In Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, a young Teddy (Ethann Isidore) mistakenly believes Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is from the state of Indiana. This, of course, isn’t the case. Indiana Jones was born in New Jersey, and his birth name wasn’t “Indiana” but instead “Henry.” That sounds like a good, solid, classic name, right? Well, if you’re thinking of naming your baby “Henry,” you might want to consider “Indiana” instead.
Just as Indiana Jones is a classic hero, “Indiana” might be more durable, and trend-bucking, than you think. According to the Social Security Administration, the name “Indiana” has not been in the top 1,000 most popular baby names since the year 1980.
However, “Henry” is wildly popular — it was the seventh most popular boy’s baby name in 2022, and the ninth most popular boy’s baby name in 2021 and 2020. “Henry” is also in the top 100 most popular baby names going back all the way to 2005.
Let’s face it: “Henry” is very common. It’s such a trendy name that you may want to think twice about naming your baby “Henry,” unless of course there’s a solid personal, family reason. (Henry is a great name, to be clear.)
But let’s talk about “Indiana.” Was “Indiana” popular in the 1980s? Nope! For any gender, the name “Indiana” does not break the top 1,000 most popular baby names for decades until now. Meaning, if you name your kid Indiana (again, any gender, it’s a wonderful gender-neutral name!) you’re picking a name that is not only very cool, but that almost no other child will have.
The world of Indiana Jones also has a few other great baby names, specifically for girls. In Dial of Destiny, Phoebe Waller Bridge's new character is named “Helena,” which was the 473rd most popular girl’s name in 2022.
Karen Allen’s Marion Ravenwood also appears in The Dial of Destiny, so what about that name for a girl? From 1980 to 1988, “Marion” was in the top 1,000 names for girls, ranking 955th in 1988 and 777th in 1981, the year Raiders of the Lost Ark was released.
However, “Marion” hasn’t been in the top 1,000 names since 1997, meaning this is another great Indy-inspired baby name that is very unique, despite sounding classic. And, if you want to go really unique, you could always pick “Willie,” named after Kate Capshaw’s character from The Temple of Doom. That name has, apparently, never been in the top 1,000, ever.
Back in 1981, the tagline to Raiders of the Lost Ark was, “If adventure has a name...it must be Indiana Jones.” For parents thinking about a unique baby name right now, this advice might be more salient than ever.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is out in theaters now.