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G Names: Then and now, hard and soft

G Names: Then and now, hard and soft

By Kelli Brady of NameFreak!__

Over history, have American parents favored the soft or hard G sound for their children? I have put together the G names that have been in the Top 100 since 1880, and created a chart showing which names have been on top in each decade. And as an attempt to show things visually, I have also highlighted the names that begin with the hard G sound…

1880s

1890s

1900s

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

Garfield

George

George

George

Gene

Gary

Gary

Gary

Gary

Gabriel

Gabriel

Gabriel

Gabriel

Gabriel

George

Grover

Gerald

Gerald

George

Gene

Gene

George

George

Gary

Gary

Garrett

Garrett

Gavin

Grover

Guy

Glenn

Gilbert

Gerald

George

George

Gerald

Gerald

George

George

George

Gavin

Grayson

Guy

Guy

Glenn

Gilbert

Gerald

Gerald

Glenn

Glenn

Gerald

Gregory

Gregory

Gordon

Glenn

Gilbert

Glenn

Greg

Greg

Gregory

Gordon

Glenn

Gordon

Gregory

Gregory

Gordon

Gregory

Georgia

Georgia

Genevieve

Genevieve

Genevieve

Gail

Gail

Gail

Gail

Gina

Gina

Gabrielle

Gabriella

Gabriella

Gertrude

Gertrude

Georgia

Georgia

Geraldine

Geraldine

Geraldine

Glenda

Gina

Grace

Gabrielle

Gabrielle

Gladys

Gladys

Gertrude

Geraldine

Gertrude

Gertrude

Glenda

Gloria

Gloria

Genesis

Genesis

Grace

Grace

Gladys

Gertrude

Gladys

Gladys

Gloria

Gianna

Gianna

Grace

Gladys

Gloria

Gloria

Grace

Grace

Grace

Grace

Grace

Gracie

**If the chart is too small to read on your device, here are the names in a different format:

1880s:Garfield, George, Grover, GuyGeorgia, Gertrude, Gladys, Grace_1890s:George, Grover, GuyGeorgia, Gertrude, Gladys, Grace1900s:George, Gerald, Glenn, GuyGenevieve, Georgia, Gertrude, Gladys, Grace1910s:George, Gerald, Gilbert, Glenn, GordonGenevieve, Georgia, Geraldine, Gertrude, Gladys, Grace1920s:Gene, George, Gerald, Gilbert, Glenn, GordonGenevieve, Geraldine, Gertrude, Gladys, Gloria, Grace1930s:Gary, Gene, George, Gerald, Gilbert, Glenn, GordonGail, Geraldine, Gertrude, Gladys, Gloria, Grace1940s:Gary, Gene, George, Gerald, Glenn, Gordon, GregoryGail, Geraldine, Glenda, Gloria1950s:Gary, George, Gerald, Glenn, Greg, GregoryGail, Glenda, Gloria1960s:Gary, George, Gerald, Glenn, Greg, GregoryGail, Gina, Gloria1970s:Gabriel, Gary, George, Gerald, GregoryGina1980s:Gabriel, Gary, George, GregoryGina1990s:Gabriel, Garrett, George, GregoryGabrielle, Grace2000s:Gabriel, Garrett, GavinGabriella, Gabrielle, Genesis, Gianna, Grace, Gracie2010s:Gabriel, Gavin, GraysonGabriella, Gabrielle, Genesis, Gianna, Grace_

Glancing at the chart, it seems as though the hard G outnumbers the soft G. After actually counting, 13 of the 16 boy names and 9 of the 15 girl names that appear in the Top 100 begin with a hard G. There doesn’t seem to be any pattern in the preference over time, other than the disappearance of the soft G in the top boy names in recent years. Looking at the chart in its entirety though, you can see a definite bell curve for both genders. There has been a gradual increase and decrease in popularity of G names over time, with one sharp jump for girls from the 1990s to the 2000s.

Additional observations:

The appearance of Gina in the 1980s column should have an asterisk next to it, as it only appeared in 1980. From 1981 through 1989, there were no girl names that started with G in the Top 100. Also, from 1964 until 1980, Gina was the only girl G name in the Top 100.

With the staying power of George, there has never been a time when the Top 100 was without a boy G name. George fell out of the top after 1992 and was also the last soft G boy name on the list.

Garfield is a one-hit-wonder. It appeared in the Top 100 in 1881, the year after James Garfield became President and the year of his death (he was in office for only 200 days before being assassinated). Grover‘s popularity between 1884 and 1893 is probably due to another president, Grover Cleveland, who was in office from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897 (I guess the thrill of the name died down during his second term).

Grace fell out of the Top 100 after 1938 only to reappear in 1995 after a 56-year absence.

There are a few boy/girl correlations for G names in the Top 100: Gabriel/Gabriella and Gabrielle, George/Georgia, and Gerald/Geraldine.

Other G names that haven’t already been mentioned and appear in the current Top 500 are: GiovanniGaelGrantGageGreysonGiselleGabrielaGrahamGriffinGunner,GiulianaGemmaGradyGiaGerardoGideonGuadalupeGustavoGianni, and Gunnar.

What is your favorite G name? Do you see any of these Top 500 rising to the Top 100 soon? Do you see any of the older names coming back?

Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Author

Kelli Brady

Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her eBook, Name-alytics, is a look at the history of the Top 100 names in the United States. Check it out at https://gumroad.com/l/name-alytics!