Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Myrtle, Ethel, Tiffany & Caitlin

Here's another fine way to waste some time on line -- as if anyone needed another -- but also learn again about people's susceptibility to fashion in baby names. That isn't news, but the site has an especially good graphic representation of the phenomenon.

Back around the time we had new children to name, we were determined not to pass along some fashionable name like Tiffany (11th most popular girl name in the 1980s, down to 210th in 2006) or Caitlin (70th in the 1990s, 193rd in 2006), which will be relics in later decades as surely as Myrtle (No. 28 in the 1890s), Ethel (No. 8 in the 1890s) or Bertha (No. 12 in the 1890s).

Lilly (spelled that way), I was interested to see, had a nadir of popularity in from the 1960s to the '80s, dropping out of the top 1000 baby names, but it was 918th in the 1990s. More recently, it's spiked upward and as of 2006 is 151st. Which is about popular enough; don't want too many. In any case, my oldest daughter is on the leading edge of the name's revival. Lily is even more popular, at 33rd last year, but I think the flower and the name should be distinct.

Ann, a fine Anglo-Saxon variation of the Hebrew Hannah (without the ornamental French e) had its recent peak in popularity at 34th in the 1940s, but was down to 557th in 2003, when our Ann added her name to the statistics. But I still think it's a durable name. It'll swing up again.


Post a Comment

<< Home