Mardi Gras Names Let The Good Times Roll!
New Orleans is one of the carnival capitals of the world: in weeks around Mardi Gras (also known as Shrove Tuesday, or pancake day), the streets are filled with parades, music, dancing, feathers and beads. Even in lockdown, the carnival spirit lives on in the house floats around the city.
If you’re expecting a baby around now, or love Mardi Gras, you might want to consider a name that celebrates it. We’ve drawn inspiration from the festivities, and from the wider history and geography of Louisiana — plus the most popular names there today.
The state is a unique melting pot of cultures: Cajuns from Canada, Creoles and others of Haitian, African, Native American and European descent, mixed with a big measure of the French language and Catholicism. And that’s reflected in the unique mix of names found there.
So laissez les bons temps rouler, and join the name parade!
Carnival krewe names
Let’s start with the krewes, the organizations behind Mardi Gras parades. This spelling is very rarely used as a name, but Crew and Krew are both soaring in popularity, accelerated by the birth of Crew Gaines, the youngest Fixer-Upper child.
Carnival royalty names
The Rex parade is one of the biggest highlights, featuring the His Majesty Rex, King of the Carnival, and his Queen and court. There have been some fabulous names among the courts over the years, showcasing the mix of styles in Louisiana, especially family surnames. These are some standouts from the last 30 years alone:
Rex and his dukes and pages:
Queen and her maids:
Beauregard — Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was a Civil War soldier from New Orleans, who fought in the Battle of Shiloh. His ghost is said to roam the city streets whispering “Shiloh” (itself a stylish spiritual choice).
Dagobert — Père Dagobert was a well-respected 18th century priest who made great contributions to the city of New Orleans and is still said to be heard singing “Kyrie” while keeping a watchful eye over the city.
Sabine — A river that forms part of the state border.
Popular names in Louisiana
The most popular baby names in the state of Louisiana in 2019 were in line with national favorites: Noah, Elijah and Liam on the podium for boys, and Olivia, Ava and Amelia for girls. But deeper in the data, there are names that parents in the Pelican State love more than your average.
Or we could look at it by proportion. The Louisiana is home to 1.4% of the US population… but 36% of boys named Khyzer and 35% of girls named Jersi in 2019 were born there. Bronx, Jules and Landry are extra-popular for both sexes there, as is Denim (plus Denym for girls). Other Louisiana trends include boy names ending in -lon, -len and -lin, girl names ending in -i, -ei and -leigh, and the French language for both.
There’s also a lot of influence from local heroes, both old — like Charles Didier Dreux, the first Confederate field officer from Louisiana killed in the Civil War — and new, like Zylan Cheatham of the New Orleans Pelicans basketball team.
Here are some of the best and most interesting names punching well above their weight in Louisiana today.