Amadeus is one of a few names that have really been on my mind lately, and if the trends are anything to go by, this is a name to watch.
Amadeus is a very rare Latin-inspired name. Although grammatically incorrect by Latin’s standards,* it means something like “Love God.” I usually pronounce it “Ah-ma-day-us” or “Ah-ma-day-oos” – not “Ah-ma-dee-us.” There are also the Italian Amadeo and Amedeo, French Amedée, and the feminine Amadea!
Amadeus is mostly known to people as Mozart’s middle name (it’s actually a Latin cognate of Theophilus, which was his baptismal middle; see here). Indeed, this name didn’t even enter the American stats until after the filming of Amadeus, which came out in 1984. The next year Amadeus made his first appearance in the American stats with 11 uses. Fast forward thirty years; in 2015, there were more baby boys given this forename than in any year previously (66…I was elated!)! That is after 40 in 2014, 54 in 2013, 51 in 2012, and 36 in 2011. For most of last decade, there were usually between 20 and 30 of them, and in the 1990s most years saw usage in the teens. This name might not be more popular each year than in the previous year, but it is definitely trending upwards over time. Notably, 2015 also saw 24 boys named Amadeo and 5 girls named Amadea.
The movie is fantastic, by the way, and who can deny the brilliance of Mozart as a musician? Admittedly the cinematic characterization portrays him as immature and often crude, but if I remember correctly he mostly went by “Wolfie” in the film. Amadeus itself is an appellation with gravity and elegance. When I encounter this name I do not see the jokester of movie imagination, but instead hear the Requiem and its inspiring magnificence.
What do you think of Amadeus? Do you think it will continue to rise in popularity?
*Amadeus doesn’t decline correctly in Latin. My immediate thought is that it should be “ama deum,” but there might be some other more correct translation.