Since we wrote a book called Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, encouraging parents to move beyond overused names, it's no secret what we think of this trendy surname name (currently Number 9), inspired by a mermaid named Madison (she took it from a New York street sign) in the eighties movie Splash.
Though Madison has long ago lost any muscle for boys, it's the most successful of the unisex-feel, surname-y, place name names that have risen through the ranks over the past few decades, names like London and Paris, Camden and Jordan that have climbed to prominence.
Some parents like Madison for its upscale feel while others want a fresh way to get to the nickname Maddy. Still others have moved on to similar choices Addison and Madelyn. While those names may continue to rise, Madison is one of the Top 10 names that's definitely on a downward trend.
Madison was at one time a strictly boys' presidential name, reaching as high as Number 311 at the end of the nineteenth century. That all changed in 1985 when it entered the girls' list, zooming up quickly until it reached the Number 2 spot, with more than 22,000 female babies given the name in 2001. As is so often the case, its use for boys has dropped precipitously.