March Name Sightings

It’s the last day of the month…time for a rare name round-up!  Below you’ll see the rarest names I spotted in my community this March.  The children’s names really shine like the sun, though that honor also goes to Helia further below…excuse the pun.

Children/Pre-teens:

  • Hill (b) – just 5 boys were named Hill in 2016.  A rather unusual geographic name which I’ve only previously seen as a surname.  There’s always the off-chance that it could be short for Hilary, but that died out as a men’s name in the 1990s.
  • Anoushka – 12 girls in 2016.  This name was mildly trendy a decade ago, peaking at 58 girls in 2008.  Anoushka is sometimes treated as a variant of a Russian nickname for Anna, though one of its most famous bearers (Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi Shankar) is decidedly not Russian.  I don’t think the Anoushka I encountered is either…I’m wondering if there’s another language source for the name.
  • Tryphena – 5 girls in 2016.  Tryphena is an extremely rare Biblical Greek name!

Other sightings:

  • Helia – 6 girls in 2016.  Helia is the feminine form of Helios, which is the name of the ancient Greek sun god.
  • Dellabell (deceased) – Dellabell has never appeared in SSA birth data, though if you add an ‘e’ to the end I can see where it could fit in with current naming trends.  Della was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, is on the rise again, and was given to 247 girls in 2016.
  • Miroslav (middle-aged) – 8 boys in 2016.  Miroslav is a classic, medieval Slavic name that is still popular (though falling) in the Czech Republic.  The feminine form Miroslava is slightly more popular in the U.S.; 16 girls were given the name in 2016.
  • Eryck – unusual spelling of Eric, didn’t chart in 2016 (last time was 2015).  However, Deryck and Maveryck both appeared in the data.
  • Alleyne – Wow, it last charted in 1939!  I can’t tell if this is meant as a variant of Ellen or an older feminine form of Alan.
  • Tierney – 62 girls in 2016.  The given name Tierney came about in the 1950s, and it’s still occasionally used.  Tierney peaked in 1993, when it was given to 172 girls.

Thoughts?  Favorites?  Have you spotted any rare and awesome names this month?  Let me know!

Previous rare name round-ups in 2018:

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Boys’ Names Popular in Only One State (2016)

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A couple of days ago, I posted a list of girls’ names that were popular in only one state in 2016.  Here are the boys’ names!  This list is shorter – there were 78 girls’ names compared to 54 boys’ names – but there were almost as many states with such outliers.  D.C. is included too (since the SSA throws their top 100 in the state section), which is great because its inhabitants have their own distinct naming style!

Alaska: Peter, Kyler, Paxson,* Jesse, Tobias

Arizona: Francisco

California: Eric, Victor

D.C.: Felix, Oscar, Amari

Florida: Bryan

Hawaii: Kainoa,* Keanu, Kaimana,* Kekoa,* Jax, Makana*

Kentucky: Jonah

Massachusetts: Aidan

Michigan: Ali

Minnesota: Charlie

Mississippi: Princeton, Timothy, Jayceon, Peyton, Braylen

Montana: Colt, Zane, Gage

New Jersey: Jake, Steven, Jeremy

New Mexico: Andres, Zayden, Emilio, Iker

New York: Abraham, Muhammad

North Dakota: Clayton, Zander

South Dakota: Jett, Briggs

Utah: Beckham, Daxton, Porter, Milo, Benson

Vermont: Marshall

West Virginia: Jase

Wyoming: Corbin, Holden, Tanner, Walter

The names above with asterisks after them (*) were popular in their respective states but rare nationally.  Just like it was with the girls’ names, Hawaii is responsible for the bulk of these.  Alaska boasts the only other such name, Paxson; 13 Paxson‘s were born in Alaska that year, out of just 34 nationally!  Do you have any ideas about that one?

The swaps particularly interest me:

  • Bryan was only in Maryland’s top 100 in 2015, but was only popular in Florida in 2016.
  • Steven switched from New York’s top 100 in ’15 to New Jersey’s in ’16.
  • Kyler moved from Montana to Alaska.
  • Aidan went from Rhode Island to Massachusetts.
  • Victor moved from Texas to California.
  • Milo from Vermont to Utah

For further reference, you can also compare the names on this list with the ones on the boys’ list for 2015 I can’t wait to look at the state and territorial data for 2017, but unfortunately I don’t think that’s released at the same time as the national data.  It wasn’t last year.

Thoughts?  Favorites?  Let me know! 

Rare ‘M’ Names for Girls

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‘M’ is a marvelous letter for girls’ names…and yes, there are a few girls named Marvelous!  It’s an extremely common initial, and just because Mary‘s no longer the most popular name around doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of trendsetters to make up for it.

Here are some of the most interesting rare ‘M’ names for girls, using the latest-available (2016) data from the Social Security Administration:

  • 200-261 girls named: Magdalena, Marlowe, Mattie, Mercedes, Miley, Malka, Maryjane, Malani, Marian
  • 150-199: Marlene, Marcella, Mireya, Mika, Mayra, Mariella, Malak, Maite, Marin, Maritza, Marion, Margaux, Marielle, Maribel
  • 100-149: Milagros, Marceline, Martina, Maura, Magdalene, Miabella, Melinda, Malina, Majesty, Montana, Margarita, May, Melania, Mazie, Murphy, Mariajose, Millicent, Mona, Melia, Moira, Makiyah, Maple, Malky, Marianne, Mariel, Merida
  • 50-99: Manha, Maelyn, Marigold, Marlo, Mayte, Mindy, Marwa, Malika, Mahogany, Mandy, Mirabelle, Marlena, Mildred, Marguerite, Marbella, Magaly, Mariama, Misha, Mabry, Miliana, Marla, Maven, Manuela, Minerva, Minnie, Mirabella, Marlen, Maris, Mayar, Monique, Malaika, Meira, Mishka, Moana, Maja, Milla, Markayla, Mirabel, Maha, Mei, Michal, Monae, Meara, Makyla, Mattison
  • 25-49: Mahira, Mayeli, Moxie, Monet, Maida, Mannat, Marcia, Mea, Miamor, Mirielle, Misty, Maeva, Mischa, Mahi, Maureen, Morrigan, Mayleen, Mishika, Mahnoor, Marcy, Mariangel, Mazzy, Minha, Mahalia, Makeda, Marleny, Mali, Manal, Marcelina, Miri, Muna, Myasia, Mariafernanda, Medha, Meklit, Mithra, Maanvi, Maimouna, Marietta, Maybelle, Mecca, Mela, Merry, Miesha, Mulan, Maram, Mirella, Meher, Melaina, Marykate, Matilde, Matilyn, Meryem, Meryl, Mesa, Minna, Munira, Meenakshi, Mehar, Melrose, Mihika, Minka, Mahla, Marnie, Mireille, Medina, Menucha, Maelle, Mahina, Mairead, Mattea, Minahil
  • 10-24: Mathilde, Mumtaz, Madelaine, Maila, Maile, Malone, Manar, Maricruz, Marsha, Macklyn, Mamie, Margeaux, Mccall, Manasvi, Manya, Mariamawit, Masha, Maybelline, Muriel, Mahealani, Maisley, Manahil, Marylou, Mele, Merari, Mimi, Mora, Mahari, Marvel, Meg, Mica, Magda, Mairin, Maleeya, Marita, Miami, Mihira, Mirai, Morgana, Mosley, Muntaha, Madai, Mahathi, Manaia, Marcelle, Maude, Mayrani, Mayumi, Meerab, Midori, Misk, Moksha, Myangel, Myanna, Mahima, Man, Mana, Memory, Mitzi, Myrna, Madigan, Mariaeduarda, Marit, Mckinsley, Melek, Mio, Miroslava, Modesty, Maat, Maraki, Margie, Mariposa, Marvella, Mililani, Munachimso, Malu, Mar, Marielys, Mattingly, Maxima, Mccartney, Marifer, Mariko, Marilla, Marti, Mehr, Meztli, Mialynn, Milica, Mindel, Misa, Madiha, Maiara, Makaylynn, Maneh, Manreet, Maranatha, Marivel, Marlys, Marzia, Massiel, Maxie, Maymuna, Metztli, Miamore, Mileidy, Misaki, Mitra, Moniece, Mubina, Mushka, Muskan, Mylene, Maelys, Mahek, Mahrosh, Mairim, Mais, Malala, Malan, Maniya, Marianny, Marika, Markella, Markie, Mayerly, Mayim, Mazal, Melba, Meta, Metzli, Mirren, Mishti, Missy, Miyonna, Miyu, Muntas, Muslima
  • 9: Mahaley, Mala, Malley, Manisha, Manvi, Manvitha, Marabelle, Mavery, Mazzie, Megyn, Meliana, Miakoda, Miamarie, Milian, Misheel, Miyako, Modesireoluwa, Moorea, Morena, Morireoluwa, Muntaz, Mushtaq, My, Mylynn
  • 8: Maebh, Maroska, Marvelous, Maryori, Mavi, Mawa, Mayela, Mayerlin, Mayukah, Medley, Mehak, Mehreen, Melida, Meridian, Merlina, Michelina, Midna, Milove, Mirha, Mishita, Mitzy, Miwa, Mizuki, Momina, Morelia, Mukta, Munachi, Murielle, Mykelti, Myreen
  • 7: Macelyn, Maclaren, Madonna, Maedot, Magaby, Mahati, Mahera, Mairi, Maithili, Maitland, Maiza, Makalya, Malajah, Manahal, Mane, Mansirat, Marai, Marciana, Marisabel, Marjan, Marry, Marseille, Marshay, Maui, Maybellene, Maydelin, Melora, Merolla, Mihrimah, Mija, Mijoy, Milenka, Milka, Mireia, Miski, Missouri, Mo, Momo, Momoka, Monalisa, Mone, Moon, Moyinoluwa, Mulani
  • 6: Madrona, Maggiemae, Maham, Mahnaz, Maislyn, Maize, Mamediarra, Mandalynn, Marabella, Marajade, Mariadejesus, Mariette, Maripaz, Markia, Markita, Martyna, Matylda, Mauriana, Mercury, Mercygrace, Merveille, Mette, Mi, Milcah, Milianys, Minh, Mithila, Miyuki, Mumina, Mystery
  • 5: Macaria, Madge, Madrid, Magenta, Mahelet, Malay, Malibu, Manda, Manon, Manroop, Mao, Marayla, Marine, Marliz, Martavia, Maryamawit, Maryland, Marysue, Mathea, Maudie, Maysoon, Mazelynn, Mccarty, Mckinney, Mehjabeen, Mehnaz, Mehrimah, Meiling, Meital, Meixi, Melanin, Melat, Melita, Melodia, Meltem, Mercia, Meriwether, Mersiha, Mezmariah, Miaamor, Mieko, Miette, Min, Minami, Mini, Misbah, Mishaal, Misti, Mofetoluwa, Molina, Motunrayo, Moyosoreoluwa, Mumtahina, Munisa, Musfirah, Muska, Muyi, Myaire, Myami, Myesha, Myna, Myrtle, Mystic, Mythili, Mythiri

What’s your favorite ‘M’ name for a girl?  Is it on this list?  Let me know!

Girls’ Names Popular in Only One State (2016)

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Last week I talked about names that are also states.  Today, I’m listing the girls’ names that were in the top 100 in only one state or Washington, D.C. in 2016!  Compare them to the ones in the 2015 list, which had more names because of a difference in formatting (it seems to me that lists for 2015 reflected more ties at the bottom, while the 2016 lists cut off exactly at the 100th name).  Anyways, I’ll post the list of boys’ names later this week.

Alaska: Anastasia, Heidi, Laura, River

Arizona: Jocelyn

Arkansas: Maggie

California: Alina, Angela, Giselle

Connecticut: Vivienne

D.C.: Madeleine, Royal, Catherine, Margot, Logan, Talia, Bridget

Georgia: Ansley

Hawaii: Kalea, Anela, Mahina, Malia, Kiana, Leila, Marley, Emi, Skye, Alana, Anuhea, Kaila, Kenzie, Naia, Alexandria, Jordan, Journey, Kailani

Idaho: Remington

Louisiana: Camille, Demi, Lyric

Maryland: Dakota

Minnesota: Aisha

Mississippi: Malaysia, Kayleigh, Makenzie, Jada

Montana: Lexi, Sage

New Hampshire: Delaney, Tessa

New Jersey: Sienna

New Mexico: Lilliana, Aliyah, Aviana, Avianna

North Dakota: Briella

Rhode Island: Gia

South Dakota: Reese, Berkley, Elaina

Utah: Millie

Vermont: Wren, Ayla, Genevieve, Rowan, Willa, Emelia, Hope

West Virginia: Alivia, Braelynn, Gracelynn, Mckenna, Baylee

Wyoming: Felicity, Emmy, Madilynn, Brinley, Brylee

A few names that reached the top 100 in a state list aren’t even in the top 1000 nationally!  In 2016, these were Anela, Anuhea, Berkley, Emi, Kalea, Kaila, Mahina, and Naia; Hawaii claims the vast majority of these rarities.

Do you have any favorites from this list?  Let me know!

Source: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/state/

Poppy

Poppy is a cheerful-sounding flower name that recently became popular in the United States!  After almost 100 years of sporadic usage here (including a mini-spike in the 70s that was mostly contained to California), it finally debuted in the top 1000 in 2016.  The name has been popular in the U.K. for much longer; the English and Welsh charts only extend back to 1996, but she’s been in their top 100 for most of those 20-odd years.  In 2014, Poppy was the 5th most popular girls’ name there!  Poppy‘s current U.S. rank is #747.

Despite Poppy‘s happy sound, there’s a bittersweet backstory.  The flower has long been associated with war, and especially World War I.  A 1915 poem called “In Flanders Fields” depicts the growth of poppies on the battlefield graves of recently-buried soldiers.  Within a decade after its publishing, the poppy became a symbol for remembrance of service members who’ve died in war.  That connection has stuck – artificial poppies are still passed out around military holidays every year to help fund veterans’ charities.  In my opinion, and despite any potential sadness associated with the flower, I think the name Poppy could be a meaningful choice for families trying to honor a service-member relative. 

640px-Robert_Vonnoh_-_Coquelicots

A vibrant depiction of a poppy field by artist Robert Vonnoh, c. 1890

There is a much trickier association for the name Poppy, though.  Depending on how the flower’s seeds are harvested or extracted, they can either become safe seasonings for food *or* opiates (which are classified under opioids).  Somehow, I don’t think most parents are making connections between pretty flowers and deadly drugs; indeed, dozens of girls are named Belladonna (poisonous plant) every year.  More than anything, I think it’s surprising that of all the times Poppy could have become a popular baby name, it just had to be in the middle of the Opioid Crisis.

Drug associations aside, the fact is that American parents are choosing this name for their daughters in increasing numbers.  I think its British popularity does influence some anglophiles, but there’s more to it.  Poppy‘s rise here is probably heavily tied to contemporary pop culture.

People Named Poppy:

  • Poppy Montgomery (b. 1972) – Actress, born in Australia.
  • Poppy Harlow (b. 1982) – CNN commentator; Poppy is her nickname.
  • Poppy Delevingne (b. 1986) – British model/actress who recently had a role in Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
  • Poppy (b. 1995) – Singer, uses Poppy as her stage name.

Poppy tends to make the rounds with “celebrity” babies, too.  Notably, the name belongs to one of Chef Jamie Oliver’s daughters, a great-granddaughter of former President George H.W. Bush (whose childhood nickname was Poppy), and the daughter of Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent (of “Nate and Jeremiah by Design” fame, though she was born before the show launched).  Those last two were born in 2015.

Major or Recent Characters named Poppy:

  • Princess Poppy – main character in the movie Trolls (2016)
  • Poppy Adams – villain in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, played by Julianne Moore
  • Poppy Pomfrey – Hogwarts school nurse in Harry Potter series
  • Poppy Meadow – character in the British soap opera EastEnders from 2011 to 2014
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California Poppy

It’s also worth mentioning that the California Poppy is that state’s official flower.  In 2016, 379 girls were named Poppy nationally; 52 of those were born in CA, and there were more there than in any other state.  Part of that’s because they have the largest population, the floral association probably helps too.  It’d certainly help explain why the 70s mini-spike was mostly contained there.

What do you think of the name Poppy – would you use it?  Would some of the more negative associations influence your decision, or do the positive associations outweigh them?  Let me know! 

Rare ‘L’ Names for Boys

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There are only a few hundred rare ‘L’ names for boys that appeared in the U.S. set for 2016, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as distinctive as the many girls’ names that start with this letter!  Here are some:

  • 100-195 boys named: Lian, Lathan, Ledger, Lucius, Lev, Link, Lyndon, Lazarus, Linus, Laith, Lamont, Levon, Linkin, Lonnie, Lloyd, Lars, Lyam, Lester
  • 50-99: Luther, Luc, Lazaro, Loki, Leopold, Leander, Lucio, Legacy, Lex, Locke, Lake, Lenin, Liev, Levy, Loyal, Lucky, Laron, Lisandro, Leviticus
  • 25-49: Lemuel, Leobardo, Lino, Larson, Lexington, Llewyn, Latrell, Lowell, Lyon, Lakota, Lazer, Leopoldo, Luqman, Lipa, Lashawn, Luigi, Landis, Lamarion, Lamonte, Lleyton, Lux, Lamarcus, Laquan, Lawton, Lowen, Loic, Lebron, Lyfe, Laszlo, Leonid, Leviathan, Lior, Lysander
  • 10-24: Lestat, Louden, Liban, Lando, Lavern, Legion, Lord, Lion, Lizandro, Lukasz, Lander, Lavonte, Ladd, Latham, Lorenz, Luisangel, Lyman, Laksh, Langdon, Lafayette, Leonides, Les, Luay, Lenard, Long, Lucifer, Lain, Laird, Lakendrick, Lambert, Lamine, Leith, Leone, Lofton, Lorcan, Lynx, Laurent, Law, Lazar, Lazlo, Leaf, Leib, Leodan, Levar, Lj, Lantz, Lehi, Leibish, Len, Lewi, Lon, Lonnell
  • 9: Lancelot, Lang, Lemmy, Leno, Librado, Lydon, Lynn
  • 8: Lamichael, Lanson, Latroy, Leovanni, Leto, Linux, Linwood, Ludwig
  • 7: Lakeland, Lamond, Lawayne, Lay, Lesean, Levitt, Livingston, Lowry
  • 6: Laakea, Laison, Lamarius, Laughlin, Laverne, Leandrew, Leanthony, Leart, Lennard, Lew, Lexander, Linton, Liston, Llewellyn, Lorne, Lucchese
  • 5: Lafe, Lakshan, Lakshya, Lanceton, Laquinton, Lasana, Latravious, Lavaughn, Lavith, Lawaia, Ledge, Lexiel, Light, Logic, Lonzo, Ludwing, Luffy, Luv, Lycan

Do you have a favorite name in this list, or a favorite ‘L’ name in general?  I’m personally a big fan of Lazarus, Laszlo, Leopold, and Lysander

Oh and yes, people really do name their sons Lucifer – it’s always very rare, though lately it’s ticked up a little due to the TV show.

Rare ‘L’ Names for Girls

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Isn’t it interesting that over 1,000 rare ‘L’ names for girls appeared in the 2016 set, while there were only around 430 rare ‘L’ names for boys?  This doesn’t mean the initial isn’t trendy for boys; indeed, Liam is currently the 2nd most popular boys’ name in the U.S.!  It is probably worth noting that the much larger number of feminine ‘L’ names can (among other things) be attributed to manifold variations and relatives of Eleanor, Elizabeth, Laura, Lee, Leilani, Lily, Love, Lucy, and Lynn.  Am I missing any other big ones?

  • 200-257 girls named: Legacy, Loretta, Litzy, Lyanna, Luella
  • 150-199: Lorena, Lucinda, Larissa, Layan, Lenora, Laken, Letty, Lizeth, Linnea
  • 100-149: Leticia, Lorraine, Lori, Loyalty, Lucero, Leanne, Layna, Lois, Lacy, Lula, Liza, Leen, Lailani, Lettie, Lynlee, Lakelyn, Lottie, Love
  • 50-99: Lourdes, Lux, Leora, Larkin, Lynn, Lluvia, Lotus, Lynette, Lavender, Lupita, Lani, Lexington, Lavinia, Linley, Lenore, Linden, Leonie, Leigh, Lovely, Leandra, Lexa, Liora, Lizette, Lindy, Lisbeth, Liara, Leni, Leonora, Liesel
  • 25-49: Lamiyah, Lulu, Lady, Lariah, Luana, Laurie, Leidy, Lenna, Lake, Lanae, Leonor, Lilou, Lisette, Lark, Leighanna, Lujain, Lucina, Lakota, Lexus, Lucienne, Layal, Livy, Liesl, Lovina, Lumen, Laramie, Langley, Lelia, Leliana, Livie, Lyrica, Liba, Liliane, Lilyrose, Lizabeth, Lilibeth, Lindley, Lira, Livvy, Locklyn, Lakshmi, Liviana, Loxley, Lilo, Loyal, Luzmaria, Launa, Lavina, Lorna, Lynnette, Leasia, Lemon, Lilla, Lively, Laiba
  • 10-24: Lakely, Leda, Lamees, Lexis, Lorene, Loreal, Lua, Lyrical, Lareina, LivianLashay, Leanora, Lexani, Lorenza, Loveah, Lovie, Leeba, Laelia, Laveah, Leira, Lilac, Lisseth, Lita, Loriana, Lucine, Lunabelle, Lyda, Laelle, Lakayla, Liany, Linh, Lona, Labella, Lama, Lanora, Laureen, Laylee, Leola, Liat, Linette, Lisamarie, Lisandra, Luzelena, Lydian, Lynne, Lynnleigh, Laisha, Lauriel, Lelani, Leta, Lielle, Lincy, Lowen, Lalani, Latoya, Lavonna, Layali, Lumi, Lun, Lyna, Lanai, Laritza, Lauretta, Leinani, Lera, Lisset, Liyu, Lolita, Lovella, Lovelynn, Lucilla, Lynna, Lyssa, Ladonna, Latasha, Lavera, Leddy, Leeloo, Lilybelle, Lisanna, Livingston, Lizmarie, Luann, Lucilia, Lyrique, Laasya, Lanasia, Latifa, Latrice, Lavaya, Lazaria, Letizia, Lida, Liliani, Lilinoe, Lu, Luxe, Lyfe
  • 8-9: Lada, Lala, Lamis, Lanessa, Lanier, Larose, Letha, Lin, Linnaea, Loni, Lorraina, Loza, Lucette, Ludmila, Luthien, Lachelle, Lahari, Laniece, Larue, Latavia, Leonela, Levana, Levian, Lexiana, Libni, Lilikoi, Liyat, Lucelia, Lucrezia, Lumina, Lupe, Lura, Luzma, Lydiana, Lyrika
  • 7: Labria, Lagertha, Lakenzie, Lamaria, Laparis, Lashawna, Lateen, Lavada, Lavanya, Laylynn, Lealani, Lean, Leeza, Leialoha, Levina, Liane, Lis, Loa, Lolly, Lukya, Luciella, Lucky, Lucrecia, Lulia, Luma, Luul, Lyanne
  • 6: Laaibah, Ladan, Lakeisha, Lakelee, Lakenya, Lakisha, Laklyn, Lakshana, Lakyra, Lan, Lanette, Laniakea, Lanique, Lanita, Lareine, Larimar, Lashaun, Legna, Leighlani, Leota, Liahona, Libny, Liddy, Lilu, Ling, Lisabelle, Lisha, Livier, Loida, Lojain, Lokelani, Lorinda, Lovette, Lubna, Lucyna, Lydie, Lyrics
  • 5: Lahela, Lakendra, Lakey, Lakshita, Lalelei, Lalitha, Landy, Laprincia, Laraib, Lashea, Lashonda, Latisha, Latonya, Laxmi, Laziya, Lazuli, Leamsi, Leelyn, Lehua, Lei, Leimomi, Leolani, Leonella, Leonore, Lexine, Liadan, Licia, Lilias, Lima, Lindarose, Lingxi, Linux, Liriel, Lirio, Lizabelle, Lotta, Loulou, Loveth, Lovisa, Lozen, Lucija, Lucretia, Lujane, Lulamae, Lulani, Lulwa, Lumin, Lunabella, Luzmar, Lyne, Lynora

Thoughts?  Do you have a favorite rare ‘L’ name for girls?  Let me know!

State Names

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I’m always interested in American name data broken down to the state level, though I’m also interested in the states as baby names themselves!  Thousands of children were named after U.S. states in 2016, and indeed, some of the states are already popular names in their own right.  Other names more ostensibly honor their locations.  Regardless, I’ve tallied up the most popular state names!  I exclude prefixes, so (for example) Dakota can refer to both North and South Dakota.

For girls, the most common baby names that are U.S. states are currently:

  1. Dakota / Georgia – Amazingly, they’re tied!  In 2016, both names were given to 1405 girls each.  Dakota precedes Georgia alphabetically, though, so the Social Security Administration ranks the former at #226 and the latter at #227.
  2. Carolina – 769 girls (#422)
  3. Virginia – 599 girls (#517)
  4. Montana – 135 girls
  5. Jersey – 132 girls.  Several alternate spellings are currently in use too, such as Jersie and Jerzee.

And for boys, they are:

  1. Dakota – 861 boys (#378)
  2. Indiana – 72 boys.  Indiana Jones is probably the namesake for a lot of them, though interestingly, the name Indiana is more popular for girls.
  3. Montana – 60 boys.
  4. Tennessee – 24 boys.  Curiously, 24 girls were also named Tennessee.  As a boys’ name Tennessee probably honors playwright Tennessee Williams.
  5. York – 12 boys.

Regarding territories: if Puerto Rico were a state, then Rico (119 boys) would be the second-most popular states’ name for boys on this list.  Likewise, Mariana (1106 girls; #291) would be second for girls if the Northern Mariana Islands achieved statehood. 

The other state names that appeared in the SSA’s data set in 2016 were:

  • Girls: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming
  • Boys: Jersey, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Washington

Several of the more name-friendly states surprisingly didn’t show in 2016, though have appeared in earlier years.  Here’s the full list of state names from other years:

  • Colorado – A fairly modern choice, as this first appeared in the data in 1989.  Colorado peaked with 10 boys in 2006, and last registered in 2013.
  • Florida – Peaked in 1925, last appeared in 1994.  Florida was a top 1000 baby name until the 1930s.
  • Hawaii – Has only appeared twice, in 2008 and 2014.  5 girls received the name each time.
  • Iowa – Last appeared 1921. 
  • Louisiana – Last appeared in 2015 with 7 girls.  I’m surprised this isn’t more popular since Louise and Louisa are both experiencing revivals.
  • Maine – First and only appearance was in 1898!  The U.S.S. Maine was an American ship that was sunk in the waters around Cuba, igniting the Spanish-American War.
  • Michigan – 5 boys were named Michigan in 2006.  It has not appeared since.
  • Nebraska – This was more commonly used for boys in the early 20th century, though all recent appearances have been on the girls’ side.  5 girls were named Nebraska in 2015.
  • Oklahoma – Only appeared in 1907, though the shorter name Lahoma was in use for much longer.
  • Rhode – Only appearance in 1989, though might reappear soon.  The name Rhodes (59 boys, 5 girls) is mildly trendy.
  • Vermont – Last appeared in 1922.  The name Vermont was used for both men and women in the years immediately after World War I.

And the following states have never appeared as names in SSA birth data:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • (New) Hampshire
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • (New) Mexico
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania – though the name Penn was used in 2016.
  • Wisconsin

Thoughts, anyone?  I do think it’s interesting (if coincidental) that the names referring to to two states (Dakota, Carolina, and Virginia) seem to have a leg up in the rankings!  It’s also curious how states are usually much more popular baby names for girls than they are for boys. 

Rare ‘K’ Names for Boys

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 7.48.59 PMWell, I’d thought that the boys’ list would be shorter because there are fewer rare ‘K’ names for boys than girls, but I think this might be longer than the girls’ list!  It seems like I didn’t have as many unusual spellings of popular names to go through.

Here are just some of the 1200+ rare ‘K’ names for boys from the 2016 data-set:

  • 150-202 boys named: Kaiser, Kabir, Kent, Kaine, Kenton, Koa
  • 100-149: Keller, Kyron, Kenji, Kurt, Kion, Kelton, Kelly, Khaled, Knowledge, Kyzer, Kenan, Keelan, Kenzo, Kainoa, Kale
  • 50-99: Kysen, Kamarion, Kipton, Keoni, Kenai, Kirk, Keshawn, Kalani, Khaza, Karsten, Kaleo, Kanaan, Kavin, Kip, Krishna, Karam, Keylor, Kalen, Karas, Kekoa, Kage, Kit, Karthik, Kashmir, Keshav, Kidus, Kenyon, Kerry, Kaizen, Kal, Kamal, Kolbe, Kwame, Kasper, Knight
  • 25-49: Kavion, Kacper, Kirby, Kota, Kyro, Kawhi, Keyshawn, Kepler, Kaimana, Krishiv, Karthikeya, Kemper, Kerem, Khang, Kaan, Kamar, Khalif, Kinnick, Konstantin, Konstantinos, Keniel, Kyland, Kaulder, Kelan, Kendrix, Kiernan, Kelby, Kadeem, Kato, Kelson, Kanoa, Kartier, Krithik, Kalem, Kc, Kingdom, Koji, Kutter, Kailer, Kamauri, Keane, Kohl, Kristoff, Kirin, Klaus, Koi, Kross, Kirill, Kodiak
  • 10-24: Kashmere, Kayceon, Kejuan, Khiry, Kaladin, Keston, Kingdavid, Kinsler, Krishav, Ky, Kaz, Kenner, Kento, Keondre, Kessler, Khaliq, Kofi, Kush, Kadir, Kaleem, Kamsiyochukwu, Kiefer, Kavi, Kennon, Kenrick, Kenson, Kiyaan, Karol, Kashtyn, Kemet, Kona, Kadarius, Kalman, Kasai, Kelechi, Kenshin, Khalifa, Kailash, Kanye, Karan, Kemuel, Kenechukwu, Kennan, Khi, Korvin, Keahi, Kimball, Kipling, Kitai, Kol, Kwabena, Kainalu, Kairos, Kaleth, Kawika, Keithan, Keldon, Khan, Kosta, Kushal, Kuzey, Kadrian, Kagan, Kalev, Kamel, Kamen, Kani, Kazi, Kemon, Kingjosiah, Kohan, Kohlton, Kort, Kyrillos, Kaikoa, Kanav, Kano, Kathan, Kentavious, Kenyatta, Kervens, Kirkland, Konstantine, Kahiau, Kamoni, Kealan, Kendrell, Kesean, Khaos, Kiing, Kingjames, Klein, Koven, Krishan, Kru, Kutler, Kwaku, Kweli, Kyros, Kaeo, Kahne, Kalix, Kanishk, Kasch, Kendale, Kentley, Kimo, Kirtan, Kirubel, Kaimani, Kaj, Kalijah, Kamaehu, Kas, Kavir, Kazuki, Keaston, Kendriel, Kennard, Kenston, Ki, Kj, Koki, Kratos, Kyce, Kyi, Kyreese
  • 9: Kache, Kainoah, Kalai, Kamai, Karlin, Karlito, Kartikeya, Kazimir, Kendarius, Keo, Keraun, Khup, Kincaid, Kingson, Knoxton, Koray, Kordae, Korver, Kosisochukwu, Kourtland, Krayton, Kuran, Kwasi, Kyzen
  • 8: Kadien, Kadri, Kaiea, Kalex, Kaliq, Kanaloa, Kartel, Kawai, Kayo, Kayode, Kazim, Keawe, Kedric, Keita, Kemal, Kendrew, Kerwin, Ketch, Kino, Kix, Ko, Kobain, Kobimtochukwu, Kotaro, Krishang, Krishawn, Kuhau, Kwadwo
  • 7: Kable, Kamarius, Kashif, Kavari, Kavik, Keanthony, Keats, Kedar, Keiji, Kel, Kelso, Kenaniah, Keola, Kerolos, Kershaw, Khoury, Kingcharles, Kingisaiah, Kohler, Kreighton, Krzysztof, Kuron, Kwesi, Kymere, Kyriakos
  • 6: Kahlo, Kaipo, Kaique, Kaisei, Kalino, Kamalei, Kamalu, Kamuela, Kaniela, Kap, Kaplan, Kaptain, Karnell, Karo, Karthikeyan, Kastle, Kauri, Kaveh, Kazuma, Kazz, Kee, Keland, Kellian, Kemonte, Kenroy, Kenzie, Keoki, Keontay, Keshava, Kester, Kevaughn, Keyser, Kiedis, Kierce, Kierre, Kin, Kingamir, Kinser, Kiro, Kiyansh, Knighton, Kobina, Krash, Kristjan, Krithin, Kunal, Kwan
  • 5: Kabel, Kaikea, Kaiston, Kamahao, Kamau, Kameo, Kamsi, Kamyron, Kanta, KaoKapone, Kapono, Karanvir, Kawliga, Kawon, Kay, Kazmir, Keaka, Keangelo, Keating, Keigo, Keir, Keitaro, Kender, Kendricks, Keni, Kenichi, Kenlin, Kennett, Kenta, Kentaro, Kenuel, Keonta, Keriel, Keymarion, Keysean, Khafre, Khushal, Khyber, Kiano, Kincade, Kingg, Kingmessiah, Kingzion, Kirthik, Kitson, Kiyoshi, Klutch, Koal, Koran, Kosei, Kostas, Kourosh, Kriday, Krishal, Kristijan, Krithvik, Kriyansh, Krrish, Kruise, Kumail, Kunj, Kvion, Kwincy, Kyaw, Kyo, Kyzir

Notes:

  • Kage (63 boys) is oddly more popular than Cage (38 boys).
  • Kolbe probably isn’t (often) meant as a variant of Colby.  This seems to be a trendy name among Catholics because it refers to St. Maximilian Kolbe.
  • Kaique amuses me because it looks like someone was having fun with Greek and Latin conjunctions.  “Kai” means “and” in Greek, and “que” can be added to the end of Latin words to create the same effect.  Essentially, Kaique means “and-and!”
  • Khyber is one of the most striking (and obscure) geographical names I’ve ever seen!  The Khyber Pass is a mountain pass in Pakistan that lies near the Afghan border.

Do you have a favorite rare ‘K’ name for boys?  Do you have a favorite among these?  Random comments of your own?  Let me know! 

Rare ‘K’ Names for Girls

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 12.07.39 PMIn 2016, there were more than 1500 ‘K’ names for girls *below* the top 1000.  Just to fit this selection into one post, I had to eliminate well over 100 names between draft and publication.  Don’t worry, the boys’ list should be shorter, since there’s only going to be 1200+ names to comb through!  😀

  • 200-261 girls named: Kensington, Kamiyah, Kristen, Kimora, Karis, Karma
  • 100-199: Kyrie, Katerina, Katrina, Khadija, Keziah, Kinsey, Keilani, Karissa, Kourtney, Kathy, Kayleen, Kaisley, Kirsten, Kalia, Keren, Khalia, Katia, Korra, Kodi
  • 50-99: Kari, Krista, Kaniyah, Krisha, Keely, Kamaya, Kerrigan, Kalena, Kristin, Khaliyah, Kelis, Katya, Kamaria, Kimberlyn, Khylee, Kalliope, Kayliana, Kyara, Kamia, Kenadee, Kalaya, Karime, Kylynn, Kirra, Katana, Kateri, Kim, Kami, Kaydee, Kalista, Khori
  • 25-49: Keturah, Kay, Kimani, Karisma, Kamani, Kalila, Kamara, Kamyla, Khushi, Kaleena, Kaori, Kriti, Karyme, Kerrington, Kamea, Keeva, Ksenia, Kaija, Kayanna, Kansas, Kashlyn, Katniss, Keya, Kerri, Kiyomi, Kaavya, Katlyn, Kendalynn, Keyanna, Kala, Katara, Keisha, Karaline, Karin, Kealani, Kera, Kareena, Katty, Kinza, Krithi
  • 10-24: Keerthana, Kathya, Keisi, Kennia, Kamber, Keasia, Koryn, Kourtlyn, Kristie, Kanyla, Kaylor, Kenisha, Kia, Korina, Kaizlee, Kamira, Kariyah, Katharina, Keilly, Kenda, Kayara, Keysha, Kimiko, Koralynn, Kana, Kashvi, Kindle, Kadiatou, Katerin, Katherina, Kella, Kylia, Kaja, Kamsiyochuwku, Karalynn, Karishma, Keonna, Kherington, Kiani, Kiari, Kimbella, Kimi, Karmella, Kasia, Kassia, Keera, Kesley, Kharma, Krimson, Kris, Kyrielle, Kalaysia, Katriel, Kawthar, Kaybree, Keani, Keelin, Keiko, Kimari, Kimmy, Kalana, Karima, Katja, Kenlynn, Kharis, Kiki, Kinda, Kiona, Kourtlynn, Krishika, Kwynn, Kyilee, Kylani, Katerine, Katiana, Katlynn, Khalilah, Kiora, Konstantina, Krissy, Kylene, Kyria, Kalkidan, Kanani, Karai, Karalee, Kassiani, Kayal, Kenyatta, Ketzaly, Kimya, Kiri, Kitzia, Kiyoko, Klover, Kmari, Kaaliyah, Kalis, Kalisa, Kalyani, Karuna, Kattie, Kayleeann, Kelaiah, Kelbi, Keliana, Khiya, Kimara, Kirstin, Krithika, Kailaya, Kaislyn, Kaiulani, Kajsa, Kaliyan, Kamala, Kayani, Kaymarie, Kazlyn, Keatyn, Keena, Kenlyn, Kentleigh, Kharlie, Kimberlin, Kimimila, Kindred, Kourtni, Kritika, Kyasia
  • 9: Kacelynn, Kadisha, Kahealani, Kaimana, Kaliann, Kalliopi, Kaoir, Karielle, Katina, Kawsar, Kaysha, Kenni, Kenniyah, Kesha, Khaleesia, Khalina, Khalise, Khara, Kjerstin, Kleo, Kortlynn, Kosisochukwu, Kripa, Krissa, Kumba, Kynna
  • 8: Kaashvi, Kaithlyn, Kalayla, Kalyiah, Kanari, Kanisha, Kareli, Karlene, Karthika, Kaslyn, Kaveri, Kaye, Keerat, Keerthi, Kestrel, Keyasia, Kiko, Kinlynn, Kiva, Klarity, Konstance, Kristelle, Kyrianna
  • 7: Kailena, Kainaat, Kamella, Kamlyn, Kamyri, Kamyrn, Kandi, Kanishka, Kareen, Karelly, Kariel, Karilyn, Karmina, Katarzyna, Kauri, Kaziyah, Keighley, Kellyanne, Kelty, Kemi, Kendi, Kerly, Kessa, Khilynn, Kirklyn, Kitty, Knightly, Kohana, Korea, Kouture, Kowsar, Kreindy, Krissi, Kruthi, Krystyna, Kween, Kyanne, Kyliana, Kytzia
  • 6: Kabella, Kada, Kairie, Kalinda, Kalirose, Kalki, Kalypso, Kamalani, Kamsi, Kandy, Karenna, Karielys, Kashia, Kashish, Kashlee, Kashley, Kasima, Kat, Kaveah, Kavisha, Kayenat, Kedzie, Keilianys, Kember, Kemma, Kerstin, Kesslyn, Keza, Khadijatou, Kina, Kirat, Kiyani, Kizzy, Kona, Koriana, Kornelia, Kylava, Kyper
  • 5: Kae, Kagan, Kahani, Kahea, Kaielle, Kalicia, Kamalei, Kamariana, Kamsiyochi, Kanijah, Karelyn, Karelys, Karenza, Karlianys, Kasani, Kassiana, Kastyn, Katielynn, Kavleen, Kawai, Kawaii, Kawailani, Kawena, Kayann, Kazaria, Kehaulani, Keimani, Kelechi, Kenasia, Khadijat, Kili,* Kimbrielle, Kiowa, Kireina, Konley, Kopelyn, Krishvi, Krisley, Kristabella, Krupa, Krystle, Kseniya, Kubra, Kushi, Kyela, Kyja

*Is it just me, or is it interesting that a Tolkien dwarf’s name (Kili) only registered for girls in 2016?

What do you think of these names?  Do you have a favorite ‘K’ name?  Let me know!