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May 12th, 2014 03:56 PM #1
international girls's names x international boys' names in the SSA list.
Hey guys! I was looking into the SSA list, and one thing caught my attention. While I was checking the boys' popularity list, I saw many clearly ethnic names in the top 1000. As for girls, most names that were once tied to a specific background lost that ethnic feature, and are now in widespread use. I wonder why is that. I mean, why a clearly italian name like Isabella was so widely embraced by parents who got no italian background, but an equally italian name like Lorenzo is still being used mainly by italian parents? Why are girls' names more likely to become "internationally" used, while the same does not happen in the same degree to boys?
While looking at the SSA list for girls, I can't really know how many of the following babies actually have links to the background their names come from:
1-100: Isabella, Sofia, Layla, Aaliyah, Gabriela, Camila, Arianna/Ariana, Genesis, Bella, Sophie, Mila, Annabelle, Gianna, Eva
100-200: Maria, Brielle, Isabelle, Natalia, Liliana, Eliana, Valentina, Clara, Elena, Isabel, Laila, Gabrielle, Angelina, Juliana, Adriana, Elise, Josephine, Ximena, Alexia, Valeria, Izabella, Luna, Lila, Julianna, Fiona
200-300: Giselle, Keira, Alexandria, Emilia, Arabella, Lola, Leila, Genevieve, Gabriela, Daniela, Adrianna, Leilani, Amaya, Ana, Lucia, Camille, Alina, Anastasia, Danielle, Lilliana, Erin, Annabella, Arya, Vivienne, Daniella, Miriam, Elliana, Juliette, Noelle, Alessandra
300-400: Bianca, Yaretzi, Lilah, Fatima, Kiara, Nyla, Alondra, Giuliana, Alicia, Nadia, Amiyah, Malia, Eloise, Mariana, Myla, Briella, Sierra, Gia, Briana, Talia, Heidi, Carmen, Lucille, Kamila, Arielle, Karina, Lia, Maliyah, Esmeralda, Catalina, Nayeli, Janelle, Camilla
400-500: Elle, Sarai, Alejandra, Vera, Francesca, Sasha, Carolina, Ariella, Itzel, Anya, Viviana, Cataleya, Jimena, Guadalupe, Annabelle, Amira, Elisa, Rebekah, Celeste, Karla, Janiyah, Anaya, Imani, Maeve, Lilian
500-600: Lorelei, Nia, Aniya, Fernanda, Amari, Lilyana, Luciana, Kaliyah, Zariah, Annika, Gloria, Zuri, Elsa, Johanna, Aryanna, Angelique, Tatiana, Tiana, Dayana, Helena, Danica, Dulce, Anika, Emilie, Anabella, Liana, Aisha, Leia, Anahi, Elyse, Amara, Natasha, Samara, Daleyza, Melina, Amani, Marina.
Some of those names are international variations of existing English names (Helen, Marian, Emily, Mary, Jane, Jade, etc), and some are completely international names with no standard English version. However, with some exceptions, most of these names are widespread enough for parents with no ties to the culture of its origin to use it without worrying about it looking too "ethnic".
A girl named Lucille can have 100% irish roots, as can Elena, Annika, Lucia, Luciana, Ariella and so on, and their names are seen as international enough.
The same does not happen with boys' names. While looking at the list, I saw many names with a clear ethnic origin:
1-100: Jose, Xavier, Luis, Juan, Carlos
100-200: Jesus, Mateo, Elias, Santiago, Antonio, Giovanni, Diego, Leonardo, Alejandro, Gael
200-300: Omar, Luca, Jorge, Amir, Eduardo, Francisco, Javier, Lorenzo, Josue, Ricardo, Fernando, Mario, Marco, Andre, Rafael, Emiliano, Emilio, Dante
300-400: Angelo, Sergio, Roberto, Romeo, Joaquin, Malik, Ali, Maximiliano, Ruben, Enrique, Esteban, Gerardo, Armando, Ismael, Pedro
400-500: Pablo, Raul, Rodrigo, Muhammad, Rocco, Mohamed, Adriel, Alberto, Yahir, Uriel, Thiago, Alonzo
500-600: Arjun, Alfredo, Moises, Arturo, Mekhi, Carmelo, Nasir, Ahmed, Mauricio, Gianni, Aldo, Isaias, Moshe, Mohammed, Orlando, Matias, Ahmad, Dominik, Mohammad, Salvador, Luka, Nikolai, Vihaan, Luciano, Ramon, Raphael
I'm almost certain that the majority of the babies born with those names have ties to its ethnic/cultural background. I would assume the little Pablos, Elias, Santiagos, Muhammads and Giovannis were hispanic/muslim/italian/etc, which people wouldn't assume if they met a little Lucia, Ariella, Isabelle or Luciana.
What I'm saying is, having an Isabella Smith even though you do not have a drop of italian in your blood is something very usual that would not raise eyebrows. But having an Alejandro Smith with no hispanic heritage is something way more unusual. In the foruns, I see people suggesting all kinds of international girls' names, but when it comes to boys, the international suggestions are usually irish/german/scandinavian, and that's it. Alessandra is a pretty name for everyone to use, but Alejandro is too latino for most. What?
Was I clear? Did you guys understand my point, or was I just rambling?
Why do you think this happens? Why are girls' names seen as more internationally appealing, while international boys' names are, in most cases, seen as too ethnic?
Anyway, sorry for the long post and for grammar/spelling mistakes. Please, correct me if there are any. I noticed the girls's in the title when it was already too late. lol.
Last edited by carolinemchd; May 12th, 2014 at 04:07 PM.
_____Caroline. 21 year old from Brazil._________________________
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______________________________________________ officially a lawyer!
May 12th, 2014 06:31 PM #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2014
I could be completely wrong, but I'll just say what I think. I think girls are given a lot more freedom to decide who they want to be than boys. A girl can be a girly girl or a tomboy and there isn't much concern; consider how names are more likely to go from male to female rather than female to male. Here are some quotes from http://www.livescience.com/6569-good...g-effects.html
Originally Posted by livescienceOriginally Posted by livescience
Additionally, there may be more pressure for boys to carry on family traditions and culture than girls. I've seen more traditions of boys carrying a certain name across generations than girls, whether that be Joe Smith VII or naming every first son George. In general, males keep their name throughout their lives while women lose their maiden, use the maiden as their middle, or make the maiden their second middle. Maybe this leads to males being given more names that tie back to family and culture than women.
May 12th, 2014 08:58 PM #5Senior Member
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- Oct 2008
@kakin - You should probably take that guy's studies with a grain of salt; for example that study about boys with "feminine" names was restricted to one school district and the period of time leading up to and when they entered middle school. That's like observing the temperatures of one city at one time of the year and using that to conclude the effects of climate change.
May 12th, 2014 09:18 PM #7Senior Member
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- Feb 2014
Namefan, I'm aware of that and I know correlation doesn't equal causation. I wasn't trying to say that the results are necessarily true just that it shows there is a bias in favor of females having more freedom in naming. When different girl names were mentioned (female vs. male) the result was one was better in humanities and the other in the sciences. Neither of those is a bad result. With boys, having a girl name was associated with bad behavior. Who knows why he found those results. It could have been a variety of things including bias by the researchers or bullying. Both I feel would suggest that boys names, like boys themselves, aren't as flexible in society as girls names. If people feel that they have to stick with the norm for their boys and not the girls, they don't take the same risks in naming.
May 12th, 2014 09:24 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2008
I also noticed there is a lot of subjectivity on what you've classified as an "international" name - and the list may balance out more with a different person's definition. For example I see you have Erin and Maeve on the girl's list - to be fair on the boy's list you probably ought to also include names like Ronan and Rory (similarly Irish but usable on non-Irish babies in the eyes of a typical American). And names like Genesis aren't really "ethnic" (if anything a lot of the mid-range-in-usage Biblical names common for boys like Emmanuel and Ezekiel, which once again you didn't include, would have more of an "ethnic" flavor).
Another factor is that some of the "international" girl's names are feminine forms in which there isn't a "purely Anglo" one (while there is for the root male name) - e.g. Daniela/Daniella/Danielle and Gabriela/Gabriella/Gabrielle.
Last edited by namefan; May 12th, 2014 at 09:56 PM. Reason: revision