Star Wars Day 2017

Same image as last year, from this video

Happy Star Wars Day 2017!  May the Fourth be with you…unless you celebrate Revenge of the Fifth?  Whichever side of the Force you prefer, let’s talk about the state of Star Wars baby names in 2017!

On May 4th, 2016, we were just a couple days away from learning the most popular baby names of 2015.  Today, we’re within a week of the 2016 stats.  Because a new Star Wars movie is coming out every year now (and will for the foreseeable future), it’s seriously frustrating that we have to make guesses with the definitive data just around the corner!  That said – when we do have the data, I think we’ll see a decent impact from The Force Awakens on the popular baby names of 2016.  Rogue One might have a little influence, but the 2017 set will better reflect that.

A year ago, we learned that while Episode VII gave a massive boost to the name Kylo in 2015, there weren’t any female baby Reys (that we know of).  This is probably because Force Awakens was released in December – the end of the year, when phenomena have the least time to drastically alter the naming charts.  That said, we already know that 4 Scottish boys* were named Kylo in 2016 (none in 2015).  While we don’t know yet how popular Kylo is in America, it’s fairly safe to assume that it and other names from episode 7 will shine within our 2016 stats.  Rogue One character names, on the other hand, will probably be better reflected by babies born in 2017.

Let’s review the character names most likely to impact the charts, shall we?

The classics:

  • Luke – This popular New Testament name is in the top 30 (Current U.S. rank: #28).  Luke Skywalker barely appeared in Force Awakens, but the sheer hype might influence some parents. 
  • Leia – Current rank: #421.  Princess Leia returned in Episode VII as General Leia Organa.  This name is already rising quickly and will almost certainly continue to do so.  My question – will Leia reach the top 100 by the end of the decade?
  • Harrison – Harrison Ford revived this old-fashioned name when Star Wars first came out in the 70s.  At last count, Harrison ranked #119 in the U.S. and continues to rise.  Considering the actor’s prominent presence in Force Awakens, I wouldn’t be surprised if Harrison cracks the top 100 in the 2016 set. 
  • Carrie – Carrie Fisher passed away at the end of 2016, shortly after the release of Rogue One.  She also featured in Force Awakens, and supposedly finished filming for The Last Jedi (Episode VIII).  Don’t be surprised if Carrie returns to the top 1000 in 2017.  Although this name declines every time the Stephen King tale comes around, I think the actress’s death will give the name a boost.  At last count, only 125 girls were named Carrie.
  • Han – Just 22 boys were named Han in 2015 (and 19 girls…hmm).  Han is close to the German nickname Hans (equivalent to Jack), but the actor’s name has always been a more popular choice with parents than the character’s.
  • Solo – 7 boys in 2015.  Expect to see a few more in the 2016 set.  

At this point you’re probably asking where the prequel names are.  My answer: “it is not a story the Jedi would tell you.”  (In reality, I think we might see more of prequel names in the 2017 data due to the popularity of prequel memes.  Anyway, I’ve written a little about prequel names in last year’s May the Fourth post; still no Jar Jars, yay!  Anakin rose in popularity, though; debuted in 2014 at #960, ranked #912 in 2015.)

The Force Awakens:

  • ReyRey is historically a boys’ name, but as a girls’ name this didn’t even appear in the 2015 set.  Expect to see some in 2016!  (On a side note – I almost convinced my cousin to name her May 4th baby after Rey last year.  She loved it, but her husband wasn’t keen on second middle names!).  If you’d like to know more about this name, check out this post by Maybe It Is Daijirou.
  • Poe Dameron – 8 baby boys were named Poe in 2015.  Fewer than 5 boys (possibly none) were named Poe in 2014, though 5 girls got the name.  Expect to see Poe rise and Dameron debut.
  • Finn – #209.  This was already a trendy baby name before the Force awakened.  It’s possible that some of the Finns in 2015 were named after the John Boyega character, and I wonder how much of a boost there will be in the 2016 list.
  • Kylo Ren – In the year before Episode VII’s release, only 8 boys were named Kylo in the U.S.  At that point, it would have been considered a variation of Kyle.  Then, in 2015, there were 35 boys named Kylo.  Despite a December release and the villainy of Kylo Ren, parents immediately latched onto this name!  My question – could enough parents of babies born in 2016 have chosen this name to make it a top 1000 debut?  We’ll find out soon enough.  Meanwhile, the same number of boys were named Ren in 2015 as they were in 2014. 

Rogue One:

  • Jyn Erso – A new name on everyone’s mind!  There might be some in the 2016 set; although Rogue One also had an end-of-year release, I think the name Jyn Erso was touted around for several months before we finally got to see who she was.  Side note: Does anyone else wonder if we’ll start seeing Jynnifer as a SW-inspired alternative to Jennifer?
  • Galen Erso – Jyn’s father.  Galen (pr. gay-lin) is an Ancient Greek name associated with medicine.  47 boys were named Galen in 2015.
  • Cassian Andor – Cassian is related to the popular Roman name Cassius (ranks #646) through Cassianus.  19 boys were named Cassian in 2015, and I for one would love to see this name take off.
  • Orson Krennic The name Orson is famous because of Orson Welles and Orson Scott Card; 65 boys were named this in 2015.
  • Saw Gerrera – 31 boys were named Saw in 2015. 
  • Bodhi – #499 in U.S.  This name would continue to rise with or without Star Wars!
  • ChirrutI never saw this name before the movie, but maybe it’ll debut in 2017? 

What are your favorite Star Wars Names?  Would you name a child after a character? 

*The Scottish baby name stats can be found here:  Don’t let the dates in the URL fool you – 2015 and 2016 are on the page too.  

**The American data comes from the Social Security Administration.

Below the Top 1000, Part 44 (Boys)

Well, I’m kind of sad.  Although this isn’t the last post of this series, this is the last post about the rare boys’ names of 2015.  The public American baby name data only includes names used 5 or more times in a given year so as to preserve privacy of individuals with unique and extremely rare names.  We’re not the only country that does this; I know the data for England and Wales has a 3 person threshold.  If I could access American names down to 2 or 3 uses, I’d post about those too.  While there’s a part of me that wants those extra names for historical research, I’m grateful for the massive and wonderful repository of names that we can access!

So here they are – the very bottom of the pot.  As always, the data comes from the Social Security Administration, and I’ve color-coded the names based on whether their usage is overwhelmingly masculine, feminine, or unisex

  • 5 boys: Abas, Acesyn, Adedeji, Admire, Agape*, Akhilleus, Albino, Aldren, Aleph, Algernon, Alireza, Alois, Amalio, Amazing, Amedeo, Amillion, Amorian, Andros, Angelos, Anias, Anikin, Antolin, Antonin, Aous, Arael, Aragon, Arfan, Ariq, Arles, Armor, Arne, Ashok, Astor, Astraeus, Aswin, Auburn, Aureliano, Aureus, Axiom, Azeez, Baby, Baelfire, Barker, Barnett, Barton, Basem, Beckley, Bemnet, Benjerman, Berenger, Bernhard, Bertrand, Bocephus, Bolden, Bond, Bourne, Bremen, Brennus, Brolin, Bronco, Bronxton, Bryken, Bucky, Bulmaro, Caldwell, Camp, Carper, Cathal, Cathan, Cavalli, Chaitanya, Chambers, Chanoch, Chaun, Chengyu, Cherokee, Chidiebube, Chigozie, Chinua, Chozen, Chrisangel, Christophe, Clash, Coburn, Compton, Conroy, Corleone, Corvus, Cotter, Curry, Cypher, Damascus, Dang, Dannon, Dariush, Delroy, Denari, Dermot, Desiderio, Doroteo, Durham, Duvall, Dyce, Eaton, Efthimios, Ehab, Eldridge, Elikai, Elisey, Emerich, England, Famous, Favor, Fender, Fennec, Finland, Flex, Forbes, Forever, Franciszek, Faser, Furious, Gaddiel, Gadsden, Galaxy, Galloway, Garcia, Garvey, God, Godfred, Godson, Goliath, Govinda, Grafton, Granite, Granville, Haile, Hannes, Hanzalah, Harker, Harshit, Harvest, Hemingway, Hernando, Holbrook, Holter, Holy, Honour, Hopper, Iago, Ichigo, Imre, Isileli, Ivaniel, Jabraylen, Jackman, Jaffar, Janek, Janniel, Janxiel, Jayanth, Jream, Jumming, Kajetan, Kalahikiola, Karbon, Keani, Kekeli, Kel, Kenard, Khalfani, Khance, Kidd, Kingcharles, Kino, Kipling, Kiyoshi, Knoll, Ko, Kostas, Kronos, Kuno, Lacy, Laithen, Lamberto, Laughlin, Librado, Little, Logic, Lot, Luthor, Mackinnon, Majestic, Mali, Manhattan, Mantra, Marios, Martial, Mcarthur, Mccormick, Melchor, Minor, Moe, Moritz, Mortimer, Murdock, Navarro, Nemo, Nil, Nix, Nunzio, Odie, Oliber, Osbourne, Pacer, Petro, Philbert, Pier, Placido, Portland, Precieux, Precious, Priam, Princecharles, Prinz, Quince, Quirino, Rainn, Ralf, Rangler, Rawley, Rayburn, Reason, Renegade, Rev, Richardson, Rodricus, Romelio, Rostislav, Roux, Rutger, Sabriel, Salinger, Saviour, Sergei, Severyn, Sham, Sherwood, Silviano, Sircharles, Son, Spyridon, Statham, Stellar, Stephanos, Stevens, Success, Suede, Tab, Taddeo, Taliesin, Tasman, Temple, Tofilo, Tesla, Timothee, Tolliver, Topher, Traden, Trillian, Triumph, Uzias, Vegeta, Venicio, Vinton, Whitfield, Win, Xavy, Yahweh, Yamajesty, Zaccheus, Zolton

* Agape (pr. ah-gah-pay or uh-gah-pee) is an Ancient Greek girls’ name meaning “love.”  I don’t know why Agape only appeared as a boys’ name in 2015, unless it’s pronounced with two syllables like the actual word “agape.” 

**You may have noticed that today’s selection includes Kingcharles, Princecharles, and Sircharles

***Both God and Yahweh were given to 5 baby boys in 2015.  I worry about the potential for offense…

What do you think?  Do you have any favorites or least-favorite names here?  Let me know in the comments!

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The “Ric” Element

“Ric” is a Germanic element which means “rule” or “power.”  Some of my favorite classic and pretentiously archaic (I mean that in a good way!) names belong to this category.  The classics of the list are kingly, but evoke understated elegance and responsibility.  The archaic gems are like dusty tomes and their old-book aroma –  either utterly enchanting or utterly off-putting to people, but the enchanted will treasure and keep them.  I’m excited because some of the more obscure names are starting to spread in usage or conversation!

For this post, I’ve looked for names containing this element, their meanings, and their rankings in both the U.S. and England and Wales.  Behind the Name is my source for definitions and the U.S. rankings (which in turn come from the Social Security Administration – sometimes I prefer the formatting on BtN, but it’s the same info).  The British rankings came from the Office of National Statistics.  I also used the name directory at Nancy’s Baby Names to check the trends of rarer names.

Henry – #29 in U.S., #13 in England and Wales; rising.  Henry is one of those names that’s never even left the top 200 yet somehow feels fresh and renewed.  According to Behind the Name, Henry derives from a name meaning “home ruler.”


Henry VIII – The most famous Henry?

Richard – #155 in U.S., #256 in England / Wales; falling in U.S. but rose in England and Wales between 2014 and 2015.  Another royal name, meaning: “brave power.”  Honestly, I want to see this name make his comeback.  If Arthur and Walter are returning, why can’t Richard?  I grant that a certain unfortunate nickname is a hindrance, but apparently not enough to throw Richard out of the U.S. top 200 just yet.

Derek – #210 in U.S.  Only 15 boys in England and Wales.  According to Behind the Name, Derek ultimately derives from Theodoric (see below).

Frederick – #576 in U.S., #76 in England / Wales; rising.  Meaning: “peaceful ruler.”  I haven’t written on Frederick, but I have a profile on his lovely feminine counterpart Frederica.

Emery – #731 for boys (U.S.); only 4 boys in E/W.  Far more popular as a boys’ name, this derives from the older name Emmerich, which BtN suggests derives from multiple ancient “ric” names.  

Roderick – 185 boys in 2015; 3 boys in E/W.  In U.S., rose slightly between 2014 and 2015.  Meaning: “Famous power.”

Alaric – 181 boys in 2015 (U.S.); 4 boys in E/W.  Alaric is rising in U.S.  Meaning: “Ruler of all”

Aubrey – 147 boys; #779 in E/W (41 boys).  In U.S., rose slightly from 2014-2015.  Aubrey the men’s name and Aubrey the women’s name have different origins.  If a masculine name, it comes from Alberich.  If feminine, it comes from Alberada…which is most decidedly not a “ric” name!

Godric – 40 in 2015 (U.S.); rising.  Meaning: “power of God.”  Godric Gryffindor is the namesake most people think of, though there’s also the never-canonized “Saint” Godric of Finchale.

Edric – 39 in 2015 (U.S.); rising but volatile.  Variation of Anglo-Saxon Eadric.  The element “ed” refers to wealth, so this name should mean something akin to “wealthy rule.”

Emeric – 27 in 2015; Down one from 2014, but the general trend is still upwards.  Like Emery, Emeric derives from Emmerich.

Ulrich – 16 in 2015; rising.  Derives from Odalric; BtN defines “odal” as an element meaning “heritage.”

Oberon / Auberon – 11 boys were named Oberon in the U.S; rising.  6 American boys were named Auberon in 2015 (debut!) and 3 in E/W.  These names are closely related to Aubrey.

Aldrich / Aldric – 9 boys named Aldrich, 8 named Aldric; both spellings are all over the place, neither up nor down continuing for many years.  “Ald” means old; Aldric = “old + power/rule.”  Aldrich Killian was the antagonist in Iron Man 3.

Æthelric / Ethelric / Adalric – Means “noble power.”  Who else is up for a revival of the letter “Æ?” 

Alberich – Meaning: “elf power.”  If you played any of the Harry Potter video games in the early 2000s, you might remember the name Alberic Grunnion.  This name also has a mythological history.

Baldric – Can mean “bold rule.”  A baldric is special kind of belt.  

Leofric – This means something like “dear power.” A famous bearer is Lady Godiva’s husband, Leofric of Mercia.

Wulfric – “Wolf + power/rule.” Harry Potter fans will remember this is one of Dumbledore’s middle names (Full name: Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore)

Theodoric – Means “ruler of the people.”  With Derek deriving from this, and Theodore becoming wildly popular…can we give a little love to Theodoric?  Not that Theodoric is even related to Theodore

While I’ve always loved Frederick and Henry, I think my current favorite “ric” names are Wulfric, Leofric, and Godric.

Do you have a favorite “ric” name?  Let me know if it’s not on the list!  And which ones do you think will become more popular?      

Below the Top 1000, Part 43 (Girls)

It’s May 1st and all I keep thinking is “any day now!”  Any day now, we learn America’s most popular baby names of 2016!  

While we wait, I still need to finish up this post series.  So today, here are some girls’ names used only 6 times in 2015!  After this post, there are only two more for the 2015 set.  As always, the data comes from the Social Security Administration

  • 6 girls: Aafia, Aaliyahmarie, Abelina, Abhigna, Abiola, Abishai, Achsah, Acire, Acsa, Adaleia, Adaobi, Adelais, Adelayda, Adelinne, Adlen, Adonia, Adorabella, Adream, Adriann, Adriyanna, Aeon, Afrin, Aggie, Airelle, Aketzali, Aki, Alaythia, Alegria, Aleska, Alette, Alexine, Allinson, Amabelle, Amanat, Amarielle, Amelina, Amitis, Anaiis, Andalucia, Aneri, Anique, Anistynn, Anmol, Annapurna, Annelies, Anthem, Any, Aqua, Ardis, Aretzy, Atenea, Athaliah, Athens, Avamaria, Avangelina, Ayano, Azelya, Bar, Basmah, Bemnet, Bennie, Berea, Bess, Bettina, Bettylou, Blakesley, Bleu, Branwen, Braylah, Breindel, Breyer, Briceyda, Brittish, Brizeida, Brynja, Bryony, Calionna, Callalily, Candi, Caragh, Carden, Carrera, Catherina, Chaise, Chanley, Cherith, Chinelo, Chiziterem, Chlo, Christabelle, Christiane, Christmas, Cicilia, Cipriana, Circe, Clemence, Cloris, Crawford, Cristabel, Cymone, Dari, Davinity, Deidre, Delight, Delphia, Dheeksha, Dilcia, Dilreet, Dione, Donia, Dorthy, Draizy, Dreamer, Drusilla, Dylana, Eastynn, Eddie, Edelin, Eevie, Eilis, Elidia, Elleri, Elovie, Elvina, Elzie, Emelda, Enedina, Enza, Eponine, Erendira, Ernestina, Esbeydi, Esmarie, Eula, Evanora, Evans, Everlyse, Evienne, Fardosa, Fatimazahra, Fatime, Fauna, Fedora, Felicitas, Finesse, Fiorela, Florina, Frannie, Free, Gal, Galadriel, Galena, Geordyn, Gloriann, Glorie, Goretti, Gracianna, Graylynn, Griselle, Gwenith, Haddi, Harshitha, Heloisa, Henchy, Hermelinda, Hildegard, Hoor, Horizon, Hurley, Imunique, Irelynd, Israella, Itali, Itzamara, Iysis, Jadesola, Jakeline, Javelin, Jaylissa, Jerusalen, Jessabella, Joaquina, Joliet, Josefa, Kalliopi, Kalypso, Kasmira, Katarzyna, Katey, Kearston, Keslee, Keylianis, Khaleesia, Kiki, Krupa, Kween, Kyriel, Lashawn, Laurielle, Lazara, Leeloo, Leontine, Libny, Lilijana, Lima, Livinia, Lucilia, Lujane, Luthien, Lydiana, Lyfe, Lysandra, Macelynn, Maebh, Maeby, Magdaline, Maiden, Majestic, Makenzley, Mako, Mandolin, Mariabelen, Maybellene, Mayerli, Meriwether, Miamore, Micheline, Michiko, Mieka, Momo, Moniece, Moxley, Muneera, Mylove, Nalleli, Nanko, Natacha, Natividad, Natsumi, Nazarene, Nelda, Nimsy, Nimue, Ninasimone, Niranjana, Noire, Normajean, North, Olivet, Omunique, Oonagh, Ottilia, Pallavi, Pasqualina, Patti, Pax, Pelagia, Pennington, Petal, Prairie, Price, Pristine, Priyal, Purpose, Quetzal, Reis, Remedi, Rhowyn, Riata, Riese, Rockelle, Rocky, Rolanda, Romilly, Ronda, Roosevelt, Rosary, Rousey, Ruchama, Sabel, Sabrine, Sachiko, Saga, Sakshi, Sandrine, Sarang, Sibella, Silje, Sondra, Sophelia, Sophronia, Sorella, Sosefina, Stellar, Sumayo, Syriana, Taitlyn, Tallis, Tansy, Temilayo, Tessanne, Theophilia, Thyme, Trillian, Umika, Valor, Valora, Velvet, Veronique, Victoriana, Wellesley, Xanthe, Yoltzin, Yumiko, Yunalesca, Zeal, Zephyra, Zinachidi, Zoel, Zsazsa, Zsofia, Zuleima

Thoughts, favorites?  Are there any names here that you absolutely hate?  Let me know in the comments!  Me, I can’t wait to see how these do in the 2016 set. 

P.S. I have a twitter poll up about the name Grayson.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  The poll will remain open for another two or three days.  Naturally, it’s anonymous.

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