Mountainous Baby Names

For Earth Day 2017: mountains, volcanoes, and baby names!

Mountains and Volcanoes:

Afton (Virginia) – 96 girls, 7 boys.  Someone told me that they thought all the Afton‘s in their local preschool were named after Afton Mountain.  Looking at the state data for 2015, 10 of the 96 female Afton‘s (about 10.4%) were born in Virginia.  So, the data does seem to suggest a some geographic concentration.

Aspen (Colorado) – 873 girls (#372) and 87 boys.  This name appears in the top 100 of several states, mostly in or near the Rockies (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, and Oklahoma).

Augusta (Alaska/Canada) – 48 girls.

Denali (Alaska) – 62 girls and 28 boys.  About 13% of the girls named Denali in 2015 were indeed born in Alaska.

Wonder_Lake_and_Denali

Denali / Mt. McKinley, by Denali National Park and Preserve

Elbert (Colorado) – 15 boys.

Erebus – Mt. Erebus is a volcano in Antarctica.  For the adventurous mythology-lover searching for a unique baby name, Erebus is the primordial darkness and an underworld locale.  Although he isn’t in the data, the name of another geographical feature of the Underworld – Acheron – was given to 6 boys in 2015. 

Everest (China / Nepal) – 111 boys and 29 girls were named after the world’s tallest peak in 2015.

Hayes (Alaska) – 524 boys (#539), 26 girls.

Helen (Washington State) – Mt. St. Helens partly exploded in 1980, taking off over 1300 ft of elevation.  Helen ranked #419 in 2015, being given to 757 girls.

Hesperus (Alaska) – Greek personification of the Evening Star (Venus).  In Mythology, Hesperus is the half-brother of PhosphorosPhosphoros means “light-bearer,” and is thus the Greek cognate of Lucifer.

Kea (Hawaii) – Mauna Kea.  Kea last appeared in the SSA birth data in 2012.

Kenya – 307 girls (#892) and 7 boys.  Mt. Kenya: largest in that country, 2nd-largest in Africa after Kilimanjaro.

Logan (Canada) – #14 representing 12862 boys; #394 for 827 girls. Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada, 2nd largest on the continent after Denali / McKinley.  The fact that Logan’s in Canada really makes me think of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.

Lorenzo (Argentina/Chile) – #216 (1834 boys) in the U.S.  Monte San Lorenzo.

McKinley – #380 / 856 girls, plus 73 boys.  McKinley is the recently deposed name for Denali; Denali is the native name.  Regardless, both appeared in Alaska’s top 100 in 2015 and only in the Alaskan top 100. 

Rainier (Washington State) – Also known as Tacoma or Tahoma, this volcano name was given to 34 boys and 8 girls in 2015.

Rosa (Switzerland/Italy) – Monte Rosa.  Ranks #631, given to 448 girls.

Shasta (California) – Only 15 girls in 2015, though this was a popular name in the 70s and 80s.  Read here for more information on the baby name Shasta.

Sunrise,_Mt._Shasta,_California._Shasta_Route._S.P.R.R._(pcard-print-pub-pc-68a)

Mt. Shasta

Sinai (Egypt) – 83 girls.

Stanley (Democratic Republic of the Congo/Uganda) – 363 boys (#688).

Whitney (California) – #640 / 444 girls; also 7 boys.

Ranges:

Alaska – 60 girls.

Amaro (Ethiopia) – 5 boys

Atlas (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) – #490 / 595 boys and 30 girls.  Even as a Greek mythology nerd I think it strange that this name would take off, out of all the classical names out there.  I’ll take it though!

Bridger – 197 boys.  There are actually a couple of Bridger Ranges in Montana and Wyoming, both named for Jim Bridger (of The Revenant fame).  And guess what – Bridger appeared in the 2015 top 100 for both states, but nowhere else!

Jim_Bridger.jpg

Jim Bridger

Carmel (Israel) – 18 girls.

Elias (Alaska/Canada) – #100 / 4062 boys and 10 girls.   Elias ranks higher in Alaska than in every other state except for New Mexico.  (I should note – since Alaska has so few people, their charts have little effect on the national data.  That said, their surroundings really do affect their baby naming.  Aurora (like the phenomenon) is their #3 baby name).

Rocky (North America) – #927 / 229 boys.

Taurus (Turkey) – 16 boys.

Miscellaneous:

Blue* – 31 boys, 20 girls; as in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Cliff – 17 boys. 

Denver – 240 boys (#900) and 197 girls.  It’s impossible to think of the Rockies or the Blue Ridge without mention of the folk singer John Denver. 

Kili – Because Kilimanjaro isn’t a baby name, there’s always the Tolkien dwarf name Kili!  6 boys in 2015.

Ridge – 226 boys (#932).

Sierra – 778 girls (#408).  The Spanish word for “mountain range.” 

What do you think?  Don’t you find the geographic concentration of baby names fascinating?  Even an obscurity like Afton seems to influence its surroundings!  And of course: happy Earth Day!

*I’m aware that Blue is coded purple.  I did that because usage is unisex rather than masculine.

Data source: https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/index.html

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