Category: Baby Names Popularity
Popular names are popular for a reason: They’re attractive, fresh, feel right for the times.
Their only problem is that they’re, well, popular.
If you like a name that you’re starting to hear a bit too often, we’ve come up with more original substitutes that may strike the right chord. Here are ten popular girls’ names and ten boys’ names and ideas for more unusual substitutes.
Fifty years ago, a prime-time comedy launched on ABC. That show was Bewitched, and it put the name Samantha on the map. Here’s how the numbers pan out:
- The year before the show, 1963, there were fewer than 100 born in the U.S.
- By 1964, there were over 400 born
- By 1965, there almost 2,000 born
Friends of mine are expecting baby #3. After two nicely-named daughters, the dad told me, “If it’s a boy, we’re pretty set. But if it’s a girl? I’ll have to start going through my favorite song titles.”
Happily, there’s no shortage of great names for girls from popular songs.
Unlike television and movie characters, there’s not always a link between the song’s release date and the name’s heyday.
Some names are already wildly popular when the song is written. Remember Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309” from 1981? It was only a matter of time until someone scored a hit with the heard-everywhere Jenny in the lyrics.
Other names stick around long enough for more than one single.
Like millions of Americans, I was riveted by the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts that aired this month on PBS. (I didn’t manage to watch all of 14 hours, but I hope to catch up eventually.)
I adore the first names in the Roosevelt family tree (Alice, Anna, Edith, Eleanor, Elliot, Ethel and Theodore are probably my favorites). But the documentary also got me thinking about Roosevelt itself, which the family’s charisma helped turn into a surprisingly common baby name.
In 1905, when Teddy Roosevelt was beginning his second term as president, his surname became the 91st most popular baby name in America. At the time, Roosevelt ranked higher than Stephen, Jacob, Alexander, Patrick or Philip.