“Nomen est omen” is a Latin expression that means your name is a sign…or even your destiny. If that is so, then 24/7 Tempo’s list of the most popular boy names unique to every state will make for very interesting reading.
There may be fairly obvious reasons why some names are particularly popular. Others can only be described as wildly creative. For example, the most popular boy name unique to Arkansas is Bb — and for good measure the corresponding girl name is Bg! (These were the most popular never-before-seen names in 2020.)
To identify the most popular boys’ names unique to every state, 24/7 Tempo used a metric called the location quotient to determine which names have been more common in a given state over the past 20 years than they have been nationally. We calculated the location quotient using name frequency data by year and by state from the Social Security Administration (SSA), considering only names with 10 or more entries. (If there was a tie in location quotient, we chose the name with the highest birth number.) Names that occurred fewer than 10 times in each state were excluded from consideration. Spelling variations on similar names were not combined for this analysis.
The most popular boy name unique to Hawaii, it turns out, is Kamaehu. According to an online dictionary, it means “strength, energy, firmness of resolution, fixedness of purpose.” These are all fine qualities, especially if nomen est omen.
Bartlomiej is particularly popular in Illinois, which probably has something to do with the state’s large Polish population. Similarly, Hussein is popular in Michigan and Shlomie is popular in New York, states which have, respectively, substantial Arab and Jewish populations.
In the last 20 years more than 600 boys in Maine were named Colby. That’s also the name of a top-ranked liberal arts college there. Truman is the most popular boy name unique to Missouri. It’s the home state of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States, and Truman State University is named after him. (These are the most popular names in America since 1880.)