How popular is the baby name Robert 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 Robert.

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Popularity of the baby name Robert


Posts that mention the name Robert

Most popular baby boy names (by first letter) in the U.S. in 2023

First letter usage for baby boy names in the U.S. in 2023

Going letter by letter, what were last year’s most popular baby boy names?

Before we get to the lists, a few quick facts:

  • The most common first letter for boy names in 2023 was J (used 10.98% of the time), followed by A (10.51%) and M (7.60%).
  • The least common first letter for boy names in 2023 was U (used 0.15% of the time), followed by Q (0.16%) and X (0.40%).
  • The first letter that increased the most in usage for boy names (from 2022 to 2023) was T.
  • The first letter that decreased the most in usage for boy names (from 2022 to 2023) was J.

Top boy names starting with A:

  1. Alexander, 7,875 baby boys
  2. Asher, 7,853
  3. Aiden, 6,675
  4. Anthony, 6,237
  5. Angel, 4,865
  6. Andrew, 4,781
  7. Adrian, 4,646
  8. Aaron, 4,551
  9. Axel, 4,498
  10. Amir, 3,620

Top boy names starting with B:

  1. Benjamin, 10,172 baby boys
  2. Brooks, 4,469
  3. Bennett, 4,411
  4. Beau, 4,090
  5. Bryson, 2,434
  6. Brayden, 2,274
  7. Braxton, 2,128
  8. Bentley, 1,906
  9. Beckett, 1,865
  10. Beckham, 1,829

Top boy names starting with C:

  1. Carter, 5,847 baby boys
  2. Caleb, 5,488
  3. Cooper, 5,425
  4. Charles, 5,395
  5. Christopher, 5,171
  6. Cameron, 5,069
  7. Christian, 4,125
  8. Colton, 3,696
  9. Carson, 3,200
  10. Connor, 2,855

Top boy names starting with D:

  1. Daniel, 8,356 baby boys
  2. David, 7,354
  3. Dylan, 7,054
  4. Dominic, 3,395
  5. Damian, 3,281
  6. Declan, 2,799
  7. Diego, 2,734
  8. Dawson, 2,439
  9. Dean, 2,281
  10. Dallas, 1,375

Top boy names starting with E:

  1. Elijah, 11,452 baby boys
  2. Ezra, 8,437
  3. Ethan, 7,763
  4. Elias, 6,980
  5. Ezekiel, 5,569
  6. Eli, 4,081
  7. Everett, 3,808
  8. Enzo, 3,796
  9. Easton, 3,637
  10. Emmett, 3,061

Top boy names starting with F:

  1. Finn, 1,907 baby boys
  2. Felix, 1,894
  3. Finley, 1,171
  4. Francisco, 1,121
  5. Fernando, 967
  6. Franklin, 776
  7. Forrest, 737
  8. Francis, 670
  9. Fabian, 656
  10. Frank, 646

Top boy names starting with G:

  1. Gabriel, 6,745 baby boys
  2. Grayson, 6,449
  3. Gael, 3,616
  4. Greyson, 3,065
  5. Giovanni, 2,911
  6. George, 2,689
  7. Graham, 2,533
  8. Griffin, 1,722
  9. Grant, 1,539
  10. Gavin, 1,512

Top boy names starting with H:

  1. Henry, 10,941 baby boys
  2. Hudson, 7,935
  3. Hunter, 3,110
  4. Harrison, 3,060
  5. Hayden, 2,219
  6. Hayes, 1,746
  7. Holden, 1,171
  8. Hendrix, 1,084
  9. Harvey, 1,022
  10. Hector, 828

Top boy names starting with I:

  1. Isaac, 6,581 baby boys
  2. Isaiah, 5,121
  3. Ian, 4,538
  4. Ivan, 2,384
  5. Israel, 1,530
  6. Ismael, 1,421
  7. Iker, 915
  8. Ibrahim, 774
  9. Isaias, 700
  10. Izaiah, 491

Top boy names starting with J:

  1. James, 11,670 baby boys
  2. Jack, 8,683
  3. John, 7,750
  4. Jackson, 7,284
  5. Joseph, 7,237
  6. Julian, 7,078
  7. Jacob, 6,976
  8. Jayden, 5,627
  9. Josiah, 5,404
  10. Joshua, 5,035

Top boy names starting with K:

  1. Kai, 4,946 baby boys
  2. Kayden, 3,120
  3. Kingston, 2,511
  4. Kaiden, 2,126
  5. Kevin, 1,914
  6. Knox, 1,770
  7. Karter, 1,590
  8. Kairo, 1,484
  9. Kyrie, 1,474
  10. Kash, 1,316

Top boy names starting with L:

  1. Liam, 20,802 baby boys
  2. Lucas, 10,842
  3. Levi, 9,347
  4. Leo, 8,120
  5. Luca, 7,770
  6. Luke, 7,217
  7. Logan, 6,686
  8. Lincoln, 4,842
  9. Leonardo, 4,012
  10. Luka, 3,650

Top boy names starting with M:

  1. Mateo, 11,229 baby boys
  2. Michael, 8,383
  3. Mason, 7,237
  4. Matthew, 7,190
  5. Maverick, 6,962
  6. Miles, 6,558
  7. Micah, 3,875
  8. Myles, 3,399
  9. Milo, 2,950
  10. Matteo, 2,503

Top boy names starting with N:

  1. Noah, 18,995 baby boys
  2. Nolan, 5,112
  3. Nathan, 5,049
  4. Nicholas, 3,242
  5. Nathaniel, 2,507
  6. Nicolas, 1,886
  7. Nico, 1,462
  8. Nash, 1,328
  9. Niko, 1,033
  10. Nasir, 739

Top boy names starting with O:

  1. Oliver, 14,741 baby boys
  2. Owen, 7,985
  3. Oscar, 1,693
  4. Omar, 1,306
  5. Otto, 1,191
  6. Onyx, 1,069
  7. Odin, 897
  8. Orion, 861
  9. Oakley, 799
  10. Ozzy, 526

Top boy names starting with P:

  1. Parker, 3,792 baby boys
  2. Peter, 1,738
  3. Patrick, 1,596
  4. Paul, 1,351 (tie)
  5. Paxton, 1,351 (tie)
  6. Phoenix, 1,243
  7. Preston, 1,228
  8. Prince, 885
  9. Pablo, 850
  10. Pedro, 753

Top boy names starting with Q:

  1. Quinn, 685 baby boys
  2. Quincy, 401
  3. Quentin, 334
  4. Quinton, 301
  5. Quintin, 120
  6. Quinten, 88
  7. Quest, 84
  8. Quadir, 70
  9. Quade, 53
  10. Qasim, 51

Top boy names starting with R:

  1. Roman, 4,777 baby boys
  2. Rowan, 4,195
  3. Ryan, 4,020
  4. Robert, 3,807
  5. River, 3,084
  6. Ryder, 2,822
  7. Rhett, 2,183
  8. Ryker, 1,976
  9. Richard, 1,638
  10. Riley, 1,627

Top boy names starting with S:

  1. Sebastian, 8,865 baby boys
  2. Samuel, 7,973
  3. Santiago, 6,328
  4. Silas, 4,070
  5. Sawyer, 2,833
  6. Stetson, 1,987
  7. Simon, 1,398
  8. Steven, 1,387
  9. Saint, 1,059
  10. Sonny, 924

Top boy names starting with T:

  1. Theodore, 11,041 baby boys
  2. Thomas, 6,598
  3. Thiago, 4,505
  4. Theo, 4,122
  5. Tyler, 2,064
  6. Tate, 1,845
  7. Tucker, 1,802
  8. Timothy, 1,733
  9. Tatum, 1,492
  10. Tristan, 1,373

Top boy names starting with U:

  1. Uriel, 606 baby boys
  2. Uriah, 378
  3. Ulises, 221
  4. Ulysses, 169
  5. Umar, 152
  6. Uziel, 111
  7. Usman, 86
  8. Unknown, 67
  9. Uzziah, 65
  10. Uri, 60

Top boy names starting with V:

  1. Vincent, 2,982 baby boys
  2. Victor, 1,687
  3. Valentino, 575
  4. Vicente, 441
  5. Valentin, 372
  6. Vincenzo, 352
  7. Vihaan, 280
  8. Van, 252
  9. Vance, 236
  10. Veer, 224

Top boy names starting with W:

  1. William, 10,598 baby boys
  2. Wyatt, 6,237
  3. Waylon, 4,881
  4. Wesley, 4,539
  5. Weston, 4,356
  6. Walker, 4,006
  7. Walter, 1,272
  8. Warren, 1,080
  9. Wade, 971
  10. Winston, 797

Top boy names starting with X:

  1. Xavier, 3,413 baby boys
  2. Xander, 1,700
  3. Xzavier, 153
  4. Xavi, 118
  5. Xavion, 111
  6. Xaiden, 101
  7. Xavien, 94
  8. Xavian, 91
  9. Xion, 85
  10. Xayden, 65

Top boy names starting with Y:

  1. Yusuf, 610 baby boys
  2. Yosef, 444
  3. Yael, 328
  4. Yehuda, 318
  5. Yousef, 297
  6. Yahir, 290
  7. Yahya, 263
  8. Yadiel, 242
  9. Yaakov, 231
  10. Yisroel, 228

Top boy names starting with Z:

  1. Zion, 2,867 baby boys
  2. Zachary, 2,112
  3. Zayden, 1,898
  4. Zayn, 1,413
  5. Zane, 1,220
  6. Zyaire, 1,029
  7. Zander, 924
  8. Zayne, 717
  9. Zaire, 654
  10. Zaiden, 567

Source: SSA

Babies named for Sterling Price

American soldier Sterling Price (1809-1867)
Sterling Price

Sterling Price was an officer in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

He was born into a family of slave-owning planters in Virginia, and moved (with his family) to Missouri as a young man. He entered politics in the 1830s, fought in the Mexican-American War in the 1940s, and served a four-year term as governor of Missouri in the mid-1850s.

During the Civil War, he was initially the commander of the Missouri State Guard. He joined the Confederates as a Major-General in early 1862.

In terms of namesakes, I found a smattering born in the 1850s, and hundreds more born during the first half of the 1860s.

Here are some of the Missouri boys who were named after their state’s governor:

And here are more than a dozen of the boys (also mostly from Missouri) who were named in honor of Price during the Civil War era:

So…how could a baby be named “Robert Lee Sterling Price Stephenson” after a pair of famous Civil War generals if he was born more than two years before the conflict started?

He wasn’t named right away — like many of the children born during that time period.

In fact, Sterling Price Robbins — the namesake just below Stephenson on the list — was born in late 1860, but not baptized until mid-1862. And his name proved to be controversial among locals in St. Louis:

In June 1862, [Rev. Samuel McPheeters] baptized a baby with the name the parents selected — Sterling Price Robbins, in honor of the Confederate leader at Wilson’s Creek. After some church members complained, federal officials banished McPheeters.

Similarly, Ohio baby girl Emancipation Proclamation Coggeshall wasn’t named until she was 2 years old.

Sources:

Image: Sterling Price

Where did the baby name Jheri come from in the 1980s?

Michael Jackson's Jheri curl hairstyle on the cover of the 1982 album "Thriller"
Michael Jackson’s Jheri curl

The Jerry-like name Jheri appeared regularly in the U.S. baby name data from 1980 until the mid-1990s:

  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: 7 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1994: 11 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1993: 10 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1992: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1991: 12 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1990 9 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1989: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1988 10 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1987 12 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1986: 9 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1985: 13 baby girls named Jheri (peak usage)
  • 1984: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1982: 12 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1981: 8 baby girls named Jheri
  • 1980: 6 baby girls named Jheri (debut)
  • 1979: unlisted

Why?

Because of the Jheri curl, a hairstyle featuring loose, glossy curls that was trendy among African-Americans primarily during the 1980s. Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Rick James, and other famous men and women of the era sported Jheri-curled hair.

Where did the style come from?

The “curl” originated with hairdresser/entrepreneur Jheri Redding, who developed a chemical process to make straight hair curly. Salons started offering the Jheri Kurl (as it was often spelled in advertisements) in the early 1970s.

Then, African-American hairdresser/entrepreneur Willie Lee Morrow adapted the process for African-American hair. His two-step method involved straightening the hair before adding a looser curl. (He also introduced “curl activator” to add moisture to the style.) Salons began offering Morrow’s California Curl in the late 1970s.

Some salons, in fact, offered both perms:

Newspaper advertisement for California Curl and Jheri Kurl (Feb. 1979)
(Feb. 1979)

Finally, African-American entrepreneur Comer Cottrell made Morrow’s perm both less expensive and more widely available by developing the do-it-yourself Curly Kit.

His kits were advertised heavily in Jet magazine throughout 1980:

Magazine advertisement for Curly Kit (Aug. 1980)
(Aug. 1980)

In mid-1981, Forbes magazine declared the Curly Kit “the biggest single product ever to hit the black cosmetics market.” Numerous copycat kits (with names like Classy Curl, S-Curl, and Super Curl) soon followed.

Despite the crucial contributions of Morrow and Cottrell, though, it was Jheri Reddings’s distinctive first name — associated with the curl since the start — that became the generic term for the style.

So, where did “Jheri” come from?

Redding coined it himself.

He was born Robert William Redding on a farm in Illinois in 1907. He became a licensed cosmetologist after noticing, during the Depression, that hairdressers were still being paid well.

Redding was an innovative marketer — he introduced the concept of “pH balanced” shampoos, for instance — and he created the eye-catching name for himself at some point before 1950, because he’s listed as “Jheri R Redding” on the 1950 U.S. Census:

Jheri Redding on 1950 U.S. Census

He launched his first company, Jheri Redding Products, six years later.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Jheri?

Sources:

  • Johnston, David Cay. “Jheri Redding Is Dead at 91; A Hair Products Entrepreneur.” New York Times 21 Mar. 1998: A-13.
  • Folkart, Burt A. “Jheri Redding; Beauty Products Pioneer.” Los Angeles Times 18 Mar. 1998.
  • Mack, Toni. “Caution + Daring = 82% Returns.” Forbes 8 Jun. 1981: 101-103.
  • Byrd, Ayana and Lori Tharps. Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2002.
  • Ford, Tanisha C. Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl’s Love Letter to the Power of Fashion. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2019.
  • Moore, Jennifer Grayer. Fashion Fads Through American History: Fitting Clothes Into Context. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015.
  • SSA

Images: Clipping from Chula Vista Star-News (25 Feb. 1979); clipping from Jet magazine (14 Aug. 1980); clipping of the 1950 U.S. Census

What gave the baby name Kermit a boost in 1901?

Presidential son Kermit Roosevelt (1889-1943)
Kermit Roosevelt (in 1902)

In November of 1900, Republican William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan in the U.S. presidential election.

In September of 1901, less than a year later, President McKinley was assassinated and succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt’s second son, Kermit, had turned 11 a month before the election, and was still 11 when his father became president of the United States.

His rare first name, Kermit, debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1900 and saw a sizeable boost in usage the very next year. In fact, Kermit was the fastest-rising baby name of 1901 (in terms of relative increase).

  • 1903: 12 baby boys named Kermit [rank: 679th]
  • 1902: 16 baby boys named Kermit [rank: 547th]
  • 1901: 17 baby boys named Kermit [rank: 481st]
  • 1900: 6 baby boys named Kermit
  • 1899: unlisted
  • 1898: unlisted

The earliest decades of the SSA data tend to under-count actual usage, so, for comparison, here’s data from the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for the same period of time:

  • 1903: 107 people with the first name Kermit
  • 1902: 118 people with the first name Kermit
  • 1901: 64 people with the first name Kermit
  • 1900: 12 people with the first name Kermit
  • 1899: 1 person
  • 1898: 2 people

But there’s more to the story than that, because later spikes in the name’s usage also seem to line up with events in Kermit Roosevelt’s life.

Graph of the usage of the baby name Kermit in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Kermit (SSA data)

From March 1909 to June 1910, Kermit accompanied his father on an expedition to Africa. Various photos of Kermit (including the one below) ran in the newspapers both before and during the trip. The SSA data indicates that the name ranked 175th and 193rd, respectively, in 1909 and 1910 — the only two times it’s ever placed inside the boys’ top 200.

Kermit Roosevelt's photo in a newspaper (Sept. 1908)
Newspaper photo of Kermit (Sept. 1908)

In June of 1914, Kermit married Belle Wyatt Willard, the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain. (Kermit and his father had also just returned from a perilous five-month trip to the Amazon basin, but the newspapers didn’t seem as interested in the second expedition as they were in the wedding.) The same year, the name nearly doubled in usage.

In July of 1918, Kermit’s youngest brother, Quentin, was killed in combat during WWI. Months later, in January of 1919, his famous father died suddenly in his sleep. The name Kermit saw a steep rise in usage in 1918, followed by peak usage (in terms of absolute numbers of babies) in 1919.

(Incidentally, dozens of baby boys were named either “Quentin Kermit” or, more often, “Kermit Quentin” during the first decades of the 1900s. One example: Kermit Quentin Turner, born in Oklahoma in 1919.)

For seven months during 1925, Kermit and his eldest brother, Ted, went on an expedition to the Himalayas. The newspapers (again) seemed only moderately interested in the trip, but the name Kermit did see slightly higher usage in the mid-1920s.

And it saw another uptick in 1943, the year that Kermit Roosevelt — who, during the 1930s, had been hit hard by the Great Depression and also became an alcoholic — committed suicide in Alaska after being medically discharged from the U.S. Army.

Kermit’s name — which was also the middle name of his mother, Edith Kermit Carow — ultimately honored Edith’s uncle, merchant and shipowner Robert Kermit.

The surname Kermit is an Anglicized form of the Manx surname Kermode, which in turn is a form of the Irish surname Mac Diarmada. The Irish surname is derived from the Irish personal name Diarmaid, which is of unknown etymology.

What are your thoughts on the name Kermit?

Sources:

Images: Kermit Roosevelt and Jack, the dog (LOC); “Kermit Roosevelt” in the Warren Sheaf (Sept. 3, 1908)