Category: Nameberry 9
The most popular names for boys used to hold steady for years. In 1932, the ten most popular names for boys born in the US were Robert, James, John, William, Richard, Charles, Donald, George, Joseph, and Thomas. Twenty years later, eight of those ten names were still dominant. Fast-forward to the 1980s, and 30% of the 1932 boys’ Top Ten still ranked.
As for the girls? That’s a different picture. Between 1932 and 1952, seven of the girls’ Top Ten fell. Shirley and Doris made way for Linda and Susan, and the change has continued at a rapid pace. None of the 1930s or 1950s girls’ favorites still held a top spot by 2012.
And yet there are more wearable names for boys than ever before. Plenty of parents are still passing down grandpa Joseph’s name, but the pressure to do so seems to be on the decline. We live in a more accepting age, where diversity in names feels quite normal.
Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
As the year draws to a close, we have a bumper crop of celebrity birth announcements to celebrate.
The newest arrivals answer to some very on-trend names: fierce, daring, nature-themed, a little bit rock and roll.
Some of them might even seem fanciful, the tiniest bit over-the-top. But we live in an age where imagination and creativity are prized. From Pinterest to Etsy, the rise of DIY and crafting and an emphasis on design has filtered into how we think about our children’s names.
If it is the end of the year, it is time for top names, and individual health systems to entire countries oblige by releasing their data.
But what does it mean if you are actually choosing a name for a child in the next few months?
Some parents insist on avoiding the newly-declared Top Ten, even if Noah or William was a long-time favorite. Others hope for something familiar, but not shared with too many others. And some of us will go to the fringes, considering obscurities from the dictionary and our family trees.
It happens all the time.
You’re expecting your first – or second, or third – and the perfect name eludes you. There are lots of possibilities and maybes, but none of them are The Name.
And then along comes a movie, a television show, a celebrity, a song, and that’s it. That’s the name.
The numbers tell us that pop culture is a major influence in baby naming. And yet we resist the idea. A name from a Jane Austen novel? Classic, sophisticated. From a soap opera or a Disney Channel series? Sometimes we’re a little dismissive of those choices.
But here’s the thing about names: we can’t consider them until we are aware that they exist.
This week’s names all come from movies and television, books and blogs. You may have heard them before, but seeing them on the screen could make the names feel fresh, interesting, and just right for a daughter.
Do you celebrate your name day?
While the idea is little known in the US, many cultures prefer name days to birthdays. The idea is simple: instead of celebrating your day of birth, you and every other Margaret or Joseph or Andrew are feted on the same day.
The custom has its origins in saints’ feast days, but plenty of non-saintly names exist on national calendars. Wanda is a legendary figure in Poland, so no surprise she has a name day there, along with other Slavic staples like Bogdan, Dobromir, and Grazyna.
Word is that Facebook is now encouraging users to add their name day celebrations to their profiles. Americans love a holiday, from Halloween to Cinco de Mayo. Could name days catch on here?
I’m in favor. Double the reasons for cupcakes!