Special Report

The Most Popular Names In America Since 1880

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5. Charles
> Avg. share of babies named Charles, 1880-2019 1.91%
> Total no. of babies named Charles, 1880-2019: 2,399,300
> Most popular decade: 1880 when 46,656 babies were named Charles, or 4.26% of all baby boys
> Pictured: Retired basketball player Charles Barkley

Charles is the English version of the Germanic name Karl, which comes from a word meaning man. Another possible origin is that Charles is derived from the common Germanic name element “hari,” which means army or warrior.

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4. Robert
> Avg. share of babies named Robert, 1880-2019 2.87%
> Total no. of babies named Robert, 1880-2019: 4,825,159
> Most popular decade: 1930 when 590,771 babies were named Robert, or 5.59% of all baby boys
> Pictured: Actor Robert Downey Jr.

Robert is a version of the Germanic name Hrodebert, meaning “bright fame.” It comes from “hrod” (fame) and “beraht” (bright). In Britain, Robert replaced the Old English name of Hreodbeorht.

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3. William
> Avg. share of babies named William, 1880-2019 3.37%
> Total no. of babies named William, 1880-2019: 4,131,182
> Most popular decade: 1880 when 84,881 babies were named William, or 7.75% of all baby boys
> Pictured: Playwright William Shakespeare

This is a version of the Germanic name Willahelm, which combines “wil” (will, desire) and “helm” (helmet, protection).

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2. James
> Avg. share of babies named James, 1880-2019 3.46%
> Total no. of babies named James, 1880-2019: 5,177,716
> Most popular decade: 1940 when 795,730 babies were named James, or 5.35% of all baby boys
> Pictured: Actor James Dean

James is derived from the Latin name Iacomus which comes from Iakobos, which is the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya’aqov (or Jacob). The name was most common in Scotland until the 17th century, when the Scottish king James VI inherited the

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1. John
> Avg. share of babies named John, 1880-2019 4.01%
> Total no. of babies named John, 1880-2019: 5,133,909
> Most popular decade: 1880 when 89,950 babies were named John, or 8.21% of all baby boys
> Pictured: Former U.S. President John F. Kennedy

John is derived from the Latin Johannes, which comes from the Greek Ioannes, which itself is derived from the Hebrew Yehanan, a short version of Yehohanan, meaning “Yahweh is gracious.”