How popular is the baby name Wanda 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 Wanda.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Wanda


Posts that Mention the Name Wanda

Pop culture baby name game results, 2021

Baby name game results, 2021

Which of the names in the 2021 pop culture baby name game saw higher usage last year?

The following names increased in usage from 2020 to 2021. They’re ordered by relative size of increase.

NameActionIncrease (%)’20 to ’21 usage
Lilibet*re-emerged200%, at least? to 12 baby girls
Caelebincreased200%5 to 15 baby boys
Rayaincreased130%274 to 631 baby girls
Icedebuted125%, at least? to 9 baby boys
Wandaincreased112%17 to 36 baby girls
Jovitaincreased60%5 to 8 baby girls
Suniincreased60%5 to 8 baby girls
Kananincreased59%102 to 162 baby boys
Mykaylaincreased59%17 to 27 baby girls
Letoincreased50%6 to 9 baby boys
Sterlingincreased49%122 to 182 baby girls
Sylvie*increased46%351 to 514 baby girls
Daphne*increased46%749 to 1,097 baby girls
Divinity*increased33%43 to 57 baby girls
Sylvesterincreased31%52 to 68 baby boys
Augustincreased29%2,423 to 3,133 baby boys
Renniere-emerged25%, at least? to 5 baby boys
Enderincreased22%103 to 126 baby boys
Ridleyincreased16%79 to 92 baby boys
Jupiterincreased8%119 to 129 baby girls
Phineasincreased7%121 to 129 baby boys
Khaiincreased5%21 to 22 baby girls
Simon*increased1%1,404 to 1,423 baby boys

*Suggestions made by elbowin, k8eshore, and KM

Chapel and La’akea were near-misses — both made gains, but for the wrong genders.

The following names did not increase in usage from 2020 to 2021. These names saw equal usage, less usage, or weren’t in the data at all.

Amanda, Ariarne, Atreides, Chani, Cruella, Dolph, Hidilyn, Ikaris, Janja, Javicia, Jeh, Kenna, Kizzmekia, Lalisa, Makkari, Mare, Mauz, Mecole, Nakano, Nevin, Ozuna, Rauw, Robinette, Sersi, Shacarri, Shein, Swavy, Tessica, Tianwen, Warrior

And here are the late bloomers — names that were part of the 2020 game, but didn’t rise/debut until 2021.

  • Win re-emerged with 14 baby boys.
  • Kaori increased by 106%
  • Gervonta debuted with 8 baby boys
  • Theodosia increased by 75%
  • Anaia increased by 71%
  • Wednesday increased by 47%
  • Hamilton increased by 30%
  • Lenin increased by 19%
  • Liberty increased by 8%
  • Zaya increased by 7%

What are your thoughts on these results? Which name surprised you the most?

[Disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated. Others were influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. In all cases, I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence.]

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2021

Happy birthday, Elvis!

Tomorrow would have been Elvis Presley’s 86th birthday. (Happy birthday, Elvis!)

You guys know what that means…time for the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Think back to the pop culture of 2021 — movies, music, TV shows, online shows, social media, video games, sports, news, cultural events, politics, products, brands, etc.

Which of these things had an influence on U.S. baby names, do you think?

More specifically, which baby names will see higher usage (or appear for the very first time) in the 2021 U.S. baby name data thanks to 2021 pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas…

Plus…

  • Names from the movie Eternals (like Sersi, Ikaris, Makkari)
  • Names from the movie Dune (like Chani, Atreides, Leto)
  • Turkish names from any of the Turkish dramas being aired in Spanish on Univision/Telemundo
  • Names from any new sci-fi/fantasy series (like Shadow and Bone, The Nevers, The Wheel of Time)

Some of the names mentioned in the 2020 game might be see increases in 2021 as well.

What other names should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment!

I’ll post the game results after the SSA releases the 2021 baby name data (in May of 2022).

Popular baby names in Northern Ireland, 2020

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland last year were Grace and James.

Here are the Northern Ireland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Grace, 176 baby girls
  2. Emily, 146
  3. Isla, 144
  4. Fiadh, 138
  5. Olivia, 133
  6. Sophia, 125
  7. Sophie, 123
  8. Amelia, 115
  9. Lucy, 112
  10. Freya and Ella, 101 each (tie)

Boy Names

  1. James, 190 baby boys
  2. Jack, 175
  3. Noah, 174
  4. Charlie, 169
  5. Oliver, 134
  6. Thomas, 119
  7. Finn, 112 (tie)
  8. Theo, 112 (tie)
  9. Harry, 111 (tie)
  10. Cillian, 111 (tie)

In the girls’ top 10, Fiadh, Lucy and Freya replaced Anna and Evie.

In the boys’ top 10, Finn, Theo, and Cillian replaced Jacob, Daniel, and Alfie.

Now, Northern Ireland doesn’t technically release data on all baby names…but their downloadable tables do include two extra alphabetized sets of names below those that were given to 3 babies. My hunch is that these were the names given to 2 babies and 1 baby, respectively, and that the numbers/rankings were simply stripped out.

So, going with that theory, here are some of the names from the second alphabetized set (the names that I’m assuming were used just once in Northern Ireland last year):

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Annagold, Butjilo, Castalia, Cobhlaith, Dhana, Elmamay, Fodla, Ghalia, Jonatha, Krystal-Lake, Lorcagh, Madmazell, Nurvi, Ozde, Riabh, Saorfhlaith, Sauleja, Taleen, Totka, Vespa, Wanda, ZilvaniaAdvencio, Alfadil, Boss, Cannis, Cumhai, Dualtagh, Eimantas, Elnino, Fhaolain, Gazza, Herkus, Jailandas, Liadhnan, Mitko, Nugmanali, Ocean-Gray, Rathlan, Saichairi, Sujoy, Togi, Vivaan, Weller, Zaslan

NISRA didn’t release the 2019 data during 2020, so I never wrote a post with the 2019 rankings. But I did write about the 2018 rankings, which were topped by Grace and James/Noah.

Next door in the Republic of Ireland, the top names of 2020 were Grace and Jack.

Source: Baby Names – NISRA

Where did the baby name Wondra come from in 1963?

wondra, flour, baby name, 1960s

Ever wonder why the name Wondra started popping up in the U.S. baby name data in 1963?

  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: 5 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1965: 5 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1964: 8 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1963: 8 baby girls named Wondra [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted

The similar name Wanda was still seeing strong usage in the mid-1960s, so no doubt it helped set the scene for Wondra.

But Wondra emerged for a specific reason. And that reason has to do with flour, believe it or not.

In 1963, the General Mills company, longtime maker of Gold Medal Flour (see Norita), introduced a new version of the flour: Gold Medal Wondra. It was a fine, “instantized” flour created through a process called agglomeration. Instead of forming clumps in liquid, Wondra flour would quickly dissolve — making it useful for gravies and sauces. It also required no sifting.

Most importantly, there was a marketing campaign with a multi-million dollar budget (“the largest ever placed behind a new General Mills product”) that started in mid-August.

Gold Medal’s parent, General Mills, is allocating to [Wondra] one of the biggest new-product budgets ever established. On the schedule are big ads in 175 dailies, repeated commercials on over 150 TV stations, plugs on major network shows (“Empire,” Concentration,” “The Judy Garland Show”) and mentions on newscasts and other daytime TV programs.

After the name dropped out the data in 1967, it returned one last time, in 1979:

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 7 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1978: unlisted

This was thanks to an unrelated product with the same name: Wondra skin lotion, introduced by P&G during 1977 and apparently on the shelves until at least the mid-1980s.

Wondra lotion — and many of the other name-influencing products I’ve blogged about, like Monchel, Chardon, and Drene — may be gone, but Wondra instant flour is still available today. In fact, according to Kitchn, “the brand is so widespread [that] the name Wondra tends to reference any instant flour when called for in recipes.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Wondra?

Sources:

Famous Female Names from 1916

Over at The Public Domain Review, I found a collection of 51 novelty playing cards — several incomplete decks, mixed together — from 1916 that feature the images and names of popular movie actresses from that era.

Below are all the first names from those cards, plus where those names happened to rank in the 1916 baby name data. (Two-thirds of them were in the top 100, and over 95% fell inside the top 1,000.)

  • Anita (ranked 151st in 1916)
  • Anna (7th)
  • Beatriz (1,281st)
  • Bessie (56th)
  • Blanche (89th)
  • Clara (39th)
  • Cleo (180th)
  • Constance (213th)
  • Dolores (146th)
  • Dorothy (3rd)
  • Edith (28th)
  • Ella (81st)
  • Ethel (25th)
  • Fannie (116th)
  • Florence (14th)
  • Geraldine (94th)
  • Gertrude (35th)
  • Grace (26th)
  • Helen (2nd)
  • Julia (46th)
  • June (86th)
  • Kate (346th)
  • Kathlyn (731st)
  • Lenore (340th)
  • Lillian (16th)
  • Louise (18th)
  • Mabel (65th)
  • Marguerite (78th)
  • Mary (1st)
  • May (190th)
  • Mildred (6th)
  • Myrtle (58th)
  • Nellie (61st)
  • Norma (111th)
  • Olive (132nd)
  • Ormi (4,982nd)
  • Pauline (33rd)
  • Pearl (57th)
  • Ruth (5th)
  • Viola (59th)
  • Violet (83rd)
  • Vivian (77th)
  • Wanda (138th)

Which of the names above do you like best?

Source: Moriarty Playing Cards (1916) – The Public Domain Review