How popular is the baby name Twyla 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 Twyla.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Twyla


Posts that Mention the Name Twyla

Popular and unique baby names in each U.S. state, 2020

round bales of hay

Which baby names were the most popular in each U.S. state in 2020? And which names only popped up in the data for a single state in 2020? Here are the answers! (Any unique name that also appeared in last year’s post is in boldface.)

Alabama

  • Alabama’s top girl name: Ava
  • Alabama’s top boy name: William
  • Alabama’s 7 unique girl names: Emoree, Khylie, Petrona, Annalynn, Jailee, Kaloni, Loxley
  • Alabama’s 7 unique boy names: Kyser, Mills, Johnluke, Kamar, Kendarius, Saylor, Xzavion

Alaska

  • Alaska’s top girl name: Amelia
  • Alaska’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Arizona

  • Arizona’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Arizona’s top boy name: Liam
  • Arizona’s 3 unique girl names: Zo, Ariza, Payson
  • Arizona’s 2 unique boy names: Iram, Quill

Arkansas

  • Arkansas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Arkansas’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names
  • No unique boy names.

California

  • California’s top girl name: Olivia
  • California’s top boy name: Noah
  • California’s top 10 unique girl names: Sequoia, Emiko, Rey, Melrose, Roxanna, Shaila, Briseida, Ara, Cathy, Koa (total of 551)
  • California’s top 10 unique boy names: Slater, Curren, Armen, Fateh, Agam, Angad, Gurbaaz, Subhan, Yash, Ojas (total of 394)

Colorado

  • Colorado’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Colorado’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Connecticut’s top boy name: Noah
  • No unique girl names.
  • Connecticut’s 1 unique boy name: Henrique

Delaware

  • Delaware’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Delaware’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

District of Columbia

  • D.C.’s top girl name: Olivia
  • D.C.’s top boy name: William
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Florida

  • Florida’s top girl name: Emma
  • Florida’s top boy name: Liam
  • Florida’s top 10 unique girl names: Abigaelle, Harbor, Allana, Breeze, Forever, Jaziyah, Railyn, Aniyla, Arielis, Dalani (total of 81)
  • Florida’s top 10 unique boy names: Aramis, Jaheim, Javaris, Maleek, Caio, Jahleel, Jeriel, Kamir, Marvens, Amyr (total of 81)

Georgia

  • Georgia’s top girl name: Ava
  • Georgia’s top boy name: Liam
  • Georgia’s top 10 unique girl names: Harmonii, Emmagrace, Kaior, Kiersten, Maebry, Makiya, Aloni, Jersi, Allura, Amalie (total of 25)
  • Georgia’s top 10 unique boy names: Antwon, Kiari, Woods, Elnathan, Jalil, Javontae, Keigan, Londyn, Mansa, Rhylan (total of 30)

Hawaii

  • Hawaii’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Hawaii’s top boy name: Liam
  • Hawaii’s 6 unique girl names: Halia, Anela Mahealani, Ilihia, Malie, Maile
  • Hawaii’s 6 unique boy names: Kainalu, Kahiau, Kamahao, Keawe, Alika, Kaikoa

Idaho

  • Idaho’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Idaho’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Illinois

  • Illinois’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Illinois’s top boy name: Noah
  • Illinois’s top 10 unique girl names: Zuzanna, Pola, Aniela, Eleen, Daliyah, Calia, Daniya, Destini, Eleonora, Esha (total of 18)
  • Illinois’s top 10 unique boy names: Krystian, Teodor, Jovon, Petar, Syair, Vuk, Akshar, Jameer, Kiyaan, Lashawn (total of 24)

Indiana

  • Indiana’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Indiana’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Indiana’s 2 unique girl names: Aayla, Renlee
  • Indiana’s 8 unique boy names: Maciah, Axtyn, Buckley, Emmerson, Javonni, Kashten, Lavon, Layken

Iowa

  • Iowa’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Iowa’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • Iowa’s 1 unique boy name: Kinnick
    • Kinnick is the name of the University of Iowa’s football stadium.

Kansas

  • Kansas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Kansas’s top boy name: Liam
  • Kansas’s 2 unique girl names: Brecken, Atley
  • No unique boy names.

Kentucky

  • Kentucky’s top girl name: Amelia
  • Kentucky’s top boy name: Liam
  • Kentucky’s 2 unique girl names: Larkyn, Karson
  • Kentucky’s 1 unique boy name: Brentlee

Louisiana

  • Louisiana’s top girl name: Ava
  • Louisiana’s top boy name: Liam
  • Louisiana’s 8 unique girl names: Kaislee, Rylen, Harlym, Riyah, Cecile, Damiya, Jrue, Rhemi
  • Louisiana’s 6 unique boy names: Baylen, Daxx, Jansen, Tylin, Hutson, Tyrin

Maine

  • Maine’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Maine’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Maryland

  • Maryland’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Maryland’s top boy name: Liam
  • Maryland’s 7 unique girl names: Dynver, Oakland, Brailyn, Chidera, Gelila, Kaylei, Shekinah
  • Maryland’s 3 unique boy names: Yafet, Jordon, Karon

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Massachusetts’s top boy name: Noah
  • Massachusetts’s 8 unique girl names: Aylla, Manuella, Eloah, Nelle, Clarisse, Emilly, Heloisa, Malu
  • Massachusetts’s 8 unique boy names: Heitor, Tadhg, Joaopedro, Noriel, Walden, Dana, Enzogabriel, Jordany

Michigan

  • Michigan’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Michigan’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Michigan’s top 10 unique girl names: Zahraa, Cashmere, Ellouise, Manar, Breslyn, Cobi, Hala, Raneem, Arla, Avacyn (total of 22)
  • Michigan’s top 10 unique boy names: Blair, Ayham, Coltyn, Nicklas, Daijon, Alastair, Deante, Haidar, Kodah, Mohsen (total of 13)

Minnesota

  • Minnesota’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Minnesota’s top boy name: Henry
  • Minnesota’s top 10 unique girl names: Maida, Rayan, Nawal, Adna, Ahlam, Ikhlas, Ayan, Britta, Mumtaz, Munira (total of 28)
  • Minnesota’s top 10 unique boy names: Muad, Muhsin, Yaqub, Sudais, Abdulahi, Mohamedamin, Masud, Liban, Mikko, Yonis (total of 23)

Mississippi

  • Mississippi’s top girl name: Ava
  • Mississippi’s top boy name: James
  • Mississippi’s 3 unique girl names: Harlei, Mattilyn, Rivers
  • Mississippi’s 6 unique boy names: Ashtin, Devonta, Aycen, Jakayden, Keondre, Landan

Missouri

  • Missouri’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Missouri’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Missouri’s 8 unique girl names: Kelce, Esma, Kamori, Quinley, Blu, Jhream, Kendyl, Mavery
  • Missouri’s 5 unique boy names: Travon, Bryton, Darrion, Sutter, Whitley

Montana

  • Montana’s top girl name: Charlotte & Olivia (tie)
  • Montana’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Nebraska

  • Nebraska’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Nebraska’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Nebraska’s 1 unique girl name: Breckyn
  • Nebraska’s 1 unique boy name: Eh

Nevada

  • Nevada’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Nevada’s top boy name: Liam
  • Nevada’s 1 unique girl name: Unity
  • No unique boy names.

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • New Hampshire’s top boy name: Lucas
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New Jersey’s top boy name: Liam
  • New Jersey’s top 10 unique girl names: Bluma, Ruchama, Leba, Avigayil, Jadelyn, Alianny, Arna, Bina, Ita, Maahi (total of 13)
  • New Jersey’s top 10 unique boy names: Boruch, Shraga, Gershon, Shaul, Avigdor, Naksh, Abeer, Nesanel, Refoel, Yerachmiel (total of 19)

New Mexico

  • New Mexico’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New Mexico’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

New York

  • New York’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New York’s top boy name: Liam
  • New York’s top 10 unique girl names: Gitty, Yitty, Raizy, Sury, Esty, Goldy, Idy, Henny, Yides, Hinda (total of 174)
    • Esty came up in the 2020 Pop Culture Baby Name Game because of the Netflix mini-series Unorthodox, which features an ultra-Orthodox Jewish main character named Esty from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. Of the 67 baby girls named Esty last year, 59 were born in New York specifically.
  • New York’s top 10 unique boy names: Lipa, Yechiel, Hershel, Pinchas, Avrum, Lazer, Md, Nachman, Berl, Muhammadyusuf (total of 157)

North Carolina

  • North Carolina’s top girl name: Olivia
  • North Carolina’s top boy name: Liam
  • North Carolina’s 8 unique girl names: Wrenn, Katara, Beckley, Embree, Kaileigh, Promyse, Reigna, Twyla
  • North Carolina’s top 10 unique boy names: Nolyn, Calihan, Aysen, Bladen, Damarcus, Dempsey, Hilton, Jahmere, Kaedyn, Kamdon (total of 16)

North Dakota

  • North Dakota’s top girl name: Amelia & Olivia
  • North Dakota’s top boy name: Oliver
  • North Dakota’s 1 unique girl name: Girl (…still probably just a place-holder)
  • No unique boy names.

Ohio

  • Ohio’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Ohio’s top boy name: Liam
  • Ohio’s top 10 unique girl names: Damyla, Jozie, Delainey, Delila, Dorcas, Joselynn, Maisley, Maizey, Marcia, Bexleigh (total of 22)
  • Ohio’s top 10 unique boy names: Willis, Larkin, Jashawn, Abdallah, Bennet, Bexley, Buck, Cylus, Freeman, Graeme (total of 26)

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Oklahoma’s top boy name: Liam
  • Oklahoma’s 4 unique girl names: Brenlee, Jentri, Lun, Man
  • Oklahoma’s 5 unique boy names: Pau, Creek, Mung, Cale, Dayson

Oregon

  • Oregon’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Oregon’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • Oregon’s 1 unique boy name: Rogue

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania’s top girl name: Emma
  • Pennsylvania’s top boy name: Noah
  • Pennsylvania’s top 10 unique girl names: Barbie, Suhaylah, Lavina, Verna, Surah, Erma, Adalind, Azara, Saloma, Aasiyah (total of 28)
  • Pennsylvania’s top 10 unique boy names: Mahlon, Benuel, Ayyub, Aasim, Lavern, Baxter, Carmen, Muadh, Ahzir, Asir (total of 32)

Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Rhode Island’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

South Carolina

  • South Carolina’s top girl name: Ava
  • South Carolina’s top boy name: William
  • South Carolina’s 3 unique girl names: Kaniya, Ellory, Indya
  • South Carolina’s 3 unique boy names: Drayton, Bowman, Collins

South Dakota

  • South Dakota’s top girl name: Harper
  • South Dakota’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Tennessee’s top boy name: Liam
  • Tennessee’s top 10 unique girl names: Anslee, Callaway, Henleigh, Mallie, Amellia, Blakley, Chloee, Crimson, Emersynn, Ivyanna (total of 14)
  • Tennessee’s top 10 unique boy names: Neyland, Martavious, Holston, Ladarius, Mckinley, Ripken, Conley, Crockett, Kimoni, Ryman (total of 11)
    • Neyland is the name of the University of Tennessee’s football stadium.
    • Holston is the name of a river in Tennessee.
    • Ryman is the name of the Nashville auditorium that was the home of the Grand Ole Opry (1943-’74).

Texas

  • Texas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Texas’s top boy name: Liam
  • Texas’s top 10 unique girl names: Elida, Kymber, Roberta, Xaria, Debanhi, Karyme, Abilene, Kirby, Analeigh, Bryar (total of 452)
    • Abilene is the name of a city in Texas.
  • Texas’s top 10 unique boy names: Crawford, Homero, Guadalupe, Eliazar, Abiel, Clemente, Javi, Koe, Javen, Kutter (total of 276)

Utah

  • Utah’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Utah’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Utah’s 5 unique girl names: Alta, Scottlyn, Cozette, Auburn, Swayzie
  • Utah’s 6 unique boy names: Kaladin, Taggart, Thayne, Trapper, Alma, Quaid
    • Kaladin is the name of a character in the Stormlight Archive book series by Utah author Brandon Sanderson.

Vermont

  • Vermont’s top girl name: Amelia
  • Vermont’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Virginia

  • Virginia’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Virginia’s top boy name: Liam
  • Virginia’s 6 unique girl names: Soliana, Soliyana, Cornelia, Harlan, Makenzi, Yanet
  • Virginia’s 6 unique boy names: Yuvin, Berkley, Keandre, Nayel, Nyzir, Sarim

Washington

  • Washington’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Washington’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Washington’s 6 unique girl names: Ellinor, Jasper, Freja, Korah, Ravenna, Robbie
    • Ravenna is the name of a neighborhood in Seattle.
  • Washington’s 7 unique boy names: Finlay, Amnen, Finnan, Lochlann, Peregrine, Echo, Jettson

West Virginia

  • West Virginia’s top girl name: Harper
  • West Virginia’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Wisconsin’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Wisconsin’s 1 unique girl name: Marietta
  • Wisconsin’s 2 unique boy names: Chet, Everhett

Wyoming

  • Wyoming’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Wyoming’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Have any info/theories on any of the unique names above? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: Popular Names by State – SSA

Popular baby names in Sonoma County, CA, 2019

According to the government of Sonoma, California, the most popular baby names in the county last year were (again) Camila and Mateo.

Here are Sonoma’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Camila, 29 baby girls
  2. Isabella, 25
  3. Olivia/Sofia (tie), 23
  4. Amelia/Sophia (tie), 22
  5. Charlotte/Mia (tie), 21

Boy Names

  1. Mateo, 32 baby boys
  2. Benjamin, 22
  3. Sebastian, 21
  4. Liam, 20
  5. William/Noah/Isaac/Wyatt/Henry (5-way tie), 19

And what about the names bestowed just once in Sonoma in 2019? Here’s a sampling of the unique baby names from the other end of the list:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aura, Banjolene, Cordelia, Dalihana, Ender, Etisha, Finleigh, Grecia, Hazelle, Itabili, Junebelle, Kella, Lumena, Macabiah, Moon, Naralyn, Nizhoni, Ovette, Pemma, Ruriko, Sabine, Sonali, Tallulah, Twyla, Vianna, Waverly, Yamanik, ZalethAonyx, Birke, Caius, Dexon, Eerikki, Farrokh, Gustavo, Hekili, Hezekiah, Itzael, Javid, Juvenal, Kibou, Lylin, Montanez, Nylex, Osher, Philo, Rye, Ryuchi, Sune, Taivaleoa’ana, Talizen, Thorleif, Ventura, Wylder, Yago, Zaeryn

Source: Sonoma County Baby Names

How did “Jeopardy!” influence baby names?

jeopardy, game show

Last week, Becca commented with some interesting Jeopardy! contestant names (e.g., Hobie, Dorcas) and mentioned J! Archive, which lists tens of thousands of Jeopardy! contestants going back to 1984, when the show premiered.

I skimmed through all the contestants from 1984 to 2015 (as we don’t have baby name data for 2016 yet) and spotted hundreds of unusual names. And it looks like at least two of them got a boost thanks to the show:

Alancia

The name Alancia was a one-hit wonder that popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 2000:

  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: 9 baby girls named Alancia [debut]
  • 1999: unlisted
  • 1998: unlisted

One-time player Alancia Wynn, a family practice physician from Virginia, was on Jeopardy! in October of 1999.

Brannon

The name Brannon saw an increase in usage in 1998:

  • 2000: 116 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1999: 118 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1998: 158 baby boys named Brannon [peak]
  • 1997: 113 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1996: 114 baby boys named Brannon

One-time player Brannon Denning, a graduate student from Connecticut, was on Jeopardy! in September of 1998. (Looks like Brannon Denning is now a law professor at Samford University.)

Alaric & Ezgi …?

These two names may have gotten a slight boost as well, though it’s hard to tell.

  • Alaric, in 2005. One-time player Alaric Smith was on the show in October of 2005.
  • Ezgi, in 2015. One-time player Ezgi Ustundag was on the show in October of 2015.

Ezgi is a female name that means “melody” in Turkish.

Anjali (false positive)

“Kids Week” contestant Anjali Tripathi was on the show in September of 1999. The same year, the baby name Anjali more than doubled in usage:

  • 2001: 222 baby girls named Anjali
  • 2000: 230 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1999: 202 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1998: 93 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1997: 80 baby girls named Anjali

But this was a suspiciously steep rise. And it was accompanied by the debut of an alternate spelling (Anjalie). And usage didn’t drop back to normal levels the next year, as one would expect. These facts pointed me to something more high-profile than a Jeopardy! contestant.

Turns out the very successful Hindi coming-of-age romantic comedy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had been released in 1998. The movie featured not one but two main characters named Anjali.

More names!

Here are the rest of the names that caught my eye, sorted by year:

  • 2015: Chandreyi, Dava-Leigh, Desta, Ezgi, Kynan, Mags, Praggya, Rook, Tiombi
  • 2014: Ben-Hur, Dinu, FeiFei, Gudrun, Ilissa, Kenesha, LaWanda, Leszek, Mariusz, Myfanwy, Osei, Shloka, Sirena
  • 2013: Arne, Berek, Diva, Kelton, Kinu, Nilai, Nishanth, Ramsin, Rhea, Salvo, Shuli, Sonrisa, Tahne, Twyla, Waymond, Xan, Yellowlees
  • 2012: Anshika, Benton, Bing, Deniz, Injee, Jessamine, Jia-Rui, Mithun, Pian, Shaanti,
    Vamsi, Vinayak
  • 2011: Bhibha, Boomie, Cosi, Gabor, Gitta, Idrees, Karawan, LuEllen, Milind, Raphie
  • 2010: Huat, Kemi, Marianthe, Raghuveer, Shaama, Surabhi
  • 2009: Ariella, Claxton, Cyn, Daphna, Drusha, Hayes, Henok, Jove, Lysette, Nirav, Ranjan, Seyi, Shyra, Tui (TOO-ee), Wright
  • 2008: Anurag, Babatope, Delano, Elza, Gilah, Kew, Murtaza, Naren, Srinivas, Vibin, Zia
  • 2007: Arlynda, Bethlehem, Clé, Haritha, Khoa, Kai-Ning, Kizzle, Lateefah, Lenzy, Marvene, Mehrun, Ssezi, Tigger, Toho, Tope
  • 2006: Dianisbeth, Iddoshe, Karmie, Lizard, Nemanja, Nissan, Oz, Ozgun, Papa, Pinki, Raena, Reda, Sioux, Tawney
  • 2005: Alaric, Corinth, Jayanth, Kem, Kingslea, LeeAundra, Ruchi, Ruvani, Vanamali
  • 2004: Denele, Kermin, M’Liss, Nithya
  • 2003: Alicen, Amasa, Eok, Freya, Nulty, Snowden, Vane
  • 2002: Anagha, Dileep, Gadi, Hikma, Jara, Kirik, Kunle, Manoj, Muzy (MYOO-zee), Omid, Quyen, Rafi, Seveen, Shasa, Tana, Umiko
  • 2001: Aki, Babu, Gosia, Marek, Mittie, Neha, Ulhas, Vinita
  • 2000: Akshai, Arrington, Celiane, Cinnamon, Iyesatu, Jeeks, Manx, Meri-Jane, Mitali, Sabin, Tarun
  • 1999: Ajuan, Alancia, Anjali, Chacko, Davine, Happy, Mihee, Seale, Wellington, Yancy, Yoni
  • 1998: Ardys, Brannon, Creswell, Kemp, Melizza, Sinan
  • 1998: Boze, Jolyn, Rokshana
  • 1997: Akiva, Atish, Breck, Brick, Davia, Girish, Mita, Murat, Pooja, Sahir, Tanis, Vartan, Zinie
  • 1996: Myretta, Rima, Ulf, Vandana
  • 1995: Albina
  • 1994: Graydon
  • 1993: Bronwyn, Ferris, Leif
  • 1991: India, Kareem
  • 1990: Ardwight, Avrom, Murdock, Peji
  • 1989: Darbi, Ouida
  • 1988: Blaze, Cigus, Doak, Scooter
  • 1987: JoFrannye
  • 1986: Chub, Zanete

Which of the above names do you like best?

P.S. Thanks again, Becca!

Uncommon Baby Names in Oregon, 2012

Oregon’s Open Data website includes several tables of baby name data from 2012.

The most interesting thing about this data? It goes all the way down to names given to just three babies per year. (All the SSA baby name lists, on the other hand, have a five-baby cutoff.)

So here are some of the baby names that were bestowed in Oregon just three or four times in 2012:

Girl NamesBoy Names
Amberly
Andromeda
Arianny
Damaris
Diem
Ellingon
Fern
Gaia
Io
Isela
Jubilee
Kahlan
Linnea
Lois
Lumen
Magali
Rue
Sahasra
Sanvi
Sayuri
Seven
Sinai
Siri
Sonora
Sparrow
Timber
Twyla
Van
Yara
Achilles
Alvin
Atlas
Atreyu
Bear
Briar
Calder
Carver
Clive
Dutch
Forest
Huck
Hyrum
Isley
Kainoa
Kincaid
Koa
Larry
Loki
Montgomery
Riot
Rogue
Summit
Tavish
Tiberius
Tor
Trapper
Van
Zephyr

The name Diem has been in the SSA data since the ’80s, but a lot of the recent usage was probably inspired by Danielle Michelle “Diem” Brown, who appeared on various MTV reality TV shows from 2006 to 2015. (She passed away in 2014 from ovarian cancer.) In her case, “Diem” was a nickname based on the initials “D.M.,” making this yet another name that can be spelled with the names of letters.

Sources: 2012 Boy Baby Names | Oregon transparency, 2012 Girl Baby Names | Oregon transparency

The Baby Name Thumbelina

Thumbelina
1914 illustration of Thumbelina

In the Danish fairy tale “Tommelise” (1835) by Hans Christian Andersen, Tommelise is a tiny girl who has adventures with a toad, a butterfly, some stag beetles, a field mouse, a mole, a swallow, and finally a tiny prince.

In the earliest English translations of “Tommelise” the main character is renamed Little Ellie, Little Totty, and Little Maja. It wasn’t until 1864 that translator Henry W. Dulcken came up with the name Thumbelina.

(Both names, Tommelise and Thumbelina, were probably influenced by the name of folklore character Tom Thumb.)

Now for the important question: Have any babies ever been named Thumbelina?

Yes, at least a few dozen.

One example is Fabiola Thumbelina Blonigen, born in Minnesota in 1935. She was mentioned in the book Big Pants, Burpy and Bumface…and Other Totally True Names! by Russell Ash. (Her 5 siblings also had interesting names: Elaine Enid, Fabian Adrian, Quentin Phillip, Verdi Georgio and Twyla Delilah.)

Most of the Thumbelinas I’ve found were born in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. The parents of these babies were likely inspired by the song “Thumbelina” sung by Danny Kaye in the movie musical Hans Christian Andersen (1952).

Believe it or not, “Thumbelina” was one of the nominees for Best Original Song at the 25th Academy Awards.

The most interesting Thumbelina name-combo I’ve spotted so far? “Tiny Thumbelina.” It was given to a North Carolina baby born in 1969.

So what do you think of Thumbelina as a baby name?

And, bonus question: At the end of the original fairy tale, the prince tells Tommelise (pronounced tom-meh-lee-seh) that he doesn’t like her name. “It’s an ugly name, and you are so beautiful.” So he gives her a new one: Maja (pronounced mie-ah). Which name do you prefer, Tommelise or Maja?

Source: Tommelise – H.C. Andersen