How popular is the baby name Rachel 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 Rachel.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rachel


Posts that Mention the Name Rachel

Popular baby names in the United States, 2022

monument valley

The new rankings have arrived!

Earlier today, the SSA released the 2022 U.S. baby name data, revealing that the top names in the nation are Olivia and Liam yet again.

I have a number of analysis posts coming up, but let’s start with the basic rankings — first a quick top 10, then a full top 500.

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 16,573 baby girls
  2. Emma, 14,435
  3. Charlotte, 12,891
  4. Amelia, 12,333
  5. Sophia, 12,310
  6. Isabella, 11,662
  7. Ava, 11,039
  8. Mia, 11,018
  9. Evelyn, 9,289
  10. Luna, 8,922

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 20,456
  2. Noah, 18,621
  3. Oliver, 15,076
  4. James, 12,028
  5. Elijah, 11,979
  6. William, 11,282
  7. Henry, 11,221
  8. Lucas, 10,909
  9. Benjamin, 10,842
  10. Theodore, 10,754

The boys’ top 10 includes the same 10 names as in 2021.

In the girls’ top 10, Luna replaced Harper.

And here are the top 500 baby names in the U.S., per gender, for 2022…

RankGirl NamesBoy Names
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
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477
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481
482
483
484
485
486
487
488
489
490
491
492
493
494
495
496
497
498
499
500
Olivia
Emma
Charlotte
Amelia
Sophia
Isabella
Ava
Mia
Evelyn
Luna
Harper
Camila
Sofia
Scarlett
Elizabeth
Eleanor
Emily
Chloe
Mila
Violet
Penelope
Gianna
Aria
Abigail
Ella
Avery
Hazel
Nora
Layla
Lily
Aurora
Nova
Ellie
Madison
Grace
Isla
Willow
Zoe
Riley
Stella
Eliana
Ivy
Victoria
Emilia
Zoey
Naomi
Hannah
Lucy
Elena
Lillian
Maya
Leah
Paisley
Addison
Natalie
Valentina
Everly
Delilah
Leilani
Madelyn
Kinsley
Ruby
Sophie
Alice
Genesis
Claire
Audrey
Sadie
Aaliyah
Josephine
Autumn
Brooklyn
Quinn
Kennedy
Cora
Savannah
Caroline
Athena
Natalia
Hailey
Aubrey
Emery
Anna
Iris
Bella
Eloise
Skylar
Jade
Gabriella
Ariana
Maria
Adeline
Lydia
Sarah
Nevaeh
Serenity
Liliana
Ayla
Everleigh
Raelynn
Allison
Madeline
Vivian
Maeve
Lyla
Samantha
Rylee
Eva
Melody
Clara
Hadley
Julia
Piper
Juniper
Parker
Brielle
Eden
Remi
Josie
Rose
Arya
Eliza
Charlie
Peyton
Daisy
Lucia
Millie
Margaret
Freya
Melanie
Elliana
Adalynn
Alina
Emersyn
Sienna
Mary
Isabelle
Alaia
Esther
Sloane
Mackenzie
Amara
Ximena
Sage
Cecilia
Valeria
Reagan
Valerie
Catalina
River
Magnolia
Kehlani
Summer
Ashley
Andrea
Isabel
Oakley
Olive
Oaklynn
Ember
Kaylee
Georgia
Juliette
Anastasia
Genevieve
Katherine
Blakely
Reese
Amaya
Emerson
Brianna
June
Alani
Lainey
Arianna
Rosalie
Sara
Jasmine
Ruth
Adalyn
Ada
Bailey
Ariella
Wren
Myla
Khloe
Callie
Elsie
Alexandra
Ryleigh
Faith
Norah
Margot
Zuri
Journee
Aspen
Gemma
Kylie
Molly
Blake
Zara
Alaina
Alana
Brynlee
Amy
Annie
Saylor
Ana
Amira
Kimberly
Noelle
Kamila
Morgan
Phoebe
Harmony
Sutton
Taylor
Finley
Lilah
Juliana
Lila
Londyn
Kailani
Vera
Kaia
Angela
Hallie
Diana
Lennon
Presley
Arabella
Aliyah
Lilly
Milani
Jordyn
Camille
Ariel
Aubree
Selena
Sawyer
Nyla
Delaney
Mariana
Rachel
Adaline
Leila
Collins
Lia
Octavia
Kali
Lena
Kiara
Kaylani
Elaina
Daniela
Leia
Gracie
Dakota
Elise
Hope
Harlow
Lola
Stevie
Malia
Miriam
Alora
Gia
Evangeline
Brooke
Lilith
Sydney
Ophelia
Alayna
Tatum
Evie
Rowan
Marley
Daphne
Kayla
Dahlia
Lucille
Blair
Adelaide
Wrenley
Haven
Teagan
Adelyn
Alyssa
Payton
Jane
Mckenna
Celeste
Juliet
Palmer
Maggie
Rebecca
London
Noa
Samara
Thea
Kendall
Mya
Talia
Winter
Angelina
Vivienne
Esme
Laila
Nina
Trinity
Vanessa
Mabel
Camilla
Jocelyn
Journey
Paige
Phoenix
Amina
Alivia
Amari
Joanna
Nicole
Annabelle
Raegan
Aitana
Julianna
Lauren
Catherine
Adriana
Madilyn
Harley
Tessa
Evelynn
Elianna
Rory
Dream
Nayeli
Poppy
Gabriela
Jayla
Cataleya
Celine
Hayden
Shiloh
Mariah
Charlee
Maisie
Regina
Adelynn
Briella
Giselle
Fatima
Danna
Alessia
Mckenzie
Wynter
Fiona
Brooklynn
Gracelynn
Luciana
Alexis
Everlee
Laura
Selah
Reign
Alayah
Rosemary
Lilliana
Ariyah
Heidi
Esmeralda
Logan
Amora
Kalani
Leighton
Cali
Melissa
Aniyah
Izabella
Michelle
Raelyn
Alessandra
Viviana
Madeleine
Arielle
Serena
Francesca
Brynn
Gwendolyn
Kira
Destiny
Elle
Makayla
Alaya
Malani
Willa
Saige
Makenna
Remington
Demi
Adelina
Raya
Astrid
Azalea
Veronica
Meadow
Anaya
Elisa
Raven
Alexandria
Hattie
Alicia
Sabrina
Gracelyn
Matilda
Skye
Annalise
Frances
Miracle
Maia
Helen
Lana
Daleyza
Rosie
Charli
Bianca
Royalty
Sarai
Amiyah
Nylah
Aylin
Maryam
Scarlet
Antonella
Sylvia
Sylvie
Nadia
Ari
Lexi
Mylah
Julieta
Lorelei
Avianna
Armani
Camryn
Emely
Rylie
Colette
Daniella
Liana
Brinley
Kate
Salem
Marlee
Alison
Carmen
Felicity
Fernanda
Holly
Ariah
Aisha
Kora
Amanda
Ailani
Elaine
Emory
Joy
Oaklee
Lyric
Madelynn
Haisley
Allie
Helena
Danielle
Katalina
Carolina
Zariah
Navy
Cassidy
Lorelai
Stephanie
Alma
Mira
Legacy
Jolene
Anya
Dorothy
Paris
Yaretzi
Aurelia
Maddison
Renata
Jimena
Xiomara
Itzel
Heaven
Lyra
Estella
Gabrielle
Maren
Liam
Noah
Oliver
James
Elijah
William
Henry
Lucas
Benjamin
Theodore
Mateo
Levi
Sebastian
Daniel
Jack
Michael
Alexander
Owen
Asher
Samuel
Ethan
Leo
Jackson
Mason
Ezra
John
Hudson
Luca
Aiden
Joseph
David
Jacob
Logan
Luke
Julian
Gabriel
Grayson
Wyatt
Matthew
Maverick
Dylan
Isaac
Elias
Anthony
Thomas
Jayden
Carter
Santiago
Ezekiel
Charles
Josiah
Caleb
Cooper
Lincoln
Miles
Christopher
Nathan
Isaiah
Kai
Joshua
Andrew
Angel
Adrian
Cameron
Nolan
Waylon
Jaxon
Roman
Eli
Wesley
Aaron
Ian
Christian
Ryan
Leonardo
Brooks
Axel
Walker
Jonathan
Easton
Everett
Weston
Bennett
Robert
Jameson
Landon
Silas
Jose
Beau
Micah
Colton
Jordan
Jeremiah
Parker
Greyson
Rowan
Adam
Nicholas
Theo
Xavier
Hunter
Dominic
Jace
Gael
River
Thiago
Kayden
Damian
August
Carson
Austin
Myles
Amir
Declan
Emmett
Ryder
Luka
Connor
Jaxson
Milo
Enzo
Giovanni
Vincent
Diego
Luis
Archer
Harrison
Kingston
Atlas
Jasper
Sawyer
Legend
Lorenzo
Evan
Jonah
Chase
Bryson
Adriel
Nathaniel
Arthur
Juan
George
Cole
Zion
Jason
Ashton
Carlos
Calvin
Brayden
Elliot
Rhett
Emiliano
Ace
Jayce
Graham
Max
Braxton
Leon
Ivan
Hayden
Jude
Malachi
Dean
Tyler
Jesus
Zachary
Kaiden
Elliott
Arlo
Emmanuel
Ayden
Bentley
Maxwell
Amari
Ryker
Finn
Antonio
Charlie
Maddox
Justin
Judah
Kevin
Dawson
Matteo
Miguel
Zayden
Camden
Messiah
Alan
Alex
Nicolas
Felix
Alejandro
Jesse
Beckett
Matias
Tucker
Emilio
Xander
Knox
Oscar
Beckham
Timothy
Abraham
Andres
Gavin
Brody
Barrett
Hayes
Jett
Brandon
Joel
Victor
Peter
Abel
Edward
Karter
Patrick
Richard
Grant
Avery
King
Caden
Adonis
Riley
Tristan
Kyrie
Blake
Eric
Griffin
Malakai
Rafael
Israel
Tate
Lukas
Nico
Marcus
Stetson
Javier
Colt
Omar
Simon
Kash
Remington
Jeremy
Louis
Mark
Lennox
Callum
Kairo
Nash
Kyler
Dallas
Crew
Preston
Paxton
Steven
Zane
Kaleb
Lane
Phoenix
Paul
Cash
Kenneth
Bryce
Ronan
Kaden
Maximiliano
Walter
Maximus
Emerson
Hendrix
Jax
Atticus
Zayn
Tobias
Cohen
Aziel
Kayson
Rory
Brady
Finley
Holden
Jorge
Malcolm
Clayton
Niko
Francisco
Josue
Brian
Bryan
Cade
Colin
Andre
Cayden
Aidan
Muhammad
Derek
Ali
Elian
Bodhi
Cody
Jensen
Damien
Martin
Cairo
Ellis
Khalil
Otto
Zander
Dante
Ismael
Angelo
Brantley
Manuel
Colson
Cruz
Tatum
Jaylen
Jaden
Erick
Cristian
Romeo
Milan
Reid
Cyrus
Leonel
Joaquin
Ari
Odin
Orion
Ezequiel
Gideon
Daxton
Warren
Casey
Anderson
Spencer
Karson
Eduardo
Chance
Fernando
Raymond
Bradley
Cesar
Wade
Prince
Julius
Dakota
Kade
Koa
Raiden
Callan
Hector
Onyx
Remy
Ricardo
Edwin
Stephen
Kane
Saint
Titus
Desmond
Killian
Sullivan
Mario
Jay
Kamari
Luciano
Royal
Zyaire
Marco
Wilder
Russell
Nasir
Rylan
Archie
Jared
Gianni
Kashton
Kobe
Sergio
Travis
Marshall
Iker
Briggs
Gunner
Apollo
Bowen
Baylor
Sage
Tyson
Kyle
Oakley
Malik
Mathias
Sean
Armani
Hugo
Johnny
Sterling
Forrest
Harvey
Banks
Grady
Kameron
Jake
Franklin
Lawson
Tanner
Eden
Jaziel
Pablo
Reed
Pedro
Zayne
Royce
Edgar
Ibrahim
Winston
Ronin
Leonidas
Devin
Damon
Noel
Rhys
Clark
Corbin
Sonny
Colter
Esteban
Erik
Baker
Adan
Dariel
Kylo
Tripp
Caiden
Frank
Solomon
Major
Memphis
Quinn
Dax
Hank
Donovan
Finnegan
Nehemiah
Andy
Camilo
Asa
Jeffrey
Santino
Isaias
Jaiden
Kian
Fabian
Callen
Ruben
Alexis
Emanuel
Francis
Garrett
Kendrick
Matthias
Wells
Augustus
Jasiah
Alijah
Alonzo
Koda
Collin
Ford
Frederick
Jaxton
Kohen
Troy
Kason
Seth
Denver
Kyson
Ares
Raphael
Bodie
Sylas
Uriel
Zaiden
Shiloh
Lewis
Kieran
Marcos
Bo
Shepherd
Philip
Zaire
Gregory
Princeton
Roberto
Leland
Eithan

More coming soon — stay tuned!

Sources: Popular Baby Names – SSA, Olivia and Liam Remain Most Popular Baby Names for 2022 – SSA
Image by Clay Banks from Unsplash

Popular baby names in Ukraine, 2022

Ukraine

The Eastern European country of Ukraine is the second-largest country on the continent, after Russia.

Several years ago, Ukraine had a population of roughly 42 million, making it Europe’s eighth most populous country. Following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February of 2022, however, more than 8 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries (such as Poland).

Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice recently revealed the top baby names of 2022 in the capital city of Kyiv and in five nearby regions (called “oblasts”). All six of these places are located in the central/western part of the country:

Map of Ukraine
Map of Ukraine

Rankings weren’t included, so, in the tables below, I’ve written the names in the order in which they appeared in the news release.

Kyiv (city)

Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, has a population of over 2.9 million — making it the seventh most populous city in Europe. Here are Kyiv’s top baby names of 2022:

Girl NamesBoy Names
City of KyivSofiya
Polina
Viktoriya
Eva
Anna
Mariya
Mark
Oleksandr
Maksym
Matviy
Artem

The city’s rare names included…

  • Girls: Afeliya, Javelina, Vlastylyna, Ava, Elya, Danya, Mriya, Agpiya, Sonya, Lali, Lukeriya, Zlatoslava, Zemfira
  • Boys: Orion, Hraf (Graf), Kiy, Kai, Slaven, Horus, Avenir, Eleazar, Danko, Yavir, Danislav, Azariy, Veleslav
St. Javelin

Javelina and its male equivalent, Javelin, are two of the weapon-inspired names that have emerged in the wake of the Russian invasion. They come from the FGM-148 Javelin — an American-made, hand-held, anti-tank missile system. The weapon is featured in the pro-Ukrainian “St. Javelin” internet meme (above). Incidentally, a baby born in Sonoma County in 2022 was named Javelin — perhaps his family is Ukrainian?

Another weapon-inspired name being given to baby boys is Bayraktar. This one comes from the Bayraktar TB2 — a Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicle that carries laser-guided bombs. The word bayraktar means “flag-bearer” in Turkish.

Kyiv Oblast

Kyiv Oblast has a population of over 1.7 million. Here are the region’s top baby names of 2022:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Kyiv OblastAnna
Anastasiya
Veronika
Viktoriya
Eva
Mariya
Polina
Solomiya
Sofiya
Andriy
Artem
Bohdan
Vladyslav
Danylo
David
Dmytro
Matviy
Mark
Maksym
Nazar
Oleksandr
Timofey
Yaroslav

Solomiya is the Ukrainian form of Salome.

The region’s rare names included…

  • Girls: Aurika, Bozhena, Dayana, Evangelina, Emily, Narin, Noel, Rachel, Yasmina
  • Boys: Arney, Vil’yam, Demyan, Lavr, Leon, Matt, Seraphim, Tamirlan, Teymur

Vinnytsia Oblast

Vinnytsia Oblast has a population of over 1.5 million. Here are the region’s top baby names of 2022:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Vinnytsia OblastSofiya
Anna
Anastasiya
Viktoriya
Solomiya
Artem
Dmytro
Maksym
Matviy
Mark

The region’s rare names included…

  • Girls: Pollyanna, Afina (Athena), Kyriena, Solomiya-Sevda, Lolita, Monika
  • Boys: Sultan, Elisey, Radoslav, Moses, Nikitas

Khmelnytskyi Oblast

Khmelnytskyi Oblast has a population of over 1.27 million. Here are the region’s top baby names of 2022:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Khmelnytskyi OblastAnastasiya
Anna
Viktoriya
Veronika
Daryna
Emiliya
Eva
Zlata
Mariya
Nadiya
Oleksandra
Polina
Solomiya
Sofiya
Yaryna
Andriy
Artem
Vladyslav
David
Danylo
Ilya
Maksym
Mark
Matviy
Mykhailo
Nazar
Oleksandr
Roman
Timofey
Yaroslav

Yaryna is related to Irina (Irene).

The region’s rare names included…

  • Girls: Alvina, Amaliya, Afina (Athena), Vanessa, Vivien, Hloriya (Gloria), Zara, Liliana, Luna, Patrina, Yunna, Ulpana
  • Boys: Dominik, Iskander, Marius, Nathaniel, Nikodim, Ryan, Seviur, Stefa, Yusuf

Zhytomyr Oblast

Zhytomyr Oblast has a population of over 1.21 million. Here are the region’s top baby names of 2022:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Zhytomyr OblastAlina, Alisa, Alisiya, Anhelina, Anna, Anastasiya, Arina, Bohdana, Valentyna, Valeriya, Varvara, Veronika, Viktoriya, Darina, Evelina, Emiliya, Eva, Elizaveta, Zlata, Karina, Kateryna, Kipa, Marharyta (Margarita), Mariya, Marta, Milana, Myroslava, Nikole, Oleksandra, Polina, Sofiya, Solomiya, Yuliya, YanaAndriy, Artem, Artur, Bohdan, Volodymyr, Vladyslav, Danyil, Danylo, Denis, Dmytro, Yehor, Zakhar, Ivan, Ilya, Kyrylo, Lev, Makar, Maksym, Mark, Maryan, Matviy, Mykhailo, Nazar, Nikita, Oleksandr, Stefan, Timofey, Timur, Yuriy, Yan, Yaroslav

The region’s rare names included…

  • Girls: Aurora, Ahata (Agatha), Adelina, Adriana, Albina, Alvina, Aneliya, Anisiya, Bozhena, Habriella (Gabriella), Diana, Dariana, Dilara, Dominika, Elina, Elvira, Eliana, Emira, Emma, Esther, Ilona, Ilariya, Liana, Lika, Liya, Malika, Melisa, Mila, Milena, Mira, Miya, Monika, Nikoletta, Nikoloz, Oliviya, Radmira, Rosa, Roksolana, Ruf, Sabina, Sandra, Stella, Stefaniya, Teona, Ulyana
  • Boys: Avdei, Ayrton, Aleks, Amin, Amibrek, Amir, Arman, Armen, Arsen, Brian, Biloslav, Bartholomew, Veniamin, Damir, Danil, Josh, Ernest, Emmanuel, Imran, Yonatan, Lavrin, Larion, Leon, Luka, Maksymilian, Milan, Nestor, Oles, Oscar, Platon, Radion, Rinat, Reuben, Samuel, Sarmat, Seraphim, Svitozhar, Tamirlan, Farid, Khoma

Cherkasy Oblast

Cherkasy Oblast has a population of close to 1.2 million. Here are the region’s top baby names of 2022:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Cherkasy OblastAnastasiya
Anna
Alisa
Arina
Veronika
Viktoriya
Eva
Mariya
Milana
Solomiya
Sofiya
Stefaniya
Polina
Artem
Bohdan
Volodymyr
Vladyslav
Denis
Dmytro
Ivan
Maksym
Mark
Matviy
Nazar
Oleksandr
Timofey
Yaroslav

The region’s rare names included…

  • Girls: Aveliya, Aya, Hlafira (Glafira), Elmira, Emma, Zoryana, Isolde, Ilariya, Chiara, Karolina, Luna, Miropiya, Mriya, Solya, Tiana, Tsvitana, Yasmina, Yatomira
  • Boys: Ayman, Arey, Gulorom, Dar, Yesfir, Zakir, Zlatan, Ilon, Kosma, Lubomyr, Mars, Meruzh, Orest, Radomir, Sayan, Tehran, Tikhon

The name Stefaniya is on the rise thanks to the song “Stefania” by Ukrainian folk/rap group Kalush Orchestra. It won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest by a landslide. The lyrics refer to the lead singer’s mother, but the song “has since taken on a new, more patriotic meaning.” Here’s the music video:

I suspect that Viktoriya (Victoria) — which means “victory” in Latin, and appears on all six of the lists above — bears extra significance among Ukrainians these days as well.

Sources:

Image by Ganna Aibetova from Unsplash. Map adapted from Ukraine (1991-2014) location map by NordNordWest under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Name quotes #119: Ivan, Eva, Kelly

Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan
“Ivan Ivan Ivan” (typo)

Welcome to May! Here’s this month’s batch of name-related quotes.

From a 2022 article in Sporting News about young Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan:

Ivan Ivan, a Czechia forward who has the same first and last name, took the hockey world by storm last December when he was on the team’s roster at the canceled World Juniors. While a graphic from December stating that his name was Ivan Ivan Ivan caused a stir, it’s unfortunately just Ivan Ivan.

(“Ivan Ivan” is a reduplicated name.)

From the 2021 article “How your name affects your personality” at BBC Future:

[W]hile a less common name may be disadvantageous in the short-term (increasing the risk of rejection and lowering your likeability) it could have advantages over the longer-term by engendering in you a greater sense of your personal uniqueness. Consider another new study by Cai and his team at Beijing’s Institute of Psychology — even after controlling for family and socioeconomic background, they found that having a rarer name was associated with increased odds of having a more unusual career, such as film director or judge.

[…]

Having an unusual name might even shape us to be more creative and open-minded, according to research by Zhu at Arizona State University and his colleagues. Zhu’s team cross-checked the names of the chief executives at over a thousand firms and found that the rarer their names, the more distinctive the business strategies they tended to pursue, especially if they were also more confident by nature.

In a 2022 interview with The Telegraph, English lyricist Sir Tim Rice was asked to recall his ‘best day’:

When my first child, Eva, was born in 1975, although you don’t think of these things in a league table of great events. We named her after Eva Perón, but also because Eva is a good old English name.

(Rice, who became interested in the life of Eva Perón in the early 1970s, later collaborated with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to create the Perón-inspired musical Evita, which opened in 1978.)

From the 2018 article “Oscar, Marcus, Casper, Cora: Companies are using human names to seem more friendly” in the Los Angeles Times:

Over the last few years, a crowd of new companies has emerged across tech, finance and health sporting a first-name brand. Oscar, Alfred, Lola — they have the look and feel of a friend, a colleague, maybe even your cat. And that’s the point: Make a connection with consumers that even Carnegie would appreciate.

[…]

The strategy seems to be working. Research shows that the more simple and human-sounding the name, the greater the company’s success.

[…]

The name game isn’t so much about the products or services being sold. It’s a subconscious approach to branding that borders on anthropomorphizing a company.

(I stumbled upon this one while doing research for a request post.)

From a January 2013 article about the divorce of Kelly Hildebrandt and Kelly Hildebrandt — one a male from Texas, the other a female from Florida:

The tale of the two Kellys began in February 2009, when Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, of Coral Springs, found the Facebook profile of her future spouse. She saw that they had the exact same first and last name and sent him a friendly greeting to note their shared name.

They started having online exchanges and three weeks later, male Kelly, then 24, traveled from Texas to South Florida to meet female Kelly, then 20. They hit it off immediately and got engaged.

NBC 6 first reported about the Kellys in July 2009, and their story soon after went worldwide.

(My favorite line from the piece: “Male Kelly said he would be reluctant to marry anyone with the same name again.”)

From a GMA3 TikTok video featuring actress Rachel Zegler (born in 2001):

My [older] sister’s name is Jacqueline, and my parents originally wanted to name me Catherine, but they thought it would get a little bit confusing, cause they sound very similar. And my mom’s a big Friends fan, and thought that the name Rachel, for Jennifer Aniston’s character, sounded very beautiful on TV. And that is why I was named Rachel.

From a 2008 interview with Erykah Badu (whose daughter, Puma, was born in 2004):

The puma is one of the biggest and strongest cats in the feline family, but it has no roar. I thought that was very unique.

(Thanks to Badu, the name Erykah was the highest-debuting girl name of 1997.)

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.

Common Amish names: Jacob, Malinda, Benuel, Naomi

Amish man in a buggy

Which names are the most common among the Amish?

The simplest answer is “Biblical names,” but that’s not the full answer.

Because certain Biblical names are preferred over others, and Biblical names aren’t used exclusively.

Plus, the prevalence of a name could vary depending upon the specific Amish settlement you’re talking about.

I’ve gathered about 100 of the most common Amish names below. Before we get into specifics, though, here’s a bit of background on the Amish…

Who are the Amish?

The Amish are an Anabaptist group that intentionally maintain a degree of separation from the wider world. They wear plain clothing, eschew modern conveniences (like cars), and partake in traditional occupations such as farming, carpentry, blacksmithing, and (for women) homemaking.

The Anabaptist movement began in Europe in the 1520s, at the time of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptists were particularly known for the practice of adult baptism. They were also opposed to war, and they believed in the separation of church and state.

Considered radicals, the Anabaptists were widely persecuted.

In 1693, the Swiss branch of the Anabaptist movement (a.k.a., the Swiss Brethren) experienced a schism. Those who followed reformer Jacob Amman came to be known as the Amish, whereas those who did not came to be known as the Mennonites (after Dutchman Menno Simons, one of the original Anabaptist leaders).

In the early 1700s, many Amish (and Mennonites) immigrated to the New World — specifically to the Province of Pennsylvania, which had been founded upon the principle of religious freedom.

Today, over 367,000 Amish live in the U.S., and roughly two-thirds of them reside in three states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

Amish men and women.

Common Amish names

The most comprehensive source of Amish names I came across was also the oldest, so let’s go through all the sources chronologically.

In 1960, researcher Elmer L. Smith published data on the most common male and female names among the Amish of southeastern Pennsylvania from 1890 to 1956.

The 1,337 Amish males in the study shared a total of just 72 different first names. Over a quarter of the males had one of the top three names (John, Amos, or Jacob), and over 81% had one of the top 20 names.

The 1,356 Amish females in the study shared even fewer first names: only 55. Over a quarter of the females had one of the top three names (Mary, Sarah, or Annie), and over 88% had a top-20 name.

According to Smith’s research, these were the 20 most common names per gender (plus their frequency of usage):

Amish female namesAmish male names
1Mary, 10.0%John, 11.9%
2Sarah, 7.9%Amos, 7.3%
3Annie, 9.1%*Jacob, 6.5%
4Katie, 7.1%David, 6.4%
5Lizzie, 6.4%Samuel, 6.2%
6Rebecca, 6.1%Christian, 6.1%
7Fannie, 5.3%Daniel, 5.5%
8Barbara, 5.1%Benjamin, 3.8%
9Rachel, 5.1%Levi, 3.7%
10Lydia, 4.9%Aaron, 3.1%
11Emma, 3.8%Jonas, 3.0%
12Malinda, 3.5%Elam, 2.8%
13Susie, 3.2%Stephen, 2.8%
14Sadie, 2.5%Isaac, 2.5%
15Leah, 1.9%Henry, 2.4%
16Hannah, 1.5%Jonathan, 1.8%
17Naomi, 1.4%Eli, 1.7%
18Mattie, 1.3%Gideon, 1.6%
19Lavina, 1.1%Moses, 1.5%
20Arie, 1.1%Joseph, 1.1%
*Annie was ranked below Sarah in the research paper, but this seems to be a typo, given the percentages.

Smith also wrote the following:

Other given names for males may reflect the important place the martyred forefathers hold in the minds of the sect members. The given name Menno is frequently found; this honors Menno Simmons [sic] an early leader of the plain sects. Ammon is also quite common, and is traced to Jacob Amman for whom the Amish sect is named; otherwise given names are from the Bible.

(Menno, a form of the Dutch name Meine, can be traced back to the Old High German word magan, meaning “strength.” The occupational surname Amman(n), which was derived from the German word amtmann, originally referred to someone employed as an official or administrator.)

A couple of years after Smith’s study came out, Dr. William Schreiber (a professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio) published a book about the Amish of east-central Ohio. In one paragraph, he mentioned some of the names he’d encountered:

One learns here that the good old biblical names are still common with the Amish but are in competition with modern or more euphonious ones. The names of the children of large families are often a study in contrasts. In one family there are, for example, Benjamin, Samuel, Isaac, Stephen, John, Israel, Christ, Barbara, Mary, Hannah, Annie, Mattie, and Lizzie. Another family has chosen these names for its children: Sarah, Lizzie, Samuel, Benjamin, John, Annie, Marie, Daniel, David, Enos, Sylvia, and Malinda. Then there are three Amish brothers named Isaac, Levi, and Elmer. One wonders how Vesta, Delila, Dena, Saloma, Drusilla, or Verba, or boys’ names like Junie, Venus, or Aquilla came into strict Christian families?

Speaking of east-central Ohio, Barbara Yoder Hall — who was born in 1940 and grew up with ten siblings in the Amish community of Holmes County — recalled in her book Born Amish (1980) the following first names:

First names for girls are usually Cora, Mattie, Annie, Lizzie, Barbara, Fannie, Katie, Mary, Naomi, Emma, Jemima, Ella, Sarah, Levina and Mandy.

First names for boys are John, Mose, Ferdinand, Dannie, Sam, Amos, Albert, Emanual, Levi, Rudy, Enos, Eli, Jacob and Joseph.

Amish men in a wagon.

Now for a pair of sources from the digital age…

The website Amish America, run by Erik Wesner (who is not Amish, but has visited Amish communities in 15 different states), lists the following names as being common among the Amish. He found many of the male names in Raber’s Almanac, which “contains a listing of Amish church ministers,” while many of the female names came from various church directories.

Common Amish female namesCommon Amish male names
Elizabeth
Emma
Fannie
Hannah
Katie
Linda
Lizzie
Lovina/Lavina
Martha
Mary
Miriam
Naomi
Rebecca
Ruby
Ruth
Sadie
Sarah
Waneta
Abram
Amos
Atlee
Eli
Elmer
Harley
Isaac
Jacob
John
Lavern
Leroy
Mark
Melvin
Mervin
Samuel
Vernon
Wayne
Willis

Some of Erik’s commentary…

  • Eli: “You see a lot of Elis among Amish, but not many Elijahs.”
  • Leroy: “Seems to be more common in Midwestern communities.”
  • Lizzie: “Lizzie is a popular form in some Pennsylvania communities.”
  • Naomi: “Amish, at least in Lancaster County, pronounce this ‘Nay-oh-mah.'”
  • Ruby: “Quite a few Rubies in northern Indiana.”
  • Vernon: “[P]retty common in places like northern Indiana and Holmes County, Ohio.”

Finally, according to the blog Amish Heritage, written by a woman named Anna (who grew up Amish in Pennsylvania), common Amish names include…

Common Amish female namesCommon Amish male names
Amanda
Anna/Annie
Barbara
Betty
Clara
Edna
Elizabeth
Esther
Fannie
Hannah
Lavina
Lena
Lydia
Malinda
Martha
Mary
Miriam
Naomi
Priscilla
Rachel
Rebecca
Ruth
Sadie
Sarah
Susie
Aaron
Abner
Abram
Amos
Benuel
Christian/Christ
Daniel
David
Eli
Elmer
Emmanuel
Henry
Isaac
Jacob
John
Jonas
Leroy
Lloyd
Mark
Melvin
Mervin
Moses
Omar
Paul
Samuel
Steven/Stephen
Vernon

Both websites noted that some Amish communities (particularly New Order Amish communities) have recently started giving their children less traditional first names.


So how do these lists square with what we’ve observed in the U.S. baby name data?

It’s hard to tell with historically popular names like Mary and John, but we can see some interesting things when we focus on relatively rare names.

For instance, the names Atlee, Benuel, Delila, Dena, Lavina, Menno, Saloma, and Willis have all been mentioned recently in my posts about names with a high degree of state specificity (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). As you’d expect, they were associated with the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and/or Indiana. (Benuel, in fact, has only ever appeared in the Pennsylvania data — going all the way back to the 1940s.)

Several of the other names — including Amos, Elam, Fannie, Malinda, and Mervin — saw higher usage in Pennsylvania than in any other state in 2021.

I was surprised that none of my sources listed the name Barbie. Most of them mentioned Barbara (one of them was even named Barbara), and all of them included nicknames (like Lizzie). But Barbara’s diminutive form was curiously absent — even though most of its usage occurs in Pennsylvania:

Girls named Barbie, U.S.Girls named Barbie, Penn.
20213722 (59%)
20202617 (65%)
20193320 (61%)
20182113 (62%)
20172916 (55%)
20162814 (50%)

Rhoda and Mahlon are two more names that I somewhat expected to see.

Ammon is a very interesting case, because the name also has significance to an entirely different religious group: the Mormons. (The Book of Mormon features two prominent figures named Ammon.) From the 1910s to the 1960s, the name Ammon — much like Benuel — only appeared in the Pennsylvania data. Since the 1980s, though, the state with the largest number of baby boys named Ammon has been Utah.


What are your thoughts on the first names used by the Amish? Which of the above do you like the most?

And, for anyone out there with close ties to an Amish family/community: What other names would you add to this list?

P.S. This post is dedicated to my delightful commenters alex and Andrea. :)

Sources:

Images by Chris Chow from Unsplash, Amyd from Pixabay, and Clark Young from Unsplash