerie, Valeria
  • W-names (over 14,700): Willow, Wren, Winter, Wynter, Willa, Wrenley
  • X-names (over 4,500): Ximena, Xiomara, Xyla, Xena, Xochitl, Xitlali
  • Y-names (over 7,600): Yaretzi, Yara, Yareli, Yasmin, Yamileth, Yuna
  • Z-names (over 29,100): Zoey, Zoe, Zuri, Zara, Zariah, Zelda

Top first letters for boy names: J, A, L

For baby boys, the most-used first letter was J, followed by A and L. The least-used first letter was U.

Graph of first letter popularity for U.S. baby boy names, 2021

The most popular boy names per letter were…

  • A-names (over 178,600 baby boys): Alexander, Asher, Aiden, Anthony, Andrew, Adrian
  • B-names (over 86,600): Benjamin, Brooks, Bennett, Beau, Bryson, Brayden
  • C-names (over 123,000): Carter, Charles, Caleb, Christopher, Cameron, Cooper
  • D-names (over 85,000): Daniel, David, Dylan, Dominic, Declan, Damian
  • E-names (over 108,700): Elijah, Ethan, Ezra, Elias, Ezekiel, Eli
  • F-names (over 20,500): Finn, Felix, Finley, Francisco, Fernando, Finnegan
  • G-names (over 53,500): Grayson, Gabriel, Greyson, Gael, Giovanni, George
  • H-names (over 50,000): Henry, Hudson, Hunter, Harrison, Hayden, Hayes
  • I-names (over 31,500): Isaac, Isaiah, Ian, Ivan, Israel, Ismael
  • J-names (over 202,800): James, Jack, Jackson, Jacob, John, Joseph
  • K-names (over 93,400): Kai, Kayden, Kingston, Kaiden, Kevin, King
  • L-names (over 133,400): Liam, Lucas, Levi, Logan, Leo, Luke
  • M-names (over 126,700): Mateo, Michael, Mason, Matthew, Maverick, Miles
  • N-names (over 57,400): Noah, Nathan, Nolan, Nicholas, Nathaniel, Nicolas
  • O-names (over 38,800): Oliver, Owen, Oscar, Omar, Orion, Odin
  • P-names (over 23,700): Parker, Patrick, Peter, Preston, Phoenix, Paxton
  • Q-names (over 3,100): Quinn, Quentin, Quincy, Quinton, Quintin, Quinten
  • R-names (over 82,800): Ryan, Roman, Robert, Rowan, River, Ryder
  • S-names (over 70,300): Sebastian, Samuel, Santiago, Silas, Sawyer, Steven
  • T-names (over 59,200): Theodore, Thomas, Thiago, Theo, Tyler, Tucker
  • U-names (over 2,500): Uriel, Uriah, Ulises, Ulysses, Uziel, Umar
  • V-names (over 11,000): Vincent, Victor, Valentino, Vincenzo, Vicente, Vihaan
  • W-names (over 49,100): William, Wyatt, Waylon, Wesley, Weston, Walker
  • X-names (over 7,200): Xavier, Xander, Xzavier, Xavion, Xavien, Xavian
  • Y-names (over 8,200): Yusuf, Yosef, Yehuda, Yousef, Yahir, Yisroel
  • Z-names (over 26,900): Zion, Zachary, Zayden, Zane, Zayn, Zander

Name quotes #106: Amitabh, Chapel, Kit

quotation marks

Ready for another batch of name quotes? Here we go!

From a 2012 interview with Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington, who didn’t learn that his real name was Christopher until he was 11:

It was very strange, I went to school, and I remember that you had to do these tests to find out what set you’re in — how clever you are. I put down “Kit Harington,” and they looked at me like I was completely stupid, and they said, “No, you’re Christopher Harington, I’m afraid.” It was only then I learnt my actual name. That was kind of a bizarre existential crisis for an 11-year-old to have, but in the end I always stuck with Kit, because I felt that’s who I was. I’m not really a “Chris.”

From the article “What your name says about your age” (2016) in The Hindu:

Movie stars seem to have an impact on naming conventions too. The median [age of women named] Raveena, Karishma, Twinkle and Kajol are between 20 and 23 today, which, given the two movie stars’ debuts in the early 90s, makes sense. The median Aishwarya is 21, which is roughly how many years ago Ms. Rai Bachchan won the Miss World title.

Among men, there has been a sharp rise in the popularity of Shahrukh and Sachin, both peaks coinciding with their debuts on film screens and the cricket field respectively. Amitabh is declining in popularity after hitting a peak among those who were born in the mid 70s.

From the RTÉ article “What Irish children’s names reveal about us” (2022) by Dr. Dylan Connor :

In a recent study, we turned name analytics toward one of Ireland’s big historical questions: why were the Irish so reluctant to follow couples elsewhere in reducing the size of their families?

[…]

We found something surprising. Many of our prior expectations were confirmed: professionals had fewer children than laborers, families were smaller in cities, and Catholics had more children than Protestants. The single strongest indicator that a couple had a large family, however, was whether or not they picked traditional and common names for their children. When parents chose names like Patrick, Mary and John, they typically had more children. Parents with fewer children relied more on uncommon names like Eric, Sam, Hazel and Irene. Irrespective of religion, naming was linked to family size and the pattern even held for the Irish in America.

Irish couples were particularly likely to buck trends as they were exposed to cities. Urban couples were not only the first to sharply curtail childbearing, but were also more likely to experiment with new and unusual names. This was a sharp departure from large rural Irish families, where successive generations were named after parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Actor Josh Brolin’s explanation of his daughter’s name, Chapel Grace (b. 2020):

Everywhere we have traveled the one place Kathryn and I always found a great solace in were chapels. Not being particularly religious, but a God feeling heavily inundating our lives, chapels have always been the sanctuaries where we felt most connectedly free to give thanks. Chapel Grace is, to us, a manifestation of that celestial feeling that was always felt as we meandered and knelt.

Finally, two unrelated quotes from a 2008 Mental Floss article about undesirable names. Here’s the first:

In June 2001, a total solar eclipse was about to cross southern Africa. To prepare, the Zimbabwean and Zambian media began a massive astronomy education campaign focused on warning people not to stare at the Sun. Apparently, the campaign worked. The locals took a real liking to the vocabulary, and today, the birth registries are filled with names like Eclipse Glasses Banda, Totality Zhou, and Annular Mchombo.

And here’s the second:

When Napoleon seized the Netherlands in 1810, he demanded that all Dutchmen take last names, just as the French had done decades prior. Problem was, the Dutch had lived full and happy lives with single names, so they took absurd surnames in a show of spirited defiance. These included Naaktgeboren (born naked), Spring int Veld (jump in the field), and Piest (pisses). Sadly for their descendants, Napoleon’s last-name trend stuck, and all of these remain perfectly normal Dutch names today.

Popular baby names in Ireland, 2021

ireland

According to data from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Fiadh and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Fiadh, 424 baby girls
  2. Grace, 412
  3. Emily, 388
  4. Sophie, 336
  5. Éabha, 288
  6. Lucy, 287
  7. Mia, 279
  8. Ava, 272
  9. Lily, 271
  10. Ella, 268

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 667 baby boys
  2. Noah, 475
  3. James, 442
  4. Conor, 360
  5. Rían, 357
  6. Liam, 353
  7. Charlie, 345
  8. Daniel, 325
  9. Cillian, 322
  10. Tadhg, 318

In the girls’ top 10, Éabha and Lily replaced Amelia and Hannah. (In both 2019 and 2020, Éabha was the fastest-rising girl name in Ireland.)

In the boys’ top 10, Rían, Cillian, and Tadhg replaced Finn, Fionn, and Harry.

Newbies to the girls’ top 100 were Indie, Ayla and Lottie; newbies to the boys’ top 100 were Teddy, Daithí, Páidí, Jaxon, Brody, Ted, Hunter, Tadgh, Tiernan, and Arlo.

The fastest-rising names in the top 100 in terms of numbers of babies were:

  • Croía (+60 baby girls), Emily (+59), Fiadh (+58), Éabha (+54), Isla (+52)
  • Rían (+72 baby boys), Jack (+70), Danny (+57), Theo (+53), Ollie (+51)

The fastest-rising names in terms of rank were:

  • Croía (+43 spots), Indie (+28), Ayla (+28), Fíadh (+24), Daisy (+21)
  • Ted (+49 spots), Hunter (+38), Hugo (+35), Brody (+35), Teddy (+31)

Rían (which was already on the rise) and Croía have both given a boost recently by Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor, who welcomed a daughter named Croía Mairéad at the start of 2019 and a son named Rían in May of 2021.

Here’s what writer and Irish language activist Darach Ó Séaghdha’s had to say about the rise of Rían (and Éabha):

Given that the first name Ryan started to decline in popularity in the 2010s around the time Rian and Rían began to ascend it is reasonable to see Rían as an update or replacement to Ryan, much as Éabha has climbed in popularity as Eve, Ava and Aoibhe have wavered.

He also noted that “Rían and Rian would be the [most popular] Gaeilge-origin boy name if counted together, edging ahead of Conor.”

Sources: Irish Babies’ Names, Irish Babies’ Names 2021, The Irish For: The rise of Rían – the latest baby names in Ireland

P.S. To follow up on Friday’s post about the free lighthouse tour…the name Patrick is currently ranked 19th in Ireland, but none of the other three names (Paddy, Pat, or Patricia) rank anywhere near the top 100. That said, one of the names new to the boys’ top 100 last year was Páidí (pronounced paw-dee) — a pet form of Pádraig, which is an Irish form of Patrick.

Free lighthouse tour for people named Patrick, Patricia

Hook lighthouse, Ireland
Hook Lighthouse

Is your name is Patrick or Patricia? Do you live in Co. Wexford, Ireland?

If so, go check out Hook Lighthouse (“the oldest operational lighthouse in the world”) on St. Patrick’s Day — you’ll get a free guided tour!

Here’s the announcement from the Hook Lighthouse events page:

Celebrate all that is uniquely Irish at hook Lighthouse this St. Patrick’s Day … from a green theme in the café and the celebration of Paddy’s… yes, that’s right, if your name is Patrick, Pat, Paddy or Patricia you can enjoy access to a free Lighthouse tour on St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy snake hunts at 2 pm and 3 pm on the lighthouse lawns!

The tours don’t actually cost much — just €10 per adult, and about half that per child — but it sounds like a fun promotion nonetheless.

Source: Hook Lighthouse offering free tours for Patricks and Patricias this St Patrick’s Day

Image by Braden Collum from Unsplash