How popular is the baby name Venus 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 Venus.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Venus


Posts that Mention the Name Venus

Popular baby names in Moscow, 2020

According to the Civil Registry of Moscow, the most popular baby names in the city last year were (again) Sofia and Alexander.

Here are Moscow’s top 6 girl names and top 6 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Sofia (Sofya), over 2,800 baby girls
  2. Maria, 2,200 baby girls
  3. Anna, 2,084
  4. Alisa, 1,729
  5. Viktoria, 1,705
  6. Polina, 1,603

Boy Names

  1. Alexander, over 2,500 baby boys
  2. Mikhail, 2,427 baby boys
  3. Maxim, 2,284
  4. Artyom, 1,827
  5. Mark, 1,666
  6. Ivan, 1,617

Less commonly bestowed names include Vesna, Dionysus, Iskra (“spark”), Lucifer, Venus-Veronica, Sever, Severina, and Yermak-Alexander. (Yermak could be a reference to the Russian folk hero Yermak Timofeyevich.)

Sources: From Mars to Zlatoslava and many more 2020 rare baby names

Name Quotes #85: Karen, Blane, Friedemann

From the 1986 movie Pretty in Pink, Duckie’s reaction to learning that Andie is dating a guy named Blane:

Blane? His name is Blane? That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!

From sociolinguist Robin Queen, an explanation of how ‘Karen’ went from a popular baby name to a stand-in for white entitlement:

By tracing the origins of Karen up until the Central Park incident, you can see how two separate threads of meaning converged to make Karen the label for an officious, entitled, white woman.

The first comes from African American communities, where certain generic first names have long been a shorthand for “a white woman to be wary of because she won’t hesitate to wield privilege at the expense of others.” Around 2018, people started posting pictures of white women calling the police on the mundane activities of black people. These individuals got labeled with hashtags like #bbqbecky, #permitpatti, #golfcartgail and #cornerstonecaroline.

[…]

The second thread emerges from stand-up comedy and Reddit. In 2005, Dane Cook performed a sketch comedy piece in which Karen is “that friend nobody likes.” In the sketch, she’s described as “always a douche.” This portrayal of a “Karen” is less about her racism and contains more gender-based critiques, which might be why some continue to call the Karen meme sexist.

New Jersey police officer Brian Porter — who delivered two babies during the first half of 2002 — regarding his success so far in having a baby named after him:

0-2.

(In the case of the second baby, the baby’s father and brother were both already named Bryan.)

From the “pejorative names” section of a 2019 academic article called From Enslavement to Emancipation: Naming Practices in the Danish West Indies:

“[I]njurious” names [were] intended to mark slaves out by drawing upon naming forms not used by the dominant class. For instance, some are not personal names, but refer instead to places (London, Madrid, Dublin), animals (Zebra, Fox), or qualities (Amor). Another popular category includes names of classical figures (Cicero, Ancilla, Cupido). Such names functioned as cruel jokes: for instance, Scipio, a common male slave name, referred to the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, whose agnomen, Africanus, meant “the African,” in praise of his triumphs in battle in North Africa. Names of Greek and Roman heroes, philosophers, and orators were popular choices for male slaves, underlining their degradation and emasculation via their juxtaposition with these great men. Meanwhile, as Saidiya Hartman has noted, names like “Venus” for female slaves reflected and licensed the lasciviousness of European slave-owners toward African women, making such behaviors “sound agreeable.”

From the funny April Fools’ Day video Pronouncing Friedemann Findeisen like a Bad-Ass German by songwriter Friedemann Findeisen [FREE-day-mahn FIND-ei-zen]:

Welcome to this German tutorial on how to pronounce my name, Friedemann Findeisen. In the past, many of you have wondered why I have such an unusual name, and why it sounds so German. Well, I am German. You just can’t tell because my lederhosen aren’t in the shot.

From the National Geographic article “Who’s the First Person in history whose name we know?“:

[T]o my great surprise—the first name in recorded history isn’t a king. Nor a warrior. Or a poet. He was, it turns out…an accountant. In his new book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari goes back 33 centuries before Christ to a 5,000-year-old clay tablet found in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

[…]

It’s a receipt for multiple shipments of barley. The tablet says, very simply:

29,086 measures barley 37 months Kushim

(But we don’t know for sure that Kushim was a human name; it may have been a job title.)

A second theory, from the same article:

Dated to around 3100 B.C.—about a generation or two after Kushim—the tablet’s heading is, “Two slaves held by Gal-Sal.” Gal-Sal is the owner. Next come the slaves, “En-pap X and Sukkalgir.” So now we’ve got four names: an accountant, a slave owner, and two slaves.

(Some scholars are Team Kushim, other scholars are Team Gal-Sal.)

Popular and unique baby names in Alberta, 2018

According to the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the Canadian province in 2018 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 235 baby girls
2. Emma, 230
3. Charlotte, 175
4. Emily, 164
5. Ava, 161
6. Abigail, 153
7. Harper, 150
8. Sophia, 146
9. Amelia, 145
10. Elizabeth, 130

Boy Names
1. Liam, 225 baby boys
2. Oliver, 212
3. Noah, 199
4. Ethan, 188
5. Logan & Lucas, 182 each (tie)
6. Jacob, 181
7. William, 178
8. Benjamin, 176
9. Jack, 167
10. Alexander & James, 158 each (tie)

In the girls’ top 10, Harper and Elizabeth replaced Isabella, Aria, Chloe and Lily.

New to the boys’ top 10 are Alexander and James. (No replacements due to ties.)

Rare baby names that were bestowed just once in Alberta last year include…

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aleftina, Assurance, Balsam, Clarenelle, Desneiges, Eulogia, Finja, Geo, Havolyn, Iffoxla, Iracebeth, Joxerlee, Kinnitty, Lemon-Marie, Mirdza, Nesslin, Ozzlynn, Progress, Quindalyn, Rizabell, Stiorra, Tavery, Trusarra, Urveen, Vemia, Wichahpi, Xianelle, Yubelissa, Zenley, ZhinetorArchange, Beauxbandy, Chapter, Dax-Goku, Durden, Einjehl, Fristan, George-lucas, Grey-Cloud, Homeostasie, Irwin, Jhelton, Krypton, Lonnie, Mycroft, Nitrix, Obasha, Pavanga, Quiel, Rhonj, Scythe, Supremo, Tadmor, Thorpal, Untred, Valour, Wilmarion, Xylas, Yuzhi, Zackon

And a few more single-use girl names, all space-themed: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Galaxy, Universe.

Possible explanations for a few of the above:

  • Iracebeth (based on the word irascible) was the name given to the Red Queen in the 2010 Tim Burton movie Alice in Wonderland.
  • Durden was the surname of the main character in Fight Club. (I’m very surprised this one has never appeared in the U.S. data before, frankly.)
  • Mycroft Holmes was Sherlock’s older brother. Mycroft AI, “the world’s first open source assistant,” was named after Mycroft Holmes.
  • Nitrix is a brand-name bodybuilding supplement described as a “concentrated nitric oxide precursor.”
  • Rhonj happens to be the acronym for The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Could this be a Real Housewives acronym being used as a baby name?!

In 2017, the top two names in Alberta were Olivia and Noah.

Sources: Alberta’s Top Baby Names, Alberta’s top baby names for 2018

P.S. There’s a free Alberta Baby Names App, if you’re interested!

Name Quotes #14: Nancy, Frostee, Nilanjana

quotation marks

From an interview with Amy Poehler in The Daily Beast:

Amy Poehler has five parenting tips: “Always remember your kid’s name. Always remember where you put your kid. Don’t let your kid drive until their feet can reach the pedals. Use the right size diapers…for yourself. And, when in doubt, make funny faces.”

From an old episode of the The Rachel Maddow Show:

[T]he single, least important but most amazing thing about covering the life and times of Buddy Cianci for me was always the name of his wife. Buddy Cianci was married to a woman named Nancy Ann. Here name is Nancy Ann Cianci. Nancy Ann Cianci — the single, most awesome name in all of the names tangentially related to American political scandal ever. Nancy Ann Cianci.

From The baby name dilemma: sensible English or crazy Californian? in the Telegraph:

Why not give my first born a head start in Californian life? I’m sure when he’s older and I take him and his mates Zen and Jazz out for a wheatgrass smoothie, he’d thank me for it. But what if his cruel English father one day moves him back to London? What then for poor Dove, as he tries to make friends with all the Toms and Harrys back in Blighty? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it: Tom and Harry would throw bird s*** at him and then flush his head down the bog.

From a 2003 interview with Jhumpa Lahiri in the New York Times:

JG: In the new book, you explain that all Bengalis have private pet names and public “good names.” But the main character in “The Namesake” is given only one name: Gogol, after the Russian writer.

JL: That happened to me. My name, Jhumpa, which is my only name now, was supposed to be my pet name. My parents tried to enroll me in school under my good name, but the teacher asked if they had anything shorter. Even now, people in India ask why I’m publishing under my pet name instead of a real name.

JG: What does Jhumpa mean?

JL: Jhumpa has no meaning. It always upset me. It’s like jhuma, which refers to the sound of a child’s rattle, but with a “p.” In this country, you’d never name your child Rattle. I actually have two good names, Nilanjana and Sudeshna. My mother couldn’t decide. All three are on the birth certificate. I never knew how to write my name.

From a live chat with Prudie of Slate:

Q. Who Is Courtney?: I’ve noticed that whenever you need to make up a fictional female name, you always pick “Courtney.” What’s up with that? Just curious!

A: I used to reflexively write, “Denise” and I once got a funny letter from a Denise asking what a Denise ever did to me. Good point that I need a name book by my computer. I like Courtney because I don’t know any and it’s a likely name of a person in her 20s, the way Susan is Courtney’s mother, Dorothy is her grandmother, and Myrna is her great-grandmother.

…and later in the same chat:

Q. Re: Courtney: I once had a professor who would reflexively use the name “Stacy” for a generic female and then mutter, to a room full of students born in the ’80s, “That’s such an ’80s name.” The Stacys in the room—and there always was at least one—got a good laugh out of it.

A: I’ll add this to my repertoire! But a quick look at a reference confirms my sense that Stacy is such a ’70s name.

From an article on ostentatious baby names:

The reason is simple. If you really want your kid to be special, a name is not going to do it. Your kid is going to have to earn it. She is going to have to work hard and sacrifice. She’ll have to try and fail and eventually find her place — find whatever she’s good at — and then work harder to develop her talents.

It will be easier to do that if she is humble. And it will be easier for her to be humble if she doesn’t have a name that makes her think she’s precious and special and God’s gift to the universe (such as Nevaeh, which is heaven spelled backward).

It’s nobody’s fault that we’re screwing up kids’ names — we’re screwing up a lot of things. We’re doing it because we’re able to. We’re able to because the American experiment has produced untold wealth — which shifted our focus from trying to subsist, as our parents did, to fretting over what to name our kids.

We have to knock it off, though.

From an ESPN interview with Frostee Rucker, football player:

How did you get the name Frostee?

“My pop [Len] was a DJ while he was in the military and they called him DJ Frost because they said he was cold on the spins. [They called him] Frost, Frostee all that. No matter what he named me they were going to call me Little Frost anyway, so they named me Frostee.”

So Frostee is your given name?

“Yup, that’s my given name.”

What was it like growing up named Frostee?

“It sucked growing up really because kids at Christmas time and teachers, and me being African American, it just didn’t all come together but about [the] time I came to high school it became a household name in Orange County (Calif.).

“It’s just benefited [me] from then. It’s always caught peoples’ eye in the paper and they wanted to know more. So I don’t know if I’ll name my kid that if I ever have one but at the same time being unique isn’t bad either.”

From German Court Upholds Ban on Extra-Long Names in TIME Magazine:

The decision on which names to accept and which to reject is generally left to the local registrar, but that decision can be contested in court. And sometimes the court’s ruling can seem rather arbitrary. While the names Stompie, Woodstock and Grammophon have been rejected by German courts in the past, the similarly creative parents of Speedy, Lafayette and Jazz were granted their name of choice.

(Grammophon means “gramophone” in German.)

From a Slate article on Puritan names:

A wide variety of Hebrew names came into common usage beginning in 1560, when the first readily accessible English Bible was published. But by the late 16th century many Puritan communities in Southern Britain saw common names as too worldly, and opted instead to name children after virtues or with religious slogans as a way of setting the community apart from non-Puritan neighbors. Often, Puritan parents chose names that served to remind the child about sin and pain.

(The book they used as a source — Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature — is one I’ve referenced here on the blog a bunch of times, in posts about Acts of the Apostles, George William Frederic, Gib & Tib, Job-Rakt-Out-of-the-Asshes, Nan & Nanny, Posthumus, Robert, and Tibbe.)

From an article about tennis-playing sisters Alicia “Tornado” Black and Tyra Hurricane Black:

[I]t’s their mom, Gayal Black, who is behind the girls’ brand-worthy names, designed to minimize comparisons with Venus and Serena Williams, and establish a unique, powerful identities for the sisters.

“I have a marketing degree…and I knew I needed to do something for them to stand out, and we thought it was cute,” Gayal told ESPNW.

Tornado was born Alicia, but Gayal says the nickname came from her daughter’s ferocious tennis skills as a three-year-old. “We couldn’t believe how amazing she was and we knew then we had a champion. When the next one was born, we knew she could do it, too, and so her [legal] name is Tyra Hurricane.”

“[Tornado didn’t like her name] a few years ago. Kids tease you. But now they understand it’s marketing and it’s very big to say a storm blew through the US Open.”

Dad Sly added that the names started as “a little joke” but “turned out to be a pretty big deal.”

“Yes, Tornado and Hurricane are names for marketable athletes, but that’s a big part of it nowadays, and if you can get a good, strong name, all the better.”

[Found out about the Black sisters via Abby – thanks!]

1 Baby, 26 Alphabetical Names

I’ve found long names, and alphabetical sibling names, but this could be the first alphabetical single name I’ve seen.

A baby girl born on December 19, 1882, in West Derby, Liverpool, England, to Arthur and Sarah Pepper was named:

Ann Bertha Cecilia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Inez Jane Kate Louisa Maud Nora Ophelia Quince Rebecca Starkey Teresa Ulyses Venus Winifred Xenophon Yetty Zeus Pepper

Regarding the name, the Boston Evening Transcript quipped, “Apparently the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has little power in London”:

Ann Bertha Cecelia

(The handwriting on the original birth record is relatively clear, but certain names are hard to make out — this accounts for the spelling differences between my version and the Transcript‘s version.)

Thoughts?

Sources: