Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Names, Names, Names

Thanks to The Urban Mennonite, I've been wasting time all day playing with The Name Voyager. It turns out that Dan (or Daniel, my proper name) is more popular than ever, at number 5 in 2007!

It's funny how competition kicks in like this, especially considering that I claim to value uniqueness.

But I'm not alone in my desire for uniqueness (heh). The graph results tell the story: There were twice as many babies named Dan in the 1980s as now, and yet Dan was number 7 then, and is number 5 now. This is because so many people are picking less common names for babies. It takes fewer people of the same name to be ranked high. (In case you are curious, Emily and Jacob were the number one names in 2007.)

I wondered how our family names rank in 2007, so I looked them up:

Chloe: Ranked 16, but not used much until the 1990s. She was born in 1994, so she had a fashionably unique name for awhile, but then everyone copied.

Jasmine: Ranked 32, but "Jasmin" is separate, and clocks in at 203. Again, not used until the late 80s and then took off in the 1990s. See Aladdin (1992).

Anthony: Like Dan, Anthony has been popular since the time of Pharaohs (or lions' dens), and is currently number 7 (sorry buddy, maybe next year).

Jill: Sadly, Jill is not listed in 2007, which means she didn't make the top 1000. Her name peaked in the 1960s (when she was born) at 61. Her buddy Jack has made a comeback though, and it currently number 38, only slightly lower than his johnnie-come-lately fashion mate, Jackson.

OK, I'm done wasting time. Time to go transport the bodies associated with these names to their various afternoon lessons and appointments.

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