How popular is the baby name Phineas 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 Phineas.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Phineas


Posts that Mention the Name Phineas

Pop culture baby name game results, 2021

Baby name game results, 2021

Which of the names in the 2021 pop culture baby name game saw higher usage last year?

The following names increased in usage from 2020 to 2021. They’re ordered by relative size of increase.

NameActionIncrease (%)’20 to ’21 usage
Lilibet*re-emerged200%, at least? to 12 baby girls
Caelebincreased200%5 to 15 baby boys
Rayaincreased130%274 to 631 baby girls
Icedebuted125%, at least? to 9 baby boys
Wandaincreased112%17 to 36 baby girls
Jovitaincreased60%5 to 8 baby girls
Suniincreased60%5 to 8 baby girls
Kananincreased59%102 to 162 baby boys
Mykaylaincreased59%17 to 27 baby girls
Letoincreased50%6 to 9 baby boys
Sterlingincreased49%122 to 182 baby girls
Sylvie*increased46%351 to 514 baby girls
Daphne*increased46%749 to 1,097 baby girls
Divinity*increased33%43 to 57 baby girls
Sylvesterincreased31%52 to 68 baby boys
Augustincreased29%2,423 to 3,133 baby boys
Renniere-emerged25%, at least? to 5 baby boys
Enderincreased22%103 to 126 baby boys
Ridleyincreased16%79 to 92 baby boys
Jupiterincreased8%119 to 129 baby girls
Phineasincreased7%121 to 129 baby boys
Khaiincreased5%21 to 22 baby girls
Simon*increased1%1,404 to 1,423 baby boys

*Suggestions made by elbowin, k8eshore, and KM

Chapel and La’akea were near-misses — both made gains, but for the wrong genders.

The following names did not increase in usage from 2020 to 2021. These names saw equal usage, less usage, or weren’t in the data at all.

Amanda, Ariarne, Atreides, Chani, Cruella, Dolph, Hidilyn, Ikaris, Janja, Javicia, Jeh, Kenna, Kizzmekia, Lalisa, Makkari, Mare, Mauz, Mecole, Nakano, Nevin, Ozuna, Rauw, Robinette, Sersi, Shacarri, Shein, Swavy, Tessica, Tianwen, Warrior

And here are the late bloomers — names that were part of the 2020 game, but didn’t rise/debut until 2021.

  • Win re-emerged with 14 baby boys.
  • Kaori increased by 106%
  • Gervonta debuted with 8 baby boys
  • Theodosia increased by 75%
  • Anaia increased by 71%
  • Wednesday increased by 47%
  • Hamilton increased by 30%
  • Lenin increased by 19%
  • Liberty increased by 8%
  • Zaya increased by 7%

What are your thoughts on these results? Which name surprised you the most?

[Disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated. Others were influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. In all cases, I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence.]

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2021

Happy birthday, Elvis!

Tomorrow would have been Elvis Presley’s 86th birthday. (Happy birthday, Elvis!)

You guys know what that means…time for the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Think back to the pop culture of 2021 — movies, music, TV shows, online shows, social media, video games, sports, news, cultural events, politics, products, brands, etc.

Which of these things had an influence on U.S. baby names, do you think?

More specifically, which baby names will see higher usage (or appear for the very first time) in the 2021 U.S. baby name data thanks to 2021 pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas…

Plus…

  • Names from the movie Eternals (like Sersi, Ikaris, Makkari)
  • Names from the movie Dune (like Chani, Atreides, Leto)
  • Turkish names from any of the Turkish dramas being aired in Spanish on Univision/Telemundo
  • Names from any new sci-fi/fantasy series (like Shadow and Bone, The Nevers, The Wheel of Time)

Some of the names mentioned in the 2020 game might be see increases in 2021 as well.

What other names should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment!

I’ll post the game results after the SSA releases the 2021 baby name data (in May of 2022).

Unusual Baby Names in Harris County, TX

snobia, real name, baby name, texas, 1930s
Snobia, born in Texas in 1931

We recently looked at the top baby names in Houston, so today let’s check out some of the unusual baby names that were bestowed in Harris County (where Houston is located) from 1926 to 1934.

Why 1926 to 1934? Because the USGenWeb Archives website for Texas happens to host complete, digitized sets of Harris County birth records for those particular years. :)

For onomastic context: The top five girl names in Texas in 1930 were Mary, Betty, Dorothy, Maria, and Billie; the top five boy names were James, Billy, Robert, John, and Charles.

And now, here are some of the unusual-but-real baby names that were being used in Harris County in the late ’20s and early ’30s…

1926:

  • Girl names: Amfueretta, Autra, Clemmine, Dura, Eldoria, Fayetla, Faylese, Georgesther, Iantha, Inry, Jimize, Joshlie, Martimana, Mervelin, Philogonius, Ruberly, Symova, Veloria, Ventruda, Zenola
  • Boy names: Batrio, Clardy, Clavy, Durward, Fayne, Galvino, Horathel, Jallus, Komello, Lomas, Ludwell, Nonis, Octamis, Searcy, Stayden, Talbert, Thadid, Waldo, Wiltz, Zocheryer

1927:

  • Girl names: Azerlene, Crespina, Davalene, Diluvina, Flumencia, Glissie, Haldora, Hinda, Isiola, Lapia, Mardry, Maxteen, Nicolasa, Orea, Revoydia, Ruvellee, Sidnorry, Versa, Vreenta, Willia & Nillia (twins)
  • Boy names: Alzie, Arno, Buckney, Clovis, Donley, Gasdan, Greensoile, Herndon, Iron, Jappa, Kemper, Kinnie, Mynatt, Narmon, Osby, Risco, Ronickey, Schallie, Tevan, Tollie

1928:

  • Girl names: Alcada, Ayda, Bitovia, Clydine, Flavilla, Glordia, Hisidra, Inola, Juvene, Leonicia, Mattilene, Oresa, Relda, Sinella, Thaylia, Throsula, Valmarie, Willoise, Zelphia, Zolita
  • Boy names: Aninas, Asriah, Calby, Cleophua, Delery, Derwent, Elivorio, Enimuson, Galo, Hartsell, Jurinous, Kermit, Kissel, Lassiter, Mcclare, Monteith, Ole, Pantaleon, Plymton, Surgossa

1929:

  • Girl names: Arthia, Bifiana, Clemensia, Dinazar, Elmorene, Evima, Ferenita, Glennella, Gusstelle, Hughleen, Jaquamina, Lunetta, Mildra, Olilathe, Raydel, Seropia, Starley, Treassa, Yachitl, Ysrosa
  • Boy names: Boysen, Dreabon, Exalton, Hennone, Hulan, Jolari, Kezakiah, Laddie, Melbert, Monsie, Narcief, Primitivo, Renick, Ruffin, Schley, Tagaro, Tawsen, Valdellaro, Vesome, Zannie

1930:

  • Girl names: Arlisia, Azo, Binji, Chavara, Cleoneta, Elzunnette, Faydell, Floryana, Jazzella, Junetenth*, Librada, Marginelle, Nezzell, Olgria, Omandy, Pura, Rahubie, Tanua, Trellis, Wiltessa
  • Boy names: Atenojenes, Beeler, Boza, Charna, Clausiel, Donniehue, Doulthitt, Eluterio, Galvesto, Kirkland, Landrum, Larough, Marvis, Mcclora, Neilo, Oliner, Scherrell, Sunary, Telesmar, Trossie

*In other records, she’s listed as “Juneteena.” As per Ellyn’s comment, the name may actually be “Juneteenth,” in honor of the holiday that celebrates the end of slavery.

1931:

  • Girl names: Artsie, Auba, Cloredia, Docsha, Febuncia, Gladia, Jettie, Lithia, Lorinza, Mozelle, Ocinia, Orfa, Phadalia, Ria, Rovell, Sasvilla, Snobia*, Tala, Teula, Verlia
  • Boy names: Arvel, Cloy, Duffie, Elry, Fitzhugh, Galen, Ingram, Jeptha, Jerah, Khleber, Mirlo, Orlo, Ozell, Roswald, Sebie, Thano, Tosker, Velton, Vyron, Worley

*Snobby-looking Snobia is probably just an altered form of Zenobia.

1932:

  • Girl names: Brenotte, Cesoria, Elydia, Eola, Glennia, Hannora, Idanel, Josener, Laquita, Liligene, Minta, Nelva, Ninfa, Oradola, Ouida, Renoma, Rosarine, Velosa, Willette, Zol
  • Boy names: Bincy, Brozy, Clymer, Cullis, Esker, Ferris, Hurnden, Izria, Kaywood, Latham, Nemensio, Odis, Orville, Ramia, Shedrick, Streeter, Theophilus, Vernest, Wayaland, Zeff

1933:

  • Girl names: Annarene, Bittie, Clista, Darristine, Esobello, Exenia, Genoria, Gwilda, Idella, Jemanne, Kleanthe, Leska, Mattiegene, Mercidee, Reheba, Rocksie, Trudell, Valmia, Velta, Yerula
  • Boy names: Armogene, Artis, Claydorn, Cromwell, Deckman, Envon, Hildo, Judges, Leotis, Linlou, Millus, Ninary, Olinthas, Pelton, Phineas, Rianaldo, Ringling, Thurlo, Trezevant, Verzel

1934:

  • Girl names: Armandina, Athydell, Berklyn, Clois, Cova, Dazerine, Elzie, Enla, Flonia, Hybernia, Isadoranne, Lemabel, Marzie, Mavolen, Oralina, Roxelyn, Sedonia, Thala, Valanie, Zeolia
  • Boy names: Boyce, Bunard, Dolph, Eurshell, Foy, Heyburn, Jessia, Jock, Kermit, Kernin, Lorvell, Melescio, Numa, Rhomey, Rusperto, Sneed, Travino, Treldon, Ulmer, Venard

Have any thoughts about the names above?

Where did the baby name Jonerik come from?

Jon-Erik Hexum
Jon-Erik Hexum

Speaking of Erik Estrada, here’s another Erik-related pop culture name from the ’80s.

Jon-Erik Hexum was an up-and-coming actor in the early ’80s. His first role was as Phineas Bogg in the TV show Voyagers! (1982-1983), and his final role was as Mac Harper in the TV show Cover Up (1984-1985).

His career was cut short when, on the set of Cover Up in late 1984, he accidentally killed himself with one of the guns used for filming.

The compound name Jonerik debuted in the SSA’s baby name data in 1983 and saw peak usage in 1985, the year after Hexum died.

  • 1986: 25 baby boys named Jonerik
  • 1985: 62 baby boys named Jonerik [peak]
  • 1984: 25 baby boys named Jonerik
  • 1983: 20 baby boys named Jonerik [debut]
  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: unlisted

The name Joneric followed a similar trajectory.

By the early 1990s, though, both names had fallen off the list entirely.

What do you think of the name Jon-Erik?

Unique Baby Name: Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Samuel and Abigail Pond of Branford, Connecticut, had 8 kids between 1705 and 1721.

The first 7 got familiar names: Samuel, Philip, Bartholomew, Josiah, Abigail, Phineas and Peter.

But the last? The last was named Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.

Huh?

Turns out it’s Biblical. Not a Biblical name, but a Biblical phrase. It refers to the story of “the writing on the wall” in the Book of Daniel.

Here’s a summary: In the middle of a banquet being hosted by Belshazzar, King of Babylon, a disembodied hand appears and writes four Aramaic words – Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin — on the wall. (In the King James version of the Bible, the last word is transcribed as “Uphardin.”) Belshazzar calls on Daniel to interpret the words, and Daniel tells him that the words foretell the fall of Babylon.

Why would the Ponds choose a name like this? Likely for no reason at all. One of the parents probably just opened the family Bible, shut his/her eyes, and pointed. (Notwithstanding Griswold, another 18th-century Connecticut baby, was no doubt named the same way.)

One genealogist wondered if Mene’s name wasn’t “intended to commemorate the final downfall of the Stuarts, which seven years before had been assured by the succession of the House of Hanover.” This seems unlikely, though, given the 7-year gap and the fact that there’d been two previous opportunities to bestow a commemoration name (older brothers Phineas and Peter were both also born after the death of Queen Anne).

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin Pond didn’t live to adulthood, but I managed to find one similarly named person who did: Mene Tekel Virgo (née Beacon) who lived in Kent, England, from 1827 to 1895.

Sources:

  • Belshazzar’s feast – Wikipedia
  • Jacobus, Donald Lines. “Early New England Nomenclature.” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Jan. 1923: 10-16.
  • Pond, Nathan Gillette. “Pond Family of Milford, Connecticut.” The Connecticut Magazine 1906: 161-176.

P.S. Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin’s older brother Philip married a lady with the fantastic name Thankful Frisbie.