Monday, December 31, 2012

The Name of the Rose Queen

Please excuse the non-professional-looking picture above... it's from the collection of yours truly.

I will always have a love for the Tournament of Roses Parade. My mother is from Pasadena, and we would visit the beautiful suburb of Los Angeles many times as I grew up. I remember going to the parade route a few times, and viewing the parade once from the stands and then walking to the Rose Bowl to see the game. The parade is unique in that all the floats are decorated with natural materials (flowers, seeds, wood, fruits, vegetables, plants, nuts, etc.) and nothing artificial is allowed, not even artificial coloring. Because of this, most of the floats are put together in the days before the parade, and viewing areas are set up for people to walk through and observe. The aroma surrounding the floats is heavenly.

I always wanted to take my kids to see the parade and am so grateful that wish came true last year. My daughter celebrated her sixth birthday watching the Tournament of Roses Parade in person. That's six years to the day after I watched the parade on television in the delivery room waiting for her to arrive. Her birthday happens to be on the second of January, but it is custom that if New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the parade and rest of the festivities are held on January 2. So, every six years, my baby girl will be able to watch the parade on her birthday. All that to say the Tournament of Roses is pretty special to me. Oh, and did I mention that my aunt was Rose Queen? ;)

My last post of 2012 is in honor of the many women who held the title of Rose Queen. There were some years in which no queen was named, so you may notice a gap in the numbers. Keep in mind that these girls were ages 17-21 at the time of their New Year's Day float ride, so you can count backwards if you want to know the year they were born. Let's take a look at the names!

1905 Hallie Woods
1906 Elsie Armitage
1907 Joan Woodbury
1908 May Sutton
1911 Ruth Palmer
1913 Jean French
1914 Mabel Seibert
1923 May McAvoy
1925 Margaret Scoville
1926 Fay Lanphier
1928 Harriet Sterling
1930 Holly Halsted
1931 Mary Lou Waddell
1932 Myrta Olmsted
1933 Dorothy Edwards
1934 Treva Scott
1935 Muriel Cowan
1936 Barbara Nichols
1937 Nancy Bumpus
1938 Cheryl Walker
1939 Barbara Dougall
1940 Margaret Huntley
1941 Sally Stanton
1942 Dolores Brubach
1943 Mildred Miller
1944 Naomi Riordan
1945 Mary Rutte
1946 Patricia Auman
1947 Norma Christopher
1948 Virginia Goodhue
1949 Virginia Bower
1950 Marion Brown
1951 Eleanor Payne
1952 Nancy Thorne
1953 Leah Feland
1954 Barbara Schmidt
1955 Marilyn Smuin
1956 Joan Culver
1957 Ann Mossberg
1958 Gertrude Wood
1959 Pamela Prather
1960 Margarethe Bertelson
1961 Carole Washburn
1962 Martha Sissel
1963 Nancy Davis
1964 Nancy Kneeland
1965 Dawn Baker
1966 Carole Cota
1967 Barbara Hewitt
1968 Linda Strother
1969 Pamela Anicich
1970 Pamela Tedesco
1971 Kathleen Arnett
1972 Margolyn Johnson
1973 Salli Noren
1974 Miranda Barone
1975 Robin Carr
1976 Anne Martin
1977 Diane Ramaker
1978 Maria Caron
1979 Catherine Gilmour
1980 Julie Raatz
1981 Leslie Kawai
1982 Katherine Potthast
1983 Suzanne Gillaspie
1984 Ann Marie Colborn
1985 Kristina Smith
1986 Aimee Richelieu
1987 Kristin Harris
1988 Julie Myers
1989 Charmaine Shryock
1990 Yasmine Delawari
1991 Cara Rullman
1992 Tannis Turrentine
1993 Liana Yamasaki
1994 Erica Brynes
1995 Aliya Haque
1996 Keli Hutchins
1997 Jennifer Halferty
1998 Purdy Tran
1999 Christina Farrell
2000 Sophia Bush
2001 Michelle Jacobs
2002 Caroline Hsu
2003 Alexandra Wucetich
2004 Megan Chinen
2005 Ashley Moreno
2006 Camille Clarke
2007 Mary McCluggage
2008 Dusty Gibbs
2009 Courtney Lee
2010 Natalie Innocenzi
2011 Evanne Friedmann
2012 Drew Washington
2013 Vanessa Manjarrez

If the New Year brings you a brand new baby girl, maybe one of these "royal" names will inspire you!

On a personal note, I would like to thank you for reading my blog this year! I wish all of you a very blessed New Year, and may we all be blessed with some wonderful name news in 2013. :)


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #71-80

Stella McCartney via

Stella McCartney, who was born in 1971 was named after both of her maternal great-grandmothers. We've been looking at the Top 100 of 1911, and it looks like Stella is definitely a follower of the "100 year rule." Let's look at the other #70s...

1911 #71-80

71 Ray - #685 and falling (after rising to #57)
72 Jesse - #141 and falling (after falling to #150 and then rising to #37)
73 Melvin - #622 and falling (after rising to #47)
74 Lloyd - fell off the Top 1000 after 2002 (after rising to #51)
75 Martin - #262 and falling
76 Cecil - fell off the Top 1000 after 1997
77 Leon - #405 and rising (after rising to #73 and then falling to #525)
78 Eddie - #488 and steady (after falling to #120 and then rising to #78)
79 Jessie - #696 and falling
80 Vincent - #101 and rising (after rising to #61, falling to #113, rising to #58, and falling to #123)

71 Mae - #803 and rising (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 40 years)
72 Stella - #73 and rising (after rising to #62 and falling out of the Top 1000 for 10 years)
73 Kathryn - #237 and falling (after rising to #60, falling to #113, rising to #45, falling to #111, and rising to #48)
74 Jean - fell off the Top 1000 after 1994 (after rising to #12)
75 Blanche - fell off the Top 1000 after 1964
76 Leona - #929 and rising (after rising to #74 and then falling out of the Top 1000 for 27 years)
77 Lucy - #72 and rising (after falling to #588)
78 Carrie - fell off the Top 1000 after 2008 (after falling to #241 and then rising to #28)
79 Beulah - fell off the Top 1000 after 1959
80 Vivian - #154 and rising (after rising to #64 and then falling to #539)

Jesse did a dip and rise and then a dip again in the last 100 years, but has been consistently falling since 1995. The other boys are not as interesting, except Leon, which fell to #525 in 2005 and then started rising again and Vincent, which did a roller coaster ride but stayed fairly close to the Top 100 the entire time.

Yet again, half of the girls names are on the rise. Mae reentered the Top 1000 in 2010 at #982 after FORTY years and then jumped another nearly 179 spots in 2011. Will it keep that pace in 2012? Stella reentered the Top 1000 in 1998 after a 10 year absence and has made huge strides since then to return to almost the exact ranking it was at in 1911. Kathryn's road over the last 100 years is similar to its counterpart Katherine. Leona reentered the Top 1000 in 2009 and has held steady in the #900s so far. Lucy is another perfect "100 year rule" subject, and is especially interesting as its rankings from 1880 until now makes a perfect bell curve (it was #44 in 1880... will it make it that high again?). And it looks like Vivian is heard more and more lately, especially with a few celebrity babies carrying the name (and its Vivienne spelling).

I personally love Ray and would like to see it on the rise again. What are your favorites?


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Diverted by a Name: Galadriel

Galadriel via Wikipedia

I saw The Hobbit today. There is such a treasure-trove of names in all of J.R.R. Tolkien's stories, I could write a thousand posts (and I know a ton has already been written). Not only are there a lot of names in his novels, there are quite a few wearable ones. Names that would be unique but not overly weird. Names that are strong and names that are beautiful. I personally would have loved to have used Éowyn for a daughter. The only thing a parent would have to overlook is the obvious connection to the books. Do you think any of Tolkien's names could become popular outside of the books, like Wendy did after Peter Pan? I wonder that, especially about the name that had me diverted today... Galadriel.

Galadriel means "maiden crowned with a radiant garland" in Sindarin, one of the languages spoken by the elves in Tolkien's Middle-earth. Her character is a royal elf and described as the fairest of her kind. She does not appear in the novel, but she shows up like a ray of light in the movie The Hobbit, just as she did in the The Lord of the Rings movies. The character makes the name stick out, and the sound, similar to Adrienne and Ariel, makes it wearable. The possible nickname Adriel is growing in popularity as a given name, mostly given to boys but to girls as well.

The following is a list of the occurrences Galadriel appeared in the records:

1969 - 5
1970 - 5
1971 - 8
1972 - 8
1973 - 7
1974 - 5
1975 - 9
1976 - 10
1977 - 11
1978 - 9
1979 - 9
1980 - 11
1981 - 10
1990 - 6
2000 - 10
2001 - 7
2002 - 7
2003 - 15
2004 - 11
2006 - 5

The Lord of the Rings novels were published in 1954-1955. Peter Jackson's movies were released in December of 2001, 2002, and 2003. The movies could be the reason for the increase in Galadriels born in 2003 and 2004. But there were other years of 10 or 11 girls given the name, so while the movies might have had a slight impact on exposing the name to parents, the true inspiration must have come from the original source.

Admittedly, Galadriel has a more distinctive sound than other usable Tolkien names, such as Arwen (given to 117 girls in 2003, 166 girls in 2004 and 149 girls in 2005) or Éowyn (given to 64 girls in 2004 and 2006, and 69 girls in 2005). But I think for those parents who are looking for a unique and beautiful name, with a Middle-earth twist, Galadriel is one that should be considered.

Another name to keep an eye on is Thorin. In The Hobbit, Thorin is the name of the dwarf leader and a likable one at that. It has been given to more boys than Galadriel has been given to girls over the years--27 boys were given the name in 2011, the most in a year so far--and maybe we'll see even more in the coming years due to The Hobbit in the theaters. The nickname and growing popularity of the given name Thor could also help the name soar.

Thanks to Behind the Name and Nancy's Baby Names.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Names from Rise of the Guardians


The movie Rise of the Guardians has a great sentiment that can be enjoyed throughout the year, but it is especially fitting for this holiday season. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Sandman, Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost are called to be the Guardians of Wonder, Hope, Dreams, Memories, and Joy (respectively). Their responsibility is to protect the children, but they need the children to believe in them in order to exist. I found the movie especially emotional given recent events. The innocence of a child is something so precious, even their belief in Santa Claus is worth holding onto. But I digress... here are the names!

North - In this story, Santa Claus is Nicholas St. North. The name North has an interesting history when it comes to its use. It appeared sporadically with 5 or 6 boys given the name in 1885, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1927, and 1930. Then, in 1996, it shows up with 7 uses and has consistently been on record since (skipping 2001 and 2005). In 2011, 20 boys were named North, the most in any year so far. Not sure if this had an impact, but Elijah Wood played the title character in the movie North, which was released in 1994. Since Easton and Weston are becoming more popular, why not North?

Bunny (E. Aster Bunnymund) - Bunny was first recorded as a boy's name, given to 5 boys in 1915. It was never given to more than 9 boys in a year, and that was in 1938. We would think of Bunny more as a girl's name, as it was more consistently given to girls from 1917 until 1992. It reached its height in the 1940s and 1950s, specifically in 1957 when 66 girls were given the name. Even in 2011, 6 girls were named Bunny. And while the name Easter has no record for 2011, 6 girls were given the name in 2010. Easter reached its peak in 1919, when 129 girls received the moniker. 

Sandy (Sandman) - Sadly, due to the hurricane and the school tragedy, Sandy is not highly looked upon right now. However, the character Sandman is a quiet guardian who leads by example and fights to keep dreams pure. The boy's name Sandy was ranked in the Top 1000 from 1880 until it fell off for good after 1981, never getting higher than #329 (1886). As a girl's name, Sandy was ranked from 1935 until it fell off after 2005, reaching #126 in 1960.

Tooth - Well, maybe you wouldn't name your child Tooth. But the actress who gave the character a voice is Isla Fisher, and Isla is a name currently on the rise in the U.S. and the U.K. (currently ranked #268 and #22, respectively).

Frost (Jack Frost) - I was actually surprised to find that the only time Frost is mentioned in the records is in 1916 when 6 boys were given the name. I guess I'm surprised because I have a distant cousin with the name (born since 2000 with a brother named Blaze). And when you know someone with that name, you think it's used a ton. In any case, Frost is another nature name that could go along the lines of Winter and Snow.

Pitch - The evil character, Pitch, is also considered to be the Boogeyman. I wouldn't think it would be under too much consideration when naming a child, and it hasn't been used enough to be recorded by the SSA, but I thought it was a clever name for a character in a story.

Jamie - One boy is a major factor in the movie, one who holds the fate of the guardians in his hands. His name is Jamie. Maybe it's short for James, but that we never know. What we do know is that Jamie is currently a more popular given name in the U.K. than in the U.S., where it reached its peak at #18 in 1976 for girls and #62 in 1975/76 for boys (it's currently #437 for girls and #801 for boys). Jamie is traditionally the boy spelling of the name, since it is considered a nickname for James. Jaime is traditionally the girl spelling (from the French "J'aime" meaning "I love", though pronounced differently). This spelling currently ranks higher than Jamie for boys in the U.S at #381, probably due to it also being the Spanish form of James (pronounced "hi-meh"). Jaime also ranked for girls in the States, but fell off the Top 1000 after 2004.

Two more names of interest but not as prominently heard in the movie: Sophie is the name of Jamie's sister and Pippa is the name of Jack's sister.

Thank you to Behind the Name and Nancy's Baby Names for helpful information.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #61-70

Betty White's Star on the Walk of Fame via Wikipedia

Only four more posts to go until we can look at the entire Top 100 of 1911!  Here's a link to the previous six posts, and here are the sixties...

61 Clyde - fell off the Top 1000 after 1998
62 Clifford - fell off the Top 1000 after 2005 (after rising to #59)
63 Norman - fell off the Top 1000 after 2005 (after rising to #36)
64 Benjamin - #19 and rising (after falling to #155)
65 Lester - fell off the Top 1000 after 1999 (after rising to #57)
66 Lewis - #633 and rising (after falling to #725)
67 Lee - #667 and steady
68 Oscar - #162 and falling
69 Philip - #406 and falling (after rising to #53)
70 Milton - fell off the Top 1000 after 2008 (after rising to #64)

61 Willie - fell off the Top 1000 after 1972
62 Alma - #878 and falling
63 Ella - #12 and rising (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 5 years)
64 Anne - #593 and steady (after rising to #52)
65 Mattie - #933 and steady (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 17 years, and then rising to #710)
66 Jessie - #690 and steady
67 Vera - #512 and rising (after rising to #65 and then falling out of the Top 1000 for 25 years)
68 Lois - fell off the Top 1000 after 1983 (after rising to #17)
69 Betty - fell off the Top 1000 after 1996 (after rising to #2)
70 Lena - #360 and rising (after falling to #577)

The boy names are mostly falling. However, Benjamin is the perfect "100 year rule" candidate. Lewis is making an interesting turn... could it keep rising? Philip is another interesting name to me, but not because of the rule implications. Philip was #69 in 1911 and #406 in 2011; Phillip was #160 in 1911 and #378 in 2011. Somewhere around 1960, Phillip surpassed Philip. According to Behind the Name, Phillip is a variation of Philip and was inspired by the surname. Is that why it became more popular? More people were using it from the surname? Or was it because of 1959's release of Sleeping Beauty and her Prince Phillip? Phillip was catching up to Philip before then, so I'm just not sure. In any case, both spellings are becoming less an less popular.

The girl's list has some great ones. Willie, Alma, Lois, and Betty are all grandma/great-grandma names to us but pretty in their own right (even Willie, which is a great way to honor a relative named William or could be a nickname for Wilhelmina). Anne and Mattie seem like they could be current, even though they are low in the ranks now. Anne is the French form of Anna, which is quite popular. Mattie sounds like Maddie, a nickname for the very popular Madison. Jessie is commonly a nickname for Jessica, which is decreasing in popularity and considered dated after reaching #1 in the 1980s and 1990s. The highlights of this group are Ella, which reentered the Top 1000 in 1990 after an absence of about five years and then shot up to #12 by 2011; Lena, which is slowly rising back towards the top; and the lovely Vera, which disappeared from the ranks for 25 years, reentered the Top 1000 at #895 in 2009, rose to #673 in 2010, and hit #512 in 2011. Will it continue to make those jumps in the coming years?

What do you think are the gems of this group?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Letter C for Carrots
photo by Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

Changing a C name to a K name is very popular right now, so I am not surprised when I see Krystal or Kamden. But when I was doing research recently, I came across a new (to me) phenomenon. There are several parents turning an S name into a C name.

In the English language, the letter C makes both a hard and a soft sound. There is "cat" with the hard C and "cemetery" with the soft C. Just as the hard C is used in many names, like Calvin, Catherine, Claire, and Cody, the soft C is used as well, in names such as Cecily, Cedric, Celine, and Cynthia. As this article explains, the vowel after the letter C usually determines the sound it makes. If the name you love originally makes an S sound, you love the letter C, and the vowel behind it allows it, why not make the change? I can definitely see the logic behind the move. I question the "look" of the name, but that's probably what the parents like about the variation.

Here are some examples from 2011 with the number of children given the name. I only included the spellings of the names that replaced the traditional S with C, not all variations of the name (i.e. Cydnee and Cyrentiy).

Cebastian 9
Cera 17
Cerena 6
Cerenity 74
Cidney 15
Cienna 102
Cierra 181
Cilas 5
Cincere 19
Cydney 68
Cymone 6

Once someone takes a look at the name, he or she will know how to pronounce it. But there will be hesitation and in a few cases, confusion. If anyone is like me, he or she may not get past the fact that Cidney looks like Kidney. Maybe that's nit-picky, but it's something parents might want to consider before choosing the unique route. Something else you may notice, Cera sounds like Sara, but the first vowel was changed in order to make the C soft. Cara has a hard C sound and is a completely different name. Another example of this seen in previous years is Cebrina.

If a C can replace an S, why not the other way around:

Secilia 7
Sedric 17
Seleste 8
Selia 7
Seline 8
Sindy 25
Sy 20
Syrus 55

These names make no qualms about their pronunciation. Since S has only one sound, there wouldn't be as much confusion as with the C names. Other examples I've seen in previous years are Secily and Sinthia.

The names listed below are some examples of a similar exchange: Sh instead of Ch...

Shantel 36
Sharice 5
Sharlene 22
Sharlize 5
Sharlotte 15
Sheyenne 19

In my humble opinion, Sharlotte just doesn't have the same classic feel of Charlotte.

While the Sh names leave no room for various pronunciations, the three possible sounds of Ch (represented by the words church, champagne, and charisma) create problems when replacing Sh with Ch:

Chania 9
Channon 5
Chayne 6
Cheila 7
Chelby 5
Cheyne 5

I know a Cheri and had no problem accepting Sherry as the pronunciation, so maybe these spellings are perfectly fine. But there is always the possibility parents want a harder Ch sound at the beginning of the name for something entirely different. Because of that chance, I'm not sure these names could be met without some hesitation.

What do you think? Could these letters be interchanged without any problem in pronunciation?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Name Madness Winners!

"Claire Dunphy" a.k.a. Julie Bowen via Wikipedia

It's time to announce the winners of this year's Name Madness! It was another close one for the girls, and not as close for the boys. Forty people voted and here are the results:

Claire 52.5%
Penelope 47.5%

Emmett 37.5%
Henry 62.5%

Congratulations to Claire and Henry! They beat out 70 other character names...

Claire was in the play-in round, beating Diana to enter the main rounds. It then beat Virginia, Zoe, Ramona, Josephine, and Penelope. Claire's closest competition was Penelope.

Henry beat Tyrion, Axl, Luke, James and Emmett. Henry's closest competition was Emmett.

What do you think? Would you have predicted these results? I think next time I will ask for predictions before the voting starts. ;) Thank you so much for participating and keep an eye out for another round of Name Madness next year!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #51-60

Doris Day via Wikipedia

As we enter into the bottom half of the Top 100, we'll see if the names in the lower 100 have more of a turnaround power than the upper half. So far, not so good. For a reference, here is a link to the previous Where Are They Now? posts.

1911 #51-60

51 Peter - #198 and falling (after rising to #36)
52 Frederick - #540 and falling (after rising to #49)
53 Daniel - #10 and falling (after rising to #5)
54 Bernard - fell off the Top 1000 after 2008 (after rising to #45)
55 Russell - #404 and steady (after rising to #49)
56 Theodore - #231 and rising (after falling to #314)
57 Floyd - fell off the Top 1000 after 1998
58 Chester - fell off the Top 1000 after 1995 (after rising to #53)
59 Leroy - fell off the Top 1000 after 2010  (after rising to #51)
60 Edwin - #235 and falling  (after rising to #52)

51 Bernice - fell off the Top 1000 after 1984 (after rising to #39)
52 Minnie - fell off the Top 1000 after 1971
53 Ann - #996 and falling (after rising to #28)
54 Nellie - fell off the Top 1000 after 1979
55 Katherine - #61 and steady (after rising to #45, falling to #105 and then rising to #25)
56 Doris - fell off the Top 1000 after 1992 (after rising to #6)
57 Laura - #273 and steady (after falling to #119 and then rising to #10)
58 Marion - fell off the Top 1000 after 1988 (after rising to #42)
59 Marjorie - fell off the Top 1000 after 1994 (after rising to #16)
60 Lillie - #467 and steady (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 22 years)

This group definitely lacks in contenders. Daniel is a name that will probably always be in the Top 100, but Theodore is the only other boy name that fits into the realm of the "100 year rule" criteria (and it isn't even close to the Top 100 yet). As for the girl names, Katherine and Laura are roller coaster rides, while Lillie has made a slight comeback after being out of the picture for 22 years and re-entering the Top 1000 in 1998.

I think the mouse has forever tainted the name a bit, but I love Minnie. I also wish Frederick would make a U-turn and come back into common use.

Do any of these names stick out to you?


Friday, December 14, 2012

The Bush Family

via Wikipedia

While not quite American royalty (I guess that title only goes to the Kennedys), the Bush family is definitely an American dynasty. Several members have a history of public service, the most well-known being the father and son who were both President of the United States. Recently, President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna announced her pregnancy, expanding the lineage even further. I've always known that the Bush twins were named after their grandmothers, but as I did the research for this post, I was pleased to find that the Bushes have a history of using family names. I put together as much information as I could find from the trusty internet. Let's go back to the late 1600s...

Richard Bush (1695-1742) with Mary Fairbanks

Timothy Bush (1735-1815) with Deborah House
-Timothy, Jr.

Timothy Bush, Jr. (1761-1850) with Lydia Newcomb
-Obadiah Newcomb

Obadiah Newcomb Bush (1797-1851) with Harriet Smith
-Cornelia and/or Cornelius (not sure if this is twins or a mix-up with the names; it is said that Obadiah had 7 kids, so maybe they named their twins Cornelia and Cornelius?)
-James Smith
-William Mack

James Smith Bush (1825-1889) with Harriet Eleanor Fay
-James Freeman
-Samuel Prescott (named after Harriet's grandfather Samuel Prescott Phillips Fay)
-Harriet Montford
-Eleanor Howard

Samuel Prescott Bush (1863-1948) with Flora Sheldon
-Prescott Sheldon
-Robert Sheldon
-Mary Eleanor
-Margaret Livingston
-James Smith

Prescott Sheldon Bush (1895-1972) with Dorothy Wear Walker
(Dorothy's parents were George Herbert Walker and Lucretia "Loulie" Wear)
-Prescott Sheldon, Jr.
-George Herbert Walker
-Nancy Walker (has 4 children with Alexander Ellis - Nancy, Alexander III, John Prescott, and Josiah)
-Jonathan James (has two sons with Josephine - Jonathon S. and William Hall "Billy")
-William Henry Trotter "Bucky"

George Herbert Walker Bush (b. 1924) with Barbara Pierce
(Barbara's parents were Marvin Pierce and Pauline Robinson; Marvin Pierce's parents were Scott Pierce and Mabel Marvin)
-George Walker
-Pauline Robinson "Robin" (died at the age of 3)
-John Ellis "Jeb"
-Neil Mallon
-Marvin Pierce
-Dorothy Walker

George Walker Bush (b. 1946) with Laura Lane Welch
(Laura's parents were Harold Welch and Jenna Louise Hawkins)
-Jenna Welch (twin)
-Barbara Pierce (twin)

Jeb Bush (b. 1953) with Columba Garnica Gallo
-George Prescott Garnica
-Noelle Lucila
-John Ellis, Jr. "Jebby"

Neil Bush (b. 1955) with Sharon Smith
-Lauren Pierce
-Pierce Mallon
-Ashley Walker

Marvin Bush (b. 1956) with Margaret Conway Molster
-Marshall Lloyd (girl)

Dorothy Bush (b. 1959) with William LeBlond and Robert Koch
-Sam (LeBlond)
-Ellie (LeBlond)
-Robert (Koch)
-Gigi (Koch)

I can't wait to see if Jenna uses family names for her little one! What names would you choose?

This information was gathered from and


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


photo by jon700 via Flickr

In honor of 12/12/12, I thought we would take a look at the names that ranked #12 from 1880 through 2011. I love looking at names in this area of the Top 1000 because the names are popular, but more than likely never reached the top spots. The #12 names from the years around your birth are probably names that you heard a lot in your class when you were young, but they didn't and don't have the notoriety of being "the name." So, here you go... the #TWELVES:

1880 Harry, Clara
1881 Harry, Sarah
1882 Harry, Sarah
1883 Harry, Sarah
1884 Harry, Florence
1885 Harry, Florence
1886 Harry, Bessie
1887 Harry, Annie
1888 Thomas, Ida
1889 Thomas, Alice
1890 Thomas, Helen
1891 Thomas, Bessie
1892 Thomas, Minnie
1893 Thomas, Minnie
1894 Thomas, Minnie
1895 Harry, Clara
1896 Thomas, Alice
1897 Walter, Edna
1898 Harry, Edna
1899 Walter, Alice
1900 Walter, Edna
1901 Walter, Alice
1902 Walter, Gladys
1903 Walter, Alice
1904 Walter, Lillian
1905 Walter, Ethel
1906 Walter, Ethel
1907 Walter, Ethel
1908 Walter, Ethel
1909 Walter, Frances
1910 Thomas, Florence
1911 Walter, Florence
1912 Henry, Florence
1913 Henry, Evelyn
1914 Henry, Alice
1915 Harold, Virginia
1916 Paul, Marie
1917 Harold, Marie
1918 Richard, Marie
1919 Richard, Marie
1920 Harold, Evelyn
1921 Harold, Evelyn
1922 Donald, Anna
1923 Thomas, Evelyn
1924 Frank, Evelyn
1925 Frank, Evelyn
1926 Frank, Jean
1927 Frank, Frances
1928 Frank, Jean
1929 Frank, Jean
1930 Paul, Virginia
1931 Paul, Virginia
1932 David, Joyce
1933 Ronald, Joyce
1934 David, Joyce
1935 Ronald, Joyce
1936 Ronald, Joyce
1937 Joseph, Helen
1938 Joseph, Judith
1939 Joseph, Joyce
1940 Joseph, Dorothy
1941 Joseph, Margaret
1942 Larry, Shirley
1943 Larry, Shirley
1944 Larry, Judy
1945 Donald, Carolyn
1946 Gary, Carolyn
1947 Gary, Judith
1948 Gary, Karen
1949 Gary, Donna
1950 Ronald, Karen
1951 Ronald, Donna
1952 Joseph, Carol
1953 Mark, Cynthia
1954 Mark, Pamela
1955 Gary, Pamela
1956 Joseph, Pamela
1957 Joseph, Pamela
1958 Joseph, Nancy
1959 Timothy, Pamela
1960 Joseph, Barbara
1961 Joseph, Barbara
1962 Steven, Pamela
1963 Scott, Tammy
1964 Steven, Deborah
1965 Timothy, Pamela
1966 Christopher, Donna
1967 Thomas, Amy
1968 Thomas, Kelly
1969 Scott, Julie
1970 Scott, Karen
1971 Jeffrey, Heather
1972 Joseph, Julie
1973 Joseph, Julie
1974 Joseph, Elizabeth
1975 Joseph, Christina
1976 Joseph, Rebecca
1977 William, Lisa
1978 Joshua, Kelly
1979 Daniel, Kimberly
1980 Brian, Angela
1981 Justin, Rebecca
1982 Justin, Heather
1983 Justin, Amy
1984 Ryan, Crystal
1985 Ryan, Christina
1986 Joseph, Melissa
1987 Joseph, Megan
1988 Joseph, Megan
1989 John, Nicole
1990 John, Emily
1991 Nicholas, Kayla
1992 Nicholas, Lauren
1993 Joseph, Lauren
1994 Zachary, Kayla
1995 Joseph, Rachel
1996 Joseph, Megan
1997 Joseph, Kayla
1998 Daniel, Kayla
1999 Ryan, Lauren
2000 Brandon, Alyssa
2001 David, Taylor
2002 Anthony, Alyssa
2003 Nicholas, Sarah
2004 Ryan, Sarah
2005 Alexander, Sophia
2006 Alexander, Ashley
2007 David, Samantha
2008 Andrew, Addison
2009 Aiden, Addison
2010 Mason, Elizabeth
2011 Matthew, Ella

Notice the change in preferences as the years progress. It's fascinating that preferences remained the same throughout many years early on in the list, and then names would periodically pop up throughout the later years but not with the same consistency. You can also see some of the top names as they make their way up (or down) the ladder.

In my opinion, 1995 is the best year for #12s... two timeless, Biblical names in Joseph and Rachel. Rachel happens to be my daughter's name, but I hold no bias. ;) I also think 1887, 1914, and 1930/31 were great years for #12s.

Which year holds your favorite pair of #12s?


Monday, December 10, 2012

Name Madness - FINAL ROUND

photo by Zagrev via Flickr

We started out with 72 names. Now we are down to 4.

This is it! The last round for Name Madness 2012! Thirty-one people voted in Round 4 and here are the results:

Claire 55%
Josephine 45%

Penelope 52%
Daphne 48%

Declan 42%
Emmett 58%

Henry 65%
James 35%

The matches were all pretty close except for Henry vs. James. I am sad that James lost, but if it has to lose to anyone, I'm glad it was to Henry.

When we started this tournament, did you have any idea that these would be the final names?

So, here we are. The final vote. Out of our 72 character names, which is going to be the tops for girls and which is going to be the tops for boys? You have the next week to VOTE! The Final Round ends Sunday, December 16. Winners will be announced Monday, December 17. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Have fun!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #41-50

Elmer Fudd via Wikipedia

We are halfway there! I am going through the top 100 names of 1911 and seeing where they are now. Does the "100 year rule" apply more to the names in the top 50 or bottom 50? We'll see!

You can read and see links to the previous groups here.

1911 #41-50

41 Herbert - fell off the Top 1000 after 2002 (after rising to #25)
42 Andrew - #16 and falling (after falling to #86 and then rising to #5)
43 Eugene - #826 and falling (after rising to #20)
44 Stanley - #674 and steady (after rising to #34)
45 Charlie - #236 and rising (after falling to #479)
46 Leonard - #705 and steady (after rising to #37)
47 Sam - #485 and falling
48 Elmer - fell off the Top 1000 after 2009 (after rising to #44)
49 Herman - fell off the Top 1000 after 1999
50 Leo - #167 and rising (after rising to #47 and then falling to #486)

41 Elsie - #480 and rising (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 28 years)
42 Sarah - #39 and falling (after falling to #119 and then rising to #3)
43 Mabel - fell off the Top 1000 after 1964
44 Julia - #57 and falling (after falling to #142 and then rising to #27)
45 Ida - fell off the Top 1000 after 1986
46 Eva - #83 and rising (after falling to #362)
47 Viola - fell off the Top 1000 after 1972
48 Pearl - #814 and rising (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 20 years)
49 Eleanor - #150 and rising (after rising to #25 and then falling to #686)
50 Myrtle - fell off the Top 1000 after 1965

Charlie and Leo are the stars of the boy group. Leo will probably see time in the top 100 again in the coming years. Andrew is a timeless Biblical name that will probably stay in the top 100. Among the girl names, Elsie fell out the Top 1000 from 1976 through 2004, reappearing in 2005 at #924 and rising over 400 spots in 6 years. It will keep making strides I'm sure.  Eva and Eleanor are also making strong comebacks, with Pearl returning to the Top 1000 in 2007 and beginning to rise again as well.

I have a friend who recently named his daughter Viola after a grandmother. Love it. Would you like to see any of the other names make a new showing?


Friday, December 7, 2012

Diverted by a Name: Cosette

Illustration of Cosette in the Thénardiers' inn at Montfermeil depicted by Émile Bayard via Wikipedia

The newest musical version of Les Misérables is set to hit the screens on Christmas Day in the United States and musical fans are all abuzz. I admit, I have never seen the musical or read the book, but all the hype has forced me to do a little research. The story is captivating, the music is amazing, and the names are diverting. While Fantine, Éponine, and Marius are all intriguing monikers, I was especially diverted by none other than the name of the child/young woman at the center of it all: Cosette.

Cosette is a French name and could possibly be a feminized version of Nicholas or a pet name for Nicole. It's meaning is dubious... some say it's "victorious" due to its possible connection to Nicholas while others say it's "little thing." The author of Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, is said to have created it from "chosette" (little thing), which would be something a mother might call her child. Since the character's given name was Euphrasie and Cosette was just her nickname, that derivation seems most plausible.

In 2011, 75 girls were named Cosette in the US. It started making an appearance in 1912, when 5 girls were given the name, but it generally stayed around 20 girls per year at the most until the 1990s when it gradually rose until reaching its height at 85 in 2009. If you are looking at variations of the name, 16 girls were named Cozette and 6 were named Cossette in 2011. Yet another variation is Cosetta. Cute nicknames for Cosette include Coco, Cozy, or even Etta.

Frankly, I'm surprised it isn't more popular. It has a very feminine and pretty feel to it, and would go along the lines of other -ette names: Annette, Antoinette, Bernadette, Bridget, Colette, Harriet, Josette, Juliet, Lisette, Lynette, Margaret, Scarlet, Violet. I understand that Cosette has a negative connotation in France and its use is avoided there because the name gives the impression of a "poor and unlucky girl who invokes pity." But unless you live in France and/or think that possible association would bother you, you could choose to see the name as representing a character that overcame a lot to eventually marry the love of her life. In any case, Cosette is a beautiful name deserving serious consideration.

What are your thoughts on Cosette?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

British Royal Name History

Lady Jane Grey via Wikipedia

To continue thoughts from my previous post...

In recent readings of fellow name bloggers and baby name sites, I have discovered that the Queen has veto power on a name... so I wouldn't worry about a King Spencer, and I would think Elizabeth will come before Diana in the middle name spots. :) William and Kate seem to be traditional in their tastes anyway and will go with family names in the first name spot, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they go their own way. 

I am intrigued by the thought of using Michael in a middle name spot, in honor of Kate's father, and I can definitely see this happening with William being so close to her family. The Queen did incorporate Philip's parents' names in her daughter's and second son's names, even using Andrew as his first name, but the firstborn only uses the name Philip from his side of the family. If the baby is a girl, Kate's mother Carole could be honored by using Charlotte or Caroline, although Carole's middle name is Elizabeth, which itself will definitely be used and can represent her as well. Kate's sister is Philippa Charlotte and her brother is James William, so maybe William could be used to honor both sides, but I see that more in a second son.

I read that Diana wanted to use her father's name, John, when naming William (it is said that she did choose their first names), but the name John is regarded as "bad luck" in the royal family and was nixed. Reasoning is as follows: King John has gone down in history and legend as a negative character, and there were a couple of princes born with the name John who died young (more below). I would think that Diana could have used Edward though, which is her father's first name. One name from her side was used in Harry's name: Albert was her grandfather's name and is a Windsor name as well. 

All that being said, here are my votes for the new full royal name:

Arthur Frederick Charles Michael
Jane Elizabeth Diana Victoria

These picks definitely have my preferences at the forefront. I have a deep love of the name Arthur, which is why I put it in the first name spot. My second pick would be moving the names around and naming him Frederick Arthur Charles Michael. Both of these names bring in a name that hasn't appeared in this family's history before: Michael and Diana. There is a lot of talk in the blogosphere and baby name world of the name Alice as the first name if the baby is a girl. I would love it for sure, but Jane will always be tops in my heart and therefore I will pull for it in the coveted spot. Jane was only a brief presence in the family history, but it would make a grand new "re"entrance. I would also love a revival of Mary or Matilda. Where does Matilda come from? Read on...

Since I looked all of this up, I thought I would share the full names of the current royal family:

Children of Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary) with Philip
Charles Philip Arthur George
Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
Andrew Albert Christian Edward
Edward Antony Richard Louis

Children of Prince Charles with Diana Frances
William Arthur Philip Louis
Henry Charles Albert David

Charles is now married to Camilla Rosemary

Children of Princess Anne with Mark Anthony Peter
Peter Mark Andrew
Zara Anne Elizabeth

Children of Prince Andrew with Sarah Margaret
Beatrice Elizabeth Mary
Eugenie Victoria Helena

Children of Prince Edward with Sophie Helen
Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary
James Alexander Philip Theo

Children of Peter with Autumn Patricia
Savannah Anne Kathleen
Isla Elizabeth

Those who aren't heir to the throne are able to have a little more leeway with the names they give their children. I love the "new" names that appear in the current family... especially Isla, Eugenie, and Theo.

For some reason, the current family's names weren't enough for me. I decided to go all the way back to William the Conqueror, who became King of England in 1066 AD. I really wish I had the time to list the children of all the siblings, but alas. It is fascinating to see what names were present in the family back then, and which ones stuck around...

Children of William I with Matilda
Robert (was given the Duchy of Normandy at the time of his father's death, and his brother William was given the Kingdom of England)
Richard (predeceased his father)
William* (became King William II but died without an heir so his brother Henry became King)
Henry* (also defeated his brother Robert to become Duke of Normandy)
Adeliza (Adelaide)
Adela (mother of King Stephen)

Children of King Henry I with Matilda (born Edith)
Matilda* ("Empress Matilda" was disputed ruler after her father's death but never crowned and was usurped by her cousin Stephen; mother of King Henry II)
William (predeceased his father without an heir)

Children of King Stephen with Matilda
Eustace (predeceased his father)
Baldwin (died in infancy)
William (was passed over as King in an agreement with Empress Matilda's son Henry for the sake of peace)

Children of King Henry II with Eleanor
William (predeceased his father)
Henry* (was King Henry while his father was still alive, but predeceased him and Richard became King after his father died)
Richard* (Richard the Lionheart held the throne until his death when his brother John became King; did not have a legitimate heir)

Children of King John with Isabella

Children of King Henry III with Eleanor

Children of King Edward I with Eleanor and Margaret
John (predeceased his father)
Henry (predeceased his father)
Alphonso (predeceased his father)

Children of King Edward II with Isabella

Children of King Edward III with Philippa
Edward (predeceased his father so his son Richard II became King, who was later deposed and Henry IV became King)
John (father of King Henry IV)
Edmund (grandfather of Richard, whose mother was great-granddaughter of Lionel; Richard was the father of King Edward IV)

Children of King Henry IV with Mary
Edward (died at birth)

Child of King Henry V with Catherine

Child of King Henry VI with Margaret
Edward (predeceased his father, who was overtaken by King Edward IV)

Children of King Edward IV with Elizabeth
Elizabeth (was also the wife of King Henry VII and mother of King Henry VIII)
Edward* (became King Edward V, but died without an heir and brother Richard III was declared King)

Children of King Richard III with Anne
Edward (predeceased his father; Henry VII became King after defeating King Richard III and stating he was the last heir to King Edward III)

Children of King Henry VII with Elizabeth
Arthur (predeceased his father so the throne passed to his brother Henry)
Mary (was the grandmother of Lady Jane Grey)

Children of King Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour
Mary* (had no children so the throne passed to her half-sister Elizabeth)
Elizabeth* (had no children so the throne passed to James, son of Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry Stuart, who were great-grandchildren of King Henry VII)
Edward* (became Edward VI after his father's death but died at age 15 without an heir; he gave the throne to his cousin Lady Jane Grey, but after nine days, the throne was given to his sister Mary)

Children of King James I with Anne
Henry Frederick (predeceased his father so the throne passed to his brother Charles)

Children of King Charles I with Henrietta Maria
Charles* (became King Charles II but had no legitimate children so the throne passed to his brother James after his death)
Mary Henrietta (mother to King William III)

Children of King James II with Anne and Mary
Charles (died in infancy)
Mary* (became Queen after her father's "abdication" because she was Protestant; ruled with her husband King William III and he ruled after her death; when William died, Mary's sister Anne became Queen)
Anne* (became Queen after Mary's husband William died, and because she was Protestant)
James Francis Edward (did not become King because he was Catholic)
Louisa Maria Teresa

Child of Queen Anne and George
William (predeceased his mother)

Children of King George I with Sophia Dorothea (George Louis became King through his mother Sophia, who was ruled as heir to the throne if Anne had no surviving children. Sophia was the daughter of Elizabeth Stuart, who was the daughter of King James I)
George Augustus*
Sophia Dorothea

Children of King George II with Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline
Frederick Louis (predeceased his father and therefore the throne went to his son George)
Amelia Sophia Eleanor
Caroline Elizabeth
George William
William Augustus

Children of King George III (George William Frederick) with Sophia Charlotte
George Augustus Frederick* (died without a living heir)
Frederick Augustus (predeceased his brother George without any heirs, leaving brother William as heir to the throne)
William Henry* (died without a living heir)
Charlotte Augusta Matilda
Edward Augustus (with Marie Luise Victoria was father of Queen Victoria)
Augusta Sophia
Ernest Augustus
Augustus Frederick
Adolphus Frederick
Sophia Matilda

Child of King George IV with Caroline Amelia Elizabeth
Charlotte Augusta (predeceased her father)

Children of King William IV with Adelaide Amelia Louise Theresa Caroline
Charotte (predeceased her father)
Elizabeth Georgiana Adelaide (predeceased her father)

Children of Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria) with Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel
Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa
Albert Edward*
Alice Maud Mary
Alfred Ernest Albert
Helena Augusta Victoria
Louise Caroline Alberta
Arthur William Patrick Albert
Leopold George Duncan Albert
Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore

Children of King Edward VII with Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia
Albert Victor Christian Edward (predeceased his father)
George Frederick Ernest Albert*
Louise Victoria Alexandra Dagmar
Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary
Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria
Alexander John (born prematurely and died a day later; one of the reasons John is not used anymore)

Children of King George V with Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes
Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David* (abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson)
Albert Frederick Arthur George*
Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary
Henry William Frederick Albert
George Edward Alexander Edmund
John Charles Francis (had epilepsy and was hidden from the public, died at age 13; one of the reasons John is not used anymore)

Children of King George VI with Elizabeth Angela Marguerite 
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary*
Margaret Rose

Children of Princess Margaret with Antony Charles Robert
David Albert Charles
Sarah Frances Elizabeth

*held the throne


Did you see Cecily pop up? What about Blanche, Joan and the numerous Matildas in the early days? Adelaide also jumps out to me. It's hard to ignore all the princes and princess with the names Augustus or Augusta. Why didn't Eleanor or Thomas stick around? Are you surprised there aren't any Catherines among the children? Such fabulous names should make a comeback... hopefully, William and Kate will make that a reality.

And the more I look at the name John, the more I love it and am saddened that the family refuses to use it anymore.

There are several great side stories that I uncovered in this research, but I'll share just one. It's interesting that the Queen chose Charles for her firstborn son given the history of the kings that carried that name. Charles I was beheaded for high treason, ending the monarchy for eleven years. Charles II had 12 illegitimate children and no legitimate children, leaving the throne to his brother James. The fascinating thing about Charles II's story though is that Princess Diana is a descendant of two of his illegitimate children, making Prince William likely to be the first monarch to be a descendant of Charles II. I guess that's more of a history lesson than a name story, but I found it fun enough to tell.

If you have read this far, thanks for staying through my madness.  :) I would love to hear your favorite royal names and what names you think should be in the combo for the newest royal heir!

A big thank you to Wikipedia for this information.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A New Royal to Name

The Royal Couple via Wikipedia

Believe it or not, I have had this article written for several months now... just waiting for the news...

Eeeee! The news of Kate Middleton expecting is possibly the most exciting news for this name-lover EVER. After knowing that the mother and baby are healthy, the announcement of his or her name is what I will be looking forward to hearing. What will the future King of England and his bride Catherine name their firstborn?

The royals like to use family names, and so I've listed names found in the family over the past several hundred years:

William's full name is William Arthur Philip Louis
Catherine's full name is Catherine Elizabeth

Other direct relations:
Harry's full name is Henry Charles Albert David
Charles' full name is Charles Philip Arthur George
The Queen's full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
The Duke of Edinburgh's full name is Philip (his parents were Andrew and Alice)
The Princess Royal's full name is Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise
The Duke of York's full name is Andrew Albert Christian Edward
The Earl of Wessex' full name is Edward Antony Richard Louis

The names of previous English/British Monarchs: Anne, Charles, Edward, Elizabeth, George, Henry, James, Jane, John, Mary, Matilda, Philip, Richard, Stephen, Victoria, William.

Other names found in the royal family include: Adelaide, Adolphus, Albert, Alberta, Alexander, Alexandra, Alfred, Alice, Amelia, Andrew, Antony, Arthur, Augusta, Augustus, Beatrice, Caroline, Charlotte, Christian, Dagmar, David, Dorothea, Duncan, Edmund, Eleanor, Ernest, Eugenie, Feodore, Francis, Frederick, Georgiana, Helena, Leopold, Louis, Louisa, Louise, Margaret, Maud, Octavius, Olga, Patrick, Peter, Rose, Sophia, Victor, Zara.

I love that they use so many names for each child. And there are so many great names already in the family to choose from. So, will the first name of this new baby be from the family? Personally, I would love to see a real life King Arthur.

Arthur has been hanging around for a while. It is in William's and Charles' name, as well as in the Queen's father's name (Albert Frederick Arthur George). It is growing in popularity in England and Wales, moving up to #82 in 2010 from #234 in 1996. I would very much like to see it in the first name spot. A little Prince Artie would be adorable.

One special element that will most likely not be ignored is Princess Diana. I would be terribly surprised if she is not honored in this child's name. Moreso if it's a girl of course, but maybe Spencer would be an option for a boy. Although I hope it wouldn't be the first name as I'm for more tradition in my royal name preferences.

If this baby is a girl, I am pretty confident that Diana (or Frances, her middle name) will be included in the name. I think there will be an Elizabeth (since it's the Queen's name as well as Catherine's middle name) or Victoria in there too. But maybe the first name will be less obvious... Jane or Alexandra. This would be the first queen given the title by her own right and not just because there was no other male heir.  Her name should be fitting.

What "outside" names would be great additions to the royal fold? Will these young and modern royals go with something new?  Something like Oliver or Ava?

I, for one, cannot wait to find out! Wishing Kate a happy and healthy nine months!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Name Madness - Round 4

Number - 4
photo by szczel via Flickr

We are getting down to the wire! Thank you to the forty-four people who voted in Round 3! We didn't have any ties this time, but someone did vote for both options in one of the matches, hence a percentage that doesn't equal 100%. Here are the winners:

Claire 77%
Ramona 23%

Josephine 61%
Matilda 39%

Penelope 73%
Juliette 30%

Camille 45%
Daphne 55%

Declan 52%
Nolan 48%

Conrad 34%
Emmett 66%

Henry 64%
Luke 36%

Brody 23%
James 77%

Wow... the Elite Eight is full of great match-ups! Match-ups made up of classic names that stand the test of time. How will you choose?

You have the next week to VOTE! Round 4 ends Sunday, December 9. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Have fun!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #31-40

Lucille Ball via Wikipedia

On to the next 20 names of 1911. (Links to previous groups: Top 10#11-20#21-30)

And here's a fun tidbit... Lucille Ball was born in 1911.

1911 #31-40

31 Roy - #565 and falling
32 Ernest - #851 and steady
33 Francis - #618 and steady
34 Earl - fell off the Top 1000 after 2006 (after rising to #31)
35 Anthony - #11 and steady (after falling to #52 and then rising to #7)
36 Donald - #376 and falling (after rising to #6)
37 Lawrence - #454 and falling (after rising to #30)
38 Michael - #6 and falling (after falling to #56 and then rising to #1)
39 Alfred - #917 and falling (after rising to #33)
40 Kenneth - #170 and falling (after rising to #13)

31 Edith - #771 and starting to rise (after rising to #28 and then falling to #842)
32 Lucille - #455 and rising (after rising to #27 and then falling out of the Top 1000 for 26 years)
33 Clara - #151 and rising (after falling to #595)
34 Esther - #236 and rising (after rising to #32 and then falling to #348)
35 Emma - #3 and steady (after falling to #458 and then rising to #1)
36 Bertha - fell off the Top 1000 after 1985
37 Beatrice - #707 and rising (after falling out of the Top 1000 several times)
38 Pauline - fell off the Top 1000 after 1997 after rising to #32
39 Agnes - fell off the Top 1000 after 1972
40 Bessie - fell off the Top 1000 after 1975

While the boy names in this group are lacking in return-popularity (with the exceptions of the ever-present Anthony and Michael), there are several girl names that are going down the "100 year rule" track. Lucille, Clara, Esther, and Beatrice are all making comebacks. Emma is the biggest turn-around, staying close to the top after falling to #458 and then rising all the way to #1. Granted, besides Emma and Clara, the other names making a comeback are not close to the Top 100 yet, but their numbers are promising. The name I am keeping an eye on though is Edith. Edith reached its lowest rank at #842 in 2009, rose to #824 in 2010 and hit #771 in 2011. Is this just a blip or is it making a slow return? It will be fascinating to see if Edith keeps rising.

Are any of these names sticking out to you?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Nickname Story: Joss

Joss Whedon via Wikipedia

Joss is a fascinating nickname to me. I'm not usually one who would consider using a unisex name, but I would love an opportunity to call my son OR daughter Joss. It's also a great given name, however the options of full names are plentiful and superb:

Boy Names

Girl Names

Interestingly, Joss was the given name of 11 boys and 11 girls in 2011. There happen to be two celebrities (one male and one female) who are known as Joss: the (awesome) director/producer/writer Joss Whedon was born Joseph Hill Whedon and the singer/songwriter Joss Stone was born Jocelyn Eve Stoker. The name fits a baseball-wielding boy and a tutu-wearing girl. Whatever your preference, I do not see how parents can go wrong with this spunky choice.

Would you use Joss as a given name? If you like it as a nickname, which full name would you use?


Monday, November 26, 2012

Name Madness - Round 3

number 3
photo by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

Thank you to everyone who voted in Round 2! We had 44 responses this time and I'm so encouraged that the votes are increasing with each round. Round 2 had some close matches, one tie (involving Matilda again), and a few landslides (poor Sheldon). Here are the results (winner in bold):

Claire 66%
Zoe 34%

Ramona 52%
Elena 48%

Josephine 55%
Genevieve 45%

Celia 50%
Matilda 50%

Hazel 48%
Penelope 52%

Savannah 25%
Juliette 75%

Camille 64%
Primrose 36%

Willow 48%
Daphne 52%

Pierce 41%
Declan 59%

Thayer 39%
Nolan 61%

Winston 41%
Conrad 59%

Emmett 80%
Troy 20%

Henry 86%
Axl 14%

Luke 91%
Sheldon 9%

Brody 66%
Saul 34%

Frederick 25%
James 75%

Are you surprised that a certain name is still around? Are you disappointed that a certain name lost?

Using these results, I have created the ballot for Round 3. It's the Sweet Sixteen and voting is just going to get harder and harder as the number of names dwindle. You have the next week to VOTE! Round 3 ends Sunday, December 2. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Have fun!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #21-30

Grace Kelly via Wikipedia

Continuing the Where Are They Now series, here is a look at the next 20 names in the Top 100 from 1911. You can review the Top 10 and #11-20 entries to compare.

1911 #21-30

21 Louis - #332 and steady (after rising to #20)
22 Fred - fell off the Top 1000 after 2002
23 Clarence - fell off the Top 1000 after 2010
24 Ralph - #953 and steady
25 Jack - #45 and steady (after falling to #179)
26 Carl - #591 and falling
27 David - #18 and falling (after rising to #1)
28 Howard - #960 and falling
29 Joe - #491 and falling
30 Samuel - #26 and steady (after falling to #72)

21 Irene - #689 and falling
22 Ruby - #109 and rising (after falling to #401)
23 Grace - #16 and rising (after falling to #397)
24 Annie - #386 and steady
25 Hazel - #211 and rising (after falling out of the Top 1000 for 20 years)
26 Virginia - #576 and steady
27 Thelma - fell off the Top 1000 after 1982
28 Martha - #772 and falling
29 Josephine - #182 and rising (after falling to #498)
30 Gertrude - fell off the Top 1000 after 1965

Jack and Samuel both fell and rose again since 1911. Ruby, Grace, and Josephine fell even further before turning things around. However, the biggest mover of the group is Hazel, falling completely out of the Top 1000 for twenty years, reentering in 1998 at #942, and rising quickly since. These names definitely fall in the "100 year rule" category. In this group of names, more have fallen out of the Top 1000 and we have our first reverse situation: David rose to #1 and then fell back within the hundred years.

I would like to see Virginia on the rise again. Do you see any of the other names making a comeback soon?


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Women in the Senate

Hattie Caraway in 1914 via Wikipedia

The United States held its most recent election two weeks ago today, and 2013 will boast the beginning of a term that includes the most females in Senate history with twenty. That news prompted a name post of course!

Actually, what started rolling this ball was a picture of all the women of the Senate a friend posted on Facebook. That made me wonder about their names. I looked it up on Wikipedia and found that one of the earliest women in the Senate was named Hattie. THAT is what inspired me to post, since Hattie is my new name crush.

Hattie Caraway was a Senator for the state of Arkansas from 1931 to 1945, and the first female Senator to be elected and serve a full term.  She was born Hattie Ophelia Wyatt in 1878, which is before the Social Security Administration started recording name popularity, but in 1880 Hattie was ranked #27 and fell from there. Hattie's parents were William Carroll and Lucy Mildred; she married Thaddeus Horatius Caraway in 1902 and had three sons Paul, Forrest and Robert. She first entered politics by taking over her husband's Senate seat after he died in 1931. She then won a special election in 1932 to complete his term, won reelection later that same year as well as in the 1938 election, and then lost the 1944 election. She never served with more than one other woman while in the Senate.

There have been 39 women in the Senate since 1789 and five new female Senators were elected last week. Here are their first names, middle names when found, and birth year (and anything else I found interesting):

Rebecca Ann 1835
Hattie Ophelia 1978
Rose 1892
Dixie 1882 (parents were Payton and Isabel)
Gladys Shields 1890 (Shields was her mother's maiden name)
Vera Sarah 1889
Margaret Madeline 1897
Eva 1892
Hazel Pearl 1888
Maurine 1907
Elaine Lucille 1929 (parents were Errol and Myrl)
Muriel Fay 1912
Maryon 1925
Nancy 1932 (her mother's name was Theo)
Paula 1927 (her father was Paul and mother was Leone)
Barbara Ann 1936
Jocelyn 1922 (her mother was Magdalena)
Dianne Emiel 1933
Barbara 1940
Patricia Lynn "Patty" 1950
Carol Elizabeth 1947
Kathryn Ann "Kay" 1943
Olympia Jean 1947 (her father immigrated from Greece)
Sheila 1945
Susan Margaret 1952
Mary Loretta 1955*
Blanche Meyers 1960
Maria 1958
Jean Anne 1933 (parents were Reginald and Alvina)
Hillary Diane 1947
Deborah Ann "Debbie" 1950
Lisa Ann 1957
Mary Elizabeth Alexander "Liddy" 1936
Amy Jean 1960
Claire Conner 1953
Cynthia Jeanne 1947
Janet Kay 1953 (her father was Josie Perry "Joe")
Kirsten Elizabeth 1966 (her mother was Polly Edwina)
Kelly 1968
Debra "Deb" 1951
Tammy Suzanne 1962
Mary Katherine "Heidi" 1955
Mazie Keiko 1947
Elizabeth 1949

*Mary's parents were Verna and Maurice "Moon" and she was one of nine kids: Mary, Mark, Melanie, Michelle, Mitchell, Madeleine, Martin, Melinda, and Maurice, Jr.

Maybe I'll do the House of Representatives next.  ;)

Besides Wikipedia, I also gathered information from the Women in Congress website.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Name Madness - Round 2

number 2
photo by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

The results from Round 1 are in! I'm pleased to announce that thirty-nine people voted in this round, an increase from the twenty who voted last round. There were some big wins as well as a couple of ties, and you will now find out that tie-breaker goes to ME! There were also a few people who voted for both names in certain matches and in those cases, the percentages do not equal 100%. I understand some of these matches are hard, but please only vote for one name! Both ties were in matches where someone voted for both options. Here are the tallies for Round 1 (winners in bold):

Virginia 26%
Claire 74%

Bay 44%
Zoe 56%

Ramona 51%
Margaret 51%

Elena 85%
Regina 15%

Anastasia 41%
Josephine 59%

Edith 18%
Genevieve 82%

Haddie 41%
Celia 59%

Matilda 51%
Caroline 51%

Mallory 28%
Hazel 72%

Auden 23%
Penelope 77%

Savannah 59%
Britta 41%

Juliette 56%
Serena 46%

Marian 38%
Camille 62%

Astrid 41%
Primrose 59%

Willow 72%
Arya 28%

Daphne 72%
Hermoine 31%

Deacon 36%
Pierce 64%

Declan 51%
Hugo 49%

Thayer 59%
Artie 41%

Nolan 85%
Hoyt 15%

Toby 26%
Winston 54%

Conrad 72%
Archie 28%

Emmett 77%
Damon 23%

Gunnar 36%
Troy 64%

Henry 87%
Tyrion 13%

Gaius 38%
Axl 62%

Luke 79%
Dexter 21%

Sheldon 69%
Sherlock 31%

Brody 56%
Malcolm 44%

Brick 33%
Saul 67%

Bertram 10%
Frederick 90%

Cedric 44%
James 56%

What do you think? Any surprises? Any disappointments? I was a little sad to see Haddie go (although I prefer Hattie), and I wonder if you all really like Frederick or really dislike Bertram.

Using these results, I have created the ballot for Round 2. More great matches await you. You have the next week to VOTE! Round 2 ends Sunday, November 25. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Have fun!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 #11-20

Lillian Gish in 1921 via Wikipedia

Last week, I took a look at the Top 10 names of 1911 to see if any of them have fallen from the top only to rise again by 2011. As we saw, all but three of the names (Elizabeth, William and James) are still falling in popularity. I have decided to continue the research and examine the top names of 1911 20 at a time (10 of the girl names and 10 of the boy names) to see if there is a group of names that is more likely to follow the "100 year rule" than others. This week we look at the names ranked between 11 and 20.

1911 #11-20

11 Henry - #57 and rising (after falling to #146)
12 Walter - #375 and falling
13 Harry - #709 and falling
14 Willie - #614 and falling
15 Albert - #392 and steady
16 Harold - #843 and falling
17 Paul - #187 and falling
18 Arthur - #338 and steady
19 Raymond - #234 and falling
20 Richard - #127 and falling

11 Alice - #142 and rising (after falling to #444)
12 Florence - fell off the Top 1000 after 1981
13 Lillian - #22 and rising (after falling to #485)
14 Rose - #291 and rising (after falling to #362)
15 Ethel - fell off the Top 1000 after 1975
16 Evelyn - #24 and rising (after falling to #289)
17 Edna - fell off the Top 1000 after 1991
18 Gladys - fell off the Top 1000 after 1999
19 Louise - fell off the Top 1000 after 1991
20 Catherine - #161 and steady

Lillian is the biggest turnaround and proof of the "100 year rule" so far. Henry, Alice, Rose and Evelyn are also followers of the rule. However, this group has the biggest drops as well, with five of the ten girl names falling off of the Top 1000 with no foreseeable reentry in the near future. One thing that seems to be compatible to most ideas on baby names--boy names tend to be more consistent, with less drastic or dramatic movement. It will be interesting to see if Albert and Arthur start rising to the top again soon.

Note: I had to make some changes to the information from last week's post. Nothing changing the analysis, but the corrections have been made. 


Matilda Magazine

Announcing a new arrival! Last month, the first online magazine dedicated to baby names was born. Welcome to the world, Matilda Magazine!

The ladies behind Name Soiree and For Real Baby Names have come together to bring Matilda to life. I encourage you to check out the site for a ton of baby name love and appreciation! The magazine itself is full of baby name advice, trends, and name stories. Several name bloggers on my blog roll have made contributions, so you know it's great! But the site also has a boy and girl name database, polls, and a blog. Yours truly even has a new post on the blog:

When You Like Ben But Not Benjamin...

There is a Matilda page on Facebook that will give you a heads up on the magazine's issues as well as other name news. I won't keep you from it all any longer.