Showing posts from December, 2022

10 Names that Made 2022

With 2022 coming to a close, it's time to reflect on the names that defined this year. Most of these names come from notable pop culture references or famous people.  Anyway, here are ten names that defined this year: Bruno The song "We Don't Talk About Bruno" from Disney's Encanto topped the charts when 2022 started.  Edwina This feminization of Edwin associated itself with Edwina, Kate Sharma's sister from the second season of Netflix's Bridgerton.  Guillermo Guillermo de Toro released his stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio late this year. It has been the most well-received take on the puppet's story since Disney's 1940 film.  Harry Harry Style's song, "As It Was" became a popular hit in 2022. Kamala Kamala Khan is the titular character in the recent Disney Plus series, Ms. Marvel . The series introduced a young female superhero to the Marvel canon.  Lavender "Lavender Haze" is one of Taylor Swift's new songs from her


This name is everywhere. It belongs to dolls that pop out of musical boxes, fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters, and famous people. That name is Jack. We all know that Jack is a diminutive of John, but how did it come to be? It comes from Jackin, the medieval diminutive of John. Not surprisingly, the nickname became common in the Middle Ages. It even became the slang term for "man," thus being used in stories such as Jack in the Beanstalk . Jack has been an independent name since the nineteenth century. In the United States, the name was always in the top 200. It ranked in the top 100 between 1880 and 1962 and again since 1996. It could even make the top 10 for the first time soon. The name is also used in all other English-speaking nations. For instance, Jack was a top 100 name in early twentieth century England and again since the 1980s. It ranked in the English top 10 from 1996 to 2020.  Beyond the English world, Jack is used in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Swe


Even though the Biblical Mary conceived Jesus Christ as a virgin, she gave birth with a man. As we all know, his name is Joseph. Joseph comes from the Greek "Ioseph," which itself comes from the Hebrew "Yosef," which means "he will add." The name's meaning fits the Biblical Joseph because he adds to Mary's family. The meaning fits another Biblical Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob who serves as an advisor to Pharaoh in Egypt. Joseph became a common Jewish name during the Middle Ages. At the end of the period, a saint made the name popular in Spain and Italy. The name entered use in England after the Protestant Reformation.  In America, the name ranked within the top 50 since 1880. That makes Joseph a truly timeless name. It has been worn by several saints and rulers throughout history, such as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953), as well. Other notable bearers include Joseph Smith (1805-1844), who founded the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter

Antique Boys' Names

Vintage boys' names such as August and Otto are becoming more popular. Names that were used before the Victorian Era, though, are less likely to gain attention. Antique names had their peak usage between the Renaissance and mid-Victorian Era, roughly from 1500 to 1850. These names feel old-fashioned, but unlike vintage names, are unlikely to associate themselves with older people.  Here are some old names that go beyond the "old man" label: Ambrose Adolphus Barnaby Bartholomew Cornelius Ebenezer Erasmus Ephriam Giles Godfrey Griffith Hammond Horatio Howell Humphrey Lambert Lancelot Octavius Osmond Oswyn Robinson Rowland Sampson Septimus Smith Squire Theophilus Thompson Tristram Which names would you add to this list?


While most plants are pleasant to touch, one is more dangerous than others. The few-flowered climbing plant has the potential to sting. That plant has a name from the Old English "ifig": Ivy. In the ancient world, the ivy symbolized fidelity, love, determination, and immortality. That did not make the term a name, of course. Because it was associated only with the plant, Ivy entered English-speaking usage with the majority of nature names in the nineteenth century. Ivy ranked most years in the United States since 1880 with its initial peak in the 200s. However, it was more popular in England where was a top 100 name from the 1890s through the 1930s. Ivy was probably not as common in America because of the poison ivy association. According to , the term was coined in late eighteenth-century America.  Ivy declined in both nations in the middle of the twentieth century only to return within this past decade. It  returned to the English top 100 in 2012 and debuted

Underused Girls' Names

A name becomes popular if it follows the trends of its time, has an appealing sound, and connects to pop culture icons. However, a name can have all these ingredients and still not succeed. Underused girls' names are just that. These are names that have all the ingredients to become popular, but are not getting the attention they deserve. All the names in this style rank below the top 500 and, ideally, have yet to rise in use. Here are some recognizable but rare names: Adair Amity Annabeth Antonia Arden Avalon Avis Avonlea Beatrix Blythe Brighton Briony Calla Cecily Celia Constance Cordelia Delia Delphine Edie Ellery Emmeline Estelle Etta Evelina Geneva Greta Imogen Isadora Iva Janie Jolie Kimber Lavinia Linnea Lucinda Luella Lula Magdalena Marion Marjorie Martina May Myra Noelani Odessa Orla Phaedra Philippa Pippa Rafaela Reva Romilly Simone Susanna(h) Tess Vada Velvet Vienna Viola Which names would you add to this list?


In the early twentieth century, L. Frank Baum wrote one of the most memorable stories ever, The Wizard of Oz . It the big screen in the late 1930s with Judy Garland staring as the film's protagonist, Dorothy Gale. While The Wizard of Oz  is over a century old, the name Dorothy is much older. It is an English form of Dorothea, which means "gift of god." St. Dorothea of Caesarea, a fourth century martyr, gained a cult following one thousand years after she lived. The English followers referred to her as St. Dorothy. Dorothy entered use in the English-speaking world in the fifteenth century. It remained popular there through the 1950s, even though it slightly declined in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  In the United States, Dorothy ranked almost every year since 1880. It was a top 100 name between 1890 and 1961 and a top 10 name from 1904 to 1939. Interestingly, the year Dorothy left the top 10 was the same year the famous live-action film adaptation came out. By t


Jesus Christ had several apostles in the New Testament of the Bible. One of them was named Simon. However, he shortly changed his name to Peter. That apostle made the name common throughout the Christian world. Peter comes from the Greek "Petros," meaning "stone." Yet, when it entered England during the Norman Conquest, the Old French Piers was most common. Peter replaced it by the fifteenth century. Between the tenth and fifteenth centuries, saints have worn the name. These include eleventh-century reformer St. Peter Damian. After the fifteenth century, the Russian tsar Peter the Great became another famous namesake. In the United States, Peter was a top 100 name through the 1990s. It ranks just below the top 200 today. That puts it among the most classic of boys' names. The name is also declining in other nations though it  remains on the charts in Hungary, England and Wales, and Slovenia.  Throughout its long history, Peter associated itself with several famo