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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    I'm not sure of the whole process, but as Kala_Way said, I guess some of it has to do with SSN data and also well-known people using that name.

    Whitman is a pretty strange case. I've gone through the SSN data, and there have been baby boys named Whitman born every year (most years between 14 and 24) for the past 20 years, but no females, so I am not sure why it's listed as a female name.

    I think that Pam and Linda add a female entry for unisex names when a name garners some popularity on girl babies. So James would fit that category because 28 baby girls were named James last year in the US, and 30 in 2011. Celebrities have also used James as a middle name for girls, so that would be another reason to add the entry. I've never heard of a baby girl named Ronald, so unless a celeb names her daughter Ronald next month or it becomes the next hipster trend, we're unlikely to see a female entry for it.

    As to Dresden, I don't know why it's listed as a male name, but it doesn't seem female at all to me. Even though I'm a Germanophile, it conjures up images of firebombing and Slaughterhouse-V to me, so I'm unlikely to name anything Dresden, let alone a child. I guess it would fall in the male category perhaps because it is consonant heavy and has the popular -en ending, that is common to a lot of popular male names.

    Anyway, to answer your broader question, I assume that the names in the database reflect names that are currently being used or have been used, as well as names of celebrities or pop culture characters (e.g., Katniss) that are not as likely to be used by parents, but may be searched by the curious name enthusiast. Of course, the database has holes in it, but they do try to update it often. I hope that helps.
    Miriam ~ Helena ~ Estella ~ Beatrice ~ Anastasia ~ Alice ~ Marilla ~ Sarah
    Paul ~ Wesley ~ Walter ~ Edmund ~ Isaac ~ Abram ~ Gabriel

    Trying for baby#1
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  2. #8

    Why is Harvest

    Quote Originally Posted by lawsonhaley View Post
    I second the point about Harvest being a random word and not a name, although some random words have made it in, as far as I know, a large number of them made it in because they've been used by celebrities. As for Dresden, a) I don't see how it's a name in all honesty, some surnames shouldn't become names, but that's my opinion, and b) I definitely don't see it on a girl. Most surnames are all male for me, even ones that are popular on girls, like Addison and Hadley.

    As for James, I don't think I'll ever understand how it's unisex. I thought a name needed a near 50/50 split in usage somewhere along the line to make it unisex.
    any more random than the name of a plant (Ivy) or a gem (Garnet) or a geographical feature (Lake) or a place (Austria) or a day (Sunday) or a month (June) or a color (Mazarine) or an occupation (Chandler) or an adjective (Halcyon)?

    One might not like such names, and that's fine, but it makes them no less valid.

    I can't say that I have heard Dresden as a surname, and I am certain that there is no logic to the statement that "some surnames shouldn't become names" -- says who?

    I think we live in a naming world in which there are no 50/50 rules or any rules of any sort. Thankfully, the US does not have an academy that selects what names are considered usable, female, male, unisex, etc. Far better to live with a lot of names that we don't like than to have naming freedom removed.

  3. #10

    That does help, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by maggiefromcanada View Post
    I'm not sure of the whole process, but as Kala_Way said, I guess some of it has to do with SSN data and also well-known people using that name.

    Whitman is a pretty strange case. I've gone through the SSN data, and there have been baby boys named Whitman born every year (most years between 14 and 24) for the past 20 years, but no females, so I am not sure why it's listed as a female name.

    I think that Pam and Linda add a female entry for unisex names when a name garners some popularity on girl babies. So James would fit that category because 28 baby girls were named James last year in the US, and 30 in 2011. Celebrities have also used James as a middle name for girls, so that would be another reason to add the entry. I've never heard of a baby girl named Ronald, so unless a celeb names her daughter Ronald next month or it becomes the next hipster trend, we're unlikely to see a female entry for it.

    As to Dresden, I don't know why it's listed as a male name, but it doesn't seem female at all to me. Even though I'm a Germanophile, it conjures up images of firebombing and Slaughterhouse-V to me, so I'm unlikely to name anything Dresden, let alone a child. I guess it would fall in the male category perhaps because it is consonant heavy and has the popular -en ending, that is common to a lot of popular male names.

    Anyway, to answer your broader question, I assume that the names in the database reflect names that are currently being used or have been used, as well as names of celebrities or pop culture characters (e.g., Katniss) that are not as likely to be used by parents, but may be searched by the curious name enthusiast. Of course, the database has holes in it, but they do try to update it often. I hope that helps.
    My weakness for Dresden is idiosyncratic, like so many of our naming preferences. I am European-American and admire Dresden's spirit. I also love names with a z sound and am very fond of china, i.e. Dresden china. And since I won't be having a child, I am pretty safe in liking it.

  4. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Room 94
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    4,570
    Quote Originally Posted by roryowen View Post
    any more random than the name of a plant (Ivy) or a gem (Garnet) or a geographical feature (Lake) or a place (Austria) or a day (Sunday) or a month (June) or a color (Mazarine) or an occupation (Chandler) or an adjective (Halcyon)?

    One might not like such names, and that's fine, but it makes them no less valid.

    I can't say that I have heard Dresden as a surname, and I am certain that there is no logic to the statement that "some surnames shouldn't become names" -- says who?

    I think we live in a naming world in which there are no 50/50 rules or any rules of any sort. Thankfully, the US does not have an academy that selects what names are considered usable, female, male, unisex, etc. Far better to live with a lot of names that we don't like than to have naming freedom removed.
    I believe I said it was, in my own personal opinion? If my maiden name was Bottom, would that be an appropriate option for a first name? No. So, again, in my opinion, some surnames should not become names.

    I know you're challenging my opinion, but did you not make a huge post about how girls are stealing boys names? This is really coming off as contradictory now to be honest. It doesn't make much sense.
    Last edited by lawsonhaley; January 21st, 2014 at 07:35 PM.
    Girls: Amelia, Ava, Emily, Sophia, Ella, Freya, Charlotte, Millie, Eva, Florence, Matilda, Eleanor, Martha, Violet, Clara, Betsy, Mabel, Ada, Lillian, Minnie, Tillie, Doris, Edna

    Boys: Harry, Charlie, William, George, James, Alfie, Joshua, Archie, Henry, Daniel, Edward, Harrison, Adam, Matthew, Michael, Liam, Callum, Louis, Albert, Andrew, Ernest, Darcy

    ~no matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world~

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,638

    Contradictory?

    Quote Originally Posted by lawsonhaley View Post
    I believe I said it was, in my own personal opinion? If my maiden name was Bottom, would that be an appropriate option for a first name? No. So, again, in my opinion, some surnames should not become names.

    I know you're challenging my opinion, but did you not make a huge post about how girls are stealing boys names? This is really coming off as contradictory now to be honest. It doesn't make much sense.
    Balderdash.

    However, I find it best to simply refrain in future from engaging in debate with you, because debate IS challenging others' opinions, one hopes in a civil manner.

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