Saturday, May 9, 2009

Not The Same Name

For some reason, the Social Security Administration likes to keep people updated on what the top baby names are for each year. It's sort of like Letterman's Top Ten List, only without Letterman, the funny jokes, Paul Schaeffer and his orchestra and a live studio audience. It's definitely not produced by World Wide Pants, either. Oh, and they also throw in a bunch of random facts about a bunch of names that aren't in the Top Ten. I can't quite figure out if having a kid whose name is in the Top Ten Baby Names for the year is a good thing or a bad thing. ON the one hand, it's nice that so many people can have the same tastes in names. You know, sort of some underlying common ground for everyone to relate to each other on. On the other hand, how are you going to feel when your kid is in school and his classmates all share maybe 6 different names between all of them? Not so special, that's how you'll feel. You've been warned. Now carry on.

For the past 10 years, Emily has been the number one baby name for girls. Ten years. Quite the reign you had going there, Emily. Not quite as long as Jennifer, which reigned from 1970 until 1985, when she was upended by that bitch, Jessica, but still a long time. But from 1909 until 1947, and with only a 6 year break until the eight year swan song from 1953 to 1961, the most popular baby name for girls? Mary.

That's 46 out of the last 100 years, the name Mary was the most popular name chosen for baby girls, a statistic that I find absolutely fascinating as I have only ever met/worked with one other Mary in my life. That's it. Granted, I came into the list when Mary was in 5th place overall, but still, you'd think that the country would be saturated with them, but I find just the opposite. Mary - A name as barren as the woman.

So your Top Ten female baby names for 2008, from 10th to 1st:

10 - Chloe; 9 - Elizabeth; 8 - Abigail (This is a fine name, but don't the majority of people just call the kid Abby? I think they do. I'm not real big on the whole nickname/name shortening thing. If you're going to call your kid Abby, why not just name her Abby? I don't get that.); 7 - Sophia (Look, I hear 'Sophia', I think 'Loren' and really, that's a frightening thought when I'm looking at a baby and thinking about Sophia Loren); 6 - Olivia (It's when the Top Ten most popular boys names begin to include "Newton" and "John" that the conspiracy theories will begin to abound); 5 - Ava (Heather Locklear named her daughter Ava and it wouldn't surprise me if that was the onset of it's popularity. People will do anything that a celebrity does if it doesn't involve doing it to themselves. Like naming a child.); 4 - Madison (Can only be attributed to either the mermaid in Splash or the Avenue and I'm going to have to go with the Avenue being more popular than Splash); 3 - Emily; 2 - Isabella (I hear 'Isabella' and I think 'Rossellini' and really, can you go wrong with Isabella Rossellini? I don't think you can. And she might be only Number Two on this list, but Ross on 'Friends' put her first on his "List of People I'm Allowed To Sleep With", though he ended up bumping her off in favor of Dorothy Hammill. What is it with you guys? Do you know they can't spin like that in bed?! Do you?!); 1 - Emma (Joined the Top Ten ranks when Rachel on 'Friends' named her baby that. A nice tribute is to name your baby after someone else, although it helps if that person is actually real and you actually know them. I'm just sayin'.).

For the boys, the last ten years have been under the reign of Jacob who first took the title in 1999, taking it away from Michael who had reigned supreme from 1954 with only a 1 year break in 1960 when that bastard David slipped in there. 45 years, just one year shy of Mary. (It is a tough standard to meet. I freely admit that.) Before that, John, James and Robert all had stretches of around 15 years.

Your Top Ten male baby names for 2008, from 10th to 1st:

10 - Matthew: 9 - Christopher; 8 - William (I do not hear of many kids named William, do you? I'll take any variation on the theme, too. Will, Bill, etc. I just don't hear it. Although it does seem to be popular with sets of twins. Go figure.); 7 - Anthony; 6 - Alexander (First Anthony and now Alexander? Are Caesar and Brutus going to make an appearance in the Top Ten sometime soon? If so, do I get to say 'Et tu, Brute?' Please?); 5 - Daniel; 4 - Joshua; 3 - Ethan; 2 - Michael; 1 - Jacob.

So what happens when there are all of these kids that have the same name? Correct, parents start coming up with funky (translation: asinine) ways of spelling the name. Case in point: I went to school with a kid named Kevin, only it was spelled C-E-F-A-N. What the hell is that?! That's not KEVIN! All the world is not hooked on phonics! But there are eight, yes EIGHT, eight ways that people spell Brayden. Or Braden. Or Braden, Bradyn, Braeden, Braedon, Braiden, and/or Braydon. There are NINE different spellings of Jayden. Or Jaden. Or Jadon, Jaeden, Jaiden, Jaidyn, Jayda, Jaydin, and/or Jaydon. Eight ways for Kayden, Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kaeden, Kaiden, Kayden. Anything with that -AYDEN sound at the end has multiple spellings.

For girls, the funky spelling continues with names like Haley. Or Hailee. (Seriously? You're going to spell your kid's name like that? Do you want her to be a stripper?) Or Hailey, Hailie, Halle, Hallie, Haylee, Hayley, and/or Haylie. What the hell is wrong with just Haley? NOTHING! Yet people MUST go with the alternative spellings, not realizing the full consequences of their actions. Give a kid a name that's spelled weird and he or she will never be able to find personalized things with their name already on it. And when you're a kid, that's a big deal! To find your name on some little tin license plate souvenir when you've been schlepped across the country on what would amount to the Disastrous Family Vacation of Insert Year Here, that could be the highlight of your summer! But because you had to spell it like a stripper, that chance for vacation redemption is lost. Lost forever. I hope you're happy.

The one thing I really like this top baby name data for is so that I can be prepared for possible onslaughts of new and made up names. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please consult any NFL or NBA team's roster and you'll understand when you've read off multitudes of LaDanian's and LeBron's and Shatawnsha or DaMaskus, etc. Also be on the lookout for hyphens, apostrophes and accent marks. Some of the more unique names to have seen a surge in popularity are names for boys like Jacoby, Kane, Beckett, Paxton, Kale, August and Miles! Most excellent. Those are the more normal of the unique. There's also a surge in popularity for Kingston, Zayden, Maximus (When did we start naming our boys after dogs?!), Cash (probably the only way some folks figure they'll get any), Ezra, Romeo (If Juliet is on the girls list, that's it for me! America's Hat, here I come!), Mauricio, Maddox (damn you, Angelina Jolie!), Maximilian, Ezekiel (people like this because they call the kid Zeke. Then just name him Zeke, why don't ya!).Losing the most popularity among boys names is Aldo, followed by Branden and Osvaldo. Oh, please! When was Osvaldo HUGE?!

Girls names on the rise? That whore Khloe Kardashian has caused the name Khloe to surge. (Oh, wait. It's Kim Kardashian who is the whore. My mistake. Sorry. Didn't mean to unjustly whore ya there.) Marlee and Marley (Not because of that damn dog movie?! Say it ain't so!) and a bunch of names that, as I've said, are just made up. We have a surge in Jaslene, Dayana, Jimena (which looks like a cross between a jicama and a pimento. Though all I can think of is Eddie Murphy saying, "Jimena, Jimena, Jimena."), Teagan, Janiyah, Kimora, Jazlyn, Genesis (?), Ximena (cousin of Jimena), Fernanda, Janiya, and something spelled Aaliyah (I don't even know what that is).

But good news! Nevaeh, the name that just bugs the holy crap out of me, is dropping in popularity and not fast enough, that you very much! Nevaeh, in case you're unfamiliar, is the word 'heaven' spelled backwards. Now, isn't something that is backwards traditionally thought of as the opposite of that thing? I thought that's how it worked. There wasn't a memo or anything, but I thought it was general knowledge none the less. So the opposite of heaven would be? HELL! That is correct! Not exactly a loving moniker to bestow upon the latest addition to your brood! (And just a WARNING: If you search Google Images for 'Nevaeh', you're going to find yourself looking at a whole lot of porn. Yep. Nevaeh is a very porn-y name, apparently. Well, from the looks of it anyway.)

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1 comment:

grannyann said...

We have two websites with baby names. If you want to see something funny check out our list of celebrity baby names at:
I can't believe what people name their kids.