Popular Names of Today
What's behind today's most popular baby names
6. Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. Of course today, we all associate him with Christmas, after all he IS Santa Claus, the bringer of Christmas presents. Two Russian czars and several popes have also been named Nicholas, and Charles Dickens dedicated an entire novel to Nicholas Nickelby.
7. No one will ever think of Cats the same way thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose Music of the Night left us all with Memories. Webber’s name comes from the Greek word “warrior” and is often associated with manliness. Two U.S. presidents, Jackson and Johnson, have also been Andrews. Many people perceive the name Andrew as representing someone who is funny and outgoing.
8. Perhaps no other name invokes literary thoughts as this one does. William Shakespeare first jumps to mind, as do poet William Blake, and contemporary authors William Faulkner and William S. Burroughs. Germanic in origin, the name is derived from will helmet. The Normans introduced the name to Britain. It has belonged to several rulers of England, Prussia, and Germany, including William the Conqueror who was the first Norman king of England. Another famous bearer was William Tell, a legendary 14th-century hero from Switzerland who, according to folklore, shot an apple from his son’s head.
9. In Hebrew, this name means, “the Lord is my salvation.” Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan by Moses in the Old Testament, and after Moses died, Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites. Josh is a shortened version of the name and has been consistently popular in the United States for over a decade. Believe it or not, the name Jesus is a Spanish and English version of the name. Irish band U2 certainly liked the name, and their album The Joshua Tree sold over 14 million copies.
10. Daniel was a Hebrew prophet who lived during the Jewish captivity in Babylon. He served in the court of the king, rising to prominence by interpreting the king’s dreams. The biblical Daniel is probably best known for being thrown into the lions’ den and surviving. Other famous bearers of this name include Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli, American frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Irish actor Daniel Day Lewis.
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