How popular is the baby name Sefton 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 Sefton.

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Popularity of the baby name Sefton


Posts that mention the name Sefton

Popular male names in England, 1560-1621

A while back, I stumbled upon a register of people who were associated with Oxford University in the late 1500s and early 1600s.

Interestingly, the author of the register decided to include a chapter dedicated to first names and surnames, and that chapter included a long list of male forenames and their frequency of occurrence from 1560 to 1621.

The author claimed that, for several reasons, these rankings were “probably…more representative of English names than any list yet published” for that span of time. One reason was that the names represented men from “different grades of English society” — including peers, scholars, tradesmen, and servants.

So, are you ready for the list?

Here’s the top 100:

  1. John, 3,826 individuals
  2. Thomas, 2,777
  3. William, 2,546
  4. Richard, 1,691
  5. Robert, 1,222
  6. Edward, 957
  7. Henry, 908
  8. George, 647
  9. Francis, 447
  10. James, 424
  11. Nicholas, 326
  12. Edmund, 298
  13. Anthony, 262
  14. Hugh, 257
  15. Christopher, 243
  16. Samuel, 227
  17. Walter, 207
  18. Roger, 195
  19. Ralph, 182
  20. Peter (and Peirs/Pers), 175
  21. Humphrey, 168
  22. Charles, 139
  23. Philip, 137
  24. David, 129
  25. Matthew, 116
  26. Nathaniel, 112
  27. Michael, 103
  28. Alexander, 98 (tie)
  29. Arthur, 98 (tie)
  30. Laurence, 90
  31. Giles, 88
  32. Stephen, 86
  33. Simon, 83
  34. Daniel, 79
  35. Joseph, 78 (tie)
  36. Lewis, 78 (tie)
  37. Andrew, 69
  38. Roland, 65
  39. Griffith (and Griffin), 60
  40. Evan, 55
  41. Abraham, 54 (tie)
  42. Leonard, 54 (tie)
  43. Owen, 53
  44. Gilbert, 52
  45. Morris (and Maurice), 51
  46. Bartholomew, 46 (3-way tie)
  47. Oliver, 46 (3-way tie)
  48. Timothy, 46 (3-way tie)
  49. Morgan, 45
  50. Martin, 44 (tie)
  51. Rice, 44 (tie)
  52. Gabriel, 41
  53. Benjamin, 40
  54. Jeffrey/Geoffrey, 38
  55. Ambrose, 36
  56. Adam, 35
  57. Toby (and Tobias), 34
  58. Jerome, 33
  59. Ellis, 30
  60. Paul, 29
  61. Bernard, 28 (3-way tie)
  62. Gregory, 28 (3-way tie)
  63. Isaac, 28 (3-way tie)
  64. Jasper (and Gaspar), 26 (3-way tie)
  65. Josiah (and Josias), 26 (3-way tie)
  66. Randall (and Randolph), 26 (3-way tie)
  67. Miles, 24
  68. Lancelot, 23
  69. Austin (and Augustine), 22 (tie)
  70. Jarvis (and Gervase), 22 (tie)
  71. Brian, 21
  72. Matthias, 20 (tie)
  73. Reginald (and Reynold), 20 (tie)
  74. Jeremy, 19
  75. Theophilus, 19
  76. Joshua 18 (3-way tie)
  77. Marmaduke, 18 (3-way tie)
  78. Valentine, 18 (3-way tie)
  79. Fulke, 17 (tie)
  80. Sampson (and Samson), 17 (tie)
  81. Clement, 16 (4-way tie)
  82. Ferdinando, 16 (4-way tie)
  83. Herbert, 16 (4-way tie)
  84. Zachary, 16 (4-way tie)
  85. Cuthbert, 15 (3-way tie)
  86. Emanuel, 15 (3-way tie)
  87. Vincent, 15 (3-way tie)
  88. Adrian, 14 (3-way tie)
  89. Elias, 14 (3-way tie)
  90. Jonah (and Jonas), 14 (3-way tie)
  91. Tristram, 13
  92. Allan, 12 (6-way tie)
  93. Ames, 12 (6-way tie)
  94. Barnaby (and Barnabas), 12 (6-way tie)
  95. Gerard (and Garret), 12 (6-way tie)
  96. Lionel, 12 (6-way tie)
  97. Mark, 12 (6-way tie)
  98. Abel, 11 (3-way tie)
  99. Erasmus, 11 (3-way tie)
  100. Roderic, 11 (3-way tie)

Did the relative popularity of any of these names surprise you?

The author did note that “the more common names occur more frequently than they ought to…from the tendency to confuse less common names with them.”

For example, a person called ‘Edmund,’ if he is frequently mentioned in the Register, is almost certain to be somewhere quoted as ‘Edward,’ ‘Gregory’ as ‘George,’ ‘Randall’ or ‘Raphael’ as ‘Ralph,’ ‘Gilbert’ as ‘William,’ and so on.

Now here are some of the less-common names, grouped by number of appearances in the register:

10 appearancesIsrael, Luke
9 appearancesCadwalader, Jenkin, Percival
8 appearancesBennet/Benedict, Godfrey, Howell, Jonathan, Raphael, Theodore
7 appearancesBaldwin, Gawen/Gavin, Hercules, Job, Kenelm, Meredith, Silvester, Solomon, Watkin
6 appearancesAlban, Basil, Caleb, Cornelius, Dennis, Guy, Jacob, Patrick
5 appearancesDudley, Edwin, Eustace, Ezechias/Hezekiah, Ezekiel, Hannibal, Joel, Moses, Peregrine, Simeon, Thurstan, Zacchaeus
4 appearancesFelix, Maximilian, Phineas
3 appearancesAaron, Abdias, Amos, Arnold, Baptist, Barten, Devereux, Diggory, Eleazer, Elisha, Ely, Ephraim, Euseby, German, Hamnet, Hilary, Hopkin, Jevan (“a form for Evan”), Justinian, Lemuel, Osmund, Pexall, Shakerley, Swithin
2 appearancesAngell, Audley, Avery, Bruin, Caesar, Calcot, Carew, Carr, Cecil, Cheyney, Clare, Collingwood, Conon/Conan, Darcy, Dominic, Elkanah, Emor, Ethelbert, Fitz-William, Frederic, Gamaliel, Gideon, Gifford, Goddard, Gray, Hamlet, Hammond, Harvey, Hastings, Hatton, Hector, Isaiah, Jethro, Joscelyn, Julius, Knightley, Mordecai, Morton, Nathan, Nevell, Obadiah, Otho, Pascho, Philemon, Polydor, Price, Raleigh, Raymond, Reuben, Rouse, Sabaoth, Sebastian, Seth, Silas, Silvanus, Tertullian, Umpton, Warren, Wortley, Zouch

Finally, lets check out some of the single-appearance names.

Over 250 names were in the register just once. I won’t include all of them, but here are about half:

  • Accepted, Aegeon, Albinus, Alford, Algernon, Ammiel, Arcadius, Arundel, Atherton, Aubrey, Aunstey, Aymondesham*
  • Bamfield, Beauforus, Bezaliel, Blaise, Bulstrod, Burgetius
  • Cadoc, Calvin, Candish, Cannanuel, Chiddiock, Chilston, Chrysostom, Conrad (“probably a foreigner”), Cosowarth, Creswell, Cyprian
  • Dabridgcourt, Darby, Delvus, Deodatus, Dier, Donwald, Dunstan
  • Elihu, Erisy, Esdras, Everard
  • Fernand, Fettiplace, Fines, Florice, Fogge, Fulbert
  • Geraint, Gerald, Glidd, Gourneus, Granado, Grange, Gratian
  • Hattil, Haut, Hercius, Hodges
  • Jarniot, Jephson, Jerameel, Jeremoth, Jolliffe
  • Kelamus, Killingworth, Kingsmell
  • Lambard, Leoline, Levinus, Leyson, Livewell
  • Maior, Maniewe, Marchadine, Mardocheus, Mattathias, Moyle
  • Nargia, Nizael, Norwich, Noye
  • Ogier, Olliph, Otwell
  • Pancras, Peleger, Periam, Person, Phatnell, Poynings, Purify
  • Renewed, Rheseus (“a Latinism for Rice”), Rimprum, Rollesley, Rotheram, Rumbold
  • Sabinus, Scipio, Sefton, Slaney, Snappe, Southcot, St. John, Stockett, Stukeley
  • Tanfield, Thekeston, Thrasibulus, Timoleon, Tournie, Tupper
  • Ulpian, Utred
  • Wallop, Walsingham, Warian, Warnecombe, Whorwood, Willgent
  • Yeldard
  • Zorobabel

*Could “Aymondesham” be a typo for Agmondesham?

Which of these uncommon names do you find the most intriguing?

Source: Register of the University of Oxford, vol. 2, part 4, edited by Andrew Clark, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889.

[Latest update: 12/2022]

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse: Helios, Mahina, Blake

Baby names inspired by the solar eclipse

On August 21, the United States will see its first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. If you’re planning to have (or conceive!) a baby around the time of the eclipse, you might be interested in a name that marks the event (but that perhaps isn’t as obvious as Eclipse itself).

So what are your options?

Names with “celestial” associations

A solar eclipse involves the alignment of three celestial bodies — the sun (a star), the moon, and the Earth — in the sky. You could use a name that is associated in some way with one of these elements, such as…

“Sun” names

  • Haru (Japanese)
  • Helios (ancient Greek)
  • Hina (Japanese)
  • Inti (Quechua)
  • Nou (Hmong)
  • Ra (ancient Egyptian)
  • Ravi (Sanskrit)
  • Shams (Arabic)
  • Sol (Spanish & Portuguese, ultimately from Latin)
  • Solaris (Latin)
  • Soleil (French)
  • Sunniva (Old English)
  • Sunny (English)
  • Surya (Sanskrit)

“Star” names

  • Aster (ancient Greek)
  • Astra (based on the ancient Greek word)
  • Citlalli (Nahuatl)
  • Estelle (French)
  • Estrella (Spanish)
  • Hoshi (Japanese)
  • Najm & Najma (Arabic)
  • Seren (Welsh)
  • Star (English)
  • Starla (based on the English word)
  • Stjarna (Icelandic)
  • Stella (Latin)
  • Tähti (Finnish)
  • Tara (Sanskrit)

“Moon” names

  • Aylin (Turkish)
  • Badr (Arabic)
  • Chandra (Sanskrit)
  • Dal (Korean)
  • Dawa (Tibetan)
  • Ilargi (Basque)
  • Luna (Latin)
  • Lusine (Armenian)
  • Mahina (Hawaiian & Tongan)
  • Máni (Icelandic)
  • Metztli (Nahuatl)
  • Moon (English)
  • Qamar (Arabic)
  • Selene (ancient Greek)

“Earth” names

  • Avani (Sanskrit)
  • Bhumi (Sanskrit)
  • Eartha (based on the English word)
  • Gaia (ancient Greek)
  • Ki (Sumerian)
  • Tierra (Spanish)
  • Tlalli (Nahuatl)

“Sky” names

  • Akash (Sanskrit)
  • Alya (Arabic)
  • Anu (Sumerian)
  • Caelus (Latin)
  • Céleste (French)
  • Ciel (French)
  • Cielo (Spanish)
  • Lani (Hawaiian)
  • Ortzi (Basque)
  • Sky (English)
  • Skyla (based on the English word)
  • Sora (Japanese)

You could even look for a name that contains more than one of these elements. I’ve come across a handful of names that happen to contain both an element meaning “sun” and an element meaning “moon,” for instance. Examples include Ravichandra (Sanskrit), Künnei (Yakut), Aygün (Turkish), and Günay (also Turkish).

Names with “dark” associations

The main event, from an Earthling’s perspective, is the darkening of the sun thanks to the moon getting in the way and casting its shadow over us. So you could use a name associated in some way with darkness, such as…

“Shadow” names

  • Chhaya (Sanskrit)
  • Shade (English)
  • Shadow (English)
  • Umbra (Latin)
  • Zalaph (Hebrew)
  • Zillah (Hebrew)

“Dark” or “Black” names

  • Adham (Arabic)
  • Blake (English surname)
  • Charna (Yiddish)
  • Ciar & Ciara (Irish)
  • Ciarán (Irish)
  • Dubhán (Irish)
  • Duff (Irish surname)
  • Jett (English)
  • Kara (Turkish)
  • Krishna (Sanskrit)
  • Melaina (ancient Greek)
    • Melania (Latin, based on melaina)
    • Mélanie (French form of Melania)
  • Raven (English)
  • Sullivan (Irish surname)

“Night” names

  • Layla (Arabic)
  • Nisha (Sanskrit)
  • Njóla (Icelandic)
  • Noctis (Latin)
  • Nox (Latin)
  • Nyx (ancient Greek)
  • Rajani (Sanskrit)
  • Rajnish (Sanskrit)
  • Tuta (Quechua)
  • Yoalli (Nahuatl)

I think Blake and Sullivan are particularly intriguing choices.

The English surname Blake can come from either of two similar Middle English words that happen to have opposite definitions: blac, meaning “black,” or blac, meaning “wan, pale, white, fair.” So it manages to encapsulate the concepts of both darkness and lightness — two key elements of an eclipse.

And the Irish surname Sullivan, “descendant of Súileabhán,” is based on the Gaelic personal name Súileabhán, meaning “little dark eye” — which sounds a lot like a poetic description of an eclipse.

Name pairings with both “celestial” and “dark” associations

You could combine some of the “celestial” and “dark” names above to get something more specific, like…

  • Layla Soleil: “night” and “sun”
  • Jett Helios: “black” and “sun”
  • Ciarán Sol: “black” and “sun”
  • Mélanie Stella: “dark” and “star” (“Dark Star” is also a Grateful Dead song)
  • Luna Zillah: “moon” and “shadow” (“Moon Shadow” is also a Cat Stevens song)

Names (or name pairings) featuring the letters “S” and “E”

This is as inconspicuous as it gets. Commemorate the solar eclipse simply by using the letters “S” and “E” in combination. You could choose a single name that starts with “Se-,” like…

Sela
Selene (“moon” in Greek)
Selma
Seraphina
Seren (“star” in Welsh)
Serenity
Sean
Sebastian
Sefton
Sergio
Seth
Severino

Or, you could use a pair of names that start with “S-” and “E-,” such as…

Sabrina Eden
Sydney Elise
Sarah Evangeline
Susanna Elizabeth
Simon Elijah
Spencer Ellis
Shane Everett
Samuel Edward

Which of the above names (or combos) do you like most? What other solar eclipse-themed ideas would you add to this list?

P.S. Did you know that Cleopatra gave her twins the middle names Selene and Helios?

Update, 5/15/2018: The baby name Eclipse debuted in the 2017 SSA data! The baby name Moon also more than tripled in usage last year.

Update, 12/31/2022: The rare Icelandic name Myrkvi can mean “eclipse” (also “darkness”).

Update, 2/28/2023: Actress Soleil Moon Frye‘s given names mean “sun” and (of course) “moon.”

Sources: