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.


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