Changing the spelling of the established names Reagan (as in the US president) and Regan (as in the possessed girl in “The Exorcist”) looks as if it could have been an impulsive move by a parent who was bored or wanted to shake up tradition. Well, it worked. So many parents loved the new option that, since the late 1980s, this baby name has been climbing up the polls. It’s clearer how to pronounce (RAY-gen) than its predecessors, and it’s nickname-ready (Rae).

Popularity Trend Chart

Roll over the visual for detailed rankings by year.

Source: Social Security Administration

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