SOURCE: WhitePages


October 29, 2009 08:00 ET

WhitePages Offers Lighthearted Look at Meaning and Popularity Behind Most Followed Names on Twitter

New WhitePages Names Capabilities Shed Light on the Origin, History, Meanings, and Popularity of Names for Famous Twitterers

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - October 29, 2009) - As actors, musicians and politicians continue to expand their famous personas to Twitter, competing for followers and the accompanying "buzz" that comes with the engaging use of an account, WhitePages ( decided to take a lighthearted look at the meaning and popularity rank of some of the most "followed" famous names on Twitter. Using newly released features for its WhitePages Names product, WhitePages found that Jimmy Fallon's first name (James) means "heel grabber" and that while 50 Cent's real first name, Curtis, can be a nickname for someone who is "courteous", it is also Middle English for curt "short" and hose "leggings" or "short leggings".

"There's so much in a name, whether it be the surname that provides visibility into ones family history, or a first name that gives us insight into what our parents aspired us to be," said Keela Robison, VP of Product at WhitePages. "As celebrities continue to engage their fans on Twitter, we thought it would be fun to share the name meanings and origins behind some of the most famous people on Twitter."

WhitePages Names gathers its information based on a database of over 200 million US adults and is the only site with name popularity ranking for all names, common and uncommon, as well as the popularity ranking for first and last name combinations. Since most name sites only reference popularity based on the Social Security Top 1,000 names data, WhitePages Names is the place to go for those seeking information on unusual name combinations, like Al Gore, for example.

In looking at the meanings and rankings of the names behind the celebrities dominating Twitter, WhitePages discovered that Al means "noble, bright, and famous" and Gore means "a triangular piece of land". While there are 66,040 people with the first name Al, and 21,145 with the last name Gore, there are only five people in the US. with the full name Al Gore, making it the 4,909,343rd most popular name in the United States.

Below is an exploration of the name meanings, history, and popularity behind some of the most followed Twitter users.

-- 50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson): Curtis, a nickname for someone who is "courteous". Also means "short leggings" Jackson, a long form of Jack which was a pet name for the last name John which means "may Jehovah favor (this child)". There are 657 people in the US with the name Curtis Jackson, making it the 11,806th most popular full name. Twitter name: @50cent.

-- Lance Armstrong: Lance "land, territory" Armstrong "strong in the arm". There are 55 people with the name Lance Armstrong in the US, making it the 408,968th most popular full name. Twitter Name: @lancearmstrong.

-- Mariah Carey: Mariah, an elaborated spelling of Maria, which is a Latin form of Mary, is a new testament form of Miriam and means "drop of the sea" (Latin stilla maris, later altered by folk etymology to stella maris "star of the sea") Carey "dark, black". There are five people with the name Mariah Carey in the US, making it the 5,655,168th most popular full name. Twitter Name: @MariahCarey.

-- Sean "Diddy"Combs: Sean, the Irish equivalent of the first name John "God is gracious" Combs, a variant of Coombs, a plural version of Coombe, which means "short, straight valley". There are 46 people with the name Sean Combs in the US, making it the 505,832nd most popular full name. Twitter Name: @iamdiddy.

-- Jimmy Fallon: Jimmy, short for James, which is a form of Jacob "heel grabber" Fallon "leader". There are nine people in the US with the name Jimmy Fallon, making it the 2,902,266th most popular full name. Twitter Name: @jimmyfallon.

-- Al Gore: Al, short for Albert, is derived from Adal "noble" + Berht "bright, famous" Gore "triangular piece of land". There are five people in the US with the name Al Gore, making it the 4,909,343rd most popular full name. Twitter Name: @algore.

-- John Mayer: John "God is gracious" Mayer "greater, superior". There are 679 people in the U.S. with the name John Mayer, making it the 11,162nd most popular full name. Twitter Name: @johncmayer.

-- Demi Moore: Demi, "short for Demetria, the feminine form of Demetrius, the follower of Demeter, the classical goddess of fertility" Moore "area of uncultivated land". There are four people in the US with the name Demi Moore, making it the 6,555,937th most popular full name. Twitter Name: @mrskutcher.

-- Britney Spears: Respelling of the name Brittany. Mainly North American: modern coinage, taken from the traditionally Celtic-speaking region of north-west France, known in medieval Latin as "Britannia" Spears, patronymic from Spear, or a nickname for a "tall, thin person, or else for a skilled user of the hunting spear". There are four people in the US with the name Britney Spears, making it the 6,317,588th most popular full name. Twitter Name: @britneyspears.

-- Ashley Tisdale: Ashley, originally a male name, but now an increasingly popular given name for girls, this is a transferred use of the surname, der Old English aesc 'ash' + leah 'wood'" Tisdale, a variant of the name Teesdale, mean "named for the river Tees (named with Old English (ge)twis 'forking', 'river fork') + Old English dael 'valley'". There are 15 people with the name Ashley Tisdale in the US, making it the 1,653,745th most popular full name. Twitter Name: @ashleytisdale.

People interested in using WhitePages Names' free etymology capabilities to look up the history and meaning of their own name can visit A name search also offers similar names and nicknames, the most common last names associated with that name, and a look at the distribution of that name across individual states and throughout the entire US. In addition, a name search provides search history for each name which includes total number of searches on the name and a breakdown of daily search numbers. With the new WhitePages Name Badge, anyone can share the popularity and meaning of their name on their website or blog.

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As the largest and most trusted online directory, WhitePages offers a suite of free mobile and Internet services that makes it easy for people to find and immediately connect with anyone in the U.S. Only WhitePages offers one-click access to more than 200 million adults and powers more than 2 billion searches on over 1,300 partner sites including Verizon, AOL, United States Postal Service, and MSN. For more information, please visit or check out the WhitePages blog at

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