How popular is the baby name Reginald 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 Reginald.

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Popularity of the baby name Reginald


Posts that mention the name Reginald

Boy names beyond the top 1,000 of 2022

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Have you seen any of the boy names beyond the U.S. top 1,000 yet? If not, here’s the next thousand for you.

Last year, the 1,000th most popular boy name in the U.S. was London, given to 222 babies. After that, we find…

1,001st to 1,100th

Massimo, 222
Mordechai, 222
Branson, 221
Deandre, 221
Maurice, 221
Graysen, 220
Ulises, 220
Wren, 220
Carl, 219
Coen, 219
Kristopher, 219
Boaz, 218
Decker, 218
Fox, 218
Blaise, 217
Rogelio, 217
Shai, 217
Beck, 216
Brett, 216
Crosby, 216
Lev, 216
Aspen, 215
Billy, 215
Bishop, 215
Kole, 215
Mariano, 215
Ollie, 215
Veer, 215
Campbell, 214
Kolt, 214
Jireh, 213
Karsyn, 213
Tiago, 213
Blaine, 212
Cristiano, 212
Foster, 212
Hollis, 212
Yadiel, 212
Bobby, 211
Teddy, 211
Beaux, 210
Jaxtyn, 210
Kyng, 210
Ronnie, 210
Syncere, 210
Benny, 209
Genesis, 209
Kace, 209
Mike, 209
Rishi, 209
Howard, 207
Kendall, 207
Reginald, 207
Aizen, 206
Davion, 206
Gianluca, 206
Lyle, 206
Danilo, 205
Dominik, 205
Frankie, 205
Granger, 205
Kamdyn, 205
Lyric, 205
Eliezer, 204
Montgomery, 204
Rowdy, 204
Zabdiel, 204
Gerald, 203
Jahmir, 203
Laith, 203
Dereck, 202
Kacey, 202
Link, 202
Merrick, 202
Yaakov, 202
Ash, 201
Cashton, 201
Dhruv, 201
Izan, 201
Jamal, 201
Joan, 201
Josias, 201
Kenai, 200
Lucien, 200
Jabari, 199
Jakobe, 199
Palmer, 199
Dimitri, 198
Dayton, 197
Denzel, 197
Ephraim, 197
Knowledge, 197
Yitzchok, 197
Bowie, 196
Kruz, 196
Elon, 195
Gus, 195
Kross, 195
Marc, 195
Azaiah, 194

1,101st to 1,200th

Scout, 194
Adrien, 193
Menachem, 193
Zayan, 193
Zephyr, 193
Jad, 192
Jair, 192
Kody, 192
Makari, 192
Jordy, 191
Slade, 191
Ulysses, 191
Abner, 190
Benito, 190
Mikael, 190
True, 190
Matheo, 189
Achilles, 188
Hakeem, 188
Jesiah, 188
Ramiro, 188
Emil, 187
Shlomo, 187
Trent, 187
Aydin, 186
Ernest, 186
Gadiel, 186
Ren, 186
Zeus, 186
Cedar, 185
Landry, 185
Nazir, 185
Avraham, 184
Maison, 184
Ozias, 184
Azai, 183
Bronx, 183
Ralph, 183
Cory, 182
Jasiel, 182
Malakhi, 182
Marley, 182
Zakari, 182
Jessie, 181
Eleazar, 180
Jerome, 180
Keenan, 180
Keon, 180
Jethro, 179
Kashmir, 179
Bastian, 178
Coleman, 178
Daylen, 178
Shimon, 178
Isael, 177
Kaius, 177
Pierre, 177
Terrance, 177
Tzvi, 177
Wiley, 177
Vaughn, 176
Casper, 175
Kolten, 175
Kyaire, 175
Toby, 175
Will, 175
Caysen, 174
Harris, 174
Javon, 174
Jovani, 174
Krue, 174
Rylen, 174
Willie, 174
Yaseen, 174
Cayde, 173
Kaine, 173
Maxim, 173
Ever, 172
Gino, 172
Jakobi, 172
Turner, 172
Yasir, 172
Booker, 170
Jaxen, 170
Jeffery, 170
Lenox, 169
Sol, 169
Tylan, 169
Gio, 168
Kenan, 168
Torin, 168
Elmer, 167
Jacari, 167
Norman, 167
Ziggy, 167
Bentlee, 166
Bilal, 166
Edmund, 166
Harlow, 166
Sekani, 166

1,201st to 1,300th

Sidney, 166
Amado, 165
Draven, 165
Giancarlo, 165
Gray, 164
Juelz, 164
Mael, 164
Mayson, 164
Rami, 164
Khyree, 163
Nikko, 163
Rolando, 163
Carlo, 162
Jacoby, 162
Korbyn, 162
Viktor, 162
Aayan, 161
Lucius, 161
Arham, 160
Deon, 160
Giannis, 160
Jeriah, 160
Kenny, 160
Kilian, 160
Xzavier, 160
Zeppelin, 160
Gilbert, 159
Isai, 159
Jai, 159
Jet, 159
Sunny, 159
Terrell, 159
Zymir, 159
Alessio, 158
Eason, 158
Maddux, 158
Monte, 158
Semaj, 158
Sire, 158
Umar, 158
Zackary, 158
Anson, 157
Dov, 157
Dovid, 157
Kolby, 157
Oakland, 157
Jettson, 156
Rayyan, 156
Skylar, 156
Arden, 155
Benton, 155
Hasan, 155
Huxton, 155
Immanuel, 155
Khamari, 155
Krish, 155
Raheem, 155
Andreas, 154
Greysen, 154
Jermaine, 154
Kentrell, 154
Mattias, 153
Thorin, 153
Cormac, 152
Denim, 152
Ender, 152
Mazi, 152
Randall, 152
Canyon, 151
Carmine, 151
Clifford, 151
Elvis, 151
Jenson, 151
Laken, 151
Markus, 151
Terrence, 151
Caius, 150
Demari, 150
Macklin, 150
Milton, 150
Rian, 150
Aydan, 149
Cristopher, 149
Kylin, 149
Ross, 149
Malikai, 148
Pharaoh, 148
Archibald, 147
Ayman, 147
Bernard, 147
Dwayne, 147
Finnick, 147
Giovani, 147
Kyzer, 147
Tristen, 147
Koah, 146
Simeon, 146
Zaylen, 146
Bernardo, 145
Malaki, 145

1,301st to 1,400th

Sultan, 145
Tayden, 145
Agastya, 144
Ansel, 144
Efrain, 144
Lamar, 144
Micheal, 144
Shia, 144
Aleksander, 143
Eitan, 143
Gannon, 143
Kaycen, 143
Lazarus, 143
Reagan, 143
Zakariya, 143
Adiel, 142
Derick, 142
Eros, 142
Lyam, 142
Marcello, 142
Payton, 142
Seamus, 142
Zack, 142
Freddy, 141
Henri, 141
Makoa, 141
Noa, 141
Syed, 141
Taj, 141
Eliot, 140
Kallen, 140
Kyren, 140
Mikah, 140
Quintin, 140
Youssef, 140
Alister, 139
Davi, 139
Kolter, 139
Kymir, 139
Marquis, 139
Noble, 139
Octavio, 139
Oren, 139
Rashad, 139
Tahj, 139
Cru, 138
Gentry, 138
Harper, 138
Isiah, 138
Justus, 138
Kasey, 138
Kodi, 138
Renzo, 138
Rodolfo, 138
Rush, 138
Tristian, 138
Truth, 138
Kit, 137
Oziel, 137
Vince, 137
Zayvion, 137
Aslan, 136
Jaire, 136
Kreed, 136
Loki, 136
Oskar, 136
Perry, 136
Tariq, 136
Aryeh, 135
Aubrey, 135
Azlan, 135
Brent, 135
Cian, 135
Clarence, 135
Demir, 135
Garrison, 135
Jaylin, 135
Jean, 135
Yair, 135
Braydon, 134
Dominique, 134
Eliyahu, 134
Jiovanni, 134
Kaleo, 134
Nick, 134
Amar, 133
Ripp, 133
Yakov, 133
Zealand, 133
Anton, 132
Clinton, 132
Cove, 132
Deklan, 132
Draco, 132
Fredrick, 132
Huck, 132
Kalvin, 132
Nickolas, 132
Reyansh, 132
Yoel, 132

1,401st to 1,500th

Avion, 131
Camdyn, 131
Hans, 131
Kendrix, 131
Presley, 131
Atreyu, 130
Aurelius, 130
Benaiah, 130
Taylen, 130
West, 130
Benji, 129
Deshawn, 129
Elyas, 129
Ewan, 129
Jahseh, 129
Jelani, 129
Jessiah, 129
Perseus, 129
Wolfgang, 129
Zaxton, 129
Braxtyn, 128
Francesco, 128
Gerard, 128
Axle, 127
Chad, 127
Everette, 127
Karl, 127
Slater, 127
Warner, 127
Anas, 126
Darrell, 126
Ean, 126
Glenn, 126
Guy, 126
Haven, 126
Jordyn, 126
Keagan, 126
Niam, 126
Orson, 126
Ranger, 126
Brysen, 125
Kip, 125
Linus, 125
Teagan, 125
Wylie, 125
Zamari, 125
Arman, 124
Cristobal, 124
German, 124
Isa, 124
Jael, 124
Kassius, 124
Nikola, 124
Tyree, 124
Ved, 124
Viraj, 124
Alder, 123
Arrow, 123
Aston, 123
Barry, 123
Deangelo, 123
Jadon, 123
Jaylon, 123
Krishiv, 123
Osiel, 123
Pierson, 123
Sami, 123
Todd, 123
Truman, 123
Westen, 123
Akeem, 122
Aksel, 122
Eiden, 122
Emmet, 122
Finnian, 122
Ilyas, 122
Ismail, 122
Kelly, 122
Kymani, 122
Lenny, 122
Obadiah, 122
Ozzie, 122
Rogan, 122
Shaun, 122
Steve, 122
Townes, 122
Barron, 121
Chozen, 121
Kaizer, 121
Rafe, 121
Ramsey, 121
Shea, 121
Syrus, 121
Tyrone, 121
Uziel, 121
Vivaan, 121
Aamir, 120
Alexzander, 120
Carver, 120
Coy, 120

1,501st to 1,600th

Craig, 120
Darien, 120
Haziel, 120
Ivar, 120
Jonathon, 120
Steele, 120
Antony, 119
Bailey, 119
Cam, 119
Finneas, 119
Gilberto, 119
Hansel, 119
Javion, 119
Jayvion, 119
Oaklee, 119
Ravi, 119
Riaan, 119
Storm, 119
Ammar, 118
Arnold, 118
Brexton, 118
Cree, 118
Faris, 118
Malek, 118
Armon, 117
Brentley, 117
Edson, 117
Ezio, 117
Indigo, 117
Jahir, 117
Mahir, 117
Mauro, 117
Santi, 117
Fynn, 116
Jamarion, 116
Levon, 116
Lucio, 116
Mikel, 116
Natanael, 116
Roan, 116
Vernon, 116
Brayson, 115
Honor, 115
Jovan, 115
Kent, 115
Monroe, 115
Stephan, 115
Aven, 114
Dale, 114
Don, 114
Gonzalo, 114
Kaladin, 114
Zephaniah, 114
Akiva, 113
Asiah, 113
Cecil, 113
Channing, 113
Coby, 113
Leeland, 113
Mars, 113
Mavrick, 113
Rylee, 113
Sammy, 113
Savion, 113
Xavion, 113
Aarush, 112
Iverson, 112
Jahziel, 112
Judd, 112
Karsen, 112
Kysen, 112
Osvaldo, 112
Smith, 112
Aariz, 111
Adnan, 111
Amare, 111
Amaris, 111
Artemis, 111
Camryn, 111
Destin, 111
Dev, 111
Eddy, 111
Holland, 111
Luther, 111
Makhi, 111
Percy, 111
Ransom, 111
Sky, 111
Zyan, 111
Aariv, 110
Canon, 110
Chevy, 110
Devonte, 110
Kamarion, 110
Khyson, 110
Lazaro, 110
Revan, 110
Ruger, 110
Evren, 109
Haiden, 109

1,601st to 1,700th

Jru, 109
Leander, 109
Nile, 109
Shivansh, 109
Wilmer, 109
Antoine, 108
Cai, 108
Davon, 108
Jhett, 108
Jules, 108
Neal, 108
Reynaldo, 108
Riot, 108
Ryver, 108
Sulaiman, 108
Avian, 107
Axell, 107
Dezmond, 107
Hampton, 107
Jamar, 107
Kaidyn, 107
Kiran, 107
Nate, 107
Ripley, 107
Said, 107
Sebastien, 107
Gionni, 106
Kahari, 106
Mickey, 106
Tyrell, 106
Yasin, 106
Abdul, 105
Boyd, 105
Eder, 105
Kiyan, 105
Linkin, 105
Massiah, 105
Montana, 105
Olin, 105
Phineas, 105
Rico, 105
Saif, 105
Vladimir, 105
Yunus, 105
Amarion, 104
Amin, 104
Ashtyn, 104
Ilan, 104
Irving, 104
Jacobo, 104
Kennedy, 104
Keoni, 104
Trevon, 104
Aaryan, 103
Cortez, 103
Darryl, 103
Hiram, 103
Kadence, 103
Klay, 103
Masiah, 103
Maverik, 103
Micaiah, 103
Ramses, 103
Roderick, 103
Tamir, 103
Yeshua, 103
Zavian, 103
Ajani, 102
Brighton, 102
Carsen, 102
Denis, 102
Eamon, 102
Izael, 102
Kaeden, 102
Kamron, 102
Khaled, 102
Klayton, 102
Marquise, 102
Neel, 102
Rylo, 102
Shay, 102
Tymir, 102
Yazan, 102
Brewer, 101
Bryer, 101
Divine, 101
Jasai, 101
Kain, 101
Myron, 101
Oaklen, 101
Oden, 101
Artist, 100
Deion, 100
Jetson, 100
Leopold, 100
Nael, 100
Rip, 100
Yousuf, 100
Zaidyn, 100
Cosmo, 99

1,701st to 1,800th

Giuseppe, 99
Jasir, 99
Journey, 99
Kacen, 99
Lake, 99
Lloyd, 99
Mordecai, 99
Quinten, 99
Rudra, 99
Viaan, 99
Yohan, 99
Armaan, 98
Avyan, 98
Baron, 98
Corbyn, 98
Hussein, 98
Kashtyn, 98
Kyzen, 98
Marcelino, 98
Nakoa, 98
Xavi, 98
Adolfo, 97
Amauri, 97
Eliab, 97
Elvin, 97
Ervin, 97
Jovi, 97
Riyan, 97
Usman, 97
Uzziah, 97
Wolf, 97
Clint, 96
Gibson, 96
Ishmael, 96
Jaleel, 96
Joao, 96
Konnor, 96
Orin, 96
Taylin, 96
Wendell, 96
Advik, 95
Ansh, 95
Aris, 95
Armoni, 95
Ayansh, 95
Braulio, 95
Cypress, 95
Darnell, 95
Henley, 95
Kove, 95
Quadir, 95
Alek, 94
Azari, 94
Aziah, 94
Chester, 94
Gerson, 94
Josh, 94
Kailo, 94
Kenton, 94
Lars, 94
Linden, 94
Oslo, 94
Sir, 94
Stellan, 94
Valor, 94
Ayce, 93
Cornelius, 93
Hagen, 93
Kaisyn, 93
Kyngston, 93
Lyndon, 93
Shaya, 93
Taysom, 93
Braylin, 92
Gryffin, 92
Issa, 92
Karmelo, 92
Mecca, 92
Samar, 92
Yuri, 92
Amani, 91
Dashiell, 91
Deegan, 91
Lester, 91
Levy, 91
Maykel, 91
Noam, 91
Raylen, 91
Summit, 91
Urijah, 91
Yuvaan, 91
Ayven, 90
Domingo, 90
Donnie, 90
Haze, 90
Humberto, 90
Jakhari, 90
Johnathon, 90
Johnpaul, 90
Jordi, 90

1,801st to 1,900th

Karam, 90
Koe, 90
Kyran, 90
Paulo, 90
Akai, 89
Auden, 89
Avrohom, 89
Demarcus, 89
Geovanni, 89
Hardin, 89
Hendrixx, 89
Isidro, 89
Izayah, 89
Jarvis, 89
Morris, 89
Mykel, 89
Shalom, 89
Xaiden, 89
Zakaria, 89
Asad, 88
Calder, 88
Dan, 88
Ellison, 88
Hussain, 88
Irvin, 88
Keller, 88
Meyer, 88
Ragnar, 88
Sanad, 88
Shiv, 88
Woodrow, 88
Woods, 88
Xion, 88
Zade, 88
Aharon, 87
Azaan, 87
Basil, 87
Camari, 87
Colsen, 87
Jacobi, 87
Johann, 87
Mikhail, 87
Rain, 87
Reggie, 87
Theodor, 87
Zohan, 87
Aidyn, 86
Angus, 86
Cordell, 86
Esai, 86
Giovanny, 86
Hoyt, 86
Kahlil, 86
Kasyn, 86
Emrys, 85
Giorgio, 85
Hadi, 85
Ignatius, 85
Izhaan, 85
Konner, 85
Lisandro, 85
Lonnie, 85
Quest, 85
Riggins, 85
Ronaldo, 85
Taha, 85
Vito, 85
Alton, 84
Charley, 84
Egypt, 84
Eydan, 84
Fidel, 84
Jaquan, 84
Jibreel, 84
Kaito, 84
Kasper, 84
Klaus, 84
Makaio, 84
Octavius, 84
Richie, 84
Sloan, 84
Vander, 84
Zacari, 84
Austyn, 83
Brenton, 83
Ciaran, 83
Keylor, 83
Kyden, 83
Maksim, 83
Malcom, 83
Obed, 83
Shayan, 83
Valen, 83
Ahmari, 82
Arvin, 82
Braiden, 82
Fred, 82
Holt, 82
Kru, 82
Maxx, 82

1,901st to 2,000th

Maziyon, 82
Ori, 82
Tevin, 82
Abdulrahman, 81
Blair, 81
Constantine, 81
Dakoda, 81
Ishan, 81
Jaycob, 81
Jennings, 81
Kalen, 81
Koby, 81
Kyron, 81
Lamont, 81
Lathan, 81
Lex, 81
Lukah, 81
Muhammadali, 81
Orhan, 81
Riker, 81
Roscoe, 81
Tahir, 81
Ajay, 80
Alakai, 80
Arlen, 80
Caison, 80
Camron, 80
Conway, 80
Daemon, 80
Elan, 80
Hudsyn, 80
Iman, 80
Jarrett, 80
Kanaan, 80
Kota, 80
Matheus, 80
Mayer, 80
Naim, 80
Neymar, 80
Rivers, 80
Sylvan, 80
Thor, 80
Virgil, 80
Amadeo, 79
Brantlee, 79
Damarion, 79
Donte, 79
Elton, 79
Halston, 79
Haroon, 79
Jaron, 79
Kurt, 79
Mahdi, 79
Neythan, 79
Radley, 79
Rigoberto, 79
Rockwell, 79
Shaurya, 79
Stratton, 79
Clifton, 78
Earl, 78
Fredy, 78
Hernan, 78
Keelan, 78
Merritt, 78
Miran, 78
Rayaan, 78
Alias, 77
Arin, 77
Armin, 77
Beauden, 77
Brenden, 77
Daryl, 77
Eastyn, 77
Edmond, 77
Esdras, 77
Estevan, 77
Gavriel, 77
Kyrin, 77
Manolo, 77
Niall, 77
Samarth, 77
Sora, 77
Syaire, 77
Xavien, 77
Zaine, 77
Andrei, 76
Aram, 76
Camren, 76
Everardo, 76
Gurbaaz, 76
Henderson, 76
Marlin, 76
Marlo, 76
Mylan, 76
Nehemias, 76
Reyan, 76
Ridley, 76
Rishaan, 76
Xavian, 76

See anything you like?

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from Scattered stars in Sagittarius by ESA/Hubble under CC BY 4.0.

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?)

Sources:

Image: Burl Ives – LOC

The Judd family of Hawaii

The Judd family of Hawaii on the 1940 U.S. Census
The Judd family on the 1940 U.S. Census

Hawaiian couple Raymond and Anna Judd had at least 8 children during the 1920s and 1930s.

On the 1940 U.S. Census, their children are listed as Raymond Jr., Louise, James, Maxwell, Lydia, Lehua, Reginald, and Nayland.

But their full names were really…

  • Raymond Murray Laniolaikapikoihiihilauakea (b. 1922)
  • Louise Julia Kalaninuiahilepalepa (b. 1923)
  • James Haulukaokeahienaena (b. 1924)
  • Maxwell Winfred Kuuleimamoulukapaehuokalani (b. 1927)
  • Lydia Anna Haleakala (b. 1928)
  • Marvelle Pauline Kaualililehua “Lehua” (b. 1930)
  • Reginald Wilhelm Kananinoheaokuuhomeopuukaimanaalohilohinokeaweaweulamakaokalani (b. 1936)
  • Nayland Clayton Kaleinaonalani (b. 1938)

At least two of these names ended up making the news.

The one that popped up in papers worldwide was Reginald’s Hawaiian name, which had 63 letters and was said to mean “the beautiful aroma of my home at sparkling diamond hill is carried to the eyes of heaven.” I don’t know how accurate this definition is, but I could find some of the corresponding Hawaiian words — like pu’u (meaning “hill”), kaimana (“diamond”), ‘alohilohi (“sparkling”), and maka (“eyes”) — in the name.

Clipping form the Daily Examiner in Australia (Oct. 12, 1936).
Daily Examiner (Australia), 1936

A decade earlier, Maxwell’s Hawaiian name was also in the news — at least locally.

Clipping from the Honolulu Advertiser (Jan. 12, 1927).
Honolulu Advertiser, 1927

I couldn’t find a translation of Maxwell’s Hawaiian name, or translations for any of the other Hawaiian names. (In fact, I’m not even 100% sure about the spellings of those names.) Regardless, here are some observations…

  • Raymond’s Hawaiian name, Laniolaikapikoihiihilauakea, seems to refer to the ‘ihi’ihilauakea — a fern endemic to Hawaii.
  • James’s Hawaiian name, Haulukaokeahienaena, seems to refer to a raging fire: ke (“the”), ahi (“fire”), ‘ena’ena (“glowing, red-hot, raging”).
  • Lydia’s Hawaiian name, Haleakala, was the middle name of her grandmother (Louise Haleakala, b. 1879) and the first name of her great-grandmother (Haleaka, b. 1847). The word means “house of the sun” and refers to the volcano on Maui.
  • Marvelle’s nickname, Lehua, from her Hawaiian name Kaualililehua, refers to the Lehua plant.

What are your thoughts on these names?

Sources:

Quotes about the names of musicians

Singer Madonna in the music video for "Like a Prayer" (1989)
Madonna

From a 1991 Vanity Fair interview with Madonna:

“I sometimes think I was born to live up to my name,” continues Madonna, who was named after her mother. “How could I be anything else but what I am having been named Madonna? I would either have ended up a nun or this.”

(Madonna, born Madonna Ciccone, went by the nickname “Little Nonni” as a child.)

From Wired‘s 2016 “Google Autocomplete Interview” with rapper Ice Cube [vid] (born O’Shea Jackson):

My brother, he’s about nine years older than me, so, he used to have all kind of women calling the house. I would try to get at them. He got mad at that, he said he was going to slam me in the freezer one day, turn me into an ice cube. So I was like, “You know what? That’s a badge of honor.” When I walked out the house that day, I told him, “Don’t call me O’Shea no more, you know, I found my nickname, it’s gonna be Cube, it’s gonna be Ice Cube.”

From a 2002 interview with musician Elton John on Larry King Live:

Well, I was making a record, and I had to choose a name, because they said, you know, you can’t make a record under the name of Reg Dwight, because it’s never going to — you know, it’s not attractive enough. And I agreed with that, and I couldn’t wait to change my name anyway, because I’m not too fond of the name of Reginald. It’s a very kind of ’50s English name.

So I picked Elton because there wasn’t — nobody seemed to have the name Elton. And I picked John to go with it. And it was — it was done on a bus going from London Heathrow back into the city. And it was done very quickly. So I said, oh, Elton John. That’s fine.

Two back-to-back quotes from the 2009 collection “Sting: What I’ve Learned” in Esquire:

Your parents name you, but they haven’t a clue who you are. Your friends nickname you because they know exactly who you are.

You can be born Elvis Presley. But Reg Dwight is not going to make it unless he has this ritual where he becomes Elton John.

(Sting was born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner in England in 1951.)

From the bio of the band Needtobreathe at NPR:

Named after acclaimed University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, brothers Bear and Bryant “Bo” Rinehart were born and raised in rural Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, where their pastor father ran a church camp.

From an MTV interview with Bruno Mars, birth name Peter Gene Hernandez:

MTV: Bruno Mars is a world away from your name, so where did that come from?

Bruno Mars: My father and my mother. There was a wrestler in their day called Bruno San Martino and he was a very heavy-set wrestler and I guess when I was a kid I was a real chubby, chunky kid. Everyone calls me Bruno; they don’t ever call me Peter, that was just my government name.

From the book All Music Guide to Hip-Hop (2003):

Ginuwine was born in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 1975, with the unlikely name of Elgin Baylor Lumpkin (after D.C.-born Basketball Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor).

(Elgin Baylor, born in 1934, was named after the Elgin National Watch Company.)

From a 2015 interview with musician Zella Day at Huffington Post:

What’s the inside story behind your name?

ZD: Zella is from the 1840s. My parents got married in Jerome, Arizona. And when they were getting married, they were looking for baby names. And there was a book of the town’s history in Jerome, and they were scouting locations for the wedding. And they just walked into a museum and they were looking through this book. And one of the main coal miner’s wives was named Zella — 1842. There’s actually a song on the record called “Jerome.” That’s about the ghostly woman behind my name.

From a 2015 article about late Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla in the San Antonio Current:

Selena continues to have influence over other known and up-and-coming performers. Born in 1992 near Dallas, Disney bopper Selena Gomez, now a pop star of her own, was named after the queen of Tejano (during Selena’s 1991-1995 reign, her name skyrocketed from 780 to 91 in the rankings of most popular baby names in America).

From a blog post about electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire at Open Culture:

With her buttoned-up style, work with the UN, and name like a plucky character in a certain English wizard series, Delia Derbyshire may not seem a likely pioneer of experimental electronic music.

From an NPR interview with B. B. King, who explained why he started naming his guitars Lucille:

I used to play a place in Arkansas called Twist, Ark., and they used to have a little nightclub there that we played quite often. […] Well, it used to get quite cold in Twist, and they used to take something look like a big garbage pail and set it in the middle of the floor, half-fill it with kerosene. They would light that fuel, and that’s what we used for heat. And generally, the people would dance around it, you know, never disturb this container. But this particular night [in the winter of 1949], two guys started to fight and then one of them knocked the other one over on this container, and when they did, it spilled on the floor. Now it was already burning, so when it spilled, it looked like a river of fire, and everybody ran for the front door, including yours truly. But when I got on the outside, then I realized that I’d left my guitar inside. I went back for it. The building was a wooden building, and it was burning so fast when I got my guitar, it started to collapse around me. So I almost lost my life trying to save the guitar. But the next morning, we found that these two guys who was fighting was fighting about a lady. I never did meet the lady, but I learned that her name was Lucille. So I named my guitar Lucille and reminded me not to do a thing like that again.

(B. B. King was born Riley B. King in Mississippi in 1925. The “B. B.” in his stage name stands for “Blues Boy.”)

From a 2001 Guardian interview with singer Dido (born Florian Cloud De Bounevialle Armstrong):

To be called one thing and christened another is actually very confusing and annoying. It’s one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me. I’m still irritated by it. Florian is a German man’s name. That’s just mean. To give your child a whole lot of odd names. They were all so embarrassing.

From a 2013 People interview during which Dido mentioned the origin of her nickname:

I was named after a crazy queen who threw herself on a fire.

(The ancient Dido was the legendary founder of Carthage.)

From the 1975 obituary of jazz drummer Zutty Singleton in the New York Times:

Mr. Singleton, who was born in Bunkie, La., on May 14, 1898, was named Arthur James. He acquired the nickname Zutty (Zoot-ee), a Creole patois word, for “cute,” when he was an infant.

From a 1949 article about songwriters Harry and Albert Von Tilzer in Billboard magazine:

After a season of tanbark and tinsel, Harry caught on with a traveling repertoire company, playing juvenile roles, singing songs of his own composing, and abandoning the family name of Gumm for a more glamorous and professional moniker. He took his mother’s maiden name of Tilzer and added “Von” for a touch of class. This switch in nomenclature proved to be the keystone of a songwriting dynasty which was destined to make history in Tin Pan Alley with the turn of the century.

(The family’s surname was originally Gumbinsky. The phrase “tanbark and tinsel” refers to the circus; Harry was part of a traveling circus for a time as a teenager.)

From a 2009 OK! Magazine interview with pop star Taylor Dayne (born Leslie Wunderman):

Taylor Dayne had a major influence on pop culture when she hit the big time in 1987 with a string of hits that included Tell It To My Heart, Prove Your Love, I’ll Always Love You, Don’t Rush Me, With Every Beat of My Heart, Love Will Lead You Back and I’ll Be Your Shelter.

By 1993, the name Taylor hit its peak in popularity of baby names.

“You wonder where they generated from, right?” she yuks. “It was a very uncommon name in 1987, that’s for sure, but it’s a compliment.”

Perhaps she even inspired the name of country’s latest sensation, Taylor Swift, who was born in 1989. She laughs off the suggestion. “I would say that her mother was a fan.”

(The name Taylor had been rising steadily on the girls’ list throughout the ’80s, but Taylor Dayne helped kick the name into the top 10 in 1993. It stayed there for nearly a decade. According to records, some Taylors from this era did indeed get the middle name Dayne.)

From a 2015 interview with James Taylor at Stereogum:

Stereogum: Speaking of another powerful woman, Taylor Swift is probably the biggest pop star in the world right now, and she’s named after you! How do you feel about being connected to her in that way?

Taylor: It’s hugely flattering and was a delightful surprise when she told me that. We did a benefit together, I think it was focused on teenage pregnancy, before Taylor really took off. But she was playing guitar and singing her songs and I knew how remarkable she was. She told me that her mom and dad had been really, deeply into my music and I got a real kick out of the fact that she’d been named after me. Obviously it wasn’t her choice, it was her mom and dad, but nonetheless a great connection I think.

From a 2016 article in People about singer Ciara, who explained how she got her name:

My mom was trying to figure out my name when my dad bought her a fragrance called Ciara by Revlon. That’s where my name came from!

(Ciara pronounces her name see-AIR-ah. The name of the perfume, according to television commercials, was pronounced see-AHR-ah.)

From the book Jazz And Its Discontents (2004) by Francis Davis, a passage about jazz singer Abbey Lincoln (born Anna Marie Wooldridge) :

When the singer Abbey Lincoln gives her autograph, she appends the name Aminata Moseka. During her pilgrimage to Africa in 1975, the president of Guinea christened her “Aminata” in recognition of her inner strength and determination, and Zaire’s minister of education likened her to “Moseka,” the god of love in female form. “I love Aminata Moseka. I’ve added her to myself. But I can’t say that’s my one and only name,” says Lincoln […] “It’s more like a title — something to live up to. That’s why I recorded Stevie Wonder’s ‘Golden Lady.’ It gave me the opportunity to sing to a female god. But I’m still Abbey Lincoln — I still like to wear makeup and glittering dresses and look attractive for an audience. And in many ways, I’m still Anna Marie.”

Rami Malek, after winning the Oscar for Best Actor [vid] in early 2019:

I grew up in a world where I never thought I was gonna play the lead on Mr. Robot because I never saw anyone in a lead role that looked like me. I never thought that I could possibly play Freddie Mercury until I realized his name was Farrokh Bulsara. […] That was the motivation that allowed me to say, “Oh, I can do this.”

A quote about jazz musician Red Norvo from the book American Musicians II: Seventy-One Portraits in Jazz (1986) by Whitney Balliett:

Norvo isn’t my real name. I was born Kenneth Norville, in Beardstown, Illinois, in three thirty-one oh-eight. […] I got the name Norvo from Paul Ash, in vaudeville. He could never remember my name when he announced me. It would come out Norvin or Norvox or Norvick, and one night it was Norvo. Variety picked it up and it stuck, so I kept it.

(Red also had a strong opinion about the name of his instrument: “Please don’t call it a vibraphone. I play the vibraharp, a name coined by the Deagan Company, which invented the instrument in 1927 and still supplies me with mine.”)

From a 1995 Spin interview with R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe, whose paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister:

Well, Methodism was started by John Wesley, who was, in his way, a really radical guy who believed in a lot of individual responsibility. It’s not the kind of religion that’s right around your throat. Actually, I was named after him, John Michael Stipe.

From a 2018 Insider write-up on rapper Post Malone (born Austin Richard Post):

“I was like 14, and I had started getting into producing and rapping and singing over my own stuff. And I needed a name, you know, for my s—- mixtape,” he told Jimmy Fallon. “So I ran [my real name] through a random rap name generator… now I’m stuck with it.”

…And, from the same Insider article, a paragraph about rapper Childish Gambino (born Donald Glover):

“We were all hanging out, chilling and drinking and then we were like, ‘Oh, Wu-Tang name generator, let’s put our name in,'” he revealed on The Tonight Show back in 2011. “And we’re putting them all in, and they’re all funny and stuff, and then mine came up and I was like, ‘you guys, it’s not funny anymore. This is something big.’ I just really liked it.”

From a 2012 Rolling Stone article about Monkees singer Davy Jones:

Davy became so famous that another David Jones – a struggling singer-songwriter at the Monkees’ peak – had to change his last name to Bowie.

From the book Strange Fascination (2012) by David Buckley, the story of how singer David Bowie (formerly David Jones) chose his stage name:

‘Bowie’, pronounced by the man himself and all his ‘die-hard’ fans to rhyme with ‘slowie’, as opposed to ‘wowie!’ as used by most ‘casual fans’ and chat-show presenters, was chosen for its connection with the Bowie knife. Jim Bowie (pronounced to rhyme with ‘phooey’) was a Texan adventurer who died at the Alamo in 1836, and carried a single-bladed hunting knife. Bowie’s description of why he chose the name is typically highly ambiguous. In the 70s, Bowie proclaimed that the knife signalled a desire to cut through lies to reveal hidden truths (a highly ironic comment, [given] Bowie’s capacity for deceit), while in a recent Radio 1 interview he said that he liked the connotations of a blade being sharpened from both sides, a signifier for all sorts of ambiguities. In fact, the Bowie knife has only one cutting edge, and is not double-bladed. This mistaken belief was held not just by Bowie, but by William Burroughs too. The choice of stage name nevertheless indicated a sense of being able to cut both ways, perfect for the pluralistic 60s. The name also derived, despite its association with Americana (a connection the English David was obviously happy about, his whole career musically being an English take on a largely American form), from a Scottish heritage, and Bowie quite liked that regional distinctiveness, too.

From a 2015 Fader article about rapper Fonzworth Bentley (born Derek Watkins):

His moniker was inspired in part by Bootney Lee Farnsworth, the underdog boxer from the 1975 Sidney Poitier-directed movie Let’s Do It Again.

From a 2017 BBC interview with Billie Eilish:

BBC: Hello Billie Eilish… Have I pronounced that right?

Billie: Yes! It’s eye-lish, like eyelash with a lish.

BBC: Your family name is O’Connell, though, so is that a stage name?

Billie: It is my middle name. So I’m Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell.

BBC: Pirate! That’s an amazing name.

Billie: Pretty weird, right? Pirate was going to be my middle name but then my uncle had a problem with it because pirates are bad. Then Baird is my mother’s name.

From a 1991 article about musician Gurf Morlix in The Buffalo News:

It’s a name that makes you wonder. Run into Gurf Morlix in album credits for Peter Case or in a concert review of Warren Zevon, and you imagine one of two things. Either he’s a refugee from some republic trying to secede from the Soviet Union, or else he’s hopelessly addicted to science fiction novels.

In truth, he’s an emigrant from one of Buffalo’s ostensibly normal suburbs — Hamburg — and, if anything, he looks a bit English as he talks over a plate of pasta fazool in his favorite hometown restaurant.

“A friend of mine changed it for me,” he responds in answer to the name question. “It was kind of a stupid thing. I dreamed this name when I was 13 years old and I told my friend about it and he said, ‘Well, I’ll never call you anything else.’ And then everybody did.”

From a 1984 episode of the New Zealand TV show Radio with Pictures, hosted by Karyn Hay, an interview with singer Billy Idol [vid] (born William Broad):

Q: Why did you choose the name Billy Idol, especially in a time when [there’s] Johnny Rotten, Rat Scabies, you know?

A: Exactly, I mean that’s the point. That’s exactly the point. […] I thought, first of all, of course, of I-D-L-E, you know, idle. Cause this chemistry teacher when I was at school — I got 8 out of 100 for chemistry, I hated chemistry — so he wrote, “William is idle,” right? And I thought that was great to get 8 out of 10 [sic] for chemistry, cause I hated the hell out of it. So I thought that was respectable, so I thought it was worthwhile being called I-D-O-L, idol. Also, it’s good fun making fun of show business. I’m not into show business, I’m into rock ‘n’ roll.

From a 2019 New Yorker article about musician Beck:

He was born on July 8, 1970, as Bek David Campbell. He and his brother later took their mother’s maiden name, Hansen, and Beck added the “c” to his first name, with the hope that it might help people pronounce it properly. “I still got Brock, Breck, Beak,” he said. “I remember leaving a meeting with some record executives, and one said, ‘Very nice to meet you, Bic.'”

From a 2020 interview with Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson — who is the youngest of seven siblings — on the podcast In My Heart with Heather Thomson:

A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name. My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which, at that time, was not a cool thing, to have that weird name.

[…]

But, all of us have a different spelling. I think me and my brother, Skip, were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E.

And, it’s interesting — and it shows you the times — because we asked my mother when I was grown, I was like, ‘Why is my brother’s name spelled B-E-Y-I-N-C-E?’

[…]

[M]y mom’s reply to me was like, ‘That’s what they put on your birth certificate.’

So I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?’

She said, ‘I did one time, the first time, and I was told: ‘Be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate.” Because, at one time, Black people didn’t get birth certificates. They didn’t even have a birth certificate. Because it meant that you really didn’t exist, you know, you weren’t important. It was that subliminal message.

And so I understood that that must have been horrible for her, not to even be able to have her children’s names spelled correctly.

So it was an odd name, it was a weird name, and they were like, ‘How dare you have a French name.’ Like, ‘We’re gonna screw this up real good for you.’ And that’s what they did. So we all have different spellings.

From a 2014 interview with Skid Row bass player Rachel Bolan (born James Richard Southworth):

DC9 at Night: How did you get the name Rachel?

Bolan: It’s not my real first name. When I was first getting into bands, I wanted a cool stage name. I wanted to be like Alice Cooper. Eventually, when I was old enough, I legally changed my name to Rachel. It’s always raised a few eyebrows. It’s funny to hear people pronounce it when I give them a credit card or something. It’s funny to this day. They ask me if I gave them the wrong ID or if I gave them some chick’s credit card.

(According to Wikipedia, he created “Rachel” by combining the names of his brother Richard and his grandfather Manuel.)

DRAM's EP "That's a Girl's Name" (2018)
DRAM EP

From a 2018 Uproxx article about rapper DRAM:

Virginian rap crooner DRAM returned last night with the release of his new, three-song EP, That’s A Girl’s Name. Produced and co-written by Josh Abraham and Oligee, the EP’s title refers to DRAM’S real name, Shelley Massenburg-Smith, which means “that’s a girl’s name” is probably a phrase he heard quite a bit growing up.

(“DRAM” is an acronym for “does real-ass music.”)

From a 2004 interview with Bob Dylan, as recorded in the 2018 book Dylan on Dylan by Jeff Burger:

Bradley: So you didn’t see yourself as Robert Zimmerman?

Dylan: No, for some reason I never did.

Bradley: Even before you started performing?

Dylan: Nah, even then. Some people get born with the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens.

Bradley: Tell me how you decided on Bob Dylan?

Dylan: You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.

From an interview with Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, née Perfect, in The Guardian:

Hi, Christine. What was it like growing up with the surname Perfect?

It was difficult. Teachers would say: “I hope you live up to your name, Christine.” So, yes, it was tough. I used to joke that I was perfect until I married John.

From the book Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity (2009) by Leigh H. Edwards:

In [the autobiography] Cash, he explicitly addresses how he represents his identity differently in different contexts, noting how he uses different names for the different “Cashes” he played in different social settings, stating that he “operate[s] at various levels.” He stages a struggle between “Johnny Cash” the hell-rais[ing], hotel-trashing, pill-popping worldwide star and “John R. Cash,” a more subdued, adult persona.

From a 2014 Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”) with rapper Macklemore (born Benjamin Hammond Haggerty):

Mack-La-More is how it’s pronounced

Should have picked an easier name to say

From a 2021 interview with rapper Lil Nas X [vid] (born Montero Hill) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:

Jimmy: So, where does Montero come from?

Lil Nas X: Ok, it’s slightly embarrassing, but not embarrassing. So my mom wanted the car, the Montero, you know? And she never got one…

Jimmy: What’s a Montero?

Lil Nas X: It’s a Mitsubishi. So, yeah, I’m named after a car.

From the 2022 obituary of singer (and early ’60s teen idol) Bobby Rydell in the New York Daily News:

He was so popular and tied to teen culture that Rydell High School in the stage and screen musical “Grease” was named for him.

“It was so nice to know that the high school was named after me,” he told the Allentown Morning Call in 2014. “And I said, ‘Why me?’ It could have been Anka High, Presley High, Everly High, Fabian High, Avalon High. And they came up with Rydell High, and, once again, total honor.”

(Dozens of baby boys were named after Rydell as well.)

From a 2013 article about Kendrick Lamar in hip-hop magazine XXL:

Amongst the many topics discussed when Kendrick Lamar strolled through Arsenio Hall‘s reinvented television series, the Compton rapper revealed that he’s named after one of the members of the iconic Motown group, the Temptations. While gushing over old school music, K Dot unveiled that his mother named him after Eddie Kendricks, the group’s distinctive falsetto singer.

From a Marshall Tucker Band Instagram post addressing the death of the band’s namesake, Marshall Tucker:

Our band’s namesake, Mr. Marshall Tucker, passed away peacefully yesterday morning at the age of 99. Though he was never a member of our band, we wouldn’t be here today without his historic name. In the early days when we were rehearsing in an old warehouse in Spartanburg, we found a keychain inscribed with his name. We needed a name asap… and the rest is history! Marshall was blind since birth but amazingly could play the heck out of the piano. He always said his talent was simply God-given. He tuned pianos in South Carolina for decades.

(The story behind Super Mario’s name, in Name quotes #111, also happens to involve a warehouse.)

From a 2009 NPR interview with jazz singer and pianist Blossom Dearie:

It is my real name, and everybody asks me that, but I don’t mind answering that question. […] I was born in the springtime, and my father gave me the name Blossom cause I was born in April and my bothers brought blossoms in the house.

(TV character Blossom Russo was named after Blossom Dearie.)

From a 2016 Boston Magazine article about Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA, who was born in 1969 and named Robert Fitzgerald Diggs after the Kennedy brothers Robert and John Fitzgerald:

The Kennedy brothers really had a big effect on my mother. She loved what they stood for, that’s why she named her son after them. I think the ideas that they possessed and tried to put into our country, whether it’s the idea of man achieving the high glory of reaching the moon or the glory of trying to help spread civil liberties to the people, fulfill the promise of our Constitution. Those type of things, I think, are always admirable. My mother was really touched by that and she named me after them.

From the Allmusic.com profile of Blues/R&B pianist Ivory Joe Hunter:

An accomplished tunesmith, he played around the Gulf Coast region, hosting his own radio program for a time in Beaumont before migrating to California in 1942. It was a wise move since Hunter — whose real name was Ivory Joe, incidentally (perhaps his folks were psychic!) — found plenty of work pounding out blues and ballads in wartime California.

For more quotes about names, check out the name quotes category.

Image: Screenshot of the music video for “Like a Prayer.”

[Latest update: Sept. 2023]