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BellaOnline's Baby Names Editor

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Darwin - Baby Name

Guest Author - Nancy Man

Merwin, Sherwin, Elwin, Irwin... most -win names are decidedly out of fashion right now.

But what about Darwin?

After fluctuating in popularity for decades, the name Darwin managed to rank consistently among the top 400 baby names in the United States from the mid-1920s until 1960. After that period, its popularity declined -- so much so that it dropped off the list entirely for several years in the 1990s.

Since the turn of the century, though, Darwin has shown signs of a comeback. Here is how the name has fared recently:
  • 2010 - 729th most popular baby boy name
  • 2009 - 739th
  • 2008 - 786th
  • 2007 - 819th
  • 2006 - 779th
  • 2005 - 864th
  • 2004 - 819th
  • 2003 - 871st
  • 2002 - 900th
  • 2001 - 876th
  • 2000 - (not in the top 1,000)
As I'm sure you know, the first name Darwin comes from the surname Darwin. In most cases, this surname was derived from the Old English given name Deorwine, meaning "dear friend." In other cases, it can be traced back to a Celtic word meaning "oak."

The most notable bearer of the surname was celebrated naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who first proposed the theory of natural selection and who is now widely known as the "father of evolution." Many things have been named after Charles Darwin: mountains, islands, craters, parks, colleges, towns, species, bodies of water, and, yes, even babies.

The interesting thing about the name Darwin is that, because it's so closely linked to Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution, it's hard to think of Darwin outside of this association. So it's also hard to know whether the popularity of the name corresponds more to naming trends or to attitudes about science. The the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth was in 2009, for instance, and this may have contributed to the recent resurgence of the name. Now that it's gone by, will the name drift downward again on the baby name charts? We'll have to wait and see...


10,000 Most Popular Baby Boy Names 10,000 Most Popular Baby Boy Names

Want more than the top 100 or top 1,000 baby boy names? Here's a complete list of the 10,000 most popular baby boy names in the nation! Click to learn more.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

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Content copyright © 2013 by Nancy Man. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Man. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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