How popular is the baby name Tom 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 Tom.

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Popularity of the baby name Tom


Posts that mention the name Tom

What gave the baby name Delilah a boost in 2007?

The Plain White T's song "Hey There Delilah" (2005)
“Hey There Delilah” single

According to the U.S. baby name data, Delilah began rising in popularity around the turn of the century. The name finally broke into the girls’ top 100 in 2018.

Along the way, though, there was a conspicuous jump in usage from 2006 to 2008:

  • 2009: 1,704 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 191st]
  • 2008: 1,739 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 193rd]
  • 2007: 1,136 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 297th]
  • 2006: 539 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 547th]
  • 2005: 487 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 585th]
  • 2004: 473 baby girls named Delilah [rank: 595th]

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Delilah in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Delilah

Several variant forms (including Delila, Dalilah, and Delyla) saw peak usage in 2008 specifically.

What was drawing extra attention to the name around that time?

The catchy love song “Hey There Delilah” by the band Plain White T’s.

The version of the song that became popular was released as a single in May of 2006. It didn’t appear on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, however, until nearly a year later — April of 2007. The sleeper hit finally climbed to the #1 spot during the summer of 2007.

Here’s what it sounds like:

The band’s vocalist, Tom Higgenson, had written the song back in 2003 after meeting a woman named Delilah DiCrescenzo.

“I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen,” he says. “I told her, ‘I have a song about you already.’ Obviously, there was no song. But I thought it was smooth.”

DiCrescenzo was in a relationship at the time, so she and Tom never dated. But they did attend the Grammy Awards together (as friends) in early 2008 when “Hey There Delilah” was nominated for both Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

The specific variant Dlila, which debuted in 2007, may also have a secondary influence: a celebrity baby. Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs and his longtime girlfriend, Kimberly Porter, welcomed twin girls in December of 2006. The babies were named D’Lila Star and Jessie James after their great-grandmothers Lila Mae Star (Porter’s grandmother) and Jessie Smalls (Combs’ grandmother).

What are your thoughts on the name Delilah?

P.S. The name’s slightly higher usage in 1969 and 1970 could be due to another name-song performed by another Tom: “Delilah” by Tom Jones. The murder ballad was released at the end of 1967 and peaked at #15 on the Hot 100 in June of 1968.

Sources:

Where did the baby name Amadeus come from in 1985?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from the movie "Amadeus" (1984)
Mozart from “Amadeus”

The name Amadeus — created from the Latin words amare, meaning “to love,” and deus, meaning “god” — can be interpreted as meaning either “lover of god” or “loved by god.”

It first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1985:

  • 1987: 17 baby boys named Amadeus
  • 1986: 15 baby boys named Amadeus
  • 1985: 11 baby boys named Amadeus [debut]
  • 1984: unlisted
  • 1983: unlisted

What caused the debut?

Well, it all starts with famed Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) — specifically, with an unfounded rumor regarding the mysterious circumstances of his premature death at age 35.

According to the rumor, Mozart was poisoned by one of his professional rivals, Italian-born composer Antonio Salieri. In reality, the two men were cordial with one another. (Also, the symptoms of Mozart’s final illness do not line up with a case of poisoning.) Regardless, the rumor persisted.

In 1830, Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was inspired by the rumor to write a short (two-scene) play called Mozart and Salieri.

A century and a half later, English playwright Peter Shaffer — inspired by Pushkin’s play — created a longer (two-act) play called Amadeus (1979).

In Shaffer’s highly fictionalized play, Salieri has lived a virtuous life, and enjoyed professional success, but remains a mediocre composer. Mozart, on the other hand, is a brilliant composer despite being a “foul-mouthed, gleeful young lout.” Upon realizing that he’s been denied the gift of musical genius — that the one “loved by god” is undeserving Mozart (with the symbolic middle name) — Salieri decides to take revenge upon god by sabotaging Mozart’s career.

The Broadway production of Amadeus, which starred Ian McKellen as Salieri and Tim Curry as Mozart, ran from December of 1980 to October of 1983. It won five Tony Awards, including Best Play.

The successful play was then made into an equally successful movie, also entitled Amadeus, which was released in September of 1984. The movie starred F. Murray Abraham as Salieri and Tom Hulce as “goofy, immature” Mozart. It won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

And the movie is what accounts for nearly a dozen U.S. baby boys being named Amadeus in 1985.

Falco's single "Rock me Amadeus" (1985)
Falco single

Then, in an unexpected twist, Austrian musician Falco (birth name: Johann Hölzel) — inspired by the movie Amadeus — created the German-language synth-pop song “Rock Me Amadeus” [vid], which was released in Europe in early 1985. A year later, in the spring of 1986, it reached the #1 spot on Billboard‘s U.S. Hot 100 chart and stayed there for three weeks straight.

The song — in which Falco repeats the name Amadeus dozens of times — likely accounts for the name’s rising usage on birth certificates in both 1986 and 1987.

…But now let’s circle back to the original Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose middle name, as it turns out, wasn’t actually “Amadeus.”

Mozart was baptized Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. His first two given names (which were rarely used) honored St. John Chrysostom, his third given name came from his maternal grandfather, and his fourth given name came from his godfather.

During his life, multilingual Mozart translated his Greek middle name Theophilus into various other languages. He sometimes used the German form Gottlieb, or the French form Amadè, or the Italian form Amadeo. But he never used the Latin form, Amadeus.

What are your thoughts on the name Amadeus? Would you use it? (Do you prefer one of the other forms?)

P.S. Mozart’s older sister, Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, also has at least one U.S. namesake…

Sources:

Top image: Screenshot of Amadeus

Popular baby names in Ireland, 2023

Flag of Ireland
Flag of Ireland

Last year, the Republic of Ireland — which covers five-sixths of the island of Ireland — welcomed roughly 55,000 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Grace and Jack.

Here are Ireland’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2023:

Girl Names

  1. Grace, 339 baby girls
  2. Fiadh (pronounced FEE-a), 300
  3. Emily, 297
  4. Sophie, 283
  5. Lily, 270
  6. Ellie, 252
  7. Mia, 242
  8. Amelia, 241 (tie)
  9. Éabha (pronounced EY-va), 241 (tie)
  10. Ella, 231
  11. Isla, 227
  12. Hannah, 226
  13. Sophia, 218
  14. Lucy, 214
  15. Ava, 207
  16. Sadie, 200
  17. Olivia, 199
  18. Freya, 188
  19. Emma, 183
  20. Chloe, 181
  21. Robyn, 180
  22. Molly, 176
  23. Anna, 166 (tie)
  24. Croía (pronounced KREE-a), 166 (tie)
  25. Evie, 165
  26. Caoimhe (pronounced KEE-va or KWEE-va), 158
  27. Saoirse (pronounced SEER-sha or SAYR-sha), 157 (tie)
  28. Cara, 157 (tie)
  29. Sofia, 156
  30. Millie, 150
  31. Aoife (pronounced EE-fa), 148
  32. Isabelle, 132
  33. Bonnie, 130
  34. Maya, 128 (tie)
  35. Ada, 128 (tie)
  36. Róisín (pronounced ROH-sheen), 127
  37. Ruby, 126
  38. Kate, 123 (tie)
  39. Alice, 123 (tie)
  40. Holly, 120 (3-way tie)
  41. Erin, 120 (3-way tie)
  42. Sadhbh (pronounced siev; rhymes with “5”), 120 (3-way tie)
  43. Leah, 119
  44. Isabella, 118 (3-way tie)
  45. Ailbhe (pronounced AL-va), 118 (3-way tie)
  46. Méabh (pronounced mayv), 118 (3-way tie)
  47. Zoe, 115
  48. Annie, 112
  49. Ivy, 111
  50. Willow, 110

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 561 baby boys
  2. Noah, 473
  3. James, 369
  4. Rían (pronounced REE-an), 339
  5. Oisín (pronounced UH-sheen or OH-sheen), 330
  6. Fionn (pronounced fyun or fyoon), 306
  7. Tadhg (pronounced tieg, like the first part of “tiger”), 301
  8. Liam, 289
  9. Cillian (pronounced KIL-ee-an), 275
  10. Daniel, 256
  11. Finn, 251
  12. Conor, 244 (tie)
  13. Charlie, 244 (tie)
  14. Seán (pronounced shawn), 240
  15. Michael, 239
  16. Leo, 237
  17. Theo, 233
  18. Thomas, 227
  19. Patrick, 221
  20. Luke, 215
  21. Tommy, 214
  22. Oliver, 211
  23. Adam, 201
  24. Harry, 198
  25. Luca, 197
  26. Darragh, 195
  27. Alex, 175
  28. Bobby, 157
  29. Cian (pronounced KEE-an or keen), 156
  30. Oscar, 154
  31. John, 152 (tie)
  32. Max, 152 (tie)
  33. Ryan, 151
  34. Páidí (pronounced PAW-dee), 150
  35. Jamie, 149
  36. Ben, 147
  37. Kai, 141 (tie)
  38. Ollie, 141 (tie)
  39. Tom, 135
  40. Matthew, 134
  41. Dylan, 132
  42. Callum, 131
  43. Sonny, 130
  44. Sam, 129
  45. Ethan, 127 (tie)
  46. Alfie, 127 (tie)
  47. David, 122
  48. Alexander, 118
  49. Mason, 116
  50. Caelan, 114

New to the girls’ top 100 were Lucia, Cadhla (pronounced KIE-la) and Síofra (pronounced SHEE-fra).

New to the boys’ top 100 were Caelan, Jude, Paddy, Éanna (pronounced EY-na) and Dáithí (pronounced DAH-hee).

The fastest-rising names in the top 100 in terms of numbers of babies were:

  • Éala (increased by 41 baby girls), Ailbhe (+40), Méabh (+36), Zara (+33), Croía (+26)
  • Caelan (increased by 58 baby boys), Páidí (+41), Arlo (+35), Tommy (+30), Mark (+28)

And the fastest-rising names in terms of rank were:

  • Síofra (rose 57 spots on the girls’ list), Lucia (+43), Éala (+38), Lottie (+36), Zara (+31)
  • Caelan (rose 58 spots on the boys’ list), Mark (+46), Ruairí (+41), Eoin (+37), Arlo (+31)
Map of the four provinces of Ireland
Ireland’s four provinces

Home to more than five million people, the Republic of Ireland is divided into four provinces. (One of these provinces, Ulster, lies largely within Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.) The top baby names within each of the four provinces last year were…

Top Girl NameTop Boy Name
Leinster
(56% of the population)
GraceJack
Munster
(27% of pop.)
GraceJack
Connacht
(11% of pop.)
FiadhJack
Ulster [ROI portion]
(6% of pop.)
LilyJack

And what about the baby names at the other end of the spectrum?

Here’s a selection of the names that were given to just 3 babies each in Ireland last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Adara, Brídín, Cushla, Dottie, Eilidh, Féile, Gillian, Hezlin, Iona, Jolene, Kalina, Lorna, Maliha, Natasha, Ocean, Philomena, Ríonach, Saffie, Tuiren, Vedika, Yasmine, ZadieAlby, Bram, Conal, Douglas, Elvis, Finnian, Gerald, Igor, Jonnie, Keenan, Lughaidh, Maitiú, Nathanael, Orin, Patryk, Rylan, Séadhna, Téidí, Ultán, Viktor, Wren, Yohan, Zachariah

Finally, here are Ireland’s 2022 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Irish Babies’ Names – CSO (Irish Babies’ Names 2023), Births, Deaths and Marriages – CSO, Provinces of Ireland – Wikipedia

Image: Adapted from Flag of Ireland (public domain)
Map: Adapted from Provinces of Ireland location map by Ssolbergj under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Tom Morello named his baby after Randy Rhoads

Guitarist Randy Rhoads (1956-1982)
Randy Rhoads

Classically-trained heavy metal guitarist Randall “Randy” Rhoads is best remembered for his work with Ozzy Osbourne in the early 1980s. (You can hear him playing on “Crazy Train.”) Though he didn’t live long — he died in 1982, while on tour — his small but impressive body of work influenced a number of future rock guitarists.

One of those guitarists was Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Here’s what Morello told Rolling Stone a few years ago:

Randy Rhoads is my favorite guitar player of all time. It was his poster on my wall when I was practicing eight hours a day, and I named my firstborn son, Rhoads, after him.

Baby Rhoads was born in 2007.

Morello and his wife Denise welcomed their second son in 2011. This time they went for a sports name, choosing Roman in honor of 1960’s Los Angeles Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel. Again, Morello explained the decision in terms of posters:

That was the poster on my wall. Before I had rock and roll posters on my wall I had Roman Gabriel on my wall.

Which name do you like more, Rhoads or Roman?

Sources:

Image: Screenshot of a performance with Ozzy Osbourne [vid]