Our intrepid and ever inventive friend Nephele now ventures back to the future and into the fantastic territory of Steampunk names.
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that presents an alternative future or universe in which modern-day type inventions and conveniences are propelled by steam or inventive clockwork mechanisms.Â Dirigible airships are also iconic to steampunk.
Although the steampunk movement emerged in the 1980s, there have also been novels, movies, and television series which are today identified as steampunk (or containing steampunk elements) that predate the actual coining of the term.Â
The steampunk movement has inspired an entire subculture consisting of enthusiasts who meet at steampunk conventions and who tend to dress in fabulous fashions that meld a futuristic look with 19th century Victoriana.Â Much of steampunk fashion incorporates goggles (the apparent badge of the Victorian scientist/adventurer).Â Steampunk jewelry features clockwork motifs.Â
The names in the following list include typical steampunk names (names which were in vogue during the latter half of the 19th century), character names appearing in popular works containing steampunk elements, and names of noted authors who have influenced the steampunk literary movement.
- ALEKSANDAR â€“ the young hero of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series.
- ARRONAX – from Professor Pierre Aronnax, a scientist in Jules Verne‘s, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
- ARTEMUS â€“ after Artemus Gordon, secret agent partner to Jim West in the television series and movie, The Wild, Wild West.
- BLAYLOCK – a name honoring early steampunk author James P. Blaylock.
- BRISCO â€“ the cowboy hero in the television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
Yesterday, we looked at the girls’ names, and today, as promised, itâ€™s the boysâ€™ turn.Â Again, we present the Top 10 baby names for every letter of the alphabetâ€”from Anthony to Zecheriahâ€”compiled by nameberryâ€™s own Nephele.Â Â (TheÂ U.S. Social Security Administration’s complete names lists spanning a 130-year period were used in theÂ tabulation of these special statistics.)
And again, there are some listings you might find surprising:Â even moreÂ nickname names, with Billy and Bobby both among the ten most popular â€˜Bâ€™ names, Willie Â the Number 3 â€˜Wâ€™ name, and twice as many Larrys as Lawrences.Â Almost a dozen Latino names appear, but no JosÃ© (blame the profusion of other popular J-boys for crowding it out); and four different spellings of Zachary make the list.Â As compared with the girls’ statistics, there are more topÂ names racking up much greater numbers, withÂ several of the male classics being given to two, three, four and even five million boys over time.
Here, the full roster of Â Top 10 names for each starting initial:
1. Anthony 1,335,664
2. Andrew 1,192,233
3. Alexander 542,038
4. Arthur 518,307
5. Aaron 515,997
6. Adam 507,633
7. Albert 481,705
8. Austin 357,449
9. Alan 326,687
10. Allen 259,359
1. Brian 1,142,501
2. Brandon 705,063
3. Benjamin 626,514
4. Billy 379,598
5. Bruce 376,645
6. Bryan 356,776
7. Bobby 310,269
8. Bradley 286,800
9. Bernard 197,528
10. Barry 179,089
We often look at the name stats of the most popular girls’ names for a year, or even a decade, but sometimes itâ€™s enlightening to take a longer view.Â Our ever resourceful andÂ creative contributor Nephele has taken on the task of tabulating what the highest numbers of names were given to babies for each letter of the alphabet over the 130 year-period from 1880 to 2009. (Whew!– 1,430,841 Lindas!Â 592,450 Pamelas!)
There are some interesting surprises– even taking into consideration how the percentages for top names has changed over the yearsâ€”such as the fact that there have been twice as many Annas as Anns (ethnic impact), that Bertha tops Beatrice, that Ida squeaks past Isabella (though probably not for much longer), thatÂ half of the top K names relate to Katherine, and that Ashley is the second highest â€˜Aâ€™ name over the whole period.Â And of course, with lesser used letters, youâ€™ll find some highly unusual choices on the list: 352 Uyens were enough toÂ pushÂ their nameÂ into the Top 10.
So here, for your perusal, the Top 10 most popular girlsâ€™ names for every letter of the alphabet, followed by the total number given over that entire period.Â Boys will follow tomorrow.
1. Anna 844,721
2. Ashley 810,539
3. Amanda 775,095
4. Amy 673,333
5. Angela 650,496
6. Alice 536,538
7. Ann 466,050
8. Andrea 407,937
9. Amber 361,061
10. Annie 341,551
Nameberry’s own Nephele, known for her wonderfully cleverÂ and generous anagramming skills, has been studying the lower depths of the popularity list and gives us a report on some of the surprises she foundÂ there.
Now that the Social Security Administration has released its annual baby names listings beyond the top 1,000 (including all names that had at least five occurrences in any given year), names researchers can better track the influence of popular culture on our names.
For example, a girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Greidys” â€“ with an astonishing count of 186 baby girls having been given that name in 2009.Â Its variants “Greydis” and “Greidy” also appear for the first time on the 2009 list, again in the astonishing numbers of 100 and 25 occurrences respectively.
Another girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Chastelyn” with 150 occurrences.Â Its variants “Shastelyn” and “Chastelin” also appear for the first time in 2009, with 34 and 33 occurrences respectively.
While we may expect new names to appear on the SSA lists each year, these new names generally don’t have more than a dozen occurrences, if even that.Â Why are the names “Greidys” and “Chastelyn” (with their variants) suddenly so prominent in their first appearance on the SSA list?
Our Latin friends can answer that question easily enough.Â These names shot to popularity with those who watch the Spanish television network Univision’s reality TV show called Nuestra Belleza Latina *Â (which translates into “Our Latin Beauty”).Â The winning contestant in the show’s third season (2009) was a Latin beauty from Cuba, named Greidys Gil.Â Another popular contestant was Chastelyn Rodriguez from Puerto Rico.Â And thus were two new names embraced by American moms (or dads!) in search of baby names.
Beatrix Potter was an early conservationist, and her stories of Peter Rabbit and friends reflect her great love of the British countryside and nature.Â Her animal characters (with the exception of the American animals appearing in The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes) were drawn from life, revealing Beatrix Potter‘s eye for realism as well as whimsy.
Apparent in her stories is a Victorian delicacy of understatement and wit in describing unavoidable unpleasantries, such as death: “Your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”Â In addition, the Victorian expectation of children to master vocabulary can be found in Beatrix Potter‘s use of the occasional “soporific” and “improvident” sprinkled among the more childish bobbitties and scrumplies in her books.
While many of Beatrix Potter‘s anthropomorphic characters bear whimsical names, such as the beloved hedgehog laundress known as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, there nevertheless can also be found a number of baby-worthy names among her characters.Â These names will mainly appeal to those with classic naming tastes, representing names (and nicknames) that also appealed to the people of the British Isles living in the Victorian and Edwardian eras:
And now, for some Beatrix Potter fun!Â There’s a Beatrix Potter character hiding within your own name, just waiting to be released through the magic of anagrams.Â If you would like to know your “Beatrix Potter Name,” simply click on this link.
Nephele is the ‘net name of an obsessive anagrammatist and lover of names who is known for her anagrammed name makeovers on various themes which she provides a a fun service to Nameberryites on the “Talk About Names” forum.Â Her belief that she should have been born in the Victorian era is reflected not only in her fondness for Beatrix Potter, but also in other blogs she contributed to Nameberry, on Cicely Mary Barker‘s Flower Fairy names and names from the light operas of Gilbert and Sullivan.