Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oct* Names


Happy October!

The name October was originally given to the eighth month on the Roman calendar and remained the name of the tenth month when January and February were added. As we are all aware, Oct- is the prefix given to words associated with "eight", and that does not change when it comes to names as they were/are sometimes given to the eighth child.

Did you know that only girls have been named after the month of October? At least that is what the SSA data shows us. There have been 620 girls named October since the first recorded case in 1969, and October's most popular year so far was 2008 with 72 girls. I always thought October would be a very wearable name for a boy, especially with the nickname Toby.

What about other names beginning with Oct-?

The most popular Oct- name in the United States, by far, is Octavia, the feminine form of Octavius. A total of 14,769 girls have been given the name since the data has been collected (1880). Its most popular year was 1987, when 446 girls were given the name. 139 boys have also been given the name between 1920 and 1994.

The next most popular Oct- name is Octavio, the Spanish form of Octavius. Between its first record in 1908 and 2013, 9,697 boys were named Octavio. Its most popular year was 2003, when 437 boys were given the name. Five girls were given the name in 1986.

Behind Octavio is the "original", the ancient Roman name Octavius. From 1911 through 2013, Octavius was given to 2,835 boys, and 1991 was its most popular year, when 126 boys were given the name. Fifteen girls were also given the name between 1981 and 1990.

Other Oct- names given over the years:

Octa - total of 160 girls between 1885 and 1941
Octabio - total of 7 boys in 1980
Octava - total of 41 girls between 1894 and 1931
Octave - total of 443 boys between 1880 and 1969
Octavian - total of 862 boys between 1970 and 2013
Octaviana - total of 11 girls in the years of 1925 and 2008
Octaviano - total of 657 boys between 1914 and 2009
Octavie - total of 176 girls between 1883 and 1926
Octavien - total of 23 boys between 1997 and 2008
Octavion - total of 158 boys between 1990 and 2013
Octavious - total of 1,381 boys and 5 girls between 1917 and 2013
Octavis - total of 283 boys between 1973 and 2006
Octavus - total of 5 boys in 1989
Octayvia - total of 38 girls between 1992 and 2001
Octivia - total of 68 girls between 1976 and 2000

Do you have a favorite Oct- name?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So no one told you life was gonna be this way...


This week marks the 20th anniversary of Friends. Nevermind that I'm old, this is truly a milestone as the show is one of the best comedies of all time in American television. Our current society will forever be influenced by it, including the hairstyles, the quotes, and the... names?

So... do we have more Emmas in the world because of Friends? What about Rachels? My own daughter is a Rachel, and while I have always been a huge fan of the show, I can honestly say her name has absolutely no connection to Rachel Green. I'm sure most parents of Chandlers and Monicas out there will say the same thing, but let's take a look at the numbers anyway... for fun.

For the purposes of this analysis, I used raw numbers. I just wanted to know if more babies were named these names from one year to the next.

Friends debuted in September 1994. Listed below are numbers beginning in 1990 to show the trend of the name in the years leading up to the debut. Also included are the 10 years the show was on the air (1994-2004) and several years after.

Here are the girls' names...


I see no real significant spike in numbers due to the show. For Monica and Rachel, the numbers went up a bit in the first several years of the show, but nothing huge in comparison to the numbers before the show started. Phoebe started its big climb during the show's reign, and then kept getting bigger and bigger after the show ended. Phoebe continued to increase in popularity while Monica and Rachel decrease. Now for the boys...


Joseph is a classic name that is a steady presence in the Top 100, so we won't really go into it much in relation to the show, but just as a point of interest, you can see it gradually decreasing in popularity as time goes on. Ross was on its way down when Friends started, but may have benefited from it in the show's second and third years before continuing its decline. And while you can see a slight increase leading up to the show, I think it's pretty safe to say that Chandler prospered from the show's run. There was never another time when Chandler's numbers were above 1,000 than while Friends was on the air.

Now what about baby girl Chandler and Emma...


While it's interesting that baby girls named Chandler jumped quite a bit in 1995, it wasn't due to "baby girl Chandler" who was born in 1998 on the show, but parents may have been inspired by Chandler Bing enough to name their daughter have him. What's fascinating is a significant spike in 1992 and 1993, before the show even started... what could that be from? As for Emma, it was well on its way to the top several years before Ross and Rachel's daughter was born in 2002, but the fictional baby may have sped up the process, boosting it into the Top 5 that same year.

Do you have a favorite Friends name? Do you believe the show influenced the popularity in the character's names at all?


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FYI...

I am following Nancy's Baby Names' lead and sharing this article about the problems with the Social Security Administration baby names data. The majority of this blog's posts (and my book) utilize this data, and I would be remiss if I didn't share its imperfections. While I have always been aware of the flaws in the data, I need to be sure my readers are as well. We shall take it as it is, be thankful that we have the resources we have, and have fun with it!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another Playground Analysis - Overall Girls Since 1880


We looked at the boys on Monday... now it's the girls turn. You can see the original Top 25 in my original post on Nameberry,

Once I combined the spellings of the Top 1000 names, there are 745 names on the girls list. I would love to include all of them, but to save space I will just do the Top 100. The main name listed is the one that was given to the most babies and the other spellings incorporated into the total are to the right.

1
Mary
 4,112,231

2
Catherine
 1,761,314

Katharine, Katherine, Kathryn
3
Elizabeth
 1,635,225

Elisabeth
4
Patricia
 1,570,091

5
Linda
 1,527,845

Lynda
6
Jennifer
 1,486,418

Jenifer
7
Sarah
 1,470,659

Sara
8
Barbara
 1,432,454

9
Deborah
 1,318,037

Debora, Debra
10
Margaret
 1,237,972

11
Dorothy
 1,125,482

Dorthy
12
Susan
 1,120,028

13
Betty
 1,059,795

Bettie, Bettye
14
Jessica
 1,038,686

15
Michelle
 1,025,489

Michele
16
Helen
 1,015,038

17
Karen
 1,011,400

Karin
18
Nancy
 1,000,497

19
Lisa
 963,508

20
Anna
 962,147

Ana
21
Carol
 926,158

Carole
22
Sandra
 916,876

Saundra, Sondra
23
Ashley
 905,025

Ashlee, Ashleigh
24
Kimberly
 880,091

Kimberlee, Kimberley
25
Dona
 848,888

Donna
26
Laura
 842,074

Lora
27
Emily
 840,385

Emilee, Emilie
28
Ruth
 818,934

29
Teresa
 814,028

Theresa
30
Rebecca
 810,931

Rebekah
31
Ann
 786,086

Anne
32
Amanda
 780,639

33
Stephanie
 770,190

Stefanie
34
Melissa
 766,256

Melisa
35
Amy
 755,675

Aimee, Amie
36
Kathleen
 739,878

Cathleen
37
Sharon
 720,198

38
Cynthia
 706,439

39
Shirley
 684,422

40
Rachel
 669,677

Rachael, Rachelle
41
Christine
 666,553

Kristine
42
Angela
 657,475

43
Christina
 656,179

Cristina, Kristina
44
Virginia
 645,974

45
Nicole
 640,155

Nichole
46
Kelly
 639,134

Kelley, Kelli, Kellie
47
Maria
 630,659

Mariah
48
Jean
 620,223

Jeanne
49
Frances
 615,550

Francis
50
Diane
 612,567

Dianne
51
Brenda
 605,398

52
Pamela
 593,446

53
Emma
 572,797

54
Megan
 567,903

Meagan, Meghan
55
Janet
 555,213

56
Carolyn
 553,345

57
Samantha
 550,105

58
Jacqueline
 547,743

Jaclyn, Jacquelyn
59
Martha
 546,694

60
Alice
 545,984

61
Lori
 545,178

Laurie, Lorie, Lorrie
62
Marie
 533,942

63
Kaitlyn
 526,733

Caitlin, Caitlyn, Kaitlin, Katelyn, Katelynn
64
Evelyn
 523,878

65
Heather
 523,352

66
Cheryl
 517,492

Sheryl
67
Sherry
 514,976

Cheri, Cherie, Shari, Sheri, Sherri, Sherrie
68
Joyce
 505,752

69
Julie
 505,063

70
Kathy
 502,868

Cathy
71
Joan
 479,460

72
Lauren
 473,613

Lauryn
73
Rose
 473,429

74
Brittany
 470,923

Britney, Brittney
75
Doris
 461,344

76
Grace
 459,994

77
Allison
 456,441

Alison, Allyson, Alyson
78
Victoria
 456,174

79
Janice
 453,495

Janis
80
Judith
 450,877

81
Mildred
 450,248

82
Julia
 442,422

83
Hannah
 437,502

Hanna
84
Brianna
 424,247

Breanna, Briana, Bryanna
85
Tracy
 421,161

Tracey, Traci, Tracie
86
Andrea
 420,996

87
Lillian
 412,968

88
Gloria
 408,930

89
Diana
 407,987

Dianna
90
Tammy
 404,690

Tami, Tammie
91
Crystal
 400,874

Krystal
92
Alyssa
 400,394

Alissa, Alisa, Elisa
93
Kristen
 395,018

Kristin
94
Jane
 394,174

Jayne
95
Carrie
 382,137

Keri, Kerri, Kerry
96
Judy
 381,310

97
Olivia
 376,907

Alivia
98
Beverly
 376,261

99
Erica
 373,159

Ericka, Erika
100
Stacy
 373,071

Stacey, Staci, Stacie

Significant Notables:

Mary is obviously untouchable, so the most glaring difference is the new #2... Catherine surpasses Elizabeth, rising from #38! And how about Catherine being used more than Katherine? The difference is only two spots between the names on the overall list, but Catherine beats Katherine by over 30,000 babies.

Unlike the boys' Top 10, which only had one move within its ranks, the girls' Top 10 shakes up quite a bit after combining the spellings. Linda overtakes Jennifer, and Sarah jumps from #10 to #7. Finally, the name that peaked my curiosity in the first place, Deborah, moves up from #30 to #9. Susan and Dorothy drop out of the Top 10.

The biggest mover up is Kaitlyn, leaping from #234 to #63. A close second is Stacy, moving up from #226 to #100.

Other big movers up in the Top 100 include: Michelle (#24 to #15), Teresa (#81 to #29), Ann (#65 to #31), Rachel (#48 to #40), Kelly (#64 to #46), Maria (#55 to #47), Jean (#68 to #48), Diane (#58 to #50), Megan (#76 to #54), Jacqueline (#78 to #58), Lori (#98 to #61), Cheryl (#75 to #66), Sherry (#164 to #67), Kathy (#103 to #70), Brittany (#94 to #74), Allison (#131 to #77), Brianna (#157 to #84), Tracy (#150 to #85), Tammy (#105 to #90), Crystal (#107 to #91), Alyssa (#122 to #92), Kristen (#173 to #93), Carrie (#138 to #95), and Erica (#165 to #99).

Fun Notes and Surprises:

Sonya beats out Sonia by 276 babies.

Tricia beats out Trisha by 558 babies.

Dolly beats out Dollie by 578 babies.

Lillie has been used more than Lily.

Lindsey has been used more than Lindsay.

Sherry has the most alternate spellings in the Top 1000 with 7. The other names with 4 or more that aren't already listed above are:
  • Hailey, Haley, Haylee, Hayley
  • Christi, Christie, Christy, Kristi, Kristie, Kristy
  • Jasmin, Jasmine, Jazmin, Jazmine
  • Teri, Terri, Terrie, Terry
  • Madalyn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelyn
  • Tania, Tanya, Tonia, Tonya
  • Keira, Kiara, Kiera, Kira, Kyra
  • Alaina, Alayna, Elaina, Elena

Which nickname suffix wins the battle? For the girls, I involved any name that ends with an "ee" sound at the end that had more than one alternative spelling included in the Top 1000. This would include -ie, -y, -i, -ey, -ee, and/or -eigh. The results are:
  • Tops for -y (17): Betty, Kimberly, Emily, Kelly, Sherry, Tracy, Tammy, Stacy, Christy, Sally, Holly, Brandy, Molly, Shelly, Patty, Abby, and Dolly.
  • Tops for -ie (9): Carrie, Jamie, Lillie, Leslie, Katie, Jennie, Kylie, Bobbie, and Callie.
  • Tops for -ey (6): Ashley, Haley, Kelsey, Riley, Aubrey, and Lacey.
  • Tops for -i (5): Lori, Vicki, Terri, Jodi, and Jeri.
  • Tops for -ee (2): Kaylee and Lee.

Which wins between the C and the K? I separated out the names that started with the hard C sound (that included both a C and a K spelling in the Top 1000) and determined which spelling was used more since 1880:
  • Tops for C (11): Catherine, Christine, Christina, Crystal, Christy, Carla, Chloe, Cassandra, Casey, Callie, and Carissa.
  • Tops for K (5): Kathleen, Kaitlyn, Kathy, Kara, and Krista

Shawn ranks #567, James ranks #642, Michael ranks #676, and Robert ranks at #915 on the girls overall list (before combining spellings).





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