How popular is the baby name Roger 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 Roger.

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Popularity of the baby name Roger

Posts that mention the name Roger

How did the movie “Ladyhawke” influence baby names?

The characters Etienne of Navarre and Isabeau of Anjou from the movie "Ladyhawke" (1985)
Navarre and Isabeau from “Ladyhawke

The main character in the medieval fantasy film Ladyhawke (1985) is a young, talkative thief played by Matthew Broderick.

But at the heart of the film is a cursed romance between a knight and a lady who are “always together, eternally apart.”

Etienne Navarre (played by Dutch actor Rutger Hauer) is human by day, but transforms into a black wolf at night. His lover Isabeau (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), in contrast, is human at night, but transforms into a hawk during the day. Only at the moment of sunrise and sunset are Navarre and Isabeau in human form at the same time.

(Broderick’s character is recruited by Navarre to help him seek revenge upon the Bishop of Aquila, who put the curse on the couple after Isabeau refused his advances.)

Ladyhawke wasn’t a hit at the box office, but it did have an effect on the baby name charts. Navarre, Rutger, and Isabeau all debuted in the U.S. baby name data after the movie came out:

Boys named NavarreBoys named RutgerGirls named Isabeau

Navarre refers to the historical Kingdom of Navarre (which was located in the western Pyrenees), Rutger is the Dutch form of Roger, and Isabeau (like Isabel) is a form of the name Elizabeth that emerged during the Middle Ages.

The name Isabeau may get another boost in a couple of years if U.S. figure skater Isabeau Levito — who was born in 2007 and named after the Ladyhawke character — participates in the 2026 Winter Olympics.

What are your thought on these names?

P.S. Rutger Hauer also had a starring role in the 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner


Image: Screenshot of Ladyhawke

Baby named Tennys, becomes professional tennis player

American tennis player Tennys Sandgren
Tennis player Tennys Sandgren

Did you know that there’s an American professional tennis player named Tennys? (It’s pronounced just like the sport.)

Tennys Sandgren, who was born in 1991, was technically named after his great-grandfather Tennys — a first-generation American whose parents were Swedish immigrants. That said, his parents were inspired to pass the name down largely because they were avid tennis players. (They first met at a tennis club, in fact.)

Sandgren told the New York Times that having the name “Tennys” made him feel obligated to become a reasonably good tennis player:

I had a little bit of expectations just to be not terrible, because you can’t be named so similar to a sport and not be at least adequate at that sport. I don’t think there’s been expectations to be really good, because my parents never put that kind of pressure on me, but I had to be at least decent.

He also admitted that he uses a fake name in restaurants:

When I order sandwiches or coffee, I don’t give my name, I’ll say ‘David’ or something. It’s just not worth it. They never mess David up. I just want my sandwich; I just want my coffee.

In early 2020, Sandgren played Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. During a humorous pre-match interview [vid] with John McEnroe, Federer discussed his opponent’s first name:

JM: Finally, Roger […] your next match is against a guy — I think he’s got the greatest name for tennis in tennis history, his name’s Tennys Sandgren. I don’t know why his parents named him Tennys, but God bless them, cause he’s in the quarterfinals. And he’s the only American left. So what do you make of that, coming up in a couple days?

RF: He was not gonna be a baseball player, that’s for sure, with that name. It’s unreal, actually. I’m looking forward to playing against him, I’ve never played against Tennys. I’ve played a lot of tennis in my life, but never against Tennys.

So far, I haven’t been able to figure out the etymology of the name Tennys. It could be related to the Swedish name Tönnes, which is a diminutive of Antonius. It also reminds me of the English surname Tennyson, which ultimately comes from the personal name Denis.


Image: Adapted from Tennys Sandgren Challenger of Dallas, Feb 2013 by Khall1323 under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Baby born in Providence, named Providence

"The Banishment of Roger Williams" by Peter F. Rothermel
Roger Williams

English clergyman Roger Williams and his wife, Mary, migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631.

Williams was pious and good-natured, but also outspoken about his unorthodox views. He believed, for instance, that church and state should be separate, and that Native Americans should be compensated for their land. These and other “dangerous opinions” led to Williams being banished from the colony in October of 1635.

To evade punishment (i.e., being sent back to England and imprisoned), Williams fled the colony — alone, on foot, during a blizzard in January of 1636. It was a particularly harsh winter, but he was able to survive with the help of the Native Americans.

That spring, after making his way southward, Williams acquired land from the Narragansett and established his own settlement. He wrote:

…having made covenant of peaceable neighborhood with all the sachems and natives round about us, and having, in a sense of God’s merciful providence unto me in my distress, called the place PROVIDENCE, I desired it might be for a shelter for persons distressed for conscience;

In September of 1638, he and his wife welcomed their third child (and first boy). They named him Providence, after his birthplace.

Williams went on to establish the colony of Rhode Island in the mid-1640s. By then, all six of his children (Mary, Freeborn, Providence, Mercy, Daniel, and Joseph) had been born.

P.S. Virginia and Bermuda are two other New World babies named after their birthplaces.


Image: The Banishment of Roger Williams (c. 1850) by Peter F. Rothermel

Popular baby names in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1868

19th-century Providence, Rhode Island
19th-century Providence

Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.

Let’s start with some stats:

  • 1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
  • 1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
  • 284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.

And now, on to the names!

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:

Top baby girl namesTop baby boy names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Sarah
4. Ellen
5. Margaret
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

All Girl Names

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 39
  3. Sarah, 38
  4. Ellen, 31
  5. Margaret, 28
  6. Elizabeth, 25
  7. Alice, 24
  8. Anna, 20
  9. Ann, 16
  10. Emma, 14
  11. Eliza, 13
  12. Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
  13. Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
  14. Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
  15. Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
  17. Anne, Carrie, Hattie, Ida, Mabel & Nellie, 6 each (6-way tie)
  18. Eva, Joanna, Lydia & Rosanna, 5 each (4-way tie)
  19. Abby, Charlotte, Emily, Jessie, Josephine, Lillian, Lizzie, Louisa, Louise, Marion, Phebe, Rosella & Theresa, 4 each (13-way tie)
  20. Anastasia, Bertha, Edith, Gertrude, Isabella, Nettie, Pearl, Rebecca & Susanna, 3 each (9-way tie)
  21. Ada, Almira, Edna, Fannie, Flora, Frances, Helen, Henrietta, Inez, Laura, Lelia, Lillie, Lottie, Maud, Priscilla & Virginia, 2 each (16-way tie)
  22. Addie, Adelaide, Adelicia, Adeline, Agatha, Allene, Amanda, Amy, Angelica, Antoinette, Arabella, Augusta, Aurelia, B.*, Belle, Bessie, Betsey, Catharine, Celia, Claudia, Della, Eleanor, Eleanora, Estella, Estelle, Esther, Eudavelia, Eulalie, Evelyn, Francenia, Genevieve, Georgia, Honora, Imogene, Jesse, Juliette, Kate, Leonora, Lilla, Lillias, Lorena, Luella, Luetta, Magdalena, Marian, Marietta, Matilda, Mercy, Minerva, Miriam, Myra, Myrtis, Nanoan, Nora, Pauline, Reberta, Rhoda, Roberta, Rosa, Rose, Ruth, Sabrina, Sophia, Stella & Winifred, 1 each (65-way tie)

*What do you think the “B.” might have stood for?

All Boy Names

  1. John, 112 baby boys
  2. William, 68
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 52
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 37
  7. Frederick, 25
  8. Henry, 23
  9. Joseph, 22
  10. Edward, 19
  11. Daniel & Patrick, 18 each (tie)
  12. Robert, 17
  13. Frank, 16
  14. Francis, 15
  15. Walter, 13
  16. Michael, 11
  17. Albert, 10
  18. Arthur, 9
  19. Benjamin, Peter & Samuel, 7 each (3-way tie)
  20. Freddie, Harry, Herbert & Stephen, 6 each (4-way tie)
  21. Edwin, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin & Timothy, 5 each (5-way tie)
  22. Bernard, Edmund, Eugene, Louis, Philip & Richard, 4 each (6-way tie)
  23. Alfred, Augustus, Christopher, Eben, Horace, Howard, Hugh, Jeremiah, Matthew & Willard, 3 each (10-way tie)
  24. Abel, Barney, Byron, Dennis, Edgar, Ferdinand, Gilbert, Luke, Max, Nathaniel, Owen, Roger, Solomon & Victor, 2 each (14-way tie)
  25. Alden, Alexis, Allen, Alrick, Amos, Andrew, Ansel, Anson, Archibald, Asa, Ashby, Bartholomew, Calvin, Carlos, Clarence, Clark, Clarke, Clement, Clifford, Collyer, Crolander, Darius, David, Earl, Elisha, Ellis, Eri, Ernest, Erwin, Eusebe, Everett, Felix, Forrest, Foster, Franklin, Fred, Gardner, Jacob, Jason, Jerome, Jireh, Joaneto, Josiah, Jubal, Justin, Lawson, Lodovic, Louis, Lucien, Lyman, Major, Malachi, Manuel, Melbourne, Monroe, Morey, Morris, Myron, Nelson, Nicholas, Olney, Orville, Oscar, Pendleton, Ralph, Reuben, Rolfe, Rowland, Rufus, Simeon, Simon, Steven, Stewart, Theodore, Ulysses*, Volney, Warren, Whiting, Willie & Winchester, 1 each (80-way tie)

*Ulysses was likely named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, who was elected president in 1868.


Finally, nineteen sets of twins were born in Providence in 1868. (All of these twin names are accounted for in the rankings above.)

Girl-girl twinsGirl-boy twinsBoy-boy twins
Caroline & Harriet
Lucy & Lydia
Mary & Rosanna
Margaret & Mary
Lizzie & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Anne & Thomas
Emma & Charles
Florence & William
Hannah & Josiah
Ida & John
Isabella & John
Jennie & Horace
Charles & William
Francis & Robert
George & John
James & John
James & Stephen
(blank) & (blank)

Have any thoughts about these rankings, or about any of the specific names above?

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of the Names of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence. Number three. Providence: Millard & Harker, 1870.