How popular is the baby name Thomas 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 Thomas.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Thomas


Posts that Mention the Name Thomas

Popular baby names in the Channel Islands, 2021

The island of Sark (one of the four main Channel Islands)
Sark (one of the Channel Islands)

The Channel Islands are an archipelago in the English Channel. They are divided into two territories — the bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey — and, like the Isle of Man, they are Crown Dependencies, but not officially part of the UK. (The residents of all three regions are British citizens, though.)

The Bailiwick of Jersey includes the most-populous island, Jersey, while the Bailiwick of Guernsey includes the less-populous islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, and Herm.

English is the official language in both bailiwicks, but local forms of Norman French (like Jèrriais, and Guernesiais) are also spoken on certain islands.

The Channel Islands (off the coast of Normandy, France)
Channel Islands (off the coast of France)

Now, on to the names!

Jersey

Last year, Jersey welcomed a total of 890 babies — 426 girls and 464 boys. Here are the island’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Sienna
  2. Isla
  3. Olivia
  4. Willow
  5. Ellie
  6. Maria
  7. Sophia
  8. Valentina
  9. Amelia
  10. Charlotte

Boy Names

  1. Arthur
  2. Oliver
  3. Noah
  4. Freddie
  5. Alexander
  6. Lucas
  7. Toby
  8. William
  9. Henry
  10. Sebastian

Since 2014, the name Sienna has reached the girls’ top 10 only twice…but it ranked #1 both times. I can’t account for the higher usage in 2018, but the 2021 return could be attributable to the influence of royal baby Sienna Elizabeth, born in September to Princess Beatrice.

Guernsey

Last year, Guernsey welcomed a total of 527 babies — 263 girls and 264 boys. Here are the bailiwick’s top girl names and top boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 6 baby girls
  2. Charlotte, 4 (6-way tie)
  3. Evie, 4 (6-way tie)
  4. Florence, 4 (6-way tie)
  5. Imogen, 4 (6-way tie)
  6. Isla, 4 (6-way tie)
  7. Penelope, 4 (6-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. Luca, 6 baby boys (tie)
  2. Theodore, 6 (tie)
  3. Archie, 5 (3-way tie)
  4. Leo, 5 (3-way tie)
  5. Theo, 5 (3-way tie)
  6. Arthur, 4 (6-way tie)
  7. George, 4 (6-way tie)
  8. Max, 4 (6-way tie)
  9. Oscar, 4 (6-way tie)
  10. Thomas, 4 (6-way tie)
  11. William, 4 (6-way tie)

My source also mentioned a few other facts…

  • Isabella was given to 3 baby girls, Jessica to 2, and Isabella-Jude, Izabella, and Isabelle to 1 each.
  • Lucas was given to 3 baby boys, and Matthew, Mateus, Matheus, and James to 1 each.
  • Over 54% of the babies born in Guernsey last year were given a name that was used just once.
  • Back in 1996, the top names in Guernsey were Jessica, Lauren, and Sophie (a 3-way tie) and James.

This is the first time I’ve posted rankings for Guernsey, but I’ve been posting Jersey’s rankings for a few years — here’s 2020, for instance.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the word “bailiwick” refers to the jurisdiction of a bailiff.

Sources: Annual Statement – Office of the Superintendent Registrar – Government of Jersey (PDF), Revealed: Jersey’s most popular baby names in 2021, Olivia, Theo, and Luca most popular baby names in Guernsey

Images: Adapted from Channel Islands by Copernicus Sentinel-2, ESA under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO and from Aerial view of Sark by Phillip Capper under CC BY 2.0.

Baby name story: Albert Dirk Thomas Franklin

Liberation of the Netherlands, 1945
Liberation of the Netherlands, 1945

The Netherlands were occupied by German forces for most of WWII.

During that time, many Dutch Jews went into hiding. The Bouwman family of Haarlem, for instance, was split up between two homes: Parents Mozes and Sophie Bouwman hid with one family, while their children Lion and Koosje hid with another.

In early 1944, Sophie discovered that she was pregnant. Registering a baby would have been dangerous, both for her and for the family sheltering her, so a plan was hatched: a nearby childless couple (Vivian and Catherine Rowe) would stage a fake pregnancy, and, when Sophie gave birth, the Rowes would take the baby in and pretend it was their own.

On September 2, 1944, Sophie — being “attended by a doctor and nurses sworn to secrecy” — welcomed a baby boy.

The child was named Albert Dirk in honor of the two men who had helped the Bouwmans find a home for their other two children.

As planned, over the next couple of days, the baby was smuggled out of the hospital and transported (via bicycle) to the home of the childless couple.

On September 4, the Rowes “joyfully announced the birth of a son, whom they named Thomas Franklin.” Notably, they took care of him through the hunger winter of 1944-45, “selling many of their personal possessions in order to buy food for him.”

Finally, in May of 1945, the war ended. They baby could be returned to his parents.

As an expression of gratitude, the Bouwmans added the name the Rowes had given him to his original name.

Though I couldn’t find any official records for the baby, at least one family tree website suggests that he was indeed given all four names: Albert Dirk Thomas Franklin Bouwman.

Sources:

Image: Allied planes over Holland – Nationaal Archief

Popular baby names in England and Wales (UK), 2021

London, England

Last year, England and Wales welcomed close to 625,000 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Olivia and Noah.

Here are England and Wales’ top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 3,649 baby girls
  2. Amelia, 3,164
  3. Isla, 2,683
  4. Ava, 2,576
  5. Ivy, 2,245
  6. Freya, 2,187
  7. Lily, 2,182
  8. Florence, 2,180
  9. Mia, 2,168
  10. Willow, 2,067
  11. Rosie, 2,028
  12. Sophia, 2,019
  13. Isabella, 2,010
  14. Grace, 1,992
  15. Daisy, 1,873
  16. Sienna, 1,869
  17. Poppy, 1,841
  18. Elsie, 1,840
  19. Emily, 1,797
  20. Ella, 1,756
  21. Evelyn, 1,729
  22. Phoebe, 1,678
  23. Sofia, 1,671
  24. Evie, 1,670
  25. Charlotte, 1,654
  26. Harper, 1,480
  27. Millie, 1,472
  28. Matilda, 1,437
  29. Maya, 1,433
  30. Sophie, 1,375
  31. Alice, 1,359
  32. Emilia, 1,353
  33. Isabelle, 1,304
  34. Ruby, 1,300
  35. Luna, 1,261
  36. Maisie, 1,229
  37. Aria, 1,202
  38. Penelope, 1,194
  39. Mila, 1,133
  40. Bonnie, 1,121
  41. Eva, 1,091
  42. Hallie, 1,070
  43. Eliza, 1,064
  44. Ada, 1,058
  45. Violet, 1,057
  46. Esme, 1,013
  47. Arabella, 1,012
  48. Imogen, 998
  49. Jessica, 997
  50. Delilah, 981

Boy Names

  1. Noah, 4,525 baby boys
  2. Oliver, 4,167
  3. George, 4,141
  4. Arthur, 3,766
  5. Muhammad, 3,722
  6. Leo, 3,465
  7. Harry, 3,089
  8. Oscar, 3,071
  9. Archie, 2,928
  10. Henry, 2,912
  11. Theodore, 2,889
  12. Freddie, 2,873
  13. Jack, 2,847
  14. Charlie, 2,674
  15. Theo, 2,514
  16. Alfie, 2,338
  17. Jacob, 2,319
  18. Thomas, 2,302
  19. Finley, 2,283
  20. Arlo, 2,154
  21. William, 2,093
  22. Lucas, 1,965
  23. Roman, 1,923
  24. Tommy, 1,901
  25. Isaac, 1,888
  26. Teddy, 1,875
  27. Alexander, 1,830
  28. Luca, 1,807
  29. Edward, 1,806
  30. James, 1,772
  31. Joshua, 1,737
  32. Albie, 1,729
  33. Elijah, 1,657
  34. Max, 1,650
  35. Mohammed, 1,619
  36. Reuben, 1,534
  37. Mason, 1,517
  38. Sebastian, 1,516
  39. Rory, 1,483
  40. Jude, 1,482
  41. Louie, 1,461
  42. Benjamin, 1,423
  43. Ethan, 1,398
  44. Adam, 1,367
  45. Hugo, 1,325
  46. Joseph, 1,307
  47. Reggie, 1,287
  48. Ronnie, 1,285
  49. Harrison, 1,254
  50. Louis, 1,240

Two of the names that saw marked increases in usage last year, Luca and Raya, were helped along by the animated films Luca (2021) and Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).

And the name Lilibet re-surfaced in the data (after a seven-year absence) with eight baby girls, no doubt thanks to the royal influence of Prince Harry’s daughter Lilibet, who was born in California in June of 2021.

Map of the nine regions of England
England’s nine regions

Home to nearly 56.5 million people, England is divided into nine regions. The top baby names within each of these regions last year were…

Girl NamesBoy Names
North East
(4.6% of the population)
1. Olivia, 167
2. Rosie, 137
3. Freya, 136
4. Isla, 135
5. Amelia, 129
1. George, 211
2. Oliver, 208
3. Noah, 188
4. Harry, 186
5. Charlie, 166
North West
(13.1% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 460
2. Isla, 373
3. Ava, 347
4. Amelia, 338
5. Ivy, 308
1. Muhammad, 875
2. Noah, 616
3. George, 603
4. Oliver, 584
5. Harry, 508
Yorkshire & the Humber
(9.7% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 298
2. Amelia, 272
3. Ava, 256
4. Isla, 230
5. Ivy, 222
1. Muhammad, 669
2. Noah, 449
3. Oliver, 415
4. George, 402
5. Arthur, 340
East Midlands
(8.7% of pop.)
1. Amelia, 288
2. Olivia, 281
3. Ava, 214
4. Isla, 206
5. Elsie/Mia, 200 (tie)
1. Oliver, 386
2. George, 378
3. Noah, 363
4. Harry, 302
5. Arthur, 298
West Midlands
(10.6% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 356
2. Amelia, 342
3. Isla, 234
4. Freya, 230
5. Ava, 228
1. Muhammad, 667
2. Noah, 447
3. Oliver, 378
4. Arthur, 362
5. George, 352
East
(11.2% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 478
2. Amelia, 371
3. Isla, 337
4. Ava, 323
5. Ivy, 281
1. George, 539
2. Noah, 499
3. Oliver, 497
4. Arthur, 464
5. Leo, 426
London
(15.6% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 459
2. Amelia, 455
3. Mia, 402
4. Sofia, 392
5. Maya, 383
1. Muhammad, 689
2. Noah, 626
3. Leo, 507
4. Adam, 429
5. Alexander, 407
South East
(16.5% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 615
2. Amelia, 546
3. Isla, 465
4. Ava, 454
5. Florence, 447
1. George, 729
2. Arthur, 701
3. Oliver, 693
4. Noah, 651
5. Henry, 609
South West
(10.1% of pop.)
1. Olivia, 360
2. Isla, 287
3. Florence, 277
4. Amelia, 259
5. Willow, 233
1. Arthur, 459
2. Noah, 410
3. George, 400
4. Oliver, 394
5. Oscar, 369

Wales, a separate country within the United Kingdom, is home to more than 3.1 million people. The top 10 names per gender in Wales last year were…

Girl Names (Wales)Boy Names (Wales)
1. Olivia, 173
2. Amelia, 164
3. Isla, 126
4. Freya, 114
5. Ivy 112 (tie)
6. Rosie, 112 (tie)
7. Ava, 110
8. Grace, 109
9. Lily, 107
10. Evie, 106
1. Noah, 275
2. Oliver, 213
3. Arthur, 186
4. Theo, 170
5. Leo, 168
6. Charlie, 156
7. Archie, 154
8. George, 152
9. Jack, 136
10. Oscar, 135

Welsh-origin names in that ranked within Wales’ top 100 included…

  • Girl names: Alys, Ffion, Seren, Eira, Mabli, Cadi, Eleri
  • Boy names: Osian, Elis, Macsen, Cai, Morgan, Gruffydd, Rhys

Now it’s time for a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum. Each of the rare names below was given to just 3 babies in England and Wales in 2021:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Avesta, Branwen, Callisto, Dwynwen, Elliw, Fenne, Gwenlli, Hestia, Isidora, Jogaile, Kerenza, Lubaba, Monia, Nepheli, Orzala, Petruta, Ruari, Siri, Thisbe, Uriella, Valley, Wilder, Xana, Yris, ZelalAudie, Buddy-Bear, Cuthbert, Deaglan, Emeric, Finlo, Glyndwr, Horace, Ibrar, Johnboy, Kerr, Leofric, Madoc, Nazar, Ovi, Porter, Ranulph, Sirius, Teifion, Urhan, Vladut, Warwick, Xion, Yavuz, Zuko
  • Dwynwen is the name of the Welsh patron saint of lovers. St. Dwynwen’s Day, the Welsh version of St. Valentine’s Day, is celebrated on January 25th.
  • Glyndwr is a reference to Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr, who led the Welsh Revolt (1400-1415) against the Kingdom of England.
  • Teifion is based on the name of the River Teifi.

Finally, here’s a link to England and Wales’ 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

P.S. The ongoing rise of the baby name Mabel accelerated in the late 2010s thanks to mononymous English singer/songwriter Mabel — who just so happens to be the niece of Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Sources (all ONS):

Map: Adapted from English regions 2009 by Nilfanion and Dr Greg under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Name change: Bob Miller to Ben Lexcen

Winged keel of the Australia II racing yacht, winner of the 1983 America's Cup
Winged keel of the Australia II

In 1936, Robert “Bob” Miller was born in the Australian outback — “in bone-dry Boggabri, a long day’s voyage from the sea.”

So it’s intriguing that, in his teens, Miller developed an interest in sailboat design. He went on to become a professional marine architect.

In the early 1960s, Bob Miller and his friend Craig Whitworth founded a boat-building and sail-making company called Miller & Whitworth in Sydney.

Miller continued doing his own design work on the side, though. Most notably, he began collaborating with Australian millionaire Alan Bond on a series of racing yachts in the late 1960s.

The most famous of these yachts was the Australia II, which, in 1983, became the first non-American yacht to win the America’s Cup. This was the cup that Thomas Lipton had failed to win 5 times in a row, from 1899 to 1930, and that Bond and Miller themselves had also failed to win 3 times previously, from 1974 to 1980.

Except…by 1983, Bob Miller wasn’t “Bob Miller” anymore. He was Ben Lexcen.

Why the name change?

Because, in the mid-1970s, Miller and Whitworth had had a falling-out:

Miller left the firm, but found he could not take his name with him. “I had had a great design business, a fantastic business, and I lost all that,” says Lexcen. “They were advertising everywhere, and all my mail was going to them. I tried to get the post office to change it. Noooo. I just had to do something, so I changed my name. Lexcen was one of my wife’s family names from way back. I had a friend who had a computer check it against the mailing lists of the Reader’s Digest and American Express to see if there was anybody with that name, and there wasn’t, at least not in Australia.” And Ben? “I wanted the same number of letters.”

But that’s not the only version of the name-change story.

In another variation, when the time came Lexcen borrowed a word from the project he was working on at the moment — Lexan hatch covers — and added it to the name of his recently deceased dog, Benjie.

Specifics aside, Ben Lexcen (formerly Bob Miller) and the other members of the Australia II team became national heroes following their historical victory. In fact, a baby born in Melbourne around the time of the win was named Charles Australia II John Bertrand Ben Lexcen.

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Winged Keel of Americas Cup Yacht Australia II by Ken Hodge under CC BY 2.0.

Baby name story: Thomas Lipton

Thomas Lipton's yacht "Shamrock"
The original Shamrock

In 1899, Scottish businessman Thomas Lipton, founder of the Lipton Tea company, sailed his racing yacht Shamrock overseas to challenge the Columbia (owned by J. P. Morgan) in the America’s Cup.

Lipton lost. And his next four America’s Cup boats — the Shamrock II, the Shamrock III, the Shamrock IV, and the Shamrock V — also lost (in 1901, 1903, 1920, and 1930, respectively).

He became the loveable [sic] loser; a man whose good-natured approach to the obstacles stacked against him turned him into a folk hero and promoted his business interests in America as well.

Scottish businessman Thomas Lipton (1848-1931)
Thomas Lipton

His repeated attempts to win the Cup also inspired one New York family to name a baby after him.

Adolph and Catherine Bergner of Tompkinsville, Staten Island, had three “shamrock babies” (as the newspapers called them).

Their first child, a boy, was born in 1899 — around the time the original Shamrock “dropped anchor off Tompkinsville after a passage across the ocean.” He was named James Adolph.

Their second child, a girl, was born in 1901 — just as Shamrock II entered American waters. She was named Helen Elizabeth.

Their third child, a boy, was born in 1903 — “on June 14, just as the steamer on which Sir Thomas came across the Atlantic arrived at Quarantine.” The Bergners decided to acknowledge the ongoing coincidences by naming this one Thomas Lipton Bergner.

They promptly wrote a letter to Thomas Lipton, to tell him about his new namesake. With his reply, Lipton “sent to each of the children a gold stickpin with a Shamrock on the face.”

Sources: